Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I Honestly [Heart] Every Second (Marcy Penner Challenge)

Good morning, today I'm sharing a layout I created to play along with a challenge on Marcy Penner's blog.  The challenge is called Jump Start 04 and involves creating a layout with whatever scraps are lying on your craft desk.  This was easy for me as I'm not a tidy crafter, so I had lots of really old bits and pieces to choose from. 

I had made the background paper with modelling paste, and wasn't too happy with the way the hearts turned out.  This was perfect for Marcy's challenge.  I also had leftovers from a really old Studio Calico kit, a sticker sheet from Dear Lizzy Neapolitan, some Simple Stories Vintage Bliss brads, a piece of tule that had come from a present for Brielle, and an Evalicous flair badge.

The layout came together quickly, and I started by painting on some mist, cutting and layering my papers, and then embellishing.

I finally used up those small resign flowers which have been hanging around my crafting space for way too long.

I gathered the tule into a flower secured with the brad, and I dropped some black India ink as a finished touch.

My journaling is all about how much I enjoy Azaria's company when she is behaving herself.  She is a strong willed child, which is a great trait, but it is challenging when it comes to parenting as she loves to get her own way all the time!

Thanks for looking
Melissa :)

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Celebrate The Little Things (Studio Calico Stitched Class)

Hello hello!  Well as I've already shared, I've been scapping in small increments around breast feeding Brielle.  Life is certainly tiring with a newborn, and I'd forgotten all about feeding around the clock.  Breast feeding is the best, it's hard work to establish during the first 6 weeks of a babies life, but is God's perfect food and so worth it in the longterm.  Scrapping is and always will be a creative release for me.

Here is another layout I made for the Stitched class over at Studio Calico.  I'm really enjoying all the inspiration and creative ideas that this class provides for both hand and machine sewing, and now that I'm not pregnant and sick, my creativity is flowing.

I wanted to feature washi tape, so I stuck tape to white card stock and die cut different sized circles with my Cuttlebug.  I took these photos of Azaria at the Chinese Village in Arrowtow, and even die cut two of them.  I started my layout with my main photo and journalling cards from Kaisercraft's Captured Moments Happy Days Collection.  I love using journalling cards meant for pocket scrapbooking on traditional layouts.  I also used some older Bella Blvd Birthday Girl stickers.  

Once I'd layered up and arranged all my circles and the photo, I added some drops of Mister Hueys Opaque White, and let it dry for several hours.  As a finishing touch I hand stitched around some of the circles, and in the process smudged my mist.  However, on the black patterned paper the smudged mist looked like chalkboard, so I went with it and smudged the rest.  I love it when a mistake becomes a feature!

And here are some close ups:

Above, I used the prompt on the journaling card to document five things I love about Azaria right now.

Above, the "AV" are her initials. I love way Maggie Holmes includes her kids first initials on her layouts.

And below, a close up of my hand stitching.  No measuring, just freehand hole punching.

And here are a couple of photos of our little darling, she is two weeks old today:

Above, sleeping peacefully during the day, and below wide awake at 3am!

Thanks for looking
Be blessed
Melissa x

Monday, 28 April 2014

Kaisercraft Happy Snaps Collection (Artfull Crafts)

Happy Monday Morning!  I hope you had an awesome long weekend here in new Zealand!  Today I'm up on the Artfull Crafts Blog with three layouts made with the new Kaisercraft Happy Snaps Collection.  This collection is described as perfect for the person who loves to journal, and I would also say it is trendy and contemporary with bright colours and camera icons etc, and perfect for documenting everyday life.

While Shaun and I were in Invercargill waiting for Brielle to arrive I made several pages, including these.

The first page I made was this one about Sam's first day of school this year.  I used two different papers joined with the cut off strip.  I love the die cut pieces in this collection, they have perfect words and elements.  

