Friday, April 28, 2017

Polynesian Paradise card

Hi there :)  I've been playing around in my craft room again... mostly because I got a new parcel of goodies that were just crying out to be used immediately!  It also helped that Nina came for a crafting visit :)

Here's the card I made using My Favorite Things - Polynesian Paradise stamps and dies:

I totally love how it turned out... and you'll definitely be seeing more cards made with this fabulous set of stamps and dies!  I took a few 'in the process' photos to share with you as well.

The stamps and dies from the Polynesian Paradise set actually arrived before Easter so I already had lots of pre-coloured (with my Zig Clean Colour Markers) and cut images ready to be used for this card but my new package of goodies had the leaf dies in them so I started with that.

First of all I grabbed some watercolour paper and inked it up with Bundled Sage, Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks.  I did a bit of watercolouring first but then I realised I wanted something a bit more intense so I dropped the Bundled Sage out of the equation and did some ink blending with the other two colours... so much better!

Next I unpackaged by brand new Wild Greenery die set and die cut some leaves... this die cut so smoothly and the leaves looked awesome.

I added a bit more Distress Ink to the leaves once they were cut to give them a bit of a lift.

Then I started on the background.  I die cut a piece of kraft cardstock using my Lawn Fawn small stitched rectangles die... I use this die set ALL the time when I'm making cards.  Then I decided to use my brand new Diagonal Design Background stamp from My Favorite Things.  I stamped it with my new Kraft dye ink (also from My Favorite Things) and I really, really like the kraft on kraft effect... it's subtle but adds so much interest.

Now for the fun part... actually 'building' the card!  I die cut a circle from Itsy Bitsy Polka Dots paper pad using my new Inside and Out stitched Circle dies... I'll be using these ones again for sure!  Then I curved a couple of the palm leaves around the circle and adhered them in place.

Luckily at this point I realised that I wanted to stamp and emboss a sentiment on my card so I quickly did it before I added even more layers!

Then I literally started adding all my stamped elements until I was happy with the arrangement.  Some are stuck down with Multi Medium Matte and some have been adhered using thin foam dots.  I also added a 'googly' eye to the turtle before backing the whole thing with some purple cardstock.

Then I popped the entire card front onto a side fold card... but something was missing and I just couldn't figure out what it was...

.... oh yes, a 'googly' eye for the chameleon as well!  Here's another look at my finished card (with both 'googly' eyes in place).

So pleased with how it all turned out... and I even went on to make another card but by the time I'd finished it the lighting was terrible for taking a photo so I'll have to share that with you next time.

Here's a wee photo from my new craft room yesterday... thanks Nina for coming to visit :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today xx

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy Batty Birthday

I've got a bit of creativity to share with you today... this time in the form of a 'Batty' Birthday card.  I made this card for one of my nieces who really likes things that are a little bit different... and since it was for her birthday, I made a matching gift card holder which she was absolutely delighted with!

Here's the finished project:

I used some super cute bat stamps from Gerda Steiner designs - Bats:

Luckily for me I took photos while I was making this card because I've had a couple of requests to make more for other people... definitely helps when you can't quite remember what you did.  For those of you crafters out there that like to gather ideas from others... and don't we all???... I've got a little tutorial for you about how I made my card.

I started off with my MISTI and stamping my chosen bat image straight onto some watercolour paper.  After stamping my image I heat embossed it which is totally my favourite thing to do when I'm watercolouring.

Next I chose another one of the bats and stamped and heat embossed him onto the label for the gift card envelope which I made using Lawn Fawns small stitched envelope die.

Then is was time to make a mask for each of my bats using masking paper.   I love how easy masks are to use to get awesome results.

I fussy cut the bats out and then stuck them over my embossed images.

I wasn't quite done with the masking yet though... I decided to cut a moon for each bat since bats only come out at night.

With both masks firmly in place I started adding some colour using Spun Sugar Distress Ink.  I went in fairly close to the moon and the bats since this was going to be the lightest colour in my background.

Next came Shaded Lilac Distress Ink:

Followed by Picked Raspberry Distress Ink:

Then some Wilted Violet Distress Ink:

And finally, Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink.  As you do each layer you need to stop a little before the last colour so that there is a graduation of colour.

Now that all the inking was finished, I went ahead and added some water to a little bit of Pearl paint and then 'artistically' flicked it over the background.

Now comes the hard part... for me at least... let the paint dry!  I'll admit that I always want to get my heat gun out at this point, but I've found that with the pearl paint the heat gun seems to make it blend in with the background rather than stay pearly on the top of the ink.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Cookie Monster would have just gotten out the heat gun LOL

Once the paint is completely dry it's time to take the masks off the moons... leave the bat masks on for now!

I decided to try to add a bit on interest to the moons using Distress Ink and my water pen.  You can see the difference here between the altered moon on the card and the untouched moon on the gift card holder.

After a bit of experimenting I found the colours that worked best for me were Pumice Stone and Weathered Wood Distress Inks. 

Once the moons were both done I removed the masks from the little bats.  They looked super white!

I coloured the bats using Zig Clean Color Markers in the following colours: 090 Gray, 097 Pale Gray, 080 Violet, 082 Purple and 200 Sugared Almond Pink.

