Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lisse Street Reveal



It's reveal day over at Studio Calico and I'm rather excited that I get to play a part again this month. I'm fairly certain when the head-honchos decided April was the month to release the Australia stamp and die set that they also decided it would make the most amount of sense to send it to the only Aussie on the team to play with! Seems logical... and I couldn't agree more :-) 



Of course, what good is a stamp and die set if I didn't have some pretty papers to use it with as well? So I was lucky enough to also score the Lisse Street Main Scrapbooking Kit which I used to create this Handbook spread with. 


I'm desperately trying to complete my 2014 Handbook with all the monumental events of the year, and our September holiday to Queensland certainly counts as one of those! With lots and lots of photos to include it actually extends over multiple pages, so this became like a front-cover of sorts for the whole section.



I turned the Australia stamp and die into an interesting little add-in as it's just a touch too big to include into a 4x6" pocket (if you include Tassie in it's rightful place!) but that's cool by me because I've been tucking in lots of these types of inserts throughout my Handbook. I've pretty much decided that the Attacher die will be my most used die of the year.


I've since added another photo and some journaling to the back of the insert as well, but at the time I took the photo of my spread I hadn't quite decided what I was going to do with it. 


With so many pretty patterned papers in the Scrapbook Kit I wanted to include as many as I could onto this spread, but that meant when it came to my journaling I had to debate with myself how I was going to put it in. I didn't think I could journal directly onto the paper because the patterns are a little busy and I didn't think I would be able to read it. On the other hand, I didn't want to journal onto plain paper and stick it over the top because it would cover it all up. So the idea of compromising by journaling onto vellum was born. Rather happy with that!


Anyway, the Lisse Street Kits and all the Add Ons are on sale for now at Studio Calico. Check them out here. 

Or if you want the up-close and personal walk through, and you've been hanging out for the return of The Trophy Husband, then you're going to want to watch this....

    

Oh and PS. Did you notice that the Australia stamp and die also comes with a couple of cute extras like this koala? There's also a kangaroo and a fish and a boomerang. It's so fun!

Happy Scrapping!
xx
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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Story of the Macrame Jar Project

The second project that was included in my Makers' Box was a hanging macrame jar kit. To be completely honest, macrame was one of those terms that I've heard of before but didn't actually know what it meant. A quick trip to Wikipedia informs me that it's a form of textile-making using cords tied into a series of elaborate knots that's used as a decorative or hanging item most commonly.


Now that I had that straightened out I could better visualise where I was heading with this project. The item that I would be hoping to hang was this glass jar which comes with it's own snugly fitting glass lid. I say hoping because at first glance of the instructions I was wondering if I would be able to master this retro craftform! But I figured I could just tackle one step at a time, so lets start with something I know.


What I know is that I always want to add my own little special touches to these projects. So whilst the glass jar and lid was nice, it was made spectacular by the addition of some bright pink paint. Seriously, all I did was pour in some rather thin running paint, swirl it around a bit and then wait for it to dry. But it looks so much cooler don't you think?!


When it came time for the macrame bit I needn't have worried. I had it all spread over my kitchen table when my Mum came to stay. She's a crafty type person herself and curiosity had her investigating what exactly all these cords and instruction book etc were about. Once she saw the word macrame I could see her eyes light up with recognition. "I haven't done this in years, I wonder if I still know how?" she exclaimed as she quickly set up her own experimental knot-tying station. Let's just say that by the time I got home from running an errand, my macrame project was done! ;-)


It'a little uneven and the knots are a little wonky, but I'm thinking that adds to the handmade charm of it all. The bright pink paint complements the neon green cords and I love the overall appeal of it. Very retro isn't it? It looks perfectly at home hanging next to a framed vintage Sassafras Lass print above Moriah's bed. And as for the possibilities of what I'm going to store in this - well, they're endless. Small toys is what Moriah will fill it with, she's got a Squinkies collection that's looking for a new place of residence. Or I'm thinking of reclaiming it either for my craft room to fill with embellishments, or to turn it into an air planter and hang it in the kitchen.


