Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year greetings to all in blogland

happy new year

The fabulous  blocks are the ones I won from Deb’s blog.  Fonts are candles and danceman.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I made these

  star wars 1

Inspired by some posts on Write, Click, Scrapbook some months ago (sorry didn’t note down who)  I made a set of cards for my nephews (17 and 20) for christmas.

Each card has a quote from one of the Star Wars movies which I found by googling and then selecting some that I thought appropriate for each person. 

The really exciting find is the forced reentry font which is dingbats of Star Wars characters – for instance the Yoda in the photo is the letter I.  The font that I used for the test is rub this!. 

I made them using text boxes in word to control placement.

star wars 2

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 year long album


I have admired the December daily mixed album process for the last 2 years but I don’t ‘do’ Christmas all December and don’t feel the urge to record each day of the month so the project would not work for me. 

But I really wanted the challenge and fun of putting together a mix of page starters and later having to make them work.  I’ve done a themed year long album every year since 2006 and I like each to be different.

So I decided to put together 12 folders, each with 7 things inside which I will then use as the basis for that month.  The photo above is the January set: a business card holder page; a set of circle stickers; a frame with an oval hole; two printed out journaling blocks, a foldout album behind the picture card and a velum sheet with New Year on it.

My only rule is that I have to use all 7 things that month.  I will post  on how I approach this project as I do it.

Really enjoyed collecting an eclectic mix and putting the 12 packs together.  Photos of the other 11 are below if you want to see them all.

Are you planning a year long album project for 2010?


2 3

4 5

6 7

8 9

10 11

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Monday, December 28, 2009

time for some craft projects?

when wandering in blogland one of the things I can’t resist is a free printable, especially templates.  I have saved lots but not used many.  Here are some of the free templates for projects from the internet that I have bookmarked recently.  Hope to get to some over the next week.

template for paper fortune cookies look fun for a New Year dinner.

Russian nesting doll card because my Mum likes nesting dolls.

free templates for lots of lovely things including cute gift boxes and a handy holder for small post-its in a matchbook cover

a tiny folder template – just like office ones but smaller.  Not sure what I’d use it for at the moment but it does look so cute I need to make one.

And because I prefer blogs with a photo here is one I prepared earlier

thames colour (1)

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

cards for a good cause

cardI saw Cindy’s post about cards for charity a while ago and have been meaning to post on it because it seems such a good idea.

One of the frustrating things with making cards is having more inspiration and stash than people and occasions needing a card. 

Cindy is organising distribution of cards to charity and she is giving prizes each month.  For more details visit cindy.  The next deadline is end of January 2010. 

I hope to get some cards made this week.  One of my Christmas gifts was a set of alpha stamps so this seems a great excuse to play with them.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

chocolate bark - yum


Chocolate bark has to be one of the best for high yumminess for little effort.  If you have not come across chocolate bark before it is basically melted chocolate with various nice things scattered on top while it is soft.  When it has set, break into pieces.

For this one I used dark chocolate and for a festive feel added pistashio nuts, dried cranberries, glace cherries and some bits of marzipan.  I also sprinkled on a bit of seasalt because it tastes lovely with chocolate (honestly) and it looks like snow.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

signs of winter

signs of winter

collage created using picasa.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

personalised gift tags

12th (4)

while wandering blogland over recent weeks I picked up the idea of using photos on gift tags – sorry I can’t remember which blog. 

I liked the idea of using a photo of the person on each tag instead of their name so I made some to use for the family.



gift tag background

I took some close up photos of some golden christmas trees and used bits to create a collage of squares.  Then I found face photos and turned each sepia and warm so that they matched the feel fo the background.  Then I placed a photo on each square of the background, printed and cut them out.

All manipulation was done with picasa.



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Monday, December 14, 2009

decorations from the garden

g decs 1
Doesn’t this make your fingers twitch to get in there and make things?  On Sunday I joined in at a Christmas decorations from the garden workshop run by my parents’ organic gardeners group.  People brought along ribbon, candles and other craft things and masses of greenery from their gardens.
g decs 2
Then we all just played with what was there and made a variety of decorations.  Wreaths were popular.  We added colour using giftwrap ribbon, wool and candles.  It was a lot of fun and everyone went home with at least one creation to festoon their walls and tables.
We have always used greenery from the garden as the  basis for decorating the house at Christmas.  What do you use from the garden?

garden decs

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 on the 12th

12 on 12th dec

frosty morning * cat enjoying the fire * today’s free wrapping paper in the Guardian * making Star Wars wisdom cards * photo gift tag in use * rose against the frost * buying Christmas tree * chocolate cherry treat * making mince pies * birds enjoy spare pastry * knitting * feet up by fire

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Lovely start to a rainy Monday


winner is

Deb at purple turtle had a giveaway last week of her fabulous chalkboards and I won !!!!!  I loved these blocks when Deb first blogged a picture of them.  Of all the giveaways that I have entered recently this was the one that I most wanted to win.

I will be buying a house soon and had decided to include word art in the decor but had thought of too many words that I might use and now I can use them all.  I believe Deb will be selling these chalkboards – I’ll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Picasa tips 2

text on collage

I use the text option in picasa a lot. I probably use text most on collages.  Once the collage has been created you can do anything to the collage that you can do to a single photo, including adding text. 

