Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being Creative: Home

I signed up to Julia Crossland's Being Creative project earlier this year. Julia posts a prompt for each month and then you create something using the prompt for inspiration.
For May the prompt was Home. I had decided early in the month I wanted to do something with the word home rather than a picture of home. I was stuck for a while but Pinterest came to the rescue! I saw yarn wrapped letters on there and knew that's what I wanted to do.
Because I am a crafty hoarder I had some chipboard letters stashed away so I dug them out. Unfortunately the only font I had with all the letters I needed was quite a tricky one to wrap with yarn but I got there in the end. I used double sided sticky tape to make the letters sticky to keep the yarn in place.
Here's a close up of my 'H'...

Once I had all my letters wrapped with yarn I decided to put them in a frame. A while back I had re-purposed a frame from the charity shop. It was a black frame which I covered with washi tape.
I found some yummy dark purple card in my scraps box and cut it to fit the frame, removed the glass (the letters are too bulky to fit under them) and stuck the letters to the card.
Then I added some handwritten words in white pen underneath to finish it off.
It's currently sitting on our bookcases in the study :-)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Scrapbooking: Rawr and other scrappy news :-)

Not quite sure how but I managed a wee bit of scrap time over the weekend. 
I had the photo printed ages ago. It was taken at Paradise Valley Springs in Rotorua late December and is very much one of my favourites. G and the boy looking happy :-) We saw the lions and kept saying 'What noise do lions make?' 'Rawr' and at one point baby repeated the noise to our great delight!
I used some background paper that came free in a scrap magazine years ago and lots of little stickers and embellishments that have been kicking round a while...

And here's the full thing...

In other scrappy news I am the new newsletter editor for Scrappin' Patch. I've had lots of fun working with Adrienne (the owner) over the last week or so getting my 1st newsletter together and it's been sent out over the weekend with some great feedback received. If you're looking for some lovely scrapping inspiration I recommend signing up for the newsletter and definitely visiting the Scrappin' Patch website and blog!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Things I'm Loving

Here goes...

Scoring lots of awesome board books for the boy at the Red Cross book sale this morning. 
All these for $5. Bargain :-) ...

A little project on my craft table - making a mini book out of a Westpac flyer featuring an iPhone picture! ...

My ever growing collection of random tapes stuck on my craft table for using on projects...

Turning my gorgeous boy into a magazine star! You can do it too here :-) ...

This beautiful book (not from the sale this morning, bought at the PAFT book fair a couple of weeks ago). We are really getting into reading at the moment...

And the beautiful pages inside and lovely words...

Hitting the next size in clothes which is bittersweet. He's not so small anymore but he has some beautiful clothes that people have given us. Tigger is my current favourite :-) ...

What are you loving this week?
Have an AWESOME weekend :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seasons: Autumn

Time for an Autumn list as this season ends and we come into winter. I think there's a lot of things on this list that apply to winter as well but hopefully when the time comes I'll have some wintery likes too :-)

A work-in-progress list of the things I love about Autumn...
  1. It used to be my birthday month (when I lived in the Northern Hemisphere)
  2. It's the most naturally colourful season in my opinion
  3. Finding conkers on walks in the park
  4. Looking for interesting shaped leaves that have fallen
  5. The word 'Autumn' itself is pretty awesome
  6. Warm mugs of hot chocolate
  7. Melty marshmallows in the aforementioned hot chocolate
  8. Wanting to bake to make the kitchen and house feel warm
  9. Apple pie - autumn is the season this seems most appropriate to make
  10. Seeing and hearing more birds
  11. Taking time to close the curtains each night and put the fire on and make the house nice and cosy
  12. Being able to use our gorgeous moa throw on the bed to keep us warm (it was a wedding present from G's mum and there is one on every bed at the hotel we stayed at for our wedding night)
  13. New seasons of shows I like on telly (like Grey's Anatomy)
  14. Lots of rainbows when the weather can't make it's mind up
  15. Wanting to spend lots of time being crafty and make things.
You can see other seasonal posts and lists here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tips for the changing seasons

There's a few things I like to do as the nights draw in and the days get chillier. A few things that make me feel like I'm boosting my wellness and fighting off those yucky change of season germs as well as making the most of the season. I don't always avoid the colds and germs completely but I often feel it's not quite as bad as it could be.

