Where are you?

Just popping in to wave hello to my readers and let you all know I’m okay. Truly. Some  have been wondering what has happened to me since I suddenly stopped blogging months ago, but I AM okay. Happy in fact!!


So what happened?


Um…not much…..lots…..very little….everything. LOL


I needed a break. I needed to take a BIG step away from my blog and my craft room. I needed to look up and look around. I wanted to (re)connect with other people……..real people, people down the street, people I rub shoulders with. You know what I mean. I needed to find some balance and ground myself with the world around me. It’s been good.

However, a few months ago I ventured back into my craft room to see what I left behind. At first it felt alien, but I’ve been content to re-acquaint myself with some of my old supplies and find a spark with some new purchases. I just dabbled around with out a need to share what I was doing. That felt good too. I just did it.


Soon I’ll be attending my annual Stamp Camp and I had made a commitment to make name badges and ATCs for a swap, so I had some compelling motivation to make a real effort to get something made. I thought you might be interested in what my ATC’s looked like. It had taken me several days to get my final design concept down. I had an idea to do something with birds and nature but I just couldn’t get the idea I had in my head to translate to a card I could easily reproduce 40 times over. So a new idea was called forth.


SSI Stamp Camp 2014 Swap

Now, as you can see – and guess – this wasn’t a design that could quickly be reproduced, lol. There was lots of die cutting, punching, inking, stamping and fussy cutting. But I did start this months ahead of the swap date, and it was the only project I had on my plate at the time so I was good to put the effort into making this work out well. It just required a bit of thoughtful planning.


SSI Stamp Camp 2014 Swap2

And this is what 40 of them look like!! You can well imagine that I was delighted to get the final one made. I did give myself a whole month to get it done, working in small 10 minute blocks. You’d be surprised at what can get done in that time. And I’m pleased to say that the last looks as good as the first. It can be so easy to fall into sloppiness with this many to do, but I felt it was important to put my best effort into each and every one. I can only hope my swappers like them too.

With all those finally done I then moved onto the next task of making the 40 name tags. I don’t have them with me anymore since I passed them onto the camp committee, but I’ll get some photos of the camp and show them in the next post.


Then, I found time to participate in the odd challenge or two. Below are a couple of my favourite cards I made.


IC451 Leif Shop

I purchased some new Stampin’ Up! supplies, including some of the new 2014-2016 In Colors which I used here. For some reason I’ve never been able to bring myself to part with this big Stampin’Up!  floral image.


FS390 Stamptek

And here is another card featuring old retired Stampin’Up! images infused with the latest In Colors.


So there you have it. A renewed ‘Hello’ from me and a sampling of a bit of  stamping eye candy. Drop me back a ‘Hello’ in the comments if you feel you’d like to. I know some of you are still lurking about. And I must say a big welcome to all my new subscribers since my last post, months ago. Glad to have you on board.



Categories: Uncategorized | 10 Comments

12 Tags Of 2013 – September

Hello readers. I’m back to posting the next tag in my 12 Tags of 2013 series and the next in the sequence is this September tag. Tim Holtz’s focus for that month was using stencils for layering pattern using different mediums. It was an interesting technique and I jumped right into experimenting with it as soon as it was posted. I had a finished tag which I then duly hung on my tag board….but…..it just wasn’t gelling with me. So last week I tried again.

12 Tags of 2013 Sept a

And this makes me happy. All previous attempts at making something turned out muddied and dull, which is why I had to walk away.  When I start out on my backgrounds I usually colour several tags at a time and pick out the one I like the best. This time around I was spoilt for choice as they all looked right. No muddy colours, yay!


12 Tags of 2013 Sept b

I started out stencilling Distress Paint thru a dot pattern. In the top right corner I layered a different section of the stencil over the top of the first to get spots on my dots. I then coloured the tag with Distress Stains using bright pinks and yellows. Some more stencilling is added but this time with  Distress Inks, to create the wavy lines.


