Ploughing through my 'stuff' - Part 4 and the last of these Christmas Cards

Well this post brings the Christmas Cards from my 'stuff' to a close. It will be a mix of cards but all are Christmas Cards. I have more 'stuff' but I will pack the majority of these off to my friend Heather, in Nagambie, Victoria. If there are any local stampers who would love to help Heather make these or other cards for charity, then send me an email and I will pass on your contact details. I am sure she would appreciate the assistance and while you are at it, you both will have a blast stamping with a new buddy!

The base card had the Christmas Village from PSX stamped on it and stippled with dye inks for a soft placement of colour in the background. I used the negative scrap which had a Marianne frame cut out of it leaving a lovely frame in itself. I placed a green border along the top and bottom again from my scrap pile. The stamp is of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet out on the town getting presents.They were stamped, embossed and water coloured, I popped Pooh and Piglet out on foam tape. Pooh's hat and snow have white liquid applique features. pooh's body has also been flocked.

The Peace Dove was a very old image back from when I used to use my Print Gocco which has to be more than 10 or maybe even 15 years ago. (I told you I had been keeping stuff for a very long time!). It was already cut and so I just added a white doiley on a card base. I then snipped the edges about 3cm with half of a diamond hole punch to keep the gold cord which I wrapped around the card front and tied into a simple bow. The notches hold the cord in place without the aid of glue or tape which would be impossible to secure without being visible somewhere. I just hate exposed glue or tape on a card!

The next card is one of my favourites in this collection, mainly because the subject is close to my heart. The doily was sponged with Tea Dye Distress Ink before being layered. I used the Marianne Frame die to make the beautiful frame on red card from my stash. The Mary and Jesus image is one left over from when I made a bundle of microscope slides a few years back. I am pretty sure the image is a Stamp It (Aust) image. The filigree star is a christmas decoration which I have repurposed, which stuck down quite successfully with Helmar's Super-Tac Glue, which I use for most of my glue work. I stamped the greeting in Tea Dye ink. (Another Stamp It (Aust) greeting)

The snowman was stamped and embossed on a shaving cream marbled paper. (Google it, if you want to learn how to do it. It is a great technique that both adults and children thoroughly enjoy. PS: Just use food dye to keep the cost down rather than re-inkers!) The base lilac card was stamped in a curlicue design (Stamp It (Aust) image) using Adirondack's Slate ink pad. The tiny leaves and flower tips were touched with Quickie glue and some clear ultra fine glitter. The Spellbinder label was punched out of paint chip board and stamped with part of a greeting - unknown source.

The Holly was stamped and embossed on a shaving cream marbled paper similar to the snowman above but using a green embossing powder. Red diamantes were adhered as holly berries from my stash. The layers being the marbled paper are from paint chip board and the base card was also stamped in the same curlicue design (Stamp It (Aust) image) but in Lime Green Chalk Ink but after it has been stamped off to remove the first brighter ink colouring.

Well that wraps up my Christmas Stuff for the time being. As I said earlier, I will most likely ship the bulk of the rest of my Christmas stuff and other stuff to Heather soon as promised.
Do pop a line in the comments section as it would encourage me that some people are at least reading this little blog of mine. we all need encouragement from time to time.

So until the next time, happily keep stamping and browsing

Ploughing through my 'stuff' - Part 3

Here is the Christmas Tree selection of the cards I made on Sunday morning. All the trees were stamped, embossed and cut ready to go. It certainly makes it fast to put together a bunch of cards in one go.

These three cards above are all the same. Apparently I added some green glitter as accents to the tree at the same time as the gold embossing powder. A very simple layering was all that I did for these. The gold and copper shimmer papers are from my stash of scraps. I stamped the greeting on the bottom in Jet Black Archival Ink. That's it!

This tree had been created almost the same sans the glitter. I did run a scrap piece of green through my cuttlebug using my new Marianne Frame die. I kept the positive die cut for later use and included one of the swirls almost as a 'base ground' for the tree to rest on. I certainly love this die and will most likely make great use of it.

This one above is not exactly a tree, but branches of a tree and the bauble comes off easily to hang on a tree, yet leaving the card still looking good! I must admit I cased this from a swap done years ago, but I have no idea to whom I owe the credit, I just remember seeing hers and thought I would have to do one too as I love the idea of a removable bauble!

