Archive for June, 2013

I made this page to enter into two challenges. First the Frosted Designs blog hop which requires the use of Polka Dots.

I’d also like to enter this in the Scrap Our Stash Challenge #4 “All about our guys”. This required the use of 5+ brads, which can be seen in the flower centres and also as bullet points for the journalling. Scrap our stash is a perfect challenge for me since I only work from stash – living in a country without scrapbooking stores is great for getting you to use what you have. 😀

Materials used are October Afternoon Campfire and Kaisercraft rubons. The rest is mystery paper, and scraps which my very generous SIL ran through her diecutting machine and sent to me as part of a crafting care package.

Here’s a close-up of the flowers.

More polka dots and brads.

I’m finding that joining challenges is helping me produce more interesting pages as I’m ‘forced’ to get out of my usual habits and try some new things, or things that I’ve forgotten about. Please visit Frosted Designs and Scrap Our Stash to see how others have interpreted their challenges.

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Gorgeous Girl’s cough turned into a raging ear infections. So we dosed her ear up with the antibiotic drops we always have on hand and kept her home for another day. She recovered enough to go to school on Friday for the last day of term (they were having a party and she really didn’t want to miss it).

We are planning on keeping her very quiet over the next week as we would like her fully recovered by the time we fly to Australia. This is easier said than done as she feels fine now. 🙂 So, there’s been lots of colouring and painting (which she is doing right now) and some scrapping. She completed this layout all by herself. I think she’s developing quite a good sense of design.

The only input I’m allowed is to say whether or not she can use the embellishment she’s picked out of my stash.

While she was doing that I scrapped up one of her old school photos.

The banners at the top and bottom are free paper that came with a scrapbooking magazine several years ago (long before Gorgeous Girl was in school, but I knew I’d use them one day…). Border is hand drawn.

It’s been lovely and cool here the last few days.  I’m enjoying it tremendously.

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There’s been very little crafting happening here at Ruth’s Place over the last few days. Study is keeping me busy.

Gorgeous Girl had a ‘sick’ day today. She has a cough and a runny nose and she really didn’t want to go to school this morning, so we kept her home for the day. We spent the morning doing some school work (her choice). She asked me to bring some workbooks back from my last visit to Australia (“because there is too much colouring in at school and the work is too easy”) and so we’ve been working through them when she is interested. This morning we did adding by fives, the short o and a sounds, a short consonant review and then the long a, e and i sounds. It’s a phonics workbook. I think she learned just as much as if she’d been at school…

After that we did some colouring in. At the beginning of 2012 we visited my good friend Lisa and her family in New South Wales. She gave Gorgeous Girl a lovely Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric panel that you colour yourself. We had to wait until I found fabric markers and then I waited until I was sure Gorgeous Girl could colour nicely. Today was the day to colour.

She took it very seriously.

The finished panel. There were a few slips of the pens.

After lunch we began work on the butterfly. Once interest waned we packed it up for next time, but not before I snapped a shot of the work in progress.

Gorgeous Girl has said she would like the caterpillar to be a placemat, so I’ll see what I can turn out on Sunday.

I’ve had a problem with mould on one of my spinning wheels. Just one, and in the whole spraying it with clove oil to kill the mould, the cotton drive band shrunk. I couldn’t find a suitable replacement and Weaving Rose   very kindly sent me some linen thrums left over from her weaving that work a treat. This meant I was able to finish off this fibre which had been sitting on the wheel.

My first attempt at fluffy merino singles. I’m quite proud of them. These are unwashed, so still a bit twisty in places. At the moment we are getting a lot of afternoon rain so these are sitting in a bowl on my bookshelf waiting for fine weather.

The top  photo has the truer colour. This is fibre that I dyed myself when I first started spinning, so it’s been marinating in the stash for a while.

Since I didn’t have to do the school run today (less driving and walking) my foot is feeling pretty good. I’m hoping to spend some time working on my brother’s wedding quilt tonight. What do you have planned?

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One thing we enjoy about living in Papua New Guinea is the availability of tropical fruit. Currently we are enjoying passion fruit from the vine that has scaled the side of the house. A little while ago Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl went to the market and came home with red bananas. They were very small.

And very delicious. They didn’t last long! This is the first time we’ve seen red ones for sale. Hopefully it won’t be another 18 months before we see them again.

This week Gorgeous Girl was invited to a birthday party for one of our neighbours who was turning two. She was thrilled that the invitation said to bring her bathers.

The hosts had set this up in their backyard.

By the end of the afternoon, the patch of ground Gorgeous Girl is standing on was a mudpit.

The kids had a ball.

