Sunday, January 31, 2010

Off the Page and Onto the Wall

I actually made this wall hanging some time ago but haven't gotten around to posting it (or even photographing it to start with). But I'm getting more motivated to show that I do other things apart from just scrapbook pages!



I've used an inchies frame for the main part, and popped up some of the inchies for some dimension. Then I've just decorated each square separately.



Lots of different materials on this, and filled with different techniques.
It's all framed up in a shadow-box and sitting on my TV cabinet. I had an idea at the time to do another one in a different colour (I was thinking a pink/orange/peach combination) as I had two shadow boxes. I thought I would be able to put them at either end of the cabinet to create some balance. But when I pulled out some stuff to get to work on it I realised that although I bought the shadow-boxes at the same time and made by the same manufacturer, they must have been from different batches because they were actually a bit different.
So now we're stuck with just the one for the moment.

Scrapping from the Big Screen

I'm so excited to announce that I am now officially designing for From Screen 2 Scrap! I've been taking part in this challenge blog for the past few months now, as well as the ARTastic challenge blog who are both run by the same wonderful and lovely Shazza.
In fact, it's really on the encouragement and urging of Shazza that I even started my blog in the first place. When I scored my very first win in a challenge blog (ARTastic) part of my prize was the blinkie you can see down there on the right hand side. Now that's great, but I didn't have any use for it at the time. But when Shazza emailed it to me she commented that it would be great if I did have a blog. It still took me a little longer than that to decide to go ahead and do it, but when I did, who should become my very first follower, but Shazza!
So when she asked me if I would join their Design Team at From Screen 2 Scrap all I could say was yes, yes, YES! I feel as though I can repay her in some small way, and I was so very flattered. My term officially begins next month, but that shouldn't stop anyone from going over and checking out this month's challenge.

For February your challenge is to take your inspiration from the movie poster for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and include a skull (or 2!) in your design. Feel free to create a layout, or any other project that tickles your fancy.



And to score yourself bonus points, you have the option of including some extras.
*Movie Diva Demand* For extra
3 bonus points (in total).......
1 x sword = 1pt,
1 x parrot = 1pt, 1 x pirate ship = 1pt
(This is optional, you don't have to do this but it does give you the extra bonus points!)
So go over and check it out you won't be disappointed. The Design Team layouts have already been posted to inspire you, now all you have to do is put your creative thinking caps on, and get your hands dirty!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fussy and Fancy Friday

The latest challenge has gone up at Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenges. Just in time to get you thinking about Valentines Day, the theme for this challenge is 'hearts'. Take the theme however you want, and create whatever you would like! A card, a layout, an OTP.



This was my last project with them as a Guest Designer. I've loved being part of their community, and it's especially exciting to have been part of something right from it's beginning. Can you believe that it's only been running a month, and already they have over 600 followers, and for the last 2 challenges have received over 350 entries! Amazing!



I was a little intimidated in the beginning because all the other DT members are awesome card makers, and as you know, I don't really do cards very well. But I reasoned with myself (and with them!) that they did choose me based on my work which is largely scrapbook pages and the occasional OTP. So I embraced my role as the token scrapper, and embraced the theme of hearts and totally went to town with it!



I mean, how many hearts is too much? Each one of them I painted, and misted, and cut, and sewed and distressed. Then I layered with some pop-dots, added some rub-ons and journalling and that was my embellishments done. Other than that, I've used some Rose Moka paper, and Adornit alphas and that's pretty much it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Game On

Bon's Scraps are having a massive 2 week long cybercrop with scrapping fun and games. It starts today! There's going to be bingo, and a treasure hunt, and photography, and scrapping challenges (of course) and lots more. All for the chance of winning $50 to spend at her store. It sounds like a lot of fun. I hope I get enough time to participate as much as I want to!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time for your close up

I've been asked for some close up shots of the new baby. So what better way to do that than in a layout?



Here she is at Christmas, all of a month old. MGE are her initials if you're wondering about the funny title!



This is me attempting to do 'simple scrapbooking' - that is, nice clean lines (which of course, I then went all inky on!) minimal embellishments and patterned papers, elegant design (I think?!)

Spooky

Yesterday I made these cards (correction: yesterday I finished these cards). I wasn't consciously drawing my inspiration from anywhere, this was just another one of those projects that I thought of while drifting off to sleep.



