Tuesday, 27 December 2011

CAS-ual Coffee


Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you have all had a wonderful, joy-filled celebration. My family and I certainly did. I haven't been stamping much lately due to the rush and busy-ness involved in Christmas preparations. Now I can take a breath, and I've sat down to make a card that has been brewing in my imagination for a few days.

Over at CAS-ual Fridays this week they are teaming up with Market Street Stamps. I don't own any Market Street Stamps (yet), but they have kindly offered a free digi to join in their Block Party fun. I signed up at The Neighborhood and took a little time wandering around, familiarising myself with what was there (and collected lots of ideas, stamp "needs", and inspiration) and then collected the digi and set my mind to work on forming a design idea.

The theme at CAS-ual Fridays this week is Kraft and Twine, with a bonus offer of joining in the Market Street Stamps Block Party.

So, today I had my idea and set to work. Do you sometimes find that your idea was much simpler to execute in your head?  For a simple card, I sure had some troubles putting this one together, LOL!  If anyone has any good suggestions on how to adhere twine down on a card, please let me know.  This time I used sticky dots, but I don't think this is the ideal solution. Argh!

The Coffee Cup image is from Market Street Stamps. I reversed it to get the two cups facing each other.  I printed the image onto Crumb Cake cardstock and then put that panel through the Big Shot with Swiss Dots folder.  The sentiment is from PTI Embellishments. I paper-pieced with Crumb Cake and Real Red.  The card base and sentiment strip are Soft Suede, and the card base has been put through the Big Shot with PTI Canvas impression plate. The twine is The Twinery Maraschino.

What do you think? I quite like it.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Cake


No cards this time. This time I'm showing you my Christmas cake.  If I hadn't had the marauding hoards snapping at my heels begging me for a piece of the cake, I would have presented it more nicely for your viewing pleasure. As it was, I was lucky to snap a few shots before the first cut, LOL!

Every year I make a Christmas cake. This cake is a BIG cake and it takes a few hours to make. Some years it is fantastic, and some years I don't make it as perfectly as I'd like. This year's cake is PERFECT! Moist, delicious, mouth-wateringly fragrant...hang on, I might need to grab a piece before I go on...

I usually try to keep it whole until Christmas Day so that everyone gets to appreciate its beauty before cutting, but, as I said, it is perfect, and we couldn't wait until Christmas to try it out.

Yum! It's a boiled fruit cake. I put in some extra treacle this year, so it has gone very dark. It isn't burned, it's just dark brown. The nuts are macadamias, brazils, walnuts, and almonds.

So what do you think, do you feel like popping over for a cup of tea and a slice of fruit cake?


Edited to add: P.S. Ooh! I just noticed this is my 100th post. That would be a reason to celebrate... I might go and have a piece of cake...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

For Your Inspiration #20


Welcome to another For Your Inspiration post.  This week's photo is a stunner. I really hope you come and join us in the fun.

Do you find that time flies by twice as fast at this time of year?  It's only 10 days to Christmas, and I am NOWHERE near being ready. I haven't even sent one little card! Eek!!!  I must get organised. I know that at this stage my overseas friends and family will not receive my cards on time. I'm sorry, I even had the cards made on time this year! I haven't finished shopping ... I haven't started cooking... oh dear!

Enough of my panic-filled talk, let's move onto happier topics, like this week's photo from FYI:
I just love this photo. I love the colours. I love the water. I love the clouds. I love the reflections. It's beautiful!

For my card, I wanted to use the multiple blues with a white base. I used navy, pale blue, and turquoise.  Here it is:
I was playing around with this idea and I have a second card to show you also:
I also had a third card started, but it didn't quite work. I might still finish it, because I sort of like it, and I do love this concept.  I just love Harvest Berries by Papertrey Ink. No matter what you do with it, it looks beautiful and elegant.  The sentiment is from PTI Botanical Silhouettes.

What do you think?  Do you like my blue ginko leaves? :-)  Please come along and join in the fun over at For Your Inspiration, I'd love to see you there.

Now why don't you go and check out what the rest of the design team have come up with?


Sunday, 11 December 2011

CTD #171 & SSSC#147


Just a quick one before I head out to work. I'm entering a card into the Color Throwdown Challenge #171 and the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #147.

The colours are:
The sketch is:

My card:

I used (mostly SU!)
Inks: Ruby Red, Creamy Caramel, Soft Suede, Old Olive, StayzOn Black
Stamps: Curly Cute, Circle Circus
Card: Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Paper: Mocha Morning, something retired, vellum
Twine: Twinery capuccino
Button: Papertrey Ink

So what do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. :-)


Thursday, 8 December 2011

New Challenge - Runway Inspired Challenge


I am very excited about this new challenge. Runway Inspired Challenge has been started by Jennifer Rzasa, who has brought together some of my most favourite card designers in the whole wide world. Seriously, they are ALL my muses and I aspire to one day create something nearing their level of creativity!  If you haven't taken a look at this challenge yet, head on over and join in on this first one!

