Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It’s finally happened!

Yes I’ve finally done something creative!! 

Before I show you the next part of my project I just want to share with you that after I coloured the backgrounds with paint and stain the dictionary paper started to lift off the playing cards… I think it might be because the cards have a coating on them… anyway it was no big drama.  All I did was carefully peel away the dictionary paper (very simple) and then I used my nail file to ‘scuff’ up the surface of the card before sticking the background paper back down with mono glue.

So onto the creativity!  I chose one of my backgrounds and added a stamp to one long edge… the stamp is from a Dyan Reaveley set and I stamped it with Black Archival ink.20140429_115716

Next I used some Sepia Archival ink to go around the edges:20140429_115830

Then I decided to get out my Distress Ink markers to add some colour… and I pretty much chose the same colours as I had already used in the background… love how the Picket Fence pen really highlighted the stamp too:20140429_120349

I wanted to try a couple of different techniques on this card so I grabbed some Sticky-backed Canvas (Ranger product) that I’ve had for absolutely ages and I die cut a heart.  Then I painted it with one of my favourite red paints – Jo Sonya’s Brown Madder20140429_120445

While the paint was drying I decided to try and stencil a design onto the background of my card using Distress Paint… and I REALLY stuffed it up!  Too much paint comes out of the dauber to do stenciling and I was left with a big black splodgy mess… but it wasn’t a total disaster!  Thankfully the paint remains reactive with water until it dries so I just kept spraying and dabbing until the ‘mess’ had lightened a lot:20140429_120802(0)

It was back onto safer territory after that!  I went around the edges of the canvas heart with some Black Soot distress ink:20140429_121140

Next I die cut some letters using Tim Holtz’s Chip Block alphabet… grabbed out some old letter stickers from my stash… and got creative and this is what I came up with:20140429_122543

Have to say that I’m pretty happy with it although in real life the background is more green and the colours are way more vibrant!  Even my stenciled ‘mess’ doesn’t look so bad now!  Since I already had everything out I decided to make another card using exactly the same things but placing the words in a different order… it’s amazing how different the meaning becomes just by doing that!

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So now I’ve got two finished cards that I’m really happy with… and I’ve kind of gotten over the whole ‘blank canvas’ thing now!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And then there was colour…

Those of you who know me, know that I love colour!  I definitely love vintage colours the best and of course the Distress Ink colours are right up my alley.  I decided to experiment with some background colours on my cards… trying to get rid of the “blank canvas, can’t get started” thing!

Since I already knew that I loved Distress Ink I decided to push myself a little and work with some of my Distress PAINT… after all there’s no point having all this Distress goodness if I don’t actually use it is there??

I started in my comfort zone with the browns: Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap20140428_101342

Then I moved into the greens: Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss20140428_102049

Next up was the blues: Broken China, Salty Ocean & Chipped Sapphire20140428_102312

And then I finished off with the reds: Barn Door, Aged Mahogany and Fired Brick20140428_102654

Although paint isn’t my first love when it comes to colour, I’m kind of getting into the technique by this stage and I’m definitely happy with my little rainbow of cards:

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But why stop there??  Next I decided to have a go with Distress STAIN!  I don’t have quite as many stains as I do paints but I still managed to work within the colour schemes I’d started with.

Here’s the browns: Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap (exactly the same ones I used with the Distress Paints but a totally different look!)20140428_121341

Then I did the greens: Pine Needles, Bundled Sage & Brushed Corduroy20140428_122914

Of course the blues were next: Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Tumbled Glass20140428_122219

And finally the reds: Barn Door and Victorian Velvet20140428_123437

Quite liking the whole Distress Stain thing… although the dictionary paper really soaks it up and I can’t get quite as many backgrounds done at once, like I can with the paint!20140428_123458

So by the time I’d finished playing around with colour I had a whole heap of backgrounds all ready to go…

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…now I’ve just got to actually MAKE SOMETHING!

Monday, April 28, 2014

In the last 24 hours…

I have actually started a little creative project! 

Toby and I started off our Sunday with snuggles on the sofa.  Toby used to be allowed on the sofa all the time… I think he thought it was HIS sofa actually.  But now he’s only allowed up on the sofa on  rare occasions – and Sunday morning snuggles works well for both of us:20140427_074655

While we were all snuggled up a little idea kept popping back into my head… an idea that I’d seen online and thought ‘maybe’… so I got out a few minimal supplies and got started:20140427_113634

Basically I had an old dictionary, scissors, glue stick and a pack of regular playing cards (I actually bought the cards with this project in mind and then did nothing about getting started with it!)  I set about covering the faces of the cards with dictionary paper and it stuck surprisingly well with the glue stick:20140427_114010

After I stuck a few cards down I trimmed them up and then used one of those nail files from the $2 shop to go around the edges… super simple!20140427_114958

I did about 20 cards yesterday and then got busy with the washing and other household chores… it’s surprising how little time it takes to clean up after just myself!

