Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Be Sure

I did this layout for the 123 Challenge blog. The criteria for the August challenge was to use the colour yellow, misting and the word sunshine. I was immediately inspired to do this layout, but what with moving house and starting a new job and all, it nearly didn't happen in time. Lucky for me I managed to unpack my scrappy goodies and whip up this page in the nick of time.


Lots of misting as you can see, using my well-worn home-made sunrays stencil. And then I stamped in the Studio Calico 'happy' with some Distress-Ink which meant that when I went over the layout with a spritz of water, it bled and blended very nicely.


After mounting my layout onto a paper from the Cosmo Cricket Garden Variety collection to really highlight the yellow, I literally used scraps to finish the rest of my layout.

I know different people have different systems for collecting thier scraps and off-cuts but what I do is to file them into a ring binder with plastic sleeves, a different page for each colour. So I simply flipped through my folder to find pieces that coordinated with the colours and theme of my layout. For example, you might recognise that banner from all the projects I did as a Guest DT for Scrapbooking from Scratch last month?!


I was a little bit unsure about whether to add another title to my page, since I already had the digital stamp on the photo which I think served pretty well for a title (it's from the Feeling Cloudy collection by Vol.25 - you really should check out her blog and Etsy for yourself - it's something else!) but as you can see I did it anyway. And then, as usual, I added in heaps (too much?) journalling because I really wanted to journal these thoughts.

It's about how Munchy is so very helpful around the house, especially when it comes to her little sister. Whenever I ask her to do something (fetch me your sister's dummy, pass me those wipes, can you share your toys please, go and get her teddy.....) she never ever complains, she always answers very quickly with "sure" and it makes me so very happy that she's so generous and helpful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The State of Play

So I'm getting back into some scrappy time, and boy does it feel good!
Thanks once again to everyone who has left comments to wish me well as I'm continuing to make the transition back into full-time work. Things are getting easier as we all adjust to the new routine, and more and more boxes are getting unpacked everyday so it's starting to feel more like a home rather than 'the new house'.

Two things have made me particularly happy today:

1. I was able to whip up another page for my stint as Kontributing Kreator at Kreatorville Krafts, and it's just gone live on the blog.

Here's a little sneak:


I'll come back and give you a run-down on how I put this together another day.

2. One of my scrappy idols Kathy Link has showcased some of my work on her blog today as she does a focus on journaling. You only have to flick through some of my recent posts to know how much I value writing on my pages. In fact, I'd rather ruin the design of the page by including journaling than run the risk of forgetting the story in the future. I pretty much insist on writing/typing/whatever on every single page I do (well...... nearly!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Things that make you go Ummmm......

I had little more than scraps left over from my generous DT kit from Handmade by Suzanne this month. But since we are talking about the delightful and gorgous Olivia collection from Basic Grey there was no way even the scraps could go to waste. So this is what I came up with.....


Step 1. I made my background by grabbing some old (and ugly!) cardstock that I then camouflaged by slapping on some glue-stick and covering it up with a crinkled and ripped layer of dress-pattern. Voila... one textured and interesting 'kraft' background :-)


Step 2. Randomly sew on any and all of my left-over scraps. And I mean that literally! For example, see that flowery pattern on the white background in the bottom left corner of my layout (the focus in the photo above)? That's not actually from any of the papers, but rather from the packaging from the Olivia bloomers! And the rest of the bits and pieces are off-cuts from my previous layouts.


Step 3. Glue on an abundance of blue and green half-backed pearls for added dimension and call it done!

So the story on this one goes something like this....
I caught Munchy putting baby-lotion all through her hair because she was trying to immitate me when I put product (such as mousse) in my hair. She thought she was pretty stylin' !!

But speaking of an abundance of all good things... you should see all the new CHA goodies Suzanne has got in the store! Between all the new Crate Paper collections, My Mind's Eye Lost and Found and Cosmo Cricket my scrappy budget has gone out the window. And that doesn't even cover the new Prima, Kaisercraft and Imaginisce. You can see all the new stuff here. But be prepared to whip out your credit card because if you're anything like me you won't be able to help yourself!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

M for......

