Monday, November 17, 2014

When is a Challenge Not a Challenge?

For me using digi images is no challenge at all, so calling this week's theme over at the Card Mania blog a "challenge" felt a bit like cheating!  I thought I'd add to my Christmas card pile, this is what I came up with
I embossed some white card with my new Snowflakes Embossalicious embossing folder; it's 6x6 so no pesky lining up to do.  The Paper Shelter wants snowflakes so I'm entering there.  The digi I've used is called Santa Mouse; this little cutie is one of the StampArt Design by Kathryne designs available here at Whimsy Stamps  Cutie Pie Challenge has Festive Furry Friends as their challenge, so I'm entering there, Papertake Weekly have 2 or 4 legs, so in there too and Sparkles Monthly Challenge theme is "the Big Guy (Santa)" so I'm entering there, hopefully my mouse sized Big Guy is big enough!  Crafty Creations has a recipe: 3 Layers, 2 Papers and 1 sweet Image... I'm in
I coloured with Copics, adding some of the deeper shadows with Prismacolor pencils.  I also added pastel white shimmering EP... but of course the glitter doesn't show in the pic, grrr.
I fussy cut Santa Mouse out very carefully (okay, I bailed when I got down to the curly bit of the tail, but I got most of it!) then mounted the image on an Action Wobbler... I've just about run out of these, but I've found a few tutorials on YouTube (here's one) on how to make your own... I'll let you know how I go :-)  
Here's a few pics attempting to show how he moves around - but I've got to say it's a challenge getting the thing to wobble and then getting back far enough quickly enough to get a focused photograph with it still moving!!
I thought I'd go the whole digi hog and used digital paper too... these are all from Nitwits Merry Christmouse 2 collection. Top Tip Tuesday wants us to use 3+ papers, I'm in! I tried to trim the red panel so that the "merry Christmouse" printed on the paper could be seen, the lazy way of adding a sentiment (well the quick way, for some reason time is still hurtling by)  The glittery gold matting card is from my stash, the stuff on the front in particular is a nice "soft" gold, I'm really going to have to try and get some more of it.
I used the sketch from Sketch Saturday , I even rounded the corners where appropriate... using my newly obtained 1" EK Success Corner Rounder.  I bought a couple of new corner rounders when I bought a slot punch recently... the reason I bought the slot punch is I was going to make some more tabs to hang my ribbons on; I have loads from Ribbon Ring and they're fabulous... but no longer ship to Australia, so I'm trying to come up with alternatives, at this point I've just got some nice corner rounders out of it, lol
I followed the sketch for the inside of the card too, mixing it up a bit so you can see more of the "Merry Christmouse" paper, I turned the jotting panel so that the rounded corners didn't match the mat, I liked it better that way.
Divas by Design had this gorgeous picture inspiration, I've taken it simply as a picture of Christmas so I'm entering there.   Delightful Challenges,  Without WordsCrafty CalendarBearly Mine Challenges and Stamping Sensations all have Christmas Challenges running so I'm entering them, and Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge has a Colour Choice Challenge, I've chosen Red, White and Green.
Christmas Stampin' All Year LongThrough the Craftroom DoorPaper Creator CraftsLittle Miss Muffet and That Craft Place all have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering them too.
Well that's it for today's card, pop over to the Card Mania Blog and check out the rest of the team's fab work.  Why not enter the challenge, after all, all you have to do is use a digi - no challenge at all really is it?  Great prize on offer too.
I thought I'd add a couple of pics of my "bionic hip" The machine to burn them to disc was not working on the day I had them taken, so these pics were taken with the Xtrays propped up against my lightbox in the craftroom... at least they're backlit!
The surgeon was very happy with me on Friday, I'm allowed to drive now, but alas all the other restrictions are still in place for another six weeks.  I am cheating a bit, I slept (with a pillow between my knees, so not ALL bad) for an hour this morning and yesterday... and I'm going to do it again tomorrow; I just don't get good sleep on my back!  I'm up to all my usual duties in the house, walking without aids and running the business etc, but BOY do I get tired! 
It's my son Chris's 30th birthday next Monday, I'm making him a cake... he's having a party in the park with a carnival theme this weekend (like a kid's party, the BIG 3 little 0 sort of thing)  I've got as far as baking four of the cakes, 3 more tomorrow should be enough... then I've got to start moulding some characters - there could be a very floppy ringmaster on show on the weekend, and I'll know EXACTLY how he feels, rofl
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Falling for Autumn at Di's Digi Challenge

