Wednesday, December 15, 2010

it will only take a second

to pick this year's red currant crop.

A few months ago I was given several mature red currant plant cuttings. A couple of them came with green currants.  For the moment they are living in pots and seem to be quite happy. They have put on new pale green growth and the currants have ripened.  I am surprised the blackbirds haven't found the fruit. Perhaps one of them tried the fruit and told the others not to bother.  Mind you there have been plenty of mulberries in the garden to feast on.

Summer's Jewels
If I was to make some jelly from this crop it could easily be stored in one of these bottles!

 height 5 cm & diameter 1.5 cm
Maybe home grown red currant jelly next year.  Delicious!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

another gift treat package

These ideas pop up lots at Christmas but they are so useful for events at other times of the year.  One for a gift or lots for a party.

 Here is another Martha Stewart idea from her 2007 magazine.

Instructions are available here.
I thought the labels could be cut using the Spellbinders Nestabilites Labels Seventeen set.  The 5.5. cm wide might do the trick.  As the cone design is based on a square of paper it would be possible to scale up the size of the cone for lots more filling if required.

Monday, December 13, 2010

how would Martha Stewart make them

This style of paper decoration is popping up in several places on the net now.  These paper balls have been created using last year's Christmas cards.  You can get Martha's instructions here

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I like haberdashery or how to make bobbins

I enjoy mixing my sewing supplies with cardmaking and paper arts.  At the last Paperific I spent some time with Julie Van Oosten at her Collections stand.  One of her latest products is making thread bobbins or spools from cardboard.

I have purchased her bobbin kit but once I started making bobbins I made them larger than the kit sizes.  The bobbins are used for storing some of my ribbons.  Seeing my resources helps inspire me and I love the way these bobbins have turned out.  My Cuttlebug with the original Sizzix circle dies have come in really handy.  Sizzix dies love cutting cardboard.

I use Pritt Power glue stick for attaching the paper to the cardboard to both sides before die cutting. The pressure of the cutting process helps complete the adhesion.

 Paper by 7 Gypsies - Conservatory Collection
The Swiss dot and ruffled ribbon from here.  I have taken to buying white ribbon and then colouring it with alcohol inks as needed.
 Brassed off eyelet with a little help from Copic pens

Saturday, December 11, 2010

with a little help from my Cricut

These two containers were created for friends.  They hold a gift of lots of petite chocolate balls.

When I last came across this design the artist had used 20 different pieces of paper and made it into a hanging bauble.  I have left an opening in mine with a ribbon to seal it up.  When the contents have been eaten these can be converted into hanging baubles.

Bigger is not better with this construction as the weight of the chocolates flattens the bottom 'fins' of the ball.  I chose not to make it a hanging ball.  Cello wrapped sweets would be a lighter filling.

The finished size of the ball is 11 cm and it is made with 20 pieces each 6 cm in diameter. 

After cutting the circles on the Cricut they must then be accurately scored.  I made up an equilateral triangle template in two layers of cardstock.  It is worth making up a test bauble to work out the sequence of the patterned pieces. This can be quickly stapled together for the test  These balls have a top of five pieces in one pattern and a bottom in the other print.  There is then a belly band of 10 pieces in alternating prints.

 The Cricut makes the circle cutting very quick and simple.  If you are using one print you will get 16 circles of 6 cm diameter from one sheet of 12 in x 12 in scrapbook paper.

Friday, December 10, 2010

kittens are not just for Christmas

... but rabbits are definitely only for Easter.

For last night's card class I wanted to give the participants a gift to finish off the last class of the year.  The pillow box holds some chocolates and my wishes to them for next year. The packaging was made with a combination of high-tech Cricut to low-tech Scor-Pal.  

 I used the pillow box from the Cricut Easter cartridge. Punched out the rabbit cutout with a circle punch.

Then  I backed the circle cutout with a piece of lightweight acetate and used some double sided tape to seal the sides of the box.  The box was then packed with the message and the chocolates.

The first thing to make for the decorative sleeve was a template indicating the score lines and position of the circle punch.  The hole in the sleeve is smaller than the hole in the box to allow for some misalignment and issues with getting rid of the rabbit.

This box size worked well with the 1 3/8 and 1.25 inch circle punches we have been using in recent classes. Larger boxes will come with larger rabbits.  It just might get harder to pull a rabbit out of the box.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

time to go

One of the cards I made using rosettes was for a birthday.  Last weekend it was time to send it off.  Due to its design the card needed a box to protect it in the mail.  On my trips to the usual shops that carry gift boxes I carried a piece of paper the size of the card to check the fit. The boxes were generally too tall and just a bit too narrow.

In the end the solution was DIY using my favourite construction material, foam core. I was able to make a sturdy box of just the right width and height.

I hope it has arrived in time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

garden flowers and the hidden cast

Planning a photo of some of the flowers from the garden I put together 3 different roses and two buddleia blooms of different ages.  However the fauna decided to come along as well: 2 slaters, 3 earwigs, three different spiders, ants and some other small moving critters.  Quite a cast.

The slaters surprised me.  I thought they stayed with the leaf litter on the ground and under pots.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

have you wondered

where old rubber stamps go to die?  Mine certainly haven't perished. They are all still with me. I went looking through some of the boxes of wood mounted Christmas theme stamps wondering whether to design this year's cards around some old stamps and new papers.   In the end I chose new punches and old papers.

Getting a little distracted on this journey I rediscovered two of my Hero Arts stamps called Small Square Background Edge (4 cm x 4 cm) and Square Background Edge (5 cm x 5 cm).  I think they were the inspiration for some of the current collection such as Aged Print Frame.

