Friday, December 21, 2007

YAY me! I'm SO done!

I have finally completed the scrapbook! Its done and going in the mail today! The 21st... not the 1st like I had originally planned. Oh well, at least mom and dad won't get their prezzie early! They know its coming and hopefully they get it before New Years Day!

Here are my last three pages, I don't like them much, but when it gets to be 4am and you won't allow yourself to go to bed till its finished, what can you do?!

Sheesh I was a geeky looking kid!

I thought it would be nice for my parents to get to know my Aussie family as well.

The LAST page I'll ever do!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Getting down to the Christmas present wire

I'm getting to the last couple of pages for my parents scrapbook. Its going out late as I said in my last post, but I suppose after knowing me as long as they have, my parents probably expect that.

So here are a few more pages I've finished recently. Keep in mind, again, this album is only 8x8, I've never scrapbooked before, and it's now a mad dash to just get it done.

Mom always teased me that this was the picture she was going to show my boyfriends and husband... it could have been worse, really!

FINALLY my Christmas Cards are done and out!

I suppose this is just one more way I've procrastinated getting my scrapbook done. I have only about 3 more pages to do. Yay! Never mind the fact that I have to send it to my parents in the US (I live in Australia), and it's their Christmas present. It's now December 20th, and I missed it again. Sigh. I have told them that it would be late though.

Anyway, Christmas cards were just something else on my plate that needed to get done, and now I can scratch that off the list. Funny, I made 10 thinking I'd have some left over, but I didn't, and I wasn't making anymore! I was firm in this decision. I went to the post office to deliver them to the waiting box, then decided to check my post office box. Lo and behold two cards from people I hadn't even thought about... great friends, no doubt, they had just slipped my mind for some reason. So back home I went and spent another few hours making not two, but 6 more cards. I thought if I make only two, I'll more than likely need to make more. However, since I've made 6 more, I'll have some left overs for next year!

On the front of the cards is whats called an Ambigram. Which means you can turn the word over and it either says the same thing or something different. This one says something different. I had to carefully design in Publisher, the actual background for the card, the words "the reason we celebrate". It wasn't too difficult though. I layered the printed Jesus Christ on purple Bazzill, then green, then plunked it on the card. I tied a creamy ribbon at the top to, uhm, tie it all together~

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Special Christmas Card

Every year I'm asked to make a special Christmas card for our pastors so the associate pastors can put in the love offering from the church. What an honour.

This is what I came up with this year. Unfortunately, the star was a bit smaller than I really wanted it to be. I really wish the whole thing would have turned out better.

Its a 6x6 card. I used white textured bazzill as a base, then layered white silk paper torn around the edges. I then layered a different textured white bazzill, a piece of red, another piece of white, then the plain, flat white ran through a crimper. I attached the star with a jump ring and tied it all together with white organza ribbon. On the inside I made two slits to insert the check. I also made an envelope to go with it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Yellow page that took me all over town looking for flowers...

I forgot to add this one a couple of days ago. I have a feeling the very first thing mom will add will be "independant"...

This page was another double. On the backs of these pages, where the pictures backs would be, I drew rectangles and did some journaling about each picture. Its really surprising how much a picture can jog your memory about people, places, events, etc. On the stamped dresses, I used a bit of pink Kindy Glitz. I usually don't use that type of thing, too tizzy for me, but I think in this instance it worked. Although, the dress on the left DID look a lot better before I had to fix it. I left it on the table to dry and accidently pushed another piece of paper over the top of it. I think we've all done something silly like that and had to fix it!

I have 4, maybe 5 more pages to do to finish this scrapbook.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Scrapbook page - Actress or Ham?

I really like this page... I should it took me TWO DAYS! Sheesh. I discovered that I had so many pictures of my drama team days and I really didn't want to take it to more than a two page layout so I had to come up with an idea to put all 16 of them on one set of pages. I saw a similiar idea on DIY Scrapbooking, but they put the little envelopes inside a bigger one and put a button and string assembly on the front to hold it all together. I just strung organza ribbon across to keep the taped together envelopes from flopping down when mom removes the page. The envelopes are also handmade.

Each picture has its own piece of cardstock and ribbon, and on the back I've written my favorite moment from each play, a line I can remember or the part I played, along with the name of the play and the year. I really relived that wonderful time in my life while I was putting this page together.

The letters were probably the hardest part and my fingers have the blisters to prove it! I took a thin piece of foam core poster board, put jac paper on it, then put on a piece of scrapbook paper from the Flavia collection. I then printed out the letters on plain paper, cut them out, then traced them onto my prepared board. Last, and the worst part, I carefully cut out each letter with my xacto knife.

