Planing for the

In our family, food goes hand in hand with celebrating occasions. When planing for the coming Christmas, I inevitably recall Christmases past. My mind quickly drifts to the different foods that we love, have tried and enjoyed and decide if we will add them to this coming festivities. There are the home-made classics that are particularly popular with the kids and then there are the new foods or recipes that cry out to be included. This year, there is a strong inclination to remember the kids' Oma who died just weeks ago. We are going to include a lot of her Dutch influence in our Christmas buffet this year.  

Boterkoek (a Dutch cross between a shortbread and a heavy butter cake),  

 Speculaas (a spicy biscuit, traditionally baked for consumption on St Nicholas' Eve),  

Croquettes (a sausage shape veal meat ball ) best served with mustard - my absolute favourite!

and Oliebollen (a fruity doughnut type dumpling) are just a few things that pop into mind.
Obviously there are other Dutch foods and likings. (Thankfully salted herring is not a favourite amongst my tribe!)

Now I am an Aussie who is fortunately married to a Dutchman and the only Dutch food I have actually made have been boterkoek and poffertjes (mini pancakes), so I need to expand my repertoire urgently.

So at this stage I have sent out a call to all my Dutch relatives & friends and hope to soon replace these stock photos with my own images. I know at a pinch I can buy in the croquettes and speculaas but it would be much more fun to make them myself or even better do it together with my kids when they come!.. Wish me luck!

So what foods do you & your loved ones celebrate Christmas with?

Less is More - Week 42

With everything going on in the last few weeks in our family, it has just been to hectic to make cards. Even today's card is one that I had made some time ago but it fits this theme beautifully.
This week's LIM challenge is silhouettes. Go take a look at the cards other participants have come up with here.

Once again I am inspired by other talents stampers, this time from Stacey O'Shea, Here is my interpretation that fits in with this theme.

I stamped the image (unknown original) however I used my sharpies to colour it in as a solid silhouette and then proceeded to sponge various blue dye inks around  a circle mask (cut from a circle nestablities). I use the same black sharpie pen to add some grass as a hillock. This card is available at my Zibbet shop

I hope you enjoyed this entry!

I am busy working on a custom order & Christmas gifts and wrappings, so come back soon.

It's been a sad few weeks

We lost my hubby's mother last week (9th November). She was 94. She rarely ever was sick and so to see her in hospital, even for just 9 short days, was so unreal. Just a few days before she went into hospital she was amazingly still driving and living independently, doing her own cooking etc.
It was very hard to let go, no matter how long they have lived for, it is never enough.

Groot Oma with one of  her Great Great grandchildren, Miriam
We are so thankful to God for her life in so many ways. Her love for the Lord was passed down the generations, with 2 grand daughters serving God as ministers and 2 son in laws  (not hubbys of the aforementioned girls) studying or serving God as ministers. She was not perfect and strived to improve herself daily. She was an extremely industrious person especially with her crafts. We have started to clear out her place (it must be vacated within a fortnight!) and are amazed at the volume of her variety & volume of crafts and the exquisite fine crocheting she was still accomplishing in her final months! She was a person who did not sit at home waiting for her visitors, which she dearly loved to have esp if it was of her family members! She was often unavailable between the hours of 9 and 3 or 4 most days as she went about her activities from visiting the 'oldies', who often were a decade or more younger than her, craft group, bible studies, fellowship, church, the Dutch Club and so forth.
Trapunto Cushion
Red cushion

It was hard to go through her things. It feels like such an invasion of her privacy and then on top of that we tended to feel mercenary as we decide who is having what of her things and what to discard! So many things speak of her life. I have been blessed to have known her and to be included in her family since I married my husband some 30 years ago.


She has been an inspiration to my own craft endeavours over the years. When she came over, I often ended up showing her a new paper craft technique, it was the only craft I could teach her, and she would go home with yet more papers and cards or stuff!

Come Christmas and birthdays, we all would receive some handmade or hand decorated items. I can look around my house in just about any room and find something that Mum has made whether it be fine crochet doilies, cross stitch hangings, crocheted edged face washers and hand towels, woven waste baskets.
Her creative genes were passed down with all 5 of her children and many of her 18 grandchildren, blessed with creativeness and industry. 
Through Mum I found what it is like to be a part of a loving extended family, so thanks Mum for the wonderful memories. Thank you brothers & sisters for letting me a part of your family too!

And most of all: Thank you God for bringing her into our lives.