12 Tags of 2013 Sept c

By now I’ve already decided that I want to use my  umbrella man stamp as my focal image, and he gets stamped with a permanent Archival ink in Manganese Blue. Somehow this image, when it was all set and dry, looked like there was sunshine on his shoulder while his head was still shadowed by the umbrella. Gotta love those happen chance moments. I then finished off with the radial stencil, deliberately placing the centre over the mans head. Oh and I should mention (for those that notice these things) that the pale wavy lines in this part of the tag are part of the first layering with the paints, not a top layer with inks.

I wonder, how do you choose the words to stamp onto your cards and tags? I nearly always choose mine by what ever I have that fits in the space I want it to go. If I find a sentiment with the right shape then I’ll read it to see that it is appropriate. I picked this one because it’s shape closely resembles the shape of the man. Do you make choices like that as you create with stamped images?


12 Tags of 2013 Sept d

And lastly a look at what the September Tag Wall looks like. I have a completed tag for October so keep an eye out for that one in the coming week. Happy crafting to all.

Categories: Tags, Tim Holtz, Tim Holtz 12 Tgas of 2013 | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Spring Is In The Air

Hello readers and welcome to my new subscribers.

No doubt some of you will have been wondering what’s up with my extended absence from posting. Firstly, I’m not sick or injured, lol. I just gave myself permission to go off and do something else for a while. No blogging, Very little blog hopping. I have no commitments to design teams so I just quietly went in pursuit of other things for a couple of months. To refresh. Refocus. Re-energize. So what have I been doing? LOTS!


Peacock 1

First up, September was the start of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere. This is one of the farm peacocks at the bottom of the steps, showing off his new tail feathers. In another couple of months they will be moulting and with 11 males on the property that’ll be a lot of peacock feathers getting dropped and collected. I don’t do anything with them but they just call to be picked up and bunched up. Spring means breeding season for snakes and we’ve also had a few of those at the bottom of the steps too. Yikes! One of the other  things I’ve really enjoyed doing is going to some local craft fairs. I steered away from papercrafting and went exploring and discovering what other talented crafters where creating.

I bought my first lot of Distress paints to try out. Ummm…….we’re not really getting along so well. It all started off badly when I tried to remove the lid like a Distress Stain bottle, unscrewing the black portion instead of snapping of the clear portion. I have a huge Seedless Preserve splotch permanently preserved on my carpet and shoes I was wearing that day. LOL Definitely need more time to experiment with those. What I can say from the little I’ve tried of them, is I love the smooth finish of the dry painted surface.


HYCCT  1326 Misstreez

I always keep October clear for the Splitcoast Stampers Hope You Can Cling to Challenges, which I participate in every year. The card above was as of my most viewed uploads and one of my personal favourites. It was made from my stash of inked and coloured tags. The birds and foliage die is a recent purchase I had made with winning vouchers and promotion codes, from Tim Holtz and Simon Says Stamp earlier this year. Thanks guys! And I now have another box of cards to send off to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane for the Pink Ladies.

And what happened to 12 Tags of 2013? I’ve had a go at doing the tags for the previous two months, but haven’t liked anything I’ve done on that score. But with sunshine and butterflies to chase I wasn’t going to dwell too much on my shortcomings. I’ve given myself to the end of the year to get my tag wall complete. Sometimes you just gotta know when to step back. My muse and I met up on other projects.

You can be sure to hear from me soon as I attempt to catch up on my tags and get back into a challenge or two. See ya then.


Categories: About me | 5 Comments

My Stamping All Star

This week at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge we were asked to consider what our stamping all star was. Is it a stamp or a colour? I was a bit stumped about what my all star stamping go-to was. I had a look over my room to see what image or colour kept making a predominate appearance. I try to  make a point of combining my older and newer stamps on most everything I make. However, some of my all time favourite stamps have not been inked in months. When I find myself reaching for the same colours over and over again I turn my attention to the colours that have made it to the botton of the stack. So what was my all star?

