Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop - "Dreamin' Big"

Hello and welcome to our March Blog Hop showcasing the beautiful "Dreamin' Big" Paper Pack.
If you have arrived here from https://wordpress.com/post/cropcraf... then you are in the right spot. If you arrived here by happy coincidence then enjoy playing along.

As always, a lot of work goes into making these hops happen so please go right around and feel free to leave comments.  Constructive feedback helps us to know what you want to see more of!

Now, this paper pack is perfect for those of us with a rural lifestyle.  I am a country girl by birth and by choice and we moved back to a more rural lifestyle a year ago.  I am also lucky enough to have regular visits home to my parent's Qld farm.  This paper was perfect for our Christmas farm photos.







I really enjoyed using the new circle thin cuts on borders this month.  I love borders (I am secretly on a mission to bring back the border) - it takes next to no supplies to create a sweet border and best of all borders give you plenty of room for your photos to be star of the show!
The complements are just beautiful - those gorgeous little bugs!  My son is a bug boy (always has loved his critters) so it is perfect for his photos.

The bottom layout looks a bit funny with two photos so similar there in the middle but what you can't see is that I have used one of our half page memory protectors (3 spaces for 4x6 landscape photos) to fit an extra 6 photos into this double page layout.  I love how easy they are to use.

So there you have it.  I have done an enormous amount of scrapping in January and February - quick simple pages mean I am almost up to date (even with all of those pesky Christmas photos!)  Keep on keeping on! Your photos will thank you (and so will your loved ones!)
Until next time,
Keep smiling,
Nell

Now head over to https://passionateaboutpages.com/2017/03/15/dreamin-big-ctmh-australasian-blog-hop where Shaunna is waiting to show you her artwork!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Taking Stock: March

Joining in with Pip Lincolne to take stock of life as we head into a new season
Making : C2C wrap with love - love how easy C2C is but hate the nasty acrylic
Cooking : Bliss balls and healthy wholemeal apple muffins (trying a few new things for lunchboxes
Drinking : chai tea 
Reading: Tale of Two Cities (which I just can't get into) and Letters from Paris
Trawling: Bendigo Woollen Mills looking at luxury 8 ply
Wanting: to replenish my 8 ply stash
Looking: at the dead flowers on the coffee table and the dog hair on the carpet
Deciding: we really do need a decent vacuum cleaner
Enjoying: getting to know new kindy kids
Waiting: for my upcoming CTMH weekend and the Bungaree fibre retreat at the end of March
Liking: That I managed to get through everything on my to do list yesterday
Wondering: if that could be habit forming
Loving: A night at home before crazy week starts
Pondering: Why some people make dramas where there are none
Listening: to the hum of the fish tank and the sound of the bunny thumping around in her cage
Considering: How much battery power the laptop has left (I left my cord at kindy)
Buying: a present from T2 for my friend
Watching: Call the Midwife (seasons 1-3)
Marvelling: At how blessed we are
Cringing: At how messy the kitchen is
Needing: To pack for our Melbourne Conference
Questioning: What to wear
Smelling: Stinky rabbit and dead roses
Wearing: my work clothes and sensible shoes
Noticing: how slow the internet is tonight
Knowing: the year will fly by
Thinking: I should be typing risk assessments
Admiring: crochet patterns on ravelry
Getting: tired - I need more sleep
Disliking: how messy the kitchen is and how slow the internet is LOL
Opening: cold and flu tablets
Closing: pantry doors
Feeling: a little bit blah and sleepy
Celebrating: the new arrival of a friend's little daughter and another's news of impending birth
Pretending: to be more on top of things than I really am!
Embracing: life, chaos, and the day to day stuff in all of its messy glory.
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    CTMH SOM Tea-rrific Blog Hop

    Hello and welcome to our Australasian Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month blog hop.  If you are here from http://laurenctmhcraftings.blogspot.com/2017/03/s1703-tea-rrific-ctmh-australasian-blog.html then welcome.  Also a big hello to those who have arrived here by accident and also to my long time readers.  I hope you are enjoying these blog hops?

    So how was your February? Tea-rrific I hope!  March's SOM involves something dear to my heart - tea-cups with sweet sentiments about friends and Mothers!  Now I love a good cup of tea, especially in the company of dear friends. My two current favourites are the T2 Blue Mountain tea and a Dilmah one called "Rose with French Vanilla" which is undeniably girly and sweet.  I will admit that this stamp takes a bit more playing with than some but I am pretty happy with the way I have been able to use it.

