Monday, November 16, 2009

It's all about the garden!

Mikayla and I have just had a VERY busy weekend in the garden... and it was SO worth it! It was good timing too because the Scrapbook Dreams mid-month motivation for November is all about the garden!

Esther has provided the challenge this month (You can check it out HERE) Part 1 is to make a cool little watering can (there's a link to the template on the forum). I made mine out of Oyster Fleck which is a super sturdy cardstock so it's great for OTP projects... and it LOVES ink so I'm a happy scrapper! Here's the front of my watering can:
All the cut out images came from one piece of Webster's paper. I haven't been a bit fan of Websters but their latest stuff is so darn cool! There's some in the Scrapbook Dreams SHOP if you want to have a look! I used the Grow Dreams paper :) Here's a side view of the watering can:
And here's the other side (I used the 'ruler' part of the paper to make my handle):

I had heaps of fun making it too! Great template and easy instructions... gotta love that! Part 2 of the challenge is to create a garden themed layout using Esther's LO as a design. She's even given some cool ideas to use such as:
  • Your garden
  • Somone else's garden
  • City/Town/Botanical garden
  • Children playing in the garden
  • Making of your watering can
  • Lack of garden
  • Planting a garden...

I've decided on the 'planting of a garden' idea and luckily I had the camera around all weekend so now I've got lots of photos to use! For those of you who were following my blog a couple of years ago you might remember when we built the retaining wall... well it never got past 'The wall is built' stage :( Over the past 18 months NOTHING has been done with it so it was looking pretty sad and overgrown... and just plain neglected!

Mikayla had the day off school on Friday so I asked her if she could "Pull out EVERYTHING" in the bottom garden... and she did! Here's what it looked like:

YES the lawn needs mowing! YES I should never have let it get to this stage... and YES I'm doing something about it!!! LOL

On Saturday morning I woke Mikayla up and we went to the local market... it's like a Farmer's Market and packed with all sorts of incredible buys! a couple of weeks ago I got 11 strawberry plants for a fraction of the cost of buying them from the garden centre! This week I bought a few bits and pieces for the bottom garden.

On the way home we did a quick shop at Bunnings and then we got started. First job was to paint the posts of the retaining wall:Next we cracked open ANOTHER can of Liquid Amber stain and gave the fence a spruce up:It looked pretty good for one coat... by that stage we had to pick up Krystal from Spotlight so we didn't do any more because she had no idea what we'd been up to all day (in spite of the fact we had paint on us!)... sometimes having your teenager living in their OWN world can be quite a blessing LOL

On Sunday we did a second coat on the fence:It really made a HUGE difference! Then came all the digging! We got the garden completely weed free... thanks to the new spade from Bunnings! Next we added 4 big bags of compost... that's 160 litres!!!
We got it all turned over:Then we added some weedmat:

And while we were weedmatting it started to RAIN!! Mikayla was all for giving up... but her very mean mother (that would be ME!) made her keep going! We grabbed all the plants and started sitting them on top of the weedmat where we wanted them to go:There's all sorts of plants in there.... see those HUGE gerbera's?? We got them for $6 each at the local market! The mini flax's are small pups I got from some of the other flax plants... there's also some succulents ($5 for 3 at the market)... old fashioned violets ($2 each)... four mini gardenia's for $5 each at Bunnings... and lots of plants that I bought on sale 2 1/2 years ago that NEVER got planted... hopefully they'll all survive now in their new home!
Then we went around and cut slits in the weedmat and got all the plants in the garden... in the RAIN!Next came all the bark! I used big nuggets this time because I quite like the rustic effect of them... and they definitely help keep the weeds down. I had originally bought 5 bags (that's 200 litres of bark!) but ended up having to get three MORE so in total this garden has 320 LITRES of bark!
I was thinking it was getting a bit expensive until I talked to Mum. She asked how much I had paid for my bark because she had just bought 8 bags as well. I paid $6.47 a bag (total $52) and she paid $9.95 a bag (total $80)... you can see why I like Bunnings!!!
Here's what the garden looks like from the deck outside my scrap room:
Over the next couple of afternoons I'm going to clean up all the bags, pots, weeds etc and get the lawn mowed and it will look great! The best part is that it rained most of the night and now the sun is out so the garden has had a really good watering :)
I'm going to be using some of these photos for my garden layout page for Esther's challenge! Why not grab your camera out and give it a go too!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mikayla's found her passion!

