29 May 2013

For Vicki

Our CEO's EA approached me yesterday to ask if I could make a card for Vicki (the CEO). She will be celebrating four years with the organisation shortly, and we do love to celebrate...

Again, I used my new Lawn Fawn puffy star stackable dies to make a shaker card, but used Kaisercraft Bonjour paper to "Vicki" it up (she's a Paris loving Audrey Hepburn fan, so I figured the French motifs and butterflies would suit her).

This is a larger card than I would normally make (so that everyone* here can sign it), which gave me more room to work with.

*everyone = sixteen people, though we are actively hiring two more people at the moment.

Lawn Fawn Lucky stars stamp set, a old Hero Arts aphabet set (I think it was..)
ink: Memento Dew Drops Espresso Truffle Ink Pad
paper: 300gsm white card (scored and folded to A5), Kaisercraft Bonjour
accessories: Dimensionals, Lawn Fawn Puffy star stackables dies

28 May 2013

Time Management Games: Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess

Yes, I looove time management games. Time Management games are games in which you perform a series of tasks or processes as quickly as possible e.g. manage/cook/serve at a restaurant, stock/run a supermarket, babysit, manage a hotel, build/decorate houses. When I finish a TMG I love, I Google trying to find more like it. Also, when I say 'finish', I mean get the gold/expert score on every single level!

Today's game is...

...Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess
At the time of writing this I haven't actually finished this game. I am LOVING it!! Lots of fun, and some real challenges in beating the clock! Right up my alley - time management AND food hehe. Each of the buildings create a product - from wheat, milk, cocoa beans, fruit... transforming them with other buildings into fruit pies, yoghurt, chocolate icecream, and cocktails, just to name a few! Don't even start me on using donkeys to tickle the dragon. Yes, seriously. Right up there in my favourites :)

Once upon a time, Sweet Kingdom was ruled by a kind, wise princess who was adored by all throughout the land. One day, an ominous cloud gathered over the kingdom and a dark spell was cast upon the princess, turning her into stone. Without the careful hands of the princess, the kingdom quickly fell into decay and ruin. Now it is up to you, the princess's faithful friend Molky, to find a way to save the princess from the evil spell! Can you find all of the magical artifacts scattered throughout the kingdom and bring the princess back to life?

- 40+ unique buildings, Improve the throne room as you play, Meet fun and hilarious characters

Download a free one hour trial here

Here is a list of all the Time Management Games I have played/reviewed, or, click the blogger tag below to load all the posts on Time Management Games!

You Shine

My friends in Christchurch report freezing weather there - an icy wind, horribly cold (hasn’t gotten above 1 degree all day), and they're getting snow flurries, though none of it has settling yet. And I thought the weather in Auckland was bad (I was complaining about how cold and miserable it is here, until I got his email).

Still, it is hailing, thunder, lightning, and the tin rood at work only amplifies the sound of the pouring rain and hail. It is the PERFECT day to be at home, crafting (I wish).

I am getting more familiar with the Lawn Fawn puffy star stackable dies now - I can feel that every card I have made with them so far is leading to an even better card hehe And of course I couldn't resist turning one into a shaker card :)

My star shaker card - I've got some glossy plastic to use now, instead of the matt finish I was using before.

Lawn Fawn Lucky stars stamp set
ink: Memento Dew Drops ink pads - black, and lady bug
paper: 300gsm white card (scored and cut to A6) and Kaisercraft Lavender Haze
accessories: Lawn Fawn Puffy star stackables dies

27 May 2013

I'm scared that she sees ghosts...

(On the back: I'm not even a little but embarassed; just comfortable)

(On the back: I'm on track to be a therapist, but I really want to be a dairy farmer)

(On the back: Things were easier when I knew where I belonged)

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mailin their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

24 May 2013

Epic 80s Childhood Movies

I was thrilled when a daily deal site I get emails from advertised an, what I call, a-mazing three disc DVD set. It includes: Beetlejuice, The Goonies, and The Gremlins.

I tweeted... and my friend, @BereccaNZ replied: "would you be upset to know that I have never watched any of those movies all the way through #sheltered80sChildhood"

Yes, YES it upset me. And prompted an email back-and-forth with a list of 80s movies that HAD to be watched. This will be epic viewing, probably over multiple 'events', and must include 80s party food ((or what I consider 1980s party food, based on 80s kid parties in NZ e.g. cocktail sausages, chips with onion dip, various items skewed on toothpicks & stuck into a half-orange (cheese, pickled onions, ham, pineapple..), party mix lollies, fairy bread (might have to do an updated version of this, because, come on, it's just hundreds & thousands on white bread!), a cheese fondue (a little 70s but hey)...))

