Sunday, September 4, 2016

ESAD Holiday Catalogue Blog Hop

I'm excited to be part of another ESAD Blog Hop, this time showing off the products in our amazing new Holiday Catalogue.  You have probably come here from Rochelle's blog, are you loving everything you've seen so far?

Today I am showing the gorgeous product pairing of Cookie Cutter Christmas (which is a stampset and punch that come in a bundle to save 10%) and Candy Cane Lane DSP.

Pretty cute right!  I've used these cute guys make a Christmas Banner to hang in my home for Christmas this year - its in my craftroom for now (cos yanno, September!) but come December 1st this will have pride of place in our family room.

Let's see some close-up's of those gorgeous critters:

You cant tell from the photos, but Santa has a shimmery beard and cuffs on his suit, thanks to the Clear Wink of Stella, such a great touch!  Did you notice that my reindeer has a body??  I got this idea from another demonstrator who shared the idea of cutting the legs of two more sets of legs, and I added a wee tail as well.

Let's talk about the nitty gritty.  First off, the colours in the Candy Cane Lane DSP suite are Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White and Early Espresso, so I've stuck with those colours for the stamping and colouring of all my characters.  I love our markers and inkpads for easy co-ordination.  

I used the largest banner from Banners Framelits for the bases, and the second largest to showcase the Candy Cane Lane DSP.  Next I used the Large Letters stampset and framelits from the Annual Catalogue to cut out the letters to spell Merry Christmas.  I used foam strips to have each letter pop up - it was nice and skinny to use on my intricate letters compared to a dimensional - and adhered each letter and/or critter onto a Vellum circle that was cut out with the Layering Circles Framelits. 
I had made a bunch of wee characters and had them ready to decorate my banner once I had made all the flags and laid out all the letters.  Some are the star of their own flag, and some are a cheeky addition to the letters making up the greeting.  A couple of those letters are even wearing Santa hats made with the new Jolly Hat builder punch - aren't they cute!

Well thats it.  It might only be September, but I think I'll enjoy passing by this banner for the next few months!  The rest of the wall is a little bare, but I have some ideas to add to this before Christmas is here!

Next on the Hop is Samantha White.  Enjoy the rest of the Blog Hop today!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

2016 Holiday Catalogue now available!

Yippee, the Holiday Catalogue began on September 1st, you can see it here (or click on the photo).  There are so many gorgeous products this year, its hard to know where to begin.  Tomorrow night I'm taking part in a Blog Hop so you can see a really good selection of the products that are available.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Netball punch-art cards

As you might know, we are in the demonstrator-only Pre-order period for the upcoming Holiday Catalogue.  I was only able to place a small order this time round, funds not exactly being flush at the moment, but I am extremely pleased with the choices that I made.  More about that later, but suffice it to say that my wish-list is LONG, and the brand new Cookie Cutter punch has allowed me to rock out these thank you cards for my daughters netball coaches and managers this season. 

Do you see the girls bodies???  Thats the Cookie Cutter punch.... gotta love that, right!?   This punch will be coming out soon, with two amazing stampsets called Cookie Cutter Christmas and Cookie Cutter Halloween.  This being neither occasion, I went outside the box to create the bodies for my netball players, and I'm sure there are heaps of other uses for this punch that are yet to be discovered!

In my excitement to get this card loaded onto our demonstrator Facebook groups, I forgot to attach the ball, so here is a shot of that.

I had to make 5 cards, so this was a bit of an epic task, but it was lots of fun to create.

You might be wondering what other supplies I used, and how I did it, so here goes.  I started off punching out all the pieces for my 32 netball girls, and assembling them with Tombow.  I wanted each card to be representative of the girls on our teams, without being character-specific (but yes, mine are the blondes, and yes they both have a readhead on their team!)

The bodies are punched with the Cookie Cutter punch, in Very Vanilla and Sahara Sand to create the different skin tones.  To minimise wastage, I found it most efficient to cut my cardstock into strips 1 3/4" wide x 5" long, and cut one from each end. 

The hair is made with the Fox Builder punch, the tail makes a great ponytail and the mask is a perfect fringe.  Again I found a 1" stip to be most efficient, but its a great way to use up scraps.  I used Early Espresso, Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, So Saffron, Daffodil Delight and Tangelo Twist for all my different hair colours.   The happy faces were drawn on with my markers, with differnt shades of blue, green and brown for the eyes, and Flirty Flamingo for the mouthes.

