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Simple Stamped Snowmen

This is a quick and easy card idea that would be fun to do with kids (or adults!) and produces some lovely, quirky little characters.  I made a whole stack of these in one evening – perfect for when you are time poor and need to make a lot of cards in one go.

There’s lots of examples of stamped snowmen on various websites, using potatoes or sponges cut to shape.  I didn’t have any potatoes (my cupboards were a bit bare this week) so I carved a little roughly-circular-ovalish shape from a leftover piece of rubber from my printing class earlier in the year. I dabbed the stamp into a moistened sponge that had white paint on it and stamped onto some mini brown card stock.  It doesn’t matter if the stamped image doesn’t come out completely perfect – it adds to the design and makes it a bit more rustic and handmade.  But you can fix it up with some more paint if you want to.  The extra details were cut out of coloured card stock and drawn on with a Pigma Micron pen (they’re my go-to for doodling and adding details to things, especially when I don’t want any bleeding of ink or smudges).

I stamped a Christmas greeting on each card to finish, and voila!  So simple and quick!  They’re really cute and you can make each snowman quite individual, just by adding different details.  Try a scarf, or some holly on his hat, or no hat at all.  I also added a bit of glitter to them to help the white shine (you can’t see it in the photo…) but you can do anything you like to make them your own.

Hope your festive season is shaping up to be happy and heart-warming 🙂

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Glad and Worthy Heart & First Homes

I made this card on a cold and blustery day one weekend when I was feeling anti-social and needing some quiet time away from the world.  Which is not uncommon for me, let’s face it.  I could probably do with a regularly-scheduled “quiet day” – wonder if I could work that into my job description at work…

I would like to say I have a glad and worthy heart myself but, at the moment, it’s more of a grateful but very weary and stressed heart.  I’m in the process of buying a house.  It’s a long process.  A long and anxiety-provoking process and I don’t know what I am doing.  Everything seems ridiculously difficult and complicated.  I cannot make decisions at the best of times and so, for something as monumental as buying your first home, I am going completely mental and am stressed to the max.  I’m also very grateful to be in the position to even CONSIDER buying a house.  Not everyone is so lucky.  But I have worked very hard all my adult life and have saved my money and lived within my means and not wracked up any debt or credit card issues.  I didn’t think I would ever be ready to buy a house – didn’t think I would ever be able to afford it on my own or be emotionally ready for the responsibility.  But when are you ever ready for such things?  And that’s what I keep saying to myself – If you wait until you are ready and feeling secure, you will never do it.  

The economy at the moment is pretty dreadful.  Australia has one of the stronger economies in the world but still, it’s in trouble the way the rest of the world is.  My job is not particularly “safe”, although perhaps safer than some other people’s in the organisation.  But if I wait for a “safe” time, I probably won’t be able to afford to buy and, anyway, who knows when that time will be?  Five years from now?  Ten?  I’m in my forties – time is running out for me to get and pay for a mortgage.

So, into the property market I go.  Tentatively and with much fear and trepidation.  I don’t know if I will even end up with the house.  There’s some issues with it that need addressing before I sign off completely, and so the settlement agent is dealing with that. I don’t want to buy a lemon, and I don’t trust the seller’s agent one bit.  He is well dodgy. But it’s altogether scary and I am so anxious.  I keep having little panic attacks where you can’t breathe and you feel really sick.  The kind that make you want to climb under a rock and stay there until it’s all over.

But, if it all works out, I will have a house of my own.  I can have cats (hooray!) and make a lovely garden and decorate how I like and not have to worry about rent inspections.  I will have some financial security for the future and a teeny bit of pride that I actually did this on my own, without help.  I can say “my house” and it will be true.

So, hopefully soon, I will have a glad and relieved heart.  Not sure about the “worthy” part, but hopefully the Universe sees me as somewhat deserving and cuts me some slack!  I need all the help I can get right now, just to stay sane.  Why do people like buying and selling houses???  It’s so tricky and frustrating and HARD!

I hope that wherever you are in life you are settled and happy, secure and at peace with the choices you are making.  And if you know a way to be like that ALL THE TIME, please let me in on the secret!

