Thursday, 8 December 2011

More on Pegs

Righto guys, lets do another funky fun project with pegs. Again, another Pinterest inspired project.
This time it is covered magnetic peg note holders. So so easy to do and cheap. A little bit fiddly for the kiddies, so maybe this is one for the mums to do.



Ok you will need some:-
-  wooden pegs as shown above
-  some nice fancy patterned paper
- adhesive
- magnets that fit onto your pegs
- some sort of clear varnish

What you do:-
 - measure the length and width of the flat sides of your pegs
- cut your patterned paper to this size
- use yor adhesive and stick on your paper to one side of your pegs
- cover the paper with your clear varnish
- when dry, adhere your magnets to the back

There you have it. So easy and effective. I have seen the same things sold at some boutique stores for ridiculous prices. Now you know how to do it, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.

Have fun.
Cheers
Narelle

Friday, 2 December 2011

Another Pinterest Project

OK Guys, I promised more Pinterest inspired projects. So here is another one.
This one is super super easy and very cheap. Makes for a cool teachers gift at Christmas.

All you do is get a wooden ruler, some regular wooden clothes pegs, magnetic tape and wood glue. You decorate one side of the pegs however you want. I just coloured mine with texta in primary colours. Then you glue them onto your wooden ruler. When the glue is dry, stick some adhesive magnetic strip to the back, and hey presto, one very cheap and easy teachers gift.
The kids can even help with this one, and imagine how excited they will be to tell their teacher they made their gift. And the teachers will appreciate the effort the kids put into it.



Friday, 25 November 2011

Having fun creating!!!

Hi everyone,
Well first of all I must apologise for the lack of posts from me. It's all Pinterest's fault. I have been having too much fun creating what I have found on there to be bothered stopping to post. So naughty of me, but I have been having a ball.
In my last post I promised to show you what I have made. Well since then I have created quite a few things. Lets start with the first one that I made. No pictures to show you unfortunately. I shall explain in a minute. This is what I was supposed to be making -

The plan was to make red, green and white ones for Christmas. My daughter and I had a very messy ball making them and were quite proud of our efforts. We put them aside to dry. A couple of hours later we went to check on them and were terribly disappointed. It turns out that the balloons I used, which had been sitting in the cupboard for a few years, were too old to stay up for long. They slowly deflated and our beautiful string balls ended up like a bundle of messy wet wool. The bits that had dried were hard, so in theory if you have good balloon I reckon they would turn out quite good.
I have bought new balloons but haven't retried making them yet. I've been too busy making everything else I have seen.
If I don't get sidetracked making more stuff, then hopefully in another couple of days, I should have another Pinterest inspired thing to show you.
Cheers for now,
Narelle

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pinterest

OMG!!!! I am  in love. No that's not strong enough. I am infatuated. I have recently stumbled across Pinterest. If you don't know what it is then go check it out.
 Basically it is an online pinboard where people pin ideas onto the  board. There are so many different categories. Literally something for everyone.
I am excited every day when I visit the site to see what new ideas I can find. I have found so much inspiration that it has given me a renewed enthusiasm to try different things. I have also started to go back to the hundreds of blogs I have bookmarked but never gone back to have a good look around. From some I have pinned ideas myself to share with others.
I have so many ideas now for my business. It has helped me start to expand my range, which is something I have always wanted to do, but never knew which direction I really wanted to go in.
With so many ideas running around in my head and so many new things pinned that I want to try, I have actually started to play around making a few things. So over the coming days and weeks I will post about what I have made from my Pinterest inspiration. The good and the ones that didn't turn out so good, because we all need a good laugh sometimes.
The first one I will blog about I think will be a Christmas Decoration that I made. So come back in a few days and have a look at what I have been up to.
Until then, Happy Crafting everyone. I know I will be.
Cheers
Narelle

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Christmas Paper Wreath

I have just finished making a Christmas Wreath out of paper. This was my first attempt and I  must say I am mighty pleased with how it turned out. I saw the idea online somewhere a few weeks ago. They had made theirs out of wrapping paper. I  made mine out of scrapping paper. See below for instructions if  you want to have a go at making your own.


This is how I made it
1. I used a sheet of Bazzill Cardstock 12" x 12". I placed a dinner plate on it and traced to make a circle. Then I used a smaller plate to make another circle. Then I cut out along the lines to make a ring.

2. I drew a leaf shape freehand out of the spare cardstock. Then traced it onto my selected paper. I used Festive from Kaisercraft December 25th Collection. This paper is double sided and it took nearly 2 sheets to make all the leaves for this wreath.

