Saturday, December 31, 2011

techniquely not recycling

Left over from some sewing was a pile of cream jersey fabric scraps.  Sitting, sitting, sitting and waiting.

The tomato plants this year are enormous and need lots of support and tying up. Having used all the last batch it was time to cut more fabric strips.  This time I sewed the random lengths together to make one long strip. 

Rolled into a ball I can cut it into custom lengths to better fit the task.  Technically it is making use not recycling and at least it isn't waste yet.

Friday, December 30, 2011

four years in the making

Some years ago I saw a lovely piece of hand stitchery made up into a pin cushion(?) in a little old tart casing.  I believe it was the work of Charlotte Lyons shown on her blog.  Having found a little (not so old) tart tin at an op shop I wanted to reuse a piece of my silk ribbon embroidery and make one myself.  I couldn't find the photo anywhere on her blog and left the pieces on a corner of my craft table to tumble around amongst the other bits and ideas in progress.  I suspect Charlotte pulled it for publication in a book she produced with some friends.

Finally today I unpicked the original square pin cushion, created a pattern to suit my scalloped oval tart case and cut up the fabric.

I am very pleased to have tried the idea and tick that off the list.

Charlotte designs and sells embroidery panels for handstitching.  I think they would fun for both the novice and experienced person so you might like to visit her Etsy shop.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

more decorations

We have now had about a dozen rainbow lorikeets* regularly feasting in the flowering gum aka our Christmas tree.  The red blossom has gradually spread over all the sunkissed parts of the tree. The birds know how to hold on the the wind and continue supping on the nectar.

Flower buds lower down on the branches are now open so the birds come lower down too.  As long as I introduce myself slowly I am able to move around quite close to them. 

* Using Neville Cayley's reference book What Bird is That? and some long hard looks at the birds: green wings, blue heads, red and yellow chest feathers these seem to match up.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

sew on and sew on

Machine stitching has made its way onto some of my Christmas cards and there is going to be lots more.  Apart from the effect its because I enjoy working with it.  I have a sheet of October Afternooon: Thrift Shop: Last One on my inspiration board and that print should be layered up with lots of ribbons, buttons and stitching.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

just can't remember how I got there

Drifting around blogland I came across Viola and her other blog shabby chic inspired..  I like her altered art pieces like this ...
She has a way with repurposing dark wood pieces, lamp bases and boxes. These are mainly on show on her second blog.  This is one example.
  from here to here

Have a look at her spice racks. Makes me want to search through op shops for some resources to alter.  I can certainly fill the compartments but really have nowhere to display the sewing box!  I think I will just admire Viola's work for now but perhaps it is time to make some more bobbins for my laces.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas tree

We are having a Christmas tree this year.  In the spirit of a "green' Christmas it is a living, breathing still rooted in the ground tree in the garden.  I think the timing will just be right.  There are thousands of budlights.  Thousands!!
The slightly orange shade of red tinsel is starting to arrive.
 Today the multicoloured (parrot) baubles installed themselves with a flap and a lot of squawking.
I think they were checking out what is to come.

Two seasons of good rain has the Western Australian flowering gum bursting to put on a show.  A couple of sunny warm days might speed the display along.

For more information on making your festivities green you might like to visit here or the article in today's The Age here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

compacted design

An order for some Christmas cards had my mind working on the design questions. Paper? Size? Construction? Colours?  When I saw the Graphic 45 paper, Christmas Emporium, it was a light bulb moment.  The thinking was done ... well some of it ... it was a start.

The children looking in the window gave me the idea of doing layered paper to give 3D features. I used two sheets for each card, some acetate and lots of scissor work. The cutting and layering compacted the original design from 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm to a 29.6 x 21 cm A4 landscape card.
The inside
 The acetate cover closed

 The acetate cover ajar

Friday, December 9, 2011

simple, quick + elegant

Do you need to create a few more Christmas cards and want a little help? There are some new Christmas tree diecuts at Create On Ormond.  The latest delivery has some reds and greens.  There is also a rich old gold which looks stunning with a few bits of red bling.  Punch a hole in the top of the tree and you have some decorations for your big Christmas tree or string on a ribbon to create a swag for your window.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

one more theme to go

The daytime Technique Tuesday class on 6th December will be dry embossing with embossing folders, our last technique for the year. 

Evening class on that day will be Distress Stickles and Perfect Pearls, then the last evening class on 13th will be a repeat of embossing folders.

