A chaotic year at an end but the chaos continues.

Hi everyone,

A sincere apology to my followers, I have not been active on this blog or my Creative Memories Blog or even my Facebook or Twitter accounts in 2020. Why? Disillusionment, during the fires in late 2019 and early 2020, then with the pandemic, the realisation that I have no one to pass my work on to gave me a feeling of “what’s the point”. Without family, the scrapbooks would have little meaning for my friends, they might like looking through for aesthetic value but they would have no real meaning.

Unfortunately, this affected my card making and just about everything, I was not interested in anything much. However, as always, things happen sometimes that just make you come back to life and get motivated again. I can’t remember what it was, perhaps a template for a scrapbook layout or a video about an easy page caught my interest and from then on I tried some challenges and kept going for a while, making cards mainly, sharing and swapping cards then somehow I got behind with the weekly challenges and again fell into the “too hard” mindset.

Then I saw an invite to an event a friend was holding this month (December 2020) and because we have not seen each other for two years, possibly more, I decided no matter what I was going. So, having let my friend know that I was definitely interested in attending depending on accommodation, I set about finding accommodation in the appropriate area. Of course, with COVID-19 I had to be careful and ensure that we would all be safe and that no restrictions were in place that would prevent us from going.

Having found our usual accommodation available we attended the scrapbooking event and had a great day with some old friends and made some new ones. The pages I made are at present incomplete because I didn’t have the right embellishments to add to them but I will finish them off before I share with you in my next post.

As I said I have made some cards for challenges and those I will share with you here, or at least some of my favourites. The challenges I speak of are, of course, with Splitcoaststampers, and a couple of other private groups that I exchange cards with. The first two cards are my own designs and made specifically for swaps. I can provide a brief tutorial on request for anyone interested.

For those interested in the tutorials for the Splitcoaststampers Challenges the links are listed here. The first one TLC788 – Bubble Painting, mine was made with bubble plastic wrap and and white acrylic paint which is explained in the description for the card the link to which is on the card.

The second challenge is the Holly Jolly Christmas folded paper frame and the tutorial link is listed in the above link for anyone interested.

The next one is the “Merry and BrightSketch Challenge called the Double Dutch fold which looks complicated but there is a brief tutorial in the listing for the challenge and there is also a step-by-step SCS tutorial which is very helpful.

The last is titled “Count the candles” whether birthday or other event. Mine was for Christmas candles. I did make an adjustment by hand drawing the flames and “fussy cutting out” and attaching to the rolls. You can read my method by clicking the link on the photo.

I think I have given you enough to go through and I will be back with the scrapbook pages I made earlier this week once they are completed.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break with family and friends, all the best for a much happier 2021 to all. Cheers and thank you for looking and following me. I will leave you with “Just a little note” I made for the Inspiration Challenge for Splitcoaststampers. The link to my card is on the photo below.

Comments and questions welcome.

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Cards and Manilla Folder albums

Hi folks,

In this chaotic world of COVID-19 we all need some way of distracting ourselves from enforced restrictions in movement and communication.  Working from home in a world that has only toyed with the idea of working from home takes some time to set up unless you already have a study or spare room where you house a computer for anyone to use sometimes.

It has been difficult to actually complete this post because there are so many things I broached while drafting it but in the end I decided to simply write about what I have been doing because I don’t like talking politics and its ins and outs.  I had thought of making comments about the way COVID-19 is affecting people, their lives and business globally, but it sounded like someone on a soap box so to avoid that I will stick to what I can be on my soapbox about and that is my work – my cardmaking and scrapbooking work that is.

With all the upheaval and uncertainty as to what may or may not come next, I have spent my time making cards, although I have done some scrapbooking as well.  I did participate in the Virtual (worldwide) Crop hosted by Creative Memories 21-22 March 2020.  They are now setting up weekly Virtual Card crops which should be interesting.

