Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cheers to you, with a Sweet and Sour Top Note chaser

Just a quick one, while I take a break from essay writing.   Here is another card I made at the e2c retreat, verrryyyy late one night.  It was inspired by they colourful cocktails being prepared by the neighbouring table.  The layout was inspired by an idea in "Papercrafts" magazine, a US publication that I like for the variety and style of designs, even the ads are interesting!  Catching a glimpse of the trends about to hit here is always good.  They often have design tips tucked away in the challenge articles, and this one was about using die-cut papers with a decorative edge as a design feature on a card - not just as the background for a scrapbook page.  I didn't have any die cut edge papers lying about, but was inspired to create my own custom one using the "Top Note" Big Shot die.  I cut a panel to the approximate size, and chopped off one end using the die to create the shape.  The shape created neatly frames the sentiment, and also shows off the "Sweet and Sour" specialty thermographic paper to its full advantage.

The image was done with "Cheers to You"  a set I took away with me to use, sadly neglected in my collection, although I do love it!  I stamped in Stazon black and coloured with my Watercolor Wonder crayons and a blender pen.  The papers were perfect for Cosmos and Mango Daiquiris, hence the choice of matting and layering.   The final touch was a bit of Pumpkin Pie narrow taffeta ribbon threaded through a Tangerine Tango button.  I added a glossy coat of Crystal Effects to the glasses before calling it a night morning. 

Did you receive my newsletter today about Ethan's Fundraising appeal?  If you'd like to receive my monthly-ish updates, you can click here to add your details to my mailing list.  If you'd like to help me spread the word, drop me an email at and I'll forward today's special edition.  Thanks!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Thanks so much for your support - let's keep at it!

Thank you, thank you THANK YOU!  I have sold almost 400 tickets to date with your kind and generous support.  Corina, Ethan's mum ,has received all the funds cleared to date.  I'm hoping to be able to raise lots more however, my dream would be to cover the cost of the monitoring equipment and a few months worth of the consumables.  I would absolutely welcome any help in promoting the raffle, to help me achieve this goal!

For now, there are still spaces in my class tomorrow night, to make a beautiful origami box full of gift cards for all occasions.  Give me a call if you've been meaning to confirm, or if you'd like to book in.  There are more details in this post below.  The one in the pic is the prototype though. you'll be able to choose from a selection of co-ordinating SU! DSP and cardstock colours and a wide range of stamp sets and embossing folders to embellish with.

Here's another creation from my recent trip away to the Escape 2 Create retreat near Port Lincoln, SA:
This is a sneak peek of my swap cards for Convention 2011 - better start assembling more of them though, there are not that many days to go!!  It uses the "Clearly for you" set from the Autumn Winter Mini catalogue.  There are a wide selection of realistic botanical type images, and I can see heaps of versatility for it.  The base layer is Crumb Cake, stamped with the "Woodgrain" background.  Next, there's a layer of Pear Pizzazz, stamped with matching ink using the gorgeous tile background stamp from the set.  I've roughed up the edges with the distressing tool  from the Cutter Kit.  Peeking out from behind the torn and curled upper right corner is a bit of So Saffron, punched with the Scallop Trim corner punch.  There's also a band of So Saffron across the centre, that I rolled up and then across the table edge to soften and give it a faux ribbon look.  The central image was inked up to become raspberries, using several shades of green and red marker, using the thumping (perhaps better described as dabbing??) technique, before stamping on Very Vanilla.  This is layered on a distressed piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  The finishing touches are some linen thread wrapped around the So Saffron band, a butterfly from the set stamped and fussy-cut out, and a hand-cut sentiment tag tied on with a snippet of Chantilly lace trim.  It might look complex, but it is relatively fast and easy to make en masse, so hopefully if I see you at Convention, I can maybe swap with you?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

What!!?? Who'd drive more than 4000km just to go to a scrap retreat??

Me! Me! Me! (and, with luck, Me! again next year!)
Yep, it really is an Escape 2 Create.  A round trip of a whisker over 4000km from here in Sydney to Port Lincoln, SA and back again, the third year in a row.  It's become a trip my husband and I look forward to, knowing the best places to stay, to stop for fuel, food and (respectable) bathroom facilities along the way.  We had the car loaded up with materials to teach my stamping workshop, lots and lots of papercrafting stuff for creating into the wee hours, and a back seat snooze zone with blanket and pillows for resting between driving stints.

Words can't quite express how much I appreciate being able to participate in such a great event.  Amanda, Meredith, and Sue have created an extraordinary retreat, to fill a need in an isolated pocket of Australia that is simply brimming with creativity and resourcefulness.  There is quite a few more people working behind the scenes, including Val and Kathryn the volunteer kitchen goddesses and the Eyre Peninsula papercraft retailers.not to mention each and every e2c participant!

