Sunday, 28 December 2014

My great niece

One little thing I'd like to share is the arrival of my great niece.  This is always a tricky thing for me - family dynamics and all but I am so happy for my niece Janine and her husband Winkie that I have indulged myself just a little and created a layout of when wee Manaia was born - 6 July 2014.
I may never get to meet you little one but that does not stop me loving you and being proud of you and your mama.  You will always hold a special place in my heart Manaia Grace Sia Leului.

Little house creations & layouts

This year I have been privileged to have been part of The Bevan Fund.  This is a fund that was set up to help the son of a friend of ours who is terminally ill in Australia.  Bevan has a rare condition, there is no cure, and nobody knows how long he has got left.  He has been in Australia for a number of years and unfortunately he was not entitled to any financial assistance from the Australian government.  He also cannot come home as there is no treatment available here and he has young children in Oz.  We decided that, as a community of scrapbookers, we could help support Bevan through various events including running classes, holding raffles, and creating items to sell at markets etc.  Some of the pages I made that were raffled off - just add your photo and go ...

and some of the little houses made for the markets
Gingerbread house

Christmas house


Home sweet home


House with different roof technique


2014 - year in review

The year started pretty quietly, mostly unpacking and setting up our new home.  Much smaller than we had in Hamilton we struggled to find places to put everything and even though we had given away quite a bit of ‘stuff’ it became obvious we needed to de-clutter even more.  The local Hospice shop benefitted as we decided what we didn’t REALLY need to keep.
It wasn't long before I managed to secure a job as the Activities Assistant at Redwood Lifestyle Care & Village, a nearby resthome facility - best job ever.

Michael finally decided in March it was the right time to ‘pop the question’ and he and Anna got engaged - they hope to get married in 2016.
April brought with it the opportunity for Jan to also find work as an Activities Coordinator but with another facility - unfortunately it went into receivership in October and she was again out of work.  She has since started as a healthcare assistant at Redwood. 
May, June and July were fairly quiet, we struggled a little with the colder climate but love being able to see the snow - me thinks we might need to invest in some nice thick padded jackets.
Now, what do you think of our wee cutie pie.  Ellie turned one in August and Jan & I were lucky enough to be able to go down to Te Anau to help celebrate with the family. She is a really happy little girl and has the most delightful giggle.  She is changing so fast.  We get to Skype her from time to time but she is really not that sure about the Nanas on the screen.  She loves having stories read to her and gets quite a puzzled look on her face from time to time if she's not sure about something.  Wish we lived a bit closer.
We had an adventurous trip south though with snow closing roads behind us as we travelled – a little too exciting at times but a fabulous time all the same.  We had to buy snow chains but fortunately did not end up having to use them.  This photo was taken out of the car window somewhere between Balclutha & Gore - I'm not sure exactly but it was just so beautiful ... and treacherous ... and cold.
I sold my little green car toward the end of the year and bought a scooter to get around on.  It is cheaper to run and I love it - put my first lot of petrol in the other day $5.86 and that is for a whole months running around. It is so easy to zap down to the shop and it has a decent sized storage compartment under the seat - I look for any excuse to go shopping.  The grin says it all.
Christmas has now been and gone and it was a busy time workwise with taking residents out to see all the Christmas lights and all of the other Christmas activities.  We had family here for a few days and it was lovely to see them and share Christmas Day with them.
I promise to be more onto it next year with my blog.  I want to focus more on creating in 2015 ... here's hoping!!!


Tim Holtz Tags for 2014

I just realised that I haven't posted on my blog for almost a year - shame on me.  So much has happened in that time too. 

I decided early on in the year to have a go at completing Tim Holtz Tags of 2014 and have today completed the final one - here they are in order.

