30 June 2011

Crochet frenzy

Oooh, I can feel it!

I'm in a crochet frenzy!

I want to make this!

Which is this!

I love the bright colours...ooh, love 'em. 

I'm a bit scared though...you know, can't read a pattern. I could make it up, but it's soooo much harder....

I want to make this!

Again, scared. 

Again, no pattern reading abilities.  

How do you get the ridge pattern from the beginning????

I'd have to work this one out...a bitta trial and error.  

Heck, I want to make this too! Why not? 

I'd omit all-a that white though...

This is an eaaassy one...

For all the rest of them, it'll be "MOTHER!!!" 

29 June 2011

I've always loved this card...

...using a scrunched flower from Wendy Smedley.

You can use tissue paper too. Gorgeous.

I used my grandfather's hymnal.

No, not sacrilegious, but special.

If you look really closely you can see the faux stitching around the outside of the pink layer and through the middle of the leaves.

And if you look reeeaaally closely you can see Stickles glitter on the flower. See it?

Ah, nice.

This card makes me happy.

It's the unusual colour combination (for me), the lined paper and Grandpa's hymnal paper that makes it sing (ha ha...true) and feel calm all at the same time.

Click here to see how to make the flowers.


28 June 2011

New EK Success punches

Hey there,

A little while ago I linked you over here to some new punches that are coming out. Five-in-one punches, garland ones etc.

The other day I found this video online that shows how the EK Success ones work. You get more of an idea anyway and I thought you might like to see.

She starts using the punch at 0:29 and then brings in the flowers (from the same punch) at 5:36. You don't see her punch those.

Her punch is a Three-in-one, but the ones on the link are Five-in-one. What's next? A Ten-in-one? Amazing.

27 June 2011

The flowery cushion


How was your weekend?

Get any crafting done? Do you craft on the weekends? 

I'm not getting crafting done, but crocheting.

That's the other thing I do when I don't want to stand up and scrap. I sit down and crochet. Big (happy) sigh.

We were visiting friends last weekend and she asked if I could teach her how to crochet. She already knew the basics and I just helped her pull some things together. Was kinda nice to teach her a few bits and pieces. I'm pretty bad though, I just make stuff up and can't read a pattern either, but she's pretty free form too, so we managed.

So much so that she dropped in two days later and showed me the necklace thingy she made in 24 hours! Amazing!

She (Rochelle) made a string of flowers like the ones above with chains in between. It made a long strand and she modeled it for me like you'd wear a scarf.

We joked that it wouldn't keep you warm (wasn't meant to), but it was a really pretty thing to wear. Was so lovely and she's sending it to her friend in Denmark as a little gift.

After our crochet lesson on the deck on last Sunday, I decided to pull out the cushion I didn't finish last year. I saw it in the Better Homes and Gardens and knew I wanted to make it. Like I said, can't read a pattern, so I made it up from the pictures.

Cushion cover? Check.

Flowers? Check.

Enough of them? Yep, check.

Way to get those suckers on there? Hmmm, still working on that. Will see how it goes...

Gotta say though, while I was teaching Rochelle, and we were checking crochet out on the internet, I was just sitting there crocheting because I could.

Oh man, I loved it.

What is it about crochet?

Rochelle knits (and does tonnes of other stuff), but she's never crocheted before.

"It's so therapeutic!" she said.

I know, I know.

That's the magic. It's therapeutic.

Bring on the wool!


24 June 2011

A Scrap Quiz - Where do you scrap? Part 3

Hi there to you,

I'm back again today to clarify a few things about my scrap space. 

You know, the good, the bad and the ugly. 

(It's a fact of life, so I've gotta go there)

The Good

1.  - It's accessible. I can put the jug on and go scrap for 5 mins. It's amazing what you can do in 5 mins. It can turn into 10 or 15, but that's good too.

2. - It's in the thick of it. If it's a Saturday and there's action around, I can be out where it's happening, not stuck in my room by myself.

3. - Mum, Dad, Andrew, Sarah (niece), Sue (sister) and I watched the Royal Wedding and I scrapped for a bit. Nice.

4. - Sitting is committing and that was half my problem. Pulling all the stuff out to the table, putting it all on the table, sitting at the table - it was all too....committed. With the cabinet I can stand there and do a bit and walk away. It's just less stressful, really.

