Sunday, 30 December 2012

52 CSI Challenge. The Greatest Gift

The colours this week just seemed perfect for a masculine theme, so I have chosen to use one of my favourite photos of my husband.  He’s a keeper.

The design is based on one by Julie Winks.  Thanks for your generosity in allowing me to use it Julie. xo

Twine and string
Hessian (burlap) and gauze

I chose to document a gift; the gift he is to me and our family.

The journalling is on the back of the page, because I wanted a lot of 
white space to show all the stamping and misting.  Sadly it has not photographed well. 

The Journalling reads:-

We started our married life, full of innocence and egocentricity, blissfully unaware of the challenges that lay ahead.  We promised to love, honour and cherish, not knowing our individual traits would some times cause friction and disharmony.  We were young and naive about the demands of a long term relationship.  We assumed the glow of romance would last forever, not understanding that children demand constant attention and quality adult time would become a scarce commodity.  We became Mum and Dad, delighting in the growth and development of our boys and fiercely protective of their safety and wellbeing.  

They challenged our parenting, our hypocrisies, our values and our patience. They pushed the boundaries, dragging us toward an understanding and tolerance of their world; one that was fraught with dangers we never faced.  Through all their erratic hormonal moods, you stood calm, firm and balanced, showing them by example, that manhood can be much more than brute strength and aggression.  For more than forty years, we’ve gently nurtured each other through grief, loss and life threatening illness.  We anticipate each others needs and make allowances for each others frailties.    

We share a passion for travel, photography, food and wine, books and music.  We debate politics and religion from disparate points of view.  We are relaxed in each other’s company and share a harmony of spirit (most of the time).  Occasionally Mr Curmudgeonly pokes his head above the parapet, but usually only in response to Mrs Bossy firing off some random crankiness.

You are Life’s greatest gift to me; my True North, my rock, my soul mate; utterly dependable, kind and trustworthy.  A gentle man and a gentleman; I feel so lucky to have found you and kept you.   Like a couple of crusty old barnacles on the ship of life, we are firmly attached to the vessel of marriage and to each other.  We weather the storms by allowing them to just wash over us and recede with the tide.  When I see the Grand children run to you with open arms and beatific smiles, I know they adore being with you too.

I love you more today, than I did when we walked down the aisle.  “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be” Robert Browning.          Journalling December 2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

51 - CSI Challenge. Diva

I love pink and blue together and have been waiting for these colours to come up in the challenge to do justice the this photo and this story. I know it's a busy time of the year for most of us, but if you are at a loose end, why not test your mettle with these gorgeous colours.....we'd love to see you over at CSI.

 and a couple of close ups


Something Metal - the butterfly

Circular Objects - the buttons
Rhinestones - in the flower centre
Pearls - in the flower centres
Something filigree - Border punches 

I used the inspiration words Best, and Decorate to kick start the story.

These little two girls were dressed in their best outfits by their Mother, ready to attend their Aunt’s wedding. They wore blue woolen pleated skirts and hand knitted pink twinsets. The celebration was a rare and exciting occasion and the smallest girl had set her heart on wearing the matching blue hat; the one decorated with the gorgeous pink, organza roses.  

Imagine her surprise when her big sister was given that beautiful creation and she was relegated to wear the brown one, with tiny yellow stitched blooms.

She flopped to the floor in anguish, kicking and screaming in despair.   The brown hat didn’t match her outfit; why couldn’t her big sister wear the brown one?  Why did she have to look like a twit in the ugly brown hat?  

Despite much coaxing and cajoling by her Mother, followed eventually by a smart crack around the legs, she sobbed inconsolably on the floor.  Her Mother tied the hat on her head and showed her how pretty she looked in the mirror, but she just bawled, pulled the offending article off and stamped on it.  By this time, her usually serene Mother lost her patience and called in the cavalry. 

Her Father loomed large in the room, wielding his razor strop.  Accepting her defeat, she donned the ghastly head wear and ‘harrumphed’ out to the car.   This photo, taken after the wedding, clearly demonstrates how long her grumpy mood lasted.

