Thursday, July 28, 2011

Handmade by me challenge at AiFactory!

It's time for another challenge at Aifactory this week! yippee! This week's challenge had me just about jumping out my shoes when I saw the theme. Handmade by me means you need to have at least one item on your project that is made by you! It can be a flower, paper, etc. As long as it's made by you.
You can use any image you like, but wouldn't it be super if you used an AiFactory image? You can find some at the store here and even pick up a few freebies here!

So without further adieu, here is the image the DT got to play with this week - Ella the Ballerina:

I must say, I love seeing Ella in her tutu and it's probably my favourite Ella stamp so far. She also reminded me of a certain crafter out there who recently made a card using an image of girl whose dress also had ruffles like miss Ella...Anne-Marie! Her card inspired me somewhat to paperpiece on my own project. SO, a hearty thanks to ya AM!

[I've just had another look at your card AM, and you wouldn't believe me if I told you I didn't do it on purpose! I also made rolled paper roses! LOL! well, they are my own signature flower, you really can't blame me]

As you can see by my little side note for Anne-Marie, my handmade by me embellishment was paper roses. They really are easy to make and I have it in my mind to do a quick tutorial to show you how I do mine sometime. These ones were especially glittered in honour of Birdie.

The gloss on the flower paper above, which was from a paper stack given to me for my birthday by a certain Ace Reporter over at my Secret Pals group, was created with glossy accents (duh!). The above photo also shows the deep purple I inked all my edges in.
The sentiment for this card also came from the same paper stack, the last two sheets of the stack contain sentiments which one can cut out...yay for scissors! Three purple bling stones did the trick to add some shine.

I coloured Ella using pencil crayons, I thought these would make for a softer look than colouring with my Sharpies which usually give quite a good pOp! I did digress though when it came to her hair because I just felt the pencil crayons weren't dark enough. I went over the crayon colouring with a brown sharpie :) I am so loyal to those little guys aren't I?

I fussy cut her out and then coloured in another image of her, colouring only the skirt trim. I fussy cut this out as well. I then raised the skirt trim on foam and adhered it to the base Ella image. She still needed a bit of glamour so I ran glue all along the skirt trim and around her hair bun and promptly covered her in beads. I shook off the excess and was left with pure gorgeousness!

She still didn't look finished to me so I added glossy accents to her entire skirt and ballet pumps, all I can say is I am happy with the end result. I think this is quite possibly my best pencil coloured image yet!

I've used my crafter's pet, the cuttlebug, to dry emboss the purple Cardstock Ella was mounted on. I used the music sheet embossing folder, so apt right?

The finished product:

All that's left now is to send this baby off to someone who deserves it, I hope you'll join us for the challenge and that you'll have an awesome Thursday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In love with love

I love my husband; truly, madly and deeply (cue the Savage Garden hit song here). I am not in love with the idea of loving him. I really do love him. We live in our own little perfect movie life, it's way better than anything I've ever seen :) I could also just be biased, just sayin.
The point of my post however has got to do with the fact that I am also in love with love, specifically seeing other people in love. Isn't it just so beautiful? Those mutual looks of adoration, the meaningful glances, the hand holding, the stolen kisses. It's what makes a wedding so beautiful to capture on film, because no matter what, those two people will inevitably be glowing. I guess I could also just be a typical female in my views here but then so be it. I love, love!

Case in point being our family brunch on Sunday morning.  I caught my brother and sister in law in the sweetest hand hold when they thought no-one was looking. The original is colour, but isn't black and white so much more romantic?

Card kit #4 - 7 Gypsies! Card #5

I am almost sad to post that this is the last card in the set, I love my paper choice and that 7Gypsies sticker sheet. Thank goodness these were only notecards and I still have tons of stash left for a few personalised cards or a scrapbook layout or two :)

Don't you just love the sentiments in this set? They could work so well for little encouragement cards.

And yes, I might just be overkilling it a bit with these flowers, but I really don't care...they are so very preeeeeety and easy to stick down :)

I cuttelbugged away again on this one, inked everything in black and went mad with hand cutting out scalloped patterns on my lower layers.

I layed out the entire set for a full look at them all together too, i really hope they sell well:

Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday, remember it's time for another AiFactory challenge tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


No lessons today, I thought I might give you all a rest from cat droppings and butt painting (happy now C?).

