Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Celebrations

I hope everyone has had a very happy Christmas and is gearing up for a great New Year. I just thought I'd share some of the highlights from my celebrations.

We started with a Christmas Eve celebration at my sister's house. This started out a few years ago as simple waffle preparation for the Christmas breakfast but has now evolved into a celebration of its own right. Kirby cooked up delicious nachos with marinated chicken and home made salsa. We then had a Christmas Eve walk, another thing that has become a family tradition. 

The following morning we all gathered at my sister's house for a Christmas breakfast. This is a fairly recent tradition which came about as mum and dad wanted some time with just the immediate family before we all split up to spend the day with our partner's families. It's always a breakfast of waffles, berries, ice cream and bacon. A great start to a very healthy day. :)

Christmas lunch is spent with my husband's family at his family home. They always put on a big European style spread with 2-4 different meats and a variety of side dishes. Helen sets an amazing table every year, with almost every decoration having a special meaning. It was a smaller gathering this year, as Helen's brother and his family didn't come so we only had 14 people.

We finished the day by heading around to my aunt and uncle's house for a casual dinner. Just a bunch of different salads and a small tray of meats to round out a very full day. It's a rule at this dinner that you're not allowed to eat unless you are wearing your Christmas hat, a rule Ben took as a joke his first Christmas with me until he was turned on by the whole family. :)

Lastly, we always spend Boxing Day at my aunt and uncle on my Dad's side. It is a terrific relaxed affair. We start with a BBQ, play a fiercely competitive tournament of bocce (I came second this year) and then eat dessert while watching the Boxing Day test on TV. At least one person will have a nap during this time, almost always me!

Best wishes to you all for the new year. Is anyone coming up with resolutions this year? I think mine will be to finally organise my scrap room and create more layouts this year. I only did 39 in 2013!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Escape - Scrapmatts DT

I really enjoyed doing Georgia Heald's online class a couple of months ago and used the techniques I learnt on this LO too. It's a fantastic way to use up scraps as well as create an artistic mixed media page. Photo is one I took of Ben wandering down the road during our recent weekend away. Beechmont is such a beautiful location and there was a lovely lookout just past the trees in the photo.

This is also my second DT project for Scrapmatts and they let us go free choice for the final project. I used it as a chance to do something very un-Christmasy and show off their fantastic nature pieces. 
Scrapmatts used: CB1146 Leaf Spray 01; CB1209 Scrap Words 12; CB6086 Twig Frame 01; CB1188 Birds 06; CB5110 Layered Owls 02

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Love - Scrapmatts DT

The Scrapmatts DT continues the Christmas theme in December. Despite having done Christmas projects for the 3rd month in a row I am still loving creating these. For one, I love Christmas but I also love the range of Scrapmatts chipboard available for Christmas.

The brief for this project was to use the below great sketch by fellow DT member Anne and create a LO with the theme 'All I want for Christmas...' including a photo of you. My photo shows my with the cute ladybug pillowpet my secret santa gave me at work last year, I love it! The journalling is on a pull out tag and talks about how this year the only thing on my wishlist is a chance to catch up with my family.

Lots of different Scrapmatts goodness on this one: CB6082 Christmas Trees 04; CB1183 Christmas Ornaments 10; CB1213 Scrap Words 15 and the stars which I can't seem to find the code for. :(

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Stockings

I have certainly gone overboard with the hand-made Christmas decorations this year and the craziest part is they are all for work! This weekend I spent sewing some cute stockings for all the people who work in my 'pod' or cubicle group.

It has been quite a while since I did any significant sewing other than borders in scrapbooking layouts. I modified a pattern I found on line for these stockings and while I made a MESS of the first attempt, it was actually quite a simple process. I have received quite a few compliments from people at work about these.

Here is a close up of two of the stockings so you can see the fantastic Scrapmatts chipboard I used to embellish the MDF letters.

The colour scheme of the stockings also suits the current challenge over at one of my old Design Team blogs, The Lollipop Ladies, so I'm entering them there.

 Lastly, because Christmas is always better with glitter, here is a beer bottle I've coated in glitter to hold some fake berries. I think it's pretty cute. :)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

More Christmas Decorations

After completing the advent calendar earlier this weekend I was in the mood for continuing to make more Christmas decorations. I had seen an amazing frame and bauble set up on Pinterest and decided to try my hand at re-making it. My frame is a lot smaller but this was such a simple project to make and looks so effective. I actually made this in the time it took my husband to play a game of basketball!

I also decided to re-make the centre panel for my old Advent Calendar. This is a pretty simple design but I think it works. I made all three of the trees at the bottom and I have to say they were all SUCH a pain. There is no way I will be trying to make similar ones ever again. How good is that gold glitter tape at the bottom? Love $2 store purchases some times. :)

I am entering this into the Use It Tuesday challenge which is Anything Goes! All the challenges require you to use hoarded supplies. I have re-used the calendar I originally made in 2010 and updated it using some left over Christmas papers from previous years and twine I have kept from various flower bouquets I have received.

Monday, 2 December 2013

2013 Advent Calender - UnstampaBelles DT

Ben and I used to buy advent calendars from the supermarket when we first moved in together. Back in 2010 though I decided I wanted to have a more lasting calendar which we could fill with whatever lollies we wanted so I grabbed a Kaisercraft kit and set to work, you can see the end result here. Recently I started to feel like committing to another in-depth project and remembered how much fun it was to create the calendar. I thought I might be able to showcase some new techniques and skills I had picked up in the last three years so decided to buy another kit and create a second calendar.

I went with a silver/white/blue theme this time around rather than more traditional red/green/gold. Painting all the MDF pieces really added to the construction time, project took me two weekends this time around. Most of the embellishment chipboard is from Scrapmatts. Regular blog-followers will know how much I love their products and their Christmas designs are always my favourites. I've used a mixture of old designs and new ones, like the chipboard tree which I just had to pick up as soon as I saw it.

This is also my DT piece for UnstampaBelles this month, our theme is Christmas so I'm really hoping to see lots of entries this month. This will be most last month on their DT as I've decided not to renew my position. The owner, Merry, is also stepping down by one of the other DT members will be stepping up continue running the challenges.

Prize for December Challenge includes:
Laser cut cards and card fronts - Christmas Designs
Card front designs pre-holed ready for stitching.
Card front designs with the stitching pattern printed on the card.
Christmas stickers.
3 types of star brads
Christmas foil shapes
Four pads of Sticky Notes

I am also entering the calendar into two more challenges:
Inkido's December challenge is to use stars and/or snowflakes. I've used multiples of both in this project.
Frosted Designs have a 'Pick 11' challenge running at the moment. From their list of things I have used Stars and Buttons.