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29 November 2010


(Post updated 1/1/11 to include photos of kaleidoscopes, and video of card opening.)
Ugh, I missed the deadline again, or so I thought! I wanted to enter the Southern Girls Favourite Colour challenge, and when I checked the site when I got home from work, Mr Linky said there were 17 hours to go, so I thought I had plenty of time. When I went to post my entry I found that it had expired 46 minutes earlier, and that was only about 6 hours after I had checked! I couldn't understand how that happened, but it turned out the girls had been doing something on the site and accidentally mucked up the Mr Linky thing. So, thanks to Louise for coming to look at my entry and posting it on the challenge for me! So, what did I make and what's my favourite colour? Here's the story. Two weekends ago, I did a class at my LSS, Wrapped in Paper. It was to make a Flip Flop card they called it. I'm not really a card maker, but this one intrigued me, so I had to participate. Well, it turns out that the card itself is actually really easy to make, the embellishing is what takes the time. Every time I open the card though, even though I know how it's made, I keep thinking, wow, this is amazing. The card has four "sides" to it. You open the first page to get to the second page, then open that one to get to a third page. Opening that page takes you to a fourth page and opening that page takes you back to the beginning. It's kind of like a Rubiks cube - well kind of! I'm not sure if it will show up well here, but here are the photos of each page and the opening up in between each one. (You can click on them to see them larger.) So, any guesses on what my favourite colour is? Well, just in case you couldn't tell, it's yellow :) This is a hybrid project. All the 'pictures' are kaleidoscopes that I made from the same photograph of yellow/orange tulips. I put the frames around them using Photoshop Elements, as well as adding the text. I printed them out and stuck them on the yellow cardstock base. Unfortunately these pictures are not so great, so the sayings are hard to see. They are: "Don't dream your life, live your dreams." and "Everyday is another chance to make your dreams come true.". These are the kaleidoscopes that I used, as well as the original photograph that the kaleidoscopes were made from.
And finally, here is a video I shot of how the card opens, with my 13yo son acting as the hand model. You gotta love his thumbs up at the end!

Till next time, happy days! Francine

15 November 2010

On the Amazon River

The latest challenge at Southern Girls Challenge is to use something pertaining to transport/travel. Well considering the amount of travelling we've done, I figured this had to be easy, but it was actually difficult to decide and in the end I decided to use the photos themselves. I picked some photographs from our trip to the Amazon in 2007. They're of our trip down the river. Considering we spent such a long time actually on the river getting to our destination, I figured they were worthy of a layout and an explanation.

I used papers from Stampin Up! namely tea Party Designer Series Paper, and barely banana cardstock. I cut some flowers out of the patterned paper to use as embellishments, some of which I stuck on with foam tape. I highlighted some of the flowers with my Sakura star pens (love them!). I also used a piece of ribbon from my stash, as well as a couple of flower brads. For the title I used some flocked chipboard and small foam letters, also from my stash. The font I used for the journalling is one of my favourites - Marker Fine Point.
Here are a few close ups.

Till next time, happy days!


8 November 2010

Beautiful Curse - digital version

For days I have been travelling past this field on my way to and from work that is covered in purple flowers, called Paterson’s Curse, Echium plantagineum (and known as Salvation Jane in South Australia). It is actually toxic to grazing animals and classed as a noxious weed in parts of Australia. After the Canberra bushfires in 2003 apparently tens of horses had to be put down after eating it for several months. Despite its terrible consequences to grazing animals, it is an amazing sight. I have been meaning to take my camera with me to work and stop and take some pictures, but kept forgetting. Finally last weekend I made a conscious effort to go and take some pictures. They turned out fabulously and I couldn’t resist making a layout straight away. I turned to one of my favourite sites for digital templates – Ideas for Scrapbookers – and picked a suitable template (Two Curves - see further down). The layout came together very quickly.

The template I used is this one. I flipped it 90 degrees first. Before I started, I also made a kaleidoscope from one of the close up photos and used that for the side strips of “paper” in the layout and to make the square embellishments. I picked the purple colour for the “paper” and “cardstock” from the pictures. Stupidly I didn’t write down the name of the font I used so I’m afraid I can’t give credit for it. I have a list of fonts a mile long and can’t find it back again now (and believe me I tried!). So, if you know what it is, please let me know!

I’ve subsequently made a paper layout with one of the pictures as well, but you’ll have to wait for another day for me to blog about that one. I even made some of the patterned paper for the layout as well!

Till next time, happy days.


5 November 2010

Last minute competition entry

I decided very last minute to enter my online friend Ingeborg's sketch competition. The sketch she used for this month's competition is one that she designed herself.

Once I decided which photograph to use, the rest came together fairly quickly. It is made almost entirely from leftovers in my stash and I don't know where most of it came from! The only things I do know are: TLC (emperor) cardstock, Kaszazz bling rub on (right hand side), Kaisercraft Argentella rub on (the large one to the left of the photo), and Say it in Crystals black crystal flourish. The bottom paper rectangle, is in fact a piece of green cardstock (same as under the photo) covered by a piece of sheer ribbon with white and purple flourish print on it that I bought at Aldi.