The most amazing Christmas Explosion Box

Every once in a while, I surprise myself. This Christmas Box is one of those times. I just think this is one of my absolute favourite items. I know I shouldn't blow my own trumpet, but I am so happy with how it turned out, especially after a few hold ups along the way.

I started the box about 2 months ago. I made the box base and stamped & glittered the inside pages. It looked terrific. I loved this. I made some of the trims, such as the red contrast punched strips which I made into 'pockets' into which the photo or journaling could be  partially inserted on 4 of the pages. Another set of pages had red ribbons as anchors and corners. Then that was that! It just wouldn't come together any further for me. I guess most of us have this happen now and then.

None of my stamped images 'fitted' in cohesively. It just wouldn't gel. I left it for a bit. I went down to a scrapbooking store and finally found some card candy that I thought would suit. So I bought my first ever card candy! 

Great, I am off and running again! I made a tag & stuck the various candies over the pages. I stalled at trying to come up with the centre feature. I still couldn't finish the box...

I just didn't have a clue what I was going to do this time. So I left it again, this time for something like about 6 weeks as so much as happened in the meantime, such as a 3 week visit to the other side of the country to meet my new darling granddaughter & be reaquainted with her sister & parents.

Then home again to all sort of bits & pieces such as a mammogram and associated testings which was iffy for a bit. Then two funerals in one week. Now my MIL is in hospital and not expected to come home and my hubby has done his back in and can hardly walk but obviously wants to make an effort to see his mother as much as possible! So all in all it has been rather sad and hectic.

I was dying to get in and save my sanity with some crafting and just the other day the penny dropped on what  I could make for the centre. I thought of doing a 3D  Christmas tree! Yay! I can finish off the box. I hand drew and cut 3 Christmas trees out of Bazzil card. I folded them down the centre and glued just the centres to each other but ensuring that the halves were not glued closed giving the appearance of 6 'pages' of the tree making it very 3 dimensional. When it was dry, I added glue along the cut edges and applied white Flower Soft and sprinkled ultra fine Crystal glitter over the wet glue. I then cut off & glued mini baubles off a tinsel room decoration and re-purposed them for my tree. I even got to use my brand new Sizzix Star Burst Die which had only arrived yesterday! I had 5 acetate strips for the bouncy fluttering things that help make it 'explode' when it is opened. The tips of the strips had a wooden angel, a couple of 'spare' stars and some holly leaves attached to them.

 I didn't start on the lid until I had the rest of the box done so I could tie it all together. I stamped and embossed a greeting onto a white square card which I layered with a scalloped green card and added a gold a copper star burst die cut. more red border punched trim and a white bow ties off the lid beautifully. One more Christmas tree adorns one side of the box with it Flower Soft and glitter touches.

It is done at long, long last. I love it. I am sure you will too. I have had enough for today even though it is still only 8pm. I will list it in my shop first thing tomorrow. I am sure it will be snapped up soon. So if you like it, you had better be quick about it. I am off to vege in front of the tele.
Good night to all.

Stars in your eyes

After my big botch up yesterday, I have managed to make sure that I am inside the right blog.
Yesterday was a big challenge all up, after church we get an urgent message that my  94 yr old MIL is unwell. Could we get over there?  (She still lives independently, drives etc!) Mum is still in bed feeling very weak and afraid of falling. After a couple of hours she appeared to be settled , just tired and so we walked her back to bed but her BP dropped so much that she collapsed onto a handy chair and we called the ambulance. The next 6 hours were spent hanging around while they check everything including a CT scan etc. Everything is fine when she is resting, but her BP drops when she gets up. She is dehydrated and so they are keeping her overnight and putting a fluid drip in her. She is not ready to go to the Lord just yet!

I enjoyed the cards that I made for the LIM challenge yesterday and so I made a few more in preparation for a craft market stall coming up soon. I think it is always handy to have such cards ready for events.

I have made a few more cards in the same format.

What do you think of them?

Have a lovely week.


Oh My gosh...

I have not idea what I was thinking at the time but I accidentally posted my card blog onto my holiday blog. I must been in La La land. So here I have reposted it directly here. I was even able to copy my comments, which is great as they are very much appreciated.
When at first I couldn't find this blog, I thought it was lost forever in cyber space but something made me go and look at the Simply Less is More Blog and see what link I put in and that when I noticed my bob boo. So here it is directly transferred word for word along with the photos! I will try to take more care and see that I don't do that again!

Big event birthdays

This week on the Less is More Blog, the challenge is "STARS".

