Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO–Behind Closed Doors

Firstly, let me say, “Happy After Christmas!”  In what is becoming a typical New Zealand Christmas, we have had intense heat followed by thunder, lightning and rain!!

With most blog challenges coming to a halt over the Christmas/New Year period, I was so excited to see another recipe come through on Dragons Dream Tag It On.

The recipe calls for: A Door, A Lock, A Key




The tag is made using a Silhouette Studio file and I used some lovely Bo Bunny stamps for my images.  I wanted to keep the look reasonably clean and simple.  I added touches of colour with my Distress Markers and inked the edges Vintage Photo.  The key is one from a variety pack that I ordered directly from China and the sentiment inside is a Tim Holtz word strip from Scrapbook Dreams. I get a lot of my Tim Holtz products there.  Check out Shell’s online shop, new stock pops up reasonably often.

Thanks for stopping by – I really do wish you a Very Happy New Year!!  I have my very first on-line class to complete in 2013 so watch this space for what I will be getting up to.

Cheers, Esther  xoxo

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO–Christmas

No recipe to follow this fortnight at Dragons Dream Tag It On  – just the requirement to use at least one “real” stamp and to make a Christmas themed tag.

I have been playing along with a group of NZ Girls and the Elf on a Shelf so I  thought my tag was quite appropriate.



The tag was stamp with wee stars and I used an embossing powder called Bridal Veil which is very pretty but doesn’t show up in the photos and the Elf was from the same stamp set.  It was a freebie with a magazine (Australian I think).  I used Distress Markers to colour him in and also to colour the sentiment.  That was a Silhouette shape that I used a pen with rather than a blade.  The lamp-post was also cut out on the cameo.  The charm was from a pack that I got at one of those cheap import shops.

Here is my elf giving me some advice on my almost finished tag.


I will take this opportunity to wish One and All a Very Merry Christmas! Hoping yours is both fun and safe!

Cheers, Esther  xoxo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO–Magical Mystery

I have to admit that the Beatles song Magical Mystery Tour popped into my head as soon as I saw the title of this fortnights recipe challenge, lol

The recipe reads: a little magic, some mystery and a little fairy dust.

I'm not sure that my tag fully fits the brief but I like it anyway.


I used multiple colours of distress inks for the background and used my favourite “crackle” (not sure what the pattern is really called) stamp with a mixture of iridescent medium and re-inker.   I was really pleased with the effect this gives.  I added some blank paint to the word on the key, popped on two resin fairies and two flowers from my stash and stamped the word “Wishes” in archival ink.

There you have it – not sure where the mystery factor is  but I was reluctant to ruin it by trying to add anything else.

Thanks for taking a look.  If you haven’t already, why not join the fun each fortnight at Dragons Dream Tag It On.

Cheers, Esther  xoxo

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tim Holtz Tags–December 2012

Double the fun this month as Tim need to play “catch-up”, having missed January.

These are Tim’s tags and you check out his techniques over at his blog.

And here are my versions:



For the Snowman tag I used the Silhouette Cameo Designer Edition software to alter a shape into a sketch that I then drew with a gel pen and cut out by hand.  I added the details (drawing lines and hash marks using the fine end of the Pumice Stone Distress Marker and added colour to the tie, nose and hat with the appropriate distress markers to “match Tim’s.

The snowflake was cut on the Cameo from glitter cardstock and the tinsel replaced with a line of hot glue and glitter.  The music notes are washi tape and the metal word from my stash.


For this tag the flourish, ticket, phrase and poinsettia were cut on the Cameo.  You might notice that some of the flower centre is somewhat absent – I found the bits on the hall floor and they are now firmly glued back into place.  I completely forgot to text stamp the petals before I put it together but the intention was there.  I simply couldn’t be bothered to pull it apart again, lol. I then added a beaded pin and reindeer charm from my stash.

So, all in all, I am pretty happy considering that the distress inks, distress markers and the stains are the only signature products that I had to use on these.

Thanks so much for stopping by – I would love to hear what you think.

Cheers, Esther

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Inks Stains Blog-A-Versary!

