Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Story of Attempting Project Life!

Never in a million years! Never did I think I would actually ever bight the bullet and attempt a Project Life spread!

Now don't get me wrong.... I really love the concept. The idea of documenting the everyday stories is one that really appeals to me. It's a concept that I fully embrace in my scrapbooking layouts. But the reality of taking photos every day, jotting down notes, printing out photos and making weekly spreads is just not something that I can afford to do time-wise.

Or so I thought.

Because then along came Kim Archer and her fabulous class at Escape 2 Create and I found myself really enjoying this process of quickly slipping in pre-printed photos and ready-made journaling cards and adding just the bare minimum of embellishments. I guess it also helped that it was only a 6x12" spread, and I was using a kit .... but who doesn't have kits?! (And if you answered "me" to that question then I suggest you to first check out the available PL kits here!)

I didn't make my spread to encompass a whole week, rather it was just one event. But an event like a Fairy Princess Birthday Party (actually, it was Disney themed) automatically comes with a thousand photo opportunities, and therefore I had lots of photos to help tell the story. If I had made this into just a layout then I would either have to only use one or two, or make them really small. This way I got to include all the photos I loved from the afternoon.

When the thought occurred to me that I don't even have a Project Life album to put this into I was encouraged just to clip it into my regular scrapbook album. Genius! Who says you need to have a dedicated album? What I could see myself doing is making up a small spread every now and then and just including it in with the rest of my layouts. That seems reasonably do-able.

I will have to get better at photographing these though if I'm going to be doing it more often ;-)


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Story of the Glitter Album

Back in February when I was a Guest Designer for American Crafts one of the things they asked me to make was a mini-album. Still reeling from my dismal failure at completing (AKA: barely even starting) my December Daily, I thought this was going to be one of the harder parts of the assignment. 

I have to admit with the DD attempt still fresh in my mind I said to myself "better make this fairly simple then, if I'm going to make it through" :-) One thing that really helped was working with fabulous product. Give me all the Guest Designer gigs in the world..... but only if I actually enjoy working with the supplies and love the designs. It's just not worth it otherwise.

So inspired by two main products, the Amy Tangerine Stitched Vellum Pockets, and American Crafts Glitter Tape (it was Glitter Week after all) I set to work creating my quick and easy mini-album in a flash!

The album really is actually "mini", measuring only 5x4" with the base of it simply being two long strips of patterned paper (5 x 12") folded up accordion style and stitched together. Then I alternatively adhered photos and the Vellum Pockets to each page.

Inside each pocket fits a journalling card so there's plenty of space to write down all my rambling thoughts. I say rambling thoughts specifically here because I've just chosen a bunch of fun random photos that haven't made it onto any of my layouts. Not really what you'd call a proper theme! But happy to be getting them out of my pile and into a project all the same.

I've decorated each Vellum Pocket with Glitter Tape that's been cut into different designs. Some more intricate than others. The Glitter Tape comes in different widths, so if you're thinking about cutting it up then I suggest the thicker ones. But what I love most is that when you're done snipping and chopping you simply peel off the backing and it's adhesive.... so no fussing around with fine-tipped glues!

Most of the other paper details come from the Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste collection, with just a touch of the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm collection. Both are equally awesome and can mix and match a little.

Ultimately this mini album ended up only taking me an hour or so to make. Waaaayyyy shorter time that my average layout ;-) So I'm quite happy that I came to the realisation that they don't have to be overly complex or complicated to be effective. Occasionally I can do clean and simple too... in fact, might need to do more of it now!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tutorial: Watercolour Ink Technique

The Studio Calico Mixed Media Class started off today with a bang! 4 tutorials from some awesome scrappy ladies including Celine Navarro, Anna-Maria Wolniak, Loredana Bucaria... (and the fourth person was me! Hee hee!!)

Class registration is going to remain open for another month, so it's still not too late to sign up and get in on the action. Because whilst I can't really show you what I contributed to the classroom, I can hint at some of the goodness you'll find in the class by sharing with you a different tutorial that I've put together using some different mixed media techniques ;-) But trust me, this is just the tip of the ice-berg!

In brief, I had two ideas behind what I wanted to accomplish with this card. One was to put my Silhouette Sketch Pens to good use. I've had these for years now and only used them a handful of times. Shame on me! With the myriad of fabulous digital files Studio Calico release each month I knew I could find some appropriate ones for using with the Sketch Pens. I've chosen the Bluegrass Farm Background Cutting File by Paige Evans for this tutorial.

And the second idea was to try some different techniques with the new Color Theory Ink Pads. Because these are a water-soluble ink I knew it would be possible to create some fun watercolour effects with them in the background of my card, whilst using them in the traditional sense to stamp in the foreground.

