Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree....

After many years I have got a new larger Christmas tree.  My wish is that you all have a blessed holiday time this year and a fantastic new year.   My tree is full of decorations collected from around the world, a great reminder of happy times spent with family and friends.  Margaret

Advent Calendar layout

The final part of making my sister's advent calender was to complete a layout for my records.  I have used some of the paper and embellishments that I used to create her advent calender.  Of course, she has not yet opened all the envelopes but she is liking all the little gifts and especially the sayings I have put in each day. I have printed out the sayings and put into the bag on my layout.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mini calenders

Making these mini calenders with the offcuts of paper not used on recently made Advent Calender. Making them as an alternative Christmas card for friends. The calender blocks are 'wonky' as that is how them came from manufacturer - doesn't worry me at all.  Not long now until 2014.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December challenge 1 at SFS

The current challenge over at Scrapbooking from Scratch is a 1-2-3-4 challenge.  For this first challenge:
  • use ONE photo
  • you need a TWO word title
  • you need THREE embellishments (I have used rub-ons, pearls, washi tape of crowns)
  • you need FOUR papers
This photo captured the exact moment my aunt and uncle, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage this year, were told by their daughters that they had got a card from Queen Elizabeth. Hence the crown washi tape which my sister purchased for me in Hong Kong..
As well they got cards from local, state and federal members of parliament and Governor of NSW and Governor General.  They have had them all mounted in a frame with Queen Elizabeth's in centre.
A special day and a definitely a special moment for them.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Advent calendar 2013

Advent Calendar 2013 for my sister
This is an advent calender I have made this week for my sister - I am delivering it today to her home and it is a surprise for her.
I have made each day from Stampin'Up! (r) Designer Series paper or used their Tag a Bag Gift Bags. The envelopes are made using Envelope Punch Board (of course, with the exception of the Sour Cream container for Day 9).  I have used a variety of embellishments (some not SU) to decorate each day. I did not have numbers that I liked so I searched the internet and found this free download of numbers which just matched the paper perfectly.
Each day has a little gift inside (I spent no more than $3 on each gift and the hunt was on to find small items that I knew would mean something to her) and a Christmas saying I sourced from the Internet.  One bag has chocolate - I was very restrained - wasn't I !!!
Here is a close up of several of the bags and they will go in a box I got from a discount store - wall space being a premium in her home and I am going to put it on her dining table.

I had fun making it - hope she likes it.   Margaret

From Wikipedia -An Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of  Christmas.  Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are usually 24: one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, poem, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest designer ARTastic Challenges

I am a guest designer over at ARTastic Challenges  this month.  The inspiration is this mixed media work titled Listen by New Zealander, Jenny Grant.  The criteria for the month was free choice, make of this what you will.

Mixed media (according to Ebay) is loosely defined as any work of art that uses more than one medium.  I loved the colours, the writing you can see peeping through and that hair effect.  I am relatively new to this mixed media application for scrapbooking and initially I was what - 'scared' to put ideas onto paper. After deciding to use a brick stencil/mask, Impasto medium and Gelato's painted on after medium had dried and then sprinkled with salt.  I played around with three variations of these until I got the background I wanted. In this case a patterned paper already with writing and flowers on it and a thick layer of Impasto medium. I wanted to match the different clothes and hair colours of us all.  
These are some of my beautiful female cousins, my sister (on right) and me (on left) - my brother was supposed to be in the photo as well but he ducked down at the last moment.  I found the quote on the internet and went to town with all the flower embellishments in my stash - paper, fabric, button, brads, rubons.  Below is a close up of the brick and Impasto background and some of the flowers.

Thank you ARTastic Challenges for challenging me once again and please head over to their blog and participate in their challenges - if not this one why not the next.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh la la - Paris cards

Paris cards
These cards were inspired by Alanna Paterson, I do not have a blog address for her, so thank you Alanna. I have made the card in both Whisper White and Very Vanilla cardstock.  I have used two new in-colours inks from Stampin'Up!(r) - Baked Brown Sugar and Strawberry Slush (what a great name!)  and for the background have used Gorgeous Grunge stamp set and Very Vintage Large Wheel.  The Eiffel Tower is from a no longer available stamp set.  Washi tape was from my stash. Ironically the pink flower ribbon was purchased in Paris many years ago and has obviously been sitting just waiting for the right cards.  I have not mounted the CS with the image I have simply run around the edge with Strawberry Slush.
I think the card is very Shabby Chic and Vintage what do you think?
Merci, thank you for looking, Margaret.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pinwheel card

