Skywatch Friday: Paper Lanterns

Following on from my earlier post of photos of Hobbinton and our New Zealand Holiday I am sharing one of my favorite shots and linking it up today with Skywatch Friday.

I love paper lanterns, and these were situated near the huge Party Tree in Hobbington where all special occasions were celebrated by the Hobbits.  It is overlooking the beautiful lush green rolling hills and pastures of the surrounding farmland and countryside.  You can see the sheep dotted on the hills in the background and of course the sky which had cleared following our wet welcome to the set at the beginning of our tour.  The other thing I love is the deciduous trees which I don't get to see often in our neck of the woods here in Australia.

There were more of these gorgeous lanterns decorating the outside areas near the Green Dragon Inn a photo of which I included in my earlier post.

What's the Story? A Photography Post

This is a copy of a blog post I did on my other blog earlier in the week, however over the past 12 months I have really been enjoying my journey with my camera and photography so I have decided to start sharing this part of my creative journey more here on this blog.

What's the Story - Is actually the name of a weekly link up party that allows you to share a photo and the story behind it.  So I am linking up with this site today.

This photo was taken the 4th day of our New Zealand holiday and my birthday.  It is probably instantly recognizable to those Lord of the Ring and Hobbit Fans out there.

These are photos from Hobbinton, the location of one of the LOTR and Hobbit Movie sets and the now very popular tourist attraction just outside of Mata Mata New Zealand.

It truly was a magical place to spend my birthday and it just so happens (I found out while on the tour) that this particular day of the year was also Hobbit Day.  I share my birthday with Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.  The attention to detail around the set is quite breathtaking from the garden plantings, to light fittings, window trinkets, patchwork quilts airing on the fences, painted mailboxes, clothes lines to smoke pouring from the small chimney on the hill tops. You could explore here for hours however with approx 1000 visitors a day, time was limited per tour.  Just enough to have you falling in love and wanting to come back again soon.

Our fabulous guides were full of informative and interesting facts about the making of the movie and the set, including why this particular location was chosen, the desirable attributes they were looking for when casting actors and how certain effects throughout the movie were made.

The Green Dragon Inn, Stone Bridge and Water Mill
The setting was so picturesque and there were so many highlights for me personally on this tour.  One of them was being able to walk inside the Green Dragon Inn and order a cool cider/ale and enjoy a piece of Birthday Cake in honor of Hobbit Day with two of my most favorite people in the world.

If you are ever in New Zealand it is definitely worth a visit!

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Ivory Angels ATC's.

Black isn't always a color we associate with Christmas, but it is one of the colors I have chosen to pair with my Ivory Angels Collage Images to create a set of ATC's.  You could easily turn these ATC's into Christmas tags for your gift giving too.  Simply punch a hole at the top of each card and thread through some red ribbon.

I love tearing an assortment of coordinating papers and layering across my backgrounds for my ATC's and today it was some papers left over from the Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium Collection that caught my eye.   I used some Bold Stripes, Christmas Text, Music Score, Holly and a touch of Red too!

The Ivory Angels Collage sheet contains 10 different Angel Images and is available for Digital Download or purchase from Altered Pages.   If you are a lover of Angels like I am be sure to check out their full range of Angel Collage Sheets.

Blue Angels Christmas Ornament

My last project used a collage image from the Blue Angels Collage Sheet from Altered Pages, and today I am using another image from the same sheet to make a Christmas Ornament and am playing along with a few more challenges (see list below).

You can use your favorite collage images and a few other supplies to make beautiful decorations to adorn your tree, and just think you could have a different theme and color for your tree each year.

Supplies Used:
  • Chipboard
  • G45 Christmas Themed Papers
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Circle Die
  • Blue Angels Collage Sheet from Altered Pages
  • Snowflake Punch
  • Robin's Nest Dew Drops
  • Blue Hawaii and Jet Black Staz On Ink
  • Flourish Stamp
  • Paper Cord
  • Assorted Beads
  • Fiskars Hole Punch

I am playing along with the following challenges:

For this project I have also published my very first Snap Guide Tutorial, so I would love it if you took at look and told me what you think.

Christmas, Collage, Challenges & Creating - Blue Angels

Happy Sunday!  Thanks to the air-con yesterday we survived a record day of hot weather.  The recorded maximum here was 44.1 degrees Celsius which is about 111 in Fahrenheit.  Needless to say being stuck indoors enabled some crafting time, so I decided to play along with a few challenges and get cracking on my Christmas Cards.

I've have been adding to my collection of Christmas Collage Sheets from Altered Pages so I am planning on sharing with you lots of them over the coming few weeks.  The one I am using for my Card today is called Blue Angels.

Supplies Used:
  • Altered Pages Collage Sheet - Blue Angels
  • Glitz Vintage Blue and Kaiser Botanical Odyssey Papers
  • Cream Cardstock
  • TCW Pointy Circles Stencil
  • Faber Castell Gelatos Acqua Dolce and Butterscotch
  • Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko Inks - Jet Black Staz On and Golden Glitz Delicata Ink.
  • Distress Stain - Bundled Sage
  • Darkroom Door - Christmas Reindeer Stamp Set
  • Oval Nesting Dies
  • Other:  PVA Craft Glue, Double Sided Tape and Foam Dots.

