Monday, January 15, 2018

Chelsea Gardens Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to our January feature paper Blog Hop for Australasia.  Did you arrive here from Doreen's Blog

Now I know that I regularly fall in love with Close to My Heart new paper but I think I have to say that Chelsea Gardens is truly my favourite paper pack right now!  This stunning collection celebrates family and gardens/nature and coordinates beautifully with a huge range of our core cardstock (especially Glacier, Charcoal, and Sweet Leaf)  I adore both of the stamp sets that coordinate with Chelsea Gardens and think that they are among the most versatile in our current Seasonal Expressions.

This card uses the Chelsea Gardens Cardmaking stamp C1709 with watercolour pencils and the shimmer brush - the "get well soon" is an old sentiment but could be swapped out with one of the sentiments from C1709. Don't you love that charcoal spot paper from the Chelsea Gardens Paper Pack X7230B?


This one uses the cardmaking stamp set C1709 with Sweet Leaf ink and cardstock and one of our little tag thin cuts with a scrap of vellum behind it.

I  was asked to make some sympathy cards for a friend.  This uses the beautiful flower and leaves from the Chelsea Gardens Scrapbooking stamp D1760 in Glacier and Sweet Leaf inks with a few Chelsea Gardens dots (Z4155) and a teeny bit of pen work.  So sweet and simple.
School holidays have given me the opportunity for lots of scrapping and sorting out.  I have made a start on our family album and each of the kids' 2018 albums. This page made use of our new number thin cuts (Z4159)  I cut a circle from our basic Cricut shapes for a different page and then used the rest of the paper with the circle removed as the base for our 2018 title page.  You might notice that I have used the flowers from D1760 but teamed them with a sticker leaf from the Chelsea Gardens Complements X7230C - don't be afraid to mix and match stamped images with complement stickers - everything in this range is designed to go together!

Maddie's title page - super simple with Glacier cardstock, a zip strip and those stunning butterflies from the cardmaking stamp set.  I like to add a few dots to the butterflies' flight paths with our journalling pen.

Dan's Title Page - just proving that Chelsea Gardens doesn't have to be girly!  I used some of the navy compliments from our Star Gazer collection for the "Awesome" and the stars.  The use of the navy and the charcoal give this page strength.

Hannah's title page - literally using scraps from other Chelsea Garden's projects.  Once again I cut the 2018 with the thin cuts and mix and matched stamped images and compliment stickers.

Using one of the PML cards - I love this page so much! A couple of years ago I did a Big Picture Class with Stacey Julian and she encouraged me to do this kind of page instead of chronological scrapping. I will never lose sight of chronologically scrapping events but I so love these kind of pages!



Ridiculous photos but they still capture the fun that my husband and daughter have together.  Don't you love the "Something Wonderful Together" sentiment from the Scrapbooking stamp set?  Such a great versatile title equally appropriate for weddings, anniversaries and celebrating relationships.


So that is it from me this month (I am off to scrap some more pages!!!)  Please leave me a comment and hop on over to Maz to see what wonderful creations she has for you!
Hope you love Chelsea Gardens as much as I do!
Keep smiling,
Nell

Monday, January 1, 2018

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop - Bloom and Grow SOM

Happy New Year and welcome to our Australasian CTMH blog hop for January.  If you arrived here from Doreen then welcome. A big welcome to my regular readers too and to those who arrived here by happy accident.

This little stamp set has some very sweet sentiments. I have always been a firm believer in the phrase "Bloom where you are planted" so love having it available on a stamp.  The little seed packet is just adorable and I can't wait to use it to package up seeds from my own garden for friends.

I have made these little seed packets on the cricut using the CTMH Artiste cartridge, nutmeg ink and the citrus green from our watercolour pencils


I particularly like the "Be-You-tiful" Picture My Life cards (Z4149) as a great way of extending pages and also making quick easy cards. They fit beautifully with this stamp and are very well priced!
These two cards took next to no time.  The first just needed the sentiment stamped in charcoal ink and a couple of sequins.  I added some gold shimmer to the flower stamens and mounted the PML card on juniper cardstock.