These cards will be available at my zibbet shop, "Inkspirational Designs" soon!

There's more to come, so I will be back soon!

Ploughing through my 'stuff' - Part 2

Well as promised I have some more of the wonderful Christmas Cards that I made yesterday.
These card fronts were already stamped, coloured, cut or what ever and ready to be used. So making so may was a breeze. No wonder I sailed through my 'stuff'.

Going by memory, I brayered a glossy card and then stamped this candle and embossed it with White Embossing powder. I am not a fan of embossing esp on glossy card as I find static is a problem even with an anti-static embossing puff bag. Apparently, this one was one of my more successful efforts. I don't have this rainbow pad anymore so I can't tell you the colours used. I layered it onto a shimmery lilac paper from my (huge) pile of scraps. I stamped the Joy to the World greeting in a hybrid purple dye ink.

 This dove (most likely Stamp-it or Penny Black) was already stamped, glittered (Stamp-it Crystal Ultra Fine) and cut. I paired it with a lovely foiled panel I found in my pile of patterned scraps. If people are interested I could do a tutorial sometime in the future of this quick & easy foiling technique.

I have two piles of scrap cards, a huge pile of plain papers, which just last night I had colour sorted into an old expanding file. I have a slightly smaller pile of the patterned card scraps which are just loose in an A4 box, which I have to browse through when I want to use them up.

These cards will be available at my zibbet shop, "Inkspirational Designs" soon! 

Come back tomorrow for Part 3.

Ploughing through my 'stuff' - Part 1

Well after meeting the challenge at Less is More in the previous entry, I was inkspired to keep on going and made serious roads into my Christmas stash of stuff. I did 12 cards in something like 90 minutes because I had the fronts or main images already stamped, embossed and cut or part thereof.

 I have broken the blog entries down to a few parts. Today's upload are all utilizing recycled Christmas Cards. I like to recycle all manner of things including pre-loved cards. I am just a big kid at heart and enjoy cutting out images that I liked, esp if they had a Christian theme.

Even though we do not have a snowy Christmas here in Australia, I love the idea or the romance of a snowy Christmas scene, though I don't envy the cold one little bit!

These cards will be available at my zibbet shop, "Inkspirational Designs" soon! If you are in a hurry, you can send me a private message and I will get back to asap.

Thanks for coming. I hope I have inkspired you to get stuck into using the accumulation of your own stash of stuff . Come back tomorrow for Part 2.

See you soon

Less is More - Week 34 is a Sketch

I woke up nice and early this morning and one of the first things I do is check my emails. I had a update from Simply Less is More announcing a new challenge for this week. This time suggesting that we follow a sketch. This is a lovely easy one and a great way for me to continue to use up some more of my stash.

 I had several images ready to adhere to a card and as I had several embossed base cards ready to go I decided to use two of my stash and thus not a square card as per the sketch. I hope I still qualify.

As you can see I have an embossed side on the card. It was done so long ago I am not sure what I used on my cuttlebug but I think it was from a Fiskars plate. Nearly all my stamps were once wood mounted and when I unmounted them I didn't take any not of which company they belonged to so I can rarely give the company credit for such. The little Bethlehem square looks like I have saved it from a previous Christmas card & thus I am recycling and reusing. I hate to see things get thrown even into the recycling bin if I can use it I quite often will. It is something I love to do and feel I am helping the environment a tiny bit as well.
Here is a close up where you can see a bit more of the embossing detail as well as Joseph & Mary and the copper gloss card I had layered it on which also came out of my stash.

I feel quite proud of the inroads I have made into my piles of stash. While everyone was still sleeping, I took the opportunity to whittle it down some more. I made 12 all up, but three of them are exactly the same. I will be back after I take some photos of them.
I'll be back real soon within 24 hours I hope, to show these to you!
'til then,


Look what I came home with this afternoon.

I had a delightful afternoon learning how to decorate cupcakes with fondant. The class was a bargain class from an online deal maker, Living Social where the class was available for a fantastic price.

The class was run by the young and capable Louise Vansleve of Cupcakes for Poppy, Wollongong newest cake shop.It was a fun afternoon learning super simple and very effective techniques to make your cupcakes look as yummy as they taste.