3. Then I inked the edges of the leaves with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain.

4. To give the leaves a bit of shape so they didn't just sit flat against the wreath, I pinched the ends together so I got a nice curl.

5.  Then I stapled the leaves onto the cardstock ring. I started with the middle leaf then did the outer two. I didn't use a hot glue gun for this as I find it too messy. But you can use whatever is easiest for you. Double sided tape might work as well.


6. I did one side of the ring, then started the other side so the leaves met in the middle at the top and bottom.
7. I then cut out another ring to cover the back so the staples wouldn't be seen.

8. I them made a bow and hanging tab. These I added using a hot glue gun as I wanted to make sure they stuck.

9. Next I added some Green Tara Christmas picks and flowers.

10. And there you have it, my first attempt at a paper Christmas Wreath.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Today has been a tough one.

As I sit here in front of the laptop with the kids in bed and the house is so quiet, I reflect on today.
It wasn't anything special, just another day. But my 10yr old son who has Autism decided that today was going to be a challenge for everyone in his world. I know he can't help it, but sometimes I struggle to deal with it.
This afternoon was one of those times.
He was fine when I picked him and his sister up from school. But as soon as we walked into the front door at home his personality seemed to change. He suddenly had attitude to his voice and a tone to it I did not appreciate. He was argumentive and just generally difficult. I have heard it before and it is something that I find very difficult to deal with.
I know there  could be a few different reasons for it. One of which I think is that he is copying another boy at school. This other child was born with attitude. Unfortunately my son is a copier. He will repeat what he sees and hears, in others conversations, from the TV, anywhere, anytime. I recognise this child in my son when he changes like this. He has even admitted in the past when we have had times like this, that he is indeed copying the other child.
Another reason could be some environmental trigger that I am unaware of. Why would he change suddenly when getting home?
Could it be that something happened at school and he was holding in his frustration till he got home?
I wish I knew what the problem was that triggered this behaviour. I try to get him to tell me, but he gets frustrated because he can't explain it. Sometimes he doesn't know himself why he is "off".
And I wish I could relate to him more in times like this.
But most of all I wish that I could  be more patient with him and not loose my temper. I get frustrated with him and do not listen to him enough when he gets in these "moods".
I hear the words of Kirk from Celebrate Calm in my head at times like today, but another part of me takes over and just can not stay calm as hard as I try. I guess tomorrow I need to put Kirk's CD's on and have another listen.
At times like this now when I can sit and relax and reflect, that I feel so overwhelmed.  I wish that I could take back the not so nice things I said to him, I wish I had of sat and just listened to him instead of cutting him off. I wish I had handled it better.
Isn't hindsight such a wonderful thing.
I love him immensely and would never physically hurt him, but it's my words that I fear may be causing him harm. I try to praise him constantly and encourage him to try harder.
I know he knows that I love him, so that gives me some solace. He is a forgiving little soul, so I know tomorrow he will hold no grudges. I always wake him with a kiss and cuddle, and scratch his back before he gets out of bed. He loves that.
Tomorrow is another day, another chance to be a better mum. Another opportunity for me to grow and learn. Another day to kiss and cuddle him and let him know that I love him very much.
In the words of the greatest Hollywood cowboy - "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. " - John Wayne
I want to leave you now with some images of my gorgeous son.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Scrap Retreat