Work desk 3

Looking around my room there is one thing that sticks out more than anything else. TAGS. Lots and lots of tags made with my Sizzix Tag and Bookplate die. And not just tags, but the bookplates are very useful too. This is the place where I do 90% of my crafting. I did tidy up the great mess before I took the pics, so for all the normal messy crafters out there don’t feel intimidated by the clear space you see on the desk top. It won’t last, lol. Besides the tags in this corner of the room I also have them pinned to a bicycle wheel behind me, framed on the wall and my corkboard Tag Wall to the left. Am I a little obsessed?


Work desk 5

I use the tags to make technique samples. I limit myself to using just two baskets for samples and I will go to this collection to look for a tag base as a starting point or I may die cut them into other shapes when assembling another tag. Some tag swaps sit in the back for furthur inspiration. I also cut tag shapes out of that thick plastic used for kitchen cutting surfaces as they make good little pallets when I’m mixing acrylic paints and other media. So handy.


Work desk 4a

I’m always looking out for new ways to display my tags. I found this metal peacock decor piece in the local discount store last week. I knew I wanted his fanned tail to hold the tags and I counted out his feathers to make sure I’d get a full set of Tim Tags on there. It was originally an uninspiring dingy green and brown but a quick spray paint in cream made him more suitable to my needs. His tail holds the tags I made for 12 Days of Christmas 2011. As you can see I’m not a stickler for conventions or seasons, but I love the colour. While I was cleaning up the desk I also made a new arrangemnet with my vintage collection of bric-a-brac on top of the old pianola I need to share my space with. Love the shabby look.


Work desk 2

My other project for this week was to finally start labelling my growing collection of ever so useful wire baskets. When I made the big decision to purge and functionally organise my craft room last year I trialed a couple of small wire baskets to see if they would be suitable. I love them! I really disliked the tote that I had my most used tools in so I converted the items out to these baskets. As I tend to throw things willy-nilly about I deemed it wise to label the containers to keep me on track.


Work desk 1

I die cut aluminium drink cans with the square bookplate design from the Sizzix die. The labels where stamped with my old Just Rite alpha stamps and embossed in silver onto black cardstock. They dont make these stamps anymore but I find them so useful for making my own custom words. The finish labels were then easily attached with a couple of black brads thru the wire holes. I’ve been living with this new tool organization arrangment for about a month now and it is so easy for me to use. I can now see everything I need right within reach.

I apologize that my photos are very ordinary. . My little point and shoot camera suits me well for a lot of my normal blog shots which I always take outside in daylight hours. Not so good at the indoor shots. My next photography assignment thankfully will be outdoors as I try once again to get the neccessary shots for my Gelatin Print Tutorial. Crossing fingers!

Categories: About me, Tags | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

A Little Bit Dotty

Hello readers. It’s that time of the year when I start preparing for a whole lot of card making for the next couple of months. A couple of weeks ago I started with re-arranging my work space and storage solutions. My space now feels more open and I feel re-enerigized. And with that I turned my attention to making a card just for the sheer pleasure of it.


SSS&S Dotty b

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this week was to go all Dotty  and use spots and dots in our creations. I went searching for the perfect spotty dotty print from my Gelatin print stash. I mostly print onto Manilla folders which makes a great card base and the larger size of the folders also means I can die cut them using a Sizzix Bigz XL. Here I die cut the Ornate Tri-fold card for the base. Since this is the first time I tried making a card with this die I discovered that I need to consider how to create a closure in future. Live and learn.



Naturally a lot of the printed design gets lost in the layers on the front, so I’ve bought you around the back to show off some of that dotty goodness. I have a variety of stencils and impression tools for getting  dots onto my print and I’m not afraid to use them all as I work thru the layers. Just love dots! When using the prints for card making however I always use the permanent Archival Ink for the sponged edges. The water based dye inks will not work on top of the acrylic painted surface of the print. The technique for applying the sponged ink is still the same though.