There was shimmer and shine today with Stickles and Pearls.  There will be another special shiny media in the embossing class.  I am just waiting for Marisa to confirm it arrived in the today's delivery.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

oh the things you can see

A couple of months ago we had a large cut leaf maple removed the back garden.  It was a tall tree with wide dense canopy that dominated that corner of the garden and the neighbour's too! 
The trees next to it now have access to sunlight and water.  We have access for weeding and pruning.  This morning I discovered one of the trees is now in flower.  It might have flowered every year but now they are easily seen with access up close.

At first look they seem limp and bedraggled.  They are pale pink, bell shaped with a stiff waxy texture.  Each blossom is less than 1 cm long.  Such a lovely find. The planting tag says the fruit will be round blue berries. 

The tree is a blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus Reticulatus - pink flowered).

Friday, November 18, 2011

by the rusty iron lamp post

The mannequin from Tim Holtz's Sewing Room Sizzix Bigz die can be decorated in so many ways.  It is suited to altered art and greeting cards alike.  The new die Holiday Lamppost is another similar die.  The die cuts all the details beautifully.  The holly and berries can be cut ... or not.
I created a mantlepiece decoration on super heavy black cardboard using the lamp post as the focal piece.  Marisa was interested in seeing it used in a sample, perhaps a card and my mind went lamppost --> light --> gas flame --> flickering LED tealight, got one of those! Well four actually.
In the photo you can just see the tealight flame through the lamp housing.
  The next sample will be less about the holiday season and more about a lamp in a garden, white picket fence with red roses. A die that is not just for Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

had to try it

After talking about tissue honeycomb paper I had to give some die cutting a try.  The honeycomb block is made of 26 layers of tissue.  The Spellbinder ornament die cuts through 25.5 layers of tissue.  Just a little teasing apart separated the shape from the scrap.  Die cutting makes cutting intricate shapes easier than getting scissors into tight corners through 26 layers.  Several pieces can be cut to match each other too.  The Sizzix Bigz steel knife dies just chomp through the layers easily.

This green ornament was made from a full large ornament cut in half and then carefully glued together with a glue stick. Bet you can't pick the join!  I cut a base shape from green card and attached the fanned out honeycomb bauble to it to support it.  Add some ribbon for hanging and it could be used as a wall ornament.
I love the way some of the colours look like velvet when opened up.

Edit: Supplies of lots of shades of honeycomb paper can be bought here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

pink + cream

The parts of this card have been shuffling around my craft table for several weeks.  Yesterday I pulled them together with help from several types of adhesives.    
This card is all about pink, one shade of pink on a cream card base.  The Distress Stain: Spun Sugar was used to colour the seam binding, lace strip, tag yarn and create the background. The matching Adirondack alcohol ink: pink sherbert was used to colour the apple blossoms and silver birthday sticker.  There is clear rock candy stickles adding some shimmer to the centres of the flowers.

Friday, November 11, 2011

another Christmas decoration

Becca Feeken at Amazing Paper Grace has created a honeycomb bauble decoration. Travel on over to her excellent video tutorial.  Becca uses the Spellbinders Heirloom Ornament die.  The same principles can be applied to circles if you don't have the die.

This time it is important to use text weight paper.  For the last Christmas bauble I loosely used the term Christmas paper but most of our printed scrapbook papers are heavier than text paper. Some of the flexible text weight pearl papers would look lovely.  I think Becca's find of double sided purple and gold paper looks lovely and just right for the design.
After my own experiences with glue dots I was interested to read that one of her secrets is to use "very aggressive glue dots".  Wonder what the brand is?  I know they come on a roll, that much I picked up from the video!!
I still have some supplies of manufactured tissue weight honeycomb paper.  This tutorial has me wondering if I can cut through the block with either of my die systems.

Monday, November 7, 2011

rosa 'Pierre de Ronsard'

This rose is flowering beautifully this year.  The buds are creamy white and usually appear about the time of the sap sucking thrips.  Thrips will settle on anything white including the washing.  The flowers, lots of them, have developed and bloomed between any possible invasion of thrips or aphids.  The aphids have been over on the crabapples.  The plant is suppose to be disease resistant, it is just not pest resistant.  The outer petals are a little rain damaged but it is the rain that has helped the wonderful flowering.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

renovation rescue ...

... or how to use up some of the embellishments in your paper arts stash.
Did you buy some of these brads?

When the paper ranges they co-ordinated with went out of stock I began to see them discounted.  That is when I bought a few sets.  I could see they had potential!

Just remove the epoxy sticker and the white backing layer then clean off any remaining glue with orange oil.
The metal rim can be coloured with Copic ink or an ink like StazOn.  Find some printed paper to punch out as a base. Use Dimensional Magic or Glossy Accents to hold pearls or trinkets and add some shine.

