Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Last minute entries. . .


When I saw the Color Throwdown colours this week, I immediately knew I wanted to use them. BUT, I had a 4th birthday party to organise and NO time over the last week to do much card making. I also have Fathers Day coming next week-end, so had to find a little time to help my eldest daughter make a card for her Daddy. My card for him is yet to be created, eek. I also need to get a card sent off to my own Dad. It most definitely won't make it to him in time (he lives a long way away) but at least I made it before the day. . .

On Sunday evening, we sat down to make some cards. The big girl and I had chosen the colour scheme, we had chosen the papers and card stock, we had chosen the images, but the layout was eluding me.  We finally got the first card made, but I was still struggling. So last night I went looking for a sketch to use, because my own inspiration was sadly lacking. I found Dawny's Sketch at Simon Says Stamp, and I liked it.

So my card uses, Color Throwdown #156, which is these lovely colours:
and Simon Says Stamp, Dawny's sketch:
And my card looks like this:

 I used:
Stamps - Garden Friends by Jane's Doodles
Card - Crumb Cake, Perfect Plum, Barely Banana
Patterned Paper - So Saffron pattern from Washington Apple
Ink: Perfect Plum, Crumb Cake, Barely Banana, Memento Tuxedo Black
Googly eyes came from my stash

My daughter's card is this one:
It took us ages to come up with this design. My girls take after their Mummy a little with their perfectionism, sigh!  She wasn't happy with her colouring, but I think she did a great job. She's 8 (going on 18).

I hope you like the cards. You can see that my love affair with Garden Friends has not yet ended. It is such a lovely set of images, and the stamps work SO WELL. I'm really enjoying them.

What do you think?


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Dora Rainbow Cake


Every year I make each of my girls their birthday cakes. Sometimes I have to call on my hubby for the execution of the design (because he is awesome at presentation), but this year I did it ALL BY MYSELF.  This year's challenge for me was to find a recipe for the actual cake part of the cake that was yummy to eat. Every time I make butter cake, it ends up crumbly and dry and definitely not fine and soft. But this year I was determined to make something yummy to eat to go inside the awesome outside decoration of the cake, LOL.

I went first to Bakerella, because she is just the BEST baking blog in the whole wide world. I didn't need to go any further, because she told me how to get moist butter cake, AND she gave me a recipe to follow.  The recipe is in imperial measurements, but I managed to convert to metric okay.  Bakerella calls this a Moist Yellow Cake

For the icing I made a butter icing using 250g of butter and about 6 cups of icing sugar, eek!  I only put a little bit between the layers and saved the smothering for the outside of the cake.

The final product is not the best Dora in the world, but my little girl was thrilled, the cake tasted delicious, and everyone was happy.

When I made the layers, I couldn't tell what their colour was going to end up, because the outside was a bit brown from cooking. So cutting into this cake today was a beautiful rainbow surprise for me as well as all the little kids.

For this cake, I followed the tip from Bakerella which said to wrap the cake in plastic wrap 5 minutes after it came out of the oven. I wrapped each layer separately. I also put all the layers in the freezer after they had totally cooled, because I made the cake last week-end.  I defrosted them overnight last night. When I took them out of their plastic wrap today, they were so easy to handle, and they were moist as can be. Perfect outcome for me. I actually iced a cool cake this year, which means the icing stayed in place much more easily, LOL.

Would you like a slice?


Friday, 26 August 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, my darling!


Today is my littlest girl's 4th birthday. I have been thinking about this card for weeks. My little girl is VERY particular, and I've been trying to figure out how to interpret her requests for her card so that she loves the outcome.  Yesterday she added to the list of requests that she wanted a cake on her card and that she wanted to "see it from the bottom". With that unreasonable and impossible request in my mind, I decided to just go ahead and make a card with cupcakes, LOL!

The colour scheme today I have taken from The Play Date Cafe Challenge #96:
Isn't this colour scheme so pretty?