I created this page from my August Kreatorville kit mainly because I knew we were focusing on painting techniques this month, but also because on regular occasions I just want to go all "art-journal" on my pages. This came together really quickly and was absolutely freeing and soooo much fun to do!!


I used the b-side of the Collage Press paper in the kit as my background. It was perfect because although it was plain, it was also already 'grunged up'. (I tried to upload a picture of the paper to show you, but Collage Press have got copyright protection stuff turned on, so I'll direct you to this link instead).

Firstly, to create the frame for the photo I laid down the cover sheet from the Girl's Paperie Sticker Book directly onto my background paper and traced around the inside of the window shape. Then I just drew a simple scallop frame around it.


I also traced the same shape onto the red Sassafras Paper and cut it out slightly inside the lines. I stuck that down on my page before mounting my photo onto it.


Without any pre-planning, and without any rough drafts I simply got my black calligraphy pen and started doodling fun shapes. That's why my birds are a little wonky!! Sure, I could have used some kind of template, or drawn it in pencil first until I was happy with it, but I liked the risk of just going with the flow. It's quicker and easier, and gives a more 'arty' feel rather than a perfected painting.

Then I got out my water-colours and painted away. Again, the trick here was not to be too perfect or precise but simply slap on some colour! Once it was dry I did some free-motion sewing to add dimension, and highlighted with a white gel pen.



To incorporate more of the kit contents onto my page I added a lot of the embellishments from The Girl's Paperie - such as that banner, the compass', the bird and the arrows around the photo. And as Keandra pointed out on the Kreatorville blog, I love how you can barely tell where the paintings finish and the pre-made embellishments begin.

So what do you think? Too messy and distorted? Or arty and lovely? I have to admit that I waver between the two opinions myself, but at the end of the day I really enjoyed the process of this page and would do it again in a heart-beat.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Always

I was absolutely delighted when I opened my DT package from Handmade by Suzanne this month. The Olivia collection from Basic Grey is absolutely gorgeous, and my pack was overflowing with it. I haven't bought any Basic Grey for myself in quite a while now, and I had forgotton how lovely they really are, and what I couldn't get over was that these double-sided papers were really usable. I mean, quite often for me I can clearly and quickly work out which side of a paper I'm going to use.... but these were hard!! I really needed two of every paper so I could use both sides!


This was the first layout I made, and you can see how I've tried to use as many of the papers as I could! And I really think the pink doily paper (which is actually from the Green at Heart collection) adds such a stunning detail and extra dimension. I know these are a bit more expensive than the average paper, but I cut mine up and have easily used it for at least 5 layouts so you really do get your money's worth.


The white border strips are called 'paper frills' and are by Doodlebug Designs. You can get these at the store in a couple of different colours, but I figured white coordinates with everything and plus you can always alter them so these are a good investment. You get heaps in the packet so you'll see these on a lot of my layouts in the future I can assure you! I added some of the half-pearls in green and blue to the centre for a lovely touch.


And then speaking of lovely things... this was my first time at playing with the Basic Grey bloomers. I never realised how fantastic they were in real life before! Those beautiful flowers already come layered and stitched and buttoned, so all the hard work is already done for you. I tell you, this layout come together so easily and yet it looks like a lot of work went into it.

I made my layout on a regular old manilla folder before I sewed it onto the 12x12 American Craft cardstock (in chocolate). I only sewed the back of it on so that it still opens up and then I put a pocket behind there to hold the Mother's Day card I received this year. I'll show you what I mean......


It's not really the prettiest thing you've ever seen behind there, but it's practical!

The photo is of Munchy giving me my Mother's Day present (see the macaroni necklace I'm wearing?!) and the journalling tells the story about how I was away all that day but that she rang me up in my lunch break and said (without prompting by her Daddy) "Mummy, I love you and I'm never going to stop." It sure bought a tear to my eye and I knew that moment would be scrapped.

