Sunday, August 21, 2016

Crazy birds

Yesterday, I participated in a cardmaking fundraiser for Kisii, a school in Kenya.  Here is the card I created for the ladies to make.
It uses Tim Holtz Crazy Bird stamp and die, the background is Gorgeous Grunge from Stampin' Up! (SU) and the greeting also is SU.  I pre-stamped and cut the die before including in the bundle of goodies to make the card.  The bird has been watercoloured using SU markers.
I was inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest - however despite searching for over an hour I was unable to find the original creator of card that inspired me - it had been copied and saved to many boards. So if you are out there and happen to read my blog, thank you.
I love the Gorgeous Grunge stamps as you do not have to be precise in the placing of stamps, excellent for beginners and experienced cardmakers alike.
Close up of that Crazy Bird. 
Thank you for looking, Margaret :)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

When it is sunrise in Australia>>>>it is sunset in another part of the world.

This is going to be a long post. I have been competing in a challenge over at Soul Scrappers where we were sent a bundle of goodies with which to create a layout.   Here is my layout:
This is what I received in the post from the challenge organiser from the USA.
And this letter. "I hope you find my challenge challenging (yes it was).  I would LOVE to SEE the most BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS, you have EVER seen thru your travels or just being around your home town.(I did not have any sunset photos but I had amazing sunrises taken on my recent holiday - hence the title of my post and layout)".  Included goodies were:
  1. playing card diamond
  2. sunset quote
  3. 4x3 embossed white cardstock
  4. 3 black seagulls
  5. 4" gold  circle
  6. yellow/orange tissue paper
  7. red and yellow (4) triangles
  8. 6" of ribbon
  9. metallic gold streamers
Here is how I went about creating my layout.
  1. The most challenging for me - those gold streamers.  The first thing I did was iron them, yes you heard me right, iron them.  They had travelled from USA and were just a mess.  Now as I was ironing them I was thinking 'how am I going to use them?"  Well, the thought came to me about my machine embroidery days.  Why not get some water soluble Solvy and stitch them.  At this stage I cut the ribbon into strips to use with gold streamers and then okay why not use the tissue paper as well.  (Now I did test with some tissue paper I had to see if it would stand up to water - it did - so I pushed on with my idea).  This is a photo of them all between 2 sheets of Solvy.
  2. To the sewing machine I headed.   I used whatever threads/bobbins that I had close and matched somewhat the colours I was using.   I machined a grid with straight stitches and zig zag stitch. Here is the result (put on a background colour so you can see grid clearly)
  3. Then, give it all a wash in water with fingers crossed at this stage that it would all come together. Some of the colour from tissue paper ran in this step. Then put over line to dry. This is the finished stitching. 
  4. Now to assemble onto layout - I did tear a piece of blue cardstock to resemble sky and then stitched the finished stitching onto background cardstock and trimmed.
  5. Bottom left you can see that I have coloured white dotted cardstock and quote I received. A small amendment - I added and sunrise.
  6. The playing card I covered with blue cardstock and left the 10 showing - my journaling shows 10 reasons to love a sunset/sunrise. I added a tassel of left over pieces of gold streamers that somehow ended up on the floor or where cut of when I trimmed the sides.
  7. I then place the triangles and sew lines on them so that I could do some further journaling of my title. Birds where added.  This is a close up of some of the elements on the page.
Was it a challenge - YES, made me thing right outside the box to use all the 'goodies' I was sent. It was fun to go back to my creative machine embroidery days and incorporate this in the layout.