When I reflect on this tantrum now, I am surprised about my temerity. We were never allowed to defy our parents and were usually compliant in all things.  The fact that I had such a spectacular tantrum over something seemingly trivial, appears outrageous to my adult self, but I still won’t wear brown and my favourite colour is still blue.  Obviously, all these decades later, I’ve been healed of the wounding to my five year old psyche.  10/12/12

TFL and for any comments you may care to leave.  I appreciate you dropping in to say Gidday.

Bazzil cardstock - Pink
Pink Anna Griffin - Patterned Paper AG 1739
Coredinations - white wash collection, Cellar door
Martha Stewart Punch - Deco Fans
Martha Stewart Punch - Doily Lace Trim, deep edger border
Scrap Matts - Oval Frame
Prima - flowers
Prima - Say it with crystals
Kaiser craft - flowers
Spotlight - flowers
Spotlight - Buttons
Kaisercraft - Pearls
Bella - Chipboard, alphas
Adorn it - Carolees’s creations, alphas, Outdoor Green
Crafterw Workshop Stencil - Cherry Blossom
Derivan Impasto -  Texture Paste
Prima ink - Blue jay
Cheery Lyn Die - Fanciful Flourish

Saturday, 15 December 2012

50 - CSI challenge, Heritage

The design team have a wide variety of takes on this challenge.  The colours lend themselves to any photo.  Why not pop over and have a look at some of the art. 

When I saw this palette, my mind turned immediately to vintage and this particular photo.  I wanted to create the type of padded photo frame I have seen on vintage family photos.   I used some damask curtain material from my Mother's stash.

Something Metal - Button and Cog
Something shiny - glimmermist on the frame

I chose to list eight important things about the topic.  I found it difficult to stop at eight, so there are a few extras points listed.


My Grandfather William Ryan was a third generation Australian.  His Grandfather, Michael Andrew, had emigrated from Plymouth on Christmas day 1850, arriving in South Australia on the “Osceola” on 6th April 1851.  Michael’s place of origin was Tipperary in Ireland.  Like so many Irish people during that time, he and his family were literally starving, due to the failure of their potato crops.  During the potato famine, Irish people in the countryside tried to live off wild blackberries, nettles, roots and weeds.  Those on the coast foraged for sea weed. There were fish in the deeper waters off the coast, but too far out for the tiny cowhide fishing boats, known as Curraghs. Potato had been their staple diet and when the blight obliterated their crops, they were forced to leave family and friends in the hope of a better life in Australia. My Great, great Grandfather, was 15 years old when he set off into the unknown.  With this family history, my Grandfather inherited a legacy of hard work and making do with very little.  He and his wife had nine children and managed to keep food on the table, but there was never any money left over for fripperies. Despite the hardships, my Mother described him as a loving man with a great sense of humour. Here his is with his brothers, Jim on the left and Peter on the right.  I like to think I can see hope shining in their eyes. 
Circa 1900 Journalling  9/12/2012

A couple of close ups
The Hope tag is from an ancient "Kay" sticker sheet

I had fun making the rosettes with a Tim Holtz Die - so easy

The little booklet tucked under the frame contains the journalling

Thanks for dropping in and for any comments you may care to leave.  I appreciate each and every one of them.

Little Yellow Bicycle - Winterings
Martha Stewart Punch - Vintage Floral
Basic Gray - Beckham Alphas
Kaszazz - Fancy Flourish Stamp
Kay - Marcella, sticker
Prima, leaves
Bazzil - cardstock
Derivan - Impasto
Tim Holtz - mini gears
KaiserCraft - white paint
Ranger Dabber - Hazelnut
Ranger distress stain - Pumice Stone
Tim Holtz -Mini Rosettes
Tim Holz - washi tape
Graphic 45 - Buttons
K&Co - metal key
Vintage Buttons
Vintage - string
Tattered Angels - Glimmer mist, Creme de Cocoa
Cheery Lyn Die - English Tea Party
Scrap Matts - Chipboard photo frame -
Color Box Chalk ink - Dark brown

Saturday, 8 December 2012

49_ CSI Challenge

Such bright and happy colours this week at CSI.   I had the perfect piece of fabric in my stash and for the first time used it as the back ground for the page.
Our gorgeous Grand daughter happily climbing in our play room, full of mischief.

