Friday, 28 June 2013

Kilimanjaro Safari - Animal Kingdom

When I first subscribed to a major kit club I tried to keep the kits separated each month.  But the colours of the kits were often far to muted for me and now I have broken them all down and they feature prominently in my Counterfeit Kits along with my own purchases!  But here are two I created while they were still stored as monthly kits, all I added was an old page from a book that I had been hoarding! 

Kilimanjaro Safaris
I do still love this picture from an old book even if the layout isn't speaking to me.  I also used words from the book page to decorate the layout.

While most of the patterned papers were more muted, when a colourful page was added it was either BRIGHT, BRIGHT, BRIGHT or BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!  As you can see by the ones featured below.

Wildlife Express
Looking back at these layouts I am so glad that I stopped trying to use my kits as a whole kit and have broken them all down.  Added in with my own choices I end up with layouts that are more 'me'.  I do love the stamps I collected during my subscription and once I decided that the kits weren't for me I was guilty of choosing my add-on purely based on the stamp!

I think I will happily continue counterfeiting for awhile and resist the urge to look at kit clubs.  I have too much stuff anyway!  Although I have seen a few good ones recently ...  :D


Monday, 24 June 2013

Counterfeit Kit June 2013 Members Blog Hop!

Welcome to my stop in the CKCB Members' Blog Hop! This is the first time I have joined in and I am very excited!

This month we were challenged to be inspired by a Farmer's Market!
Farmers' Market Challenge: get inspired by the displays, colours, textures, produce and all over feel of the place.
You should have come here from Lesley :-)

Now I currently don't live near very many Farmer's Markets, but I've been lucky enough to have visited plenty when we lived elsewhere and while holidaying in France.  The sights, smells and yummy produce are memories I will never forget.  For some strange reason when I think of a Farmer's Market I instantly think of blue, red and yellow ... no idea why, I just do!  Along with worn wooded boxes, awnings and plenty of bunting.

Here is my Farmer's Market inspired layout with a photo of The Thinker's 2nd Birthday way back in 2000!

I wanted a distressed/rustic blue background so I grabbed a white piece of textured Bazzill and inked the edges with Memento 'Paris Dusk'. When used this way I find Memento comes out lighter than when you stamp with it.   I used more goodies from my swap package and I just couldn't resist the cherry washi tape, what would a Farmer's Market be like without cherries!  I counterfeited the mini flag using the ones made by Jennifer Grace as inspiration, I love the seed bead on the top!

Thanks for stopping by and now you should hop over to Dawn and she what lovelies she created!

The full blog hop list will be published on the CKCB so if you get lost along the way, head over there to find your way back onto the hop.

I love to read your comments so feel free to say "hi" and happy hopping!


Friday, 21 June 2013

Arcade Games - Photo Heavy

The Princess has been busy at school working on an in-class project.  The only thing we had to do at home was find LOTS of cardboard boxes in various sizes.  For 'Technology & Enterprise' they had to design a working arcade/fair style game that could be made from cardboard.  They had to then make their games and use them to raise money for charity.   They paired up and made posters ...

Poster advertising the event
Each child who wants to play buys a 'Fun Pass' for $2 that gives them access to all of the games.  Each year group (about 60 kids) comes at one time and each child spends 5 min at a game before rotating to the next (they only get to try out twelve games).  Each game earns points depending on how well they do.  They then trade the points for prizes, such as an in-school movie session or a special lunch.  It will take most of next week to get through all of the kids while still getting some school work done!

They had to plan their designs ...

Planning sheet

Then they started building.  This was The Princess' partly constructed game after one day of building.  I have never seen a classroom so filled with cardboard.  I couldn't get a room photo without lots of kids or I would show you the organised chaos!  This morning I went in to class to assist with the final part of construction and decorating.

Slowly taking shape
Then they all painted and decorated ...

It had to be PINK!
In the afternoon all of the parents were invited to come back and be the first to try out the games.  Here is the finished arcade game inspired by the clowns with the turning head that you find at fairs.  Am I quite impressed as The Princess has only twice played Arcade Games.  The clowns obviously left an impression as they were her favourite game to play the last time we went to our local fair/show.

The Surprise Box
They are all very official and have staff lanyards ...

The Princess
If you want to see how it works we videoed our first try of the game.  It was very hard to video and play at the same time (while kneeling on the ground!) and at the very end my phone memory was full and it stopped suddenly!  But if you have the time it might make more sense if you see it in action ...

There were some very clever games in the Arcade.  It was packed full of people this afternoon so here are just a few ...

