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Monday, 28 May 2012

Life's Bumpy Road

Hello fellow crafters,

It is a week since my last posting, and so much has happened since then.

Unfortunately I am going to have to take a break from blogging for about 6 weeks. It is really upsetting me to do so, but recently during a routine check-up, not one, but three rather serious and diverse health issues came to light. I couldn't believe what the Dr was telling me - 'they' say things come in 3's, don't they. For the past 2 weeks I have had quite a few appointments for blood tests, ultrasounds, and a CT scan. I am waiting on times for appointments with 2 specialists, and have been warned that surgery may be a possibility x2.

All this couldn't come at a more inconvenient time, as our 40th wedding anniversary celebration is coming up, and I have been going "all out" making (and preparing to make) invites, place cards, little decorated chocolate baskets for each guest (25 now), thank you cards, a 'wedding' cake (I still have the ornament that was on our true wedding cake), and floral arrangements. I also have 4 birthday cards for June/July to make, as well as my anniversary card to John.

In addition, I have to clean out our long-unused spare junk room, as a few days before the celebration we will have house guests, who will be staying on for 2 weeks afterwards as house and pet-sitters, because.......we are going to New Zealand for a second honeymoon. It will be our first trip there, and we are so looking forward to it.

At times like this it starts one thinking about what is most important in our lives. This photo was taken almost 3 years ago at Morpeth, a lovely little historic village about 25 mins from home. We are with our son Craig, the last time he came home from London for a visit. We have very few photos of the 3 of us together, and I particularly love this one.

Thank you to all the lovely people who sent their congratulations for our 40th anniversary.

Lets hope we can 'keep a lid' on my health problems until we return. Of course I will be anxious to get back into cardmaking and blogging by then. As some of you warned me when I began my blog "It is addictive", and  I can now totally agree. I am also itching to enter a few more of the endless list of challenges.

Update on little 'Tiger' - On Tuesday morning he almost stopped breathing, went totally blue and had to be rushed back to hospital where he spent several days. He is now home again, but not very well. His Mum had to attend to several business things on Friday, and because he was too ill to come here, I went to his home, where I had to cuddle him virtually all day...he was very fretful. Hopefully he will improve soon.

Until everything is sorted out....happy crafting!
Jennifer. x




Monday, 21 May 2012

Gardening Bear

Hello fellow crafters,
Greetings on a very cold Sunday night. We are never happy are we - after months of complaining about too much rain here in the Hunter Valley, we are all now complaining that we need some rain desperately.

I have spent most of the weekend catching up the washing, and making the invitations for our 40th wedding anniversary in 6 weeks.  We have invited 22 friends to dinner in a restaurant in our nearest town. My dear friend of almost 50 years, Diane (mentioned in my 1st post) is coming from Queensland. She was my Matron of Honour, as I was her chief bridesmaid. That feels like in another lifetime!




Everyone laughs at the size of the bear's feet. They certainly are large, but then he does need to have a good footing when he is walking around his garden, doesn't he. The image on my card has to be one of my all time favourites. It was given to me in a large box of stamps and assorted paper-crafting goodies, by a lovely young lady, Katie, who I have known since she was a toddler. She has moved onto other interests, including 3 beautiful children, and no longer wants to scrap, or make cards. Thank you again Katie!!!


The card is decorated on the inside to co-ordinate with the front.

Side-on view.

 The stamp is an old PSX one - I have lost count of the number of stamps I have by this now sadly non-existent company...they made such excellent quality stamps.

My new Cheery Lynn Victorian Corner Flourish, and Mini Butterfly dies were used for the first time.

I shall enter this in the following challenges...
          The Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge - In The Garden
          The ABC Challenge - 'P' for Pockets
          An Oldie But A Goodie Challenge - Things with Wings


Until next time...thank you for looking, and happy crafting!

Jennifer. x

Update on little 'Tiger' - he is now home from hospital, and I am thrilled to say that I will be minding him for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning.




