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!


For Your Inspiration #18


Welcome to my contribution to For Your Inspiration Challenge #18. Another beautiful photo has been chosen by our fearless leader, Steph. From this photo I was struck by that beam of yellow sunlight shining in the middle of the photo and the fluffy blue-ish clouds. When I pulled out my cardstock to try to put some of the colours together, I loved the colour combo created with the rust, orange, yellow, and blue. It took me by surprise how nicely they all went together.

The photo inspiration:
How can you NOT be inspired by this. Come on, my friends, come and join us and submit a card inspired by this beautiful view. I'd love to see  you there!

My card:
The photo was taken in the middle of the night, so there are a few shadows there, and I had an interesting time trying to edit this back to true colours! Cream cardstock turns yellow under artificial light, and any auto-fixes turn the card BLUE, grrr!

I used Papertrey Ink Snowflake Serenade, PTI Vintage Cream card base, SU! Really Rust, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, Barely Banana ink and Daffodil Delight satin ribbon.

Go take a look at what the rest of the design team have come up with. They always do beautiful work, so it is worth taking a wander through their blogs.


On another note, this morning I went to our interview for my littlest girl's school place. She is starting in Prep at the end of January in 2013, when she will be 5. Our eldest daughter is already at this school, and we love it. The little girl did some drawing, some writing, some puzzles, answered a few questions, and did us proud. I can't believe we still have to wait another year before she starts school, it will be an interesting year. Luckily for us, she is in a good Kindy programme, otherwise I think she'd drive us crazy, LOL!  The good news is that we had a good interview and it looks like she'll be offered a place, yay! My baby is growing up so quickly, ooh it will be a wrench when I have no more pre-schoolers in the home. I still have a year to get used to the idea...

For those of you curious to know what I am doing with the advice you gave on Big Shot accessories. I have Swiss Dots embossing folder (thanks Cassie!), I have ordered Nestabilities Circles set (all four sets), I am looking at PTI linen/canvas impression plate (and maybe woodgrain, and maybe more...), I think I HAVE to have the new PTI alphabet die set, I'm thinking of MFT Die-namics mini rolled roses, and my wishlist is ever expanding! I will eventually buy all of the Nestabilities basic shapes, I think, but it will take time as I allocate my limited hobby budget to the most important (desired) things first. Thank-you all for your wonderful advice. I truly appreciate that you took the time to give me the benefit of your experience.

Thanks for dropping by. Leave me a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll visit back as quickly as I can.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Leaves and Christmas


I am excited. My September Papertrey Ink order arrived after travelling to Brazil on its way to Australia. 7 weeks is a really LONG time to wait when you ordered Christmas stamps to make your cards this year!  I hope my next order doesn't take quite so long to get here...

I think Mandi and Chrissie KNEW that I had ordered lots of LEAVES and would want to try them out, because that is the theme they chose for one-layer week at Less is More Challenge #41.  Woo hoo!

I have a few things to share. Two cards are one-layer cards with leaves.

First card:

I used:
Stamps: Think Big Favorites #8, Turning a New Leaf, Harvest Berries
Ink: SU! Certainly Celery, Ruby Red, Early Espresso
Card: PTI White

Next card:
I made this card for my daughter's classroom teacher, to match the present I made her. The colours used are the same as the above card, I used Vintage Cream Card instead of white. The sentiment is from Stylish Sentiments: Holiday (I am loving this set). The leaves are Harvest Berries.

The present to match is a note book (A5 size), which I created a new front cover for:
The notebook has a hard frosted plastic cover (which I opened to take the photo). The pages inside are beautiful thick unlined paper. All stamps used here are Harvest Berries. The same colours again as above - Certainly Celery, Ruby Red, Early Espresso.

And the last card I have to show you is the card I have made for my daughter's music teachers (I made three of the same card):
I love this card. Really LOVE it. The papers are SU! Mocha Morning, and KaiserCraft Sheet Music. The stamps are Stylish Sentiments: Holiday and Tag-Its #8. The Ink is Early Espresso, Soft Suede, and Crumb Cake.

This week-end has been stunningly beautiful here in Brisbane. We've had the first hit of Summer weather this week. The temperature has been very (stinking) hot at times. This means that our family, between school swimming carnival and solo violin concert, have spent most the the last few days in the swimming pool. I'm lucky I got any card-making done at all!

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice for my Big Shot from my previous post. I appreciate your guidance, and I'm putting it to use. Some time soon you'll see the first projects using dies, embossing folders, and impression plates.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

LIM 40 and a Question


It's been a while since I joined in the fun at Less Is More. Time seems to slip away from me so quickly!  I love red and orange, which is the colour challenge this week. I didn't quite produce what was in my head, but you take a look and let me know what you think.

