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Thursday, 30 April 2009


You'll forgive me for not posting over the next few days. My beloved Dad lost his fight against leukaemia yesterday afternoon, 4.30 pm Australian time, 7.30 am our time on the 29th April. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I've been mucking around with my punches and here are the latest creations.  I've got loads more. I think I might do it as a class.

Anniversary card

I've been trying to simplify my designs and this is one I made for an anniversary card.  Hope you like it.

Monday Day 10, Week 3 Fitting the Kitchen

We were unable to take delivery of all the kitchen units prior to the scheduled kitchen fitting date, so the units and Mr Kitchen Fitter were both arriving on the same day.  Needless to say, Mr KF had very little to do apart from getting the units in for the utility room which was thankfully on a separate order and was delivered from their local depot shortly after 9 a.m.

The bulk of the kitchen arrived from Wales late morning, and by the end of the working day, this was the result.  Pretty good, considering we lost time whilst waiting for the units to arrive.

The rest of the boxes, mostly appliances are being stored in the dining room temporarily.
It's all coming together at last and we're more than half way there.  I'm getting sick of Pot Noodles!

Building work update End of Week 2

Plastering in kitchen and the dining room has been completed and they've made a start in plastering the beam between the living and dining room.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Crazy for Cupcakes

I needed extra samples for the Crazy for Cupcakes set - so I dashed this one off real quick.  I used the Tea Party DSP matted on to Almost Amethyst, stamped the big fairy cake image in versamark, sprinkled with Black Embossing Powder, heat embossed, then used the markers and blender pens to colour it in and Dazzling Diamonds for the sprinkles and the flame.  I embossed it so that the colours wouldn't bleed into the card as it had on a previous attempt.  I added a strip of Almost Amethyst so that it would make the Pretty in Pink scallop oval and its sentiment stand out then finished it off with a little pink gingham ribbon.

Cheers to You

Do you ever sometimes put aside your first attempts or bodge a project only to have to start all over again?  I did this with an earlier project - the Easter basket, and its handle with that lovely Brocade Blue grosgrain ribbon which was just too good to throw away.  Well, I found another use for it and here it is!  I've been dying to use the Cheers to You set, and that cool summer cocktail drink was just the ticket!  I adhered it to the top of the card and used a naked chipboard initial to add interest, made a word window and used the large oval punch for the image and matted  on to a Ballet Blue punched oval scallop.  As it was for a young man, I just had to use the beer mug too.

So for the inside, I added a strip of Ballet Blue and stamped "happy birthday!" from the Big Bold Birthday set, then stamped in black Stazon on Whisper White the Beer Mug from Cheers to You and used Rich Regals watercolour crayons to colour image and matted on to a Bashful Blue scalloped square.

This is a close up of the word window I made with a rounded tip tag from a strip of WW through 1/2" circle punch and traced round this for a pattern to create the word window.  Hurry up SU EU, bring the word window punch in for our next catty - it would make life so much simpler!

Crazy for Cupcakes

My lovely Hostess requested a birthday theme for her workshop last night.  This is the card we made from the Crazy for Cupcakes set.  The base is Whisper White, stamped the cupcakes on stand image on Confetti White with black Stazon ink, coloured in with watercolour crayons, matted on to Ballet Blue and Ruby Red with a bit of Brocade Blue ribbon.  Used stamp-a-ma-jig to position sentiments on card, framed  the oval aperture on front of card with scallop oval punch in Ruby Red.

This next one has been done over and over again by almost every SU demo you meet, but because it involves chocolate, one never tires of it!  So simple and quick - it involves a lot of
punching - 2 scallop circles in Not Quite Navy, 1 x 1" WW circle  stamped with sentiment from Circle of Friendship set, 1 x 1 1/4" WW circles stamped with flowers from Pocket Silhouettes matted on to 2 x 1 3/8" Bashful Blue circles and then matted on to Not Quite Navy scalloped circles and attached to a mint chocolate with a mini glue dot top and bottom.

We also had a prize or two and I made these cards to give away to showcase the Playful Petals set, and of course this included a little gift for my Hostess - a little exclusive stamp from Sale-A-Bration which has now ended, presented in a little bag just right for the occasion.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Day 6 & 7 - Gets Worse before it Gets Better

I'm really trying to be positive, but my mojo has taken a real dip today.  The central heating system was drained so that they could re-route the pipe work and I've got no sink, cooker or washing machine.  

