Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's blooming gift sets

I think the In Bloom stamp set from Papertrey Ink is just gorgeous. I got this idea for producing cards using this design and multiple colours for gift sets from Nichole Heady's blog.

The sentiments were done using Hero Arts clear design basic alphabet and everyday sayings.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tim's tags

Tim Holz. Need I say more? The master of ink & distressed grunge is back with another 12 tags of Christmas, and if you haven't been taking a look then you really should. Although I suppose I should warn you, if you don't own any Ranger or Tim Holz products you could end up with a VERY serious wish list.

I have been trying to play along, and have done five tags so far. This is my favourite.

And I should mention, that in addition to providing priceless inspiration, Tim is also giving away a ton of prizes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Papering the tree

We have somehow ended up without access to our usual box of family ornaments, so I am facing delivery of our cut Christmas tree in two days with nothing except fairy lights and some candy canes. The solution? Some DIY ornaments and quick!

These are some made from origami paper- they use a simple modular fold and construction called Japanese brocade. To hang them I have used a long needle to get embroidery thread through the middle of the ball and a small button at the bottom. So how many do you think I need to decorate a 1.5m tree? Three down, about 17 to go!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mash up

I admit to watching Glee recently and the teacher is always talking about 'mash ups' which involves blending bits of various songs together.

So here is some Christmas mash up: design inspired by Nichole Heady, Papertrey Ink background stamps, Hero Arts image stamps and My Sentiments Exactly sentiment. It's all about harmony after all....

Another take on the same basic sketch below.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Look Ma, I finally finished!

The scarf I have been knitting for my friend Liz, is finally finished. I used 4ply 100% wool from the Nundle Woollen Mill (a bundle of Nundle!) and a chevron pattern from a Jo Sharp knitting book.

I hope it keeps Liz's neck warm and cosy when she moves to New Zealand. Happy VERY belated birthday Liz :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inkurable twinchie

My entry for the November challenge at Inkurable Stampers (twinchie theme this month). It was very fun working in miniature. I used grungepaper for the window frame because it is thin enough to cut through easily with a craft knife, but more flexible and durable than normal cardstock and paper, and takes vintage photo distress ink beautifully too.

Here it is incorporated into a project- a Christmas decoration box.
Paper BasicGrey, stamps Paperartsy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One stamp, four ways

I sat down this week with a new small set of Hero Arts stamps- Sparkle Clear Merry Christmas. These are the first four cards I have made with it.

This is the one I like the best I think:

The tree images, star and sentiment are all from this one mini set. I have posted tips and information about the techniques I used in this post at, where you can also purchase the set for yourself!

But in the meantime, here are a couple more tips from this card:

Use a fine brush and plain water to 'draw' a line along some patterned paper. Then tear it carefully and it will naturally follow the wet line. Much easier to control the tearing!

Make a DIY embossing buddy by sewing up a hankerchief into a pocket. Fill it with cornflour and sew up the last side. Swipe it over your cardstock and flick off excess before stamping and embossing. No more stray bits of embossing powder around the image.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have yourself some merry Papertrey

After shedding many a sigh over the gorgeous stamp designs at Papertrey Ink, I finally managed to get my hands on some! I am IN LOVE with the whole "button bits" concept (stamp sets specifically designed for buttons to form part of the image).

I am really happy with the quality of the stamps and cardstock. The only real drawback is that they only sell direct, which mean MEGA shipping costs for those of us living outside the USA. If you are also a Papertrey Ink fan possibly interested in sharing orders of PTI products with other Aussie stampers to reduce shipping costs, then leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

L is for Letterpress

Have you heard about the new Letterpress from Quickutz? I was so tempted to order one a little while ago. The thing that stopped me in the end was the fact that you have to use it with their specially formulated paper. But I wouldn't complain if someone wanted to just GIVE me one. Like the folks at iDiY. The giveaway is here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sketch challenge

The new weekly challenges are up at now that The Scrapper of Oz has moved into finals mode!

