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Monday, April 30, 2012

D Day has arrived....

....or should I say Operation Right Hand!  Today (Monday) I am heading into hospital for an operation on my right hand (my dominant one) which involves removing some bone and tying together my thumb and my index finger.  It's a bit complicated for me as I don't actually have a lot of index finger on that hand, due to a childhood accident, but I have managed for nearly 60 years to continue to use my dominant hand.  Indeed I taught students to type and later to use a computer keyboard and was able to use my lack of a finger as all the more reason why they should be able to achieve good typing skills - if I could, they could!

I have a few photos to include here and will do a bit of an after as well, but despite the practice I still cannot easily use the camera with just my left hand, so we will see!  I will be out for a few days, and then hopefully back sneaking around your blogs and leaving messages (short ones!) again! I have spent the last few days making sure that I have met all my obligations re the DT roles I have taken on and the workspace is a mess but I am a happy little camper and have completed most stuff!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life Savers and Gloss!

This fortnight's Challenge is all about the sweet little ring of sugar known as a Lifesaver!

The packet is small enough to fit into your pocket and there are multiple flavours, to suit all types really.  Eat a whole packet and get a very sore tongue! They come in many different colours (flavours) and are round with a hole in the middle. 

My card was started when I watched Andrea of Annabelle Stamps fame, in a video at Stamp Embellish Create demonstrate how to create a very quick background with either paint, ink or a colouring pen such as a Copic.  I followed her instructions and created several backgrounds, and one of them I used to stamp onto, using TH's Distressed Ink Black Soot, and some images and sentiment from Annabelle Stamps Fanciful Flowers. The one I used uses Copics to create the background. 

I added three small buttons from Stampin' Up, and mounted my experiment onto a scrap piece of black card before remounting it onto a white hammered card blank. My buttons have lots of gloss and are round, while the stripes form the colours! 

Now it's your turn to enter into Lollipop Ladies Challenge #44.  Good prizes and a chance to be a Guest Design Team Member up for grabs. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Once Upon a Time

ANZAC - 25th April

Every year in Australia and NZ, on this day, we commemorate the men and women who risk/risked their lives for peace. It is known here as ANZAC Day for those who do not know of this.

Last year hubby and I went to Canberra for a break, and spent some time at the National War Memorial. I was particularly interested as I have two Great Uncles killed in WW1, and my Dad was in WW2: after serving in Syria for two years, he was captured in Java by the Japanese and spent three and a half years as a POW on the infamous 'Burma Railway', including at Hell Fire Pass. So I have a passing interest in the War Memorial. We found the names of my two Uncles (William and James) on the honour boards: William was killed in Gallipoli at Lone Pine and of James, who also was at Gallipoli  but who went on to fight and die in France. I purchased a poppy for each one and like so many before me placed it besides their name on the honour boards. 

A year before we had been in Canberra for Anzac Day and had got up at some unearthly hour to travel into the city for the Dawn Service at the War Memorial.  It was an amazing experience as we and thousands of others stood in the growing light of dawn and listened to the sound of the Last Post being played and the magpies and other birds falling silent along with  the huge crowd for the minute's silence. I took some photo's  of that event too.

There are many other exhibits at the War Memorial, and this last visit we enjoyed looking particularly at the exhibit of the Lancaster bomber G for George, which is there.  We were reminded of this over Easter when we went to Brisbane to visit a man who is the last surviving bomber pilot in Queensland to fight in WW2, and who also happens to be a friend of my husband. I took some photo's of this visit and of the War Memorial last November. 

I have decided to make a small album and include all my War Memorial photo's in it.  I have only managed to get the front cover done so far - here it is. 

I think I need to border the whole again - maybe in black? The photos are either copy/paste off the War Memorial's website (background picture and the face) or my own photo - the poppies and names. All have been manipulated a bit in photo-shop and the face has been slightly coloured with copic pens - in particular his blue eyes. I used blue Copic pen on the metal bits too.  The poppies were layered once, the top layer is recoloured with Copic and then the whole of the poppies covered with Dimentional Clear. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Artists at Work - beware!

We currently have visitors  - they are here for a bit over a week; life is busy but good! My grandchildren and I  painted with watercolour this morning.  I was jumped on at 7.00 am this morning by one small boy called Jack who announced, "Get up Nin, we are painting the beach today"! 

Jack (6)hard at work

Lily (8): Mine will be green......

....and it was! A dog in front of the fire inside on a rug 

Jack's first one - a cat and a dog

Then he did a splatter one! I think it's my favourite. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hazel's Blog Candy

Hazel, one of my followers, has the most delicious blog candy available - why not go and see? I have a picture of it in the sidebar to the right. I don't usually do blog candy announcements but I have an announcement to make myself about my blog, and about another follower of mine so it was apt.

