Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Colorful creations round robin

At last, I can publish my page for the Colorful Creations round robin.  when I received Paige's layout, the first thing I thought was, "I've just bought a striped paper a bit like that".  The second thing I thought was, "I've got waterfall photos I could use".  And that's how this page began.  I used a similar background paper, placement of elements, style of font, embellishments, even, as I said, subject matter!
I enjoyed making this page, and loved the finished product, but copying everything so closely felt a bit like, well, copying.
So let's call it an exercise in stretching the creative muscles a little differently, but I think I'll go back to doing my own thing!
PS. If you haven't already see the line-up of pages (and I should just say a special "Hello and welcome" to my new readers from Colorful creations) I urge you to jump on over here and have a look.  It's fascinating to watch the evolution of a page as each crafter puts her own unique mark on it!

An all-white scrapbook page

This week's So You Think You Can Scrap challenge at Colorful Creations was to create a one page layout with a very simple colour scheme - all white!!  Thankfully, after my mixed feelings about last week's layout, I found a photo that was screaming to be scrapbooked - I just couldn't hear it because it had been sitting in a box for nearly 13 years!

The title "New Beginnings" symbolizes the start of our friend's journey together as a married couple, as well as our journey as parents (Rohan was about 3 weeks old at the time!).  Maddy was encouraging me to cut some love-hearts when I was preparing the heading for the silhouette - I didn't have any hearts I wanted to use, but I did cut some butterflies.  I ended up switching them for the embossed vellum variety - those guys just love landing on all my pages!
The embossed cardstock I used for my background definitely counts as "old supplies".  I bought it in white, cream and black.  The friend I was with bought some too - we were planning to cut individual squares out to use on cards.  I even remember my friend thinking who our mutual friends were so that we didn't both give one to the same person!  I don't know how many cards my friend ended up making, but I know exactly how many I made - zero!  That cardstock ended up sad and lonely in my stash - until today!!
I thought I may as well scrap the other photo I had from the wedding at the same time.  I originally planned to give it a white background also, using the same bazzill as I used for the heading, but then I decided there wasn't enough contrast, so I used the same embossed cardstock in black.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A busy week for Colorful Creations (and gift voucher #1)

It's been tight deadlines for Colorful Creations this week. First up was my turn at the round robin, with a 3 day turnaround.  It's a secret whispers type of thing, so I can't reveal  Paige's layout that I had to scraplift, or the page I made myself.  You'll have to wait until the end of the month for that!
Secondly was the third week of So you think you can scrap.  This week, we were given a one-photo sketch, and the brief to create a page with a specific time as the heading.  My idea was to use the heading "9am to 3pm" and the journalling "there's never enough hours in the school day to get done all the things you have to get done".
I chose one of my recently purchased PP as the background, as I thought it went well with the sketch, turned 180 degrees.  Not being someone who has a quality photo printer at home (or time to get to the shops to have anything printed out) I decided I would take a photo and just print out a temporary one on printer paper, which I can always reprint properly later.
But I've got to be honest with you, I'm not that happy with this page.  Take away the photo, title and journalling, I love the layout . . . I just think it needs a different story, maybe with a more flowing title.
I think I would like to take the journalling and title, combine it with a series of photos showing all the daily chores I try to do on a school day (washing, cleaning, shopping etc) and do a whole different page.
Sigh.  I thought I already learnt this lesson, story and photos first!
And now to my gift voucher.  A couple of months ago I received a phone call from my insurance company, informing me I hadn't paid my building insurance bill and would I like to pay it over the phone.  I hadn't decided to change companies or anything, turns out it had fallen behind the computer!  the good thing was, though, if I paid then and there over the phone, I would get a gift voucher as a thank you present! Awesome! And it got better, because when I got the voucher in the mail, one of the few vouchers I could redeem for that amount of money was to Eckersleys art supplies!
When I went to spend it the other day, top of my list was either a glue pen or refill for my Xyron sticker machine, to keep up with all my Silhouette creations.  As it turns out I bought both, plus 2 Inktense pencils, spending the difference of $4.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