I don't have that pale mint colour, so I had to dig deep into my card stash to find something similar; and because I had to dip into my stash for much of this card, I am entering it into the Just Add Ink Challenge #82 this week, which calls on us to "use something from our stash"! I had to dig so deep that I can't even remember what the coral patterned paper is - maybe from SU Raspberry Tart?

The card I made has four cupcakes for the fourth birthday.  I used SU Cameo Coral, Very Vanilla, and Sage Shadow. I used the Build a Cupcake punch and the Create a Cupcake stamp set. The other patterned paper is Pebbles Happy Go Lucky Carefree.

The photo is terrible. It was taken very early this morning, and we have a very, very dull day outside. Even sitting right beside the window, there was barely any light.

The good news is that my little girl loves her cupcake card, even though it uses green and she doesn't like green because "green isn't in a real rainbow", LOL.  I think the card passed muster because the big sister gave the little sister a rainbow skirt as a present, and she was distracted by how BEAUTIFUL her new skirt was.

What do you think?


Friday, 19 August 2011

CASEing Chupa in Yellow


Over at CASE Study this week, we have been challenged to CASE Chupa.  Chupa invited us to look through her blog to choose something to CASE. I was wandering through her CAS-ify Me posts when my eldest daughter popped by to look over my shoulder. I happened to be on this week's post, and my daughter started "Ooh-ing" and "Ahh-ing" over Chupa's old card that she had CASEd herself this week.  When I asked her what it was that she liked about the card, she told me it was the embossed dots, the repeated pattern, and the ribbon.  So I had my CASE subject chosen for me by my gorgeous girl asking for "a card like that".

I decided that I would change the colours to those from this week's CR84FN challenge:
This would have to be one of my favourite colour combinations, probably because yellow is my favourite colour.

This is Chupa's card (and you can also see her CASE of this same card on her blog):

Even though my daughter just loves that embossing, I have a small limitation in my stamping equipment, I don't have a embossing/die cut machine. . . so I made my own texture by punching hearts, edging them in white and sticking them down. I moved my sentiment up onto the white panel (and I promise it is much  more visible in real life), and I used small pearls instead of the big flower.  Here is my version:
All products on this one are Stampin' Up! Colours are Crumb Cake (Kraft) and Daffodil Delight. The image is from Circle Circus (love that set). The sentiment is Curly Cute.

My daughter ran out the door at top speed at 6.30am this morning, racing to basketball practice, so she hasn't seen this yet.  I think she'll like it.

What do you think?


Girly & Gutsy, and maybe a little Sexy. . .


When I saw the Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World this week, I had an idea almost immediately formed in my head in response.  I worked away at it yesterday and came up with a card that when my husband saw it, he said, "Oh yes, that is one sexy card! Is it for me?"  Now, to put this comment in context, usually when I show my hubby my cards he makes non-committal "Mmmm" sounds, or says something like, "That's nice." This time, it was a BIG reaction, LOL! I'm still giggling 12 hours later.

The trigger photo is this one:
In my card I have tried to set the scene with the swirly carpet, the black table, the sparkly light fittings, I even put candles on my table. Under my sentiment I have stamped a starburst to represent the chandelier at the same time as representing the framed mirror.  Here it is:

What I used:
Candlesticks, starburst, and yellow paper are all Pink Paislee Soiree.
Pink card is Pretty in Pink.
Black Swirl is SU Jumbo Wheel "So Swirly"
Black Ink is Memento Tuxedo Black, Pink Ink is SU Pretty In Pink
Sentiment is SU "Best Yet"

This card is not really my usual style, but I'm enjoying it.

What do you think?


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Yellow flower for CTD 154


I have a couple of cards to share with you today.

One is an entry into Color Throwdown #154.  The colours this week are lovely:
Here is my card, a nice CAS flower:
This flower was a bit tricky. I'm sure there is an easier way to create it than the way I did it, sigh!