Autumn is my absolutely favourite time of the year, so it's somewhat ironic that I live in Western Australia where we have a short and not very spectacular autumn, and are in fact in Spring right now!  However at Di's Digis Challenge Blog there's a new challenge starting today with autumn as the theme, so I'm getting my fill of autumn (or fall) lushness.  
As I said I don't have a great deal of autumnal splendour to base my ideas on, but I did plant a couple of Japanese Maple trees a few years ago (when I lost the battle with hubby over the HUGE Liquidamber that used to reside in our front lawn... I got to replace one rather muddy deciduous tree with two (very much smaller) spectacularly rich coloured ones, they are predominantly red, hence my card is. 
I've used one of Di's newer image, this is Fairies Storytime and you can get it here... cute isn't it?  I've coloured with Copics and there's lashings of Crystal Stickles on the wings (which of course you can't see), the white dots on the toadstools are Viva Decor Pear Pen.  I made a mistake and started trying to add coloured pupils to the fairies' eyes, so they look too dark; next time I'll just leave them as they are drawn.  I used my Lifestyle Crafts nesting circle dies to cut out all the panels and mats.
 I added a jewel ladybird to the bottom right hand corner adding Viva Pearl Pen eyes then swirls cut with a Memory Box Trailing Vines die that I was lucky enough to win in the fabulous Crafting Vicky's Candy recently (thanks Vicky)... I smothered it in Stickles too and it looks pretty good IRL, and of course doesn't show in the photos at all!  The little metal "Thanks" tag is from my stash - if need be I can change it out for another sentiment - they're handy like that.
The papers are Basic Grey's Indian Summer (not sure they do it any more), the deep red matting is from my stash.  I used the sketch from Tuesday Morning Sketches,
I followed the same sketch for the inside of the card, used more of the paper from the Indian Summer pad, and used some of the pattern used for the diagonal strip to cut the swirl - it shows up better than the paper I used on the front but as I only remembered to make this card late yesterday afternoon I ran out of time to change the one on the front, I will when I get time.
 Well that's about it for my very simple card, I hope you get time to join in the challenge, there's a great prize on offer from Marker Pop, and as always if you use one  of Di's lovely images you go into an extra draw with its very own prize.
I would like to enter the following challenges with this card: 
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Fall colours
Fall or Autumn Colours
Thankful Thoughts
Warm Colours
Bonfire Colours
Use Patterned Paper
Patterned Paper

On a Personal Note: I feel I have "turned a corner" with my recovery; Surgery was 5 weeks ago yesterday.  I had a consult with a Physio on Thursday and she told me (well confirmed really, I knew it already just didn't want to accept it) that I was doing too much and not medicating enough; she gave me better stretches and she also gave me acupuncture in the painful IT Band, Quadriceps, and my pectineus muscle (I think that's right, basically the one that joins your leg to your pelvis! it's been sore since day one which is very common in Hip Replacement Surgery).  I wasn't going to get acupuncture done as I considered it so much snake oil, but I was in so much discomfort in just about everywhere but my hip! and have been progressing so well in every other way I was pretty desperate... she used only nine needles on the Quads, and when the third one went in I felt a slight "popping" sensation (not painful, but like being flicked with an elastic band) and the relief was immediate!  Another four went in the Pectineus and I finally lost the dragging feeling, yay!!   I've slowed down a bit, medicated regularly (still only need Paracetemol, so not "heavy" medication) and I feel heaps better - back to the land of the living, doing all my chores :-( I'm walking around the house without any assistance, but do use a cane if I'm going for a long walk or to the shops as it gives me a bit of security.  One more week and I get to see an Xray of my bionic hip, and hopefully get cleared to drive.  What would be really nice is if my Surgeon thought I had healed so well he could lift the rest of my restrictions and I could sleep on something other than my back - not having to do that for the extra six weeks would be like winning the lottery I reckon :-))  I know he hasn't given me the extra restrictions to "punish" me, but 12 weeks IS a long time... still if needs be, sigh
Anyway until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Monday, November 03, 2014

