Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Not a Chatterbox

Do you think it's cheating in a way if I use my July kit from Scrapbooking from Scratch, which was provided to me as the Guest Designer, to make one of my monthly Year in the Chair layouts? I mean, this is something I do every month for myself regardless of product, is it wrong to use the lovely Fancy Pants and My Mind's Eye kit? I hope not, because I did it already :-)

Everything on this page (apart from the Studio Calico 'June' stamp) is from the kit, and it was just perfect for my photo. Girly and fun and delicious! There's more of those banners. I'm pretty sure I used them on every one of my pages I created. You can see I layered a couple over the actual paper to create some dimension on the page. It was by pure fluke and coincidence that I had already fussy cut lots of strings of the banners, and that this one matched up with the underlying banner on the page.

And check out those Thickers too. They were just divine. Despite having two girls I hardly ever seem to buy pink alphas, but this has won me over big-time! The pale pink 'Blush' foam Thickers were just the right colour for these papers, and worked wonderfully with both the kraft and white cardstock that came in the kit.

I put my Heidi Swapp Edge Distressor to good use on this page..... and my sewing machine! There doesn't seem to be a layout that passes my desk without getting a run on the sewing machine these days. (Except ironically for a layout I did yesterday about my old sewing machine - but I'll save that for another day!)

And see the edges of the kraft cardstock? I used one of the stencils I showed you how to make in the last post and inked all around the edges. I'm not entirely sure about the end result.... but hey, it's interesting. And you know I can never leave anything well enough alone :-)

If you want to pick up one of these fabulous kits for yourself you better get your skates on because there is only one left. But don't worry, even if you miss out on this kit - check out the massive sale Peta is having on lots of the past kits at the moment. Gotta make way for CHA!

I've got one more project left to show you from my July kit. And yes, I'm saving the best for last :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tutorial - Make Your Own Stencils

Today I want to show you a fun way to make your own stencils so you can customise your pages and make them unique.

Stencilling is a really good technique to have up your sleeve as it's a quick way to add another dimension to your work without adding bulk. One of the scrapbooking masters of the stencil is Dina Wakley and if you aren't familiar with her work already then I highly recommend you check out her blog.

So the first thing you need to do is decide on your stencil design. I Googled a few of my ideas and then printed out the patterns I liked. Make sure you choose something that's not too intricate or you'll struggle to cut it out. The top pattern in my picture below I used as a guide only - I only cut out the inside 'windows', not the whole design.

Both of these are printed on the same A4 piece of paper. I knew I only needed them reasonably small for my purposes today (for my mini-album), but you can do them any size you like. I have done a 12x12" one before which is perfect for scrapbook layouts. You can see a couple of my pages I've done with this technique here and here.

Next you need to trace the designs onto a sheet of acetate (if you don't have acetate perhaps have a look at your packaging because really, any clear plastic will do. What I've used is in fact overhead transparency sheets). At a pinch you can just use cardstock. The only problem with that is it won't last very long once they start getting soggy with paint and mist and in. Trust me :-)

Then you need to get out your trusty craft-knife (or scalpel as the case may be!!) and cut away all the inside bits. Then it's a simple matter of laying your newly created stencil down on your page and misting (or painting, or inking.... whatever!)

Another advantage of using acetate is that you can then get another use out of the same application of mist. Once you've used your stencil the way it's intended, simply (but carefully!) flip the stencil over and lay it down on a second piece of cardstock and use it like a stamp. You'll end up with both the positive and negative image. Brilliant hey?! And you won't waste any of your precious Glimmermist :-)

In the end I used each of my stencils (and 'stamps') twice which was the perfect amount of pages for my mini-album. Once they've dried you can use them like you normally would. Add your photos, your embellishments and journalling, bind them all together and you're done!

Here's some of my completed (stencilled) pages.

I created this album using the July kit from Scapbooking from Scratch (all I added was the cardstock). All of the 12 tags are from a single piece of Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking paper called 'WT cards'. That made it so much easier to put this album together.

You'll also notice the fun tickets which are from My Mind's Eye Little Miss Muffet 'That's My Girl', and the occasional sticker from MME as well.

And of course, the most important part of a mini-album is the front cover right?!

In the kit you get this brilliant piece of chipboard from Twiddleybitz which is intended to be broken up into pieces and used as embellishments. But I decided to leave it just as it was because it was the perfect size to become my front cover. I mounted it onto the Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking 'Memories' paper and painted it with coordinating colours before adding a cluster of embellishments and my title. Even the gorgeous ribbon that I used as a closure is included in the kit.

Here's a couple more pages for good measure....

And even though I had run out of labels by then, I couldn't resist adding these photos of my cute little Munchy making some funny faces.

Alright, there you go.
Let me know what you think, and definitely let me know if you try this out. I would really love to see what you create :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There Was a Little Girl

Just popping in quickly (I feel too sick otherwise) to show you the first layout I created for Scrapbooking from Scratch.

The July kit is really gorgeous. It's filled with Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking mixed with My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary Little Miss Muffet. And I love it!!!

For a start, do you see the bunting? It's all cut from one of the FP patterned papers in the kit. As soon as I saw it I knew it wasn't going to stay as a square sheet..... it was destined for fussy-cutting!!

Then there was some fun tickets and embellishments which are all from My Mind's Eye. I'm so into tickets right now. I surprised myself by only including one of them on this layout (don't worry, you'll see where the rest went later!)

Quick, only two kits left............


Monday, July 26, 2010

I made the team!!

I really enjoyed my time as a Guest DT this month over at  Handmade by Suzanne's.  I got to play with the gorgeous Fancy Pants Roadshow Collection which was a line I have to admit I hadn't previously paid any attention to. But once I got it in my hands I found out how lovely and vintage and shabby it was. Totally my cup-of-tea!! I like making discoveries like that :-)

Speaking of which, I better show you my last layout I made with it hey?

This was my last layout for a reason. This is the kind of layout you make when you're only left with one big block of paper and not much else! As you can see, the vast majority of this page is the Pink Paisley paper (in the Fancy Pants Roadshow Collection), and this time I used alpha stickers by Pink Paislee - confusing isn't it?!!

I mixed it a tiny bit of the Dainty Print paper, and a little bit of the ribbon into my journaling strips for a bit more colour and texture.

But basically my embellishments just consisted of a few punched butterflies and hearts. I left all the crazy sewing threads hanging like that to give an impression of movement (like the butterflies are actually flying you know?) I asked The Man what he thought about that. He said 'sure, it looks good now, but it's going to look very messy once you put it in an album' which I guess is probably right but.... who cares?!!

Anyway, so between this layout, the sunbeam one I showed you in the last post, the transparent layout with the butterfly tutorial, and a few cards I must have done something right because..........

Suzanne asked me if I would join the HBS team permanently!! I am so super-stoked about that! It's almost probably better than making the Design Team in the first place because I feel like I've really earned it (not that the other girls on the DT haven't earned their place - I just mean that if all the spots are already filled and then they make you a place then that's got to be better right?) You can see the announcement here.

And so starting next month I'm part of the regular crew. I've already got my DT package and have whipped out a few layouts which are pretty lovely if I do say so myself. It sure helps to work with amazing products, and I'm working with some stunning new Basic Grey goodies. So stay tuned :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You are my Sunshine

I think everyone should own some kind of distressing tool (is that too broad a statement?!) I have the Heidi Swapp edge distresser and I think it's brilliant. Sure you could just use scissors or a nail file but for less then $3 I don't think this will break your bank. And it fits in your hand so much easier and works like a charm.

I'm pretty sure I used it on nearly every single piece of this layout!!

And speaking of brilliant - this very realistic looking frame around my page is actually a piece of paper. It's called 'Grocery List' and it's from the Fancy Pants Roadshow Collection. I'm thinking of buying a couple more from Handmade by Suzanne (especially since the whole collection is currently on sale) because without doing a thing to it half my page was finished already!

Everything else on my page (apart from the Thickers) is from the Roadshow Collection too.

I've used quite a few of the rub-ons, two of the beautiful ribbons, and only one other piece of paper called Shabby Floral (the flowers are from one side, and the teal is from it's b-side) Isn't it pretty?

As you can see, I took to all of my edges of paper with the Edge Distresser and I think it adds a nice worn, shabby, vintage look which fits nicely with the frame and general theme of these papers don't you think? I would be interested to know if people own this or one of the other tools on the market (like the Tim Holtz one) and how they compare.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Sauce

A couple of days ago I came across Hammerpress on my blog travels - after seeing them on Amanda Johnson's blog. Hammerpress specialise in "superfine letterpress ephemera" and I particularly enjoyed browsing through all of their amazing posters. But almost immediately they struck me not only as amazingly beautiful but as a great source of inspiration for putting together a layout.

For example, that very same night I rushed into my scrap-room and quickly pulled this one together:

With the exception of the clear envelope at the top (and sorry about the glare) I've used my Kreatorville April kit, with the blue alphas from the January kit.

I've pretty much just copied the design straight off this amazing poster from Hammerpress:

Of course, I added a few of my own little touches - like all the washi tape..... I couldn't stop myself!

And I'm pretty sure 'faithfulness' is the longest word I've ever used on a title before, but what a great way to use up your alphas :-)

A bit of journaling about how grateful I am to know God's love in my life. But scrapping a page about it was inspired by Keandra's blog post and pages here.

Then while I was on a roll, I decided to take another poster and do a different page. I used this amazing poster from Hammerpress:

And turned it into this layout:

Using my Kreatorville March kit.

Certainly in both my layouts I know I haven't really got the colour combo's quite right (but I was trying to limit myself to my kits). And certainly I remembered too late that I've made my own rule never to 'splatter' red Glimmermist because it always looks like a blood-bath!!

But I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out. What I already noticed that a lot of these poster's make a large amount of their impact from their title-work and typography, so unless you've got a million alphas (but let's face it - who hasn't?!!) then this might stand in your way. Alternatively, I'm thinking of making it hybrid and perhaps doing some of the title work or journalling on the computer to save my stickers :-)

But I think it's really fun to find a new source of inspiration from which to create.
Have you got any unusual places where you find great inspiration? I would love to hear :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A milestone

My little Moodles got her first tooth this week. Lucky for me she's not one of those grizzly babies at teething time. In fact, it was only when she opened her mouth for some food that I even noticed that one had popped on through. There was no warning - no red cheeks or ear-pulling, no fevers and no crying.

But it got me thinking about all the other milestones that I am yet to scrap.
For Munchy, I had an album dedicated to her meeting all her (1st degree) relatives for the first time, and one for milestones and other important events. But since I'm no longer a chronological scrapper, that idea has already gone out the window for The Moodles.

These days I just have a pile of photos on my desk waiting to be scrapped and I start flicking through them when I have a page in mind. I choose a photo that will fit the products most of the time now. For this one, I thought it really was about time I used some of this lace cardstock that I've had in my stash for the longest time. I have used it once as a mask - you can catch a glimpse of some of the Glimmermist residue on it (but I used pink mist so it didn't really affect the colour of the cardstock). And it's quite a masculine paper - or maybe I'm just swayed that way because it's called "boyz to men", so I chose this photo of The Man giving The Moodles her first bath in the hospital.

Some of my favourite things of the moment are in this little embellishment cluster. Washi tape, decorative buttons (handmade of course! See the tutorial in my sidebar if you're interested), bakers twine on a glorious Jillibean Soup button and label stickers from October Afternoon.

The journaling is about how it's so much easier to be a parent the second time around. You feel a lot more relaxed, a lot more in control, a lot less uncertain. It's great! And I'm blessed to have two beautiful girls who are really some of the most easiest kids in the universe which only adds to my degree of happiness. Yes there are some days when I seriously contemplate giving away the whole career thing and being a SAHM forever. Except I think my mum might shoot me (six years of Uni down the toilet and all that)!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Her Colourful Kingdom

I think I may have mentioned it (once or twice!!) that I've finally bitten the bullet and subscribed to the wonderful Studio Calico kits. The June kit was my first one, and although I've only shared one layout I have made with it - I am actually up to number 6 which is this one........

I decided to take part in this week's Sunday Sketch on the SC blog. The sketch (from a layout by Stephanie Wheeler) looks like this:

All those circles were supposed to be punched shapes and die-cuts. But I thought I would change it a bit for me, and instead I layered up all those paper strips. You may have noticed that's my go-to technique at the moment!

And then I fussy-cut the sunflowers and the planes to represent at least some of the circles :-)
Can you see that "Girl's Only" tag peeking over the top? That's the very last tag I had left over from my Scrapbooking from Scratch July kit. It just seemed the perfect finishing touch.

And I simply loved those alphas that came in one of the add-on kits. It's pretty much why I bought it too (that and the washi tape that was included). Even The Man has noticed that I've used this alpha on all of my SC layouts (apart from one!) because he asked me if this was my favourite alphabet?!

Reminder to Myself: Share more of my Studio Calico layouts

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One for the Road

Just popping in to show you a couple of quick cards I whipped up with the left-overs of my Fancy Pants Roadshow Collection stuff.

All three of these cards have been made exclusively with this beautiful collection (with the exception of the cardstock), and it's currently on sale in the HBS Shop.

I particularly adored the ribbon, and made this card for the sole purpose of showing it off to you!

And this uses one of the new Cuttlebug embossing folders called Kimi Luvs - which is also available (here).

And while you're over checking out all the sales at HBS, don't forget to enter the sketch challenge for your chance to win some shopping money!! Here's a reminder of what the sketch looks like:

There have been some stunning entries put up in the gallery, but it would be AWESOME to see a lot more, and especially great if we could see some new faces over there! The winner is chosen at random so everyone is in with a chance :-) And remember to check out my own personal challenge attached to this, where you could increase your voucher amount just by playing along.

And speaking of cards and challenges, I am the current Guest Designer at Mission to Create and they've recently put up the card version of the challenge. Go over and check it out for a chance to win some myStamp Box goodies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dressed for Success

My darling daughter, my Little Munchy, she is so beautiful. But she's also very strong-willed and has some funny ideas in her head about what she wants to do :-)
For example, even though it's the middle of winter here in Australia she insists on wearing a dress...... every.... single ...... day! I'm not sure where this dress obsession comes from, because you only ever catch me in a dress for weddings and the like. The Man tells me it's because one of the other older girls who she admires so much at day-care wears dresses a lot.

So here's my layout dedicated to her dress obsession.

The photos are a bit ordinary I know. I just went though all the photos on the computer looking for ones that captured her in a different dress, so they're certainly not all portrait-quality!! But it coveys the message!

I've used my Kreatorville kit from May, and referred to the Kreatorville July sketch to put this layout together.

It's so bright and cheery, which is a bit of a change from what I normally do, but I really like it!

We got the perfect Buzz and Bloom chipboard piece in the kit which suited this layout brilliantly. But I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it to jazz it up. I mean, should I paint it, ink it, emboss it, cover it with paper? In the end I decided to leave it just leave it like it is. I was a little worried that anything I might do could overwhelm the layout with more jumbled colours and patterns.

And I made all of these tags out of the packaging for the Sassafras chipboard alphas. Nothing is spared in my kit! My thought there was that they are a bit reminiscent of clothes tags. Fits the theme I think :-)

And speaking of beautiful things, my lovely friend Peggy has kindly offered my not one but two blog awards!

As you know, there are usually 'conditions' to these awards. So for this one I'm supposed to tell you a little about myself. I guess something to share with you all now is how I'm feeling about my impending return to work in a couple of weeks. I am not looking forward to it at all. Which is silly because I'm finally in a position that I've wanted to get to for so long, and I really do enjoy (most) of my work - even with the crazy hours and the hectic schedule. Of course, the main reasons I'm not keen to go back to work has got to do with leaving my two darling daughters behind while I do it - and that's because of the crazy hours and hectic schedule. There are some days where I don't get to see them while they are awake and that breaks my heart. At least I know I am leaving them in good hands, as The Man will become the stay-at-home-dad!!  And secondly, I am also concerned about what it will do to my scrapping time and ability! Anyone can see that I have become well and truly hooked on this amazing hobby while I've been on maternity leave. And I know that won't stop, and I know I will always make time to fit some in. But certainly it won't be to the extent that I'm currently involved. I guess that's a wait-and-see game :-)

I'm passing this award on to these 5 ladies: Valerie, Karen B, Keandra, Deb and Jen

And the second award Peggy gave me (thank you Peggy) was..

I would really love to pass this onto some people who have never ceased to support me, who always leave kind comments on my posts, and some of whom I know so well now that I could call them true friends, even though we have never met.
Karen B
Mel aka. Aussiescrapper
Sarah Lou

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So excited to have my second page published in Scrapbook Creations this month.

Here's a little look at my page as it appears in Vol 80 (the current issue). It's the top one.

And while we're on the subject, here's my first page that was published in the last issue (mine is the bottom one)

Thanks for indulging me!


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