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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Eighth Month Milestones - March 2012

Lewis, we have seen a great leap forward for you this month.  Just after seven months, your hand to eye coordination has really improved, along with your willingness to try new foods. Your first tooth  appeared on the first weekend in March when Daddy was looking after you both on his own. 

Henry, your third tooth also appeared this weekend.  By the end of March, you each have five teeth - both are through at the front and three at the bottom.


Henry - you have now mastered the art of crawling and are going forward on your hands and knees staying close to the ground.  Boys, you are both able to raise yourself right up on your hands at the front and we often see you watching TV like this!

Henry, you learnt to clap your hands on Friday 23rd March, and it was fantastic to see.  You are ever more adventurous and curious about the world around you, and watch us intently - especially when we are operating gadgets like remote controls, mobile phones or our computers.  You are very nearly standing on your own, though of course we need to hold your arms to prevent you from falling over!  You love to chew unusual things - nothing is safe - the lounge curtains, the bedroom curtains, or the shoelaces in our shoes!
Lewis, you are reaching out more for toys or other things that interest you, and now we also have to watch you around the gas pipe.  We are pleased you hold your own, especially when Henry swoops in to take away a toy or bottle from you.  Daddy and I have often watched you both engage in tug of war to win the control of a teething ring or favourite toy. However, this is often done in great spirits and often amuses you both!

Your hair has thickened up amazingly this month and you both now have fine heads of hair.

Grandma and Grandad came for a visit one day and tested the strength in your legs to stand up. 

You both love to bounce up and down whenever you get an opportunity. 

You both especially love to chat when you are having your nappies changed - for some reason, late at night seems to be your most vocal time.  We do hope that changes in the near future! 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Natural Cards and Support our Soldiers ...

I often combine my stash busting efforts with making cards for charity, and when my friend Sherri suggested this one in particular, I thought it was a great idea. 

I suppose it is a bit ironic, given that I am Australian and a pacifist, but I do support people who are doing a job, and I think people in the military are doing just that.  Therefore I think it is a nice idea to perhaps give them a bit of comfort so that they in turn can send more personalised messages home to their own loved ones.  To me, that's what card making is all about!

So I got to and pulled out a very old combination kit of basic ingredients.  The rose patterned paper and lace cardstock is left over from a class I taught in 2008, I think.  But the rose patterned paper  must originate from 2003/2004, because I got it from my friend Tara who used to have a connection at Hobbycraft. 

The dragonflies, stripes and botanical paper was A4 in size and was left over from a class I taught in 2005! 

I think using up old stash is also about combining it with newer elements - so here in the card below I had some left over lace cardstock from ki memories in one of my class kits. 

The stamp is a new one from Stampin' Up! "Elementary Elegance" Sale-a-Bration and goes perfectly here.  I used the Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers die which doesn't match precisely, but is good enough, in my opinion!  The card was quite time consuming to make, given the handcutting of the roses and paper piecing the scraps of lace cardstock onto the base card, but I like a challenge! I think it appears as though the roses are peeking through the trellis. 

Much the same - but the greeting is stamped onto a scrap of caramel Bazzill. 

A masculine card - so minus the roses, but plus a bit of ribbon and using more sombre colours. 

This card uses a Personal Impressions "Frames and Greetings" stamp set and stash-busts some of those small Prima flowers and a couple of green brads. 

Another masculine card, perhaps?  I stickled around the greeting and the greeting spot as it was a bit drab otherwise.  The green patterned paper is from the "Bloom" range by My Mind's Eye. 

Using a scrap of ribbon and a sentiment from Craftwork Cards, which I toned in to match with my Promarkers.
The square journalling spot stamp above is from Basic Grey - it is easy enough to notch out the corner with scissors when cutting the shape. 

I am also using up my pile of miscellaneous cards - ie the tall DL card above - so I am left with more standard shapes and sizes.  Don't you hate it when you can't match all the cards and envelopes?  I am determined to be even more organised in the future to ensure that this doesn't happen.  It is peeving when I have to go to Hobbycraft and pay over the odds to match up odd cards whose envelopes have seemed to walked away!  At least I've finally started to use that felt ribbon that I had to buy at 49p per packet!  It is only a bargain if you use it all up, and quickly. 

 I will be showing more cards made for the charity using the same batch of supplies, so please drop back again .... it is quite amazing how far sheets of A4 paper will actually go!

