Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And so to bed . . . . .

Just before I crash into bed I will share this Hummingbird Bird card from my sample box with you.  I made the card as part of a challenge during the second half of last year.  I wasn't overly fond of the background paper I HAD to use but managed to tie the hibiscus flowers on the paper with the hibiscus flowers on the hummingbird stamp.  The background is sponged and the images painted with colour picked up with a DAMP paintbrush.  'Night ' night.

Creative Grandchildren

Hi Everyone I've had a busy few days with our two gorgeous grandchildren so I don't have a new post of my own but I can share their Lego creativity with you. Granddaughter Tayla (6) made me The Christmas Hotel and my room is the very top one so that I can "see the whole entire world from the windows". Grandson Trent (8) made me a Super Dooper Flying Digger Machine complete with turbo boosters. Trent has returned home now but Tayla has stayed on a few extra days so still busy doing cool, fun stuff. Today we enjoyed time in the pool together followed by painting a bird house. Tomorrow we are off to the library first followed by who knows what? Thanks for stopping by.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

To Make Up For Yesterday

Second post for today to make up for missing yesterday.  Actually saw these two when looking through my sample box and remembered how much I love this technique so photographed them and now posting them.  It is the Spotlight and Reverse Spotlight technique.  For the reverse card I brayered the background paper and it reminded me a lovely sunset -y sky so I overstamped it with my blossom branches.  Lots of different images lend themselves to this technique.  Lots of reference sites on the internet and magazine proects for the instructions.  Well we are off to a BBQ (even though the weather is anything but BBQ-y) so I had better move right on along and get myself organised.  Our two grandchildren are coming back for another visit tomorrow so I may be a bit tied up over the next few days doing fun stuff with them. Keep busy all of you (creatively of course) and those of you in the Wellington region of NZ enjoy your Long Weekend.

A Bird in the Hand . . . .

. . . . is worth two in the bush or so the saying goes.  Well I only have ONE in the bush but I think he is lovely.  This is another from my photo files as I am experimenting at the moment and don't have a current card to Blog.  Hope you don't mind(?)  I VERY subtly sponged the background sky with a 'rough' textured sponge (if you know what I mean.  I do have some 'smooth' textured sponges too) and this gave exactly the impression I was after. I made the sponging darker at the right hand side as this is where my bush is going to be so it needed to be darker to give depth to my bush later. Then I overstamped my 'branches' (which is actually a ferny leaf) in blues and greens both first and second generation impressions to add to the illusion of depth in my bush.  Then stamped my birdie on a branch and coloured/painted him with my Marvy/Tombow markers (or whatever brand you have).  I scribble the marker onto the tin lid of my marker container(plastic plate, scrap of acetate,  ceramic tile etc) and pick up colour from there with a damp, fine-ish paintbrush. When my image was WELL dry I added a few highlights (eye, beak, tail feathers,leaves) with a white gel pen.  If you're new to white gel pens let me tell you they are great but you need a little patience.  The first time I tried mine I thought 'what a waste of time that was' because nothing showed up at all and I went off in dissappointment.  When I returned to my desk later on WOW!!  You see they just need a little time to dry and work their magic on your artwork.   I have two or three diferent kinds. (Actually I've just checked them and I have FIVE!!!) Four of them are by Sakura - 2 called Glaze, 1 called Souffle and 1 called GellyRoll medium.  These work fine but my FAVOURITE is Hybrid Gel.  Give them a try.  You'll be surprised how a few highlights make your work POP right off the page.  Thanks for stopping by again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apologies for Yesterday

Good Morning Everyone(Anyone)  I do have to apologise for condeming our summer to the past yesterday.  That's what comes of doing a post earlier in the day.  The sun came out and the day actally turned into the hotest of the summer by far.  By early afternoon we were looking for somwhere with a bit of breeze to cool us down.  Even the lunchtime cool down swim was short lived.  Not that I'm complaining you understand.  We need more summer days to build us up in readiness for later in the year.  Anyway I'm off out this morning so a very quick post.  I made this last night for our beautiful granddaughter's partner's 21st (work that one out!!!) which we are going to on Saturday night.  Once again inspired by Michelle Zindorf.  I don't have a skateboarder stamp so I sourced a silhouette picture from the Internet (what would we do without it????????), printed it off, cut it out and stuck it onto my brayered background and Hey Presto!.  I do struggle with male cards.  Seems to be a common complaint amongst us.  Anyway must go.  Thanks

