Friday, November 28, 2014

Park Avenue Reveal



It's Reveal Day at Studio Calico and the new December Park Ave Kits are now on sale. Here's a look at the Main Scrapbook Kit to get you in the mood for what you might expect....


How would I describe this kit in one word? Vibrant!
The colours in this is what really grabs your attention and sparks the imagination. And that splash of purple dotted throughout is really unique and massively awesome if you ask me. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it makes this kit stand out above the rest and adds an unexpected element in an otherwise more traditional colour scheme of pink, teal and white.

And here's a real-life walk though of what it looks like in person, as well as the 3 Add Ons... as described by the Trophy Husband and Moriah. What's he going to say this time? I honestly have no idea - I actually haven't even watched it this time around. So you're in for as much a surprise as me!

      

Here's what I've done with Park Ave...


Obviously I'm inspired to scrap some Christmas pics at this time of year, and I've got such a backlog from the photos I took last year that I'm starting there!


This layout came together really quickly once I started working with the Digital Templates that Shanna Noel designed this month. They're technically supposed to be used as card templates for your Project Life albums or Christmas cards, but I wasn't the only one on the Creative Team that couldn't resist the temptation to blow this up to an 8.5 x 11" size and create a layout with it. They're super cute aren't they?


I've used the one on the left for another layout I'll share later on in this post too.
But whilst I was perusing the digital shop I came across something else that immediately had me wanting to put together a certain layout. Here's what I was inspired to make...


I'm sure all of us as parents have that massive pile of kid art that we've been given that we're expected to keep forever. I love my kids and I love their art. In fact I've even got a hashtag on Instagram where I help catalogue it all (#ElphieKidsMakeStuff) But in all honesty it's just not possible! There are those special pieces though that you really do want to treasure and I've been trying hard to help incorporate them into my own layouts and PL spreads as a way of immortalising them.


So when I saw the Project Life Digital Stamps with their crafty vibe I knew they would be perfect to create another page featuring some spectacular kid art ;-) Because I already had the photo printed off I chose to convert the stamps into cutting files instead and used them here for my title and the scissor embellishments.


Because the Main Kit was packed with so many things I wanted needed to use I was able to very easily whip up a third 'Main Kit Only' layout - this one inspired by my very favourite paper, the colourful one with all the houses on it.


Yes it's true, sometimes a single product can steer the whole direction of a page! So I started with the house paper and the idea that I wanted to journal about this wonderful city of Melbourne that I live in, and then everything started coming together. First I noticed that one of the Printable Journaling Cards included a quote about a city, and then I also saw the chance to create a skyline of high-rise buildings with the Card Kit Digital Stamps converted into cutting files (again!)


But as much as I love the Main Kit I also couldn't wait to get stuck into the Add Ons. They are just gorgeous. I'm really finding it hard to chose a favourite, and think I should give up altogether. Check them out...


I started working with Ritz, added in some papers from the Main, and then the embellishments from Waldorf (namely those cork snowflakes that everyone on the CT is raving about). Because I just had to work them into a layout somehow, so I made this page about Moriah's latest obsession with the movie Frozen. Totally works right?


Lots of journaling on this one - documenting the events of her birthday just gone. Because I feel like I'd been a bit slack with the amount I'd written on some of the others, so I over-compensated! But it tells the story, and that's what it's all about for me.


The photos scored a bit of digital love in the form of some stamps from the Lizzy Birthday Set which obviously suited the occasion perfectly. I'm seriously considering knabbing the acrylic set for some real-life stamp action because these would make some cute birthday cards don't you think? 
Or if you're in the mood for birthday scrapping, there's also an alternative set that's a bit more funky, called 'Happy Something'. Love the brush script on this one. Another difficult decision. Might just get them both ;-)



My last layout for the month was another hybrid attempt. These Digital Templates will make it so much easier and quicker to get some Christmas scrapping done in the busy season. And I'm ridiculously in love with the bright colours and ability to add so many photos on this particular template.


