Sunday, November 30, 2014

Let it snow....are you serious??

You have to smile at the complications of a design team spread across the globe when it comes to a seasonal challenge....witness the latest (number 197!!) excitement at Opus Gluei where the theme is snow.  SNOW?  Its a warm 34C here in Australia today, well, in my little part of it, and I don't think its ever snowed in my street.  Now THAT would be an example of climate change, but I'm not advocating for it........

So channeling my inner winter, I attempted a scattering of snowflakes, and then I hung them from a bar and they move in the wind.  Before anyone complains about a distinct lack of white, let me hasten to explain I was thinking snow in the evening....glistening against the night sky.  What would I know? I've never seen it.
I embossed a snowflake stamp and added a glittery centre, then glued them to grey gauze ribbon.  They're double-sided, but you can only see that if I upload a you'll have to take my word for it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Treating myself........

The inspiration for this little bit of recycling came from a roll of paper that has been lying on the bench for a while, and a nice solid box that was too good to throw away.  Years ago I found an old broken letter rack and covered it with paper so it could live again in my then new tiny space that was just for me, and as I've just expanded into a big bright sunny room, it was time for something new for there too.  

I have a soft spot for alphabets and lettering and calligraphy.........hence the paper.  The hardest thing to do was decide which part of the paper to cut into.  

Now I have a place to put all the rulers and pieces of dowel and random tools instead of putting them in a drawer and never finding them again.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Its a good thing that I have friends across the world, they celebrate different things and different days.......and Halloween is just one.  Once upon a time I would have muttered about how Australia is being swallowed by other countries and their customs, but now I have to admit to liking the richer tapestry it all makes...................and that's my philosophical musing for today.

The lovely Poobahs at Opus Gluei are mostly from the American continent, so they know all about Halloween and they're slowly teaching me.  The challenge this week has a Halloween theme so I incorporated a digi from Make it Crafty.  I like how he unravels, and I like to think he's a little zombie-like, which ties him to my group of Zombie Outbreak Response Unit friends.  Simon, see what you've done!

I like the shiny bat, made with the help of some Stampin' Up Crystal Effects, and to emphasise the link to my favourite ZORU, I had to use the orange spooky cobweb paper.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

...and while I'm here

It is no secret that I love making ATC; they're tiny little snapshots of an idea, they dont need to have sentiments carefully positioned, they can have all sorts of things in juxtaposition and not look out of place.....because they're so small.

Here are three I made for a Purple Challenge set up by some friends here in Australia.

Have just realised that they all glitter, which combined with purple makes them most unusual for me.  I freely admit that some challenges are a bit like the books chosen at my Book Club, forcing me to do things I would not ordinarily do/read/combine/bother with at all!!  Just goes to show that it didn't hurt at all.

....and for the most recent challenge at Opus Gluei, we had to use clocks or time or something related to time....and I made these two.  I think inspiration deserted me, but the clocks are there.

The sentiment says "An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth", and I like that thought.  These stamps are an old Stampin' Up set, as are the embossed cogs in the top picture.

Other people's time related work can be found here.

Catching Up

The trouble with being on holidays is that I'm so busy doing new things that I forget to do usual of those is the ironing, but I'm not hurrying to do that any time soon.  So this is  catch-up post to keep track of things.

First some birthday cards I made for dear friends and just in time for the Birthday Challenge at Opus Gluei.  The first one was for my friend Ann and is a long way outside my comfort-zone, but right in hers.  We've been friends for so long that I have to make sure I dont ever make two cards the same for her....

I wanted it to be bright and cheerful, and to have nothing pink (but that's just because she and I have an understanding about that) it has ribbon and bling and fluffy flowers, and its a beautiful gentle orange instead.

The second card is for Emmy, my walking buddy, my recipe-sharing buddy, my dear friend. 

It grew from the tiny piece of blue and black embossed paper.  The photograph makes it look more sombre than it is in real life.  Can't believe I still have some of this ribbon left - a gift from Lisa several years ago, and carefully hoarded ever since!

