29 December 2009

Graphics: Another Clipart to Colour Image

Well I was on a roll after my previous post on this same topic. Just a little creative play with graphics and it's so thrilling to see something magical evolve on your screen as a result. This was the original Dover clipart I started with...

Look to the previous post for links to the tutorial I used. For this clipart I've added a two-coloured background with a weathered, textured linen grain. Also, a few little brushed-gold brad elements.

28 December 2009

Liliums and Sunflower

I can sneek in a little from the garden now that Christmas is done. I'm often so tempted to add more 'flowers' to my blog but then it could innocently evolve into a gardening blog instead of a creative one.

In the leadup to Christmas I finally got to see the product of an 'end of June' planting out of some lilium bulbs. They'd been sent to me by a friend in Western Australia and I'd hardly imagined them to be so bountiful, so soon.

In early Spring I'd wanted for a mass of sunflowers against a trellised side fence. No luck with those because the slugs munched on them the moment they popped through the ground. So I tried putting a seed into a tub near the back door .............here it is now!

Sunny sunflowers, this one is Yellow Empress, are so cheerful and eye-catching don't you think? Will be saving the seed-head too, for the native parrots that frequent here (another post, for another day).

Graphics: Changing Clipart to a Colour Image

It was time to play again with graphics and the clipart I've worked with is from Dover.Tutorial used can be found here at Wouters Designs, or go direct to the tutorial link here.

I'm using Corel's PhotoImpact-X3 version, and have added a background of my own choosing. I found it at Shabby Princess; a wonderful kit donated by Urban Kiwi/2005. The alpha elements are also included; thanks to you Urban Kiwi.

Here is my Touch of the Orient ...

25 December 2009

Paper Cutting: Snowflakes

As it neared Christmas Eve, I just found some time to cut paper snowflakes (from Backstreet Designs), for the front entry. Ran them through the laminator and strung with fine cotton to the side-windows. Here's a pic. taken last night, on Christmas Eve for us.

Now it's Christmas morning, with an early snapshot.

Now it's time to make up some salads and get ready for family visiting today. The day will be much cooler than many before it, with the forecast for heavy rains starting in the late afternoon, and said to continue over several days.

23 December 2009

Poinsettias for Christmas

I’m fascinated that we can buy beautiful poinsettias at Christmas-time. They most commonly are so colourful here during our Winter months.

The fact that they’re a popular potted plant in the Northern Hemisphere for Christmas too when it’s so cold there right now .. (but we’re so hot)! The popularity of this brilliant plant, with such vibrantly coloured leaves, or bracts, has our nursery trades working hard to grow ours in controlled environments especially for Christmas trading; that’s pretty clever marketing. This interesting article on Gardening Australia explains the process.

We went shopping at the Bunnings Hardware this morning and couldn’t resist bringing this tub filled with two plants. It’s now sitting out by the front door, a great spot since it faces the South and gets good light, but no direct sunshine.

22 December 2009

Paper Candles: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Just recently on Yahoo group, The Scrapbook Lounge, Mike Strong passed on a great project for making paper candles. How simple, and so effective; imagine the many ways you can colour co-ordinate with your home using various scrapbooking papers, colours and textures.

Running ahead with Mike's concept, I've used paper doilys for my first candles. I can't wait to make more with other paper types, and I couldn't wait to upload a photo here. Even though it is daylight outdoors, I closed up shutters so's to get a pic. on it's way.

Thanks for a top idea!

You will find Mike's project and clear instructions here - just look for the Snowy Paper Candles post.

20 December 2009

Cardmaking: Christmas Cards

I've been missing in action, having fun working with Christmas cards (and others). Way too late in the year (and of course it'll never happen again), since I'd decided I wouldn't be making cards this year, and even had started sending store-bought cards.

Then I finally bought myself a Cuttlebug machine, after all other crafters have been using them for how many years? Some Nestabilities arrived next, as a result of online shopping from the U.S., and while learning to use my new-found treasures, I decided it wasn't too late to create for Christmas afterall!

These cards were created with About Art Accent stamps and backed with Peony Nestabilitie cut-outs. The Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder has been my favourite for backgrounds; it seems to mimic a snowy effect all so easily. Like all other Cuttlebug owners, yes, I totally love mine too.

... And then, paper napkins provided the basis for many cards similar to this one.
Happy Christmas greetings to all who visit my blog; I hope you'll stop by often in the New Year too. I love to share with you my photos of creativity, what's happening in the garden, and others when I can.

Note: You can find pictorial directions for making Christmas cards using Paper Napkins, in my latest Helium article here.

01 December 2009

Favourite Flowers near Christmastime in Australia

Certain plants in flower now are a true indication that Christmas in nearing. We get to see many of the oh-so-beautiful Jacaranda trees growing here; generally on larger properties, but many too are in suburban yards.

Being a native to Brazil, the Jacaranda thrives in sub-temperate zones. I went back to this lane-way behind the shops on two days to get these photos. The first day was grey, and that shows in a close-up of the flowers a bit further on.

Just a short distance away was an Australian native, Illawarra Flame tree. The flowers weren't fully opened up but isn't the colour spectacular?!

Back at home now, and here's some of the beautiful hydrangeas flowering close to our front door. They're such an easy plant to grow too given they have shelter from the hot sun, and good watering. I bring big bunches of these indoors for Christmas day.

Further reading on these plants is in my articles at Helium: Growing Hydrangeas and also, Christmas in Australia.