Gems, Pearls, Stickles
Papermania Felt Ribbon and floral accents (pearl centre)
Craftwork Cards Birthday sentiments
Plaid Dragonflies and Bees decoupage kit by Anna Griffin - green stripe, writing, check and dragonflies and bees patterned papers
Paper Adventures - Stampendous design Heirloom Interiors Vintage Rose - Yellow
ki memories - lace cardstock
Stampin' Up "Elementary Elegance" (happy birthday)
Basic Grey "Journal Block" set
Personal Impressions "Frames and Greetings"

Sunday, 15 April 2012

April Scrapology Card Challenge

Hi everyone and welcome to the first anniversary of the April Scrapology card challenge, which this month was set by Elaine from Quixotic Paperie...

She set the theme of "April Showers" - which could mean pertaining to the weather, baby, or wedding ....

I initially didn't think I could come up with anything for the April showers theme to do with the weather, but on looking through my stash of freebie magazine papers and having a sort out, I came across a perfect quote by Dolly Parton.

Craftwork Cards Back 2 Basics- Elegant Edge
WRMemoryKeepers patterned paper
Green Bazzill cardstock (for Grass)
Dolly Parton quote - The Papertrail Company in the Scrapbook Magazine
MAMBI cloud stamp
Rubber Stampede stamp "Splashing Witzy"
Memento ink

Used Craftwork Cards - Elegant Edge base card.

Cut the grass with the Sizzix Extended Cuts die. 
Used my Oval Framelits to die-cut a rainbow using the whole series of oval dies.
Stamp some clouds onto white cardstock. 
Stamp the duck using Memento ink and colouring in the background and detail with Promarkers. 

I am not normally one for making cute cards, but when I saw that someone had this stamp for sale on the Marketplace on UK Scrappers, I decided to buy it, as I thought it would be useful someday for layouts of the boys in the bath!  I struggled with this card, but when rifling through my stamp drawers and coming across this happy ducky stamp, it was perfect for pulling all the other elements together in a positive and upbeat way. I coloured in the background of the stamped duck with the colour that exactly matched the WRMK paper, so the duck just appears to be splashing in a puddle amongst the grass, without the normal "halo" effect that you would get when leaving a white border uncoloured around your image. 

What things can you come up with from your stash that makes a card to fit this challenge?  The ingredients of your drawers and cupboards may surprise you ...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

I love Easter time, whether it be here in the UK, or in Australia.  It is one time of the year when the weather can be very similar in either place - the promise of spring in the UK with sometimes the touch of summer, whereas in Brisbane, particularly, there is a gentle and gradual move towards the cooler times of Autumn. 

This has been the dreariest and coldest Easter I can remember!  Normally we get a spot of really hot weather, but I suppose we had it a few weeks ago.  Anyway, the time has been put to good use - cooking for the boys, cleaning, and stashbusting, too. 

My family have always celebrated Easter - I think it is a way of sending love across the miles.  So I got organised a few weeks ago and made up a batch of cards, using freebie papers and some other supplies. 

They are all variations on a theme - but that is the best way of making a batch, isn't it? The card below was for my sister and three year old niece.  It was the first time I'd used my "Stampin' Up!" message stamp, so it took me a few tries to get the lining up right. 

I had the scrap of green lying on my desk, and I stash busted the ribbon.  Its from May Arts, and it's been in my ribbon bag for years. I also used my Stampin' Up! scallop punch - the white was from a left over bit of photo paper.  With the glossy side down, you'd never know!

I'd botched up punching a few daisies, but if you hang them off the card, it really doesn't matter, and looks like you've designed it that way! I love how spring-like the card feels. 

 How to disguise when you don't have enough background paper to cover the whole card.  The matt underneath the green is a scrap of pink vellum.

 The scalloping is a bit skewiff on the above card - funny how when you take a photo of it, the mistake is really magnified!

One sheet of A4 paper goes quite a long way!  The green floral Papertrail patterned paper is so fresh and pretty. It was also fun to stamp the bunny and colour it in with a variety of different colour schemes, using my trusty Promarkers.  I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter. 

The Papertrail Company patterned papers - the Scrapbook Magazine
Easter Bunny stamp - Great Impressions
May Arts ribbon
Scalloped Edge punch - Stampin' Up!
Everybunny stamp set - Stampin' Up!
Xcut 3.2cm Botanical embossing punch

Sunday, 1 April 2012

April Sketchy Scrappers Challenge

Jess posted this sketch for us to use as inspiration:

I thought it was a beautiful sketch to copy as is, but couldn't make it work exactly with the elements and the size photos I had chosen. 