The photo was made beside one of the tulip beds at Floriade. Every year since we moved to Canberra, I have taken a photograph of the children in the flowers that grow in the grass just outside the entrance to Floriade. This year though, someone mowed it!!! It was very disappointing and we had to go find another spot for the photo instead. I guess I should just be happy that I can still get the kids to pose for me!

Here area couple of close ups.

Till next time, happy days.


BC Government House Gardens

For the October CRII year long challenge I made a layout with photos from our visit to the grounds of British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor's residence at 1401 Rockland Ave, Victoria, BC. This house is not far from my parents house and we were able to walk there to visit the grounds which are open to the public. There are fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains in Washington state, but none of the pictures I used for this layout featured any of those views! So, without further ado, here's the layout.

It was made from this sketch.

The papers I used are from the Bali Breeze set from SU!. I used some felt flowers from SU!'s flower fusion set, and a couple of flowers from Bo Bunny as well. The letters for the title are from artsy.licious by Chatterbox (peacock colour). The small letters are from my stash.

I didn't really like this sketch too much, although I'm not unhappy with the resulting layout. It's better than I expected, but won't ever be one of my favourites.

As well as the layout challenge, there is also a card sketch. Here are the card and sketch it was made from.

I used the same papers as for the layout, along with a flower, rub on and butterfly from my stash. I'm not an avid card maker and I think this card turned out OK, but not great. I think it would have been better if the ovals weren't scalloped, but I don't have a plain oval punch. I hope whoever I end up giving it too though will appreciate it.

I'll be back a bit later with another layout from last month.

Till next time, happy days.


I Made Top 5!!!

I entered this layout I made for my online friend's grandson in the recent Southern Girls glitter challenge, and I was a top 5 pick! I think that's not bad from 86 great entries. Now I just need to remember how to add the badge!

24 October 2010

Six Artist Trading Cards

In July I participated in my first Artist’s Trading Card (ATC) swap with my friends on CRII. For those of you who have never made an ATC before, they are small cards - 2.5" x 3.5" in size. They began as ways for artists to trade information, but many different kinds of artists, including scrapbookers have started making them now. In scrapbooking/card making circles they make great swap items as they are relatively easy and quick to make. These are the first ones I have ever made, and I think I'm hooked now! (You can see some great ATCs on this blog.)

But back to my story... In the first swap I took part in there were two strings with 9 people in each. The first challenge string was to use a button on the ATC. Here’s my take on it.

It was made from scraps that I had. I stamped the SU! butterfly stamp onto a piece of white cardstock with some rainbow ink that I had not used in years. I cut the butterfly out, then stuck it to a piece of yellow gingham paper which I had rounded the corners of. I strung some seed beads on to make the butterfly body, and sewed some antennae on with silver thread. I sewed a silver swirl onto the patterned paper and added the requisite button. I stuck the patterned paper, butterfly and button onto some yellow cardstock and wrote the word Life in purple pen on the side. I finished it off with a doodled border in purple pen.

The second challenge string was to make an ATC using black and white and one other colour. I decided to use gold. I had an idea, but when I started to make it it turned into something completely different! In the end, this is what I made.

I stamped and embossed the angel onto scrap white cardstock, then cut it out. I printed the saying “Friendship is a knot that angel hands have tied” nine times onto white cardstock. I overstamped it in gold ink using my “En Fran├žais” SU! stamp. I punched it out with a SU! label punch and drew a border around the edge with gold pen. I then made a friendship knot from gold ribbon. I used these instructions.
After cutting the black and white patterned paper (from my TLC stash), I distressed the edges and attached it to the black cardstock base. I added the angel stamp, the friendship knot and the saying, which I attached with gold eyelets and rhinestones. I stitched a small corner using daisy chain stitch in gold thread, and added a gold photo corner sticker. This was my least favourite of the two ATCs I made, mostly because it didn’t turn out how I had envisioned it in my head.

I really enjoyed the whole process of making the ATCs and was keen to participate in the second swap in August/September. There were 9 people again participating in two strings. The theme of the first string was “hot pink and orange”. I decided to use the new Kaisercraft flourish stamp I had recently purchased. I wanted to try using the emboss resist technique. Unfortunately it didn’t work the way it was meant to, probably because I was using the wrong type of ink, but it still turned out ok. I ended us stamping everyone’s initials in hot pink and cutting them out. I attached each letter along with a felt flower from the Flower Fusion set from SU! using a brad. Finally I attached the stamped design to a piece of hot pink cardstock. I think these turned out really nicely.

The fourth cards that I made were about birds. These are my favourite ATCs of the bunch. I printed the saying “It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds. ~ Aesop” onto some green SU! patterned paper. Then I just started adding feathers and cardstock leaves punched out with the SU! two step bird punch. I finished each ‘nest’ with a little cardstock bird from Scrapmatts which I had coloured with my Sakura pens. Each ATC was slightly different because of the feathers, but each one turned out nicely. It was hard trying to decide which one to keep for myself! Here’s what they looked like.

