Thursday, 23 April 2009

A gorgeous card by a Blog Visitor

This is a card made by a regular visitor to my blog, and the winner of a past RAK, Lynda Shrimpton. She was waiting for the right occasion to use some of the Hodgepodge Hardware in her RAK, and she came up with this great card for a close friend, turning the big 40. He loved it, and I think it's great! Lynda's original inspiration came from a card on Splitcoast, with a similar neutral colour scheme, and the multi-layered panels. Lynda has used River Rock, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla, with Baroque motifs. Thanks for sharing Lynda, and I am going to apply the same panel idea to a card with Baroque background, when I get a moment! So many ideas, so little time...

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Stampin' Crop Day THIS SUNDAY 26th April

I've moved our monthly crop to a Sunday this month, making room for ANZAC Day on Saturday. Co-incidentally I have been watching the Australian TV Series "Anzacs" on DVD over the last week or so, and it is a timely reminder of the extreme struggles and hardships suffered by those who gave so much, to maintain the freedoms we now take for granted. Lest We Forget.

So, what is a Stampin Crop day??

My informal and relaxed crafting days are held each month at my home in Cherrybrook. I offer use of my extensive collection of stamps and tools (Stampin' Up products and otherwise, such as a Cuttlebug and Sizzix machine), along with tea, coffee and light refreshments. I am also on hand to offer casual instruction, and there is usually a make-n-take or two.

Time: from 10am until 5pm, come when you can, stay as long as you like.

Place: My home in Cherrybrook, book in for address information.

Cost: $10.00 per person

To book: Call me ASAP on 9484 9447 or send an email to to reserve your place.

Interested, but can't make it this month? Check the Google calendar at the right hand side for upcoming dates. It's usually every 4th Saturday of the month.

About the photo at the top of this post: I was lucky to attend a regular training day at a fellow demonstrator's home last week, and we each prepared a 'card in a box'. These boxes have all the materials needed to make the sample card designed by each demonstrator, including cardstock, stamps, inks and accessories. We pass them around, making ourselves a card in each style. This gives us a wide selection of samples and ideas for use with the new stamps and accessories in the 2009-10 Idea Book and Catalogue. These days always feel a lot more like fun than 'work', and I certainly enjoyed it. Thanks very much to all the girls who created these cards for us to make, including (back row L-R) Fiona Brown, Dani Fender, (me!), Kim Tonnet, Clare McIllhatton, Carol Dunstan (middle L-R) Joanna Wassens, Beth Stewart (front L-R) Jayne Mercer, Margaret Crawford, Ruth Bradford, Lin Mei Yap. There were a couple more that I hadn't added the finishing touches to, maybe another time.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Friendly Flowers

What I love about the Friends 24-7 set is that it has a mixture of greeting, solid and outline stamps, that all co-ordinate. So, it's easy to make a card with a background made from the solid stamps and add a watercoloured feature, and there are plenty of techniques you can play with using this set. Oh, and it has a matching wheel - Friendly Words!!

In the last card I applied Marker direct to the rubber of the Bird stamp, and in this one I have used the flower sprig stamp to make a panel for colouring. I have used Stazon Black on Confetti Cream, and coloured with Blender Pens and Aquapainters using Watercolour Wonder Crayons. The card base is Naturals Ivory, stamped in Sahara Sand using the Polka Dot background. Then, I tiled the damask stamp (LOVE it!) onto Kraft cardstock again in Sahara Sand, for a tonal effect. To make these sections pop, and to introduce a colour for the watercolouring panel, I mounted them on Not Quite Navy cardstock.

The greeting is from the same set, Here for You (24-7 is on a separate stamp for versatility), mounted on the essential scallop circle punch, with the three cardstock colours to tie it all together visually.

Hope you like it! Some tips on watercolouring coming soon - it's not as scary as it seems!!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Launch Night Make n Take cards - finally!!

Sorry it's taken so long to put images up here, I thought I had taken photos of them but?? And each time I went looking for them it was too dark for nice photos. I took a big batch today, and they are all safely OFF the SD card and ON the hard disk, so we should be right for a few days of posts now!
The top card is an CASE of a card made by ReginaBD from Splitcoast Stampers, using punched flowers and Pretties Kit pearls rather than Felt Flower Fusion and buttons (they are in the new catalogue and definitely on my extensive wish list though!!) I also switched the background, using the flower from the Three Little Words set and Versamark ink instead of Canvas Background (retired now). The colours are the same, Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip and Pink Pirouette. Yum! The punches make it an easy and fast card, and here I have used 3 different flower ones, 5 petal flower, trio flower and Boho Blossom - they layer so well.