SSS&S Dotty d

Flipping back the front panel reveals the peek-a-boo sentiment. I layered up the die cut Spellbinders labels. Since this was a dotty challenge and I was having too much fun just messing about I found some dot paper and a dot embossing folder for the label panels. It’s probably way over the top but if you can’t have fun with your craft ….well it ‘s just not fun eh?


SSS&S Dotty a

I went all out with die cutting for the front of the card. The bird (Sizzix) is cut from a spotty orange Gelatin print, and he is sitting on his  branch (Sizzix Alterations) amongst the leaves (Cheery Lynn) and flowers (Sizzix Alterations). There came a point when I was just about to call this card  Done, but the bare insides were mocking me with their plain-ness. There could only be one solution to this problem. More dots! Stencils dots this time.

This was a quirky card to make and I quite enjoyed the challenge of using my prints as the foundation.


Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

12 Tags of 2013 – August

Hello friends. Today I have finally got around to posting something for my 12 Tags Wall. Tims tag for August used an old technique which happens to be one of my favourites – masking. I got a bit carried away during the month and made several tags using the masking technique, but I only have room on the board for one and this is what made the cut.


12 Tags of 2013 August a

I bought this Tim Holtz Wild West stamp set when I saw it on sale one day. I liked that it was so different in theme to a lot of what I already own so I decided to add it to my collection. It’s one of those sets that I love to get out and just mess about with, so I’m pleased it finally got an airing on the blog. I used all but one of the images from the set, masking each layer as I stamped further into the background. Once all the stamping was done I then worked in the reverse direction, sponging from the background to the foreground, peeling away the masks as I went. The final piece of masking was a freehand cut edge to create extra clouds of dust under the horses feet.


12 Tags of 2013 August b

I totally forgot to take a photo of the tag wall for last month. Duh! First two rows are now full of inky goodness, And it won’t seem to take too long before the last row is full too.

Yesterday I could have used a real horse man, instead I had to rely on shanks pony. I was rounding up some loose cattle on a steep bit of country. I started out using 4WD but decided I’d have more luck if I just legged it up and down the slope. Got a great workout. On a more serious note though, I had to be self reliant doing this job as there was noone else around to help and I was so proud of myself for achieving what I did. Of course I rang my partner to let him know what I was up to and took advise from him before I set out. And in all reality it was probably a small job for any woman bought up on a farm, but I’m still kind of new to a lot of this action. Go me!!!


Categories: About me, Tim Holtz, Tim Holtz 12 Tgas of 2013 | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Brookfield Stamp Camp 2013

Hello friends. Last weekend I attended another wonderful Stamp Camp hosted by Southside Stampers Inc. I went to my first Stamp Camp three years ago and was immediately hooked by the fun, creative atmosphere and a shared enthusiasm for stamping and papercrafting with a room full of lively ladies. And this year was no different. I might even go so far as to say it was even better! And the Brookfield venue and staff are a big part of what makes the camp an experience to remember. Especially the kitchen staff. Yummy, edible food at every meal. I wanted for nothing.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 7

Sorry folks, blurry people photos. They just don’t stay still like my other subjects do, lol. I know I took photos towards the latter part of the camp and I’m now looking at their table and wondering how they kept themselves so organized. Next year I’ll have to take a comparison photo of my desk next year as I’m sure mine look like a giant rat had moved in and made nesting material out of all my stuff.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 6

More fun being had on the other side of the room. I took some time during the weekend to go and have a peek at what everyone gets up to at their desks. There are some seriously talented women in this craft group and it was a real treat to be able to talk with them about what they were making. Most of my interactions are via the web, so to have this opportunity to connect with crafters like this was a blessing.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 2

The camp organizers arrange for two workshops over the weekend, and this liitle concertina fold note book by Linda, was the first project. I got to work with actetate sheets for this one which was a first for me. I used my booklet as a memory/autograph record of those who attended this year. A treasured keepsake of the weekend.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 1