The netball uniforms are two 'vests' from the Owl Punch layered together, I've used Tempting Turquoise and Bermuda Bay, and the Tempting Turquoise top has had the V-neck snipped to a round-neck using the 1 3/8" circle punch.  For the bibs I used the Labeller Alphabet stampset in Bermuda Bay to make the positions for each player.

The ball is a 1" circle cut in Bermuda Bay, embossed with the retired spotty embossing folder (whose correct name fails me right now) and sponged with Bermuda Bay and popped up on a dimensional.

The hoops were a bit of a challenge and took a while to find the perfect solution, but I ended up with the toy stacker framelit from the Baby's First collection, upside-down, with the bottom circle cut off.  I used Smokey Slate for the pole and the hoop (the pole is free-cut and sponged) and then I stamped the net with the Pineapple background stamp to emulate the mesh pattern. 

Then I made the card-base into a netball court.  The best match to our actual court colour is Coastal Cabana, but Bermuda Bay probably would have worked too.  I decided to use a Centre Circle but not the Shooting Circles, just because the dimensions weren't quite right, but at the same time I wanted it to be obvious that it was indeed a netball court.  So I used Daffodil Delight cardstock to first punch a 1 3/8" circle, and then to frame it with the 1 3/4" circle punch and make sure my smaller circle was evenly spaced in the centre before I punched the bigger one around it. 

The card base is a double-Z fold, with all my little girls lined up at varying heights, but in their correct positions on the court.  Some are on dimensionals and some are glue-dotted.  I cut my Whisper White thick cardstock to 6"x11" and scored at 2 3/4" and 5 1/2"; and burnished with my bone folder.  Then I cut the 6" edge at 4 1/4" to make the card, and flipped the 1 3/4" strip around to create the double-Z.  I layered each panel with the Coastal Cabana cardstock before I attached the Z-strip with Tear & Tape Adhesive.  Finally I stamped the "Thanks" from Jar of Love in Bermuda Bay ink.  The back of the card has a Pool Party panel for the girls in the team to all sign for their coaches and managers and give to them at their final games this week.

And in case you were wondering about a sneak peek of the punch used with the Cookie Cutter Christmas stamps..... you're in luck!  My next post will have a few more Christmas projects, but I have a custom-order for some cards to work on first.  Hope you've enjoyed this project!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Thoughtful Branches

For the month of August, Stampin' Up! have brought out an exclusive bundle called Thoughtful Branches.  You've no doubt seen it by now, Pinterest and friends are full of gorgeous samples, and I posted the product imagery in my last post.  Thoughtful Branches is not a cheap purchase at NZ$110, but it is worth every penny!!  (The purchase also earned me a bonus $11 coupon during the July promotion, which I redeemed this month in my pre-order for the Holiday Catalogue).

Below are some of the cards I've made with this bundle, but let me repeat again first how much I love using the 'canopy/petals' die with the Precision Plate and die brush!  These tools make cutting SO easy and fun!

First I've used it as a flower, with pink petals and a flower-stem.  The colours are Melon Mambo, Basic Black and Mint Macaron, and the DSP and washi tape are from the Pop of Pink suite.

I love the pink watercolour wash background for depth and interest in the shading.  To create this effect, I first coloured some Watercolour Paper with Melon Mambo ink picked up the from the lid of my inkpad.  When it was dry (I used the heat tool to hurry things along) I stamped the petals in Melon Mambo, and then cut it out with the die in my Big Shot.  I roughed up the edges of a couple of pieces of Pop of Pink DSP with the blade of my scissors and stuck them down with washi tape.  Add a fussy-cut greeting from Pop of Paradise, and you're done!

Next I have made a more traditional tree, and used the trunk stamp and die.  The leaves this time are simply stamped with Old Olive ink onto Old Olive cardstock, with a few loops of linen thread and a Fathers Day greeting popped over the top.  The background is again layered, this time with Early Espresso carstocked embossed with the Sparkle EF, and a piece of Serene Scenery DSP, on a Tip Top Taupe base.  It is a freestanding pop-up card (see my previous post for a link to the tutorial) but I am not convinced I've finished decorating the base yet.

The bundle does have a die that is the shape of the tree trunk and all the branches, but for this card I've chose to show how the stamped image from the Sheltered Tree stampset coordinates perfectly if you prefer to stamp the tree base.  The colours are Sweet Sugarplum and Pool Party (the DSP is from the Foxy Friends paper stack, and the ribbon is just divine).  The leaves this time are stamped with the Rich Razzleberry ombre inkpad to make the dark and light tones, stamped on Sweet Sugarplum.  You can't tell from the photo, but I went over the leaves with my clear Wink of Sparkle for a bit of shimmer as well.