I signed up for Pinterest ages ago, but didn’t use it at all until about a fortnight ago. I’m trying to keep my pins to a small number so that I’ll actually do something that is inspired by them rather than be overwhelmed by the sheer volume. As chance would have it Practical Scrappers  recently had a post on Pinterest inspired projects and I pinned two of them to try.

Here’s what I made recently.

Stretching myself a bit to add more hand drawn detail to the page. I think the secret is to be really confident with your pen strokes. This is an old, old, old picture of me. It was my last year of college and the girl on the right and I had travelled to my home state of Western Australia. We are with two of my high school friends. None of us are in WA any more, one is in the UK, one is in PNG and one is in Queensland. My friend on the end passed away in 2007 and Gorgeous Girl’s middle name was chosen to remember her.

I also made a card, inspired by Practical Scrappers, to use up some of the leftovers from the page.

Not sure I’ve pulled it off 100%, but it will do.

Finally I’ve decided to play along with Tour de Fleece this year on Ravelry (for the non-spinners this is a spinning ‘competition’ designed to mirror the Tour de France. This is what I’m hoping to get through.

Some silk, some merino dyed by me and some wensleydale. I probably won’t get through it all because, well I’m a student and I’ll be travelling for two weeks during the tour, but it doesn’t hurt to have goals, right? 😀

I have a finished knitted object, but need to wait for the weather to clear (I will never complain about the rain because it cools things down marginally) so that I can photograph it. I’ve also started to ply up some laceweight singles I’ve been spinning for ages. I think it’s going to be lovely yarn when it’s done.

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Last week Gorgeous Girl’s platypus made an unexpected trip through the washing machine. He came out looking like this.

Very lumpy and misshapen. I carefully unstitched the hand stitching and removed the stuffing. Then a quick run under the iron to smooth out the wrinkles.

Then I restuffed him and sewed him shut again.

As good as new and one happy Gorgeous Girl.

In 2011 I bookmarked this tutorial for a gorgeous needle book case. Today I dug into the felt and embroidery stashes (these are both very small) and finally made one.

I need to get ink for the printer and so couldn’t print out the templates provided on in the tutorial, so I free hand drew the cloud shapes and the embroidery.

I used a back stitch for the swirl, I need to learn some more embroidery stitches at some stage. The three layers are joined along the top of the cloud.

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. It was quick and easy and I think these would  make a nice little gift for crafty friends.

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I made two pages in my last scrapping session, but because one was for an online challenge I didn’t want to confuse things by showing the other one as well.

This is just a simple page which celebrates a very big occasion.

Gorgeous Man’s graduation where he officially became Dr Gorgeous Man 😀 Excuse the scribble hiding his real name.
The owls and florish were fussy cut from patterned paper (not the same one) and the text box circle is a Kaisercraft rub on.

I’m discovering that rubons don’t really hold up well here in PNG. The Kaisercraft ones have held up the best and if I was going to buy rubons to stash that would be my brand of choice, but some of the cheaper brands have suffered from the humidity and stuck to the plastic. I think I’ll end up using the partial rubons as a grungy sort of background at some point.

Today I need to restuff a platypus. This little fellow accidentally ended up going through the washing machine.

And became horribly lumpy and misshapen as the stuffing inside felted. I promised a distressed Gorgeous Girl that I would carefully unpick one side and restuff and sew him back up again. Then, if there is time I’m going to tackle on of the gazillion online tutorials I’ve bookmarked to try.

I find, that because I quilt, most of my time on the sewing machine ends up being used for the big projects, like the current quilt in progress, and all the cute little things I want to make get neglected. So this year I’ve committed to spending some time each week to working on either one of the myriad place mat panels I’ve got waiting to be used, or a small pattern from a book/magazine in my library or an online resource. I’ve spent the last two small sewing sessions on placemats, so time to try an online tutorial.

I hope you have a great day. Thanks for stopping by.

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I was totally stunned on Friday when I saw on the Frosted Designs blog  that I was the grand prize winner for the May blog hop! I had told Gorgeous Girl that I was entering and when she asked if I’d win I explained how we enter things just to enjoy playing along and that it was very unlikely that Mummy would win. So I’m now a liar 😀

Then later that afternoon I read on Cathi’s blog  that I was the random winner in her blog hop giveaway. You could have knocked me down with a feather. From Frosted Designs I’ve won a chipboard pack from Molossi.  Because we are not sure how reliable postage to PNG is I’m having the prize sent to my long-suffering SIL who will hold it for me until I am in Brisbane in November. I’m thrilled to win the prize, but bummed it’s going to be so long before I get to play with it.

Cathi and I have decided to test the PNG postal waters with her package, so that should turn up in a few weeks time. Thank you Cathi and Molossi.

Anyway, so I had the scrapping stuff out and thought I’d have a go at using the Frosted Designs Sketch + things with wings challenge. 