I hand cut the big numbers from double sided jac paper (like Double sided sticky tape only in sheet size formats). I peeled the backing off one side and stuck it onto some layers first. The card layer having already been stamped and embossed. Then I peeled off the top layer of the jac paper and stuck down some star sequins in a random fashion and then filled the rest of the sticky surface with glitter. I also glued some sequins in a scattered fashion off to the right of the card, extending the 'explosion'
The gold and silver backing papers are from a dear friend who used to make cake bases and has all these yummy gold and sliver embossed papers left over that she shared with me. I am very stingy in using up these yummy papers. (Thanks Lesley)

Hope you enjoyed these cards. I have some ideas for variations. I am going to make & post a few more, now that I have them in mind! Come back soon.



Carol said...
Two great cards. Carol x
Chrissie said...
There certainly are a lot of stars here Michelle, not a lot of white space but fun cards! Thanks so much Chrissie "Less is More"
Vicky Hayes said...
These are gorgeous Michelle! The stars give the numbers such a celebratory look - and they'd work brilliantly without the layers too! Vx
Anne said...
What bright and cheerful cards, lovely! Anne x

There's a song in my heart!

I woke up nice and early for a change and had it not been an overcast day, I would have seen the sun rise. I just love the early mornings.
Sunrise over Lake Black, SA

A fresh new day, a time of peace and reflection and this morning I actually had a song in my heart. believe me I have the crappiest voice and though my voice sounds wonderful inside my head but by the time it comes out of my mouth, it is terrible. Thankfully God can 'hear' inside my head and regardless he listens to the heart of my songs not the voice! The song I 'sang' is one I haven't heard in something like 15 years. Here are the words. I hope you can relate to them in some way.

Thank you for every new good morning, Thank you for every fresh new day,
Thank you that I may cast my burdens, Wholly on to you.

Thank you for every friend I have Lord, Thank you for every one I know,
Thank you when I can feel forgiveness, To my greatest foe.

Thank you for leisure and employment, Thank you for every heartfelt joy,
Thank you for all that makes me happy, And for melody.

Thank you for every shade and sorrow, Thank you for comfort in your Word
Thank you that I am guided by you, Everywhere I go.

Thank you for grace to know your gospel, Thank you for all your Spirit's power,
Thank you for your unfailing love, Which reaches far and near.

Thank you for free and full salvation, Thank you for grace to hold it fast,
Thank you, O Lord I want to thank you, That I'm free to thank

I have a market stall coming and wanted some items that are not just explosion boxes and cards. So last night I started on these post it note pad holders. Very quick and simple to do. I will post some instructions soon. I have a market stall coming and wanted some items that are not just explosion boxes and cards. So last night I started on these post it note pad holders. Very quick and simple to do. I will post some instructions soon.

The cover papers are from my stash and the heavy cardboard it is covering is recycled packaging from my new Fiskars trimmer. I noticed it was a good thick, stiff card and just knew it would come in handy for something.

The decorative ribbon is a 'Fozzy Felt' self adhesive ribbon that I bought on special at my local Spotlight. I think the round stamps are from Stampin Up and I used my nestabilities and cuttlebug to cut the shape for the greetings and the scallop layer underneath it.

If you are interested in purchasing these, just pop into my Zibbet Shop here.

Blessings to all and have a lovely weekend.

Asiatic lilies birthday Explosion Box

I just love making & giving explosion boxes. The surprise people get when they open their seemingly innocent box and the walls fall down seemingly as though it is exploding, is just precious. 

The flowers in this box are similar to one that I made for my second daughter's 21st some 2 years back. Asiatic Lilium are her favourtie flowers and so I took it upon my self to figure out how to make these wonderful flowers. I used Joanne's Mainly Flowers blog entry as a starting point and modified it from there.
The petals were hand cut card which I coloured using sponges & pink ink and a pink art pen to draw on the spots. 

I then proceeded to roll the petals into shape and glue around the card stamens that I had cut in a quilled style, flaring out the tips and adding a touch of glue & glitter to them. 

 I stamped, coloured and border trimmed white panels before adding a touch of glitter to the words & the swirly designs.

As usual there are my 'trademark' butterflies fluttering around.If you are interested in this or one of my other explosion boxes then visit my Zibbet shop.
So thank you to Joanne for your inspiration

Do drop a line. I would love to hear your comments.

