Saturday, December 30, 2017

Simple Tidings

Firstly I hope you had a lovely Christmas, we did and as all the "duty" things are now out of the way I can relax a bit - may even have time to use some of the new goodies I got from the man in the red suit :-)
I have a "Twofer" today; for those non-Australians that is "Two for the Price of One"... both are really simple cards and I didn't think they (one in particular) merited their own post so, "Twofer" it is!!
Firstly I have one I made for Christmas this year; I bought a laser printer recently (and had a laminator) to get into the foil embossing "thang" that's going around, and BOY have I got into it :-)  This is the one of 19 I made using the technique somewhere on it this year!
Of course, I have now discovered that foiling is even harder to capture in a photo than glitter!
I used background paper that has foil strips on it; it was originally a 12" piece bought years ago.. I've slowly whittled it down and now have a very small snippet left, off this snippet, so I'm entering Pixies Snippets Playground challenge to use Snippets
I have a few pics here, not to show details; just to try and capture the shiny goodness of this foil
The sentiment is a freebie I got from the generous Paulette at Create with TLC, I added a shadow using Word - sometimes that just adds a shadow around the "outside" of the whole image, sometimes (like in this case) it adds it to each word.  Printed it using my laser printer then obviously then ran it through the laminator with Gold Deco Foil.  Ribbon from stash.
The second card is one I made for Christmas 2015 (I didn't make any last year) and was a bit embarrassed to "blog", it's so straightforward - I would like to say the biggest problem with this card was the photography - it looks so much better in real life.  I used Versa Linen card, edged with Gold ink.
I can't remember the source of the embossing folder, could be Sizzix, the snowflake border is a die from Memory box, as is the Candles (named, unsurprisingly "Memory Box Candles"), I inked those up after cutting too.  "Joy" is either a Sizzix or Memory Box die, I think Sizzix, cut from gold card
The sentiment on the inside is from the now-defunct Tickled Pink Stamps, the frame is from the same set: I love this stamp set, use it soooo much :-)
So that's it!  I am entering one or other of these cards in the following challenges, you pick which one :-)) Well, Cutie Pie Challenge  has "Stars and/or Snowflakes" as their theme, so that would be the second card with the embossing folder snowflakes (as well as the snowflake border) and Pile It On has "Non-Traditional Christmas Colours" as their theme so the first one with it's pink/peach/coral colour is the one for there... with the same card being for Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge (as it's the only one using patterned paper!),but all these other challenges apply to either card:
Sweet Stampin' Last Minute/ CAS Christmas
So that's all for today, I am going to go and get dressed now... it's 2pm and I'm still in my PJs, as is hubby; which is something we NEVER do, in fact I think this is a first - really enjoyed it tbh :-)  We have to go out in a while, we're having a few friends over to bring in the New Year and really should get the ingredients together for the promised "Pizza night".  The weather is great, not too hot but warm enough for a midnight swim if you feel like it (though as we've got older we all are less prepared to mess up our hair/makeup than we were when we were younger, lol.  One couple that are coming we've known for 25 years, we don't care with them and they us, lol, but some of the others haven't seen us at our "glorious best", so we may not want to dispel the myth, haha.
If I don't get back, enjoy your New Year Celebrations and I'll see you in 2018.  Until then, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Koala Christmas

Well, another month has gone since I last posted, who knows where the time goes?  
This is a card I made for my Aunty in Wales; we live in Australia and the sun is blazing at Christmas time, so I usually try NOT to use "traditional" Christmas images on cards I'm sending to the UK... coals to Newcastle and all that :-) 
The truth is I've been suffering from depression for a while - it's a longstanding struggle and Mum's death and Dad's demise has knocked me.  I'm finding it hard to get enjoyment out of Blogging, anything really, even crafting - luckily this little chap "found" me and I really enjoyed making this card... leaving plenty of offerings in my Drafts Folder, some actually worth Blogging, lol.  
He is a digi stamp called, unsurprisingly, "Digistamp Koala from Lili of the Valley but he came sans hat; I added a digi hat - I DO love digis, so versatile... do you want to know HOW glad I am LOTV started doing digis?? Well, VERY :-)) He is one of their "bears" - even though koalas are NOT bears, and of course while I was there I HAD to buy the entire gorgeous Alpha Bears and NumBears collections, it seemed rude not to :-) 
I coloured with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, adding Stickles to the fur trim and Glossy Accents to his nose.  Koalas don't actually have glossy noses, so a bit of poetic license, lol, and they are not native to my state of Western Australia so MORE poetic license... still I did say "From Australia" not "From Western Australia" :-)
The latest "thing" in my life is foil embossing.  I bought a laser printer and already had a laminator so I've been "foiling" like a mad thing.  I generated the sentiment in Word then foiled it in gold.... I have discovered that foil is as hard as sparkle to capture in a pic! Doesn't show at all in this one, sigh. Looks good IRL... yeah, I know they all say that! 

