Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Winter Blah!

Why, oh why, do I have reoccurring bouts of Mondayitis? It has been a grey, Winter weekend where it feels like nothing got done and the house is littered with empty Milo mugs and a trail of Hansel and Gretel crumbs.

Isn't it funny that when the kids were little I thought that our house wouldn't always be this messy, it would get better as they got older.  Now, of course, I know that the messes just get bigger as they get bigger and instead of removing purloined millipedes and marbles from baby mouths I am confiscating torches from those reading well past bedtime.  We have entered a new phase of parenting. I am a taxi driver.  I am the mum that doesn't do what "everyone else's mum" does.  I am also frequently the "bad cop" when it comes to policing food and viewing choices.

Sometimes it is hard to be the teacher turned parent. Dan told me, the other day, that I didn't have to "make everything a learning opportunity" and while I know he is right I still worry. Are we teaching them enough?  Are we holding them too tight or giving them too much free reign?

These are the questions I turn to when I can't sleep.

It has been a funny kind of weekend. We moved a ton of wood. I fixed the wood heater (replacing two fire bricks and the top plate but not the baffle because that will only come out if we remove every single brick!) I made bread. We've been using the bread maker a lot lately but a loaf disappears in a single sitting. We ate minestrone for what seemed like days but in all fairness was probably only two dinners and one lunch. I made cheesy egg and bacon tarts for brunch - delish.
James tinkered with my computer trying to get the essentials moved across to my new desktop.  We still have a way to go.  I am yet to fall in love with a new operating system that seems totally unintuitive.
I finished a shawl from handspun and an ancient project for a Winter jumper.
I began pruning the roses (the ones closest the house that missed out last year and won't get frosted). It feels too early to be pruning. I know they say "prune in June" but James' plant-loving Aunt always said "except in the Hills" I did like my slow and methodical approach this year- just pottering along and clipping the bits into manageable pieces until the green bin was full. It felt like a more manageable way of gardening, to just do a couple of bushes at a time until I am done instead of that frantic, harried feeling of busting a gut one weekend in August and ending dishevelled, torn and covered in thorn scratches.

In the end, it wasn't so much the full bin as the thunderous, dark grey-blue clouds that drove me inside to light the fire. Despite their ominous threat they moved around us and we didn't get more than a spit or two.

I am toying with the idea of keeping a garden journal. An almanac of sorts, where I can observe that the Daphne is budding up nicely and the yellow rose is putting on a brave face and still offering up one lonely bud at a time despite the Winter chill. I had to remove two dead native plants from outside the kitchen window. It made me sad. The birds used to like to hide in them. I may go to the nursery this week and see if I can find something that blooms in Winter and attracts my little feathered friends.

Enough ramblings for now. I will be back soon with some crafty show and tell.
May your week be kind to you.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop No Worries

Hello and welcome to our June Blog Hop featuring the beautiful "No Worries" paper collection.  I am excited to have another South Australian joining our Blog Hop group this month - hello to anyone who found us from  Doreen's Blog and hello to my regular readers,

I love the colours in the No Worries collection and it suits our Aussie lifestyle so well. This one is so easy to use.
The No Worries paper works equally well with White Daisy and Colonial White or Cashmere or Slate, but I love it with a bit of brown thrown in. What's not to love about blue and brown together?

This month I used two ideas from our "Cherish" ideas book.  Don't you love that faded woodgrain paper?

This one is "portrait collection" from page 76 and the other is "simple contrast" from page 28

Our Scrapbook Program and Cardmaking Program And Make it From Your Heart books are a great place to start if you are time poor or looking for inspiration. They are also great value with the books at $23 and the Make it From Your Heart volumes only $12. We all lose our scrapping mojo sometimes and I find that if I have hit a bit of a block, or I am tired and lacking inspiration these
books are just the right thing to get me scrapping again.

I used a PML piece and a bit of zip strip teamed with some sequins and an old sentiment that was lurking around in my scrap bin to whip up a card too:
My daughter has recently become a teenager and I am thinking that this might suit quite well for a teen or tween birthday card.

This last page is a bit of a favourite. I teamed some scraps of No Worries (the sunglasses PML and the chevron zip strip) with a piece of old whimsy fundamentals and some Pacifica cardstock. I used white Daisy ink with our Handwritten Print Alphabet (my favourite Alphabet set E1030) then inked over the top with Saphire ink to give it some dimension. Such a quick, easy and effective page. Apologies that Blogger wants it to be sideways.  None of my photos have been edited this month as I had a disaster with my computer this week.  The screen is totally trashed (thanks children) so this has been cobbled together as best I can while we wait for a new screen.

