Thursday, May 29, 2008

One more picture

I realised I had not shown you a true idea of scale in the caves after reading Lee's comment about only going into VERY LARGE caves - Lol! So I thought you may be able to stand just one more picture of the caves. I excluded it before because the camera had to hold its aperture open for a long time and the people moved, so they are blurry. It does show the scale of the caves in some places. There are very narrow bits as well - I just didn't stop to take a pic as there were people behind me wanting to get through without being stopped in a crouching position!

All the best with your blog candy, Chriss, Diane and Lee. I hope you get LOTS of visitors!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Chillagoe Caves

OK I have a couple more pics to share with you about the caves. This time I chose shots taken at the entrance and underground. I did seem to do best with photos where there was an occasional daylight hole, but one shot was taken in utter darkness, and the camera coped! See if you can tell which picture it was.

Blog candy!

Want some rgeat new ideas and a chance to win some yummy blog candy?

Visit Diane and Lee and post some answers to their questions! These two wonderful women are very inspiring paper crafters. You'll be glad you stopped by.

Speaking of inspiring. Lee has honoured me with an award for being a Kreativ Blogger! The feeling is mutual. Lee. Thank you.

I would like to share this award with all of you who visit my blog and share your wonderful creations with everyone so freely. Thank you, all of you. You make this cyber space a wonderful place and I appreciate you very much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Royal Arch Bluffs

Here is what the outside of some of the Chillagoe caves looks like. These are the Royal Arch cave bluffs. They are made mostly of basalt and there's about 1.5kms (.93206 miles) of cave under them. The peaks are weathered by the wind and rain into sharp, knife-like ridges.

When the place was not a national park (about 35 years ago) I actually climbed on top of these things in ordinary sneakers. They don't let you do that sort of thing now without proper training and permission. Still people get injured up there. One young Uni student fell and cut herself so badly recently that they had to helicopter her out of there. It took four hours to organise her rescue.

Wherever you see a tree on top of the bluffs usually means there's a daylight hole in the caves. That's the only place enough soil might form to support a tree. I remember climbing up the roots of a tree from inside a cave to get to the top and walk on the knife ridges. There was a beautiful little cave up there, full of glistening stalactites and stalagmites. We didn't touch anything in it. It was so fragile.

I'll show you some of what's inside the caves tomorrow :-)

Balancing Rock

Just to give you an idea of the size of the place, here is a picture of me next to Balancing Rock. We had to climb a bit of a hill to get to it. This is when I discovered I am nowhere near as fit as I used to be. Drat.

Another time I will show you some Aboriginal rock paintings we saw. I'm concentrating on the caves and bluffs for now.

On the way to Chillagoe

The trip we took a couple of days ago is still creating images in my mind. I tool lots of photos but only a few are really worth sharing. I need to do a lot more study of my camera before I really understand how it works!

This is some of the rock that was a typical sight on the way to Chillagoe, home of the most amazing limestone caves and holder of many of my youthful memories. See how twisted and layered the rock it is? There are lots of signs of major geological upheaval around Chillagoe. The rocks seem to have been folded, twisted, then forced upwards when huge underground domes of lava pushed their way up to the surface - some domes were 50kms (31.06855 miles) across. The wind and rain has weathered what is left of such fingers as this.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chillago Caves

Hi all - will have some pics for you tomorrow. We spent part of this weekend at Chillago limestone caves. They are definitely something worth blogging about.

I sure do feel the need to make a card or try a new technique or scrap a page or SOMETHING!! Will do that soon and promise there will be something to see in the next few days!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Papercraft Central!

I'm sorry for the absence from you, my blogging friends, lately. It seems life has taken more twists and turns than I can keep up with! I have been having brief times at my crafting desk, and more time with friends, family and my camera. When I am at my computer I have been working on a website building course and have taken the first steps to build a fledgling site. So far only a few pages are written, and I am not sure whether I will leave them that way or not, but it is a start. Because you are my friends, I want to share the journey with you. You can see what I have done so far at

Will you let me know what you think? I plan to add so much more and would really value your input :-)

To give you some nice pictures today, here are some of the cockatoos I captured from my back yard this morning and the butterfly I caught on camera this afternoon off my verandah. It was a glorious autumn day.

(Still no definite dates for the move, but we are working on it. More later!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PsychoKitty Designer Paper Competition

Do you like to design your own scrapbooking or cardmaking paper? Would you like a chance to get your design printed and sold?? I just found this link to a competition PsychoKitty is running.

The competition closes May 30th, so be quick if this interests you!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You Make My Day

Suzanne has awarded me a You Make My Day award ...again! Thank you so much, Suzanne. Suzanne is an amazing cardmaker, papercrafter and quilter and visiting her blog is always a treat.