I thought I'd share some of my tips with you...
  • burning essential oils. Eucylyptus to get rid of germs and cleanse the house. Lime for a refreshing zing. And always lavendar to relax.
  • taking echinacea and vitamin C tablets (there seems to be contradicting research on whether this works but I'm sure it must have some benefit)
  • using a good moisteriser on my face every day
  • moisterising my hands regularly
  • lip balm (I find my lips get drier as the weather gets colder so always try to remember to carry one with me)
  • having a warm drink late afternoon - like a coffee (decaff for me - I've been off caffeine since I got pregnant and been off it so long I don't see the point of getting back on it! plus I really noticed it ruins my sleep) or hot chocolate to keep me feeling warm and cosy as the day gets darker and colder
  • trying to get outside in the middle of the day for some fresh air
  • closing the curtains and blinds before it gets dark
  • lighting candles or having fairy lights on - trying to make the most of the dark evenings with twinkly light
  • enjoying satsumas or seedless mandarins while they are in season
I've also signed myself up with some friends to a Winter Wellness Workshop at the Herb Farm. I'm looking forward to picking up more tips for protecting myself and my family from the harshness of winter.

Is there anything you do at this time of year to ward off Winter ills or to celebrate winter? (or for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere what you do as winter draws near?) I'd love to hear any tips you might have :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Scrapbooking: Howdy

My latest scrapbook page features some photo stickers I've had kicking around since last October!
Me and my mum had picked 2 favourite pictures of the baby and gone halves on some sheets of stickers. The stickers are each about 1 1/2 inches square with rounded corners.
I'd sent some to family but hadn't done much else with them so I decided to make them into a layout.

Given the size and shape of them I decided to fake some photo strips - that way the small stickers wouldn't look swamped on the big layout. I'm really pleased with how it came out. The background ledger paper was a free download found via Pinterest and I used my stripey washi tape to border the ledger paper and then the cardstock. I was also very happy to re-discover my scallop punch (used to make date markers which I stapled to the photo strips) and have been scalloping everything in sight!
The Howdy title is from the Boyfriend Cosmo Cricket elements page.

Another page complete - woop!
And can I just add I can't believe how little baby was in these photos! The one on the left he was about 5 weeks and on the right he was 2 weeks old. Crazy :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kreative Blogger Award

I got an award! Tartan Kiwi has passed on the Kreative Blogger Award to me. (Quite a while ago now but it's taken me a while to get this post together.) Thank you very much :-)
Here's what I need to do:
  • Link to 10 blogs;
  • Tell these bloggers about the award (I will do this very soon)
  • Share 10 facts about yourself
So here are 10 blogs that I find really inspiring and read on a regular basis. It's really hard to pick just 10 by the way. There are some amazing bloggers out there. If you are looking for an awesome, inspiring read I recommend any of these:
  1. Tartan Kiwi (is that cheating because she gave me the award?! She does some awesome projects and is a fellow Brit living in NZ)
  2. Attic 24 (if you haven't been there go there NOW! Lucy is very inspiring and shares her crochet projects and her colourful day to day life)
  3. Little Tin Bird (more colourful crochet and day to day life - well worth a visit)
  4. Elise Blaha (scrapbooker and DIYer - her crafty wedding was awesome and her Etsy shop has some really cute stuff)
  5. [i] Love life (Kal is an amazing artist and a mother of 3 young girls - how does she do it all? I am also excited that one of her busrolls is winging it's way to me...)
  6. Julia Crossland (Julia is a British artist and I have a couple of her gorgeous prints. She's also running an ongoing project called Being Creative this year)
  7. Paisley Jade (A busy mum of 4 who still finds time to make some gorgeous crochet items and write some witty and heart-warming blog posts)
  8. Mouse House (Megan is super crafty and always has awesome projects to share. I love her recent posts about green cleaning and beauty products)
  9. Shimelle (amazing scrapbooker who runs amazing online classes like Journal Your Christmas)
  10. Rewarding Memories (Rachel is a scrapbooker, knitter and even does crochet and sewing - lots of creative inspiration on her blog and some cute bunnies too!)
And here are 10 Facts about Me:
  1. I was born in Essex, England, lived there until I was 18, moved to Glasgow, Scotland for 5 years and then moved to New Zealand in 2005. I have no immediate plans to live in another country at the moment.
  2. I hardly watch anything on television in 'real time'. I My Sky my favourite programmes and watch them whenever I get the chance and love fast-forwarding adverts!
  3. I have been known to speak in a terrible French accent when I get very drunk. I haven't been very drunk for a very, very long time.
  4. We are currently trying to sell our house and I have developed a fondess for tidy living and may try to continue once we move (if someone buys our house!). My mum will be very surprised at this as she thinks there is no hope and I am destined to be messy forever!
  5. I am known to be a complete wuss among my family and friends so it came as a HUGE surprise to everyone (including myself) that I had a pain relief free birth last year.
  6. I am a hopeless romantic and love watching soppy chick flicks and reading mills and boon novels. At the end of good ones I always say "that was a lovely story".
  7. I love buying nice stationery and craft supplies but have a big problem actually using them - scared I will waste them. I'm trying to get over this and started using things up - helped by imposing a scrapbooking budget on myself.
  8. I love writing lists. I like using a highlighter to cross through things I have completed and my current highlighter of choice is purple.
  9. I couldn't imagine life without my camera. I take crazy amounts of photos and am currently trying a second year of taking a photo each day.
  10. This list has taken forever to write which is why it's taken me so long to post this. I'm not sure a list has ever taken me this long before.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scrapbooking: Document 2011: April