The second workshop, by Ness, was making this fun Christmas canvas. I have it sitting on small easel which I see as soon as I walk in my room. I’m not going to wait til Christmas to put it out. This was my first time at creating on a canvas, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The crazy randomness of using the edge punches for a tattered look was right up my inspiration ally. And I got to have a play with a selection of embellishments. Long time readers will know that those tricky things are quite a challenge for me, but I gave it my best shot.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 3

The Lucky Door Prize table looked amazing with all the gifts decorated with a handmade flower from Evie. I fell in love with this pretty one which was attached to this die.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 5

This year the camp shop was run by Photo Continental. Thanks to Tina and Linda for putting together a great shop. I found a couple of things I needed. The shop was very generous with showbags for everyone who made a purchase as well as putting together some great prize packages for our challenge.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 4

I was asked to do a demo of gelatin printing. I bought to camp my own homemade gelatin plate to do my demo and then afterwards we had a little play with the commercially purchased Gelli Arts Plate. It was interesting to see and feel the difference between the two. (I tried to take photos for a step thru but I missed some keys photos of the process so I’ll try again another day). Amanda also did a couple of demos thru out the weekend which are always great to see.


SSSI 2013 Stamp Camp 8

I tried my hand at the challenge pack which required us to use these chipboard coasters in some way along with a selection of embellishments and papers. I turned mine into a calender and I decided to make it into a gift for my mother. I had a go at using charms and pins for this creation and it was fun adding these tiny bits of decoration. And it seems a lot of others liked what I made as I won the veiwers choise vote with this challenge and took home a fantastic prize package of goodies from Photo Continental.

Sadly I didn’t get any photos of our Nursery Rhyme dress-up night, Some of the costumes were very well thought out and there was a lot of cheering and laughter at our silliness. I went as Mary Mary Quite Contrary.

Thankyou to the committee organizers, Evie, Kay and Amanda for pulling together another wonderful Stamp Camp. And thankyou to all who came up and said they loved their little name tags I made. It was a pleasure for me to be able to give back to something that gives so much to me. I thoroughly enjoyed my whole weekend experience reconnecting with you all.

Categories: Stamp Camp | 7 Comments

Stamp Camp 2013 Name Tags

It’s that time of the year for Stamp Camp. A weekend getaway to indulge in ink and paper. I went to my first Stamp Camp three years ago and I was hooked. You can read more about that first one here. Each year the camp has a different theme for dress up night and this year the theme is Nursery Rhymes. And each year I volunteer to make the name tags related to the theme.


SSSI Name tags 2013 a

I had several months to come up with an idea, and at first I was stumped. Last year I overheard someone say that they keep the name tags as a keepsake so I put some extra pressure on myself to come up with something interesting and inspiring. Then in  June as I was googling Mother Goose images I came up with an idea to make a mini book!


SSSI Name tags 2013 b

So this is what the assembled tag looks like.  The cut lace edging reminds me of broderie anglaise that you would sometimes see odorning bassinets of old.


SSSI Name tags 2013 c

I die cut the pocket tag using a Marianne Designs die and stamped the mini alphabet with A-Z stamp by Stampin’Up! The names where printed off using the Baby Blocks alpha by Lettering Delights


SSSI Name tags 2013 d

I found this downloadable inchie sheet of Mother Goose images. There were quite a number of collage sheetsto choose from across the internet and I settled on this one as it had the right number of images across the page so I could make a simple concertina fold book. The images were enlarged from 1″ to 1.5 ” to fit my requirement. The other thing I Iiked about this sheet was the wide variety on images which meant by the time I assembled them all they were all finished up a bit different.


SSSI Name tags 2013 e

And last but not least was the name of the camp.