Some close ups

Love the green checked, covered button from Lil' Red Rocket

I tried to achieve a mottled look to the title by dabbing the paint 
with a finger while still wet.

The bird was fussy cut from very old paper by Die Cuts With a View

I drew the green hearts on the chippie, but they 'bled' when I put the 'rock candy' on top.
I tell myself that's what I intended all along!

Lace (tiny little lace bow on the envelope)

TESTIMONYI placed my journalling in something which can be opened, the little vellum envelope.

At this moment in time you are sweetly innocent and happily cocooned in the nest of your family.  Your sunny nature enjoys learning, except when thwarted; then a tantrum of volcanic proportions can erupt!  When I observe your face, I catch fleeting expressions that remind me of your Daddy and Mummy, your Brother, your Cousin and my Sister as a baby. Like the Matryoshkas on the fabric, I’m aware of the layers and complexities of your ancestry, all of whom donated a tiny bit of DNA, which amalgamated to form the uniqueness of you.  They were brave, courageous & stubborn people and I see those traits in you.  Those gifts will serve you well baby Girl.   “Life is a great big canvas: throw all the paint on it you can. “ Danny Kaye.                    Love Granny 30 Sept. 2012

Thanks so much for dropping in and thanks for any comments you may care to leave.
I do appreciate every one of them   :)

Cardstock Bazzil - Yellow, White and Blue
Chipboard - Imaginarium
Die Cut Cheery Lyn - Fanciful Floruish,
Die Cut Dienamics - Dizzy Doiley
Die Cut Spellbinders - Romantic Rectangles
Embellishment KaiserCraft - Pearls,   
Fabric - SpotlightFlowers Prima and Spotlight
Ink Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Worn Lipstick, Victorian Velvet 
Tim Holtz - Distress Crackle Paint Paint  
Ranger dabber - Lemonade, Sandal   Jo Sonja - Pale Gold ink
Patterned Paper - Die Cuts with a view
Punch - Martha Stewart, Butterfly, Marguerite Daisy
Other Royal Coat - Dimensional magic  
Embellishment Clock Face - Unknown, possible from Christmas Cracker
Buttons Spotlight and Vintage and Lil’ Red Rocket

Sunday, 2 December 2012

48 - CSI challenge

I love blue and green together; they always seem so bright and zingy. This is the colour challenge at CSI this week, so why not pop on over at take a look at the inspirational art?  You will be made to feel very welcome. I just happened to have some ancient Bella papers which had all the colours on the background page.....just goes to prove if you hang on to something long enough it will come in handy !!

A couple of close ups.

Mosiac - from the angled alphas at the top
Silver metallic elements (on the charm bottom left) it really is silver IRL
Something transparent - the clock and the glossy accents on the title
Glossy Accents - on the title
Plain brads - on the photo mat
Border punch

I chose to write about a family celebration in the kitchen with a special birthday cake.

Thanks for calling in to say gidday.   
I'd love to hear from you, if you have the time to leave a comment  :)


Spell binders standard circle Bazill cardstock - Blue, WhiteEcho Park - a walk in the park "tree tops" reverse Bella - page making kit 
Heidi Swapp - ghost clocks 
K&Co - Life's Journey, Metal art 
Li'l Davis - Li'l Trinkets and treasures, Metal, bubble type 
Fiskars punch - Upper Crest 
Golden - gesso 
Tattered angels - glimmer mists, Route 66, Key Lime Pie, Blue Sky 
Tattered angels - glimmer glaze, Oil Slick 
Tim Holtz - Sprocket Gears Brads - 
Unknown Chippie - 
Ranger dabbler, Sail Boat Blue, Citrus Ink- 
Prima, Garden Grass Royal Coat - 
Dimensional Magic 
Twine - Divine Twine

Sunday, 25 November 2012

47-CSI Great Fun

This was a fun challenge where I tried a couple of new techniques; one with texture paste and one with ink splats.  I'm not convinced that I like the results, but maybe I will warm to the layout in time.  I have another page to do for the other little twin, so maybe I will refine the process then.