    First up is a sweet and simple card using our Dreamin' Big paper range with a scrap of leftover Sugar Rush.  I used sea glass paper and ink and our new Circle thin cuts.  I employed a little trick taught to me many, many years ago by the talented Chris Lothian (her blog is in my blog list on the right) If you want a small edge/border around something but don't have coordinating thin cuts or fancy edging tools just use your micro tip scissors and take random little snips to make a pretty random scallop type edge - super quick and effective. Dreamin' Big is our feature paper pack this month so be sure to go blog hopping on March 15 to see more of this beautiful paper!



    The two little tags (because yes I am still a bit obsessed with using my scraps to make tags) were actually coloured in by my girls.  Maddie has decided she would like her very own set of Shinhan markers as they are "the best pens EVER" (high praise from a 7 year old stationery junkie!)


    The next page used a masking technique with a post it note at the bottom of the tea cup stack so that I could have them go right down the page.



    The last page is an important one to me.  A couple of years ago I did an online class with Stacey Julian. She really helped me to let go of being so chronological in my albums but she also helped me to think about the stories that I wanted to tell, that maybe needed to be told, in my albums.  This is a page that fits into that philosophy. I cannot stress to my customers enough the importance of journalling your memories, especially when they are about something or someone important to you. My challenge to you this month is to make a layout that is not about "art" but about "heart" - that tells an important story.  In years to come you will be glad that you did!
    Can you see how that bigger teacup just fits a little sentiment or a sweet heart sticker nicely? And it would work well stamped and fussy cut on all sorts of patterned paper - think about a small floral? Or spots? So many possibilities! I can't wait to use this stamp for a sweet Mother's Day card at my card buffet this month!

    Happy March Folks.
    Don't forget to leave me a comment and now finish off that cup of tea and head over to http://expressionsofthe-heart.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-2017-tea-rrific-ctmh-australasian.html
    Until next time,
    Happy Scrapping,
    Nell
    xx

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    CTMH Australasian Blog Hop - Hello Lovely

    Welcome to our CTMH Australasian Blog Hop for "Hello Lovely"
    If you arrived here from http://creatingwithkaradavies.blogspot.com/2017/02/hello-lovely-blog-hop.html then you are in the right place.  If you found your way here by accident then hello to you!

    Now, this is not a statement I make lightly but this really is my all time favourite CTMH paper pack! I suspect that this one will always hold a special place in my heart because this one has got me finishing my wedding album almost 14 years after my wedding!

    The beautiful muted roses in this paper pack are exactly the same tones as the olde world roses that were in my bouquet and the blush shimmer ribbon is an exact match for my dress. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this paper suite!

    This layout was done using up my scraps (cutting 2 inch squares and using small leftover strips) The "what a day" comes from the "Snapshot Complements"
    The next one uses the "Adore You" from last month's SOM (and I will let you in on a secret - the journalling box hides a botched stamping attempt underneath)


     This layout was modified from one we did at our Convention this year - I just added photos and the journalling box on the right hand side.
     And this is also one we did at Convention - I love the layering of paper and complements on this one.
     If the wedding layouts don't thrill you - how about a very sweet simple card using our new "Dreamin' Big" dragonfly stamp and thin cut (overlayed with the lightest touch of gold from our gold shimmer pen!)

    Last but not least, a dear friend recently reminded me of the joy of using your scraps to make tags.  I haven't decided yet if these will end up on a page or a card but they were certainly fun to play with.
    So there you have it! Hello Lovely! 
    Now click on this link Maz's blog to see more of the beauty of this paper pack!

    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    Just Summer Chillaxin'

    Hello Friends,
    Welcome to a lazy Saturday at home.
    It feels somewhat strange to have children growing up and going their own ways enough that we have more leisure time on the weekends (as long as I still feed them at regular intervals)  The father, and the children, in this house all have a tendency to gravitate to electronic devices on the weekends which gives me some fibre/papercraft/reading a good book time.  Whilst I regularly fight this and wish they would spend more time outside I am somewhat outnumbered.

    So what's been happening?