The List (of childhood 80s must-watch films) is a work in progress. This does include movies dear Becs has indeed seen. One caveat is my Dad did let us watch movies that might not be considered that child-friendly... (and I turned out just fine, thankyouverymuch):
  • The Princess Bride 
  • Labyrinth
  • The Dark Crystal
  • The Neverending Story
  • ET
  • Short Circuit
  • Batteries Not Included
  • Indiana Jones films
  • The Goonies
  • Romancing the Stone, and, Jewel of the Nile
  • Beetlejuice
  • Willow
  • Big Trouble Little China
  • The Gremlins
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Dirty Dancing
  • The Star Wars movies (IV, V, VI)
  • Ghostbusters movies
  • Back to the Future

And then as I got older:
  • Heathers
  • Young Guns
  • John Hughes magic: The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles
  • Stand By Me
  • Ladyhawke
  • Highlander
  • The Lost Boys
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • Satisfaction
  • Fright Night
  • Bladerunner

You're a Star

I've been having some fun playing with my new Lawn Fawn craft supplies. This is the first card I've made with them - just getting a feel for the stackable star dies. I layered the stars using dimensionals between each ones, so it's very sticky-outy.

stamps: Lawn Fawn Lucky stars stamp set, Lawn Fawn Summertime Charm Clear Stamps and Cuts Dies (I used the star from this set also)
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black
paper: 300gsm white card (scored and cut to A6), Kaisercraft Lavender Haze
accessories: dimensionals, Lawn Fawn Puffy star stackables dies

21 May 2013

Guess what...

... I'll be playing with tonight?!

I LOVE Lawn Fawn's stamps (see my obsession with Summertime Charm, and A Birdie Told Me in previous posts). This is the first time I ordered directly from Lawn Fawn's site (usually I order from Simon Says Stamp) - and LOOK at how awesome Kelly Marie is!!! Funky wool/string packaging, a personalised 'thank you' note, along with a free 'merci' stamp (literally saying thank you) and some Lawn Fawn paper (which I haven't used before).

This order included:
Quinn's capital ABCs (I have the other Quinn's ABC and 123s, plus ABCs dies)
Lucky stars stamp set
Circle stackables dies
Puffy star stackables dies

I'll post my new 'creations' tomorrow (I am still sitting at my desk at work, hours from home... sigh)

Stamping and Colouring

As mentioned in previous posts, I am having a lot of fun with my set of BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers. I've also rediscovered two older clear stamp sets - a couple of my first stamping gifts.

Both started on A6 sized cards, but I realised I had stamped the proportions wrong on the 'Thank You' card, so I cut some of the top off to even it out (as Tim Gunn would say: "Make it work!").

Hero Arts Sparkle Clear set Hello Birdie, Hero Arts clear stamp set 'A', Hero Arts Clear Stamps Say It All
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black
paper: 300gsm card, cut and scored to A6
accessories: rhinestones,
BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers

20 May 2013

Life Goes On: Kate Atkinson

On Saturday night Mum and I headed to Aotea Centre to see Kate Atkinson being interviewed as part of the annual Writers Festival.

I've been a fan since I was 'forced' to read 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' for a University English course. Mum, and Dad actually, joined the fandom thanks to the character of Jackson Brodie (though I've lent Mum some of her other books to expand her 'palate').

We arrived on time for the 7:15pm start, only to realise that it was a GA event - the usher turned as away from the stalls as they were all full! Thankfully there was a large TV screen showing the interview, so we didn't miss anything.

The session started with Kate reading a passage from her latest book 'Life After Life', which Mum and I haven't read yet (I was waiting for the paperback, but I don't think I can wait anymore!). It's always a treat hearing an author read their own work. 

The interview was interesting and engaging. Kate gave full answers, some of which were serious, others that illustrated her personal quirks and beliefs.

A line of questioning lead Kate to say that she doesn't like to use the word "creative" at all:

"I don't like the word. It reminds me of 'creative writing' and I don't like creative writing classes. I just sort of feel that learning to be a writer is really really hard and you have to do it on your own. And I don't think anyone can really help you to write. That doesn't mean you can't go to creative writing classes, it's just that I think learning to write is a very isolated individual thing."

This led to the interviewer, who I should mention was Australian writer, broadcaster and interviewer Ramona Koval, asking about the learning process and whether writers or prospective writers should listen to critics:

"No, I don't think that's helpful actually. I think you have to read everything, it doesn't matter if you forget it. Nobody can teach you what your good writing is, you have to feel it. If you want to write, you have to learn to be your own best critic, I think.  Finding that inner critic who can say 'that is crap, that doesn't work' is the most important thing."