I’m all packed and ready to go. Hopefully I’ll remember to take some photos while I’m there. I’ll be doing a demo of my gelatin printin while I’m there and I’ll enlist the help of one of the attendees to take the photos I need to get a step-thru tutorial done. Cross fingers this’ll work out as I’m a bit stumped about how to get the photos I need while I have both hands full, lol. See ya soon.



Categories: Stamp Camp | 6 Comments

Air Mail Love Letters

I’ve been pondering the latest Simon Says Stamp Monday Airmail Challenge all week, wondering how to capture the vibe of the ‘air’ part of the theme. Apart from butterflies and birds I have no other winged or flightly images that I could think of.  As I was rumaging through a package of KaiserKraft diecuts I found just what I needed to make my tag fit the challenge.


SSSS Airmail 1

Enter my little single winged vintage plane to deliver my imaginary love letters home from abroad. I used elements from some of my first stamps sets I ever purchased from Oxford Impressions and Stamp Francisco. Love going back to use some of those classic images in my new projects.


SSSS Airmail 3

I started this tag by using a Tim Holtz embossing folder to create my note paper lines. The stamped images on the background are from La Bella Vita by Oxfrod Impressions. The Kaiser Kraft die cut edges where lightly sponged before poppong up with dimensional foam.


SSSS Airmail 2

My little collage of correspondence was fun to make. I have a small envelope die from Marianne Designs which I used with 7 Gypsies Postale paper to make the envelope. I them stamped the script from my Stampin’Up! French Foliage set onto some line printed paper, for my letters. The postcard was another KaiserKraft diecut element, and the blue stamped postage stamp is another image from La Bella Vita. The nib pen is an oldie from Stamp Francisco.

Love letters are so romantic! Sigh.

Gotta love creative freedom. *wink*

Categories: Simon Says Stamp and Show, Tags | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

12 Tags of 2013 – July

Hello dear readers. Time for another tag for 12 Tags of 2013. When I first saw the tag that Tim had demonstrated I had an immediate vision of what I would create using some of the same techniques. But the reality of bringing it to life eluded me, lol. I always trust that my muse will be with me when the time is right. And that time was today and I made my tag with no vision at all this time. It was just some creative play time prompted by ideas that Tim Holtz used for his tag.


12 Tags of 2013 July 1

The background was brayed with  Antique Linen and Scattered Straw Distress Stains. Footsteps and text were then stamped onto the background using Archival Ink colours Aquamarine and Saffron.


12 Tags of 2013 July 3

My starting point for this months tag however, was these die cut alphas. During the month I’ve been messing about with my gelatin plate, experimenting with different ideas for a step thru tutorial and demo I’ll be doing soon. Out of curiosity I wondered what one of the prints would look like cut up with my Word Play Sizzix die. As I rearranged the letters to make different words and phrases I settled on an idea to use ‘style’ as my inspirtaion for the rest of the tag. I recut the letters I needed with grunge paper, glued the paper print on top and covered them with Rock Candy Distress Crackle.


12 Tags of 2013 July 2

I departed from Tims tags and went my own way with adding my ‘style icon’. I ‘dressed’ my Dance Card lady in some offcuts from the gelatin print scrap heap. I must admit I had a bit of fun trying different outfits for her to wear.


12 Tags of 2013 July 4

In a nod to Tim I did pull out the washi tape. And I also found a label from a  sticker book to use as an embellishment. Two items I’m sure I’d never use without a prompt. And note to self – wear glasses when working with small stuff, lol. And true to my usual form I completely omitted any other form of embellishment of the metal and ribbon variety.

I will let you in a small personall challenge I have set myself. I’m not really an embellishment Grinch. They just don’t look right on my stuff, if you know what I mean. So…..I recently bought a couple of charms that I’m determined to find a use for on one of these tags in the near future. Certainly before the end of the year. It can’t be that hard!

As I used my gelatin prints for the making of this tag I’ll also be linking up with Gelli Print Party.

Categories: Tim Holtz, Tim Holtz 12 Tgas of 2013 | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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