Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Sketcher

Oh my goodness was I ever so surprised and honoured when I got an email from Anna Bowkis from Pencil Lines asking me if I wanted to be a Guest Designer!!

How could I say anything but yes!
So I designed this sketch first of all (Anna did it up very nicely for me in Photoshop) and then made a layout to go along with it. I thought briefly about cheating and doing my layout first, then designing a sketch around it, but I stuck to the 'rules' :-)

I used a mix and match of products from my last Studio Calico kit and one of the add-ons, as well as a bunch of stuff from my stash.

I love that the gorgeous Pink Paislee Sweetness paper I used for the background was reasonably neautral but still so patterned/stamped/distressed that I didn't have to do a thing to it!!

And I did put some hidden journaling in that KI Memories pocket because this page is one of the last of my 'Month in the Chair' layouts - the last photo from November.

I'd love if you popped over to Pencil Lines to see the full layout, leave me some love, check out what all the talented DT have done wiht my sketch, and perhaps even play along.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"I Want To Know Everything....

and Do Everything"

That's what she answered the other day when she was asked what she wanted to be when she grows up. She's got pretty high ambitions for a four-year-old!!

Here I am using my latest Studio Calico kit and playing along with some of the challenges they've got going on for CHA week.

That includes completely lifting the design for this layout from the brilliant Jen Jockisch and her page "Fancy Pants" which you can see in the Candy Shoppe gallery.

Oh .... my..... gosh..... I am in love with my new scrappy toy!!! My Silhouette SD was delivered to my door late last week and I cannot believe how awesome it is! You'll be seeing this a lot from now on I imagine. I used it to cut out this woodgrain paper panel. Hello fantastic :-)

and I'm sure you're all wanting to know who the winner of my Impromptu Giveaway is......

Congrats. Please email me your postal address and I'll get your prize out to you as soon as I can :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love is all you need

I feel like I really need the challenges lately. They just help me know how to scrap, what to scrap, what supplies to use. Maybe it's because if I contemplate all my supplies and photos as a whole it becomes a little overwhelming :-)

So I even managed to combine two Studio Calico challenges into the one layout! Because at the end of the day I'm still pressed for scrapping time.
So I started with this sketch, and made it my own. If you know me at all by now you know I'm no good at the white space :-)
I just ran with the concept of it needing a bunch of small square shapes across the layout, as well as a horizontal component and a couple of embellishments. Hhhhmmmmm...................

 I also used the challenge of the week which was to use an old SC kit from last year, and nothing else (apart from adhesives, scissors and punches). I took creative license on that front too and figured it would include paint and ink and mist too!

So I've used the wonderful Summer Camp kit from August last year. Love the bright happy colours in this which really were perfect for scrapping summery photos.

These are some of my favourite photos from Christmas. I had them printed at wallet size so now me and The Man carry a copy of this photo, and a corresponding one of me with Munchy (in fact, the photo that was in my last layout) which meant I had these two small photos left over. I just had to scrap them!

In other news....
  • I was so excited to see my Doll House up on the October Afternoon blog!!!
  • I've got a Guest DT gig coming up this weekend which is a huge deal for me :-)
  • and there's just a couple more days left to enter my giveaway here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Live Laugh Love

Supplies: American Craft cardstock, October Afternoon Modern Homemaker papers,
Green Tara flower, May Arts lace, sunflower pearls, tissue paper, Studio Calico buttons, Glimmermist.

Gee I love this photo I took of us together. Love how her little nose is all squished up on my cheek as she tries to turn to look at the camera whilst kissing me. Love the colours in the photo which inspired this layout. Love that she's got her silver tinsel halo on (it's whilst she was getting dressed as an angel for the Christmas play). 

I'm a big fan of the typography based challenges at The Creative Type. Apart from the cute photo, I really wanted the focus to be on those handwritten words, and all the journaling I needed to incorporate. This layout definitely fulfils my resolution to write more meaningful journaling. Not that I planned what I was going to write, or even thought about it ahead of time. I simply picked up my pen and put it on the paper :-) Hopefully they end up being some wise words to my daughter.

That's my handmade flower arrangement thingy trying to emulate my necklace in the photo (it's probably a bit hard to see). Some lace gathered into a circle, some roughly cut yellow paper, a Green Tara flower and a punched shape. All topped off with some cute bling and some stripy hand-cut leaves :-)

And here's some of the other requirements in the Show Us Your Stuff challenge. A few little hand-stitches to hold the pink wire decoration in place, as well as the misting and buttons can be seen here. The other requirement apart from something handmade is for four or more patterned papers. It's hard to believe, but I've used 7 (or it's really only 4 if you count both sides of the double-sided paper as one!)

PS. I've got a giveaway going on.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Modern Homemaker Cards

Starting with the shape stickers in the October Afternoon Modern Homemaker collection it was all too easy to whip up this set of retro cards.

I don't think I could imagine living in the 50's where a woman's place really was in the home. Where she actually did derive her pleasure from being a good Homemaker.