I'm really enjoying my Makers' Box subscription - both this macrame jar project and the clay cloud magnets that I shared earlier in the month have been really fun and super-cool. Mikaela is up on the Makers' Collective blog sharing an insight into the latest project kit too. And if you want all the information about how to sign up for a subscription for yourself then you'll find that over here.

Happy Making!
xx
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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Story of Creating with Kids

Have you seen the all-new Big Picture Classes website yet? With its recent launch, I wanted to share a little bit about the site with you. I'll be teaching some classes online with Big Picture Classes this year, and I'm so glad to be able to work in such an all-around amazing place to find inspiration, advice, and creative content from experts all over the world.
If you're not familiar with Big Picture Classes, it's an online learning platform for all things crafty, offering classes that cover all the crucial topics about crafting, creating, and documenting memories that you'll need to excel and then some.  Become a member of our learning family, and you’ll get access to as many classes as you want for only $9.99 a month.  Each class brings you a variety of topics and ideas, not to mention videos, PDFs, prompts and so much more! Stop on by the BRAND NEW Big Picture Classes website to find out more about how you can learn everything you need to know to document your memories beautifully every time!


The first class I'm teaching this year has already launched and it's called 'Creating with Kids'. This installment focuses on Cardmaking. Yes I'm giving you a great big hint there! ;-)
I'm really excited about this topic. I think there's something very special about sharing your talents and imparting your passion to your kids. My girls were so chuffed to be invited to collaborate with me on this class, and every morning they were asking me "what project are we going to do today?" They pretty much consider themselves as co-teachers in this class now!


The way the class is structured is that I teach you 9 different art and craft techniques that you can do with your kids. They're fun and different and messy and awesome! They'd work great just on their own for keeping kids busy during boring weekends and school holidays. But then I take it a step further by showing you how you can take their finished pieces and turn them into 9 different greeting cards that you could give to anyone.

And no, you totally don't even need to have kids to do this class! I've had plenty of women say to me that they're excited to try out the techniques for themselves, and they're coming up with some spectacular results.

Big Picture Classes is also offering a FREE 14 day trial at the moment where you can take my class and as many other classes as you can handle during that time. So what are you waiting for?! You can find out all the information about Creating with Kids | Card Class here.

Happy Scrapping,
xx
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jot Magazine March Mood Board Challenge

So the good news is I've got plenty of reasons to be giving away lots of these today....


Yesterday we welcomed the safe arrival of our third baby, Judah James after a speedy labour. It all went very well and we're both doing fine. The girls are super excited of course, and the Trophy Husband couldn't be prouder. Obviously anticipating this moment I have taken the opportunity to make up a few pre-prepared Thank You cards. This one that you see here was inspired by the March Mood Board challenge at Jot Magazine. Aren't the colours just delightful?!
Very fresh and crisp and representative of new life don't you think? So it couldn't be more perfect for me right now. And whilst I know that at first glance this card might look a little complicated with all it's layers let me share my trick with you.... all I do is gather scraps of supplies that match the colours and put them in a big pile. I usually don't search very hard, I just find the first things that my eyes land on, and then I build up some layers on my card until I'm happy with the arrangement. So it's actually a reasonably quick process.


For example here the white butterfly is a scrap that was still lying on my desk from something else (which was too long ago to even remember, but I kept this negative image because I knew it would come in handy for something like this!) and then all the layers underneath that are Project Life cards. The only bit of 'real work' I did was diecut the word Thanks using one of my most-used metal dies from Studio Calico. I cut it in green glitter cardstock because I just couldn't help myself!


If you've been just as inspired by the March Mood Board at Jot Magazine as I was then you'll want to check out all the details on how to play along here. You can of course create a layout or a Project Life spread, or anything paper project essentially. I'm just still stuck in my card making groove lately!


Our sponsor this month is A Piece of Cake Designs with a generous gift voucher up for grabs. Maybe I'll see you over there?