5. - Scrapping at this cabinet has produced three hunka-chuncka-chocka-blocka 12 x 12 albums in a year. Not bad. The year before? Zip. I did do a Dec Daily, but that doesn't count.

6. - I'm still a bunches scrapbooker - I kinda lean that way, but this standing-up-scrapping-in-the-living-room-thing allows me to do bits and pieces on and off too. I like that. Like I said before, you can do a lot in 5 mins while the jug is boiling even if it's just tidy up a bit.

7. - I get to go through those albums and see those photos and enjoy them. That should go under The Very Good. 

The Bad

1. - I don't have a lot of surface area to work on. This is my main problem. 12 x 12 paper is huge, photos get everywhere...it is what it is and I make it work. See number 5 above. Output is what's important right now.

2. - I have to walk back and forth to my room to get things sometimes. This is annoying. I used to have to do that anyway, but at least I don't have to get up from my chair anymore. That's really annoying the 20th time, let me tell you.

3. - Sometimes I just don't want to stand up to scrap. Nup, I don't. So I just sit and watch telly instead. That is, no scrapping. It is what it is.

The Ugly

1. - I don't think it's ugly!

2. - I realise it's not for everybody to have all their stuff out because it's untidy looking or whatever, but for me, right now, it's completely fine. I check in with Andrew about it too (it's his house too) and he always says he's fine with it. He likes a lived-in house. I had four big 12 x 8 living room photos spread out on the end of the dining table for weeks and he didn't even notice them. I mentioned I was moving them because they were annoying me and he said they didn't worry him at all.

3. Reiterating - it's not ugly!

4. It's functional!

5. It's fab!

6. I'm glad I'm there!

7. Bye now, have a great weekend!


23 June 2011

A Scrap Quiz - Where do you scrap? Part 2

Hi there,

Less talking and more pics today...that's the plan anyway. 

Here's my scrap area, we've established that. 

Here it is again, we've established that too. 

We've also established that storing things in the drawer in the white dresser doesn't work for me. 

There's extra cutlery in there now...

Inside the cabinet when I first set it up - photo taken May 2010. I think I'd been out here for a bit before that. Maybe a month or so?

Was still working out what I needed and how much of it I needed etc. It's how these things work...I just put the bare minimum out and watch it grow. 

You too?

Hello, growth. 

July 2010. 

More storage needed and other bits. 

Some real serious storage happening now and a Cuttlebug. Oooh, serious alright. 

Oct 2010. 

March 2011. 

This is the latest I've taken inside the cabinet. No point trying to keep up, it just changes too quickly. Changed on Monday in fact. All those stickers (two boxes on the top left) are now in one box because that wire one was driving me crazy.

The paper storers (vertical things) lasted about 2 days in there. I had to tip 'em to get 'em out. Didn't do much for the creative process - they had to go.

The right bunch of paper pads are all 8 x 8 - easy to flip through...

The bottom is all bits and bobs...it needs cleaning out again. I've moved that box with the checkered lid, I know that. I can't stand having things around that aren't being used. Get out!

Note too the difference in the pic above and the one above that. Look at the difference in the colour of  the cabinet.

Explanation - old camera and new one. Amazing.

Love our Lumix, it's a fab camera (DMC - TZ5).

Here's my scrap area now. 

Oh my word, it's grown! 

There's an extra cabinet there. I brought that out of another room for a bit of extra bench top space over summer. I get a lot done over summer, so I bring out the big guns then...was kinda meant to go away, but it didn't. Too bad, so sad. Not.

I'm not claiming that white box as mine for scrapping. It's Cody's food. 

I really don't like it being there, but we've no where else to put it, so there it stays. One day a solution will come...

All the junk in the drawer of the secondary cabinet. 

I like having a drawer to chuck stuff in. Yes, including candy canes, which are probably still there!

That stool is from our kitchen bench. 

We only have one stool at the bench, but it's fine. I pull it out if we need it, although that paper holder is pretty heavy like I found out yesterday. Far out. Couldn't believe it. 

Okay, so that's my cabinet, but in the efforts of full disclosure...

I have more stuff stashed away... 

...in here....

...actually, in here....