Another memory captured forever and all wrapped up in pretty product :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From Screen 2 Scrap Bloghop



If you're on the From Screen 2 Scrap bloghop, my post can be found here. If you're not then I encourage you to join!! You can start here and it's totally worth it - there's about a million prizes to win :-)

This post is sticky and will stay at the top of my blog for the duration of the hop. It's running from the 9th to the 21st of August to allow you plenty of time to visit all the sites.

For my newer blog posts please just scroll down :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kreatorville sketch

The very first layout I did as the Kontributing Kreator with my August kit from Kreatorville Kraft was this one:


Now I know you are all wondering about the "Bird Soup" but I'll get to that in a minute!

I designed this layout based on the August sketch, which looks just like this....

I loved this sketch and how it challenged me to use three photos. I keep on telling myself to do more multi-photo layouts, but always seem to end up in my comfort zone of just scrapping one at a time. But I was really happy with how this one turned out.


Absolutely everything on this page is from the August kit, and I think it's fabulous that if you compare this page to the other page I've posted a couple of days back that was made with the very same kit - it's a totally different look and feel. This kit is so versatile! And let me assure you, the other pages I've made are different again..... but you'll have to wait a little longer to see them :-)


The journalling tells the story about how one day Munchy had been outside playing very quietly by herself for quite a while. Now while that is good in so many ways, it always alarms me just a little because it usually means she is up to mischief! So I found her stirring this muddy concoction she had brewed up in the bird-bath. It was like a scene out of Macbeth :-) She declared she was making soup for the birds, and she was having the best time! The 'cherry' on top is actually an apple she had picked off the tree - she thought the birds might like it.

So no, there were no birds in her soup. Rather, it was soup for the birds!

If you want to join in the sketch challenge at Kreatorville this month all you have to do is make a layout (or card) based on the sketch and post it to the Flikr group. You don't have to use a Kreatorville kit, but you might want to pick this one before it sells out - it's totally fabulous.

PS. The layered circles down the bottom of my layout was an idea I scrap-lifted off one of the Studio Calico designers from the gallery a couple of months back. I just can't remember who I'm afraid. Does anyone else remember?

Monday, August 16, 2010

how?

Oh boy - I really got quite mushy and sentimental when I was doing up my DT layouts for Handmade by Suzanne this month! For the best example of this, see the layout I posted last week here. But this layout comes a close second on the cry-baby front :-)


Once again I've journalled all about my impending return to work and how much I loved spending the year off with my girls and how amazed I am at how quickly and wonderfully they are growing.
But since I was in the mood for doing girly and sentimental layouts, Suzanne sent me the perfect products in these gorgeous Basic Grey Olivia papers and the American Craft foam Thickers that coordinate so wonderfully with them.


I also got these cute little half-pearls in my package, and although they can be a little bit fiddly to use (I found the best way was to pour some liquid glue onto a plastic lid and dip my pearls in them - holding them with my tweezers) they add so much more shine and texture and dimension that I fell in love with these as a fabulous extra detail. I ended up using them on every single layout I did, and not just one or two, but a heap! And the best thing is, you get a minimum of 100 in each packet for under $2 which means I have a tonne left over for lots more projects!


Yes it's true - I love clouds on my layouts, and I love sunrays (which I created with some Glimmermist and a handmade stencil). You may have noticed this trend on my blog? :-) And these kites I made just seemed to finish it off perfectly. Aren't they fun?!

So now I've been back at work for a little over a week. It truly breaks my heart to leave my girls behind and to have to say goodbye as I'm peeling Munchy off from around my legs, or to spend an hour settling Moodles down at night even though she's never previously been a fussy baby. Not to mention the hard work and stress of having to move house the weekend before I started :-) I have found slipping back into the work routine has been fairly easy. Apart from having to do night duty one night a week, I get a reasonable amount of time off on my roster too so it's not so bad. And although starting at a new hospital always comes with the extra challenge of finding out how everything works and what the hospital policies are everyone is being quite patient with me and I'm sure it won't take long before it's all second-nature again.

