Friday, July 18, 2014

During the school holidays…

Forgive me… it’s been a LONG time since my last post.  2014 is turning out very differently to how I imagined it to be…  not necessarily better… not necessarily worse… just different.

There have been a few events lately that feel like they’re worth sharing so here’s what’s been happening during the school holidays. 

During the first week I was in Rotorua catching up with Krystal and a couple of friends.  Toby came with me and he loved seeing everyone again. 

My friend Chris had literally moved a couple of days before we arrived so we spent a few days with her catching up and checking out the house.  Toby loved ‘most’ of it… but he wasn’t too keen on being put outside while we were cleaning the carpets:

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Toby did like napping in front of the fire though!  And he loved that we took his bed with us… such a good idea because it helped him stay in his routines.

Krystal invited Chris and myself out to Valentines for lunch.  We had a pretty nice time eating, chatting and just spending time together.  Krystal and I also made some time for a bit of mother-daughter pampering when we went and got our eyebrows done after lunch!

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Even though I ‘know’ that Krystal is an adult it still seemed weird when she brought a bottle of wine with her to have with our dinner that night.  Her wine of choice was this little number from a wine maker in the Nukuhou Valley.

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True to it’s label… it REALLY does taste (and smell) like a bunch of grapes on a sunny day.  I’m not much of a wine drinker but this one was quite delicious!  Here’s a link if you want to check out Celestial Wines products.

By the end of the week it was time to head back to Gisborne which was just as well because on Saturday I had a ‘date’ with my niece.  We went to the Farmers Market and drank freshly squeezed orange juice which my niece said was “deee..licious!”  We also treated ourselves to some dutch doughnuts called Oliebollen.

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Then we went to the library followed by a quick visit to another local market.  As we were leaving my niece wanted to get some photos of her ‘like the ones we did at school Auntie’.  This made no sense to me until she started running around like a mad thing trying to explain.  She was calling it ‘alliteration’ which is definitely the wrong word… but we got there in the end.  Here’s the photo she was most pleased with:

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This past week has gone by in a bit of a blur and to be honest I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much at all.  One thing I did finally do though was to get busy labeling all my Distress Paints.

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I printed off all the labels and then got busy punching them out with my new 3/4 inch circle punch.  Then I put them through the sticker maker and finally onto the lids of the paints.

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It’s going to be so much easier to find the colours I want now that they’re labeled.  Since this worked so well I figured I might as well do my Distress Stains as well:

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I don’t have a full set of stains yet but I’m loving the colours I do have.  I also re-discovered a very cool way of keeping track of my Tim Holtz supplies.  A couple of years ago Tim designed an app for I-phones and Androids which you can programme your own inventory into.  Then at the end of last year he did a big update:

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After moving to Gisborne I bought myself a ‘fancy’ phone which does lots of cool things… but until this week I’d completely forgotten about Tim’s phone app.  Sooo… I downloaded the FREE app onto my phone and got started building my inventory (this is not my phone but you get the idea).

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Meanwhile, Mikayla is all the way down in Invercargill getting started on her new life.  She posted a couple of photos to her Facebook page and there was one that I really liked. I know I’m biased but I think she looks really lovely in this photo:

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Now it’s time for last night… and what a fun night it was too!  July is a ‘big deal’ in Gisborne because it’s ‘Gizzy Food Month’.

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There have been lots of events on during the month and you’ve probably already guessed that I’m a bit of a ‘foodie’.  Luckily for me, my sister is also a bit of a foodie! 

There were lots of free events during the month but there’s also demos and things you can go to which you need to get tickets for.  My sister and I worked out a few events we really wanted to go to and were lucky enough to get tickets to two of the things we wanted… the tickets sell out FAST!!!

Last night we went to a cooking demonstration by Nici Wickes (she presents the World Kitchen cooking show).

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Funnily enough ‘World Kitchen’ was on TV yesterday afternoon and my sister and I watched it together while we were on the phone with each other… strange but true! 

The demonstration was due to begin at 6.30pm so we headed down early so we could get some good seats.  As it turned out we had Nici all to ourselves for nearly 15 minutes before anyone else arrived! 

Nici was really friendly and within a couple of minutes my sister and I felt like we’d known her for ages.  She’s got a great sense of humour and has some interesting tales to tell about her travels and experiences. 

Neither me or my sister are into the ‘selfie’ photo thing but I did take this photo of Nici’s demo kitchen while we were waiting for everyone else to arrive.