In the white square on the right side, I eventually journalled about my time with the team and how much I loved it. (sorry the pictures aren't better, I meant to PhotoShop them before I put them on).

Sigh, almost done! My first and last scrapbook.

I'm getting through the pictures, and have come up with a layout for the picture from the last post. Thanks to Michelle I think it turned out ok. The picture, in the first place, was really dark and blurry, I had to PhotoShop the heck out of it to get it as bright and clear as I did, but I didn't dare take it any further. Oh well, at least I have a 5 year old picture of me!

The little rectangle of paper on the left swivels, there are two pieces there and I thought I'd journal what I loved about the farm, and mom could do the same, or write whatever she wanted. Its very plain, but oh well. Keep in mind that this is an 8x8 album, so less really is more!

This is my "cousin" page. I found this background paper at the Scrapbook Superstore and thought it was perfect, and I just so happened to have cardstock about the same color to tie it all together. As you can tell, its a double page spread. I've got a couple of those in this album.

I miss my cousins...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eeek! Scrapbooking Shelly?!

I said I would never get into scrapbooking because I don't have children and honestly was just never that interested in it. I mean, face it, either you do scrapbooking or you're a card maker... that's what I've been told anyway!

If anyone has any comments on my pages, please, I'd love to hear them! And perhaps some more experienced scrapbookers might have some ideas?? I have one picture in particular that is really special. I have NO idea what to do with it.

Last time I visited my parents they had my pictures scattered all over with no rhyme or reason, so I asked mom to plunk them all into an envelope and send them to me. I told her not to worry, I wasn't going to destroy them and she'd get them all back. Well, she technically will, but I PhotoShopped all of them, boy are THEY in for a surprise or two! I LOVE PhotoShop! Some of my pictures were so dark and blurry, but they've all turned out phenominal and I know mom will love the results.

If you know her... don't tell! Its a Christmas present!

This is the first page I have ever done. I know someone who doesn't like it, but she knows what I think of that ;-)

This is, so far, the page I like most.

I'm not all that keen on this one. It was the second one I've done.

And what scrapbook would be complete without a Christmas page?!

There will be more to come. I'm working on a yellow page right now that I had to run all over today trying to find flowers that would work. Isn't it funny how, well, this MAY just be me, but you figure you have enough of anything you might need for a project. Then a special page might come up, and all of a sudden your creativity takes you in a completely different direction and you have nothing! Nothing you have already got will work for this particular page, and out you go, scouring the city for that perfect piece of cardstock, background paper, or embellishment. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me.

One of these days, I'm going to try a project using only the things I own at that time.... yeah riiight!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Have you ever seen something that you think is so pretty you just HAVE to make one as well? This project pretty much took my breath away when I saw it for the first time. Now after doing 4 of them, grrr, I'm over them! Actually, what I'm really over is the binding part. Sheesh that part takes forever! Then because I tend to be a little on the "picky" side, if something doesn't look right to me, I'll take it all apart and start over.

These runners are simple as, till you get to the binding, then even that's easy, unless of course you want perfection. I tend to procrastinate emmensly when it comes to that part. I would say that start to finish, you could technically get one of these done in about 2 days. They're fairly Christmasy in color, but I've seen pictures where people have done them in different colors. One of my favorites was done in varying colors of black and gray. I MAY have to try one like that some other time.

The fabrics (selected and cut by Janelle in kit form, thank goodness!)


Pinned to begin quilting
I did the stitch in a ditch tecnique.

The back

Potholders for Christmas??!

Perhaps if they are this fancy people, won't mind them!

I've always wanted one like this, but who wants to go out intentionally to buy a potholder? Especially if you've already got some that work perfectly well already.

I suppose what inspired me about this particular project is the fabric. As I've said in past posts, Janelle at Pieces to Treasure has some gorgeous fabrics... I just had to. She has patterns that are very Christmasy, with jolly old St Nick on the hand pockets, but 1. thats not me, and 2. I wanted something not relegated only to Christmas. So she showed me another one that's not necessarily for the Yule season, and I said "sold"... then "sold", "sold" again, and yet again. I got enough fabric to make 4. Of course I had to have one for me since everything else I've been making lately will be going out the door very shortly.