This is my interpretation:

You can't see it clearly, but there is a light pink border of cardstock all away around the layout. 

Cardstock -
      K & Company Recycled - "Remake Berry Pinks" paperpad
      American Crafts Tropical A4
Cricut cartridge?
Patterned papers -
     Heidi Grace loving you - "Glitter circles"
     MAMBI Baby Boy
     ki memories
Quote Card - Cloud 9 Design 2 sided "Alyssa's Garden"
Stamps - Fancy Pants "Fresh Mod"
Date Stamp

I went rifling through my various scraps bags to begin with, to determine a colour scheme for my layout.  When I saw the Heidi Grace patterned paper, I knew I wanted to use it - it has laid patiently waiting for me to finish using it for many years and dates back to 2005!  Doesn't matter to me a jot how old it is - I love the fact that I am getting these things used - albeit very slowly!

Then I discovered this title in my pink scraps bag - I won the K & Co Remake pink cardstock pad at a crop 3-4 years ago, and must have cut this title out on the Cricut machine at that time.  So it incorporated the fancy die cut part of the sketch, but in a different format.  The straight line of circle elements at the right was a lateral interpretation of the middle strip and the big circle in the sketch.  I decided to swap out one photo at the bottom for some of that patterned paper.  I also had an even smaller scrap of ki memories pink and green circle patterned paper which I used to tie the bigger circles of the Heidi Grace paper together and give a bit more dimension to the layout.  So quite a simple interpretation of the sketch - I dithered for a long time before deciding it was finished as is, because I loved the swirly bits on the sketch so much! 

My journalling reads: "Thank you Life for blessing us with two beautiful boys.  In the short time you've been with us, we have already learnt so many things about being better people.  Above all, being good parents to you.  Daddy and I will love you always.  Mummy.  xxxx"

I really look forward to seeing what the other members of the group have produced! 

April Scrapology Layout Challenge - L is for Lace

Hi everyone and welcome to April - with this amazing bout of weather we've been having in the UK, it's felt like summer, more than spring - but with the clocks changing recently, it has been lovely to have more sunshine. 

This month we have scraplifted Bettylou1 with this particular layout:

The challenge was also to use lace.  Here is my layout below. 

I am very happy to report that all the supplies used are from years ago - with the exception of the flowers.  The photo is of my husband's parents taken with my twins when they were three weeks old.  I loved that Bettylou's layout was monochromatic, but felt that I had to try to coordinate the colour of their grandparents' attire with the layout.  Luckily enough, I found this ancient piece of Sandylion "Spring Flowers" paper that went beautifully with the photo. 

I adhered the paper to a piece of cardstock behind it, in order to make the layout more robust.  The three vertical strips are Cloud 9 Design - Alyssa's Garden - Botanical Notes collection.  I also deliberately kept the strips quite long so that they also became a feature of the layout.  The horizontal strip at the bottom was kindly given to me by my friend Jess - who allowed me to rifle through her scraps bag - and the piece of Fancy Pants Baby Mine collection "Strips"  was perfect here.  The white lace was from my ribbon bag, and the lovely green ruffled ribbon was bought from Artbase, before it sadly closed down some time ago.  The cream and blue dotty paper was diecut with a scallop edge, so I just used a corner of it here.  I inked all of the paper and cardstock edges with blue chalk ink so that they blended into the background and gave a softer finish to the layout. 

My picture was a different dimension, and my flowers were much larger than the original, so I configured them differently on the page.  I added some blue chalk ink to the flowers so that they were toned down a little and blended more into the background of the layout.  Then to further blend the flowers into the background of the layout, I cut out the lace plastic design on the Prima packaging and adhered it to the layout under the flowers. 

I borrowed my friend Lisa's nestabilities dies to cut out the journalling spot for the title - the alphas are MM Noteworthy "Tara" tiny alphabet stickers which again I've had for years.  Kind of ironic, in that another friend, Tara, lent me some flowers to form this layout. 

Patterned Paper:
      Sandylion Spring Flowers
      Cloud 9 Design Alyssa's Garden collection "Botanical Notes"
      Fancy Pants Baby Mine collection "Strips"
      Blue and Cream spotty paper
Wooden Heart and Bird - Hobbycraft
Metal Flowers with Brads - Dovecraft
Prima flowers
Prima packaging
      MM Noteworthy "Tara" tiny alphabet stickers

A lovely prize from Jill again at Cardinal Colours awaits the winner of the challenge! Join in, have a go and get another page scrapped!