The frame is cut with a Paper Roses Stitched Frames die, they cut beautifully, btw, using American Craft card - I must say this cuts SO much cleaner than the Kaisercraft card I usually use.  I kept the whole thing pretty flat for posting Air Mail. The background paper is from Wild Rose Studio, it's lovely, but it is paper, not card, so a sharp blade is a must for a clean finish.  The piece on the front actually had a square cut out of the middle that I used on another card, as did the outer mat. - love getting double duty out of supplies - AND it kept the weight down for mailing :-) I used another sheet from the Annabelle's Christmas pack for the inside.
That's it.  I am doing "Christmas" stuff today.... hubby has had to go to work, yup, on a Sunday (he is definitely too old for this cr@p, lol) so I am making hay as it were
I am entering my card in the following challenges... one thing for sure there's an embarrassment of riches at this time of year when you make a Christmas card, lol
Hiding in- my Craft Room Use a Digital Image
Cute Card Thursday Festive Colours
Allsorts Challenges Cold and Frosty Colours
Pile It On Non Traditional Colours
Little Red Wagon Christmas Critters - Christmas is in summer in Australia, hope my festive koala fits the bill, please ignore my entry if not
4 Crafty Chicks Christmas/Winter Critters; again, hope my Santa Koala fits the "Christmas" part of the challenge, Christmas being a summer event here.  If not sorry for the inconvenience
Animal Friends Anything Goes using an animal image
Tuesday Throwdown Is either Christmas or Anything Goes… they didn't say
Pixies Snippets Playground Use snippets - the blue card.. And the paper on the front
Cupcake Inspirations These gorgeous cupcakes with a "Holiday" theme 

I will be back before Christmas, this is my goal, and I'll probably Blog multiple cards as I HAVE "mass produced" to a certain extent and I'm embarrassed to dedicate a whole post to each foiled card.  I can slip in some of the less than stellar offerings from my Drafts while I'm at it, teehee.
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Friday, November 17, 2017

Another Simple Card

I have (yet another) simple card from my (yet again) Drafts Folder today, ONE day I'll get back into my Bloggin' Groove.  I've still got a lot of cards "unblogged" so I'll keep chipping away at them :-)
This is a card I made for my Sister in Law when her son died in 2015... I can't believe it is over two years since sweet Bradley went to a better place, but it is!
The grey and white designer paper is gorgeous in real life... just impossible to capture in photographs!  It has a lustre on the gold and a true pearl finish to the white... yummy!  It is from one of my "birthday vouchers" from my son, from one of my favourite haunts for "fab" paper... Starfish Lane in Perth.'

I popped the patterned paper (with flat black mat) up on foam dots.  I used versa linen light card for the image, colouring the sky and grass with Prismacolor pencils before printing the trees - which is just a free-to-use image I downloaded from the net, resized and flipped to make each tree look a little different.  I added a few native grass trees (Brad loved the bush) with permanent marker and some long grass and shadows around the base of the trees, I also added some highlights to one side of the trees to indicate light source... and to just break it up a bit!
The sentiment on the front is from a clear stamp set, can't remember the maker, the larger dots (they are faceted, but that doesn't show in the pics) are stickers I've had for yonks, the small flatbacks are also from my stash
In the inside I used a sentiment I made in Photoshop a while ago, I have the .png file for it on my "Templates and Freebies page" or here, if you'd like to grab it, and the same techniques and finishes on the front.  I added the jotting panel to the inside "cover" as I think it looks nicer than writing on the card base itself
... and that's it :-))
I'd like to enter my card in the following challenges: 
Allsorts Challenges Theme: Colours of Autumn
Paper Creator Crafts Theme: Reds, Browns and Oranges
Cupcake Inspirations Using this pic as inspiration.......
Fab'n'Funky Challenges Theme: Masculine Touch
Cuttlebug Mania Theme: Masculine
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge Theme: Use Patterned Paper

So that's all folks for today.  I hope to be back a little sooner with my next card, I also hope to MAKE a Christmas card or too... but it's my son's birthday (again, I know!!) so that will have to take precedence, along with his cake of course
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Gift of Winter

