Exhaustion and Sorrow.

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The bushfire saga continues here in Australia, and here in my beautiful part of the country.
So many people have lost their homes and their livelihoods, so much of our beautiful countryside blackened and so much of our beautiful wildlife killed or maimed.
It truly is heart breaking.
81696924_605402686954852_696378128993353728_nAnd while I know how lucky we have been, we still have our lives, our home, our beloved pets and all our belongings, it is taking a toll.
The exhaustion from being hyper vigilant 24 hours a day.  Of the alerts on my phone going off when new fires start or current fires get worse.  The sorrow of knowing that friends have lost everything and other’s are in danger.  The sorrow of knowing that nothing will be the same. Ever.
This map shows you how we are surrounded by the fires.  The blue binoculars indicate where we live.

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Many people are asking how we will ever recover from this tragedy.  How people can move on and start again.  But we will, people always find a way.
The sad part is, it’s not just in our immediate area that these bushfires are raging.  It’s further north and further south.  There are fires in most parts of Australia.

These are photos taken of a beautiful area we love to go to, before the fires on the left, and after on the right.

And another photo of the amount of burnt debris that has washed up in a similar area.

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With bushfires up and down the coastal area, during our primary holiday time of the year here in Australia, I also wonder how businesses will cope financially.  Today, it all feels too difficult to even comprehend.  But perhaps that’s just because I am so lacking in sleep.
This photo is of the mountain near us with the red glow of fire behind it.
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Today, we have the news that the conditions have eased, and we can relax just a little.  The fires are still out of control, but with better conditions it will be possible for the firefighters to contain the fires and stop them spreading.  In reality, many of these fires are just too big to be put out, for that to happen, we need rain.  Heavy rain over a long period.
This photo, taken by Ben Marden, a local photographer, really says it all, the devastation, the despair, and the question of how and where to start.

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Even for those of us who still have our homes, that despair and feeling of helplessness is still intense.  The recovery from this will be long and hard, and very emotional.

So where does that leave me?  It’s the least of my worries really, but I do have a business as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator which relies on other people coming to my classes or buying product.  But these people are probably not going to be coming to classes for some time to come, and we are all focussing on pulling together and helping those that have lost everything.  Without classes and sales, unfortunately my business may just be one of a number in the area that closes down.
I sincerely hope that’s not the case.
In the meantime, I may have some cards to share with you soon, hopefully I can find a few minutes to relax and be creative.
Please continue sending rain our way, pray if you believe, or do a rain dance.  Anything at all will be appreciated more than you can know.
And thank you to those that have left comments of love and support, your comments mean so much to me.
Keep crafting,
Chris
xx

 

We are Safe!

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You may have heard of the devastating bushfires happening through many parts of Australia.
Over the last few days our own town and surrounding areas have been heavily impacted by what is being described as an apocolypse.
Yes, we are safe.
At the moment we have power and communication.  But for how long, we don’t know.
Many, many people have lost their homes, some have lost the lives of loved ones, many businesses have been burnt.  Entire towns have been completely erased.
We are grateful that the town we live in is ok, that we still have our home and that we are fine.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what has been happening.

This town is about 20 minutes drive away from where we live.  It was a town full of gorgeous old buildings, full of history and the homes, businesses and lives of many people in our area.

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The next photo is of the town we live in, the first photo taken around 9.30am, the second at around 11.30am.  We were surrounded by heavy red smoke for the rest of the day.  It was eerie, we had no vision, couldn’t breathe outside and had no way of knowing what was going on.  Fortunately, today is a little better.

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Our favourite beach, which we go to regularly, was littered with the black leaves and debris which was washed up on the shore line, all burnt by the devastating fires that are still burning, many still out of control.

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These fires are raging up and down our beautiful coast line.  The impact will be massive and long lasting.  And even for those of us who still have our homes, the regional impact will also be long lasting.
The fires are not out yet, things could change in an instant.  However, we are staying positive and now starting to think of ways to help those who have lost everything.

For those of you celebrating the start of 2020, I wish you all the best for this year.
All we can do is hope and pray that it will rain!

I will try to keep a little crafting happening sometimes, and to share that with you here when I can.
In the meantime, your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated more than you could possibly know.

Chris
xx

 

 

 

 

Heart of Christmas Week 13

Heart of Christmas 2019
Welcome back to the Heart of Christmas Blog Hop.

Copper Detailed Bells Dies Christmas 2019 Holiday Catalogue Stampin' UP! Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping

This week I have combined the Detailed Bells Dies with the Brightly Gleaming Designer Series Paper.  I love this paper, and it is so versatile, it doesn’t have to be used just for Christmas.  But I have, I’ve made two Christmas cards with this combination.

Brightly Gleaming Designer Series Paper DSP Detailed Bells Dies 2019 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalogue Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping (1)

Brightly Gleaming Designer Series Paper DSP Detailed Bells Dies 2019 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalogue Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping

Did you notice, there’s no stamping on these cards?
I have used the gorgeous Classic Weave Ribbon, instead of stamping.