This past weekend I spent at a Scrap Retreat. I had an absolute ball as usual. The scrapbook shop where I teach hosts 2 retreats a year, one in May and another in October. The cost is very reasonable as it covers all meals, accommodation and 3 classes. Guests arrive from 7pm Friday night and scrap till whenever. There are optional extra classes they can do on Friday night. This year I taught a 3 hour marathon class on Friday night. The lovely ladies got to complete 3 double layouts in 3 hours. I must say there was a lot of laughter and conversation thrown in to the class.
Saturday sees breakfast at 8.30am and then free time to scrap till the first classes start at 11am. After this one hour class it again is free time to scrap till lunch, then a two hour class at 1.30pm, and another 1 hour class at 4pm. Then its free time again to scrap until you can't stay awake any more.  Some of us scrapped till 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, or should I say mornings. Sunday is your own time all day till 3pm to scrap.
We have a lady come visit us on Sunday for $20 massages. And by this time some of the ladies really appreciate these.
The weekend goes way too fast. Lots of laughter, lots of chatting, lots and lots of scrapping, and way too much eating of chocolate. This year we even had a bird visit us.
We came back from dinner on Saturday night to find that we had a bird trapped in our scrapping room. Well the evening after that till nearly 11pm was a mix of scrapping, bird watching, opening all doors, turning off the lights and trying to shoo the bird out with brooms and whatever we could find. There were some hilarious suggestions which included a few suggestions around bras being used as sling shots. After all it was a room full of 50 women. Eventually the party got too much for the bird and he flew to freedom. The onsite caretaker said he had never heard such a loud celebration.
I had a wonderful bunch of ladies on my table and we shared many laughs. There were some serious moments when we discussed the big issues and especially issues with our children. We learnt some things and shared many funny stories.
Eventhough I was working, the socialising with our customers and the time to sit and scrap with great company outweighed this fact. It was an excellent weekend and I can not wait till our next one in May next year.
If you are a scrapper and haven't been on a scrapping retreat yet, what are you waiting for? Get down to your local store and enquire. You will have lots of fun and make some new friends along the way.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Paper Chatterbox's and Other Ramblings

My daughter bought home a little paper thing from school she called a Chatterbox. I remember having them at school. You put your fingers inside the flaps and spell words, in the end you lift a flap to answer some questions. Well she played with this chatterbox for weeks, and today, inevitably, it tore. A small hole was developing a couple of days ago, but she kept on playing. She was so devastated today when it tore and she could no longer play it.
So Google to the rescue. I searched paper Chatterbox's and presto, easy to follow instructions. 5 minutes later she had another Chatterbox to play with. Obviously it's not as good as the one she made at school, for several reasons. It's not as pretty and it doesn't have the same meaning.
Here is the link I used to make it - http://www.ehow.com/how_4460565_make-paper-chatterbox.html
This got me thinking. Of all the expensive toys my kids have,some times it's the smallest and simplest things that they treasure the most. Who would of thought that a broken piece of folded paper could evoke such emotion.
I know that if they loose toys or whole toy boxes, more on that later, they seem to be a little distressed for a short while but get over it quite quickly. I guess it's because they know that a new toy is just around the corner, because we are probably too quick to buy them what they want. I quite often remind my kids that I didn't have the DS's, playstations or DVD's when I was growing up. I remember having a couple of Barbie dolls, a small suitcase of clothes for them, some colouring books and pencils. That was the sum of my toys. Yet I was happy. I didn't spend much time inside. I was out in the yard playing, or riding my bike around the block, or swimming in the pool. I know times have changed and it's  not always safe to let the kids take themselves to the local park like I used to. But they can still play outside in the yard. They have a trampoline. But they prefer to stay inside and play there electronic games. Where did this all change. I don't remember purposely telling my kids to stay inside. They have always had a yard to play in. Where did the desire to stay inside come from?
Generations change from one to the next.  And not only the kids and their toys. I often reflect on what my parents had when they got married compared to what I had. For the first 3 years of my parents marriage, they lived in a one room flat above a shop, opposite  the railway line. When they got their first house, they had minimal furniture for 8 years, and no carpet till us kids came along a couple of years later. My dad used to work 3 jobs. During the day he was in the Navy, by night he was a cab driver, and on the weekends he pumped petrol at the local service station.
Fast forward 34 years later when I get married. We moved straight into our own home that my husband already owned. We both had a new car. The house was fully furnished, ducted air installed, all the mod cons as my folks would say. 4 years into our marriage and expecting our second child, we built a new home. It had to be a big house, a McMansion is the term they use here for the large two storey, 4 bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage etc. And of course all new appliances and furniture. What a vast difference to my parents day.
I suppose when my kids are ready to get married they will skip the old house first and want to build new straight away. I only hope that the great Australian dream is not out of reach by then.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lemon Butter

My lemon tree has an abundance of lemons on it. I seem to struggle to use all of them before they go off. This year I thought I am not going to waste them.
So I made Lemon Butter. Yumo. I gave a jar to my mum when she visited from interstate, it is her favourite spread for toast.
Now what to do with the rest of the lemons.
Here is the recipe if you are interested in making some.