Although I have to admit that quite regularly (particularly on high stress days) when I'm at work I do pine for the days when I was a stay-at-home-mum.

But I'm not sure I could deal with this side of the equation. I expect (or at least hope!) that The Man will pull his weight around the house and do a bit of cleaning and cooking and kid-entertaining.

All the papers you see here are from the Modern Homemaker collection too. Aren't they just fabulous?! I am in love with October Afternoon... can't wait to see what they've got in store for CHA.

PS. I was channelling the colours from this lovely print in Nanny's Room so I could play along with Etsy Inspired Challenges.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inpromptu Giveaway

I really admire those people who can do a good stash purge every so often.
I'm in awe of those people who say "if I haven't used it in a year then I'm going to get rid of it".
Not sure I'm quite at that level yet. But nonetheless it does feel good to do a clean up every so often and try and part with some once-loved treasures.

So I wonder if anyone wants any of this stuff?

I haven't counted anything here, or really even gone through it thoroughly so you'll have to forgive me for my vagueness, but this prize includes:

  • Lots of non-12x12" papers. There's a mixture of 8.5x11" card and paper, A3 sheets of paper (it's 4 times the size of 8.5x11"), 8x8 and 6x6 papers. LOTS!
  • A set of handmade paper and envelopes 
  • A scattering of embellishments
  • A packet of wooden balloons by Kaisercraft
  • A heap of markers (they're Sharpie lookalikes, not the real deal. I've hardly used them, so although I haven't tested them all today, they all worked perfectly last time I tried)
  • A correction pen - great for writing on photos or doing opaque white titles or outlines
 If you want to throw your hat into the ring and try to win these all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Open internationally.
If you're a follower then feel free to leave a second comment to increase your chances of winning.
And let me know if you blog about the giveaway and I'll give you a third chance to win (please leave a separate comment).

I'll draw a winner on Sunday 30th

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Born To Shimmer

Is anyone else like me?
Are you intrigued when your favourite designers post about thier process of building a page?
Do you love finding out how they gained thier inspiration and how they pulled thier products together?
Do you get a small amount of satisfaction when things go slightly awry? Just because it prooves they're not the perfect scrappers you sometimes imagine them to be :-)

Not that I put myself in that category of being anyone's favourite designer, but I thought I might do a post today showing you how I made this page work for me. It may or may not become a regular feature. We'll see. Tell me what you think at the end of the post.

So I started with my DT package from Handmade by Suzanne which was filled with some creamy vanilla cardstock, October Afternoon Modern Homemaker papers and some Webster's Pages lace which I made into flowers. And I was inspired to work with the sketch above designed by Valarie Salmon on the Pink Paislee blog. It was so quick to slap together this much on my page and call it almost done.

So it looks fine at this point, and for many a clean and graphic scrapper this would probably suffice (obviously it lacks a title and perhaps some journalling). But I just wasn't feeling it, and I had to walk away and leave it overnight before I could decide what to do.

The answer was fairly simple.... I had to make it more "me". I had to add some paint and ink and mess and emebellish it. There had to be no white space, and no clean lines!!
So I started with the first panal in the top right corner. I used my trusty homemade sunrays stencil and went to town with my yellow ink. Then I sewed some crazy messy stitches over the top and highlighted with some gold Stickles. Better. Much better.

The bottom left panal of paper got some Maya Mist treatment. I recently bought the Silver Plated one and I have to say this is my new favourite. What I especially love about these (compared to Glimmermists) is that they don't buckle and warp your paper nearly as much, and give such intense colours. It's hard to appreciate the shimmer in this photo (but wait until further on in this post!)

I added some pretty brads to the centre of my flowers, hand-stitched a stem and punched some leaves (which I also glittered!) to give these more detail too. Two little flowers to represent my two little girls :-)

More extra details - titles and subtitles (which were changed a few times, I should have taken photos of the before and after of that too... but I forgot), tags, border stickers, ribbon, journalling. And this is the end result. More my style don't you think, whilst remaining true to the original sketch.

Because I knew I was going to title this 'born to shine' in order to play along with the Bird is the Word "shine" challenge I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of shimmery, shiny, glittery accents. These pretty yellow and green alphas are both by Pink Paislee, and were just perfect.

Whilst the cream/red alphas are Jenni Bowlin, and I drew the 'shimmer' myself. I just bought myself a Silhouette machine and cannot wait for it to arrive - you'll see plenty more handcut titles on my pages then I can assure you! This is kind of like a practice run :-)

And this is the shot where I tried (still not quite successfully) to show you the shimmer and shine on this layout. Trust me - it looks real pretty :-)

So I would love to hear your thoughts. Tell it to me straight, I'm not afraid!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I've been busy working on lots of projects. But not much to show for it here yet.

But if you pop on over to Handmade by Suzanne, you can see this doll-house I made with the new October Afternoon Modern Homemaker collection in all it's glory.

Because trust me, once these little hands have too much more to do with it, it won't be so glorious anymore!