Time to Use Your Dies for the Card Mania Challenge

I can't believe more than (another!) week has gone by since I posted on my blog... I've been spending a lot of time over at Bonesmart... sharing recovery stories with my fellow Hip replacees, time to think about bigger issues, like Craft, lol.  There's a new challenge starting today at the Card Mania Challenge, my third already as Guest DT, the theme this time is "Use Your Dies"... I love dies, not a problem; here's my contribution, a boxed set of note cards.
Now this project was a lot of work, very fiddly, so I'm going to bore you with a lot of photos... even if it's "more of the same" :-)  The main thing to note (as this challenge is about using dies) is that the dies I used are from the Spellbinders Shapeabilities Curved Borders 2 set. 
I love these things as they nest really well, but getting the "lining" behind the scrollwork lined up with the fancy edges perfectly was harder than I thought it would be... and of course I was committed to doing it seven times once I started!   I used very heavy weight textured brown card.  The orange paper is textured too, but light weight; it was a peachy shade originally... I coloured it with a YR Copic. Clear It Out has Theme: Orange  Stash: Use orange things so I'll be entering there. The patterned paper is from my "go to" shop for gorgeous paper; Starfish Lane.  Hiding in my Craft Room and Sparkles Monthly Challenge have Autumn colour challenges, so I'm entering there too.
Front of Box
Box Open
Back of Box
Here's the box, the front matches the note cards, the back uses the plain edge die used along the edge of the orange paper on the front of the box to cut the brown card as a flap,  I used some Velcro as a closer.  I'll pop back and post a template for the box... I just can't find where I hid, err I mean 'put' it at the moment!
The "pearls" are gold flatbacks from my stash coloured to suit using the same YR Copic I used for the paper.  The little brown bows were part of the fabulous basket of goodies my son Chris bought as my birthday gift, again from Starfish Lane
The note cards themselves are... well more of the same.  The only hiccup I encountered when making them was that I cut the top layer of first one with the "grain" of the textured card going in the opposite direction to the base of the card... so I had to cut the others the same, it meant I used more card in the end, ah well.
Crafty Cardmakers want to see something Cut Out for their challenge so I'm in, and the cut outs I have are Swirly and Curly so they'll fit in the Delightful Challenges Swirls and Curls Challenge.
I added patterned vellum to the inside of the cards, I had just a panel of it initially but it just didn't look right. I added another "loose" layer with a strip of the orange paper to hold it on and I think it works well.
Catch The BugThrough the Craftroom DoorDivas by DesignSimon Says Challenge and Anything But A Card challenges all have Anything Goes themes this time around so I'm entering them all.
Well that's it for today's project, I hope you liked it... and aren't sick of all the photos, lol.  Pop over to the Card Mania blog and check out the rest of the DT's inspiration, and I know we all like our Dies so why not get cutting and enter the challenge too.... there are great prizes from Marianne Design and Hobbisimo!
I'll be back in a day or so with a card from my drafts... I really thought this hip replacement would have me crafting and blogging every day - but for one reason or another I just haven't made it yet... and I can drive in less than two weeks so I'll defo be out partying then, lol
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Di's Digis Halloween Challenge