Friday, November 4, 2011

extended fence

Tim Holtz's On the Fence Alterations die gives you this cut.
 Then cut to 5 cm high and draw in the lower rail and extensions of the pickets.
Finish off with a coat of Distress Crackle Paint
... and let dry with cracks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

extended fence + Technique Tuesday

The Tuesday Techniques class on 15 November will be about using Distress Crackle Paint.  Apart from creating the class samples I have been working on some inspiration samples. The idea of crackle paint lead me to the fence die and the extended fences I have made from it.

The Tim Holtz alterations die "On the Fence" cuts a short picket fence with details 2.5 cm (1 inch) high. It is an  "On the Edge" die.  The fence detail is not cut away from the the main piece of cardstock at the bottom of the die. You get to make that cut.

By trimming the card stock 5 cm below the highest part of the fence you have the first step to creating an extended fence. Choose where you want a bottom rail to go then draw it on the fence in pencil.  Next you start trimming away between the pickets and below the rail.  More later with photos.

For class bookings please call Marisa at Create On Ormond on 03 5222 1449 or email


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas bauble trial

Using the instructions I wrote about here I have made some of the paper baubles.  Whilst a bauble requires 12 circles, at 7cm diameter it was possible to get 16 circles from a 12 x 12 in piece of paper if you are cutting with a Cricut.  Mine were made with double sided paper.
The design works best when there is a high contrast between the each side of the paper.  The finished shape is quite strong.

The baubles were assembled with glue dots (for speed and simplicity).  I had my doubts about using glue dots but wanted to see the final result.  Glue dots don't like being in tension, i.e.pulled apart, as happens when these circles have all been joined.  As each one pops apart I have used a small amount of gel glue and a paper clip until it dries.  I recommend taking the slower path and using a glue pen like Tombow Mono Aqua which has a small tip option.  Its useful for applying small quantities and in tight places.  This is needed by the time you make the final join.

I made another bauble in a non-traditional print.

The Christmas print baubles were finished off with a seam binding  bow coloured with antique linen Distress Stain and the one above with plain white binding.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Melbourne Cup Day and alcohol

Technique Tuesday on cup day is about the coloured stuff but not the pink champagne/sparkling wine alcohol sort. Although the collection does come with mixers or rather mixatives to add sparkle!

My bag of samples is packed and ready for tomorrow morning's class. Late entries will have to be quick off the mark just call Marisa on 03 5222 1449.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

using up your Christmas paper

Do you have bits and pieces of Christmas design scrapbooking paper left in your stash?  Or perhaps whole sheets that you might just be falling a little out of love with?

I came across this really simple design for tree ornaments here.  The instructions help both with using double sided paper or using combinations of paper in a pattern.  If you have a Cricut you can really get the cutting of the circles done quickly.  Sizzix die or circle cutter?

They could also be used to decorate a gift wrapped in say, gold or brown paper and ribbon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

a big birthday with big numbers

In about two weeks the St Kilda Botanical Gardens will be celebrating its 150th birthday. On Wednesday evening 16 November its friends are putting on a birthday party for the gardens. 

This garden is a beautiful living gem surrounded by but not over looked by lots of housing. A much needed open space. Although 150 years old the garden is a living changing entity.  Stunning new iron gates have been installed at several of the entrances and the entry fee for the party will go towards funding the replacement of the fence.

As part of the party decorations I was commissioned to create a set of numbers, each standing 75cm high.  The shapes are painted in a shade called geranium. Just tinting and no tweaking was required when the colour was mixed.  There are so many shades of red to choose from and this one turned out just right, not too pink and not too orange.

The final result when the bright flowers were added is a set of very happy looking numbers. Just right for a party!

Friday, October 28, 2011

so many ways to add your creativity to chipboard

This week's Technique Tuesday class started as three ways to decorate chipboard (i.e. cardboard). Ha!  Well there are a few more and in the class earlier this week the tag came together as a arrangement based on Tim Holtz's sewing room die.
Starting with the decoration of the basic tag shape as the foundation, each chipboard shape was modified in a different way.  We had a full classroom and lots of action as the kraft coloured chipboard was transformed.  The finished tag has become a sampler and reminder of the techniques demonstrated.

