Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three on Thursday

Three cheers for Spring!

  1. I am totally loving the nice sunny days we have been having now, which means it finally feels like Spring.  There’s nothing nicer than sitting in the warmth of the suns rays, reading a book or having a snooze.  It also means the girls can enjoy being outside more – running around, riding bikes and scooters.  Not too hot, not too cold – just right.  There is something refreshing about opening up all the windows and letting the house breathe again.
  2. The nicer weather also puts me in a better mood – more patient with the kids, more care-free and easy-going; less cranky.  It is also more motivating to get things done around the house so I can enjoy the rest of the day (see point 1).
  3. Cleaning – Spring-cleaning that is.  After being equipped with my new-found knowledge of de-cluttering and being more choice about what I want to surround us in our home, I am in the final stages of purging.  So far I have gathered approx 4 garbage bags of unwanted/unused/outdated toys, games and general household items that will be making their way to the charity bins, and a further 2 garbage bags of items collected that are no longer useful to anyone.  I still have to sort through all of the clothing yet.  My newest phrase is “it needs to find a new home” – be that a new location to be stored, or literally a different home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial

Tuesday Technique 26th October 2010.

In this second tutorial I show you how easy it is to emboss and add colour to vellum.
Vellum is commonly used on invitations as an overlay with information printed onto it, but it can easily be incorporated into your card making and scrapbooking in other ways.

Products Used:
*Ranger Perfect Medium
*Clearsnap Pearl Embossing Powder
*Kaszazz Cherry Blossoms rubber stamp
*Kaszazz acrylic block
*Heat Tool
*Tim Holtz Victorian Velvet Distress Ink (by Ranger)
*Ranger Ink Blending Tool

Thanks to Sue Bayliss for her inspirational card -

The pre-made card at the end also uses:
*Kaszazz A5 White cardstock
*Kaszazz Flourish Background rubber stamp
*Tim Holtz Pumice Stone Distress Ink (by Ranger)
*Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink (by Ranger)
*Swirl Ribbon (Kaszazz)
All materials used in this tutorial are available from Kaszazz (Australian residents only).

Tuesday Technical Issues...

I had pre-recorded my video yesterday, just waiting to upload it today - therein lies my mistake.  For the majority of today our internet wouldn't connect (we've been having issues since swapping ISPs but we thought a new modem/router would fix that - apparently not).  Then late this afternoon (after finally getting the internet working) I uploaded my video to Vimeo but it is still sitting in a queue waiting to be converted, so I have no idea how long it will be before it is available to be viewed.  Knowing how the day has gone so far, it will probably be tomorrow.  I promise it will be worth the wait :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three on Thursday - "Finally"

1. Finally I bought a frame to put a wedding photo on the wall - we've only been married 7 years.  We have lived in that many rentals we kind of got used to not having stuff on the walls, so although I had the photos, they have never been displayed outside of the "wedding album".  I do now fear that I have an unhealthy liking of picture hooks and a hammer... I managed to hang 13 frames in one afternoon.

2. Finally I'm getting organised!  If not physically, I have lots of plans and I now know how to deal with it.  Reading the Unstuff book has certainly helped me understand that our possessions/belongings/stuff are not us, or an extension of us, so if we are done with something (not using it any more, broken despite being a cherished item or really don't like it but are keeping it 'because') it's time to find it a new home - either in the bin, sold, donated to a person or charity or given back to the rightful owner.  I found the chapter on gifts particularly useful.  Trust me, it is well worth the read - and I now look at gift giving in another light.  The essence of it is that all gifts are/should be given freely with no strings attached.  If you receive a gift that you don't like apply the above rule about finding it a new home (although giving it back may be going a little too far).  On the other side of that, I realised that I would perhaps be offended if someone didn't like a gift I gave them, but after seeing it in a new way, I understand that it's the generosity and thought that count, not the physical gift and if they chose to 'get rid of it' then that's their choice and it's ok with me.

3. Finally Sophie's hair is long enough to pull back into a ponytail (of sorts).
Just for the record, Sophie has not had a dummy since she was about 3 months old.  She discovered this dummy I had kept with some of her other baby things and now that she knows where it is, she goes and steals it, then she carries it around and pretends to suck it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My New (more permanent) Space

I finally have my dining room back.  Friday the buffet I had bought off that-online-auction-site got delivered.  The instructions were ok - just a series of numbered parts (as long as you know the difference between a JK screw and a T screw).

Note - do not ever believe the estimated construction time.  2 people, 1 hammer, 1 screwdriver, 30 minutes... I think not!  Matt and I started at about 8pm Friday night and when it got to 11pm we called it quits for the night with the drawers still to assemble and one screw head stripped and not fully in.  I had a stall at a local market day Saturday, so while I was away Matt constructed the drawers and tried to figure out how to get the screw either in or out because it was protruding so that the drawer wouldn't close.  After I got home we looked up and figured we either needed some vice-grip pliers or an extractor drill bit.  Matt went and got both, along with some appropriately sized replacement screws because 1 stripped screw had turned into 2 (when going back and putting in the final screws).  It turned out the vice-grip pliers worked really well, and the replacement screws were fine.  Job well done.  Total construction time = approx 5hrs.

So by 5pm Saturday I finally started the job of transferring all my supplies over into the new drawers, and discovered that I needed a custom height for one of the shelves in the cupboard - I needed the space above for storage, but the bottom needed to fit 12x12 albums and papers... enter the handyman to drill me some holes to place the shelf higher.  By about 9pm Saturday I had the majority of my supplies transferred over - and had purged what was not going to stay.
The top left drawer is the home to the general stationery items (pens, textas, pencils, stapler, paperclips, etc) as well as the acrylic blocks and stamp cleaning pad (and baby wipes).

The center drawer is home to most of the common tools and materials used (rulers, embossing powders, adhesives, re-inkers, paints, etc).

The top right drawer is home to embellishments (ribbons, glitters, buttons, bling, pearls, etc).  I think this will be my favourite drawer.

The cupboards underneath house the bigger and heavier items, such as my Cuttlebug and trays that hold the folders and dies, the trays that house my ink pads, the box where I store all my A5 cardstock, my stamps (in CD cases), my 12x12 albums, and so on.

The little brown faux leather desk organiser is now where my most used tools are kept (archival pens, nail files, distresser, craft knife, scissors, bone folder, etc).

Unfortunately there isn't enough space in the buffet to hold my other craft items (like sewing machine, jewellery supplies, knitting and yarn, etc) so I have to find these a new home elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial

I did it!  I made my first video and uploaded it so I could share it with you (I'm still learning so please be forgiving).
This is a technique that I have been using quite a bit recently to quickly and easily colour in stamped images.

Please leave a comment about my video - as to what you like, how I could improve, and any techniques or topics you would like to see in the coming weeks.
As always, you can email me at if you have any specific questions or would like to place an order for any Kaszazz products (Australian residents only).

To update my current craft space, we finally put together the buffet that is now the home to all my papercraft supplies (and is the surface I used in the video).  Never believe what the instructions indicate as to the time it will take to assemble any flat-pack furniture.  Anyway, I'll post more about the "move" tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Figuring it out on Friday