You know those ladies in the scrapbooking organising books that have to be creative with their storage solutions because they scrap in shared spaces?

I used to pity them.

Or the 'creative spaces' articles in the scrapbooking magazines that suggest hiding your paper in your ottoman and your stickers in your side table?

I used to thumb my nose at them. Who does that?


I'm now one of those people and I love it.

I was pulling my drawers out to grab some stuff and realised I was one of those people who 'hid' their stuff in their living room. It's pretty fun, actually, because no one knows it's there. Aaaaand it's really accessible to me. Pretty good, really.

Ooop, what's in here? 

Drawer 1: Journalling cards and bits. 

Drawer 2: Equipment and bits.

And below...

Drawer 3: Three layers of cardstock and bits. 

There's a lotta bits in these here drawers :o)

Small scraps - they have to fit in that container to qualify. 

Bigger scraps. 

And bits. 

I've just been through this tray and purged. 

Drawer 4: Does not have these things in it! 

This has changed - they've moved to the cabinet in a box, so I can flip through them. They're paper stacks. 

What's in this drawer now? I think the bottom layer from Drawer 3 and some other....you guessed it...bits.

So, that's where I scrap... 

...in the living room...

...standing up...

...with the telly on!


22 June 2011

New craft show to watch online

Check it out, looks good!

Online TV Network ‘My Craft Channel’ Announced

Maybe they could have a crafting competition type show and call it Mastercrafter or My Crafting Kitchen Rules!


A Scrap Quiz - Where do you scrap?

Good morning to you! 

Thought I'd do another scrap question today - gosh, this series is taking a while. That's life...and blogging :o)

So, where do I scrap? 

Um...I scrap here. 

And here is at this cabinet in my living room. 

I know, weird, hey?

Particularly when I have a whole other desk like this...

It's a biggie (about the size of a single bed pretty much) but I can't scrap at it for two reasons...

~ There's not enough room. There's just too much stuff on this desk all the time.

~ I don't like mixing all the photos and what nots in with all the other crafting stuff I do. It just doesn't work and it never has.

I've always done the double duty thing. 

Punch art/cards (ie. work stuff) at this desk and scrapping...well, elsewhere. Dining table, at someone else's house...just elsewhere.

It's worked fine over the years because I'm a 'bunches' scrapbooker. You know, I don't do a bit every day or anything like that, but in bunches. The dining table worked for my bunches approach - all the stuff stayed there for a while and then got packed away when I was done.

I found probably in 2008/2009 that I just wasn't scrapping. I don't think I did much for a year or so. Or if I did, it wasn't actually getting the photos in the albums like I wanted. I found myself just not wanting to do it. Been there?

One day I saw Ali's Project 365 out on her counter in a photo on her blog and all of a sudden it clicked.

(It was the photo with the post-it notes on it in particular...the in-progress thing is what got me...and her paragraphs underneath)

I have to say...this scrapping hiatus was one of those times where I knew I just had to wait for the answer or solution to come. 

The problem was...what I'd been doing in the past (scrapping in bunches and at the dining table) just wasn't working for me anymore. I knew I needed to do something different, but I didn't know what it was. I just left it all hanging and waited to see if I'd get some motivation or if something would happen.

Well, it did. I saw that photo and everything made sense.

I wanted to scrap standing up - completely unheard of for me! - aaaand I wanted to scrap at a cabinet in the living room to make the photos etc accessible.

I still remember the penny dropping and the inspiration and the solution coming all at once. Pretty good...love times like that.

So, I re-purposed the cabinet. It only had junk it in anyway. I moved it from the wall to behind the couch, so it'd be under the lights.

Here's what it looked like in the beginning.

The open drawer in the white dresser is where I stuck extra things for a while, but I soon forgot they were there, so I moved them when I eventually found them again, ha ha.

Something I've discovered with moving things around, changing your process or organising your space? 

Just make decisions.

Doesn't matter if they're right or wrong, just make 'em.

Put things in places.
Sort things as they make sense at the time.
Do what you think might work.

And then...don't worry about it, you can always change it again.

I remember when I was rearranging my room one time and I was actually getting upset. I couldn't believe it because I love organisation and stuff like that, and yet, I was anxious and frustrated.