Thanks once again to everyone for their kind comments and well wishes. I love coming home and tuning into my blog world at night once the kids are in bed. Soooo relaxing. Thanks for making it so much fun for me :-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's a boy!!

No, not me!! Thank goodness :-) But last month my sister had her first baby, and while I'm used to all things girly she shook up the mix a bit by having a gorgeous baby boy. I managed to have someone capture this photo of Munchy, Moodles and I meeting Mason for the first time, and I knew I had to scrap it.

My personal stash doesn't have a lot of masculine papers and embellishments in it, so imagine how delighted I was when I opened my Kreatorville Kraft August kit (where I'm a Kontributing Kreator this month) to find some papers from the lovely Girl's Paperie On Holiday collection, that A-Mazing Kreatorville male tag, and the measuring tape ribbon. It was like Keandra designed this kit with my photos in mind!! It was simply perfect.


The only thing that concerned me was that those brilliant Girl's Paperie stencil alphas were black with PINK letters. I knew that wouldn't quite work!! But the solution couldn't have been easier. I simply used my craft knife (personally I use a scalpel which I find cuts much more smoothly, but I realise not everyone has access to these! Lucky for me, I'm the Scrap Doctor!) to cut out the pink letters, and then I used foam tape to pop up the black negatives on the b-side of the Sassafras paper that comes in the kit.

I love how bold and graphic my title is, and the extra dimension from the foam tape makes this look so impressive in real life.


Meanwhile, speaking of bold and graphic... the Kreatorville tags that came in the kit worked in perfectly for this layout. I used the male tag as a base for my sub-title (which I copied from my sister's birth announcement) It reads "10 little fingers, 10 little toes, and yes.... 1 of those" which I couldn't help but chuckle at.

As you can see, I cut the numbers from the Girls Paperie On Holiday Day's Away paper, and the words are from the Girls Paperie sticker book (all in the kit). For the few words that didn't come in the book, I simply typed up on my typewriter. You can hardly tell the difference.


The "secret" technique at Kreatorville Kraft this month is using paint. I know, I know, I know, some people are a little intimidated to use paints on their layouts, or at the very least are just a little unsure of how to go about it. I put together a very simple tutorial on how I used a toothbrush and syringe to make the messy paint effects on this layout (granted, I ended up covering up a lot of it with my photos and embellishments) which is up on the Kreatorville blog here. But check out what all the other girls are doing with paint this month too. Keandra and Charity have also posted tutorials on great ideas of how to add paints to your creations.

And stay tuned. The full reveal of the August kit went up today, and I've got a lot more layouts to show you :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

In the flash of an eye

ETA - I must sincerely apologise as I truly believe in giving credit where credit is due. The design for my layout below came about after I was inspired by these cards by my friend Val. I instantly fell in love with her messy stitching and the way she used the Basic Grey bloomers and decided I needed to do my own version on a layout. I asked and received her permission first, but as it was a few weeks ago and in my haste to post this layout I totally forgot to give her credit. Go and visit her blog and leave her some love for me please!

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that it's disturbing how fast time seems to go sometimes! If you take a moment to think, I imagine you're like me and will get surprised when you realise that the memories you thought were only from a little while ago were actually from a year ago or more. At least, that's what happened to me recently. I was going through some of my pile of "must scrap" photos and came across some of my left-over pregnancy shots that my sister took for me. Suddenly I realised that these were taken about 12 months ago when I had just started my maternity leave.


So I did grab a couple of them and quickly slapped together this layout. Of course I had to include lots and LOTS of journaling as I got a bit sentimental about my impending return to work and all of the changes that we have gone through as a family over the past year.