Then today on The Gal Blog they have done a post on simple repeated punched patterns. Spooky, I tell you.

In other good news.....



I submitted my very first layout for consideration for publication in Scrapbook News and Review Magazine, and it was accepted! I mean, I submitted a layout for consideration for the very first time, not I submitted the very first layout I did. That would be horrific.

It's not a layout you have seen because I never got around to posting it here. I had finished it only the day I was reading about the upcoming calls for this magazine, and realised it fitted nicely into their criteria and thought 'what have I got to lose?'

The layout has been published in the January edition which was out on the 24th. Of all things it will be published in the Digital Delights Inspiration section. No, it is not a digital layout. It's real, you can touch it. But it's under the 'writing on photos' section. I've been playing with Photoshop!

Monday, January 25, 2010

New size, same place

When I started scrapping I only knew about 12 x 12 inch layouts. But then I started seeing 8.5 x 11 inch layouts surfacing. And then they were everywhere! At first I was unconvinced, I mean, having to trim everything down? Not being able to fit as many embellishments on it? Hhhmmm....

But slowly and surely I've come around. So I bought my first 8.5 x 11 inch album the other day with the express intention of delving into this mysterious world. And here's my very first layout.



It's about part of our bedtime ritual around here. No.1 girl is a creature of habit, everything must be just so for her and routines quickly develop. Every night as we put her to sleep we pray for her. And every night she insists that we need to pray from Psalm 91, part of which goes

"For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

But every time I pray this, she will automatically finish it off with "or a rock". Every single time!



I made the flowers from book paper (in fact, it's a Bible so it's quite fitting really!), and they're topped off with vintage buttons. Sewed on some old ripped jeans for a journaling mat.

I think this photo is funny. I took it when I went to check on her one night before I went to bed, and this is how I found her, fast asleep. She hasn't slept like that since she was a baby. Luckily she's still a sound sleeper, and didn't even stir when the flash went off in her eyes in the middle of the night.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day in the Life

Occasionally I get asked 'how do you do it?' As in, how do you manage to be a mum, be a wife, be a doctor, be a committed and contributing member of the church, and still find the time for hobbies like scrapbooking? Firstly, it's not always in that order of importance each day! Secondly, let me give you a glimpse into part of my day yesterday. It went like this....

6pm (when hubby said he would be home at 4:30pm) - I'm cleaning the bathroom
6:01pm No.1 girl decides she wants to help
6:02pm I go to the other bathroom to clean it
6:10pm I go back to find No.1 girl in the shower (fully clothed) cleaning everything in site with shower gel. She's covered in the stuff. Her dress is soaking.
6:11pm I strip her off, turn on the water and wash it all off.
6:12pm No.2 girl wakes up screaming. She's overdue for her feed
6:13pm I get No.1 out of the shower. No time to dry her or dress her. Lucky it's hot. She runs out naked. I start breast feeding No.2



6:15pm No.2 girl explodes from both ends simultaneously. Not only does the poo overflow her nappy and cover her clothes, but it begins to soak into mine too. And she spewed. All over my shirt.
6:16pm I look up from the task at hand and see No.1 girl still naked, but now covered in blue texta. And I mean, she had decided to make her hands and face "pretty" for when daddy came home. It was everywhere! Luckily our textas are "the world's most washable washable markers" so I send her to the bathroom to clean herself up. Not thinking that water, and washable blue markers, and white bathroom just recently cleaned doesn't add up.
6:30pm I change No.2 girl's nappy and clothes. She's now clean. I wash and dress No.1 girl. She's now clean. I sponge off my jeans. I clean the bathroom. Again. That's the best I can do for now. I look in the cupboard for something to cook for dinner. There's nothing quick and easy and healthy. There is however, a rather large doll in the pantry.



6:31pm I give up. I phone hubby and ask him to bring home some take-away!




Thought I would leave you on a positive note though. I did manage to finish this project yesterday (long before all the above began!). Can't show you yet, but can show you a tiny little blurry sneak of it. And it's rather apt. It says "there's nothing quite like a sleeping baby".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dotty Divas Ad Challenge #6



Dotty Divas have launched their first Ad Challenge for the year, and it's an awesome one! Create anything you like, can be a card, altered canvas, a mini book, a layout, anything goes, but the only thing you must do is use the AD above for inspiration.

