Thursday, 25 September 2014

APC Challenge Week 4

Altered Playing Card Challenge
Week 4

So, for week 4 the prompt was to use some tissue paper and then add paint and little houses were used for the detail.

The torn piece of tissue paper I used came from a packet 
I purchased from K-Mart a few months back 
(interesting what you find when you're not looking for anything in particular)

I used two tonings of lilac paint and then rubbed some off the tissue paper.
This left a hole which was subsequently filled in with a dab of paint.

The two little houses came from a length of paper towel I used as a "mop up".  I've used this once before in my art journal as a bit of landscaping and thought it looked pretty cool.

I just drew two houses with my black sharpie pen, cut around them and glued them down with a little bit of gesso.  The greeny/yellow bit in the top corner sort of represents the sun.

The words on both cards are stickers I have in my stash.

The second card I'm not so happy with, I think the green is too dirty looking - it needed to be brighter.  However, that is how it is and how it will stay!

The two paint colours are smooshed around using an old credit card and then I scraped a bit off to reveal the lines of the gesso underneath.

I stamped "Breezy" from Stampotique directly onto the card and then again onto a scrap piece of white cardstock.  I cut around her dress, scarf and head, coloured her with a gelli roll pen and glued her directly over the first image.

I'm looking forward to finding out what techniques willl be used in week 5.

If you would like to play along too, go to
for details.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

APC Challenge Week 3

Altered Playing Card Challenge
Week 3

In week 3 we got to play with alcohol inks, so I  rummaged around and found some inks and got to work.  The colours are so vibrant, actually SO vibrant that the first card I inked seemed to be just a tad too dark (in a bright sort of way), so I added alcohol blending solution and then pounced the colour onto another tag which lightened the colours.

Next I used Tim Holtz's tag "shattered glass" with black Distress Ink on the top half of the card, and added the spider from Graphic 45 "Halloween Hauntings" and the words, also from the same set of stamps.

On the second of the cards I used yellow and orange Distress Inks blended together.  I find the colour over the gesso is fairly pale but in this instance that was ok.  As I blended I found the diamond from the playing cards peeped through and added something more to the card.  

The bird is a digi image that I won a little bit ago and is coloured with watercolour pencils.  I added a bit of washi tape to the top and bottom and used letter stickers for the title.

This challenge should be lots of fun as it continues through the whole deck of cards.

If you want to know how to play along too, go to

I'll be back soon to show you week 4.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

APC Challenge Weeks 1 & 2

Altered Playing Card Challenge
Weeks 1 & 2

I found this challenge on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, thought it looked like fun and decided to play along.   The idea for this challenge is to use a deck of cards, and alter them in different ways each week until you get to the end.

If you would like to play along too, you can find all the details at

Week #1 was to either sand back each card or to gesso each, as because the cards are plastic coated, nothing will really stick to them.  I chose to gesso mine but I wonder if sanding them would have been better as I'm finding the gesso acts as a resist, especially when using water based sprays.

However, this is what they all looked like with gesso, in various stages of drying.

Moving on to Week #2, we were adding colour using Dylusions sprays or something similar.  I really like the Dylusions sprays as they are quite vibrant although do dry slightly paler, but I found on the gesso, you need to colour, dry, colour, dry, colour & dry to get enough colour.

The card on the left was made using Stampin' Up! products and some Tim Holtz letters.

The card on the right used a Digi image I won I little while back of this beautiful Pegasus.  I was really pleased with how this turned out until I hand wrote the words, made worse by outlining them.  Oh well, if I try to remove them now, I'll just muck the whole thing up, so I guess this is how it will stay!