Roni has been running her very successful and super inspirational blog for 5 years!!
I have taken part in two charm swaps on the Ink Stains Blog and now I am taking part in my first ever blog hop.
Roni put out the challenge to alter an Altoids Mints Tin.  We don’t get them here but the ever generous Roni sent me two! Bless her.  I won one in a random draw, filled with goodies from her stash, and the other she sent as a container for my returned Christmas Charms from the swap.
I have altered my first one and have loads of ideas for the second one.
It started out like this:
Progressed to this:
and now looks like this:
I painted the tin with gesso and while it was wet I roughly placed down some printed tissue paper and let it dry.  I then added a coat of iridescent medium for a wee bit of sparkle. I used 3 curly paper flowers and a resin piece (bunch of grapes) I had made and painted with nail polish. I wrapped some purple grosgrain ribbon around the tin and to cover the join I added the flower cluster on the front.  This  is another a resin piece that I made and I just added some colour to the leaves.  I had some knob-whatsits hiding in my stash so I added those to the bottom for feet, and lined the tin with handmade paper I had in a drawer.  It was the perfect colour so I was really pleased.
Thanks for stopping in on your journey through the links on the Ink Stains Blog or if you have stopped by as a regular peep.
Cheers, Esther

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO–Handle With Care

This fortnight’s tag recipe at Dragons Dream Tag It On is to include An Animal, Something Fragile and A Warning.  The Design Team have provided some fantastic examples so why not pop on over and take a look.
I used a pre-inked-misted tag (as in, here’s one I prepared earlier) and added a topper with a punched edge and also a matching section on the bottom.  I used a Pink Paislee overlay on the main tag and  stamped my crow in Archival Ink on water colour paper, inked it with Vintage Photo and cut it out.  I added a thick coat of Dimensional Magic, just as much for durability as anything else.
I added the small glass bottle to part of a 7 Gypsies tag with the warning of “Do Not Remove”, putting some thick glue inside for effect (and making sure to glue the cork in, lol).  Part of another tag is placed on the hanging part. The warning on this part say “Some restrictions may apply” – I wonder what those restrictions would be?
Thank you all for you your very positive comments on my last tag!!  You spoil me – but I like it!
Thanks for stopping by to take a look – have an awesome weekend Smile
Cheers, Esther

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tim Holtz Tag–November 2012

I couldn’t get too excited about this months tag.  I think because I had not long done an Autumn tag for Dragons Dream Tag It On and the fact that we are bowling through Spring at a great rate of knots here in NZ.

Still, – I gave it a go anyway (how could I not). Due to yet another PC crash, I don’t currently have access to all my Silhouette files although I have managed to rescue many from various sources and flash drives etc but I seemed to find enough to take the place of Tim’s die cuts.  I also cut my Thankful word on Silhouette as opposed to stamping it.


It’s “OK” but I am not in love with it at all.

Thanks for stopping in to see it.

Cheers, Esther xo

Dragons Dream TIO–Self Propelled Flowers

This fortnight the recipe is based on the following quote: Butterflies are self propelled flowers. (R.H. Heinlein) and we need to use Flowers, Butterflies and movement od some kind.  Not to forget the use of least one “real” stamp.


My tag is inked and misted with the bicycle and hibiscus flower (somewhat obscured) stamped with perfect medium and brushed with bronze powder, well eye-shadow actually lol

I made the butterfly from a Silhouette cutting file that I had been designing to make an oval rosette.  These 2 didn’t quite work right but they made great wings!  I added little fabric roses for the body and beaded pins to finish it off.  It is attached with a brad so that the butterfly moves.

Thank you for popping to take a look.

Cheers, Esther xo

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today, I did not . . . .

