Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is coming.......

I don't know where the time goes.  This is not just days, its months.  Somehow I got out of the habit of taking photographs (note to self, catch up on shuttercal too) and TOTALLY out of the habit of making cards, except the ones I had to rush off to attach to a present that was due NOW.  

But the holidays loom.... the reports are finished, the puddings are made, the Christmas cards are the next thing on the list (writing them not making them) and then I'll start baking goodies.  If I can find a day at home.

This card is for my dearest (well, to tell the truth, ONLY, but she's very dear to me too) niece who lives on the other side of the world where it actually gets cold for Christmas.  It could be just about any sort of weather in Melbourne, but it certainly wont snow, whereas in beautiful downtown Hertfordshire, it just might.

All the papers are from last December's TE Key Ingredients kit, which goes to show how much of a hoarder I am....and the snowflake brads were just waiting for me to open the right drawer.

Merry Christmas KT!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Everything's coming up roses!!

Roses........ well, I have a garden full of them but when I looked into the boxes of useful things...... there were daisies, orchids, camellias, daffodils, sprays of jasmine, bunches of bluebells........ but not a rose in sight.  It took a bit of searching but here's my take on the latest challenge from the Opus Gluei Poobahs.  

The image  is an old perfume advertisement from a sheet of decoupage paper I saved a l-o-n-g time ago.  I've added some pearls and some bling and a few gold highlights here and there.  Hope its rosey enough to suit......
(and Rosemary, this means the house is still dusty!! )

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Opus Gluei #111 "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside..."

And I do too.  Nearly missed this challenge ( the latest from the lovely PBs) because life keeps getting in the way of anything remotely creative lately.  Unless you'd call laundry creative?  And no, I don't mean worrying about how the clothes are hung on the line (but of course you could do it by colour, or size or type, or match the pegs to the clothes, or hang your socks in pairs........) see how easy it is to digress?

So here's my very simple take on the seaside........doubling as a Father's Day card for my Dad who is the second last in a long line of sailors in the family.  I'm the last.  The image makes reminds me of the trip to the Kimberley coast we did together, and how it must have looked like this to anyone watching: the boat with its tender tagging along behind (but you should be able to see my Dad fishing from it).  And to tell the truth, our skies were lots clearer, amazingly clear and blue.

Nothing terribly fancy about this, just a piece of blue card-stock, a memorable image and a foil embellishment.  Almost minimalist!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cards for friends

I know why I don't have to time to make Christmas cards in the middle of the year (Electra, are you listening??)..... everyone I know is having a birthday this month,  Herewith two cards made with the contents of the latest Key Ingredients kit from Taylored Expressions........ 

I love the summery colours even if here in Melbourne its cold and wintery (and it snowed somewhere very close to home last night).  The patterned paper is just beautiful no matter which side I turn it, and the name of the pack "Sweet Threads" doesn't really give you a hint of the lovely things inside. It looks like linen because of the cross-hatching all over it.  Love it, and as usual I get carried away with the paper and dont use all the embellishments.

.....but there are brads, and pieces of ribbon, and for once the only things from the shelves of the busy room are the white cards I've used as the bases and two SU embossed flowers.

Happy Birthday Ann and Maureen.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What? Christmas already?

I cant believe I'm making Christmas cards.  Well, making one probably doesn't count and its likely to be the only one I make unless I get sucked in.....  I'd like to think I'll make them every year, but I run out of time and its December before I know it.  
This is a combination of card and tag, and just to show its possible, I made lots of tags because I was on a roll.  The Christmas paper was lurking on a shelf, getting dusty, and the images are just the right size for a small circle punch.  

Fancy straying from monotone colours?  Still traditional though.... can't go past red, green and gold.  This little collection is specially made for the GPs at the fabulous Opus Gluei and their friends at Jingle Belles too. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Girlie? Opus Gluei #105

Its just as well they're a forgiving team at OG because I just can't bring myself to do pink today......and that's SO girlie (the colour, not me)(well.......)