What I used (all SU):
Card: Old Olive, Daffodil Delight
Paper: Basic Grey patterns, So Saffron (not sure which DSP these are)
Ink: Old Olive

The other card is another birthday card, using Garden Friends, and my hoppy friend from yesterday.  Not a response to a challenge,  I am just enjoying this stamp set. :-)
This froggy is so cute! I used Inktense pencils - Apple Green (ground), Fern (frog & leaves), Cadmium Yellow, Bright Blue, and Hot Red. I only have 6 pencils, LOL, I'll have to expand my collection. . .   The cardstock is Whisper White and Old Olive. The patterned paper is "Chirpy" from Happy Go Lucky by Pebbles.

We have an afternoon thunder storm happening today. Very weird. We get these in Summer, all the time, but rarely in Winter. At this time of year we usually have the westerly winds bringing cold, dusty wind to us, but not today. Today it is pretending to be Summer (without the heat).


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hoppy Birthday!


My little girl is off to a 5th birthday party today.  I had an idea brewing for this card for a couple of weeks.  When I described it to my daughter, she said, "No, that doesn't sound very good". When I showed her the card she said, "Well, it isn't very good. He'll play with it, that's what little kids do with cards that aren't very good."  So I added a flower, and she said, "Yes, now it's perfect!" LOL  My little girl cracks me up.

I used Garden Green designer paper lily pads (made from ovals with a notch cut out), Not Quite Navy pond, Bashful Blue card matte as sky, pale Green grass, whisper white clouds (build a cupcake punch), I coloured the froggy with Inktense Apple Green and SU Garden Green spots. The flower is Cameo Coral and Real Red punched with a flower punch. The stamp set is Garden Friends by Jane's Doodles.

I LOVE it, what do you think?


Thursday, 11 August 2011

A CASE Study with Luminous Layers


Sometimes I see an inspiration challenge and think straight away - oh, I just have to respond to that one!  Well, with this week's Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World, I first thought, "Oh, I want that dress!", and then thought, "I HAVE to respond to this challenge!"  This is the inspiration photo (pretty, isn't it?):

I have a couple of ideas. Both the same sort of concept.  This first idea is also responding to CASE Study #52 this week, where we have been asked to find an entry from a former challenge and CASE that person.  Because I wanted to make a Christmas card, I went looking in December last year and came up with a card by Andrea Matthews over at Work in Progress.  This is her card here:
It's beautiful, isn't it?

This is my card here:

And another photo:

And a bit of a close up to show you the sparkly, shimmery background and the layered tree:

To make this card, I used (almost all SU):  A 1" circle punch and punched out lots of little circles from lots of pieces of patterned paper.  I edged those with Chocolate Chip ink to mirror the chocolate brown stitching on the dress. I layered the circles to mimic the layers of the dress. The very vanilla cardstock I sponged with crumb cake ink around the outsides and then edged with chocolate chip. I matted on chocolate chip cardstock and the card base is old olive. The shimmer mist is champagne colour. The ribbon is old olive taffeta.

I'm really liking this card. I think it reflects both Andrea's card and the trigger dress in just the right ways. Of course, I think I'm going to have to go back and CASE Andrea's card again. It is a beauty and I love the techniques she used.

So what do you think?


Winter in Brisbane


No cards this time, I wanted to share some photos.

Looking over all the blogs out there, I was pondering the different look of the seasons around the world.  Here in Brisbane, we don't get much of a winter.  Brisbane winters are very mild, with only a few cold weeks. This means that we don't get that beautiful autumn blush that colder climates get leading into the cold, leafless winters.  We get a reduction in rain, and not so much HEAT.  Winter is our dry season, a relief for me after the muggy, humid summer.  So everything goes a bit brown/dull green and dusty with lack of water.

Anyway, for the last week or so, in our late winter with spring peeking in every now and then, I have noticed that the jacarandas have turned beautiful golden colours.  At the end of winter the jacaranda trees lose all their leaves in preparation for flowering in mid-Spring. They used to say (and probably still do), if you haven't started studying for end-of-year exams by the time the jacarandas bloom, it's too late. By the way, I proved that saying wrong plenty of times, LOL.

I love jacarandas in bloom, and I haven't ever really taken the time to appreciate jacarandas at this time of year.  Well, I'm appreciating them at the moment.  Here are a few photos. I haven't tweaked them in any editing programme other than to crop a couple of photos, so what you see is what my camera saw, without filters (in my amateur hands).

