Sunday, August 28, 2011

two pet pages

 On top of my list of things to try this week were a few sketches and ideas involving one 4x6 portrait photo on a page.  So it was back to the archives, and I found photos of Angus and Maddy with their guinea pigs when they first got them .  no problems there, except that both of these pets have now passed on.  A bit weird to be scrapbooking them now, but once they are chronologically in the album, they will have an appropriate place in my kid's memories of their childhood.
First up, I did this page with Angus and Kayla based on the January 4x6 photo love tutorial.  When I was choosing colours, I noticed that this week's awesome Colour Q challenge would work really well.  Love that!
In fact, there's lots I love about both these pages, the primary embellishments were scrap papers, buttons and machine stitching.  Great for the budget, and great for kids pages.
 The page with Maddy and Hannah is inspired by week 2 POTW from Scrapbook Challenges.  It was a weird moment when Maddy wandered in as I was finishing this page.  First because, as previously mentioned, Hannah is no longer with us, which makes her a bit sad, second because it's a very pink page, and she's not a pink girl anymore, and third, because she is wearing a shirt with cats on it, and she is very much a dog girl now.  but like I said, chronologically, it makes sense!

Does anyone remember these Making Memories dot letter stickers?  When I was first starting out in scrapbooking, they were on my "must have" list, I think because so many projects in magazines used them.  By the time I bought them though, I didn't actually use them that much.  Being me, I still haven't thrown them away, but I tend to cut off the lumpiest bits of the dots before I use them!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

7 photos on one page with an accordian album.

Yesterday,  I put this page together using a technique I found at 2 peas in a bucket, in one of their free video tutorials,

July's 4x6 photo love by Shimelle
Now I know what you're thinking, if you've been reading my blog.  Didn't I bag these videos only a couple of weeks ago as being full of advertising?  Well yes I did.  It was kind of like going camping for a long time and not watching any TV, and then suddenly watching TV again and being overwhelmed by the ads.Then, in a surprisingly short amount of time, you hardly notice them anymore.  Now I tend to just ignore the fact that they are using beautiful new products and try to focus on the techniques they are demonstrating.  And sometimes I have a little giggle, like when they say things like, "I tend to use as many stickers as I want on the one page and then throw the rest away".  Easy to say when you are being paid to advertise products, but some of the rest of us have to keep more of an eye on the bottom dollar.
 Anyway, back to the page.  the 4x6 photo love series has a video each month, each one focusing on a different number of 4x6 photos on a page.  January had one photo, February two, and so on which brings us to seven photos in July.
When I saw this technique demonstrated, I thought it would be great for those kinds of photos you take, you know the ones, that aren't that great, but they still make up an important family memory.  these photos definitely fall into that category.  They come from a trip to Jenolan Caves two years ago, a spectacular series of limestone caves.  You know that your photos aren't going to look anywhere near as good as the real thing, but you can't hep but take lots of photos anyway!  And that's what I journalled l about, as emphasized in my subtitle, pictures can't do it justice..
In terms of product, the accordion album uses 2 sheets of 12" cardstock, as in 2 strips slightly bigger than a 6" photo, then a mat for the photo on the right.  To minimize waste, I used the same cardstock to make the two strips with my border punch. Other than that, the patterned paper is offcuts of two different double-sided papers that I bought at the end of last year.  Then the title is sizzixed with a scrap of shiny cardstock and a corner flourish stamp.  Plus the subtitle used my brand new tiny alpha stamps! How cool is that! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Visit to the craft show, and some butterfly cards

It was a pretty busy week for me last week.  A yucky topic for TAFE that I wanted to finish as quickly as possible, plus family coming at the end of the week meant no time for craft!  My mum rang a few weeks earlier to say she was coming down for the local Craft show.  So I thought I might as well invite the rest of my family for a slightly early birthday party.  But the craft show part of the visit was a major dilemma for me, as I had spent bucket loads of money at the craft show last year, and couldn't see how I would be able to manage it on this year's tight budget.  In the end, though, Rob convinced me I should go, as I don't see my mum that much, let alone do stuff with her, so I wrote the entry fee off as "quality mother/daughter time" and away I went!

