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,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sugar Rush Australasian Blog Hop

Welcome to our January "Sugar Rush" Blog Hop.  If you have arrived here from 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 to continue the Blog Hop!

Keep smiling,

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.

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 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 for more beautiful ideas.
Keep smiling,