I used my August DT kit from Handmade by Suzanne plus a few extra bits from the store.
For a start, I used a page from My Mind's Eye Life Stories collection as the background cardstock. There are still a lot of these in the 60cent paper clearance section of the store (although I'm going to be adding a few more to my cart!!) and I think they're brilliant as a kraft background with another layer of detail already built into them :-)


The tags I wrote my journaling on are handmade, as are the decorative pins. But meanwhile I want to draw your attention to those alphas. These foam Thickers are called Cinnamon (peony is the colour I'm using) and these are so lush! The product pictures in the store don't do these any justice! They match perfectly with the Basic Grey Olivia Collection papers I'm using, and are just so lovely. You can also see how I've sneaked a little bit of my favourite washi tape in to secure the photos too :-)


I've been wanted to try out free-motion stitching on my sewing machine for the longest time! In fact, when I needed to get a new sewing machine a little while back I specifically made sure I got one that allowed me to do this. And yet, this was my first attempt. I'm not one for doing practice runs or experimenting, I run full-tilt into my projects so when I say this is my first attempt I really mean it! But perhaps you can tell, and certainly there are things I'll do differently in the future :-)

I drew a rough outline of the flowers on my paper first before I did my messy stitching, and then I pulled out my water-paints to add a little colour to the leaves. The flowers themselves are the gorgeous Basic Grey Olivia bloomers, and I put a tiny bit of paint on that bottom one too. Don't be afraid to embellish your embellishments I say! I also added some of the 4mm mint half pearls to the leaves for another layer of dimension and texture (although I'm a little afraid they look a bit too much like peas in a pod now!!)

I wanted to thank everybody for their kind comments and well-wishes about us moving house and my return to work this past week. It certainly helps me get through some of the more difficult times to know I'm surrounded by so many supportive people out there in blog-land. We're still well and truly in the adjustment phase but I'll be trying my very best to continue crafting and keeping my blog up to date, but I appreciate your understanding if things are going to be a bit different from now on.

:-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

From Screen 2 Scrap Bloghop

Welcome to the From Screen 2 Scrap blog-hop, and thanks for helping us celebrate our 1st birthday!


If you arrived here from the amazing Anne Patterson's blog then you're on the right track. If you've stumbled across this by accident then I encourage you to go back to the FS2S blog and start at the beginning - you won't be sorry!

To celebrate our birthday we've got a tonne of prizes to give away, but before we get to that I wanted to show you the layout I created inspired by the movie poster for Juno. 


I used the movie poster much like a sketch and clustered my photo and embellishments in the corner, and then filled up the page with stripes. I've used Sassafras Apple Jack collection papers and banner flags (including the negatives from the sheet once I had removed the banner itself - nothing goes to waste here!) You can still find the Apple Jack collection papers in the Handmade by Suzanne store here, and they're even on sale at the moment! The word 'sweet' and the boy flying the kite are from the October Afternoon Fly a Kite sticker sheet which you can find here. But the flowers are all from Kitschy Digitals.


On first impressions it might appear as though my 'lollipops' title is made of traditional alpha stickers (at least from a distance anyway!) but it is handmade. I'll quickly run you through the process of how I did it. It's an easy way of customising your titles and getting quite a professional appearance.


1. Type your title in a Word document and choose a size and font that suits your layout. You can find a tonne of fun (and free!) fonts you can download at Kevin and Amanda's. Print it out on a scrap piece of paper.


2. Use some tracing paper (or just plain old baking paper!) to trace your title


3. And then transfer it onto the patterned paper you're going to use for your title. I'm using the yellow b-side from the Sassafras Apple Jack paper called "my type"


4. Use a black pen or texta to go over it. I use a calligraphy pen as an easy way of making sure that the letters aren't all the same thickness. If you look closely you'll see that each letter is thicker in some parts and thinner in others. This gives it a more professional appearance.


5. Then just cut around it - either use your craft knife (or scalpel as the case may be!) or your fine point scissors. Whatever you find easiest.


6. You can either stop there, or for even more details I then matted it on another contrasting colour and cut around that too. Plus I also added a few 'shadows' to my letters with a brown pen.

