09 January 2020

A Card A Day - Day 9 2020

Today's card is another masculine, nautical style card.

I am determined to use up the paper packs that are open before I move onto any new papers, so you may see the same papers pop up here and there for a while, but each card design will be different I promise.

This card is made using double-sided DSP as the card base. It is strengthened by the matting and embellishments so it stands up.

A Card A Day - Day 8 2020

Another simple card made using a freebie stamp set that came with a magazine a couple of years ago.

Stamped straight onto a 6 x 6 white card base cut from a 12 x 12 sheet of white Kaisercraft cardstock. I had the envelope, it must've been left from a bought set of 6 x 6 cards. Just stamped on the bottom corner to decorate.

07 January 2020

A Card A Day - Day 7 2020

I made 3 cards for today's challenge, I was on a roll and they really only took about 5 minutes each - and that included cutting and scoring the card base.

The all used scraps of black cardstock and leftover bits of DSP. I punched out some little flowers from cardstock scraps, added some bling, stamped the sentiment, trimmed the edges and they were done.


Card base - white, 5-1/2"x 4-14"
Scrap of black cardstock - 4-1/4"x at least 4"long
Scrap of DSP 4-1/4"x 5"
Embellishments of choice

Lay the black cardstock on the card base. Tilt it, keeping the top right hand corners matching, until you have it on an angle you are happy with.

Carefully lift the top and stick down temporarily. To do this, use snail and tap it with your fingers a couple of times to "de-stick"it; it will be tacky enough to hold the cardstock in place.

Turn the card over. Using scissors, trim along the edge of the card. Lift the black mat, and use snail or double-sided tape to stick in place.

Take the DSP and lay on top of the black cardstock, leaving a small border on the right side and bottom. Keep the top lined up with the top of the card. Tack in place. Turn over and trim as you did for the black cardstock. Stick in place with snail or double-sided tape.

Stamp the sentiment towards the bottom of the card.

Embellish as you wish. I punched little flowers from scraps of cardstock and glued down. Then I added little black beads for the centres on two of the cards. On the other card, I used a button in a co-ordinating colour with some twine through it as the embellishment.

Finish off with three rhinestones or gems or enamel dots.

I love how these turned out, especially as I didn't especially like the DSPs used.

06 January 2020

Make It, Bake It, Grow It, Sew It Week 1

This week is a week of make its, with the new card a day challenge starting.

Make It - so far I've made 15 cards - a new card every day, with multiples being made on two days. I was on a roll, the materials and tools were out so I decided to make five of the Dino Days and Magnolia Thank You cards. This will give me one for my stash, and two each for the CWA and nursing home boxes.

Here's the Make Its so far:

Bake It - No baking done, still no working oven. The final plans for the new kitchen are being drafted, then I just need to be patient and wait for it to be built and installed. But boy will I be baking up a storm in a few weeks - and hopefully the weather will have cooled off a bit too.

Grow It - the severe heat took it's toll on the garden. Lots of capsicums were burnt, and the tomatoes suffered. The egg plant are slow, but lots of flowers so hopefully that means lots of fruit in a couple of weeks. The rain yesterdayand today has been a blessing - gentle enough to really soak into the garden bed and give them a good drink.

Sew It - pot holders and a couple of new aprons are on the agenda for this coming week.

A Card A Day - Day 6 2020

This is a male card, with a nautical theme. I found the original design here at Dawn's Stamping Thoughts.

 Front of the card, flap closed

 Front of card, flap open
Inside card and flap

05 January 2020

A Card A Day - Day 5 2020

A simple thank you card

I made five of these, using up the scraps from making card bases and mats a couple of days ago.


3" x 6" white cardstock, scored at 3"
White  cardstock 2-3/4" x 2-3/4"
White cardstock 2-1/2" - 2-1/2"
Die cut flower and leaves

Stamp sentiment onto bottom of 2-1/2  x 2-1/2 mat. Adhere to 2-3/4 x 2-3/4 mat with pop dots.

Adhere this to the card front with pop-dots.

Die cut flowers and leaves. Use a little liquid glue to stick flower to card front.