So here's the video of my creative journey through these techniques and how I put my card together. Occasionally it's a journey of discovery.... (watch me giggle when I find out that Sketch Pens are water-soluble too!) but overall it was just plain fun ;-)


Here's the Supplies I Used:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Story of the Marilyn Munroe Quote

One of my favourite scrapping techniques right now is to layer up a whole bunch of papers and embellishments behind my photo and then add decorative details around the edges. I just love the clustered effect of so many layers of paper, but then to leave enough white space around the photo that it doesn't appear too busy.

I find it easier if I keep most of my clustered layers fairly flat, so I stick to patterned paper, labels, journalling cards, tags and the like. For this layout I combined papers and digital elements from my February Studio Calico Sugar Rush kit. I'm also really enjoying adding gold details to my layouts lately, but I think the trick is to not overdo it! These handmade gold-dipped arrows and banners from ScrAp This! were perfect for layering in.

But the real inspiration behind this layout was the Kellie Stamps March release "Magical" set. Wanting the Marilyn Munroe quote to become my main message on the page I went searching for a photo that would suit the theme. I didn't find one with twinkling stars, but I figured this one with all it's sunbeams was close enough!

The itty-bitty star stamp from the set was a really great decorative shape to stamp repeatedly around the edges of my paper layers with Color Theory Ink. It's no secret that stars are my go-to shape of choice... so I just know I'm going to be using this set a lot ;-) I specifically chose my Color Theory Ink for this 'technique' because it's really brilliant for allowing you to repeatedly stamp without reapplying the ink. It still gives you a clear image every time, but with varying intensities of the colour, so it gives you this lovely distressed ombre effect.

And with that I say goodbye to my extended Guest Designer stint at Kellie Stamps. It's been an absolute pleasure to 'work' for the gorgeous Kellie Winnell, and a great joy to use her beautifully designed products. It's certainly not going to be the last time you see her stamps on my pages ;-) Thanks for having me Kellie.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Bluegrass Farm Reveal

Bluegrass Farm is the April set of Studio Calico kits and they've just been released to the general public. Like right NOW! So perhaps you just want to pop over there straight away, and then come back and read this?! ;-) 

But if you're still reading then let me share with you what I've made with the Bluegrass Farm Scrapbook Kit and it's three Add On Kits which are cutely called Bessie, Clover and Pip.

"Awesome" came together quickly and easily once I spotted the red, navy and yellow combination available within the Main Kit. I knew it would work perfectly for the Superman/woman photo I've been holding onto for such an occasion! The abundance of star embellishments were a bonus hit too. I made my title by converting one of the Card Kit Digital Stamps into a cutting file on my Silhouette.

"Dear Mum and Dad" was created when the kits hit a sentimental note in me. I grew up on a farm until I moved out of home at 18, so the rustic homespun vibe of these kits instantly reminded me of my family. I took this photo of my Mum and Dad at Christmas, and when I noticed the colours in it matched perfectly with the Main Kit I knew it was just meant to be :-)

"The Good Life" was my third Main Kit Only layout (all the other supplies are digital) which I think is testimony to the versatility and breadth that just one kit can encompass. Once again inspired by homegrown fresh produce I wanted to scrap this photo collage of my kids picking strawberries with their great-grandfather recently. That lead me to using the Silhouetted (I'm sure that should be a verb!) strawberries as my focal point. And well... it was just plain fun!

"You Got This" is probably my favourite layout of the bunch which has something to do with using my favourite Add On (Bessie) and something to do with the memories this photo conjures up. Nervous about going on and teaching at the Escape 2 Create retreat a couple of weeks ago, my fellow teachers (Celeste Vermeend, Kim Archer and Gina Rogers) played a big role in making it such a memorable experience. I'm so lucky to now be able to call these girls my friends.

"Epic Weekend" is all about a family weekend adventure to see the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. I was able to even incorporate the ticket into my layout which I think is pretty cool 'cos I like the addition of real-life memorabilia on my pages. To a certain extent I think it makes it more meaningful? The itty-bitty stamps in the Clover Add On are just perfect for putting some finishing touches of scattered detail around the page.

"Live in the Moment" was created with the desire to use all my favourite embellishments from the Pip Add On mixed together with the best bits of all the other kits! I think I succeeded! Still too scared to try my hand at the cross-stitching on the wooden heart... I'm waiting for the Stitched class to begin ;-) Inside the pocket I'm including more details and journaling about these photobooth pics of me and my crazy eldest daughter.

 (Image courtesy of Anna Maria)

On my shopping list this month I've also remembered to stock up on new supplies for the upcoming Mixed Media class. I'm incredibly excited about being a contributor to this, but I'm even more excited to be a participant. I can't wait to learn all the secrets that Celine and Anna Maria have got to share. I can only dream of being able to scrap like them! If you've ever wanted to learn how to include techniques or use mediums such as Watercolours, Neocolours and Gelatos then this is the class for you! It starts on April 1st.


Bluegrass Farm Supplies:


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