Monday, September 28, 2015

Inlaid Die-cutting

Over the two weeks or so I've been trying out ideas to do with inlaid die-cutting. I'm working on a commission for Practical Publishing and I've been investigating cutting dies as well as assorted techniques. I'm posting a couple of cards I've made (but these won't be going to print).  :)

The first card uses a die from the Couture Creations Floral Lace Collection called "Bold Bouquet". I applied tape over the back of the areas where the very small flower pieces were and left them gold. It would have been too tiresome to replace all of those pieces. As it was, the replacement of a lot of the pieces was as frustrating and difficult as hunting for nits. Some of the pieces were so small that I couldn't even pick them up with a pair of tweezers. Thanks for my QuickStik. :) The sentiment is from a Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz set called Crazy Talk.

I'm pleased with how it turned out, but it is certainly a die for the stout-at-heart with plenty of patience. An easier way of achieving this same look is to cut it out of white cardstock, keep all of the pieces in place and then just colour the pieces as wanted - like a Faux-inlaid die-cutting.

The second card uses a couple of dies; the "Balloons" from Couture Creations Kalini Collection; and the other, the "Birthday Girl Die" from Echo Park Paper. The die cut background also uses a set from Lawn Fawn called "Puffy Cloud Borders".

I made the background pinkish because you can't really have a blue background for a girlie card, can you? The ombre effect, hopefully, looks like a sunset sky. Sitting here, looking at the card on screen, I've just realised that I've made a mistake on one of the balloons. Can you spot it? I will be using these dies in my commission, but not exactly how I've used them here. I'll have to remember to fix up that booboo.  :)

Anyway, gotta go. Bye for now.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Daydream Dreams

Just a quick post to show you some of the photos I took recently when my family went up to Daydream Island (on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia) for a wedding. It was only a long weekend (Thursday to Sunday), but we had so much fun, especially my son when he got to feed and play with stringrays and other marine creatures as part of a program they run. You should have seen him while he was helping present the Living Reef Show. He was a real ham!


 My husband, Darryl, my son, Alex and me

This is a Proserpine Wallaby - a native marsupial to the island. It's not white in colour (though a light brown) just in full sunlight.

This is Daydream Island taken from the ferry going back to Hamilton Island from where we were flying home.

What's so amazing about this region is that there are hundreds of very small islands all scattered throughout this one passage of water. In fact, if you didn't know better, you could easily think you were on an island in the middle of a huge lake, as from all viewpoints around the island, you can see land in the distance across the water, but it's just a lot of islands that sort of line up together so it looks like one huge landmass. If you wanted to, you could paddle from one island to the next quite easily. The landmass you see in the background of this last photo, though, is the mainland.

Loved the colours of the water and the coral (the water was so clear, in parts, I could see it under the water). On the way back home, I was envisaging a series of cards using the marine colours I saw (esp, that blue!) unfortunately life got in the way and I haven't done them yet.

Hope you enjoyed my snapshots of Australia.

Bye for now.


Monday, September 14, 2015

My Box of Inspiration

As part of my rehabilitation of my creative juices, I watched a video from Sandy Allnock where she talks about the creative process. I especially liked a quote by Picasso  (originally heard from Kristina Werner), that she spoke about, 

At the time it really resonated with me, so I made a tool box and festooned it with that quote. 

I used a Kaisercraft chipboard BTP Scrapping Organiser that I covered with patterned papers from the Base Coat Collection. I painted the edges and drawer front with some Airondack Copper paint. After applying the quote using some old basic grey micro mono stickers, I painted over the quote with some multi-medium matt gel to seal the letters in place. To complete it, I added some strips of Papermania's Madame Payaud's patterned craft tape across the drawer.

Not only have I now got something to contain all of my craft stuff that I can carry around the house with me; but I have something to keep me going when I'm not feeling so inspired. This is really so great as I've been trying to contain all of the stuff I regularly use. There's a section for my embossing and stamping stuff, a section for glues, etc; a section for tools, pens, etc; and at the back there's a deeper section for scissors, ruler, heat gun and rolls of adhesive strip. The drawer is going to be for the ink pads that I regularly use as well as blending sponges etc. You should see my craft bench now!  :)

Thanks to Sandy Allnock for your inspiring words. I can't fully express what they really meant to me at the time.

Anyway, bye for now.


Giant Distress Label Cards

I'm posting some more cards from the Brisbane Craft Expo in June this year. 

This lot of cards were also from a class run by Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door. These cards used huge black tags and then for the backgrounds I used a variety of techniques, including using Distress Sprays, stamping with a wet stamp pad to create a resist appearance, and smooshing with distress sprays on a craft mat.

Photo stamps were then used to add interest. The "Happy Birthday" card was just too dark in colour for the stamp to show up, so I used one of Rachel's photo chips on top instead. The ribbon was coloured to match each background.

The black tags were stamped with Picket Fence Distress Spray and then spritzed with metallic Distress Spray.

I had so much fun making these cards and totally ended up with multi-coloured fingers for the next couple of days.  :)

Anyway, bye for now.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Well I'll be......