Challenges I am entering this card into:

DL Art Thankful Thursday - #144 Anything Christmas
Scrap It Girl - Use Paints, Watercolors or Gelatos


I started by choosing some paper scraps that would match my chosen angel and a cream card base. The papers are from Glitz and Kaiser Craft Paper Pads I had purchased from Altered Pages.

Taking the vintage Distressed Yellow Paper from Glitz I cut this to card front size and used my Crafter Workshop Pointy Circles Stencil and Acqua Dolce and Butterscotch Gelatos to add further interest and color.  I also at this time took some Black Staz On Ink and stamped my Darkroom Door Sentiment to my card front.

With my other paper scraps, I tore pieces and adhered them in a patchwork manner onto a piece of white watercolor paper.  Once dry I used a nesting oval die and cut out an oval from this patchwork piece.  I then took some Bundled Sage Distress Ink and smeared color over the oval die cut piece.

My chosen angel was cut out and using pop up foam dots was layered onto my die cut oval.

I adhered my card-front piece of stenciled paper onto my card base and then taking the same pointy dots stencil, layered back over my design and using Golden Glitz Delicata Ink extended the pattern over the edges of the paper onto the card base.  I then added a touch of the Acqua Dolce Gelato around the edges also.

To finish I took a small stars stamp from the same stamp set as my sentiment and stamped this in two places with Black Ink before sticking on my oval with the Angel.  I love how this uses non Christmas papers and non traditional Christmas colors and in keeping with my more minimalist style.

Thanks for stopping by today!

A Wedding Themed Explosion Box

The Robin's Nest is currently hosting a competition called Craft Engineer, and being a fan of their beautiful glittered papers and dew drops I thought I'd put in an entry.

At heart I am a less is more minimalist so I especially love their Black and White Papers for their elegance and versatility and decided to play with their Black and White Glitter Paisley and Silver on Black Paisley Cardstock both of which are part of their Classified Collection of Papers to make a Wedding Themed Explosion Box.  These Boxes can be used as a greeting card or photo album or both.  You can add one layer inside like I have done or two but too many more layers would get a bit small and hard to work with.

For my idea of a Wedding Themed box I took some Black Cardstock from the Robin's Nest Flame Collection along with the before mentioned black and white glittered papers in matching designs, for a pretty contrast but coordinated look and dug out a couple of wedding themed embellishments I had in my stash.  I decided to personalize this by adding the Monograms of the Bride and Groom so I simply die cut some letters from the same black glittered paper I was using for my box.


To the centre panel of my inner box I added a heart embellishment and some Robin's Nest Silver Metallic Dew Drops and to either side a bride and groom outfit sticker that I have been hanging on to for some time in my stash.  At this point because I have made this purely as an example, I have left all the outer panels as is, but you could add messages or photos to any and all of them as desired.   

The Robins Nest also have a Wedding (In Love Collection) that has a wonderful assortment of Die Cuts and Wording which would be perfect to embellish this type of project too!

It would also make a wonderful keepsake to house the well wishes and notes that the happy couple often receive at their reception from those who were unable to attend.

My box lid simply has a coordinating panel and one small silver flower embellishment added to each side.

If you would like to see more ideas for using the wonderful Black and White Papers from the Robin's Nest you can pop over to view the blog post I did recently for Unruly PaperArts.

And don't forget to take a look at the other wonderful entries for the Craft Engineer Competition too! 

A Box of Posies Pocket Card

Hi Everyone, this month the Altered Pages Design Team is partnering with Craft Attitude, the makers of a product called Printable Craft Film.

For my first project this month I have a made a Pocket Card which is perfect to mark a special occasion, great for invitations or even to hold a dinner menu for Christmas. The pocket could also hold photos or tickets to the theater.   I used the film to print my Collage Image of the box of posies.

To read more about the products I used and how I made this card you will have to head over to the Altered Pages Blog and while over there be sure to check out all the other wonderful projects being shared by my fellow team mates.

We have finally had some rain here, not enough to make any difference to so many of the waterways that have dried up over recent months but enough to turn the grass green once more.  Being a rainy day today meant that I had a visit from lots of my feathered friends so I thought I would share a picture of two of the rainbow Lorikeets who ruled the bird feeder.

They can be nasty and quiet noisy so it's quite rare to see any other bird challenge them for their spot in the feeder.

APC Week 7 - A Sea Theme

Hi Everyone!  I am still playing catch up with the Altered Playing Card Challenge but have completed Week 7's cards.

Can you tell from this photo I have just discovered Pic Monkey!

Both cards for this week had a sea theme.  

The first card had a distress stain background and the interesting part was the embossed acetate layered over this before adding some die cut leaves for seaweed  for which I used a glittered cardstock and a stamped Seahorse and Shell colored with a touch of ink. 

The second card uses Archival Inks and a masking technique using masking tape.  Nautical Themed Stamps of a sailing boat and compass and navigation symbols were also used.  A touch of color was added with my Big Brush Stamper Pens.