I realised it was because I was trying to make the right decisions all the time...you know, is this the place for this?

I soon realised I could move the box if it didn't work in that spot and I gave myself the freedom to just stick things in the in the best place at the time...took a load off.  

Well, with that gem, I'll sign off for today. This post has turned out longer than I thought (not unusual), so I'll be back tomorrow to show you inside the cabinet.

Yip, yip, you get to see all my junk...I kinda feel like I need to tidy up because I've got guests coming over :o)

Pssst...it's never like this in real life....there's always stuff on it and....pssst again....I like it like that.

21 June 2011

A little story...

So, the fella and I were having dinner the other night as we do.

He surveyed his meal (as he does) and poked at the potato in particular.

"I've gotta say," he said, "I'm not really a fan of putting onion in the mashed potato."

"I didn't," I replied.

His head came up in surprise and he said, "Oh, so it's just lumpy?"

Huge laughter aaaand a big sigh from me at the same time...


17 June 2011

The stuff I made

Hi there,

Did you recover from reading the craft show post??

It was a looong one, hey?

Also just wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello too. Was nice to see you! And thanks for the treats, Kathy, we loved 'em.

As promised, today I'm showing you the bits and pieces I made for the show.

Below are the Martha samplers that everyone loves. There's something about seeing the punches punched out, isn't there?

Yep, it totally makes a difference.

Made at home. Neat. 

Made at home. Neat. 

Made at the show - can you tell? 

Also made stacks of paper doilies (just the doilies, not the cards) like this using the Martha Punch Around the Page ones.

That's the Eyelet Lace set and yep, we sold out.

Bits and pieces I made using that mega set of 35 dies on the side there (it's got the star on it) that we were selling for 50 bucks. Retail was $195.

I know, 35 Sizzlits dies for $50. Amazing. They were all basic shapes - circles, stars, rectangles, ovals, hearts - totally up my alley, which is why I loved making stuff with them.

Will take proper pics of the cards and post at a later time.

PS. Used Spellbinders Labels 8 and Tim's Bracket edge die to make the fancy cards. Sooo lovely. Did that at Christmas too, remember?

There's a hanging Hello sign here. Cute. Basic shapes again.

And in the background there's some white things hanging off the big, white rectangle. Can you see that? The big rectangle is the Photo Continental sign and the bits hanging off are from another banner I did. Couldn't really see it up there, but it was the best place for it. The banner was colourful, but the light is over-exposing it in the photo.

Last couple of things.

Paper rosette from 2010's craft tree and the one (only one!) tissue paper, pom pom flower that I got to make. Eight to ten layers of tissue paper secured with a brad in the middle and squashed from the inside out.

So, they're the bits - there were others, but they're lost to the depths at the moment. I'll see if I can find them, photograph them and post them sometime. I'm hoping to get back into regular blogging mode soon...

Bye now, enjoy your weekend. It's gonna be chilly, they reckon...

16 June 2011

Craft show update

Oh wow, yep, I'm here. It's taken me this long to get here to write this. Been catching up on everything I didn't do while preparing for (and attending) the show (ie. washing and all that stuff). Also been sleeping, man, so tired. I think the last few weeks have caught up with me this week...

Anyway, the craft show, the craft show! 

Just so you know where I'm coming from... 

Hint: War Games. 

Defcon 5Lowest state of readiness - Normal readiness
Defcon 4Increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures
Defcon 3Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness
Defcon 2Further increase in force readiness, but less than maximum readiness
Defcon 1War is imminent - Maximum readiness

We always start the day at Defcon 5 with a sit down for 10 mins. Just helps everyone relax and get ready for the day. Before that (esp. on the first day) there's always a lot of last minute things to do.  

Monday (the public holiday) 

Defcon 3/4

Monday was a normal day at the show. Lots of talking with/helping customers, answering questions etc etc, restocking shelves if necessary (didn't have a lot of stock left to do that anyway), straightening stuff, time for bathroom breaks if necessary. I demoed stuff and even made a few things. 

If I have time to make a few things, I know it's a normal day. 

Sunday - Defcon 2

Whew, busy all day. More than a usual Sunday. It was like a Saturday at any other show. 

We had customers until 5pm, I've never seen that before. Often too, people come for a last look on their way out and the stand gets busy again. 

