Monday Lunchtime Sketch


For the Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge this week I decided it was time to make another Christmas card and break open my newly acquired Ornamental Pine stamp set from Stampin’ Up!  I really wasn’t a big fan of this stamp set when I first saw it in the Holiday Catalogue which I was relieved about really as my ‘Wish List’ was too long to start with LOL!   But of course over time you start to see all the wonderful creations that people make with those ‘not my favourite’ sets on the web and slowly you find yourself absolutely needing it … well that is how it works for me.  So this stamp set falls into that category and this is my first little play with it.  I decided to use the ‘Rock-n-Roll’ technique to colour the branch with Pear Pizzazz and Mossy Meadow then I used the Early Espresso marker to come back and colour over the branch before stamping the image onto my card stock.  The image is cut out using the Circles framelits which means I have the perfect ‘next size up’ to created the matt for the image in Early Espresso card stock.  The little pine cone is stamped in Versamark ink and embossed with Early Espresso embossing powder, I hand cut it out and used a dimensional to attach it to the card front which really makes it ‘pop’.

The DSP I used this week is from the All is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper pack and I just love the way it provided a subtle background for my image.  The greeting from the stamp set is also embossed with Early Espresso embossing powder and the side trimmings for the card are a little strip of Mossy Meadow card stock embossed with the Woodgrain embossing folder and a length of Early Espresso cotton ribbon.  A really easy card to make and I love the green and brown tones for this creation.

Here is the sketch so that you can play along this week too ….


Monday Lunchtime Sketch


For today’s Monday Lunchtime Sketch I decided to try out a technique that I have seen around on the web for a few weeks now called the Bokeh Effect.  I have seen some really lovely cards made using this technique as well as a number of different video tutorials on several different ways to create this effect with card stock and ink.  I made a few different samples and tried out a number of the different ways and finally settle on the technique shown in the ‘Bokeh Made Easy‘ Youtube tutorial.  I was very unsure of this method when I first watched it as I am not too good with the Craft Whisper White ink … because it takes a little while to dry I tend to get it smeared and smudged and often ruin my projects.  However, after trying some of the other ways to created this effect using different shades of ink and different sized circle stamps I finally came back to the Craft White as it does really give you the nicest finished effect.

Some of the ‘Wow’ of this card is lost a little in the lack of my photographic skills as there are a few little circles of Iridescent Ice embossing on the panel that really give it great texture and a little sparkle which I loved.  One of the biggest struggles I had with this card was settling on my colour palette and this is something that really can make or break this technique.  I finally settled on Lost Lagoon and Daffodil Delight and am pretty happy with the final result!

Here is the sketch so you can play along with us this week ….


Creative Blog Hop!

Today is a bit of a different blog post for me as I was asked by the very lovely Nicole Cosgrove to participate in the Creative Blog Hop and I said ‘Yes!’  Be sure to check out Nicole’s blog which is Little pieces of mee as she shares some really neat crafting ideas there!

As part of this Creative blog hop I have been asked to answer the following 4 questions.

1. What am I working on now?

As usually I am working on more than one project at the moment as I never seem to have enough time to create everything I see or am inspired by.  So I am part way through my very first few pages of ‘Project Life’ scrapbooking our trip earlier this year to Melbourne.  This project is one I do a little on here and there as I find my feet with my first delve into the Project Life craze!!!

The other thing I am working on is my Christmas Stamp-A-Stack class for next month.  I love Christmas crafting and my annual stamp-a-stack is one of my favourite things to pull together.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy I am madly getting all the prep work together for the Ronald McDonald House Charity fundraiser I am hosting at the end of this month … so yep a little busy at the moment LOL!

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

This is a tricky question but I guess if I was to say the one thing that I do a little differently is the way I try and use my Stampin’ Up! products for something other than what they are designed to do.  My way of feeling that I get that little extra ‘value for money’ from all my crafting supplies.  I also love to repurpose items with a little bit of recycling or up-cycling!