The cards I have been making this past week were for Splitcoaststampers challenges and I share some of them here.  I have found that using these virtual crops and challenges keeps my creativity going as well as keeping my brain working and also helps take away some of the angst about what’s happening.  During the fires of December and January I was quite ‘rusty’ and it took me all day to make one card or only part of a scrapbook page but once I started the challenges and participated in the virtual crop I found I was improving and made two sometimes three cards in a day, and not all for challenges.

So the point of my post today – in this age of restrictions you just need to keep going – do what you feel happy and comfortable doing whether it is reading, exercising (?), walking – you can walk around your garden – oops what if you don’t have a garden, good point.  Anyway, there are plenty of suggestions out there in the cyber world too, and you can expand your hobbies or if you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to get one, or two or more going.  That is how I got started on altered books or junk journaling.

For example, a couple of years ago, I had not taken any crafting tools or stock to make cards on holiday.  I had my laptop and some colour pencils and some adult colouring pads – which were the fad at the time.  One day I came across what they called altered books or junk journals and I searched and watched video after video to find out how to make/do them.  I could hardly wait to get home where I had some books that I thought would be ideal – I had inherited them, I was probably never going to read them, the perfect candidates!  On our return home, I got stuck into the preparation of several, and one of those I have used and it is full, but I cannot find the others, so I go searching in our home library – nothing else I can call it – to find others that I can re-purpose.  In my recent search for the information or instructions I came across envelope albums (that’s another story for another day), so I read through the article on envelope albums and thought that’s too small, I need an album that will take larger items such as maps or brochures from my travels.  I just happened to pull out a couple of manilla folders from a container I was sorting through and – well the rest is in the album I made with them! Yes, I used manilla folders to house some of my larger souvenir brochures and maps.  I cut them to approximately A4 size, the folders were A4 but if you know anything about the size of folders they are usually slightly larger than the papers that you would use them for, so, to make them more manageable for brochures I trimmed to what I needed.

One of the junk journal/altered books makers I like because she explains each step well is Lorrie Marie Jenkins.  Her manner is easy going and yet so inspiring that I couldn’t wait to start ripping books apart – I am a librarian by the way.  But this type of ripping is creative and what Lorrie Marie does with them is amazing.  My creativity with that is still evolving so use her tips to get you started.

Well, I think I have babbled on long enough so here are the photos, I will include the one of my ‘junk journal’ I showed last time but more on that another time.  For now cheerio.

“Calm” from Splitcoaststampers Sketches Challenge SC791

Splitcoaststampers Sketch Challenge SC794

A combination of 2 Splitcoaststampers Challenges

Challenge using a lion or lamb – I only had a tiger stamp.

Couple of pages from Manilla Folder album

Two more pages from Manilla Folder Album

 

 

 

 

Altered book or junk journal normal book size.

e.

Fire, rain, flood now deadly virus!

Hi folks,

Yes, we’ve had a rough start to the year but survived and it seems it’s not going to get easier.  I have made several attempts to sit down and continue with the posts over the fire, then the heavy rain and hail storms and floods, we were lucky this time we didn’t get floods like we did in 2010.  As always life seems to throw curve balls (not just golf ball sized hail stones)!

With the rain came a rebound strength of growth in our garden, the brown non-existant grass you can see in one of the photographs with the parrot grazing, turned into green grass that needed moving and trees that had died because of drought and/or the extreme heat needed help, we had our work for the next few weeks.  We still have much to do but for the moment things have settled down – at least in the garden.  Over the last few weeks I have been too tired to think let-alone write a meaningful blog post.

So that’s why I haven’t been here.  I did, however, manage to get some cards made and also made up some scrapbook albums, filled some pages, made up or rather filled a ‘junk journal’ with some travel momentos.  I also made up albums for a variety of reasons, one being a manilla folder album for larger travel booklets etc. these I will deal with in a separate post.