It was indeed an honour to be invited to teach, and I'll move heaven and earth to be there again in 2012, if you'll have me! Nabbing a teaching spot might be the only chance I have, this year booked out within an incredible 15 MINUTES!  It is worth every single kilometre and more to share in the wonderful 'thing' you have created together.  I'll bribe you if necessary, dangling my "man in pink" like a carrot....  LOL!  Thank you to all the brave ladies who faced their stamping fears at my workshop, we made a delightful mess, and I hope you are all inspired to go home and dig out your neglected stamping tools and materials. 

I was sorry I didn't get myself organised in time to book into the scrap classes, being taught by legendary Australian scrapbookers Fran Tynan and Tatum Woodroffe.  Their creations were AMAZING!  It was nice to soak up the inspiration just by being seated close by though, and to wander around seeing how everyone's layouts looked so subtly different!  I did however get to take part in the incredibly fun workshop by 'upcycling' legend, Lou Nelson, using texture paste, stencils, gauze, glimmer spray, plastic bubble packages and dress pattern tissue to create a deliciously textured scrap 'page'  It's not yet finished, but I love how it looks so far!  Stay tuned...

And, being that it was a scrap retreat, I created an honourary scrap page.  I feel like I haven't scrapped in years, finding the bite-sized canvas of a card to be easier to fit in amongst my busy life.  But, I do enjoy creating a few special memories with selected photos.

Going from last photo to first:

A4 Scrap page - inspired by Amanda Hall  's hallmark size, as well as the awe-inspiring A4 talent of fellow teacher, Fran Tynan.  Just as the scrappers were thinking of their stamps as re-useable rub-ons, I was attempting to think, "it's just an oversized card"  The background is Pear Pizzazz, the paper scraps are from the Greenhouse Gala DSP, and the journal panel is cut using the Scallop circle BigShot die from the Hostess pack of In Colour paper.  The splodge stamp is from Extreme Elements, the Friends stamp from Vintage Vogue, and the flower is punched using the Scallop Circle and Butterfly punches, on scraps of brown paper stamped with images from the Friends never Fade stamp set that matches the Greenhouse Gala papers.  I secured the flower with an Antique brad, and added a mini vintage tag to trim.  Up the top, I added a Clips Assortment clip with a snip of Pear Pizzazz twill ribbon.  Around the outside I doodled a border of Early Espresso marker.  I chose the colours based on the photo, taken in the Central West of NSW, hope you like!

Next pic up: Dawn breaking, towards Wilcannia.  Taken at speed through a grubby windscreen unfortunately, due to there being a Road Train not far behind me...

Sculpture of oversized park bench, Broken Hill Line of Lode Miner's Memorial.  Love the light in this one, SOOC.

The rusted, tunnel like Miner's Memorial - inside are the details of the more than 800 men who have lost their lives in mining accidents at Broken Hill since silver, copper, tin and zinc were first mined there in the 1800's.  This complex has won many architectural awards, and is perched on top of the giant "mullock heap" that dominates the town-scape.

Next up - what's country Australia without a bit of "Big Kitsch"??  This is Kimba, which claims to be halfway across Australia.  Not sure of the validity of that, but hey, it's got a Big Galah!  Freaky looking really...  And it is in close proximity to the curiously named town "Iron Knob"

Next up, third from top - something a LOT more aesthetically pleasing!  The escape 2 create girls go to extra-ordinary effort to createa theme for each year's retreat, this one was 1950's housewife humour, complete with vintage colour scheme, old-style magazine adverts in the table number frames, pinwheel decorations and great pop-art style graphics.  The goodie bags contained all kinds of curious snippets, I look forward to creating with them at some time in the future (when I clear my desk of Constructivism essay papers...*)

Second from top - the shed, what a fabulous creating space!  High ceiling, expansive width, room to move, and an airy feel.  This was taken quite early during setup, it didn't stay this peaceful looking for long.  It was simply buzzing with creative energy!

And, at the top, somewhere near Nymadgee, northern central NSW.  Bugger!  I forgot to take a photo of the to-die-for Vanilla Slice from the 5 Loaves Bakery in Cummins, SA.  Long way to go for coffee and pastries, but we WILL be back!  Like I said, worth. every. kilometre

* yes - I have done it again, a nice loooong post, with lots of pics, when I should really be investing time in wrapping my head around the "vast and woolly" topic of constructivism.    Now my typing fingers are nice and lubricated, I'll take a break and enjoy a glass of wine  :P