Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Tags 11 & 12

Tag 11: I have found my new love to play with. . . Shrink Plastic!  I have had some of this product for quite some time and never played with it.  I knew how it worked but just hadn’t found and excuse to give it a go.

I don’t have a melting pot and Utee so I simply did it without.  My Silhouette was not able to cut through the shrink plastic completely but it was enough for me to either pop the shape out or cut it cleanly with scissors. I did experiment with adding the colour before and after shrinking so that I could see what difference it would make.  I much before to add the colour first so that it become much more vibrant after shrinking.  I used my heat gun to do the deed – it was so much fun to watch the shape shrink, shrivel and then flatten.

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Well – here it is.  The last of the tags for this year.  I have taken a couple of days to complete this one but I am pleased with end result.

You cant really see the script stamp under the tissue so that step was probably pointless foe me.  I stamped my own tissue ( I didn’t even know about Tim’s tissue on a roll), Cut my own house shape from grungeboard and used Broken China crackle paint followed by a glitter nail polish, would you believe!

I don’t really like the look of the doll that Tim Holtz  used so I used something uniquely Kiwi.

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Merry Christmas!

Cheers, Esther

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Tags 9 & 10

I love the vibrancy of Tag 9 from Tim Holtz this year.  I had fun doing this one but did manage to get embossing powder simply everywhere!

My background stamp is from Stamp-It (I think) and I used a variety of Silhouette cut files that I “fiddled” with to create the candle and the greenery.  The letters are also cut on the Silhouette, from cardstock covered with vinyl.

All in all, I am really loving this one!

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Tag 10 looked easy to re-create, and it was . . . . until it came to finding a substitute for the fragments! I had several attempts at fake ones but in the end I found two frames.  I chose to use the same image but in different sizes.

For the banner, I ran some double sided tape over a book page and inked it, popping the middle on foam tape.  Again, the letters were cut on the Silhouette (a bit too big, I admit).  How did I ever craft without this amazing machine?


Thanks for popping in to take a wee look-see.  I hope your weekend has gone well and you have managed to avoid the crowds at the malls.

Cheers, Esther

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Tags 7 & 8

Day 7: Yes!  This is much more like it!  I have struggled to get excited about the first 6 tags and it seems that Tim Holtz did too.  Day 7 is much more his style.

I don’t have the distress stains in the same colours that Tim used so I used re-inkers instead.  The tag came out a little darker than I would have liked but I think it still looks good. I stamped my crackle background stamp with Stazon Dove Grey that I find is an awesome colour for ghost stamping.

I was excited that I had the Craft Glassine!  Yay me!! I don’t have the die but with my Silhouette, who needs it.  I cut the leaves (from a Kerri Bradford kit) before colouring and crushing.  I found my last little bit of branch with crystals attached and decided it looked heaps nicer than the branches I had cut and “snowed”on. I used a tinsel pipe cleaner to make up the lace bow and added some red bead drops that I took off cheap and, quite frankly, nasty earrings from the $$ shop.

My sentiment is actually a Dingbat font that I sketched and then cut on the Silhouette.  I filled in the font with metallic gel pens and inked around the edge.

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Day 8:  How cool was the Steampunk tag that Tim Holtz came up with? Very!

I love Steampunk but I am not so flash at putting it together from scratch so having Tim’s tag as a guide was awesome.

Again, the Silhouette came to the rescue for cutting out the clock and the cogs.  I can’t remember where I got the cogs from but the clock is a file from the very talented Penny Duncan.

I have the Steampunk stamp set from Crafty Secrets so it was perfect for this tag. I used the lightbulb and cog stamps from that set, heat embossing them with white.  I was chuffed that my Winter Edition distress inks arrived a week or so ago (thanks Art of Craft!) so I set to and coloured my tag – loving the combo!

My gentleman are part of an art stamp from Crafty Individuals that I bought on-line maybe a year ago.

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I thinks this one just may be my new favourite one so far.

Thanks for stopping in to take a look.  If you are doing the tags too and live in NZ, check out Dianne’s versions at Art of Craft. Leave comments and send her photos of your tags – she has a giveaway up for grabs.

Cheers, Esther

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tags 5 & 6

Day 5’s tag from Tim Holtz had me flummoxed for a while.  Why would anyone buy a “backwards” stamp? For this very purpose, I guess, lol.

I got myself hung up on the whole using “words” thing until Shell reminded me that I didn’t need to use a word stamp at all! Duh!  I knew that (silly me).