Patchwork pattern - I tried to achieve with the multiple photos
Stripes - On Xavier's top
Floral Pattern - On the pp at the top right
Frames - Around the photos

I documented a visit when someone visited me


One day in spring you two little tackers came to spend the day with us, while Mummy and your big brother enjoyed a day out together.You are totally dissimilar in looks and personality, but you enjoy each other’s company most of the time.  However, you are not opposed to a bit of “biffo” should the need arise!  You sometimes squabble over toys or climbing rights to the favourite high spot in the house, yet if one of you is out of the room, the other one seems a bit lost. You look around for your little mate and yell out.  “Y a a a y v i e r”  (Xavier) or“O o o h e e e e” (Ollie)On this day, you were a bit tired and grumpy in the afternoon, so I put a little warm water in a basin and a bucket and gave you some small bottles and boats.  At first you were not patient enough to hold the bottles under the water long enough for them to fill, but pretty soon you got the hang of things. With lots of smiles and hugs for each other, you spent over an hour enjoying this simple pleasure.Watching the way you learned from each other with your little heads and hands so close together was a precious interlude in an otherwise ordinary day.    Aged 20 months 25 Sept 2012

Thanks for any comment you may care to leave.  I appreciate you taking the time to visit.


Alphas, PrimaCardstock, Core Impressions, Jenni Bowlin, Vintage Bright & Kraft
Embellishment, Kaisercraft Brad, Old World
Ink, Color Box Chalk Ink, Dark Brown,
Paint, Ranger dabber, Sail boat blue & SandalPatterned Paper, Chatterbox, 

Punch, E.K., Binding Edge
Stamp, Hero Arts, Silhouette Spray

Stencil, Crafter's workshop, Mini Tile Texture
Texture Paste, Dervlan Matisse Impasto 
Washi Tape, Tim Holtz

Saturday, 17 November 2012


Are you up for a real challenge?   Take a look at vibrant purple and green and yellow pallette this week at CSI.

I found the purples incredibly challenging.  Then I thought of this photo of a flamboyant Aunt who loved to wear bright clothes and be the centre of attention.  Purple is never my first choice to scrap with and yet I found some lovely flowers in my stash from card making.   

One of the good things about being dragged out of my "safe colours" comfort zone, is finding how much fun others colours can be and how happy I am with the results.

and a close up:-

Painting - the misted butterfly
Textured element - The embossed green mat behind the photo
Something that shimmers - the purple dots around the cream paper 

I used the inspiration words, quirky and surprise as journal prompts.

Aunty Hilda was aged ten in this photo when she won First Price (sic) for her fairy costume; Balaklava frolic in 1928.
Hilda, my Father’s youngest sister was one of my favourite Aunts. She loved to talk loudly and tell jokes about their childhood, something my Father rarely did without provocation.  It was fascinating to observe their repartee and try to imagine my Father as a naughty little boy; something almost beyond my comprehension.  She wore bright clothes, dyed her hair blonde and loved to party.  She was like a Rainbow Lorikeet among a flock of pigeons. 

Alphas, Making Memories - Mini Shimmer, Black School House

Buttons, O Sew
Cardstock,  Bazzil, Coredinations, My Mind’s Eye - Backyard “Sunny Days”

Die Cut, Cheery Lyn “ “Large Sunflower Doily”          
Die Cut, Magnolia - Doohickeys, “Rose Leaf”

Embellishment, Kaiser craft, Pearls

Embossing Folder, Couture Creations, “Walrus and Carpenter”

Flowers, Prima, “Songbird Vine Purple”, 
 Magnolia, “Vintage Lilac Lilley”
 Kaisercraft, “Roses”
 Making Memories, “Purple Mix”

Ink,  Prima, “Garden Grass”

Mist, Tattered Angels, Chalkboard, “Grape Ape”

Patterned Paper, Making Memories, “Addie diecut”

Punch, Martha Stewart, “Monarch Butterfly” (large and small)

Spellbinder, Grommet Tags

Thanks for looking and for any comments you might care to leave.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

45 - CSI Challenge

CSI means colour, stories and inspiration.  A place to try new colour combos, be encouraged to journal and be inspired by other talented artists. It's a fun and friendly place to play.  The earthy colours this week inspired me to scrap a heritage photo.