I have a Christmas card from my (burgeoning!) Draft Folder today... this one was made for Christmas 2015 but it hasn't been "Blogged" yet so here it is
It's a very simple card, but I really love it.  Quite possibly the beautiful Sara Burrier image from Crafts and Me called "Gift of Winter" is the reason!  After printing the image on Versalinen paper I coloured it with Prismacolor pencils, I really like the effect of the pencils on the textured card.
The background paper is from Kaisercraft, can't remember the pack... it's probably one of my 6x6 pads (that's what I use the most) but it may not be; it's so long since I made it I simply don't know where to look, and if I'm completely honest my Mojo isn't quite back yet so I can't bring myself to get up and start looking for it!!
I cut the oval mat with Spellbinders Floral Ovals, love this set, and embossed it with gold embossing powder from Ranger - it doesn't give a smooth finish and is exactly the look I was going for with the vintage image and paper.  The poinsettia is a Cottage Cutz die (I think, the name I put on it has rubbed off!), the gold "beads" in the centre are actually from my stash of egg decorating supplies... from 20 years ago!!  Who said I'm a craft-hoarder, lol.
The little dove is a Memory Box die, I inked the edges with some Colorbox gold ink, which I used to soften all the edges on the card inside and out.  
Talking of the inside, here it is.  More paper from the same pad, the sentiment is a really old wood stamp - I should have juiced up my red inkpad but I think I get away with the slightly starved look - it has a vintage feel.  The same Spellbinders Floral Oval die for the mat, Spellbinders Standard Oval die for the sentiment panel and poinsettia die as on the front.  That's it
I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Little Red Wagon What's Red All Over? (Use Lots of Red)
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge Use Patterned Paper
Cute Card Thursday Vintage/Distressing
Hiding in my Craftroom Anything Holiday
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Anything Christmas Goes (opt: Things with Wings
12 Months of Christmas Anything (Christmas) Goes
A Snowflakes Promise Anything (Christmas) Goes
Simply Papercrafts Anything Goes
Create and Inspire Anything Goes
Polkadoodles Anything Goes
Creative Fingers Anything Goes
Crafty  Creations Anything Goes
Little Miss Muffet Anything Goes
Simon Says Challenge Anything Goes

Thought I'd add a quick pic of the twins... my how they've grown!  We took them to a local park last week and my son Chris took a few pics - these ones are from LAST year, the same park though, lol, I'll add the current ones another day
I hope to be back soon with another offering (quite possibly from that Draft Folder... though I HAVE managed to add some "new" makes to it over the last few weeks, so it's not as dire as it sounds.  Until then Happy Crafting, Donna 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Butterflies, Boxes and Back on the Horse

Hello everyone.  Things have finally settled down enough in my "real life" for me to get back, at least in a small way, into my crafting.  I have dragged one of my makes out of my Drafts Folder, it's an "exploding box" card I made for my friend Andrena's 50th birthday, I really like them - she loved it, I hope you like it too.
It is made of quite heavy gold card, the patterned paper is Graphic 45.  I've also used a handmade paper as a mat and there's a ton of embossed velour paper involved too, oh and the trim is ribbon.  
The border on the lid was cut with a die cut, I think it's a Magnolia one... frankly I can't be bothered going to my craft room to check!  It works great as a border of the lid... just bends a bit when you stand it up! 
I used a Memory Box butterfly die cut in gold and trimmed with Swarovski diamantes on the top.  Stripy pink and plain green ribbon from my stash.

You all know how these things work; here's a picture with the lid "off"
The inside butterflies were cut from the Graphic 45 paper and jazzed up with some pearl and iridescent paints before being cut out and stuck to acetate strips to make them "float"  Photos never do these cards justice, it was really lovely in real life, with loads of texture.  The flowers are from my stash, the green ribbon on the inside is SO lush, yum yum. Wooden numerals painted with the same paints and a Happy Birthday die cut from gold (Sissix I think) complete the card
I always find it hard to find a place to write on these box cards... in this instance I made a mini card using some gold card and a scrap of the Graphic 45 paper, embellished it with a border and some bling then stuck it inside the lid of the box; worked really well :-)
That's about it for today's offering.  I hope to be back fairly soon... I do have a LOT in my drafts still, and I have made a few cards in the last year, most of which I photographed though not all :-(
I'd like to enter in the following challenges: 

Fave…Ribbons or Flowers, and Why - loads of flowers here, but I actually prefer ribbon because it's so user-friendly, comes in so many patterns and sits flat - which suits "my" style of card
Border Punches or Border Dies (used a die)
Crafty Cardmakers edit: ineligible... my card/box is entered in more than 15 challenges, whoops. sorry ladies!
Fancy Folds
Die Cuts Only (no image, but yes to sentiment) even my sentiment is die-cut, lol
Autumn - I've used Autumn colours... my favourite!
Anything Goes
#283 Anything but a Card - if you count this as a box!
Anything Goes
Snippets -I've used snippets of card AND ribbon
#Anything Goes opt: Fall - used Autumn colours
Anything but a Square - well it IS square, but not a "square card"... I think that's in the spirit of the challenge
Anything Goes
Anything Goes (Always)

