Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Decorative jar/vase

Earlier today I made these cute little decorative jars/vases - shabby chic/vintage style from some small bottles I had (they are about 7.5cm/4" tall).  I decorated them with a paper band, some lace, ribbon, twine and a charm.  
I did ink the edges of the paper with Tea Dye Ranger Distress Ink.  The charms I have had for years.
Too cute, don't you think.   These are being donated to raise funds for a local church that my sister attends.  The crocheted doily (from a set) was made by an aunt for my 21st many, many years ago and I still use them to this day. 
Not longer after finishing these a headache was upon - and no not as a result of making these!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mystical Scrapbooks March Challenges

I have completed two more challenge pages today - both for Mystical Scrapbooks. 
1st challenge - Monochromatic Challenge - one colour with a minimum of white, black, kraft and grey.
I went with pink.  The second night of my Trafalgar Tour Enchanting Maritimes was Fredericton, News Brunswick, Canada.  We stayed at Delta hotel and after dinner I went back to the room - on closing the curtains/drapes I saw this awesome sunset over Saint John River.  I love how the pink papers really highlighted the pink that was in the sunset.
2nd challenge -we had to incorporate  3 x squares in whichever way you want; 5 x rectangles in whichever way you want and 6 x circles used as embellishments.  Here is my layout:
It has no photo on it (it will go in the rectangle bottom left) as I will be using this layout for a planned holiday to Europe and England later this year.  I have mostly used items from Boarding Pass range by October Afternoon. This is a close up of some of the layout showing some of the required uses of shapes.
Thanks for some fun challenges - why not head over to Mystical Scrapbooks and participate in their upcoming April challenges.  Margaret.

Daily routine in Kunming/Dali

I am anticipating a busy few days over the next week as Easter approaches - visiting family and friends visiting.  So I am taking this opportunity today to catch up on a few layouts and challenges.
This layout is for a challenge over at Soul Scrappers called 'From Screen 2 to Scrap".
Here is my layout, the photo was taken on a visit to Kunming/Dali, Yunnan Province, China on 2 October, 2008.  In 2008 had the opportunity to teach Business English for a year at Xiangtan University in Hunan Province, China.  On spring break, and other holidays I travelled to many places in China.
I was drawn to this man threshing wheat by hand - I suppose we get so used to seeing machines being used here in Australia that I marveled at this man's daily routine (see stamp under photo which is strobing in this photo - wonderful sun streaming in today).   The patterned paper was sitting on my table from another layout and I was drawn to what appeared to be wheat seeds on 2 of the papers (green and orange)  The misting also reminds of the seeds going every which way.
And here is the challenge inspiration - a Japanese movie poster - Sympathy for Lady Vengence.
We were additionally challenged to use White cardstock background; black title and/or black stamping; long triangles (at least 4) from coloured patterned paper and a single person or single person in black and white photo.
Now a little secret - I am triangle challenged!!!   On my first attempt to do a layout - my triangles looked - well how do I say it - awful.   I put it down to mathematics not being my first choice of most popular subject - I was much better at Needlework, Home Economics, English and Social Studies - at school. 
I have lots of triangles of paper now but they will be put to good use on the scrapbook pages I complete for Southern Cross Kids Camps - so all is not lost!!!
Thank you for looking - see you "reel" (pun intended) soon.   Margaret :)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A clean and simple Thank You.

A clean and simple card I have created using all Stampin'Up! (r) products.  I have die cut the circle and the greeting/glitter flash.  It was inspired by a card that was in a previous SU publication. 
The card is suitable for mass production - and this is just what I wanted as I put together kits for a group of ladies to make cards for a local church fete in May. You could change the greeting to suit your occasion.  Suitable for all skill levels. Such a bright and happy card.
Thank you for stopping by, have a great day, a wonderful autumn day is shaping up here on the Central Coast of New South Wales.   Margaret :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Another fun challenge over at Soul Scrappers.  For this challenge we had to have completed a number of their February challenges and then expressed our interest in this challenge.  We were sent a pack of mixed embellishments and we were challenged to complete a canvas, layout or OFP (Off the Page project) anything a all as long as we used as many of the bits and bobs we received. Here is what I received:
 And here is my layout.  It would have to be the most embellished layout I have done in a long time.
On Australia Day, 2013 my sister and I were in Carcoar, NSW.  Carcoar is a picturesque town that has been classified by the National Trust. It is 3rd oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains. It has a population of approximately 200.  Each Australia Day they hold a fair - it was awesome to walk around.
For my layout I first sprayed Kraft cardstock with Tsukineko Walnut Ink (in itself as old as time, one of the first sprays/mists introduced), then using Kaisercraft Clock Template I sponged with Tea Dye Distress Ink.  And then using the same ink I went to town and distressed, distressed and distressed the embellishments. I chose the strip of printed paper as it reminded me of pressed tin ceilings that are in the older buildings.
Close up showing the spray and some of the distressing. I could just see the lady shopping for a new hat in the emporium in the past.
 Close up of more distressing and masking.
Thank you for looking, I had fun trying to work out just how the embellishments would fit. Margaret