04 January 2020

A Card a Day - Day 4 2020

Today's card - made the card base from lovely heavy cardstock that was given to me just before Christmas (thank you @joyofquilting it's great for card bases),then borrowed the stamp set from Hannah, used a layout from Mary Fish for the basic design and made the rest my own 🙂

I didn't have all the papers, ribbons, blingy bits etc. so I adapted with what was in the stash.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Made 5 all together - 1 for my portfolio, 2 for CWA and 2 for nursing home to get them started for the year.

I'll be generous and say they cost 60c each to make but probably closer to 55c. Took half a sheet green cardstock, used white scraps, and half a sheet of DSP. I used scraps of cardstock instead of ribbon for the band.

03 January 2020

What Would You Do If The Power Was Out For Days Or Even Weeks?

There is a better than fair to middling chance that a good portion of Victoria, NSW and South Australia will be without power for days, if not weeks, due to infrastructure loss in these awful fires.

So could you survive without power for days? For a week? Or longer?

It wasn't so very long ago that Walhalla, the last town in Victoria to go onto the grid, was without power for two weeks. Now I would think that the residents would know what to do to survive until electricity was restored.

But what about you? If the power was to go out right now, what would you do?

Would you have torches for light?

Would you have a battery radio so you could stay in touch with the world?

Is your phone fully charged so you can get internet access (remember, no power, no working modem, no home internet).

Is there enough fuel in your vehicles to get you to somewhere safe if you had to evacuate?

Will you be able to keep your fridge and freezers cool so you don't lose food?

Do you have an alternative for cooking?

Do you have enough shelf stable food to last unti the power comes back on and supermarket shelves are restocked (because if it's a long-term power outage, you can bet those shelves will be cleared of tinned and packet foods in a few minutes)?

Well we would be able to last a couple of weeks, but we would probably lose most of the freezer contents (but I have a plan to reduce that risk this year).

We have enough shelf-stable food and drink to last us a year. That includes a few ready-to-eat meals we usually take camping, baked beans, some soups, tinned spaghetti, tuna and salmon, Nutmeat, chick peas, black beans, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms, nuts, pasta, rice, sugar, salt, oil, UHT milk, tea and coffee.

We have the means to cook food and boil water, with the barbecue and two gas camping stoves. We always have enough spare cylinders to last us six weeks - that's the length of our bigger trips and they're restocked at the end of each trip.

We have a small generator that would run the freezers a couple of hours each, each day to help them stay frozen longer. And we keep enough fuel to top them up four times.

We have solar panels that will charge the ancilliary batteries on our Patrol. That creates enough power to run the fridge if necessary, and the LED lights for a couple of hours.

We have solar chargers for our mobiles and our tablets. They weren't expensive, and work really well if you don't let the device go flat. If they're charging from flat they can take a few hours - but it's better than nothing.

We also have a solar oven. I'm not too good at using it, I need more practise. But I'm pretty sure I'd become expert if I had to.

For cleaning I have an old fashioned broom and mop! And we have a couple of shovels, and an axe, as well as the chain saw. We kept the baby bath and it makes a great washing tub, and Cheapskates Washing Powder works in cold water! And a clothesline and pegs to get it dry (and if it's hung out neatly it won't need ironing, not that I have an alternative to an electric iron).

We even have a stovetop coffee percolator ($5 from the op shop) and Mum gave me a mandolin veggie slicer thingy when we were married and it doesn't need power to slice or grate or shred. I also have a Nicer Dicer and a knocl-off version for processing fruit and veg. The mortar and pestle Thomas gave me for Christmas a few years ago does a great job of grinding.

To stay cool - well the windows would be closed up each morning and the awnings brought down. Doors to the rooms on the west side of the house would be closed. And we'd go old-school and use the paper fans I've collected over the years in combination with damp hand towels draped over shoulders.

To stay entertained we have books - real, paper books. Games. Crafts to do. Gardening and housework which may take a little longer without power.

So could you survive without power for days? For a week? Or longer?

A Card A Day - Day 3 2020

Two very quick and easy cards, made using small pieces of DSP.

This card works because the DSP I used was double-sided. Now this makes co-ordinating patterns and colours easy - just flip the paper for a design that goes!