The bottom card using "Good Friend" was inspired by an Inkspiring Stampers team member, Lesley Annabel - thanks Lez! It leapt off the screen at me when I saw it on Splitcoast, and I had to laugh when I saw it was created by my own SU 'sister'! I added a couple of my own touches, but the clean crisp style remains (I hope!) I added more layers of stamping into the panel, and a tab punch made from Good Morning Sunshine DSP, with a snip of white taffeta ribbon. Colours are Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze and Pacific Point. Everyone seemed to enjoy creating them, I hope they inspire you too!

A final note of best wishes to one of my friends and customers, Sabina, who will very likely be having her baby tonight! I delivered her new catalogue today to find her in early stages of labour on her due date, so she'll have something pleasant to distract her anyway!! Can't wait for the news, good luck!!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Friendly Birds

Here is my first card using the Friends 24-7 set. It has an assortment of images, and greetings. It has a cute birdy, but also a luscious damask style stamp. I've used them together here.

The card base is Riding Hood Red (loving this colour, so much I think it will henceforth be known as RHR!) stamped in RHR ink using the Sanded background. Then I stamped the damask stamp in RHR ink on a strip of RHR cardstock. I 'tiled' it, by eye, but you could achieve a similar result using the SAMJ. The stamp is turned upside down for some of the impressions. I think it looks like wallpaper! I mounted this onto some Basic Grey - a much underutilised colour in my collection!

I coloured the Bird stamp with my markers, Ruby Red, Basic Grey, a smidge of Sahara Sand, and stamped onto Very Vanilla. It was initially a quick experiment with this stamp, but I liked it enough to turn it into a card.

I offset a square of Going Grey, again a happy accident in design. I had picked up a scrap that was too small to mat with, just to see how the colour looked, but liked the effect so decided to use it. I have edged the piece with Basic Grey and used my Mat pack and Piercing tool to make the holes.

The greeting is composed of two stamps, one from the new Curly Label Punch Bundle and one from Friends 24-7. I omitted the thank you in the label stamp by colouring with my marker, and added the Here for You with my Stamp a ma jig.

Hope you like it, a bit different for me I think!

More Bloom Away - Gorgeous Waratahs and Gum Blossoms

Gum Blossoms come in lots of different colour variants, but for my first attempt at colouring I used the one most familiar to me, red with yellow tips of pollen. I have stamped in Stazon Black on Whisper White, and used Watercolor WOnder crayons and an Aquapainter to colour with. Ruby Red, Summer Sun and tiny flecks of Pumpkin Pie have been used on the blossom, and Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Close to Cocoa and touches of Ruby Red have been used on the gumnuts and leaves. I mounted it on Summer Sun to match the pollen tips. On the vertical panel of Kiwi Kiss, I have stamped the image repeatedly using Versamark ink, and tore the top and bottom for a rustic look.

The card base is Riding Hood Red, stamped with Riding Hood Red using the Sanded background, and I finished with a greeting from the Fresh Cuts set in Stazon Black and an Antique Brass Jumbo Eyelet and some hemp twine threaded through it.

Waratah flowers are truly stunning in real life, rich in colour, with subtle shading from deepest reds to touches of cerise on the tips. Here I have tried to replicate the depth of colour in the flower structure by using layer upon layer of crayon and ink. I have stamped the image on Confetti White in Stazon black. I have used a mixture of the "ink puddle" technique (picking up colour from the inside of an inkpad lid, where a collection of dye ink gathers when the closed lid is pressed inwards) and Watercolor Wonder crayons, both applied with an Aquapainter brush. I lost count of which colours exactly, there is Real Red, Ruby Red, Rose Red , a touch of Pink Passion and a smidge of Bravo Burgundy I think. Plus Old Olive, Close to Cocoa, Always Artichoke and Chocolate Chip on the leaves and stem. I have used Sahara Sand ink applied with an Aquapainter around the outside of the flower image, again to create the illusion of depth and shadow. After blending the colour, I added some more spots of dry crayon to the tips of the petal florettes to make them stand out.

The image has then been mounted on Kraft, and then Riding Hood Red. The card base is Kiwi Kiss, stamped in Kiwi Kiss using Weathered background. I was then looking at my wall of punches, and an idea popped into my head to make another base piece out of Kraft, to look like a piece of torn notepaper, using the Spiral Punch. I distressed and bent the tabs to make them look real, and dabbed a little Close to Cocoa ink along the 'ruffled up' bits - I hope that makes sense! The greeting is from Life Definitions, stamped in Chocolate Chip.

That completes the first set of cards made with this gorgeous Australian set, Bloom Away. I look forward to playing around with soft colours next. Is this set on your wishlist yet? I hope so!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Super Fast Last Minute Easter treats...