We had to follow the sketch and add something with wings. Here is the sketch.

Here is my take on the sketch.

It didn’t quite work out the way I had in mind, but I’m very happy with the outcome. I like simple pages. The green paper is deep stash. I remember buying it when I first got into making cards in 2003 at least it has a useful life now and there is still a tiny bit left to use in another project). I can’t name the other products except for the rub-ons which are from Kaisercraft.

I live in a country with no scrapbooking stores. I’ll pause a minute so some of you can regain your breath 🙂

This means I work from stash and there are some papers that I love and want to stretch as far as possible. The red backing paper is one of these, so I trimmed around the inside rather than just covering the whole thing with paper.

First I traced around the green paper and then I drew lines on all sides 1/2 an inch in from that line.

It’s kind of hard to see the lines on the patterned paper. Then I trimmed along the inside line.

Ready to have the green layered on top, and there is a large centre piece left over to use again on another project.

Please visit Frosted Designs to see how others have interpreted the sketch.

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First, let me show my fabulous new project bag.

It’s fully reversible and able to hold all three of my current knitting works in progress. This was a gift from Jody when I met up with her in the US a few months ago. She made it herself! I love it and carry it around the house with me for no apparent reason…

This WIP is a garter yoke cardigan.

If I was to make this again, I’d do left and right leaning M1s, but I’m a bit funny like that. I’m up to the point where I need to divide for the sleeves.

Next project is a simple lace scarf. I love it when I can memorise the stitch pattern. One of my friends need a hug, so I’m knitting them one because I am too far away for a real one.

This one is in cotton. It’s unblocked, so looks a bit skinny. I’m planning on crocheting around the edges a few times so that the recipient doesn’t have to worry too much about blocking it when they wash it.

Speaking of works in progress, I was planning on showing you the giant pile of books on my desk (and on the floor next to my bed) that I need to read, but that was too depressing…

I’m hoping to spend some quality time with my sewing machine tonight, if my foot cooperates. Yesterday it was too sore to manage, but today seems a bit better. I’ve been having a good run with the foot lately, just need to keep remembering not to overdo things.

We will be heading to Cairns for our mid-year leave in a few weeks. We think we have found the perfect holiday accommodation, please cross your fingers for us that they have a vacancy.

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Even though Gorgeous Man has been away since Friday for work, I did manage to sneak in a little bit of sewing. These place mats are so quick and easy to make. Again I’m ignoring my internal OCD which is telling me that they are printed off the straight-of-grain.

Two different backing fabrics as I didn’t have enough of just one. This time around, in order to stablise the batting a little more, I did a line of stitching around the inner picture. This was in addition to the top stitching I did around the edges of the last one,

which you can sort of see in this picture. The African Hoopoe was one of my favourite birds while we were living in South Africa, it was really lovely to see them in the front yard on occasion. These are the first set of Christmas gifts I’ve finished for the year. We won’t be arriving in Australia for Christmas until just a few days before, since (apart from exceptionally good local produced chocolate) there isn’t much to buy here in PNG (aside from touristy items) I’m hoping to make most of our gifts again this year. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m slowly chugging away on some lace using some handspun.

Of course unblocked pictures of lace do not show off the full extent of its glory. Pattern details can be found here.

Gorgeous Man gets home late this evening. Gorgeous Girl has been promised that she can stay up to see him when he gets home (because he is arriving after dark I am not doing the airport pick-up). We’ll both be glad to see him home.

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A blog hop

Lately I’ve been thinking about stretching myself a little and participating in some online scrapbooking challenges. However, most of the online challenges around require you to use a certain percentage of products from a particular line. Living in a country without a scrapbooking store, this poses something of a problem. So when I saw the Frosted Designs blog hop I was pleased to see that all I needed to do was follow the hop and then make a project following their sketch.

This is the first time I’ve submitted a design to an online challenge. I have to say that as a minimalist scrapper I’m not sure how my sketch compares to those who are layering masters. Anyway, without further ado, this is the sketch.

FD May Blog Hop sketch2

And here is my rather literal take on it.

My light brown ink doesn’t stand out too well in the photo. It says “Christmas in Zambia 2011”.

Of the items listed that we were required to use I used patterned paper, ink, ribbons, stamping, chipboard and flowers.

I’m very pleased with the way the flowers turned out.

Supplies used came from upcycled sheet music, echopark paper company, hero arts alphabet stamps, October Afternoon campfire 8 x8 paper pad and the Stampin’ Up scallop punch.

I wish I could get better photos of my scrapbook pages. I’m still trying to find the perfect place in the house and that perfect angle from which to shoot them.

Please visit Frosted Designs and see how other people have interpreted the sketch.


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