Both made with 5-1/2"x 4-1/4"card bases.
Cut DSP to 4"x 5-1/4" for pink base and stuck down.

Cut 2 pieces DSP 4" x 2" and 4" x 3-1/4" for green base.
Used a strip of pink left from the pink card base across the centre.

Stamped the greeting, punched it out. Punched out another two in the green card, cut them in half and stuck the greeting onto it to give a border. Used pop-dots to stick to the card fronts.

Inside card is white cut to 4" x 4-1/2" and a strip of DSP cut to 4" x 3/4" and glued to the bottom for a decorative border.

Easy. Cost - under 40c each. I will need to either make or buy envelopes so add another 12c each to the cost. Total cost per card 52c.

02 January 2020

A Card A Day - Day 2 2020

Not quite the card I had in mind for today, but it works. And it used up some of my stash.

I used a Kmart card for the base.
Lavender mat cut 14cm x 10xcm
White mat cut 13.5cm x 9.5cm

I stamped the greeting onto the white cardstock using a freebie stamp that came with a magazine a couple of years ago, then I put it through the Big Shot to emboss.

Layered white onto lavender, then onto the card base.

Layered two flowers off centre and used liquid glue to stick to card base (because of the embossing, liquid glue works better than tape or tape runner).

It looked a bit dull so I dug out some bling and created a centre for the flower then added three other little sparkly bits around the sentiment.

Took all of 20 minutes from deciding to get started to taking the photo and used up some more of the stash.

This is the style of card that is easy to bulk make, and get 10 or so done in about 20 minutes, which I love for doing the charity cards.

01 January 2020

A Card a Day - Day 1 2020

Not what I started out to make. It was supposed to be pink,floral and embossed. This is what I ended up with!


6" x 6 "navy card base
5 -3/4" x 5-3/4" white cardstock mat
5-1/2" x 5-1/2" DSP mat
3 squares 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" DSP with inked edges
1 strip navy cardstock 5-3/4" x 1/2"

Inside 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" white mat stamped with sentiment and inked off twice decorative stamp.

The stamp set I used  for the lighthouse and the sentiment on the front is from Stampin' Up - Sail Away.

The sentiment inside the card is a generic stamp I bought a while back from Creative Dreams in Boronia.

The die set to cut out the lighthouse is from Stampin Up.

Night of Navy stamp pad

Soft Suede stamp pad

A Card A Day Challenge

Over on the Cheapskates Club forum I started a challenge for this year to make a card a day. In the past we've done card swaps with different themes, and that has been a lot of work for Joy to manage.

So, instead of a swap, if we all make 1 card a day, and post a pic, then we'll have all the fun of a swap, get some inspiration from everyone else and end the year with a decent stash of cards.

To help me, and you, I'll post each day here too, with the materials and instructions for the cards I make.

I hope you can join the fun!

23 December 2019

My Take on Deconstructed Pavlova

Well we still don't have a working oven. We won't until towards the end of January, but that's OK, so far we're managing.

And I made Christmas cakes in October so we have our fruit cake to enjoy. Joy gifted us some melting moments and afghans (they were SO good), and the no bake slices have kept everyone's sweet tooth happy.

I made one pudding this year. Wayne and I are the only ones who eat it, so it will be enjoyed on Wednesday, then the rest will be frozen for through the year. It always feels a bit special to have Christmas pudding in the middle of winter, with lashings of custard and cream for a treat.

But the kids don't like Christmas pudding. They usually have the custard and ice-cream, and my aunty always makes the most magnificent pavlovas.

Exept this year. They're away with their kids (my cousins in Vancouver), so the pav falls to me. 'Cept we don't have a working oven.

And then I saw a post on FB about deconstructed pavs and thought "wow!, I can do that".

Aldi kindly supplied me two packets of mini pavlovas for the grand sum of $4.99 each. I'll whip the cream. Slice some strawberries. Drain some of the mixe berries in the freezer. Grate a Crunchie bar (they're on sale at Coles for $1 this week). Slice some kiwi fruit. Thaw some of the passionfruit in the freezer and dump it in a little dish.