Hi everyone :)

The holidays are off to a GREAT start! Krystal is feeling really creative so she's been working on her projects in the scrap room with me... it's been nice to spend some time together just chatting and laughing. I'm surrounded by kits I'm working on for Scrapbook Dreams and Mikayla has found her PASSION!

This weekend has been a BIG one for Mikayla! She's been learning heaps about sugar crafting and having a ball! Saturday was the first day of the course and she learnt how to make icing roses, flowers, leaves and wire them. When I went to pick her up she had HEAPS of 'elements' made and they looked pretty amazing. Then she came home and did her 'homework' making another 18 different bits and pieces. They were all white and I thought they looked pretty cool!

Today she went back for the second part of the course and when I went to pick her up I was completely blown away by what she'd done!! She had made an entire bouquet of flowers, coloured everything and put it together... to say I am IMPRESSED doesn't even begin to cover it!

Here's her finished bouquet:

Close up of the right hand side:

Close up of the left hand side:
See what I mean!! And to think she's not quite 15 years old yet! So far she's only had two lessons and then this course... imagine what she'll be doing in a years time!!

During the weekend the tutor made a rose as a demo and she decided to give it to someone for a prize. She picked a number and then went around asking people what there number was. Mikayla said she'd picked '17' but as the tutor came around the lady just before Mikayla picked 17 so Mikayla very quickly picked '15'... and the lucky number??? 15!!

Here's the rose Mikayla won:

I can't get over how life-like these sugar roses are! Simply gorgeous :)

The neat thing is that these sugar bouquets can literally last for YEARS if you look after them so I'm thinking about getting Mikayla a small glass cabinet that she can keep them in... they're definitely far too nice to eat!

It's Mikayla's birthday in October so my sisters and I have all decided to get Mikayla some tools for her crafting :) I'm sure she'll be creating gorgeous sugar creations all the time now.

Well done Mikayla! I'm so happy for you that you've found something you love to do! I wonder what you'll come up with for this years Christmas cake??

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The school holidays have arrived!

Well we spent the last week of school working on our businesses and getting products completed. We've still got lots to do but it's all manageable! I suddenly remembered last week that I had a bath tub Sizzix die that would be perfect for making the product labels and the kids had a huge amount of fun cutting them all out!

Finally Friday arrived and the term ended. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my job... but it's been a long, tiring term!

Both the girls had been home on Friday not feeling well... there's still lots of bugs going around... so we just veged out in front of the TV and relaxed.

On Saturday Mikayla's sugar crafting course started! She's been really looking forward to it for the last 6 weeks and apart from a few sniffles and a bit of a sore throat she was feeling a lot better. When I went to pick her up she showed me what she had made... a gorgeous rose and lots of leaves and smaller flowers. She is definitely talented! Unfortunately she seems to have picked up my habit of being far too hard on herself though! She kept comparing what she was doing (after only 3 lessons) with what her tutor had made (after 15 years experience!).

Last night she had some 'homework' to do... another 18 flowers! Krystal and I had already set ourselves up in my scrap room during the day so Mikayla got a small table and joined us (I definitely didn't want sugar anywhere near my paper). I even managed to get a sneaky photo:


I know the table looks a mess... but we were all working hard on our projects! We had a great night all hanging out together and sharing laughs... I totally love spending time with the girls like this!!! Our holidays have gotten off to a great start so hopefully I'll be back with lots of neat projects over the next 2 weeks :)

I hope you all get to enjoy some time with your kids over the holidays as well :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Something from School!

At the moment my class is pretty focussed on P.r.E.P. (Primary Enterprise Programme). We've been learning about how businesses work and developing an idea into a viable business. Up until last week it was mostly theory... although they have produced some wonderful logos, advertising posters and they even made TV commercials!