PS. You can check out my fresh baby pics on Instagram if you're interested :-)

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Story of the Clay Cloud Magnets

Have you heard me talk about the Makers' Collective yet? It's a non-scrapbooking Design Team I joined recently. Yes, I said it's not about scrapbooking! What it is instead is a subscription based system where you get sent kits to make home DIY projects. The projects are interesting and varied in nature, and I'm here to share my February project from my Makers' Box (sorry, it's a little late!)


So I totally forgot to take the photo which showed you everything that came in this kit, but obviously it has everything you need to create these air-drying clay cloud magnets, with enough supplies left over for other projects. It also comes with a complete set of instructions which make it really easy to follow along. So easy in fact, that I knew my 5 year old was going to have a ball creating her own version of the project alongside me. So that's what we did!


The templates themselves are totally adorable, and the first step was to cut them out.


We rolled out the clay to about 0.5cm thick... or as much as Moriah could manage. Then placed the templates on top and cut around them. Obviously I didn't let Moriah use this sharp knife to cut hers, all I let her have was a butter knife, which actually worked just as well.


The best part was that the clay is air-drying so no need to worry about baking it. But it takes a lot longer obviously, and we left ours for 24 hours as recommended. After both me and Moriah had made our own versions of the cloud and raindrops from the template, we still had at least half of the supplied clay left over which meant that once Bethany came home from school and saw what was going on she wanted to join in as well. She didn't want to make clouds though, she preferred a flower. We simply printed off a flower shape from Google and then she followed the same set of instructions.


Now the project kit came with a couple of suitable markers for drawing on the simple cute face on the cloud that you can see on the template. But if you know me, I'm not usually one for taking the simple way out, and I thought we could get a lot more creative with paints instead... but these don't come with the kit.


Moriah doesn't need direction when it comes to this sort of thing, and she simply painted what she felt like, which was this fabulous block pattern. Bethany, suffering from a lack of patience at that point in the game went for a very simplistic approach with her flower. Not that it's any less effective!


Strong glue and magnets to adhere onto the back was what finished off the project. After I used up the supplied magnets on one set of the cloud and raindrops, I simply cut up pieces of those flat 'junkmail' advertising magnets that you probably have a thousand of if you're like me, and stuck them on the back instead. The clay is thin and light, so those flat junk magnets do the trick just as nicely.


Now whilst I'm super late on showing you my February project, I have already done my March project as well, and let me tell you, it's completely different whilst being just as fabulous. But I'll leave that sharing for another time ;-) All the details you need to sign up for the Makers' Box for yourself can be found here.

What I will tell you about in the meantime is the celebrations going on at the Makers' Collective right now!


Which means it's also time for lots of giveaways!!
Check out all the details on how to win this (and other prizes) here.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Jot Issue 9

Well it's out and about and it's freakin' fabulous!
I'm talking about the new issue of Jot Magazine of course :-)
It's the first issue with the new Jot Girls, of which I'm feeling really honoured to be amongst (the talent is just outstanding!) and so I'm feeling just a little nervous as well. But honestly, everyone included in this magazine has done such an amazing job at leading trends and creating cutting-edge projects that you can't help but be inspired.


I've got a couple of layouts included. I wish I could have made more for this issue.... but you know.. baby preparations and all! Ironically, one of the galleries for this Issue is a baby gallery - but I just don't have the material for it yet. If only it was next issue! Meanwhile, I've got layouts in both the Back To School and Oh Deer galleries (you knew I couldn't resist that one right!?)


This is by far the biggest issue yet with a whopping 176 pages full of layouts and Project Life pages and more. If you haven't ever read it before then you're truly missing out. If you have read it before then you know what I'm talking about. I honestly believe this is one of the highest quality digital magazines of it's kind.

And did I mention it's FREE?!

You can access it right here. Happy reading :-)

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Time to Shine

I'll be honest, this is actually a spread I made ages ago.
Might have only just gotten around to photographing it, but the making was ages ago.
Let's see... this is the Poet Society Scrapbook Kit and Add Ons, so that makes it September! 