And to present it all I'll use my white china, sectioned dish for the toppings, with the cream piled in the centre, everything else around, and put all those mini cheeseboards I scored last Boxing Day for 50c a set to use by putting a mini doyley in the centre and placing one of the mini pavs on it.

I've even cleaned Mum's silver cake forks to use.

Then they can all make their own pavs to their hearts' delight and Christmas Day dessert is done!

24 November 2019

Microwave Jam Making

We've been away for a week, and although we weren't due home until tomorrow, circumstances made it so we came home early.

Thank goodness! I am convinced it was my guardian angel that gently steered us home a couple of days early because there was an almost disaster waiting for me.

On Wednesday we had some electrical work done, and the electrician unplugged the big freezer, and then he obviously forgot to plug it in again. I'm grateful that the kids didn't need to go into it, it stayed closed until Saturday morning when Hannah opened it to get bread out for me.

And promptly yelled that the freezer wasn't working.

Those are words that strike fear into my heart.

Anyway, only the top two layers were partially thawed. That meant I spent time cooking up a storm and then packaging meals to freeze, but I'm not upset. Having ready-to-heat meals in the freezer is my idea of bliss, especially coming into the heat of summer.

But all my packages of berries had thawed - around 5 kilos of fruit.

So I put them in the fridge until this afternoon, when I spent a couple of hours making jam. Now there is strawberry jam and raspberry jam and blackberry jam, enough for the hampers and hopefully most of next year, done and cooling on the bench.

Jam making isn't hard, you just need to be careful because melted sugar burns!

My basic jam recipe is simple: equal quantities of fruit and sugar, and the juice of a lemon. Put it in a pot, bring it to a boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved, then let it boil (remember to stir it so it doesn't stick and burn) until it sets. This takes between 20 - 40 minutes, depending on how much fruit and sugar you are cooking and the fruit. I start testing for setting point at 20 minutes, then test every five minutes until some of the jam on a cold spoon forms a skin and doesn't run straight off the spoon. It will thicken and set as it cools.

I prefer to have it just a little runnier than overdone. If you do overcook it, don't worry. It will still taste good, just be a little more like a fruit paste than a jam. If the jam is a little runny when it cools you can recook it, or just use it as a sauce over pancakes or waffles or drizzled over a sponge cake or muffins. Or add it to milk to make ice blocks. It's still good.

Today though I was busy doing other things as well so I chose the microwave method of jam making.

Again, equal quantities of fruit and sugar and the juice of a lemon, into a big, microwave safe, bowl. I use a 3 litre Pyrex bowl. Cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. Stir. Cook on HIGH another 10 minutes. Stir and start your testing for setting point. Continue to cook on HIGH in 5 minute bursts, stirring and testing, until setting point is reached. You can pretty much eyeball it by looking at the bowl as it cooks. If the jam is frothing up and looks like it will overflow, it's probably ready.

To dissolve the froth on top of the jam you can either skim it off with a strainer, or add a teaspoon (no more) of butter and stir into it.

Now you've made your jam you'll need jars. You can reuse jam jars you have recycled, no need to buy new jars. Just make sure they are clean and the lids are intact and clean. Although, you don't really need a lid. Not so very long ago, jam was covered with clear covers, dampened and stretched over the top of the jar, then tied off with string or a rubber band. You can still get them at the supermarket - they're not expensive, Coles sell Folwers Vacola Kleerview Jam Covers for $1.60/pack 24 (7c each).  I do suggest that for jams, you use only lids that have originally come from jam jars. The rubber seal around the lids can hold the scent or flavour from what it covered, so if it was a pickle lid, you could end up with strawberry pickle flavoured jam!

While the jam is cooking I have the jars in the oven sterilising and keeping warm. Only every add hot jam to hot jars - hot jam in cold jars could cause a very nasty explosion. As soon as they are filled, I wipe around the rims with a wet cloth and put the lids on. Then let them cool. As they cool you will hear the lids seal - there is a very distinctive "pop" as the seal is formed. Let them cool completely then they are ready to store in the pantry.

I listen with bated breath for that "pop" and then grin when I hear it - that is a sound that really makes my heart happy!