This is the second card my class made today (first was Grandmothers Flower Garden that I posted earlier in the week).
Pinwheel Birthday Card
I was inspired by a card at  I do not have a pinwheel die so for this card, I created the pinwheel.  I played around with various sizes and ultimately settled on a 2" x 2" square, drew lines as shown, measured about 14/16th (about a third along the line) then using my hole punch punched holes as seen. Not sure how to do it?  There are instructions around on the web to follow.
The DSP is Stampin'Up! Epic Day This and That. Now, I must confess when I got home I did think it was a little plain, so I did a quick spritz of my home made spritz using SU Stampin' Spritzer and some retired re-inker top and bottom of the card.
As always in my classes the ladies had an option of choosing their greeting to make it relevant to them and their proposed recipient of the card.
Constructing the pinwheel
Thanking for looking, Margaret.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grandmothers Flower Garden card

Many years ago - too many years ago to mention here - I attended my first patchwork class and the first block that I made was Grandmothers Flower Garden.  The pattern was used by Persian and Indian quilters for centuries before the Crusaders took it by to Europe - now I don't go back as far as the Crusades just in case you were wondering!!
I became enthralled with patchwork after this first lesson and many years later I became a patchwork teacher and the first block I would teach, of course, was Grandmothers Flower Garden. Students would start off by creating their own hexagons with a compass.  Years later there became available templates you could buy already in the shape of hexagons. Example of a quilt using hexagons.  You can just imagine Grandmother walking  the green path around the flower beds or maybe my maternal grandmother walking the strawberry patch eating the strawberries on her way around the garden.
Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt
Today, I made this card using Stampin' Up! (r) hexagon punch - so much easier than drawing your own shapes.  I have used Epic Day This and That Designer Series Paper from Stampin' Up! and the Honeycomb embossing folder.
Grandmothers Flower Garden card
My class on Friday will be making this card and I know some of the ladies are patchworkers so I hope they enjoy making the card as much as I had fun creating it.   Margaret

A card and playing around with inks and paper.

This card is inspired by a card created by Kerry Crocker (not sure if Kerry reads my blog or if she has a blog I can link this to).  It uses non-traditional stamps, in this case Betsy's Blossoms by Stampin' Up!(r) and retired SU inks.  The WOW factor in this card is the clear embossing and sponging over the embossed images and surrounds - the photograph captures the embossing magnificently.  Why not consider using non-traditional Christmas stamps on your next project?   This was created for a class I taught recently at a local community centre and the ladies had the option to put another greeting and several put Happy Birthday.
Christmas card using non-traditional Christmas Stamps
During last week I played around with Gelato crayons and using patterned paper from my stash, I rubbed crayons on the top of the paper, spritzed with water and allowed it to drip by holding paper up for a short time.  I then applied salt whilst still dry and the salt absorbs the moisture and leaves speckles of colour.  Now, I am new to this mixed media type backgrounds and so I am still playing and experimenting.
Playing with Gelatos on patterned paper
Thank you for looking, have a great week,  Margaret