I managed to get my April pages done over the weekend. After a quarter of the year (and this project really helps you keep track of exactly where in the year we are!) I am still loving it and can't wait to have a whole year of pages to look back on.

My first page features a favourite photo of mine of baby plus my calendar page. I went for red and blue this month to try and tie in with the rain drops on the calendar plus the colours on my main page.


My pocket pages are rather busy featuring some Easter wrapping paper, a crafty sticker that came on a package, lots of writing on photographs, an ANZAC poppy and lots of cut out photos so I had room for everything :-) 

Rachel B's page definitely inspired my main page for the month. I loved watching the Royal Wedding and couldn't resist making a page for my album. I wouldn't usually scrapbook strangers but this Document 2011 album is the perfect place to capture what's happening around the world as well as right here in our wee home.

So that's another month done. I'm already looking forward to May's pages! 
This is a great project even if you are not a scrapbooker. You don't need to have heaps of supplies - your photos are what it's all about. I definitely recommend it :-)

You can see all of my Document 2011 pages here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My love affair with cornishware

I first discovered cornishware in all it's blue and cream stripey goodness back in 2005.

At our leaving party in Scotland we were gifted 2 'I heart Scotland' mugs from a lovely lady G used to work with. They came in a pink and silver stripey Victoria Secret bag which I'm sad to say I didn't keep as I'm sure it would have been lovely cut up and used on a scrapbook page :-)

The mugs were so precious that they came with us in our suitcases to NZ (we stored a lot of stuff and got it shipped later once we'd decided to stay and Immigration decided to let us) and were probably the nicest 'house' things we owned for a while.

These are my favourite mugs ever. Perfect for drinking hot chocolate on chilly days. Guests are not generally offered the cornishware mugs. They get the boring white ones instead. Because that way I do not need to get upset with them if they accidently break the mugs!

I often see glimpses of Cornishware around the internet and even found a group on Flickr dedicated to it. When I've seen it in antiques shops around NZ I've always gasped a little at the price and I've never found anything on Trade Me at a price I was happy to pay.

But then my 1st Mothers Day approached and with it some fresh Cornishware inspiration and I decided to do  another search to see what was available in NZ. The prices were scandalous. But it was my 1st Mothers Day. I sent a couple of links to my hubby. Declared that I would be happy with an egg-cup (with thoughts I could use it as a tiny vase for tiny flowers) and waited.

Hubby said he was expecting a parcel and I secretly hoped.
Mothers Day came and went with no parcel.

And then this morning, a courier knocked on the door with this box (I photographed it next to the mugs for a size comparison)...

Under lots of shredded paper and those foamy nuggets was this box (wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap). I may or may not have squealed at this point. I mean, come on, the box has the lovely stripeys on it too :-)

Can't resist another photo of the box from another angle...

And here it is - my lovely little pudding basin...I say little because hubby and I were both expecting something larger - especially given the size of the box it arrived in.

Isn't it gorgeous? Size doesn't matter - I may not be able to whip up muffin mix in it as imagined but it's the perfect size for popcorn or other lovely nibbly things for movie date night.
And here's a final picture...this one of my Cornishware collection :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Scrapbooking: Best People

My latest layout close-up...

And some more embellies - I just kept adding more and more until it was suitable adorned :-)

And here's the whole thing...