* Do one ounce of housework

* Sort/clean out my linen cupboard

* Finish mowing the lawns that I started on Thursday

* Get any scrapping, of any sort, done

* And possibly 101 other things

However . . .  I did do

* 2 hours of ironing (every single one of my husband’s shirts)

* 1/2 hour of sewing for someone else

* enjoyed a fantastic brunch of French Toast, Maple Syrup, Banana and Bacon lovingly made by my husband

* 2 hours of cleaning at work

* Grocery shopping for next week’s lunches for aforementioned husband

* Folded and put away 2 loads of washing

* Prepared and cooked dinner of lamb rack with Golden Syrup roasted veges and minted peas (divine, by the way)

* Commented on various blogs (yeah, it takes time ya know)

* Took the time, and made the effort to say out loud, to be thankful that I have a complete family again and that I feel loved and appreciated again

* Missed my very grown-up and independent girl but gave silent thanks that she is so well rounded and so very loved

and, best of all . . .

* Listened to my son singing “I’m sexy and you know it”.  I just love this boy even more when he is ease with himself!!

Hope you have all had a good weekend.  Blessings and love to you and yours!

Cheers, Esther

Thursday, October 25, 2012

TIO #127 – I Can Resist Anything But Temptation

This time round, the recipe over at Dragons Dream Tag It On is to use the colour Red, a Resist Technique and to provide a Temptation.


I used the Lil’ Devil stamp from Bombshell Stamps with Rangers Perfect Medium inkpad, that I bought from Scrapbook Dreams, as my resist.  Then I sprayed the manila tag with a strong mist of Fired Brick.  My temptation is a mini “vintage” postcard from a Typo store that I attached with washi tape.  I added the little Maya Rd tickets and a wee resin hand, topped it off with red ribbon and there ya have it.

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek Smile

Cheers, Esther

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thank you Elizabeth!!!!


I was named as one of the Dragons Dreamboat 3 for my Autumn Glaze tag.

OMG – How cool is that?  I have never received an “Honourable” mention before for a challenge entry and I have to say I am chuffed to bits!!!

Thank you so much!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scrapbook Dreams Retreat


Shell never fails to put on a great event and again this one was no exception!  3 Classes, 1 Challenge Pack, 2 crop nights + Sunday morning, 2 nights accommodation, meals, suppers and morning/afternoon tea.  Simply awesome and a room full of very creative ladies!  Over 30 of us this time round.

Class 1:  Shell’s Sample

100_0530My Layout: I actually used the photos I had planned for Class 2, lol


Class 2: Shell’s Sample


My Layout:


Class 3:  Shell’s Sample


My Layout: I need to re-do the journaling in this one as I got my facts completely wrong!


I will come back with a separate post on the challenge pack etc – this one is a getting a bit photo heavy.

Cheers, Esther

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tim’s Tag – October 2012

It had to be Halloween – there was never going to be another subject for Tim Holtz to do for October, lol.

We don’t really “do” Halloween in New Zealand although in saying that, my boy does love to dress up and I take him to 4 or 5 friends houses.  Last year he was Freddy Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Sesame Street), the 10th Doctor Who the year before and Ronald McDonald the year before that.  What will we be in for this year??

Right – back to the tag.  Here is my version:


I was pleased that I had the right font so I set to with the Cameo.  I forgot to weld on a bit of cobweb beneath the “B” but never mind.  The spider was a Silhouette shape (1 of 4 shapes in a set).  I didn’t have Tim’s products but I mixed some Diamond Dust (available at Scrapbook Dreams) with black alcohol ink and some very fine Martha Stewart black glitter.

I didn’t have his tissue paper wither but I do have a great newspaper stamp from the now closed Scroll Works and I just used a facial tissue, separating off the stamped layer.

I inked the tag first using Ripe Persimmon and Seedless Grapes because I wasn’t sure that the facial tissue would hold up to the inking process.  I smothered the tag with glue stick and pressed the crumpled tissue on.  I then sprayed with Tattered Angels gold mist, added the wee printed calendar and there you have it.

I am really very pleased with it.

Cheers, Esther

Dragons Dream TIO – Leaf Me Alone

This fortnight the recipe is The Colour Orange, Metal & Leaves

Having just done Tim’s October tag (see next post) I had Orange and Halloween on my mind so I just went with that.