Time for bathroom breaks that day and did I make anything? Mmmm, don't think so...I demonstrated all the machines and what nots and usual, but I didn't make anything much. No time. Lots of customer service - do you have this? How do you use that? What is this? Can you show me this? It's what I'm there for and I love answering questions that I know the answers to. I love helping people. 

Most asked question? What's the difference between the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug? 

I'd do my spiel and then talk to them about their needs and we'd decide on the machine for them if they didn't know which one to choose. 

Below you can see the sign above my station - Cuttlebug $89, Big Shot $99. Great prices. The customers thought so too. It felt like we sold a Big Shot every 10 mins.  

The other great sellers were the Martha punches as usual. We love 'em, don't we? I stacked a lot of shelves (hooks) with them on Sunday - sold stacks. Good quality and a good price...good deal! 

Get a load of it.

All borders 20 bucks (even the deep edgers) and the combos were 30.

Yep, good deal.

And here's a lot of the Sizzix, Cuttlebug and Spellbinders stuff.

We love die-cutting and embossing!

I love it and I know you guys do too, or most of you do :o) If you don't, I respect it, but I don't get it, ha ha. Nah, not true, I know everything has their thing....

And here's my station down the end.

I was near the card making stuff, punches, embossing folders and of course, the die-cutting machines.

The registers were up the other end.

We sold the Texture Boutique too (it's the little black and blue one that looks like a purse), which just embosses. A lot of ladies don't want to cut because they have a Cricut or similar, they just want to emboss. I didn't know this, did you? At $39.50 it was the machine for them - it embosses both sizes (A2 and 5 x 7) and takes any brand of folder. Sold.

Saturday - Defcon 1

I've never worked a Defcon 1 before. I don't think any of us had...far out. I didn't know Defcon 1 existed. Do now!

Like I said, we always start the day at Defcon 5 and we were at Defcon 1 by 9:10 am...yep, in ten minutes we'd scaled the ladder of normal readiness to war is imminent.

Not war, as in we're gonna get ya...but war, as in, prepare yourself for battle because it's gonna be a big day. At ten past nine, that was more than obvious.

At 11:30 it was even more than obvious because of this story. A lady came to me at my station at about 9:20 and said she wanted to buy a Big Shot, but she didn't want us to sell out before she got out of her class at 11:30. I said, "We've got about 20, if we sell out in 2 hours, I'd be shocked." She didn't want to miss out, so she bought one and we stashed it under the cupboard for her (this soon became something we couldn't do for everyone).

Guess what? We'd sold out by 11:30 and she was one lucky ducky. We got more in about an hour later, but still, I was amazed. When she came to collect her Big Shot, we had a chat and I told her what had happened. Her eyes widened, she patted herself on the back for buying it earlier and she told me (tongue-in-cheek) she'd guard it with her life. We parted with smiles on our faces, but I also planted both feet firmly on the floor in, you guessed it, maximum readiness for the rest of the day.

The rest of Saturday went as follows:

Lunch? No. Never have lunch at the show. I have a double breakfast, it's just easier.

Bathroom break? No. I did drink water, but my body soaked it up, or sweated it out. We were sweating all day.

You mean you didn't even sit down? Um, no. No time for that. I'd hunker down behind my cabinet to get a drink, hold up my 'can-you-wait-ten-secs?' finger to the lady who was trying to talk to me and then answer her question after I'd taken four gulps.

Did you make anything? What are you serious? I can't believe you asked me that...

Did you demo anything? Yes...the machines, the Ultimate Crafter's Companion, Martha punches, dies, embossing folders...yes, yes, I did.

Did you answer a lot of questions? Yes, about a billion...

You certainly are making it very clear that Saturday was a busy day, why was it so?

A few reasons:

1. The Scrapbook Expo is quickly becoming known as the show for papercrafters. Buses are hired, people travel - it's the kicker in papercrafting and the show to get to. Teena (boss lady) calls it, "The one where we don't get lunch."

2. Saturdays are always the busiest day at any show.

3. Photo Continental always has great specials, which equals a lot of people visiting the stand.

Teena works so hard to make it all happen. If you think she walks around the store at PC and just chooses a few things to throw on the stand, well, you've got another thing coming. A lot of prep and planning goes into the whole thing, let alone the muscle. These things don't take five mins...you know I've said that before.