I'm trying to get some wedding layouts made as well as keeping up with the baby ones. I figure the Document 2011 pages are keeping me up to date with current goings-on so I may as well make other pages focusing on older events alongside those.
The journalling card has names written on it so I've blurred them out to be on the safe side. The photo features me, G (the husband), our best man, maid of honour and witness. They really were the best people to help us celebrate the day because they were all instrumental in either getting us together in the first place or keeping us together through the tough times.

Monday, May 9, 2011


It's been a rough week for one reason or another and I'm hoping to draw a line under it, make plans to make things better and move on.
I always find counting my blessings and being grateful helps me get over it and move on so here are some things I am grateful for right now...

these two even though they drive me crazy at times :-)

being the recipient of a masterpiece... 

flowers from my amazing and lovely mum...

new yarn and the start of my new crochet project (a hexie table runner)...

already progress made on the table runner.... 

re-reading the Harry Potter series (I'm on book 6 now) and re-watching the movies (up to number 5)...

Ahhh, already feeling a little better. Wishing you all a wonderful week whatever you are up to :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ta-dah! More rainbow crochet - a little bag

I've still got some wool left from my rainbow crochet blanket and I've been playing with it - making hexagons and flowers. Then I saw this on Pinterest and pinned it onto my Crafty Projects board.
The idea of a little granny rainbow bag rattled around in my head for a few days and yesterday I finally found some time to drag out the bag of wool and have a go. Yay!

I picked 5 colours and made 2 six round granny squares using Heather's pattern. The last two rounds are the same colour. 
I then used Lucy's joining granny's instructions and put the 2 squares right side in and slip stitched round 3 sides. 
And then I chained what I thought was a decent handle length across the open sides joining the last chain into the other side before working treble stitches into each chain and finishing with double stitches. (I hope this makes sense!)
The handle isn't quite right - it twists a bit on one side but other than that I'm pleased with it! Once the bag was turned inside out it looked like this...

It's not particularly strong so I can't use it for heavy things like my purse, phone and keys but I'm sure I'll find some use for it. It didn't actually take too long to make and I think if I made a couple I'd get faster. I think it could be an awesome gift bag for something like a CD or a small book.

There's not much of the purple wool left now. I am definitely keen to do a bigger project with hexagons so it may be off to the wool shop for me sometime soon!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tea Towel Swap

Leonie over at Kiwi at Heart is hosting a tea towel swap - it's open to everyone around the world and you can sign up until 12th May.
I've decided to join in - I'm hoping for a tea towel to brighten up my kitchen or possibly make something with (one of Tartan Kiwi's Tea Towel Tuesday projects perhaps?)

It sounds like a great way to get some happy mail at a relatively low postage cost.
Anyone else fancy joining in?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Winner winner chicken dinner :-)

I've drawn a winner for my 100 posts giveaway. In fact I had a little help. I know there are new fangled internetty things that pick random numbers for these things but I decided to write each name on a piece a paper and have my handsome assistant pick whichever one he liked...
(there is one hiding behind his head - I did have everyone's names there I promise!)

and the winner is...

Widge! Congrats. I'll be in touch to sort out getting a little parcel winging it's way to you :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Scrapbooking tip: making your own woodgrain letters (featuring a layout!)

I quite like the look of woodgrain lettering but haven't come across any in my scrapbook shopping travels (perhaps this means it's totally out of trend now and I've missed the boat?! Oh well...!) so I decided to have a go at making my own!

On a recent walk I found a very cool tree trunk and took some photos of the gorgeous bark 
(yes, my husband looked at me like I was crazy taking pictures of tree trunks until I explained I was trying to save money from not buying fancy lettering!).

When I got home I picked the one I liked best and got a few copies printed at the photo place in matte style.

Then I drew the letters I wanted back-to-front (i.e. mirror image) on the back side - I just hand drew them for speed because I was a little excited but I did think later that I could either draw around existing lettering in a shape I like or print out a bold font and then draw round those letters.

And then I carefully cut around them and laid them out on my desk. They didn't look quite 'finished' so I chose to draw round the edges with a black slick writer (special pen for writing on photos). I also found a scrap of a pink/green photo and cute out a heart.

Here's how my lovely woodgrain lettering come out....cool huh?

And here's a better look at the whole layout. It's quite sparse for me but I didn't want to overdo the embellishments and detract from the homemade lettering! 
The photo is of me, my mum and baby at the park during her holiday here and we used the self timer on Mum's camera to get the shot.


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