Hawaii birthday…

I have been a little slack posting but have been busy crafting (made 50 pairs of earrings this weeknd using my new 1 step looper) and going to a craft show. I have also had a couple of craft days with lovely friends, instead of crafting together we have changed the format so one teaches the other a new project. Such fun. Mine is going to be for mothers day so will post later.

My parents LOOOOOVE Hawaii.  Dad has also acquired many ukes and we now have some lovely Hawaiian friends from the uke circut. Dad’s birthday is coming up next week and I suspect uke 7 (I think) will be acquired from a special friend, and talented uke maker, Joe, owner (with the lovely Kristen) of Kanilea Ukulele.

I have made mini ukes (for the uke no. 2 that did not arrive in time for xmas), uke themed stepper cards and cards with every hawaiian islands sticker I can find in Brisbane.  All I could find this time was a 4 Hawaiian dancers.  But after the recent craft show doing stencilling I was inspired.

I cut the palm trees layers using my baby cricut and the stretch your imagination Cartridge, assembled.  I used the negative to stencil trees, using two shades of green for the leaves and two brown for the trunk so it looked like it had rings.  Layered on the cricut palm trees and coloured the palm leaves with copics to match.  Used some distress ink to create the sand,  added the hawaiin dances and voila!




Everywhere I see christmas trees

So the family christmas card has been handmade by us for over 20 years.  Each year we must come up with  something a little better and a little different.  Yes there are expectations from those that receive them but it is also fun.  Sometimes I get an idea, sometimes mum likes bits and pieces she has seen in my cardmaking magazines.  Sometimes I need to do two designs as Dad decrees they are a bit cutesy for business use.  After quite a bit of playing around test designs were provided to the family for approval. Yes its serious business!

This year I was inspired by this tutorial on making a folded xmas tree from a half circle.  Great I though, I can use the cricut to cut the circles.   I was also keen to destash particularly brads.  I did have to buy some xmas paper with smaller designs but I did economise by choosing a pad which worked for these and our gingerbreads plus the 12 days of xmas tags I still need to make. 

Usually I split up the construction tasks between myself and mum but as I am not working and she is, its all me.  I have completed 1/4, 1/4 need some stamping, bases are 90% made for the balance of our 120 odd xmas cards.  A bit of stamping, colouring and attach our handmade stickers to the back and I will be done. Hope you like them.  I am quietly in love with every one.  


Happy crafting


How to upcycle items for card making

I am always in search of ideas to upcycle or reuse items purchased for non-card making purposes. It is a small way to offset the reams of paper I seem to print on a daily basis when at work but also forces you to be more creative. Below is a list of 10 items I have used to create card friendly items:

1. Textured wool – combine normal wool, crochet metallic thread and one of the newer varieties of wools (feather, Pom Pom etc) and use these to loop through tags

2. Front covers of patterned paper pads – don’t throw these out, cut the pictures of what’s inside out and use a backgrounds. Also keep the back card to use in your die cutting or as a mat when you are stamping

3. Ribbons from your tops and dresses – those annoying little bits that really are useless for keeping you item on the hanger, cut them off and use as an embellishment

4. Sticker sheets – think about how you can use the negative, some times you can’t but even short little bits left over from cutting a piece the right width for you card can be used to create a pleasing pattern (eg arrange these at different angles down one side of the card)

5. Mail – keep an eye out for good quality envelopes particularly those with patterned paper on the inside and card. These make fabulous backgrounds.

6. Buttons – raid your stash of spare buttons even those cut off from inside shirts and use these in your card designs.

7. Stud earrings – go through your jewelry collection and pull out any you don’t wear or are missing its mate and the use these as you would a brad. You will need pliers to bend the back and add a spot of glue to the point end or cut off the back and glue directly to your card.

8. Cards you have received – Look for good quality cards with square or rectangular designs to cut out and use as an embellishment – use foam tape or wobble springs to make them a feature.

9. Wrapping paper – cheap wrapping paper from the dollar shop with a regular design which can but cut out also make great focal pieces as do patterned paper for backgrounds. Used wrapping paper and foil from your Easter chocolates also make great background paper. If these seem to light to use by themselves stick them to some card first.

10. Clear plastic in packaging – you often see these in toy boxes can be used to make shaker cards or embossed.

Till next time, happy crafting.


Christmas is just around the corner

Its August and in my family that’s my parent’s wedding anniversary and brother’s birthday in the same week!  It is also a reminder to us to settle on a christmas card design for this year and start to think about what kinds of gifts we are going to make for everyone.

I am in charge of coming up with a few ideas and providing them to mum along with some craft magazines.   We then agree on a design and I work out how to make it come to life.  This year she has honed in on a beautiful embossing template with a christmas tree which was released last year (the magazine she was looking at came from a crafty friend who I’ve convinced to just keep the pages she wants).  So I am presently trying to source the template and oh dear, I might have to buy myself a Big Shot!  We then each make our respective bits (I split up the work of course!) and then have a making day when we assemble everything ready to go.  Sounds like a lot of work some people say (we usually make around 120 cards) but to make life easier for ourselves we use the one design for our family cards and another for Dad’s business ones.  There are so many people who give us fabulous feedback and look forward to our handmade cards it is now a firmly entrenched tradition.

For christmas gifts we like to have something little to give the people we work with and deal with during the year, these aren’t huge gifts but a token of the season.  These are supplemented by baking (being a christmas baby I go a little crazy!), wine and for family, specific gifts.    Some years the gifts are made and other times we get organised enough to buy what we want at the sales.

Some idea’s we have already done – christmas ornaments (angels, stars etc), lavender eye pillows made from scrap fabric (they were very popular), calendars, handmade chocolates, gingerbread cupcakes with christmas flags, small diaries for your handbag and fabric placemats.  What are you planning to make?

How to keep track of card making ideas

I keep a notebook for all of my card idea’s, layouts, messages, thoughts on techniques basically anything I think I will need to remember later on. I find it is kind of like a diary – you see where you have been, what you have learnt and remember all the cards you have made for special people.

I generally make a quick sketch of the layout first then add notes, e.g. type of paper, how to attach etc. Below is the first page from my notebook showing two different theme birthday ideas one with candles (using variety of papers for the base and glitter glue for the flame) and the other with an envelope filled with balloons (mini water balloons) and mini streamers (from the exploding streamers you have from birthday’s). These are designs I come back to again and again.

So, if you don’t have your own idea’s notebook – please think about starting one.