 I didn't mention it, but last weekend I spent the most I have in one shop all year, at a touch over $50.  It was pretty basic supplies - 3 packs of page protectors (most of which I loaded pages into as soon as I got home), some sheets of cardstock (first time all year - shows how much cardstock I have, but there are starting to be a few holes) and 10 sheets of patterned paper.  And that's what I'm feeling a bit bad about, that maybe 10 sheets at once was a few too many . . . I'd hate to think I might still be looking at them a year from now, wondering if it's time to cull them. 
I have used one already, on this page inspired by  the August stretch your sketch from Two Peas in a Bucket.  We recently remembered a phrase that Angus coined when Hamish was just a puppy: "Some people think puppies are old fashioned, but WE don't".  Just a little bit of nonsense that expressed his love, one of those little things we might forget if we didn't record them.
In the sketch, the idea is to use a grid of round embellishments in that space to the left of the photo, and I had probably 20 buttons ready to go.  But by the time I had shifted around my title, that idea didn't work anymore, so I just used 3, in a triangle around the page.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Does this look like the desk of someone who's using up her stash?

I mean, seriously, does it?  That's a lot of scraps right there!  Every time I finish with a PP or cardstock on any given project, I tend to file it away temporarily in a kind of pigeon hole between the hutch of my desk and the wall (you can see it on the right hand side if you go back to this post here).  And then I get around to filing them away properly every few months or so.  Which is what I was doing today - dividing up by colour, then I divide each colour into large and small pieces (you can see my box and folder here).

Anyway, here is a card I made using ColourQ challenge 102 - It's a "just because I've got a new Silhouette machine" kind of card.  I splurged on the dress form and doily images with my download card that came with the machine, They are both so gorgeous I am sure I will get my 99c worth out of them! 
But here's Julie's Silhouette lesson #1:  do a test cut to make sure your blade is actually going to go all the way through your cardstock!! (You'd think I would have learnt this the day before with my stars) The time it took me to poke out all the little cutouts on that dress-form sure took a lot longer than a test cut would have!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Best birthday present . . . ever!

For my birthday this year, I had originally asked for a mix-master.  Not exactly exciting but practical and, well, big.  Not the sort of thing you just go out and buy for no reason. (Not on our income, anyway).
But as the time drew nearer, I got less and less excited, and started thinking more and more about a Silhouette machine.  Now when I first heard of these babies they cost $600 - I don't think any amount of titles and shapes could justify that price!  But I started to wonder if perhaps the price had come down.  So I did a little Google search and found the local supplier had them on special for $450, somewhat of an improvement, but still didn't feel like I could ask for one at that price.  But then on Ebay . . we could get one for $250 including postage shipped direct from the US!  We just needed to spend another $9 on a power adapter. Happy birthday to me!
So anyway, no prizes for guessing what I used to scrap this week's "So you think you can scrap" . . .
After week 1 was so easy, I was lulled into a bit of a false sense of security, but week 2 of SYTYCS proved a bit more complicated.  The rules are:
  • double layout, created by mirroring one of a given choice of sketches
  • background must be black
As someone who sends all her photos away to be printed once or twice a year, I have to work with the photos I have. I do plenty of double layouts, but many will never make it online as they are of school events, birthday parties etc, none of which I post unless I have permission from all the parents.
I had one page ready to scrap that I wanted to use a black background for, but the number and orientation of the photos didn't fit any of the sketches.
Another group of photos I have ready to go would have fit a sketch, but I didn't want a black background.  Same goes for pretty much any family holiday-type page.
I ended up going  way back to 2006 when I made Star Wars costumes for Angus's 5th birthday party.
I'm pretty proud of my first attempt at using the software.  I managed to use text, resize, rotate, group, separate, weld, offset, duplicate, mirror . . . the only thing I forgot to do was check that the cardstock was cut all the way through before I unloaded, and as a result ended up cutting the green stars by hand!
I've scrapped two Star Wars birthdays and a Star Wars exhibition, so I'm no stranger to using the imitation star wars font, but let me tell you, it's never looked as good as this!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Paper flowers

This week's challenge at Let's Scrap was to create a page using paper flowers.  Andrea, the DT member who set the challenge posted a great tutorial on what she calls "punch and scrunch" flowers on her website, which you can jump over to here
I don't have a scallop punch like Andrea does, so I had a go with the flower punches that I have.  The shape and size of my flowers meant I probably couldn't scrunch quite as much as she did, but I'm pretty happy with the results, which I used on this page showcasing Maddy's ballet photos from the end of last year. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So you think you can scrap

