Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top 10 for 2011

I find these type of posts interesting don't you? Looking back over the past year to see what you've created, to see how your art has evolved, to pick out common themes or techniques and to give evidence to help define what is "your style". Not to mention just to remember the events and the stories that have shaped your journey over the past year.

So these are the layouts I picked out for my Top 10

I started the year continuing to design for Handmade by Suzanne. Suzanne was aware of my style and preferred manufacturers and always gave me great "kits" to work with. On occasion she would throw in the odd challenge for me (like my attempts with Websters!) but it's always good to expand your horizons isn't it? "Surround Yourself" is one of my favourites from my time with HBS - a simple page by my normal standards but I love this celebration of two of my best friends.

One of my most favourite collections this year would have to be Starters from Sassafras - I almost went into grieving when they announced they were no longer going to operate as scrapbook manufacturers. This layout combines lots of fun techniques with some cute photos of my Moodles at the park - how could it not be included?

Out of my short-lived stint designing for Kreatorville Kraft I chose this page as my favourite. It features pretty much every single one of my go-to techniques: lots of paint, mist and ink; messy stitching; a long pretty title; clouds and sunbeams; and some Hipstamatic photos of my kids.

One of my personal scrapping challenges this year was to complete a layout of a family portrait taken every month. I was slack enough that I haven't even managed to take a family portrait every month, and I certainly haven't yet scrapped all the ones I do have..... it's a work in progress. But my "April Family Photo" cracks me up every time :-)

In June we took our first family holiday with the four of us to sunny Queensland. Of course I managed to take about a million photos of our exciting adventures and fun memories.... but there's nothing quite like coming home again is there?

In August I changed job location to a rural hospital which has allowed me to spend much more time with patients getting to know them and their stories which I think is fabulous. But it also means that when something goes wrong it tends to affect all of us so much more deeply. I made "Beauty For Ashes" to commemorate one ladies journey which had a heartbreaking ending. This is real life.

In October I began a new Design Team with We've got daily challenges and an active forum which means I'm continually pushing myself to create in new ways as I set sketch challenges, colour combinations, journaling criteria, and blind crops among other things. "Scooter Love" was based on a sketch I drew but it still manages to incorporate all my recognisable elements.

As if I didn't have enough supplies already, I've kept my subscription to Studio Calico kits and am tempted to buy from their shop every month without fail. So in an effort to whittle down my stash a bit I managed to use pretty much a whole packet of their journaling tags on "Best in Show" - I adore these vintage colours :-)

December saw me resigning my position at From Screen 2 Scrap, not because of any problem, but just because after nearly two years it felt like it was time to move on. "Blessed Are The Curious" was one of my favourites I designed using all the criteria. Thanks Shazza for a wonderful time!

And in 10th position comes "Moo Shoe" - a funny layout about my gorgeous girl and her quirky habits. I just love to document the little details of life that might otherwise get forgotten in the future.

And there we have it. My Top 10 for 2011.
If you have a link to your own favourites I'd love to come by and see :-)
Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Daily ...... part 2

Hold on tight, here's the next instalment of my exciting adventure into a December Daily!

As you can see, for each day I printed out one normal size photo (6x4") and one photo collage. I think this is a great way of getting lots of photos into your album without overcrowding it.

And it also allows you to use those photos that aren't necessarily good quality or don't feature a prominent subject because it's all about telling the story. And you can tell by all my scribblings how much I love to tell the story!

I love how Studio Calico seal up their kits with these round stickers that consistently feature beautiful vintage colours and patterns. I'd been saving them up for months to get enough to use as a basis for my number labels. Maybe chalk that up to one more reason why it took me forever to finish this album!

As for the actual pages in my album I used a mixture of all the Christmas papers I have in my stash. A whole host of manufacturers and collections! Man it felt good to put a dent in that pile!!

Some pages were also made out of wrapping paper, brown paper bags, packaging material, Christmas cards, Munchy's drawings.... whatever I could find at the time. Just one way of adding more memorabilia into my album. 

Another way was to incorporate any of the tidbits I had salvaged from last Christmas such as clothing tags, present labels and ribbon. I also threw in my leftover Tim's Tags as pretty embellishments.

Using some of the Christmas cards we received was a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) because it served a triple purpose..... 1) it's pretty, 2) the memory of who sent it and what they wrote, and 3) heaps of space on the back for journaling!

So I guess the question is "would I do this again?" Well obviously I couldn't even bring myself to contemplate it this year, although in a way I still feel like I did given how much time I spent on this one!

But I think I would do it again. Certainly the idea of taking daily photographs, journaling it all down at the time and then assembling everything is pretty intensive. But you have to admit the end result is pretty fabulous for recording a set period in time in detail. In years to come I'm sure this will be a treasured piece of history. So maybe next year I'll attempt another version? I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Daily......... part one

Oh my goodness do you understand how satisfying it is to finally finish my December Daily?