By late afternoon, Toby was giving me the ‘sad puppy’ eyes and acting like a bit of a muppet and I knew he wanted to go for another run along the beach.  It was a great afternoon for the waves but unfortunately for Toby that meant there were lots of people at ‘HIS’ beach so he spent more time on his lead than he normally does.

Still, I managed to get some great photos on my phone… it takes pretty awesome photos actually and I find myself using my ‘real’ camera less and less:20140427_165110

Once we got past the surfers we had most of the beach to ourselves… and the sand down by the water was really spongy which Toby wasn’t too sure about.

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The great thing with the beach is that each day smells completely different because the waves have washed the ‘old’ smells away. 

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And of course you have to smell everything from all the different angles!

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This log clearly had something really GOOD to smell on it!

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I love the light and shadows you get in the late afternoon… it was absolutely stunning yesterday… and the action wasn’t all happening on the beach either… check out this:20140427_165314

See what I mean about my phone taking great photos! 

Toby and I both had a great nights sleep… that sea air is really fantastic!  This morning I got out the rest of the cards and had a great session and now they’re all covered… including the four jokers!

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So now what???  Hmmm… well now I’m going to try and see if I can actually do something arty with them!  It’s time to get inky again!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Retail therapy vs. Nature therapy

This morning I went to the Farmers Market to pick up some more fresh roses for the house… have I mentioned how much I love having fresh flowers in my home?  It’s definitely something that makes me feel good!

After the markets I caught up with my sister while she was having some ‘child free’ time and we had morning tea together.  Then we went to check out Briscoes… and surprise, surprise they had a sale on! 

I’ve been thinking this week about my bedroom and the fact that it’s looking a bit insipid (actually that’s a really accurate word for it)

insipid  in·sip·id

adjective

1.without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid: an insipid personality.

2.without sufficient taste to be pleasing, as food or drink; bland: a rather insipid soup.

Here’s what I mean about it being insipid:20140331_180810

There definitely wasn’t much personality going on there… so today I had a look around Briscoes and happened to come across something that really isn’t my usual style but I like it a lot now that it’s on my bed.

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I’m not usually one to like this style… but actually it’s got a nice feel to it.  It almost has a hotel look to it though so I still need to get a bit of colour and personality into it… but at least it’s not bland anymore! 

Now for the nature therapy… late this afternoon I took Toby to the beach for a good run around… and boy did he run around!!!  He ran up the beach and back down again… he ran in circles… he chased sea gulls… and he chased sticks (he didn’t actually do anything with them… he just chased them!) 

And what did I do while he was acting like a total muppet??? laughing myself silly at his antics and taking photos!

Here’s a couple of my favourites from this afternoon:

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Just after this photo was taken Toby ran after the seagulls and got himself all wet… but he’s finally starting to be brave about going into the water now!

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Love this one of him.. he looks so alert and happy!  We spent ages on the beach and really did get out lungs full of oxygen… and Toby sniffed EVERYTHING!! 

Then we headed home and I’ve had the best shower… you know how sometimes your shower just feels A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!  Well tonight it really was that good… and ‘himself’ is completely flaked out on the floor beside me. 

So when it comes to retail therapy vs. nature therapy you really can’t compare them… my theory is that anything that makes you feel good has got to be a good thing.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never let it be said…

… that I can’t take up a challenge!  Not long after I did my post this morning about the light bulb vases there was a comment from Esther… and she knew EXACTLY how to push my buttons and get me into gear!

Her comment may look innocent enough but when I read… Go on - give it a go and let us see what you can do with a less than $2 bulb… it was like she’d thrown down the gauntlet and I didn’t have much choice really.

Follow that up with Vicki saying… Just do it!!!  What’s a girl to do… so I got my backside into town and gathered up some supplies and here’s the results:

Not all light bulbs are created equal… and there’s so many choices out there!  I specifically wanted ‘screw in clear bulbs’ and it would seem that they’re not as easy to find as you might think… or as cheap!20140424_101200_1

Then it was home with my supplies including a new pair of needle nose pliers (because I have absolutely no idea where mine are… except that they’ll be ‘in a box’) and some safety glasses… see Dad… I do take care of myself!

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My first effort was a complete flop… almost had all the insides out and then the bulb broke.