I love that it can access all of the fonts that are loaded onto my computer.  [Adding new fonts is easy – there are lots of free ones available, just google free fonts and if you don’t know how to add fonts to your computer you will get tutorials if you google that too (it varies by system so its no use me telling you how I do it on my computer.] Font on the next one is called happy.

text on 2

Another aspect that I really like is the colour picker, especially that you can use the eyedropper to pick a colour from the photo.

text on 3


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Monday, November 30, 2009

it's December

this picture seems a good way to welcome December - bright colours and a clear message.  I'm not adverse to borrowing my images from advertisements - this one is for Myers in Australia, I snapped it in a shop window

Saturday, November 28, 2009

irresistible colour

colour tags

In the hardware shop today and drawn to the new colour samples from wattyl because I love colour and because each one is a tag.  So I picked up a handful of colours I love with the idea I will use them for a project. 

Not sure exactly how I will use them – suggestions welcome. Each has a hole so a mini album on a ring seems likely. They are about 5x 2 inches and have writing I would want to cover at one end and along one edge. Perhaps stick a photo on the back of each and then a word on the front?  Or stick them back to back and add smaller photos and writing? 

When I do decide how to use them I will do a post.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

acknowledging stars

you are a star
Over the past three weeks I’ve been taking part in a class run by Shimelle with lots of other bloggers.  One of the things I discovered was the buzz of receiving comments on my posts. 
Today I am awarding ‘in my eyes you are a star’ awards to four fellow crafting bloggers who I noticed have been leaving lots of comments on a range of blogs from class members. I wanted to recognise people who regularly read and comment on blogs because comments are part of the joy of blogging.
I hope that the four recipients will award ‘in my eyes you are a star’ to some bloggers sometime over the next few months.  The award can be given for any reason, this time I chose to reward comment leavers but next time it will be something else that I want to recognise. 
Anyone is welcome to use the picture to award things that make other bloggers stars in their eyes.
The four lovely bloggers I am awarding this time are
Amy from over at our place
Irene  from a room of my own
Elizabeth from scrapbooking by Lizzie  and journaling by Lizzie
Maria from Gallo Organico

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Scrapbookers are everywhere

Welcome to Melbourne, Australia in this stage of your ‘blog around the world’ trip.

I don’t live in Melbourne but have been here all week at a workshop. So this view from my window is from a hotel in the middle of the city – hence the mirror glass and buildings. You can just tell that it is sunny – 28C and hotter. Next week I’ll be back in New Zealand and blogging about more crafty stuff.

Please keep going on your blog around the world trip by visiting Amy who is also in Melbourne and I’m sure has a more interesting view from her window.

a year ago

Design Your Life by Cathy Z, an online course with Big Picture Scrapbooking was occupying my time and creativity a year ago.  A wonderful class which I would totally recommend.  There is lots to learn and do and the class forum was lively and supportive.  The messages from Cathy were adorable.  And we made some great layouts. 

As it happens one of my favourites was from mid November.  Sorry the photo is a bit small – I had to get the one from the class gallery because my hard drive with all photos from a year ago is in a container on a ship somewhere between New Zealand and London.

year ago 40s

This layout has a photo of me, my sister, my mum, my two grandmothers and one great grandmother – all when in their 40s.  I made all the photos sepia to match the brown in the pattern paper and to equalise them.  The journaling is some reflections on how perception of age, in particular being 40, changes.



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Friday, November 20, 2009

the back story

I like back stories – the explanation as to how we ended up where we are.  My 20 year old nephew was shocked when I made up back stories for people when we were sitting in a cafe watching the world. I digress.

Today’s back story fills in why I have those two quotes at the top of the left column.  They sum up for me some important ideas about sharing what we know and realising that what we know will be of interest to others – not all the people all of the time, but someone, sometimes.

In Gladwell’s book called The Tipping Point he investigates what triggers a new fashion or a change in behaviour.  He looks at the things that contribute to something tipping from a niche to widespread.  He suggests that there are 3 types of people who play an important role: connectors, mavens and salespeople.  Connectors know lots of people from different backgrounds and groups, salesmen persuade people to try things.  And mavens are information people, they seek information, they note it and they share it.  Reading about mavens was great – I thought ‘hey that’s what I am’.

Photo interlude – unrelated, just a photo I like.

flower to misti

Most people have seen improvisation in the TV show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ but there is much more to it than those comedy games.  The basic rules for behaving in an improv performance also make good rules for life and that is what the book Improv Wisdom discusses.  Some examples are: turn up and join in with what is happening; support others on the team, you don’t have to be in the limelight.  And the one that resonates for me at the moment is to share what you know because something that is easy or obvious to you may be a revelation to others.

I would recommend both books to people who like ideas. The two books are very different but both make you think about sharing.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

wow and wow


Im excited by these two Scottish women and professional crafts people / artists whose work I adore



moy sheep

wonderful pictures by Moy MacKay made from felted wool which she then embroiders.







simone lyon lizard

Simone Lyon makes stunning ceramic works that include lizards, iguana and dragons.  I do own some of her work from over 20 years ago when she was first selling.




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have you showcased the work of craftspeople and artists you admire?