To cap off my excitement, the very first inspiration photo uses my very favourite colour, YELLOW. I love, love, love yellow.  Here is the photo:
As soon as I saw this photo, an idea formed in my head, and it has stayed there until I found a tiny slice of time available this morning to put it onto card.

This is my card:
I can't tell you how much I like this card (I might even have trouble giving it away, LOL). Yellow and cream together. YUM. It's raining here this morning, so the light isn't so great, so my yellow looks a bit golder and darker than it really is. It's close enough.

I used PTI Vintage Cream, SU! Daffodil Delight, Sentiment is Curly Cute stamped in SU! Early Espresso, Images are PTI Turning a New Leaf, Dies are PTI - Mat Stack #4 and Fillable Frames #10 (I think).

Thanks for coming by to look at my card. Please leave me a comment letting me know what you think of my card, and to let me know you were here, and I'll come and visit you back sometime soon.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

One Layer Wednesday #72 - Sentiment Only

This is my second post for today. 
For my FOR YOUR INSPIRATION post, and a little tour of Brisbane, scroll down.


Susan at Simplicity has given us an ultra-difficult challenge this week for One Layer Wednesday. At least, it's ultra-difficult for me! The brief is to use only one sentiment stamp on a non-standard card size. That's it! Nothing else...just that one stamp...eek!  And we have to do at least two versions of the card.  Oh dear!

My cards are 4.25" x 4.25"  All are made with PTI white cardstock, and PTI Stylish Sentiments Holiday.
The first one is using SU! Real Red
The second is made with SU! Early Espresso
The third is made with glittery red embossing. The next photo is an attempt to show how sparkly it is.
I'm not sure you can see it, LOL!

I like the Real Red version best. Which do you like?


For Your Inspiration #19 - Brisbane!


For Your Inspiration Challenge #19 is VERY EXCITING for me, because of the inspiration photo.  Take a look:
Yes, it is beautiful purple... but more than that... this is my home... BRISBANE...yay!

Now another reason to celebrate, is that we have a sponsor for this challenge. One of our lucky participants is going to win two rubber stamps from Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps. There are some very cute images over there - go take a look quickly and then pop back here for the rest of my post.

A beautiful photo of Brisbane to inspire and the chance to win a prize, what more motivation could you need?

In celebration of the fact that the photo inspiration is Brisbane, I went out taking photos in my lunchtime at work yesterday, so that I could show you the Story Bridge in the daylight, and a little bit more of Brisbane. I will go out again, it was a really nice way to spend my lunch time - wandering along the river with my camera.

Before I get to my photos, I will show you my card.  It had to be purple, of course. I couldn't get past the purples and pinks in the photo. I didn't quite have the makings of the "city silhouette" that I had in my mind, but I feel that I captured some of the "twinkling lights" feel. Here it is:
My card base is Soft Suede, which is about the exact colour of the Brisbane River. The Brisbane River is tidal and it is ALWAYS brown, unless the blue skies are reflecting off the surface, LOL!  I used Hero Arts Dots and Flowers to clear emboss the background panel.  I used my yellow rose to represent the yellow lights on the bridge.

The rest of the Design Team have also come up with some beautiful projects, so go take a look at their posts, too:
Rochelle - welcome to the team, Rochelle!

Now, once you have read this post, please come along and play at FYI#19. It would be lovely to see you there. 

Are you still with me? Come and take a look at some photos of Brissie...
This is looking back at the Story Bridge from the opposite side to the inspiration photo.  I'm standing in Riverfront Place here (I think). I love those stair/ramps in the foreground, great design (very functional) and fun. That tall building to the left in the background with the crane on top is going to be Brisbane's tallest building. I think it is already the tallest, and it isn't finished yet.
Looking up. I like the contrast of the different buildings against each other.
Still looking up, but a bit more abstract.
Walking further along the river walk. It was raining on me. You wouldn't know it from the photo.
A City Ferry. These little ferries are small, noisy, and smelly (of diesel fuel), but very convenient to hop from one side of the river to the other. The trees along the river's edge in Brisbane are mangroves (quite stinky if you get too close).
A City Cat. These BIG ferries are sleek and fast, and if you ever come to visit Brisbane, you MUST jump on one and take a cruise up and down the river. It's worth it. 
And to finish off, a Moreton Bay Fig. This tree is amongst a group of figs that sit in the middle of a busy intersection in Brisbane City. I love these trees. There are quite a few scattered around Brisbane, and they are always spectacular to look at.

Are you still with me? Are you inspired?  Leave me a comment to let me know you were here. I promise to visit back as soon as I can. And I look forward to seeing your entry over at FYI.


Monday, 28 November 2011

Spring in Brisbane


Well, we're on our last couple of days of Spring, and I had promised you a look at the jacarandas in flower. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good jacaranda season this year, so I didn't get photos of the full trees in bloom, but I did get a few close ups of the flowers to show you. I also took a few other photos around my garden, to show you the face of Spring here in Brisbane.

