Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Christmas Party for 2009

The SERS Christmas Do for 2009 was just lovely! A bunch of us gathered at Cathy's place, all bringing the usual plate, and madly finishing off Christmas cards or other projects.

Anne was making Extreme Inchies (that's little decorative bits about the size of microscope slides - if you add a loop, they make excellent tree ornaments).

Cathy showed me her old catalogues from the very first one - oh my! She started her business with handcarved stamps - now that's dedication!

Louise brought asparagus rolls. Yum. And I gave Chris a loaf of bread (what else do to give the stamper who has everything?).
Next meeting is 30 January, the Saturday before school starts back (for most schools anyway). See ya there!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Next Year at SERS

For the coming year, I thought about what I'd like to change about SERS. Here's the list of things I want to change :


Nope, the time is fine, the place is lovely, the cost suits everyone, and the level of structure is delightfully loose.

So I've paid the rent and rebooked us for the coming year. All the new dates are listed here.

Here's to another great year of making stuff and having fun.

November 2009 Meeting - the non-food events

Terrific, enjoyable SERS this month.

Cathy's creative juices have been flowing, and she's been etching metal - oh wow! She showed off some of her etched items - they are wonderful to see in real life. We urged her to set up a workshop. Now that would be fun!

This was one she thought was a bit of a dud. Nice though. Her African stamps look so good etched.

How's this one? A crackle stamp, etched. Looks amazing! This is the crackle from My Stamps.

And how about this one? This stamp came from Thread Studio over in WA (I've been there, it's amazing!).

So seeing some metal etchings was a highlight.

Now look back at the photo of Cathy. She sure is making a spectacle of herself! Look closer, and you'll see what I mean!

Anne tucked into a slice of cake... and also made lovely Christmas cards.

Jenny and Helen working with the little stamp pads - what a good way to get a big range of colours!

Chris and Sharon worked on perfecting the art of fusing a stamped tissue paper image onto a candle. Very successful!

And Margaret, Pat, Margaret and Nan made gorgeous things as usual!

I was playing with punches (again), but this time with bright colours. They really cheer you up!

November 2009 Meeting - my birthday!

Well, it's a sneaky way to get a birthday party, but I brought along a cake, stuck a candle in it, and announced that nobody was getting any until I'd blown out the candle. So of course, all the lovely SERS ladies sang me a beautiful song (no, not the one comparing me to a monkey, either).

Here's a picture of the cake; and the cake cut; and my slice. It was an amazing Tunnel of Fudge cake (moist and fudgy in the middle). Just amazing. I can't take any credit for it - I made it, but to an exacting recipe from a wonderful scientific cookbook Jeff and I just bought. This is the book - you may be able to get it locally - we found it at Angus & Roberston. Great Chrissie present. And this is the recipe.

So, I think that's enough about the cake. Next post will be about stamping.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Looking forward to my Birthday Meeting

Stamp club is on again this weekend - we are meeting on 28 November. That's (around) my birthday, so being the person-who-makes-the-bookings, I'll declare this to be my Birthday Meeting. If Lizzie comes, it's hers too, because her birthday is exactly as far from the meeting as mine is.

What shall we do? I want to paint and punch stuff. I have a punch project in mind. Wait a minute, I might need bright coloured card for that. Better check my supplies. 'Cos I did all pastel last month. Gotta be varied, hey?

Here's a picture I took at Paperific this month. Pretty...

So come along to SERS if you can!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Looking forward to our Christmas party

The mostly annual SERS Christmas party is on again (yes, we have a November meeting before that). It's at Cathy's place - contact me privately if you need to know where that is - on December 12 at 1pm. Bring a plate. That's a plate with food. To share. We always make stuff, but spend more than usual time on eating and making merry.

A Hallowe'en meeting!

We had a super meeting on a hot, sticky Melbourne day. With the fan on, the community house rooms were quite pleasant and cool, so we stamped on in spite of the heat (I know, it's gonna get way hotter, but we're just getting used to it for the season).

Chris and Sharon worked out their work Christmas card - their annual commission. Any method goes, as long as it's quick and looks great. They had success!

Ann was working on her Christmas cards, using mocked up bits done by colour photocopying. That's clever! I gave her a Kimmie (that's the latest craze in swapping, didn't you know?).

Maria had bought a lip gloss just for the packaging, and she and Margaret were reverse engineering it. Nice!

Other Maria made a cool pram card - she wasn't happy with it yet, but we were most impressed.

Pat was Iris folding - I'd never seen it done before - interesting! Cathy was squeaking. Lizzie was borrowing stuff. Nan likes oval punches now. Other Margaret was making embossed Christmas cards. And I was using pastel colors exclusively, making a project that's aimed at a magazine - so we'll see if I have success.

And we were sponsored by (or rather, I'd recently scored a free sample from, and was asked to provide feedback about) Pitos, a yummy savoury crunchy snack, just right for stamping with. You can see the packet behind Lizzie. The girls emptied the plate of Pitos, in spite of the fact that a place of other tasty crackers was right next to it. So they were popular! The club is available for sponsorship of this kind any time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 2009 SERS meeting

Argh, forgot to take photos, again! Some on-the-spot journalist I would make.

