Friday, June 25, 2021

3 Tiny Squirrels go on a nutty adventure

 I love these tiny squirrels.  Initially I thought they are so small what can you possibly do with them?  But the ideas have been churning and this layered A5 sized card was inspired by my little girl, who told quite a lovely story as 4 year old's are prone to do about a squirrel girl who had squirrel friends. One day the little girl got lost in the forest, but she was okay because the squirrels helped her collect all the nuts they could find.  So she was not hungry and she had her friends and she decided to live there happily ever after. The End. 

So there you go - that was the inspiration behind the card featuring the 3 TINY SQUIRREL Die-set.

Yes, we can be nuts together. 

Beyond the Product 1

HELLOOOOO - I am reviving this blog.  I had a baby at 40!!!  She is now almost turning 4 years old, while keeping her out of trouble at this phase of her life requires a far more "hands-on" approach for me than I imagined it would be - her limitless quests of curiousity, have her entertained enough for a few minutes here and there while she intently focusses on whatever thing she is investigationg/tearing/taking apart/ spreading/ painting, or pulling out. 

So much has changed in 4 years - I am definitely poorer than I was pre-kid, and then there's that never-changing, irritating phenomenon of the South African Rand being absolutely dismal compared to the currencies of those first-world places where all these contraptions and craft supplies come from.  Taken together, that makes me come to a horrible self-realisation - I no longer have the financial means to be able to splurge on just everything I desire especially those trendy crafty goods with very first-world prices that my chronically broke derriere am no longer able to afford.

But when you got to get your creative fix, you make a plan - and plans I have been (in the) making. 

I got back in touch with some SOUTH AFRICAN brands/products that I used to love and I think I have actually been a little more original, creative and not fallen into that trap of (subconsciously or consciously) trying to mirror the trends and styles on the craftNet.   

Then I thought it was kind of funny, because all the South African Brand Craft Products I have been buying, have evolved in terms of how they are used and I thought it would be fun to blog about how I use these products even though its not exactly what they were actually designed, created or marketed for. 

My first share after my long hiatus are these notebook/journal covers.  I have been a fan of Luthien Thye for years who creates the most magnificent books and jewelry and cool stuff.  I always thought it was freaking awesome and I loved her notion of functional art.   So I fully give her all the credit for inspiring this little avenue of craft dabbling and for inspiring the design of most of my attempts.  I mean I tried really heard not to copy her too much, but the stuff she does is so amazing and I find myself kind of like subconsciously imitating  her because I love he style so much. - so I do give Luthien Thye the credit for the craft/design asthetic.  ALL CREDIT TO YOU Luthien Thye.

Like I have said before I am a craft dabbler with no particular interest in any particular craft, and this has really captured my interest right now.  I am really enjoying it, I have more freedom to texturise the crap out of it without worrying about it being too heavy or to bulky to post (which was always my problem with cardmaking).  Notebook covers are fun, you can indulge all kinds of madness you dont have to stay within the lines and journals are so charmingly olde-worlde charm in the digital age, that they actually make awesome gifts that everybody loves. 

Let me start with one that I gave to my dearest Mau for Christmas.  

I loved making this - it really turned out awesomely textured and chunky and antique and the glossy resin coat I treated it made me dream about finding some ancient artefact at the bottom of an Ocean.

I thought I had better pictures of this - but alas this is all I have got for now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

12 Tags of 2016 (well sorta....) inspired by ol' Tim's tag anyway~!

Its been so long since I did a post, longer still a 12 Tags (Tim Holtz) inspired project.

My uber buddy Nicol has his birthday coming up tomorrow and I wanted to make him a little birthday card to go with the gift that he is getting from me.  I unashamedly drew some technique inspiration from this month's Tim Holtz Tag over here on the left.

If you're struggling to see any kind of similarity - dont feel too confused, I rarely play samey and I usually pick the elements from the tag that I find interesting and go with that.

Here is what I came up for Nic.  

I stamped and coloured in like in the technique tutorial, I kept the idea of negative die-cutting with the leaf and the name,  There was a bit of random stitching and the addition of a silver charm that I did some more random stitchy things on.  Instant Birthday card - Thanks for the inspiration though to Tim Holtz and his July Tag.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Hit the Books" - May 2016 Challenge at Our Creative Corner

Hello there - May at Our Creative Corner is sending you back to the books.  Who doesn't love a bit of old book text on anything.  Instead of trying to explain what a fun challenge the lovely Jennie has come up - I am going to leave it up to her here below to tell you all about it.

