Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mail from Montana

This afternoon No.1 Girl asked me 'did you get any packages with treats in them today?' Remember how I mentioned in my last post how she much she loves the mailman. I have been home all day apart from 20mins when I myself had to go to the post office to send some happy mail. So I said "No, no packages today".

So she decided to go out the front door and check anyway. And she came rushing back in "there is a package out there, and it's so pretty mummy. Can I go out and get it?"

Next she's begging me "can I open it mummy? please?"

"Look mummy - pretty cards" She got just as excited over the business card and 'just for you' card as she did over it's real contents.

She started reading the magazine straight away. She was pointing at every page saying "we could make that, it's easy." (It's not)

So thank you Maize for this lovely package. I (we) was so happy to receive it. I'm going to try and resist temptation by devouring it all now, because I want to take it with me on our Easter trip.

Hurray for surprise mail <3

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

She's only half a material girl

It's always a good day when the postman rings your doorbell to sign for a package, especially if it's a pizza-box shaped package. It's only slightly less good when you have to answer the door in your pajamas with your hair un-brushed and standing out at odd angles. 'It is only 9:30am and I have a baby' I want to justify to him as he looks at me out of the corner of his eye. And then No.1 Girl comes running over 'does it have a treat in it?' she asks the postman. She loves the packages as much as me because she assumes that they all include lollies.

I finally got me the Material Girl line from Cosmo Cricket.

And so I scrapped.

I was totally inspired by this layout by Ronda Palazzari, and intentionally lifted it. I hope she doesn't mind.

Ronda's blog is another one of those that I want to read every single day. She designs for Cocoa Daisy, Fancy Pants and Purple Onion Designs and has this great mix of arty and classical scrapping with 'loads of layers' as she calls it.

She has about a million great tutes you can access for free on her blog so it's well worth the trip over to see.

I don't think mine came out anywhere close to what I was hoping, but I guess that's because I'm not Ronda Palazzari! Sometimes I have to remind myself of that when I'm lifting a page :)

I scrapped the photo and the story of this day. These things are always much funnier in retrospect.

I think I would have added a few more layers on this myself if I wasn't scrapping like three layouts at the same time which just caused me to get too impatient and want to hurry up and finish them off :) Does anyone else do that?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just my type of thing

I just had the honour and privilege of being a Guest Designer at The Creative Type for their current prompt. This is a challenge blog that I've been following and participating in for a few months now because I just love their concept - "typography based challenges to spark your creativity".

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but often we need to hear the words too! I've known for a long time now that I believe in incorporating a certain amount of journaling on nearly every page I create, I just didn't understand before I found this blog that part of that was my hidden love for typography. I think the words you chose and the way you get them on the page can make a big difference to how it is perceived.

Handwriting is not a bad thing - despite how ugly or messy we believe it is! I think our children and hopefully grandchildren are going to appreciate a bit of the real us on the page. Have you ever noticed how your handwriting changes depending on your mood? Or is that just me?!
But typing your journaling on a computer is awesome too because you can totally change the feel of each page just by choosing a different font. And these days there are 100's to choose from to suit whatever theme you're doing. I've downloaded a tonne of fonts to use in my scrapping from Kevin and Amanda before because they're really awesome (and free!)

Having a catchy title is always important because that's going to draw us into looking beyond the photo to what the story is really about. I like to make my title be a part of the 'art' in itself rather than just a label. And certainly my GIANT box of alpha stickers can vouch for that fact that I love typography!

This is the page I created for the current prompt #28 which is REPETITION! all you need to do is pick one word or phrase and repeat it on your page, as the background, in your picture or anywhere you like. just use repetition!

I was so honoured to be a GuEst TyPist and I hope you'll play along too. You've got until April 4th to get your entries linked up.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Please Understand *Hambly*
Originally uploaded by Ms. Kara

My most recent bloggy inspiration / infatuation includes:
Kara Haupt
This amazing girl (who is still in her teens for a start) designs for Hambley and Kitschy Digitals, and produces these offbeat, unconventional, but oh so lovely layouts. Check out her blog for some more unashamably emo inspiration.

I'll be sharing some more blogs that I love soon.

Flowers on Friday

Totally quick and simple Flowers on Friday today. To make some cute little felt flowers in a vase.

You need some scraps of felt (or other material, or paper for that matter!), scissors, glue, and something to use for stems. I used pipecleaners, mainly because they're lying all around our house. No.1 Girl has a scrap table and craft container to rival any other 3 year old girl :)

I bent my pipecleaners in half so I could make 2 flowers out of each one. I also did some others on lollipop sticks, so you really can use whatever is at hand.