I can see all of them being used with Tim Holtz Distress Powder over some small printed images or other stamp designs.  There are plans to go back into the boxes and get out the solid shadow stamps that go with these shapes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

January 2011 Card Class

This is a shabby chic card however the techniques to be learnt are great for applying to other card themes and pages for both the male and female recipients of your paperarts.

So you have been collecting chipboard pieces?  Dusty Attic's barbed wire? Iron railings?  Locks and keys?  Wind mills?  Tim Holtz's Distress Powder is not your usual embossing powder.  Trying different ink colours and powders is a lot like alchemy and quite addictive.

So here is the January 2010 card class sample Iron Camellias.

The class is on Thursday January 13, 2011 at 6.30pm.
To join the class please contact Chandon Craft by dropping in, emailing or calling 03 5223 2003. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It has grown in height about 25 cm since the end of its winter. Not our 'winter' ending in August but when the tree detected the temperaure had started to rise and the daylight was increasing.  The resin of the polar cap has ben shed and the tree has thrown its new branches wide open to the sun.  I must now watch out for the growth at the end of least season's branches.

On the left a photo from 8 November.  I blinked and now the tree today on 17 November
Last season's branches are the darker green leaves at the bottom of the photo.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


These paper decorations would definitely have my Christmas decorations sorted if I decorated for Christmas.

Photographed in Tokyo you will see this on photographer Zhang Jingna's blog.

Friday, November 5, 2010

layer upon layer

The sample for December's card class is now on display in Chandon Craft.  It is the final Christmas card for this year and the last card class of the year.  The design is about creating a variety of looks from die shapes such as frames, labels and brackets.

The class is on Thursday December 9 at 6.30pm.
To join the class please contact Chandon Craft by dropping in, emailing or calling 03 5223 2003. 

PS. Make a note your diary.  The first card class for 2011 will be Thursday 13 January at 6.30pm.  I will post a photo as soon as the sample is complete.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

yesterday's iris

It didn't seem like it would stop raining yesterday so I stepped out into the garden with an umbrella in one hand and a camera in the other.

This iris was being shy and retiring, its petals furled against the rain.

 I couldn't resist folding back the petals and having a look inside.  Incredible details.  Too wet for the bees!

 I put the petals back hoping it might help the flower withstand the continuing rain, another twelve hours of rain in fact.  Today it is dry, open and quite wind blown.
Edit: additional photo
The windswept look today

Friday, October 29, 2010

a rosette for another occasion

This card was made for a family 60th birthday.  Using the smudgy Cosmo Cricket and Basic Grey papers from a couple of years ago it had the right tones for a male card. The Spellbinder pinking circle dies and EK Success border punch Arrow, provided spiky circles for a male look rather than scallop edges used with a previous cream  rosette card.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a rosette for every occasion

This card was made for a Deakin University graduation last week.  It has a similar structure to the birthday card I made for a family 60th birthday.  My degree certificate has a seal rosette embossed in it and this provided the inspiration for this card.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

how (bio)degrading

The polar cap on the Wollemi pine is becoming very unsound.  Looking very grungy.  I want to help it on its way but that may damage the very new shoots.  Last year there was a stage where parts of the polar cap resin stuck to the new shoots and deformed them.  If this happens then maybe I will help.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I collect fabric, paper, books, paper crafting tools and Copic pens.  As in I am still adding to the each of these collections.  I have a collection of Prisma coloured pencils and Tombow markers. These I haven't added to for sometime .... years in fact.

Doing a little blog hopping from Heather Moore's personal/professional artist blog skinny laminx to the one she writes for SA Elle Decoration I discovered this pencil collection. I could start collecting pencils all over again.  It would  fill in some of the gaps too. 

They kindly offer a subscription for purchasing the full collection of 500 pencils, 25 pencils for 20 months.  Then they have been so thoughtful to provide several storage/display units to answer the "where do I put them when they arrive" question.

Friday, October 15, 2010

polka dot rosette

Along with the strawberry rosettes made from the 'right' side of the paper I have been making some from the back of the sheet.  The back of Cosmo Cricket - Garden Variety - Strawberry Fields has a multi coloured spot with lots of possibilities.  I have picked up the red and teal colours for highlights.

Printed paper - Cosmo Cricket - Garden Variety - Strawberry Fields
Cardstock - Keaycolour china white
Dies - spellbinder nestabilies scallop
Copic pen 
Martha Stewart - scoring board
Fiskars border punch - threading water
EK Success - button punch

Thursday, October 14, 2010

gold rosettes + punch + spellbinder dies

There aren't too many Alison Ellis papers in my collection but I have taken a liking to the gold on cream and gold on pale pink papers.  The gold really shimmers with all the folds of the rosettes.

Printed paper - Alison Ellis - Eastern Elements Earth swirls
Cardstock - Keaycolour china white
Dies - spellbinder nestabilities circle + scallop
Copic pen E43
Martha Stewart - score board
Martha Stewart - punch around the page - string lace
Craft stickers - gold line + scallop

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

matching Distress ink colours

Just a reminder for the women at card class last night about the Distress ink colours that go with the KaiserCraft 'Tis the Season collection of papers.

Forest moss - green
Fired red brick - red
Vintage photo - brown
Rusty hinge - burnt orange

playing with rosettes

... and it definitely feels like playing.  I have started making paper rosettes to put on cards.

It is a very simple technique but then I started looking around at how I could apply  other papercraft tools to add to the embellishment.

 Rosette + Copic colouring + spellbinder pinking circle x 2 + embossing + Alison Ellis paper + gold edging =

Printed paper - Alison Ellis - Eastern Elements Wind Swirls
Cardstock - Keaycolour china white, gold card
Dies - spellbinder nestabilities pinking circle
Copic pen 
Martha Stewart - scoring board
Craft stickers - gold line