Next I've tried to go masculine for Fathers Day again, to make with my Stamp Club ladies this month.  This is the first time using my Copper Embossing Powder and I wanted to go striking with Basic Black for the tree, and subtle with Sahara Sand in the background.  I used the other leaf images from the bundle to stamp my own DSP and distressed the edges with my scissors again.

I don't have any current ribbon that fit this card so I used a retired one, but don't worry, I have added some Basic Black thick bakers twine onto my next order.  I wanted to add a bit of interest below the "for you" badge, so I used the same 3 colours to layer up a few different leaves adhered with glue dots.

I forgot to photograph the inside, hopefully I will remember to come back and show you tomorrow, but it ties in all of the stamps and colours from the front, and uses the "I hope you feel appreciated.... because you are" stamps.  The fonts they have used in this bundle are beautiful.

Last I wanted to show the versatility of this set by making some Christmas cards.  The idea of using it for christmas cards, and the realisation that it would pair nicely with Foxy Friends, were the factors that tipped me over the edge to making this purchase.

In hindsight I should have used Softly Falling to emboss this cardfront after I had stamped it, but I'd already glued it to the cardbase when I thought of it, so it was too late for that, so I've just flicked some Pool Party ink at it with my aquapainter instead. 

I hope you have enjoyed these cards, and that the Thoughtful Branches bundle finds it way into your craftroom soon! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Freestanding Pop-up Pokemon Card

As a follow up to my Pidgey card for my oldest daughter last week, its only fitting that hubby receives an "evolved" Pidgeotto card for his birthday today, right?

He was stoked with this wee beauty I made for him over the weekend:

This is a Freestanding Pop-up card, inspired by Kelly Kent and using instructions by Lou Kitzleman (adapted to a width of 7" to fit the wingspan of the Pidgeotto). 

The Pidgeotto is copied from a picture I found by Sabine Mayer that I mentioned in my previous post, with a much tidier Pidgey face and hair than I was able to create.  Unfortunatly I can't share her image as it was posted in a demonstrator-only group with no link to give credit to. 

I used the retired Feathers Framelits for the wings, but there is a similar new set in the current Annual Catalogue.  For the pull-up mechanism I used Window Sheet since it is transparent. 

The grass is cut with the fringe scissors in Old Olive, the Pokeball uses various circles as before, and the wording is all using the Labeller Alphabet stampset.  Now, I bet you're wondering about that fun tree?  It is made with this months exclusive Thoughtful Branches bundle.  I also used to to make my favourite detail, the thrown-up leaves that happens when a Pokemon is near.  I made a rough template of the tree canopy, but slightly smaller, in plain Pear Pizzazz cardstock and we wrote our messages on that and attached it to the back of the tree.

Before I tell you more about Thoughtful Branches, here is the card folded flat for the envelope, I used a strip of DSP on the bottom, leftover from the 12x12" sheet I used to make an envelope with the punch board, since the finished size is a little over 5x7", so too big for our standard envelopes.   

OK, so Thoughtful Branches is an exclusive offer for August 2016, and it is GORGEOUS.  I have some other great cards to show you in my next post.  There is a super-versatile stampset featuring several different trees and some gorgeous fonts, and co-ordinating Framelits for cutting out your stamped images.  In particular I love the "greenery", the piece to create your tree-tops, it cuts out all the intricate pieces in-between the leaves for dimension, and it can also be used as a flower when done in colour and paired with the stem and leaves die.  It is so easy to use with the Precision Base Plate and die brush.

This bundle is only available during August (while stocks last) - contact me today if you would like to place an order.  And stay tuned to see some other ways I have used this wonderful bundle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pokemon card - Pokeball and Punch-art Pidgey

My oldest daughter turned 9 today, where does the time go??  Today was just a 'boring' day with school and netball practice - she is having a party with some friends on Saturday - but she was excited to open her pressies and special card from me this morning.  You can finally see how I used that wee Pidgey I was working on last week!

So I have nade a circular easel card for the Pokeball, and then mounted it on a 6x4" base (so it comes out of the envelope flat, and then you open up the top layer to read the message inside, and then it can stand up leaning against the rhinestones).  Don't you love Labeller Alphabet for the customised words?  The Happy Birthday is from Tin of Cards stampset, and I used Number of Years for the '9' (which is Wink of Stella'd for subtle sparkle) and the red-on-red Look Who's Turning.

