Monday, January 11, 2016

Creativity is alive and well!

Hi there :)

My friend Esther has come to stay for a few days and we're having some creative time in the art studio.  We'd both seen Tim Holtz blog post about the Technique Remix tags for 2016 and decided that we'd like to give them a go.  Here's Tim's remix tag for January:

I'll show you the back of the tag I made first since it shows the two techniques Tim put together for this tag - Industrious Metal and Chalkboard:

I've done the Industrious Metal technique before and loved it but I've never actually tried the chalkboard technique.  Here's how my tag came out:

I'm still not 100% sold on the chalkboard effect... I tried several different stamps but this was the one I liked the most.  I've actually got some blueprint stamps on order so when they arrive I'll give this technique another go.

Meanwhile I decided that I'd make a tag book for 2016 showing all the various tags, so I made a mini tag for January:

On the back of the tag I did a little journaling about the techniques:

Esther decided that she didn't like the chalkboard technique so she used white embossing powder for her stamped image and then added chalk over the top:

It's actually very eye catching and effective!  I might just have to give that a go myself.

By the time we'd finished our tags we wanted to use a bit of colour so we moved onto another project... I can't show you the finished tags yet but you can have a look at the backgrounds I made on these MINI tags!

I used lots of distress paint, distress ink and stamping... and my fingers got very inky!!

I'm looking forward to seeing what other techniques Tim is going to combine during 2016 :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

December Daily: Done and Dusted!

Well I've actually done it... the cover is made... the album is together and I'm really pleased with the outcome.  The album cover has been sitting on my table for quite a while now... not ALL of December but at least half!

As I made creative pieces for my album I kept thinking about the things that were my favourites... and as I went through my stash and containers looking for stuff, I put things aside... and then this morning, the last couple of pieces fell into place and it came together really quickly.

I actually started off making the background.  As I was sorting through things I came across a box of layouts and this one really jumped out at me:

I especially like the embossing and the 'adore' card so I used both of those things on my cover.

My scanner is too small to get the whole thing scanned in one go so I've gone for photographs instead... so here's the finished cover:

You might remember me making the quilt pieces using my new die... I decided to make a few more and this one was perfect for the cover.  I also made a full size Prima girl to match in with my Christmas cards.

The 'December' and '2015' were both cut on my Silhouette and then I did a shadow layer for them to sit on.  The 'Daily' words were some cork stickers that I had in my stash unopened... to be honest I have no idea how long I've had them for!  I fiddled around with my Silhouette and made a shadow layer for them as well so it all ties in together.

Of course I had to use up my last few cork stars and the silver stars (on the girls skirt and the bingo card) are left overs from another creative piece within the album.

The poinsettia flower stem is a Prima one.  According to the packet it was in, there were actually two in the packet... I think the other one may have been white and I vaguely remember using it for something, probably a layout, although I can't remember which one!

Since I was taking photos anyway I decided to get a few more shots of my album from different angles:

By the end of the month my album was getting quite fat!

Mike hasn't seen the finished album yet but I'm pretty sure he'll like it... after all he features in it quite a bit!

So there you have it... an actual finished album!  Thanks so much for following along with me xx

Thursday, January 7, 2016

December Daily: Dec 31

New Years Eve turned out to be a fairly quiet day around here... and in fact nobody stayed up to see the new year in!

Our mailbox has been getting inundated with packages and parcels for Krystal lately and December 31 was no exception.  That morning I grabbed up all the parcels and simply put them onto the dining table and then went off to do something.  When I came back it must have been the way the light was coming through the windows but the packages looked really great so I got out my camera and took a few photos.

Around mid-morning Michael, my sister and my niece headed into town to look at new computers.  My BIL and nephews hung out at home with me and the fur babies until lunchtime and then we headed into town to meet up with the others.

Brew is definitely one of my favourite restaurants and this time Mike and I decided to share a 'surf and turf' platter that was full of delicious treats. We'd certainly have it again!

Later on in the day the craziness began... the kids got really hyper and poor Toby and Nivea got caught up in the hysteria.  There was a lot of laughing... lots of goofiness and... one photograph of a very bare bottom!!  We'll be saving that for my nephews 21st!!!   At one stage Toby looked at me as if to say... 'what on earth is going on Mumma?' 

One thing Mike always says when I do baking is 'why can't you make the cookies bigger?'  So since I was doing lots of baking for our New Years Eve I decided that I would make him his own special cookie... and it was BIG!  In fact it was so big that it didn't even fit on a dinner plate!  Mike thought he was up for the challenge but it turned out that he had to eat it over two days... although Nivea was very keen to try and help Daddy out!

For my creative pieces I made use of my Silhouette again and cut some words.  I really do love my life with all it's imperfections and craziness... and life is good!