This one just needed a spare sticker and a few little bitty sparkles with the sentiment (again stamped in charcoal) added to the PML card, and then it is mounted on a piece of cardstock. So quick and so pretty!

PML cards are also great for embellishing pages.

That bottom border is just a PML card cut in half and the little tab at the top is a scrap leftover from something else. Once again I have coloured in the seed packet with a citrus green watercolour pencil.
How sweet do those little leaves and blossoms look in the corners of this layout? I can't wait to take some pretty photos of my litttle girl for this page.

So that is it for me.  I really do just love this sweet, old fashioned stamp set. As usual it is available for $7.50 with a $75 purchase.
Head on over to Doris to continue the hop.
Wishing you a wonderful start to 2018 with time spent with loved ones (and some sneaky scrapping time too!)
Keep smiling
Nell
xxx

Friday, December 29, 2017

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that Jazz!

So Christmas is done and dusted and it really was a lovely one with just the right amount of presents, family, extended family, beach time and down time and more food than could sink a ship.


I have been indulging in lots of knitting time while the Giftalong was on and this year even managed an Opadoo (which means nothing to non-knitters but is a pretty big deal if you have been hanging out on ravelry!)  These were just some of my projects:
Downton cowl for Hannah's teacher

Onder for Maddie's teacher - loved this one so much!

Clan Fraser boot cuffs for my brown boots - Jack got very excited by the possum/merino yarn!

Tiana's Coming Home Cardigan - I love this pattern so much I think I will queue it in my size!

Shallows Mitts - perfect for last minute gift giving and super economical to make

Hypen - I see lots of these in my future - perfect for handspun!

All of these are in my Ravelry projects if you want more details.
We are now in that lazy haze between Christmas and New Years, one of my favourite times of the year - nowhere to be and nothing that needs doing, plenty of time to reflect on the year that was and think about the year to come.

Next year I want to get back into blogging crafty stuff more frequently. I will still do the Australasian CTMH blog hops but I want to do more informal posts as well. I am giving myself permission not to do anything in March (which is already Mad March) and also in November/December which is when the wheels fell off this year!

I am beginning the year "Cold sheeping" to get my fibre stash under control (there may be more about that in a later post) - the plan is to use up lots of my stash on charity knitting in January!

I am hoping that the year ahead holds less stress, more gratitude, more appreciation for the sweet, simple things in life, a greater awareness of the preciousness of family time.  I hope to learn to say "no" graciously, to master new technology, to be more confident in myself and my own abilities, to practise better sleeping habits and to try out some new recipes. So no New Year's Resolutions as such, but lots of thinking going on.

Where ever you are, who ever you are, may the year ahead be bright and full of potential.
Keep smiling,
Nell
xxx

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Self-imposed quarantine and all things boringly domestic

Oopeday! I realised this had never been posted.  This is what happened mid term 4! Pretty ick and I had to bow out of a lot of commitments including blog hops!
So it appears that 3 out of the 5 of us may have whooping cough (despite being vaccinated - and please people, let's not go there about the whole vaccination versus not debate - everyone is entitled to their own opinion)

Anyhow, Hannah and I have been in quarantine this week and feeling truly miserable. Today the drugs finally kicked in and I was able to do a few domestic type things around the house.  Mostly washing, but also a double batch of cornflake cookies (which is really just my basic biscuit recipe with handfuls of mixed fruit thrown in towards the end and then rolled in cornflakes)  This is the recipe that I was taught when I was about 8 and it works for everything - choc chip cookies, jam drops, etc etc and also doubles as a pastry base when you need one.

Put 125g of butter (real butter not margarine) in the mixer bowl and then add about the same amount of sugar.  Put a good splosh of real vanilla and mix on high until it gets creamy. Add 2 eggs and mix. Then just thicken with SR flour bit by bit until the mix will roll into balls without getting your hands gunky.

If you want to turn these into the best peanut butter biscuits ever then just add a big spoonful of peanut butter and a bit more flour and a couple of handfuls of peanuts.

We had lots of eggs because we've been sick and off our tucker so I made a big zucchini slice too. It felt good to be back pottering around in the kitchen.  I think Spring must be getting to me as I even cleaned the kitchen and wiped down tiles and cupboards!

