Monday, April 20, 2009

Here's one I prep ... bought earlier

Whilst on a trip to Adelaide recently I made a visit to Seriously Scrapbooking. The owner, Jane, stocks lots of the common paper collections, stamps, inks and tools. Even better she stocks some of the uncommon printed paper collections, stamps ... and tools. I was treated to some product demonstrations that left me with a buzz.

Jane has been running classes based on K & Co Blue Awning pad (blues and greens) and is now moving onto the Madeline pad (smudgy pinks and greens). Class participants bring along their pad to each of the classes in the series and gradually build up a coordinated album.

The Blue Awning pad joined my paper collection, well, quite some months ago. Even further back I started a collection of Corner Adorner punches and Fiskars border punches. Jane's scrapbooking and off the page 7 Gypsies Carousel made with Blue Awning and her punch collection, are inspiring. My Blue Awning is going to get an airing soon.

The punches Corbel and Laurel had to come home with me and over the last weekend I have been (re)acquainting myself with the punches I already own. Although they are called Corner Adorners they make fantastic elaborate border punches, just remove the guides and go.

EK Success the manufacturer of Corner Adorners are innovative with the design of their punches and the mechanism. Looking at the the punches I own I can see the changes over time and there are some more significant changes to come out soon.

Border punches from EK Success, Fiskars and Martha Stewart are inspiring both for card makers and scrapbookers. Fiskars punches of six years ago were only for use with paper but now it seems the manufacturers know we have a diverse range of papers and cardstock in our stash so the punches are far more robust today.

In our card class Bella Bag last week we had the happy accident of getting to use Fiskars' Lacy Days of Summer punch as well as Threading Water. Coming soon are Effervescent, Scallop and Apron Lace. Keep an eye out for the them.

There are lots of printed papers out now with die cut borders. These punches enable you to add a border to any of your papers.

So with some new inspiration, some 'old' paper and even older punches I am ready to prepare some birthday cards. I will post some card designs as I get them made.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Colouring cocktail

Mixing some alcohol inks and alcohol blender provides me with hours of fun. Very much a journey, never mind the destination or how and when I might use the flowers. There is always a little magic involved depending on how each media takes up the ink and how much or little ink I apply compared to the blender.

You may find in your own stash or a local scrapbook store white paper flowers, metres of white ric rac, linked flowers or white grosgrain ribbon. Starting with off white will give you other tones but similar effects.

When working with these inks some ventilation is required. Seriously! Look after yourself and make sure you are working in a well ventilated area until the flowers and braids dry.

I usually 'soak' the item in blender first and then add drops of colour. Another method is to add colour and blender to a small zip lock bag and drop the white item in for some squooshing and colouring.

You will find when you work with Ranger products that the item will be stiffer once the drying is complete. Alcohol ink is great for colouring paper flowers as it doesn't cause the paper to go soggy and lose shape.

Co-ordinating ric rac braid and flowers.

From white to what ever shade. The original Tim Holtz alcohol inks were very saturated deep colours. The range has expanded to include lights and brights. More fun! I'm looking forward to adding them to my collection.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sliding into May

More a skip, hop and a jump and it will soon be May!!
I have delivered the May card class sample to Raqual. It is a birthday card with a sliding mechanism. You will see it up on the Chandon blog soon.

We will be using several parts of the Kaiser stamp set 'Birthday'. An interactive card, it is fun to make and give. It can be made up in many styles to suit different ages and tastes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

things of paper, string and flowers

Yes I will get back to things of paper but while my paper supplies were not where they should be I took a little time out to try using some string.

Some of the scrapbook ranges had crocheted flowers so I decided to try out my rather rusty crochet skills. I still have the hooks and a plentiful supply of threads of many shades. For instructions I googled 'crocheted flowers'.

After trying some patterns and looking for other ideas I stumbled across the fact there is Australian (British) crochet and American crochet. It had never occurred to me that one needed Babel Fish for crochet. This tutorial is a instruction for a simple flower. More flower design links can be found here.

These are about 3 cm in diameter. I plan to use some of the flowers on cards adding buttons for centres. My preference is the flowers from single colour thread.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Garden Show

To celebrate the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show I spent time in the garden realigning the brick edging along one of the garden beds. Almost hidden in amongst the wood mulch are the green tips of two hellebore plants. A little searching revealed the third plant was still there, deeper down, the shoots still having white tips. The labels are a little mixed up so I will have to wait for the flowers to work out which one is the Primrose Yellow Picotee.

These plants were bought at the Show about 4 years ago and have managed to survive on little water in a garden bed sucked dry by the neighbour's birch trees. A few invasive roots were, well rooted out in the clean up so that might help the hellebores as they grow their new leaves.

There are lots of comments from the Show about the hardiness of roses. I have a bed of pink climbing roses and they hardly skipped a beat after the ghastly hot days of January and February. They are the centre piece of my garden show today.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Down the gurgler

Yes, it has been a month without blog posts. March went by very quickly and tonight we turn back the clocks to end daylight saving.
Our bathroom was repaired after the water pipe in the shower wall leaked. The month of March started with choosing tiles and fittings to repair and replace most of what makes up our second smallest room. I can say it helps me stand tall now ... the shower rose is above my head so there is no need to bend my head to rinse off anymore.
To improve access to the bathroom during construction most of my paperart tools, papers and accessories were moved to other rooms until after the dust had settled.
Until the silicon on the shower screen cured we got to use our ensuite on loan or rather our ensuite on tow for showers. A complete bathroom on wheels delivered to the door! What a surprise to find that this service was available.

I have put away the paint and now after some gardening I will be back to concentrating on designing some birthday cards and the upcoming card classes.