So I cut a tag from acetate and set to colouring it red with alcohol ink. For goodness know what reason it wasn’t keen on drying in a hurry so I did give it a wee push with my heat gun.  I found a great stamp to use but do you think I could get the archival ink to lift off the red?  No way!!!  I gave up trying after half a bottle of alcohol ink and simply stamped on top with white.  I cut the wreath with a Silhouette Studio file and popped on the pearls.

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Day 6’s tag was fun to make.  I covered a cardstock tag with metal tape from the $$ shop, cut it into various pieces and embossed them with various embossing folders.  I then stuck all the pieces onto a tag base and set about playing with paints. When the paint was dry, I followed Tim’s tutorial for the sanding, inking and embossing.  I added a small wooden ornament in place of the metal frame that Tim used.

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Thanks so much for all the lovely comments you have left me!  It gives me such a buzz and keeps the old mojo in place.

Lets catch up again after Day 8.

Cheers, Esther xoxo

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Tags 3 & 4

Day three’s tag is total improvisation! I don’t have the Tim Holtz stamp or the embossing folder so I was stumped for a while.

I was going to make my own embossing folder using both the negative and the cut outs of the words, using several layers made with the Silhouette but I decided it was too much like hard work.  Maybe another time.  I just layered 2 copies of the letters and inked them to suit.

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Day four’s tag is very, well, Blue!  My crackle paint has seen better days so Mr Snowman is more textured than crackled.  I don’t have this die either (actually, I don’t have any of Tim’s dies) but I do have my Silhouette so I played around with a purchased file of the snowman and a snowflake border.  The acetate snowflake border seems a bit pointless to me – you can’t see it at all on my tag :(

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Thanks for stopping in to take a look.  See you after Day 6.

Cheers, Esther

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas

Like many other paper crafters I love following along with Tim Holtz as he produces his 12 Tags of Christmas.

I got myself organised early this year, cutting all my tags and making them into a book.  I made a cover and waited for Tim’s 1st post.  It shows up in my time zone about 9pm each day.

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I cut extra reinforcing tabs and added them to the left-hand side of my tags.  Not at all keen on the colour of the book rings!!!  That will have to change but they were all I had at the time.

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Day 1:

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The only things I have that Tim used are the inks so I improvised for everything else.  The “pine cones” are actually seed pods from my Liquid Amber tree.  I usually curse the thing because they are really prickly and hurt like the billy-oh if you stand on them with bare feet!!!

I created the Noel on my Silhouette from glitter cardstock and used cutting files from Penny Duncan Creations for the leaves and the flourish.

Day 2:

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I used some of the regular Kraft Resist as I don’t have the holiday ones and tore/inked some cardstock for along the bottom.  Once the brads were in place I dented them using an eyelet-setter. The reindeer was one of several that I had cut out while up in Rotorua visiting Shell after the Scrapbook Dreams retreat. Bless you for sharing you die with me Shell!!  A star brad and some green pipe cleaner finished him off nicely.

Roll on day 3, I say!!

Thanks for popping in to see what I have been up to.

Cheers, Esther

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Countdown

I do love advent calendars!  Last year I made up the Kaisercraft one with all the drawers and really enjoyed doing it.

This year, I purchased Kerri Bradford’s cutting file project for use with my Silhouette.  I stuck to her colour scheme and used the print files that came with with the kit.  I also added a bit of bling here and there to finish it off.

There are, obviously, 24 Tag Boxes so I mounted them on a black canvas using Velcro Dots.  At a squeeze, each box will hold a pack of Tic-Tacs but I think I will pop a mini treat bar in each one.

Not like me to be excited about Xmas this far out but I had such fun making this the other night that I stayed up till 1.30am to finish putting it all together.

I might just make another to give away, in another colour scheme, if I don’t get distracted by something else new and wonderful, lol.



The De Vinci Code

I haven’t read the books or seen the movie/s and I was disappointed to think I didn’t have any stamps that I could use for this weeks challenge at Dragons Dream Tag It On.

Huh!  I jolly well did have something I could use!  I admit that I had forgotten about quite a few stamps that I have still stored in CD cases (my first storage attempt).  I have so many stamps now (please don’t tell hubby) that I have moved the majority to expanding pockets in ring-binders.  Much easier to flick through to find what I want to use.

Anyway – this is what I came up with and I am pretty happy with the end result.

