Coming Up Roses

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Good morning from a sunny Hastings.

I have a lot of photos of roses so decided to do something with them.

Rose back ground paper

I will start with the background paper.  This was the original image.

I then edited them using the filters from Photoshop Elements 11 to give these two papers.

Rose backRose background


Using a smart template I was able to place these papers on top of one another to give a semi three dimensional look.

As the background itself  I used this paper.

White rose

This paper I also used for the ribbons.  I found that by using papers as ribbons I was able to get a more interesting affect.  But the colours also matches up as opposed to the ribbons I have in my kits.  It was also used as the card background to the rose photo.

Rose in black and white


This image was originally edited on the Aviary Website with Flickr.  Once I had edited it to the black and white, with the soft pink rose I softened it with the soft focus editor which I preferred as it made the rose more delicate.

Twotone RoseCoral roseyellow RoseRose - coral


These four rose embellishments were then added at the bottom of the page.

I will be getting together some papers which will be available as a download on my website, deco   The link it at the top of my blog page.

Cheers and have a nice day






Faithful Gardens

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Good morning from a cool but very sunny Hastings.

Yesterday ended up cold, wet and totally miserable so I spent most of my time on the computer honing my Photoshop skills.

One day, while out for my walk I came across this fantastic garden with poppies of all colours and sizes.  So of course the camera was busy.

I took a picture of the garden itself.

Flower garden

Then I went through my photos, looking for well defined flowers that I could easily outline them to make them into embellishments.

PansiesPurple PoppiesVioletPurple FlowerSnapdragonFreesias

I wanted photo bright colours.  It is easier to cut out the flowers when the background is a lot darker than the object.

I used the main photo of the garden as the background.  I didn’t want the whole photo as the fence didn’t fit in with my garden theme.  The iScrapbooking allows you to fit the image to size, in proportion to the size of the page or to use the centre of the image which is what I clicked onto.  That got rid of the unwanted parts of the image.   I clicked several times to increase the transparency.  I wanted the background to be defined but the the main image.  I then arranged my flowers how I wanted and then added the text using the text editor.

As you can see I love colour and this all went well together.

Cheers and have a nice day

Supporting Team Aotearoa

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Good morning from a cool, but sunny day in Hastings.

I am feeling very patriotic this morning.  The All Blacks won a bruising encounter last night against the Spring Bocks, much to the delight of my husband.  So this morning it is the turn of the sailors on Team Aotearoa to win at the America’s Cup in San Francisco.  When the Louis Vuitton Cup was being sailed it was a real farce with no real challenging races.  But now it is a lot more exciting.  And we are winning.

I just love this photo of the ferns.  This was taken the other day when I had to go out into town, but stopped off at Cornwall Park to take some photos as you do.  I started off feeding the ducks and then went around to the native bush area actually just to take photos of ferns as I wanted to use them for embellishments,  When I got home I found this photo.  It really stood out to me and I wondered what I should do with it.

I am developing a range of Kiwiana papers which features images of ferns which I have used as background and also as a card behind the photo.  This is a smart template to start with so it was just a matter of clicking and dragging the images where I wanted.  I also deleted elements that I didn’t want as I felt the photo was too strong on it’s own.  I was up to late last night wondering what I was going to do with it.  Then early this morning I thought of our national anthem.  So it was onto Google too get the actual words, for both the English and Maori version.  The Maori version is not an literal translation of the English version –

O Lord, God,

Of all people

Listen to us,

Cherish us

May good flourish,

May your blessings flow.

Defend Aotearoa.

Actually when you hear this being sung you can really feel this.

So go the Kiwis.

Cheers and have a nice day

Impressions of Hasting’s Blossom Parade


As I woke up this morning my heart sank as I heard the rain falling.  Today was the day of our annual blossom parade.  We just didn’t need the rain.  No need to worry.  By 10 AM the rain had stopped and the sun was out in full force by lunchtime.  By the time the parade started it was sweltering.  What a relief.

I was totally impressed with the spirit of the participants and the time and effort along with imagination that was put into the floats.  My husband takes part every year with various groups.  For the past 3 years he has been entering for his work place.  This year he constructed a pirate ship on top of a tandem trailer and because he works at an early childhood centre the them was pirates and princesses.  So far he has only managed a highly recommended but this year he improved on that by coming runner up in the schools section.


What impressed me the most was the colours.  The primary colours were everywhere, predominately red.


I loved the colours in this sari.  It is hard to see but the spangles really glittered in the sun.



There were plenty of red vehicles such as this old fashioned firetruck.  What I latter saw when going over the photos is the fireman in the passenger seat is playing with his phone.  What a contrast of technology.



This red mini was sooooo cute among the flowers.


This float was the winner of the school section.  Each of the large flowers was a hat for the children with only their faces showing.


This float won the peoples’ choice award.  I love the way the balloons make up the grapes.  There was definitely a lot of work that went into that one.


This year we had some horses, these are from the Clydsdale Horse Club.



These are kaimaramara horses.  A special breed.  It was funny when we were looking at the programme and found an entry for the Harleys and Horses.  These were the horses, while the harleys were the Harley Motorcycle Club.  Rather a contrast.


Then there was this shetland pony.


As well as this fibreglass horse.


But this horse wouldn’t have hooves and hair like the Clydsdale.


Blue and yellow was around as well.


Balloons were everywhere.


These were amazing.  Balloons were joined together to make up a child that sat on the shoulders of the walkers for this kindergarten.  How do they get their ideas?


