Friday, December 31, 2010

The best of 2010

Following in the footsteps of many of my blogging friends, I thought I would do a run-down of some of my favourite layouts for 2010. Not necessarily my best, but my favourites for one reason or another.

Love how this page tells the story of how Moz got her name. And love how this plain paper was turned into notebook paper by many stitched lines :-)

My first page on the From Screen 2 Scrap DT. Lots of yummy doodled digital elements by CD Muckosky here.

The first page I had picked up for publishing in a 'real' magazine (instead of an online magazine!) I fixed it up a bit before I sent it off! More doodled embellishments - this time by Leeann Pearce.

This would have to be one of my favourite 'Month in the Chair' layouts. And it uses some of my favourite collections for 2010 which were Thrift Shop and Fly a Kite by October Afternoon.

I love the idea of the journalling on this page which is all about documenting Moodles routine at this point in her life. I should really do this again.

One of my favourite pages from when I was a Guest DT for Kreatorville Kraft. I really enjoyed my month there and I adore Keandra's kits.  I've got a tutorial for that flower which will have to go live soon I'm sure!

One of my favourite pages I've done for Handmade by Suzanne. Mainly because it was the first time I was brave enough to try free-motion stitching..... and it worked! And lots of journaling about how sentimental I was getting when I went back to work in August.

I was so happy to get my very first Studio Calico kit. I made lots of pages with it (8 in total so far I think). This was one of them.

One of my other favourite collections from this year was the Mix and Mend line from Sassafras. When I got my bundle of this I whipped up 4 layouts on the go. And then to my absolute delight they were all featured on the Sassafras blog!!! Definitely a highlight!

And lastly, this bright and fun layout I did not long ago. I love it because this is one of my favourite photos of me as a child, and I think the layout did it justice :-)

Would love to hear about your favourites.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year as we see in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I feel the need....

the need for speed!
............. Or at least, Munchy does :-)

She was given a motorised bike for her birthday from 'other' Nanny and Poppy. And now that we're living in the 'burbs with lots of footpaths to roam around on and no-one else around to hinder her she can go as fast as that little bike will let her!

I just love the look on her face in this photo.... like she's saying "Yee Ha!" And poor little Moodles is stuck in her pram riding behind.

Lots of other little details to add some texture on this layout. Including some bits and bobs that I was lucky enough to receive in my Secret Santa swap with my friend Karen.

The basic design for this page was inspired by this Halloween layout by Jill Sprott. I loved the way she used the Jenni Bowlin Studio journaling cards as a basis for her layout and so tried out the same concept here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweetest Day

Just trying to finish my Year in the Chair album before the end of the year!
I posted my October layouts here and here, but had skipped ahead without realising that I hadn't done my September layouts!

I am using the stunning Sweetness collection by Pink Paislee for these two layouts. In all honesty I truly love these papers, but they are a little hard to work with.

I was quite happy with how this first one turned out though. Lots of colour and a little texture too!

And the helpful addition of some new Martha Stewart punches!
Firstly, it's that corner punch you see above (I got the set, but haven't used the border punch yet)

This page I had a little more trouble with, but it's still alright I think.
Hey, at least it's another page finished :-)

And how cute is that Love Dove punch from Martha Stewart that I used all over this page?

I've also used the Flip Notes from the same collection, and some Maya Road doily transparencies too. 
Just my November layouts to go and then I'm finished (I started in December when Moodles was one month old, so the November layout is at her 1st birthday and hence why it's finishing then rather than December).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Walk With Me

Supplies: Pink Paislee Parisian Anthology paper, Glimmermist, Dear Lizzy & American Crafts Enchanted papers, brads and journaling spots, Dear Lizzy rub-ons, Cosmo Cricket Togetherness chipboard, Glitter foam Thickers, Martha Stewart punch.

I figured she would walk by Christmas - she's was making lots of efforts to. She can stand quite confidently by herself, even get up to standing without pulling up on anything. But the second she wants to actually move anywhere, she'll get down on the ground and crawl.

She just lacks confidence - she most certainly has the desire to ambulate. Whenever she's holding someone's hand she can walk along at quite a pace!

Munchy walked on her 1st birthday, and Moodles turned 1 in November so without any expectations or pressure I imagine it won't be long now :-)

ETA: In fact, in between writing this post a week ago or so and publishing it today, she has indeed began to walk. Clever little Moodles!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Recycled Christmas: plastic bottle flowers

This post was originally featured as part of Julie Balzer's Handmade Holidays series. See it here


Earlier in the year I saw a photo on Elizabeth Kartchner’s blog of some decorations they had at Spark. I wanted to try and work out how they had done some plastic flowers I saw which they had hanging in the entryways. I made my version into table decorations instead.

Firstly hunt through your recycling pile and pull out a bunch of plastic bottles of different sizes and shapes. Make sure they're nice and clean of course!

Wash them, pull the labels off, and cut them in half (or at least, cut about 3 or 4 inches off the top) keeping the top end. Don't worry about the coloured plastic rings - it's not worth the hassle trying to cut them off..... believe me! And we're only going to paint over the top of them anyway.

Next cut slits in them and round the bottom edges to create different kinds of petal shapes.
You really don't need to get pedantic and start measuring things or using a template or anything like that. I think the beauty is in the randomness.

This is the really fun part!!
Pull out your trusty heat gun and turn that thing in the direction of your plastic bottles. Watch how quickly each of the petals melts and warps and curls.