Not sure why I did a Project Life spread with the contents of a Scrapbook Kit, especially given I subscribe to the Project Life kits as well. But probably I was just challenging myself to use more of my stash. And obviously it really IS all about using whatever you have on hand. The real point is about capturing the memories right?


Anyway, I do love these photos of Bethany with our aging family dog. She's a true farm dog, lives outside, barely trained to any other command apart from the call of food. But she's friendly and calm and just the sweetest thing. Which is why it was weird that Bethany was always deathly scared of her as a child. Somewhere along the way though things changed, and all at once they became best friends.


Meanwhile, I've actually got heaps more PL spreads completed. September holiday snaps now all documented. Working on Christmas next. Really gotta get more photographed though!
Will probably have to resort to a massive catch up post.
Watch for that soon.
I hope!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

The Story of the Tassel layout

I always love the February kits at Studio Calico. I don't know what it is, maybe because it's the month of love and the kits tend to be girly and colourful, but without fail it's the February kits that always make it into my top 3 by the end of the year. It's no doubt that Cirque fits the bill for 2015, and I was lucky enough to be sent High Wire and Flying Trapeze to work with! My assignment? Create a little tutorial for you :-)


When faced with a 'challenge' like this I simply just start off with what I know. I make a layout! And whilst I'm piecing it together I look at my products, I look at my colours, and I look at my embellishment choices and wait for inspiration to strike about what I can add that's a little funky and different. What can I do that's a little technique-y and suitable for translating into tutorial form.


Inspired by the feather stamp in Flying Trapeze, and because I'd been perusing all the latest CHA releases which seem to have rather a party focus this season, I thought I could definitely do a scrapbook version of fabric tassels.


The tutorial was up on the Studio Calico blog last week. If you'd like to check it out you can find it here.

And if you were contemplating a subscription then February is definitely the time to do it with these codes for 50% off your first month.

Links: 
Subscribe to the Scrapbook Kit. 
Subscribe to the Card Kit.
Subscribe to the Project Life Kit. 

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Story of My Journaling Bible

Once again I'm here to confess to my slight Instagram addiction. I'm feel like it's so easy and immediate that I'm posting on there all the time, and it seems to give me the impression I'm up to date! Then I realise my poor old blog gets a little bit more neglected each time, so I thought it was time for a bit of a catch up :-)


For those of you who follow me on Instagram you would have noticed that over the past few weeks I've 'discovered' the world of bible journaling and it's quickly become a main staple in my creative ventures. It's not necessarily a daily routine, but perhaps every second or third day I start out my morning looking something like this : breakfast, coffee, journaling bible, Handbook full of stamps, printables and some old Studio Calico kits.


I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do this, and I'm certainly still feeling my way along and working out my style. Not that I think you have to have a style either! I see it as very similar to art journaling in a regular journal. Sometimes you want to test out different mediums, try a specific supply, work in a certain genre. Sometimes you want lots of words, other times it's visual impact you're going for.


What I do know is that since I started it's been like a lightbulb moment when it's finally dawned on me that the creative talents He has blessed me with, and the desire to get more involved in the Word could be combined into this one glorious outlet. Now one craving drives the other, instead of my previous impression that they were competing interests.


I really can't credit anyone else more highly than Shanna Noel for inspiring me to begin this journey. I've been following her on Instagram for the longest time (I'm certain I was following her there even long before we were both on the Studio Calico Creative Team together last year) and that's because she's one of the most genuine people 'I know', and because her scrapbooking style is out of this world!! So when she started what she called "Illustrated Faith" slowly but surely last year I watched eagerly to see where this was going. She just launched her website last week (?) and I've been devouring it ever since. It's definitely the place to go for bible journaling inspiration!


Anyway, so that's just one thing I've been up to lately, and I felt it was worthy of blog-post status! ;-) Here's some other things that have happened recently too:
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