This fist one are sponge crocodiles that pop in and out.  The object of the game is to hit them as many times as you can with a sponge sword.  Plenty of exercise in this one!

Croc Snap
This is a very elaborate pin-ball machine!

Pin ball
The owner of this one spent ages decorating the box!

The Hungry Horsey
This one took far more hand-eye co-ordination than I have.  I wouldn't be able to get it in all three hoops!

The 3 Hoopsters
This Skeeball madness was lots of fun.  You roll a tennis ball up the ramp and try to get it into the holes.  You have to see how many rolls it takes you to get to 500.  I reached 510 after 12 rolls.

Skeeball Fun
I don't remember making anything quite so much fun when I was at school :-) But perhaps my memory has fade a little ...


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - 2

Do you find that you are so used to your surroundings that you have become blind to the beauty around you?

I think that must be what has happened to me.  But the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt organised by Rinda has changed that!  I see myself looking around all of the time and noticing things that I was looking at without really seeing.  While sitting at a set of traffic lights yesterday (looking for a plane!) I noticed a Eucalyptus tree in full flower ... beautiful!

Here is my next installment of photos from the hunt.  This one caught me by surprise.  I was at work and I heard a truck pull up out the front and sit at idle.  I popped out to see what was happening and imagine my surprise when I saw this ...

#15 A firetruck
After I established that all was ok I nipped back inside and grabbed my phone and snapped this photo just in time.  The fireman were repainting the white markings on the kerb that show where the hydrant connection is (they are actually just behind the tree on the left) and finished just as I took the photo.  I think they thought I was a little cuckoo.

This next photo was a suggestion by the kids.  I wonder if if was just so that we could all have a treat ...

#20 A Dinosaur
I thought I would get stuck on the mosaic one unless I went for the stained glass option but while driving to work I noticed this ...

#14 A Mosaic
I drive past it every time I go to work but hadn't really paid much attention to it.  When I exit the highway to get to work I then drive under the highway and head north.  This is a very large mosaic that decorates the underpass.  I noticed it on day one but I haven't been able to safely snap a picture until yesterday.  I was stuck in traffic and rolled down the passenger window to grab a shot before moving on.

For this last photo I had originally planned to catch The Beagle out, but I couldn't resist when I came upon The Princess ...

#6 Someone taking a nap
I had thought that I would have managed to get an airplane by now as I drive past the airport almost twice a day, but since the hunt began I haven't had one fly over me while I have been sitting at the lights.  As it is a highway I can't safely pull over and take a photo when I see a plane.  I might just have to detour one day and pull into the airport :-)

So how are you going with your hunt?


Friday, 14 June 2013

Counterfeit Kit June - Layout 4

I have really enjoyed this month's kit!  I don't know if it is the clean bright colours or the addition of swap goodies, but I am eager to keep playing and use up all of the rest.  I am off to a friends for some crafting fun this evening and the left overs of my kit are packed and ready to go :-)

Today I used some more goodies from my swap package ...

The tag and blue button are from my swap package.
I counterfeited a flag following inspiration from Jennifer Grace in her kit reveal ...

Love the seed bead on the flag.
And I used a tea party charm that I bought from a friend's shop just for this photo ...

Tea party charm. Plus a brad from my swap.
Here is my layout ...

Meet Alice in Wonderland!
I have enjoyed using the Sn@p cut-a-part sheet by Simple Stories that I included in my kit.  They make for very quick layouts as some of the embellishing is already done :) I have since added some gems to this page as it needed more sparkle.

I hope you have a FAB weekend and don't forget to drop by on the 24th for the Counterfeit Kit Member Blog Hop.  I finished my layout today and have prepped my post ... SO EXCITED!

The other day Sian posed the question of what's on your mind when you scrap?  I have spent the day scrapping and meant to keep track of my thoughts, but now that I have finished I can't remember a single thought!  Not one!!!!  I wonder if that is a good thing or not?!?!?!?!?  So what do you think about while you are cutting and pasting? I obviously don't think very much! LOL


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Summer Scavenger Photograph Hunt

Welcome to Summer Winter 2013 and Rinda's Photography Scavenger Hunt. I was tantalised by all of the photos posted last year and it looked like so much fun that I decided to join in this time around.  Pop on over to Rinda's blog to get all of the details and join us.  I will also be posting my photos to Instagram with #Summertimescavengerhunt like some of the other participants so if you are on there add the same #tag (and feel free to follow me with the link on the right).