There's a new challenge starting today at Di's Digis Challenge Blog, the theme is Halloween... in perfect time for, well, Halloween!  I managed to knuckle down long enough in my craft room to get a card made.  I was surprised at how tired I got, it's really hard to sit on my swivel chair with the wedge cushion I have to use for the 12 weeks of my recovery, so I ended up standing for most of the journey - definitely have to remedy that!  Anyway here's what I came up with 
I used one of Di's newer digis, this one's called "A Little Bit of Magic", and you can get your Little Bit of Magic here  Isn't it sweet? Not really spooky at all!  I coloured with Copics, adding some extra shadows with Prismacolor pencils.  
I embossed the orb and the stars with Ranger's Bridal Tinsel and the belt with Rangers Multisparkle, as usual it hardly shows in the pic!  The base card has a lovely texture, the black matting is from my stash and the pale lilac mat is more of the pebble paper I love so much that I get from Starfish Lane .  
I used the sketch from Digi Sketch Challenge, following it pretty literally until I added the three gems instead of two.
The paper I used is also from Di... it's her first attempt at Digital Paper and I think you'll agree she's done a super job.  What's more she's offering it as a freebie on the challenge site, so why not grab yours here.  I changed the colour to purple and white from black and white using Word... simply by clicking Format then choosing a colour in the Colour tab... really super easy.  Cutie Pie Challenge is Perfectly Purple, plenty of purple here so I'm entering.
The "sentiment" is actually cut from another fabulous freebie paper that I got from Shery K Designs... I love this paper, one of set of 10 that's one of my go-to's for Halloween. Aud Sentiments wants to see a two or three word sentiment, this is one word twice... hope it counts :-) Without Words has BOO as their theme, not only do I have BOO...twice, this is about as scary a card as I'm likely to make, and it satisfies their criteria of few or no embellies with only the couple of dots, appropriately from the BOO collection!
I've used the same elements on the inside of the card, you can see a tad more of Di's yummy paper, but not much more I know.
Tuesday ThrowdownThe Paper ShelterCrafts 4 EternityCorrosive ChallengeBearly Mine ChallengesCute Card ThursdayGem of a Challenge and Clear It Out all have Halloween (or variations of) themes, so I'm entering them while  Through the Craftroom DoorAddicted to  StampsWhimsy Inspirations Challenge and Art by Miran all have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering them too.
Well that's it for today's card, I hope you get a chance to check out my teamies fab projects... and grab yourself that yummy paper, why not enter the challenge while you're there, there's a fab prize from The Cutting CafĂ© and if you use one of Di's cute images you go in an extra draw too!
I'm off to bed now, this is the first night since my op that I will be getting myself to bed, hubby went early (he's probably shattered doing the heavy housework on top of his regular work!) I have been keeling over pretty early myself, but have managed to stay up this evening - and I did quite a bit today; I had reflexology and a neck and shoulder massage... it was lovely but I can't wait until I can have a "proper" massage on a table - three weeks more and I should be able to do that (when at least some of my restrictions lift) and I made it all the way around the grocery shopping without having to sit down, admittedly I reverted to two crutches for the day, whereas I have been using only one for the the bulk of the last two days.  More than anything I find I get a wider berth if I use two and it makes me feel a lot safer in places like crowded shopping centres!
Just thought I'd add a couple of pics of the twins visiting me in hospital... in one you can see me, really not looking my glorious best, but it was Day 1 after major surgery, and the twins looking quite unfazed that they had evicted the invalid from her bed, lol

I'll be back in a day or so, I'm really ramping my crafting back up this week as my sister has gone back to the country after her visit (not that I saw her that much, but she did help fill a couple of days) and I'll be on my own and still unable to get out of the house much - may as well use the opportunity ;-)  Until then, happy crafting, Donna