The Pokeball is Real Red and Whisper White, I used the largest (retired) Circles Collection framelit to cut one in each colour, and then snipped the red one in half with my trimmer and mounted it on the white one.  Then I cut a black strip for the centere to cover the join, and popped the button up on a dimensional (I can't remember which two circle punches I used for that - probably 1" for the white and 1 3/8" for the black).

The easel part is created by folding a whisper white piece of cardstock in half and running it through the Big Shot with the same large circle framelit, but with the folded edge set back from the edge of the framelit by a centimeter or so, and then the 'top' circle is scored hoizontally through the centre, and the Pokeball is attached to that with Tape & Tear ( Tear and Tape?  I get so confused!)

For the Pidgey, I scoured Pinterest for a tutorial but didn't find one so I had to make up my own, but since then I have seen a 'better' one, I'll try and find it for you soon.  So here is my guy again - let it be known that I'm not thrilled with the face, it was a case of "close-enough will do" LOL.

I used differentt shades of yellow for depth, and with hindsight I should have done some sponging on the edges.  Here we go:

* body - Owl punch - one Daffodil Delight with feet snipped off, and one Calypso Coral with feet and lower body only - attach to the back of the DD piece so only the feet are showing

* tail - Bird punch (retired) - Daffodil Delight, attach to the back of body

* wings - Bird punch (retired) - punch 2 wings in Delightful Dijon and one in So Saffron.  Attach single wing to the back, and double-wing to the front

* eyes - Owl punch, medium sized white eyes, black pupils

* beak - Owl punch, heart, Calypso Coral

* head-feathers - Fox punch, 2x tail-tips in Daffodil Delight

Here's where it goes awry....

* head - I used a Delightful Dijon body from the Fox punch, turned upside down, as the backing for the head.  I attached this to the Owl-punch body and then savagely attacked a piece of Basic Black with my scissors to make the mask, and then popped the eyes and beak into position.  Then I put the two fox-tail pieces over the eyes, and again used my snips to massacre the remainder of the fox-body piece to resemble the last top-feathers.

The real Pidgey has that piece of hair at the front, not the back, but basically this was my third attempt and I was beyond caring about a small indiscretion by this point LOL.  I had also used Tombow for the first couple of goes, but found it too messy and fiddly, so this last attempt is all stuck together with glue-dots.

Anyway, all small people of the house (and their dad) were thrilled with the outcome, so overall we are calling it a win! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bonus Days

I have had an eventful few weeks, so haven't yet had time to update you on Stampin' Up!'s amazing offer for July.

When you spend $110NZ in July, you'll receive a voucher by email for $11 to spend in August - how cool is that?  I've earned one voucher already, and I have a few days up my sleeve to decide if I need one or two more, hehe.

There is an exclusive product coming out in August that you'll want to use your voucher towards as well, I preordered it last week and it's just arrived today, so my next post will have more information about that!

For online orders this month, you can use Hostess Code DKTX2RQ2.

So, about that busy month.  It's the school holidays here in New Zealand, so we went away for a bit of a break for 9 days, which was a lovely winter escape to the beach.

This this week I'm home entertaining the kiddies, and preparing for my oldest daughters birthday next week, which involves this Pidgey:

And we've hit a giant stumbling block on our garage-building progress, with the discovery that the fence does not sit on the boundary line, which means we're stuck here (ready for the foundations to be poured) waiting for surveyors, lawyers and engineers to decide if we are still allowed to build here :(

Monday, June 27, 2016

Foxy Friends

I've had a week with no internet, which has been quite hard!  The diggers came last Monday to dig up our drains and managed to hit both our water mains and our fibre phone/internet lines, and due to the nature of the fibre connections, it took a whole week to get repaired!  It's been raining most of the week as well, so we have to traverse through a mud-bath to get in and out of our house each day, its not the best time of year to be undertaking earthworks in your front yard!!!  But the good news is that they've finished, we're back online and the concrete layers are here today prepping up to pour concrete once we have passed the next inspection and the weather is fine enough.

So while I was offline, I had really wanted to upload some projects for my Foxy Friends class I held on Friday night.  I had 8 lovely stampers come along for the evening, half were new and half were experienced, so I split them into two groups.  Everybody made the same Pop of Paradise card and then I had two options for the Foxy Friends card for them to choose from.   As it was my new Catalouge reveal party as well, we started off with a fun Treasure Hunt through the Catalogue, where I pointed out some new products and bundles I wanted them to see, and the winner won a sampler of the gorgeous papers in the Serene Scenery paper stack.

