Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm going to make it ...

Tonight I managed to complete the scrapbooking layout I committed to do for the Scrapbooks Etc 'Create-A-Page' challenge this month. The main thing we had to do with this month's kit is show-case a minimum of 3 photos, as well as use one of everything provided.

I love doing layouts of my niece, Alexis, she's just too gorgeous. In these photos taken early June 2008, she's wearing her good clothes playing in the sand pit late at night ... what a little rebel she is.

Tomorrow, I'll hand in the layout and also create the last lot of ATCs for the live swap at The Scrapbook Cupboard on Saturday ... finally I can take a breath.

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.
~ Edith Wharton ~

Sunday, July 27, 2008

All about ATCs

Firstly, I am happy to note that I now only have two more projects to complete before the end of the month - one more set of ATCs and a scrapbooking layout. I have been very productive and focussed and have sent off two ATCs to the June WTA winners from the Yahoo Group ATC_World and I've completed my ATCs for the Stampers Hut Metal themed swap.

Metal ATCs

I'm so happy with my metal ATCs ... I used an everyday item (a coke can) to create them. I collected 4 x 375ml coke cans and was able to make 12 ATCs. They were surprisingly easy to cut into size. I used a punch to cut two slots in the corner of ATC sized cardstock (the corner punch is one you would normally use to slip photos under if you don't want to permanently stick them down when scrapbooking, like vintage photos). I slipped the coke can corners under one of the two slots so that the sharp corners of the can are behind and then I adhered another piece of cardstock onto the back so they are completely covered (I was concerned about people possibly cutting their fingers on any sharp edges). I then added my image and an actual slogan from 1954 that I think is a bit of a laugh and finished the ATC off by punching holes in the corners with my crop-a-dile and attaching some large eyelets. Hopefully none of the other members of the group have used a can as the base for their metal ATCs ... although I guess it wouldn't matter as I'm sure they won't look the same.

ATC Pay-It-Forward

I received an email tonight from Tanya that is quite a different concept - it's an ATC Pay-It-Forward. There are 6 names on the list and I send each of them 6 ATCs, I then forward the email onto 6 people - deleting the first name on the list and adding my name to the bottom of the list. It's a very similar concept to the chain-letters / chain-emails I've received in the past, but this one is very different because it involves my current passion - ATCs. Hopefully I will receive lots and lots of ATCs ... it might be as exciting to go to the mailbox every day as it was when I won the ATC_World WTA in May. I'm not sure how many ATCs I'll receive if everyone who receives the email sends a card ... but I'm open to working it out...

Let's see (this could hurt my brain a little), I send the message to 6 people (6 cards) I'm in position 6 on the list; who forward it onto 6 people (6 cards) now in position 5; they forward it to 6 people (6 cards) now in position 4; they forward it to 6 people (6 cards) position 3; they forward it to 6 people (6 cards) position 2; they forward it to 6 people (6 cards) position 1; and then I come off the list, so I guess I might receive a minimum of 36 cards if everyone plays ... how exciting is that.

So I've got my ATCs ready to send to the 6 people tomorrow and can't wait to see how many I get back.

"I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself... and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part."
~ Shirley MacLaine, Actress and Author ~

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I finished another ATC

Whilst watching some tv last night, I managed to finish the ATCs for the Scrapbook Cupboard's "Cupboard" themed swap due tomorrow. The ATCs I made are based on the book / movie title "An Indian in the Cupboard" and sort of turned out how I expected, in terms of the door and the hinges ... everything else I think could be seen as a little boring. There were lots of little bits and pieces to put the card together that took quite a bit of time and effort, so I hope the girls at the swap like how it turned out.

So one project down and only 4 more to go. I've put myself under a bit of pressure this month as I will have completed 7 swaps and a scrapbooking layout challenge by the end of the month. I'm going to get ahead by a month with the ATC swaps I've committed to, that way, there'll be less pressure and I might be able to join more of the swaps run by ATC_World.

"One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth
half-a-hundred half-finished tasks."
~ Malcolm S Forbes, 1917-1990, American Publisher ~

My first fabric ATC

Today I went off to the Addicted to Scrap ATC swap and the theme this month was "Fabric". I was so proud of my achievements, even if I only just completed my cards yesterday. I have to say a big thank you to Tanya for invading her home and letting me borrow her sewing machine on Tuesday night ... I don't know what I would have done without the use of it.

So what I did to create this all fabric ATC is: (1) print out image and word (reflection) in reverse onto Iron-on-Transfer paper; (2) iron the images onto plain calico; (3) cut out the image and word; (4) get some brown stiffened felt and cut to ATC size; (5) Iron "heat and bond" onto what will be the front of the ATC; (6) peel paper from back of "heat and bond" and then iron patterned fabric onto it; (7) cut excess patterned paper down to ATC size; (8) stick image and word onto the fabric with double sided tape; (9) sew these into place with sewing machine; (10) Stick calico onto the back of the ATC with Jac paper; (11) cut to size; (12) sew charm onto the front; (13) sew around edge of ATC; (14) write details on back with Zig writer or fabric pen. Sounds complicated when I type it all out. Anyway I like how it turned out and I got some nice new ATCs to add to my collection today.