Friday, 18 May 2012

Hugs

Hello Fellow Crafters,
I didn't think I would have a card to post today, but then I remembered that I had this image already coloured, and all the punched and die-cut parts done, so it didn't take too long to put this together. This is such a cute image by Whimsy Stamps. I purchased it, and another a few weeks ago from Bizzy Becs, and have several more on order from her. They are so easy to colour and so adorable I know I will be adding many more to my collection.



I coloured the image with Promarkers...I so love them! The little birdies on the First Edition paper, the roses, and the Bazzill used for matting look as if they are a rusty brown colour, but IRL they are the lovliest deep, antique rose pink colour. I sponged the white circles on the front and in the inside, and the greeting tag with Ash Rose Versacube ink while the die-cuts were still in the die.


Even in the close-up of the little cuties, the glitter does not show up very well. All the little birds on the backing paper are fully glittered, the tiny pink punched flowers have glittered centres, and the butterflies, flowers and gems in the image are glittered.


Side-on view


                                The inside of the card is decorated to match the front.

Stamp - Whimsy Wee "Sweet Blossom'
Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - First Edition 'Spring Feast'
Ink - Versacube 'Ash Rose'
Dies - Spellbinder, Cuttlebug 'Baby Face' alphabet
Punches - Martha Stewart, Carl
Other - Flowers, Ranger 'Crystal' Stickles, from my junk stash

I will be entering this in the following challenges -
          Whimsy Stamps Inspirations Challenge - Anything Goes
          I Love Promarkers - Anything Goes
          Cute Card Thursday - A Touch of Sparkle


Until next time...happy crafting and thank you for looking.
Jennifer. x












Thursday, 17 May 2012

I'm Back!

Hello fellow crafters,

It is a while since I posted, and I am sorry to say I do not have a card for you tonight. I have been away for a few days, and was busy at the weekend, what with Mothers Day, and other things. I hope all you mothers had a lovely day.

The reason I was away was because I went to Sydney to spend a couple of days with little 'Tiger' (see post on 7/5/12), and give his family a break...particularly his mum who has not left his side. As I mentioned in my post on 9/5/12 the surgery was successful, however, a few hours after my post, one of the repairs to his heart began to leak into the pericardium (a sort of skin around the heart). This pressure caused his heart to stop, and the Drs had to re-open his chest and perform emergency surgery in ICU to release the pressure, and do CPR to revive him. He then had to return to the operating theatre to re-repair the hole. The one blessing was that he was still in the induced coma when all this happened, so he won't have any memory of it.

As if this was not enough for the poor little mite to bear, he then developed a nasty chest infection, which thank goodness is now under control. As ill as he was when I was there he still managed to give me several really big smiles. As I said before, he is the most beautifully natured baby I have ever known!

I had to come home last night as I had several appointments with Drs myself today, but may go back to Sydney on Friday.

I doubt if I will enter any challenges this week, but hopefully will be able to give you a card tomorrow night. At the moment our little chappie has to take 1st priority. Please send some positive thoughts his way - he really is a little fighter.

Until next time...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Birthday Hedgie

Hello fellow crafters,

We could be fooled into thinking that spring has sprung, here in the Hunter Valley. The past few days have been glorious, with temperatures in the mid-high 20s. It is now dark outside, and I am sitting here in shorts and a T- shirt. The weather people though say we will be only in the mid teens by the weekend.


The card I have for you is the one I made yesterday but because of fading daylight when I finished it, I could not photograph it until today.

Close-up of the hedgie, flowers, and bow. The bow was in a packet of about 30 that I bought many years ago in the post Christmas sales. I coloured it lightly with Baby Pink Promarker, then smothered it with 'Crystal' Stickles.

Side view - isn't it amazing how the colours look so different, even though I did all the photographs in the same position, within minutes of each other.

The card fully opened, showing the slide-out tag on which to write a message.


Fully opened from above.


