Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hello 2015

Hello's been a while, huh?


A new year always brings lots of motivation and good intentions, and the beginning of 2015 has been no different. Right now, I'm madly working on my December Daily 2014 album, finishing up Project Life for 2014, binding my Scandinavian Rose quilt ('s almost finished!), and making long long lists of projects that I'd like to complete in 2015...some things never change ;)

Happy New Year to you...and thanks for popping in to visit.

TTFN xxx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Avalon MBOM

My Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month (made in Avalon fabric by Fig Tree and Co) is coming together slowly but surely...can you believe we are up to Month 7 already?

I look forward to each pack arriving in my letterbox, and have been keeping on top of the stitching fairly doesn't take too long once you make a start ;)

Since the last block I showed you was Block Two, we have a bit of catching up to do!

Block Three is another basket block, called Wildflower Bouquet and designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.

Block Four is Radiance by Bonnie and all the blues in this one :)

Block Five is Stargazing by Vanessa Christenson...

...and Block Six is Sparklers by Kate Spain.

Block Seven was a bit of a surprise...a house block! It's called Lemon Lodge by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, and makes me very curious as to what the next block will be :)

The new 2014 Mystery Block of the Month program has recently been announced, and I was kind of happy that it doesn't appeal to me...the colours are quite dull, and not my style at all. I have lots of projects that I'd love to finish this year, and a couple of new quilts that I'd love to start...a little more achievable without a MBOM commitment.

Well...a girl can always dream :)

TTFN xxx

Saturday, January 18, 2014

December Daily 2013...hello AND goodbye!

It occurred to me recently that I didn't really mention here on my blog that I completed a December Daily for 2013...much less showed any photos! How slack is that!

Each year that I've been doing Project Life, I question the need for making a December Daily album. After all, how much documentation does one need? Each year, however, my elder daughter convinces me that I should do it...she's very persuasive :)

I decided to change to pocket style scrapbooking and a ready made album for 2013, as it gave me a good excuse to buy a Simple Stories mini album (wink) and also some Christmas themed Project Life-style goodies... aannnnndd I was also aiming for a quick and simple solution ;)

I spent a bit too long on my title page, but loved how it turned out.

I mostly stuck with elements from December Documented by Simple Stories, and some of the Becky Higgins PL Merry and Bright mini kit, with a few extra embellishments along the way.

Wood veneer bits and pieces from Studio Calico added some extra dimension to the plain journal cards, and I scattered them throughout the album.

On the spur of the moment, I ordered a DD mini kit from Polkadot Creative, mainly for this cute little Christmas confetti pocket ;) I stapled it straight into a pocket, and embellished with a clear word from Heidi Swapp's Believe Collection (leftovers from the class I went to in November)

I covered the back-to-front letters on the reverse side with another Heidi Swapp leftover, this time a banner.

Of course, once I started with the Heidi Swapp goodies, I couldn't resist adding more and more :) LOVE these enamel stickers!

I wanted to include a couple of larger photos, and managed to achieve a fairly good quality enlargement from my iPhone photos of Christmas lights...surprising, but great! I added a couple of stickers to jazz them up a bit.

Each year I've done A December Daily album (which is quite a few now!) I include a pocket at the back for my Christmas cards that I received. I've never liked throwing out Christmas cards, but even more so now that they are becoming smaller and smaller in number. Not many people send them these days, and it is SO nice to find them in my letterbox in the weeks leading up to the big day!

Anyhoo...I didn't have any of the correct sized plastic pockets left for the Christmas cards, so cut down a larger one, taped it all together with some festive washi tape, and stapled on top for added strength. It's holding together very well so far.

So there you have it...a little sneak peek of my December Daily for 2013. The stickers on the front of the album are more Heidi Swapp...we received SO many goodies in that class, I will be using them up forever I think :)
I probably should admit that I didn't keep up with it AT ALL well in those busy weeks before Christmas, but managed to pull it all together before the start of 2014 (only just though!). The pocket page format made it very achievable, and I would definitely consider doing that again...especially if there are cute new albums to be bought ;)

Thanks for hanging in till the end!

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Project Life 2014...organisation, cover page and Week One

Hello Project Life 2014!

I have to say, I am so excited to be documenting another year :) After falling behind a little towards the end of last year, I spent the last few days of 2013 playing catch-up, which didn't excite me much at all!

Thankfully, once those last few pages were complete, I rediscovered my enthusiasm ;)

I organise my albums, usually two per year, in these gorgeous red polkadot albums that I picked up from Spotlight on sale. I wait for a great deal, and stock up. I recently bought some bookplates from Officeworks to attach to the outside covers of my albums so that they can be easily identified, and looked through often :)

My first cover page for 2014 looks something like this...