Next I stamped a sentiment on the front of my card and heat embossed it:

Since I had my embossing supplies out I also embossed some little bats onto the back of the gift card holder:

I backed the card front with black cardstock to match it in with the gift card holder and it certainly made the colours pop.

The sentiment on the card front reads: I bat you don't know... so of course I had to put something cute on the inside as well:

I took a quick photo with my camera when I'd finished and I love how it looks like the moon is really glowing!

Here's my finished card:

And here's another look at the set:

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today xx

Monday, April 24, 2017

Awakeri Rail Adventures

Hi there :)  Every now and then you get to experience something that you just HAVE to share with others... and this is one of those times.

On Friday, 21st April, Mum celebrated her birthday... she also celebrated her retirement!  Krystal thought this was worthy of a little getaway so she planned a couple of nights away at  Awakeri Springs.  We stayed in one of their cabins and it was perfect for our needs.  Nice and close to Whakatane for shopping and eating out... but just rural enough to be super quiet... and who could resist having a hot swim at the end of the day... certainly not us!

We didn't take any photos of the hot pools at night but it's really lovely... and best of all, on our second night we had the entire pool to ourselves!

Getting back to Friday... when Krystal was booking our accommodation she saw a link to Awakeri Rail Adventures and decided to do a bit of investigating.  It sounded really good and she even managed to get us some discount vouchers from Grab One so we were all in... and what an AWESOME time we had!

Our host (the owner) was Paul and he was hilarious.  Right from the moment we arrived we felt like he was on old family friend.  Paul had an excellent sense of humour, he was witty and had some fabulous one-liners... and his impressions of Prince Charles and the Queen were beyond funny!

You travel on the rail adventure inside self-driven rail carts and since Mum and I both had our cameras Krystal decided that she would be our chauffeur.  Between us we took almost 500 photos during our three-hour adventure... Mum took 342 of them!

I decided to do something a little different this time so I used Kerri Bradford's - Travelers Templates #3 to record our trip.  I really like all the white space and the clean, uncluttered layout.

Here's how it turned out:
Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

I really loved using these templates and how easy they were to use.  I don't actually have a travelers notebook but I think I might print these pages off and add them to a spiral notebook in my stash.

After we finished our rail adventure we took Mum to The Whitehouse Cafe for lunch.

We had a yummy lunch but the highlight for me was without doubt the old fashioned lemonade float.  They make their own lemon syrup and lemon sorbet for this little delight... and it was just eye-twitching enough to be tangy but refreshing!

So there you have it... a birthday celebration and the start of a happy retirement.

Thanks so much for stopping by today xx

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Easter everyone :)

Hi there :)

Officially, Easter is over for another year.  We've had a house full of people this Easter and it's been great... but now I've got the house to myself... and Toby and Nivea of course... and it's quiet and peaceful which is also great!

We had an abrupt end to the school term on Thursday when Cyclone Cook decided to make an appearance.
Cyclone Cook over Lake Taupo
 Instead of doing everything we planned on Thursday we were ringing the parents of our children to ask them to come and get them because the Ministry of Education decided to close all the Rotorua schools early.  We could see the rain coming... the skies were getting darker and we knew the wind was on it's way.

I knew that Toby and Nivea would probably be freaking out at home so I was really pleased to get back to them at lunchtime before the worst of it hit.  There were lots of road closures happening too, so I was super pleased that Michael was able to get home from work early as well.
Road Closures near Matamata
Michael's daughter (Roxanne) was due to come up for Easter and we didn't know if she and Alesha would be able to get through the roads from Wellington but they arrived bright and early on Good Friday.

My Mum officially retired and had her last day of work on Thursday so she came over for Easter as well and Krystal came and joined in on the festivities too!

On Sunday morning Mum, Krystal and I all got busy in the kitchen and cooked a big breakfast for everyone... super delicious!  We had hash browns, breakfast sausages, streaky bacon, mushrooms in a creamy sauce and French toast... oh my!  Ten minutes after this photo was taken there was barely anything left!

So, on with the crafting... a few weeks ago a bubble bag arrived in my mailbox filled with all sorts of treasures... they're the best kind of parcels a crafter could wish for!  Inside this particular parcel was a new die for making 3D cards - Lawn Fawn - Scalloped Box Card Pop-Up.

Michael thought I was crazy making Easter cards so early... but I'm glad I did because school got crazy busy in the last few weeks of the term and I got no crafting done at all!  Today I'm officially on school holidays YIPPEE!

So back to the cards... I made one for my youngest sisters children (she has three girls).  Since they're all girls I went with pink colours:

My other sister also has three children (two boys and a girl) so I used a bit of blue for their card:

I fully intended taking some 'staged' photos of my cards... I even bought myself a gorgeous Easter bunny to help set the scene... and then I kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off some more.  The next thing I knew it was Easter weekend and one of my sisters called in to collect the cards and eggs before heading off to see the other sister and I had to make do with a horrible rainy day for my photos.  I'm feeling a little bit grateful that I managed to take photos at all to be honest.

I've got lots of crafting to show you... including a new crafting space... but since I'm on school break I'll have more time for blogging so I'll share all that soon.

Here's a gorgeous wee girl talking to her Dad about Easter... we've watched this several times over Easter and I'm still loving it!

I hope you have all had a safe and happy Easter xx