You cant see the sparkle in the first photo but you can in this one, I hope:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Asian Influence

The challenge this week at Dragons Dream Tag It On was to create a tag with an Asian theme using at least one real stamp.

I coloured my tag with Distress Ink sprays in Worn Lipstick and Broken China.  I stamped the Asian writing and the rays at the top with a glue pad and laid foil leaf over the top.  I was so pleased with the way this turned out that I swiped the edges of the tag with the glue pad and went to town with the foil again.  The Girl With Umbrella is part of a stamp from Stampington & Co.

Thanks for popping in to take a look this week.

Cheers – Esther

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Great Outdoors

.The 1st challenge theme for November over at Scrapbook Dreams is to complete a layout involving the great outdoors in some way.

A real challenge for me as we are not an outdoors kind of family. On reflection, we all have indoor hobbies – James has his study (rather him than me, lol), I have my scrapbooking and Liam has his ever present laptop (I really must get myself one of those)

Thank goodness the school program ensure some outdoor time for Liam. He does not see a lot of sun and is quite pale really.

I went with Liam and his class (plus a 3 other classes in the syndicate) on their Education Outside The Classroom trip earlier this year. We went to Zelandia Wildlife Reserve in Karori and the Aquarium at Island Bay. It was great day spent outdoors - not something Liam does often

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Thanks popping in to take a look – why not join us at Scrapbook Dreams with your Great Outdoors layout.

Cheers, Esther

Letters to Juliet

I was super excited when this movie title was offered as the inspiration at Dragons Dream Tag It On this week.

I had so many ideas and stamps that I wanted to use and yet the tag, once again, turned out to be a long way off what I had imagined.  Still, I am pleased with it.

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The multiple pen nibs stamp is from Tim Holtz and the typewriter from Rubbadubadoo, as is the full pen stamp that I foiled.  I slit the tag and inserted some printed paper (I printed 3 copies, really small), distressed another copy and rolled a third copy to pop into the tiny bottle.  I added a bit of gold glitter in there too, popped on a pen nib and hot-glued the flowers in place.

Thanks for popping in to take a look.

Cheers, Esther

Monday, November 7, 2011

Steampunk Tag

The whole Steampunk thing intrigues me but I am not very good at producing work in this style.

The theme this week at Dragons Dream Tag It On is inspired by the movie Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I had not seen the movie so I hired it from the local library – still have not seen it and it is almost due to go back, lol.

I based my tag on those created by the fantastic design team. Firstly, I masked the tag and sprayed various ink sprays to produce the background then I embossed the tag using a gear & cogs folder. The dress form was cut on my Silhouette and I added metal elements and charms from my stash. The wings are stamped onto acetate using a Tim Holtz stamp from the Regal Flourish set.

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I am reasonably pleased with how it turned out.

Thanks for popping in to take a look.

Cheers, Esther xoxo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Guess the Movie Title . . .

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Did you come up with “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”?

If you did – pat yourself on the back (I can’t reach from here, silly).  This was the inspiration provided over at Dragons Dream Tag It On this week.

I spritzed the background using Pumice Stone and Worn Lipstick with a dash of Broken China as well and edged the tag with Vintage Photo.  I stamped the plane and clock face using Stazon Dove Grey directly onto the tag and stamped the train ticket onto watercolour paper using the same ink.  I then distressed it with Vintage Photo and popped it up on foam.

The car was made with hot glue, believe it or not!  I brushed a latex mould with Perfect Pearls in Pewter and filled the mould using my hot glue gun.  Not my own idea, of course – I am just not sure where on the net I found it.

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Really cool fun if you have silicon or rubber moulds but don’t use the chocolate mould with the hot glue – messy, I am told.  It seems you can use the low-temp glue guns but I don’t have one so can’t vouch for it.

I had heaps of fun making loads of different embellishments – some with added glitter, some with other pearl powders (eye shadow from the $$ shops works a treat) and some painted up with nail polish.  I popped mine in the fridge for 5 minutes to set before I de-moulded them. The pearl powder ones work best, I think

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Thanks for popping in to take a look.

Cheers, Esther

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Team at Dragons Dream Tag It On are on a roll with Movie Title Inspirations. Once again my initial reactions was “@#%&!” but once I stopped panicking and thought about it, this is what I came up with:

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I added a charm to match each Tilda stamp.  A Heart for the Good, Handcuffs for the Bad and an Octopus for the Ugly.