🙂

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Pigeon Card

Good morning!  Hope your day is travelling along splendidly 🙂

I made this card on the weekend and it was one of the better ones I created.  It didn’t make me swear quite as much and it didn’t take me an age to finish.  The colours came together fairly easily and I was happy with the overall look.  It’s kinda got a rustic and old-fashioned vibe.  It reminds me of a wooden sign outside a pub (for some reason).  I could imagine it being called “The Dusty Pigeon” or “The Pigeon and Twig” or something similarly ye olde English drinking establishment.

I’m assuming it’s a pigeon.  Let’s just say it is, for the sake of argument.

The little dried flowers are pretty delicate and will probably disintegrate if the card is handled roughly.  I did put extra glue on the backs of them, so they would hopefully survive any manhandling and people prodding and touching them.  I do find that, when people are perusing my cards, they tend to want to poke and touch things, or run their fingers over embellishments etc, not to mention the people who just jam the cards back into the pile, with no care or consideration for their delicacy.  They should be concerned for MY delicacy!  I am very fragile ha ha.  Besides, you don’t want the cards to be all dog-eared or bent.  I do put them in protective plastic sleeves, but people can be pretty rough.

Anyway, I digress… This card is going to have to stand up to wear and tear, at least until someone has paid for it.  Then it can fall apart if it needs to.  But hopefully that won’t happen.  Be strong little pigeon and hang on to your petals!

I’m being silly today.  Which is not unusual, let’s face it.  I’m trying not to be a grumpy-guts, which I have been for a little while now, due to one thing and another.  Making and creating eases that, A LOT, so I try and do as much of it as I can – if only to make me a more pleasant person to be around.

Thanks for dropping in and listening to my nonsense.  It means a lot to me 🙂

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Rustic Country Easter

Rustic Country Easter

Happy Easter or Eostre or Smyngus-Dyngus or whatever you celebrate (if you celebrate) this weekend.  As a good-for-nothing heathen, I basically celebrate having a few days off work, seeing my family and bemoaning the fact I can’t eat chocolate.  My brother and sister-in-law, however, are making up for my lack of respectful worship and/or church-going abilities by taking their four children to church this morning so that they could learn a bit about one of the real reasons we even have Easter in the first place.  They themselves are not religious in any way, but they felt it was important the children understood that the holiday is not all about chocolate and bunnies and going on egg hunts.  I myself lean towards the older, pagan traditions and meanings behind Easter but that is just a personal preference and belief – I don’t judge anyone else for what they believe in.

Anyway, moving away from the heavy and slightly inflammatory subject of religion…  This weekend I spent a lovely couple of days at my Dad and Step-Mum’s farm in Boyanup with my Mum.  I have spoken before of how well my parents get along and how my Mum really enjoys going down to see my Dad and Step Mum.  It’s such a relief.  It wasn’t always this easy and pleasant, believe me, but they have built bridges and gotten over them and now it is just NICE to spend time in their company.  My Mum and Step Mum get along well and have a laugh (I mean, nobody knows my Dad as well as they both do) and my Dad is just so happy that he can have us all there with him and it’s not weird or uncomfortable.

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Dad had quite a bit of work around the farm to do so us gals went sight-seeing and shopping.  Lots of little vintage shops and antique stores were open, as well as cafes and other places of interest.  I haven’t gone antiquing for ages so this was a fun afternoon for me and the prices in many of the shops were unbelievably cheap.  At a shop called “The Quirky Den“, I got this adorable little W H Goss vase for just $4.  It’s so cute.

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At first I was put off but the bear baiting / dancing bear image but then I couldn’t “bear” to leave him behind.  He can be safe with me and never have to perform again (except to just look cute on my display cabinet).  He can sit with my miniature bears.  My Mum bought a nice blue and white plate and my Step-Mum picked up several nice pieces of china to decorate her walls, including a little miniature house which she collects.  The Quirky Den was indeed quirky, but well worth a visit 🙂
Their prices are very reasonable and they have lots of great stuff.