If you missed the birthday challenge, you can see what everyone else did here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Playing favourites

Over at Opus Gluei this week , there's  request to show off some of the things you love to do, but use an ATC to do it.  Think  of an ATC as your artistic business card...its about that size after all (three and half inches by two and a half inches)(I have NO IDEA what that is in metrics, and I don't care to know either.  Inches are so much more do-able)...........

So I went back to what I love the most, which is the muted palette of black, grey, brown..........and came up with these two....  The first makes use of grey gauze ribbon to make both a background and an accent, plus a little piece of wood grained Kaisercraft paper, and my very favourite Scrabble-letters paper too.  The second one had to have a touch of orange to lift the black and cream.  There's a scrap of handmade silky paper and a matching butterfly about to land on the spidery leaves.


Then, just because it was there, I used up the last of a lovely paper square from a Taylored Expressions kit from several years ago.  It reminded of me of the garden today - the beginning of Spring and the first tiny blossoms attracting bees.  In my garden there is an old willow tree that has seen better days, but in Spring, all the straggly branches throw out new shoots and the bees come and fill the air with buzzing.

ATCs can be like windows into your craft - what do your windows show?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Taking a break..........

Once upon a time four friends traveled between the islands of the Cyclades, stopping to sample fresh fish, cocktails in the evening sun, and the warm Mediterranean breezes.  It was unforgettable.

The OG challenge to capture something of the essence of a vacation, real or imagined, lead me to revisit that memorable time and create some ATCs with a tiny bit of the flavour of the time.

 First a little of the stark beauty that is Thira.....

 ...antiquities around every corner......

....and walking under strings of octopus drying in the sun.

Proves that I wasn't silly to save those little bits of ephemera afterall.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer Harvest

I love being part of a team that is spread across the ocean....over on the other side of the world its nothing like the winter weather we have here in Melbourne, but I can dream.....

So for a challenge that's all about the bountiful harvest of summer I had to put my nose outside my blankets.  This little ATC makes me think it might be summer soon....and when it rolls around, I'll sit on a rug in the sun and eat strawberries..........

I discovered a strip of bunting from kaisercraft and it was just the right colour for these little circles.  The string and papers are all from TE kits and FINALLY the busy room shelves are  little emptier!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A good read........

I almost got myself into SO MUCH trouble this week.....  Its a secret only a few people will understand, and they're the ones I'm apologising to. 

So, before I forget anything else, this is a post to show just what you could do with a book that was anything but a good read.  You need a cutting board, a sharp knife, a template of half the piece of fruit, and a paperback you can sacrifice.  Bend the spine right back a few times, and if no pages fall out, or the spine doesn't crack in half, that means the binding glue is flexible enough to make one of these.

,,,,and then pop over to Opus Gluei and enter our challenge.  Its all about books this week.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

All tied up...with Opus Gluei

I had such plans for this challenge, amongst which was getting it finished early, but that came to nothing!!  

My desk is littered with half-made zombies with black sack dresses and string belts, and their brothers (also half-made) with big boots and string vests, but sadly none of them are yet up to scratch to share.  Today I spied some intricately sewn versions that I think I'll try instead..........but none of this helped with the OG Challenge, and the deadline loomed, so........... is a tiny contribution, an ATC with scraps of twine and old Stampin' Up paper and a lovely kaisercraft nesting doll with some extra glitter on her apron.

There is definitely a small piece of string there, and that's what counts!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Movie postcard

Had the chance to join in a swap with a some crafty friends and the topic this time was a movie themed postcard.  My friends will know that I have a quiet passion for the Blues Brothers, dating back long before I began papercrafts.  I think the first time I watched it I was totally bemused, but now I'm one of those crazy theatre-goers at The Astor who dress up, sing all the songs and recite all the lines.

Here's my entry

...and of course its photographed tucked in my son's hat, part of my costume at every screening.  Its a tribute to you Si that you chose such an enduring image that lives on through so many productions.  I'm pretty sure you wont mind that I rebanded the hat - that white ribbon did get just a wee bit tired after so many wearings.....