Anyway, after a bit of flinging things from one box to another I found my hoard of images and offer this for my take on girlie.  The main image is a painting by Rupert Bunny (1864-1947) called "A summer morning" and reminds me of warm lazy mornings away with friends......slow to get up, putting off everything too hard, and just basking in the sun.  Must be the feline in me.

In a bit of serendipity, the DP is called Summer Breeze, but I only know that because the little piece left was the bit with the printed margin.  The glittery bits have finally found a home and all the other fiddly things come from the boxes on the shelf.  I can't believe I still have some this lace paper left from a buying spree a l-o-n-g time ago.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opus Gluei - #97 Zen

Now I dont know about my Zen..... but I do like to doodle so I think I'm on the right track.  Doubtless those ladies at Opus Gluei will set me straight if I've got it wrong, but then, they're so forgiving it will be okay. 

I was going to start with the black cat and draw out from him, but I got sidetracked and then the pen got away from me.  The cat image is from a notepad from the Metropolitan Museum of Art which features the fabulous work of Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen. I really love the more famous one with the fierce looking feline gazing out of the advertismenet for the Chat Noir cabaret, but this more gentle one is good too.

The rest is all my own scribbling..........

Thursday, March 31, 2011

...and another month zips by.

But at least this time I have an excuse that's not work related.  I've just had a knee replaced and am the proud (I think) owner of a shiny new titanium one, at least I'm hoping it was shiny when they put it in.  Dont want to think about it now.

So I have been temporarily reduced to crutches and the inability to do too much that cant be done with my leg higher than my hip so that the lovely balloon-like shape of my leg goes back to something approaching normal.  And such a collection of bruises too (every colour of the rainbow at the purple end).  My Mum thought she might photograph the skin colour and give it to Ali to use as one of her surreal backgrounds, but fortunately she forgot and I've been keeping the support stocking on ever since, just in case she gets any ideas........  Really, if you cant trust your mother, what's left??

However, light is glowing at the end of the tunnel and today I have managed to sit outside in the sun (right next to the archway covered in paper daisy), make it to the desk to pay some bills and lastly write this quick note.  Now to see what everyone else has been up to.......

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What? A whole month?

How did it get to be March so quickly and what happened to the rest of February?  There are cards to make, challenges to enter.  The weeks are disappearing!  STOP.

....small rest for deep breaths.....

Will soon have many weeks to play in my hoarded bits and pieces here in the Busy Room.  I'm being fitted with a replacement knee in the ever decreasing future, so once I can hobble along the hallway I'll have to catch up on all the things I'm missing.  Back soon, in case anyone misses me.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another mosaic

Haven't put the third creation in the garden yet because the grass is so long that I can't even find the place I made it for.

.......but here's the next one.  It was made to sit near a huge Bird of Paradise that towers over that part of the garden.  It hasn't flowered yet because its still too young, but Liz has several at her place so I had to spend some quality time researching the flowers over in her garden (coffee, contemplation, dinner....).  I'm really looking forward to the year my plant gets its first flower because they're stunning: black heads with a greyish bloom over them and long waving white "feathers" with blue tongues.  When the white begins to wither it goes a pale shade of creamy beige and looks wildly untidy.
At the base of the garden here, and where the column stands, there are lots of winter roses thriving in the shade, some unruly belladonna lillies and an assortment of other things which first survived our drought and now the soaking rain.  If you knew my garden as well as I do you'd know that some of the green in these pictures is really a background of exceedingly long grass.  

The second picture gives a better idea of the whole of one side, including the depression where, under the tiles, there was a chunk out of the side of the pipe.  I think its a bit like the ear (see previous post about that bit of trivia), and makes each pipe unique.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Opus Gluei 87 "Key to my heart"

Where has January gone?  I was all set to make a scene for the 86th challenge, and the days went, the challenge changed.........I'm behind already and its only week 4 of the year.  Ah well, I can only improve.

So instead of the little scene I had planned, no not a tantrum (I gave those up just recently), here's my offering featuring hearts rather than keys.  I was going to have layers and frothy bits and glitter and bling, but I used pink instead.  I think I'm failing the glue test, either that or I'm still so relaxed and in holiday mode that two colours are all I can manage.

