Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Melbourne Baby Shower

I spent last weekend back in Melbourne so my sister could throw me a baby shower with all the relatives. It ended up being very convenient timing as this was the last week I could fly without a medical certificate and Dad also needed to fly back from Indonesia to attend a conference in Melbourne. This let me catch up with Mum and Dad for my birthday and the baby shower. Would have been better if they hadn't managed to catch the flu as soon as they landed but it was still better than nothing. :)
So this is the group shot of most of the lovely guests (two of my friends from high school had to depart early). Attendees included my sister, Nana, sister-in-law, school friends, Mum's best friend who has known me my whole life, Mum, aunts, cousin and mother in law and long-time basketball friend. I felt so lucky to be surrounded by these women and pleased that we had remained in contact despite me moving to Queensland 8 years ago now.
Kirby (my sister) did such an amazing job with catering and decorating in a cute cartoon jungle theme which I just loved! We set up a onsie station where people could decorate an outfit for little Mouse. Given some of the disasters I had seen on Pinterest of people hand-drawing these we took a safer route and supplied fabric paint and stencils. This worked out a treat and I can honestly say I love every one which was created!
Even the men got into the onsie creating when they popped around after the party finished. Guess it just shows what they are willing to do to get a gift bag filled with lollies!

Whilst brainstorming party ideas, my sister and I decided it would be a great idea to have a funny cake. This is the end result, which drew plenty of weird looks from the cake staff:

To make matters worse, they off-set the writing to the right so we had to DIY the Chico babies to try and make it look intentional. Good thing they just happened to be in the cupboard. :) Overall, it was a really great couple of hours and a fantastic time to catch up with my friends and family.

Monday, 26 May 2014

30th Birthday Celebrations

Today was my 30th birthday however I celebrated a week early with my friends due to having other plans this week (which I'll blog about in the coming days).
We started with a group of 6 girlfriends, my sister and I enjoying a 2 hour pampering experience at Endota Spa Broadbeach. I've always found Endota to be a clean and reliable day spa, despite being a franchise, so was very excited when I learnt there was one opening in Broadbeach. I've been a couple of time since it opened and never been disappointed.
This is my sister and I posing before our treatments. I included cute panda eye masks in little gift bags for all the ladies along with a nail file, temp tattoo, soap and a Lindt chocolate.

We then headed back to Peppers Broadbeach to get ready in the two bedroom suite I had booked. The Peppers experience was fantastic. I had let them know I was celebrating my birthday when I booked and was wished a happy birthday whilst checking in. There was also complimentary bubbly, balloons and a birthday card signed by some of the staff waiting in the room. The quality of the suite was amazing and to be honest I was a little disappointed we didn't get to spend more time in there. :)

I totally forgot to get any photos of the dinner afterwards, guess I was too busy socialising. :) We went to Champagne Café.Restaurant.Bar for dinner, which specialises in French cuisine. I had a little heart attack the week before the party, as I found out the venue was actually closed for renovations and was changing from Champagne Brasserie to this new venue. Everything worked out in the end though and the food was fantastic.

It was quite a drama to find a party dress to go with my bump, but I finally found this sequined blue number and loved it. Big thank you to Jemma who offered to do my hair and make up for the night!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Party Table Centrepiece - Couture Creations DT

Who says die cuts should be limited to scrapbooking pages and cards? Certainly not me with this project! I have my 30th birthday coming up soon and wanted to create some table centrepieces for the dinner. This was a bit of a time consuming project (and I still have two more to create!) but I really enjoyed creating something a bit different to normal.
Prepare your base and pole.
1/ I have used a pre-made wooden box for my base so primed it with gesso and then painted it with a couple of coats of blue paint. The pole is a length of dowel I trimmed to suit and then coated with gesso.
2/ Once the paint is dry, attached double sided tape to a length of ribbon and wind down the length of the pole.
3/ To ensure my photos were all cut to the exact same size I used a rectangular nesting die to trim them down. This is so much easier than having to measure it all myself and inevitably ending up with wonky angles. Adhere one photo to each side of the base using double sided tape.
4/ Decorate the corners of each photo using the Gemstones in reducing sizes. They are much easier to place if you use the premium craft tools, allowing a precision placement. I like to use the blade but I know others prefer the paper piercer.
5/ Place some filler in the bottom of the base to secure your pole to. I used polystyrene board we had sitting around but then found the glue I used melted through the board so perhaps try florists foam instead. Rip some tissue paper and place inside the base too. This will help stabilise the pole to remain straight and also provide a decorative touch.
Make the flower ball
1/ Cut a small hole in the bottom of a polystyrene ball, this is where it will attach to the pole.
2/ Die-cut enough flower petals from the Sunflower nesting dies to cover the ball. Each flower consists of the three smallest sizes of sunflowers in alternate colours of card stock. I had a 100mm polystyrene ball and used 19 flowers so 57 diecuts.
3/ The cardstock will be too stiff to wrap around the ball neatly in it's original state, so spritz each petal with water and scrunch to loosen the fibres. If your paper has a front and back side, make sure you curl the paper so it will fold around the ball. Leave them to dry.
(picture only shows half my petals)
4/ Layer the petals into complete flowers and attach with dressmaker pins to the ball. I found it easiest to do the very middle row first and then fill in the gaps working towards the top and bottom. Make sure you overlap them to avoid the ball showing through.
5/ Once you're happy with the positions of all the flowers, attach buttons to the centres of them all.
6/ Cut two circles of tulle (I used a coffee cup as a rough size guide). Place these over the top of the pole and attach the flower ball over the top of these. 