Vale Simon C Thomson, Blues Brother extraordinaire.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Welcome to the zoo...

....well, maybe just to the Butterfly House, which only makes sense if you live in Melbourne where we have a beautiful one.... 

 Here are a couple of ATCs for the latest Opus Gluei challenge which is to use animals, real or imagined, in our work.  It would have so easy to find a cat to use...........many many many here, but I found this paper and went with it instead.  I think the butterfly one is just a bit too extreme, but I like the bird on his branch.

And I had to sneak a cat in too, even if just as a prop for the photo.  

Details: paper is Kaisercraft "Secret Bird Society Collection", the branch is cut with a Taylored Expressions die called "Leafy Branch" and run through the cuttlebug, and all the other oddments are from the busy room boxes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Gaye

Making a card for my sister-in-law is a tricky business because there are colours she likes and ones she doesn't, and  it shouldn't be too girly, and it should have a small message if possible.........mind you, these are restrictions I put on myself, she's be mildly horrified to read this I'm sure.

So I combined all the parameters with some things I picked up at the new and beguiling Kaisercraft warehouse shop, and this is the result.

Very simple, very clean..........and just a small message.

Restrain black & white & one other colour.....

When I started this card in my head, it was black with little bits of white and yellow...........and then the fingers took over from the head, and look what happened.......... became yellow with a hint of black and white.  Ah well.

As always, I am seduced by the paper, and when it came to finding something black, this small piece of embossed card fell out of the pile on my desk.

So I tried again, just to see what my head and fingers would come up with, and this is the result.

Not strictly black and white...........but I like it.  This is another challenge from the team at Opus Gluei, so its well worth a look to see what other designers have created.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Something for your best friend - Opus Gluei #183

I find that making special cards are the hardest........if I just sit down and let inspiration take over, the results seem effortless, but as soon as I have a person in mind, nothing seems good enough.

I set myself the challenge of using a window card I had left over from a set I made a while ago......and I knew what I wanted to achieve, but I'm not sure I did.  The lovely parchment-like paper in the centre is a Kaisercraft one that I fell in love with - you'll see more of it in another post. 

The sentiment is Kaisercraft too, and its most appropriate for the friend I have in mind, because she doubts herself without any reason.  She's the first to see the good in any situation, the first to appear at your side, and the cheerful face I see across my desk every day.

To see what others have designed for their friends, go over to Opus Gluei and prepare to be delighted.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

..and for my Mum.

So I think this could be considered being on a roll...........gate-fold cards nearly all used up!!  Just love this paper, and yes I know it could have had more layers and more bling and more EVERYTHING, but its fine just the way it is too.

Friday, May 9, 2014

...for a friend...

Love it when an idea in your head comes together........swapped a kaisercraft voucher for a lovely collection of papers and these ones were just asking to be made into a card for Donna.  Lots of lovely reds, just possibly a colour favourite of hers, and the chance to use up another gate-fold card because I struggle with them.  

...and a lovely lunch to top off the day!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Using Flowers

Once upon a time I would have been the last person in my group to use flowers on I'm the person with the greatest collection of every colour shape and size.  Not that it means I ever have exactly what I want of course.........

No matter......this is my response to our challenge at Opus Gluei to use flowers.  I think the paper is perhaps the first designer piece I bought and I almost didn't want to use it.  On the other hand, you cant keep everything forever.

Once bravely stepping outside the black and white that is my comfort-zone, I have compounded the whole thing by creating the base from a piece of pink (eeeek) card stock. 

There are shiny brads and glittery bits, and even ribbon - if you'e going to step out, you might as well make the step a decent sized one!! 

Better get back to what I do better for next time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter.....egg

This is not the place to get into a discussion about what Easter means to you, but we can at least agree that eggs are a sign of new beginnings.  Electra challenged us to use eggs in our project this time, and I could have taken a photograph of breakfast....bit like "checking in" really.........but this is not facebook.

