30 April 2011

40 years!

I was recently commissioned to make a wedding anniversary card for my friend to give to her parents who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year... how cool is that?!  

Here is what I came up with:

The image is a digi from The Greeting Farm and the papers are from October Afternoon.  The tag and the pins are from Maya Road and the buttons and lace are findings from our local emporium in Whangarei (what a treasure trove!).  I coloured the image with copics (see below for details).  The sentiment is made with alphabet rub ons and I have added glossy accents to the heart.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Joyful Stamper - Inspire me Fridays 4: Anything Goes
Paper Cutz - Challenge 89: Anything Goes
Phindy's Friday Challenge Blog - Glitter, Glamour and Glitz
Paper Crafting Journey - Challenge 9 Bling

Here are the copics I used:

Tomorrow we leave for Sydney to start our trip back to Italy.  Aahhhhh!  I haven't done nearly half as many of the things I wanted to get done and I don't feel we have had a real holiday yet.  I have also got far too much stuff to fit in my meagre 30 kg luggage allowance... I might have to leave some clothes behind and get more over there!

On the plus side, it will be lovely to see the family in Sydney again and get to meet our niece again!


Arabella Chickie in Auckland, New Zealand

28 April 2011

Diecuts or punches!

I'm back!  Today is the start of a new challenge at the Little Miss Muffet Challenges and Releases blog... Diecuts or punches.  I was so excited to be home in NZ and finally have a chance to try out my Spellbinders Nesties that I ordered a year ago!  We had some fabulous entries into the last challenge (Glitter and Shine) so break out your diecut machines or punches and inspire us some more!  Plus, if you make a card for the challenge using one of Barbara's fabulous Little Miss Muffet stamps you can enter the awesome blog candy on offer.

I hope you get a chance to join us for this challenge!  

Here is a little bit of inspiration for you:

This is Monster Love (one of my favourites of Barbara's monsters).  The papers are from Crate Paper from an awesome kit I recently purchased from The Craft's Meow.  I coloured Monster Love with copics (see below) and cut him out with Spellbinders using my Cuttlebug.  I inked the background with Memento Rhubarb and a paint brush while Mr Love was still in the frame.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
House of Gilli: Layers and Stitching
Make it Monday:  Anything Goes
The Outlawz Greeting Challenge: Anything Goes and a sentiment

Here are the copics I used:

Arabella Chickie in Auckland, New Zealand

26 April 2011

Places I have been # 7

My man and I 'popped over the ditch' to New Zealand last week... for a wedding and to catch up with family and friends. We had an absolute ball and came home well rested and very well fed and watered.

Thank you to everyone who made our time there so very special.  These times together are never taken for granted, we know just how blessed we are.  They keep our 'happiness meters' buoyant! 

Now, if you're ever in New Zealand and want to drive up north from Auckland... you must make time to stop at the Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana.  I can highly recommend their fabulous food, served by very friendly staff. 

The wedding was wonderful and we danced to the music of the sensational band led by an extremely extrovert and very talented musician/singer.  They were such a treat to listen to that I'd go looking for them weekly (I know they play the pubs in Auckland) if we were around more often. 

Matakana has a Saturday growers' market where you can buy the best ever smoked Salmon (I kid you not!), yummy home made pies (we had a beef and onion family pie), fresh nuts, organic produce, coffee... well, you name it, they've got it.  Just don't go on a long weekend!  There're too many people and too many cars.  Oh, nearly forgot... you can buy scrumptious, old-fashioned (read 'real') ice-cream there too.  And there are arts and crafts shops, and some really trendy clothing and shoe shops!

We had a delicious brunch in Matakana with Arabella and her family on Saturday.  We were on our way back down to Auckland. It took a while to get a table at the Matakana Market Kitchen, but it was definitely worth the wait (I did tell you about these long weekend Saturdays, they're very busy!) and the staff were very obliging and most helpful.  Their homemade flower pot bread was really good!  I had Eggs Benedict with bacon that was sweeter than it was salty.  Yummy. 

We left Arabella's family in Matakana and took what should have been a leisurely drive back to Gulf Harbour where we were to spend the night with 'old' friends...  trouble was, my dear man didn't realise the petrol tank was on empty and we landed up holding our breath until we got to Puhoi where we were sure we'd be able to refuel.  Hmphf!  No petrol for 20kms either which way.  We should have filled up in Warkworth, through which we'd driven quite oblivious to the fact it was our last stop for petrol for a wee while.  Oh well...  So, we ditched the plan to drive on the motorway and took the back road past Waiwera to Orewa where we eventually filled up.  It's a truly beautiful drive and we decided if we had to walk to find a petrol station we might as well have something to look at.

I'll tell you more about our holiday when I post tomorrow, wet washing beckons now... it's done nothing but pour since we arrived back in Sydney and there's a slight break in the weather now so I must take advantage of it.

New Zealand is a truly beautiful country and has so much to write about...

