Sunday, 31 January 2016

They are so quick...

...but I do like catching flying birds in my photos. On a windy day at the bird hide, I noticed the swallows were going pretty slowly flying into the wind, so I managed to snap a few.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The new IT crowd

Both our clever sons have been offered places in an IT degree at a really conveniently place university (bit of a luxury, studying twenty minutes down the road). To get them properly prepared, our university fund has stretched to two new, shiny, pretty laptops. Here is Jeff, getting Thomas (next to Jeff) and Jonathan set up.
I'm trying to remember, and Jeff is too, who it was that helped us set up our first laptops for uni. I guess I must have been my mum.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Behind the Yart, 2016 edition

I've just had some artwork publishing in "Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft" - it's been a while since I've done that, so I'm pretty pleased.

The project features Dina Walkely's gorgeous bird stamps, the ones I insisted Michelle (of Mixed Media Art) get lots of for selling at Picture to Page, the fantastic papercraft show she was exhibiting at. And she runs the whole show too, so, you know, she doesn't have to do what I say. But she stocked upon bird stamps, and wow, were they popular!

So I decided to do a project with them.

The ideas for what project started when I made this birthday card:

The background of that main picture is printed with a Gelli Plate and a stencil from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. The awesome honeycomb background is a die from Sizzix, and I've picked out some of the hexagons to have decorative paper, and text, showing through. Yes, all of that was an awful faff.

So, I decided to make a project featuring the birds. I decided to leave out the gelli plate idea, because that's good enough for another whole project.

Here's on of my play sheets. I cut birds out of this, using the Stampin' Up Project Life dies (nice even rounded rectangles every time). Later switched to adding those background stamps AFTER colouring - the lovely Jane from the magazine warned me that colouring with alcohol-based markers over dye-based ink can be bad news for your markers, so I'm not going to recommend bad methods!

When I'd made my "bits", I spent ages shuffling them around, and had fun taking photos of the arrangements. That turned out to be super practical - I could walk away and review my work on the phone or tablet. It gets you thinking about composition.

Here's one of my compsition tests. There were lots.

And if you want to see you it turned out, maybe you need to grab volume 22, issue 6 of Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft! Here's a sneak preview:

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Gingerbread Houses, Melbourne style

We make gingerbread houses every Christmas, usually as a fun way to mess around with the cousins. 

Of course, everyone's getting bigger, and this year we weren't even with the cousins. 

But we still made gingerbread houses! 

Here's three made by me, Jonathan and Thomas.

Here's Jonathan working on his. We all worked out that the cool slope-sided pattern was pretty hard to bring together. But we all managed.

And here's a tiny house, with a lego monkey for scale.

Annual tomato brag 2016

Well, luckily, I set myself up last year, so that this year, my bragging about tomatoes wouldn't take so long.

Refer to last year's post for the template, then insert this year's data, as follows:

DATA 2016
not growing very many
kept calm and carried on
very small tomato sandwiches

Summer in Melbourne

We didn't go to Perth this year - rather fewer than usual relatives to visit this time, with nana and pop in Canada for a white Christmas.

So we enjoyed summer in Melbourne. Here's Jonathan keeping protected from the sun on Frankston beach.