So That is it for me. Why not head over and visit Maz to continue the Hop?
Until next time,
Happy scrapping,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scrap Happy!

Scrap quilts, Scrap booking, Scrap Wool Projects. Seems like I just can't get enough of scraps at the moment.  I am not sure if it is growing up on a farm in a big family that has made me frugal, or just part of the something from nothing/make do and mend philosophy but scrappy projects just give me so much joy!

I just finished prepping for this month's card buffets and then gave myself permission to play. Things weren't coming together well for me at all until I started to pack up and was fiddling with my scraps..bam..the mojo hit and I was well into the 5th page before dinner.

I have set myself a Winter Scrap Challenge with my wool basket.  My woolly projects have kind of got out of hand in the loungeroom so while I was cleaning up for the birthday sleepover of the century akka Hannah turns Teenager I put all of my partial balls/scraps in one basket.  I have since made 4 hats (the two crocheted ones are no pattern but the knitted ones are little "Quynn") and I am halfway through a pair of socks and the basket hasn't diminished at all.  I also made this little "Milo" using scraps too.

My next thing of course is to get my fabric organised so that I can make some more scrap quilts.  There are a few current quilting projects that I need to finish first though; Briony's quilt, the disappearing 9 patch for my folks, Hannah's Christmas quilt and Emmy Lou's Braids which was started a million years ago.

Disaster struck this week.  My kids were fighting in the back of the car and then when we got home the computer (which was in the back of the car) wouldn't work.
The screen is cracked.  I feel quite bereft but thankful that at least it is only the screen and the hard drive will be okay.  NOTE TO SELF: back up EVERYTHING ASAP.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, blogging is a bit tricky until we get the technology sorted so don't be surprised if I am missing in action for a short while, and apologies that none of these photos have been edited.

Until next time,
I hope you are savouring your scraps too?
Keep smiling

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CTMH Blog Hop June SOM

Hello and welcome.  If you have arrived here from Lauren's Blog you are in the right place.  Just keep clicking on the links at the bottom of each post to go right around.

Now, this month's stamp of the month "Hello Foxy" is cute and fun.  Unfortunately, as I type this, our lovely farm neighbours are baiting for foxes in the hope that they don't lose too many lambs this season.  Foxes are somewhat of a pest in Australia so I can't imagine using these little guys on a page anytime soon.

I do have a friend who loves foxes (her nickname is Foxy) and has a birthday coming up so I made her this birthday card. I used Pacifica cardstock and the basket weave paper and burlap ribbon from the No Worries Workshop Your Way.

This stamp lends itself really well to card making.  I have two team members going through some tough times so I wanted to send them a card.  The wreath is just perfect for popping a sweet sentiment in.
 Ever wondered what to do with those zip strips? They make great little accents on cards.

 And the orange paper on this one is a PML piece from the Prickly Pear paper.  If the sentiment is not to my liking I will often use these as a mount for photos or cards.

Now, a note on watercolours.  You will notice that my watercolouring is not perfect but this month I set myself a challenge to use our watercolours over my personal preference of watercolour pencils or Shinhan markers.  The reason is simple. This weekend I needed a sign for my stall and my almost 13 year old made one for me on a canvas using our watercolours.  I have adapted it to use as my new blog header. I was enormously proud of her for giving it a go.  She has stepped out of her comfort zone quite a lot lately and it was a reminder to me to do the same (ah, the things we learn from our children) I was a folk-art painter before I had kids, and also did Senior Art at highschool but I think like all skills if you don't use it you tend to lose it and in my own brain I was not confident using our watercolours.  They really are easy though - and lots of beautiful colours for only $18.00.  I have even used the watercolours with my kindy kids and they held up really well and lasted a long time even with constant use from 4 year olds.

This last project was my favourite.  Remember that I am on a mission to bring back the border? The sweet little flowers on this one really look lovely scattered as a border.  I mixed it with some raspberry cardstock and the seaglass stripe from our Prickly Pear paper.

That is it from me, now head over to Shaunna's blog for some more great ideas.
Happy scrapping!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Little Dreamer Australasian Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to our feature paper pack "Little Dreamer" Close to My Heart Blog Hop for Australasia. If you have arrived here from Kara's blog then welcome, and welcome to those who arrived here by accident.

This paper pack is unashamedly girly and cute.  My youngest daughter wanted to be a unicorn when she grew up (until she started school and realised the improbability of this happening!)  Needless to say, this paper pack is absolutely perfect for her.  It lends itself really well to cute, girly pages celebrating fun and friendship and I just love the unicorn stamp in the Little Dreamer Cardmaking stamp.

