31 December 2012

Congratulations to Me

Without any pretense I love being a winner.  Unashamedly.  It can be anything: fastest typist, best looking cake, largest feet (mama don't let your daughter go barefoot).
At a Stampin' Up launch held late last year, dedicated to the release of their new catalogue, I won a prize pack.  I didn't have to be clever with a new slogan, or artistic and develop a new card technique, all I had to do was spend money  . . . well, as if I wasn't up for the challenge.
In the prize pack were a couple of kits.  And these attractive looking treats are what I made.

Now, gleefully rubbing my hands together, I am up for some scrapbooking.  Thank you school holidays xx.

29 December 2012

Sophia the Owl

Isn't she lovely, isn't she beautiful?  This idea was borrowed (read copied) from here and then used to put together a cut file on the Bosskut Gazelle.  She makes a gorgeous gift box that can hold chocolates and tea or coffee sachets.

Sophia was perched on the guest bed for the evening.  However, she was left behind and so I squirreled her away and passed her onto someone else.
A re-gifting of sorts?

27 December 2012


Ladies of Loveliness.  It is my good fortune to work alongside a group of wonderful people.  These pillow boxes were cut out using the Bosskut Gazelle and then filled with treats as a small token of my appreciation for all their support during the year.

Pillow boxes were definitely the theme for my Christmas this year; they seem to be the ideal packaging for small gifts.
The gorgeous papier used was doubled-sided and made by Kaiser Craft as part of their Mint Twist Collection.  This one is called Peppermint (P930).  The tree was inked around the edges and then attached to the front using a star-shaped eyelet.

20 December 2012

'Tis the Season . . .

. . . to say "thankyou".  The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what has been and remember all those around you who have helped out along the way.
We hosted a morning tea last week to thank all our parents who tirelessly help out around the school.  Without their generous spirit, much of what we do would be either impossible or too difficult to contemplate doing on our own.
Above is this year's centrepiece, and as you can see, I went with a "funky" theme.  This is in part thanks to a freak storm we had back in September which conveniently brought down two boughs on one of my perfectly symmetrical ornamental pear trees.  Every cloud has a silver lining, or in this case, every dead bough hosts silver Christmas balls.
Thank you again Mums. xxxx

17 December 2012

An Exploding Gingerbread House

Sounds dramatic doesn't it?  By now you probably have visions of gingerbread crumbs scattering across pristine walls while spears of peppermint flavoured icing shoot into unsuspecting mounds of soft furnishings.  Well relax, it's certainly not as theatrical or exciting as that would have been, besides, my walls are anything but pristine!!

I must admit that I also thought of "modestly" calling this post: Grand Designs.  Not because of extreme budget overruns or unique architectural layouts, but because it has been a long project in the making. I began constructing the base of the house several months ago, knowing how busy (crazy busy) things become in December for me.

And behold, above, you have the explosion.  Nominally, a bit of a storm in a teacup, but there you have it, remove the rooftop and layers of photographs pour forth.  For added effect I back-to-backed identical Christmas tags and imbedded them, swingingly, into the base using overhead transparency film (you know, the stuff they used to use for presentations, before computers got really clever).
What follows on from here in this post are the steps I took in making and designing the house.  This is a record as much for my benefit as any one else's.
Start Here (insert arrow pointing down)

begin with a 30x30cm piece of scrapbooking card

cut out and fold a t-shape with all 5 of the
squares measuring 9x9cm each

turn the entire project over
and adhere the cut away squares to the reverse side
this is for appearances sake
and to add extra strength to the walls of the house

fold a 10x4cm piece of white card in half length ways
then cut both of the long edges using
the Fiskars brand of "cloud" edgers (scissors)
cut out four of these altogether
stick down the white card, using a glue stick
and trim off any excess card
do this to all four of the edges
do this to all four of the upper edges/walls
this is the inside of the house
this is the outside of the house
the middle square will form the base
Make another three or four more of these t-squares, all getting slightly smaller by half a centimetere.  So the next group of squares will measure 8.5cm each, and so on.  Adhere each concentrically smaller centre square onto the one preceding it, using double-sided tape.  You do not need to "cap" them with the white card.

build a lid for the house
this will ultimately form part of the rooftop

to make sure it fits snugly atop the house,
the centre square should measure about 9.1cm x 9.1cm
the sides can be as long as you like
I can't remember how long my were (I have since given the house away)
This rooftop piece was cut out on the Bosskut Gazelle, so the scallops were cut out using my own measurements, however, the Fiskars "Cloud Edgers" (scissors) could also be used here again.  This piece also needs to be deep enough to cover the scallops sitting on the top edges of the walls.  So I would start with it being at least 3cm deep.