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Looking up, down and back

Layout for another challenge over at Soul Scrappers -for your assignment I would like you to create a travel layout. It doesn't necessarily need to be 'international' just create something from photos that were taken outside your local neighborhood. 

I had these photos still be put onto paper from my holiday in USA last year.
My friend Laura (from Jefferson City, Missouri) and I visited a fantastic museum - Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri.  If you ever have the chance to visit it is worthwhile. From the website for the museum I quote:
In 1946 it was at Westminster College (Fulton) that Winston Churchill delivered one of the most significant speeches of his long and illustrious career. That address, formally entitled, The Sinews of Peace, but best known for that evocative phrase, "An Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent" effectively marked the beginning of the Cold War and linked, forever, Fulton and Westminster College with Winston Churchill.
I have hand cut the spirals and used faux stitching to highlight my rather uneven cutting. Now I have had a migraine headache today and the paper and spirals have done nothing to ease it!!!
Thank you looking and why not head over to Soul Scrapers and get involved in some of their fun challenges.   Margaret :)

Monday, March 23, 2015


Another Tic Tac Toe challenge over at Soul Scrappers - see below for the gird.  I chose the middle vertical line - button, gold, string or twine.
I started the background for this last month - it has lain idle - not sure I really like it!!! Why is it that I often don't like these more arty attempts?
This challenge was what started me on putting a photograph on it.
I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam Peach Bellini by first painting it onto a white cardstock and then I tipped the bottle on the top and let it dribble down the page.  A Heidi Swapp glitter gold sticker "Smile".  I then painted a contrast piece of paper with Glimmer Glam to form a photo matt, and at the top I have used flowers, twin and a cotton scalloped ribbon (that I applied some of the glimmer to as well - you can never have too much glitter can you?).   Buttons have twine bows and several smaller buttons were applied. Here is a close up of the sticker and also the background.
Tic Tac Toe selection.
A little about the photo - in 2014 a lot of work was done on the Ettalong Beach foreshore, near where I live.  Included in the redevelopment was several of these workout stations.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I am not at all exercise minded - but it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.  Of course everyone exercises with a handbag, a summer dress and their best flip flops - but I did!!!! 
Why not head over to Soul Scrappers and join in the fun challenges they have.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Old dictionary cards

For sometime I have had in the back of my mind to use old dictionary pages on a card.  Now the trouble is, I believe, that op shops etc destroy any old books not fit for sale and I have not been able to find any in recent times.  However, at a car book sale near where I live, there was a person selling books - a casual do you have any 'old' dictionary or 'old' books - you know the ones yellowing with age - they found a dictionary and a book for me - for the grand sum of 40cents.
Here are the cards I created:
The first card uses Tim Holtz, Stampers Anonymous clear 'man with an umbrella' stamp from Life's Possibilities set.
This card uses unity stamp company girl stamp from Angie Girl Dream with your Heart set.  I did cut the legs of her so that I could put a little bit of lace.
Both cards use a Stampin'Up! greeting, Ranger Distress Ink Vintage Photo, Studio 49 Polka Dotty stencil for art, foam tape to lift greeting/image and a bit of bling.
Now, for a word of warning - BE CAREFUL WHAT PAGES  YOU SELECT FROM A DICTIONARY OR OLD BOOK !!!Look at just what words/definitions are on the page - that is all I am saying.......
My cards were inspired by a card, made by Teresa Abajo, I saw in Australian Simply Cards magazine no 75.  Thank you Teresa and I have thanked her on her blog.
Thanks for looking, Margaret :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The trees were black sentries.