She definitely gave as a lot of insight into how she writes (when writing a book the story plays through her mind even when she is pretending to have conversations with loved ones - she needs to write until the book is finished and can't focus on anything else), why she writes what she does (she found a voice using Ruby (in 'Behind the Scenes...') and the shop in the book was based on the shop she grew up in), and her life before writing (didn't get her phD in the American Short Story due to politics between her tutor and the Professor/Marker, which made her extremely mad - writing was an outlet for her. She also wrote 2,200 word stories for women's magazines, was a chambermaid at a hotel, a cleaner...).

There are themes that run through her books, some themes run through multiple books, for example The Blitz. She explained that the Blitz had an impact on her as she was born just after it, so she grew up hearing stories - she researched the Blitz in great detail, especially for 'Life After Life' as, though she fictionalised events, she wanted to illustrate the full grimy horror of it (it wasn't all just 'Keep Calm and Carry On').

Another interesting point was about Objects - she likes to place objects in her books. For example, the hare in 'Life After Life' is based on the rabbit top of an antique rattle she has, but she changed it to a hare because "hares are always more magical".

The session ended with some audience questions. Kate kicked these off by repeating a question she had been asked by a 13 year old boy: "If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of your family would you eat first?"


Her reply? "I wouldn't eat any member of my family, but I would eat a stranger. Especially if they were dead first."

She was also asked if she was planning any more Jackson Brodie books: "He's on a cruise. A very long cruise." She did elaborate to say that she had needed a break from that series as she didn't want her 'voice' to get tired. However, she wondered if she'd write them differently after the break away (and having written 'Life After Life'); she'd like to do what Cristie did with 'Poirot's Last Case' and perhaps do 'Brodie's Last Case'

Simple Thank You Card

I've been having fun with my new BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers. I initially bought a small pack of pastel colours, and loved them so much I bought a huge packet (of, maybe 40-odd?).

Here is a simple thank you card - I have a couple more that I made over the weekend, but I forgot to take a snap of them (ed: added now!). The branches and birds are all stamped directly to the card (I always hold my breath when doing this, as often I smudge/screw-up and have to start again with a new card!). I coloured the birds and leaves in by hand. The speech-bubbles and hearts are stamped and die cut.

This one ended up differently to planned - thanks to me screwing up! Enter the larger heart die-cut (to remove the mistake). I improvised from there.

stamps: Papertrey Ink Little Bitty 
Birdie clear stamps, Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me Clear Stamps and Cuts Dies
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black
paper: 300 gsm white card, scored, and cut to A6, Kaisercraft Pink Gelato, Kaisercraft Lavender Haze
accessories: BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers

Fellow Strugglers...

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mailin their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

13 May 2013

Another Farewell

Work is completely on to me -- and so I found myself making another farewell card! This one is actually quite large - the only card I had that was big enough was Kraft card. The colour works, but I would rather have used white.

stamps: Lawn Fawn Summertime Charm stamps/dies,
Lawn Fawn Quinn ABC stamps/dies, PTI Cupcake Collection Stamp, Kaisercraft Fine And Sunny stamps, Hero Arts Sparkle Clear set Hello Birdie
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black
paper: Kraft card, Kaisercraft Hopscotch 
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers (leaves on branches), Simon Says Stamp LARGE HOLIDAY SHAPES Craft Die (some of the stars)

Mother's Day Secrets

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mailin their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

10 May 2013

Living in a cookie store

Every now and then I remember my dream, and boy do I have some weird ones!

Last night's:

I moved into a cookie store on the main street of Howick… then realised I had to get out of bed when the store opened and had to pack away all my things… Also the bathroom was upstairs where a large Asian family lived (the son owned the Cookie store – he told me he won a lot of money at a high school competition called The Edge – my brain knew this was a rock band type of thing)… There was a big market day on the Sunday in Howick – people were everywhere, and the cookie van had to drive through where my bed was… I knew that, although the bus stop was literally outside my door, it would take ages to get to work – it was all a big mistake and I wanted my money back. I also encouraged him to decorate the cookie shop with fancy tea cups…


I puzzle myself sometimes, but there are some simple underlying connections: Howick is my hometown, I love cookies and often talk about the wonderful cookie store in the city centre, I've been thinking about moving a bit, I don't drive so there is some anxiety around transport, at work we all have fancy tea cups on our desks... Or maybe I am destined to move into a cookie store hehe

08 May 2013

Google Logo - Saul Bass

I looove when Google changes up its logo to celebrate with a Google Doodle!