The ceiling in the lounge was stripped off, and they found a bird's nest in there including a couple of dead wasps nests!  How long they've been there is anyone's guess.  Thank goodness there weren't any inhabitants, otherwise we would've had real problems!

On a more cheerful note - they plastered the utility and the end kitchen wall and made good the kitchen ceiling, so at least it's more constructive rather than destructive.  I've got a workshop to prep for tomorrow and I need to find that mojo back!

Will be able to show you what we made after the event.  

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Sizzix Pop Up Cake

I couldn't resist this non-SU project and have been playing with it and came up with this.
A calorie free concoction to whet your appetite!

Have more concoctions on the back burner until I get time to create.

Loads more to share, but unfortunately I can't just yet until the people for whom I made these have had their birthdays.

Break Through! End of Day 5

At last, the wall between the kitchen and dining room is down and in the skip ready for carting away.  These are end of working day pics as the builders normally tidy up before they leave.

The first fix electrics are almost done.   They've been drilling holes in the existing kitchen ceiling to fit the new halogen lamps in for the extractor over the peninsula.

I'm a day behind with my photos, the light is never good when peace and quiet descends, so I have to wait till the following morning before the onslaught begins again.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

School Book Serif, Choo Choo, Crazy for Cupcakes, Circle of Friendship, A bit of Birthday Cheer

As a Demonstrator, I've accumulated quite a collection of stamp sets, so I've used quite a few here. There's alot of cutting round stamped images for this one, so it really is a labour of love.

To start with I stamped the letters spelling "birthday" from the School Book Serif set and cut them all out. I stamped the Crazy for Cup cakes big cup cake image in Black Stazon (omitted the candle by masking it) on 2" x 2" WW squares matted on to textured 2.5" square in Bashful Blue and distressed with Ruby Red. Then coloured the cupcakes with water colour crayons and blended with aqua pen.

I cut a sheet of 12"x12" Rainbow Sherbet DSP into 4"x12" strips and scored each strip at 3", 6", 9". Accordian folded these, joined together where appropriate in order to make sufficient "pages" for adhering the cupcakes and the letters "birthday" on top of cupcakes.

Then I stamped carriages and engine from the Choo Choo set and cut those out, put dimensionals on back, adhered it to the pages. I made a tag stamped it with "happy" from A Bit of Birthday Cheer and attached eyelets, threaded linen thread through eyelets and attached it to first page top left hand corner.

Lastly I adhered the first and last pages to pieces of Tempting Turqouise cardstock to act as front and back covers. To secure book, I took a length of silver elastic cord and attached to layers of die cut blooms with a sentiment stamped from Circle of Friendship as illustrated.

Thanks for looking.

Day 4, End of Week 1 Building work

A little late posting pics at end of day 4 which was last Friday. Just relieved that the weekend had arrived and we could have a 2-day respite from all the noise and dust. The steels are in place both in Dining room and kitchen (first picture) and living room (second picture) - we are waiting for the concrete to set so they can remove steel props and demolish kitchen wall tomorrow. That's going to make the biggest difference. It will open up the space and give us more light.

Utility floor down, first fix completed and the plumber has been to do the pipe work ready for the sink and washing machine.

Back soon.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Design Dilemma, Petal Pizzazz in a Flower Pot

I've taken the opportunity this weekend of the quiet (no builders) to try and devise something for a forthcoming workshop.  This one has been relegated to the shelf because there was a lot of cutting out to be done and it was too pretty to discard it without first having made a record of the work that went into it.  In the design process, sticking to 2 colours made it look unexciting, so I ended up using 5 and so I had to call it a day and think of something else.

With spring in the air, I couldn't resist tackling the Petal Pizzazz set which I earned through SAB.  Don't get many freebies so made the most of it while I could!!  My lovely upline, Amanda, had recently done some cards in her Sunday share with the five petal flowers in a flower pot which gave me the inspiration to do this.

I cut a piece of Ruby Red 11" x  4", scored landscape orientation at 2", 5.5", 6.5" and 7.5".  (The 6.5" and 7.5" scorelines have been incorporated to allow for card to stand up independently for display purposes.)  Turning it 1/4 turn to portrait orientation, I folded the 2" score line toward me, 5.5" away from me,  6.5" toward me and 7.5" away from me.  I only unfolded the 2" fold and scalloped the edge with Scallop edge punch, then measured 1/2"  in from bottom edge of flower pot, drew a line diagonally to meet the 2" score line and cut through all layers to form first side of flower pot.  Repeat for the other side.  