We decided that Room 4 would be a 'Beauty Shop' on market day (which isn't until early next term). We've been researching all sorts of different recipes and finding ones that would work within our available time and resources and now we've actually started making our products!

We've got 6 great companies in our classroom... and each one has a C.E.O. as well as a deputy... we even have our very own O.S.H. workers (and they take their jobs very seriously!!!)

The kids made up their own company names and decided which products they wanted to make. I'm totally loving what we're doing because there is so much learning involved and the kids are really focussed because they feel like it really means something... they also like being 'paid' for their work!

Here's a bit of a 'sneak peek' at what each company will be selling on market day :)

Primo Soaps
This company is making soap balls. They've added some essential oils and rolled oats to help with the 'scrubbing' (exfoliating) LOL
This is their first batch. Their soaps smell great and they rolled them really well.
For their second batch they added a little colour to their original mix and they have a lovely soft blue colour.

Awesome Soapz
This is our second soap making company. They're using a completely different recipe and techniques. They are also using molds for their soaps. These soaps are silky smooth and the fragrance is absolutely divine!
They had a little soap left over (and no molds left) so they added some rolled oats and shaped them into balls :)

Slimy Bubbles
This group is making bath 'slime' for kids. Their first batch completely set which looked great but didn't achieve the desired effect.

This is their second batch. The 'slime' has just the right amount of 'setting' so that it really is like slime but it smells great and has a really neat pearlescent effect! Kids are going to want to buy this one!!

Salty Supreme
This is our bath salts company. They've got a great 'recipe' and they certainly have the whole 'working together as a group' thing sorted out!
Don't these bath salts look edible??? They have the most gorgeous candy colourings!

Kama Lip Gloss
The kids had a few issues with their recipe and in the end they've designed their own! They've done some great problem solving :)
These lip glosses look really fab all lined up along my classroom window :)

Power Bombz
Yes it's bath bombs!! These gorgeous bath bombs really do fizzle... the kids had to test them! LOL They've started making them with different colours and essential oils and they unmolded absolutely perfectly :)
Hard to tell from the photo but these bath bombs have a soft blue colour (and a vanilla fragrance)

More heart shaped bath bombz... these ones are a gorgeous soft green with tiny speckles of pink! And what do you do when you have more mix than you have molds for??? Well you make tiny bath bombs of course!
These little beauties were made using shaped ice cube trays. I forgot to get a photo of them unmolded but they just popped right out of the trays and are perfect!

Tomorrow the kids will be continuing to make their products and some will start on their packaging. They've got quite a lot to do before the end of the term but they're really focussed so I'm sure they'll get it all done!

Well done Room 4.... I'm super proud of you!
From Whaea Shelley xx

p.s. My classroom smells absolutely divine :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A great weekend

Yesterday would have to be one of the best days I've had in ages! I had organised with one of my girlfriends to take her out to lunch so I headed over to Tauranga... but forgot that they'd closed the back road so had to make a bit of a detour LOL

When I arrived we headed off to a couple of scrapbooking places (as you do) before heading into town. We found a place doing 'All day breakfasts' and my oh my was it good!!! I even had my camera with me... but the food was too yummy to photograph before eating LOL

This will give you an idea though... Tricia had banana & bacon pancakes (no berries)
And I had blueberry pancakes:
It was like stopping for a little bit of heaven! Tricia said the coffee was good too... and my hot chocolate was wonderful. We sat, ate, chatted and just enjoyed catching up again!

Then we headed around a few shops for a bit of a look and had been talking about 'collections'. One of my sister's collected pigs for a while and we were laughing about how sometimes you collect something without even realising it. We headed off to a cane & pot shop for a 'look'... we both even left our wallets in the car so we wouldn't be tempted. We did see lots of neat things and were heading back towards the car when I saw 'Mr Pig'! When we did the renovation on the patio area (Jan 08) I wanted to get something 'arty' for the fence but couldn't find what I wanted... well my goodness.... Mr Pig came down off that wall very quickly and I went and got my wallet and am now the proud owner of this gorgeous piece of garden art:
I think he's absolutely gorgeous! I've even been down to Bunnings today to buy some blue paint to renovate some old wooden tubs for the patio area. I think I might plant them up with tomatoes and strawberries :)