Now, my 10 reasons to love a sunset/sunrise:
  1. Colours (how can you not be inspired by the colours)
  2. Clouds (the create the patterns that catch the colours)
  3. Breathtaking - I certainly had my breath taken away by the sunsets I saw at Corindi Beach.
  4. Nature at its best - clear skies/dark skies, quietness.
  5. Spectacular - no one sunset/sunrise the same
  6. Inspiring - they can lift your spirits and you can find time for personal contemplation
  7. It's free - I grabbed a cup and tea to watch this sunrise - no one at the door to charge you entry fee.
  8. Calming -
  9. They can slow down time. You naturally want to go slow and appreciate the beauty you see.
  10. Helps you appreciate life's gifts.
Thank you for looking.   May you find a sunset/sunrise to inspire you.   I once saw a quote - author unknown.  "If have never met a sunrise/sunset that I did not like."  So true.  Margaret.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Here is a layout I completed on the weekend using Paper Flourish June Kit.  It contains Kaisercraft Just Land collection.   I have adjusted layout to suit my photograph - this is what I love about the kit, you get the ideas and you can adapt to suit your photograph and colours if needed.
The kit contain these fabulous wood veneer embellishments. Look, at my travel notes - I made it! If you are ever up in the Sunshine Coast area of Queensland why not head to the real undiscovered gem of Australia.
Here is a little insight into some of the other highlights of this walk (or trek for me-haha). 
Thanks to Mel and Craig for having me stay with them, so great to catch up with them and their girls. Craig also took the photo above from a bridge that suspends the water below and that we climbed (well walked really but it felt like a climb) to get back up onto road - another 300 metres to go!
Just so beautiful. Thank you for looking, Margaret

Quick and Easy card

Looking for a quick and easy card.   Here is one I made this morning using Stampin' Up!(r) set Work of Art.
Don't forget to decorate your envelopes. 
Thanks for looking,  Margaret :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Don't forget moments

Today a layout for a challenge over at The Memory Nest.  Here is my layout:
The photos of my friends daughters Emma and Chloe were taken when we visited Mooloolaba Beach, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  It is very close to their home and they love walking amount the rock pools and climbing the rocks and of course posing when there is a camera nearby. Can you believe that this photo was taken in winter!!!  I have used very girly colours to match the clothes they were wearing.  The speckled paper (made with sprays and gesso) I made for another challenge but ended up not using it but it fitted in perfectly with these photo. Click on the layout for a better view.  Here is the challenge layout.
Thanks for looking, Margaret.  Cheers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Try to learn something new everyday.

Another layout today for a challenge at Soul Scrappers we were to be inspired by a layout from the wonderful Beck Beattie - here is my layout:
and here is the inspiration layout
I was inspired by the gesso/painted background, the colours Beck used on her layout (when printed out I saw she used pink as well) and the placement of strips of paper.
My photographs were taken when I was visiting my friends in Buderim, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia recently.  Emma (aged 7) showed me how to download a photo collage app for my Samsung Tablet and she then walked me through how to 'work' it.  Yes, you can learn something new everyday.  I resisted putting dog ears and noses on us though....
For the layout I first used white gesso with an chicken wire type stencil, then sprayed with ink and dabbed with some green distress ink.   The flowers and stars are to represent the flowers in Chloe's and my hair and the crowns for Emma and Chloe.
I hope you like this layout - and remember to be creative, one must play.  Even that means getting blue spray all over your hands as I did today.  Cheers, Margaret :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A fun and warm scarf

Here is a scarf I have knitted for myself - it is made with Lang Yarns Sasha.  The yarn is fun with long strands (almost like dreds) and it is quick to make up in one night, only uses garter stitch. My sister found this yarn in Vichy, France and posted it to me.
I love my scarves and this one is just so fun and warm.
Thanks to my sister for finding the yarn.  Keep warm, Margaret :)

Listen, can you hear the....waves?