You've got until the 5th of February to email your entries to Katy (Top Diva!) at scrapmad@hotmail.co.uk. International scrappers are all welcome.

The reason for the short turn around is because we are going fortnightly, yep that's 2 challenges a month, how cool is that? The next challenge will be up on the 1st of the month and the second challenge with go up on the 15th.

This month we are being sponsored by the one and only Cosmo Cricket. The winning entry will receive the amazing Early Bird Kit, pictured below. A few posts ago I said that Crate Paper and Sassafras Lass were 2 out of my top 3 manufacturers of the moment. Well Cosmo Cricket is the other one. I absolutely love their stuff. I'm currently playing with Earth Love and Nutmeg, and drooling over the reveals of their new lines. But you certainly can't go past Early Bird without stopping. Stunning!



All of the Design Team have taken the Ad inspiration and created a wonderful array of layouts, cards and even wearable art. Go over and have a look, you won't be disappointed. Here's what I have created.



I used My Mind's Eye paper for the background, and a variety of alphas from Jenni Bowlin, American Craft Thickers and Adornit. The butterflies were created using my Cuttlebug and some new dies/embossing folders I got for Christmas. I then sewed them on so that I could still get some dimension from them. Like they're actually in flight.



Let's see what you can create using that spectacular ad for inspiration. Use the colours, use the butterflies, use a black and white photo? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Leave me a note and let me know if you're going to give it a go, I'd love to see what you come up with.

Lucky

There's 2 reasons why I'm calling this post 'Lucky'.

One is this layout I did yesterday



The journaling reads "We're so lucky that when Bethany first met Moriah she said "she's so cute". We're so lucky that all Bethany wants to do with Moriah is pat her and stroke her and check her all over. And she regularly says "I love my new baby sister". We're so lucky to have not one, but two beautiful girls."

If you follow my blog you may notice a few familiarities on this layout. Like the purple felt bunting on the border. They were the offcuts of making the felt bunting from the last layout. And the purple deer has been sitting on my desk ever since I made that single card from a few posts ago. And the doves, well they just happened to be pretty stickers that were left on my daughters scrap table (yes, the 'borrowing' goes both ways!)

The second reason I'm feeling lucky is because I've won two prizes on different blogs in the last few days. Both based completely on chance, no skill involved! So, lucky me!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Work Complete

It's taken me a couple of days to complete the two projects I started before the weekend. Now here's the full reveal.

Firstly, this blue bucket thingy. I think I'll be storing my cotton and embroidery thread in this.







Origami flower, die-cut leaves. Eh.

And then there's this.



As previously mentioned, I want to do more scrapbook pages that are created rather than assembled if that makes any sense? I like to handmake elements and backgrounds, rather than always just cutting and pasting paper. And trust me, this one had quite a few processes involved in it.

Firstly, that background. It's calico, then tissue paper, then glue, then paint, then stencilling and masking and other details. I based it on a video tutorial that was posted recently on the Shimmerz blog for making 'fabric paper'. Then I added my own twist. Fun, fun, fun.

Then there's the felt bunting. After a few little mishaps and practice goes on how I would attach this to my page it finally came together. I mean, should I sew the bunting on it's own and then just glue it to the page, or do I sew it on directly? And as I wanted a double bunting effect (notice each little triangle is actually 2 little triangles?) this added a degree of difficulty!



And because it had a bit of a party theme, I've added these letter stickers randomly to resemble confetti, and used glitter (something I rarely do.)

I'm sure I'll be making more of these types of backgrounds in the future. Let me know if you're interested in perhaps having a bit of a tutorial on this and I'll be happy to accommodate.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Canvas

One hot summer's day I made a Winter canvas. Why you might ask? For 3 very good reasons.
1. For my second appearance as a Guest Designer for Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenges.
2. I wanted to work with some canvas as I haven't done a lot of that. And
3. Perhaps making cold and wintery art will help me stay a little cooler in this heatwave we're having. (Wishful thinking?)






Perhaps you would like to peek into my process?

Step 1: Collect all ingredients for the background



You need your canvas (I used an 8x10" size).
Paintbrush and Gel Medium.
And paper of course.