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sharing more layouts

The following layout is another I have been delaying getting on paper.  Last year I had the scariest ride in a plane en-route Los Angeles to Memphis, storms made the plane divert to Little Rock, Arkansas. It was indeed a white knuckle ride for me.  I was glad when finally we finally landed in Memphis.  I think my red face says it all.  I have used very old rubons from my stash to embellish the page.
LAX to Memphis the scary way!!!
These photos were taken in 2010 when I was was teaching at a language college in Sydney and as teachers we taught our class to sing Christmas Carols.  My class did "Santa Claus is coming to town".
Having fun - Christmas 2010
This layout was for a colour challenge held on the weekend. Pinks, blues, orange, black and lime green were the colours.  We had to select at least 3 of the colours to use on a layout.   How many times do you take a photo and think the first one is not what you (or others in the photo) wanted and then take a more serious shot?
Now this layout was a complete 360 degree turn for me.  We were shown by one of the participants how to use what you have on your desk to complete a layout and how to use up those "ugly" papers that you may have in your stash from years ago.  The ugly papers were the pink and blue that you see, we were shown how to use tissue paper to soften (or hide) the papers, doodle the edges and much more.  I then went to town. I first used an off cut of the butterflies I had punched out and used them as a mask as I sprayed dye over the mask. Then I started to lay down the papers (including old book pages), tissue paper that I scrunched up, I punched out the heart bottom left,and put some scrunched up blue paper behind the heart, the left over heart punch went onto the layout.  Then I took it all to the machine and stitched it all down.  Then the fun part attaching the embellishments, Washi tape, bits of ribbon I had, flowers, rhinestones, punched butterflies from another layout I had down that day.  Around the edges I put some stickers from a pack I had in my weekend stash.   I was very pleased with the layout - what do you think?
Me in 2013. 
This final layout was a challenge where we were given a stack of papers and some embellishments and a sketch - I got the flocked white "YOU" and the ribbon you see. You had to use all of the papers in your layout.  I love this photo of my brother and his wife taken last year.  The flocked "YOU" was iron-on and it initially posed a problem - no irons available but a light bulb moment saw me using a heat gun and back of a punch and it worked.  I made the flower with a large scalloped punch. I like the application of gold glimmer mist to the black CS as it gives the illusion of sunlight.
North Wollongong Beach, 2012.
Thanks to the ladies on my table who shared their supplies with me and gave me ideas and shared their experiences.
Thank you for looking, now back to designing some cards................Margaret

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Layouts galore

As promised in earlier post, here are more layouts I completed the past weekend at the retreat.
The first was a layout completed in a blind challenge where you are given the instructions for a layout but don't get to see what it looks like.
Christmas 2010
These photos have been laying on my desk waiting for inspiration to put them down on paper.  I think it was the multiple colours of what we are wearing that held me back.  Finally, did the layout.  We have been friends for what seems forever. Us girls all went to the same high school, although none of us really knew each other there.  We have been there for each other through many of life's ups and downs.
This is a photo of my parent's wedding reception in 1948.  I was inspired by a layout in Scrapbook Trends, March 2010.  I cut 1/4" strips of paper, angled off one edge and then applied them to background cardstock (CS).  I was rather uniform in my strip placement (as it seemed to suit the era of the photo) however it would work just as well if they were randomly placed strips (must try that at some stage).
1948 wedding reception at Hornsby Masonic Hall (now demolished)
This layout uses a new technique I learned at the retreat.   I first used Impasto Medium and spread it into a mask with little flowers.  Leave this to dry (you could speed up the process with a heat gun if wanted). When dry I used Gelato's to colour/paint the flowers. I placed a pearl inside each flower.  I initially did just a few pearls but I felt it needed each flower having a pearl.  It looks rather Laura Ashley I think.  Now it was a 6" mask and I did not quite match the design so a bit of Washi Tape applied to co-ordinating CS down he centre did the trick.  The photos were taken in a quaint English tea shop we found in Redcliffe, Queensland.
A little bit of England in Queensland
 At this angle you can see the raised effect that the Impasto Medium gives.
Detail of the Impasto Medium
Thank you for looking, I will have more shortly to share with you...............Margaret

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scrapbooking from Scratch retreat

After a week and half of illness, I recovered sufficiently to attend this retreat this past weekend.  Here are a couple of photos of the sunsets over Lake Macquarie, where the retreat was held. There was still the smoke haze from bushfires in the area in the preceding week.
Thursday @ sunset
Friday @ sunset
Saturday @ sunset (my favourite)
As well as enjoying the sunsets I did manage to scrap some layouts - here is one, with more to follow in later blog posts.
This layout was done in a class at the retreat.  The white CS had Gesso applied, left to dry and then Gelato crayon sticks used for the background (unfortunately it does not come up clear in this photo), the resulting streaks of Gelato's where then diluted with a baby wipe as I went around and around in a circle motion. Washi tape, a stamp of leaves coloured with Gelato's and a titlel complete the page of my cousin Julie and I. There is about 10 years difference in our ages (me being the elder) and we have been close over the years.  All our lives we have got "Julie is just like Margaret" or "Margaret is just like Julie" and you can definitely see the family resemblance in this photo taken in May this year. Love you Julie.
More layouts to come....................thank you for looking

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guest designer ARTastic Challenges

I have just received an email  from ARTastic saying that I have been invited as a guest designer in November, for a scrapbooking layout I submitted in September - Elephant Appreciation Day.  Of course,  I said yes.  Love elephants even more now...haha.  I am feeling rather poorly today - head cold etc so this made my day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to Stampin' Up!