I'll be back again soon to show you how Weeks 3 & 4 turned out.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

September Craftanoon

Yesterday, I went off to another Craftanoon day in Caringbah.
It was the last one for this year and there were a few less people this time, 
but we had a terrific day nevertheless.
Most people are working on scrapbook layouts, one girl at our table was working on a canvas which was just gorgeous, and I was doing my usual - playing with cards.
Actually I wasn't just playing with cards to begin with, I was finishing off a project that my BFF had started to make in a class in Port Macquarie last week, but had run out of time, and she very kindly said I could finish it off for her.
(I'll post a photo when it is finished - eeeeeekkk)
  I quite often play along with a card swap, where we each make 6 identical cards, 
post them to a central location where they are sorted,
and get 6 different cards in return.
As this current swap is due at the end of this coming week, I decided I would make a start on them, so what do you think?  The theme is 'circles'.

The little "Hi" attached to each one is a fancy paperclip which I picked up in the Craftanoon shop, which I thought fitted in well with the stamp.

After lunch and a nice cup of coffee, I then set to work replicating a tag that I had seen at the Stitches & Craft Show in Newcastle last week.  You could actually buy a kit and join in a class, but as I didn't have time, I simply bought the chipboard pieces and some tags.

The one at the show looked somewhat more interesting than mine, but as I made it from memory, well, it will just have to do.  Maybe it needs some clouds or a glow from the lighthouse?

By the time we'd had dinner (mmm ...... pizza), I was running out of ideas and feeling a little weary, so I put away most of my bits & pieces, got out an ATC and doodled a bit using a black pen to outline and gel pens to colour in - simple, but it kept me out of mischief for a little while.

My friend and I were packed and ready to leave for home by 9pm leaving a few people still crafting away for another hour.

This is such a fun day - it starts at 10am and finishes at 10pm.
Hopefully I'll be able to play along with them again next year.

That's about all I've got for you today, so until next time
Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Just a Doodle or Two

Before I left on my three week holiday across Australia,
I put together a travel 'craft kit' that was small enough to keep in my handbag
but would give me something to do on my travels.

The Zentangle book came from a craft show I'd gone to in July; 
the book was a Tim Holz 'District Market' that my BFF had given me for my birthday which is full of blank craft pages;
the pencil case came from my penfriend a couple of years ago and just fitted a couple of pens, 
a pencil, rubber and pencil sharpener;
and the pack of ATCs I'd picked up in a stationers shop some time ago.

At this point, I should say the Zentangle book did not fit in my handbag but was packed in my suitcase along with the latest issue of Craft Stamper magazine.

I chose to take the 'District Market' book with its blank pages for three reasons:
1. to use as a travel diary
2. to try my hand at doodling
3. it was a good size, not too big, not too small

This odd looking page was my first attempt and is a bit shaky as I was being jolted by the train.

I added colour to my next attempt but found the red pen tended to bleed through to the next page which wouldn't be so good when it would have the next diary entry written on it.

As I had only written a few lines on this page, I finished it off with more doodling.
I think I'm slowly improving!

This is my last full page doodle which I'm quite happy with.  Some of the pages had enough room for writing and doodles, others only had room for a border.

I also discovered through trial and error, that it was much easier to sketch in pencil first, then go over the lines in ink before rubbing out the pencil.

Taking the Zentangle book was so helpful as it had numerous designs to get some basic ideas,
although I'm sure when I was at school (many moons ago), I had no trouble just doodling in my books instead of listening to maths or english LOL!!!

Thanks for dropping by to look at what I've been up to lately
and I'll be back again in the next couple of days with something different.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Port Macquarie

It's been "all systems go" since I arrived back from my trip across Australia.
I have done samples for my Never-Ending Card classes,
both at Alice in Paperland Sydney store and the Port Macquarie store;
and tried to keep up with various challenges that I like to play along with.

Last weekend my BFF and I set off bright and early on Thursday morning to go to the
Stitches & Craft Show in Newcastle.
We had a lovely time browsing all the stalls, watched a couple of demos, 
and came home with a bit more stash to add to our collections.

On Friday morning, we popped our bags on the back seat of the car
and set off for Port Macquarie on the mid north coast.  Although the traffic was good, we encountered rain from Newcastle all the way to Taree, where we stopped for lunch.
After lunch we wandered down to the river to admire the view before getting back in the car to continue our journey north.  As we approached a round-about on the way out of town, we spied the local scrapbooking shop, so of course we had to stop and have a look!!!