This was very impressive.  As Hastings has a sister city in China this float by one of our city councillors always feature a Chinese flavour.


The soft colours on this float stands out against the square building in the background.


This  bubble float is always the last one.  It is a real crowd favourite.


As I was walking through town to get some lunch when it was finished I noticed these flower arrangements in the fountain right in the middle of the CBD.

All these photos were taken with the Fujifilm XS1.  Today was a photographer’s heaven.  So many photos to take.  I was surprised to find that I had only taken 680 photos.  I thought I had taken more.  I did bump into another photographer who had two cameras on hand, one the ZS1 and the other MX1.  He said he liked the versatility of have a fixed lens but also one with the zoom.

Time to go.

Cheers and have a good night.  Go the All Blacks!

The Art of Quilting – weekly blocks

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I love quilting and have made four so far and have about 4 others on the go.  I decided I would love to know the history of the different blocks while sewing them into a quilt so joined up with the weekly magazine The Art of Quilting.  I found a really good iScrapbooking kit called the Vintage Quilt kit with these papers and embellishments.  Another kit I used was the Seamstress kit.  It is a great way to keep the information about the individual blocks as well as showcasing how I am progressing as each block gets more and more complicated.

Here are the other pages I have done so far.

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The ShooFly block.

Basket of Flowers

Basket of Flowers.

Windmill Sails

Windmill Sails.

Trafalgar Block

The Trafalgar Block.


The windmill block.

Cactus Pot

The Cactus Pot

Diamond Square

The Diamond Square.


The whirlwind block.


The Sailboat.

Chequer Square

The Chequer Square

Double Four Patch

The Double Four patch.

Sawtooth Star

The Sawtooth Star.

Windmill Sails

The Sawtooth Star.

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The Windmill Sails Square.


As you can see some are more similar than others.  In the beginning I begun with a blank page and then built up the image.  Then I discovered the smart template that made things so much easier.  The layout was already there.  It was just a matter of clicking and dragging the photo over and then the papers and embellishment.  I could be pedantic and go back over the first ones and use the template but this is just as much about improving my scrapbooking skills as about the quilt blocks themselves.

I will set up a new blog and explain each one but that as they say is another matter.

Time to log off.

Cheers and have a good night.

Welcome to my little world, Cornwall Park in Hastings, New Zealand

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This is my first real post so I have decided to introduce the world that I live in and what inspires me.  I live in Hastings, within a 10 minute walk to Cornwall Park.  I love going there as it is like a separate world within the world.  I walk there and there is the constant drone of traffic and noise from our busy lives.  But I get inside the park and all I can hear is the sounds of the native birds and the more common sparrows and black birds.


The is the duck pond from Toamoana Road.  I collect the crusts from our bread and go there to feed the birds.  It is never the same.


Depending on the time of day there is can be a frenzy of ducks diving for the bread.


I have learnt to look out for certain behaviour as well to see if I can take more interesting photos, rather than just ducks and more ducks.  In saying that my iPhoto is clogged up with duck photos.


At the moment it is spring so that the ducklings are starting to appear. I also love the way the mirror affect of the water is so interesting.  The ducks are almost lost in this photo.


These photos were taken around 1 PM with no clouds in the sky so that the water reflections were just awesome.


As I said before there  are a lot of birds as well.  Once I had sort of mastered taking photos of ducks I moved onto birds.  The bird in the scrapbooked image celebrating New Zealand is our native Tui, also called the parson bird for the white feathers under it’s beak.  As it is spring time the birds are really going crazy with their mating calls and swooping around the trees.


Further down from the pond is the Chinese Garden.  Hastings has a sister city in China and this celebrates it.  It is a very peaceful place with little picnic areas.


As you can see the reflections are just amazing.


This is a little area with native bushes, in particular the golden kowhai which the tuis love, along with the sparrows.  I have been spending a lot of time here hunting down the elusive fantail but so far I haven’t been able to catch them to my satisfaction on camera.  They are like butterflies and just flit around from tree to tree.


On leaving the native bush area you follow a small man made canal where the ducks also hang around as well.


There are just so many opportunities for taking great photos.  I have been focusing on the reflections lately.  They make great scrapbooking paper.

New Zealand has a different light to other parts of the world and the colours of our native bushes are quite distinctive.  I have discovered how easy it is to do digital scrapbooking with iScrapbooking.  The only problems was finding colour ways  that match or coordinate with my photos.  So I am now using my own images as background paper and have also learnt to do my own embellishments so that I can give my scrapbooking a distinctive kiwiana feel to them.  Here are a couple of other pages I have done with my own images.

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This is a silhouette of a tui among the kowhai branches.  Even the accent papers are images I have edited using Photoshop Elements 11.

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This image just struck me when I was looking back towards the native bush area.

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The daffodils are nearly finished now.

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We don’t really have a good garden, just the same flowers everywhere.  So I have a reputation of being this dodgy snoop going around with a super zoom and taking photos of other peoples gardens.  Even the embellishments are from other gardens.  My husband is waiting for me to get arrested sometime.

We had such a lovely warm day today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be different.  Rain.  The problem you may well ask?  We have our annual blossom parade tomorrow.  Hastings is known as the fruit bowl of the country and every year in September we have a festival to celebrate the coming fruit season and harvest.  It is a great carnival and family event and the atmosphere is just brilliant.  Not the same though, if it rains. I will be there with my camera to record it so watch this space.

Cheers and have a great night.

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