When I added it to my layout, I used foam tape to pop it off the page a little. And there you have it! It really is a quick and easy way to customise your titles. You can easily change the size, the font, the colour - anything goes!


Oh, and in case you're wondering why this layout is even called sweet lollipops, the journalling reads "While I was pregnant if anyone asked Bethany what the baby should be called she always answered 'Lollipops'!!" Strange but true :-)

Now onto the really good stuff!


I've got a $10 voucher (plus free shipping) to the Handmade by Suzanne store up for grabs! How sweet is that? I love that Suzanne throws in free shipping too so that you can spend the whole $10 on goodies!

In order to be in the running for the prize on my blog you simply have to sign up to be a follower and then leave me a comment. If you're already a follower you still need to comment to let me know you're playing along :-)

Your next stop on the hop is the incredible Julene Matthews.
Make sure you leave comments on all 10 Designers blogs and then check back at FS2S to leave your comment there to be in the running for the FS2S blog candy. Or check back there if you get lost along the way.

PS. If you enter a layout into the August Juno challenge you automatically get a free entry into each of the 10 Designers blog prizes. And if you do that and mention that you are a follower of my blog (and/or any of the other Designers blogs) then you get another free entry into their blog prize!! Soooo many reasons to enter :-)

Thanks for hopping with us!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mega-Post

So I go back to work on Monday after having a year off.
It's quite a daunting prospect for so many reasons. Obviously the most important one being the change it's going to make to my family, but somewhere down on the list is the change it's going to make to my crafting ability and time. I say this as a way of explaining what may or may not happen to my blogging over the next few months. Basically..... I don't know.

I do know I will continue to scrap and craft. For a start I still have my Design Team commitments and I will continue to do these to the best of my ability. And I'm sure I will continue to scrap for myself as well. But it will just remain as to what amount of time I can dedicate to this. Certainly not (nearly) everyday as the case is at the moment. And I do have a back-log of projects that I can share with you over the coming weeks. Starting today.......

Grab a coffee and relax because this is going to be a mega-post (my way of making up for knowing I may be MIA for the next little bit. Apart from starting work on Monday I'm also moving house this weekend. I'm surrounded by boxes as we speak!)

I thought it was about time I showed you all those layouts I made with my first Studio Calico kit (June's Partly Sunny, and the add-on kit of which I can't remember it's name). I've already shared two of them, which you can check out here and here. But there's a few more :-)


I might not write a whole lot between pictures as otherwise this would get ridiculously long. But let me just say that on all these layouts I've used the kit products and nothing else. They are all a mixture of the main kit and the add-on I got. By the way, the main kit is still available to purchase in case you're interested!



I particularly loved the K&Co alphas and fabric embellishments that came in the add-on and I've used them on nearly all of my layouts I think!




I've had those Jenni Bowlin vintage buttons on my 'must buy' list for a while, so imagine how chuffed I was that I got both the white and the green buttons in the kit!




You'll also notice a lot of the photos I've used on all these layouts look the same too. That's because they're all from the same day at the park, snapping photos on the i-phone with the Hipstamatic app.




And did I mention the washi tape and how much I love it?!! A lot! And the add-on kit came with two rolls. That was another reason I needed the add-on (even though it cost more than the main kit!)




I had to think of something spectacular to do with that Buzz and Bloom chipboard piece. It's actually 12x12" so I cut it down a bit, and I'm really happy with how this layout turned out.




This lovely American Craft's Botanique paper has a really nice glittery finish on it so I wanted to showcase it on this layout. I like how it's all nice muted tones.

Wow. I thought I had only done 5 or 6 layouts from the kit. In doing this I realise I've done 8!! And I've still got enough left overs to do at least another two and easily another 4, although I would have to add some more cardstock and ration out my alphas. But I've got one piece of paper that's still intact and lots and lots of scraps and embellishments.

Anyway, I hope this will tide you over until I get back to regular blogging and crafting again. However, I don't think you'll notice any difference until at least September because I'm organised enough to have all the August stuff sorted out :-)

Alright ... I've got to get back to packing!

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