 Hit the Books 

Hi! Jennie here with you this month hosting my first challenge for Our Creative Corner.  I do hope you enjoy the challenge theme I have chosen for you all this month.

adore old book paper and old books and I am always glad to be able to breath new life into a dilapidated book which most people would consider throwing out!

For your projects this month we would like to see you searching through your stash for old book paper or books and create a project with what you find. You might want to use papers within your project or you might want to breath new life into an old book by altering it in some way. I hope I have chosen a challenge theme with huge scope for projects small or large.

Whatever you make let us see you give those old book papers or books centre stage!
Hop on over to Our Creative Corner to see the beautiful art and jewelry and vintage exquisiteness the rest of the design team has to offer.  And once you are done with that - enter your own bookpage inspired project on the May "Hit the Books" challenge page and you could be one of the recipients of a generous gift by our fantastic sponsor this month 

Here above is what I did for the challenge.  I must admit that I was whooping all over the place when I saw what Jennie challenged us to do because it played right into something I have been wanting to do.

I wanted to update the boring soap and hand cream dispensers in my bathroom.  Instead of buying expensive bottles from a homestore, I modpodged book paper over cheapie plastic dispensers, used some Tim Holtz letters in an old typewriter-esque font and added some ribbon and embellishments. And voila- it matches the theme I have going in the bathroom better than anything I could have bought.

I could talk you through the whole process but it is quite redundant seeing that being the avid crafters you wonderful bunch are, there is no need to tell you how to podge, embellish and seal.  What I will do instead is give you a photo play-by-play from start to finish.




And there you have it - Happy crafting and Happy Worker's Day for all South Africans!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Gypsy Fayre–April 2016 Challenge at Our Creative Corner

This month of April 2016 I have the absolute privilege of hosting the challenge over at Our Creative Corner. I have always a deep fascination with Bohemian/gypsy culture and sometimes consider myself somewhat of neo-Bohemian with a gypsy soul.

This month's challenge invites you to let us see your gypsy nature.  

Gypsies are wanderers, purveyors of exquisite things, mysterious things, free-spirited bohemians curating the beauty of life and sharing the wonders with you as the travel along.

So for the challenge let your creativity run wild and free like a gypsy 
I want you to create interesting items you might imagine finding at a traditional Gypsy Fayre.
You may create whatever your gypsy heart desires, but it must....
contain at least 3 colours from this featured colour palette 

show us how your project is inspired by this gorgeous ode to the gypsy soul!

The sponsor this month is

What do you think?  Do you have the soul of gypsy?

Play along with the rules of the challenge like with your gypsy soul and you could be the curator of some fabulous gyspy loot too from them.  Remember to submit your project at the challenge page on

I always imagined that Gypsy carts would have loads of bright colourful and interesting accessories.  

Every month I try to get out to a little gathering of Bohemian free-spirits and neo-hippies in the province that I live in, I thought it would be an awesome idea to wear the OCC April challenge theme to get some extra publicity for the OCC blog as well - as it happens that at these events there is a lot of trading and sharing and communion of creative energy and colourful souls.

I created a collection of Gypsy
accessories in the form of a headdress, earrings and a ring.
The entire collection was created out of odd bits and bobs I had in my collection of trim, wool, yarn, feathers, ribbon, beads and shells I picked up here and there on my gyspy wanderings and tradings.

To create the flowers – I cut 5 to 6 little petal shapes out of organza ribbon and threaded them, and the pulled the thread taut so that the ends bunched together and pulled the petals into a flower shape.

I stitched gorgeous rich coloured upholstery beading onto a long headband elastic and added a few metal belly-dancing discs for gypsy interest.  This was the front of the headband.

For the back, I wanted it to be an effervescent effusion of colour and joy and sparkling interest.

I used an embroidery hoop to keep a length of fleck yarn taut and added various lenghts of interesting embellishments to it. 

I braided, knotted, drilled holes with my Dremel through pieces of shells and mother-of-pearl that I had picked up sometime or the other.

I sewed on two loops to the sides of the headband elastic where it would sit just behind my ears and two clasps onto either end of the back part of the headband to make it easier to attach the back part of the headband to the elastic.

For the ring – I made another organza flower and added a few feathers to a ring base.