Anything Goes (Always)
Crafting With FriendsCrafting with Friends #52 
Anything Goes (Always)
Anything Goes (Always)
Anything Goes (Always)

Use Patterned Paper 
Anything Goes
#123Anything Goes, opt: Leaves
#51 Anything Goes
Anything Goes (Always)

On a personal note: My Dad has gone into permanent care, which is a hard thing for a family to come to as any of you that have done it would know, but we just couldn't keep him safe at home anymore.  It is a lovely place and he is settling as best as we could hope.

I have sold his house (emptying it first!), very stressful in a buyers market when we had a lower limit on what we "needed" to pay the bond for the home; we nearly made it, and have enough to come up with the shortfall.  Not having to pay $1200 a fortnight INTEREST on the bond (which hubby and I have been coming up with) is going to relieve the stress a lot - this is the first fortnight it won't apply, so we'll see :-)
I have managed to keep only six (albeit large-ish) boxes of "stuff" from Mum and Dad to sort and/or store... they bought a Royal Albert Old Country Roses full dinner and tea set each for us, I have emptied one of the display cabinets in my craft room (which is next to our family room) and installed lighting to display it and SOME of the gazillion matching crystal glasses my son eventually wants as his heirloom - it looks really nice, even though it was never my cup of tea, pardon the pun 
Anyway, until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna                         

Sunday, July 23, 2017

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, in a few minutes in fact, I lost my beloved Mum.  As it turns out I essentially lost my lovely Dad at that moment too.
Dad had started showing signs of dementia well before the accident, but with a strong structure he was able to live very well with my Mum at the helm; with her gone (and the circumstances of her passing) he began to unravel.  Five days after Mum died (the day I was at the Funeral Directors signing the last of the papers - the delay was due to the Coroner being involved) my sister rang and said she couldn't get Dad up.  We went there, thought he'd had a stroke and called the ambulance; turns out he had sepsis and was admitted to hospital where he stayed for ten days - he was allowed out for four hours to attend the funeral five days later.
Long story short the authorities decided on Dad's care without consultation with us - we were deemed "vulnerable" because of the Mum situation, the Power of Attorney I hold for him holding no sway-they treated vigorously an infection that could have easily seen him out, which he has repeatedly stated he wants, that has left him so damaged we were advised to find permanent residential care as soon as possible.  Turns out seven months of caring for a completely dependent, demented, incontinent person is "as soon as possible".  It was very hard, my sister lived with Dad I "did" days she did evenings/nights/mornings.  My husband and I did weekends - anyone who has dealt with caring for a parent with advanced dementia knows exactly the issues we faced, anyone who hasn't can't know; suffice to say "hard" doesn't begin to describe it. We had two sessions of respite, the first one at which he was assaulted by a fellow resident with more advanced dementiam
We got Dad into the facility of our choice on 1st March, then came the chore of preparing his house for sale to finance the $550,000 bond..  Trust us to have to sell (my husband and I are paying the interest on the unpaid bond at the rate of $603 a WEEK until the house sells) when the housing market is at the lowest for over ten years!
It took us two months to clear the house out - my sister returned to her home in the country for several weeks, so it was "my job", turns out Dad's been hoarding for years - cupboards FULL of neatly stacked JUNK!!
Now the house is not selling we are doing what we can (within financial reason) to freshen it up - we are currently repainting inside, it is a big house with four bedrooms three bathrooms and three living rooms so it's a LOT of painting... we are paying a painter to do the formal living and dining rooms as they have huge vaulted ceilings and we're not game to get on scaffold at our advanced age.  The agent can't believe it is not selling as it is a prime property - not much is moving in this section of the market, it should pick up "soon", whatever that means!
So hopefully I will get back to crafting (I've made two cards and two cakes in a year!) once the dust settles on this.  I go to see Dad every other day, but usually that is only an hour or so out of my day - once that's the only "extra" thing I have to fit in I can get back to it.
Of course I have had to sort my own place out too, to make room for some of the stuff that Mum has left us... I don't really want a full Old Country Roses dinner set, but Mum bought one for my sister and one for me, and told us that was her intention so I'll find a place for it :-) it's made me sort my craft stuff out too, ye gods and little fishes... talk about hoarding, lol.
Can't wait for this time of my life to be behind me, not enjoying it at all, but at least things are better than they were this time last year and the year to come should be better than the one gone
I won't post until I have something "craft-dee" to share, I do have LOADS in my drafts, so until then Happy Crafting