That's the Brisbane Winter sky peeking through behind my jacaranda tree.

Close up to show the beautiful red of the "twigs" (can't think of the correct name at present, they're not branches really).

I love these colours.

Can you see all those bits of yellow peeking through this scene? They're all jacarandas.  This is what I see from my front veranda. Ooh, I can't wait to see this scene in a month or two!  It's a bit smokey today, grass fires and burn offs are causing dull conditions.

For those of you who don't know, jacarandas in bloom look like this:
Their true beauty is when they are planted near other jacarandas, and Brisbane in mid-spring is a mass of jacaranda blue (which I would call purple).  Jacaranda season makes me smile.
A couple more photos from my winter garden. Autumn colours in winter:

And my Spoodle, Coco, in desperate shaggy need of a haircut:

I hope you enjoyed my show and tell.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

An Aussie Christmas


It's a colour challenge this week at "Less Is More" and we have been asked to create a card using the colours from our nation's flag.  You may or may not know that I am Australian.  The Australian flag is:
Blue, Red, and White

The card I posted yesterday was my first effort at answering to this challenge, but as you can see, it became "More" rather than "Less" the more I worked on it, so I submitted it elsewhere, LOL.  I really wanted to do the navy blue card base, but every attempt I made didn't quite work for a "Less is More" card.

So, I reverted back to the first idea that came to me, and I am so, so happy that I did.  I'm not sure the photo does this card justice.  In real life it is a beautiful card (and you don't hear me say that very often about my own cards).

Here it is:

What I used (all SU):
Ink: Real Red, Night of Navy
Card: Whisper White
Stamps: Snow Swirled, Four the Holidays

I'm loving this card so much, I might make some more. What do you think?


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

CAS Christmas


Quick one tonight.  With this one I started with one idea and finished with an entirely different one. I quite like how it turned out.

I'm entering this into CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #14 where they are asking that we use adhesive dots or strips to add glitter to our project.

I used glue strips with two techniques.  For my glittery red strips, I heat embossed sparkly embossing powder. For my glittery white strips, I just dunked the strips into glitter (and got glitter EVERYWHERE, lucky I like to sparkle, LOL). It was slightly tricky lining the glue strip up on my card strips because I cut the card the exact size of the glue strip before I started. . . but I got there.  I used weaving for my background.  I got the idea from Cristina's card.  The weaving in my card is snuggled into a window cut in my navy coloured card.

I am also entering this card into Simon Says Stamp "Christmas In August" challenge.

Here is my card:

It is so hard to photograph white glittery bits on cards!  You can see the glitter clearer in my top section photo. And you can see the texture of the weaving a bit better here:

Colours used were Whisper White, Real Red, Night of Navy. Sentiment is SU Four the Holidays.  I hand cut the star (don't look too close).

What do you think?


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Another CASE Study!


I'm loving this week's CASE Study Challenge, I wish I had more time to make cards, I think I could go on forever! 

This time I am using the colours from this week's ColourQ Challenge:

My second CASE muse is Cristina, with this card:

Unfortunately, I didn't come anywhere close to the elegance of Cristina's original, so I think I might need to practice and make some more, because I just LOVE this card, and it is actually fairly easy to make.  For me, I need to either shrink the size of my card, or increase the size of my butterfly, I think. . . what do you think? I thought of adding extra butterflies (since I don't have a bigger butterfly right now), but couldn't work out how to keep the simplicity and do that. You should have seen me physically holding myself back from adding "extra bits" to this card, LOL!
This card uses all Stampin' Up! products. Basic Grey designer paper, Bashful Blue card and spongeing around sentiment, Tempting Turquoise card, Old Olive ink. Stamps are from: Organic Grace, All a Flutter, Sweet Little Sentiments. I also used 2 2/8" and 1 3/4" scallop circle punches.

I actually really like how these two scallop circles work together, they make a really pretty aperture in the paper.  I don't think the photo shows so well that the grey and turquoise is popped up, but in real life it looks lovely.

What do you think?