Yes, that's right.
I mean my December Daily from 2010!!

I couldn't even contemplate doing any form of December album this year when the weight of an unfinished DD from last year was still heavy on my conscience.

And it's not like it's been locked away in a cupboard forgotten about. I've had this thing hanging around since I started it.

With all the photos printed off and scribbled on the back what day they were. With all my journaling written up there on one of my blog pages. All neatly placed together with all the supplies I was going to use.

I've taken it with me on weekends away, thinking that I'll get some done ..... and never opening the box.

By January I had all the base pages cut to shape and assembled in some kind of order.

 Around June I made a vow to finish a page every time I wanted to sit down and scrap, before I'd let myself work on anything else. I made it to page 8 before I forgot.

In August I packed it up and took it with me in the move - determined that I would get it done before the year was through.

In November I said to myself that this must be the first Christmas project I worked on before starting any other............. it wasn't.

By mid December I took the plunge and stuck all the photos in, along with the correct daily numbers. I'd been saving all my Studio Calico kit stickers to use as round base for all my labels.

Next I went through and added all the little embellishments and made sure there was enough space to write all my journaling in later. That meant I only had to take the actual album itself with me on my Christmas holidays.

In a quiet hour between celebrations I was able to sit and scrawl and finally..... FINALLY was able to say "It is done".

More pages to share coming up soon....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And to All a Good-Night

Just popping in real quick here to share some super-speedy Christmas cards I had to whip up when I realised Munchy needed some to give to her Kindergarten teachers.

First up I stamped one big ol' sentiment, added some Fancy Pants rub-ons, sprinkle some Silver Maya mist et voila...... DONE!

And thank goodness for my Silhouette sketch pens! Add some blank cardstock, press a button and call it finished :-) That's the kind of quick card that's easy to impress with hey?

So from my Little Elphs to all of yours I wish you a Merry Christmas wherever you are and however you celebrate. Thank you for your ongoing support, your kind words of encouragement and your friendship.

I leave you with a little sneak peek into my December Daily that I plan to share with you over the next week. So happy to have undertaken this project. You'll understand my satisfaction even more when I show it to you......... :-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

(Five?) tags of Christmas

Last year I wrote in my December Daily that I think doing Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas might just become a new tradition. Hhhhhmmmmmm....... so that lasted all of a year!

Don't get me wrong, I love and adore his tags, and I've thoroughly enjoyed doing them last year (here's a link) and the year before that (another link). Unfortunately working 50-60 hours a week doesn't leave much time for Tim's tags!

But presents still need to be wrapped and labelled, and there is a certain expectation from the family that I'll do something special, so it turned into some very quick and simple Tim-inspired tags this year.

Thank you kraft resist paper that already came with layers of design. And thank you Silhouette machine which made cutting multiple Christmas shapes a breeze!

Otherwise they're just topped off with some splatters of Glimmermist and some buttons, jewels or beads. I'm sure you can see my pattern developing here. Just imagine a few more which are variations on the theme :-)

Oh and speaking of December Dailies...... guess who is just about finished??!!!!
I'll share that one later!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Not a Creature was Stiring

Didn't I just finish telling you how I wanted to document some of the Christmas traditions that are so important (and that just might be unique) to us as a family? And then comes along the new Once Upon a Sketch challenge which must have been reading my mind.

Because along with this marvellous sketch the journaling criteria just so happens to be to document the traditions of how you spend December 25th. Of course here in Australia that's Christmas Day, but I didn't realise that in other parts of the world Christmas is celebrated on different days.

So in our household we just try and make sure the kids don't get up before the sunrise, and then it's present time! As a Christian family we don't have Santa Claus bring our children presents, rather they receive their gifts from us directly. But the stocking still remains a rather convenient way of 'wrapping' them all!

Lots of little fun details on this layout I think. Like that Imaginarium Designs chipboard branch which I figured could pass as holly, and needed a bauble hung from it :-)

I'm in love with those alpha stickers from Fancy Pants and want them in every colour. Certainly teal is the perfect place to start.

And a sprinkling of star confetti on textured cardstock. How cute!

Now onto our fabulous sponsors for the current challenge, and a little insight into what you could win if you play along .......

Papiers de Pandore is a French manufacturer who are offering one lucky winner two complete paper lines!! You've got to go and check out how beautiful their blog is. 

As is our custom, Imaginarium Designs will give away a prize package stacked to the gills with yummy chippies. 

And then my good ol' favourite Handmade by Suzanne will send someone not one, but two Tim Holtz embossing folders!

Check out all the details on the Once Upon a Sketch blog here.



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