Now I need to pass the award along, and this is hard as I enjoy visiting everyone's blogs! Hmm. Here's my choice for today, but all of you reading this who craft and visit me are winners in my eyes :0)

(Lee, I know you already have one of these so I have chosen some other people this time, OK? But you are on my list!)

Nardi, Amy, Chriss, Chrissie, and Kim.

May Sketch Challenge

Scrapchat had a retreat this weekend and set a sketch challenge for everyone who went (and everyone who didn't - I was one of those) to complete by midnight tonight. Here's my take on the challenge. There is hidden journalling on a tag behind the colour photo as my pics were too big to fit on the page with the journalling bits and I didn't want to reprint them smaller. I used all Creative Memories products. The friend on the left in the B&W photo is a school friend I hadn't seen for 37 years. She's on the right in the colour photo.

Paper Topiary Trees

We had a great day at our Memoranza workshop yesterday. There were 17 scrappers who attended and about 24 people who came in to have a look. All in all the four of us who ran the event were pretty content with the result!

I explained to everyone who would listen about how to make a papercraft project I've featured in this post. It's a paper topiary tree. The design came from the USA Creative Memories vaults. I made one or two small changes - added larger and more butterflies for example. Almost all you need for this project are paper punches and scraps of coordinating paper. Find an old plastic flower pot, cover it in paper of your choice. Add rocks to the bottom. Cover a styrofoam ball with paper shapes punched into circles and flowers and pin them in with pearl headed pins. Cut a circle of cardboard to fill in the space above the rocks in the pot and cover it with matching paper. Poke a paper covered length of wooden dowel into the styrofoam ball and thread it through your cardboard circle, then push the lot into the rocks. Twist some florist wire around a pencil and remove the wire from the pencil so you keep the shaped coils in the wire. Add butterfly shapes (I made most of these with heart punches) to one end of the coiled wire and push the other end of the wire into the edges of the pot or into the tree itself as desired. Add a paper flower or two to the front of the pot (the flower was also made with punches - this time I used star shapes) and Voila!

Let me know if you decide to make one of these :-)

Platypus Card

I needed a birthday card for a man who loves platypuses, and what do you know? I found a pattern for making a basic platypus this week! I made the shapes with the Creative Memories custom cutting system. The colouring has been done with Creative Memories pens but almost all the cardstock is Stampin' Up! (Earth Elements) and so is the stamped sentiment (Simple Sketches).

We still don't know when we are moving. It's a bit frustrating as I don't know what to pack and when to get myself ready for the big shift. We will be moving 1695kms (1053.22 miles) away from here so it is pretty important to tie up all loose ends before we go. Maybe tomorrow we will hear about settlement date....

Friday, May 16, 2008

We're moving

Newsflash - we got confirmation of the sale of our house today. It isn't all officially tied up in the contracts etc but we are a step closer to chaotic times.

I will hear in the next few days about when we will need to be out of our current home, and then we can plan for when we will move into our future home. There's a lovely tenant in our future home at the moment, and we need ot give her 2 month's notice, so we could be HOMELESS for a few weeks, us and the two cats and the dog (all geriatrics) and our gear, depending on what we can work out with the buyers.

More later!

Now for something really important (not!) I completed a quiz that tells me what kind of scrapbook paper collection I am - I'm Karen Foster paper, apparently. See what kind of scrap book paper YOU are! Go to this page to take the quiz.

Your Result

You are KAREN FOSTER paper!
The present joys of life you doubly taste by looking back with pleasure on the past.
You love to scrapbook to cherish the memories. Your albums no doubt have a clean natural look to them and for the most part might like to keep in theme with neutral colors and avoid brights.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Have you ever wanted your own web business?

Special SiteSell Promotion

I have been trying something new - creating a web site! If you are passionate about a subject you can make money by building a website about it. The company I am working with has a 'special' on for the next 24 hours if you want to find out more. Let me know if you have any questions about it :-)

I have been finding it easy to follow the step-by-step instructions for building a websitte, even though all I knew about it before was building this Blog. It's a challenge but a lot of fun!

I will let you know when my website is ready for public viewing and maybe you can give me some feedback.

Ballet Days

When my DD was little, she loved to dance. I decided to do some pages of her ballet days. The ballet lessons didn't last too long but I think they had a big impact on her as she still loves movement and dance and music.

I made the embellishments for these pages with punches and metallic pen work but they still look like they need something. What do you suggest? I thought maybe some metallic pen work on the second page to emphasise the swirls...