From above with easel front in place.

I will now enter my card in the Penny Black Saturday Challenge. The theme this week is a 'Case It' Challenge.

Stamp - Penny Black 'Critter Party' T for Transparent clear set
Colouring - Promarkers
Cardstock - Bazzill, House of Paper
Paper - First Edition 'Hideaway'
Dies - Spellbinder
Punches - Martha Stewart
Sentiment - Computer generated 'Viner Hand'
Card Candi - Craftwork cards
Other - Kaisercraft pearls, flowers, stamens, bow, Ranger Stickles - from my junk stash

Once again, thank you for looking and also for your lovely comments. They are so encouraging, especially when you are all so very creative yourselves.
Until next time...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x











Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Time to Celebrate

Hello fellow bloggers,
Today is an important date! My blog turns ONE today (month that is)...ha ha ha...scared you didn't I...you thought "Oh my giddy aunt, has Jennifer been blogging for a whole year...I didn't know a year could fly by so fast!!!"  In some ways, it feels much much longer than a month - I have learned so much, and in other ways it feels as if I only began last week.

Today I made a card for the Penny Black Saturday Challenge, but with the days being so short, the light beat me before I could take photographs for tonight's post. I will post it tomorrow morning, and tonight show you a couple of layouts I did for my Granddaughter Scarlette's scrapbook.


My scrapbooking style is much less ornate than for my cards, because I feel the photos (and the subjects in them) should be the focus.

The spotted paper is an old Kaisercraft one, Pina Colada, and the watery looking vellum, was loose, and unnamed in a local store. I rarely use my Cricut (love, love, love it) for cards, but use it extensively for my scrapbooking, and this page was no exception. I used a silver pen to create faux stitching around all the letters, and Occy's hat was actually a mushroom cap from the same cartridge.


This page didn't take me long to finish, and was fun to do. I just love the bright colours! The paper was from a DCWV 8x8 pack, and the birds and the fine line border are heavily glittered - I couldn't pick it up in the photo. The elephant, sun and flowers are all cut with my Cricut, and the leaves were fussy-cut from a Kaisercraft paper, to match the jungle leaves on Scarlette's walker. The elephant and sun are also on her walker. I coloured the chipboard alphas with my trusty Promarkers, and sponged around the edges of the page with a Versacube inkpad (I think it was Peony).

........Just an update on the little baby boy we have nicknamed 'Tiger'. His heart surgery yesterday was successful, and as per standard treatment, he will be kept in an induced coma for 3-4 days.See post, Tiger, on 7/5/12.

Well that's all tonight folks...I must go and put dinner on. Thanks for looking, and until tomorrow morning...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x







Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Aussie Wattle

Hello fellow crafters,
Yellow - mmmm, definitely not my favourite colour for my cards...a touch here and there maybe, but not as the main colour. I think a lot of you feel the same. When I saw the Less is More challenge theme for this week, at first I said to myself "no mam, no way", but then I thought "come on girl, why do they call them challenges!

As I said in my 'Fairy' post, these challenges are making me use long forgotten stamps - I am totally ashamed of myself, but I bought this lovely wattle stamp about 4 years ago, and la la la la la (covering your ears) it has never seen ink!!!!!!!  What more perfect stamp could we have for a yellow challenge than 'Wattle'.


The company that designed and produced this stamp, and the gumnut one on the inside of the card, was a small family owned business based in Sydney, and sadly they retired, and closed the business last year. They were a lovely couple, and the stamps were high quality. Over the years, I bought quite a number of them, but wish I had more.

Side-on view


The inside of the card co-ordinates with the front


A close-up of the lovely corner stamp, made by the same company that made the wattle stamp. I don't know what the white lines are - must be a light flare on the lens.

My card base is made with my new A4 300gsm hammered white cardstock - it feels like velvet. The greeting is a gold peel-off sticker from my HUGE collection - if I live for another hundred years, I don't think I will ever use them all.