For the second pocket I wanted to have something about the new year and I found the perfect cutting file online.  The words came out perfectly and I added some more of the cork stars.

So that's the end of my December Daily.  Hopefully I'll actually get the cover finished tomorrow and then I can share it with you.  Thanks for stopping by xx

Monday, January 4, 2016

December Daily: Dec 30

On Wednesday we had more surprises in store because my sister and her family came for an impromptu holiday!  They've been here for a few days and apart from the fact that the Big Day Out we planned for Saturday got completely rained off, we've had a great time.  We've even managed to have some 'grown up' time because Krystal was able to babysit for us.  On Saturday night the grown ups went to Lone Star for dinner and last night we went to see Star Wars at the cinema.  So nice to just do some fun things together!

Getting back to Wednesday... it was Nivea's first morning with us and she was not too sure about things but she did like getting under the Christmas tree!  She seemed to be like Dougal... it was all about the lights!  Toby was very aware of where Nivea was and he kept a watchful eye on her to make sure she didn't wreck anything.

We'd had a real battle keeping her off our bed during the night so I took Toby with me down to Animates and we picked her out a bed just like his one.  He got his bed a few years ago and he loves it... in the summer it's nice and cool because it's up off the floor and in the winter the warm air from the fire keeps the chill away.  It turns out that Nivea loves her new bed and she slept on it all night the first night... then she decided that snuggling up with Mumma and Daddy was much better!  We're still working on it!

My sister and her family arrived late in the afternoon and the kids needed to blow off some steam after being cooped up in the car for several hours so they all went to the park behind my house.  Their Dad went with them while my sister and I stood on the deck and just watched... we should have cracked open the wine LOL

With all the goings on and the need for space with so many extras in the house we decided to take down our Christmas tree.  Nivea and Dougal weren't ready for it but the rest of us definitely were.  Dougal 'helped' by sitting in the container of lights and sparkly baubles!  He LOVES the glittery bits of Christmas! and he wasn't too  keen to see them disappear for another year.

Speaking of disappearing...  with all the extra people in the house Dougal decided to make his departure and head off on his travels.  I love that he comes to visit every December even if he isn't very good at keeping in touch during the year.  I'm sure Toby and Nivea will have lots to tell him when he returns!

For my creative pieces on this page I kept it really, really simple.   I cut a dog with a Santa hat on my Silhouette and then added the date for the top pocket and for the lower pocket I used my Silhouette to cut a boy standing on a tyre to represent the kids at the park.

Only one more day to go and my album will be finished!  I'm almost finished my cover too... so pleased that I did the December Daily this year!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December Daily: Dec 29

On Tuesday morning I was playing a game on my computer... nothing too taxing... and then Dougal arrived!  My game was a 'match 3' style and Dougal kept telling me where some matches were which on first glance you might think was helpful... but when you've only got ONE MINUTE to clear the level you've got to be super concentrated!  He kept saying that HE could do it faster and HE could make more matches than me... and his butting in was costing me to loose the level which just added fuel to the fire.

More than anything, I think Dougal just liked all the sparkly lights and tokens especially when it went into 'score frenzy' and EVERYTHING sparkled and shone!  We did manage to compromise in the end... he was super quiet during my turn and then he was allowed to have a turn!

Mike got the fence all finished on Tuesday.  He's done a really great job and it looks completely professional.  Actually it's amazing how much nicer it looks driving up to the house without the fence blocking the patio anymore.

Krystal came over in the evening to meet someone (I'll tell you about that in a minute) and we had meringue nests for dessert.  The nests were left over from Christmas so we whipped up some cream, sliced some strawberries and added some passionfruit juice... sooo delicious!

Tuesday was special for our little family because Toby became a big brother!  We have adopted a new fur baby!  Miss Nivea (like the face cream) has come to join our family.  She's two years old and a pound puppy.  She had an unfortunate start to life and at some point she's had a litter of puppies but she's got a kind nature and she's very affectionate.

As you can image Mr Toby wasn't 100% happy about Nivea joining the family after being an 'only child', but it's actually been quite easy overall.  They've had a couple of spats... mostly over food... and they've worked out all their little issues without too many hassles at all!

So far our hardest job is keeping Nivea off the bed!  She loves to sneak up on the bed during the night and bury herself under the covers... and she's worked out very quickly that Daddy is a soft touch!  

For the creative pieces on this page I based them all around our fur babies.  The 'LOVE' with the footprint was cut on the Silhouette and then I added the die cut date.

For the second pocket I cut a cute little dog house on the Silhouette and then die cut the word 'joy' using my Tim Holtz holiday words.