I also have a question, so if you'd like to give me some advice (and I'd really love it if you would!), keep on reading after you take a look at my card.

The card:
What I used (all SU! other than the ribbon and black ink):
Stamps: Snow Swirled, Dasher, Curly Cute
Card: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark
Clear embossing powder, miscellaneous ribbon (which I had to colour to get the orange) and bling.

And now onto my question. I finally purchased a Big Shot. Yay! If you are in Australia, and looking for a good price, Lincraft are selling them online for $99 currently. But my problem is that I have no dies or embossing folders. There are SO MANY of these out there. I want to know from those of you who use die-cutting and embossing machines: Which dies and embossing patterns do you use the most? What could you not live without? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Thanks in advance for any comments or advice you decide to leave me. I appreciate each and every visitor.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Reject Blog Hop ... again


Well another Paper Crafts submissions call has been and gone, and I didn't get selected again. But that's okay, I'll keep on trying. One day one of my cards will make it into print...eventually, LOL!  Amber over at Damask Love is having another Reject Blog Hop, and I am joining in again. I love seeing the "rejects" because they are all wonderful and full of inspiration. Most of them I can't believe didn't get selected. It just goes to show how many excellent cards the selection team have to choose from.

I submitted five cards this time. Four of them I really liked. One of those I knew wouldn't get selected, but I liked it so much I just had to throw it in (just in case).  One of them I was not sure of, but thought I'd put it in, because you never know what other people like.

The one I am sharing here, I do like. It was in response to the Sketch challenge. I wish I had remade it when I decided the dimensions/balance were wrong. Not to worry, I WILL make it again, for my own enjoyment because I love the colours and the images on this card. And it's really pretty in real life, even nicer than the picture reflects.
I used:
Card: SU! Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Paper: SU! Mocha Morning Specialty (Oh, how I love this paper)
Stamps: Jane's Doodles Pretty Peonies, SU! Curly Cute
Ink: SU! Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Versamark
Other: Clear Embossing powder, Pearls, Shimmer Mist

So, what do you think of my "reject"? I like it.


Friday, 4 November 2011

Beads and Baubles...


Do you sometimes find that you start working on a card with a fully developed idea in your head, only to find that when you put it together it makes itself into something completely different? This is what happened with this card for me. This week's Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World is a photo titled Beads & Baubles, so in my head was a confection of blingy bits and pieces. But when I was making the card, it was more the colours and shapes within the photo that inspired me, rather than the pearls and jewels.

This is what I ended up with:
This is the trigger:

The card is SU! Crumb Cake with an Early Espresso Matte. The floral background paper is Pink Paislee Diamonds from the Soiree Collection. The image is a digi from Paper Pretties, called Crocuses. The ink is Early Espresso. I coloured the flowers with Inktense pencils.  The sentiment is from PTI Botanical Silhouettes.

Now I need to get back to the cards I HAVE to make today - my little girl is off to a birthday party tomorrow, and she needs a card to go with the present...the order is for a unicorn card... don't you love it when the four-year-old has faith in your ability to whip ANYTHING up? LOL.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

For Your Inspiration #17


Well, here we are for another fantastic For Your Inspiration challenge. The inspiration photo this week really appealed to me... I know, they always do, but this one appealed more than usual, LOL! Take a look at the inspiration photo:
It isn't the house so much (although that is nice, too), it is the bright yellow light in the middle of all that dark. It probably helps that yellow is my favourite colour.

Now if that beautiful picture isn't enough to inspire you to join in the fun, we have a PRIZE up for grabs from our sponsor. Yippee! Our sponsor for this challenge is Paper Pretties, and our winner gets to choose five digi images as their prize. Oh, I should let you know, the winner of the prize is a random pick, so you ALL have equal chances of winning, so long as you enter the challenge.
I have to say that I have loved working with the Crocus image for this challenge, it is so pretty.

My card is this one:
For this card I used Night of Navy card base, Daffodil Delight matte, and watercolour paper to print the digi Crocus. I used Derwent Inktense pencils to colour the image (oh, how I love my pencils). I used Daffodil Delight Taffeta ribbon.

The rest of the Design Team has also come up with some fantastic cards, so please do take some time to go and browse their creations too. In fact, while you are there, if you haven't seen their work yet, take a look around, there are some BEAUTIFUL cards to look at in their blogs.

Vicki - Vicki is our new team member, WELCOME VICKI!

Thanks for popping by today. Please leave me a comment so that I know that you've been to visit. I love hearing from you.