I have leaf stamps (1 or 2) but thought I would attempt making my own as a point of difference this time round.  I cut my shape 3 three times using the Cameo and thin sheet foam.  I layered them and went to town on my tag with Archival over the Distress Ink background of Gathered Twig and Ripe Persimmon.

My metal factors come in to play with Metallic Distress Stain on the cobweb (was black) and the Tim Holtz word stick. I added a wee bit of bling just to finish it off.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look – do check out the other entries by following the link and clicking on the names at the bottom of the post.

Cheers, Esther

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO – Misty Autumn Glaze

This fortnight the recipe for the tag challenge at Dragons Dream Tag It On is:  “Mica/Ink Mists, Autumn Colours, Glaze”

Oohhh! I was looking forward to a play with this one!


Using the Cameo, I cut a series of Oak Leaves and a few Acorns from a natural cardstock.  I stamped the leaves then sprayed the with various home-made DI sprays that have mica powder in them.  I sprayed the base tag in the same way before using the same stamp with Dried Marigold DI.  I crumpled the leaves while they were still wet for added texture and to try and simulate fallen leaves in the Autumn.  I layered the acorns, coloured them with DI pens and added dimensional glaze to the lower part.  Then I “dripped” the glaze here and there to look like drops of moisture.  I topped it off with a resin frame that I made using clear resin and fine glitter.

Here is a closeup that shows the detail a little bit better.


Thanks for popping by to see what I have been up to.  I love to read your comments so if you feel inclined to say a word or two – please do.

Cheers, Esther.  xoxo

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Layout, at last!

I really do not get enough new photo’s to do all the layouts I have in my head!  Not fair!

I also seldom do classes.  I live for the Scrapbook Dreams retreat each year as that’s about my only chance to get together with other scrapbookers. It can be quite a lonely hobby sometimes.

However – in saying that, I saw a chance at the Wellington paper Arts show a couple of weeks ago to take a layout class.  The class was all about using Washi Tape and was taught by Beverley from Craft House, here in Wellington.  I have been slow on the Washi Tape uptake so I was looking forward to it.


The photo’s are nearly 2 years old and are actually screen shots taken from a TV1 news item about a Memorial Service for the 29 Pike River Miners who lost their lives in the disaster in November 2010.

My daughter was working at the Waihi Gold Mine during the University holiday at the time and was captured at the service by the TV camera.  Such emotional and poignant images, I felt, and I have been wanting to scrap them ever since.

Cheers, Esther

Dragons Dream TIO – In a Heartbeat

This fortnight there is another awesome recipe to follow over at Dragons Dream Tag It On – pop on over there to check out the work of the Design Team and the other followers who add their links at the end of the post.

So … In a Heartbeat … a beating heart, a weathered timepiece and a bit of grunge.


I got out all my timepiece stamps and was quite surprised at how many I had.  I didn’t even use them all!

I inked up the background using faded Jean, Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage distress inks. I didn’t use a stamp block this time, just rolled the stamps onto the tag so that the images were not too crisp (thanks for that tip Tim).

I designed the Grunge Heart Clock on my Silhouette software and am really quite chuffed with myself.  Hopefully,you will be able to grab this file from here, if you would like it.

I have also been playing a lot with silicone moulds and resins/colouring (as opposed to hot glue) and the grungy rose was a happy accidental outcome.

Thanks for taking a peep.

Cheers, Esther


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 - September

What cool tag this month!  I had to do the comprise thing again – as usual.  I only have some very thin metal ducting tape and was thinking it would be useless for making the indentations if I just put it on cardstock.  I thought about it a bit more and finally came up with the idea of cutting a tag from thin foam and covering that with the tape.  Am I a genius, or what?!
Well . . sort of.  It worked to a certain extent but you can judge for yourself.
Hmm . . .
Moving right along then.  I used my trusty Silhouette Cameo to cut the typewriter, number and cogs and used part of a book page behind the typewriter, adhered the pen nib and in place of the little lightbulb, I used an tiny bottle with some black micro beads in it.  I didn’t bother with a type charm because I felt it was getting a bit too cluttered at the top and I completely forgot about the filmstrip ribbon! Oh, well..
All in all, I am pretty happy with it.  Bring on October!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

TIO #123 – Art for Arts’ Sake

This fortnight’s tag at Dragons Dream Tag It On is based on the “recipe” of: A Handmade Background, An Interesting Character and a Quirky Twist.