This card was made specially for the Less is More Challenge - Yellow.

Stamps - Stamp World
Colouring - Promarkers
Cardstock - House of Paper
Paper - Chatterbox
Other - ribbon and gold peel-off sticker from my junk stash

Thanks for looking...until tomorrow...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x




Monday, 7 May 2012

Tiger

Hello fellow crafters,

This is just a very brief post to ask a big favour, not for me, but for the dear little baby boy I mind each week. He has been with me for most of today

He turned 6 months old last week, and tomorrow will be having major heart surgery down in Sydney. He is the most beautifully natured little baby, and although he must feel so tired and miserable for much of the time, he never complains, and has the HUGEST smile. John and I have become very fond of him, and he is such a little fighter, my John calls him 'Tiger'

I know all you crafters out there are kind, caring people, so tomorrow could you please send some happy thoughts of support to little Tiger, and if you believe in the power of prayer could you include him in yours.



Thank you so much.

Jennifer. x

Little Fairy

Hello fellow crafters,
When I began my blog (almost one month ago) I had no idea there were so many creative challenges out in blogland. I have become aware of dozens of them, but I am sure they are probably only the 'tip of the iceberg'.
They are really making me think about many elements of my designs, and I am using stamps I have not used for so long, I have forgotten I had them. This little sweetie is one of them.

I have used several different Spellbinder and Marianne dies, and the corner flourishes are 2 Marianne diecuts that I cut in half.



A close up view - the flowers are blinged to the max with Ranger 'Crystal' and 'Platinum' Stickles.


The inside is decorated to match the front. This is the first time in ages since I have made a 'traditional' opening card.



The challenges I would like to enter with this card are...
          I Love Promarkers - 'Fairies'
          Paperplay               - 'Pins and Pearls'
          Colour Create         - 'Rose Pink, Kraft and White'

Stamp - Hero Arts
Colouring - Promarkers
Cardstock - Bazzill, Stampin' Up
Paper - First Edition 'Sweet Owl'
Dies - Spellbinder, Marianne
Punch - Martha Stewart 'Branch'
Sentiment - computer generated 'Adine'
Other - Flowers, Kaisercraft pearls, pin with pearls, Stickles, all from my junk stash

As it is Monday, and I have a busy week ahead of me, I had better do my impression of Domestic Goddess...I would much rather be crafting though.

Thank you for looking....happy crafting.

Jennifer. x






Saturday, 5 May 2012

Baby Boy Elephant

Hello fellow crafters,
I just love this little ellie, and as you may remember I used him/her on my 'Welcome Sunny Mae' card recently...pink of course for a baby girl.


This is for no-one in particular, but I was bursting to use my beautiful new Cheery Lynn lace die, and some paper from a new pack. Pastel ginghams and small spot paper, without distressing,  is often difficult to find, but I found this 12x12 pack by accident. Unfortunately they only had 1 left - I would have bought several.

Close-up of the gorgeous lace die-cut

Even if he is a boy elephant, he is allowed pink-painted toenails, isn't he?

As usual I have decorated the inside of my card. There is no bow as on the front, as I used up the last of my minutely narrow ribbon...it took me ages to thread it through the slots.

Side-on view.

I would like to enter this card in 2 challenges...
Cute Card Thursday - 'One for the Boys'
Papertake Weekly Challenge - 'Anything Goes' with optional lace

Image - from computer (see Welcome Sunny Mae post)
Colouring - Promarkers
Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Franchville 'Pastel Basics'
Dies - Spellbinder, Cheery Lynn 'Lace Light Deco Border' B133
Other - Kaisercraft Pearls, ribbon from my junk stash

Thank you for looking...enjoy your weekend and happy crafting.