Here is a layout I created for a challenge over at Soul Scrappers - it is a one word challenge and the word is 'listen'.   Here is my layout:
On my recent holiday north I stayed a couple of nights in a cabin at Corindi Beach caravan resort on the way up and loved it so much I stayed for 3 nights on the way home. I left my home early and it was 2 degrees!!!  How do I know that?  Well, as I was driving a strange light came on dashboard of my first thought......I paid so much to have my car serviced before I left, was is wrong? When I could I pulled over, checked the manual and the light comes on when the outside temperature is below 5 degrees....looked at the ambient temperature and sure it was 2 degrees.   It stayed that way until many kilometres up the motorway.   Arriving at Corindi it was 19 degrees!!!  So warm.  I had many beach wanders, I saw dolphins and whales in the distance.  Can you hear the waves?  I wish I could articulate just how beautiful the sound was.  The good thing - I could hear the waves from my cabin and they serenaded me to sleep each evening.
I have used Kaisercraft range called Coastal Escape - and this is just what I had!  I have distressed the papers, added some stamping (the eagle eyed will notice that I used my favourite Stampin' Up! Gorgeous Grunge stamps. 
Thank you for looking, can't wait for warmer weather so I can walk on the beach just up from home - it is cold today here - looking at these photos makes me warm though.
Thanks for looking, Margaret :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hello - this is the life!

I just could not resist doing another layout for ARTastic Challenge Blog.  This time I have gone for a fun layout.  At Maleny Dairy, in the hinterland of Sunshine Coast, Queensland they had this cut out where you could have your photo taken.  My friend Mel (right) and I (left) decided that we needed to be there and do that. Here is the layout:
It still meets the country/rural theme of the challenge.  The colour in real life is much brighter unfortunately I have had to take this inside.  
Thank you for looking, I hope you managed a smile looking at us being "udderly" funny.
Margaret :)

Rural beauties.

Well, here I am back after some holidays - I headed to northern New South Wales and Queensland following the M1 motorway.
Today, I have completed a layout for a challenge over at ARTastic Challenge blog.
We were to be inspired by a pastel landscape called "Spring Frost Study by Elioth Gruner, with the added criteria of country/rural theme.   My photo (photos I have used two 5" x 7") was taken when with friends I visited the Maleny Dairy, in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  As soon as I saw these cows resting in the field I was immediately saying 'this is the photo I want for the challenge'.  Click on the image and you will see cows enjoying some winter sun.
I have made the fringe to represent the grass.  The top fringe I made by swiping distress ink in two colour onto a light tan cardstock.  Here is a close up of the fringe, the twine in two colours just does not show up very well in this photo:
Here is the inspiration photo, it was created in pastels and was a scene at Emu Plains, NSW.  My research shows that Gruner was identified as a painter who could capture light so magnificiently.
July inspiration is Spring Frost Study by Elioth Gruner
Thank you for looking, more layouts to come from my holiday.  Margaret

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mixed Media travels with Margaret!

Cold here today, maybe the coldest day of year so far, so why not spend time inside and get my mixed media on.   I am participating in an Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap with Mixed Media as the guideline. Here are my ATC cards. I had fun creating these.
How did I make them?  The first thing was I brayered acrylic paints onto old book pages. I have not used brayer for a long time - good to get it out and use it.  The book was old, brittle and showed signs of age.
The book "Travels with Charley" I got it for 20c at a flea market.  I have used it on cards previously. Do you see my reference to my title of this post?  A love that it says a "vivid kaleidoscope" so this was what aided my search for just right colours of paint.
Next, I made my own tape - washi style.  I found this fabulous video by Mixed Media Morsels on how to make your own painted tape.   I watched the video, was captivated and decided to give it a try. You lay strips of masking tape down on waxed paper and go to town with paints, inks, markers, stamps. Thank you Cat for a great video.
In the photo above you will see a small brown cardboard tube used to make circle marks.  A little story about this.  I ducked out this morning to get some masking tape and groceries.  Well, as I approached the sales assistant at grocery store he had to change the tape in his register, he threw the roll into the bin - I asked could have the roll, he looked at me strangely and got the roll for me - 'what the' I can hear him say!!!!
After this was dry I pealed off the tape, and applied to my base ATC. Our tape must be wider than in United States so I needed to tear it and I think it gives great character.
Finally, finished off with some distressed cheesecloth that I had coloured with ink, a thought stamped onto paint scraps from when I finished with each colour onto separate piece of card the sequins for a bit of bling.
Here is a close up of some of the cards:

I thoroughly enjoyed making these ATC's, I had a smile on my face as they came together.
Thank you for looking,  and I love the quote that follows, it sums up mixed media don't you think? Margaret :)

“Often she felt as though she had been picked up and turned about like a kaleidoscope, that all her complacent assumptions had been shaken up and reassembled in a different order”. Judith Lennox, All my sisters.     