Are you ready for this year's list? You have until the last day of summer (September 21) to find and photograph the following items:
1. Open air market
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4. Airplane
5. A sunset
6. Someone or something taking a nap
7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8. A tower
9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10. A bench that is outside
11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13. A fence
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
15. A fire truck or police car
16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)

Bonus/substitute items. If you find any of the above items too difficult, feel free to substitute either (or both) of these items. You can substitute up to two items, but you cannot substitute Item #21:
A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country
A sundial

Some of these will be easy, some should be easy, and others will be a challenge!

I have printed off the list and stuck it to the dash of my car :-) The kids all think I have lost my mind but they are all getting into the spirit of it. They have been making suggestions and so I had to add in another rule or two of my own ... Photos can not be staged or taken in the house. They have to be come upon randomly or hunted out! That started a whole new conversation on where they could stick a candle so that I would come upon it randomly! LOL

It isn't summer here (in case you missed the not-so-subtle hint at the beginning) and so the kids are still at school. They do get two weeks vacation/holiday soon and I am using this as a way to plan an outing or two. We have spent the past few years working too much and couped up at home in between, it is time that we 'stopped to smell the roses'. (If you get my drift ...)

I was sitting at work (a builders display home) when I realised that there was a bench outside in the yard!  So here is  #10 A bench that is outside.  The sun was setting and I played around a bit to get just a few rays popping into the photo.  I like the affect.  The arbour above is filled with grapes in the summer.  Last summer I picked them for the kids and filled a whole bag.  They were YUM!  But now it is winter and the leaves are falling ...

10: A Bench That Is Outside
The LOML is home a lot more recently so I asked him to look out for two specific things when he ventured down to the shops.  Something out of place, and a sign that was funny.  The next day he sent me this photo by text message ...

7: A Sign that is intentionally/unintentionally funny
He walked down to the local store to grab some stuff for dinner and saw this sign ROFL!  Someone needs a geography lesson!  He was laughing so hard he forgot to buy garlic and The Extrovert had to go back for it later as spaghetti isn't the same without it.  But at least he got the photo :)  We debated over which prompt to use it for but as it got us all laughing we went with #7 A sign that is intentionally and unintentionally funny.

I am looking forward to finding the rest.  We had considered the museum for the dinosaur (and we still might anyway as it is free!) but a new suggestion has just popped up that everyone is excited about.  I love how a blog idea has the whole family talking!  Thanks to Alison for showing me how fun it could be when you join in with something like this.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Counterfeit Kit June - Layout 3

While catching up on my blog reading this morning I found a new sketch from Shimelle which caught my eye as something different ...

I liked the sun burst idea and thought I would tinker and play with this in mind.  I originally began by following the sketch to the letter using my Counterfeit Kit for the month but I was having difficulty with the patterns and my photos and almost gave up.

I started again beginning with white (I know, I think I am getting addicted) and focused on the sunburst.  I still used my Counterfeit Kit but chose another paper and left choosing photos until I had made a start.

I LOVE how it turned out but I couldn't get a great photo of it, sorry.  There are subtle stamped arrows with hearts where you see the black outline of a heart.  The page is also shimmery from the Glimmer Mists 'Mels Dinner' and 'Vintage Pink', along with highlights around the title and sunburst with a Sakura 'Stardust Clear' pen.  The black arrow strip is actually the reverse of the heart paper from American Crafts XOXO collection called 'All My Heart'.

Love at First Sight
The Princess is kissing Rascal the dolphin during our 'Twilight Swim with the Dolphins' at Discovery Cove back in 2008.  The first dolphin we played with was Diego and he was a character.  The Princess patted him but was a little timid.  But Rascal was so gentle and she finally felt secure enough to give him a kiss.  She was in love :)

I was supposed to be creating something for this month's Counterfeit Kit blog hop as I am joining in ... but I got side tracked LOL  So I am off to create something inspired by an open air farmers market, pop back on the 24th to see it.


Monday, 10 June 2013

My New Craft Space

Last December we moved into our new house and I showed you my new Craft Room in this post here.  I felt very blessed to have my own craft room which I only shared with the playstation, but I always felt very lonely sitting in there by myself.  I spend many hours at work and when I am home I like to chat with the kids and watch our favourite TV shows together.  I couldn't do that from my craft room and so I was very rarely crafting.  When we closed our shop and had to bring stuff home we also needed to set up a home office.  Off the kitchen we have a 'meals' room which housed a table that everything got dumped on and our home office was stored in a cupboard in there too.

It was a conundrum ...