Once we arrived in Port Macquarie, we quickly found Alice's store, and had a lovely time catching up with Nicole as we unloaded the car boot with goodies for the store.
We then checked into our hotel and Nicole gave us a guided tour around town before we dropped her back at the store for Late Night Scrapping.

On Saturday morning, five lovely ladies joined my 
Never-Ending Christmas Card class
and all seemed very happy with their efforts.

After enjoying fish & chips for lunch in the park down along the river, my BFF and I decided to go strawberry picking at a farm just out of town.  We bought a little tub of chocolate dipping sauce and decided it would make a very nice dessert that night - mmmmm ........... YUM!!!

We drove along the coastline, stopping at Lighthouse Beach to admire the view, then headed back to our hotel for a short rest before deciding where to eat dinner.

After breakfast on Sunday morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed off to look at some local markets.  We then made our way through Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, North Haven and Laurieton.  Over the bridge from Laurieton is Dunbogan where another friend from Alice's has recently bought a house, so we stopped by to admire her new home, and across the road, her lovely boat, moored on the river.  Then it was homeward bound.  Apart from the rain on our way north on Friday, the weather was just perfect for the remainder of the weekend.

After staying the night with my BFF, I visited my favourite shop on the central coast,
Pages 2 Scrap, bought a couple of items to add to my stash, and then continued home to Sydney.

Come back tomorrow and I will show you the challenges I've been working on.

Happy Crafting!!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Travel Diary - Part 8

Today is the final installment of my Travel Diary,
so what are you waiting for?  Read on .....

This was our last full day before we travel home tomorrow, so we tried to make the most of every minute.  
Today we went to Hartley's Crocodile Farm. 
We were pointed in the direction of where the eggs are incubated, and where the young crocodile are kept once hatched
(but didn't actually see either of these areas as the public don't have access).

We were shown the two holding yards where similar sized crocodiles are kept until they reach a certain size and then they are humanely harvested for the meat and leather industry.

Crocodile Farm
This was just a concrete holding yard with some water around the edges for the crocs to get in.  I'm sure they would have been happier with some mud to sunbake in.  I had mixed feelings about this process, but am sure they are looked after very well, nevertheless!

Baby Crocodile
We both had a touch of this baby crocodile and I was surprised by how soft he was, both on his back and particularly his tummy.  

After the 'farm' tour, it was all aboard the boat for a short trip around a lake full of crocodiles.   Our guide was teasing them with food on the end of a long bamboo cane to show us just how high they can jump.  I didn't realise that a crocodile uses its tail to launch itself out of the water!

See how high I can jump!
They make quite a noise when their mouths snap shut too.
After our boat adventure, we moved on to the Saltwater Crocodile feeding area where the keeper was giving a talk about these dangerous animals.  
  Only the week before we left on our holiday, a fisherman had been taken by one on the banks of a river in the Northern Territory, when he waded in to untangle his fishing line!  They just glide through the water barely creating a ripple, no wonder they can surprise their prey!

We then moved on to the Freshwater Crocodile feeding area.  These crocs tend to be smaller and have a narrower, longer snout and have never been known to kill any person.
Personally, I'm not going to be close enough to one in the wild to find out which it is!!!

After lunch we walked around the wildlife part of the park, through a walk-in aviary, past a cassowary enclosure, lizards and yet more crocodiles including this enormous one, "Trinity" who is over 50 years old.

Trinity - 50+ years old
Cassowaries are a native bird found in the tropical rainforests of North Queensland and are critical to a number of the plant species as they scatter the seeds around in their droppings.  We certainly didn't see any in the wild but there are signs along the roads to keep a look out for them.

Cassowary resting
These birds are a very dark blue in colour and have very distinctive heads and necks.  They are in the same family of birds as the emu, ostrich and kiwi.

We left the Crocodile Farm mid afternoon and were taken back to our hotel/resort.  After a quick drink, we walked back into Port Douglas where I went in seach of a coffee shop and Tony went in the other direction for a walk.  Feeling somewhat revived after my coffee, I walked up to the beach which was only at the end of the road.  There was a path leading up onto the headland so up I went to look at the lovely view.

