Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sugar Rush Australasian Blog Hop

Welcome to our January "Sugar Rush" Blog Hop.  If you have arrived here from http://wp.me/p45lJH-FJ then you are in the right place! I love the creativity and sharing that happens among our Aussie Close to My Heart consultants.  I hope you have enjoyed browsing the blog hop for Sugar Rush ideas.

Now, let me begin by saying that this paper pack was not a natural favourite for me.  When I saw it in the catalogue I was a bit ho hum but this really is one that you need to get your hands on and have a play with.  It has so many fun, bright colours in it that make it very versatile!

I may have gone a little overboard creating pages.
My lovely talented friend Ali Moylan from Ali Moylan Photography took these shots of Maddie in her kindy year. These were the ones that didn't make it into the kindy package and for that reason they languished on a disc at kindy for a couple of years. I printed them recently and just adored them! These pages are a good example of how the same photos can be used in different ways - a totally different colour palette for each layout but it works equally well with both (and note that there is actually no purple in the Sugar Rush palette but it still works perfectly with Maddie's purple kindy shirt!) Yellow is not a colour I use a lot in my layouts but it really makes Sugar Rush "Pop" and stops it from being too pink and sacharine. One lot of journalling is done as though I am talking to Maddie as it will go in her album. The other lot of journalling is written in first person and will go in our family album. There is no right or wrong way to journal but I often like to think who will be reading the journalling and which album it will go in.

 Did you notice that I have managed to make that one sheet of donut feature paper stretch over 4 pages? I have also done some block mounting (one of my favourite ways to make quick pages!) And because I like to get serious mileage out of my scrapping supplies I have used the background sticker sheet from the "Sweet" sticker and fussy cut it for the second layout)  Close to My Heart are great at creating "cluster stickers" that work well layered together so you will notice a couple of little clusters of hearts or donuts or arrows to just add that final sweet touch.

 Don't throw out those zip strips - they make incredibly easy borders and embellishments!  And there is the block mounting again to make this layout super quick!

This layout was the last of my scrapping session and really just used up the scraps on my desk.  I wanted to show that Sugar Rush is not just for girls and you can certainly use the PML sheet as a journalling prompt on your pages. The "I Love, Love, Love you" stamp came from January's Stamp of the Month "Adore You" The zip strips top and bottom help to anchor the page and give it some balance.
Two quick, easy cards.  The one on the left uses January SOM again for the raspberry heart and the "You" (how beautiful is that font!) The kraft heart from one of our complements packs matches in with the woodgrain from Rustic Fundamentals.  The little bunny and deer is my favourite image from our Artfully Sent Cricut Cartridge.  Although I don't do a lot of pocket scrapbooking I really like that our paper suites include a PML page because cut up they are perfect for cards and journalling boxes or titles.
So what do you think? Ready for a bit of a Sugar Rush? My remarkable friend Wendy is waiting for you. Head on over to http://expressionsofthe-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/ctmh-australasian-sugar-rush-blog-hop.html to continue the Blog Hop!

Keep smiling,
Nell
xx

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An Optimistic Non-Resolution

I think this year I will refrain from making resolutions that I will never keep and just sort of go with a general "let's keep it all in perspective/get the balance right" motto.

Yesterday was the first day of swimming lessons and also the first day that really made me heave a sigh and realise that the New Year really is about to begin again in ernest and I am totally not ready for that. Anyhow, after patting myself on the back for having 3 children out the door with togs and towels and all the miscellaneous crap and suitably healthy snacks, sunscreen and drink bottles, we decided to compound swimming lessons with a long overdue library visit. As I walked into the magazines section a cheery voice exclaimed "Here she is!" A pause as I looked at an old, wizened, partially toothless, totally unrecognised face. "Well, at least she would be if I thought I knew you" said the smiling face.
"It was nice to be greeted with such enthusiasm" I told the total stranger.
"Do you realise that half the year is gone and it is the third of January already!" She demanded, "and I've already had the most terrible things happen to me!"
What followed was really quite a nonsensical conversation in which my stranger played the eternal pessimist and I the eternal optimist. It lasted only the few moments it took me to select a couple of tatty back issues of UK Country Living but I found myself chuckling over our conversation later.

It was a "red letter" library day with several new good crafty reads and a few interesting books. Most of all I loved that the children were so worn out from swimming that they condescended to "quiet hour" and I found myself camped on the bed with my lovely new stash of books, windows wide to a Summer breeze and the sound of birdsong in the gum treetops. This quiet hour was my first real chance to just slow, and breathe, and dream this holidays and it made me realise and recognise the importance of carving out these moments in my life. No matter how busy the coming months get (and I know they will get crazy as we have been given a STEM research grant at work which is exciting and scary and no doubt full of extra hours and brain strain too) I think if I can find a spot of quiet time like that to just be, to turn off the noise, then hopefully life will feel more balanced. My serendipitous conversation with the library pessimist reminded me of what a charmed life we lead. It is up to me to stop moaning about being busy and just get in there and get on with it.  Enjoy the simple things and the little moments and not get overwhelmed by the trivial and mundane bits.