We decided to get rid of the table as we ate our meals in the dining room and turn that space into our home office.  It wasn't perfect as one side of the room opened out onto a walkway and it faces our living room.  But an episode of the Paperclipping Round Table changed all that! I now commute an hour each way to work and I began using the time to listen to audio books and podcasts.  I once listened to an episode of PRT when Shimelle was a guest, but as I never had time to sit and listen, I hadn't thought about them since.  Two hours minimum in the car each day and I needed something to entertain me!  I downloaded a selection of different podcasts and started listening.  One episode of PRT was all about organising your craft space.  I almost didn't listen to it as I was lucky enough to have a craft room ... but I am sooooo glad I did!

There was some great advise on it and my brain was opened to a whole new way of thinking.  If you are having difficulty organising your space I suggest you have a listen to the episode and work through the questions posed.  They were enlightening! I had been feeling guilty that I wasn't using my craft room and that it was a WHOLE room in the house dedicated to me.  I kept telling myself I was blessed to have a room for my crafting as most people didn't, but then I realised that just because other people have a craft room didn't mean that I had to have one too.  When we were looking at building a new house I always located my craft room off the main living area with big doors that I could open to turn the room into essentially one big space, I never planned to have it on its own.  I am a social person, I LIKE to talk when I am crafting, I LIKE to watch TV with everyone else while I am crafting, I LIKE to be right smack bang in the center of everything! I do not like peace and quiet when I am crafting.  (It would be different if I crafted while home alone or if the kids were still small)

I didn't listen to anything else on the drive home but I mulled over my options ... I knew what I wanted but now to convince everyone else :-) It was easier than I thought!  Our home office is now in an 'office' and my crafting space is right smack bang in the center of the house!!!  I am still using the built in robe as storage as my sewing stuff won't fit out here. The picture below is from the living room looking into the old 'meals' area.  The door on the left goes down to the kids rooms and to the right is the kitchen and the front of the house.  I really am right in the middle.

My new craft space!

We brought home fittings from the shop after we closed and my table is our old 'demo table'. It helps to keep The Beagle out and I can also barricade everything in when we have small visitors.  The sliding door gives me plenty of light but you just can't use it any more.  It is still a bit of a mess (sorry).

Please ignore the mess!

When the shop closed I ended up with a LARGE collection of ribbons, there are even more in the garage that I still haven't even looked at.  I need to start listing stuff on ebay to raise some funds and clear some more space.

The last photo is looking back towards the kitchen.  I sit/stand at my desk facing the living room and the TV, but I can also see into the kitchen and hear what is going on in the games room (off the living room to the right when sitting at the desk).  I am loving it as we are a chatty family :-D

Still working on sorting.

I hadn't realised how much I used the floor when I was crafting until I got a taller desk.  I now sit on a stool (or stand) and the floor is kinda out of reach.  I love the higher desk but I NEEDED the floor!  The LOML solved it by finding my an office chair that I leave my kit on (in the purple container).  Then I can wheel it around when it is in my way, but my kit now sits at the right height.  I would like to eventually get a wheeled trolley.  I had always planned on turning one into a mobile spray booth, but now I think I would like one with a couple of shelves and space to spread out my monthly counterfeit kit.  One shelf would house my manual die-cutter, another my spray box, and then a third for other misc bits.  Should work a treat!

I have decided to join in with Rinda's Summertime (or Winter) Photography Scavenger Hunt this year as it looked like so much fun last year.  I found my first thing today but I will post about it later :)

Thanks for joining me as I ramble on about my craft space.

Friday, 7 June 2013

CSI - Case File 74

I enjoyed my first CSI - Colour, Stories, Inspiration challenge so much that I decided to give Case File 74 a try.  The colours were definitely NOT me (again!) but I did find some OLD papers in my stash to match it.  The Basic Grey was still single sided and the Prima was old IOD, it is a good thing I still liked them!

Here is the case file ...
The very light colour is actually pale pink and not white like it appears on some computer screens.  The CSI site gives a description of each colour to help with those sorts of issues.  I only used the yellow in the flower center and a few random gems.
Splash of Fun at Disney's Animal Kimgdom
I used all five colours in the scheme along with metal, flowers, leaves, and cabochon from the Evidence.  I seem to be having a problem with the Testimony part as I like to write what I want and not follow 'rules' that don't suit my photo.  But as I am only doing these for the colour challenge I suppose it doesn't really matter :-)

If you are wondering why I am suddenly back to more regular crafting it isn't just to do with things calming down around here.  No, I moved my craft room and I am loving it!!!  I am still tweaking it and trying to sort it all out but it suits my personality.  I will take some photos today and maybe share it with you all next week.  The other reason, Thursday and Friday are my 'try to take off' days as I work all weekend, so you could also say that I now get a 'weekend' like a normal person. :)


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Counterfeit Kit June - Layout 1 & 2

Two posts in one day!  That doesn't happen very often but I decided this morning that my lovely swap from Lou deserved a post of it's own.  After a brief interlude at work I came home and started playing :-)  As you can see I used some of my swap goodies in my first layout!