This pack also works really well with the Whimsy Fundamentals, and the complements are so sweet and sparkly too! I made a couple of quick cards with leftovers and scraps from some other compliments packs. I love how many colours are in this pack - it makes it very easy to coordinate and use up bits of cardstock! I hope you enjoy using Little Dreamer as much as I have.  

Happy National Scrapbooking Month to you. May we all find joy in celebrating and sharing those precious moments captured by our photos! To see more of the hop keep going by following to Megan's blog http://cropcraftcreate.com/2017/05/20/little-dreamer-australasian-blog-hop
Till next time,
Keep smiling,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Live Beautifully" Australasian Blog Hop

This month is National Scrapbooking Month and Close to My Heart are celebrating with a gorgeous "Live Beautifully" Paper pack ($23) and stamp set ($27) and the "Live Beautifully" Cut Above Kit (5 double page layouts with page protectors for only $68.50!) This is a GREAT month for those new to scrapbooking to scoop up a bargain with the Live Beautifully Album Kit - a grey or black album, cut above pages and protectors, a black pen and a tape runner all for only $103.95! If you have photos on your phone and not printed, or if you have never scrapbooked before, then this is the month to make those memories shine!

If you have arrived here from Kara's blog http://creatingwithkaradavies.blogspot.com/2017/05/live-beautifully-australasian-blog-hop.html then welcome.  Welcome back to all of my regular readers too.

Most of us will be running special National Scrapbooking Month workshops this month so contact your consultant to find out more!

These first few layouts are from the Cut Above kit.  The last one I really mixed it up a bit by using some of the "No Worries" complements and paper to give it a beach theme.

This one was done using the Live Beautifully Paper Pack:

 This one is based on a layout by Jo Armstrong (a very talented Kiwi consultant) - the champagne ink was just the right colour to match my cream coloured wedding dress. Great to finally get these 14 year old photos scrapped!

I also wanted to show you that this paper pack is not just great for formal/girly/love photos.  This ombre Seaglass paper was perfect with a little bit of Whimsy fundamentals to create a super quick layout for my son.

Then these are two simple cards I taught my customers this month - both using the Live Beautifully Stamp set (one with some scraps from my big organiser full of paper scraps, Cranberry and Fern ink and the other with Sea Glass ink and the black floral paper with the ombre seaglass paper from the Live Beautifully Paper Pack.

Both designs took inspiration from my fabulous friend Jacquie Paech.

So many talented consultants have done stunning work with this beautiful collection!

Now for more inspiration head over to Shaunna's blog at http://passionateaboutpages.com/2017/05/10/live-beautifully-australasian-blog-hop  Don't forget to contact your consultant to make the most of these special May only products (and if you don't have a consultant yet then feel free to shop with me at www.nellward.closetomyheart.com.au)

Happy National Scrapbooking Month!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Live, Laugh, Love Blog Hop

Welcome to our Australasian Blog Hop for the Live, Laugh, Love Stamp of the Month for May.
If you have arrived here from http://expressionsofthe-heart.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/may-live-laugh-love-australasian-stamp.html you are in the right place. Just keep following the links at the end of each blog to go right around.

I absolutely LOVE this stamp.  You can see from my blog header that this is one of my favourite maxims and something I very much try to live by.

The text on this stamp is so versatile - it looks entirely different using different techniques.
My first card used gold embossing powder, gold glitter paper and the lovely gold foil print from our National Scrapbook Day feature paper (which will be in a Blog hop all of its own this month!)

The same "Love" stamp looks totally different in black memento ink and pen work.

This little birthday card used some of our new "Little Dreamer" paper (which will also make an appearance in a Blog Hop this month!) I teamed it with a scrap of fundamentals and some white twine.

Although this stamp is perfect for cards I also love it on album pages:

This one uses Whimsy Fundamentals, Little Dreamer and glacier cardstock.

And this is crystal blue cardstock, Little dreamer paper and assorted leftovers from complements packs.

But this one is my favourite: Sapphire cardstock, the seaglass ombre paper and rose paper from our "Live Beautifully" NSD pack and a few of my most favourite recent photos!

So that is it for me. Now take a peak at http://doristaylor.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/ctmh-may-stamp-of-month-blog-hop.html . Enjoy the Blog hop!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Taking Stock: The way things are: April

I've come to enjoy this tradition which oddly seems to coincide with school holidays.  I can't remember the last time I enjoyed school holidays quite so much.  With all of us home we really have made the most of it.  There have been lots of sleep ins, reading in bed and cooked breakfasts.  There has been lots of crafting time and unfortunately (or fortunately depending who you are) lots of t.v. and screen time for the rest of the family.  We spent Easter at Aldinga. We have had lovely shared time with friends and spent a glorious day at Bushland Park wandering the track we use for Bush Kindy.
Easter Selfies with my girls!
A great walk along the beach at Willunga
Easter morning - never too old for Easter Bunny 
All in all a most satisfying holiday.
Big brother teaching Little Sister to skim stones at Bushland Park - how to make mummy's heart melt!