Mikayla came with me to Bunnings too and we started thinking about the next D.I.Y. projects we want to tackle... got a few ideas but nothing set just yet. When we got back I cut Mikayla's hair for her... she's been asking for a few days to have it cut shorter because it's really thick and feels heavy. It turned out great but I'm not allowed to show you the hair just yet (although she's smiling lots!)... but here's a bit of the cut off hair to show you that it was definitely a cut and not a trim!
She's really pleased with it... and it does look really nice :)

Well it's time for me to head out and pick up Krystal. She's been helping out at a scout camp this weekend as a leader so no doubt she'll be tired and cranky when she comes home... does anyone want a 17 year old???

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A few projects to share

We've been having a creative time here getting some projects done. There's a few more things to share... first of all a layout! I definitely haven't had a chance to do many layouts lately but Esther's challenge at Scrapbook Dreams this month was perfect for some of Krystal's ball photos.

Esther provided a wonderful sketch that really appealed to me... and here's my layout:

I used a 12 x 12 Prima Paintables for the base and 'coloured it in' using my Versa Mark pen and chalks. VERY happy with the result! I decided to do a mix of black & white and colour photos... love the effect that gives. The title was cut using Jasmine font on the cricut. The ribbon was a lucky find at a local fabric store (it also has small rhinestones on it that really shine in the evening lights) and the flower & leaves are from Scrapbook Dreams.

The best part is that Krystal really loves the layout!

Next up is some ATC's I did for a recent swap. The theme was playing cards and after several attempts that didn't go the way I was hoping I came up with these:

I used a real playing card for my base... inked over it and added some Distress Paint to the right hand side... and then very patiently waited for it to dry LOL Then I stamped some images (including the gorgeous scroll at the top). The ladies came from a sheet of images in my stash and the butterfly was made by stamping the image onto transparency using Staz On ink. I added a brad to the centre of each butterfly as well. My cards were slightly narrower than the ATC size so I added some text up the left hand side and finished it off with some rhinestones in the top right hand corner. Have to admit that I'm pretty stoked with how they turned out :)

Next up is Mikayla's art! She has just started attending the Rotorua cake decorating guild... and she's loving it. It all started when one Friday night we got out a Nigella Lawson video from the library because nothing else really seemed interesting. WELL... Mikayla and I watched several hours of Nigella's cooking shows and kept going back to the one featuring cupcakes.

On the Monday we went to a local sugar craft store and he told us about the guild (held on the first Tuesday of each month) which happened to be meeting the following evening. I took Mikayla for her first visit and she LOVED it. She learnt to make all sorts of different 'filler' flowers and showed a natural talent for it.

Last Tuesday was her second visit and the tutorial was on how to wire all the flowers together into a bouquet. She's learnt a few more tricks and been practicing ever since. She wanted to add some colour to her flowers and she noticed that my scrapbooking chalks were 'acid free' and 'non-toxic' so she decided to give it a go on her flowers:

Hasn't she done an amazing job??? The leaves were given to her by a couple of people from the guild... and Jacqui gave her the tiny flower (coloured black) and the two buds. Jacqui has been amazing and really encouraging for Mikayla which is just fabulous! One of the tutors said "If this is what she can do after only two lessons imagine what she'll be like in a year". I'm thrilled that she's found something just for HER... something she enjoys and something that she's really talented at!

The final thing for today is some new scrapbooking mini albums that I created for Scrapbook Dreams. It's a new design of the humble paper bag album featuring a covered accordion spine and hard covers. I made one each for my niece and nephews and totally loved doing them :)

There's HEAPS of goodies in the kits so if you're keen to get your hands on one check out the shop at Scrapbook Dreams.

Well it's back to school tomorrow for us so I'd better go and get some things done. Have a safe and happy week... Shell xx

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hi again :)

This year seems to be getting busier and busier! I've got a few projects done that I can't share because they're either for swaps that haven't finished yet or for classes that I'm teaching at Scrapfest 2010... and I've even got one that I've submitted to a magazine.

Over the past 2 months I've been down to Wellington to visit Esther (and felt very creatively inspired while I was there!) Esther challenged me to do a few 'different' things so here's what I came up with.