Some of my Craft blog readers might recognise this pic, it shows that a photo can be beautiful without having a person or an animal in it, just sayin...

Lion and Rhino Park, Magaliesberg

I've decided to leave all the technical jargon for those who ask, no point in boring the rest of you :)

Card Kit #4 - 7 Gypsies! Card #4

Ok, another one down, one more to go!

Card number 4 is again, much along the same lines as the previous three. I've used the same cuttlebug folder, ribbon and papers...and don't forget the button!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on this set, means so much to me :)

I love this sentiment from the sticker sheet, so true isn't it? And of course, I am in love with that ribbon!

The cute button that I've used throughout this set is actually laced with a thin white satin ribbon, didn't guess that did ya? That half flower also makes another appearance...

The full card:

Hmm, I might have to retake that picture, it looks a bit wonky to me :) Hope you all have a beautiful Tuesday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gastronomical Art

So my husband thinks that my idea for today's post is VERY arty farty, and he asked me why on earth I couldn't take a NORMAL self portrait?

Well, i thought that I was taking a NORMAL self portrait, he clearly does not agree. He even compared it to art we recently heard about....

This guy, no idea where he comes from, apparently uses a tube to suck paint up his butt (sucking with his butt, not the tube. The tube is the mechanism by which the paint flows into his butt...). Then he very arteeeesticly squirts said paint out of his butt onto a canvas. This is called Gastronomical art. Interesting, no?

[side note: Funny how I am talking about butt paint after posting cat poop....I am almost embarrassed.]

I love taking self protraits, it is something my sister and I have in common. I have it finetuned. But only when I am turning the camera around and taking a pic of myself (and others next to me) with my arm extended. This is no difficult task for me anymore and I need a challenge!

Which brings me back to my friend Christy's inspiration, taking a self portrait using a mirror and having the camera visible. I do not think that gastronomical art is the same as taking a self portrait of myself, using a mirror and having the camera visible. Point made. I would think it was the same if I was taking a self portrait of the inside of my left nostril on a particularly snotty cold day. So there, lovey. Take that!
For your viewing pleasure, here are a few examples of what I am trying to achieve (ahem, key word here is trying):

Photo source:
(make love to the camera!)

Photo source:
(simple, quick, easy)
(how awesome are her glasses?)

Photo source:
(I will opt to have all my clothes on......)
(how cool is this idea?)

 So clearly, I have my work cut out for me. This is an example of what I usually take. Spontaneous, on the go, in the moment, self portraits of myself and my hubby, and other family members:

How handsome is my hubby? Makes the whole photo I tell you.

These are my attempts at Self portraits, using a mirror and only myself as the subject (cringe):

I think this looks so dorky... there were so many that were just EPIC fails, I wont dare post them publicly.

This was probably the best of the lot...

Ok, so maybe hubby was a little right, it is a bit arty farty....and sooooooo difficult to get right. RESPECT to those who are good at it! I have to practise a bit more I'm afraid, or just take more photo's like this? I think so...

Card Kit #4 - 7 Gypsies! Card #3

Time for that all important card number 3 in card set #4!

Not much changes except the style of card really, I've used the same papers, cuttlebug folder and embellies...

I really love these half flowers, so easy to cut and stick down. I've also inked all papers in black.

Don't think I could craft without my beloved cuttlebug ever again, I find that embossing adds so much more texture and depth to my work.

The fold opens as follows:

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic and blessed week ahead of you!

P.S. The making of the card:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big Cat Poop...yes, Really.

I was supposed to show you a really insightful post today about self portraits, inspired by a friend of mine called Christy. She posted aout self portraits yesterday because she had to choose one of herself for a notebook, but I digress.

My hair decided that it absolutley had to be washed last night because if I didn't I would look like an absolute hot mess at work today. I wasn't ready for the humiliation and gave in to said hair washing experience. That, and washing the puppy, who smelled to the high heaven of poop and wee. Could someone please explain how they get this right? I digress again.

My point being that I ended up washing my hair, washing the dog and rushing through a craft project for a challenge deadline.... evening finished. No pretty straight hair for pictures in sight, this blogger was way too tired to whip out the ole straightner. I am not vain, but really, who wants to see a dishevelled self portrait? Albeit a lesson in selfportrait taking?

I'll be leavng my little self-portrait lesson for tomorrow's post now.