I had the usual thoughts of OMG etc but came up with this tag:


I had another play with alcohol inks and compressed air – pretty cool fun!  I found a pattern for an art doll on the internet and traced it in my Silhouette Software.  I cut the body parts from 2 different patterned cardstocks and stamped the dress onto a book page.  I love that the limbs move.  I added some cardstock leaves, a punched crown and a ticket for fun.

I hope you like it.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ink Stains Charm Swap

A couple of months ago, the very talented Roni from Ink Stains called for interested crafters to take part in a charm swap.

I thought (just quietly) “I would so love to do this!!!”  So, I did!  Yay for me.

Being in New Zealand, we sometimes feel so removed from the “real world” of scrapping and scrap-related artists.  Well, I do anyway.  Having a little piece of art from the other side of the world is actually a really big deal.

The brief for Roni’s general charm swap was to create 5 charms the same or at least similar.  Send them off to her and receive not only 5 different charms in return but also a pin to hang them on.

These are the charms I sent off to the USA in June.


I used tiny bottles, beads and charms and re-purposed costume jewellery.  I filled each bottle with a co-ordinating glitter.  I was pretty chuffed with them to honest.

I was thrilled to bits today when I received my return charms in the letterbox!!  I admit that I squealed out loud, quickly looking around to see who might have observed me acting so strangely at the front gate, lol.

I ripped into the parcel (carefully preserving the very cool postage stamps for a future purpose) and fond the most gorgeous goodies inside.


Oh, the talent and time that has gone into the making of these is simply a treasure in itself!  Thank you so much to creators of my charms (I am wearing my pins as I type).  To have such an amazing individual piece of art jewellery give me a real buzz.

I will be in for Roni’s next charm, without a doubt.  Lets see some more followers of Ink Stains from Down-Under!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO #122 – A Nightmare

I lieu of a dream this fortnight, we have a Nightmare over at Dragons Dream Tag It On.  Check out what the DT have done – Impressive!

The inspiration was to include: Murder of the Crows, a Blue Moon and a Chill Wind and , as usual, to include at least one “real” stamp.  I’m really going to have to invest in some scary/Halloween stamps!  It would have been so much easier.


The stone arch is a Magnolia stamp,the vine (stamped in both Archival Jet Black and Forest Moss DI).  The crow is one of  Tim Holtz ones, as are the bids flying across the Moon.  I also stamped the crow on shrink plastic to make a charm.

I’m not sure that macabre is my style but it might grow on me, lol.

Thanks for taking a peek, I always appreciate your comments.

Esther xoxo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

12 Tags of 2012 – August

Time Holtz was quick off the mark this month and as I was home with my son today, I had a chance to get stuck in to it.

Typically, I did not have a single one of the products he used so I had spent quite a bit of time finding stuff to make a tag that looked similar.

To create the tag with the die-cut end I turned to my trusty Silhouette Cameo.  It took a bit of fiddling to merge two file together the way I wanted to but I got there in the end. Then I found an un-named frame stamp, that I embossed with detail black embossing powder.  The cameo stamp was a freebie with a magazine.  I was thinking they might be a bit small but they were what I had so I just got on with it.

I created an embossing diffuser using the tag file with an oval cut into it (well, 3 layers of really).  It worked quite well once I sorted out a sandwich + shim for running it through the cuttlebug.  I mixed a bit of Stormy Skies Distess Ink with Picket Fence Distress stain to wipe over the raised pattern then added some Tattered Rose.

I cut 3 different spiral roses on the Cameo, along with some leaves.  I creased the leaves in a vein sort of pattern and inked the creases with Vintage Photo.


Not entirely satisfied I had a 2nd go.  This time round I took a slightly different tact and made better use of the Silhouette Cameo.