April Blackbird

25 April 2011

Fixed - well sort of...

Ooops!  So sorry my pictures didn't show up in Thursday's and Friday's posts!  I tried making those posts in Word and clearly it didn't work out... 

I have taken the pics out and put them back in the usual way, but for some reason there are some huge gaps showing up that are not there in the editor... not sure how to fix that.

So we are back from the beach and our internet is a bit better (still not great), but I did manage to get some cards made on the weekend that I will be posting later this week.


Arabella Chickie in Whangarei, New Zealand

Felt Book Tutorial - A little chick's 'Fiddle' and quiet time book.

After a great number of hours of work and pricked fingers, as Arabella can testify to,  I can happily say the little felt book for my chick is complete! 

The planning for this started back in Wintery Lavrio, with the following sketches, and a whole lot of gorgeous felt from Blooming Felt and lots of little wee bits of material and other goodies from my incredible card-making tool box. (from my FMIL).



This is a leather flap buttoned down with lime green and blue buttons of varying sizes.  It has an orange and yellow HUGE tassle underneath which provided entertainment for hours on the recent journey from Melbourne - Dubai - Athens - Rome - Genoa!


Arabella came up with some great draft drawings for the logistics of the Clock Page, and also helped enormously with other brilliant ideas as to how to execute some of the other 'doing' pages.  She designed the best little robot (design below!) for page 2.  


Arabella came up with the mechanics for this one - clever chick.  Two buttons sewn either side of a clear plastic CD and with connecting thread between, allowing the two plastic hands to turn freely to 'tell time'.  This one has been extremely popular, but more for exploration of the mechanism than for actually moving the hands about.  In time!




This started out with a plan to have a buttoned pocket, but on jeans this size it turned out to be a little too fiddly.  So a toggle it became.  The sweetest wee bears.





This one has proven very useful for little jackets in the slightly chilly weather of Imperia.  It keeps my little chick occupied as he tries to zip up his own coat.





This page is one Arabella helped with enormously, after many hours of sewing by hand the little strips of velcro, she spirited the page away and sewed it with our machine.  Enormous improvement.





Bookie bird in Imperia, Italy

22 April 2011

Monster Pains!

Hello! Welcome to another day of releases at Little Miss Muffet Stamps! Today we have Monster Pains and Basil to share with you… I chose to use Monster Pains as you know how much I love Barbara's monsters!

I'm not sure if there is much hope for this poor monster to get better… he looks like he's been in a skiing accident! The papers and ribbon are all old ones that have been in my stash for a while. The stickers are from October Afternoon. I have coloured the poor wee monster with copics (see below) and raised him up on foam tape. The diamonds in the background are cut with my Cuttlebug and Nesties. It's great to be home and able to use some of the things in my stash again! It's a pity I haven't had a chance to really sit and play though… we have been too busy!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter break! We are certainly enjoying the hot cross buns, easter eggs and family time! I would love some more crafting time though! Hop over to the Little Miss Muffet Challenges and Releases blog to see Basil and check out the rest of the team's gorgeous projects!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Delicious Doodles - Anything Goes
Card Makin' Mamas - Spring Colours
The Rubber Cafe - Polka Dots

Here are the copics I used for Monster Pains:


Happy Easter!

Arabella Chickie in Mangawhai, New Zealand

21 April 2011

Sugar n’ Spice Cocoa

Yay it's new release day at Little Miss Muffet stamps again! Barbara has been busy and we have some super cute new additions to the Sugar n' Spice team. Today I have the sweet wee Cocoa to show you.

The papers are Crate Paper from a kit I recently purchased from The Craft's Meow and the rest of the embellishments were also in the kit. I have used my Spellbinders Nesties to cut the shape around Cocoa and I coloured her in with an Hispanic copic skin colour set I recently won in a blog candy from Rose Crawford (thanks so much Rose!). 

Hop on over to the Little Miss Muffet Challenges and Releases blog to have a look at what the rest of the Design team have come up with and you might even get to see Rosemary!
Tomorrow we have another preview, so do come back to meet two more of Barbara's creations then!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Lady Bugs Crafts Ink - Anything Goes

Here are the copics I used to colour Cocoa:

Sorry I haven't been around much lately… we are currently on holiday at our Kiwi bach (beach house) and it hadn't occurred to me that we wouldn't have much internet while we were here! Next week we will be back in town and back online, so I should be back to posting regularly then.

Happy Easter!
Arabella Chickie in Mangawhai, New Zealand

14 April 2011

Glitter and Shine!

The next challenge at Little Miss Muffet stamps (starting today and running for two weeks) is to make a card using Glitter and Shine!  This is a challenge after my own heart as I almost always add Glossy Accents to my cards and often Stickles too.

This week I chose to use one of Barbara's monsters.   This one is called Monster Mission and he is available at the Little Miss Muffet Stamps shop.  I decided to make a shaker card.