WARNING: you do need to be very careful with this step because melted plastic can get VERY hot and can drip and burn things such as your hands. So please do this with extra caution - go very slow because it doesn't take much to melt the plastic, and you might want to think about wearing gloves. 

Play around with different size bottles, different petal designs and different ways of melting the plastic (for example the petals will melt in different directions if you point the heat gun from above or below). And when they've cooled use some acrylic spray paint to give them a quick and even coat of colour.

And here's the finished product. I used my hot glue gun to glue a stick from the garden onto the bottom as a stem, and a scrap of tinsel in the middle to hide the fact that I hot-glued a stick from the garden onto the bottom as a stem!! To continue our recycled theme I've even used an empty bottle as a vase, covered in newspaper sprayed with gold paint. Not quite sure this is the ultimate plan of presentation on the Christmas table, but it's good enough for now! Promise to show you photos of the day hey?!

Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas today wherever you may be, and however you celebrate!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Recycled Christmas: vintage paper wreath

This was originally posted on Julie Balzer's Holidays Handmade series

For the past few years my Mum and my Aunt have been taking in turns hosting our big family Christmas dinner. In all honesty, it's turning into a bit of friendly competition as they keep trying to outdo each other in the cooking/hosting/decorating stakes. It's currently at the point where my Mum had asked me and my sister to start thinking about ideas for a theme in March!!


Now it just so happened that I won a copy of GreenCraft magazine around about the same time and it was just so inspiring that I automatically came up with the idea of having a "Recycled Christmas" as our theme this year. And I've dutifully set about making some very simple decorative items for our party.

First up was a wreath for the door. I cheated a little bit when I decided the easiest way was to buy a foam base for my wreath! If you want to remain true to the idea of recycled/green products you could make your own from vines or something similar - but this was just way too hard and time consuming for me at this time of year :-)

So I painted my foam wreath with a gold acrylic spray-paint, not being aware that some chemical in the paint would eat away at the foam and leave a result like this swiss-cheese appearance. Oh well! It's going to get covered up anyway, but perhaps you might want to do it the old fashioned way if you want to avoid this :-)

I love my punches! I don't think a scrappy project goes by without me cracking out some Martha Stewart :-) So I punched about a million (or at least that's what it felt like!) shapes from vintage book pages and a brown paper bag that I got as packaging.

Then I went about layering up lots of different shapes and securing them with a pin in the centre. Each of these flowers has at least 10 layers, but I didn't bother counting each one, I simply just grabbed a couple from each stack of my punched shapes at random.

Next you want to scrunch up the layers of paper to give it a bit more texture. I also sprayed a few with Irridescent Gold Glimmermist, and sprinkled some glitter on others. It's quite a similar method as Julie uses in her tutorial on newspaper flowers which you can read here.

Since I used pins in the centre of flowers (instead of brads or buttons) I could then very easily stick them into my foam wreath to make a lovely arrangement. And if I wasn't happy with the placement, then it was all too easy to pull them out and try again.

Lastly, tie a great big bow around the top to give it a bit of pizazz!

As you can see the materials and colours I have chosen are fairly monotone, but that's because along with our theme of a Recycled Christmas we've chosen cream, kraft and gold as our colour-scheme. But there's nothing stopping you from using more traditional supplies like scrapbook paper in red and green, or try other materials like fabric or felt for example. Go wherever your imagination takes you!

Handmade by Suzanne is having 35% off everything in her Christmas section. That's a lot of products by a lot of brands. You definitely don't want to miss out on this one! If you're anything like me you're going to take a lot of photos tomorrow which will need scrapping! 

Have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow :-)

Recycled Christmas: Monogram Badges

Well, these aren't recycled at all really. But they're part of our decorations for our Recycled Christmas dinner so I thought I would show you anyway.

Keeping with our colour scheme of cream, kraft and gold, I've also added some traditional red and green highlights to make these monogrammed badges.

Each of these little textural beauties will have a brooch pin stuck on the back of it and will then adorn our Christmas crackers. These will act as our place-names as we sit down for dinner, and then can be removed and worn throughout the evening.

To make these I started off die-cutting some felt flowers or circles (yes, you really can cut felt in your Cuttlebug!), adding a punched scalloped circle from kraft cardstock, and then layering some embellishments on top.

Basically I grabbed a whole bunch of random stuff from my stash that coordinated with the colour scheme. And added some glitter of course!

The monograms themselves are also just simply die-cut from red and green cardstock. 
I'll have to show you pictures later of our guests wearing them hey?!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So I've picked a new winner

for my December giveaway.
And the lucky person (chosen by is........


who said

Merry Christmas Natalie! Thanks for the chance to win.
I'm relatively new to blogging. Subscribed to your blog a few months ago after I saw your inspiring layouts on handmade by Suzanne.

 Sarah, please email me ( your postal address and I'll try and get your prize out as soon as possible.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Studio Calico Wish-List

Do you know they've got The Gift of Inspiration at Studio Calico now? That's what they're calling their gift vouchers anyway!

But here's what else is awesome in the shop, and will probably be making it's way into my cart in the new year...

Forever in need of more page protectors.

Pretty much every colour of the Jenni Bowlin ink pads. I especially love the greens: Stick Candy and Seed Packet.

But speaking of wonderful Jenni Bowlin products, I need the Malted Milk paint dabber!

And the Silver Plated Maya Mist is next on my list of spray-ink colours to buy.

I have the months, now I'll need to get the days. Stamps, that is!

And I'm really hoping they get more Real Estate Sign punches back in stock soon :-)


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