I too have reached a personal milestone of 50+ followers, and my 50th follower is Andi.  (My first follower was my granddaughter as part of her school assignment, and as she is no longer going to school she has dropped off the list!)You can find Andi's blog here. She is going through a bit of an epiphany at the moment: a fact I did not know about until I went to her blog to let her know I was going to gift her with some candy.  She is currently training for a marathon - and is a survivor of the dreaded C - you can read her story at her blog.  Warning: it made me reach for a tissue. Anyway, the run is also a fund raiser for the USA equivalent of the Cancer Council, so if you have a few shillings or pennies or cents to spare, I am sure she would be delighted if you donated. (I figure that it doesn't really matter who makes the breakthrough regarding a cure, we all benefit in the long term.) So cheers to Andi and here's sending positive vibes so she can reach her goals and run that damn marathon! And many thanks to the many others who are also my followers - you are cherished, one and all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mother's Day

There has apparently been a bit of a revival of the "Mommy Wars" in the USA lately - I have just watched The Bloggess interviewed on CNN.  OMG she makes me laugh, that girl. However, as I have finally finished cleaning up a bit and tidying away my latest purchases, I decided to make a card.  In Australia, Mother's Day is on the first Sunday in May. That makes it the 6th May this year. So, I got in a bit early.  My Mum has passed but my MIL is here - this is a bit too flowery for her, so may have to sell/give this away!

I tried a pearlised white frame for the sentiment but it looked too washed out so resorted to black! That little strip of pearl braid I got from Meg's Garden - isn't it luscious!

I used lots of die cuts and embossing folders - made the red flowers and die cut the vine and butterflies. The base pearl sheet is embossed using one of  the new Spellbinders M-Bossibilities, while the lace is courtesy of Waltzing Mouse.  I dabbed the white flower with red ink (SU Red Riding Hood) to match the card.  I don't have a big enough die cut machine and so the scalloped edge on front of the card is cut freehand. The sentiment is from a Joanne Sheen stamp set and the inside card is from the stash (no name available). I used a Waltzing Mouse sentiment inside from the Bloom set. Hubby even liked the card - so guess it's not too OTT!

I am entering it in the following challenges:
2 Sisters:  Flowers (made the red ones!)
Anything Goes Challenge blog:  Anything Goes!
Truly Madly Crafter: make your own flowers (the red ones!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guess who was on holiday!

Me! Well, actually we incorporated a little break into a family wedding in Queensland, at Broadbeach.

View from our apartment balcony

The Beach 
WOW - weather was heaven, place was gorgeous, wedding was spectacular and the only downside was the midges! Guess who got bitten more than once!!! I am covered in little blisters from the bites of these microscopic insects, and they itch! We got to hire a car for a few days look/see around the area and went up to Tamborine Mountain and did a fantastic air walk among the tops of trees in a tropical forest, and we went to Brisbane to visit the (now famous in our family) Laugher Park (my maiden name)! Hubby and I went to Coolangatta to catch the plane home so we mosied over to Tweed Heads and parts in between for a peek as well. Shared our apartment with my brother and his wife - very pleasant visiting, as they are now living in Catherine(NT)! However, just as much as we all love going away - isn't it strange how your own house and bed feel so nice that first 24 hours home!
My footprints on the beach at Broadbeach, after the tide came over them again! My heels sunk in the wet sand. 

The wedding was my youngest niece and she made a spectacularly beautiful fairy princess bride.

With her Dad

Signing away

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Challenge #43 - Gummy Bears at Lollipop Ladies

Challenge #43 - Gummy Bears

We're changing things up at The Lollipop Ladies...
 but don't worry...
there will still be a fortnightly challenge with prizes... 

The first Challenge for April is..............

Gummy Bears

With the additional challenge of:


(not that these yummy gummy ones have any..)

Now, in addition to the prize,  Guest DT spots are able to be won each fortnight...

......and this challenge also has a gift voucher on offer:

$10 gift voucher prize* this fortnight to Annabelle Stamps 
(thanks to Andrea).

*Prize will only be awarded if more than five entries are received for the challenge

So.....................remember to 
link up your entries to be in for 
the chance at a gift voucher .............
and a Guest DT spot!

Now, my take on this Challenge involves one little bear and one candle.  I have stamped my bear onto tissue paper, and then coloured him using my trusty Copic pens.  His body is a variety of browns and E pens, and his fet pads and nose is pale pink. The eyes are blue and the flower is deep pink! You have to do this carefully and don't flood the tissue, and make sure that you don't tear it as well.  You cannot get as much shading as you do on X-Press card either but you can get enough! Carefully fussy cut  the image after colouring, and glue or fix to the candle side. I used some Blu Stick to do this. The I wrapped some baking paper tightly around the image and the candle, allowing some to be scrunched into my hand to create a 'handle' to allow me to hold the candle and thus stop my fingers being cooked by the heat gun! This handle is located directly opposite the image! 