I have bitten the bullet and decided to rejoin Stampin' Up! (r).  It has been a few years and they have special joining offer of $25 at the moment as part of their 25th Anniversary.
Are you interested in joining?  This offer ends and all paper work must be in by 21 October, 2013.  For more information go to Stampin' Up!  I signed up on-line and it was easy as to do.
Now can't wait to get my goodies to play with.  Put me Margaret Crawford as your upline/demonstrator and I will only be too pleased to guide you through the wonders of paper crafting.

Cards for the Australian Armed Forces.

For several years now I have been making Christmas Cards for our Australian troops overseas.  Yesterday, I attended the yearly event organised by Karen Cumming to make more cards.  It was a great day once again.  Contact Karen if you would like to become involved next year and check out more photos taken yesterday.
Me cutting cardstock for a card. Photo by Karen Cumming
Some of the ladies who made cards on the day. Photo by Karen Cumming

Here are some cards I made this year for this great cause.
Some I have ready shown on my blog - check out the following link.
Others, I have made from bits and pieces I had in my stash and some used donated product from friends - thank you if you recognise your donation. Santa Suit card which was designed by Karen.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life is good

Scrapbooking from Scratch (SFS) has a series of monthly challenges.  One of them is a quote challenge and the quote this month is "Life is good".  This is the first time I have participated in one of their challenges.
In August I moved from Sydney to Central Coast of NSW and life is certainly good in this part of the world. My nephew, who stayed with me recently, took a series of photos of Umina Beach and Google created this montage of the photos he took - I love the photo and I hope I have done it justice with my layout.
Firstly, I used a Clear Scraps mask called Chicken Wire and onto white cardstock I sponged it (well, really I used a makeup remover pad as I could not find my sponge!) with Stampin' Up! (SU) Brilliant Blue ink and then went hunting for papers that would add movement to my layout.  The papers come from various companies. I then tore the papers to reveal the white core - top to resemble the clouds and bottom to resemble waves.I then cut out some tulle and tied a knot in it.  I used stamps that came free with a scrapbooking magazine and stamped in SU Creamy Caramel.  I cut them out, scrunched them up and applied with either glue dots or dimensionals. A little bit more stamping of the shells on the bottom papers. Some Colorbok Glitzy Gems for sparkle.  At the top I highlighted some of the sponging and added more sparkle - I could not just leave just a couple in the pack for later could I. The title used some old brown (even though it looks like black) rubons.
Close up of the stamped shells, gems and tulle. And looking close up that paper resembles sand - well done me.........
Thank you for looking and I hope life is good for you right now.  Margaret.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Selfie - beach walk style.

I have recently moved to the Central Coast of NSW and one of the things I have rediscovered is -  I love a walk along the beaches.   Today we are expecting hot and windy weather (and it is only Spring here in Australia), so I was out early for my walk.
Here is my selfie - beach walk style. 
It has already got to 32C today.
Keep cool everyone.   Margaret

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Keep calm and stamp on

Wow 2nd challenge post today - on a roll !!!
When I was last in Las Vegas I went to a Rubber Stamp Convention and one of the people I met there was Rose - a Journey Coach (Representative) from Fun Stampers Journey.  Rose runs a challenge each week and this week it was to use one of their doily stamps (or a paper doily) to create a card.  You need to use their products. Now Fun Stampers Journey does not ship to Australia but I was able to gather (read buy) a few supplies together of their products before I left USA.  This stamp is one of theirs it is called "Stamp On". I used a paper doily and I have distressed it and the edges of all the cardstock (CS) with ink. I used blue CS as I find this a very calming colour.  A little bit of bling in the centre of the flower on the main image completes the card.  You could use dimensionals to raise the greeting but as this card will more than likely be on its way to another friend in US I did not use them.