Here's what I spent a total of $25.80 on, well within the budget I set myself of $40.  5 rolls of double sided tape, a gorgeous set of unmounted butterfly stamps, a set of 10 super cute metal birds, and 3 laser-cut butterflies.  I bought those thinking they wold be fun to try as masks, and I could still use them on a layout once I was done.
Then mum went back with my sister the next day, who added a couple of little goodies into my birthday present, including these tiny alpha stickers and cute little UM stamp sets (with yet more butterflies!)

So it will come as no surprise that when I finally sat down at my craft desk on Sunday afternoon, what I felt like making was . . . butterfly-themed cards!  The first thing I wanted to try was using my laser cut butterflies as a mask.  The problem being, of course, that I don't own any of those mists that are so popular right now.  So first thing I tried was to flick watered down paint over it.

As you can see, the result was less than spectacular.  The paint was just too wet and the mask too fine.

The next thing that I tried was good old sponging from a pigment ink pad.  I have heaps of these sponges I made by gluing ordinary kitchen sponges onto blocks of wood sitting in a drawer, so it was great for one to see some use.  The result was a little better, but I was never going to get all the super-fine detail.  I finished the card off with a "banner" made of out a scrap of card and some machine stitching.

Finally, I made this card with some of my gorgeous new stamps.  I used the colours from what was the current challenge at ColourQ, but didn't post it soon enough to actually enter the challenge.  I also based it on a sketch from Pagemaps.  I had printed the sketch out and written next to it in pencil, "really cool prize", which it is, 5 Basic Grey 6" pads plus 5 flourishes stamp sets.  The problem is, I realized tonight, that of course you need a US postal address to be eligible to win the prize!  I decided not to let that stop me entering, in the unlikely event of winning, I'm sure I can find at least one US reader who would enjoy using this prize on my behalf. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A win!

When I was checking my inbox the other day and there was an email with the heading "you won", my first thought was that it was some sort of spam mail.  But no!  Turns out Tammy had chosen my layout "Facing 40"  as her favourite "pagerize" at Scrap our Stash!  I couldn't be more excited! This means that I got to choose the next month's pagerize challenge!  I immediately thought of this page I did last year about Hamish.  I love the fun stamps, the hidden journalling, and how the gold-embossing, the colour purple and the bit of bling all come together to make a layout that is "regal" but fun.

If you want to play along too, here is where you go.

the journalling tag

Friday, August 12, 2011

Love the 2-in-1 challenge

You'd think I had joined enough challenge sites by now, but when I saw a link for the colorful creations "punch festival" on  another blog that I follow, I couldn't resist!  The challenge required you to use a minimum of 3 punches.  I used 5: two border punches, the circles in the title, the blue layer of the flowers and the tab punch.  The butterfly and the title are sizzix dies.
These photos are from the same day as the last page I posted, this time for Maddy's album.  I have already done her a page with journalling about this and another friend leaving church, so I kept it simple this time, just using a few suitable word stamps, "remember precious moments".
It took me a while to work out the right colour scheme for this one, I was trying to use the green from Lilly's shirt . . but I couldn't get it to work.  I always have a few ColourQ combo's on my pinboard that I like, and what do you know? The current challenge, #97 went with the girl's shirts perfectly.  Got to love a 2-in-1 challenge!  I was also able to use two of the same papers from the last page, adding black and white, and a different blue for the bottom layer of the flowers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Remembering good friends

I love these photos I took of the last playdate my kids had with good friends before they moved interstate.  It was actually a pretty sad thing for my family, these two were my two youngest's closest church friends, and their mum is a really good friend of mine as well.  But I wanted to keep this page bright and positive - it's only their last play together for now, and a trip to Tassie is definitely on the agenda.

I used the latest Lets Scrap sketch for this, and loved how quickly it came together. Other than the main sheet of dotty paper in the background, all the rest of the paper is offcuts, off course.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hidden journalling challenge.

The design team challenge at Let's Scrap this week was to use hidden, or as they called it "peek-a-boo" journalling.  The photo that I was originally going to use on the layout I last posted about, the one about my craft room, was always going to have hidden journalling, so, hey! the only trick was finding a "Lets Scrap" sketch to use! Awesome!
The journalling
It took a while to choose the papers to use on this page, for example I was swayed by a new orange patterned paper I bought the other day, but I felt strongly that a page about my craft room should use off-cuts!  You might need to double click on the photo to enlarge it, but can you see why I chose the main patterned paper?  Maddy spotted it straight away!  That's right, on the right hand side, in the gap between the hutch and the window, (that's where I put all my off-cuts until I get around to filing them away) is that exact same piece of paper! How could I not use it!
I put the photo on hinges, with the journalling hidden behind, kind of lie "a door" into my craft room!