This month, I entered another ATC swap at CRII. There were only 7 people participating this time. The theme for the first string was Pink & Lime, a Tropical Christmas. For some reason the first thing that came into my head was palm trees. So I set out in search of palm tree clip art to download from the internet. Sadly I didn’t record where I found this tree (so if anyone can tell me, please do so I can give proper credit). I printed seven copies on thick white card, and coloured them in with my watercolour pencils, then cut them out. I stuck them to the pink cardstock, added a little bell with lime green floss, and stamped a Merry Christmas circle stamp (maker unknown), with a small square stamp from studio g (VC0012 Series 32) and inked the edges of the card, all with SU! green galore ink. I added a bit of sparkle with my pink Sakura star pen to some of the stars between the Merry Christmas words. Here it is.

The last ATC that I made is one of my favourites. The theme was Gothic Arch. There are some absolutely stunning samples out there on the internet which made my first attempt look absolutely juvenile. I ended up redoing them. I printed my saying “open your heart and let your love fly free” onto some green TLC paper from my stash. The font I used is called Angelic War. I can’t find any reference to this saying anywhere. As it just popped in my head, I’m thinking that I made it up, please correct me if I’m wrong though! Anyway, I cut the words out and used my distressing tool to distress the edges of the paper. I then stamped the SU! kiwi kiss green cardstock with clear Versamark ink. I used the butterfly, flowers and swirls stamp from Autumn Leaves Block Stamps 2. then I cut out the gothic arch shape from the cards. Next I stamped the border stamp from SU! vintage vogue set in bronze versamark ink along the bottom of each card. Then I stamped the flower swirl stamp from the same set at the top left side of the arch. I punched the hearts from some scrap paper from my stash and then it was time to put it al together. I added a gold heart brad to the cards, then realised that I was 3 brads short! I ended up using Stamp N Bond to add glitter to the brads. Then the gold ones didn’t look good anymore, so I glittered them too. I added some pink coloured wings, antennae and a little trail to each brad so it looked kind of like an insect. When I showed the new card and the old card to Logan he said the new ones were a gazillion times better! I agree! I hope the ladies like them.

I’d love to know what you think of my ATCs. Please leave me a comment, I love reading them. It’s great to know I can share my work with people all over the world through my blog.

Till next time, happy days!


Mend a Broken Heart - Take 2

You may have seen my layout here, about my daughter's open heart surgery as a baby. While I made it for a Page Maps competition, it was kind of inspired by the fact that one of my online friends in the US was going through the same thing at the time with her grandson. Well, Evan has had his surgery and is well on his way to a full recovery. I really liked my layout of Kyaa and asked whether I could do a similar layout for Evan. I'll be sending it to his parents next week.

Kyaa's layout used the black and white monthly competition kit from my LSS. I just added all the pink touches since she was wearing a pink top in the photo. Since I still had enough paper left from the kit I made Evan's exactly the same, but with different embellishments and I used blue instead of pink. Kyaa actually likes Evan page better than hers, but then she doesn't like pink! I like the blue version too, but I still like the pink version as well.

Enough chit chat - here are both layouts side by side so you can judge for yourself.

I think I'm going to change a few things on Kyaa's layout before I hand it in for the competition, like adding some feathers to the chipboard heart embellishment, and doing the white lace as a pull on the tag like I did on Evan's (If I can get it off first without damaging the layout!), and changing the clear DYMO tape for pink at the bottom of the layout.

I decided also to enter Evan's layout into the Southern Girls challenge. You can do anything as long as you add glitter. Well, all the blue colouring in was done with my Sakura star pens which add lots of glitter, and the 'lace' type border along the bottom is also glittered. It was white to begin with and I actually rubbed ink over it to turn it blue. It turned out really well IMHO. Here are some close up pics so you can see.

Even the flower I used on the chipboard heart embellishment has sparkle in the ribbon!

Speaking of glitter, I was making a set of Artist Trading Cards last night as well and I ran out of gold heart brads. I was three short, and yes I should have checked how many I had before deciding to use them, but I didn't, so I had to come up with something else. Well, I used different coloured brads and used Stamp N Bond adhesive powder to add gold glitter to them. I hadn't used this product before and it worked great! Here's what the previously green heart brad looks like now:

I'll do a post soon about the ATCs I've been making recently so you can see the whole thing that I used the brad on.

Till then, happy days!


10 October 2010

Geocaching in the Aussie Bush

There's a blog I like to look at called Ideas for Scrapbookers. There are lots of great layouts for inspiration, tutorials and best of all templates to follow! Pam Callaghan is the blog owner and the maker of all these wonderful templates. I really liked her latest template and couldn't resist downloading it and making a digital layout with it. I didn't download the PSD template, just the jpeg of the frame itself. I then made a similar but different (IYKWIM!) layout with it. Here's the frame, and my layout.

I started with the frame and used a clipping mask with this kaleidoscope made from the photo of lichen on a rock (also shown here).

I then added the background colours, taken from colours in the photo. I added the photograph and some special effects. Finally I added the text. The font is JoeHand. I'm pleased with how this turned out. Now if I could only find a place to print these digital layouts in Australia at a reasonable price I'd be completely satisfied!

Till next time, happy days!