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We came away from the evening with a couple of recipes to try… some helpful hints… and we also got to taste samples of what Nici made right in front of us… as my niece would say: deee..licious!

We weren’t quite ready to head home at the end of the demo so we decided to go out for dessert.  There’s a new restaurant in town (Sato) so we thought we’d check it out.  As soon as we walked in the door I liked this place… great atmosphere!

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Sato’s serves mostly Turkish and Mediterranean food although there’s lots of other things on the menu too!  My sister had the Baklava which she said was divine… meanwhile I had the profiteroles and they were wonderful.  Huge servings!!!  Don’t know if you could finish a dessert after having a main!  Next time I go there I want to try the Seafood Tortellini.

So that’s been my holidays.  I’m off to light the fire because it’s freezing here this morning. 

I hope life is treating you all well xx

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It’s been quite a week!

So much has happened during the past week… and for the first time this year I’ve actually ALMOST FELT like I wanted to give Project Life a go again.  I’ve even opened up my Photoshop programme for the first time in months!

Last weekend I went on a day trip up the coast.  I have previously lived in Gisborne – in fact my daughter Mikayla (now 19) was born here in Gisborne but we moved away just before her 2nd birthday, but I’d never actually seen much of the coast.  So last Saturday we set off and went up to Tolaga Bay (45 km northeast of Gisborne).  Tolaga Bay has New Zealand’s longest wharf and we walked all the way to the end of it:

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It’s actually a pretty nice walk and the scenery looking back towards the bay is pretty stunning:

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Next it was back into the car and a drive 30 km north until we got to Tokomaru Bay.  I’d never been to Tokomaru before but it was beautiful!  It’s got a really different ‘feel’ to Tolaga.  I was really captivated by the old brick buildings out by the historic wharf but forgot to take any photos… obviously living in the moment!

I did get some great shots out on the wharf itself though:

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Then we started to head back towards Gisborne but we took a little detour to have a look at Anaru Bay.  The colours of the sky were gorgeous but unfortunately my phone decided to ‘fix’ the colours for me so they didn’t come out quite as brilliantly as I’d hoped they would:

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You definitely have to be willing to take a few detours on the coast to get to some of the more special places… but so worth it!

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Within ten minutes of taking this photo it was practically dark and we travelled back to Gisborne without seeing any more sights.  Fabulous day out!

I’ve been visiting the markets quite regularly since I moved here and most weekends I buy myself some flowers for the dining room table but just lately there haven’t been many flowers available and it seems that others are quicker at getting them so I resorted to buying some from the local supermarket… and they really brightened the place up a bit!

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On Monday night I was involved in a Pub Quiz night at ‘The Rivers’ raising money for the local Breast Cancer foundation.  All up there were 18 teams involved and the place was pretty packed. 

We put in a couple of teams from school and some of us met up at The Rivers early and had dinner before the Quiz.  Totally loved my steak sandwich! 

There were some pretty gnarly questions but by the end of the night my team had come SECOND!!! We were pretty pleased with ourselves!

On Wednesday it was Miss Krystal’s birthday… can’t believe my girl is now 22!  I thought she might like to receive some flowers from me this year so I organised with my girlfriend Chris to deliver them for me.  Krystal definitely got a lovely surprise when she got home to find them waiting for her… and a big THANK YOU to Chris for helping me out – and sending me the photo of the flowers xx

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During the week I had a parcel of goodies arrive for me… some lovely little Tim Holtz stamps.  These stamps would have come in handy when I was doing ATC’s!  Most of them are only around an inch high/wide and they’re really detailed!

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I also got the rest of the Distress Paints!  I’ve now got all the colours and I’m looking forward to using them.

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On Friday we had Alphabet Day at school and my class got the letter ‘S’… one of my favourite letters!  We brainstormed all sorts of things we could come as and then on the day we had Smurfs… Laughing Samoan’s… Singers… Spies… Santa… Soccer players… and a small band of Soldiers!

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It was super cold when I got home on Friday… not quite as cold as Rotorua but there was a definite nip in the air.  It certainly reminded me that I hadn’t organised any firewood yet so I got onto the newsletter my nephew had brought home from school which had a school fundraiser for firewood and yesterday my firewood arrived!

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My nephew is coming around later on today to earn himself some money stacking my wood in the garage for me!  In the meantime I’ve used a little bit of the wood to light the fire and the house is now toasty and warm… although Mr Toby thinks that it is completely for HIS benefit!