I signed up to the "so you think you can scrap" challenge at colorful creations, which started this week.  It basically consists of a series of weekly challenges which have to be finished by the due date.  When you miss a challenge, you're out, and it will keep going until there is one scrapper left! 
 I had no idea what to expect, but luckily, the first challenge was pretty easy: make a page with two DIY embellishments.  So this is it, this photo of Rohan dressing up as a pirate for a birthday party.  My DIY elements are the eye patch and the pirate flag, (made by printing out an image found on a google search, distressing and adding a skewer as the flag pole).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

spring cleaning

As I mentioned in my last post, this week I am doing a bit of "spring cleaning" ie, finishing off some half-done pages that have been lying around.  Here is a page I think any mother of boys can probably relate to, "brothers can be friends, (can't they?).  It feels like they do nothing but fight, but then sometimes when you're out, this magical thing happens - they forget that they are mortal enemies and have a great time together! As I say in my journalling, hopefully we won't always need a north Queensland stream and 10x optical zoom to prove to them that they can be friends!

It's funny how some photos you grab and scrap straight away and others sit around for a lot longer.  This next lot of photos is from "graduation" day from a dog training course I did last year.  first they sat around because I realized I wanted to print out some of the trainer's photos, so I waited for them.  Then, I think the problem was I had too many photos.  Finally, I had a bit of a "eureka" moment, when I thought to myself, who said I only had to do one page!  So even though all the photos are from the one day, I divided them into a page about the training course itself and another about the graduation day.  Finally, they sat around waiting for me to do the journalling tags, which I finished tonight.
I linked the two layouts by using the same two dog-themed sheets of patterned paper (I think they might be from Max and Whiskers by Basic Grey) in the same way.  I used the striped paper as a photo mat on the left hand side (sewed around three sides to make a pocket for my journalling) and a pawprint strip on the right hand side to break up the photos. I cut out  framed dogs from the other sheet of paper to make cute embellishments and mounted them on foam mounting tape.
 For the background, I used cardstock in a similar tone of the same texture, and used the same rub-ons for the titles. 
The blue page about the graduation was the one I did first, so I had to get a bit more creative for the second one.  Here, you can see I didn't have one continuous strip of paper to use, so I used two different strips, and hid the gap later with a puppy embellishment.
 Unfortunately, the framed pictures on the patterned paper overlapped quite a bit, so when it came to using this big picture, I really had to get creative!  I'm pretty pleased with the finished result - if you don't look too close, you can hardly even tell!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The blog about the page about the blog

This week I am hoping to focus on finishing off a few almost-done pages I have waiting for some journalling or some finishing touches.  Here is the first of two pages I have been planning for a while about my blog and the whole "spend less craft more" project.
It was important to me that this page contain a range of little bits of embellishments, different ribbons, flowers, buttons and brads.  The title stickers are Basic Grey Fusion, the very first Basic Grey set I ever bought.  I needed to use both colours off the sticker sheet and the negative of a few of the letters, and that seemed appropriate to the theme as well.
If you double click on the photo to enlarge it, you should be able to read my journalling more easily, especially where I have stamped around some of the words on the "frequency grid" and added some hand-written journalling.
Hmmm  . . . . maybe I could take a photo of this blog post, and scrapbook about that, and call it "the page about the blog about the page about the blog", and then . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The festival of Dad(s)

I didn't have the most productive week this week, study-wise, which translated into not doing much craft. However, there were a few cards that I was determined to get done!  Robert's birthday is the 3rd of September, which means, of course, that it is right on top of Fathers Day.  This year, his birthday is today, Saturday, and Fathers Day is Sunday.  A few days ago, he referred to this weekend as "The Festival of Dad", which I liked, and used as the basis of this his card.
 Next, the cards for the grandfathers.  Our parents don't live nearby so I try to get a card in the mail each year.  This year, I thought I would give ColourQ a go and see what this week's colour scheme had to offer.  Turns out, they are celebrating their 100th challenge, which this week was a sketch, and you could pick any colour scheme you like to accompany it.
This is the card I made for my dad, based on the sketch plus challenge #25
And this is the card for my father-in-law, John, using #85