My second layout featured this speciality paper, which I backed with a piece of 12 x 12 white card stock.  I especially love the notebook edges!  This layout is about how happy I am that Azaria loves visiting the library.  I had lots of fun layering the die cut pieces, and added extra dimension with twine bows.  The chipboard elements are by Making Memories and can be found in the shop here.

At this point I thought I was done, but when I looked at what I had left I decided to make one more page as I love this collection so much.  This final layout documents a little show that Azaria did with her childcare friends in Arrowtown during a trip.  The photo isn't great due to the shade on the green, however the memory is important and therefore scrap-worthy.  

For this page I cut apart some of the border stops on this paper, and layered some strips to anchor the photo.  I embellished with die cut pieces, punched butterflies and stickers.  Chipboard elements are by Making Memories and I added grey enamel dots.

I dropped large splats of black India ink on all my layout as a finishing touch.  The dates are missing on all my layouts because my laptop decided to have a tantrum!  All letter stickers are from this sheet.  You can purchase Happy Snaps in the online shop here.

Thanks for reading this far!
Melissa x

Saturday, 26 April 2014

I Love This (Studio Calico Stitched Class)

Earlier in April while I was still in the midst of morning sickness I decided to treat myself to the Stitched Class by Paige Evans over at Studio Calico.  I just love Paige's unique style, and I love how down to earth she is.  I had a vision to make this layout with Azaria's childcare photo from last year, and I wanted to feature lots of tone on tone white butterflies on a white background.

The photo was taken by Sue Williams Photography, and I just adore it.  We actually loved two of them so much that we purchased both.  I'll also be scrapping the second photo very soon.

I decided to break into my Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, and it looks great with the pink and silver in the photo.   I started by mixing some pink and white mist and applying it with a plastic bag to provide some artsy texture.

I machine stitched the butterflies, and added an extra vellum butterfly onto some of them to provide more dimension.  I also stitched my paper layers behind the photo and I stitched the white card stock onto pink cardstock for a frame.

 I incorporated hidden journalling into an envelope, as I really wanted the photo to shine.

I love the contrast of the chalkboard-style title card, and no layout of mine seems complete lately without some sequins and big drops of India ink.

This layout took me about a week, life with a newborn and recovery from surgery is certainly busy!  I just love scrapping 15 minutes here and there.

Thanks for looking
Melissa x

Friday, 25 April 2014

Love Her

Hello, well today is Anzac day, a day in which New Zealand and Australia remember those men and women that served in the war.  This year I will again remember the Granddad I never met, my Dad's Dad Jim.

When we spent time in Invercargill waiting for Brielle to arrive we stayed at family friend's house while they were away.  Of course I took some scrapbooking supplies as I find it hard to go a day without being creative, even if just for 15 minutes.  The easiest way to not overpack was to take two Paper Bakery kits, some extra thickers, and of course my first set of photos taken with my new camera.

Here is one of the layouts I made which isn't for any Design Team work:

I loved the background paper so much that I really wanted it and the lovely photo of Azaria to shine, so I did very minimal embellishment.

I love those Simple Stories Chipboard elements.  With the addition of a doily, some white ink splatters and some sequins, I was done.

Have a blessed Friday.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Introducing Brielle Alyssa Vining

On 15th of April at 8.50am we had the great joy and blessing of  welcoming a beautiful baby girl, Brielle Alyssa.  Her name is Hebrew and means God is my Might (Brielle) and joy and great happiness (Alyssa).  People have asked where we got her name from, and I truly believe that it came from God, as I didn't find it in a baby book or baby name website.  Samuel and Azaria are both Hebrew names, so I wanted a Hebrew name for my next baby.  I read through thousands of names, but couldn't find anything I liked for for a girl (we had the boy name sorted, and we didn't know the sex of the baby).   When I looked up the meaning of both names it really described how I got through pregnancy with Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness).

This birth had to be a Cesarian section at the recommendation of two specialists.  I'd never had one before so the concept was very strange.  Shaun and I went down to Invercargill 5 days before the surgery was scheduled as the baby was sitting very low.  I actually had contractions all Saturday afternoon, but then they stopped at around 6pm.

