Method Playground

I'm the guest designer this fortnight on Method Playground, a challenge blog. My challenge is to use magazine clippings on a layout, and this is my example page (above) for the guest spot... I'm also sponsoring with April's Q Tea Kit, why not give it a try? I had a lot of fun pasting, stapling and painting my layout together ;)

Lunch and Doggie Mushroom

On Sunday, Ben and I were treated to a late lunch with all our closest friends around these parts as a celebration of our 10th anniversary (complete with free babysitting, LOL). It was in an awesome local place we'd been meaning to try, and we had a really lovely few hours hanging out chatting with friends, a couple of whom we don't catch up with often anymore so it was especially nice! It was all thanks to these lovely ladies, who did the organising...

Both Ben and I felt a bit overwhelmed at the idea that our friends wanted to do this for us, it's so sweet and strangely social for us introvert/homebody types! But it was so beautiful of them and we had such a great time.

Just throwing this one in from a few days ago, it makes me laugh because this is what Ash always asks for, before bed, when we're going out in the car or just when he feels like it "Doggie mushroom?" - his two favourite toys!

The thing about Q Tea

The thing about Q Tea is, I do realise that my announcement about closing my kit club was possibly more blunt than it needed to be. Or perhaps blunt isn't the correct word - too open, too simplified perhaps? Anyhow, I've intended on expressing more of the process here on my own blog but just haven't got around to it until now :)

And it turns out there have been more developments and it's not a closure anymore anyway, but a handover, which has its own barrel of emotions, LOL.

It's true that I decided to close due to a drastic decline in sales - March sold about half the quantity I sold out of back in October last year. That said, it was still more than I had started the kit club making, and back then that smaller quantity was all I had hoped for from the business! So Q Tea is still profitable and has an awesome customer base, it's just smaller than it was at its peak. In truth, it was both a business decision and a personal decision! The decline in sales didn't kill the business, but it made me realise that it was time for a turning point to keep things moving ahead. And a turning point in business is a good time to re-evaluate, leading me to the conclusion that I'd like to move on to new challenges now, and allow myself new and different creative opportunities.

Am I sad about it? Yep, a bit, but not regretful sad, just bittersweet I guess. I love designing the kits still, but I love doing lots of creative things, and having run Q Tea for almost 2 years I'm ready to move on to try out some new ideas. I felt sad because I am proud of having built Q Tea Kits and I think it is a fun brand, a niche target market and an inspiring product. Not that I'm being modest or anything, LOL. So now that Q Tea Kits will be not be closing, but rather be run by someone new (and capable, both administratively and creatively), I am both glad that it will continue and a bit nervous at handing over my creation! I'm certainly finding it confronting that I'll be giving someone else total control, hehe, but also confident that future kits will be fabulous and I am more than likely going to be a loyal customer myself :)

Hmm so what sort of thing am I going to try now? I've got a few ideas... my etsy shop will still be running, I'm thinking of art prints, mini project kits, possibly embellishments, online classes and all sorts of other snippets that I may or may not ever get up to ;) I'm also keen on painting more, I've just pulled out my old Pentax film camera and bought film for my first camera - a plastic toy one! I have sewing projects, design ideas and decorating to do, so my fingers will certainly still be messy on regular basis... And, even though my decision didn't relate to him, I am also growing a baby, so there's that stuff to pull together before July :)

Ben and I went out and saw Lisa Mitchell the other day (well, Ben accompanied me!) - click on the link to her myspace and have a listen to 'Coin Laundry', I'm really enjoying it! It's getting airplay on JJJ too.

The photos from today's post are brought to you by Ash Quarmby, 3 years old, with his mum's 400D and a 50mm 1.8 lens [edited by dQ with Nichole Van texture action on first shot, Itty Bitty Actions on shots 1 and 3 and my own action on all three] - snap snap!

I spent today...

...decorating the kids' cubby in a fairy forest theme as a surprise for them both. Ben took them out to see Monsters Vs Aliens, got them lunch, took them to a playground and ended up at a local cafe until I said they could come back! It took awhile, about 4 and a half hours, to do what is here. There are some more details I plan to add over time.

Curtains were made out of some fabric I found in the dress up box. This art supplies caddy thing was already in there, there is a new watering can sitting on it which was part of the surprise.

A Disney 'Fairies' calendar on the wall. Terracotta pots scattered around for chalk and other supplies to go in. A log and a toadstool cushion I whipped up this afternoon make a cute seat. The entire floor of the cubby house has been covered in artificial turf (from Bunnings). The butterflies attached to the roof are from The Fairy Shop at Salamanca in Hobart.

There are fairy lights strung across the ceiling, the beams have been painted a bright sky blue. The walls were painted a dreamy mix of pale greens and pale yellow, all roughly combined at the top with the blue trim.

I hung a mirror to increase the effect of the light from the windows, and to make it seem brighter in there. This stool I have had for awhile, I recovered it last night with this leftover piece of green houndstooth flannelette I had, and a scalloped knit trim in the same green. Concrete toadstools are scattered around the edges, they used to be out in the garden but the kids always cart them around and they get lost. They are from 'Fairies in Your Garden' in Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills.

The string of blue butterflies hanging down the left of this shot were a gift from Em in the post awhile ago. This little shelving unit we've had for ages, it was in primary colours and I am halfway through covering it in woodgrain wallpaper, but it was taking ages (this was yesterday afternoon) so I left the green bits showing for the time being.

I want to add some stuffed felt toadstools I am making, and some felt teepees from the RVA spring workshop I have been doing (in theory, I've been reading the projects and getting inspired, but not making many of them!). I was going to also add a tree silhouette to the wall with the woodgrain wallpaper, but I'm not sure now if it needs it. I'll probably re-paint the chalkboards as well. And I do need to seek out another couple of logs and make cushions to use them as extra toad-stools!

OK I'm really tired now. But the kids were very excited about it, so it's all good.

Edited to add: Check out my big announcement on Q Tea - just click here

New layouts

First, a new fave from the photo shoot of my friends a few weeks ago... love the look on Indi's face here :)
Detail shot and layout using Q Tea's April kit

This one uses some new papers I got from here, a magazine clipping and the houndstooth wallpaper will be in Q Tea's May kit

Home again and SC65

OK, first thing is first, let's announce the winner (in fact, the only person who came back to my blog and commented!) of the Scrapbook Creations forum Take Five challenge I posted a couple of weeks ago... drumroll please...

Boho Queen said...

hi DQ.
Just done the take five. I am not a forum kind of chick, but maybe youve started something...

Hana-jane Mickley

Thanks for joining in, Hana-Jane, you have a Honey Bee Happy kit on it's way to you as we speak - enjoy! Thanks as well to everyone else who has popped into the forum over there.

Now for a share, here are four of the eight pages I have in the new Scrapbook Creations mag, issue 65. This first one is from my feature 'Pieces of You'. I can't find images for the other four layouts in the feature, LOL, so will share them in a later post.

This was my Green and Purple page for the colour team...

Here is my paper doll layout for the Top Ten feature, I love the colours in all these embellishments, they suit Sienna very well!

My fave layout from my pages in this month's mag is totally this one of my nephew Caden from the sketch feature. I love the glimmermist on the background paper and I used the wet-sanding technique on my photo backgrounds before adding watercolour crayons for extra colour. Mostly I just love the colour combo.

Hobart was fun, I didn't really take many photos but will have a look at what I have in the next few days, and have a share. In the meantime, here is the apartment where we stayed in South Hobart...