Cowboys & Cowgirls rule!

One year my church had a holiday bible program with a country and western theme. One of the activities I organized was for the kids to make some Cowboy cards. So we bought a heap of  cowboy and cowgirl cards. Well I needed some children's cards and so I revisited these stamps and have come up with some lovely relatively simple cards.

 The cowboy was masked and the horse stamped behind him and raised above the hand drawn fence.
The background was dry sponged.

 The background on this card was done with torn masking tape that was inked and rubbed with Distress Ink to resemble faux leather.

We can't leave the cowgirls out, can we!

There are a few others in my Zibbet shop as well, some without the greetings too that can be use for all occasions. See you around, Michelle

My Black Headed Feathered Friend Tutorial

A dear friend, Deb, loaned me her Stampin Up Bird punch and I have had so much fun making some lovely cards with the punch outs. This is one of my favourite uses. I know I saw something similar on the 'net, but I can not find the original designer to give her (or him) credit where it is due!

This is the finished card.

So here is a tutorial on my Black headed feathered friend.

STEP 1: punch cut 2 images, one from white and the other from grey card scraps. I only wanted 1 wing and from the grey card and then sponge ink the edges.

STEP 2: You will need to cut the upper body shape from the grey bird. It will peak just below the eye placement and curve gently under the upper wing placement area. Use the photo to understand my description better. Hint: I made a template on a post it note and use this to cut my bird body. Also cut it keeping the head area intact as we will use this in the next step.
Template of upper body cut on a post it note.

The post it note template on the grey bird shape
The body cut away. The head area is coloured in black permanent marker ready for Step 3.

STEP 3: Colour in the head area with black permanent marker. The cut the head apart from the rest, leaving the dint in the head from the upper body cut away. Discard the bottom grey piece.

STEP 4: Now grab your favourite sponge and  spong the edges of the grey upper body and the grey wing in a darker grey. and the bottom belly part of the white body in a light tan colour. I like to also edge the head part of the white shape with a black pen to ensure no white shows up later.
You can see the ink pads I choose only because it is what I have on hand. (I am not loyal to one particular brand!)

Here are the same shapes but on a blue background for better clarity.

STEP 5:  Now we are just about done. We stick the pieces together... Stick the head on first, lining it up on the white body. Then the grey upper body should fit with the tip fitting into the little notch in the head. The the wing is added later. I like to use a pop dot for the wing, lifting it off the body just a tad for dimension.

Now all you need is a white gel pen and to dot in the eye placement.

Here is the finished card again, this time I used the leaves punch in green. The borders of the punch were done with a Fiskars Border punch and I mitered the corners for the lacy edging.

I hope you enjoyed my first on line tutorial. Do ask any questions if you feel I have left something out or need clarification of something.
This card and others are available for sale in my shop, Inkspirational Designs.
See you next time around!

Altered Clipboards

I love getting commissions or being asked to teach as it gets me motivated to get stuck into it as sometimes I get so carried away looking and being inspired by the many clever card artists in blog land that I don't allow enough time for actually creating unless something comes in to kick my butt off the computer! LOL
I have been asked to teach Altered Clip Boards at a Mother/daughter night in Sutherland.
So of course I have to get motivated as the only one I have in my possession is a lovely one created for me by my talented sister in law, Marion, that I use daily as my shopping list! We wont be as ambitious as hers as there may be some attendees who have never crafted before.

Here are the 2 designs I have created for inspiration. The first on is a mini clipboard, which I distressed by sanding and inking in various places, which you can see in the second photo.

I was a bit disappointed with my new paper lace stickers I bought... they went partly transparent when varnished. I might go back and put real lace over this, but I have already sent it off as a sample.
The daisy is diecut on my Cuttlebug using a Sizzix BigZ Die. I softly sponged the large petals in blue and the smaller ones in crimson. The centre is a sun punch from an unnamed/unknown company.

The next clipboard is a full sized one, was inspired by my recent day with Grubs, where the theme of the decorations and names tags etc were sweets and included the cupcake used on this board, which was created by one of the wonderful co-ordinators, Helen, (no surnames as I haven't asked for permission to mention her - she might value her privacy!)

The papers & ribbons were donated to their church for this class and I know that they are wonderful Stampin Up papers & ribbons! I will try to find out if the donor is a demonstrator, however in the meantime you could order some from my friend, Leonie, if you have fallen in love with them too!

I was disappointed to notice that the handle has no holes or bars for ribbons which is my prefered method of decoration, so I had to put on my thinking cap to work our what to do here! Aah! A mini cupcake and then I still wanted some ribbon and so I tied a bow and stuck it on.

Here you can see the shopping paper already clipped in. I must get the board back and show you the cutting detail at the bottom as it is different... but you'll have to wait until the end of the month for that photo as the boards are already in Sydney!

The Hi is die cut from Cuttlebug Alphabets on my Cuttlebug of course! Here you can see a bit more of the inking detail. After the class I will post the tutorial step by step for you including templates for you. So make sure to come back at the end of the month of September! If you want to have a customized one made for you, drop me a note and I will do it soon at no extra charge. These two boards and the one made in class will be available in the shop towards the end of Sept but you can reserve it now. The smaller one will be $9 and the larger one will be $15.