Here is the Pop of Paradise card, its a nice straight-forward collage with lots of fussy-cutting (I wish I had more than 3 pairs of our paper snips in this class-sharing situation!) and it introduces a couple of our gorgeous new In-Colours, Flirty Flamingo and Emerald Envy.  I also used Cucumer Crush for the lighter leaf and Crushed Curry for the pineapple.   This card design is a modified version of one I had seen online, but I am sorry to say I did not note down who to give the credit to.

Next was my headliner, Mr Fox!   I wanted everyone to have a good chance to play around with the components of the stamp and punch bundle.  I prepared a sampler showing several of the different animals that you can make with it, and I showed them a template that I saw on QBee's youtube video where she shows how to use a 5 1/2" x 1 1/4" strip of whisper white cardstock to stamp the body, face and tail of your chosen animal and punch it all off the one strip with no wastage or damage to your stamped images.  I wrote the instructions on the back telling them which colour ink was used, and which extra pieces they would need. 

Here is the first card I showed - Mr & Mrs Fox, also showcasing the Foxy Friends Designer Series Paper Stack:

And here was the second choice - a card in a box which was very popular and I ended up selling this sample to a customer as well for a new baby in her family.


So all in all, we had a fun night!  There are so many great products in this new catalogue, the hardest part is narrowing down which ones to showcase! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Renovations and new products!

Its been a crazy few weeks, with family life as well as renovations still firing along - we are about to finally start work on the garage!  We applied for consents back in October last year, and its taken this long to get the permits all approved.  We did a lot of earthworks and preparation ourselves while we were waiting, so this is how the area looks now.

Compared to:


We've moved the shed and the playhouse to other ends of the section (both huge undertakings, as they are both huge and heavy, and needed 6 people to lift them); and we've had diggers to excavate backwards and sideways by several meters each.  Three truckloads of clay were taken away and the rest of the clay and all of the topsoil was redistributed around our section to level it, as the incline was quite steep before.  Hubby did this himself with a hired bobcat, and it was all full of bricks and broken glass and bits of landfill that we had to remove by hand.  Then we had to add topsoil and plant new grass, which took about 3 months.  Three truckloads of stones were brought in, and plenty of timber and scoria to build the retaining walls.  We've chopped down trees, relocated a mature feijoa tree, and had stumpgrinders remove about 6 stumps and a gigantic crop of bamboo, and we've filled I think 8 skip bins full of waste.   Hubby built the retaining walls himself, and we have painted the whole damn thing (those individual batons, oh my goodness).  The waterblasting of the existing fence was only done last weekend, and since we are in Winter now, we will paint the fences to match when some nice weather aligns with hubbys days off.  HUGE amounts of work have gone into this, I am so proud of my husband for all his hard work!  And our kids have been pretty amazing too, to put up with all the noise and inconvenience, as well as their parents going missing for hours at a time to work outside!

On Friday afternoon another digger arrived to start digging up the old pipes and divert all our water and drainage connections, as well as the electricity and phone lines, as they run right through the area we need to build over.  Tomorrow the nice tidy, level area hubby created will be ripped apart again by the digger, but hopefully by the end of the week we will be ready for the first concrete to be poured!

So as you can see, plenty has been going on around here to divert me from crafting and blogging!  I am taking lots of photos to scrapbook though!!  However I've managed to create some samples to show at my first class with the new Catalogue this coming Friday evening.

Mixed Drinks and Serene Scenery paper stack:

Tropical getaway anyone???

Swirly Bird:

Quietly rocking the Dapper Denim water-washed backgound!

The Pineapple background stamp, inked with new Ombre inkpads in Bermuda Bay and Calypso Coral, on Pop of Pink DSP (love) with a delicate lace doily and some gorgeous enamel dots and Pool Party ribbon, nom nom nom.

I am in love with this one, its the Jar of Love stampset gone shabby chic.  Pool Party and Flirty Flamingo are a fabulous pair.  The background is a 6x6" piece of Serene Scenery DSP, and like all the flowers and the doily, it is sponged in Crumb Cake.  The jar is stamped on vellum and sponged on the back with Soft Sky.

I can't tell you how much I adore this card.

Thats all for tonight, its almost 11pm and the digger fires up at 7:30am.  I work mornings at the kids' school, so I need to be up and organised early!