So, whoever you are, wherever you are, from your Pollyanna friend, a Happy New Year to you, may it be full of peace, gratitude, and an appreciation for the simple, sweet things in life.
xxx

p.s. This post was supposed to be accompanied by a photo I took yesterday but I haven't figured out how to add photos directly from the iPad yet? If anyone can help me with that I would be eternally grateful.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Adore You CTMH Australasian Blog Hop

Happy New Year!
Hello and welcome to our first Australasian Blog Hop for 2017 featuring the beautiful January Stamp of the month "Adore You"
If you have arrived here from http://georgiacreatesctmh.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/ctmh-australasian-blog-hop-s1701-adore.html then you are in the right place.

I just love this stamp - it goes beautifully with our new "Hello Lovely" paper suite.  I have just spent Christmas with my two new nieces so no surprises that I used it for a baby page but this stamp would work perfectly for weddings, sweet pictures of little girls, babies, besties and significant others.  It really is versatile and a great one for playing with watercolours too.

You will notice that I kept the page sweet and simple.  This kind of stamp lends itself well to "messy" watercolours - my painting isn't the neatest but it still works.  I kept the colour palette in keeping with the glacier paper and the sorbet of the "Hello Lovely" (and don't you just love those art-deco scallops?) The two little sparkles in the centre of the flowers add just a weeny touch of bling but I could also have used the shimmer pen over the top for a bit of added sparkle.

I am normally a bit of a pain when it comes to journalling but as this will be in an album that chronicles all about meeting my new nieces I felt justified in leaving this page with just Ellira's name and birth date.








Thanks for joining us.  Don't forget to check up on the 15th for another Blog Hop showcasing January's feauture paper pack.
Now head on over to http://wp.me/p45lJH-Fz for more beautiful ideas.
Keep smiling,
Nell
xx

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that Jazz..

Oh dear, how did we get here?
Once again the year has flown and I am left with good intentions.

Christmas was oh so lovely.
Lots of baby cuddles and family time and farm time and a spot of fishing.

We've been back, enjoying the lazy, fall-off-the-calendar days between Christmas and New Year. I do believe they are some of my favourite days of the year.  Just pottering. Reflecting. Looking forward.

I have been knitting my way through the Ravelry Indie Designers Giftalong and plan to finish project number 7 tonight.  You can check them all out over on ravelry on my project page.

I know that I shouldn't make resolutions. I barely keep them. It is that "good intentions" thing again.
Yet every year I line up for another go!

I have committed to the Australasian CTMH Blog Hop twice a month for 2017 so at least my CTMH customers are guaranteed of seeing some more regular papercrafting.

I have decided to challenge myself to make one knitting/crochet/fibre project from my books and one sewing/quilting project each month and share them on the blog.

I also have an idea to scrap a page a day in January but won't be very formal about when and where I post these layouts - it is the holidays after all and life is too short to stress.

Anyhow, a couple of my favourite photos from the festive break.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the first of the Blog Hops.







Wishing you a wonderful, peaceful 2017.
Keep smiling,
Nell
xx

Monday, November 14, 2016

November is the new December

Arghhh! That horrible feeling that comes with rush, rush, rushing to get so much done in so little time.  Transitions and change - big kindy kids moving to school, little kindy kids moving to kindy. My own children transitioning into new classes, new body shapes, new teeth..
Mostly, at the moment, I feel old (which is laughable given how many wonderful ladies I know turning 70 this year!) and I feel tired (full moon tonight - a super moon that hasn't looked so big since 1948, what do you reckon the chances of sleep are?) Most of all I feel like I need to stop the words, and the white noise, and just hunker down in a quiet space and knit.

That is exactly what I would do if I didn't feel the responsibility that comes with 2 jobs and a family of five.

Instead I will make the lunches, and defrost the scones for grandparent's day, and help DD pack for school camp, and make party bags and icecream cake for youngest DD's birthday sleepover.  I know that it will all get done.  One foot in front of the other. One step at a time.  For as busy as we are, we are blessed with a free, peaceful country, and a good life.

And in just 5 weeks time everything will slow down and then I will find a quiet space and knit..
p.s. how much does this photo make me happy? A happy snap on our way back from the kid's Photography exhibition.  That door and Maddie's jumper go exactly with our new Sea Glass paper.  There is another shot that I am saving for my Christmas cards this year - easiest photo shoot EVER.
Sorry to be a tired grump-alot. Hope you are finding some breathing space where ever you are!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

SOTM: November Blog Hop

Well this is a first! I am hoping to post more CTMH ideas and thought I would like the challenge of a blog hop.  Little did I realise but sign up closed last night at midnight so at quarter to eleven I started fiddling!