Thanks to Beth Barnes for letting me use her 'stuff' to create this tag
My first attempt at going it alone - not altogether happy with this one, but I'm learning
Simple tag but interesting background technique
I love the way the cogs have turned out, will be using this technique again
Not sure about this one either but I like the background technique
Had fun creating the background on this
First time I had embossed a transparency - quite like the effects on this tag
Great resist technique and I love how the texture paste absorbed the colour
Not sure about this one either - it's hard when you don't have any of the products Tim uses
I love how this turned out - it has to be one of my favourites.  The cat was fun to do - will be using this technique again
I like the overall effect of this tag but it is nothing like Tim's
This is my other favourite - I love how it all came together

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

NZ Papercrafters February 2014 Challenge

Hi from an overcast Blenheim - a perfect day for scrapbooking, but hey, when isn't it a perfect day for scrapbooking.

Guess what - my layout was drawn out as the winning layout in the January challenge for NZ Papercrafters.  My prize, a cute packet of Bo Bunny stamps.  Perfect on several levels as I don't own many stamps and I just love Bo Bunny.  Thanks so much Beth Barnes, they will definitely be appearing on a layout soon.

This month, being February, Valentines and all, the topic is LOVE.  I had these cute photos of Kaycee and decided to use him as the subject for my layout.
"We still don't know where you came from.
You just arrived in our garage and made yourself at home,
but we are so glad you chose us for your family."
The idea was scraplifted but I forgot to take a note of where I first saw it, so my apologies to the original designer. 

The background paper was created with paint, gesso, ink, pen, and washi before being sealed with Mod Podge.  This helps hold the washi on as some tapes tend to lift.  The bricks are texture paste through a stencil and there are little silver sequins randomly placed across the page.  Most of the flowers are from Prima and the leaves I made myself.  They are simple leaf graphics, printed, cut out and then "Dimensional Magic" spread over the top to give them that glossy look.  As they dry, they curl which adds to the dimensional effect.  The metal embellishments have been given a coat of copper mixative from the Tim Holtz range of alcohol inks - I just love what it does.

The polaroid look frames were cut from chipboard, painted, stamped and distressed.  They were very simple to make and I love them.

Nothing on this page was purchased especially for this project.  We are on a tight budget so everything you see here was from our stash.  I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Happy scrapping.  See ya.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

From Hamilton ... to Blenheim ...

As you will have seen from my previous post we are now living in Blenheim. How did this happen?

Very good question!!!  Two days before Jan and I left to go to Scrapfest last year I was given notice from my job at Paperzone in Hamilton.  I was not surprised when it came as I had a feeling that 2013 was going to be a year of changes but I certainly did not expect what was coming next.  Anyway, I am racing ahead a little.  

The following day I was vacuuming the floor at the shop, as I often did, when I found a white feather near the front door.  Nothing unusual in that you might say, but it was the first time I had ever seen one there and white feathers have some significance for Jan and I.  I went home and told her I thought it was a sign and that all would be okay.  

We were determined not to let the news spoil our trip to Scrapfest as we had been looking forward to it for so long.  We had an interesting road trip south to Nelson, plenty of time to talk about what our options were, mull over some ideas, but generally just enjoy the scenery.  

Mount Ruapehu

We were about two and a half hours into our trip when all of a sudden the car radio came on - by itself.  Jan was driving and I was just gazing out the window at the scenery - I thought her mobile phone was ringing only it wasn't, and the radio had been switched off before we left Hamilton, so it was definitely a little spooky.  We both looked at each other and said "Ann".  Ann was Jan's close friend who had just passed away and we were imagining her playing little tricks on us as we traveled.  The words of the song that was playing were along the lines of "this is not where you are meant to be" - it is a song I had never heard before nor since - another sign perhaps.  

That was not the end of the 'spooky' events however as when we entered the Marlborough Sounds a man tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out the most beautiful rainbow - both ends were in the sea.  When I turned to talk to the man he had disappeared - it was a big deck and I had not turned away from him for very long so I am left wondering if he was ever there.  For me, rainbows are definitely a sign - usually of something good - maybe this was where we were meant to be.  

