Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Stamping & Handmade Cards

I'm back to share a little of my recent creative pursuits - which come in the form of handmade cards.

This is a craft I really enjoy doing.  It isn't hard to do and you really don't need to have a lot of supplies (although I must admit that I do have a lot!), but it really all comes down to your creative imagination and what you can do to transform a plain card into something which is attractive yet still serves a practical purpose.   

One of the very best things about card making though is that you can finish up at the end of a craft session with several cards to show for all your efforts. 

We have added a few new stamps to our family collection - a number of us share stamps together to keep costs down.  We had lots of single words (like "Congratulations") or short sentiments (like "Happy Birthday") but nothing more, so these latest stamps have little verses or sayings on them.  I must say I totally love them!

I wanted the sayings to be the main feature of these cards, so they designing is very basic.  I've done this particular one before but really liked it, so happy to make another for someone else.

Here is a slightly different variation using a different colour palette.

I just love the perfume bottle stamp!

A simple patchwork style card

Another card made using a variety of Washi Tapes

Not bad for an afternoon of card making.  I know the styles are all similar, but I figured if what I was doing looked good and it worked, why not stick with it and make a few cards.

So that is my latest collection of cards, all from an afternoon of crafting.  I wish I could do fun things like this every day!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Welcome Back . . . it's been awhile

Wecome back to my little space in blog world.  It has been such a long time since I've posted anything and I have truly missed it.  What started out as a couple of weeks vacation time has ended up being a lengthly time away due to a problem which has been completely out of my control.

We had some very serious storms and cyclone strength winds where we live, back in January.  As a result, we did suffer a bit of damage to our home, but also major problems with our internet service provider.  We have had many weeks of not being able to access the internet.  Problems were caused in our area as a result of the severe weather and it has taken our Internet Service Provider weeks and weeks to get things fixed properly.  Finally we are hopeful that we are all back on track again - fingers crossed!  You don't realise how heavily reliant we are upon the internet in our daily lives until you have to do without it.

It has been impossible to try and run my online store and for those of you who may have wondered, this is the reason why it was closed for so long.

I keep reminding myself to look at the bigger picture though, we only suffered a minimal amount of damage and inconvenience compared to many others.  We have not suffered damaging flood waters and lost everything like so many others have done.  My heart aches for them all and I realise how very blessed we are.
Let me fill you in on where I have been since Christmas.  We had our first family vacation in 4 years and went away for a few weeks, it was the best time! 

We travelled to northern Queensland (in Australia).  I had never been to this area before and it was incredibly beautiful.  These photos aren't from a travel brochure, I took them myself!   

I was so amazed at the beautiful colours in the ocean, lots of different variations of blues, greens and aquas and there were palm trees everywhere.  Northern Queensland has a tropical climate and being summer time in Australia, it was quite hot.  Perfect swimming weather!

We travelled around the Whitsunday Islands and went on an Ocean Rafting adventure.  We spent the day travelling around the Islands in one of the boats you can see in the photo.  Because of the design of the boat they are able to surf the waves and therefore the ride is a lot of fun - a bit like white water rafting, but out in the ocean instead.  Don't let these calm, flat waters fool you - in the afternoon the winds had picked up and the waves were huge.  These boats are also able to come right in to the shore as you can see above.  We hiked up a mountain to get see the magnificent view of White Haven Beach.  The tour guide said that is looks different every day.  It certainly was spectacular.

One of the highlights was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.  This was a totally new experience for us all.  These photos were taken by our younger girls using their underwater cameras, so not the best quality, but they still give you an idea.  The variety and colours of both the coral and the fish on the Reef  were spectacular.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience this and see part of the Great Barrier Reef first-hand.  We did more snorkelling on the beaches later in the day, swimming amongst the prettiest looking fish, which swam right into the shallow waters along the shore.  We live close to the beach, but we had never experienced anything like this before.  Our kids loved it!!

The places we visited were all very picturesque but let me put in a bit of reality here to paint the full picture for you.  We have a large family, there are 6 of us, so it is expensive to stay in any of the resort style accommodations, especially at peak holiday season.  We camped instead, at a very nice park which catered so well for families - wonderful facilities and lots of fun activities to keep the kids entertained.  We all enjoyed our vacation!

Of course, there is nothing like every day reality to make a vacation seem like it never even happened, or at least like it was a long distant memory!  We arrived home to the chaos of getting things ready for the start of the school year - covering and labeling school books and supplies for 4 children, uniforms, shoes, lunch boxes . . . and so the list went on.  We had one week to get it all done in and then the kids were all back at school.  It's been a busy start to the year, new routines, more homework to juggle with after school activities, if you have children then you know what I mean.
And did I do any craft at all during all these weeks of absence from my last blog post - well of course I did.  Not a lot, admittedly, but definitely some!

Here is a new Ripple Blanket which I have started to crochet over the last few weeks.  I only pick it up to work on when the days are a little cooler, so it is still in the early stages (it is still technically summer here, athough it is raining heavily outside as I am typing right now).  I am loving the colour variations - blues, greens and aquas.   These colours remind me of the beautiful ocean colours around the Whitsunday Islands which we saw on our vacation.   Just picking this up and working on a row or two at a time is so relaxing and working with colour never fails to inspire me - it is like it brings a smile to my day.