Maddy thought it would be funny to take another photo (she actually took the first one) of me at the desk with this page in progress.  It's kind of not really in focus, but I did think it was fun enough to post - I'm even wearing the same jumper!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Taking inspiration to the next level.

Did I tell you that I bought 7 sheets of patterned paper last week?  well I did.  Rohan had a soccer game in the same suburb as my fave local shop, so I whipped over during the warmup and headed straight for the 99c rack.  I've been going back for more of the "Fine and Dandy" range by My Mind's Eye.  So when I saw this "inspired by" challenge at Scrapbook Challenges, I immediately thought of the new papers I had bought.  This is another level of challenge for me, it's not just putting things in the right spot, like a sketch, or purely a colour combination - it's the feel and the theme you are trying to use.
 I really wanted to use this small scrap of blue floral paper but it wasn't big enough to use as a photo mat. I ended up cutting three motifs out to use as embellishments! Awesome!
I got about half way through the construction of this page, which was going to be about my scrapbook room, when I finally realized, I love the colours of the page and I love the story that goes with this photo . . . they just don't go together!  I then dived into my photo albums to see if I had another photo which would work on this page . . . NOT the way I usually work as you probably know!  I had to go right back to 2007 but I found it, a photo of the first truly collectible Christmas decoration I ever bought.  The first of a (so far very small) collection.  Funnily enough I never in a million years would have put that photo in a blue and orange colour scheme, but I think it is perfect!  Who would have thought? 
Anyway, my next dilemma was the title.  My first attempt of stamping the title was in grey, but it didn't stand out enough on the orange.  Next I stamped over the top in black, but didn't think black was right on the page, which was why I went with grey in the first place.  Finally I white-embossed on another scrap of orange (yes of course everything is scrap except the backing sheet).  After much agonizing, I then outlined the while letters in brown and called it done!  Finally, how to do the journalling.  Again, I didn't want to use black and nothing else was going to show up on the orange.  I ended up scattering it around on the blue strips around the page, using the same brown pen.  And here it is, the finished page:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stamping in scrapbooking (and the dangers lurking in online classes)

The design team challenge from Let's Scrap was to use another hobby on your page.  That was easy, having loved the last time I used stamping as a major theme on a page, I was keen to do it again.  Here is the page I created - cute child + face painting + dog wearing fairy wings means a cute page before you've even started, don't you think?
Anyway I loved, as always, the white-embossed title, and was reasonably happy with the paint-stamped flourishes (after I touched them up a bit) but the stamped flowers just didn't work at all so I added paper flowers and mini brads as a second layer over the top.  That looks better!  The paper strips are all . . . (do I even have to say it) from the stash. 

I somehow found myself on the Two Peas in a Bucket website earlier this week, and decided to watch a couple of free on-line classes, something I have never done before. They have a class a month on stamping on your scrapbook pages, which, you may have noticed, I am into at the moment, so decided to give that a go.  Now I know you are dying to find out what dangerous predators I discovered.  Well, put it this way, in the course of demonstrating some rather cool effects, she also demonstrated:
  • some fabulously versatile Alli Edwards stamp sets
  • the currently trendy spray mists (already on my wish list, they always look so fabulous)
  • some totally gorgeous butterfly dies in a sizzix machine
  • her title cut using one of those super-fabulous but ultra-expensive machines like a Cricut or Silhouette
Are you getting the point yet?  it would be so easy to be inspired to go out and buy all those things (well maybe not the Silhouette, that would probably be my entire budget for the next 2 years!).  It's certainly what I've done in the past, but sometimes, by the time you've bought everything, you can't even remember why you wanted it!
What was that motto again? 
Focus on what inspires you to create!  
(not on what inspires you to spend).
I can do resist stamping with the trillion stamps that I already own. 
I do not need mists to do this, sponging from my thousand and one ink pads will also work just fine! (But if anyone's stuck for a birthday present, those spray mists are kinda nice) .
I can post the results here to prove to you that it's possible! (Hmmm . . . sounds kind of like a challenge!)