Couture Creations Materials List:
I'm also going to enter this project into two competitions. The first is StuckOnUSketches who have a current die-cut challenge of 3D. Secondly, Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge is prompting people to scrap their baby photos this month. You can see a baby photo in the detail shot I have included, plus on of the photos I didn't capture is also a baby photo.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Sovereign Hill - Scrapmatts DT

For my second Scrapmatts DT LO this month I decided to only use one chipboard design because the CB8001 Circles 01 design is so versatile I didn't need any others. This comes as a 12x12 sheet with 29 different circle pieces. At only $10 for the sheet this is such good value for money, in my opinion.
The photos come from a 2005 holiday I took with Ben back in the day when I was still using film rather than a digital camera. We spent a long weekend at Ballarat in Melbourne and spent one day at Sovereign Hill (yes, I've just realised I spelt the title wrong and will need to correct this). Ballarat was the centre of the Gold Rush in Victoria and this tourist attraction is a re-creation of what life was like at the time. I've visited a few times and always enjoy myself, though Ben was a bit more reluctant.

For the circles I selected the various sizes I wanted, ran them through an Couture Creations embossing folder (Tea Lights- a new release this month) to add texture, swiped some distress ink over the top to highlight the pattern and then lightly misted them to add some sparkle and activate the distress ink. The detail shot gives you a bit more of an idea of the end effect.

This LO was inspired by the May sketch over at Kreative Koncepts. I was initially unsure about this sketch, especially the vertical bits, but the design team created such amazing samples which helped give me any idea of where to go. I actually didn't include the vertical bit in my LO at first and had to painstakingly add them around the rest of the elements I had already stuck down the next morning.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Oh Happy Day - Scrapmatts DT

Have you ever had that LO that you thought you knew where you wanted to go but it fought you every step of the way? That was the way it was going with this one, so I tossed everything but the photo and the chipboard vine to start all over again in a new direction. I think it's a bit different to my normal work but I love the end result. I'm pretty sure I've actually scrapped this photo of Ben and I already but I like it and had a second copy already printed so why not use it again? :)
The chipboard vine is a stunning piece which I've had in my stash for so long as I really wanted to feature it rather than hide it behind other elements on a LO. I trimmed the longest bit of the branch and stuck it above the rest to work better on my page. I have also used one of the new arrow pieces, a filmstrip ATC piece, some left over vines and a charm which I spray painted black. I like the contrast of the black against the more subtle inks.
Scrapmatts used: CB4034 Floral Design 01, CB3001 Film Strips 03, CB6095 Assorted Words 18, CB6086 Twig Frame 01, CH075 Charm.

This LO was inspired by the May sketch over at Once Upon A...Sketch. The journaling theme for this month is anything goes. My journaling is on the green pull-out tab behind the photo. It felt good to include some more detailed journaling in my work for the first time in a while.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Butterfly Wall Art - Couture Creations

I'm not normally one for creating purely decorative pieces without any photos at all, but when I saw the Beautiful Butterfly die in my Couture Creations DT kit I just knew I had to create a feature piece with it. Once again, the Damask Delight paper pad was perfect to create a vibrant and fun feel to the piece.

Want to create something similar yourself? Here is how I did it. Make sure you show of your creation too if you give it a go, either on the blog or the Couture Creations facebook page.
1/ I wanted to create some subtle texture in the background which wouldn't distract from the butterflies so I painted some white gesso through a template and then spritzed it with a mist to create a golden shimmer.

2/ Put the background piece aside to dry and die-cut a minimum of 25 butterflies using the Beautiful Butterfly die from The Van Roe collection. I say minimum because I ended up doubling up some of mine for added dimension so I cut 30 in total. They will get harder to remove from the die as you go, if you find them getting too difficult, consider using the Quick Release Die Paper.
3/ To help the butterflies pop from the background I inked the outside edges of every butterfly with black ink. 
4/ Play around with the butterflies until you have a combination of positions you are happy with.

5/ Decorate your butterflies:
a/ Punch out 5 scalloped circles and place these behind random butterflies. Attach the butterfly to the circle using foam tape for added dimension.
b/ Pick 5 butterflies to double up on. Adhere them using mini glue dots and bend up both sets of wings.
c/ Add a small button to the centre of 5 butterflies. Add three pearls in decreasing size down the body under the buttons.
d/ Run a line of Glitzin Glamour down the bodies of each butterfly except for the buttoned ones.
6/ Adhere the butterflies to the page using mini glue dots (they are the perfect size to place right in the middle of each die-cut). I found it easier to fold the wings up before placing the butterfly on the paper. I also started with the butterfly in the exact middle of the page and worked my way out from there to keep them all evenly spaced. If you want to add a quote to the bottom make sure you consider your spacing accordingly.
7/ Run some lace along the top and bottom of the page. This helps balance out the rectangular shape of the butterfly die on the square page.
8/ Print your quote, cut it into a banner shape, ink the edges, add gems to the edges. Adhere to the page using foam tape to lift it up.
10/ Pop the layout into a frame with the glass removed so all the wings can stay raised. Alternatively, use one of the Boutique Scrapbooking Frames shadow boxes to keep the dimension and protect the project. Wish I had some of these. :)

Couture Creations Materials List:
Don't forget about my 5th blogoversary giveaway. Entering is really simple, you just need to leave me a comment on the giveaway post by clicking the image below.