Jennifer. x





Thursday, 3 May 2012

Cuttlebug Squares

Hello fellow crafters,
As I thought might be the case, we were delayed in Newcastle yesterday - the specialist was 1 hour behind with  her appointments, so by the time we got home it was time to feed and bed down all our furred and feathered babies, and then prepare our dinner. I didn't get a chance to make a new card today either as we had unexpected visitors, so I will show you 2 mosaic, grid-style cards that I made last year. You may recall I mentioned in my last post that I have often made these cards in various forms.

I was showing some friends, fairly new to card-making, and with new Cuttlebugs, how they could use several embossing folders on a card, instead of one large background. They had also never seen chalking done.


For the first card, I cut 9 squares using my Spellbinder Nestabilities. While one was still in the die (the middle one) I sponged it lightly with Versacube Baby Pink ink. The remaining 8 squares were positioned in 4 different embossing folders in a way that highlighted particular areas, then passed through the Cuttlebug. Then I very lightly coloured the raised images with soft pink and green chalks. I then adhered the 9 squares to pink cardstock which was in turn adhered to card front. I added 3 punched vellum butterflies, the largest of which was glued, 3D fashion over one embossed butterfly. Tiny flat-back pearls were attached to that butterfly's body.



My second card is almost the same as the 1st. I added 1 punched vellum and pearl butterfly to centre panel with silver peel off sticker; punched vellum flowers; pearls. The backing paper is oyster grey pearlised waterwave paper. I put tiny dots of 'Crystal' Stickles in the centres of the embossed flowers.

I sent both these cards to non-crafting friends in different states of Australia, so I didn't feel there was a problem with making them so similar.

Thank you for looking...until next time...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x





Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Little Birdies

Hello fellow crafters,

Gosh, it's been a week since I last posted. I have been 'under the weather' - don't know what I caught, but I felt as if I had flu, without the snuffles part. Aching all over, zero energy, and just wanted to sleep...in fact for 2 whole days, I did just that, only waking long enough for a shuffle to the bathroom, and a big drink.

I apologise to anybody who has left comments on my posts while I have been unwell, and I have not thanked them personally. I think I have caught up, but would hate to think that I have missed someone unintentionally. As a very new blogger, I was just getting into the swing of things, but after a week off, I have to think hard to remember some of the things I have learned.


Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday, and luckily I made her card almost 2 weeks ago. She lives in Tasmania, so I had to post it then...I don't know what Australia Post does, but sometimes mail to/from Tassie takes 4 days, and other times it takes almost 2 weeks! When I rang her yesterday morning, it still had not arrived!!!

My SIL does not like fussy things, so I kept her card 'less is more'.



Last year, when I was in London, I bought a packet of these cute little birdy puffy stickers at a tiny shop on Waterloo Station. I think it may have been called Paperchase? To keep my luggage within allowable airline restrictions, I removed most of the packaging from all the craft goodies I bought over there, never dreaming that one day I would have a blog, and need to know the brands of some products.


Unlike most of my cards, I kept the inside VERY 'less is more'.

Via another crafter's blog (Hi Liz) I have just discovered that my card is suitable for this week's Less is More challenge.

I have used this 9 square design in various forms for many years, sometimes using tiny torn squares of my own handmade paper with pressed flowers from my garden; little squares of tiny-patterned fabric cut with pinking shears; and in later years since purchasing my much loved Cuttlebug I have used larger squares, each embossed with a different folder. I borrowed the idea of using the little scalloped punch from Helen, of It's All Fiddle Fart.

Hopefully, I will have a more decorative card to show you tomorrow night, although I don't know if I will have a lot of spare time tomorrow to make one. We have a 3 hr. round trip to Newcastle for an appointment for John to see a specialist, and of course even though we get there on time, there is usually a long wait.

Cardstock - Bazzill, silver mirror card
Paper - unknown
Puffy stickers - ?Paperchase
Sentiment - computer generated - font 'Bradley Hand'
Punches - X-Cut by DoCraft 1.25" scalloped, EK Success scalloped corner punch

It's good to be back...thank you for looking...happy crafting.

Jennifer. x