Although I didn't find the space to add any journaling, I think having 6 photos is probably enough to get a good sense of the story behind the occasion. It really captures the essence of the happy event doesn't it? And I've managed to get 90% of the family on the one page which is usually quite a remarkable feat for our gatherings!


Being a Christmas layout I couldn't resist the temptation to add some gold touches - especially since we're all wearing gold crowns in the photo. I created my own hand-drawn versions with Gold Glitter Zing and coloured in with Gold Mister Hueys. Loving the sparkle this adds.

And if you're thinking you love gold as much as I do, and you're fascinated with the latest craze of scratch off cards, then you might want to check out this 'Upcoming Year Card Set' designed by Marcy Penner. I could easily see these being used as a little desk calendar, or in my Project Life album.


And that's my lot for the month. And for the year really. I've still got one or two little projects coming to various blogs during December which use these kits, but ultimately this is the end of the line as far as the current CT are concerned. Who will be around next year, and what 2015 holds is yet to be announced. I think we're all holding our breath on that one! But I don't think it will be long before announcements are made.

In the meantime.....
Happy Scrapping!
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

What's on my Shopping List: Christmas Edition

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
With the Studio Calico Park Ave Reveal just around the corner, and Christmas fast approaching I thought I would put together a special holiday edition of what's made it into my shopping cart this month.



Not being the most diligent of participants in creating a December Daily (I'm still working on my 2013 album!) I thought it can only help me stay motivated if I sign up for a class. And knowing that anything Stephanie Bryon puts her hand to is going to be stunning, this one was a no-brainer. Class has already began and we're going through building foundational pages at the moment. But enrollment is ongoing and the actual album pages from Stephanie and the other contributors begin on December 5th. It's quite quite exciting!
Cheating a little bit with this one because I already have my hands on this die and it's a firm favourite in my Christmas crafting this season. You can see an example of where I've used it here. It's making my card making SO MUCH EASIER and it's going to be a breeze to put together Bethany's last minute annual "I want to give something to every kid in my class" freak out. I'm still waiting on that to hit. But I'm sooo ready :-)
Finally I've succumbed to the Letterpess craze and now I can see why everyone is obsessed with it. I tried it out for the first time this week and I'm in love with the embossed rich colours it's promising. Anticipating I would quickly need more plates I've already invested in quite a few! And inks! Here's my first little experiment on Instagram if you want to check it out. But searching the hashtag #scletterpress will show you so many more stunning examples.
I've said it before but I think if you're only going to invest in one new Christmas stamp set this year then this one has to be high on your list. It's already sold out a few times before at Studio Calico, but is currently restocked, so if you want to get your hands on it then now is the time. I can't wait to start playing with this. There's also a few awesome alternatives to choose from such as this one designed by Cathy Zielske, and this one designed by JJ Bolton that I'm in love with. It's a tough choice :-)
And lastly, just because no Christmas crafting is complete without a touch of gold and glitter I though this set of washi tape would cover all bases. So so pretty!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Park Avenue Sneaks

I think I'm safe in saying the Mood Board for the soon-to-be-released December Studio Calico kits has got to be one of my most favourite ever. The colour scheme is completely me! Check it out...


Pinks, teals, yellows.... and yes, even purple! And in case you're thinking how much you hate purple, I bet you'll reconsider once you see how the CT have incorporated it into their projects. It's actually a perfect accent colour to this bright and saturated scheme. 

Here's my Park Ave sneaks:



Now I wouldn't say the Kits are Christmas themed. In fact, there's nothing in it to do with Christmas at all, and yet I've managed to make two Christmas layouts plus another holiday project with them, and so have some other CT girls. Super adaptable.


The digital stamps are as awesome as always, and I love turning them into cutting files the best. I've certainly given my Silhouette a workout this month.

These first three sneaks are all Main Kit Only so you can see how fun it is, and the different themes achievable. The brightly coloured house paper is my favourite. Seriously resisting the urge to hoard it.


Two words.... Digital templates.
and here's two more....
Love them.
To bits!