What's the one question you answered most? I mentioned that before. It was, "What's the difference between the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug?"

It's getting harder to answer because the differences between the machines are becoming more complicated because of the new things coming out on the market...it's getting harder to keep it all clear for the newbies.

Did you stock shelves? Nup, couldn't get near 'em.

What do you mean? Isn't it your job to keep the stock on the shelves? Actually no, but I make it my job because I've got two hands and a heart, so I do it to help out. So yes, it's my job.

So, answer the question, why didn't you stock the shelves? We're talking about Sardine Saturday here, so the stand was chock-a-blockers full of customers the entire day. I couldn't get near the suckers...

At one point some ladies wanted some new Martha combos that we knew we had in boxes, but we had no one free to actually get the boxes down and unpacked. Four of us worked the stand and Stephen, Teena and Kathy were on the registers all day. This is unheard of. I worked my station down the other end and we all did our best. The next morning all three of them said they never saw me all day - I guess Debra's down there somewhere, they all said. They told me they wanted me to wear bunny ears, so they could sight me in the crowd :o)

Anyway, Teena was trying to unpack the new Martha punches and had asked the ladies to wait for a bit. I found the boxes and started to bring them down and those ladies helped me put 'em on the hooks. So lovely. They wanted to see every combo to see if it was the one they wanted, so they were more than happy to help. I stood on the outside of my station and handed them to one lady, who handed them to another, who either put them in her basket or on the shelf....the things you do. Them and us!

(Me) Does that answer your question? Does that explain to you why I didn't get to stock the shelves much? 

(Interviewer) Yes, thanks for that.

(Me) Just a tip for ya? If you wanna interview me about my day at the craft show in the future, maybe you could actually come to the show and see it for yourself, then I wouldn't have to explain everything. I thought that's what interviewers did. You know, got into the mix of it all. We coulda used YOU to stock the shelves! 

Okay, after that outburst, do you have anymore questions?

(Interviewer - who the heck is this interviewer anyway??) Did you get to look around the show at any of the other stands? No, but I didn't really want to (or need to) either. I just went from the car park, to our stand, to the bathroom and that's it.

Do you have any other behind-the-scenes titbits you can tell us? A lotta ladies went home unhappy with themselves because they didn't buy things when they saw them.

"But you had stacks of those Martha Stewart Scoreboards before!"

(In my head - Um, yep, we did, but this is Defcon 1, lady, it ain't normal)

And from another..."I had that punch in my hands this morning, but I put it back and thought I'd get it on the way out. I should've bought it."

(In my head...Yep, you should've. Again, Defcon 1, people, Defcon 1!!)

What was your favourite part of the day? The whole thing because I love being busy, and hate being bored, although I do prefer to work at Defcon 2.

(That's the last time I'm going to say Defcon, okay?)

I also loved 5:15pm when the last person walked out of the stand.

I have more favourites - I loved talking to other crafty people, that's always fun.

I also loved going out to dinner with my husband afterwards. Yay for us.

You said you prepared some things to take to the show - can we see those? Yes, later 'gator!

14 June 2011

Craft show

I'm still recovering...oh my word....

10 June 2011

Working with...

...Photo Continental at the Scrapbook Expo on the weekend.

You coming?


09 June 2011

Reckon you could make this card?

Whoa, hello! 

An explosion card!

What do you think? Could you make it? A version of it?


Yep, I'd give it a go, but only if I had unlimited time with no interruptions (like overnight) and there was a million dollar prize for finishing on offer...

So my answer is, yes, but no...ha ha. 

Seriously, where would you start?

With the teddy, then the heart, then the background bit...gosh, my head is exploding at the thought of trying to put that one together. 

It was given to Andrew and I and it came in an envelope. Admittedly it was a bit bulky, but that sucker folded up, for sure. 

You? Reckon you could make it? How much would have to be on offer??

Okay, it's pretty unrealistic, but this isn't...

...is it?

We could make this little one in our sleep. 


Circle/oval/star/heart punches, a corner chomper for the corners, Stickles, cardstock and a pen. Nice one. 

And there wouldn't have to be a sweetner for finishing either...