While you're there, check out the January sketch challenge, stop by the awesome sales, or take a stroll through the gallery.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I am loving the inspiration over at "Etsy Inspired Challenges" this week. I made this slightly cheeky wedding card to play along.

I used this lovely necklace from Modern Bird's etsy to inspire my design.

I love all the smooth lines and clean design of her necklaces. So I did a similar thing with the focus on this smooth, albeit glittery branch on my card.

Two of my doctor friends are getting married. Thier wedding invitations came wrapped up in an old Mills and Boon romance novel! I tore a (raunchy) page straight from it for the base of the card. And hence the sentiment is "passion" rather than something slightly more romantic. I know they'll appreciate it :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello Sunshine

Yes, I've gone a little challenge-crazy this month! I like the challenge of creating something with specified elements or supplies or designs. I guess that's why I love my 'job' designing for HBS, and a soon-to-be revealed new team I'll be joining :-)

Plus, they're always photos and memories that I want to scrap anyway. I just love the prompt of doing it in a certain way.

Take this fresh memory for example....
Munchy got this "giant bubble" set for Christmas which promised to make the biggest bubbles in the world! But it was quite windy for the next couple of days after she got it, so we really had to wait until the sun was shining and the weather was fine before we could try it out.

My sister was the one who was brave enough to get all messy with her and attempt to make these giant bubbles. They had so much fun! (but slightly difficult to catch on camera!) And they were pretty huge bubbles.

So I made this page to capture the memory, and it was easy enough to incorporate a summer theme using a summer word in my title, using kraft cardstock as my base which just so happens to be the challenge at Kraft It Up this month :-)

And you can see I'm putting my Studio Calico kits to good use too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ce-ce and Putza

No I haven't started learning another language, and I'm not referring to some international friends. Ce-Ce and Putza is what Munchy calls her imaginary friends.

She certainly has a wild imagination. Yesterday she even opened up the Street Directory and pointed out where they lived! But it's not like she talks to them or 'plays' with them.... she just talks about them. Usually it's to blame them for telling her to do something naughty, so I guess they serve their purpose :-)

As the journalling says... I've got no idea where she came up with these names. They're not people we know, or off any TV shows I've seen her watch. And she remains consistent in calling them by these names. And is it strange that she's got two imaginary friends?

I kept my layout very bright and whimsical to match the theme of what I was scrapping about. This layout is inspired by the digital page "Wild Hair" by JulietJoy although hers is quite a bit more subdued using some lovely neutral tones compared to this!

Check out the super-fantastic American Crafts tape that I used to create the rainbow. I need to use this more often! And Tim's tags have inspired me to use my stamps more - I do have a whole draw full and they rarely see the light of day. You can just see a little sneak of the stamped flourishes coming out behind the photo.

And some random scattering of the 7 Gypsies rub-ons that came in one of my Studio Calico kits.  

What do you think? Fun, hey?! I've got this up on my wall at the moment because I like looking at it so much *LOL*

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beautiful Chaos

As any parent would know, life with young kids can sometimes be a bit chaotic!
Munchy just adores her sister, and really, the only accidents/mishaps/craziness comes about because of her enthusiasm to be a helpful big sister.

Like the time she wanted to cuddle her and in the process dropped her - knocking her head on the table.
Or the most recent incident where she tried to climb up into the pram too, not knowing that two kids on the front of the pram would cause it to flip over with Moodles still fimly strapped in being the first point of contact with the concrete.

Not that I can talk. I myself accidently gave Munchy a concussion of her own later that day! Lucky my kids are tough hey? No harm done on either occasion. Sounds a bit of a nightmare at our house doesn't it?

Now Munchy and Moodles share a bedroom, and often during the day when Moodles has woken from a nap Munchy will ask "can I go and play with her?" I know she can't get her out of the cot so it seems like nothing can go wrong right? But as this picture shows, she can still put things in her cot!! ......... like the entire contents of her toy box.

Using the criteria of  the colour purple, the word 'beautiful' and using punches I've been able to make this rather chaotic layout for the 1,2,3 Challenge with some Basic Grey Kioshi products.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Love will find the way

Whilst cleaning and packing the old house before we moved back in August I came across some old photos from my high-school days. Included was this photo which I finally scrapped yesterday, taken in 1999.

Although the photo itself isn't very good quality (it was 12 years ago after all), the amazing thing about this photo is that it has captured my husband and me in the same shot. This was 3 years before we started dating, and has to be the first photo of us together.

Of course, we had no idea at the time that we would end up married 5 years later! And I was only 16 at the time, so getting married was the last thing on my mind :-)

If you're wondering why this layout is relatively plain for me then you're probably right! (Although there are a lot more textural details that aren't coming across very well in these photos). I did it with a couple of challenges in mind.
White With 1 challenges you to use white cardstock + navy or royal blue + banners. Mission accomplished!

And I found a new challenge blog 'Bird is the Word' which has issued it's vey first challenge. It's a simple one, just use the word 'believe' in your title. This sounds like it's going to become a great and very popular blog to follow. I've signed up anyway!


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