This is the jacaranda with new leaves and flower buds just starting to burst:
The flower buds and flowers:
I love the way that the flowers are almost iridescent, so pretty.

More flowers:
The rose leaves just coming out with their beautiful purpley-red blush:
I'll show you the rose flowers in my Summer photos. This one is a beautiful white, highly fragrant, multiflora. I can't remember its name right now.

Our gorgeous azalea:
It looks like white flowers until you get up close, and then you see that beautiful pink blush. Unfortunately our azalea bush is infested with spider mite. I hope to get rid of that sometime soon so that the leaves are as beautiful as the flowers.
This is Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (I forget its botanical name). It is a highly fragrant bush that sits right beside our front door. All through September this bush sends dreamy perfume into my home. It is called Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow because the flowers come out dark purple and change to white over time  - Yesterday (white), Today (light purple), Tomorrow (dark purple), I think.
This is Murraya (otherwise known as Mock Orange). We have a hedge of this beside our pool. Again, highly fragrant. I almost swoon when it flowers and sends the scent along on the breeze. It flowers again in Summer also, right when we are using the pool and can enjoy it.
How about the real thing? Well, lemon, not orange, because I forgot to photograph the orange, lime, and mandarin flowers.  I have more lemon flowers that I took the other day in the rain. I'll show you those another time. I love the citrus flowers, the scent is heavenly and they are so pretty. I also love the fruit that follows!
Speaking of fruit, how about passionfruit? YUM. Have you ever looked closely at a passionfruit flower? They're amazing.
How about a little closer?
And now some tomatoes:
These ones have been eaten already. I had to fight off the scrub turkeys, but I got to eat most of them myself. I should take a photo of a scrub turkey for you one day. You can Google them - Scrub Turkey, Brush Turkey, Bush Turkey.  They aren't edible turkeys and they are protected, so we can't get rid of them. We have a family of them living in the yard next door (which is like a jungle).

And to finish off, the first hint of Summer, the frangipani (aka plumeria) coming into leaf. I love our frangipanis. We have three white-flowering trees, two right beside the house. I do love all the coloured frangipanis, but I love the scent of the white ones the best. And I love the white and yellow flowers, they're so pretty. Our trees are about to launch into flowering. I'll show you the flowers when they arrive also.

So, are you still with me, did you make it to the end of my marathon show-and-tell?  I hope you enjoyed the photos.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Silhouette Thank-You


I have an entry for three challenges today.

Less Is More, Week 42: Silhouettes. Thank-you Chrissie and Mandi, I have had this little silhouette idea in the back of my mind for months, and you've galvanised me to action.

The Play Date Cafe Challenge #108, which has these beautiful, warm autumn colours:

Clean and Simple Stamping, Layout #167:
As soon as I saw this layout, I imagined cutting a circle out and placing my image inside the aperture, which is exactly what I did.

And my card is this one:
Forgive the wonky photo, I didn't realise I had put it on such a lean until making this post, and I only took one shot, oops!

I quite like this card. What do you think?

Now I'm off outside to play in the water with my kids. We have a water amnesty this week-end, which means we can use as much as we like, yippee! We usually live with very, very strict water restrictions due to the effects of drought, but the powers-that-be are preparing for another bumper wet season, so trying to reduce the water in the dams.  I hope it does end up being a big wet season, otherwise all this water wastage will feel very frivolous in hindsight. I washed my car yesterday for the first time in a long time. It's so shiny! I love using water guilt free sometimes...


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tuesday Trigger - Fall is in the Bag

This is my second post today. For my For Your Inspiration post, please scroll down.

Around here, Fall (or Autumn, as we like to call it) is well and truly in the bag, we're about to launch into Summer and the heat is already here. Fall is in the Bag is the theme of the Tuesday Trigger challenge over at Moxie Fab World.  The trigger photo is a handbag:
I looked at this handbag and immediately thought of one of my favourite little stamp sets, Stampin' Up! Trendy Trees. I love the colours on this bag. I wish I had this bag myself. *smile*

I made the mistake of going to visit the first few entries to the challenge before I started my card. Gee, there are some awesome cards on show there already! I almost scared myself out of making my card, but then decided I'd tough it out and make my card anyway.

My card is this one:
I had some troubles getting a decent angle on the photograph to show you the depth of the card. The front cream panel is adhered to a brown panel, which is popped up on top of the brown card base. The brown sentiment strips are popped up again. Brown doesn't photograph so well when you are trying to show the layers. Here are a couple of other photos.

The background was fun to make. I actually enjoyed lining all those little trees up and choosing which colours would go where. For a change, I used my stamp positioner, and pencil lines to keep things on track. The colours I used were (SU!): Early Espresso, Pumpkin Pie, More Mustard, Creamy Caramel, Not Quite Navy. The button is out of my mending box. I really hope I don't need it for a particular item of clothing!

Thanks for coming to visit!