Our 'welcome' to the South Island
Anyway, Scrapfest was fantastic - superbly organised, fabulous venue at Monaco Resort, and we are still buzzing almost six months later.   We learnt a lot, met some fabulous people and I remember having a conversation with one of the organisers and telling her that I had been feeling that Scrapfest was going to be a turning point for Jan and I and that was why it was so important that we be there.  Boy, I was not wrong.

Monaco Resort, Nelson

We had been hassled by one of the attendees, Beth (nicely of course), about coming from the North Island and she told us that we needed to have a passport to go to the South Island so we had made up pretend passports ready to be stamped.  Unfortunately Beth forgot to bring her stamp so she suggested she take our passports, stamp them and post them to us.  We agreed but later got a text from her inviting us to stop off in Blenheim for coffee, which we did - at the lovely Raupo Cafe.  We had a really enjoyable time and thought Blenheim was a lovely place.

Raupo Cafe, Blenheim
Our road trip home was uneventful and the following day I took Jan to Auckland so she could fly down and spend time with Michael, Anna and Ellie.  I spent the time at home catching up with a few jobs and then it was time to go and pick Jan up from Auckland.  When she went back to work there was a letter on her desk advising her that the company was going to restructure and seven people were going to lose their jobs.  Funnily enough this didn't faze either of us.  We just knew she was going to be one of them and we set about thinking what our next move was.  The process for choosing who would stay and who would go was put in place and, after what seemed an eternity, she received notice that she too was being made redundant.  A quick trip to the bank and the decision was made to put the house on the market and move to Blenheim.  The house sold with three weeks and then we had to quickly find somewhere to live.  If ever there was a sign that something was meant to be - this was it.
Borman Road, Hamilton
Another road trip and we had secured a new home and then back to Hamilton to pack up all our worldly goods.  

Weld Street, Blenheim
Oh my, it all happened so fast.  A month later and the entire contents of our house had been packed into a truck, the two cats and ourselves were packed into the car, and we were all on our way to a new life, in a new town, in a new island, doing goodness knows what.  But watch this space ...

January 2014 Layout Challenge

Well, here we are, it's a new year and so much has happened in the last couple of months.  More about that in the next post - suffice to say that we now live in Blenheim.  Since moving here we have joined NZ Papercrafters and Marlborough Papercrafters, both Facebook groups which we are excited to be a part of.

NZ Papercrafters set a challenge to use a layout from as the basis for creating one of our own.  Here is my take on the challenge.

With plain white card as the base (actually the insert from a photo album) I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Stains in "Chipped Sapphire" and "Faded Jeans" to create the watery background.  This was left to dry and then India Ink was trailed randomly around the page from an eye dropper with a few drops splattered across the page to finish.  Again, that was left to dry before stamping the Kaisercraft "Script" stamp onto the background in a couple of places.  The strips of red chevron washi tape were added followed by the 4 frames using yellow, red & blue chevron and lime green polka dot washi tapes.  As washi has a tendency to lift, I put a thin coat of Mod Podge over the taped areas.  I found some red and white bakers twine in my stash and attached that using a trail of liquid adhesive.  I found a small wooden heart which I painted and added my title, inked the edges and sealed with Glossy Accents before adding a tiny bow made from the remnant of the bakers twine.  I found a plain white paper clip and added little spots of red paint to give the illusion of stripes and topped it with a flower charm to complete.  This was clipped over the photo and attached with a pop dot to add extra dimension.

The photo was taken on Boxing Day (2013).  Ellie was being held by her dad but I just loved her expression so decided to zoom in and focus on her face.  Removing the colour from the photo was easy and really emphasized her beautiful eyes and cute little mouth.  She was dressed in red and white and this has been reflected in the use of red and white as the dominant colour for the embellishments.  I love this little pic of her and even have it on my phone.