I inked an assortment of flowers from Petal Pizzazz Stamp set in Rose Red, Ballet Blue, So Saffron, Taken with Teal and leaves in Always Artichoke.  Using the paper snips, I cut around all images and adhered to Whisper White matted on to Ruby Red with dimensionals at random. I inked "Happy Birthday" from A Bit of Birthday Cheer set in Ruby Red and stamped sentiment on to Very Vanilla Taffeta ribbon and tied a bow round top of flower pot which creates a pocket held together by ribbon.   I completed the card with the Oval All "Just for You" sentiment stamped on Whisper White and used the scallop oval punch to "frame" it and adhered it to bottom left of flower pot.   

Friday, 17 April 2009

Day 3 pictures

I thought the kitchen looked quite comical with just the sink, washing machine and cooker left - caught with its pants down!   We had a disaster last night, the new kettle we bought for the builders to use sprung a leak and wet all the plans, so I hung it out to dry on whatever space was available -on top of the tea cups! 
Main steel joist in at end of Day 3.  At least it wasn't an entire waste of a day despite having had to down tools temporarily.  My hubby's a civil engineer, so the steel to him is a thing of beauty.?*!  Different strokes for different folks.  Notice the spirit level perched on it to make sure everything is kosher.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Downing tools

Just a quickie as no pictures today as the back orders on the oval scallop punches and Oval All stamp sets arrived mid afternoon today and I just had to nip out to deliver them to anxiously awaiting customers - you know who you are ;-) I thought they'd waited long enough so delivered them personally straight away.

By the time we got back via the Chinese Take-Away, the light was fading and it was impossible to take any decent pictures. Will take some tomorrow for the record.

We had a slight glitch today, builders had to down tools as the wrong size steel had been delivered - a whole metre too short! They cracked on with other work while waiting for the new steel to arrive. So our kitchen was ripped to the bare bones instead - all the floor tiles have gone, and only the kitchen sink, cooker and washing machine remain plus the fridge/freezer of course.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Day 2 Progress Report

DH has finally finished stripping off the last bit of wallpaper in the living room at last!  Took 3 days! They've finally widened the bit between dining room and living room.  That was a toughie because it had two skins, the outer bit being the original outside wall of house.  More kitchen units have been dismantled and the tiling has been taken off the wall.  I'm so happy to see the last vestiges of the previous owners go.  We've made do for 10 years since we moved in basically.  The utility room is taking shape - wooden slats for flooring is in place and all the electrics in there have been done.  Boy is it noisy around here!  Will be glad when all the demolition is finished.
I'm not sure how interesting this is anyone else but us.  Will try not to bore you with anymore details.  Unless you pm me and ask for more!! 

Thanks for looking.

A card for Phil

So this one is for you Phil.

I don't have precise measurements for the Really Rust mat piece, just did it by eye and scalloped round all four edges leaving a gap to retain the aperture look.

Using the two step method, I stamped the solid image in Old Olive, and the outline in Garden Green on to Very Vanilla cardstock using the stamp-a-majig, then repeated the two step method using Cameo Coral and Ruby Red.  I cut out the Old Olive and Garden Green image in its entirety, then cut out the flowers only in the Cameo Coral and Ruby Red.

I made a slot on the fold of 1/2 an A4 sheet of Very Vanilla at the halfway point, portrait orientation,  threaded a length of 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain through the slot at the back, threaded the front bit of the ribbon up and under the scalloped Really Rust piece, then up and over to meet with the other piece of ribbon at back and secured together with a pewter brad and hodepodge from the retired list.  

I adhered the Really Rust centrally on to the Very Vanilla cardstock after threading and securing ribbon.  Next adhere the Old Olive Garden Green image, use dimensionals on back of Cameo Coral and Ruby Red flowers and adhere to corresponding flowers on the green image.
Applied tiny dollops of  Tombo on the flower centres and sprinkled it with Dazzling Diamonds and let it dry.  To finish, I stamped sentiments on the inside in Old Olive and a little flower in the bottom right corner.