This first card was made using Tim Holtz stamps and LOADS of ink! I also used some cotton cord and the wee embellishments on the cord is from a pair of earrings that I bought at the $2 shop and took apart!
The next card used some more Tim Holtz stamps and Esther's 'Tattered Rose' crackle paint! I don't usually like paint but I really liked it for this card. One of the images was stamped onto thin cork from the $2 shop and love how it turned out :)
Card #3 was totally done using Tattered Rose ink with just a touch of Vintage Photo (still my all time favourite!) A bit more cork and a wonderful Bingo stamp from Scrapbook Dreams. The embellishments in the flower centres are from a necklace that I took apart for the flowers!
This next card involved stamping, inking and sewing! After stamping the flowersI coloured them in with some Distress Ink and a watercolour brush... then I popped them up on foam dots. I sewed a few beads on with wire and really liked the look!
Then I did some multi colour stamping! Loved this colour mix (Dusty Concord and Shabby Shutters). I 'sewed' some purple wire onto the card to hold the ribbon in place and FINALLY managed to do a bow that I really liked :)
This final card from my Wellington trip involved more stamping and inking... along with some embellishments :)
When I got home I made a wee card for Esther to say 'thanks' and really liked how it turned out! Lots of inking of course along with some more watercolour painting!
When I got back from Wellington I had a couple of days to myself and then it was off to SENZ with my sister! We had a GREAT time... and so did my wee nephew who just loved the wide aisles and the fact that everyone thought he was VERY cute! We also met up with Mum while we were there and had some fun shopping! Here's SOME of what I brought home with me:
If you love these flowers (Prima) then check out the shop at Scrapbook Dreams because we've got heaps of these lovely flowers in stock now :)

I also bought some cute cupcake stamps at SENZ and made me niece and nephew one each before I went home!
While I was at my sister's place I finally got around to putting some paint on a layout. I LOVE ink but paint on layouts has never really been my thing but I'm slowly changing my mind! I started out with plain black cardstock... added paint using a Tim Holtz mask and then some bubble wrap and then kept it simple with a photo, stamped journaling block and title.
A few weekends ago my BIL ran in the Tough Guy challenge (and did REALLY well!) I wanted to record the moment with a fun layout and this is what I came up with!

I finally made use of some alpha stamps I had along with some cool Scrap FX embellishments from Scrapbook Dreams which I inked to match the colours of the layout :)

So although I haven't been updating my blog as often as I want I have definitely been creative!!

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some other projects I've been working on.... and in the meantime hope you're all surviving the winter chills :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

More on the Circle Journals

In the last post I shared the amazing circle journal that everyone participated in... this time I've got the pages I did in everyone else's journals :)

A to Z of Me - Beverley This was a fun journal where you took each letter of the alphabet and wrote something about yourself. Took a bit of thought... especially for a couple of the letters... but was really happy with it in the end.Shoes - Esther I've never really been a 'shoe' girl... but this journal did prompt me to buy a couple of new pairs! My Home Town - Lianne I had heaps of fun with this one... loved using the flax paper :)Sketchbook - Rangi This was a neat journal... we had to design a sketch and then create a layout using our own sketch... very cool idea!Special Memories - Jane One of my special moments was graduating from Teachers College so that's what I chose for this journal :)1970's Ngaere Being a kid in the 1970's was lots of fun. We lived on a farm and were always busy doing things!In my handbag - Tracey I don't actually own a handbag but I DO like flax kete... mine are usually full of all sorts of things... especially during the school term!Everyday Moments - Michelle This was another great idea for a journal... documenting the 'every day' things in your life!

Why Scrapbook? - Tricia This was really fun... we had to do a layout about WHY we scrapbook... what we like and what keeps us doing it... very thought provoking!

Scrapaholic - Lee This journal was the last one I worked on and heaps of fun to read what others had already written. We had to use the statement: Hello my name is _____ and I'm a scrapaholic. Lots of fun!Thanks again to everyone who participated in this circle journal swap! It was so neat to be able to see your work in real life and I've gotten heaps of new ideas from looking through your journals :)