The quilting

The hand pockets

Making a Grandma happy, The joys of PhotoShop

This gorgeous little girl was born with only one lung and until her little body adapts to it, she has to have tubes helping her breathe. The proud grandma brought these photos to the quilting class and I mentioned that she could have the tubes airbrushed out. Then I told her how easy it was... then I volunteered to do it for her, not that I have ANY thing else to get done! LOL. But seriously, this little girl just captivated me, I could hardly tear my gaze away from her eyes. She's so precious. It only took about 10 minutes to scan then touch the photo up, so I really didn't mind. I was really dissapointed at how my printer printed it out though, so I've dropped them on a cd for her as well. (you can click on the ones justified left to enlarge them, the pictures justified center have a problem opening in a new window for some reason)



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tis the Season!

The following are cards that I made two years ago for Christmas. Have I started Christmas 2007 yet? HA! Not quite, maybe mid December... its that whole "deadline" thing. It has to be. I wanted to put these in my blog for, uhm, posterity, or maybe to have a record of actually doing them!

With this one, I started with dark blue bazzill basics, folded over and cut with decorative scissors. I then used the Bethlehem rubber stamp on plain white cardstock, then overlaid that with a piece of vellum with the word Peace stamped on it. Next came the silver eyelets and silver cord. Of course I finished it off with a plain white paper insert for the greeting.

This one, is again, on dark blue bazzill basics (I think I was having a dark blue year!) The dove was embossed with gold pearl embossing power, then I embossed, in black, the word "Peace" over that. The whole thing was matted on shiny silver paper, then the same blue. The proverbial silver eyelets and silver cord, then the plain white copy paper insert.

This last one is the same sort of design as the first one, except I used gold foil paper, gold eyelets, gold edged white ribbon. The card stock I used was cream colored and I embossed the tree, in pearl gold, on cream colored shimmer paper.

I might have to dig those stamps out again this year!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Brooke's Cookbook

This is a cookbook that I put together for our Pastor's daughter, Brooke, for her bridal shower gift earlier this year. I toiled over this thing, and spent a couple sleepless nights, but it turned out ok, and apparently it hasn't fallen apart yet... or so they say!

This was another one of the projects I came up with but had no idea how to do it exactly. I basically "winged" it. I held my breath when Brooke opened it, fearing that as she opened the cover, things would go flying and little bits would fall off. I'm still kinda holding my breath!

My idea was that most new brides that have always lived with their parents, may need a bit of help in the kitchen. So I went around to some of the more experienced brides in the church and asked them for their most tried and true, favorite recipes. I got a bunch of them, all to some degree of yummy! I typed them up and found accompanying pictures on the internet to put on almost every page, then printed them on 5x7 paper and laminated each page. I don't know about you, but my cookbooks are all a mess and I thought this added feature would be really good.

I then got a 5x7 three ring binder, some batting (to make the front puffy), some really pretty red and white material, and some lacy ribbon. The hearts on the front are vellum and cardstock and are attached with jump rings. They are printed with the words "Tried and True" and "Recipes with Love".

On the inside right, I used heaps and heaps of glue, tape and white cardstock, then made a pocket for loose recipes, etc. I also added some extra lined paper in the back so she could write recipes in herself, or tape any that she might cut out or get from other people.

I was so frustrated with the whole production the night before the shower, at about 1am tears were shed and I wondered what the heck was wrong with me, trying to do something like this for someone this special. But when it was opened the next day, there were plenty of "ooos and ahhhs" and looks of pride from some of the women who had contributed to the recipe portion. I had made sure that each recipe had the authors name on it. All in all, it was a nice gift I think.

Little does she know that when her baby shower comes up soon, she's getting another handmade project! ;-) At least with this one, I'll have a bit more experience!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cross Stitch Craftiness

The following are cross stitch patterns I've done a while ago. The first two are by Told in a Garden, the Lavender and Lace collection. I love the detail in the faces. They're just beautiful. Other companies can do faces all they want, but these are the best I've seen. The last one, I can't remember the name of the company, but by the time I was done, I desperately needed some color in my life! So I started another angel, which isn't quite done, called "The Angel of Autumn". She's from Told in a Garden as well and is so colorful and beautiful. I'll post it when its done.