This week I have done a layout based on a PageMaps sketch. If you like the sketch, why not do a quick layout and go into the running for a shopping voucher at Details are here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kaisercraft advent calendar: FINISHED!!!

So here it is! I have left the center area almost completely blank b/c I will be putting nativity stickers in the drawers. Each day the boys will open a drawer and we will look up a verse of the bible related to the account of Jesus' birth and they can put the stickers in the middle. Some days they might even find something yummy in there too. Next year I can change what is in the center (I used repositionable tape).

Final thoughts:

quality of the materials used for the kit are very good
* I still really like the overall design
* Reasonable price
* Starting with a raw product means that your advent calendar is unique.

time- hard to know how long it took me in total to do this, but probably 10-12 hours with waiting time in between for paint to dry.
* NO INSTRUCTIONS (I'm sorry, am I repeating myself?)
* heavy item- if you are paying for shipping you might be charged extra.

My supplies:
Cosmo Cricket Early Bird collection, Reeves acrylic paints, thickers for some of the numbers & alpha, kraft cardstock, Papertrey Ink stamp (Silent Night set).

If you are interested in having bible verses as part of an advent activity, the verses I am using are below. We are only doing a 14 day countdown since 24 days is way too long for a 2 & 4 year old!

Thanks for taking the advent calendar journey with me :)

1) Micah 5:2 Bethlehem

2) Isaiah 9:6 Virgin with child

3) Luke 1:26-28 Gabriel

4) Luke 1:29-31 Mary troubled

5) Luke 1:32-33 Eternal kingdom

6) Matthew 1:18 Mary pregnant

7) Matthew 1:20- 21 Name Jesus

8) Luke 2:7 Manger

9) Luke 2:8-9 Shepherds

10) Luke 2:10- 12 Angels speak

11) Luke 2:13-14 Angels praise

12) Luke 2:15-16 Shepherds find Jesus

13) Matthew 2:1-2 Wise men see star

14) Matthew 2:10-11 Wise men give gifts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kaisercraft advent calendar: part 3

We are in the home stretch now! It took me longer than I expected to paint, assemble and cover all the drawers (an estimate would be 6 hours) and even painting the shell was time consuming because of all the small corners. I am pretty happy with the result though, this is just a sneak peek :)

I used Cosmo Cricket Early Bird collection for the paper. It isn't a Christmas themed collection, but I really like the greens and red they used and the splashes of non- traditional blue and yellow.

So now it is time to tackle the final touches of numbers, the central blank area, any other embellishments and finally the contents and come back with some final photos!

And I should also note that Kaisercraft DOES give you an extra drawer to make mistakes on- you get 25, but only need 24- THANKS Kaiser! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kaisercraft advent calendar part 2

So I have assembled the outer shell. But before I decorate it, I decided to tackle the drawers. I wanted to know how they would need to be constructed, because that would influence how I was going to decorate them.

The drawers come cut and pre-scored in separate packets with 5 drawers in each. They are made from thick chipboard. They are essentially a cross shape, with a semi-circle in the top of the front panel, so you can pull out the drawer.

Which brings me to issue number 1: how to adhere the drawer sides together. Glue? Tape? Again, I was on my own due to the lack of instructions. I decided on double sided tape, because it was quicker, less messy and more trustworthy as an adhesive.

Hello issue number 2: a drawer with tape all over the outside is going to be one seriously ugly drawer. Painting isn't going to work over tape, so that leaves me with covering it with paper. So I used strips of double sided tape to hold the drawer in shape and adhere the paper.

So we arrive at issue number 3: what about the inside? Leave it nude? cover it with paper too? Paint? I decided to go with paint- paper seemed that way too much effort for 25 drawers. I am happy to report that the chipboard takes acrylic paint very well, and because it is thick there is no warping. But I recommend good quality acrylic paint for this. Watery paint isn't going to give you good coverage and might cause buckling. So the paint has to go on before the paper unless you have meticulous painting skills. (And you don't get a spare couple of drawers just in case.) NB I also painted the exposed edges of the drawer and the score lines on the bottom of the drawer that would be hard to cover with paper.