Upon arriving at the community hall, it was great to meet up with someone I already know, Vanessa and so we sat together. I didn't do a head count but I think there were about 15-20 ladies there.

They had thoughtfully supplied us with disposable aprons to keep the cornflour off our clothes. Many of the tools we needed  were available within reach on the tables. I was delighted to know that many of the tools i have for paper crafts will double up for cake decorating, including my trusty Aquash pen.

Sorry it is out of focus... but Matt has already eaten it!

Then the tips and demonstrations started. 2 hours later after much giggles and fun, we get to take home our lovely creations. Unfortunately for me, this is the week my son & I were on a strict diet and so we had to leave the taste testing upto Dad and Matt ('Clayton' son) who came around for dinner tonight. They both said "Yum, Yum".  I would love to make some cupcake cards, but I lent the stamp set to a friend and haven't received it back. I could always paper piece it.  Uuumm... Food for thought... pun inteneded! :)

Less is more - card 2

Apparently I am only supposed to have one card per post so here is the Love Doves card again...I will get the hang of this challenge entering...eventually. LOL Some of us are slower at following the rules than others... I guess I am one of them!

Less is more - another try.

Ok You saw that I have trouble making it very how about these two romance themed cards...they are not layered, have no embellishments and the image is stamped directly onto the card base. I can't say that I cased these from anyone though. I was just desperate to get a couple of cards done that I thought would fit the criteria. Thankfully they had a clause that said "Just do your own thing"  Here is the link to the More is less challenge. (Remember to right click if you don't want to move away from my blog just yet!)

I am not too sure that I am comfortable with this much simplicity, so it is going to be a real challenge for me to keep entering the Less is More Challenges and yet still make cards that I am happy with. 
It truly is going to be a challenge to my creativity...part of me wants clean & simple lines and another part of me loves the layers, embellishments, ribbons & stuff. Then this is compounded by the huge collection of stuff that I have accumulated that I have promised myself to reduce by the end of the month...Aah I promised myself that I would pass on a lot of my unused stuff to charity at then end of the month and Heather might be getting more than she bargains for. (See this post for more deets of what I am referring to!)

Less is More - anything goes

I have just joined the "Less is More - anything goes challenge... my first ever and it is a simple challenge but they would like to see the biggest response ever this week - they'd like to see a whopping 1000 entries!!! The theme is anything goes as along as it CAS, which as far as I understand means a copy of a card that has inspired you. My problem is that I am inspired all over but rarely ever make note of the person's name or blog to whom the credit is to be given. I also rarely ever copy a card direct so I figured I didn't need to have the deets recorded. I might need to reconsider how I do this in future.
Anyway for my first card in this challenge I offer this simple card that I had recently made.

I cased it from this card here. I liked how the two birds were facing each other. The birds are punched from Stampin' Up Two-Step Bird Punch. The card was then layered together as shown. A ribbon adhered across the front. I used a white gel pen to draw in the eyes on each bird.

So how is that for keeping it simple? As I have never entered a challenge before, I hope I have done everything right. Well... I went back to double check if there was anything else to do, links etc and then noticed that my card doesn't fit as it is not simple enough...The main aberration is that I have too many layers.

Here I will copy the part I missed. It is to be a

"One Layer Card One piece of card folded in half with no additional layers and minimal embellishments, where the image is stamped or printed directly onto the cardstock." 

Oh well I doubt that I can enter this card after all, so I will just have to come back later with another attempt at keeping it simple. But I will go ahead and publish this here on my blog anyway... we all have to learn somewhere...some of us do it more privately. It doesn't matter in the whole scheme of things, I still like the card. I hope you do too!

Cleanup: Getting there

I decided to knuckle in a make a supreme effort. I made some serious inroads in cleaning up my room.
The floor is tidy. YAY!

Well - my definition of tidy anyway LOL.
The 'small stuff' is sorted & into little drawers right on my desk. Handy!
The 3D flowers I have made are in take away containers on top.

My images including 'flat' flowers!
This is my Christmas stuff
Organized mostly 3D stuff - just some of my larger flowers on top
The same for the images and card fronts that are in various states of completion or rather incompletion (if there is such a word!) I have quite a few images that I have stamped ready for colouring, I think I am going to offer them as pack for adults and or kids some time in the near future.