Once I had the image in position and my fingers were protected I operated the heat gun and carefully waved it over the image, constantly moving it in circles over all the image, not staying in one spot too long.  The idea is that the wax in the candle will melt and cover over the tissue - it will be absorbed if you like, into the candle - and you will see this happening quite quickly. The image becomes sharper. Don't be tempted to apply too much heat as it will melt the candle into holes and spoil the effect. When you judge that the image is absorbed, you can unwrap the baking paper and you should see clearly that the edges of the tissue have disappeared into the wax, and the image looks as if it has been stamped directly onto the candle. 

I have also coloured the wick with one of my Copics, and tied a blue ribbon to match his eyes! This candle is now ready to be given as a gift at a baby shower, or similar! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's time for the UNSTAMPABELLES April Challenge

This time the Merry Maids have gone for a patriotic theme:

Challenge #10 April 

Colours of your country's flag  

Bonus: Shaped Card

The fabulous sponsor is of course the

Sponsor - Sticker Store

After I had looked at all the one's the other Maids had prepared, all I could see was a sea of Red and White, with an occasional Blue thrown in, so I was a bit naughty and decided to go for something a little less serious and at the same time have a bit of fun for Easter! So I went for the colours of the Australian Sports flag - the green and the gold, in preparation for the Olympics perhaps!

This is my version of the Australian Flag!

It is an easel card with a drawer underneath.  I cheated on my images and used the backs of some chocolates I found in the Supermarket last week - I carefully peeled the chocolate tummy off these two characters and fed the chocolate to my husband. I tried to get the glue off with out too much damage (difficult, but Copic markers are marvellous!) and the banner helped hide some destruction! Lots of stickers and some punches and some computer generated stuff - the sentiment, the map and the boxing kangaroo - and a bit of handwriting. The button on the drawer comes from the couch my parents had some 40 years ago! I have just notied that the middle toe of the left foot of the koala is nearly stepping on me! It is balanced on the top of our little island state!

You can see the other chocolates inside - with the tummies still intact! The drawer holds six!

Lets see what you can do with your country's flag - and if you can be a bit more formal than me! Or perhaps a bit more irreverent! You have until the end of April to put in a project that does not contain any stamping at all but does reflect the colours of your country's flag. You can have a bonus entry if you use a shaped card - not a square or a rectangle!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Catherine

Our daughter celebrates her birthday today and here is her card:

 I am going to enter it into the challenge at Simply Stampin', who have a colour challenge:

A close up of the colouring - I had two goes at colouring this image - one with Copics which I used on the card and one with watercolour pencils (Inktense) - I preferred the Copic version, which one do you like?

The image is from Kitty Lane, an Australian company and as soon as I saw the frogs I had to have it - I have been know to collect a few frogs.  My daughter has a musical family (not through my genes: step-mums don't pass those on, and I am not know to hold a tune) - and I thought this appropriate! The card is all SU in the colours stated, and the DP is from Bo Bunny's Ad Lib collection. 

All Distressed

Being distressed is what the newest challenge at Lets Ink It Up is all about this month, and if you are like me, knowing exactly what is 'distressed' can be a bit distressing!

However, I had a go at making something old and distressed looking, got inky and played around a bit and ended up with something that looked like it might pass for distressed! So, for the next month, get inky, look into your inner artist and produce those distressed looking cards and enter them in the Challenge!

From the 8th to the 29th April 
Challenge Theme - DISTRESSING
Sponsor - My Creative Classroom

 My Creative Classroom is an online arts and crafts learning center. Our interactive and in-depth courses are instructor led and filled with wonderful projects and techniques to help you get the most out of your supplies. This Spring MCC will be offering over 100 courses. From the Cricut to Primas, to mixed media and rubber stamping, to scrapbooking, sewing and more; we have something for everyone. Don't miss out on some wonderful classes starting now:
We are excited to be sponsoring Let's Ink It Up Challenge. You can view our entire class list on our website at My Creative Classroom. You can also view classes on our Facebook Page too! One lucky winner will receive a free seat to a class of their choice.....Good Luck!

Prize Package a free seat to any of My Creative Classroom classes. That free seat is good for up to one year after the winner is announced

I played around with the card a few times and changed the bird as I thought the whole card looked a little dark.  I sprayed it with more glitter - white this time - and reattached it, but it is in a different position now! Not sure which one is best! 

The photo was taken with a flash and in the evening, while the top photo was taken during the day in sunlight. Big difference! The flowers are made with a die cut, using pages torn from a love novel and inked with TH Distressed inks and with Meg's Garden stamens. The tickets are from TimHoltz, inked with Antique Linen Distress Ink.  The pages used were taken from a lilybeedesign pad called Happily Lost. The bird is a chipboard one inked with sprays and with a small pearl eye. A doily inked up with Antique Linen, and a bit of lace and some pearls, and a TH empheria element a bit of tearing and distressing and some edging with TH's inks  - Seedless Preserve and Faded Jeans, some Mica sprays and a Megs Garden image mounted on some SU card - Island Indigo, Wisteria Wonder and Pool Party. 

Hope you are not too distressed from the viewing!