This method is great for using up a lot of scraps as you can see from my picture. You could use a variety of different colours, but for this I wanted a monochrome look so I chose all my papers from the same colour spectrum. I did however, try and pick papers with a variety of patterns on them.
Ok, now rip up all your paper into pieces. There's no method or rule to this, just start ripping. In fact, you probably don't want all your pieces to be the same size and shape, it's better to be a bit haphazard.
You want to rip up lots of your paper now at the start. I run out of pieces about 2/3 of the way though and needed to rip some more, but my hands were all sticky from the gel medium. So instead of getting up and washing them, I just asked my husband to do it for me. Now he's proud to be part of the art too!

2. Start Sticking Them Down!



Again, there's no particular method to this. Just pick a piece of paper from your pile and glue it to your canvas using the Gel Medium. I'm sure you could use PVA glue, or Mod Podge or something similar for this. I happen to like Gel Medium. Perhaps if I were truly arty I might even know of a reason why you should be using one of them rather than another. But I don't. So just use what you have I say!

It's good to make sure the entire back of each piece of paper is covered in your adhesive otherwise the corners might lift off. I also put a coat on over the top to make sure this doesn't happen.

Keep going until you're finished and there are no white spaces left.



My canvas had edges that I made sure I covered completely too. Otherwise it might look a bit funny from the side!
Now let all this dry properly.

3. Paint

To make the background a bit more uniform and blended I covered the entire thing with a coat of watered-down white acrylic paint. You could also use watered-down gesso, but sometimes I find this doesn't mix up very nicely. Again, this might be a question for the real artists out there. I think if you wanted to write or stamp or draw or any other kind of detailed work on it later on then you should go with the gesso as it's a primer rather than a paint.

Anyway, water down your chosen medium fairly well say about 50:50 because if it's too sheer you can always go over it with more coats, but if it's too opaque you won't be able to see the colours coming through.



So mine looked like this after about 3 coats of the paint.

4. Details

Next I wanted an icicle effect. I mixed together some cream and silver acrylic paint and dripped and dribbled it from the top of my canvas until I was happy.



Let this dry completely. I get impatient at things like this and want to hurry up and get on with the exciting bits like all the toppings. I guess that was the one good thing about making this in the heat - it speeds the drying up a bit.

5. Embellish

Now you can go to town putting on whatever you want on top. I've used some digital elements from CK Muckosky's Peace on Earth collection which I bought on sale at Little Dreamer Designs. I printed them off and cut them out (a bit of a fiddly task with all those snowflakes! But totally worth it).



Decide on placement and attach. I glued them all down with Gel Medium too.
Then add everything else!



I've used alphas by Arctic Frog (fitting, yes?), sequins with seed beads glued on top, a chipboard bird by Collections Elements which I painted white, then coated with glitter and inked around the edges with silver. I used another bead for it's eye, and simply hand drew the music notes.



I've used a Bible verse for the journaling, printed off and cut into strips. It reads "Praise the Lord O Jerusalem! Praise your God O Zion! He gives snow like wool, He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments. Who can stand before His cold? He sends forth His word and melts them. He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow" in Psalm 147:12-18

I'm contemplating doing a series of these canvases, one for each season. What do you think?

Work in Progress

This is what I've been working on today.



And this....



Both unfinished. And going away for the weekend. It frustrates me leaving projects undone. But it does have it's advantages sometimes. Like I get more time to think of different ways they might be finished, or extra details to add, and it usually works out all the better for it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh the Choices....

Does anyone else dream scrapbooks? Does anyone else have that inspired layout idea come to them just as they're drifting off to sleep? When you have to decide whether it's worth getting up and sketching it, or do you just try and remember it again in the morning?

That surely is a sign of the obsessive. Although maybe it's not so bad if I choose to wait until the morning.

The only other problem with this is that usually my ideas in my sleep never quite match up with reality. Like, I'm not quite good enough to work out the right dimensions and measurements. So while my dreamed layout has all this negative space, I find that my photos are actually a lot bigger when I put them on my page. Or my patterned papers are a slightly different colour than I think they are. Anyway, I'm rambling.

So I dreamed this layout the other day, and then tried to put it together. My main problem was that I couldn't decide whether to use my Crate Paper products or my Sassafras Lass products, as these are 2 of my top 3 manufacturers of the moment. (Can anyone guess who my 3rd is?)