...a family photo for the top right corner will finish it off. I've used bits and pieces from my Honey Core Kit, as well as some other cards from my stash.

Spotlight stock some great little phrase card booklets by Pebbles Inc, and they also feature on my title page...I use them quite a lot through my albums.

Machine stitching finished off the page just nicely :)

Week One, which seemed to come and go in a flash, looked like this...

I'm not planning on using a single core kit for every other year, I'll mix it up each week according to my photos. This week I've used mostly Simple Stories I (heart) Summer collection, with a few extras thrown in.

Since it's been SO long since I've shared any Project Life pages with you, I thought you might like some close-ups :)

I basically use the same format each week...Design A page protectors, lots of photos, and little bits I collect during the week. Roses chocolates definitely had to be included this week...oh boy, I've eaten some of those lately!

The yellow squares that contain the journaling in these pages are one of my PL staples too...a MUST to include more words when you also like to use lots of photos. Luckily, I have a stamp set that includes squares, circles, rectangles, all in different sizes, so I can customize the colour to suit.

So that's Week One done, and Project Life up-to-date so far ;) Hopefully I can keep the momentum going for the whole year!

Thanks for visiting

TTFN xxx

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hello happy to see you!

A new year always brings a fresh perspective on things, doesn't it? There is nothing quite like opening a fresh new notebook and filling it with new lists, new goals, and new projects, all with a renewed determination to do more, feel more, be more.

I truly love the beginning of a new year :)

We have been having a lovely, relaxed holiday period around here...playing with new Christmas toys, relaxing in the pool, and finishing up lots of projects from 2013, which I will hopefully get around to showing you soon ;) Being on holidays has also meant time to play with some of my goodies from a fantastic class with Heidi Swapp and Kim Jeffrees that I was lucky enough to attend last year, most notably, COLOUR SHINE!

I covered my craft table with as much paper towel protection as I could, and handed my girls the pretty plastic bottles. Lydia, my cautious one, was very restrained in her spraying...carefully, slowly pressing the nozzle.

Merryn, on the other hand, went at it like a pro, spritzing and spraying like there was no tomorrow!

Between us, we created lots of colourful, shiny, pretty stuff, and can't wait to have a card making day to use all of our home-made crafting with my girls :)

I used some of my colour-shined paper to create my first scrapbook layout of 2014...all about my "one little word", nurture.

"One Little Word" is the brainchild of Ali Edwards, and encourages you to choose a single word to be your focus for a year. I've been choosing a word for several years now, and find it really helpful in guiding my life and's amazing how just one word can have such an impact! For me, "nurture" is about looking after myself and my health, my relationships, my creative spirit, and making decisions that have a positive impact on my life. I can't wait to see where it takes me in 2014!

I've used some machine stitching on my colour-shined background, along with some hand cut polkadot strips for my journaling, and a cute little flair button. It felt good to be creating with paper again ;)

Happy new year to you...I hope 2014 holds lots of goodness and creativity for you!

TTFN xxx

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The pitter patter of little paws :)

On this very very hot Summer day in Perth, the family and I took a road trip to meet a very special little someone...

...our new puppy...Gretel :)

Gretel has been on our minds for a long long time. We almost adopted a female tri-colour Cavalier King Charles several times as a playmate for Clancy, but was never sure how he would cope with a puppy's energy, or the sharing of our undivided attention.

After much discussion and a random meeting with a beautiful tri-colour named Riley (of all things!), we decided that the time was right to hear the pitter patter of paws around here once more. We miss our Clancy so much since his passing in is just not the same without a wet nose and wagging tail to greet us when we walk in the door.

Gretel is just on four weeks old, so she won't be able to come and live with us for a little while yet...long enough for us to pack away all our breakable Christmas decorations, and prepare ourselves for a new baby :)

We can't wait!

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rekindling a spark

It's been a while...yes, I know...quite a while. I never intended for almost three months to pass without popping into this blogging space of mine, but there you have it. Life has been good, and busy, and challenging, and exhausting, and satisfying...but good :)

Rather than try to update you on absolutely everything that I've been up to (which would take another few months!), I'll just show you what has me totally captivated at this point in time. Are you ready for a surprise?

This is exactly what it looks like. Cross stitch! Cross stitch was one of my very first crafty loves way back in the day, probably like many of you ;)

I did a lot of it...spent much of baby Riley's nap time doing it...but found with a toddler and then more babies, that I just didn't have the concentration span, nor the necessary pockets of time, to achieve much... so moved on to other things.