Finally for the earrings – I pretty much bundled a few feathers together, tied them up with fleck thread and did some fancy wire designs to attach it the the earwire.

That completed my project and it was all ready and it was a hit at the “Harvest, Zuvuya” gathering. 

–and here we are, gypsy camp all set up and ready to flaunt our gypsy nature.

 Thanks and that’s it for now – looking forward to seeing your gypsy creations at Our Creative Corner

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Return Of the Our Creative Corner Challenge - March 2016

This month's challenge, I have to admit had me in a bit of tizzy, busy mess. We have the magnificent opportunity of returning to a challenge of our choice from the last three years.   

The details of the challenge  as it is laid out at Our Creative Corner can be found by going here - go on over and have a look - the design team have all chosen a variety of different challenges and there is a bounty of coolness to look at this month because it is so diverse.

In a nutshell - there is a list of challenges from 2013 through 2015 that you can choose from.  You have to state what challenge you have chosen, go to that particular challenge, read those specific challenge rules and then play along to those rules in this month's challenge.

I thought it was a brilliant plan - the problem was that almost every single challenge listed was a super fun one and I battled to settle on just ONE challenge that I wanted to have another go at.  Eventually I settled on Alison's "Words, Words,Words" August Challenge from 2013 because I love Alison (not in a creepy way) and darn it - it's an awesome challenge!

artistic-outpost link
As always there is a brilliant sponsor this month.  Click on the link underneath the badge there to go on over and have a look at their fabulous range of goodies.  If you play along in this month's challenge at Our Creative Corner - you could be the winner of the generous prize they will be sponsoring.  
For my project - I decided that I wanted to make a card that could also be detached to hang on the door of a private library or folded up to place on a reading table.

I loved making this for many reasons.  In addition to  highlighting "words" as a focal point of the project, I decided that I wanted to challenge myself to feature a colour scheme that I hardly ever use and also to make the entire project out of leftover crafting supplies.

I used the following craft supplies items.:

Distress inks to colour the image and create the background -Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, Dried Marigold,  Fossilized Amber, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany and Black Soot.

Archival Ink in plum to stamp the text background and Santoro Gorjuss Girl.

Santoro Gorjuss 

Satin Ribbon to create the "fire" flames.  I kind surprised myself when I realised how simply folding and glueing ribbon in loops could create the effect of a ribbon fire.

Brown craft wire to create the smoke effect.

Coffee beans for the logs in the fire.

Old piece of cardboard that was distressed to create a grungey contrasting background.

Tim Holtz' Sticky Alpha parts plastic letters to spell out my sentiment intentions.

Bakers Twine from "The Twinery".

If you see anything else on there that you see that I have not mentioned but you are curios abouthere please leave me a comment and I will let you in on it.

Hope I did Alison's challenge justice.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Sew Sew" - February 2016 challenge at Our Creative Corner

It's February and it's "Sew Sew" time!
"Fabrics, wool, threads, lace - this months challenge hosted by Jan at Our Creative Corner is all about texture, layers and loveliness!
What scraps have you got hidden away? Any snippets of favourite clothes you can't bare to part with?
Anything sewing related can be used in your piece. You could use stitches, sewing machine or fake stitches. Don't forget to get out your sewing themed stamps and dies.
Have fun and create something!"

The rest of the Design Team's incredible work on this theme is so brilliant and if you haven't come from there to here - be sure to go on over and have a look-see.  I decided to challenge myself to embrace the South Africa cultural heritage, while keeping in mind the theme and the event of Love-day on the 14th, while trying to create something fresh and original (which turned out to be a much taller order than I anticipated)....  

"So she sewed shweshwe on the sugar sweet dolls!".
Shweshwe (/ˈʃwɛ.ʃwɛ/) from the Sotho name Moshoeshoe is a traditional Sotho (South Africa & 
Lesotho) printed fabric characterised by its geometric designs out of which traditional garments are fashioned.

I hand-sticthed some shweshwe fabric scraps "wool, threads, lace", sequins and ribbon onto card and  created these quirky African Valentine Paper Dolls.

The Sponsor this month is 

As always there is a generous prize to be won - 
"Darkroom Door is sponsoring one Rubber Stamp Set, valued at $31.95 AUD, to our randomly drawn winner."

To be eligible to win - all you would have to do is create a project following the guidelines above and upload your project on the "Sew Sew" post at Our Creative Corner before the end of this month.