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Second attempt… pretty much the same thing.  Actually I bought three light bulbs from this brand and all three broke so clearly not all light bulbs are created equal!

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Frustration was starting to set in so I swapped to the pretty pink boxes and thought I’d give them a go and voila!

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Toby still loves the camera!!  These little light bulbs are a really cute shape too!  Before long I really had the knack of it:

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I found some old metal egg cups and some silver serviette rings that I don’t think I’ve ever used and they made pretty good bases for my new mini vases.

All up I think I kept my mess pretty well contained… don’t you?

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Then I decided that I might just have one more experiment.  I went back to the supermarket and bought some screw in frosted bulbs with the idea that once I got the innards out of them I could use salty water (thank you Google) to get rid of the frosting.20140424_140111

It totally worked and I made three more mini vases.  So here’s my efforts for the day:

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I actually really like these vases… they’re simple, pretty and they almost have a vintage feel to them.  And if I actually used screw in bulbs in my home they would be a great way to recycle the bulbs when they blew!

So now I’m wondering if Esther and Vicki will take up the challenge??  I’d love to see if the Wellington and Christchurch bulbs produce the same results as the Gisborne ones LOL 

Go on… I dare you!

No need to re-invent the wheel

This morning when I opened my email programme my eyes were instantly grabbed by the latest ‘Treat Me’ offering… and not because I wanted to buy it… but because it was something I’d already seen.  It seems that others have now seen it too… let me show you what I mean.

Last year while I was doing my Feel Good Friday stuff I spent a lot of time looking around Google-land looking for ideas that caught my eye… and in October (Week 43 to be exact) I came across these little beauties:

week 43 - light bulb vases

Remember those??  Little vases made out of light bulbs?  You can go HERE to see my original post.  There are loads of tutorials out there… some are better than others… and to be honest I’d forgotten that I was going to give it a try.

Well it seems that someone else has stumbled across this idea too… and they’re pretty happy to charge you for it!

treat me

Yes that would be $19 for ONE light bulb vase… but wait there’s more… you can pick up two of them for $36… and if you want to be really extravagant you can get a set of 12 for a mere $206. 

Hmmm… I think I might have another look at those online tutorials LOL

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Still finding my feet

Well, were almost a third of the way through 2014 and to be honest I still don’t feel like I’m walking on solid ground yet.  I even had a word picked out for 2014… Creating!  And to date I’ve done very little of that this year!

So I’ve come to a few conclusions:

  • Maybe I don’t have to do what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years… maybe I don’t NEED to do Project Life the same way???
  • Maybe this year I need to focus on other things???
  • Maybe things didn’t turn out quite the way I was hoping and I’m not quite sure how to deal with that yet???
  • Maybe this year I need to figure out what I actually want to do with the rest of my life???
  • Maybe I really just don’t have any clue as to what’s going on and I’m trying desperately to keep my head above water???  Yeah… kind of feels like that at the moment!

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So I thought I might just show you a few snippets of my life in the past week… hoping that it might inspire me a bit!

On Saturday I went to the markets… Gisborne actually has a really good market on a Saturday morning and I LOVE having fresh flowers in my home all the time!  Here’s a few of my goodies from the weekend:

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I bought some red and white roses… a few plants for the garden (including some herbs), plus I bought some watercress and walnut pesto (divine with pasta) and some lemon and passionfruit curd… totally delicious!  I loved this photo so much I’ve used in in my new banner… clearly the simple things still make me happy.

On Sunday Toby and I spent some time in the garden… he was ‘supervising’… yes he’s still pulling the “But Mumma, I’ve got NO thumbs!” card.  We did  a bit more gardening on Monday and the pots are looking pretty good now although we still have a few more to do.

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On Monday it was Grandma’s birthday… not the really significant ‘you don’t have to go to work anymore’ one… but it’s getting closer!  Toby and I set ourselves up last night since Mum was busy on Monday and we SKYPED her!  Poor Toby really wasn’t too sure about it and he did bark at her a few times.  The neat part was that we took her on a virtual tour of our new home since she hasn’t been here yet. 

Toby proudly showed her his bed…20140423_150248

and ‘his’ backyard!20140423_150343

Meanwhile, Toby and I are continuing to get to know our new home… we’ve explored lots in our neighbourhood and we’ve discovered some good beach walks and hill tracks.  We’ve also decided that we love kerb-side recycling which happens every Tuesday.

So maybe things didn’t turn out quite the way I had hoped or planned… but it’s the way it is and I’m making the most of it :) 

p.s. I’m getting quite good at making lemonade… if you get my drift!