Friday, June 24, 2016

My sisters blind challenge

Settle back this is going to be a long post.  My sister is currently in France and she emailed me saying she had found a scrapbooking magazine (all in French) and she loved one of the layouts. So she set me a blind challenge to replicate the layout.  She will send me photo of the one in the magazine when I send her these.  Yes I did two layouts - let me show then and then I will set out the instructions she sent. Both photos from our holidays last December.  Can one have too much of Paris?

The email instructions and my asides:
1. Imagine a white textured page e.g. raised dots (now I did not have this so I have gone with plain white) and in your mind divide it into 9 equal parts 3 x 3
2. Sew a line of 5 rows (2 to be zig zag) down approx. right 3rd of page.  Note : not all lines have to go to the bottom, at least 2 shorter. (I left some threads dangling)
3. in the middle going across the pages use the gold paint I gave you from Singapore, was it called dimensions, and cover roughly the area with sponge some could be stenciled to. Don't worry about going over imaginary lines. (Yes, the paint was called Art Anthology Dimensional Paint BUT it was chocolate with glitter highlights, so I did another layout - Paris - using Faber-Castell Texture Luxe in Gold that she also got in Singapore).
4. Matt a photo that has gold tones with white cardstock and place over the gold painted area towards the right side of the middle area. Maybe don't go to the edge of the page leave some room for an overlapping word or small quote.
5. Can place something fine in black to the left of the photo, middle area, even overlapping eg some black washi tape with birds or something fitting to the photo.
6. Sew on a large white word to the left of photos, hopefully gold paint will show it off.  Now there was no way I was going to SEW a word so I opted for a "Remember" rubon and Paris that has been white embossed.  Stamps from Fun Stampers Journey.
7. Can place a smaller word to the bottom left corner overlapping photo.   I went for stars that I got in Germany and a wood veneer angel I got in Cornwall, England on our holiday.
8. To finish scatter some small gold stars and black paint splatter.  I did, in fact, do this step after paint had dried. The stars are a mask and the splatters my favourite Gorgeous Grunge stamp, both from Stampin Up.
9. The layout had black writing on top left hand corner of page overlapping gold slightly. This confused me as there was no instruction to put gold up there.....
10. Good luck, I will send you a photo of this lovely page once you show me the page you made and I will bring or send the magazine home as it has some lovely pages.
Here are some closer up images of both layouts.
Thank you for patiently reading through this post and thank you to Heather for an interesting challenge.  Margaret :)

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”  Joss Whedon

Sunday, June 19, 2016

More Make Amazing Happen

For quite awhile I have been getting emails from Splitcoast Stampers (SS), I must admit that I usually just quickly peruse and think 'one day'.   Well, that day has come.  They are currently have some challenges running and this card is for one of them - Watercolour technique must use gold on your card.  Here is my card.
It is similar to the one I posted earlier today - of course it is.  I made that card for SS challenge only to realise when I went to upload it to their blog I HAD NOT USED GOLD.   Okay, back to the paint and brush I went.  This time I have used gold embossing - challenge met (tick).
It is wet here today so a great day to spend indoors creating cards and scrapbook pages.
Thank you for looking, Margaret :)

Make Amazing Happen

I have decided to play along with a challenge over at Pixels and Paper challenge blog - here is my layout.  The challenge was to use distressing in some form on your layout.
On the recent long weekend I travelled up to Brisbane to Scrapbook and Paper Expo and one of the classes I did with Beck Beattie was playing with all different backgrounds using watercolour paints. This background was made by sweeping 3 colours from a palette of watercolour paints across the white background. See photo below for what I mean by a palette.  I think I got these many years ago in America and have never used them.....until today.
The photo is of Beck Beattie and I taken on the weekend.