3. Why do I create what I do?

I used to be a ‘scrapbooker’ but found that my time for crafting has dramatically reduced over the years with kids, full-time work and other things filling my time.  So now I craft to try and ‘finish’ something and get that sense of ‘look what I made’.  I have found that card making from a time perspective is just too perfect for me.  I never thought I would be ‘that into’ card making but a little card started and completed in one quick crafting session is certainly sooooo rewarding for me so most of my creations are cards with the odd 3D item through in to challenge the old grey-matter.

4. How does my creative process work?

Not really sure I have a ‘creative process’ so to speak but it generally involves starting with a Stamp Set … usually a newly purchased one (so I can totally justify why I needed to buy it!).  I then select a colour combination, usually by looking in the Stampin’ Up! catalogue or on the back of the Designer Series Papers that Stampin’ Up! sells, those combos are the bomb!  What then happens is all little mystery as some part of my brain will kick in with things I might have seen on the web (usually Pinterest) and techniques, layout and designs get mixed around until I end up with a card I am happy with.

So to share a little something with you in this post (so it is not just all text today) I am giving you a sneak peak at one of the cards from my up coming Stamp-A-Stack that I am working on.

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Bright & Beautiful

This year’s stamp-a-stack is based on the Bright & Beautiful stamp set from Stampin’ Up! and is very different as it will be my first year NOT using the traditional red and green colour combo for my Christmas Stamp-A-Stack … living dangerously!

Now this would hardly be a ‘blog hop’ without giving you a fabulous place or two to visit from here.  So I have chosen two really creative and wonderful people to forward you on to as the blog hop continues each Monday.

The first lady just happens to also be my sister, Wenna McGrath who has just started her blog Wen Crafting.  My sister inherited the crocheting gene in the family as well as a lot of other creative talents that she shares on her blog.


Hi! I’m Wenna…..  I’m a crafter and love crocheting.  In my spare time I enjoy my two children and my husband.  My earliest memories of crocheting were with my Grandmother. She taught me how to crochet along with a number of other crafts as she was big on all things crafty under the sun. I realised later in life that what I learnt from her was more than something I use to do to humour her. Now I enjoy being able to create something from just a ball of wool and a hook.

I began Wen Crafting in 2012 after I started crocheting hats for my new born daughter, Edina. The hats were a necessity as she was not blessed with a strand of hair on her head.  They soon became a big hit with parents at Jackson (my son) school. People started commented on how lovely and unique the designs and styles were and asking me to make them items.  

So what started out as a necessity has fast become a fun crocheting and crafting adventure and as my children grow and change I continue to grow and adapt my ‘crafting skills’ to continue creating new and fun projects.

I am very new to the world of blogging, although I have followed many blogs for a long time, I never really considered that I would ever start one of my own so I was a little unsure about joining in on this Creative Blog Hop but thanks for the invite!

The other lady is someone who is not only very talented but someone I am lucky enough to call a wonderful friend, Leonie Schroder.  Leonie’s Stamp-a-latte blog has loads of creative inspiration so be sure to pop over for a look ….


My name is Leonie and I live in the South West of Sydney with my hubby and two teenage daughters – yes two teenagers – what was I thinking??

I first got into cardmaking 18 years ago when I was on maternity leave after having my first baby and wanted to make a card for a friend who had just had a baby. I found some teddy diecuts on ebay and the lady I bought them from was a demonstrator for a craft company.  From there I found Stamping groups on Yahoogroups.  There was a lady who became a sweet friend and she was a demonstrator in USA for Stampin’ Up! I looked at the catalogue and just fell in love and ‘arranged’ some stamps through her … oh my … I loved how they came in sets and the way they stamped. I was so sad that we couldn’t get them in Australia so had to persevere with what we could get here.  Then in 2006 Stampin’ Up! announced they were coming to Australia and I knew I had to join! It was perfect timing for me as I’d stopped stamping the year before and had even considered selling all my craft stuff as in 2005 I’d lost a baby at 36 weeks (Trisomy 18) and my world came crashing down and really was in a bad way with depression the previous 12 months and this really was the ‘therapy’ I needed.