So for the drawer summary:
  • Good quality thick chipboard pre-scored
  • The ongoing problem of no instructions
  • Adhering the drawers together without using tape would be difficult, so it means ugly tape showing unless you are prepared to cover the outside of the drawers with paper.
  • A couple of spare drawers to make mistakes on (seeing as we have to learn on the go due to the lack of instructions) would have been a nice thought.

My method was to fold along the score lines, then reflatten the drawer and paint the inside, then fold up the sides and use double sided tape to secure them together while the paint is still wet. Then paint the bottom of the drawer and when the paint is dry cover the sides of the drawer with a strip of paper. I used a circle punch to cut out the notch in the paper for the front of the drawer.

I'll be back when I've got the drawers made and the shell painted!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kaisercraft advent calendar: part 1

When I saw this new advent calendar from Kaisercraft, I was sold! I loved the the sturdy base, the drawers and the blank middle area for decoration.

Silly me forgot to take a photo of the package BEFORE I opened it and started the first stage of construction. Doh! But basically it comes flat packed, wrapped in plastic. There is the large base piece, and 6 other 'wood' pieces that need to be cut apart to form walls that slot into the base and form the shell for the drawers to be inserted into. The package also includes 25 flat packed chipboard drawers that require assembly, and a sheet of plain chipboard numbers.

So far I have managed to assemble the shell only, and that took me about 30 minutes with my husband helping. Thoughts so far...

My other tip is to make sure you really cut or file off all the connecting tabs from the drawer walls. Even part of a millimeter left behind can cause the outside wall to bow out a little and then the outside corners of the calendar don't meet up as precisely as they should.

For anyone interested, the depth of the drawer (inside measurement) is 48mm.

I'll be back with some assembled drawers and more thoughts (hopefully) soon.
Have you had any experience with this Kaisercraft advent calendar? Got any thoughts or tips to share? Just leave me a comment, I really appreciate it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More apples

I have been working on more apple card designs and had a few apples that I had stamped and cut out lying around. We are going to a 3rd birthday party this weekend, so clearly it was the quick and easy solution to producing a card to go with the crayon roll. Not your typical birthday card for a three year old I guess, but I figured she probably wouldn't care if there was a card or not!

Hero Arts design accent four apples, Spellbinders labels four die set (I used the largest in the set.) Cosmo Cricket patterned paper.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rolling along

It made a refreshing change to get out the sewing machine and make something not paper related this week! This crayon roll is a gift for the daughter of some friends, and I used this tutorial from Skip to my Lou to make it. I had a ball working with the adorable fabric. AND I even managed to get the tension right on my thread- a major acheivement for me :)

And I thought I'd let you know I have just started work on an advent calendar. I think I will post photos of the process as I go, along with thoughts about the product (Kaisercraft's new release advent calendar). So if you've been thinking about doing something like that this Christmas, make sure you drop by again soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Scrapper of Oz round 2

Those of you who have been paying attention will be wondering what happened to round 1! All my fault, I completely forgot to post it. There were some amazing entries at for round one, and it is not too late to join in now even if you didn't enter for round one. For all the details, visit here.

This layout features Cosmo Cricket The Boyfriend collection, Hero Arts stamps and Sassafras Lass paper and embellisments. Oh, and Thickers of course. They are my new addiction!

My youngest is at that stage where he thinks he can speak fluently, but in reality only one word in fifty is in English! It is new territory for me, because his older brother spoke clearly very early on and had a large vocabulary by the same age. Still, it is very cute when he gives me long speeches.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A jot of journaling

The new weekly challenges are up at This will be the last weekly challenge for a while- once The Scrapper of Oz competition starts up (Oct 11th- not long now!) we won't be having weekly challenges until it is finished.