And the snowflakes? My goodness the snowflakes! Despite being in Australia and about to hit a scorching summer I was still filled with a need to use those snowflakes. Moriah's recent Frozen-obsessed birthday celebrations were the perfect excuse :-)

Want to hear some great news? Right now you can sign up for a new Studio Calico subscription (or add one) and get the first kit for only $1!! Wouldn't this make an awesome Christmas present for someone? Or yourself?! Here's all the details...



And then once you're a subscriber you get heaps of other benefits besides a great kit delivered to your door each month, such as access to the subscriber-only exclusives. There's barely a month that goes by that I don't take advantage of these because without fail they're always amazing. For example, the December offer has got everyone in a tizz, check it out:



Yep! It's a gold foil letterpress 2015 calendar and it's only $12.99 (which is heaps cheaper than anything comparable anywhere else) and it'll ship for free with your December kit even when you live in Australia ;-) I'm contemplating ordering a bunch more to give away as gifts!

Subscriber Reveal and Presale is at midday EST on the 27th (either 3am or 4am on the 28th for us Aussies, depending on whether you're doing daylight savings or not) and then the full Reveal for everyone else is at midnight EST on the 27th (which of course equals 3pm or 4pm on the 28th for us here). I'll see you there!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Invisible Ink and Homemade Watercolours

There's nothing more exciting than watching my girls take a real interest in wanting to learn how to scrapbook 'just like Mum'. I love that they're excited about crafting and more excited by the fact that they want to do it with me. And they're eager to discover new techniques too. That gasp of joy when I teach them something and they see it come alive before their eyes is soooo rewarding!


This week I showed them a couple of simple but fun techniques and taught them how to create their very own bright and vibrant Christmas cards. That's right, these two cards you see were made by my 8 year old (on the left) and 4 year old (on the right). Not me. Except for the trimming and sewing etc.


I call this my invisible ink and homemade watercolour technique and it's perfect for crafting for kids. You'll see why if you watch the video.

        

Meanwhile, it's also not bad for us adults too. I love the effect of this and can easily see myself creating cards along the same lines. In fact, I already have! Remember this card from my recent sketch feature on the Studio Calico blog? A bit more technical, but it's basically the same idea.


I love that my kids chose out these bright colours to create with. They're not hindered by thinking about traditional Christmas colour schemes. They just want what they like and for Moriah that always ALWAYS involves purple, and for Bethany it's not so specific - just something pretty.


Although I have to admit, I've been creating my own fair share of Christmas projects with lots of pink and aqua too. They're my favourite all year round so I don't see why I shouldn't include them into my holiday crafting as well ;-)


As a parting gift I've linked up all the supplies we used to create these cards in the list below. I'm still going crazy for Kellie Stamps Joy Set for all it's wonderful typographic sentiments, and I can never have too many stars in my life.

Happy scrapping!
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Supplies:


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

25 days with Stephanie Bryon

Let's be honest. Finishing a December Daily album whilst it's still December has never been a strong point of mine ;-) I have eventually finished every album I've started (which has been yearly for the last 4 years)... but usually it's finished in the following year! For example last year I started my album with grand plans. I printed off a few photos and assembled some supplies.
I got as far as decorating the front cover.


But I've never taken a class before. Maybe that's just what I need to keep motivated and create along at the same time? I'm certain I can hear the new Studio Calico '25 Days' calling my name! Especially when it's taught by Stephanie Bryon and a group of the most amazing contributors and it's promising to be simple and straightforward whilst still being amazingly stunning and elegant.

       

Signing up for the '25 Days' entitles you to the usual perks of any Studio Calico class including free digital files such as Printables, Cutting Files and Templates.



It also comes with a free class kit (whilst stocks last) which a little SC birdie tells me is fast selling out and they're down to their last few. So sounds like you better get in quick if you want to score one! These will ship for free no matter where you live. I love that Studio Calico look after their international customers like this so we don't miss out on the great deals :-)


All the details of what else is included and how to sign up for the class is here. Maybe I'll see you in there?

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