Cut long strips of felt, and then cut a freehand wave shape through it. That way you'll end up with one scalloped edge, and one that looks more like a crown. It just creates a bit of variation in your flowers. And you don't have to waste any. Remember..... use your scraps.

Glue one end to your pipecleaner, and start twirling.

Twirl, twirl, twirl. Add more glue at spots for more structural integrity - and then you're done!

I added tiny little scraps of felt in a contrasting colour in the middle of my flowers, and then even added some leaves to the stems. And arranged them in a tiny little vase (aka: a shotglass!)

Easy peasy felt flowers in a vase.

In case you want something proper to sink your teeth into this weekend in the form of handmade flowers, then check out what LollyChops has been doing. She is running a Wallflowers Week where she showcases about 3 tutorials a day for different flowers, in a different colour scheme each day. Today was "Sea foam green, marmalade orange and teal Thursday" (they're a day behind us of course), there was also "Yellow Wednesday", "Too much Teal Tuesday" and "Orange you Glad it's Monday" . With no clues as to what colours tomorrow will bring you'll just have to check it out for yourself.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Studio Time

I'm loving me some Studio Calico right now.

I've been longing after them forever! But of course, they're American and I haven't found any of the Australian shops that stock them. Then I found Your Scrapbook Stash, who not only have great discounts all the time, and unbelievable international shipping rates, but they're so friendly too. Both times I ordered from them I got little treats in my box!
So now I've managed to get my hands on a great selection of Studio Calico products from both their older line 'Home Front' and their new one 'Anthology' as well as stamps. And then I made like 3 or 4 projects in a row with them. A couple I'll show you now, and others that may have to wait :)

Some hand-made flower goodness.
I wasn't going to bother doing a Flowers on Friday tutorial with these spiral flowers because I figure by now everyone knows how to make them - they're so popular at the moment. But feel free to let me know if I'm wrong.

I made those leaves too, cut out of an old cereal box all painted up. I do believe in putting the 'scrap' into scrapbooking (I also believe in pretty product!!)

I thought the background papers laid out like this reminded me of like some vintage wallpaper, and then the old style wooden veneer walls behind them, with a bit of a trim.

And I made this one too, witch includes the 'Months of the Year' stamps.

You may have noticed the photos in both of these layouts are from the same shoot. And if you're really really observant you may have noticed these same style photos in layouts I've shared here and here and here. It's part of my scrapping plan this year to scrap a photo of my girls each month in the same pose so that you can look back at the end of the year and see how much they've grown. And of course, with my love of journaling, I also keep notes of things that have happened, or things they have said or done that correspond to that month so I can include that too. But of course, I always feel like I'm scrapping a month behind by the time I get around to it! Maybe next month I'll show you a bit of a composite so you can see the progress!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Giveaway winner

Thank you to everyone who showed interest in my latest giveaway, and who took the time to make such lovely comments. Check back again real soon because I will be endeavouring to make this a regular feature on my blog. I myself just recently won 2 or 3 prizes and I believe in sharing the love :)

In true random fashion, I had Girl No.1 draw a name out of a hat. And I'm sure you're all wondering who will be getting the happy mail?

What? Can't read it?!!

The winner is..................


Congratulations Issa.

Now as luck would have it (Issa's luck that is) I already have her name on file from when I sent her a prize for winning an Ad Challenge at Dotty Divas!!! So can you just let me know if I should use that same address again or post somewhere else? And then I'll get it in the mail as soon as I can!

Looks like the sweet candy package is making it's way to the Philippines :)

Here's looking at you kid

I'm playing along with the challenge at Scrap Mojo for the first time this month, and I'm so glad I found them. Their site looks pretty funky and the DT are amazing, if not a little quirky (they're all wearing fake moustaches in their head shots!). I think that must be a sign of the eccentric arty genius' in them :)

So for Challenge 42 the criteria is: use yellow or orange and your favourite quote from The Wizard of Oz. Pretty simply huh? So I quickly googled some quotes from the movie and stumbled upon this one by Dorothy..

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again I won't go any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, then I never really lost it to begin with".

That spoke to me. We always think the grass is greener on the other side don't we? This served as a reminder to myself to appreciate the wonderful things I have in my life right at this moment.

Of course, the most amazing blessings in my life are my family, including this super-cute bundle of joy I get to cuddle every day :)

I even doubled up and used a second Wizard of Oz quote on my page - the standard "there's no place like home" which I wrote directly onto my photo.