    Reading: I am currently obsessed with Outlander. Waiting for Series 3 and reading book 3 and seriously debating whether to buy the book of Outlander knitting patterns.  It has been in my book depository cart, then out, then back in again.  Somehow I think that while chunky rustic knits might look AMAZING on Claire Fraser, they will probably just look kind of lumpy, farm girl and smell slightly of sheep on me.
    I was lucky enough to get my copy of "No Scrap Left Behind" this week. I LOVE it.  It makes me want to sew. I do have a crafty, sewing day planned for this week so stay tuned.
    I am also reading "The Light We Cannot See" which I have wanted to read FOREVER but so far my Outlander obsession is winning out over it.  I am reading "A Tale of Two Cities" for our rav reading group.  So many famous lines in it but I still can't confess to being much of a Dickens fan.  I suspect that there may be others firmly planted in the Austen camp that feel the same way? He does have a tendency to "over" describe.

    Knitting: I just finished this http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nelliebligh/tashirojima-haori-cardigan-test for my niece.  I kind of hate it, kind of love it.  Love the pattern. Hate the acrylic wool.  The way the pockets are knitted in blows my mind and I love that I learned how to do something totally new.
    I've also been knitting little hats for kindy babies.  3 girls in a row and still 2 more pregnancies for Autumn so I will be knitting for a while yet.

    Crochet: A friend recently taught me how to do C2C crochet and now I am addicted. I am using acrylic (ugh) in different shades of blue to do a Wrap With Love. I can do a square and a half in a night so this might be the quickest blanket ever.
    Kathy recently had a Spin along on Rav and I was lucky enough to win a project bag which has come in perfect for storing my WIP square and a couple of balls of wool.

    The garden: EVERYTHING has gone to seed and the birds are eating the nectarines faster than we can. Because of the heat the nectarines only last a few days off the tree.  I need to try some nectarine recipes or at least stew some up but it has been so hot here (finally!) that the thought of spending time in the kitchen is just blah.  My roses are loving the combo of recent rain and sudden heat.

    Papercrafting: I went to a SA training day with my Close to My Heart upline last weekend and was reminded of the difference between "Heart" and "art" - I snuck in a few hours Wednesday to finally get photos onto pre-done/demo pages - 24 pages in just a couple of hours.  I put them into albums this morning. A good feeling.  Get those pages finished!  While we are on the topic, I hope you are enjoying the bi monthly blog hops?
    If you have ever thought of being a consultant then there is a great joining offer this month and also a fab re-start for those who have been consultants previously. 
    This afternoon I need to do some more pages for my February workshops.  I love that I am finding time for scrapping again and seem to have regained some of my lost mojo!

    Dyeing: I had a go at overdyeing my peach coloured cardigan. I like it so much better now. I think I will even forgive it for being the project I worked on when James missed the plane to New Zealand for our wedding anniversary!  Amazing what a difference colour can make. The brown is so much more me.  

    Kids: Dan starts footy clinic tomorrow morning. Wish us luck.  Maddie started ballet this week. How stinkin' cute is she?
    I also love that her teacher is just joyful and fun and totally not serious and the other "ballet mums" were totally normal and not all pretentious.  I think it will be a very easy 45 minutes of wait time with my knitting each week.

    Hmm, well that is it for the moment.  If you are still skulking around here but haven't left a comment in a while why don't you just add a "hi" and tell me what you've been doing with your Summer?
    I'll be back on the 15th for another CTMH paper pack blog hop.
    Happy Weekending,
    Nell
    xxx





    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    CTMH Australasian Blog Hop "Easter Bunny" SOM

    Welcome to our February SOM Blog Hop. If you are here from http://woodies-creations.blogspot.com/2017/02/ctmh-australasian-blog-hop-s1702-easter.html then you are in the right place. If you arrived here by accident then welcome to you too!

    This month we feature S1702 "Easter Bunny" which is a D size stamp set available only in February for $7.50 with a $75 order.

    Now although this stamp has been brought out for Easter, in our house we never have any shortage of bunny love and when I first saw it I knew that it would be perfect for photos of our sweet Marmalade Rabbit.

     There are two tools that are absolute game changers for this stamp.  The first are our non-stick micro tip scissors - they are perfect for fussy cutting sweet bunnies. The second is the Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I am a new convert to this ink (having always used our Archival Black) I find that the Memento Tuxedo gives a beautiful, clean, crisp line and good coverage and doesn't smudge or run whether you are using watercolours, watercolour pencils or our Shinhan markers.  I used pens when I wanted brighter more saturated colours and watercolours and pencils when I wanted a subtler shade.
    This SOM works beautifully with both the "Hello Lovely" and "Dreamin' Big" paper suites. On this first layout I have used the zip strips from "Dreamin' Big" to make those little ribbons at the top.  The photos were matted in the juniper print from "Dreamin' Big" and then I used a piece of the pink art deco "Hello Lovely" on the right hand side. Isn't the little flower border so sweet?