I never thought that my card making theory/skills would ever come in handy with my cooking, but for a recent Grandparents Day at my son's school, we had to take along a plate of food suitable for a morning tea. I made my favourite Chicken and Asparagus Rolls. (recipe below)

I was packing them up ready to go but they didn't look attractively presented. "Ah ha! Chevrons!" I said to myself, quickly changing the arrangement. I think they look quite attractively presented, because of the parallelogram shape of the rolls, the chevron placement just adds some interest. They must have been good anyway, because they all went in about the first 10 minutes.  :)

Here's the recipe. (I'm afraid it's in metric - I don't have the imperial equivalents.)

Chicken and Asparagus Rolls

1 large chicken breast
3 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
340g can asparagus spears
1 egg
salt & pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons sesame or poppy seeds 
  1. Process chopped chicken with mayonnaise, salt & pepper and breadcrumbs in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Place mixture into a piping bag. Cut the pastry sheets in half lengthwise, making four long strips.
  3. Drain juice from canned asparagus spears.
  4. Pipe chicken mixture along the edge of each strip of pastry. Place the asparagus spears in a single row alongside the chicken.
  5. Brush pastry with beaten egg. Roll pastry over filling to enclose filling completely. Place on a greased baking sheet with the seam of the pastry facing down onto the tray. Cut rolls diagonally into 3.5cm pieces, brush tops with egg and then sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
  6. Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to moderate; bake a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.

P.S. To make it easier, I just place teaspoonfuls of the chicken mixture onto the pastry instead of piping it out. You can still achieve a tube-like appearance with it. Also, if you don't have a food processor, you can always buy chicken mince instead and then just mix it really well in a bowl.

Makes about 20

I hope you enjoy them.

Bye for now.


Cards from Craft Expo 2015

I'm posting some cards today that I made during the Craft Expo back in June this year. I did a number of classes with the gorgeous, talented and funny Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door. She's been a favourite of mine for a long time and I look forward to learning from her each year.
(Sorry Rachel that it is such a bad photo. But at least we can't see my wrinkles!)  :)

The three cards above are from a class I did with Rachel that dealt with painted Backgrounds. We used Dylusion Paints, Dina Wakley Media Paints and Perfect Pearl mists to create multi-layered cards. You may not be able to see it in the photos, but the backgrounds have been sprayed with Perfect Pearls Mists and are just gorgeous in their sheen. The Dylusion Paints are also tremendous with the vibrancy of their colours and the amazing coverage, A little goes a long way and you don;t have to worry about recoating as one layer has plenty of depth to it.

I loved the layering with brayers, stencils, background stamps etc that makes these cards look so amazing.

The card I gave to my husband for our anniversary was also from this class.

I'll be back tomorrow with some more cards from the Expo.

Bye for now,


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Sunday in Australia was Father's Day and I have to show you the card I made for my dad.

Sorry it's not a good photo at all. The background for the card was a sheet of patterned paper from Kaisercraft Base Coat Collection and looks like pieces of corrugated iron all riveted together. On top of this I added a panel of white CS that I stencilled with some Steel Viva Ferro paste; and then on top of that I added a panel that I stamped and then coloured using my new Zig CLEAN COLOR Real Brush markers. Yeay!!! I used my birthday money this year to buy myself a 24 pack. I haven't used much of them as yet, but will certainly do so in the future. I will admit that my first effort wasn't that great, so I can only hope to improve.  :)

Anyway, bye for now.


Back at last!

So many times over the past months, I've made up blog entries in my head, only to have something come up before I was able to get it typed up. From sickness, family issues, computer failure, magazine commissions, lack of inspiration - you name it - I've had it!

I have so much to tell you about, but to start off, I'll tell my Aussie readers about a little shop in Brisbane where you can get your sequins at an amazing price. The shop is called Bead Trimming and Craft Company and is found at Stones Corner. They have a wide range of colours, sizes and shapes of sequins.

About a month ago they had a fire in their upstairs section that housed the Doll and Teddy Bear Hospital, but apparently all is fine and they are back in business.

The selection of sequins you can see in the photo show a few that I picked up when I was there. I bought 2g of each colour and that's probably heaps to last a long time. Check them out.

I also took advantage of the Scrapbook Expo that was in Brisbane (June 6-8). This year I went the entire three days and did heaps of classes (concentrating on cardmaking techniques (of course) but also doing a couple of scrapbooking classes with a girlfriend on the Monday.) Next year, can someone please remind me not to go the whole three days - it almost killed me! I could hardly move on the Tuesday and it took over a week to fully recover from it. My CFS just isn't up to such abuse!  :)

It was worth it with some fantastic classes and heaps of ideas. I'll be including some photos of projects I did over the next couple of days, but I'm going to show you this card I made during the Expo. As soon as I saw the stamp used on this card, I just knew I had to give it to my husband for our anniversary this year. It was part of a set I made with Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door and used some of Dina Wakley Media Paints. These are great for multi-layering with stencils, brayering and stamps.

(The colours aren't quite right - they are much more vibrant IRL.)

Bye for now,