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Stack those Yo-yos

Close To My Heart have three beautiful trees on the cover of the Holidays from the Heart shopping guide. You may have seen them. And admired them. If you haven’t seen them yet here is another peek. 1310-cc-holidays-from-the-heart-au_nz

Aren’t they just gorgeous? Naturally all of us in the CTMH family have been waiting for the opportunity to get hold of the paper, put our Cricut machines to good use and make them. So many of us in Australia are now Cricut owners and love it! (Message me if you would like to know the best way to get yours. )Some of us have completed the project and while not as stunning (because they seem to be so even and well spaced!) as those in the photo we have done a pretty good job recreating these trees.

Cut and score

Cut and score

Fold and join

Fold and join

It begins with cutting 22 pieces of paper! You need at least 2 strips to score and fold then stick end to end forming a circle once folded.

By squashing these flat and adhering a circle top and bottom with your trusty hot glue gun you end up with a yo-yo or rosette – a popular embellishment in the paper craft world.  By making these in gradually increasing widths (cricut dial sizes set from 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches you can then stack from large to small making a nice tower. It actually even feels a bit like  pine cone when done! If you want a more frilly look for the larger sizes you would cut 3 strips to push into your yo-yo.

I have a couple of tips for you if you dare to give it a go.

Lots of rosettes all glued to a circle top and bottom

Lots of yoyos all glued to a circle top and bottom

You will need 4 sheets of double sided Sparkle and Shine papers to get enough pieces to create at least 11 rosettes.

  • Scoring can be done with a ruler, stylus or bone folder and a mat if you do not have a fancy scoring board.
  • You can adhere all these with liquid gloss but you need time for this to firm up.
  • You are best to use a HOT GLUE Gun. For speed and ease, it really is the best option. Use a scrap piece of cardboard under your work to spare your table any damage from hot glue. If you have acrylic nails you may like to protect them from damage too.
  • Be careful – hot glue burns, as does the tip of the gun. Have your  spare glues sticks nice and handy ready to refill – you will need quite a few for this project.
  • When gluing pieces end to end be careful not to burn yourself with hot glue when you press pieces together – the glue will come through the holes in the pattern,
  • When making the very top rosette, before gluing the second securing circle, pierce a hole through it and insert a toothpick that will then be fixed in place with the final gluing. You need this to act as a stand to whatever you top your tree with. It can be broken off shorter if need be.
  • When layering each rosette one on top of the other you may find at times it will need a little leveling depending on how even your original rosette has been glued – use hot glue like mortar – adding more to the die that needs leveling up. Keep checking the way it is standing – you do not want to end up with the leaning Tower of Pisa! Have it nicely balanced on a vertical center all the way up. If you are really worried about this pierce all binding circles and slide the whole lot over a bamboo skewer as you build it up n layers. You are using this to keep it straight – The tree is quite sold when done so the skewer is not needed for stability. I did mine without a skewer and I am quite happy with the result. Hand made is not meant to be perfect anyway right?
  • Allow 2 hours for all of the above then you can do the decorating,
  • I used tag shapes for the tree topper – but you could also use a star or a snowflake. Tie a pretty bow, add some round shaped beads or buttons – I found 3 unique buttons in my stash.

Following the example from the flyer, I decorated my tree with snowflakes. I decided to try Mod Podge and I needed to bling it up so a shaker of fine glitter did the trick. A generous helping of Mod Podge painted on the snowflakes, sprinkled with glitter and allowed to dry.

Sparkly snowflakes

Sparkly snowflakes

Greens ones added a nice touch

Juniper ones added a nice touch

I have used baking paper underneath this part of the work for several reasons. First the snowflakes were easy to move around and second, once finished I could pour excess glitter back into the jar as it slides nicely off the baking paper. Finally clean up is easy – scrunch up the paper and bin it. Be sure to wash the brush you used to spread Mod Podge around with really well.  Sard soap is good for cleaning brushes. Mod Podge is readily available in craft stores. I used the Matt finish one.

Once again the best way to glue these on was with hot glue. If you end up with ‘hot glue strings’ don’t worry – many of us do – it is normal! These can be pulled away or melted away with a heat gun.

And there you have it – the lovely tree ready for the Christmas Table! Mine is just sitting on a nice teelight candle holder.

My Completed table tree. If you are local and would like to make one pre-order your Sparkle and Shine paper ready for next workshop.

My Completed table tree. If you are local and would like to make one pre-order your Sparkle and Shine paper ready for next workshop.