Next time............

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...keeping out of mischief...

Usually on holidays I spend long hours reading, or countless hours playing patience or solving sudoku, but THIS year I've been breaking tiles and making mosaics instead.  Liz and I have been very busy recycling old stormwater terracotta pipes into little masterpieces to hide in the garden.  We think they'll be ideal to support citronella torches, or rest a candle on (in a terracotta saucer), or maybe a plant in a pot.........  Here's what the pipes look like in the raw.....

We've made six, and I've added a photo of a finished one in situ.  The garden behind it is a mixture of dietes and violets (and a weed or two) so the mosaic has some stylised dietes on it.  When I was weeding I found a ceramic ear from a broken dolls head, or maybe a quirky tea set (?? who knows?  I'm not the original gardener) so its hiding amongst the dietes petals, but you have to look hard to see it.  Liz says its like a signature, something that makes the finished product mine alone.  Certainly no-one else is jumping up to take the credit, so mine it is!! 
This has been over a week of the most enjoyable time I've spent in ages..... quiet mutterings when two pairs of hands hunt for the perfect shape, sighing over having to wield the hammer to break up more tiles into handy pieces, taking it in turns to make restorative coffee.....  Celebrating the work of kindred spirits.

More grouting to be done and then I'll have to find those torches that are hidden in the garage and see if it was a good idea after all. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year again

......and there were Christmas cards I should have sent, WOULD have sent, if only I had spent less time cooking and more time in the busy room.  In a rare fit of tidying, I also made a start on culling the many bits and pieces I put aside "to look at" and kept because there's a picture or a colour that caught my eye.  I loved the textures and patterns in some of the paintings in the brochures from the National Gallery, so before finally putting them in the recycling bin, I pulled out just a few and used them here.  Black, of course, and my favourite image of this time of the year - the peaceful dove - combined in layers and a wee bit of ribbon.  Found another use for the big punch that gives me a luggage tag shape, and only just remembered that there are several hundred REAL tags in a box of other really useful things....... 

Hope this qualifies for the "year" bit Poobahs, now to make something else a bit more "happy" or maybe something related to "baby".  Could also show you the "new" thing I'm in the middle of but its still a mess 'cos its a mosaic piece for the garden and they never look any good til the grout goes on.  If I get it finished in the next few days, weather permitting, I'll post a picture of it, I promise.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Special destinations

I've been lucky enough to have made several friends across the world through the simplicity of paper and the entries of this blog, and every now and then comes a chance to send something across the ocean in thanks.  I like to think of these other women always in good spirits and smiling at their world, but of course like me, they have great times and grumpy ones, smiling happy days and dark miserable ones too.  We never know what mood our readers are in, just as they never know what lies behind the posts or the comments we make.  

I love to open my browser to find notification that a comment has been left on one of my posts, but I never open that email because I want to read the comment where it was added - thus many a time online begins with "I'll just check my email and then I'll start dinner..." - and ends much later while I follow threads of conversations and comments from my distant friends.  It got me thinking about the importance of keeping in touch, and how small things can make a difference. 

The cards in this posts today were made for people I've never met in person, yet.  There's a lot of meaning in that one tiny word........who knows what lies ahead?

Special destination 1:  This card used a piece from the La Creme stack which came in the post many many months ago.  I was aiming for something elegant and rich, but as always I am seduced by the paper and probably don't add enough elements.  Paper designers go to so much trouble and I often cant bear to show only a tiny piece, but maybe this was bit too much?  Its felt-textured too, so I continued the richness with silver gilt paper and ribbon.  Even the rik-rak is velvet.....

Then I got a bit carried away when another of the TE kits arrived in the post and I ventured back out into the rainbow.  

Special destination 2:  This card is still a celebration of the fabulous floral paper, but I did allow a bit of room for some restrained greens.........  More ribbon (you should see how much lies spooling in the corners of this space) and a butterfly of sorts, just because.....

The two greens came from the 2010 August and September kits, and the floral DP has a lovely linen texture and is from a collection called "Restoration" which also came with the September kit.   This is one paper that I'm hoarding every last scrap to use.