Friday, 29 June 2012

Black Zipper Orchid...

...not to be confused with a Slipper Orchid ;-)! I made another zipper flower today while the little guy was taking some Zzzzzzzs (I am in packing denial).

I got myself a thimble, and even though it was obviously made for bridezilla and kept falling off my finger (and I'm no small person) it made the job MUCH, much more pleasant. I also tried sewing the flower onto the felt circle. That worked well too....but I ended up applying a second, larger felt circle over the back once I was done...just to hide the really messy stitching.

I left the slider on this one, as a bit of a 'feature'. I also applied a button in the centre....which was SO much easier than sewing in the twirled up zipper end, although possibly not quite as nice looking...I'm undecided.
Now it's time I went foraging in the fridge for some dinner! Wish me luck...

Have a good one,

Blogged to: 100% Pure Love - Crystal Waters, I Drove All Night - Cyndi Lauper, Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra and Bridge to Your Heart - Wax.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Zipper Flower Brooch...

Recently one of the other mum's at school wore an amazing orange zipper flower brooch to school on her coat. I was amazed, totally! What a fabulous idea!!

So this morning while I was out and about I stopped and picked up some 26 inch YKK zippers with metal teeth and did a bit of deconstruction and reconstruction. I trimmed the ends off the zipper (to release the slider and reduce bulk). I looped and stitched one half of the zipper into four petals and with the second half I made one more petal and rolled the remainder into a flower centre (I did trim off a little because it was too long) and then stitched it all down.

I covered the back with a circle of red felt (stitched on in a rather haphazard fashion) and then stitched on the brooch pin (don't mind the mess...this is the back after all ;-)...

I know people like tutorials, but I really didn't feel like making one (sorry) I took a bit of a look online and found this one...which is pretty much what I did (except that I didn't start with the felt circle...but that's a really good idea!!).

I gave this brooch to another school mum this afternoon because she liked the original a lot, and I think it'll look really nice on her too. I'll have to make another one for me later. Note to self: BUY A THIMBLE! There are lots of layers to this brooch, and pushing that little needle through with no thimble HURT.

Still recuperating here. The face is slowly returning to normal...wish I could say the same about life in general...but that won't happen until this move is all done and dusted. Still a few weeks to go.

Thanks for visiting,

Blogged to: The Block 2012.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

...we have feet to climb and scale

...some more tinkering after completing Lesson 3 of Jessica's Photoshop Top 5 course.

I saw the skin specialist last night and he agreed with me... NO more cream! My reaction was excessive...I wasn't just imagining it. I am on an antibiotic cream to try and clean up the mess now. Fun times.

Blogged to: MasterChef Australia 2012.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Still Laying Low...

Hey there Bloggies!

Been a bit quiet in here hasn't it? I am still hiding out with my sore, festy face. Thanks for all your lovely comments and messages of support. Your thoughts are much appreciated! I did venture out in public on Sunday, to take Miss 8 to see the Imperial Ice Starts perform the Nutcracker on Ice at the Canberra Theatre. The show was absolutely fabulous, but I didn't feel very comfortable until the house lights dimmed and no-one could see me ;-).

There is no sign of my face healing yet. This course of medication is supposed to carry on for six weeks, but today I am going to tell the skin specialist that I am just not up to it. Two weeks shattered me, six weeks is not in my skill set! I'm thinking I'll just have to go back to the knife wielding surgeon instead. In addition to the four large, ugly, weeping lesions on my face I have had headaches, tiredness, mouth ulcers, weight loss (yeah, that one's not so bad ;-) and general discomfort. All of this on top of preparing to move house/ I said, not in my skill set. And when there is an alternative...well, you do what you can.

I was very fortunate to have been alerted to a fun online course on the weekend, by one of my buddies, Patrice. She emailed me the deets of Jessica Sprague's fabulous FREE Photoshop Top 5 course. So I started that last night and I am learning lots of great tips and tricks along the way.

This is the photo I edited from colour to black and white for Lesson 1...

It's no masterpiece, but I love the bright light reflected in my wee Thumper's eye as he stares out the window. What is he thinking?

More baby photo tinkering, because it is sooooo much fun...

Well, we're getting low on food here and I don't feel like taking my travelling sideshow down to the shops, so I think I'll go make a cake for the kids to have for afternoon tea. That'll have the extra benefit of warming up the house at the same time. It's very chilly here today!

ETA: My quick page from Lesson 2 of Jessica's fab course...

Thanks for visiting...