I joined Stampin’ Up! in the August of 2006 and really it has blessed me in so many ways. I’ve met some wonderful people – some as customers, some as other demonstrators and some as downlines and many have become very dear friends like Tanya.  I’ve earned two international Incentive Trips and travelling overseas was something I’d thought I’d never do! One was to Salt Lake City where I attended the Stampin’ Up! Convention and actually met some of those dear Demonstrator friends I’d made from all over USA and the UK over the past 8 years – what a huge blessing.

Thank you so much Tanya for inviting me to be part of the Creative Blog Hop – another blessing!!

Aren’t these two amazing ladies?  Don’t forget to check out both Wenna’s blog and Leonie’s blog next Monday to see what they are creating and those who inspire them!

Monday Lunchtime Sketch


This week for the Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge I decided to make a wedding card, not because I need one but just because I haven’t made one in ages and really wanted to use my Big News stamp set from Stampin’ Up!  Between this set and Bravo! I am hard pressed to pick a favourite I really love having some big bold greetings and these two sets are just tooooo perfect!  Now my colour combination for this card is also a little different for me but I decided to just go for it and used Basic Black, Smoky Slate and Real Red with a touch of Very Vanilla.

I love the DSP I chose for this card and it comes from the Flashback Designer Series Paper which you wouldn’t really associated with being suitable for a wedding but I thought the little flowers were just too sweet and the red gives the right touch of colour for this card.  My punch art wedding rings are not very sophisticated but they are enough (I hope) to just finish this card off nicely.  Now all I have to do is get myself invited to a wedding with a Black, Grey and Red theme and I am all set LOL!

Here is the sketch so that you can play along this week too…


Hello Love ….

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Hello Love Card

I was excited to make this card today for the newest member of my Craft-T-Crew, Bronwyn!  I am so so so so lucky to continue to have so many lovely ladies join my Stampin’ Up! Craft-T-Crew team and even though a lot of my team live outside Bundaberg I think they all now just how important they are to me.  I always send a little welcome pack to each new member and of course a handmade card.  For Bron’s card I used the fabulous sketch over at the Paper Craft Crews Challenges (PCCCS#112) for my inspiration.  


My colour combination is So Saffron, Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo and Crisp Cantaloupe.  I used the Hello Love Hostess Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up! along with the lovely Dictionary stamp to make this card.  With a few framelits and a little hand cutting I created this fun card.  The little birds in the Hello Love stamp set are just the sweetest little characters but I decided to up the ‘sweetness’ just a notch by adding cute little punch art feet and tuffs of hair with some Baked Brown Sugar Baker’s Twine.


The other fun thing about Bron joining my crew during October is that Stampin’ Up! will shower her with a FREE pack of Designer Series Paper of her choice each month for the next 6 months just for joining up!  Stampin’ Up! DSP is soooooo beautiful so this is a fantastic little bonus for her.  If you could use some FREE DSP and a little discount on your crafting supplies you should seriously consider also joining my team.  Either use the ‘Join my team’ button on the left hand side of my blog or email me if you have any questions … always happy to welcome a new crew member and gives me more excuses to create fun cards!!!

Minecraft Stampin’ Up! Style

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Minecraft Gift and Card

My nephew has just had his birthday and to say that he is a little bit of a fan of Minecraft is probably an understatement so I had my work cut out for me in trying to get together his card and a little set of picture frames in the Minecraft theme.  I started out just thinking I would make a ‘Creeper’ card and began to cut up my card stock into 1cm cubes …. about 1/2 way in I wasn’t sure about embarking on this challenge … those pieces sure are little.


Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Minecraft Card

The card itself came together quite easily (apart from cutting all the squares!).  I actually used the Stampin’ Up! grid paper to adhere my squares to, making sure everything remained nice and square.  I just cut away the excess grid paper once my design was complete!  The new photopolymer stamps from Stampin’ Up! are firm favourites of mine and I used the ‘Bravo!’ set and the ‘Larger Than Life Alphabet & Numbers’ set for the greeting and the number 9 on the card front!

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Minecraft Wall Hanging

This little set of three frames were only $10 from Big W but look a million dollars with a few Minecraft images including the pick axe, grass block and redstone.  The best news is that the birthday boy knew what they were and said they were the best Minecraft paper creations he had seen … not too sure he has seen many LOL but I will take that as a success!