My garden is looking magnificent. All of the bare rooted roses I planted last year have come into their own and are flowering beautifully.  I do so love my David Austens.

We've lost quite a few of the shrub natives in the wet last year so I have replanted some and it is delightful to see the little honeyeaters discovering them.  We've had so many of the little green and yellow friends this year with not so many fairy wrens.  I may need to fix that with a few fuschias.

Being sick has made me think a lot about home comforts and comfort food.  I find that I am not really a materialistic person (flash cars and money don't do it for me) but I do really love sweet, simple things.  When I am sick nothing tastes better than tea in the mug from Nanny's house.  My morning toast is always nicer on a fine china plate and when it is buttered with a silver handled butter knife.  I have told you about my little blue jug collection? Roses always seem rosier in a blue jug.

When my throat was really sore I craved rice pudding and scotch finger biscuits.  That is really much more an emotional response to food than anything else.  I wonder why some foods and objects can trigger that sort of response in us?

Thankfully a new load of book arrived yesterday to cheer me up.  I love these Gail Pan ones - can't wait to get started on a few Christmas gifts out of these when I am feeling better.

I am still knit, knit, knitting on a test cardigan for me in a lovely Spring green. I can't wait for it to be finished. I am so much better at lots of little projects than one big one!

Anyhow,
fingers crossed Hannah and I get the all clear tomorrow.
Keep smiling,
Nell

Taking Stock: December

Well hello there,
It has been a while hasn't it?
Life got a bit crazy there for a bit but we can finally see the holidays in sight now!
Time to take stock - December already and Little Miss Sassy Pants reminded me today that it is only 8 sleeps till Christmas! Sheesh! Not sure how that happened and feeling quite ill prepared but oh well, what can you do?

Making : fingerless mitts for Hannah
Cooking : apricots and vanilla bean for apricot crumble
Drinking : water, lots of water (and now a ginger and vodka drink that my hubby just handed me)
Reading: the last of the Outlander books
Next read:whatever the library throws at me this week
Wanting:to start my holidays
Looking:at the lovely blanket on Attic 24s blog and wondering if I really need another project?
Playing:fetch with the neighbour's dog (we are dog and cat sitting until just before Christmas)
Deciding: to be a better house keeper in 2018
Wishing:the cleaning fairy would visit
Enjoying:the smell of the roast and the apricots
Waiting:for holidays to start in ernest
Liking: the thought of some chill out time this week
Wondering: how we are going to go with the teen years
Loving:the summer heat and sunshine
Pondering:how miscommunication happens and how easy it is for events to change when it does
Considering: a major declutter
Buying:Christmas presents on line
Watching:Outlander, and A Place to Call Home
Next watch: a Downton binge
Hoping: for a few surprises for Christmas
Marvelling: at how quickly the year has flown
Cringing: at how sunburnt Hannah is
Questioning:my parenting skills
Smelling: old dog and apricots
Wearing: a light summer dress (from Karma East - love!) and flip flops
Following: ravelry giftalong threads
Noticing: how tall my kiddos are all getting
Knowing:the holidays will zoom just as quickly as the rest of the year
Thinking: about future craft projects
Sorting: nothing - feels like EVERYTHING needs sorting
Getting: bitten by mozzies
Bookmarking: felt ornament projects
Coveting: Jude's beautiful spring moss green dyed wool
Disliking: teenaged attitude and kids that don't tell the truth
Opening:lots of cheese and crackers
Giggling: over Maddie's wittiness
Feeling: emotionally and physically drained and ready for the holidays
Snacking: on cheese and crackers and Christmas ham
Hearing: the sound of birds twittering outside - so many honeyeaters this year!

I will be back more regularly now that I have time and want to commit to at least one non CTMH post each month next year along with the Blog Hops.
Until next time,
Keep smiling,
Nell

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Through the Year SOM Blog Hop

Welcome to another Australasian Stamp of the Month Blog Hop.  Did you arrive here from Doreen's Blog?

This stamp set is so versatile and fun.  I am finding that the longer I scrapbook the less likely I am to put the exact date a photo was taken on my page.  In fact, my favourite pages sometimes have photos taken from lots of different dates, or from several occasions over the month.  That is why I think the "Through the Year" Stamp of the Month is going to get a real workout in this house.  I also love that the icons and the month titles are separate so we can match the icons up to our Australian seasons - sunny January and autumnal April. 