Used a few mix-and-match papers from my January and February Kreatorville Kraft kits from Pink Paislee (the orange die-cut base, and the burnt orange ruffle at the bottom), Webster's Pages (the brown flower paper) and American Crafts (the green tree ruffle). What I love about kits is that you often get papers you wouldn't necessarily buy yourself, but when you get them in your hands you realise just how much you love them!! That's what happened to me with that paper I used to mat the photo on. In my life I have purchased only one paper from Webster's pages, and that's because it was half price. They're all gorgeous - they're just not my style. But I fell in love with this one in the kit once I started using it. Gives this page a nice vintage feel I think.

I also added some Studio Calico (the blue paper for the hearts, and the stickers under the journaling), and some Cosmo Cricket chipboard alphas.

If you want to play along too you might want to get your skates on because the entries close on the 25th.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My big girl

One of the things we first noticed when we went from having one child to two is that you forget how small they start off.

The first time I went to lift Girl No.1 up after having my baby was that suddenly she seemed GINORMOUS! And it made me realise how much she had grown. She was now a big girl. Or at least, that's what she keeps on insisting she is!

I got to use a whole mixture of Jillibean Soup, Cosmo Cricket and Scenic Route to make this layout. And play with Photoshop a bit too which I'm currently loving (in case you haven't noticed all my recent posts!) I'm starting to realise that when you're going to spend a lot of time creating a layout to celebrate a photo - it probably should be a good one! Of course, I'm all about scrapping the everyday moments and the 'not so perfect' photos if it's telling a story. But it's so easy to give all your photos a bit of a tweak, even if it's just to enhance the colours, you don't have to go all out crazy like I did on this photo.

Apart from changing the colours of this photo, I added a texture layer and a border and yes, I even journalled on my photo in Photoshop. I then just get them developed through Snapfish or whoever you normally use and it comes out a treat. Here's just the photo so you can see it better.

And yes...... the bunting/banner phase continues!!

PS. Blog candy closes tonight. Any last minute entries?

The bells are ringing

Wedding bells that is.

It's someone's special day this coming weekend, and we're invited. Will have to take Girl No.2 with us, and yes, we checked that was ok with the bride and groom. It's always just a little bit tricky when you've got a baby isn't it? I think most people would accept you need to bring breast-feeding babies along for the ride. She is my permanent attachment at the moment - if you want me, she comes too!!

I don't think I've made a wedding card before. But I whipped this one up in under half an hour (which is pretty speedy for me).

Woo hoo! I'm conquering my fear of cards! :)

On another note, have you thought about joining in on the current challenge at From Screen 2 Scrap? It's all about "Happy Feet" this month. See the poster in my sidebar? That's what you need to take your inspiration from. But you don't need to scrap about penguins like me! I was just lucky to have some perfect photos for this. I think everyone else who has entered so far has scrapped about feet, and it seems that's a topic that's a bit in vogue now. I've seen lots of layouts with photos of feet or shoes on many different forums. And some of my scrapping idols have done it, including Julie for the latest Kenner Road kit. So why not join in the fun? There's some great prizes on offer including a random draw so you don't have to feel intimidated or pressured to produce the "best" layout. We welcome the newbies - in fact it's highly encouraged. And remember, if you do join in for the first time, be sure to mention to Shazza that I referred you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Do you want the bad news or the good?

I hate that question don't you?

I always pick the bad news first because I'm hoping I can end on a happy news. So with that in mind, I'll let you know that a sad thing happened earlier in the week with the closure of the Dotty Divas blog. Katy who runs the blog from the UK felt she could no longer devote the time and cost necessary to keep it running as sponsors weren't forthcoming, and the challenge entries were dwindling. So I guess that makes me an ex-Diva :(

But the good news is that I finally got around to opening my own Etsy. I've been thinking about it for a while and it seemed like it was now or never. I told my husband over dinner one night I was thinking I might go ahead and do it, and he said "good for you" which was totally not what I was expecting. Not that he's ever not supportive, but I thought he might try and talk some "common sense" into me (his kind of common sense you know?!) like "do you have time for this?", "what about when you go back to work?" and other very valid questions. I'm not sure the answers to those, especially the latter, but I figure one step at a time right?

As far as my Etsy goes, it'll be a mix of all sorts of things that I make for myself anyway but with the opportunity of sharing them with a wider audience than just my family. So far I've only listed a couple of journals and hair clips but have a few other things in mind and we'll just see what evolves from there.

Flowers on Friday

Today is a simple one - but looks really effective!
Learn how I turned this piece of retro lovliness (Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg collection, Clove paper)

Into these dimensional flowers

Easy peasy! And I got to play with my iTop tool that I told you about here. So much fun :)

1. Cut up your paper.

I know how hard it is sometimes to bring your scissors up to the nice untouched, perfectly smooth and oh-so-lovely goodness that is a piece of Cosmo Cricket paper. You feel like you are going to destroy it in some way. Resist that thought and remind yourself that unless you are going to frame it like artwork (which is not a bad idea) it's only a piece of paper!

So I cut out around every line of the pattern. And each shape made a different part of the flower as shown in the diagram above. Then arrange them to your liking.

2. Add dimension

By first bending each petal lengthways,

And then bend the tips down.

3. Glue

I then glued down the petal arrangement on a scrap piece of paper.

Once it was dried I cut around the base of it so you can't see the scrap paper anymore, but it keeps the flower in one piece. Then simply layer on the diamond shape for the flower centres and the brads to top it all off.

And here is the finished product on the layout I created with them.

Did you notice that the red woodgrain paper is actually the b-side of this same piece of paper, I carefully planned all my cutting so this would remain intact!

This paper made it easy to cut and assemble flowers from the shapes in the pattern. So take a second look at some of the patterns you've got in your stash and see if you can turn them into something more. Alternatively, it's so easy to cut your own petal shapes from any paper you've got, you probably don't even need a template - just pick up your scissors and start cutting!!!

Let me know if you create something like this, I would love to see :)

And don't forget the current giveaway is here. Only a few more days left before I draw a winner.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who would have thought?

That after all the time it took to make a 12 page mini-album, that you could be bothered making a box to house it in? But look how cute this turned out to be and you might change your mind (like I had to!)

I modified the original design a bit as I'm prone to do - it seems I can't read a set of instructions and stick to them when it comes to these projects :) So I put a little "door handle" on mine and threaded some beads on a ribbon to tie around it to hold it all together. Leila's design didn't have this, but I think it adds just a little something extra.

See the Sassafrass trim down the side of the front cover, how it's got that blue edge to it? Well that's how it came - I didn't have to do anything to that except cut and paste. But then to imitate this effect and coordinate the rest of the papers I added Turquoise Blue glimmermist to all the edges of my other papers and around the album itself. I just dipped a brush into the pot and painted it on instead of spraying.

And on the inside is this groovy shadow-box - into which slips your album! How cool is that!
I used my KI Memories lace cardstock again for this, whereas Leila used one of those Basic Grey doily papers. But it gives the same effect. And the whole thing is quite sturdy too, I don't feel like it's going to collapse or fall apart. Which is a good thing since Girl No.1 is so chuffed with her album she's been carrying it around with her for the past day. I've seen her drop it at least 3 times! Have to keep reminding myself it's only paper, it's not a piece of art :) Better to see her get joy out of it than having it stuck on the top shelf!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are you ready?

for another mini-album?! Because I just churned out one :) This is another of Lilibee's One Week One Project (number 3), I find it's just an easy way of getting these mini-albums done and looking presentable because you only feel like you have to get one step done at a time instead of the overwhelming task of sitting down to create a whole album at once.

I used the delicious Sass Lass Sweet Marmalade collection mainly, with a little Cosmo Cricket thrown in (the red patterned paper and alphas).

I just kept each page simple with minimal embellishments. And used up a lot of my paper scraps at the same time.

Because I ended up with so many pages in this that I didn't want it to be too time consuming decorating each one. But it was a great way of using up a lot of photos I have had on my scrap desk forever waiting to be scrapped.

I used Core'dinations cardstock for the pages, I think it's called the 'Black Magic' collection. Someone feel free to correct me. So it's black on one side, and the core colour is on the back. I liked the balance the black pages bought to the otherwise very bright album.

And I really do have to insist on covering my pages with journalling wherever there is space. I don't believe in keeping the page pretty for it's own sake, you need to be able to remember what it was all about in years to come!

I used such a mish-mash of photos in this. In no order. They're just all photos of Girl No.1

These are when she first went to the zoo and fell in love with this huge wooden gorilla.

And these are left over from her 1st birthday page.

Some photos that I had cut up for a previous mini-album and then never used.

Some pretty photos taken by my sister.

Sorry about the angle of these photos but I figured all most people want to do is just glance over the pages of a mini-album. Especially one that's this long!

I used Sass Lass stamps down the side of each of my coloured pages in case you were wondering.

The back cover is called "All sorts" in reference to the jumble of photos in the album.

And just in case all that wasn't enough..... this little mini-album comes with it's own beautiful box to keep it in! But I'll save that for tomorrow because I don't want to overwhelm you :)


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