Making : progress on the WIPS - finishing the second sleeve on my blue jumper and finished Maddie's school cardigan this week too
Cooking : malteser cheesecake for James' birthday
Drinking : coffee, and probably a little too much red wine but it is holidays so care factor?
Reading: Drums of Autumn (ALL holidays - I was hooked!)
Trawling: Pinterest looking for skirt patterns
Wanting: To make myself some simple, flattering, quick skirts from the stash fabric
Looking: For suitable high waisted work pants (not easy to find)
Deciding: I really need to lose weight
Wishing: It was that easy!!!
Enjoying: The sound of children alternatively chortling, shrieking with delight, and grumping at one another - the sounds of siblings
Waiting: for James to put the fire on
Liking: the slow but sure success that is coming with my 100 day goal
Wondering: If this house will ever really be clutter free
Loving: Cheese and onion bread toasted
Pondering: How to keep the rabbit out of mischief in the loungeroom
Listening: to the sound of footsteps upstairs
Considering: Best way to market beginner scrapbook classes
Watching: Call the midwife (episode after episode)
Hoping: For a more relaxed term at kindy (bring on Bush kindy!)
Marvelling: At how well my pot plants are growing - normally I kill anything in a pot!
Cringing: At the inevitable chaos and mess that happens when we are all at home
Needing: Fresh air and some serious Spring Cleaning (even though it is Autumn!)
Questioning: How I can keep the same relaxed feeling of holidays during term time
Smelling: my lovely Strawberries and Champagne Serenity Wicks candle - I am not really a candle fan but I do love Serena's fragrances.
Wearing: My comfy black leggings and burgundy tshirt dress and my almost dead black boots
Noticing: The sauce bottle without its lid and a big trail of crumbs on the table...definitely school holidays LOL
Knowing: That this is not a catastrophe and I will miss them when they are all grown
Thinking: About page layouts for SOM blog hop and National Scrapbooking Day
Admiring: Green Gate Porcelain on pinterest (how I wish we could get it somewhere in Australia!)
Getting: slightly chilled - definitely fire time
Bookmarking: slice recipes in Fete Magazine
Opening: Brand new paper packs to play with
Closing: Kitchen cupboards and drawers (I swear we have a ghost - they are ALWAYS open!)
Feeling: Blessed and grateful and slightly cold!
Celebrating: James' birthday tomorrow
Pretending: He is not getting older!
Embracing: My life, my family, and simple happiness

I hope that the holidays have been good to you, and that you are embracing the chill of Autumn in the air, and the many, simple joys in your life.
Happy weekend!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some Kind of Wonderful Blog Hop

Welcome to our April feature paper pack "Some Kinda Wonderful" Australasian Blog Hop.  Some of you may have arrived here from Georgia Creates.. just follow the links at the bottom of each blog to go the whole way around.

This is a remarkably versatile paper pack.  Depending on what colours you put with it you can end up with pages suitable for a wide range of topics.  I thought the easiest way to show you what I mean might be to do 1 layout 2 ways.

This layout is very simple. Cut a zip strip off a 12" piece of patterned paper.  Then cut the paper at 9 1/2"  Set aside the narrower strip and trim the bigger piece to 91/2" square and round the corners.  Use your remaining pieces, 1 with the same pattern cut down and corner rounded at the top for the piece on the right page, the other, flipped over (the joy of double sided paper!) trimmed as you like it for the border at the bottom of the left hand page.  Use the zip strip to create a vertical stripe on the left hand side. Embellish and corner round as you wish.  The glittery black embellishments have come from the "Some Kinda Wonderful" embellishments but the chevrons and arrow on the bottom layout are leftovers from the "Dreamin' Big" embellishments.  You can see what a difference is made just by altering the colours that you put with the Some Kind of Wonderful paper. The Slate gives it a more masculine feel and the Glacier makes it little girly and fun. I hope you have fun playing with this idea.

I also have a couple of cards and a tag to show you.  The "Birthday" sentiment is one of our thin cuts.

The little cup cake is a stamp and thin cut set called "Sweet Birthday".

And this little tag used up some scraps. I love the way that black just makes this paper pack pop.
Now head over to http://vandractmh.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/some-kinda-wonderful-australasian-blog.html to see just how versatile "Some Kinda Wonderful" can be.
Happy Easter to you!
Keep smiling,