Shaun and I had a lovely time in Invercargill, but we did miss Sam and Azaria heaps, as they were being looked after by Shaun's mum.

We had to arrive at hospital at 6.30am:

Here I am at 39 weeks,  in our room in the Maternity Ward at Invercargill Hospital.

Smiling away, but I'm actually really nervous as I don't like surgery (who does?!).  It was comforting being put in Room 7, 7 is God's number.

The empty bassinet waiting:

Shaun got to wear this hot doctor outfit for the theatre:

And these shoes:

Here we are all ready to go (iPhone selfie):

After two natural births the whole concept of a C section is just surreal. One minute you are pregnant, and the next you are being delivered of a baby without pain.  God had revealed to me in a dream that the baby would be a girl, and I knew in my heart that He wouldn't give me such a beautiful name for it not to be used.  In the dream I saw a girl and I saw her name written down.  Azaria wanted a baby sister so badly that she had been drawing pictures of me with two girls, one tiny for weeks.  My favourite two had me pregnant with a little girl in my tummy, and another with me holding the hands of two girls.

I cried and cried when she was born, as we had lost a baby early in pregnancy in 2012.  I truly believe Joel 2:25 that God "will repay us for the years the locusts have eaten", and this is something that  our Pastor said was a word for our church this year.  It's not that Brielle will replace that precious baby we lost, but that for a while I didn't know if it was in God's will for me to be a mother to three children on earth.  But actually, I'm a mother to four, I have one in Heaven that we will meet in eternity.

I wanted the birth to be as natural as possible, here I am  having skin to skin and being assisted by the midwife.  We were really blessed by one of the three anaesthetists, who not only distracted us with his quirkiness in the theatre, but was a keen photographer who took amazing photos of Brielle being born and straight after, freeing Shaun up to not have to play photographer. 

Nothing can describe holding your newborn baby for the first time. After she was born we went to recovery where I breast fed her for the first time.  She was born with two blisters on her wrist where she had sucked her wrist in my womb.  This meant I didn't need to teach her how to latch, she was amazing at feeding from the very bringing, another blessing.

Our beautiful girl, probably less than an hour old:

Back in our room after the surgery:

Having a cuddle with Daddy:

Sam and Azaria meet their new baby sister:

Sam was (and still is) completely besotted with Brielle, it was truly so beautiful as he wants to hold her all the time.

Azaria holding the darling little sister she so wanted:

I spend two nights in Invercargill Hospital, and then transferred back to Lakes District Hospital at home here in Queenstown.  The care at our home hospital was amazing, midwives Sharon, Anne and Sue (my previous midwife with my first two babies) provided such a loving and caring environment, and helped me sort out the feeding, and let me get sleep.  

The recovery from the C section is challenging, they give you a lot of medication to control the pain, including morphine through the spinal block, and then morphine tablets.  Brielle is 10 days old now, and I'm not able to do much except rest, although we did go out for a coffee with my Mother in law today.  The recovery is 6 weeks of taking it easy.  I'm doing everything I'm told to ensure the best recovery.

I leave you with my favourite photo, I just love the way newborn babies snuggle in:

Love and blessings
Melissa x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Capture (Lets Get Sketchy)

Happy Easter and welcome to our second reveal over at Lets Get Sketchy for April!  Autumn is well and truly here in New Zealand now, but the days are still warm.  A few weeks ago Azaria and I went to Arrowtown and went for a walk next to the Arrow River, of course I had a great time playing with my new camera and snapped the photos in this layout.

This week we had an awesome sketch by Jenessa Franco, and I used a Paper Bakery Kit to make my layout.  I just love the Studio Calico Print Shop paper in this kit, and I fussy cut the title.  The Pebbles From Me to You card pad was perfect to be cut up into layers too.  I painted the background with some white acrylic paint to soften the woodgrain.