I have finished an explosion box had been cut & scored and even the panels stamped and embossed. They just need adhering and some embellishments. So I found some flowers that were already stamped, cut and shaped ready to be used somewhere. The flowers are from a SU set...sorry I don't know the name of the set.

I have called this box the Veronica Flowers Explosion Box
Then I decided to take some of the card fronts and complete some cards. I completed quite a few cards this way. Mostly I took the easy way and just layered them using stuff that has already been some stage of partial completion. It might look like I have done lots, but really most of the work was already done, I have just stuck them together and finished them off basically! It is basically an eclectic mix.

These cards and the explosion box are available at my Zibbet Shop. See you soon as there's more to come.

Am I the only one who has too much stuff?

Am I the only one who collects so much stuff to use on their cards whether it be stuff to recycle, new stuff I bought at the $2 shop let alone what I buy at card and scrap booking shops, both in the bricks & mortar shops or online. I have been trying all year not to buy any more stuff. Truly it is a difficult position to be in. Last week I just had to buy this lovely curlicue swirl die that I have had my eye on for maybe 2 years... See I can be good! I waited and waited...  I was disciplined and careful not to buy it straight away! I think that is very good! LOL

Last Tuesday I went with my hubby as support to day surgery on the other end of town and I still managed to bring home some more stuff! I mean I need them, don't I? This time they were 'tools.' Cello bags to pack up the completed cards in and a mini spray bottle for misting. Yeah! - I do need them this time at least!!!

The end result is that I have far too much stuff than I can use up in a couple of years of great inspiration. I could probably go 2 or 3 years stranded on a remote island with just my craft room and absolutely no distractions of any kind, whether it be hubby, kids, phone and internet and I would not run out of ideas or stuff to do, with maybe the exception of adhesive in all that time.

My messy desk - Help! I am drowning in "stuff".

At the moment I am once again trying to tidy my room up. Here is the proof I have too much stuff. I doubt you'll ever get to see a tidy room... I aspire to it but the reality is that as soon as I have it half way tidy, I get the urge to make something and it just builds up again, let alone if I actually buy something else.

 The stuff on my floor at present is just the Christmas stuff that I am trying to sort out into categories, such as this needs cutting, this needs colouring etc

No room on my desk, so I went down on the floor to sort out stuff

The desk is just a dumping ground at present. I tried to sort it out but that is why I went on the floor, so that I had room to sort it properly before finding project or deciding to pass it on. I will be making a lot of fast and simple cards to to whittle this lot down... I will most likely sell them off as packs soon to make room for more projects.

So at present if I wanna craft I have to grab the bits and pieces and go to the dining table.

Just 3 of the boxes of partially done cards.

So why do I have this compulsion to craft shop or search out new ideas on the internet? Surely there are not too many obsessive people out there in the real world just like me... Surely there aren't more of us?... But then who would keep the shops in business? Who would encourage the bloggers? Who would inspire the greats like Tim Holtz, Taylor van Brugen, Nicole Heady, Beate Johns, Shelli Gardner or whoever you fancy to keep coming with new ideas? They need crazy people just like me, don't they?

My big thing for this month is to use up a lot of my stuff, especially those projects I have started or the designs that I have cut and or coloured ready for card fronts and make a huge dint in them. Then at the end of the month I am going to be very disciplined and post a stack of the cards I don't get around to complete to my friend Heather who makes all her cards for charity down in Nagambie, Victoria. I hope she has a lot of buddies to help her make them into cards or she'll end up with a similar problem to me right now!

So bye for now, I am going to duck off and attack the stuff on the floor at least right now! See you next time I come up for breath!

Marriage & motherhood isn't for wimps

Somewhere between saying "I do" and now, I have discovered that marriage can be jolly hard work. Don't get me wrong, I love my man.We have had many, many great times over the last thirty years. However somewhat down the track after making a cuppa for hubby 'x' times a day starting with his first one in bed when he wakes up, then working along side him in business at times, yet still trying to raise 4 kids, cook decently healthy meals and have a reasonably clean house, trips to the various sport fields, dentists and hospitals, I realized that marriage & subsequent motherhood isn’t for weak kneed women nor is it glamorous.
I have often said that the reason God want me to be married and to have 4 kids was to teach me to be less selfish and more patient. There is no way you can be a decent wife and mother if you are selfish all the time. Believe me, my selfishness raises it ugly head more times than I care to admit, even today after all those years.