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We also visited a GORGEOUS little shop called “Rustic French Living“.  Ooh la la!  So pretty and chic and gorgeous.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves – I wish I had bought something in there…I was eye-ing off the lovely little rabbit/Easter tags but then didn’t get them.  Regret!  Will definitely have to go back another time and spend a longer period there.  It was getting late and so we only looked around for a little while.  But beautiful stuff 🙂  They also have cakes and tea/coffee if you’re partial to a bit of refined refreshment. If you’re in Western Australia and travelling through the South-West, do stop in and have a look.  I wanted to buy everything…the lovely ladies in the shop were very welcoming and did not mind me taking photos (sometimes shop people get a bit huffy when you do it, so I always ask first and tell them what it is for).  You can also visit their awesome Facebook page here

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That evening we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset – the colours were amazing and I am so glad the photo does it justice.  Just beautiful – isn’t nature amazing?

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Hope your weekend was as relaxing and happy as mine.  If you can eat chocolate, I hope the Easter/Eostre Bunny was generous.  Have a great week everybody 🙂

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in November

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in November

I am still terribly sad about my little Roderick but I have been reading a book called “The Loss of a Pet” by Wallace Sife and it has helped a lot.  I think just knowing that the things I’m feeling are normal and that other people have experienced the same kind of grief made it easier for me to process my emotions and not “get over it” exactly, but begin to heal a little bit and stop moping about.  I would recommend the book if you’re going through a similar situation and need a little help in dealing with it.

The week of his passing was horrible to say the least.  Not only did I lose him, but my Mother-in-law lost a dear friend, my brother-in-law’s dogs were bitten by a snake and had to have emergency treatment, and a close friend of mine was left by her husband.  I figure the stars were really out of whack that week.

I have been trying to keep busy and not “think” about things.  I’ve done a lot of crying.  But I’ve also had to keep up with my usual responsibilities and go to work, make things for the design team and help my Mum with packing and sorting out the house (we finally found her a new house – yay!).  While my creative brain was not working to full capacity, I struggled to make anything awe-inspiring for the shop as part of my design team responsibilities.  The pack I was given included the Melissa Frances Christmas range and I thought I would be able to make a few things easily.  But with deceased guinea pigs on the brain and a painful neck brought on by stress, I only managed a few cards.  I’m hoping inspiration will strike me before I have to hand in my finished items but it’s not looking good …. Here’s what I have made so far:

Nothing amazing but at least it’s something.  I really struggled with that red and white striped chevron paper – it made me go cross-eyed just looking at it.

Today I had to go into the city and buy hubby some birthday presents.  He’s into all the dungeons and dragons/board game/role playing stuff.  He doesn’t dress up like a wizard or anything but he does have regular “games days” with some friends.  So I had to venture into unfamiliar terrain today – ie comic book stores and a fantasy/sci fi gaming store.  Luckily he had given me a list so I knew what to look for.  Otherwise I may have bought him, well, God knows what, really

Whilst in town I window shopped in all the stores, looking at all the lovely Christmas  decorations and supplies.  I hate that they do it so early (this stuff has been up since October – ugh!) but still, I like to look.  And dream that one day I will have a proper house with a proper Christmas tree and lots of lovely things to put on it.  I do balk at some of the prices of things though.  I tend to walk around thinking “Pfft!  I could make that for less!”  which is probably true but the end result would most likely look pretty crappy and would cost me more in time and hair-pulling as I tried to figure out how to actually make things myself.  Myers always has a beautiful display of decorations and trims.  I took photos of a few things:

Love these dress forms.  Actually, I love anything related to dress forms.  I have a papier mache one at home waiting to be decorated.  Might have to try…

This table centrepiece was gorgeous (with a price tag to match) but you could make it with a bit of patience and a stack of little mirrors!

Really liked these wooden pears and apples.  So rustic and shabby!

This little guy made me smile.  He looks so cosy in his wooly scarf.

A cute and simple idea for a different kind of Advent calendar. Even I could probably manage this one.

These button picks were really nice.  They also had button garlands which would look great strung around a festive room.  I think I just like anything with buttons…

These wooden and felt layered decorations would be easy enough to replicate at home.  Might have to rummage around in my fabric drawer for some felt scraps…

I liked these simple cone Christmas trees but didn’t like their price.  I like the folksy details and simplicity.  Another one I might have to try.

So lots to look at and distract me from sadness today.  I can’t believe Christmas is already almost upon us and I am not even remotely organised this year.  Better stop window shopping and do some actual shopping soon…gee, what a shame!  Are you ready for the festive season (if you celebrate it)?  Do you have an favourite traditions or decorations that you have to have every year?  Let  me know!