Blogged to: When Smokey Sings - ABC, I Feel the Earth Move - Martika, Rapture - Blondie and Around the World - Daft Punk.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Feeling Pretty Ordinary...

That's me right now :-(. Not in the best of spirits. I am having a bunch of skin cancers treated on my face and just now I look like an escapee from an advanced plague trial. I keep watching for people's reaction to my face, and assuring them I'm not contagious. I'll spare you the pictures...being near dinner time and all, but I wanted to let you know that I'm still here and I also wanted to say thank you for the recent comments (and apologies for not getting back to you sooner...I've been feeling a tad sorry for myself).

I do have a little Happy Hello to show you though. I made this a while ago, but had to wait until it had safely wended its way across the Pacific and arrived in the big ol' US of A. I was worried it may not make it through customs because the package contained tea...but I fully declared it all, and it was store-bought and vaccum-sealed, and it got there with no worries at all. Hooray!
Project Recipe:

Cardstock: Early Expresso, Cherry Cobbler and Crumb Cake (all by Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Early Expresso and Cherry Cobbler Classic Inks (Stampin' Up!) and Timber Brown Stazon (Tsukineko)
Stamps: Pun Fun (Stampin' Up! - Retired), Lots of Thoughts (Stampin' Up! - Retired SAB) and Canvas Background (Stampin' Up! - Retired)
Accessories: Watercolour Paper (Stampin' Up!), Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding (Stampin' Up!), Crystal Effects (Stampin' Up!) and Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!).

That's all from me right now. Gonna go back into hiding. Thank goodness I don't video blog!
Have a good weekend.

Blogged to: Celebration - Madonna, Message to My Girl - Split Enz, Dressed For Success - Roxette and Sweet Talkin' Woman - Electric Light Orchestra.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

ColourQ Challenge #141

When I saw this week's ColourQ Challenge last night I knew I had to play along. The colours are beautiful and I love the inspiration image too...

As you can see, I decided the inspiration image was the way to go...and you could pretty much say that I CASED it!

I hope that you could tell that the sentiment is supposed to be a tie clip?! Also, this is another whopper of a stands 7.5 inches tall...another one to be hand delivered that's not a problem. I had fun making this card (I think that tie looks pretty groovy) a big vote of thanks go to the ColourQ team for the inspiration!

Hope you all have a lovely day :-)...

Project Recipe:

Cardstock: Whisper White (textured), Night of Navy, Brocade Blue, Bashful Blue and Lucky Limeade (all Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Old Olive and Night of Navy Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Men of Life (Papertrey Ink)
Punches: Word Window (Stampin' Up! - retired)
Accessories: In Colour Patterns Designer Series Paper (Stampin' Up!), Rich Regals Buttons (Stampin' Up!), Traffic Jam Embossing Folder (Provocraft), Paper Piercer (Misc.), White Gel Pen (Misc.), Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!) and Mini Glue Dots (Stampin' Up!).

Blogged to: We Built This City - Starship, I Can't Dance - Genesis, Lola - The Kinks and Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Twine Flower Photo Tutorial

We have been packing today, slowly, my belongings are disappearing from around me. My yarn, fabrics and sewing machine were boxed up there'll be no more sewn projects for some time! I am holding tight to my paper crafting goodies though. We don't leave here for another 3.5 weeks and I need to have something to keep me entertained.

After yesterdays effort, Paula asked for a photo tutorial for my twine flower, so I knuckled down and did that this afternoon. The photos are not great. They are taken indoors, in poor lighting, but you can see what I am talking about...I hope. I am sure there will be other tutorials out there in cyber-land, but maybe they won't be exactly the same as mine. On with the show...


  • Scallop Circle Die - I have used the 3 inch wide scalloped circle die from my Spellbinders Nestability set, but you can use pretty much any size you like. Try different sizes for different effects.
  • Circle Punch - I have used the 1 3/8 inch circle punch by Stampin' Up! You just need a circle big enough to allow you to crochet around the flower centre.
  • Twine - for this tutorial I have used Stampin' Up!s Linen Twine and it works beautifully. I have always loved SUs Linen Twine. You could also try their Hemp Twine, it is much thicker, and would give quite a different look.
  • Washi Tape - I don't think I've waxed on much about how much I love Washi Tape! I have just a wee collection here ;-), and I use it a LOT. I use it for decorating envelopes, I use it to make pretty tags, I use it to fasten balloons to streamers, I use it to hold my dies in place while I am running them through Mr Cuttlebug and for this project, I also used it to hold the twine in place while I was wrapping it about my makeshift loom.
  • Crochet Hook - I have used a 2.5 mm hook, but any fairly fine hook will do.
  • Scissors - to cut your twine and to cut away the loom once you have finished.