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Gosh this almost feels like a Project Life blog post :)  I hope you’re all having a fabulous Queen’s Birthday weekend…stay safe and warm xx

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day

Haven’t had a chance to wish my Mum a Happy Mothers Day yet as she works on Sunday’s but both of my girls have made contact today… and Toby bought me a chocolate bar :)

I didn’t actually get Mum any flowers (sorry Mum) but I DID see this on the internet and knowing Mum’s tastes I’m sure she will love it :)

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Totally loving those pretty pink gerberas and thinking maybe I should grow some in my garden!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It’s finally happened!

Yes I’ve finally done something creative!! 

Before I show you the next part of my project I just want to share with you that after I coloured the backgrounds with paint and stain the dictionary paper started to lift off the playing cards… I think it might be because the cards have a coating on them… anyway it was no big drama.  All I did was carefully peel away the dictionary paper (very simple) and then I used my nail file to ‘scuff’ up the surface of the card before sticking the background paper back down with mono glue.

So onto the creativity!  I chose one of my backgrounds and added a stamp to one long edge… the stamp is from a Dyan Reaveley set and I stamped it with Black Archival ink.20140429_115716

Next I used some Sepia Archival ink to go around the edges:20140429_115830

Then I decided to get out my Distress Ink markers to add some colour… and I pretty much chose the same colours as I had already used in the background… love how the Picket Fence pen really highlighted the stamp too:20140429_120349

I wanted to try a couple of different techniques on this card so I grabbed some Sticky-backed Canvas (Ranger product) that I’ve had for absolutely ages and I die cut a heart.  Then I painted it with one of my favourite red paints – Jo Sonya’s Brown Madder20140429_120445

While the paint was drying I decided to try and stencil a design onto the background of my card using Distress Paint… and I REALLY stuffed it up!  Too much paint comes out of the dauber to do stenciling and I was left with a big black splodgy mess… but it wasn’t a total disaster!  Thankfully the paint remains reactive with water until it dries so I just kept spraying and dabbing until the ‘mess’ had lightened a lot:20140429_120802(0)

It was back onto safer territory after that!  I went around the edges of the canvas heart with some Black Soot distress ink:20140429_121140

Next I die cut some letters using Tim Holtz’s Chip Block alphabet… grabbed out some old letter stickers from my stash… and got creative and this is what I came up with:20140429_122543

Have to say that I’m pretty happy with it although in real life the background is more green and the colours are way more vibrant!  Even my stenciled ‘mess’ doesn’t look so bad now!  Since I already had everything out I decided to make another card using exactly the same things but placing the words in a different order… it’s amazing how different the meaning becomes just by doing that!

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So now I’ve got two finished cards that I’m really happy with… and I’ve kind of gotten over the whole ‘blank canvas’ thing now!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And then there was colour…

Those of you who know me, know that I love colour!  I definitely love vintage colours the best and of course the Distress Ink colours are right up my alley.  I decided to experiment with some background colours on my cards… trying to get rid of the “blank canvas, can’t get started” thing!

Since I already knew that I loved Distress Ink I decided to push myself a little and work with some of my Distress PAINT… after all there’s no point having all this Distress goodness if I don’t actually use it is there??

I started in my comfort zone with the browns: Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap20140428_101342

Then I moved into the greens: Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss20140428_102049

Next up was the blues: Broken China, Salty Ocean & Chipped Sapphire20140428_102312

And then I finished off with the reds: Barn Door, Aged Mahogany and Fired Brick20140428_102654

Although paint isn’t my first love when it comes to colour, I’m kind of getting into the technique by this stage and I’m definitely happy with my little rainbow of cards:

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But why stop there??  Next I decided to have a go with Distress STAIN!  I don’t have quite as many stains as I do paints but I still managed to work within the colour schemes I’d started with.

Here’s the browns: Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap (exactly the same ones I used with the Distress Paints but a totally different look!)20140428_121341

Then I did the greens: Pine Needles, Bundled Sage & Brushed Corduroy20140428_122914

Of course the blues were next: Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Tumbled Glass20140428_122219

And finally the reds: Barn Door and Victorian Velvet20140428_123437

Quite liking the whole Distress Stain thing… although the dictionary paper really soaks it up and I can’t get quite as many backgrounds done at once, like I can with the paint!20140428_123458

So by the time I’d finished playing around with colour I had a whole heap of backgrounds all ready to go…

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…now I’ve just got to actually MAKE SOMETHING!