Anyway, it was a great success - we met in the "cosy room", the carpeted room that is a little smaller than our usual one. That was because our patchworking friends were having a weekend long sewing binge. Good for them!

I was lucky enough to bring my kids - they are not little any more, so it didn't seem too hard to manage. They had card games, they had Nintendos, and there are always rooms free. Well, there are USUALLY rooms free, but this time they scored a little corner of our room. Blustery and cold outside too, which added to the, umm, atmosphere.

Jenny smuggled in a radio and called out footy scores. Pat brought excellent shortbread that was snapped up in short order. Chris made cards with birds. I used my Golden paints on some truly cute stamps, making them turn out cool and arty. I thought, anyway.

Anyway, here's a recipe for shortbread, and a photo so the page doesn't look bare.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SERS August Meeting and the Stubborn Glue Pot

A cold, blustery day in Melbourne, and quite a big bunch of us met for SERS.

Margaret brought in an interesting problem (and once again, that's just what craft clubs are for). She had bought a Fiskars Tool Taxi, a handy little gadget that is a bunch of small tools in a pen-sized package. One of the tools is a container of glue with a small applicator. Handy, eh? But she (and Mr Margaret at home) had been quite unable to get it open! The instructions were no help, and of course there were concerned about using brute force.

So Cathy and I had a look. Here's the culprit - the glue reservoir end. The opening instructions consist of a double ended arrow. Much debate. What does the that mean - do you twist the lid off, and if so, in what direction? Cathy says that Aquash pens unscrew the opposite way from what you'd expect, so that really could go either way. Or do you slide it to the side, and if so, which way? The container is a flattened oval in cross section, so the sliding method seemed plausible.

Tool designers, take note. If you put an arrow on something, you also have to have something that shows what the arrow means!

We fiddled with it for some time.

Then Liz arrived, and had a go with it too. Not surprisingly, the scout leader succeeded where the computer programmer and the artist failed. Click, and it opened, just like a little nail polish bottle. Probably a little dab of glue had jammed it up. So we all opened and shut it lots of times to make sure it would behave for Margaret.

She was pleased!

So that was the first big event of the day!

Anne was working on a nice idea - loosely copied from a design in a magazine. But of course she was changing the paper, the ink, the stamps and the design. That's my kind of copying!

Maria (a newbie to the club) brought a book of pop-up card ideas, and was making a super-cute one. We noted that the book gave matching ideas for the FRONTS of the cards too. That's so important!

Other Maria had brought a travel book she'd made, adapted from a simple fold she'd found in a scrapbook magazine. She'd added extra bits to it, and concealed little magnets inside to hold it closed. All decorated with her trademark mosaic style.

Chris was showing Sharon some stuff - Sharon was claiming not to have any ideas today ... the end result was a smart choo-choo train. She was using the stamp positioner to get the carriages to link up.

And Margaret was pleased with her owl card (painted with
Twinkling H2Os).

And there were chocolates too! I got a whole lot of these for a project (which has to stay secret for a few more days).

They are square, flat, wrapped chocolates, that fit nicely inside a 1 3/8 inch square punch. Now, plenty of stampers will understand the significance of that - you can build a chocolate into a card. The nice thing about these is, they are $10 a kilo from Wallie's Lollies (works out to about 6 cents a choc). You might have to get them to order them in - I did.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh, gosh, a rent increase!

I just paid the SERS rent. It's gone up by a mighty $5 a month. Still a terrific deal - the community house really looks after us!

So this is just a warning that the money box WILL be hungry this month - at the moment it has an IOU in it!

What shall we do this month? It's cold - is that good weather for painting stuff?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 2009 meeting, with Caraway Seed cake

I forgot to take any photos at SERS this month. Duh. But here's what happened anyway.

Nan was away at a Christmas in July (oooh, sounds lovely). Cathy was sick. Gail was at Stamp Camp, Chris McL was at the craft show, and Chris G had grandchildren visiting. Those are all good reasons not to come!

Sharon is a friend, colleague and neighbour of Chris', and they usually sit together. But with Chris away, I got all the Sharony goodness. She helped me work out a better way to do they eyes of my punched Penguin cards - one fiddly step saved, that's gotta be good. She helped me work out this little fish too... I did an official demonstration of the penguin. Easy, really, when you have the oval punches from Stampin' Up. Oops, that last link is a blatant plug for my own Stampin' Up blog. If you're wanting SU stuff, support your local demo, OK? She'll look after you.

Sharon had a cool new stamp set, fresh from the USA, and made an excellent card for hubby. Wish I had a photo, you'd like it.

Pat and Margaret had been on the phone discussing a card idea. They'd each made it, without seeing the others'. Then they had their first looks at each other's cards at stamp club - yay! That's what clubs are for!

Helen and Jenny were trying all sorts of things. I quizzed Jenny about the cards she sells, 'cos I was having a go at selling cards too, at the Quilt and Craft show.