Elephant Appreciation Day

Over at ARTastic Challenges their current challenge is "quirky and fun". Now this did stump me for awhile. So off to do research I went.  First I looked up quirky and found the following definition "having or full of quirks",  not much help there.  So I looked for words that would describe quirky and came up with far-out, kinky, off-beat, way-out, odd, bizarre, off-the-wall, peculiar, strange, unconventional, unusual, wacky and weird. Okay, feeling more inspired.
Next, the word bizarre kept jumping around in my head - then why not bizarre holidays in September. So off to I went to research bizarre holidays in September.  2nd September National Beheading Day - I think not!!!  22nd September Elephant Appreciation Day.  Appropriate as I had photos from a trip to San Diego Zoo in November 2012 yet to be scrapped.
Again back to Google this time I typed in words to describe elephants and found the words above that I printed onto Grey cardstock together with my title.   I ran my black stamp pad around the edges of all the papers.  That fun Bo Bunny elephant standing on the title is quirky in his/her own way. Some Candi Hardware dots and ribbon I found during my holiday in US complete the layout.  I had fun completing this layout and stretching my brain into the researching the topic.

The postcard I purchased at the Zoo and it is full of elephant facts. Did you know?
  • An elephant's skin is so sensitive that it can feel a fly landing on it.
  • Elephants use their trunks to drink but the water does not go all the way up the trunk like a straw. Instead, the elephant sucks water part of the way up the trunk, curls it toward its mouth, tilts its head up, and lets the water pour in.
  • The low, resounding calls elephants make can be heard by another elephant up to 5 miles (8km) away.
  • Elephants have been relentlessly hunted for their tusks, even though the tusks are made of dentine - the same as our teeth!
Finally, I would like to recommend a book that I read last year - The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony.  Learning about love, loyalty and freedom from a herd of wild elephants.  A great read.
Another book I have read with elephants as the main theme would have to be Like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

So on 22nd September this year and every year that follows remember to appreciate the elephant.... Thank you for looking today.   Margaret

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crocodiles with pink eyes - why not?

The current challenge over at The Lollipop Ladies is Crocodile sweets with the added challenge of washi tape. See inspiration image below.
I fell in love with the colours - very gelato don't you think?  So I went hunting for a crocodile stamp and the only one I could find was a foam rubber stamp (thanks to Fiona who recently donated her excess stash so I could make and donate scrapbook pages to Southern Cross Kids Camps and this stamp was included - more on that later).I randomly stamped the image and then fussy cut 3 other images and applied them with dimensionals.  The Epic Day this and that Designer Washi Tape from current Stampin' Up! (r) catalogue reminded me of caution tape. And the pink eyes are just so cute...
Why not hop over to their blog and have a go - prizes to be won if sufficient entries received.
Here is the inspiration:

with the additional challenge of Washi.

Friday, August 30, 2013

What have I been doing the past month?

Earlier this month I completed the sale of my home and the purchase of a new one.  I have settled in now and have just about unpacked all my cardmaking/scrapbooking supplies.
Today, I taught a cardmaking class at a local craft group and here are the cards I designed especially for the class. Whilst waiting for all attendees to get to the class, I like to get students to make a gift card of some sort.  This week it was a 3" x 3" card. They made only one card.   The butterfly stamp is from Penny Black and the flower card is Stampin' Up! (r) (SU) Elements of Style set.  You stamp across the card, fold, add a bit of bling and a greeting - a quick and easy card.

The next card, of which there are many variations around in blog land, uses punched edges (or decorative scissors) to create a ruffled look to the card.   This design could be used for birthday, wedding or thank you cards.  It is a simple card but it does take a little time to punch all the edges.
This is another version of the same card with a technique suitable to those unable to use punches.  It features torn edges.
The next card they made is this watercolour technique.  A longtime favourite of mine.  It uses SU stamp set Inspired by Nature (it has retired from their range sadly).  It features spritzing on the background and tag.  The technique is simple - use SU markers to colour the large flower image then spritz lightly with water and then place down on to cardstock.  I used regular CS but you could also use watercolour artists paper. This technique is better suited to large block images rather than say the finer images in Elements of Style stamp above.  The colour has not been captured well it here, the colour is more Elegant Eggplant (purple) than what appears to be blue here. Another technique that is simple but effective.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these cards designed especially for today's class. .
It is back to cardmaking and scrapbooking for me - between walking on the beach of course.  Catch you later, Margaret.


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