The challenge over at ARTastic Challenges, this month,  is to be inspired by this work by Barbara Hanrahan called The Dog, The Cat.  Criteria was to use a quote or saying.
MARCH inspiration by Barbara Hanrahan
This month at Book Club we were to read a book with a one word title.  I knew in my book collection I had just such a book and so I read "therapy" by Jonathon Kellerman.  A psychological mystery. I was reading Chapter 22, when I saw the quote on my layout - instantly it reminded me of the photos I took on Christmas Day 2014 of Umina Beach, the time was 8.30am.  I then saw this challenge - the mind clicked into gear "that's how I can capture the feeling of this day. Here is my layout:
A very clean and simple layout to achieve - of course it is - but it took me a long time to actually get to this point and then today - it all came together.   On typing the quote into my computer I was drawn to part where he writes "The trees were black sentries".  Sentries are defined in the dictionary as guards - so lightbulb moment get out my new Stampin'Up! (r) stamp set Sheltering Tree and stamp in black ink.  The trees and the quote are raised with foam tape.  And I used the orange and black included in the inspiration photo. The quote:
The morning was moist and gray and oddly fragrant.
Mustaches of haze coiled down from the mountains.
The trees were black sentries.
Too early for birds.
This beach (which I affectionately call 'my beach' as it is just up the road) is usually full of people and dogs at 8.30am walking up and down or swimming but the day was overcast with threatening rain.  It was desolate but beautiful at the same time.
Thank you for looking.  Why not head over to ARTastic Challenges and have a go at the challenge.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday - my first two layouts in 2004

My career speciality was Change Management and in that role, in two major financial institutions, I had the opportunity to travel Australia introducing change programs - usually computer or systems related.  In 2004, I found myself in Bendigo, Victoria for two weeks.  What to do? It was wet and miserable most of the time and after work was completed it was go back to my accommodation and watch television, read etc.  Well one day I saw an advertisement for scrapbooking and card making classes - just the thing - so off I headed to Scrapbook Barn (no longer operating), enrolled in a couple of classes, and then headed off to get some photos printed.  
I obviously had a fascination with punches and I must have purchased the tag punch as I still have it in my supplies.  The addiction began!!!
My second layout was of photos I took on boat ride on the steamer Pevensey.  Located on the banks of the mighty Murray River, the twin towns of Echuca Moama are the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne, an easy two and half hour drive. The historic Port Precinct and Echuca Wharf is recognised as one of Australia's finest heritage icons and is home to the largest riverboat fleet in the world.
The tag is the ticket I was issued with.  I also found an Australian Postage stamp featuring the area that I used.
What is obvious to me is that I still have a fascination of showcasing the photos on a layout, even though in the years after this I ventured into more freer layouts and have even ventured into exploring mixed media on my layouts.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into my past.   Margaret :)

Friday, March 6, 2015


Another fun challenge completed from Soul Scrappers.  Apparently in the USA on 21st February it was "Love your pet day".  So they had a challenge to scrap a layout about your pet.  Well I do not have a pet, nor do I really like animals if the truth be known (sorry pet lovers!!!!).  The only photos I had were ones taken back in July, 2013 when I knitted a coat for a rescued greyhound called Barnabas (Barney) belonging to a then neighbour. Here is my layout and a close up of my journaling. SMILE is an apt title.

In case you are wondering - yes we had pets as children, I remember a dog called "Hoppy" as he only had 3 legs.  Later when I had left home and into my own unit/apartment I did get a bird - well the bird strangled itself on a toy I had purchased for it.  I then got tropical fish - they died, so off I went and got goldfish and you guessed it - they died!!!!  
Thank you for looking.  Why not head over to Soul Scrappers and have a look at their challenges.  Margaret :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blanchard Springs, Arkansas, USA

Today, I completed another challenge over at Soul Scrappers (why not head over there yourself and join their group - lots of interesting challenges).  This challenge was to take this layout by  Alicia Barry which appeared in the Australian Scrapbook Magazine Issue 27 and be inspired by it.
You did not have to use the same paper/embellishments that the designer used.   The idea of the lift challenge is to use the chosen lift layout as a guide and you then put your own interpretation onto the page.  Here is my layout:

There was much to inspire me in the original layout - the tearing, the layering of photos and papers, a large banner and the large circles.   I had these photos of my friend, Carol at Blanchard Springs in Arkansas, that we visiting last year when I was holidaying (vacationing) in the USA.  Carol boldly decided to walk around the rocks to the centre rock!!!  Despite there being a no walking on rocks sign that we saw after she had started the walk.!!!  I delved into my stash of bits and pieces to create the embellishments - I used a die to create the scalloped circles you see - one I put some embossing on and both had ink sponged onto them.  I made the spotted flowers from contrast paper. I used two photos - one of Carol walking to the rock and the one of her in the middle of the spring.
Here is a close up of some aspects of my layout.

My thanks to the original layout designer for her inspiration.   Have a great day - the sun is shining here and it is the 5th day of Autumn (Fall) - all is well with the world.  Margaret.


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