Then of course there is COVID-19 well, I won’t go into that, we’ve all heard so much it is almost ho-hum but stay healthy and safe out there.

So for now I will leave you with some photos of cards and albums made and parrots grazing on the dry brown grass.

Please feel free to make comments on my posts, that way I know someone has at least seen them.  Until next time.  Cheers and thank you for reading.

Made for a swap using string tie to close instead of Velcro dot.

Inside of the previous card, coloured with water colour pencils.

This was also made for a swap “faux star”(?).

Junk journal or altered book, filled with travel memories – places I went, stayed, or toured. Mostly pamphlets, tickets and information booklets.

This album I made up as 12″ x 12″ just using thick patterned paper for the cover and the pages, with items from the Country Women’s Association branch I belong to. More on other albums and altered books/junk journals I made up in a separate post later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve completed or made.

Hi folks,

Things have been quite topsy-turvy these last couple of months but to stay calm in the heat, smoke-filled air and theatening fires, I have been catching up on scrapbooking and cardmaking.  Cards are yet to be mailed to those for whom they are intended because I can’t be out in the smoke-filled air for too long.  Apologies for that.

I have completed or rather finished filling one 12″x 12″ album which last count meant that I have done 18 pages, I completed a smaller 21 cm x 15cm album with 8 pages, and made up an album cover to fit some 7″ x 7″ pages from the original Creative Memories I had without album covers.

Tidied up all the mess and then started all over again pasting notes I had collected over the past year into specific notebooks – not exactly a small task either.

Anyway, just thought I’d drop by and let you know I’m still here and safe from fires thankfully, and also from the hail storm that has hit my friends in Canberra, some 100kms away.  We did have some hail which blanketed our backyard but it was not as bad and the hailstones were not as big as those that hit Canberra and Sydney.

Hot weather is again on the way and with it the threat of more fires, let’s pray that doesn’t happen.

With the smoke and heat I have mostly concerned myself with getting back into refreshing my scrapbooking and cardmaking knowledge before I push to get my business going.  So I’ve been working up examples of the types of albums I would offer ranging from the small journal type 120mm x 170mm to the normal 12″x 12″ (30x30cm) album.  I have attached some photos of the 21cm x 15cm and 7″ x 7″ albums and I have previously shown some of my 12″ x 12″ pages but I am also including a couple made as part of the 18 pages I made recently.  So, that is all for now.

 

Over the years!

Uncle and his house and garden!

Handmade album cover

The following photo is of one that I had shown previously but is one that I finished another 8 pages of photos.

Please make comments below or on Facebook – Crafty Things or Twitter.  Your feedback is important and appreciated! Thanks again for reading and following me.  Enjoy!

 

Still here and I’m back.

Hello, I’m back as promised.  Our internet is fixed and the fires are mostly controlled, though the weather is hotting up again so there may be more to come.

We have had some nice days over the last week or so but it doesn’t pay to be complacent.  Nature as a way of catching you unawares.  After a couple of days of rain the sky was cloudless this morning and we had a beautiful sunny day.

As promised I will share the last day – day 6 of my week of cards, I had shown you one of the three cards already so I won’t include that but here are the other two.

Enjoy!  Until next time, when I will share some scrapbooking projects I’ve been working on.

 

No internet, but still here!

Hi from bushfire ravaged Australia, still here thank goodness!

I know I still have some cards to share with you but that will have to wait until our internet is back up and I can access my photos.  I suppose that’s why people put things in the cloud but unfortunately my devices won’t talk to each other so….  the earliest will be mid to late next week and that’s if the fires don’t cause more havoc.

Today is the first day that we have anything like sunshine in about 2 weeks, not the orange glow that we have gotten so used to, and also no smoke.  There is a haze in the distance but visibility was much clearer than it has been, although the haze is starting to increase and not sure whether it is from the fires or the warmth of the sun heating the earth after the rains.  Yes, we have had some rain yesterday but nowhere enough to put the fires out and not all fire affected areas got any.