Today's is, would would have been, Saul Bass' 93rd Birthday.

Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was an American graphic designer and filmmaker, best known for his design of motion picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.

During his 40-year career Bass worked for some of Hollywood's most prominent filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese.

"My initial thoughts about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the film's story, to express the story in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would already have an emotional resonance with it."

One of his film posters - Vertigo

Here are some screen shots from May 8 Google Doodle - if you missed it it's all over Youtube.

A card that doesn't shake: Get Well Soon

I broke my shaker card obsession last night with this simple card. It was requested from a colleague - to be given to a Board member's wife, who is recuperating.

Papertrey Ink Trendy Tree Tops Stamp Set, Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me Clear Stamps and and dies, Hero Arts clear stamps for the birds - I can't remember what the set is called!
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black, Memento Bamboo Leaves
paper: Hero Arts Notecards Snow, American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers (to colour in the birds)

The Bloggess: Rules for Life.

The Bloggess posted this list today. I thought I'd share it with you:


1. Don't be shitty.

2. Don't make happy people sad.

3. Don't make sad people sadder.

4. If more than two people tell you that you're being an asshole, consider that maybe you're being an asshole.

5. Flush the toilet behind you.  You're grossing us all out.

6. Support the under-dog.

7. Critics aren't automatically bullies and you're doing yourself a disservice if you ignore all of them out of hand.  That being said, it sucks to read shitty stuff about yourself so find an honest friend to read your criticism and tell you if it's something worth listening to or if the critic is just a crazy fucking douche-canoe.

8. Real bullies are complete assholes but they can't recognize themselves as such so maybe spray paint an "x" on their forehead so that we can all just recognize them from a distance and ignore them.

9. Be stupid.  Be childlike.  Be ridiculous.  Be happy.

10. Don't use the word “literally" when you really mean “figuratively".  It literally makes me want to stab you a little but I don't do it because that's illegal and also because I have a very limited amount of knives.

11. Read more.  Watch shows that inspire you.  Embrace whatever makes you geek out.  Even if it's Laura Ingalls.  Because Laura Ingalls is fascinating and there's nothing wrong with obsessively knowing every detail about her life and death.  Stop judging me.

12. Bite off more than you can chew.  You can always spit it out on the floor if you decide you don't like it.  Women do it all the time.

12b. Embrace your flaws and foibles.  If people make fun of you, kick them in the back and then blame it on a ghost.

14. Don't let other people on the internet tell you what to do.  Unless it's this list.  Then I guess just use your best judgement.

15. Become a pirate.  Or a monster truck.  Or a space toddler.  Or a jacket.  That's my favorite one.  I just jump on someone's back and say "Sorry.  You looked cold.  Zip me up."  It's awesome.

16. Do something nice for someone you love.

17. Do something nice for a perfect stranger.

18. Do something nice for you.

19. Do ‘The Robot'.

20.  Add your own.  Go ahead.  You can't fuck this up any more than I have.

Read her post here (and read her book 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened...' - hilarious!!)

07 May 2013

Farewell Shaker card

Yes, MORE shaker card action! I can't stop. This one is for a colleague who is leaving this week.

Lawn Fawn Summertime Charm Clear Stamps and Cuts Dies, Lawn Fawn Quinn's ABCs Clear Stamps and Cuts Dies, Papertrey Ink Tiny Tags, Tiny Tags II Stamp Set, Kaisercraft Fine And Sunny Stamp Set
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black
American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic, white card
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, Fiskars Border Punch Scallop Sentiment

06 May 2013

Shake shake shake!

In a previous post I mentioned my addiction to Lawn Fawn's Summertime Charms stamps and dies. I managed to get hold of some plastic so I could make some shaker cards! (as seen here). My brother kindly supplied the plastic, but it's matt, not gloss, finish. Still, I had a lot of fun making these shaker cards:

(For Mother's Day on Sunday)

(For my Mum's 60th birthday on Friday!)

stamps: Lawn Fawn Summertime Charm stamps/dies, Kaisercrafct Fine & Sunny stamps,

Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me stamps, Lawn Fawn Quinn's ABCs stamps/dies 
ink: Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black, and Staz On Black (for the plastic)
paper: PTI card sets, Black card, American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fifth & Frolic, Kaisercraft Fine & Sunny
accessories: dimensionals, BIC Mark-It Fine Point Permanent Markers (for colouring the fire flies), rhinestones, enamel dots