Each Tilda is stamped on water colour paper and coloured with Distress Inks and a water brush, then cut out and adhered to the tag.  I added a resin rose to finish.

Thanks for popping in to have a look.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October Layout Challenge #2

Within hour couple of hour of the sketch being posted on the forum at Scrapbook Dreams I had finished my layout! It is a great sketch from Page Maps.

Oct Sketch

My layout is one I have wanted to do for ages (8 months actually) and is the first layout I have done that is about my sister. I ‘m a bit embarrassed about that really! Shame on me etc, etc. Anyway – it looks like this:

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Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Ticket to Ride

This weeks theme song inspiration over at Dragons Dream Tag It On is a classic from the Beatles.  It is also the 100th tag challenge! Whoop, Whoop!  That’s awesome Frankie :)

I had a million ideas running through my brain of small capacity and, as usual, not one of them ended up on my tag. LOL.

It just sort of “evolved” as these things tend to do and I had it done in a very short space of time.

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The tag was printed and cut on my silhouette as were the film strip, the drink and the popcorn box.  Boy that popcorn box was fiddly!  Not doing one that small again! I backed the film strip with some acetate that I tinted with alcohol ink. Everything except the main of the tag is coloured with Distress Inks.

The ticket stamps are both from Tim Holtz. (Of course, lol)

Thanks for looking in and thank you so much to everyone for leaving me such kind comments every week!  I just never seem to get the time to visit everyone else’s blogs to leave comments of my own but one day – I just may surprise you.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Layout Challenge #1

The first layout challenge over at Scrapbook Dreams is about our “Four-Legged Friends”

Our cat, Snuggles, has been with us for 14 years now. She was my daughter’s Xmas present all those years ago and although they don’t see each other very often now, Snuggles knows who she is and always happy to “talk” to her and hang around her feet.

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Aptly, my son now calls her “the old girl”.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Whole of The Moon

This is the song for this weeks tag inspiration over at Dragons Dream Tag It On.  It is by The Waterboys and I have to say, it’s not one of my favourites.  Never mind – It’s not the song that is the most important thing, it’s the inspiration!

This is the tag I came up with:

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I sprayed the tag with a combination of Broken China DI and Sailboat Colour Wash.  I punched a circle from scrap and placed it before spraying, then used the “hole” to mask the tag while I sprayed the moon with Mustard Seed/Pearl Powder (actually a $2 eye shadow, lol).  I like that it ran under the mask a bit – kind of looks like light cloud cover.  The stamped sentiment and Cityscape are both from Tim Holtz.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dragons Dream TIO - Boots

The song theme this week at Dragons Dream Tag It On was “These boots are made for walking” – yet another one I can’t get out of my head, lol.

I admit that I I had made this tag some time ago but it was looking quite unfinished so I re-stamped the image and popped him up on foam, overhanging at the bottom of the tag.  The sentiment is a purchased digital stamp from TLC Creations.  Paulette creates fantastic and often funny word art – and then proceeds to give much it up fore FREE!   If you do use any of her work, don’t forget to leave her a thank you comment.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Dragons Dream Tag It On # 97

This week AJ set the the theme at Dragons Dream and the Song chosen is Mother from Pink Floyd.

The challenge is to dedicated the tag to our Mother and to incorporate some embroidery.


I sprayed my tag with home-made mists using Mustard Seed and Walnut Ink Distress Inks. I stamped the border in Archival Sepia using my new MME Lost and Found Christmas Stamp Set.

I added a piece of hand tatted lace that was made by my Mum (she is just a bit clever!)


The embroidery pattern came from Silhouette and I added the file to my tag before I cut it out.


This was fun tag to make considering my first reaction to the challenge was – “OMG! What the heck I am I supposed to do for that!”  LOL


Retreat Layouts + Tags

As promised, here are the layouts from the Scrapbook Dreams Retreat.

Class One:


Class Two:


Class 3:


All the papers were from new collections and of the best quality. I know Shell makes a real effort in this area and everyone found the classes and the techniques we used to be very inspiring.

I also made tags using “scraps” from each of the three classes.

Class One:


Class Two:


Class Three:


Thanks for stopping in to take a look.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scrapbook Dreams Retreat

OMG! This weekend should have been re-labelled Re-Treat (for those of us who have been before).

What an awesome weekend!  Held from 4pm Friday to 2pm Sunday with meals and accommodation included.  The venue was awesome and we had 30 VERY talented ladies in the one space with oodles of room to spare.  The shopping was full of quality products and a fabulous variety.  I have to admit, I did indulge more than a little. Hehe.