Firstly, sorry to my readers that I have somewhat neglected my blog over the last month or so.  It has been a busy time for us (always something to do or somewhere to be) which has meant that I haven't found the time to be able to get crafty.  In that time I have come to some realisations and I hope to be able to carry out my new plans.
Last month was our 7th wedding anniversary - where did that time go?  We didn't go anywhere special (normally we spend a night away without the kids) but we did buy each other gifts.  I got Matt a puzzle as well as a new messenger style bag for him to take to and from work each day.  The puzzle was just because I saw it and liked it and I know how much he likes doing logic puzzles (e.g. the Professor Layton series as well as Scribblenauts on the DS).  It is kind of a mixture between tetris (each piece is a certain shape) and checkers (you try to make certain patterns using the coloured squares).  The messenger bag was primarily to transport his lunch and any accessories/devices. He had been using his laptop backpack but with being on the train in peak times it became a bit bulky and he very rarely takes the laptop any more, so a smaller option seemed a good choice.  Boys are so hard to buy for!
As for me, I got this little beauty:
Matt decided he would give me an abstract clue as to what I would be receiving by telling me 3 little words - "It's in America".  My instant reaction was "It's a Kindle".  I mean what else could be in America? (Um, yeah, it could have been a thousand different things!).  I've never said I wanted one, but a friend of mine has one and I had been telling him about it a long time ago.  I don't even know what made me jump to that conclusion straight away - maybe after those 7 years I can just "read" him (pun intended).  So for those who don't know what a Kindle is, it is an eBook reader that Amazon make/sell.  There are a few others on the market (Nook, Kobo, Sony, etc) but the new model of the Kindle was recently recently and the price is hard to match.  It uses it's own file format of books that you download via the Amazon Kindle store, as well as accepting Mobi files not restricted (e.g. out of copyright as found on sites like and PDF files.  It holds 4GB which is something like 3,500 books.  The screen uses a special "ink" (think of it like metal filings) that get loaded for each page, and the display is designed that it is equivalent to reading a book (no glare and great contrast) - and it's not backlit like a computer or LCD screen so it doesn't use battery to keep the page displayed, and reverts to a screensaver if it's not used in a certain period which also locks the keys.  Where available (on some of the Kindle files) you can enable text to speech and it will read to you (it sounds a bit like a GPS).  You can also customise the display by changing the fonts, size of text, etc (depending on the file type).  I think it is awesome!  I was a little concerned about protecting it, so I whipped up a padded sleeve for it using some leftover fabric and quilt batting (seen above).  I used to borrow books from the library, but my problem was that I rarely remembered to return them on time.  I think the last time I borrowed books I had $17 in fines to pay - which was only from the previous lot of books!  This way, there are claimed to be over a million books available for the Kindle, with pretty much all of the pre 1930's books being out of copyright, and therefore free - to keep, no late fees.  Amazon also offers some books at discounted rates or for free for limited times, while the others range from about $2 to $14 or so dollars, so it is still much cheaper than buying the paper/hardback version, and it saves on space - no physical books to store!  Which brings me to the next topic.
One of the first books I downloaded was Unstuff Your Life! by Andrew Mellen.  I had been looking at Peter Walsh's books about organisation (he's the guy that has been on Oprah and cleaned out people's wardrobes, cars, etc).  Man I need that guy at my place.  I am a terrible clutterbug.  Unstuff received better reviews from readers so I opted for this book instead.  I am 50% through it and I am so motivated.  It is written in such an honest and somewhat light-hearted way that just makes you want to act.  I will continue reading to the end, and then on my second pass I will be putting his ideas (well, more like instructions) into action.  I am sick of living in a space that is untidy (mail on the bench, shoes in the hall, paperwork all over the desk... you get the idea).
As part of my approach to a clutter-free house I have finally purchased a buffet unit that will be my new scrapbook/craft space, which will have it's home in the Family room.  When we moved in I had the spare room set up as my craft room (table and bookcase), but Sophie kind of needed a place to sleep, so it all got moved out into the family room, but it wasn't working and I didn't like the layout of the room so I had a rearrange of the TV, couches, computer etc and there just wasn't a spot for my table any more... so it found a home at the far end of our dining area as a 'temporary fix' but has been there for the last 3 months at least.  As a result our dining table isn't exactly fully functional because it has lost half it's space to my craft table (old dining table).  The delivery of the new buffet is scheduled for today, so let's hope it's not too difficult to put together - then I can set about moving all my stuff and finally getting rid of the old dining setting (if you need a second-hand 6 seat extendable dining table and chairs let me know).  The top will serve as my new crafting surface (or where needed I can sit down at the dining table) and the inside will house all my supplies.
I have been planning to do some videos for a while, so maybe I can make my debut by showing you my new compact craft space.

I also have plans for the blog.  I can't guarantee I will stick to it each week, but I would like to follow this schedule:
Monday - Motivational Monday will involve a quote or picture that can be used as inspiration for either crafting or just a "feel good" day.
Tuesday - Tuesday Tutorial will include either a video or a step-by-step instruction of a project.
Thursday - 3 on Thursday will be me sharing my favourite 3 things at the time (might be photos, stamps, tools, or whatever takes my fancy)
Saturday - Saturday Special will be for one offs, which won't be posted all the time - just when there is something extra to share.  I know that I often don't get time to read blogs on the weekends (it's our family time) so I will try not to post much on the weekends so you can enjoy your time with family too (and not be playing catch-up on Monday).
There may be other posts in between, depending on how much crafting time I get.

So, after all of that, I hope to be posting regularly again as of Monday.
Happy Crafting.