I was originally a little afraid of this kit as all of the papers (except maybe one) are white based.  I hadn't realised until I started the kit that I have been defaulting to cream based papers for quite a while now ... white terrifies me!

But never fear, that is what a good Counterfeit Kit is for ... challenging you AND using up your stash :-)  This first photo was taken after we arrived at The Grand Floridian Hotel in Disney in a stretched limo for a character breakfast.  We pre-booked this breakfast and the kids were more interested in the limo ride than anything else.  It seemed to live up to expectation!
A Wish Come True
For all my fear of white I ended up starting off with it as the background ... so unlike me.  I liked it so much that I did it AGAIN with a second layout, this time leaving even more white.  Maybe white isn't so bad after all?!?!?!?
Bear Hugs
I used the wood hexagons from my swap and they matched perfectly with the die-cut hexagons I already had in my kit.  There is a light misting of Mr Huey Calico Shine along the diagonal as well but I have found it doesn't photograph well.

Two more layouts completed in quick succession.  The LOML asked me why I made a kit when I had a whole room of stuff to choose from.  I told him that I get to spend an enjoyable hour or two 'shopping' for my kit from ALL of my stuff, and then when I have spare moments to craft, I can just sit and play without having to rummage through everything looking for something to match.  I find it so much more productive when you don't have to keep getting up to get 'that perfect something' from the back of the cupboard.  Although I do add to my kit from time to time I do find that limiting my choices frees my mind to just play!

Maybe I will even finish a third layout this evening.  Love an afternoon off :-)


Sian's Great Big Swap

I wrote last month that I had joined in with with Sian's 'Great Big Swap of Very Small Things' and sent my package off to Cate at Life Behind the Purple Door.  Yesterday my package arrived (Yipppppeeeeeee!!!!!!!) from Lou at In This Life.  It is filled with yummy goodies!

My LARGE pile of small things!
It is filled with brads, buttons, ribbons, chipboard shapes, journal cards/tags, flowers, bling, and my favourite ...

Hexagonal wood pieces
I have been wanting a few more hexagon embellishments!  Yummo!

More bits and bobs!
I thought the tag in this photo was funny :-)  So much of it matches the counterfeit kit that I just made up so I think I will be adding bits to it.  Nothing like something new to make you want to play!

This swap was delightful!


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Counterfeit Kit June - Kit

Now that my routine is falling back into place I am back to Counterfeiting (I love that it sounds like a crime ... or a guilty pleasure!  They sound more fun LOL) and am joining in for June.  There were four kits to choose from by Scraptastic and I chose 'Destination Unknown' as my inspiration.  I am a bit tired of the green, brown and blue that I used in my last kits and the bright sunny colour in this one grabbed my attention.  Here is the inspiration kit and it's add on ...

Destination Unknown
Destination Unknown Add-on

While many of you are posting about the joys of summer we have entered the darker days of winter (Hello Southern Hemisphere!) and my photos have been taken at night :-)  Welcome to "Memories of Summer"!  A bright cheerful kit inspired by combining the two inspiration kits.

Memories of Summer
I mostly shopped from the supplies I collected while previously subscribing to a popular kit club, with a few additions of older product.  I also included some toothpicks so that I can counterfeit some flags at a later date.

Memories of Summer embellishments
These are the 'B' sides of the papers.  There are some good tone-on-tone prints here that will come in handy.

Memories of Summer 'B' sides
The Princess recently cleared her desk for crafting and painting, and she is always fascinated with my kits.  I explained to her (again) how I assembled my kit and what the inspiration kit made me look for.  She decided to make a kit of her own (again) and spent the evening making up multiple kits with her stash. She has selected one to use for now and then plans to move onto the other ones after.  She will probably spend her weekends making layouts and I will share them as I share mine.  She chose the purple stack on the floor for her first kit.  I think she only added alphas and washi tape after I took this photo.

The Princess making her own kit

Happy Counterfeiting!  If you are wondering what is going on here then click on the link at the top right of my page and check it out.  A kit to copy every month and optional challenges to keep you inspired enough to use it!!!!  I love to go craft shopping but a recent change to a non-existant craft budged is forcing me to 'shop my stash' and I am loving every minute of it.  I have plenty to choose from so I should be good for a looooooooong time :-)