Friday, 25 May 2012

A Commission!

I finished my first commission today!

Good friends of mine became grandparents for the first time a couple of days ago, and asked me to make  an exploding box as a congratulations card for their son and daughter-in-law.

I had a lovely time designing this box - using papers and chipboard tags from the 'Little Darlings' range designed by Graphic 45.

Here are the four sides and lid. I used Tim Holtz Alterations Sizzix Tattered Florals Die to create the shapes for the flower topper. Easy to do, and such a lovely result.

And here is the inside. It's a bit hard to see the central flowers which are on thin lengths of clear acetate sheeting which gives the illusion of the flowers floating over the centre of the box.

I included two journalling flat tags (they can be seen top and bottom of the first layer) slipped into ribbon holders for my friends to write special messages, plus a folded pocket (bottom left on second layer) which opens up to reveal another space to write a message.

This was a lovely project to work on - thank you Caroline and Richard for the opportunity. And congratulations on the birth of you first grandbaby. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Repurposed Bag

This morning I dug out my Mothers' Day present to my Mum from the bottom of my wardrobe and went to put it into the pretty carry bag I had bought especially for it. Disaster! The present didn't fit into the bag. What to do?

I have a cupboard in my craft studio which my family knows about, and delves into quite regularly, when they need to wrap a present. It's where I store second-hand boutique carry bags, spare wrapping paper and ribbon. I don't think my kids have had to buy wrapping paper or ribbon for years! I went into that cupboard this morning and found a black Thalgo bag which was just the right size for the present. But I didn't really want the Thalgo logo to show, so I quickly set about repurposing the bag.

I had made a sleeve for my Mothers' Day card from the yummy Graphic 45's Kraft Reflections 'Bed of Roses', so I found another sheet of this and cut two rectangles to cover the Thalgo logo on each side of the bag. To tie in the card and further embellish the bag I decided to make two flowers using up leftover bits of the polka dot paper I had used on the card, and bits of leftover 'Bed of Roses' paper.

I had planned to cut the petal layers for the flowers using a wonderful free download file from Birds Cards, but I am having a problem with my Pazzles Inspiration machine today. I think it's got to do with the mat, but because I was in such a hurry to get this done I resorted to my favourite Sizzix Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die and my Cuttlebug. I joined the layers altogether with a pearl-headed brad and voila! a beautiful bag in under an hour.

I am very happy with this bag - and will certainly be doing more repurposing of bags in the future - it's very satisfying!

Mothers' Day

Tomorrow is Mothers' Day in Australia.

I read a blog post the other day by a very talented papercrafter who admitted to hardly ever making her own Mother a Mothers' Day card. She said she doubts her own abilities sometimes, and feels that her Mum would think her efforts amateurish! She did in fact make a very beautiful card for her Mum this year - and I know her Mum will love it.

I read that blog entry whilst struggling with my own desire to just go and buy a card for my Mum this year, like I have done every other year. Except this year it's different because I'm now a fledgling papercrafter and my Mum is expecting something handmade by me. Oh, the pressure!

In order to take the pressure off a bit I decided to try a new technique I had just learned on my Pazzles Inspiration software where you set up the machine to cut around the shape of a stamp as part of the card. (I first saw this in the Pazzles Craftroom, but also noticed it's now available here.)  It was all in the name of experimenting rather than actually 'making a card for my Mum for Mothers' Day'. And so I tricked myself into making a card which I'm happy with and I hope my Mum will like.

I used the cutting technique to cut out the outer card edge, then used the other 'side' of the stamp shape to cut into the polka dot flower paper which I used to cover the outside of the card. Then I stamped the flower using coffee-coloured archival pigment ink and coloured in with the new Ranger Ink Distress markers.

My darling Mum is in hospital learning how to walk again after a terrible reaction to some drugs she had been taking caused her to become completely paralysed. She's on the mend, but it's a long, slow process. We are taking afternoon tea, complete with pretty tea cups, a dainty tea cloth and delicious apple tea cakes into the ward tomorrow in order to make the day special for her. 

If you are celebrating Mothers' Day tomorrow I wish you a very happy day.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fingers crossed!

Arrived home from a quick twenty-four trip down to Busselton to discover that Tim Holtz is teaching class when he visits Australia next month! I am so excited - to attend class run by Tim in person is a dream that I thought just would not happen for me.

AND the Brisbane class dates fit in perfectly with when I am there for the Papercraft Expo.

I have no idea whether or not I'm going be able to get a space in the classes - the email feed from Tim's blog was 12 hours old when I read it after getting home, so fingers crossed there is still room! I have emailed and requested both classes ... hopefully I'll hear tomorrow.

The really funny thing about this is that I had thought I had mucked up my plane bookings totally when I bought them earlier this year. I hadn't read the dates for the Expo very carefully before I jumped on-line to book my flights and didn't realise until later that the timing of the Expo was Saturday, Sunday and Monday because it's a long weekend over there on that weekend. I had booked my flights to arrive on Thursday night and leave on Monday, assuming (wrongly) that the Expo would run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When I did realise my mistake I decided not to try and change the booking, as it was way too much hassle, and thought I could take myself to the art gallery and museum on the Friday instead.

Imagine my delight when I realised that Tim's classes are scheduled for the Friday. Woo Hoo! Obivously the papercraft fairies had all of this totally under control waaaaaay before Stamp It Australia and Tim knew what was going on LOL!

So - keeping everything crossed until I hear if I've managed to jag positions in either or both classes. There will be one very happy little vegemite updating this particular blog post if she gets in :-)