Thanks for stopping by xx

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December Daily: Dec 28

Michael has ALWAYS got at least one project on the go!  If he's not actually doing a project then he's thinking about a project so why should December be any different??

On Monday I woke up to find Michael in the dining room ready to apply Danish Oil to our new dining table.  On Christmas Day I'd wiped it down with a damp cloth and it had 'bloomed'... turns out the previous owners had put some sort of wax on the table to make it look nice but now the wax was coming off every time we wiped the table.

Michael Googled all about it on his phone and found a tutorial that said to use a cloth and hot iron to 'pull' the wax from the table and it worked brilliantly.  Now that he's applied the Danish Oil the table looks and feels so much nicer.

Then he was onto his next project!  Krystal is moving back here soon and she wants to put a caravan at our place to live in.  Mike decided that he was going to make the most of our patio area so he decided to move the fence and gate from the driveway side of the house to around onto the deck side... that way Krystal's caravan can go onto our patio area.

Mike had removed one section of fence when Toby went outside for a look and the expression on his face was priceless!!!  He came running around the corner... saw the fence... stopped immediately... and then looked at me as if to say "I didn't do it... I think we've been burgled!" 

Meanwhile, Mike kept working on the fence for the rest of the day.  He had to try and figure out a way to re-install the gate around the corner which meant drilling a couple of holes into my concrete... which meant using a concrete drill piece... BUT... the drill itself couldn't quite handle it and the next thing you know there was smoke pouring out of it followed by a few flames!  This of course meant a trip to Bunnings to buy a new drill... Mike wasn't too upset by that prospect.

By the time it got dark Mike had installed the gate into it's new home and worked out how the fence was going to go as well.  Then he decided that he'd make Moroccan lamb burgers for dinner!

Mike's been watching too many cooking shows because he often talks about 'letting the flavours infuse'... or 'using different flavour profiles'... and it's all said for dramatic effect of course!  He has actually been really enjoying cooking lately and I hardly ever get to be in the kitchen myself!

I really like my creative pieces on this page... some days they just come together really well.  For the date pocket I cut my date using a Tim Holtz die and then I got busy on my Silhouette and cut a pot plant pot and plant.  I did a bit of inking... added a mini banner from my stash and a cork star finished it off.

Since Mike was working on the gate I decided to replicate that in my second pocket.  The packaging the cork stars came in had a 'wood grain' background on the card so I used that to cut a gate from with my Silhouette.  It needed something so I added the black beams to match in with our real fence a bit and then I went through my flower stash and found a few pieces that looked good.

So that's what we did on Monday... thanks for visiting xx

Friday, January 1, 2016

December Daily: Dec 27

After our day out on the bike we decided to have a fairly domesticated day on Sunday.

First thing in the morning we got rid of some of the old dirt and stones from the driveway.  It's surprising how much it all weighs and I'm super pleased we pay at the dump by size versus weight!  Another bonus is that the ute, which we borrowed from Mike's boss, has a tipper on it.  Mike still had to shovel some of it off so that we didn't end up with the entire ute going over the side but once it got going the tipper made the rest of the job quick and easy.

On the way back from the rubbish dump we called into Bunnings for some herb plants for the new planter boxes Michael has made.  We chose all the herbs we actually cook with... no point growing something we're not even going to use!  When we got home we popped them all up on the bench and table because it was too hot for planting.

A little later in the day Michael came and told me I needed to bring my camera to the kitchen... and who was there but Mr Dougal!  It turns out that he really doesn't like the smell of Basil so he thought he'd add his own 'perfume' to the plants!  Oh My Goodness!!!  So naughty!!!

Later on when it had cooled down we got busy filling the planter boxes with potting mix and getting the herbs set up in their new home.  Mike mentioned to me that he didn't really know what to do because he'd only ever grown 'pot' plants before (if you know what I mean!) I told him the process was exactly the same but with a completely legal outcome LOL  As tidy as he is with everything else he's a messy gardener... but he did clean up after himself when he was done!

We'd actually told the boys that we were going to plant the herbs as a family but Toby pulled the "I've got no thumbs' excuse on us as per usual and Dougal said he 'didn't want to get dirty'... and quite frankly it was nice to have some peace and quiet while we were planting... and then they were too quiet so I went to investigate and I found them in the lounge watching the Discovery channel on TV!  I snuck back out and grabbed my camera and managed to get a photo of them while the seagulls were on the screen.  I really couldn't help but laugh at how engrossed they were in the programme... and of course it's highly educational!

For my creative pieces I used a 'happy holidays' from Heidi Swapp's pack along with my die cut date and a cork star.  For the bottom piece I die cut a few flowers using some of the patterned paper I've used earlier in my album and I quite like the summery results.

Thanks so much for stopping by and...