Here is my card:

I have coated the rocket in Glossy Accents and added Stickles to the rocket flames and around the shape of the moon.  The beads inside the shaker card also have a bit of a sparkle.

The papers and sentiment stickers are from October Afternoon and I have coloured the image with copics (see below for details).

We would love you to enter the challenge this week.  There were some fabulous entries to the stitching challenge last week!  It would be great to see more of Barbara's stamps in the challenges though... they are so much fun to colour!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Amber's Crafts and Stuff - Favourite Things (for me: Glossy Accents, Stickles and copics)
A Spoonful of Sugar - All Creatures Great and Small (I hope a monster qualifies as an animal!)
Anita Be Stampin - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly Challenges - Use Dimension (I have the image popped up as well as the main part of the card for the shaker beads)

Here are the copics I used:

Arabella Chickie in Auckland, New Zealand

The chicks have landed safely in their respective roosts

Arabella and her Chicco have arrived safely in Auckland, New Zealand after a very, very long flight. No doubt, Arabella will fill us in on all the details when she gets a moment.

New Mum Chic and her family are safely ensconced in a 'quirky' (her words, not mine) apartment in Vienna.  Their marathon flight from Sydney to Austria via Melbourne, Hong Kong and London went as planned.  They don't have the stroller, that's still in Hong Kong, but if that's all that went wrong then one can't really complain. 

From what I can gather from the texts I've received, bub was really good.  Slept (crammed into the little bassinette) well, enjoyed playing with mummy and daddy and charmed everyone around her.  NMChic can tell us more later.

So, I am much relieved and very grateful, to know my family have flown around the world safely. 

We leave on the 7am flight for Auckland tomorrow... to say the least, I am excited.  Can't wait to catch up with our 'Kiwi family' and friends again. 

April Blackbird

13 April 2011

Some objective blogging from Japan

As Japan continues to suffer earthquakes, or 'after-shocks' (and I heard a seismologist report that Japan might very well expect to be shaken by earthquakes for another ten years... the mind just boggles!), there are those that write pretty objective blogs on Ode about their experiences. 

I thought I'd share a link that I found quite poignant and another to an online letter from someone still living in Sendai. 

We have to salute those that have survived that dreadful day.  They are doing so with incredible dignity and the respect they show each other is a lesson to us all.

April Blackbird

12 April 2011

A very special remembrance...

Adalbert Morawitz would have been 90 years old today.  He was born on the 12th April in the small village of Mattersburg in Austria (if you follow the link, you'll see that it was formerly part of Hungary). His family emigrated to South Africa when he was a young man and the rest is a very long story, for another day.

He was a very special man in our lives and had a huge influence on all of us, in so very many ways.  He gave so much of himself to everyone around him and we all have loving memories of this sweet soul who passed on after battling the big C for so many years.

There is never a time that I serve beans, or slice tomatoes or capsicums, or cut into a beautiful butter nut pumpkin without thinking of him!  He grew the most wonderful vegetables; which were always so generously shared with everyone .

Dad / Opa... we see your reflection in our children's eyes, in the shape of their faces, in their quick tempers and generous natures... and we remember you.  With so much love, always.

You were such a huge blessing in our lives and we'll all remember to celebrate your life in some special way today. 

April Blackbird

I'm Leeeeeaving on a Jet Plaaane!

Tomorrow my husband and I leave for our annual holiday back home in NZ!  It doesn't seem real yet as we have been so busy lately with taking the boat from Greece to Italy to France for the boat show, making it all look top notch for five days, and then coming back to Italy today.  

I have just spent the whole afternoon packing my bags... I hate packing.  Luckily I managed to fit in my 'can't live without' copic colours.  I have also charged up my ipod and Kindle and loaded both up with books and podcasts for our 10 hour stopover in Dubai (right before our 20-something hour flight to NZ - joy!).

I think I'm ready... I've even shopped for more card bases to arrive when I get home so I can keep right on crafting!

Have a lovely week as I don't think I will be back here until Thursday for the next Little Miss Muffet Challenge!

Arabella Chickie in Imperia, Italy

09 April 2011

Neglected stamps...

Well I have to confess I have quite a few neglected stamps/images simply because there is not enough time in the day to use them all!   The challenge this week at the Pollycraft Monday challenge blog is to use your neglected or old stamps and I immediately thought of this cute monster freebie I got a while ago but hadn't used...

I think this guy is called "I only have eyes for you".  He is from Pollycraft and is coloured with copics (see below).  I have added Glossy Accents to his balloon.  The papers are from October Afternoon and the ribbon is from The Ribbon Girl.  The sentiment stickers are from Cosmo Cricket and October Afternoon.

And these are the copics I used:

So far we have had wonderful weather for the Antibes boat show, although the show itself has been a bit of a disappointment.  On the bright side, I have spent a bit of time with my new Kindle and I am loving how easy it is to use and how portable it is!

Arabella Chickie in Antibes, France