So, I leave you with a completely random photograph taken last month at the lion and rhino park. It has something to do with a Big cat living there.

I thought it was funny, hubby and sister not so much. I have a feeling they were wondering how sane I was at this probably will too. Then again, I'm not usually one for taking 'normal' photographs.

Taken in the Lion enclosure, Lion and Rhino Park. Magaliesberg

I wont even bother with the finer camera details, I doubt National Geographic will ever want to publish it. Also, note how I specially changed all colour to black and white, wouldn't want you to barf up your stomach contents now would we? 


Layer it up at AiFactory!

The challenge at AiFactory this week is to layer it up! Yes! that's it! You need to have at least two layers of whatever on your project in order to qualify and you have until 11:59EST on Wednesday July 27th to enter. You can use any image you like, but wouldn't it be wonderful if you used something from AiF? You can even find freebies here! One of the freebies actually forms part of the set I got to play with this week, so hop on over and take a look.

The DT were given a fantastic set called My first Rainbow Set, it looks like this:

I never know why, but I always seem to only choose one image to work with when I get a set. It's almost like I choose to savour each image on it's own as I create. I might have to get out of this way of crafting and start putting images together! But that's a challenge all on it's own for another day....

I chose the wee flower on the bottom right hand corner of the set to work with. I cut the petals and leaves out, then used them as a stencil to cut the shapes out on cardstock. Pink for the petals and green for the leaves.

I cuttlebugged the life out of the petals (teehee!) using the scripted embossing folder. I then inked over the raised embossing in a dark pink.

I couldn't resist the new Spellbinders flowers Mrs Nate (My secret Pal) sent me for my birthday so I played a bit and glittered them up. Thanks B for the 'frost yourself' inspiration! And might I add that I look a bit like I visited a strip club last night with the glitter all over me...just sayin...

I cut a thin strip of scrappy green left in my stash for the flower stem, then adhered the leaves I cut at the base. I then glittered the spellbinders leaves and stuck those on top of the AiFactory ones.

Enough layers for ya yet? I don't think so! My sentiment came from a cut out sheet made by a local company. I thought it would go perfectly with my 'self made' flower and possibly a home-made gift for someone later on. I punched holes on either end of the sentiment, added brads, then raised the whole thing on foam.

I also used one of my steadler fine tip pens to draw a bit of a stitched border around the edges of the card, this inspiration always makes me think of Mrs Nate, whose technique I am borrowing :)

So what is it exactly that you're waiting for? go and enter your project! And have a Terrific Thursday :)

P.S. No new papers were harmed in the making of this card.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pizza Perfect

So we had pizza delivered for supper last night and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try my hand at photographing food...

Of course, my hubby first asked what on earth I was doing as I made my food scene ready with camera in hand... I told him it was a perfect photo opportunity for a little camera happy chappy like me :) I mean really, what's not to understand? My Hawaain with extra mushroom looked too good to be wasn't though, it was delicious!

Camera: Canon powershot SX210 IS
Colour Representation: sRGB
Shutter Speed: 1/30sec
Lens Aperture: F/3.1
Focal Length: 5mm
Date taken: 19 July 2011

Card Kit #4 - 7 Gypsies Card # 2

Day 2 of my card kit reveal, and boy am I having fun with the sticker sheet.

I went with an upright notecard this time and instead of a square or rectangular sticker sentiment, I went with a round one.

I think the addition of the blue button enhances and compliments the round sentiment.

I also did my little half flower trick again, but this time I only used one half.

Of course, the cuttlebug embossing will be a staple throughout this set.

Hope you all enjoy a wonderful Wednesday! We're that bit closer to the weekend again!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Abstract art

I often wonder what it is about a scene that draws artists into them and to paint them so abstractly. Granted, many artists paint an image exactly as they see it, but many paint an image in a way that makes it so different from the obvious.

I think photographers can do the same. You either take a picture of the obvious, with no preconcieved notions to something artsy, take a picture in such a way that it completely blows the mind. Sounds like the ramblings of a mad women but I'll show you what I mean with something as simple as a row of pots. Keep in mind that I am an amateur photographer and I learn as I go along, this means...practise, practise, practise!

I took these photo's in artificial light, and at night. The pots are actually positioned inside a fireplace in order to absorb most of the light that is available.