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Hippy" to be Back

Well..... I'm ba-ack!  My Hip Replacement operation went well, there was more damage to the joint and femur (because of the Necrosis) than expected so my surgeon said it was "technically challenging" - he also said it was good of me to make it an interesting day for him... as he's GORGEOUS I said I was happy to oblige :-))  I was up on Day 0 on crutches and home on Day 3. something of a Poster Girl for the more difficult Posterior Approach.... then again I'm probably 20 years younger than the average candidate, lol.  More on that later.  The card I have today is the second of my inspiration projects for the Card Mania Challenge, the theme this week is Buttons; I was supposed to post it yesterday but, well, forgot eeek... so here it is now.
 I made a double easel card, I've only made one of these before, not sure why... I quite like them.  I used heavy textured burgundy (or is it ruby) card as the base; it definitely was better at not flattening out than the last one I made though it does still 'wilt' a bit.  The decorative papers were all from Kaisercraft's Gypsy Sisters pad - it's a real feast of texture, with flocking. sparkle and gloss featuring generously, the shaped borders are die cuts from the pad too. Divas by Design want to see texture, I'm in! 
I've used this colour combo before, though with the emphasis reversed (here's a link if you're interested) and I do really like it; Top Tip Tuesday and Delightful Challenges want to see our Favourite Colour Combinations so I'm entering there and That Craft Place has Girly but no pink, so in there too,
Now,the buttons - after all that's what the challenge is about!!  The beautiful turquoise and gold filigree buttons featured on the back layer have been in my stash for YEARS... originally I was going to make earrings from them.  I added a red pearl to the centre to tie them in with the colour scheme.  For good measure I added some tiny red buttons to the panel at the front, the scroll embellishment featured there is a self adhesive strip that I coloured with a Red Copic.
The image is from Milk n Coffee, who are the sponsors of the challenge this time around, it is "Tiffany with Champagne"  I coloured with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, adding gloss to the glass and cherry, Metallic gel pen to the necklace and Stickles to the earring and shoes
I cut the image panel with Nestabilities Standard Ovals die (leaving the base of her dress "outside" of course) the turquoise (actually it's called Tiffany, so more appropriate than ever) mat was cut using Nestabilities Scalloped Ovals and the Burgundy (ruby?) mat was cut with a Nestabilities Floral Ovals die.  The sentiment is from Craftworks Cards.
I added a jotting panel to the back of the card, I found last time I made one of these cards having the jotting panel on the inside meant you're flattening it out all the time making it harder to get it to stand to attention!  The floral oval is one of the die cuts that came in the Gypsy Sisters pad, I added some pearls to finish it all off... Done!!
I'm entering Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge Patterned Paper Challenge, and Crafty Calendar has this Bingo Board - I've used Die Cuts/Sentiment/Pearls
Seize the Birthday has an Anything (Birthday) Goes so I'm entering there and Through the Craftroom DoorBizzy BecsWhimsy Inspirations ChallengeAddicted to  StampsArt by Miran and Aud Sentiments all have Anything Goes challenges running so I'm entering them too.
Well that's it for today, pop over to the Card Mania blog and check out the rest of the button-y goodness. Hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too.
I'm done, the one thing I've really felt since this operation is what is a well known side effect; the energy drain.  I had the Posterior Approach for my surgery, leaving me with a bigger wound/scar, more muscle injury and more precautions but giving the surgeon a better working field - you don't second guess your surgeon on these things, so I was happy to go with his advice.
I am walking on one crutch only for most of the time, two when I'm on uneven ground and I'm taking no painkillers at all during the day, so I'm doing pretty well.... yet I can't seem to avoid the energy drain; it hits hard and fast and wipes me out, all I can do is nap.  I am getting better each day, doing Physio and walking as much as I can.  As the leg feels stronger and all the bruising and incidental stuff goes I feel generally better.  I hope to get some time in which I manage to stay awake and actually craft, I can't drive for another three and a half weeks at least, and my surgeon wants me to observe the precautions such as sleeping on my back (hate it!) not bending past 90 degrees etc for 12 weeks - which seems interminable.  I'm sure I'll survive :-))
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Monday, October 06, 2014

Tags are it at Card Mania

Some time ago I was asked if I'd like to be Guest Designer for the Card Mania Challenge... of course I said yes!  Of course in the mean time my hip replacement op has come up and I am currently at "Day 3" so I have scheduled this post. This is the first project I will be sharing, I'm "guesting" until the end of the year so it's the first of seven!  The theme at the challenge this time around is "Tags" - here's mine
We're being sponsored by Colorink Digital Stamps I've used the gorgeous Flower Boy Bunny image from Colorink, isn't he cute?!  I coloured with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, added some gloss to his eyes and nose then "fussy cut" him and mounted him on some foam dots for dimension.  The image comes with a sentiment but I actually forgot to add it, so it's sitting printed ready for another project :-))
The textured purple paper is from my favourite "special" paper store, Starfish Lane.  The pale lilac has flocked leaves on it and is from Kaisercraft's  Lilac Avenue pad, as is the central tag, which is what the whole tag was built around.  I added some shading with Copics to make it a bit less flat looking.  I added some more of the lilac paper to the back of the tag to write on, it's not flash as i hand cut it and probably would have benefited from ruling it first, next time :-)
I put a gold eyelet in with my trusty Crop-A-Dile and added some purple ribbon from my stash.  I was going to add some more embellies, but I just didn't think it needed them so I "stepped away from the tag", lol.  
So that's it for today's tag... I don't "do" tags very often but I'm thinking it's a great way to get some of my lovely digis "out there", and so useful too.
Now you don't have to make a tag to join in the challenge, you can make a card or project with a tag on it instead.  Pop over and check out the rest of the team's inspiration, well worth a look - hope you get a chance to enter the challenge, there's the fab prize from Colorink as added incentive don't forget :-)
I hope to be back online very soon, I'm in hospital for a while and probably won't be up to much for a week or so, but look forward to seeing you then.  Until then, Happy Crafting, Donna

I don't know if I'll get the chance to enter these challenges, but my tag suits the following: 
Opposites Attract: pic, opposite sides of colour wheel
Anything Goes 
Cute and Cuddly
Anything Goes, opt Christmas twist
Anything Goes
Make it Mini
Halloween Colours
Anything But a Card
Anything Goes

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