Because of the topic, I wanted the page to be stark and bare; in keeping with the living conditions my ancestors endured, both in Europe and when they first arrived in the colony.  I had an idea in my mind about how the page would look and could not get it to emerge on the page.  Eventually I ripped every thing to pieces and started again. The little Barque at the bottom is a picture of the ship they travelled on.

and a close up


Wood grain patterned paper
Silver metal accent
Textured paper behind the photo


I used the words, comfort, family and home to inspire my journalling and wrote it like a tale.


My Father’s ancestors emigrated to Australia from Pudewitz, Posen Province, Prussia during a terrible and turbulent time of religious persecution and civil war in Europe.

The majority of Prussians belonged to the Lutheran Church whilst the Royal Family belonged to the Reformed Church which had different doctrines.  King Friedrich Wilhelm the Third decreed the two should become one and began sanctions against Lutheran Pastors and their congregations.  Because they did not comply with the King’s edict, ordinary people had their food rationed, lost their jobs and their children were expelled from school. 

My Great Grandparents were labelled dissenters, rebels and traitors.   They decided to leave, but could not head toward Russia because of a Polish uprising on the border.  

Instead they travelled by bullock cart to the Crossen area where they boarded river barges along the canals to Hamburg.  During the voyage they had rotten fruit and pig swill thrown at them as people berated them for deserting.  In Hamburg they waited in tents for several weeks before boarding the Barque “Sophie” bound for South Australia.  After a perilous three and a half months at sea, they landed at Port Adelaide on 25 October 1866.

My Great Grandfather, Johann Gottlieb Neumann aged 29, his wife Ernastine Amalie Hausknecht aged 19 and their daughter Auguste Emilie, aged 3, travelled to Rosenthal in the Barossa Valley, where Johann secured work at his trade as a carpenter.

We think Great Grandfather built a cottage at Rosenthal where he scrimped and saved money to invest in land.  During this time, his wife Amalie had another eight children.

Twelve years later, in 1878, they had saved enough for a deposit and bought 484 acres of land at Halbury, on credit. This is the home Great Grandfather built on that land.  It was mainly timber framed and plastered with mud mixed with straw; a pug and pine dwelling.

It had a stone fireplace in the main living room and the kitchen at the rear had a stone hearth and bake oven.  The roof was thatched with straw and sported the latest in architectural trends, a corrugated, galvanized iron verandah on the front.   

When I learned of the abject poverty and persecution they endured in Europe and their refusal to be dictated to by the King, I began to understand why they were so fiercely independent, so stubborn and so passionate about their religious convictions.

The Australian branch of the Neumann family began when they had the courage to set out in search of freedom in a strange land.               Journalling 8th October 2012

Thanks so much for looking and for any comments you may care to leave.


Bazzil cardstock
Kaisercraft patterned paper - Pickled pear collection
Kaisercraft - Collectables - Pickled pear
Delish - patterned paper, Dulwich collection
Tim Holtz - Metal key hole
Tim Holts - Film strip
Prima - Alphas
The Crafters Workshop - Mini Chicken Wire
Pan Pastels - Raw Umber
Chip board leaves - Wow
Tim Holtz - Brickwork embossing folder
Tim Holtz - Tattered Florals die
Ranger ink - Sandal
Color box ink - Olive Pastel
EK punch - Binding edge
Tattered Angels glimmermist - Creme de Chocolate
Image of the Barque Sophie from Neumann family history