I have nothing but praise for the firefighters, volunteers and everyone who has been involved with helping out:  THANK YOU ALL for your efforts.

I managed to get a couple of photos across from my phone so here they are, the faint glow was taken toward the back of us on Saturday 4th January at 4.32pm and the other is the bonnet of our car taken that night at 9.15pm after a short “piddling” rain mostly ash.

So folks, stay tuned, thank you for reading and following me.  I will be back just as soon as I can.  Until next time.

Still here! First day of 2020 – made it!

Well, I’m happy to say we are safe, though the smoke isn’t doing our lungs any good especially those of us who have even the slightest breathing problem. I’m sure you have seen all the news reports about the ‘fires down under’ well, if you didn’t believe it before believe it now. People on the coast have been going to the beaches to stay safe and those who have boats are going out hundreds of metres from the shore to make sure they stay safe.

Many people don’t live near the sea so we have to do the best we can. Until yesterday we were lucky and didn’t have a lot of the smog that enveloped Sydney and the northern towns and cities, but yesterday, after the fires on the south eastern New South Wales coast and Victoria, we experienced the worst smoke from fires I have seen in 62 years.

Needless to say communications and internet services were affected and/or not available at all. Therefore, I couldn’t post Day 6 of the cards I shared with the Michael Strong Stamps group, which I will do tomorrow, but for today I want to share some of the images I took at different times during the day yesterday from 7:23 am. Around 2:00-2:30 pm maybe a few minutes later it was so dark it resembled midnight, I opened a curtain and could not see anything it was so dark. While my photos do not appear as threatening or alarming as those seen on television, it was horrifying nonetheless.

A few minutes ago we watched the reports on how things have progressed overnight and learned that 200 residences were lost, and that isn’t the final count, things are expected to get worse in the next couple of days, Saturday being catastrophic.  God help us all.

In my last post I gave you the two from morning and afternoon of 30 December 2019. These next ones are from yesterday, New Years Eve during the day. The first – what we woke up to New Years Eve morning.

Tuesday, New Years Eve day – Dec. 31 2019 at 8:25 am.
Looking north east towards Canberra, ACT.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 at 8:25 am – East.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 – facing west from
Aldi carpartk, Cooma at 9:51 am

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 at 1:36 pm facing south west
from our driveway.



And it got worse from there.  About 30-45 minutes later around (2:30-3:00pm)it was black as midnight.  Unfortunately, the camera decided to lighten the one photo that would have shown that.  It took some time, about an hour or so for the darkness to lighten but that was when the smoke and ash came.  My! that even sounds like something out of a movie, Dante!  One of the journalists referred to yesterday’s events as a scene from Dante.

But it reminded me of the 2003 fires in Canberra where 500 homes were lost and I can’t remember how many lives.   These fires are more devastating because they are country wide not just state wide.

For now we are safe and hopefully we will get some significant rain soon (not holding my breath, despite the smoke!?).  The whole country will be in recovery mode once the fires are done.  If it’s not one thing it’s something else.  Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and now the country is so dry it’s burning.  What a year 2019 has been!  Glad that’s over, now can we please have some “normal” weather so people can rebuild their lives (rhetorical!)?

Thank you for reading!  Until next time.





 

 

An inauspicious start! Card of the Day – Day 5

Hi folks,

I started this post about an hour ago and while trying to upload a couple of photos I took today, I’ll get to that, the internet decided to go down, great just when you are in the middle of writing a post and you want it done….. and it will be another hour before its done.

Anyway, I was going to continue sharing the cards I shared  with the Michael Strong Stamps group a couple of weeks ago but first I wanted to show you our “delightful” smog.  You have no doubt heard about all the bushfires in Australia these past months.  I haven’t seen anything like it since we stopped using coal for heating in winter.  Although, I think Sydney had and still has the worst of it, we have until now been lucky in our part of the country, not had too many in our region but over the last week or so they have been increasing, I am hopeful we will be safe.

