Saturday, 23 March 2013

Still Looking For Easter Ideas?

Still wondering what to do for your favourite little people for Easter?

If you have a little bit of time up your sleeves, and a cutting machine, like my beloved Pazzles Inspiration, you  still have plenty of time to make this gorgeous little Garden Arbor Basket designed by Cathrine of Paper Garden Projects, and fill it full of pretty yellow shreds of paper and delicious little Lindt chocolate eggs ...

It took me an afternoon of not very hard work - most of the time was taken up deciding where to put all the flowers and butterflies and eggs! Isn't it just the cutest little basket! The cutting files for this project are on sale over at The Digichicks website at the moment - so hop on over and purchase your copy so you can work on your own arbor baskets this weekend!

Then again, you might have lots of little people to make for, so you might be looking for something a bit quicker! How about these totally gorgeous Paper Garden Project Bunny Pops from the Bunny Treats kit?


There's a little box at the back of each bunny shape, in which to pop a little chocolate treat. They perch on wooden skewers which I inserted into a little tin bucket full of eggs. I found the buckets at Woolies a couple of weeks ago, and they came in blue, pink, yellow and green. Woolies is carrying quite a lot of Easter craft goodies this year, and it's well worth a look when you are next passing!

After I had cut out the bunnies, I dived into my chalk ink collection and found colours to match each of the bunnies. I inked around the cut edges, and then inked the wooden skewers to match. A quick and easy project - I created three in an hour from start to finish.

Cathrine included some Bunny Boxes with the Bunny Pops in her Bunny Treats kit. I am totally in love with the green bunny ... I think his name must be Eggbert!

Eggbert stands (sits actually) just 12cm high and is perfect for a little person who's Mummy and Daddy aren't into lots of chocolate for him or her at Easter. Wouldn't Eggbert and his friends also make cute little table decorations for an Easter lunch or dinner?

OK, so what about those slightly older little people who you are thinking of taking on a holiday over the Easter break? Perhaps you were planning on rationing electronic games for a couple of days? What about this for an idea ... 

I printed out a sheet from The Paper Garden Projects Chalk It Up For Spring kit onto heatpress paper, transferred it to some white cotton fabric and used it to make a little drawstring bag. This would be a lovely gift on it's own if you filled it with Easter eggs and chocolates, as the bag can be reused over and over again.

However, I decided to go a few steps further with the idea of an old fashioned travel game ...

Yes, you guessed it! Travel Noughts and Crosses, or Tic, Tac, Toe, with an Eastery feel to it. I made up a little board 9cm x 9cm using more 'Chalk it up to Spring' papers, and mounted it onto a piece of 1mm thick white cardboard. I then printed out 5 blue butterflies and 5 pink butterflies and and used my Epiphany Crafts Round 25 Shape Studio Tool to make the round epoxy counters.

The Renaissance Man and I had a lovely time 'testing' this game. He even suggested we take it with us on our next weekend in the country! (I need to practice more before we do though ... he beat me hands down every time LOL)

I hope these ideas have inspired you to create some Eastery goodness over the next week and that you and your family have a happy and enjoyable Easter break.


Friday, 8 March 2013

It's Almost Easter!

And here in Perth the days are definitely starting to get shorter ... but we are hanging out for some rain and cooler weather as we head into Autumn after the hottest Summer on record!

And as we wait for cooler, rainy Autumn days here in the southern hemisphere, the northern hemisphere is longing for warm sunshine and blue skies. And what better way to celebrate the coming of Spring than to create some lovely things with Paper Garden Projects' new kit 'Chalk It Up To Spring'. 

Chalk It Up To Spring Digital Craft Kit

I was delighted to be have been asked to work with this new kit. It's a new release on The DigiChick site, and to celebrate it's release the kit is on sale this weekend. Hop on over and check it out!

See all those lovely bunnies and butterflies - I knew straight away that I would have to create a gift box full of Eastery goodness ... and combine it with my favourite Easter chocolates (well ... actually ... favourite chocolate for any time of the year really) Lindt.  

Cathrine also has a great little box kit which I knew would work perfectly for my Easter gift boxes. 

Gift Box with K-Cup Holder Cutting File

I used the SVG cutting files which imported perfectly into my Pazzles Inspiration software, and sized down the round holes in the inlay shape to 2.5cm (1").

For the box itself I chose the solid grass green and bright pink papers, doublesided them with patterned paper No. 4 and printed them out on a lovely 250gsm recycled paper which I know cuts well on my Pazzles.  I then cut out the insert tray using a single sided print of patterned paper no. 16. 

