Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hatter's Hope challenge: Bring on the bling

Here's Poppy! And as if I needed a challenge to use bling on a card. The sentiments and the snowflake paper are from a book of papers by Kaisercraft.

I think Poppy is my favourite of the Hatter's Hope Christmas gang. She has such a sweet face!

Why not join the challenge over at Hatter's Hope? You could win the very first rubber stamp produced by HH!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hatter's Hope

So I've mentioned her a few times; Sammi is one of my (few?) readers and a close friend. As well as being the boss lady at Mad for Markers, tonight marks the launch of Sammi's own range of stamps under the label Hatter's Hope. Her drawings are whimsical and sweet (a bit like their creator) and are manga- and/or storybook-inspired. I also like that she has some more Australian-themed Christmas designs!

Congratulations Sammi! I'm really proud of you!

If you're a papercrafter, be sure to pop over to Hatter's Hope, join in the regular challenges using HH stamps (the first challenge kicks off tomorrow), and buy an image or two!

Friday, 23 November 2012

The light

Here's another Kaylee from Some Odd Girl, this time a digi (digital 'stamp' = an image you print off yourself on a printer, rather than a physical stamp you'd stamp with ink) called Bright Lights Kaylee.

I think I like her with blue hair the best (maybe because I coloured the blue better than the pink!).

I used some of the excellent washi tape I got recently at the Papercraft Festival at Penrith when I went in to help Sammi on the Mad for Markers stand. We were right across from the Papercraft Hub stand, and they one whole 'wall' of their stand was just rolls of washi tape (a kind of Japanese paper tape) in all kinds of patterns. The temptation proved too much!

I love the informal yet sweet look washi tape gives to cards (I remember first seeing washi tape in Pentimento Bookshop in Newtown years ago, and coveting it desperately but thinking "when would I ever use that? I really can't justify buying it just because it looks pretty." It was quite expensive too, but now it's far more common and much cheaper and I need less and less justification to buy pretty things!)

I printed out an appropriate Bible verse to stick on - Jesus is the light that came into the world at Christmastime (and of course it's also a lame pun because, well, fairy lights). I don't like a lot of the 'sentiment' stamps that are around at Christmas, mainly because they're so bland and generic. As a Christian I love to celebrate Jesus' birth so I am pleased to take the opportunity to say more than 'Merry Christmas' or (worse) 'happy holidays'!


PS - hopefully it doesn't seem too condescending if I occasionally explain a's easy to just use jargon and forget that not everyone will know what things like digis and washi tape are. I mainly am aware of this because that's how I feel whenever I start exploring a new craft and I'm too scared to ask questions!

It took me SO long to feel familiar with crochet patterns, for example, and I was always thinking I was doing everything wrong. But eventually I realised that even if the way I did it wasn't 'right', it was still getting good results! Starting to get back into paper craft has been a bit of an eye opener, because there are a lot more commonly available tools and different techniques around than when I used to run Christmas card making workshops at church...I suppose the images I made up and printed out to use were digis, but I didn’t know that’s what they were called!

I think we get hung up on right and wrong ways of doing things and forget about the joy of just making stuff! A lady at the Papercraft Festival was watching one of the girls colouring and said wistfully, "I used to love colouring in with my son when he was little. We had so much fun! But I'm so not artistic, I could never do anything like this." I said, "Artistic has nothing to do with it! If you enjoy it, that's one of the biggest reasons for doing it!" That's advice I would do well to heed myself sometimes...


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Organisation is a beautiful thing

Thank you to Virginia for dropping over my new Copic wallet. No more rummaging in a box for my pens and never being able to find the right colour! (the rummaging worked okay when I only had a few markers, but as one gets deeper into a craft, all the surrounding paraphernalia starts to make sense...)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Not quite perfect...

Another Tree Trimming Kaylee card, but this time with purple hair. Purple and red is one of my favourite combos!

[side note, I have often wished I had purple hair but have been put off by the thought that I would have to peroxide it first. Why regular toxic hair dye isn't a problem for me, I don't know. But I have visions of my peroxided hair becoming straw-like and crumbling to dust and I don't think I could rock the bald look AT ALL.]

This card didn't work out as well as I'd hoped, but hey I'm not just going to post the stuff here that makes me look like I know what I'm doing. Full crafting transparency, people! I also wanted to show how just a different colour palette can transform an image; I keep forgetting this is the same stamp as the one on the last card.

The coloured baubles (a Kaisercraft clear stamp that I can't find anywhere to link to online so it must be out of 'print') are fine, but I wanted to echo their shape in the background by stamping with red ink onto the red card. As you can see, that didn't quite come out as clearly or as elegantly as I might have liked! I might try it again sometime, but I'll practice first.

But still, there's something about this card that pleases me. Must be the purple hair.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Merry and bright

I love, love, love sticking things on cards. Wait. Let me be more specific. I really like stick on gems and pearly things, which I guess are collectively referred to as bling (even though I never really liked that word...not really sure why...but I guess I have to learn to love it, it seems to be here to stay!). I found these really cheap red and green pearls at a Hot Dollar store - the reason they're cheap is because the adhesive is terrible and comes off all over the backing paper. But no matter. I still got them to stick.

I also bought a giant pack of coloured card at Costco (that's a good tongue warmer upper...try saying it several times fast if you need to do some public speaking) so I've been enjoying cutting card sizes that aren't 'standard'. This is a long narrow one that stands on its end, opening up rather than out. And I cut the edge with my crinkly scissors that I think I've only used one other time ever. What a wise purchase that one was.

But the star is, of course, is Some Odd Girl's Tree Trimming Kaylee stamp, coloured with my trusty Copics. I really like Some Odd Girl's style - the characters always look so cheerful! (Although a male friend thought Kaylee was holding a bomb...I think the wire at the top of the bauble looks like a wick because it was too hard to cut around and I thought I was using my 0.2 multiliner to redraw it but it turned out to be the 1.0. Whoops!)

May your days be merry and bright!

Sunday, 11 November 2012


I've always loved coloured pencils, pens, crayons, pastels, mainly how they look all lined up. The possibility of what someone could do with all those colours.

So I was very excited when my lovely friend Sammi set up her store, Mad For Markers. A close source of colour goodness! Mad For Markers came out of Sammi's love for Copic markers, an alcohol-based, refillable marker from Japan that allows you to do a lot of fun stuff with blending and shading that you can't do with normal markers.


[caption id="attachment_128" align="aligncenter" width="491"] Me and Sam at a recent event our church, Wild St, was part of (we were colouring Christmas tags and, er, wearing silly hats)[/caption]

I coloured my comics for Kinds of Blue (Labyrinthine and Eating the Blues) with Copics, but I'd only just started playing with them and wasn't very artful in the way I used them. Looking at the pages now I wish I could do them again, but they're out there now, and c'est la vie. I just need to draw some more comics to give me a chance to do a better job, I guess!

I decided this year I would make a whole stash of Christmas cards to get some good use out of my markers, and to encourage me to do more little creative things. I'm still working on a crochet project, but it takes me longer to finish those. The nice thing about colouring and cards is I can finish something I'm reasonably happy with in a short time. Sense of accomplishment, hurrah!

Here's one I made for mum's birthday in October:

I'll be putting up Christmas ones in the next few days, to engender a sense of Christmassy spirit, despite it only being November (when you intend to make things to give at Christmas, you have to start early!).