Monday Lunchtime Sketch


This week’s Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge gave me a great excuse to break open my new ‘What’s your type?’ Photopolymer Stamp set from Stampin’ Up!  I was really not too sure about this stamp set when I first saw it but after having a little play with this one I do like how versatile it really is with endless possibilities for stamping.  For this week’s card I used an old favourite for my colour combination with Island Indigo and Melon Mambo.  The only embellishment is just a little of the Melon Mambo cotton ribbon which finishes the card off nicely.  The photopolymer allows you to line up the images so effortlessly making this card very easy to put together.

Here is the sketch so you can play along too this week…. 


My supplies …

Stampin’ up! Holiday Homes Bundle

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Holiday Home Stamp Club

I am super excited about my next month of Stamp Club which is featuring the Holiday Homes stamp set from Stampin’ Up! as well as the coordinating Homemade Holiday Framelits!  This is what we are making for the October classes and was so pleased to be able to expand the possibilities with the stamp set and framelit bundle to create some cute projects other than ‘Christmas’ ones.  Although this set is just perfect for holiday cards I needed it to do a little more given that I make projects and cards all year long.  So will a little playing around and some fun techniques I came up with these sets.

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Holiday Home Arrow Card and Gift Box Set

Houses make great arrows and tags and another fun version of a box created with the Gift Box Punch Board.

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Holiday Home Cut Away Card and Gum Holder Set

A ‘cut away’ card using the house framelits and a fun gum holder.

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Holiday Home Note Pad and Christmas Card set

Of course I had to do a Christmas project with a simple card and a great little note pad for the fridge for those Xmas to do lists!

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Holiday Home Retro Card and Gift Box Candle Set

One of my favourites this month is this little retro set with a ‘circle top’ box and another label created using those houses!

I hope the ladies are ready for a great month of crafting ahead and for those of you who don’t live close enough to come to stamp club I have the whole set of tutorials for these projects for sale in my ‘Tutorial Store‘ (the project set is called ‘Holiday Home Class’ and is on the second page of the store, scroll to the bottom and hit ‘next’).

Bloom With Hope

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Blom with Hope

I am lucky enough to be home on holidays for two whole weeks these school holidays and have been doing a little spot or two of crafting amongst gardening and laundry renovations.  With the first week almost gone I am pretty pleased with how much I have achieved, who’d have thought that working full time takes up so much time LOL!

So with all 8 projects designed for my October Stamp Club I thought I would reward myself with a little dabble in some creative challenges that are around this week.  So I popped over to the Paper Craft Crew Challenges (one of my favourites) and grab a fabulous sketch then was in search of a colour challenge and found the perfect photo inspiration on Just Add Ink (another awesome challenge site).  So armed with two fabulous challenges for inspiration this is the card I created.

The colour combo for this card was taken from the photo at JAI using Pink Pirouette, Coastal Cabana and Melon Mambo with a touch of Calypso Coral for the flower centers.  The choice of stamp set Bloom with Hope was also from JAI and then all I had to do was follow the fabulous PCC sketch for my layout.

Happy to have had time to ‘play’ this week and hoping I may be lucky enough to join in a few more challenges before I head back to work in a little over a week.

Xmas Shaker Card and Gift Box

Stampin' Up! Stamping T! - Festival of Trees Shaker Card

Today I wanted to continue with the sharing of our Stamp Club creations for this month and I have a super fun shaker card made with the Tree and Confetti Stars Punches in some very non-traditional Christmas colours (Strawberry Slush and Coastal Cabana).  I have made loads of shaker cards in the past and always use the spare rubber from around my stamp sets as the foam to add the dimension needed for these cards to work.  You can use Stampin’ Up! dimensionals if you like but I do like a good bit of recycling to save on costs when I can.

Stamping T! - Festival of Trees Window Box

We made a gift box to go with this card and used the new Gift Box Punch Board from Stampin’ Up! adding a window to the front of the box.  This is something that the ladies really liked and adds yet another dimension to the boxes you can create with this board.  I am getting around to creating a video on these variations soon I promise.  If I have time, maybe even this week I will get the camera out and upload the extra ideas I have.