I do have more time to myself now and that is great. Now that my hubby is semi retired, I am getting to spend more time with him too. I especially love the travelling we have done in the Robbiebago, which is the caravan he made for us.  I admit I sometimes want to be selfish and spend some time all by myself doing what ever I feel like doing (or not doing if that is how I feel!)... nah... make that I want to have more time, much more time by myself! Did I mention that I am selfish?
I guess that is why we have grand kids and retirement! We get to be selfish with the grandkids and have the time to do it! Way to go!

It is my kids time to get married and have kids. It is time for them to learn just how selfish they are or can be if they let themselves go. They too need to learn to think of others before themselves and what better way than getting married and having kids.

It is time for them:
to keep hordes of kids  entertained and to feed them 100 times a day - nutritious yummy things of course.
to be able to clean poop up with one hand while keeping baby from crawling through it with other hand.
to not confuse the names of two or more kids.
to have eyes in the back of head OR be able to convince them that you do.
to have a fancy dress costume for a party this evening
to embarrass your teenagers and and cramp their life style when they stretch their wings too far
to whip up dinner in 10 minutes or make it stretch for the inevitable friends who stay over
to have them tell you that your legs need waxing (in front of company too!)
to have them tell you your favourite comfy trousers are gross.

Okay, Okay, I guess I have to stop at some point, but I could go on & on so easily. The point is, it IS a tough, endless job. However the rewards are absolutely awesome :) One day I will sit down and make a big fat giant list of all the blessings too, to balance out the tough bits and believe me, the blessings do outweigh the tough bits. I will leave that one for another time.

Truth is, I would never want to quit. Even on the worst days, there is always that moment when something is said or realized, and it makes it all worth while. I really do love being a wife and mother :) I kinda like knowing that there is no one who could really replace me!

Now I am a grandmother to one with another precious little one nearly here, I am off to have me lots of selfish time with my grand daughters and their parents at the end of the month! My poor hubby will have to make his own cuppa for a little while!

Hoo Roo

Yeek! It's only Father's Day! You can't ask me for Christmas Cards already!

I had a lovely weekend with Australia celebrating Father's Day. After church our 3 younger kids that live close enough to come by as well as our 'Clayton son, Matt and my Mother in Law, all gathered for lunch at one daughter's new house to celebrate that my kids have a fantastic father. Thank you to our Father in heaven who loves us so much more than we deserve. He gave us a most loving and caring earthly father. I also recall with gratitude my own father who passed away quite a few years ago. Even though he was not my birth father, he loved us all and even 'forgot' that I was not his very own.

My goodness i couldn't believe it.  I received a request last week for Christmas Cards already!
Gosh I haven't really thought about it much as yet other than that I will be away visiting my soon to be born grand daughter and helping her family for about 3-4 weeks in early October and have ear marked that time to make a real start on Christmas cards and boxes.

I have a few from the Christmas in July promotion but I have not started making Christmas Cards as yet!
So while getting a pack together for my friend, I packed up some some simple ones left over from last year.

I am bundling them together in small packs of 6 as shown and trying to shift them early to make way for more to come. So come grab a bargain.
My first lot of Christmas card packs...just $10 for each pack of 6. You can buy them in my Zibbet Shop.
Ta ra

Sympathy Cards

It is sad to see a friend go down hill from the effects of cancer. To see how they hang on to life, even when they know letting go will release them from this miserable life.

A few weeks ago a dear friend died after a long battle with stomach cancer and though it was hard to say goodbye. She showed great faith, optimism and love.  My friend is such an inspiration to me. Though it can be hard to let go, we know she is in a better place now. I pray that her sons and grand son will soon get past their loss and remember her with fondness.

Obviously I needed a sympathy card. So of course I don't just make one, do I?

Here are some of the cards I made during this time.

All these cards are available at the time of writing in my Zibbet shop.

See you soon! Michelle