If you are here for the first time you have probably found me after viewing Vandra's lovely party invite at http://vandractmh.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/new-years-cheer-november-sotm.html
Welcome and I hope that you might visit again!

For those who are used to being here this month's SOM is "New Year's Cheer"  As you know, Stamp of the Month is available for only $7.50 with a $75 dollar order so a great way to build up your collection of stamps.

I became an Auntie again yesterday so naturally my thoughts were baby related.  I know that this stamp is meant to be for New Years but it really is versatile enough for lots of other occasions - I always love banners because depending on your ink colours they work for birthdays, Christmas, New Years, Sports Days, Race Carnivals, Baby Showers and even Australia Day.

Anyhow, the minute I saw that cute little bow I was reminded of how I used to make torn-paper bears with sticker bows.  For a long time they were my "thing" and often given away as gifts for papercrafting friends.

A few scraps of desert sand and some pen work and voila!
My banner was made using Canary, Pixie and Crystal Blue inks and because I had just finished working with Swan Lake I used the "little moments" sentiment from the complements to finish it off.
I will probably add Liana's name with some stamping at a later date.

I cut my photo mats at 6 1/4 by 4 1/4 because I know that I will have to rely on my sister to send me down some pictures so they will be standard photos.


So there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope that this works and that now you can head on over to Maz's to check out her work.  https://artymaz.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/ctmh-stamp-of-the-month-new-years-cheer-s1611-australasian-blog-hop/
Don't we have some clever Close To My Heart Consultants!
Until next time,
Keep smiling,
Nell


Monday, October 3, 2016

October taking Stock

This seems to have become a school holiday tradition.  Lucky for me I was thinking about doing a "taking stock" post this morning and then the lovely Pip at www.meetmeatmikes.com did hers today.
The weather here has been absolutely Wintery and foul.  I am totally over it and ready for Spring!

Making : an album for my new niece, a "Milo" vest for charity
Cooking : lamb roast
Drinking : Annie's Lane Shiraz
Reading: just finished "The House Between Tides" and about to start "The Historian" again for our Frankensocks reading group
Trawling: Ravelry looking for inspiration
Wanting: muted kettle-dyed looking colours in rustic 8ply wool - I think I have had variegated overload
Looking: at yarn on line and then at my out of control stash lol
Deciding: to cold sheep for a little while so that I have only one basket of wool in the loungeroom
Wishing: Spring would arrive and the rain and cold would rack off and that I would find a surprise stash of red merino/silk sock yarn to start some Christmas gifts
Enjoying: the start of a two week holiday
Waiting: for the wheels to really fall off - with all of us home and four out of the five of us addicted to tv and screen time it is bound to get ugly
Liking: the idea of my friend's "I belong here" Children's Photography exhibition
Wondering:whether I can motivate my children to enter (I really don't want to bribe them!)
Loving: our sweet bunny Marmalade and the joy she brings to our family
Pondering: How to go more sugar-free/healthy without becoming radical
Listening: to British accents and Scottish accents (current obsession with BBC first LOL)
Considering: our possibilities for sorting out crafting space..oh for just one extra room!
Buying: furniture to make upstairs more workable (I hope)
Watching: Call the Midwife, A Place to Call Home, Jamie Oliver's Sugar Rush
Hoping: for sunshine tomorrow
Marvelling: that Daniel is almost 10!!!
Cringing: At the amount of junk food my children have consumed recently
Needing: To find a balance, to declutter, to breathe
Questioning: How to find the said balance
Smelling: Lilac - just blooming!
Wearing: leggings and winter dresses and ugg slippers around the house
Noticing: That our house would be quite big if we had less stuff
Knowing: That I am the main hoarder of said stuff
Thinking: I need to change that
Admiring: My very clever daughter who sang solo at the school concert.  She sang a song she loved and blew us all away. It was a very proud Mummy moment
Bookmarking: quilts using scraps
Disliking: the constant mess and nagging that comes with having us all home and all reluctant to do jobs!
Opening: the fire to put another log in
Loving: my red tulips that came up spontaneously and braved the cold and now make a cheery statement on the kitchen table
Helping: knit for Kurdistan refugees
Hearing: the wind howling outside
Celebrating: Dan's birthday with 10 friends at bowling and laser squirmish
Embracing: having us all home and warm and hunkered down

I have such a long list of holiday things to do.  Some are crafty, like my test cardigan and starting Christmas presents.  Some are boring, like updating my Teacher registration and cleaning up my desk at kindy, and putting in my TRT application for next year.  Some are necessary but not nice like booking an annual check up and updating prescriptions and getting my grey hairs covered.  Some are fun, like catching up with good friends, and going to our Close to My Heart conference and taking a little family road trip.  I almost feel like I will need a holiday to get over the holiday!
I hope wherever you are you are warm and snug and waiting for sunshine!
xxx