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Summer's Over :-(

Well it's back to a gloomy old day here in Upper Hutt but at least it's not cold.  I've just come back from my morning bike ride and at lunchtime we'll be off  for our swim - first time back since the Christmas break for my husband.  He only joins me on Wednesdays as the other days he is on the golf course.  Anyway I digress - I have two Barbara Gray (Clarity Stamps) inspired cards today.  She taught me how to do these cards via her DVD and I have taught this technique (with Barbara's blessing I must add!!!) several times at the craft shop.  It is one of my favourite techniques and never fails to get a 'Wow' when I demo it in class.  Barbara is such a neat lady and her DVDs are great 'cos you can rewind and reply as many times as you need to until you get it right.  I have met her several times at the All England Stamp Show held at Newbury Race Course in July each year.  Her stand is always one of the busiest.  Clarity stamps are clear, see through stamps which make this technique much easier BUT I also demo to my classes that you can use wooden mounted stamps for the technique, you just need a stamp positioner to help you get the images in the right place.  A brayer is the other essential tool for these reflections.  If you are going to get one I recommend buying a Speedball soft rubber brayer.  Simply the best!  I'm off before I burst into a Tina Turner song.  Bye and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Second Consecutive Nice Day !!!!!!

Hello and how are you all?  If you live in Upper Hutt New Zealand how could you be anything other than happy on such a beautiful day?  The second one in succession!!  Does that constitute a summer I ask myself?  I hope there are still many more beautiful days to come. We have certainly waited long enough for some sort of summer.  Anyway I have been making the most of it by sitting in the garden eating my lunch and having a read of my book - plus of course the obligatory Nana Nap!!!  Whilst I was doing that my camera battery was charging and so now I have photographed my two creations from last night.  Remember the Divine Diva from the other day?  Well here are two more cards using the same technique.  The first one is a male version and again I used a decoupage sheet to get the motorcyclist image.  The other is for a teenage girl.  I used a girlie sticker for the image and created the fun wording on the computer.  They are quick and easy cards with a difference.  I hope you are all having a good day wherever you are.  Thanks for visiting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

From My Files

Hi Everyone (Anyone) I don't think I'm going to get a creation finished today as I'm concentrating on the third and last dress alteration for Number 2 daughter and so I have chosen these two small cards from my photo files to show you. I created them with the Direct To Paper (DTP) technique. For those of who don't know it, you daub ink straight onto the card from the inkpad. For example I used a blue ink pad to 'draw' the mountains and a green ink pad to 'draw' the fields etc. Then I overstamped a few trees and my favourite flock of birds and there you have it. It is a bit daunting when you first try it but it's such fun. Give it a go. Work on spare paper first until you get up a bit of confidence. I've decided that's the key to success - CONFIDENCE. Don't be afraid - just go for it. What's the worst that could happen? - You make a mess and have to start over. So what?!!! It is fun and very satisfying and of course the more you practise the better you get. I find the best pads to use are Tim Holtz Distress Inks because they have a nice raised pad but others work too. Have a look at your ink pads and give it a go. Have fun and thanks for stopping by.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Only 49 Weeks To Go . . . . .

. . . . until CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! Get started on 2010 cards NOW!!!  Actually the real reason for these early Christmas cards is that I just got the stamps and we ALL know you just HAVE to use them straightaway now don't you?!!!  These lovely stamps are by Magenta and I came across them when I was searching the Web for the patchwork stamp (also by Magenta) used in my last post.  That was before Christmas but I didn't get around to ordering them at that time.  Between Christmas and New Year I got back to the task and was delighted that I hadn't ordered before Christmas as there was a 15% discount on all Christmas stamps.  Bonus!!! As I was purchasing the stamps from a UK supplier the discount paid for more than half of my postage costs!  Now that I like!  I really enjoyed myself last night and today colouring these images and then creating the cards.  My favourite is the mistletoe, poinsettia and holly card.  This stamp is mounted on a wooden block but the others are part of a re-mountable set. There are more stamps in the set and I will post cards made with the others when I have them.  The card with the trees on has a window in the front enabling you to view the trees in pots which are INSIDE the card.  I covered the front of the card with DSP which I thought reflected the stamp very well.  I embossed the front of the second card with my Cuttle Bug machine as you can see.  I punched scallop strips and mitred the corners to achieve a nice neat mat for my stamped image.  I hope you like them.  For those of you who have to return to work tomorrow (I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't have to) I hope you have a good week and thanks for stopping by.  Bye for now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drum Roll Please