Enter The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Several Instagram users I follow had cute little squares of cross stitch popping up on their screens, and I followed the links and found a treasure trove of cuteness. Serious cuteness.

So I immediately signed up for their two Christmas patterns...Christmas on Gingerbread Lane and The 12 Days of Christmas. The actual patterns are released bit by bit on specified days...and the anticipation is almost killing me! So far, all we have is the border and grid pattern for The 12 Days of Christmas, with the first 4 squares being released at the end of the month.

The first patterns for Gingerbread Lane come out on Friday AND I CAN'T WAIT!

Who would ever have thought I'd be so excited about cross stitch?

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Santa can't come soon enough :)

You know, it's not usually until I take my Mystery Block of the Month block photo that I realise cutting mat is. You can't even see the worst of it...there are big chunks taken out of the middle of it, pencil drawings all over it, and general discolouration is everywhere.

But I'm kinda fond of it :) It was my first ever cutting mat, and I've been using it for so many years that a new one would really take some getting used I persevere :) It's going to take a special cutting mat to replace it, and so far all I've found is dark green...bleh. Anyone know where I can find a really pretty one? Maybe I'll have to rely on Santa to source one for me ;)

Anyhoo...what I'm really here to show you is my MBOM Block Two all finished! It was designed by Sandy Gervais from Pieces From My Heart, and if I am totally honest, I don't really love it. Despite the obvious appeal of the polkadots, I'm not all that sure that I love the Avalon fabric that the whole quilt is made from either. Could be the brown?

I'm hoping it grows on me.

TTFN xxx

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Project Life 2013 - Weeks 31 and 32

Hello Weeks 31 and 32...and hello to winning the catch-up battle once again :)

This Project Life journey can be so rewarding...but it can also feel like really hard work sometimes! Lack of photos and periods of sadness have really played havoc with my last few weeks of documenting :(

Week 31 was particularly hard for me, as I wanted to document the passing of our precious dog Clancy, but couldn't bring myself to put it down on paper for a while. The vet had given me a snippet of his fur, and I really couldn't decide whether to include it or not...and what part of the story to include...and how to include it without breaking into tears every time I tried to write about it. It all got a bit too hard :( Anyhoo...I wrote some words down but hid it on the back of a long journaler in the end, and tried to compensate for my lack of photos for the rest of the week as best I could. Once I got past that, catching up seemed so much easier.

I mostly used my Midnight kit, with some splashes of hot pink thrown in.

Week 32 saw me pull out my Honey Core Kit...lots of bright colours and crisp white.

I thought I would really struggle with this week due to lack of photos again, but managed to fill the pockets!

Thanks so much for visiting...hopefully I'll have a bit more crafting happening around here soon!

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Confessions of a Paper Addict

It all started with some recreational online shopping.

One minute, I was happily popping all sorts of lovely new papers and embellishments into my online cart (as you do), and the next, I was staring in horror at the mess that is my craft room, wondering where on earth I was going to put even a single extra sheet of paper.

The fact is, I have more paper than I can poke a stick at. Pretty paper, plain paper, patterned paper,and everything in between. I have A LOT of paper. Single sheets, whole collections, paper pads...often with co-ordinating accessories. Oh yes...I am a paper addict.

So I decided right then and there to clear a space on my desk, stop the insanity, and actually make something.

Making something wasn't too desk was covered in supplies that I'd been using for Project Life, and it all looked pretty good together. This particular layout started with the background paper and "our beautiful life" sticker by Echo Park and came together from there. The photo wasn't a particularly good one of Merryn, but supported the theme of the layout perfectly :)

While looking for the beach photo, I came across this one of Riley from Easter 2013, and decided to pop it onto some chalkboard paper by Fancy Pants. Funnily enough, chalkboard paper and embellishments were filling my online cart not an hour earlier...I had forgotten that I even owned some!

I kept this one VERY simple so that the focus would be on the photo, but couldn't resist the red polkadot background ( everything looks better with polkadots, right?) The embellishments are Sweet Pea by Kaisercraft...I'd used the banner before I realised that there was a "hoppy times" cutout in the pack...hello Easter!

I then challenged myself to put more than one large photo onto a page, and managed five!

Some Basic Grey Basics paper for the background, some more embellishments from the Echo Park sticker sheet that I used in the top layout and Thickers for the title...too easy! There is nothing ground breaking or technique based in these layouts, but sometimes quick-and-easy is the way I roll ;)

I'm finding that now I'm documenting so much in my Project Life album, I'm not feeling the need to journal quite so much on my layouts...not sure if that's a positive or a negative?

Thanks for making it to the got a bit long today! LOL

Have a great day

TTFN xxx