Saturday, January 24, 2015

Swimming and Gorjuss

Hi everyone,

I must confess- I am a selfish parent. The combination seems impossible but honesty helps me to come to terms with how I'm feeling and doing something about it.

We have just finished 2 weeks of Vacswim. For those not familiar with it, it's a summer swimming program endorsed by the Australian government to try to get as many children to learn how to swim (we are after all a BIG island).

Every year I enrol my kids and every year I moan and groan about it pledging never to do it again only to register for it when registration time comes because I know it's good for my kids. Every year, I try different locations in the hope that it's the venue that kills me and not the hours of waiting while my kids have the best time of their lives.

This year the venue of choice was the beach (previously it has been pools) which is about 25 minutes away from home and with my luck (not luck at all, but a test from God), I got 8am & 8:45 am swimming lessons. To get there at that time of peak hour, we've got to be out of the house at 7:15am - and I thought we were on school holiday sleep in schedule ;)

So this year, I bought myself a book to read at the beach while my kids did their lessons and then jumped off the jetty for 3 hours.

Well, I didn't get past page 2- I just wasn't in the reading frame of mind and to tell you the truth, I haven't been for the past year. My memorisation schedule for the Holy Quran is still on track and I am up to Ch 56 (working from the end) (alhamdollilah) but reading for enjoyment, I haven't been able to do it for a while.

But what I did have the right frame of mind for was colouring in. Now I must admit I was the odd-one out at the beach. I was the only one carrying a stamp pad and colouring markers. All the other moms were either chatting, reading, on their phones, or swimming. But I am never one to conform to popularity :)

So, here are some of my colour samples. Oh, did I forgot to mention I love Gorjuss stamps ;)
This is Gorjuss "The Fox" stamp.

Please forgive me, I am a beginner with alcohol markers. I hope to look back on these and see how amateur I was which means that I have gotten more proficient with them. Currently, I own 4 copies *lol*...the rest are various markers by other manufacturers..I'm learning the "flicking" technique at the moment and I'm still trying to determine if I like light first then dark, or dark first then work to light.

So after colouring in, I decided to do some of my own drawings (using water color pencils this time) as well as deciding on a consistent logo. Here are some ideas of what I came up with:

I will keep trying with these. Stay tuned for more.

Thank you for stopping by, until my next blog, happy hand making!!


Happy Australia Day 2015

Happy Australia Day!!

This year Australia Day falls on Monday the 26th of January!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it's history, briefly, Australia Day commemorates the landing of the British First Fleet in Sydney Cove back in 1788. This mission was to establish an agricultural work camp, to segregate British convicts from the general population.

Australia was officially christened "Australia" in 1824 and before that it was referred to as "New Holland".

I did a quick search around and there really aren't any Australia Day cards being designed :(

So I thought I'd come up with a few to start a trend!!

Check out my Australia Day post as a guest designer at:  Aunty Vera's Scrap & Craft 

Here are a few more cards that didn't make that post:

Card 1: Australia

For this card, I tried to simulate the red earth of the Aussie desert as well as the long distance between us and anyone else. I used paper from the Kaisercraft 6.5" Vintage Timeless Paper pad, flags from my local $2 store and the typewriter from the We R Memory Keepers Albums Made Easy Icon Dies.

I inked the background with vintage sea, then chalked around it with white chalk ink, added a little glitter to simulate the sparkle of the grain of sand in the sun and then applied glossy accents to the sentiment to give it a lovely gloss.

Card 2: I still call Australia HOME

This is version 2 of the card done on my guest blog spot. I really like everything about this card from the sentiment to the masculine design.

I used both the Geo marker & the typewriter die from the We R Memory Keepers Albums Made Easy Icon Dies and applied Glossy accents to make it a it more dimensional. When I took these pics the glossy accents hadn't completely dried yet which explain the slight cloudy effect seen with the flash photography.

Card 3- Flag Bundle

This last design is really simple but effective.

 I love the twine bow. Mind you it took a little bit of practise to get it right. My advise to you if you find it going up-down instead of horizontally is to do it the opposite way of how you are currently doing it.

Aussie Flag
There you go. Three cards, handmade, for Australia Day 2015.

Until next time, happy crafting.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swapping for the love of it.

Hi everyone,

I make a lot of things and for the longest time, I didn't know what to do with what I had created until last year. I came across this GREAT swap community which I joined and have gotten to know so many nice people both regional and international. I have swapped and received and have loved every minute of it.

Here are 2 of this month's swaps (both of which I am hosting):

Swap 1: No-sew home made quilt cards

The first 2 cards use strips of paper going horizontally. I also used 2 different embossing folders on the same paper to give 2 totally different looks.

 Card 1: Paper from Best of Crate Paper Edition embossed with (Nellie Snellen) Swirls 1 Embossing Folder. 

Card 2: Same paper embossed using the Damask Embossing folder by PortaCraft. 

 The next 3 are a quilted style that I totally love and adore.

Card 3: Left over 1" pattern paper scraps arranged in a somewhat organised chaos formation using the Henna Embossing folder by Darice.

Card 4- Various 1" patterned paper scraps and the same Swirls Embossing Folder as previous.

Card 5: Various 1" patterned paper scraps and the Sweet Flowers Embossing folder by Portacraft.

You know you've done a good job when you don't want to send any of the things you've made to your swap partner. My secret is I always make 2 :)

Swap 2: Origami Gift Card Holder

I made this amazingly simple yet stunningly awesome gift card holder using this tutorial I found on Youtube.

This is what I am sending my swap partner:

 As you may or may not know, I have a thing for "Gorjuss" as does my swap partner so I'm sure she'll love my hand made Project life-style card. I have also started falling for fairies this late in life ;)

I really enjoyed making these little babies so I made a whole more.

So if you've never considered swapping, I'd like to extend you a welcome. You can find me on Swapbot as: AmirainOz 

And who knows, we just might be swap partners :)

Hope you have a lovely week.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy 2015 and a New Venture

Dear all,

Hello and welcome to my blog: HandMade in Oz.

My name is Amira. I am 37, mom of 2 boys and a lover of paper crafting.

In another world and for 15 years, I used to be a clinic co-ordinator in the medical research industry as well as a passionate advocate for public health in our community (with post-grad to boot). About 3 years ago, I decided to focus on my own mental health. Being a busy mom of 2 very active boys as well as being a supportive daughter to ageing parents, as well as being there for all my friends and extended family meant I could not do it all (contrary to popular feminist views) perfectly and still have time for myself.

So I decided to join the ranks of stay-at home moms to raise my children and be a member of my community. In doing so, I discovered a love for art, craft and all things hand made. After joining, many community and on-line classes, I've discovered my confidence and style. In doing so, I've started making things that both family and friends have come to expect and enjoy immensely. It then became a vicious cycle, the more they enjoyed, the more I was empowered to evolve.

So here I am, finding myself on a trial with an unknown destination with one goal in mind: Discover!

I wish to meet new people.
I wish to find and learn new things.
I wish to share them with one and all.
I wish to inspire and be inspired.
I wish for the very best in everything.

So thank you for joining me on this new adventure I am embarking upon. I can't wait to see where this will take me. You can find me on Facebook as well as browse my many creations here.
God bless you all and may this year be a good one.