I had some of the doublesided paper left, so decided to decorate the lid using the svg file for the square mat. I printed and cut out the bunny border and applied it to the box lid edges. I then cut out four little butterflies using the svg file, and glued them onto the circles which I had cut from the insert tray, and centred and glued them on each of the four sides of the lid.

Inspired by the lovely digi rosettes in the kit I decided to make one from the leftover green doublesided card.
And then of course I had to have one of those gorgeous bunnies as a lid topper. I duplicated the bunny cut  file and added a bridge on the bunny's back feet, so that when he was cut out and folded he became a 3D bunny. I punched out a pink flower topper for the bunny to sit on and glued them all onto the rosette.

Then it was time to fill the little box full of Lindt bunnies!

I popped their dear little heads through the holes in the insert, and then fitted it all into the box base. They fit perfectly! It looks like they are having a little party in that box doesn't it! 

Now, obviously this is a little girl's (and not so little) Easter box ... but look at the lovely brown and blue papers in the kit - I just know a little boy would love one of these boxes done in those colours!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

T'is The Season ...

When I think I should get a head start on Christmas but always end up chasing my tail!

Oh well ... at least I have discovered that my Pazzles Inspiration paper cutting machine is a very good 'Mother's Little Christmas Helper'!

Christine has created the most wonderful little ornament gift box cutting file, available to members in the Pazzles Craft Room. If you aren't a member of the Craft Room I urge you to join! The number of excellent ideas, tutorials and cut files on offer is worth every penny of the monthly membership fee.

I initially tried out the cutting file using a lovely Graphics 45 paper called 'Exquisite Motif' from their 'Olde Curiosity Shoppe' collection. The ornament is the perfect size to hold four of the new little Lindt teddies - a lovely idea for teacher presents!

I spent this afternoon cutting and creating four more ornament boxes using a hybrid scrapbooking paper collection I printed off at work last week. I can't remember the name of the designer or the collection, which is terrible of me! If you recognise it let me know! I have only recently discovered digital and hybrid scrapbooking ... but that is a whole other story for another time.

These ornaments are for the four kids who live up the back from us. I found the Lindt Father Christmas and Reindeer collections at our local Woolworths store and there's enough room in each ornament for one entire set. Here are the ornaments made and filled, ready for their final decorations.

And here they are all finished, with their tags on ready for Christmas Day giving. I must say I have always been totally in love with wired-edge ribbon - especially at Christmas. it is SO EASY to make a present look a million dollars with a twist or two of lovely wired-edge ribbon and a sprig of fake holly!

I have to admit that these little ornament boxes have sparked my imagination, and I am going to make more to house the gifts I am planning for some of my friends.

Have you started your Christmas gifts yet? Let me know!

Friday, 10 August 2012

My First Katwise Coat!

Some of you who follow my Facebook page will know that I discovered and fell in love with Katwise coats a couple of months ago.

Kat O'Sullivan, the amazing talent behind Katwise coats, makes crazy colourful coats from recycled jumpers (sweaters for those in the northern hemisphere). Go to Kat's website to discover more about this amazing designer and her brilliant coats (and her wonderful house!)

So ... of course, as soon as I saw these coats I wanted one. The only problem is that whilst Kat makes these at lightening speed, they also sell out just as quickly when she puts them up on her etsy shop

Then I discovered that she also sells a tutorial on how to make the coats. Aha! So I bought it straight away and started on my adventure of finding enough woollen jumpers to make one of these amazing coats myself. 

The Renaissance Man (DH) and I acquainted ourselves with all the op shops around where we live, and visited them all over five weekends. Luckily it's Winter here in Perth, so it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be finding enough woollen jumpers to make my first coat. 

It took me ten days to make the coat from start to finish, after I had spent one weekend washing and drying all the jumpers - it took eight plus a pashmina shawl I already had - and I am thrilled with the results.

Here is the front

Here is the back with suitably long hood

Here it is with the hood up and tail wrapped around like a scarf

I really am pleased about how this turned out ... and I'm a little bit hooked on these coats. I've got enough jumpers for a couple more, and I've learnt a great deal about size, and fit and how to make the hood sit nicely with this first one - so I see making several more of these in my future!

Want to make one of these coats for yourself? Go buy Kat's tutorial - reading it was like having Kat there in my studio with me helping me make the coat!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Paris With Love ... Again!

This post was originally part of a post I made in June about the Brisbane Papercraft Expo. So, you might have already read about my little Twiddleybitz chair. 

However, because I put it on the Twiddleybitz ning site and it got a bit of attention, I thought I'd give it it's own post so I could link it to my Tutorials page as well ... call it 'housekeeping' if you will :-)

Twiddleybitz is a Western Australian based company and they come up with the most delicious little things ... because I am very much a 3D off-the-page kinda gal I really do love their stuff. 