Step 1:

Create your cardboard loom by punching your 1 3/8 inch circle in some cardstock and then cutting your die over the top. As I mentioned above, I use my Washi Tape to hold my scalloped circle die in the correct position over the punched hole while I am running it through my Cuttlebug. Washi rips easily by hand, and pulls off your cardstock with out any damage (if you do it gently). I buy most of my Washi Tape from Washimatta and Pretty Tape who both stock beautiful Japanese Washi Tapes...

Step 2:

Fix your twine to the loom with some Washi Tape, so you are not continually losing that end (like I did the first three times I made these)...

Step 3:

Commence wrapping it around your loom. You wrap from one side of the loom to the diamterically opposite point, and then move to the next scallop petal and repeat all the way around...

Step 4:

Repeat wrapping around the loom three'll use up lots of assured! Try not to pull too tight, as you will end up buckling your cardstock and distorting your homemade loom (one thing you won't have to worry about if you use a store bought hard plastic loom). This is what your loom and twine will look like now...

Step 5:

With the free end of your twine now at the back, you are ready to start crocheting the circle of chain stitches around the flower centre. This circle of chain stitches will hold the twine in individual 'petals', and hold the whole flower together once the loom has been removed. This bit is tricky to show with photos, because I can't crochet and photograph at the same time (only having two hands and all)....but I've done my best.

You need to carefully separate the first clump (or petal) containing three strands of twine (at the back and front of the loom) with your fingers. Then, in the first gap, push your crochet hook through from the front to the back, loop the free end of twine over it and then pull the loop of your twine back through to the front of your project. This starts getting hard because twine is hairy and therefore it doesn't slip easily....make the loop around your crochet hook as loose as possible to help the twine move. You now have one loop of twine on your crochet hook...

Step 6:

Keeping the first loop of twine on your crochet hook, move across to the very next gap between the clump of three strands of twine, use your fingers again to separate the clump of three strands (at the front and back of the loom) and then put your crochet hook through from the front, loop the free end of the twine over your hook (loosely) and bring it forward, through the gap. You will now have two loops of twine on your crochet hook...

Step 7:

Now you have to pull the second loop of twine (the one closest to the pointy end of your crochet hook), back through the first loop of twine on your hook. The first loop goes over the top of the second one and off the end of your crochet hook. It ends up becoming the first chain stitch around your flower centre, and you are left with one loop of twine on your crochet hook. You then repeat Steps 6 and 7 right around the flower until you are back where you started...

Step 8:

For my last chain stitch I just chained through my very first chain stitch and then pulled my twine right through the loop, and then through to the back of the project using my crochet hook, so the loose end was back there, and then I just tied it off using any old loop.

Then, using some small sharp scissors carefully go in and snip the cardstock loom into small pieces, right the way around (mind you don't cut any strands of twine in the back as you are doing this)...

Step 9:

Gently wriggle out all the little pieces of your cut cardstock loom, et volia! You have a pretty twine flower! You can attach a button or other bling to the centre to dress it up, or just go au naturel...

FAR OUT, now I remember why I don't write tutorials. That took FOREVAH! Hope it sounds less like Indo-Finnish now :-). Let me know if anything isn't clear and I'll try and fix it...

Blogged to: Original Sin - INXS, Feels Like Heaven - Urban Cookie Collective, Starlight - The Supermen Lovers featuring Mani Hoffman, Sunshine After the Rain (Two Cowboys Club Edit) - Berri,  Total Control - The Motels, Science Fiction - Divinyls, Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles, Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns N' Roses and American Pie - Don McLean.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wanna see how you can use a whole roll of twine in one sitting?

It was very easy to achieve. One minute I had a whole roll of twine, the next minute, it was all gone...and no I didn't feed it to the kids for breakfast (but that's a great idea, thanks ;-)!

I was blog surfing at one point yesterday, when I came across this simply stunning page. Now, apparently it is written in Finnish, well at first Google Translate said the detected language was Indonesian...but I think it ended up going with Finnish. To further confuse matters, the blogger appears to live in France, at least that is what the sidebar talks about...but I dunno...maybe Google got it all wrong, because the translated version of the blog page sounded a bit stilted. Perhaps Finnish doesn't translate to English so well? At any rate, I know enough to know that I love that blog, so pretty and clean and beautiful! Such gorgeous pictures, and those twine flowers....swoon. I needed one right away!