The first one is called "Heavenly Gifts". This was the first ever cross stitch I had done. The friend that got me started asked me a few times if I really wanted to try something so complex for my first one, but being me, I wasn't about to shrink back from a challenge! The final design is about 16"h x 13"w. It took me about 8 months to finish, working on it everyday. It would have taken a shorter amount of time had I not discovered first, that I was a couple of stitches too far to one side and it eventually would throw everything off in the end. If that wasn't bad enough, I discovered halfway through restitching the blue one, that I had actually gotten the colors mixed up and made the middle one blue instead of brown, and vice versa. I don't know why I didn't just leave it, I could have and no one would've been the wiser, but I just couldn't. So I took all the stitches out and re-did both the middle and right angels in the colors they were suppose to be. Sheesh, why not, I had the time! (rolleyes)

This next one is called "Angel of Spring". This was the first I had done of the Angels of the Seasons collection by Lavender and Lace. As I said above, I'm working on Autumn and I have the patterns for Winter and Summer, just waiting to be put to Aida cloth. However, they're both a bit "white" and I may need something in between with heaps of color.

This one measures about 19"h x 16" wide and has heaps of Mill Hill beads put on with fishing line. The flowers on her dress are so pretty. I don't even remember how long it took me to finish, probably at least a year, since I didn't work on it everyday.

The last one is called "The Fur Cloak", probably because the cloak is made out of Whisper Thread. Its kinda fuzzy thread that you brush up at the end. Its cool stuff and really makes the pattern nice. The original finished design that I saw was only done in blacks and grays. I thought that would drive me crazy so I worked out which stitches I could colorize and used those colors instead of the grays. You probably can't tell in this picture. As I said above, I was seriously ready for some color in the end! Again, I couldn't tell you how long it took me to finish this one. Toward the end I was just over it so I worked on it less and less. I'm really happy with the end result though.

Unfortunately, none of these are framed, and I even had to take a light iron to them so I could take their pictures. They're hanging on a hanger in the closet with plastic over them. I love doing them, but I would hate to try to pay to get them framed. We're talking anywhere from $200-$300 each, at least, depending on how many spacers they have to use. I bet they'd look really nice on the wall though! Oh well, someday.

Crafty Holiday?

I know these next few pictures aren't at all related to craftiness, but I wanted to put them somewhere that people can see them and since my other method wasn't working, I'll just do it this way!

Don't worry though, I have so many crafts on the backburner that they will be pouring in (or on) very shortly. I have a couple quilting projects I need to finish and two that I'm starting this week. Plus I'm going to start putting my cross stitch projects up as well.

So please forgive me as I share un-craft related things in this post.

Today, November 6th, is my husbands birthday, so over last weekend I took him to a beautiful resort called Falls Mountain Retreat for a much needed long weekend away. Falls Mountain Retreat is in a place called Wentworth Falls and is situated in the Blue Mountains about two hours west of the Sydney CBD. The scenery is breathtaking up there.

Saturday while we were there, it was rainy and foggy all day but in the morning we decided to give the weather the benefit of the doubt and hoped it would clear out so we could do some trail walks. We had breakfast at this cozy little restaurant about a three minute drive away (in the densist fog I've seen since Seattle). After breakfast we trudged down a muddy steep trail that was suppose to take us to see Wentworth Falls.

Kinda gives new meaning to jumping into the unseen!

I like the mystery of these pictures.

This was when we were making our way back up the trail. We decided that since the weather didn't want to cooperate, we wouldn't either. So we went went back to the retreat and played computer games all day, safe and warm and extremely comfortable. It was one of those days that will be permanently etched on my mind as one of the most peaceful we've had in a long time.

Then the next day the weather changed and we were treated to beautiful blue skies. It was cold and windy but that didn't deter us from getting out there and beating some more trails! This time it was at a place called Katoomba, which is also in the Blue Mountains, about 10 minutes from where we were staying. They have a piece of scenery there called "The Three Sisters" which, if you're curious, you can see here

We didn't stop at just looking at them, like most people do. We did the three hour walk beginning with The Giant Staircase, which is "giant". All 900 steps! In some places the steps were only about 6 inches wide, in some places you had to hold on to the rail for dear life and climb down sideways, one foot at a time. Other places you wanted to be sure you stopped and had a good hold on the rail before you took in the view that demanded your attention. Some of the steps were just rocks, others were metal, and still others were railroad tie type things. All I know is I was so relieved to get to the bottom, even though we still had about two hours worth of walking to do, I could handle that, just "no more stairs!" I'm still hobbling around on legs that hate me. See why below...

Yes, they were that steep!

At the end we stopped near some falls, I don't really know which falls they were, they were beautiful though. However, I didn't get very good pictures of them, just a couple, so here they are...

Just after the falls, there was a thing called the Scenic Railroad that would take us back to the top. It was a nearly vertical drag back to the top of the mountain. They say its a 52 degree angle in places. I would have hated to have to go back down that way! It took us a minute to get back up what took us three hours to get down.

It was such a beautiful day.