Here are two ATCs with a tiny version of eggs I made with one of my classes in the past.  They're egg shaped cut-outs, wrapped in scraps of tissue paper.  When we made them in class, my students put bows around their middles and drew patterns on them too.  I like how the overlap creates new colours.  I found the rabbit in a treasure trove of retro pictures from some re-purposed books and I had to tint the edges because old paper doesn't cut as cleanly as new stuff.

......and I wont comment on the Lindt chocolate if you don't.  Why bother?  It wont last long.

Come over to Opus Gluei and see what everyone else created....and don't forget to join in.  Even if you just take a photograph of the paper that was around your last egg.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letters of the alphabet........

.........always make me think of my favourite things (of the moment, they're always changing)....and so it is with the ATCs I made for this challenge at Opus Gluei.  I almost didn't get a chance to upload it owing to glitches in the system here, but the least said about that the better.

I began with C for cat, for no particular reason except that it was easy to do, and I had all the pieces to hand on the desk.  The C is from the drawer of "come-in-handy" things in my son's desk, and the cat stares with the same expression as one of mine.....

 Full of enthusiasm, I then went hunting through the folders of images I save for decoupage, and came upon the tiny fairy dancing on a cobweb strung between the grasses.  I'm not really a fairy person, but she has long dark hair, just like mine once was, so she made it onto the "keep" list.  Once I added the moon's face, Moonlight was the obvious choice.

A casual glance around my home will discover a
tendency towards collecting things with an asian influence, but the word "orient" always sounds so much more mysterious (I blame too much reading as a child) the choice for O was easy.  Katrina handed me a box of miniature masks just today, so the ATC very nearly made itself.  The coins are from a broken bracelet, the newsprint from a paper wrapped around a purchase from Chinatown (and probably advertises used cars!!), and the image of a plate is from the files.  Together it makes an oriental collection of no fixed address.
The choice for S was made when the image of a bright white path on Santorini fell out of an envelope along with a Blue Star ferry ticket, which is how you get from one island to another for the smallest amount of money.  Just the image immediately brought to mind the heat, and the bright sun, and the donkeys, and the food!  Being there with childhood friends was so memorable and such fun.

And lastly....lying there among the scraps of paper was the head of a Zombie.  Doesn't every desk have one?  Had to give him a home and indulge in a tiny bit of graveyard art as well.  Perhaps in a shirt and tie he's too well dressed to have popped up from a grave, but then what do I really know about zombies?

I think a whole alphabet would be fun, but I know I'd never complete it.....I remember how long it took to finish the month of lists and tags last year!!

If the alphabet might be your thing, or if you just want to make use of lots of letters in your work, come and join us at Opus Gluei and show off your work.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Significant birthdays.....

This is the year that most of my friends from school have a significant birthday.....hardly seems reasonable that so many years have passed since we were worrying about important things like homework, and remembering white socks for sport, and trading sandwiches at lunchtime, and thinking up new ways to get out of German classes.

Tomorrow one of my friends is celebrating with a High Tea at her place, catered for by her newest son-in-law who just happens to be a chef.  We're all invited to wear our Sunday best, which in my case will be my usual monochrome, but maybe I'll break out the pearls!!  Living dangerously seems to be called for.

This is the card I made for Jilba, gathering together a host of pinks and sparkles to make her a special card...............a long way away from my usual.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolate!! ultimate comfort food - hot chocolate in a hug mug from Max Brenner, hazelnut Lindt balls, chocolate covered raspberries, Freddo frogs, chocolate coated turkish delight, my Grandmother's biscuits with a chocolate drop on the top, home made chocolate mousse............

...but the one with the least calories is the Opus Gluei Chocolate Challenge, so I made these ATCs in a flash (and it helped that I had an empty chocolate wrapper to use too).  Mmm... hazelnut chocolate....

...and to think when I found this "chocolate" brad I wondered how I'd ever find a use for it!