We had a general get together/meet & greet on Friday night to catch up with those whom we had meet before and to get to know those we hadn’t.  There were several scrappers new to the Scrapbook Dreams  Retreat which is just fantastic.

We each received a Challenge Pack too. 4 x brand new to NZ papers, to use.  I love that Shell is so generous!  She rocks!

Saturday saw 3 classes in all.  Shell provides each attendee with a full kit and fantastic step by step instructions for each class.  Her instructions are so good that one of our ladies, who is completely deaf, had no trouble at all following what was going on.

One thing that Shell is very insistent on is that the layouts we make are OUR layouts!  If we want to use the other side of the paper or change the position of elements then just do it, for goodness sake!

The classes were so relaxed.  Everyone worked at their own pace and were very happy with the work they produced.

I will post the class layouts later as I have yet to take photos of them.  I also made a tag with the “scraps” from each class and will post those as well so be prepared for a heavy photo post coming your way.


A Dedicated Follower of Fashion

This weeks theme at Dragons Dream Tag It On is inspired by the song “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” by The Kinks.

I spent the weekend at the Scrapbook Dreams Retreat in Rotorua (more about that in the next post) and made my tag while I was there.

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

My background is inked using Chipped Sapphire and Stormy Skies Distress Inks. My sentiment stamp is from Tim Holtz, as are the wings stamped onto transparency.  I die-cut the dress form from TH sewing pattern paper using the silhouette.  The additional element comes from the 8x8 Graphic45 Steampunk paper pad.  To finish off, I used charms and a blue ball-chain from my stash.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Red, Red Wine

No! Drinking it is not what this post is about (I will save that for another day, lol)

The song to inspire this weeks tag at Dragons Dream Tag It On is an oldie but a goodie – Red, Red Wine by UB40.

The challenge was to use mostly red and, as usual, at least one real stamp.

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I coloured my tag with Tim Holtz Distress Inks: Barn Door, Fired Brick and a touch of Aged Mahogany.  My stamps are again from Craft Secrets.  I took to them with metallic gel pens and added a die cut phrase from my Silhouette Library, using silver pearlised cardstock.

I topped it off with the gorgeous corkscrew charm that I have had for a wee while.

It’s a bit “flat” for my liking but I couldn’t figure out how to add more texture/3-d/touchy-feely to it so I am hoping the gel pen does enough to give it some life.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Challenge Site

I have talked myself into joining the current fortnightly challenge at The Stamp Man.  It was hard twisting my own arm so far up my back!  Haven’t been able to do that since I was about 3! LOL

Frankie set the theme as travel here too and I had a tag that I had been playing with, technique wise, but it was never “finished” as such.

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The tag was inked with distress inks then the stamps of the hand were done in Archival. I then literally slapped on some petroleum jelly where I wanted a resist (ie over the stamping and a few other random places) and then covered the tag with white acrylic paint.  When the paint was dry, I took a paper towel and wiped off the areas that had the PJ on them and there you have a “peeling” paint kind of look.

I then added a bit of glitter paint here and there and added the balloons.  The Stamps are from Crafty Secrets and the phrase is a cutting file from the very talented Kerri Bradford.

Photo Shoot

I have so few opportunities to get decent photos of myself to scrap.  Like most scrappers, I am always behind the camera.

Shell kindly took some fantastic photos for me back in July while I was in Rotorua. (Yay, I will be back there in less than two weeks for the Scrapbook Dreams Retreat!)

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Whew! Made just in time!

How did it happen that I missed the latest post at Dragons Dream Tag It On? Blowed if I know but I have managed to make my tag for the theme of Roses and Light Metal. This theme was inspired by the lyrics of “Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi.

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My stamp is from Stampington & Company and I have coloured the tag with Wild Honey, Aged Mahogany and Vintage Photo Distress Inks. I moulded a Paper-Mache rose and embellished it with multi coloured foil leaf for my metal element. I printed tiny photos of roses and popped them behind Tim Holtz film strip.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scrapbook Dreams – July Challenges

It has come to my attention (naughty me) that I have not blogged my layouts for July for the Scrapbook Dreams challenges! What’s with that!

In my defence, it has been so cold in my “office” that I have been spending as little time in here (away from the heat pump) as possible.

So. here they are:

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The theme was “Attitude of Gratitude”

And the sketch challenge mid- month was this one:


And my take on it was: