Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Good Reads, Knitting, Liberty and Summer Days

Ah January..how I do love long lazy days at home.  I might love them even more this year now that we have aircon (LOL)

It has been a wonderful break.  Lots of knitting! I decided to step out of my comfort zone and embrace colourwork.  I got the Strange Brew book towards the end of last year and I have to say it really is an excellent resource and has made first attempts kind of fool proof.  After a couple of Strange Brew Hats I've been playing with the Fearless Fair Isle Pattern on ravelry.  Colourwork is so great for using up little scraps!  I think I am a bit addicted.
"Fleet" and a Fearless Fair Isle original both out of scraps!
I made "Kind" slippers for Mum and Gubby for Christmas - now I want to knit a couple of pairs in chunky homespun!

I have signed up for two stash busting challenges in an attempt to get wool out of stash.  One runs for a whole year and focusses on using what you have pattern wise too so rest assured that I will be popping in to show you what books I have been knitting out of from time to time.  I have just started a pair of 5 ply socks (Patons Bluebell in a lurid shade of purple - which I am certain would survive a nuclear explosion but is really not enjoyable to knit with) using Ann Budd's fabulous "Getting Started Knitting Socks" book.  I have been knitting socks for quite a while now but I do like that she gives patterns for all different gauges of yarn, perfect for my AKWAK knitting.  There is also some playing with sideways mittens patterns for AKWAK and I am waiting patiently for some non 30 or 40 plus days to finish the sleeve on my Isla cardigan.  Currently I have knitted more than 2000 yards since January 1st.  Even my non-knitting husband was quite surprised by that - he said "Basically you've knitted to the roundabout and back!"

The hot weather and long holidays have also meant lots of reading time.  I started with Clara Parkes "A Stash of One's Own" which was thought provoking and funny and just fab holiday reading.
We've had a few library trips so I have also enjoyed The Tatooist of Auschwitz (beautifully written so as not to be too heavy despite the subject matter), Four Seasons with a Grumpy Goat (a memoir about a tree change in Tasmania - light and funny), The Room on Rue Amelie (sad and beautiful love story set in World War II) and Little Gods (by a Melbourne based author Jenny Ackland - this one was really special, a vivid portrayal of an Aussie childhood - similar style to Tim Winton without being quite so prosey, thoroughly enjoyable)

The heat has really been knocking my garden around - my mornings are filled with buckets and hoses and cursing our terrible irrigation system.  There will be casualties.  The upside is that the heat has attracted common brown butterflies to the hebe.  There has been a kaliedoscope of butterflies for the last 3 weeks.  They are just beautiful!

Last but not least I wanted to show you a special gift I received from 2 lovely friends before Christmas.  They knew I was feeling down about not being on staff at kindy next year and wanted to cheer me up.  I have only ever been gifted one other quilt, made for me when I left Melbourne (leaving another job I adored) by the talented Jenny Grierson.  This second special quilty gift was carefully chosen to include brown shot cotton and..liberty..after a conversation where I had wistfully suggested that I would never have enough liberty to make a quilt.  Such a special gift and I love it so much. Thank you Kirsty and Narelle.  It still makes me smile every day!

So now we have hit that crazy point in the holidays where there is still so much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Before we know it school will be back and we will pick up the thread of our "normal" lives.
Happy last week of holidays to you!
Keep smiling,

The kids have been delightful this holidays - disappearing into the kitchen to make wonderful creations together!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Something Fierce Feature Paper Blog Hop

Welcome to our Blog Hop for the January feature paper "Something Fierce"  Did you arrive here from Shaunna's Blog ?  I hope you enjoy clicking through all of the links to see everyone's different takes on this versatile paper pack.  The colours in it are fabulous for our Australian Summer photos!
Sticker quotes look great in a stitched circle thin cut.  I have also used leftover cardstock and our numbers thin cuts to do the "12" in the corner.  Thin cuts are a fabulous way of turning scraps into great embellishments.
I just love the bright, clear colours in this pack.  They are easily customised to suit pretty much any photos.  This pack also works exceptionally well with our Carolina and Bluebird cardstock and ink. Don't be put off by the super-cute dinosaurs as you can easily avoid dino-themed pages (simply by turning the paper over!)
The bright primary colours in this pack make it perfect for fun kid's pages.

My cute niece is affectionately known as "T-Rex" so I liked adding the dinosaurs to her page!

This was my take on the Workshop Your Way layout - not a dinosaur in sight.

That is it for me this month - I may confess to being "all scrapped out" - I have just returned from a 3 day scrap retreat with some scrapping buddies and actually completed over 100 pages.  It feels good to be getting those albums up to date!

Now hop on over to Maz at Amazing Creations to see what she has been up to!
Until next time,
Happy scrapping,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Card Captions Stamp of the Month Australasian Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to our first blog hop for the year.
Did you arrive here from Shaunna's Blog?  Whether you are new here or a seasoned scrapper please enjoy hopping along to all of our blogs to see what we've been creating.  We love it when you leave us a comment too!

January's Stamp of the Month is an absolute must have.  I recommend a sentiments stamp like this one for every beginner scrapper/cardmaker.  It is a perfect addition to your "toolbox"

Confession time: I woke up super early this morning and rather than toss and turn got up and played while the rest of the house was asleep.  My daughter shares a bookcase partition with my scrapping room so I had to scrap on a corner of the kitchen table.  I crept in and grabbed a couple of blocks and my black ink and little tool caddy and the "Something Fierce" Workshop Your Way without waking her.
You may notice that all of my examples this month use only black ink and two blocks (a 1" block and a 1x3 1/2" block)  Most of my cutting was done just using my microtip scissors.  I know that this stamp set would work beautifully with any of the papers in our range but I wanted to keep to using Something Fierce.

I think I have mentioned before that I am big on teaching my kids gratitude.  We generally have a basket full of thank you cards easily accessible for them to write thank yous.  My son has recently lamented that "there are only girly cards left"  (meaning too many butterflies and flowers!) so these are to restock the basket.

Don't throw that sticker sheet away until you have thought about the bits that are left - the little zig zag borders are the bit left over after the stickers were removed.

Stamping directly onto the PML cutouts or pre-made journalling dies is a great way to add extra dimension to your work.

This stamp set is not just for sentiments - how cute is that little star?  I have been using "leftovers" from my Craft with Heart subscription as they coordinate perfectly with the feature paper pack for the month.

This one was made especially for a dear brave little girl who has an extended stay in hospital.  Paired with a set of our watercolours and a visual art diary it will be a perfect recovery present.

Sometimes it is great to have a couple of generic cards on hand.  This is perfect for a new job, new house, promotion, graduation, or any job well done!  I love the little dots to make an effective border.

Part of my strategy to get organised this year is to make Birthday cards for my friends and family and put them in a 12 month file under the month of their birthday.  If I mark in my diary the week I need to send cards (and to whom) then it should all work perfectly.  I will have two nieces turning three this year and one of them (Tiana) is sometimes affectionately known as Ti-Rex.

This is part of my strategy to send cards "just because"  All of my really best friends live interstate.  Catch ups are rare so when they do happen I want to be able to send a photo of that moment afterwards just so they know I am missing them!  Can you see the little scraps of cream paper under the dinosaurs? They are bits that are cut away from the sticker carrier sheet so that I can still stick my photo under the dinosaurs.

And I couldn't let you go without pointing out that this stamp set is not just for cardmakers!  Look at that border!? With sentiments like "hello" and "love you" it is also perfect for adding to your layouts.

So what do you think?  Hugely versatile and lots of fun.  The other thing I LOVE about this set is how easy Close To My Heart have made it for you to obtain it.  We have a brand new Seasonal Expression packed full of gorgeous new product.  Choose any of your favourite things up to $82.50 and this stamp is yours for only $8.50.  That is money well spent!

Happy New Year to you.
May your scrapping bring you joy this year!
Now click on this link to Doris' Blog to see what clever ideas she has been creating!
Keep smiling,