Wollongong Grubs Stamping Day

The weekend before last I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a whole day with fellow stampers at Grubs. (Gong Rubber Bugs). Though I suppose the purpose is to do some stamping,  we can do what ever we want, and for myself, it was mostly catching up with friends that I hadn't seen for over 2 years. I did get 2 cards finished and was inspired to make some more over the next 10 days that are specifically attributed to the inspirations I received at Grubs.
Though I had seen stair step cards before, I had never actually gotten around to it before.
So here they are. 

If you look closely you can see the 3D flowers in the bouquet and on her hat where I punched and shaped the flowers. The flowers down the side panels were not shaped. The dress is water coloured using my Aquash and Tombows. Another punch was used for the corner accents.

The next card  is a bit more intricate especially with the die cut bird cage which was 1 of many sent to me by my friend Dawn McKenzie who has her own blog here. I gently curved the bird cage and glued into place.

The bird is from a Stampin Up Punch and which was a loan from another stamping buddy, Deb. One place you can this punch from Leonie here. She has a great SU blog where she shares her card inspirations here.

 Again I shaped the flowers. This time I used the retro flower punch. These are such easy and a delightful way to accentuate your designs.
Tomorrow I will show you the white on white cards I made.

White on White cards

As promised here are the 2 white on white cards I promised. I have greatly admired the multi layered and textured designs as seen on Becca's site.

 I used a cuttlebug embossed folder, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, my favourite L-Em fern leaf  punch which sadly jammed up on the day and a Carl Retro Punch for part of the rose... the rest of the rose, I handcut to get the larger size I wanted. Pearl rope was added and Kindy Glitz finished off the rose and the butterfly. BTW the stamens is a fringe flower insert in the middle!

 The next card is my daisy, though when I look at it and it makes me think of a water lily. What do you think it more resembles?

 For this card I used my newly purchased Martha Stewart Deep Edge punch which is quickly becoming my favourite border punch! The daisies were die cut on my cuttlebug using Sizzix Bigz Daisy Dies. Ribbon and feathers were from my stash!
I wonder if I went overboard with the card... it can be hard to know when to stop sometimes! Oh well, I like it and it is done now. All four of these cards as well as many others are available for sale on my Zibbet Shop: Inkspirational Designs.

Where have the years gone?

Savor the moment.....
Twenty years ago today my youngest son was born on the day before one of his sisters. How pique she was that Dean came on the only day the her Mum was allowed to come home just for her 4th birthday party. (I had been in hospital for 10 weeks with Placenta Previa but had special permission to go home for a few hours for the special day!) However I also had special permission to attend the Buddy Holly Show the night before in a wheelchair and the excitement was just too much as just hours after getting back to the hospital I started hemorrhaging and Dean was Born by emergency caesarian.
Over the years, they poke and push each other like little animals but life without either is unimaginable and today they even like each other.
And me not quite 40! HAHAHAHA!
Wasn't it just yesterday when he asked to sleep behind Daddy's chair or the lounge...anywhere but in his bed? And wanted to learn how to ride on the sit on lawn mower. Was it just yesterday when he fell out of a tree? How exciting it was when he started swimming in meets and then learning to play the guitar. 

Wasn't it just yesterday when Camille wanted to heal all the animals and make everyone happy. Wasn't it just yesterday, when she was the youngest person to go overseas on a mission trip in our church and then again and again even to Watato, Uganda where she came home and told us that she wanted to go live serving God all her life, hopefully in Africa.
Wasn't it yesterday??? No, but these and many other precious memories are locked in my memory bank forever.

Their sister lives close by and we miss their older brother who lives with his family some 4,000km away. We might not all live together anymore, but we try to get together as much as we can especially around birthday & Christmas times and this weekend will be no exception. We all look forward to Christmas when we all will be together including the youngest grandduaghter who is due in about 8 weeks, but in the meantime, I will always have my precious memories.

Yoo Hoo I am back!

Not only did I have the 'flu for a whole month, our eldest daughter had to borrow our laptop, with a lot of my  photos on it, as JetStar were foolish enough to move her cabin luggage further back out of her sight and hence gave the opportunity for it to be stolen along with all her stuff and they wont pay more than $150 compensation. Grrr bad dog - JetStar. Enough of the whinge.

So along with everything including setting up my very own online craft shop, I have kept myself busy.

I made 2 beautiful glittery boxes especially with weddings in mind since I had sold the other wedding boxes I had at markets whilst travelling.

The first box it called Black Galaxy due to the marvelous black glittery card base the cox is made from. It has a gift card (or cash) holder and is adorned with delightful yellow handmade paper roses and my trademark butterflies fluttering around in the slightest breeze. A gift card holder is perfect for the couple who have already have a lot of items or the couple that you don't know well enough to know what their desires are.
There are words on each of the embossed and tinted interior panels. 'Congratulations'. 'Forever after', Just Married' and 'from this day forward'. This box is available for sale in my Zibbet Shop Inkspirational Designs. where you see more photos of this box along with other Explosion Boxes

My other Wedding Explosion box is a golden glittery box and has a selection of coloured roses.

In the photo above you can see the lovely detailed dry embossing, the slight touch of tinting of these panels and 3 of the roses on this side of the card holder. (PS it is a fake $50 note in the slot!)
Hoo Roo for now