     This layout uses the beautiful Kraft spot and Complements from "Rustic Home Fundamentals" I traced around a saucer and free cut the circle then used one of our water brushes to paint in the title and the grass.

    We have a family tradition of celebrating Easter with my inlaws at Aldinga.  Because I work on an album for each child and a family album I always know that I will have 4 lots of Easter photos so I am happy to do a few layouts before Easter to make life easier! This will be for my son's album so I found that the brighter colours of "Dreamin' Big" worked perfectly.  A note about those photo mounts. I am a lazy scrapper and I love my camera.  Because of this, the bulk of my photos are 4x6.  When I design layouts for the photos to go on later I try to make my photo mounts practical so the left hand side one is suitable for 2 landscape 4x6s and the right side is a 5x7 (a bigger portrait print of my son with his Easter basket) and a smaller 4x6 portrait. If you can get in the habit of making border mounts 4.25x6.25 or for a double 8.5x6.25 then it is a simple process to add photos later.

    Once again I have made the most of zip strips. The little title box is one of the PML pieces with the "happy" complement from "Dreamin' Big" with the "Easter" from the SOM. I stamped the sweet little flower border in juniper. I also used foam tape (I love that stuff!) to pop the top rabbit up off the banner! A very quick and easy layout!



    Last but not least are the two little "Hello Lovely" cards.  I like to have a couple of generic "feel good" cards on hand to send to friends when I want them to know I am thinking of them.  Truth be told I am better at sending that kind of card than birthday cards! Isn't that "Hello Lovely" paper just divine? If you want to see more of it be sure to join us on the 15th of February for our "Hello Lovely" Blog Hop. 
    Now hop on over to Maz's blog to check out some more work from talented Aussie CTMH consultants. Just follow the link http://wp.me/p45lJH-HB
    Oh, and we would love for you to leave a comment too - let's keep sharing that sweet bunny love!

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    A thoroughly crafty January

    Well, here it is Australia Day and we are not being particularly patriotic or doing anything especially exciting but we will have lamb chops barbecued for tea and if I can be motivated to turn the oven on there will be anzac biscuits!

    As our holidays draw to a close I thought I would show you a bit of a crafty round up of what I have been doing.  My friend Kathy has had a Spin-a-long happening for January so there has been quite a bit of spinning:
    Stained Glass colourway in merino/bamboo plied with undyed Polwarth

    Fuzzy brown Autumn merino plied with an Autumn Romney Ball and then the leftover merino plied back on itself.



    A lovely denim merino gifted to me in our Kathy's Fibres Christmas swap - this is sooooo soft and smooshy!

    I had a great day sewing with my friend Rozzie and managed to finish these sweet little sewing bags from the Spoonful of Sugar book.  She taught me how to do C2C crochet - who knew it was that easy?!? I think this will be my favourite way of making wash cloths and bathmats and squares for Wraps with Love - so quick!


    In the Ravelry, Indie Giftalong I discovered a designer called Susie Sparkles who makes beautiful seamless baby clothes so I joined a KAL to do "Betsy" using some 8 ply from stash - it felt good to use it up!

    I also did a few test knits including this sweet little hat (not much into colourwork but this one was surprisingly easy)

    I cleaned up my crafty corner a bit and found this rainbow four ply cardi that was never going to get finished.  It is big enough for my wild, wild, rainbow child Selena (my niece).
     In response to the Women's marches happening in the US I knit a Pussy Cat Hat in solidarity.  It will go in the bag for the Kurdistan refugees as I think it is fitting that it helps keep some other girls heads and hearts warm. This is such an easy way to make a hat that I think I will do a few kid's sized ones and send them to the camps - they might bring a smile to some little faces.
    Now I am working on a bigger test knit for my niece.

    In between all the crafting there has been lovely time spent with friends and extended family, lots of sleepins, an ENORMOUS amount of reading including the perfect holiday read of "Paris is Always a Good Idea" as well as some great craft books and the beautiful "A Year Between Friends" which I honestly did not want to end! It has been a great holiday. Just perfect for getting things done (like unpacking boxes that have been languishing for 12 months, and sorting the linen cupboard, and trying a couple of new recipes.  Just perfect for down time - icecream in the hammock anyone? Bubble bath with chocolate and a good book?

    Wherever you are, whoever you are, may the New Year heap her blessings on you! Now back to work for me!
    Happy crafting,
    Nell
    xx