Lemon Butter
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of butter
juice of 2 lemons
grated rind of 1 lemon

Beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice together till light. Add butter and stir over heat till thick.
Bottle in small jars.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Scrap Retreats

Have you ever been on a Scrap Retreat?
I have only been on a couple of them. One of them as a guest and the second one as a teacher. And I had a ball both times.
If you haven't been you don't know what you're missing. A full weekend of nothing but scrapping. Classes provided as part of the package and lots of free time to sit and work on your own creations. Lots of lovely like minded ladies. No kids or hubbies to interrupt your creative juices. No feeling guilty that you should be cooking dinner instead of finishing off your page. Just uninterrupted time to sit and emerse yourself into your passion.
I have just come across a Scrap Retreat in Italy that looks divine.

Now all I need to do is win lotto to allow me to go...lol...The retreats I have been on have been nothing like this. The accommodation has been school camp quality and  the rest of the venue has been of the same standard. But was still fun.
If  you haven't been on a retreat, I urge you to do it. Just enquire at your local shop. If they don't run them, there will sure be somewhere in your area that does.
My next retreat I am teaching at is in October and I can't wait. I had better get onto designing  the classes I guess.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Scrapbook Beginnings

I am teaching a class tonight on the Basics of Layout and Design for scrapbooks. It's a regular class held twice a month. As I was printing off the student handouts I got to thinking - what were my first pages like. So I pulled out my very first album from nearly 11 years ago.
Back then I had no clue about what I was doing. I didn't even know that 12" x 12" was the standard size and you had special 12" x 12" albums. I used to scrapbook in a spiral bound art journal I got from my local department store. Stickers were big back then and so was hand lettering for headings. Boy oh boy were the pages basic. But I won't go back and change them, they are part of my scrapbooking journey. I have done other layouts with copies of some of the photos. In fact that is on my To Do list. I wasnt to recreate a proper scrapbook as I know them now using the same photos and themes. So I can compare how far I have come.
Who would of thought that looking at these  old layouts that I would one day be teaching the craft. 
I had no idea back then that I was doing anything wrong. Well  not until a cousin came over one day and I showed her my album. She politely invited me along to a Creative Memories party at her place. Boy were my eyes opened, and I must say I was very embarrased at what I had shown my cousin. But we have had some good laughs about it over the years.
And I don't believe I am doing this, but here as some of those first pages.



Sunday, 14 August 2011

My attempt at Cinderella.

Sorry it's been a week since I finished my daughters Cinderella outfit for her Book Parade. And I have been really slack and haven't posted any photos yet. Probably because eventhough I am very proud of how it turned out, I was also slightly embarassed. This was because by "sewers" standards it is not very good. But I guess that I needed to come to terms with the fact that I am only a beginner and I could actually follow the pattern. I modified it a little bit, I just couldn't get the waist to gather before adding the casing. So as I was running out of time, I just turned the top over a few times to make my own casing and then threaded some elastic through. It sort of looks the same in the end.
But I guess all that matters  is that my daughter loved it and was very proud to wear it in the parade. So I suppose I met my clients brief successfully...lol . Just don't look too close...lol

Sunday, 7 August 2011

I sewed something!!!

For most people this wouldn't be a big deal. But for me, well it is.
My Mum has been a sewer for as long as I can remember. She used to make all my clothes when I was little, and saved me a pretty penny when I started working. Like any young woman I wanted all the latest fashion but couldn't afford it, so Mum came to the rescue and made it for me.
I have dabbled with a bit over the years, but just didn't have the patience to learn the tricky stuff, like putting in sleeves etc. Mum even bought me a Horn sewing cabinet, her old sewing machine and an overlocker. All in the hope that I would follow in her footsteps. And I so wanted to. But for some reason papercraft was more my calling.
So we come to today.  And I am proud to say that I have just sewn my first complete item. Yeah for me. The kids have a character parade for book week at school next week. So I had the hairbrain idea that I might be able to sew them something to wear rather than buy. And I thought it would be cheaper. Well after spending lots of $$ at my local material shop, I'm not so sure that it was the cheaper option.
Anyway, my son wanted to go as Count Dooku from Star Wars the Clone Wars. Easy I thought, I just have to make him a cape. And I did. And it's lined!!
Now for my daughters costume. Cinderella. mmm I am procrastinating on this. But it is Sunday and the parade is on Tuesday, so I had better get cracking. If it doesn't turn out then at least I have Monday to go buy something..lol
Here is my sons cape. I am as proud as punch with it.

Work in Progress

Wow I don't believe it. I have officially entered the world of blogging. How exciting. And this is my first ever blog. It's not very exciting I'm afraid. It is the wee small hours of the morning and I have just finished designing what my blog will look like. So I best be off to bed now. Will be back to play tomorrow.
Cheers, Narelle