Well it's another gloomy Saturday here, cold and miserable so the perfect day to stamp away without feeling guilty.  This morning I have completed two cards which I have been working on for some little while - hence the request for a drum roll!!!  It is another neat technique - patchwork -  but you need to have all your wits about you when doing the cutting.  So it was not something to try whilst looking after lively grandchildren - oh no!!!  I started the project as an experiment for classes at the craft shop once the new season starts.  I decided to do one black and one white (cream actually) - gives a totally different look of course. I am quite pleased with the results and I think it could/would make a good class.  What do you think?  I welcome any comments or suggestions from you crafty ladies out there.  I'm off back to my desk to create more goodies.  Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grid Cards . . . . . .

. . . . . are so much fun to do. A technique taught by Barbara Gray, a favourite lady of mine. She just oozes talent and creativity. Not only does she come up with interesting ideas like this, but ALL the stamps I used on this card were DESIGNED and MADE by her!!! Her stamps are Clarity Stamps and are all see through and come as mounted or re-mountable. She is in the UK and is quite happy to do mail order. Her website is She also has 3 great DVDs available and a book Handmade Clear Stamped Cards, put out by Search Press ISBN -13 978-1-84448-220-7 The book is not expensive and is much better reading than the women's mags!!! I always find Search Press craft books excellent value. I have quite a few of them. They have VERY good, clear step by step photographs. Check some out - especially Barbara's one! You'll find lots of examples of grid cards in there. Thanks for visiting today. PS There is a 4th DVD due out at the end of FEB.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Feast or Famine

Just whilst I'm in the mood and our grandchildren are watching a DVD I thought I'd photograph this lovely lady, and since I had to sit at the computer to download from the camera I might as well post it at the same time!!  I made this lovely lady  using a neat technique I saw demo'd at a big craft show I visit each year when I go to the UK for a holiday.  As with most good techniques it is really easy once you have been shown the trick! (Ain't that the truth?!!!) It's not a trick of the camera the card is narrower at the top.  I often use decoupage sheets to get pictures like this stunning Diva. I think she's divine! (From the look on her face I think she thinks she's divine too!!!)

I'm On The Way Back

Well what a busy two weeks it's been.  Our overseas visitors were with us for a while and now they are touring both islands before returning to us on Feb 1.  Then I seemed to become very popular as our grandsonTrent (8) wanted to know if I could make him some new curtains for his bedroom.  They have recently moved house and the curtains in his room were PINK!!!!  He was being very brave about it he told me.  So I found some Lightening McQueen material (those of you looking who have sons or grandsons under the age of 10-ish will know who I am talking about) and made new curtains and a cushion cover to match.Then daughter number 2 found some bargains in a pre-loved shop which just needed a LITTLE!!!!! bit of altering to make them just right.  I have done the first one but still have two to go,  Add to that our two youngest grandchildren (Trent 8 and his sister Tayla 6 going on 26) are staying with us and you will begin to understand why I haven't had time to Blog.  Thanks for sticking with me!  I have looked in my sample box and photo files and brought out a few goodies to post until I get time to complete the current project on my desk.

This first one I made as a sympathy card for the family of a Samoan friend who died last year.  He had just been back to Samoa for a family reunion so I thought the view out to sea was appropriate. I did the colouring with sponged Adirondack ink picked up from ink pads.  They are my favourite ink pads! The red flowers on the trees are supposed to be pohutakawa flowers which we have in flower in NZ at this time of year.  Particularly in coastal districts.  The stamps are ISC (Innovative Stamp Creations) which are another favourite make of mine.  Take a look at their website.
Thanks for stopping by and I will try to be back on a regular basis now.  Ali I hope this satifies your need!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hi Everyone (Anyone) and a very happy New Year to you all.  I hope you all have a great 2010 - happy, healthy and lots of creative Mojo!
Harold (my husband) and I have been out walking with a group of friends this morning and then we went back to the organiser's house and all had bacon butties!!! Yum!!! Needless to say there were lots of other goodies on offer and all the good done by the walk was UNdone by the afters!  Never mind it was lovely to catch up with everyone.

Nephew number two and his wife arrive this afternoon so it's another quick post before heading off to the airport again.  Just a very quick card today.  I found this sheet of lovely Japanese ladies when I was looking for something else (as you do!) and thought I'd use one of them with some Japanese paper for background a one of my little gold fans.  Very quick and easy.  Hope you like it.  Thanks for visiting.  (I may be busy for a few days until our visitors go off on their own next week.)