To see all of the other Christmas inspiration, make sure you hop over the Judy’s blog where you can find links to everyone who is taking part.

Happy Stamping!
Chris

Butterfly Wishes Colour Challenge

Butterfly Wishes Card Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping 2019 Stampin' Up!

My card today uses the colours of the current Just Add Ink Challenge, which are Rococo Rose, Blackberry Bliss and Mossy Meadow.
Butterfly Wishes Stamp Set Stampin' Up! Card Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping 2019 Annual Catalogue

Gorgeous colour combination!
I have used the Butterfly Wishes stamp set for this card, with a few different techniques.
The branch has been coloured using Stampin’ Write markers in the two different colours, and then stamped off twice before stamping onto the piece of white cardstock.
The flowers, which I am not all that happy with, were stamped in the pink and then coloured using Stampin’ Blends, but I didn’t get as much shading as I wanted.
The butterflies were all stamped in Blackberry Bliss ink, and then lightly coloured with Stampin’ Blends in the Rococo Rose colour.
A touch of Wink of Stella on the flowers and some rhinestones for the centres.
Have to add some shiny stuff!!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy stamping!
Chris

Heart of Christmas Week 2

Pine Tree Punch Perfectly Plaid Christmas Trees Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping
Week 2 of the Heart of Christmas weekly Blog Hops.

Heart of Christmas 2019

I have gone with very traditional Christmas colours for this week’s Heart of Christmas Blog Hop, using some of the products from the Wrapped in Plaid Suite on Pages 12-14 of the 2019 Holiday Catalogue.

Christmas Card Wrapped in Plaid by Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping 2019 Holiday Catalogue

I’ve started with a Very Vanilla base this time, I really like the more vintage look that it gives, and a strip of the gorgeous Wrapped in Plaid Designer Series Paper which has the lovely gold stripe through it.
So gorgeous for Christmas projects.
Wrapped in Plaid DSP Christmas Card Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping
The ribbon is from the current Annual Catalogue, the Metallic-Edge Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon edged wtih gold.  To make the bow, I have doubled up a length of ribbon, tied it in the middle with a piece of twine and then popped one of the Designer Elements from page 178 of the Annual Catalogue, over the twine to hide it.
The rhinestones have been coloured with a Cherry Cobbler Stampin’ Blend.  I’ve added these to the centre of the Designer Elements.
“Merry Christmas” was stamped in Cherry Cobbler, and then I have run the Wink of Stella over the top to give it some shimmer but unfortunately I wasn’t careful enough and it has just smudged the ink in a couple of places.  The sentiment has been die cut using one of the Ornate Frames Dies from Page 53 of the 2019 Holiday Catalogue.
The Christmas Trees have been punched out using the Pine Tree punch, which makes Christmas cards a breeze!
Pine Tree Punch Perfectly Plaid Christmas Trees Christina Barnes Dot Dot Stamping

I have guest stamper and cardmaker, Tammy Prince joining me again this week, with another of her fabulous designs.
Tammy Prince Christmas Card 2019 Holiday Catalogue Let it Snow

Tammy has used the Let it Snow Specialty Designer Series Paper for her card today, and combined that with the Frosted Frames Dies, Stitched Seasons Framelits Dies and So Many Stars stamp set, the gorgeous Cherry cobbler 1cm Diagonal Stripe Ribbon, and add some sparkle with Shimmery Crystal Effects and Ice Stampin Glitter.

So gorgeous!  Thanks for sharing with us again, Tammy.

If you would like to see what the rest of the Blog Hoppers made this week, you can find the list of participants on Claire’s blog.
Happy hopping, and happy stamping!
Chris

Colour Creations – So Saffron

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This week we are featuring So Saffron.

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And I had a lot of fun making a card with this colour……
Along with some new goodies!

I’ve made a Double Easel Fancy Fold card, but trust me when I say it didn’t want to come together for me.

Which is often what happens when I am as tired as I have been recently, things go on crooked and all sorts of things just not quite working out to plan. Anyway, here’s the end result.

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I have used the gorgeous Mosaic Mood Specialty papers, which I have fussy cut the Roses and leaves, the butterfly and the Hummingbird from. It goes beautifully with the So Saffron base and Mint Macaron layer.

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For heaps more inspiration using So Saffron, click here.

Happy Stamping!

Chris

Just Add Ink Colour Challenge

Wow, look at these high vibe colours.
I love this colour combo, so I just had to take part in the challenge!
JAI
There was just one problem with it though.  I only have a few ink pads and out of these colours, only one.
So I had to be a little inventive.
I guess that would be the entire point of a challenge, right?
Fortunately, I do have all of these colours in cardstock, so here is what I came up with.

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The balloons come from the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set, and since I don’t have the punch, the balloons have been fussy cut.
I then attached some white Baker’s Twine to the back of each balloon before I adhered it with dimensionals, and tied the three pieces of twine together in a knot and secured it with a dab of glue to the card.

Happy Stamping!
Chris