Unfortunately, for the last few years, the end of October, start of November have been totally crazy for me and not a lot of crafting time so my samples for how to use this one are a bit rushed.  I can totally see me creating a simple border and month title for a double page layout for each month of the 2018 year but it was never going to happen this week so I am sharing February, December and April with you!
Yep, bringing back the border again! I used Tangerine cardstock and 3 different shades of Autumnal ink.

Although you can't see it, I have raised up the red hearts with some of our foam tape (which I just seem to chew through - I love the stuff!)  I coloured the hearts with our shinhan Carmine marker. By the way, that little heart at the bottom of the "February" which you think is a design feature..covering a big splodge of ink - do not EVER feel like your pages need to be perfect.  Stamping can be a messy business and it is easy to fix mistakes.

If this layout looks familiar it is because it is from the Adventure Fundamentals Workshop handout. This is layout 1 using Beary Merry paper.  I really love the script that CTMH have used for our Month titles.

I've also used this stamp to make a couple of cute Christmas cards using some Beary Christmas scraps.  The little motifs work beautifully for all over random stamping.

Both of these cards make use of small scraps of paper and the cheery little "M" sized stamp sets which are a quick and affordable option for everyone.

Of course the main reason you need this stamp this month is the beautiful "Through the Year" calendar kits Close to My Heart have put together for us.  Who do you know that needs a personalised calendar with photos of their loved ones for 2018?  This is my husband's favourite gift each year - he loves to hang his at work so he can show off our three beautiful children (and being a family business, clients and staff have watched my children grow through the calendar pages since they were babies!)  To order your kit contact your consultant, or if you are one of my customers shop for it here: www.nellward.ctmh.com.au

I have only completed the first page so far but I think my husband is going to love my January page!

The great thing about this kit is that you can personalise it any way you like.  I made the stars drift down from the top of the page to the bottom.  If you are a person who likes to follow instructions then you just cut all of the included papers exactly the way they show you.  If (like me) you have trouble following instructions then just mix and match everything in the pack to make your own unique pages. 

So how will you use this stamp?
What gifts could you create with it?
How could you use those cute little icons?
For more wonderful ways to use this stamp head over toVandra's Blog
And until next time, may you carve out a space for scrapping in your busy, busy lives.
Keep smiling,
Nell

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Punny Pals Blog Hop

Welcome to our Punny Pals Blog Hop.  Did you arrive here from my clever friend Doreen's Blog? We have an extra hop this month because it is Operation Smile Month and Punny Pals (D1751) is our Operation Smile stamp. It retails at $27 with the profits going to benefit Operation Smile.  It is as cute as can be and so versatile for making all sorts of cards and pages.  Consider using any of these critters with the santa hat from the Beary Christmas Scrapbooking stamp to make your Christmas cards unique (see my little bear card in the Beary Christmas Blog Hop).  I will personally use the dog and rabbit on pages for my pets and I have used the cat stamp to make a birthday card for a cat-loving friend.  This stamp makes you feel good every time you use it - because just by purchasing it you have helped to give a child a smile!
How good is that!

For these first two cards I have paired the Punny Pals with some Falling For You paper scraps and the "Stronger Together" Sentiments (C1716)


 This one was just using a spare Cricut cut tag and the Sentiments from our "Birthday Sparkles" stamp (B1537)
 And this one used a piece of scrap card (embossed with our chevron folder) and a cricut cut tag with a "Stronger Together" sentiment
Remember how I said I would use the bunny and the dog on pages? I couldn't resist cutting a "Bunny Love" title with our alphabet thin cuts.  These thin cuts are quite possibly my favourite thing from our Annual catalogue.  They use tiny scraps of paper to make letters whatever colour or size you want!  These make a great host reward (get them for half price!)  I plan to do a "Puppy Love" title at a later date for photos of my son with our labrador.


Well that is it from me this month.
To continue the hop just head over to Maz's Blog and don't forget to join us on the 1st of November for our SOM hop.
Happy Scrapping,
Nell
xx