Why not plan to get one of these done for your table? Plan ahead by pre-ordering your paper, having it pre-cut and coming to a workshop to get it done! Contact me for more details or check my workshop schedule over at  my Facebook Page. (Workshops are in the Sunraysia Region)

Relaying for life

I have always wanted to pull an all nighter doing scrapbooking but never have. My desire to sleep is strong (whose isn’t when you get to my age?) and it really does save me being miserable the next day. However, in the words of the MC at the recent Mildura Relay for Life Event – Cancer patients cannot ‘take a break’ so to be supportive our teams had to be sure there was someone on the track  at all times. And so we did.

Being up all night, staying focussed on the task

Being up all night, staying focussed on the task

Team leader Sandra scraps while not walking by torchlight

Team leader Sandra scraps while not walking by torchlight

Darkness brought a whole new look to displaying how we remember.

Darkness brought a whole new look to displaying how we remember.

There was life in our tent all night for anyone who cared to to stop and say hello and chat about how we preserve and share our photos and stories.

Physically I am a partial wreck with an arthritic knee and degenerating spine so walking lots of track laps is beyond me.  I am glad no-one was comparing lap times! Steady and slow got me around plenty of times.  There was a short nap in there as we also relayed through our sleeping tent but I put in my share of laps for the team and spent most of the rest of my time encouraging relayers to come to our tent and see what we do.

One of our customers is a survivor, proudly completing the laps she could, enjoying the scrapbooking and showing us the courage and hope needed.

One of our customers is a survivor, proudly completing the laps she could, enjoying the scrapbooking and showing us the courage and hope needed.

People who suffer cancer are everyday heroes  They show the rest of us the meaning of the phrase ‘fight back’ and for there families ‘Remember’ is significant. The keyword for our Mildura event was ‘celebrate’.

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Relay for life - Celebrate

Relay for life – Celebrate

Celebrate your life, your story, your way adorned our home

Celebrate your life, your story, your way adorned our home

As a scrapbooker I completely relate to remember and celebrate. I am grateful fightback has (touch wood) not been necessary for any of my family. However, we all have something worth remembering and celebrating and being hopeful about Storybooks (traditional or digital) allow us to do that through sharing the story of a patient, survivor or carer.

Cancer patients, their carers, and those who have been lost to the disease all deserve the recognition that comes with hope for recovery, remembering the fight back and celebrating what we love about the individual. Emotionally it may be difficult to remember, to take photos, but journalling helps to celebrate the heroes and creates an outlet for personal emotional wellbeing when cancer becomes part of your life.

Our team was made up of  consultants and scrapbookers.

Customers joined us to both walk and scrap. We are grateful for their contribution.

Even consultants and their babies joined us to both walk and scrap. We are grateful for everyone’s contribution.

A customer is over the moon with the place and punch tool!

A customer is over the moon with the place and punch tool!

I would love to be celebrating meeting  our fund raising goal. In that area we lagged – but I hope we are forgiven having been first timers.We all sought sponsorship and attempted to raise funds through a raffle and hope bag decorating.

A central message of the event - Hope and remember via the candle lit track

A central message of the event – Hope and remember via the candle lit track

Visitors came to our tent to use out tools and embellishments to decorate their hope bags

Visitors came to our tent to use out tools and embellishments to decorate their hope bags

We also offered 10% of income on sales from the event. Our approach needs a little rethinking as we didn’t raise as much money as we would have liked and we discovered we do need to start earlier on this important task.

Most people at the event were walking, remembering, honoring, or sleeping. Purchasing the materials with which to remember or exploring the healing value of recording and celebrating the stories through scrapbooking was not on their mind. I get that 🙂

We did perhaps go about it in not quite the right way. However, now we have done this event the first time we learned a lot. Our core message – to celebrate your life, your story, your way has a great deal of meaning for those dealing with cancer in their lives, be they sufferer, carer or family and friends. I still believe we have something to offer this event.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the event not because of the walking or scrapbooking by gaslight (which by the way was fun!)  but because the act of celebrating, remembering, and being hopeful are central to the reason for doing what I do. It was very humbling to be among those whose lives have been seriously affected by cancer.

I believe in the healing powers of story and journal, in hoping for recovery or dealing with grief and sincerely hope all those affected by cancer take the time to record the stories of the heroes in their lives.  I hope that at least for some the idea of scrapping the story of the journey will be remembered and they know they can turn to us for help with this task as it can be quite emotional.

The team carry our team banner for the final laps of the event

The team carry our team banner for the final laps of the event

I would like to finish with resounding applause for the organisers of the Mildura event. It was hugely successful and we had a wonderful time doing some good for the community.