Late Christmas Card

Today we received a christmas card from an acquaintance who we met whilst on a grand tour of Italy to mark our Silver Wedding Anniversary in 2000.  The christmas card is from an elderly gentleman who was on tour with us together with his charming wife and she sent us a christmas card every year since until she died about 4 years ago from breast cancer.  We shared so many happy memories on that holiday that her widower continued to send us this annual epistle and when we didn't receive one last christmas I feared he had met some fearful demise.  Now I know why - for some reason the christmas card had been delivered to the wrong address, although on the envelope, Phil had addressed it correctly.  Whoever received it sent it back to Royal Mail saying we were not known at their address, return to sender.  Phil sent it to us belatedly after it had been returned to him together with an easter card.  I am just thankful he is alive and well!

Oops - and we all fall down!

I landed unceremoniously in a heap sitting on our temporary dining table which is a collapsible picnic table that folds out into a four seater bench and packs up into a long ,thin, flat trunk. My ever so galant other half was speechless trying to stifle his laughter but didn't succeed! Me, my laptop, the teacups (empty thankfully) got dumped unceremoniously on the floor and to top it off, the ironing board fell on top of me too. DH couldn't grab the camera fast enough to capture this moment.  

Fresh Cut Notes - with Vellum

This is the final one for this session. I used vellum for the insert, tore the edges to distress it, stamped the large script stamp from Fresh Cuts set and embossed it in black. I inserted the vellum inside the Fresh Cuts note to gauge where I should tear the Fresh Cuts front of card and tore this slightly narrower than the vellum piece so all the layers were visible when closed. I then used the largest circle rhinestone brad for the Fresh Cut flower centre and tied a knot in a length of Basic Grey taffeta ribbon to complete it.

Oooo...look at the time. It's wayyy past my bed time, and it's unlikely I'll get a lie-in as the builders will be here bright and early.

It's good night from me. Au revoir - until next time.

Fresh Cut Notes - Taken with Teal

Next I tried clear embossing on Taken with Teal. I cut a piece of Taken with Teal slightly smaller than the Fresh Cut note. I stamped "thank you" randomly in versamark on Taken with Teal, sprinkled it with clear embossing powder, used heat tool to emboss, this makes the image "pop" out and in my humble opinion, looks classy. I used the scallop edge punch, leaving the ends in tact and giving you a glimpse of Taken with Teal underneath. I stamped the small 5 petal flower with versamark on Taken with Teal, repeated the embossing process and cut it out. I added a designer button threaded with silver elastic cord and adhered to top of embossed flower which was then adhered to the centre of the cut out flower of the Fresh Cut note. I then stamped "thank you" in Taken with Teal on the bottom, made a tiny notch top and bottom as close to the fold line as possible so that the silver elastic cord had something to "anchor" to, then cut a length of silver elastic cord to make a bow and slipped this round the card secured on the notches.

Fresh Cut Notes - Pretty in Pink

With all that going on, how did I find time to craft?  Well, I just needed to chill, didn't I, after all that stress and I did promise to come up with more different ones.  

I traced round opening of the flower on to a post-it note, cut round it and used as a mask, sponge daubed Pretty in Pink on the inside of card, tore right hand edge toward me to give that distressed look, used sponge dauber to lightly ink torn edge, adhered a felt flower and "pearl" from Pretties Kit, stamped the small 5-petal flower from Fresh Cuts stamp set and tied gingham ribbon looping it through the petal opening.  Finished off with the sentiment "for you".

Thanks for looking.

Demolition Day!

We've been dreading the disruption and looking forward to it with trepidation at the same time.  Now that the day has dawned and work has started, there's really no looking back!  Here's a quick update - saying it in pictures.

A stay of execution has been granted - we've still got the kitchen sink and cooking facilities until the end of the week.  Once the plasterer arrives, it'll be microwave meals or a la crockpot or take-a-ways.  I fancy the last one, no washing up!

Not bad for end of Day 1.  They tidied up before they left, so it wasn't too much of a building site.  Now that this has been done, the dream is becoming reality and we're both getting quite excited.  Can't wait for the work to be completed now.  Roll on tempus fugit.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Calm before the Storm

I thought I'd share our latest project with you - to say it's a radical makeover is an understatement!   Neither of us saw Easter this year as 6 strapping blokes were due to arrive bang on 8.30 in the morning expecting a clear work area.

This is what the rooms looked like on Monday - a work in progress.  I can't believe how much stuff I'd accumulated over the years!  We had to be quite ruthless in ditching stuff - DH got quite emotional coming back from the dump having parted with much loved books we'd read to our kids, old records, old memories - just had to be done.

I'm looking forward to getting rid of the carpet we had to make do with which came with the house when we moved in almost 10 years ago!
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