All I need to do now is Cupboard ATCs before Saturday, Metal ATCs by next week, make 2 WTA ATCs for the June winners in the USA, have some more ATCs to trade for the live swap next Saturday and finish a layout for the Scrapbook challenge I've committed myself to for next week also ... I may have bitten off more than I can chew!! I'll have to be extremely focussed this weekend.

Better go, my tv show Bones is about to start and I want to do my Cupboard ATCs while I'm watching TV.

Until next time ... keep smiling.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."
~ Mark Twain, 1835-1910, Writer ~

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's official ...

I'm back from a few days shopping and relaxing in Melbourne - it was nice that I could travel interstate with Ferg whilst he was working. It was much more fun shopping on this trip to Melbourne as I've managed to lose 4.7kgs over the last 5 weeks and am very close to being one dress size smaller than I was, so a lot of the clothes that usually wouldn't fit me, now did. I didn't want to buy too much because I figure in another 5 weeks I probably won't fit into those clothes anymore either, so I only bought a couple of new tops from FCUK and pair of lovely red shoes ... maybe I'll feel like Dorothy when I wear them!!

Whilst I was walking toward the main shopping precinct after spending the morning with my sister and niece scouring the Queen Victoria Markets, I received a call from Lyndal at Scrapbooks Etc who advised that I was the winner of the June Layout Challenge ... I was so excited, not only to get a $20 gift voucher to spend in-store, but also to have my work recognised. My layout is now proudly hanging in the Scrapbooks Etc store for the next month until the winner of the July competition is announced. Here's the layout ... I think it helped that my gorgeous niece, Alexis, was in the photo!!

"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
~ Joe Paterno, American Football Coach ~

Sunday, July 13, 2008

ATCs done for some swaps

Ooh, eeh, aah, I'm in pain ... every muscle in my body hurts after doing a Boxing Class with my personal trainer on Friday and then yesterday I completed a 6.4 km walk/shuffle (couldn't really call what I was doing a jog) with my personal trainer - all because I'd committed to doing 2 training sessions a week and I didn't go on Wednesday. I went and got a massage at Helensvale today with those very talented chinese massage therapists and feel much better, but am still quite tender.

Yesterday, Kyla and I did a class at The Stampers Hut, learning how to create backgrounds using alcohol inks. I had an absolute blast and loved how alcohol inks look on shiny surfaces like vellum, transparencies and glossy paper. Some of the backgrounds looked absolutely amazing and when combined with metallic inks looked like marble. Here's a sample of one I did on a white glossy background with inks in green, caramel and gold. It's a bit hard to see the gold but the overall effect I think is really cool:

I've been very focussed and have finished some ATCs for this month's swaps whilst watching television. I worked out that I am in 7 swaps this month and as I usually make 12 cards for each swap (10 for the swap and a couple extras to trade) that means I'll be making over 80 cards this month alone!! Not to mention that I'm also doing the Scrapbooks Etc's layout challenge ... I may have overcommitted myself a little this month.

House Shaped ATC
I joined an ATC_World Yahoo Group House Shaped ATC swap this month and finally finished my cards last night. The title is "Queen of House of Cards" and has kind of combined a number of sayings like "House of Cards" or "Queen of Hearts" and the main saying that I have on the card "A king's house is his castle, until the Queen arrives." It was actually pretty fun to make a different shaped ATC.

Friendship ATC
A bunch of us ATC enthusiasts are having a social dinner together for the first time on Saturday, 19th July and Tanya set a challenge to make 10 ATCs that are "friendship" themed. Originally I wasn't going to make any cards because I have so many other swaps that I'm involved in, but then I thought I couldn't miss out on getting more ATCs so managed to whip up a quick one whilst watching The Wizard of Oz on television last night.

I'm flying to Melbourne tomorrow for a few days of shopping and relaxing whilst Ferg works - I'm so excited. Be back on Wednesday. Have a fun few days.

"Happiness doesn't depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel toward what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much."
~William Dempster Hoard, 1836-1918, Governor of Wisconsin, Publisher~

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ATCs received from the USA

Today I received 2 more WTA ATCs from America that I won in May through ATC_World. The first one is Vintage Swim Club by Tonya Krout and the 2nd one is Dive Time by Mara Viviano - both ladies come from Durham, North Carolina.