I had all good intentions of making 30 or so of these gorgeous carrot treat boxes for Ciaran's classmates:

However, as per usual, the timeline got a little tight. So tight, that at 7.45 am (for an 8am planned departure) I changed plans and very quickly assembed some cello bags with a quick punched tag. I used the brand new (and just ESSENTIAL!) Curly Label punch, and a couple of Easter themed stamps, the bunny from Occasionally, and the Easter Wishes greeting from Occasional Greetings. I stamped in Brocade Blue onto Apricot Appeal cardstock, punched and stapled over the folded edge of the bag. I even made some with Marshmallows, at 8.05am (yes, we were running a little late by this stage) when I was belatedly asked about the nut-free status of the chocolate... Much more appealing than a couple of loose eggs plonked onto a school desk, and I thought they looked quite nice all together in a bowl. Phew, crisis averted again, Mum to the Rescue! Now to see if I can squeeze in making a couple of larger scaled carrot boxes for the Easter Bunny's visit on Sunday???

Fresh Cuts sneaks in again...

I know I said I would post the pictures of the other cards made with the Bloom Away set, but here is another card I made yesterday using the Fresh Cuts set. I think I've mentioned once or twice that it is a favourite already. Here I was playing around with the Marker to Rubber technique, where you can colour in an image with various colours before stamping. This is quite a complex pattern, but it wasn't too hard to decide where to put what colour. I've used Sahara Sand for the text, Old Olive and Always Artichoke for the foliage, and Ruby Red for the flowers. It's stamped on Naturals Ivory, and mounted on Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss and then Very Vanilla for a bit of pop. The background is stamped in Kiwi Kiss onto Kiwi Kiss Cardstock with the Sanded background. Finishing touches are some Tafetta ribbon in Riding Hood Red (a new colour for this ribbon) and the greeting, from the Friends 24-7 set. It was lots of fun and I think I'll try it in some other colourways soon.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

NICE Australian stamps! Bloom Away #1

This year, we got the first set of stamps designed especially for us that I personally really like! It is called "Bloom Away" and it's a bargain MUST HAVE at just $31.95! There is a Waratah, Gum Blossom and Banksia bottlebrush flower stamp, all drawn in the style of botanic art. Here I have made a card with the Banksia stamp. The base is More Mustard, with a scallop edge backed with a strip of Kiwi Kiss. Then I have added some Old Olive Prints Designer Series paper and some Chocolate Chip scallops to make it stand out. On the More Mustard base I have used my Spritzer tool and Chocolate Chip marker to create a speckled background. The greeting is from the now retired "Live your dreams" set - I love this quote and will miss it!

Now to the image - it is stamped in Stazon black onto Naturals Ivory cardstock, and I have used my Watercolour Wonder Crayons and Aquapainter brush to blend the colours. I love the crayons, as you can build layers of creamy blendable colour, bys scribbling directly onto the stamped image before applying water with the brush. I was pleased with how easy it was to achieve a realistic Banksia colouration. I have mounted it on Summer Sun, then Kiwi Kiss, then Chocolate Chip to make it stand out. Hope you like it! Waratah and Gum Blossom cards to come...

Enjoy your Easter weekend everyone, stay safe if you are travelling!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Kiwis are Tart and Tangy!

Here is a card I made for a special friend who loves green. She's also a teacher, who deserves LOTS of apples because she looks after my preschooler along with a horde of others!

Here's how it's made:

Kiwi Kiss cardstock base, topped with a Whisper White layer.

Then, there is a piece of Good Morning Sunshine Designer Series Paper - it's a spotty circle pattern in Kiwi Kiss colours, so just right for adding a touch of interest.

Then there is another layer of Whisper White, and I have clear embossed Kiwi Kiss apples from the Tart and Tangy set by stamping first into Versamark ink, and then into Kiwi Kiss dye ink.

The sentiment is from the Cheers and Wishes set, stamped in Kiwi Kiss on Whisper White and mounted on a piece of Kiwi Kiss.

Some white taffeta ribbon finishes it off.

I think she liked it, and it was certainly fun! I also made one with Kiwi Kiss limes from the Tart and Tangy set, maybe I'll show you that one tomorrow!

Fresh Cuts and Emboss Resist

These two cards were CASED from a gorgeous card I saw in the November/December issue of Papercrafts magazine (a US publication) It was created by Alison Manning, and was a winner in the Heat Embossing section of their "Stamping Royalty" awards. I had to make minor changes because we don't have coloured pigment ink here, and I changed a layer from torn to using the scallop edge punch. When I saw it, I knew I had to recreate it for myself! I have made it in two versions, one portrait and one landscape. There would be lots of other colour combinations that would work nicely, and I'll give some soft pretty colours a go next time. This is an earthy masculine colour scheme, and would make a great card for a bloke!