I created the frame from a slightly modified Oval Doily and the cameo figure from a modified Print and Cut file.  This time I used the oval shape to mask the tag before stamping the text/flourish background that was then heat embossed.  I added Tattered Rose and Victorian Velvet inks to the background and edged with Peacock Feathers from the seasonal range.  I used a flower that I had already made and cut the “branches” using the leaf vein part of the spiral rose cutting file from my first tag.


Personally, I prefer the 2nd tag even though I forgot to add any words.  What do you think?

Cheers, Esther  xoxo

TIO #121 – Alice & The Rabbit

The challenge this fortnight at Dragons Dream Tag It On is pretty self-explanatory really.  I did have a slight panic because I just don’t have any Alice stamps and yet it is the second time I have wanted them for a challenge.  So slow to jump on the trend bandwagon sometimes and wish now I hadn’t missed the trend altogether!

Nevermind – I usually find a way round things and I managed to come up with this:


I inked the background with some of the Seasonal Distress Inks from Tim Holtz and used a Bo Bunny pocket watch stamp in Sepia Archival.  The images are actually paper doll freebies from Dover that I grabbed probably a year ago now.  The rose is another of my hot-glue creations, this time painted with nail polish.

So, thats it!  I am reasonably happy with how it turned out in the end.

Thanks for stopping by.

Esther xoxo

Monday, July 30, 2012

Two more layouts

Unbelievable! “My” baby girl is 2!  Briar is my god-daughter and very special to me as I was there at her birth.  It was an amazing experience that I will treasure till the end of my days.

Her Mum, Kelly, invited me to the family dinner on the night of her actual birthday.  Family gatherings there are always full of fun, noise and laughter and kids galore!!  I never fail to feel included.  Thanks for that Kelly (and extended family), love you!.


I just had to do a layout of James being at his domestic best, lol! 


The hidden journaling reads:  James does his own ironing these days although why he always leaves it till he runs out of shirts, I will never know!

Actually – Mum has been known to do a fair number of his shirts every time she is here to stay – Bless you Mum xoxo

Thanks for stopping in again so soon.  I really appreciate the comments you leave.

Cheers, Esther

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Layout catch-up

It’s been a while since I posted up some layouts so I thought I would do a catch-up.

Back in April this year my daughter graduated from the University of Canterbury with double degrees.  One in Law and one in Science, Majoring in Geology.  She did all this in one year less than it should of taken!  I am so proud of her!  She is clever, hard working and simply beautiful, inside and out!

Picture 232

I used the Sketch challenge at Scrapbook Dreams for this one.  The Graduation Mortarboard is a file from the Silhouette America shop.  She wears the law graduation colours as this was the ceremony she chose to attend.

A couple of weeks later she was Admitted to the Bar at a ceremony in Dunedin.  I didn’t get to that one as she didn’t want to make a big deal of it.  She has no real intention of practicing as a lawyer and has taken a post-grad position with a gold mining company as a Geologist.

I received this photo via phone and because it was naturally a bit grainy, I changed it to sepia and came up with this layout, which I really love.

Picture 238

I should have posted these ages ago but wanted to check that it was ok with her to do that and I just kept forgetting to ask.

Love ya Tas!  xoxo

Thanks for popping in to take a look.

Cheers, Esther

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dragons Dream TIO – Considering Steampunk

I do love steampunk, I’m just not so good at producing it.  I am happy with my outcomes overall but there is just something not quite steampunk-ish enough happening.
Oh, well …..
This fortnight’s recipe at Dragons Dream Tag It On is : “Fantasy, Inventions and Victoriana” and this is the tag I came up with.
Far more Victoriana than anything else.  My stamped image of “Mrs Walker” is coloured with Aged Mahogany and Victorian Velvet (naturally) as is the hand-made flower. I used various other stamps from my collection, adding the wing to the dress form.  I used distress markers to colour this too.  I am enjoying having a play with the markers to work out the best ways to use them.  I added clear dimensional product to the gear stamps, wee bird and the crowns and popped an automotive fuse into the flower.
Thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my past posts!!  Boy they give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Happing crafting.