You can check out the pdf instructions for this journal here. You'll need to be a member of to access the file, but registration is fast and free.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A fun stamping technique

The theme for the week at the Hero Arts blog is paper piecing. I really enjoy this technique- I get to use my paper scraps and do some fussy cutting. My tips for this technique:
  • I usually prefer to heat emboss my image with clear powder. It just helps me cut the outline more cleanly.
  • Small very sharp scissors are a MUST for this. I have a pair of EK Success cutterbee scissors that work great.
  • This is the perfect opportunity to break out the adhesive foam and add some dimension to parts of the pieced image.

I'll be back tomorrow with a new weekly challenge at!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's coming...

I confess to being a challenge junkie. I like having some parameters to work within, a deadline to get my butt into gear and lets face it, a fantastic prize is always a great incentive.

Heike has thought up some really interesting challenges for this competition, and there are some BIG prizes up for grabs as well as a participation prize for EVERYONE. It doesn't get better than that. So what are you waiting for? Sign up to join in at the forum today!

WINNER! popped out #4 as my winner, so Sandie I will be in touch by email to get your RAK out to you.

Thanks for your comments everyone, hope you had a great World Cardmaking Day. Lets do it again next year!

Friday, October 2, 2009

World Cardmaking Day Giveaway

This is one of my sketch cards I did for the special WCMD challenges that start today at Clink on the link to check out the sketch, add your own spin on it and upload it to the gallery to go into the running for one of the prizes. You will need to be a member to view this section of the forum, but registration is fast and free.

BUT before you do, leave me a comment here about what you like about making cards and I will randomly draw a winner for a little RAK. If I get more than 10 comments, I will draw two names on Monday- so let your friends know to come and visit me :)

And finally I just wanted to say on this special day of celebrating cardmaking and cardmakers- a huge thank you to all the crafty bloggers out there who share their knowledge, ideas, creativity and enthusiasm with us all. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Card details: Stamps Tim Holtz Flights of fancy, distress ink background, grungeboard butterfly; distress stickles, clear embossing powder, liquid pearls.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

so much to catch up on

I was a bad blogger and didn't post for 2 weeks while I was on holidays. Now there is so much going on!

First up, the new weekly challenges are up on and here is one of my samples for the noteworthy challenge. Head over there and check out the other DT projects for the weekly challenges- Lydell has done an amazing wipeable holiday checklist planner and used my current favourite paper collection (The Boyfriend, by Cosmo Cricket.)

Secondly there is a BIG STAMP SALE going on at with 20% off all stamps, so don't miss out.

Don't forget that it is World Cardmaking Day on October 3rd so come back tomorrow when I will have a giveaway and more stuff to share :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A special weekend

If you've been under a rock you might not realise that it is World Card Making Day this Saturday. And why keep it just to one day? Why not a whole WEEKEND of card making fabulousness? So if that appeals to you (and it should) then here are two wonderful ways to get involved in the fun.

First, come visit me here and leave a comment on Friday Oct 2nd -Sunday Oct 4th about why you like to make cards to go into the draw to win a little RAK of stamping goodies. Then, go over to where there will be lots of challenges & inspiration! (Details below).

Come and celebrate with us at Challenges will be posted in the forum starting on Friday 2nd October and will continue over the weekend. All entries are to be uploaded in the WCMD Members Gallery by Wednesday October 7th Midnight. Each entry will earn you a ticket in the random draw, to win one of three prizes. You may enter as many cards as you like.

See ya on the weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

B is for...

Lots of butterflies on a previously blank bag! My sample for the build it up weekly challenge over at You can become a member and view the instructions and details here. It was really fast and easy.

I bought the canvas bag online too from here.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The power of cards

You might have already heard about the Cards for Kate card drive. If you haven't, then the details can be found on Jennifer McGuire's blog here. Kate is a little girl recently diagnosed with brain cancer and this was a card I made for her parents Aaron and Holly.

I often find myself sending cards to friends who are going through tough times. This card drive reminded me of how cards can send powerful messages of love, concern and comfort. And I know from past experiences how much people appreciate a handmade card. They don't have to be fancy works of art- I used a few pieces of leftover patterned paper, a sticker and one stamp on this card which took me about 10 minutes to make. I added some dimensional medium on the flower just to make it pop a little since I was trying to forgo my usual lumpy bumpiness for the sake of international postage!

Why not consider having a little stash of 'thinking of you' cards on hand so you can send one off quickly to family or friends when you know they need some words of support. You might be amazed at the power your card has!

Hero Arts clear design everyday sayings, BasicGrey paper and sticker.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Craft Critique Giveaway!

Craft Critique is a fantastic resources for crafters. It features daily independent reviews of common craft products. Today they are having a great GIVEAWAY! Check it out here. I'll give you a hint, it involves one of the most popular scrapbooking companies out there...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spring is in the air

And so are plenty of allergens and insects! But I am NOT going to let that stop me from enjoying the changing of the seasons. Instead, I am going to embrace the wonderful creation around me and celebrate it :) No better way than a new noteworthy challenge over at This week, the challenge is all about thinking beyond shiny new product, and looking around us to incorporate recycled elements into our projects.

My card has used part of the corrugated cardboard from the delivery box my online scrapping purchases come in :) For more details about the card, the challenge and ideas for recycled papercraft elements, just visit here.

when worlds collide

So today I found out that two of my favourite online stamping communities are joining forces- will be sponsoring Inkurable Stampers, so it is like a collision of stamping goodness for me :)

This is a card I made for a previous challenge at Inkurable- the soot stamping challenge. Sarah did a great tutorial on soot stamping and it was a popular challenge. This is definitely right up there as one of the Inkurable projects that I am most fond of.

For this card I used glossy cardstock inked with distress inks before doing the soot stamping. After applying fixative I added the image of the trapeze artist (cut from gift wrap) and some grungeboard wings I had embossed with a cuttlebug folder, inked and painted. I stamped and cut out some grungeboard blossoms, added some shine with moonshadow powder, rhinestones and there you have it. Stamps Fancy Pants Design (In the garden), Hero Arts old French writing.

Make sure you get on over to Inkurable Stampers to check out this month's challenge DOWN BY THE SEA, and to check out the wonderful new stock- including lots of Sassafras lovelies from Amplify and Monstrosity.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

krafty rainbow colours

This was an experiment, but I'm very happy with how it turned out, so I thought I'd share.

Jennifer McGuire got me thinking about using coloured pencils on kraft cardstock, and I've just kinda had rainbows on the brain from some reason lately, so it all lead to this card.

Hero Arts design block dots & flowers stamped in white ink, then coloured over the white flowers with Derwent Inktense pencils. Heat embossed the sentiment (Hero Arts everyday sayings) and added extra dots in the flower centers with a white gel pen. A Sassafras blossom to finish it off.

It was a little time consuming, but very therapeutic!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fetched my first sketch

This week I did the sketch and sample for the Fetch A Sketch challenge over at Just complete a layout based the the sketch, upload it the the challenge gallery before 11:59pm AEST Wednesday 2nd Sept and you will be in the running to win one of two $5 shopping vouchers.

I really enjoyed using the Tim Holz flourish mask on this layout. I had stamped the background with white ink using Unity worn grid stamp, then sprayed over the mask with a homemade ink and perfect pearls spray. The dark colour made the grid stamping much more visible but the flourish a bit bleah. So I added some faux stitching with a white gel pen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cue the music...

MUSIC is the theme for August over at Inkurable stampers . Here is my entry for this month's challenge which uses just one stamp (unusual for me) Crafty Individuals CI 086.

I stamped the image several times on cream paper using the following:
antique linen distress ink
sepia versafine
versamark with gold embossing powder
versamark with gold pigment powder (like Perfect Pearls)

The various image elements were then cut out and layered over each other with adhesive foam.
The frame was cut from kraft cardstock using an EK Success trumpet flower corner punch and the edges inked with vintage photo distress ink.