This topic will be repeated Tuesday 1 November at 6.30 pm. Yes, it is Melbourne Cup Day.  Please ring Marissa at Create on Ormond on (03) 5222 1449 for more details and bookings.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

changing colours to match

This week I had an order for two custom cards.  The shoe shaped card was to be in bright pinks, green and purple.  I chose Recycle from the Basic Grey collection green at heart.  Not an all over bright design it has bright flowers set on a fawn background.  The shoe needed some roses and a large ribbon bow.

The roses were custom coloured with alcohol inks.  The pink with some highlights in Copic airbrushing and the other shade created with Adirondack alcohol ink.  Playing with the behaviour of the ink I was able to get a two tone purple rose. This fit so well with the colours on the paper.  Just start with a plain white rose

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

its not always about T!m

Yes there was some discussion about Tim Holtz's Distress Inks. Then I went on to share information about Versafine, VersaColor, VersaMark, StazOn, HA Shadow ink, Brilliance, Archival Ink and Memento.  Yesterday's Technique Tuesday morning class at Create On Ormond was about the difference between inks.  This topic will be repeated Tuesday 18 October at 6.30 pm for those of you who missed it and would like to be more confident with your stamping.

Drop in to Create on Ormond at 38 Ormond Road, East Geelong to book your place for the evening difference between inks class then check out the up coming topics such as using punches and ways to decorate chipboard. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

over the garden fence

This bottlebrush tree is now taller than the fence and has become part of our view north.  The wattle birds love the blossoms.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

new activities

Coughs, bugs, tests, lots of antibiotics and recovery.

Spring is suppose to be a time for renewal.  It is now spring, not winter, as it was when the disease started.  Well late spring now and time to get moving. The garden as well as the calendar is telling me spring has sprung

One of the "get back into" aspects of life is I am back into teaching about paper crafting.  This week I conducted the first of the brand new Technique Tuesday classes at Create on Ormond.  An hour of instruction and lots of hands on to understand how to use your paper crafting tools and supplies.

The daytime version of this class starts 10.30 am. while the evening sessions will start 6.30 pm.  Sessions will be conducted by Shelley, Rachie and myself.

My first topic this week was Tim Holtz Distress Stains.  This topic will be repeated Tuesday evening 11 October.

Technique Tuesday morning #2, 11 October, will be covering the difference between inks and when to use them. 
Drop in to Create on Ormond at 38 Ormond Road, East Geelong to book your place and check out the up coming topics such as using punches and ways to decorate chipboard.   As you approach look out for the green, pink and orange flags flying from the fence.  Once you see them, you will know you are in the right place.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

colour combination inspiration

from an online  wedding cake catalogue.  Who'd have thought!!

Grey & White Sugar Flower Cake from here

I have some white Green Tara apple blossoms similar to the gardenia bloom on the top.  Then I could do some  paper punching or die cut some white felt. There are some white pearls in the stash and there is definitely some lovely heavy grey cardstock in the box for the base.   Construction using the easel design or one of the step card designs might fit the shapes if I want it like a cake.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

tools + techniques this Saturday

The tools + techniques workshop this Saturday 6 August is about using masks and stencils.  These 'tools' add a huge amount of flexibility and variety to your paperart creations.

How many types of inks do you have in your collection?  Stamps? Shades of Glimmermist?  Dies? Cricut?  Cuttlebug? The techniques you will learn in this workshop will give you  some new ways to incorporate these resources into your scrapbook pages and cards.

The workshop runs from 10.30 am to 12.30pm.
Bookings can be made in store, emailing or by calling 5223 2003

Saturday, July 30, 2011

a little bird told me

If I Goggle the question will I get the answer?

Yesterday's appointment in Melbourne gave me a chance to visit L'Uccello in the Nicholas Building. By the way l'uccello means bird.  This is a wonderland.  A one room shop full of vintage haberdashery along with new ribbons, threads, fabric and gifts.

If you go to the shop blog you will see pictures of goodies like this.

My purchases were packed in beautiful printed paper bags.  I got to wondering why paper bags are made with zigzag edges.  A Google search came up with a comment on a Japanese online journal.

"Sho pointed out a random man walking past and that the edge of his paper bag had those zigzag edges, saying they were so that you didn't cut your fingers."

Seems reasonable and that was all the search had to offer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

on the inside

Here are some more photos of the inside of the birthday card from the post here.
Some details are creations from the computer and some are inspired from the printed scrapbook paper such as the wonderful lead pencils standing in their pop out container.  I created some ruled pad pages for our personal greeting that went inside a rather small envelope and a page of lead pencil scribbles.
These alphabet lead pencil epoxy stickers have been a treasured part of my stash for a while and this was the perfect time to use them: the right design element and the right scale for the card.

 The "N' is a popup design.