Here is the awesome sketch:

Make sure you play along.  I look forward to seeing what you make.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter.
Melissa x

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Celebrate (Scrapstuffz)

Hello, well it's my turn for reveal over at Scrapstuffz "Inspired by"Challenges.  This month we are joining Child's Play Challenges with a crossover challenge.  We were provided with both a sketch (by Laura Whitaker) and an inspiration photo.

When I looked at the photo of the sand art I immediately thought of the Cake Walk Collection by October Afternoon (which I admit I have had trouble using).  When I looked closer at the colours, I also thought about the Vintage Bliss Collection by Simple Stories, which would compliment Cake Walk.  

My layout is all about my daughter and the reward she got (Apple-Jack My Little Pony Equestria Girl) for working on her behaviour.  With this layout I used the sketch as a starting point, and then added embellishments from Vintage Bliss until the layout felt done.  I added my mist with a plastic bag, and I doodled a border around the page after I had finished my journalling.  I really struggled with photographing this layout due to my 38 week pregnant belly!

Thanks for looking, come and play along with us.
Melissa x

Monday, 7 April 2014

Getting Ready For You (Lets Get Sketchy)

Hello, today is the first reveal for April over at Lets Get Sketchy.  We had an awesome sketch by Laura Whitaker to play with, and a I had two 4x6 photos that I wanted to scrap I choose to rotate it to the left.

I'm currently 38 weeks pregnant, and these photos are of the nesting phase of washing baby clothes and getting ready.  We didn't find out the sex of the baby, so I washed neutrals, boy and girl newborn clothes.  Having never scrapbooked a pregnancy before I wanted to capture many different aspects of the pregnancy, both good and challenging!  

I used a Paper Bakery Kit, and stuck pretty closely to the sketch as I loved it so much.  I used modeling paste for the first time, and made the hearts with a Heidi Swapp stencil for some subtle layers.  Sequins were the perfect finishing touch.

And here is the awesome sketch:

Make sure you play along and link up.

Thanks for looking.
Melissa x

Friday, 4 April 2014

Kaisercraft Kaleidoscope Layouts (Artfull Crafts)

Hi all, my first blog post for April is up over at the Artfull Crafts blog.  This month I got to play with the gorgeous Kaleidoscope collection from Kaisercraft.  It was perfect for scrapbooking a newer Instagram photo of my daughter riding a bike for the first time, and for an older photo of my sister with her newborn baby.

I was really inspired to scrap this photo of my daughter all based on the bicycle on the patterned paper, and the cut apart quote card, which was perfect.  I loved that the paper had distressed elements already printed on it, which meant all I had to do was layer up my papers and die cuts, and add extra ink and stamping (pink hearts).  I also added some word stickers to the existing printed layers on the bottom of the page.  I even used a flower, which is a big step for me (as I find flowers very challenging!).

For this next layout the blue patterned paper worked so well with this photo of my sister and her newborn baby, with the white in the photo pulling out the white of the printed doily.  Once again I layered paper under the photo, and then embellished with the butterfly sticker, push pin, washi tape and another flower.  Then I dressed up the doily with washi tape and a blue ribbon which I tied in a bow.  As a final touch I dropped on some dark blue ink for a quick and easy layout.

You can purchase Kaleidoscope in the Artfull Crafts online shop here.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Remember Right Now (Lets Get Sketchy)

This week over at Lets Get Sketchy the fourth Monday of the month challenge is to scraplift one of your first ever scrapbook pages.  I was too late getting mine loaded up to the blog, but I still wanted to share it.  My new layout is a couple of Instagram photos I took on my Iphone at the Wanaka Rodeo in January. 

I used a Paper Bakery kit, and mostly made the most of the scraps and embellishments I had left.

As you can see, I've remastered taking photos with my DSLR with my huge baby belly in the way!

And here is my original scrapbook page, created for Sam's baby book, and the first photo of me holding him!

Oh how my style has changed!  

Thanks for looking!
Melissa x