Make sure you check out the challenge at Inkurable and stamp up an entry yourself- there are great PRIZES up for grabs every month and it is great to support an Aussie stamping site (although international entries are more than welcome).

Happy stamping!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Keep warm and cosy...with some simple stamping tips

These window gift boxes are my sample for this week's build-it-up challenge at

If you are interested in the step by step instructions, head on over to the challenge and grab the pdf.

But what about those cute glitter tags on the boxes I hear you say? Where are the helpful tips about making those? Well, I couldn't fit them in without making the pdf a bit too grande, so I'll post a few photos here along with some simple stamping tips.

Supply list
  • 4cm circle and matching scallop circle cut using Spellbinders dies & cuttlebug.
  • Stamps: Hero Arts screen shadow, clear design joy borders, sparkle clear cute letters
  • Inks: versafine sepia, Hero Arts soft pool shadow ink
  • Other: adhesive, Sakura quickie glue pen, Hero Arts prisma glitter, tiny peg.
Stamp the screen shadow background on the plain circle using soft pool ink.

Line up your clear alphabet letters on your desk (stamping surface down) to spell your word. Press your mounting block onto them firmly and voila! One perfectly lined up word ready for stamping.

Stamp your sentiment in brown ink and some swirls around it with the soft pool ink.

Adding a touch of glitter to a stamped piece can really give it just the extra pop it needs. Use the glue pen to add adhesive to the swirls. I cannot sing the praises of the quickie glue pen enough for this kind of fine detail job, and the prisma glitter is great because whatever colour is underneath will still be visible. Quickly apply the loose glitter, shake off the excess and adhere to the scalloped circle piece. You're done! Now go and make someone's day by giving them some little treats inside a beautiful handmade box.


Think about the profound

A layout for this challenge on The Profound Brunette (great title for a blog!)

One of the things I really wanted to think about this year was CONTENTMENT in all aspects of life. When it comes to craft I can struggle with contentment about time, space, equipment and of course, having the lastest and greatest products. I'm sure I'm not alone on this one! But as a Christian, I don't want this to distract me from being thankful and rejoicing and trusting in God. So I pray for the daily strength to CHOOSE contentment, but it is most definitely a work in progress- so I need a big note to self.

Layout details: Paper Sassafras Lass, Inque Boutique stamp, American Crafts thickers, Hambly rub on.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Enjoy a little colour

I know it doesn't have the words "dad" "father" "happy" or "day" on it, but this is actually a Father's Day card...something a little bit different.

The main panel was done by painting in the circles with water and mica powders (I used moonshadow powders, but there are others like perfect pearls etc.) It gives it a really nice shine. If you own some of these powders but aren't using them, then you should REALLY check out this video of Jennifer McGuire's- in fact, she has done a whole series of them which are all fantastic.

Card details:
Hero Arts K5231, CL177, CL127
Carolee Creations tiny alpha stickers
based on a sketch of this card by Lisa Spangler

And while you're thinking about cards for Father's Day (it is in early September in Australia) you should check out this challenge at Scrapz.Biz.

Have a great day everyone- go and light up someone's life :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

It always pays to be sorry

A big THANK YOU to Hero Arts. The winners of last week's blog challenge (tags) were announced and this card was picked as an honourable mention. The amount of seriously talented stampers who contribute to this group and enter the challenges is huge- so it is indeed an honour. If you have never visited the Hero Arts blog then you really should. It is chock full of inspirational samples, articles, videos with weekly challenges.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Leap...

...into the world of blogging. I blame Sheree, Mel, Deb, Lydell and Heike. You can find all these wonderful creative women hanging out with me at

You should definitely visit on Thursday because that is when the very first weekly challenges will begin on the site with prizes up for grabs! And while you are there, register in the forum and leave a comment here before the weekend for your chance to win the absolutely awesome AUGUST TICKLEZ kit! Couldn't be easier!