Before I give you all the technical details, note that I used the camera's flash for this photograph. The image captured is exactly the image that I see with my own eye. No arty farty action happening here (except maybe for the placement of the pots, but that's way out my depth)

Camera: Canon Powershot S5 IS
Colour Representation: sRGB
Shutter Speed: 1/60sec
Lens Aperture: F/2.7
Focal Length: 6mm
Date Taken: 18 July 2011

The next image was captured without the use of the flash, you will notice quite a difference. To me, the image has a few connotations for my eye. It looks almost as if the pots are being swallowed whole into the dense darkness of the fireplace. It looks like a painting, where the artist has expertly placed the white lines to show the curves of the pots. It could also look as if someone just forgot to lift the flash on the camera...just sayin:

I think the differnec is amazing, and the only change was the amount of light I exposed my subject to.

Camera: Canon Powershot S5 IS
Colour Representation: sRGB
Shutter Speed 1/8sec
Lens Aperture: F/2.7
Focal Length 6mm
Date Taken: 18 July 2011

I quite enjoy experimenting with my cameras, I hope this gives you something to think about when next next you press that button on yours. Try something different, you might just surprise yourself.

Card Kit #4 - 7 Gypsies! Card # 1

I've started working on the fourth card kit for the local store I design for. I have been inspired by 7 Gypsies and their ATC sticker sheets.

This is the first time I will be showing you the card kit creations made as I make them and not after the creative process. Don't you feel special?

I've started with this sticker sheet from the 97% complete collection:

'I' is for Inspiration
I've chosen coordinating cardstock and one pattern paper, a selection of ribbon and buttons. So, here we go with the first one....

The owner of the store has these really cute little envelopes that she's asked me to design cards for, they are about 10x7cm, really good for gift basket or flower gift cards, or just little notes to tell someone hello.

I think the thing I love about 7 Gypsies sticker sheets is that they are perfect for little sentiments on scrapbook pages and cards, albeit this is the first time I've made cards with them... And I love how they open your mind to new and exciting colour combinations like this one: Baby blue, red and cream. I've just added black with the paper I've chosen.

A clever little trick that I used on this card, because it is so small, was to cut the embellishing flower in half and stagger it. I got an explosion of colour for very little work.

Embossing on the cream paper was achieved with a cuttlebug folder :) I love the vibrancy of the colour combo, I'm hoping the ladies at the store will too.

Card no.1 done! only four more to go :) And I hope you all have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A blog is born

And so, my journey begins...

Camera: Canon Powershot SX210 IS
Frame count: 1
Colour Representaion: sRGB
Shutter Speed: 1/8sec
Lens aperture: F/3.1
Focal length: 6mm
Date Taken: 26 June 2011
Venue: Hartbeespoort Dam wall tunnel, Gauteng, South Africa

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photographic musings...

I've been toying with the idea of taking up photography as a serious hobby/business opportunity, I just love photographs. I love taking them, I love looking at them, and quite frankly, I love being in them with the people that I love so that one day I will have documented memories to look back on.

I love taking photo's of nature, I love taking photo's of people, I love taking photo's of random things. I love photo's.

Besides, they make for good scrapbooking too :) Here are a few of my favourites taken this year, so far:

These roses were blooming in our garden in February, I was so excited to catch the bee filling his legs with the pollen.
Easter weekend

My friend's wedding, the Chapel. April

This so reminds me of the part in Pinnochio where the little boys are turned into donkeys.... Wedding venue garden, April.
Lion and Rhino Park, deserted plain. June

Lion and Rhino Park, Waterbuck...exactly where they love to be. June

Lion and Rhino park, pic taken by my marvellous hubster. This guy was fast asleep when we came along, wasn't too bothered when we stopped either. June

Lion and Rhino park, cheecky little thing he was. June

Lion and Rhino Park, June. They look hungry

Lion and Rhino Park, Baby it was cold outside! I think this lovely agrees. June

Easter weekend, Family life.
My love ... April

What a peckerhead.... Easter weekend. April

Shame, poor baby. Wedding, April
I feel so blessed to be the eye behind the camera, God created everything and everyone so perfectly. Hope you have a fantastic Friday, I can't wait for the wekend to start :)

P.S. Those who know that I regularly follow your blogs, I am struggling to comment the last two days. Blogger is a beast and I have not forgotten you*