Suzanne, thanks for your concern. All is well. I have been away from my Blog a lot these last few weeks as I have had live-in visitors. They have gone on their way now (they are travelling in a motor home around Australia) so I might get to do some more craft. I have plans to make a platypus card for a male friend's birthday on Sunday so I will work on that and post it when it is done!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Two Way Open Cards

This evening I spent awhile making two cards for tomorrow. One is for my Mom (I gave her the other one I made last post for her birthday) and since my Sis will be with us tomorrow for lunch too I made one for her. I have been thinking about the lovely card Lee made and after she kindly emailed me the tutorial from Splitcoast Stampers about how to make these, I was all set! The card has two layers that open out - the diagonal fold at the front and a gate fold in the middle where I wrote a message. To make the cards I used similar colours - Certainly Celery, Blush Blossom, Apricot Appeal and Rose Red cardstock, with some stamps from Around the Block and Merci, and some gingham ribbon (all Stampin' Up! products), some different designer papers from my stash and some iridescent inks and gel pens. And of course I used the mat pack for paper piercing. Oh and I crumpled up the paper in the middle layer of the squares card and smudged iridescent ink over the crinkles. And the punches were from Creative Memories. These cards were fun to make and I am sure you could do many, many different things with them. I could imagine putting photos in them as well, for example. There's enough 'real estate' for you to do that :-)

Happy Mother's Day for tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Iris Folds!

This afternoon I got a chance to make my mother and mother-in-law each a Mother's Day Card. I searched for something I hadn't done before on Splitcoast Stampers and found an Iris Fold tutorial. It seemed like a nice one and it was really very easy to do! I used Japanese rice paper and Kaisercraft 'Fun in the Sun P207 Frizbee' double sided paper for the folds. The rest of the cardstock is from Stampin' Up! and so are the stamps, the gold embossing powder, inks and ribbons. There's an Icee Jewel in the middle of each flower to add some bling because of Lee's influence - Lol!

I was a bit influenced with the design by Karen at KwernerDesignBlog.

I sure hope our mothers like their cards!
Oh - and for all of you who would like a cupcake from a few posts ago? C'mon over and I'll make you some fresh ones!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hasties Swamp

I know I haven't offered you any papercraft projects in a while. That's because I have been looking after my visitors who left for the next side trip of their epic road journey today. They return to us on Thursday so perhaps I will get a chance to complete a card or layout or two between now and then. I certainly need to! My mother's birthday is this week, and it's Mother's Day on Sunday.

In the meantime, may I treat you to two lovely photos of wildlife? The Plumed Whistling duck was caught finding its dinner in the cool of the evening at Hasties Swamp. I had no idea I had caught it catching its dinner till I enlarged the photo. See if you can tell what it has caught.

The butterfly (name unknown to me) was expertly captured and gently held by one of my guests, then released after I took its photo to flutter away unharmed. Its translucent wings were so delicate and beautiful.

I hope you enjoy these.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

National Scrapbooking Day

Did you know today was National Scrapbooking Day in Australia? Scrapchat has a challenge to honour the day :

Complete a LAYOUT - any size - journaling why you love scrapbooking and/or what it means to you and/or why it is important in your life! You don't have to use any photographs if you don't want. No other requirements...just journal your heart out!

I intend to do something for this. I have till Monday at midnight to complete it ans still have visitors, so maybe it will be a challenge just to find the time! I have been thinking about what scrap booking means to me. Here are soem thoughts:

1. It's a chance for me to be creative
2. It's a chance for me to tell my stories
3. It brings old memories to life again for me and for others in my life
4. It is much nicer to bring our older photos with a new twist for people who share my histiry to see
5. My work sometimes encourages others to renew their memories and photos in a constructive way

What does scrapbooking mean to you?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Look who I was able to photograph in my front yard yesterday

This White Cheeked Honeyeater was sending out distress signals yesterday, so much so that she attracted not only every person in my house, but my old ginger tabby cat, about half a dozen other pairs of birds and of course her own mate. The poor thing had lost a little chick that seemed to have fallen from its tree and broken itself beyond repair. This little bird was defending her chick in the bravest fashion, bluffing every living thing within 5 metres (approx 5 yards, imperial) of her chick by dive bombing within a few inches of them and running across the ground while dragging her wing to lure the sun drenched soporific old cat away (her attempts didn't work on the cat. Neither did the cat seem aware of the dead chick). One of us lifted the dead baby bird from the lawn and placed it on a high bush within range of the mama bird so she could feel safer defending it from there until she realised it was all futile. I was touched by her tenacity. She stayed there most of the rest of the day. Today she came back again, but she wasn't so defensive.

She sure is a beautiful bird.