So, without and further carrying-on (I do tend to get a bit carried away and chat alot) ... here is my little chair and how I created it.


You will need a chair from Twiddleybitz - these come two to a packet, are laser cut from thin wood chipboard and come in pieces. I wanted to paint and then stamp the chair to give it some interest before adding other elements to it. 

And because I wanted to stamp the pieces, I I needed to paint the pieces first, then stamp, then put the chair together. And, as the chair is put together by slotting pieces into other pieces I knew I would be running the risk of the pieces swelling and not fitting properly if I painted them with a water-based paint prior to assembly.

After some consultation with the Renaissance Man (who knows lots of things about how wood and paint react with one another) I decided to spray paint the pieces with an oil-based matte white undercoat. This would reduce the risk of swelling, and give me a good base for stamping. So that's what I did.

I then stamped the painted pieces using Rangers Archival ink in 'Aquamarine', and Collections Elements 'Victorian Set 3' stamp, and assembled the chair when dry with very little effort. I then used Tim Holtz Distress Marker 'Broken China' to colour the edges of the chair pieces to match the stamping.

I had recently bought the Collections 1018 Natural Muslin Kit, so draped some of the more open weave muslin over the chair, cut out three butterflies from the 1026 Creative Butterflies sheet, and coloured them using my Broken China distress marker. I cut out the words from the 1042 Collections Mini Word Sheet, and the 'boutons et mercerie' poster from the 1041 ephemera collection kraft sheet. I inked the edges of everything with Walnut Stain distress ink and glued them into position with Glossy Accents. I added a few little buttons and some string used to tie the muslin pieces together in the kit.

I love how this little chair turned out. And I have another one patiently waiting in it's packet for me to decide what to do with it!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bonbon Gift Boxes

Bonbon gift boxes seem to be all the rage at the moment. Or perhaps it's just the 'Christmas in July' thing again ... who knows!

I love Christmas, and Christmas in July is one of my most favourite 'made-up' festivities, as in - it's a festive occasion for no other reason than a good excuse to eat Christmas food twice in one year.

Anyway - I decided that I wanted to create a cut file for a hexagon shaped bonbon gift holder to use in my Christmas in July table decorations this year ... and then realised that these cute little things could be used all year round. They could work equally as well for bonboniere gift boxes at a bridal shower or wedding, a baby shower or christening, or at themed children's parties or Halloween ... the list goes on, and on, and on!

Pretty Hexagonal Bonbon Gift Boxes
After a little experimentation I have decided that you will need to use a heavier weighted scrapbooking paper, or card for the bonbon parts, and then use a lighter weight paper for your decorative wrap etc.

Dress them up, leave them plain, add a glorious abundance of ribbons, include tags, flowers, holly leaves - the sky is the limit.

I've included .wpc files for the basic bonbon shapes here for those of you who own a Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine. But for those who don't, I have also included a .pdf file which you can import into your own cutting machine's software. I'll let you add your own twiddly bits!

And if you'd like a quick step through on how to cut and construct a bonbon gift box  ...

  • Load paper into your cutting machine.
  • Cut the dashed  'kiss-cut' lines first, which will create the fold lines.
  • Cut out the rest of the lines to make the two parts of the box.
  • Fold on the dashed cut lines.
  • Create a cylinder out of one side of the box, by gluing the front of the left-hand edge panels to the back of the right-hand edge panels, and repeat for the other side of the box.
  • Tie your choice of ribbon around the gusset of each part of the box, add your own choice of decorations to the barrel of the outer part of the box, fill with goodies and you are done!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

It's My Birthday :-)

And I made myself a little present. It's a perpetual calendar - I've always wanted to make one, and finally found just the right little cabinet to house it when I was in Brisbane at the Papercraft Expo.

Here is the front, closed. You can't see the calendar part yet ... 

And here is the back ...

And here it is the inside revealed!

The base cabinet is a Twiddleybitz ATC hinged cupboard, laser-cut from 2mm MDF board, which I spray painted black prior to assembly. 

The papers are from Pink Paislee's London Market (LOVE those papers) 6x6 petite paper pack. I used my black laser printer to overprint the quote from William James on the front of the calendar:

To change one's life
Start immediately
Do it flamboyantly
No exceptions!

Such a great saying in my opinion! I then overstamped with the crown, birdcage and butterfly stamps from the London Market stamp collection. 

It took me three nights of trial and error to work out the roller mechanism for the date and month bit in the calendar - but I finally figured it out! 

Would you like a little tutorial on how to make a perpetual calendar of your own? They are a bit fiddly but well worth the trouble to make.

I've set up downloadable files to help you make your own perpetual calendar to fit inside a Twiddleybitz ATC hinged cupboard. Click on the links and the files should automatically download to your computer.