The two photos I am sharing, one was taken 7:23am this morning and the second at 5:35pm.  Unfortunately the morning one is through a window with a fly-screen but doesn’t affect the colour or lack there of.  Not a lot of difference but this afternoon’s was redder than this morning, yet the photos on my phone show orangey in colour of the afternoon photo but comes up pinkish here(?) but then again it could my poor computer.  The graphics are getting tired:)

December 30, 2019 – 7.23am

December 30, 2019 – 5.35pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With that out of the way, I can now share the card for Day 5 of Michael Strong Stamps group’s week of cards.  This one is using patterned paper with Michael’s dragonfly stamp:

I know some of my work is a bit quirky but that makes it fun.

Today’s card is quite easy to make especially if your patterned paper is as good as this, you just need a couple of dragonflies and you’re done.

I have to admit this is one of my favourites.

COD Day 5 – Dec.2019

 

 

 

 

 

Usually a week of cards is really only 5 days but this time I did an extra day and shared 3, one I have already shown you, in an earlier post and I called it Card 6.3.  I will share the other two next time, hopefully tomorrow.  In the meantime, stay safe everyone and thanks for reading.

Continuing my card of the day posts.

Hi folks,

I’m back with days 3 and 4 of my Card Captain week for the Michael Strong Stamps group.

Card of the Day – Day 3:

Here is one I made in 2017 for a challenge on Splitcoaststampers.  Just a bit of fun and color.

Today my partner and I enjoyed a lovely Christmas lunch with my CWA Branch, a jolly time had by all.  Even the weather was more bearable cooler than we’ve had in recent weeks.  It will hot up again soon enough.  Anyway, hope it gives you some cheer.

Until tomorrow.

Card of the Day – Day 4:
Thank you to all who sent me comments, I’m glad you’re enjoying the cards.
Today’s card was made in January 2015.  It has a contradictory theme, with Easter eggs but the Sentiment says different.
Dots are made with the mini round distressing sponges and inks:  ink sponge then just ‘stamp’ onto your paper, I also get the rest of the ink from the sponge after distressing around the edges, to make sure the sponge doesn’t have any ink left in it.  How dark the “stamp” is, depends on the pressure you put on it as well as how much ink is in the sponge.
Then just add whatever you want to the card.  I have also done this with stamps before cleaning them to make sure all the ink is off.  You can use as background.
Enjoy!  Until tomorrow. 
That’s it for now.  I’ll be back with days 5 and 6 tomorrow.  Cheers for now.
PS. Sorry about the inconsistency of the spacing – unfortunately I cannot find how to rectify the line spacing to be the same on both posts.  Perhaps someone out there can advise?  Thanks.

 

Card Captain for the Michael Strong Stamps group

Hello, as promised I am sharing the first couple of cards I shared with the Michael Strong Stamps Group a couple of weeks ago.

Because I’m a little out of practice I thought I would look through my collection of cards I made over the years.  I decided to go down memory lane and see how my technique improved (or not).
Card of the day – Day 1 – card made in 2012
So, this week I will be ‘reminiscing’ about cards made and how they have changed. Hopefully by the latter part of the week I will have a technique for you and caught up to 2019!
My card for today is showing my first Michael Strong stamp – the frame – for a long time I would use bits of the frame because it and the heart stamp, which I received as a gift, were all I had of Michael’s.  I was also still learning how to use stamps and what papers to use them on, etc.  Enjoy.
Cheers.

 

Card of the day – Day 2

Card of the day – Day 2

Today’s card was made in 2016, not sure if there was any specific aim just making cards. Layering and just trying different textures and embossing.  I think I stamped the mandala under the Michael’s hexagon or it was patterned paper.  I can’t remember now.

Enjoy!  Until tomorrow.

See you soon.  Thanks for reading.