the rooftop attic cut out using the Bosskut Gazelle
the centre square is joined to the white lid using double-sided tape

roof top piece/attic stuck together

A large overall roof was cut out and fixed to the top of this attic.
to achieve the overhang effect
this was longer and wider than the rooftop attic piece
these Christmas lollies were the "shingles" on the roof
printed out from clipart
and sized according to the round punch I have
they were smeared with PVA glue to give an overall shiny effect

Henceforth, there seems to be a lack of photography, so the house goes from being semi-finished to completely done. Oooops!

Looks good enough to eat!

15 December 2012

Pretty Flowerpot

An everlasting bunch of daisies.  These were given as a treat to a special friend who's in hospital.  You can no longer bring flowers into some wards because of the bugs that the flowers may carry.

 They'll just need to be dusted occasionally. 

A closeup of the centre of the flower.  Four circles, folded in half and glued together to form a semi-sphere.
Get well soon precious, we miss you here.

09 December 2012

Christmas Crackers

On the first day of Christmas, my KK gave to me . . .
This charming Christmas Carol is the theme for my Kris Kringle this year (I have used this theme before but in a slightly different way).  Below are the steps that I followed to make the crackers; obviously, given the nature of the carol, 12 will be secretly distributed over the next three weeks.

Strictly speaking this isn't for my Kris Kringle per se; my KK will remain a mystery to me until big reveal on the final day of school, but we all use the term interchangeably between the giver and the recipient of gifts.

things that you'll need to build your cracker

 Gather your ingredients:
  • Cardboard tubing from a roll of wrapping paper (do NOT use toilet paper inserts, if I have to explain why then I'm sorry, but we can't be friends anymore);
  • Wrapping paper to roll around the tubing;
  • Bon bon snaps (PS: like Duracell Batteries, these last forEVA, mine are over twelve years old);
  • Treats for inside (I have a collection of Morgan and Finch wooden ornaments that will eventually adorn a wooden tree, this tree will become the final gift);
  • Tissue paper to wrap the said treats
  • Jokes/Sentiments to place inside the tubing along with the treats;
  • Ribbon to tie off the ends of the paper;
  • Decorations for final bon bons / crackers.

What to do:
Cut your cardboard tube in 10cm lengths.  These ones also happen to measure 5cm in diameter.
Cut your wrapping paper into rectangles measuring 18x35cm.
the pencil is pointing to where a small dot
of glue has been placed
Place the tubing against the long side of the rectangle and put a small dot of glue on the edge of the edge of the paper and in the middle of its length.
Move the tubing so that it is over the glue and hold in place. Next place your snap underneath the tubing. Do not stick down the snap; the wrapping paper and final ribbon should hold it in place.
Place your treat, which has been wrapped in tissue paper inside the tubing . . . .

. . . together with the sentiment that is accompanying it.

I did these steps one-by-one, very methodically, wrapping each gift as I went along.  As you can see from the above sentiment, these were sequentially important and I wanted to be sure that the right treats and messages went into the right tubes.

Roll the tubing along the wrapping paper (snuggly) until you get to the end; place more glue along this other long edge and seal the cracker closed.
Gather your ribbon and cut it into 30cm lengths.  Two lengths will be needed for each cracker.  The more astute of you readers may notice that the above ribbon is not the same as the one I used in the images at the top of this post.  What can I say?  Despite what I say and seem to appear, I am not the most organised person I know.  I ran out of the sparkly red stuff early on.
Tie a ribbon at the top and the bottom of the cracker, be firm but careful.  If you're too zealous, the paper will tear (speaking from experience).  I didn't get too fussy with bows, in fact I didn't tie the ribbon into bows - it was past midnight after all.

Find your groovy embellishment and . . .

. . . stick him/her/it onto the cracker using double-sided tape.

That's all there is to it!!  Long-winded as usual from the home of Papier and Cakes, but hopefully straight forward enough for you to follow.

02 December 2012

Welcome Back Sunshine

Summer arrived just a couple of days earlier this year.  On Thursday we blistered, withered and sweltered through a stinking hot 38c day.
I think she needs a haircut
Relishing this incredible heat and possibly thriving all the better for it, are my rose bushes; namely the Seafoam.
Secretly I call her Naomi Campbell.  Tall, beautiful and elegant to look at.  But don't get too close, because those claws of hers can really tear you up!!  Hee hee.