Four Mile Beach - Port Douglas
Once back off the headland, I set off down the beach.  There were a number of people playing games, a few in the surf and lots just walking.  This is quite a long beach and as I went further along I was looking for somewhere to leave the beach that would take me back to the road and then back to our hotel, as the shadows were getting longer as the sun was going down.    I was beginning to think I would have to walk all the way back along the beach when I saw a path (no signs saying private property) and found myself in another resort.  There wasn't really anyone around so I just kept walking.  The grounds this resort was in were huge and it took me a good 20 minutes to find my way out to the road!  Then I had another half hour walk back along the footpath by which time it the light was fading.  
I have to say I did enjoy my long walk in the sea breeze.

Tropical flowers
The following morning, we packed our bags for the last time, checked out of our hotel/resort and transferred from Port Douglas to Cairns and our flight home.

We had a fabulous three weeks away, perfect weather the whole time
and with the exception of a couple of very minor hiccups, everything we planned went very smoothly.
Thanks for joining me each day, and just in case you are wondering how I remembered so many details, I kept a handwritten diary each day.  When you are doing such a lot, it is very easy to forget where you have been and what you have seen.
Hmmmm ..... I wonder when I can start planning our next holiday????

Monday, 1 September 2014

Travel Diary - Part 7

This morning we set off from Port Douglas for our 
Daintree adventure in tropical North Queensland.

First was a cruise up the Daintree River with its mangroves and rainforest trees.  There are lots of vines hanging in the trees and orchids attached to branches.  

We saw our first crocodile lying on a muddy embankment and as we continued along the river, another four including one gliding along in the river.

Crocodile on banks of Daintree River

Our cruise ended a little way up the river where the car ferry crosses, and our bus was waiting to take us further into the Daintree National Park and on to Cape Tribulation.

Cape Tribulation
The tide was out and there were all these funny little coils of sand all over the beach.  I assumed they were from crabs or something but our coach driver said they are actually worms that burrow into the sand.  Quite strange!

During the summer months, the beaches along the coast are dangerous for swimmers as this sign indicates.  These jellyfish have long tentacles, any number of which could wind around legs or body with no antidote to relieve the pain.  Each beach has a bottle of vinegar for emergency use only, to be used as soon as the sting occurs.
 Danger sign

The other danger on these beaches (mainly in the summer) is crocodiles!
From here the road continues north to Cooktown but is 4WD only and so we returned along the same road to the car ferry where we crossed the river and made our way to Mossman Gorge where we had afternoon tea at an Aboriginal Cultural Centre and a short talk about traditional foods.

We walked along a boardwalk into the rainforest and learnt more about the various trees and plants from our Aboriginal guide.  At the end of the boardwalk we came to a river and obviously a favourite water hole, judging from people splashing about.

 Mossman Gorge

We returned to our hotel/resort and after a short rest, walked into Port Douglas to look for a nice restaurant to have dinner.

Next morning was our trip to Kuranda.  Our coach dropped us off at the Skyrail where we boarded our gondola which travels high above the rainforest.  First stop was Red Peak with a short boardwalk through the rainforest before getting onto the gondola again.  The second stop was Barron Falls, the top of which is dammed, then the falls and at the bottom a power station.

Barron Falls
After another 10 minutes on the gondola we arrived at the township of Kuranda, a buzzing hippy sort of place, with interesting shops and cafes.   After lunch we headed to RainForestation, a wildlife sanctuary a short disance away.   
We had a ride on an Army Duck along a track and through a lake, something a bit different!
We then came back to Kuranda and made our way to the station for our train trip back down the mountain.

Kuranda Railway
We didn't realise until we were on the train that we had gold tickets, and so we were spoilt with drinks & nibblies, cheese & biscuits and an icecream as we enjoyed the scenery.

Great finish to a lovely day!

Tomorrow will be the final instalment of my Travel Diary.

See you soon!