New Banner inspires New Look

What do you think of my new colour pages. I had a new banner made up for my shop a couple of months ago but with the new grand daughter, trips and such, I haven't gotten around to updating it on this blog. In an effort to  try to keep consistency across the board, I thought I would have a go at making the blog look more colour-co-ordinated. I still need to tweak the colours of the text a bit on the side bars but haven't figured that out just yet. Do you find it easy to read? Do you have any critiques to offer?
I choose a butterfly avatar as I love butterflies and the transformation & regeneration that they represent. I have noticed that a lot of my work especially my boxes have a butterfly in them somewhere.

Today's cute little Hedgehog card  also happens to have a butterfly on his nose as well as lots of butterflies hovering around the window card. I have stamped and cut a separate head and attached it on 3D foam tape to give him a little dimension. Both images are from Penny Black and have been coloured with water colour pencils. The inside has been left blank on the inside for your personal message. You can purchase this card from my Zibbet Shop

Blessings to all

Added: I almost forgot to thank Judy for designing my banner, business card and avatar  just the way I wanted it. She is so helpful & easy to work for. You can find her here at her Zibbet Shop.

Side Spring Card

I have been a follower of Split Coast Stampers for many years. I can highly recommend this community of paper crafters and stampers. I was most interested in making this week's tutorial - the Side Spring Card. I have always been interested in the various combinations of cuts and folds that can make a card much more interesting. This is a variation on the Spring Card which I used to make a few years ago but I have sadly neglected & thus almost forgotten in the meantime.

However as I work mostly in metric, I played around with sizes to get a similar design from an A5 Card which is the common card size here in Australia.

So here is the sizes and score lines for an A5 adaption of Beate's Side Spring Card.

Cut standard A5 card (15 x 21cm)
Score cardstock at 7.5cm on the short side.
Turn cardstock 90 degrees and score at 7.5 and 10.5cm on the long side
Then continue with the rest of Beate's excellent easy to follow directions here.

Thank you Beate for all your work in creating the many tutorials you do for us and inspiring us to do different things with our art.

It is time for champagne

The theme for this week's Less is More is Cocktail. I don't have cocktail glasses but I do have champagne glasses. This is my first card after my trip up north to greet my newest grand daughter. Now I can get back into the swing of things... but first I had better tidy up my stamping area .... again... LOL

Usually I just glitter the 'liquid content' part but this time I decided to turn it into a shaker card.

I just might do a few more in this theme as I need a few more celebration type cards. Come back soon to see what I else I come up with.

Of course I am biased!

Please forgive me for my tardiness in post entries, but I have been busy with the arrival of my second grand-daughter.

I am back home after spending 3 weeks in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, arriving just 4 days before Ezzy Jean decided to come a few days early. These photos are just a few of the many photos taken in this time. Ezzy looks just like her sister at the same age, which is supposed to be similar to their mum, but I can't really see either parent in them much. Ezzy is wonderful to hold, my favourite time being just after she has fed and acts like she is drunk with pleasure... it is pure delight.

The stats for Ezzy's birth are: Born at 10.13pm on Tuesday 4th October, weight 7lbs 11ozs and length 49cms. For those wondering about the name - Ezzy is a family name on Holly's side going back at least 7 generations. It progressed from being a surname to being a middle name in Holly's grandma (Squeezy) and now it is a first name!

I am a mean, horrible Oma letting her sleep as she liked for only the first 48 hours (which was asleep all day and awake most of the night!) Then I kept her awake most of the 3rd day and 'forced' her to sleep at nights which went terrific for 3 or 4 days until she developed some colic or spasmodic pains and had a difficult few nights..Since then she has been a bit more erratic. Her mum is trying caffeine and dairy free diet in the hope that is will help Ezzy.

Time spent with son, Allan, his wife Holly & other grand-daughter Miriam (Miri) were well spent. A wonderful day trip to Cape Arnhem was a highlight day outing. Miriam is a delightful 2 year old and at that wonderful stage where she can actually have a conversation with you... often telling me what she wants... aahh! We spent many hours on a swing, and just enjoying each other's company.

Now that I am home I have tons of washing to do. I would swear the boys haven't washed since I left (which they assure me that they have!) and to top it off, it looks like the girls left all their camp bed linen for me to wash too!
Aahh the pleasure of having a family! Can't live without them, can we? (I don' t really want to put it to the test!... just in case I like it too much LOL) I might just have to go and move in with Allan & Holly... if I could turn the temperature down a bit up there! 34 was the average temperature. I would love to have the doors open and to be able to potter around outside without melting! But as in all places there are pluses and minuses.... they don't have a cold winter.... now that I would LOVE! Maybe I should just move in every winter! Hint Hint!