I then coloured some whitecard stock with the colours I used for background and a green to make the flowers and leaves and to embellish the title "Make Amazing Happen".  I used my scissors to distress the edges, then scrunched them up, then sprayed with water and allowed to dry. Some random inking and an inked border, thread and beads.  The hardest part for me was adhering the beads!!!  Let's just say they are everywhere, the stuck to my hands and anything that I tried to help me place them!
I also made a card using same techniques but ditched the beads!! Haha.
The stamps and die cut are from a set by Richard Garay (RG) from America.  Richard and his wife are the founders of a direct selling stamp company in the USA - Fun Stampers Journey.  I have been lucky enough to meet Richard and many of the staff during previous visits to the US.  Unfortunately, his products are not sold here in Australia.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Clean and Simple Cards

A couple of cards I have made recently.  The first, below, is a technique called "Cracked Glass".  Now, I first saw this done many years ago, it one of those techniques that I kept on the back burner, I tried several times to get a result I was happy with.  This card I am happy with!!!  Glossy paper, distress inks, low tack tape and cotton balls to apply the coloured ink and a few stamps.  
The card below is super, super clean and simple - bubble wrap inked up and applied.  How easy is that!  You could vary it by using another colour ink with it or even cut the bubble wrap into a heart, oval etc etc.
Thank you looking.
Have a great weekend, Margaret :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A high tea as high as me......

A layout I created for a mood board challenge at Shop and Crop Scrapbooking. Click on the link and join the Facebook Group and get involved in challenges that they will post. 
This week I got an email from Splitcoast Stampers and they had a tutorial on how to complete a starburst card.  I thought why not try as a scrapbook layout.   I loved the colours on the mood board below (unfortunately the colours on my layout do not look as bright due to light when I just took the photo - I will try again in the day tomorrow).  The photograph was taken when my sister and I went to a high tea and as I stood up it was the right angle to show the entire plate of goodies.
A close up of the Glimmer Mist I applied to the layout.  There are a lot of mists around these days and since I purchased this pink mist but I always seem to come back to this one.

The mood board for inspiration.
Definitely celebrate your life with colour everyday.
Thank you for a great challenge,  Margaret :)

Long weekend adventure

This past weekend in Australia was a long one - Queen's Birthday - and I decided at relatively the last minute to go to Scrapbook and Paper Expo in Brisbane, Queensland.  I took the train on Friday - it left Gosford at 4pm and got into Brisbane at 5.30am.  A taxi to my accommodation in South Brisbane, a quick nap, shower and some breakfast I was off to the Convention Centre. 
I had booked into several classes and here is some of what I created:
I did a class with the fabulous Fiona Paltridge "All my heart" - here is my heart. Great techniques and lots of layering,, gessoing (if there is such a word), spraying, etc - so many techniques thank you Fiona.  
 Layout created with Colour Blast product.   I need to add a photo and a title.
Close up of the cheesecloth that we coloured with Colour Blast Spray - I love how you can see the layers underneath the fabric it really 'popped' the colour.
I did two classes with the equally fabulous Beck Beattie - here is the layout I created in her class "Textural Effects Mixed Media". Again I need a photo and title to be added.
A close up of some of the effects on the page - embossed foil, gesso stenciling, mica chips, metal embossing.  Also Beck has created her own powdered water colour paints and you can see them here in the colouring of the gesso and also on the corrugated paper (that also has gesso applied). Thank you Beck.
And here I am with Beck.  I have not yet finished the cards the completed in my other class with Beck but stayed tuned.
I took the train back to Gosford, arriving at 5.30am again and repeated my earlier steps, back home, cup of tea, and straight to bed for a much need nap.   Talk about jet lag I have invented a new lag - 'choo choo lag'.
Thanks for looking, Margaret :) 
Now fully rested and ready for whatever adventures come my way.


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