I had to spend a little while doing deconstruction in my head. I don't own a flower loom, which I think might be the quickest and easiest thing to make these on. Instead, I die cut one of my large Nestie scalloped circles, roughly cut out the centre, and used that. I wound the twine around the circle, three times around each 'petal-pair' and finished (no pun intended) by kinda crocheting a chain stitch around the centre to hold it together (crocheting with twine is hard, it isn't very you might it is quite tricky to pull through). Are you getting the picture in your head, or am I speaking in Indo-Finnish? Once you have finished the centre crochet you can just carefully cut away the scalloped circle and pull out the pieces....and TA DAH!
Project Recipe:

Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Kraft and Confetti White (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler and Sahara Sand Classic Ink (Stampin' Up)
Stamps: Curly Cute (Stampin' Up!)
Dies: Scalloped Circles (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Square Lattice Embossing Folders (Stampin' Up) and Natural Twine (Misc).

The finished card is stands 7.5 inches tall. Lucky I'm hand delivering this one.

I'm going to leave you with a picture from a little celebration we had yesterday...
It was not for any particular hubby just puts these together from time to time (pink bubbly too...I know I'm lucky :-). Yesterday, he made me laugh though with the little yellow flowers scattered over everything. As I came in, he proudly asked whether I thought it was worthy of Masterchef? LOL....I think George and Gary might say he'd gone overboard with the flowers, but who am I to ruin his fun?! The flowers are from our garden...where the broccolini has gone to flower (they are we did...all of them).

Blogged to: Replay - Candid, Believe - Cher, Venus - Bananarama and I See Red - Split Enz.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Thanks For Bee-ing A Great Teacher...

So I've spent a little time re-thinking my teacher-gift cards! I've now made three of these cards, so this will be the card they get...regardless of whether it can be identified or not ;-). I think they'll get my drift...
Project Recipe:

Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight and Vellum Cardstock (all Stampin' Up!)
Punches: Two-Step Owl [for the bee eyes] and Medium Oval [for the bee legs] (both from Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Nestie Eggs (Spellbinders), Nestie Labels 10 (Spellbinders), Nestie Blossoms 1 (Spellbinders), Swiss Dots Embossing Folders (Provocraft), D'vine Swirls Embossing Folder (Provocraft), Sunshine Impression Plate (PTI), Neutrals Brads (Stampin' Up!), Wireworks (Stampin' Up!) and Olivia Alphabet Dies (Provocraft).

Gotta go back to watching Mystic Pizza now...I'm enjoying the big hair and 80's flashbacks!

ETA: I was so tired when I wrote this up last night that I forgot to add that the ...For Bee-ing a Great Teacher sentiment inside the card is just one I typed up in Photoshop, then printed onto cardstock and die-cut using my nesties. I didn't have that sentiment on any of my stamps or rub-ons.

Also note that my Cuttlebug sandwich for the vellum embossing was a bit too tight on the last bee's wings....that is what has caused the random creases in the vellum, plus the fact that I had the embossing mat direct on my vellum...prolly should have a paper shim between the embossing mat and the vellum (but I'd had enough by then and wasn't prepared to re-make them...besides I think it gives them a bit of character ;-).

Blogged to: Mystic Pizza (1988).

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I'm thinking you'll know what this is...

 ...Oh please, PLEASE know what it is!
I think the inside layer needs a little more bling or something. I'm still thinking about that.
Project Recipe:

Cardstock: Chocolate Chip and Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Papers: Patterns In Colours DSP (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Chocolate Chip Classic Ink (Stampin' Up)
Stamps: Yummy (Stampin' Up!)
Punches: Scalloped Circle (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Tin foil (misc), Labels Fourteen Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Nestie Squares (Spellbinders), Nestie Long Rectangles (Spellbinders), Starry Night Embossing Folder (Craft Concepts) and Traffic Jam Embossing Folder (Cuttlebug).

Sooooooooo, it's a bit less ambiguous than my poor old, totally misunderstood cocoa pod. Isn't it? I hope so, I'm kinda running out of mojo here. It is another easel card, so there is still the distinct chance no-one will be able to work out how it opens/works, but I'm going to have to live with that possibility.

Just writing this post up has made me hungry. I've got some delish minestrone on the stove and a crusty fresh bread roll to go with it....drool. Guess where I'm headed...

Have a lovely afternoon.

Blogged to: Put Your Hands Up For Detroit - Fedde le Grand, California Gurls - Katy Perry and It's The End of the World As We Know It - R.E.M.