In the end the solution was easy ...... just use both!



The journaling reads, "you went through a stage where you insisted on taking photos of us (seems only fair). However, you kept pointing the camera the wrong way."

Your Time Starts.... Now

I taught my first class on the weekend. At least, that's what I would like to think! In actual fact it was really just 2 of my friends who came over so we could put together an album for a close friend who is moving away soon. It was a fun day apart from the oppressive heat. And 6 hours later (!) we had a pretty decent album full of bad photos and great memories. I say bad photos because most of the ones we used were before the age of digital cameras, so it's all red eyes and poor exposure. But it's the memories associated with the photos that make it count.



Here's a bit of a look at what we put together between the 3 of us. I won't tell you which pages I did and which they did because I don't think you would otherwise be able to tell the difference. These girls were naturals!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's Black & White and Read All Over?

I'm having a bit less time lately to enter challenges, but when I read the current challenge at The Creative Type I was so inspired that I simply had to do something about it! Their challenge is so create something using newspaper. That's it, no other criteria. Can be anything you like. I loved this challenge because I really enjoy incorporating recycled products (or upcycled really) into my projects. After all, isn't scrapping really supposed to be about using 'scraps'? At least, that's what my husband keeps telling me when I suggest that I need to buy more products!

So here's my entry:



Creating the background paper for this out of newspaper was a bit more of a time consuming job than I first planned. It might look at first glance like I've simply slapped some strips of newspaper down, but what I was actually going for was a herringbone appearance. So I only used pieces of newspaper with full text (ie. no pictures or column breaks etc), cut them on the diagonal and then glued them down changing the direction of the text each time.

I've also covered my chipboard alphas with newspaper (a lot quicker job!) before painting and glazing them. I used some home made glimmer mist over home made masks (see, lots of 'scraps' being used!) to complete the background.

I really wanted the embellishments to have a tonne of colour to balance the black and white background so I've painted my "Oodles of Doodles" by Leeann Pearce with bright acrylic paint and glazed them. I applied them with foam dots for extra dimension. And added some felt, stitching it on with bright orange cotton for some extra texture.



Pretty happy really with how this turned out. Oh, and I purposely used a photo of No.1 girl that was oversaturated (I did this in Photoshop) to add an extra punch of colour too.

PS. You can download your own "doodles" by Leeann Pearce from her blog and customise them to suit your own layout. And you'll get a bunch of inspiration for how to use them too. Do it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blogspiration



You must go and join in the frivolities of the Scrapbook Nook blog-hop happening now. Lots of inspiration to be had, not to mention great deals and giveaways. Start your adventure here.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cards anyone?

I have to admit, I don't like making cards very much anymore. I'm not sure why. When I first started scrapping I actually started off mainly doing cards. My first magazine subscription (ever) was to a card-making magazine. And yet now, I find it really difficult to do them. You would think it would be an obvious transition between layouts and cards. They are very similar in their essence. Can anybody explain this to me?

So sometimes I have to force myself to do these things.



I actually took my inspiration from how I wrapped my Christmas presents. I was meaning to take a photo to show you but didn't get around to it in the craziness of it all.

I thought it was a little bit cute. Not sure of it's purpose. I guess a "together" card could be for Valentines, or a wedding, or an anniversary. Hhhmmmm......

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A little bit of reflection

Having just put a bunch of my 2009 layouts and projects in a Flickr gallery (see it in my sidebar there?) made me contemplate my scrapbooking journey over the last year. Well, for a start it's really only been about 3 months since I started having the time and mindset to really pursue my scrapbooking. I started my maternity leave in October and suddenly had the time to read blogs, and enter challenges, and just create things for the fun of it. I was quickly inspired to start my own blog in November, and got accepted to my first Design Team in December. What a quick and amazing journey it has been! And I hope it's only the beginning.

So just a quick share today of my favourite layout for 2009.



I love this one for the shear process of creating it. It allowed me to get out lots of different mediums and play around with no rules! It's got layers of texture paste, paint, spray ink, oil pastels, water colours, masking tape and book pages. It's topped off with rub-ons, felt, wire, ribbons, beads, chipboard and of course a photo and title!

I plan on doing more of this!!

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