The base is Chocolate Chip, stamped with En Francais in Chocolate Chip ink. Next there is a layer of Confetti Cream, with distressed and inked edges. Over this is a layer of Old Olive with a scalloped edge. The panel is Glossy White cardstock, and I used Basic Brown ink to stamp the square block. I quickly added clear embossing powder, and heat embossed to give the raised glossy look. I had tried with Chocolate Chip dye ink, but it dries too fast to get a good coating of powder. I might try next time the technique of combining Versamark and dye ink and embossing that.
I then used sponges to add a mix of Old Olive, Kiwi Kiss, Really Rust and Close to Cocoa ink over the background. I matted this layer on Naturals Ivory with more distressed edges, and then on Chocolate Chip.
One card has an oval bookplate from the sadly retired Antique Copper Hodgepodge and the other uses a picture hanger tied with narrow grosgrain snips. The 'for you' is also from the Fresh Cuts set, and 'thinking of you' is from the Three Little Words set, also new to the catalogue this year.

I hope you like them! This set is probably my favourite from the new catalogue and I look forward to playing with it and the co-ordinating Fresh Cut Notes

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Stampin' Crop Day - Sunday 26th April

Some of you may have already noticed the calendar at the right hand side has been updated - there has been a slight change to this month's Stampin' Crop day - to Sunday 26th April rather than Saturday 25th. This is because of the Saturday being ANZAC day, and also the date I chose for my daughter's 4th birthday party without consulting the right calendar! Never mind, it might be even easier for some of you to come along, without juggling the Saturday sport etc.

So, to confirm, the next Stampin' Crop day will be held on SUNDAY 26th APRIL, at my home in Cherrybrook.

It is a casual day, where you are free to bring along whatever projects and supplies you would like to work with, papercrafts, quilting, cross stitch, whatever! I will provide tea, coffee, light refreshments, use of my stamps and tools, casual instruction, creative advice and a make n take or two. Come along for the whole day between 10am and 5pm , or just for an hour or two. The cost is $10 per person, and bookings are recommended. Call 9484 9447 to put your name down and get location details.

See you there!!

Wow! That was lots of fun!

Thank you to the wonderful ladies who took some time out to come along to my New Catalogue Launch yesterday evening. I feel quite confident that everyone had a great time, there was much oohing and aahing over the displays, goody bags and of course the new catalogue itself! There was plenty of nibbles, drinks and pizza, and the make and take table was abuzz all evening! Congratulations to Joanne who won the Door Prize, based on her speedy and correct answers to quiz questions, and to Elissa for drawing the top prize from the Book 2 Look lucky dip.

So sorry if you would have liked to come along but couldn't make it, I know there were a few of you. Hopefully next year!!

* I do have *ONE* goody bag left, complete with covered notebook, covered pencil, 6x6 Designer Series paper samples, A5 In Color cardstock samples, chocolate, decorated coffee bag, hand made bookmark, ribbon samples and of course a shiny new Idea Book and Catalogue * The cost would be $15.00 , including postage anywhere in Australia. Leave a comment here (just click where it says 0 COMMENTS in smaller text underneath this post) Or, email me at and I'll contact you for postal details and to arrange payment. I might be persuaded to make a few more if there is demand!

The photos above show some of the displays before anyone arrived, Kim Tonnet took some of the action during the night but I reserve the right to edit those first!! More posts showing some of the cards we made in more detail coming sooooooonnnn!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

It's Launch day!!

Yes, the day has arrived to show all my lovely customers and friends the new catalogue in all its glory!

We're full as a goog (does anyone say that anymore? I miss my Nan!), but as they say with dessert, there's always room for more! So, give me a call so I can chop up a bit more cardstock, and make sure I order enough pizza, and you'd be most welcome! Cost is $10 and includes pizza, champagne, your own new catalogue and make n takes (and a goody bag if I can rustle one up for you!) Drop by between 4pm and 9pm TODAY - call me on 9484 9447 to put your name down and get address info.

Here's a card I made using the new In Colors and a couple of old fave stamp sets - Think Happy Thoughts , Seeing Spots and Wild about You. I have just punched a series of circles in Riding Hood red, Summer Sun, and Tangerine Tango, and stamped the giraffe in Tangerine also. A strip of Kiwi Kiss grass and a few dots of white gel pen and it was done. I hope the little recipient liked it, but I suspect he liked what was ON the envelope and INSIDE the card even more!