Maria was organising her amazing travel photos in a photo album. Louise brought a book, the results of a technique swap, so we all had a browse at that. Awesome!

We munched on Caraway Seed cake (my latest favourite - I have to make a small one, cos nobody else at my place likes it); and Choc Chip cookie; and some bought Lime and Coriander crackers, which must have been nice 'cos they all went before I could taste one!

And, 'cos I want to offer something nice, here's a recipe for the semi-healthy choc chip cookies I've been bringing lately. I'm still working on the Caraway seed cake recipe.

Choc Chip Cookies

2 pkts choc chips
250 grm butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups SR flour
2 ½ cups oat bran

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Beat until well combined. Add flour and oat bran. Once combined add choc chips until evenly mixed through. Roll into balls and flatten slightly on tray.

Cook at 160°C – 170°C until cracked in appearance, approximately 15 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Paper Arts 2003 - when it was at the St Kilda Town Hall

Tired of paper arts show nostalgia yet? Nope, me neither. Here's some photos from Paper Arts 2003, at St Kilda Town Hall (a venue I really enjoyed).

Here's the venue itself - see, pretty!

Here's a meeting of an altered book group - long distance friends use these shows to meet up in real life.

Second lady along would be Caroline, then Gail, then Danielle, then Stephanie. Danielle's blog is currently neglected (so sad) but has a fantastic tutorial as the last entry.

2003 was the year that Coralee and Anne set up their exciting art enterprise, Journaux. Art Journalling was the Hot Thing of 2003, and they created some amazing blank journals, and goodies to add to them. I totally loved the postage-stamp-perforated letters. Yup, they had a real perforating machine.

I even made them a sample! It was a gym journal. Curiously, the time I was keeping the journal turned out to be the time I started "fainting" during exercise. I wrote all about it. A year later, that turned out to be pretty important, when we discovered it was really a heart issue. So I referred to important "documents" when talking to the doctors. SO handy!

Here's one of their sample finished journals (not mine : don't know who made this one - it's AWESOME). Whoa, nice use of dictionary pages. I'll bet that's where I started using them!

More awesome and unique stuff from Journaux. It was a fabulous stall, ladies.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A bit more 1999 nostalgia

I haven't run out of nostalgic photos yet, so you have to keep reading. Here's Lizzie Slothuber at Melbourne Papercrafts in 1999 - she was co-founder of The Rubber Gazette. She was selling esoteric stuff like stamp mounting systems (which I bought, and still use).

Here's Jill and Gale at Daisy's unmounted stamp stall. Selling unmounted stamps was a BIG DEAL at this show. BIG.

But let's not forget, I was a real stamping newbie at the time. I'd done a beginner's class with Ellen Eadie at Woodstock only a few months before, then I went to this show. WOW! This is the stall that I talked about most - Stamp-it from Perth. Those boxes are bargain boxes of Magenta stamps. The signs stuck on the boxes tell you that the stamps are priced at $3, $5 and $7. I went nuts.

Some turn of the century Stamping Nostalgia

In between meetings, why not use this blog for some old photos? I was browsing around the oldest and dustiest corners of my hard disk, and found these. I think they are from Melbourne Papercrafts in 1999 - the report in the January 2000 issue of The Rubber Gazette (written by me, in my magazine debut!) seems to corroborate that.

Melbourne Papercrafts was held at the Community Centre in Mount Waverley, not far from where SERS meets now.

Here's Helen, AKA Daisy, the founder of the Stamphappy mailing list, and co-organiser of Melbourne Papercrafts (with Stacey, who is still the boss of Paperific). Helen is standing at the stamp-making machine she organised to be in the foyer for us - it would take a photo and produce a self-inking rubber stamp. Whoa, cool, eh?

This is Laurie, SERS regular in past years, and owner of small dogs.

This is Julie van Oosten, co-founder of The Rubber Gazette magazine (right), with Lea Saddington, (center) who took the magazine on in later years, and Anne Kelso (left), brilliant stamper and TRG helper.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June meeting - the one with Sesame Cookies

Another lovely SERS meeting this month. Much glitter on the floor, and Louise suggested that attendees who make no attempt to stamp should be punished. Her suggestion is not taken up. We'd all be guilty some time.

First things first - here's the recipe for Sesame Cookies, aka Benne Wafers. This was the home made snack I brought this month, and they are very nice to munch on with a cuppa while doing craft.

Now, on to business : Sharon shows us a well set up table for colour-coordinated card making....

Chris (right) came and joined us for the first time. She's formerly of NSW, but now of just-down-the-road. Lizzie next to her is making Christmas cards!! That's Sharon standing up - tee hee, I got a photo of her after all!

Overheard : "Now Nan, you must join Facebook". Cathy is a big fan.

Jenny is making little glittery handbags. She'd spent the morning making things at Little Bits, and then came to us.

Chris injured herself pulling a carrot out of the garden (yes, really) and got a "Carrot Injury Commiseration Card" to cheer her up. There wasn't a stamp for that. I checked.

Cathy saw my dinosaur edge punch and suggested one of the dinosaurs could become a tortoise - she was right!