(1) (2)
(1) Vintage Swim Club by Tonya Krout, North Carolina USA, (2) Dive Time by Mara Viviano North Carolina USA

I did a trade with Barbara Bennett from Mississippi through ATC_World and received 2 beautiful cards in the mail yesterday. I can't believe that Barbara sent me 2 original ATCs, I don't think I could trade my originals, I'd have to at least make 2 of them so I could keep a copy of everything I've made. The first ATC is a wax collage and has lovely texture and the 2nd card has a white image stamped on a black background with embellishments added. I just love adding new artworks to my collection.

I have also completed my ATCs for the Scrapbook Cupboard Group 2 swap due on 14th July. The theme for this swap was "Technology" and I have done my card on the Microwave. On the back of the card, I have written a small paragraph about how the Microwave was actually discovered, which I thought was interesting:

"The microwave was invented by a scientist Percy Lebaron Spencer in 1946 after he walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket."

I am in the process of completing House Shaped ATCs for an ATC_World swap hosted by Tammy Hixon and will need to send them off by 20th July to get them there by the deadline ... so am signing off now so I can spend some time finishing them off and will leave you with this little verse about the importance of a smile.

"A SMILE costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give."
~ believed to be based on the writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch ~

Friday, July 4, 2008

More ATCs received ...

I did another 2-for-2 trade with Kate in the UK, who I met through the ATC_World Yahoo Group and managed to receive her cards in record time - 3 days. She does such lovely work and her cards always look so beautiful in real life.

ATCs by Kate Crane in the UK

"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace."
~ HH the Dalai Lama ~

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's a sad, sad, day ...

I started today like any other Wednesday - excited and happy knowing I was off to spend the day at Scrapbooks Etc in Underwood ... little did I know that my day would end in tears. I had a very productive day and managed to finish off some layouts (except for the journalling, which I'll do on the computer later). I finished up at around 3pm and made my way back down to the Gold Coast, I dropped into the Wild Bean at Stapylton to get my regular afternoon coffee, went to the Post Office at Oxenford to send a birthday present to Ferg's dad and some ATCs off to America for a trade, ran into Jane in the discount shop and stopped for a natter with her and her friend visiting from South Africa and then Ferg called me and sounded very strange on the phone ... said he'd speak to me when I got home. Of course, I was intrigued and wanted to find out what he wanted to speak to me about and drove straight home.

Sylvia (crying), Dave, Alexis and Ferg came to meet me at the car and then they dropped the bomb-shell ... Ed our Dalmation had been put down at the vet today because they discovered during his operation that he was riddled with cancer and the tumours had started to burst in his stomach ... apparently he wouldn't have lasted the week. Ed our healthy, happy, excited 7 year old dog was gone. I keep seeing Ed last night with his head in my lap, patting him as Ferg and I sat in the waiting room at the vet, knowing he wasn't himself, he wasn't feeling good, he was looking really thin and sad. I still can't believe there will be no more Ed barking and running up to our cars as we drive up to the house to greet us ... no more Ed yelping excitedly and jumping around knowing that one of us was about to go for a walk ... no more Ed licking Alexis' face as she comes outside because he's the same height as her ... no more Ed smiling as only Dalmations can when we gave him love and attention ... no more Ed - he's gone. I'm so sad, I loved him so much and he wasn't even my dog ... I'm going to miss you Ed ... especially our walks together and your barking to let us know a car is coming down the driveway ... I felt safe with you near.

Love you ... miss you.
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace."
~ Milan Kundera ~

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Car

It's the middle of Winter here in Queensland and the temperature is still around 23 degrees celsius during the day. Today the sun's shining, there's blue sky, birds chirping and a slight breeze ... just perfect.

Yesterday was very exciting, I picked up my new car - a 2008 Nissan Xtrail. It was very sad to say goodbye to my VW Golf, but it was now 8 years old and needed quite a lot of work done to it, so we bit the bullet and traded it in.

I have also received some wonderful ATCs over the past few days from overseas. I've done another count of my collection and now have around 280 ATCs since January - WOW that's a lot of little artworks - I've now moved up to a second folder! The first two ATCs pictured below are from a swap with Robin Schar in America. These are some of her first ATCs and I was the first person she'd ever swapped with. I think she's very creative and just love the unique style all her work has.

Some more WTA ATCs have arrived as well:

(1) (2)

(3) (4)

(1) Laura Campbell from Ontario Canada, (2) Gerri Bowers from Texas USA,
(3) Kimberly Maehrer from Pennsylvania USA, (4) Susan Cupp from Virginia USA

I finished some more ATCs for the Live Swap occurring at the Scrapbook Cupboard this Saturday. These cards used up some of the bits and pieces I had in my stash ... it's always nice to use stuff I already have rather than buying new things.

That's it from me ... until next time, have fun and laugh lots.

"Deep within the winter forest among the snowdrift wide,
You can find a magic place where all the fairies hide...."
~ Author Unknown ~