Saturday, November 26, 2011

A few of my favourite things . . .

It's hard to believe that so many things are entering into "end of the year" phase!  Our Bible Study end of year party is next week and here is the card that we will all sign for our lovely leader (or "facilitator" as she likes to call herself!)

 This card (based on last month's sketch at Card and a Half) contains so many of my favourite things right now:
  • neutral background.  So much of what I'm doing right now is based on white, black or kraft.
  • white vellum butterflies.  since I stamped my first one, I am "addicted" to these litter critters
  • circles.  Large and small, they are appearing more and more on my cards and layouts.  I love them!
  • My hand-made mini alpha stickers. 
  • Last but not least, using products from my stash!  This card continues the theme of 6" pads, and uses 3 different papers from the same K & Co pad.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work in progress has progressed.

A few weeks back, I took you on a tour of my work-in-progress album. I've been steadily working through it since then and I'm pleased to be able to share with you two of the last three pages!

First up, this page about Maddy and her uncle.  I've had these photos of them together waiting for the right sketch to come along.  They are from different events but they all share a common theme: the special bond that they share.  The right sketch finally did come along, from Challenge Heaven.  
This page uses the last two pages from a pack of Basic Grey  "Fusion" papers.  All the tags are from a sheet by Cosmo Cricket.  They really helped to pull the page together.

Colorful Creation's "Monday Mixer" last week was a Bingo game.  I didn't hold out much hope for being able to put a page together, but thought I might as well flick through the folder and see if anything could work.  amazingly, I came  across this half finished double page with a blue colour scheme about Rohan turning 12 last year.  It was waiting for some inspiration to get it finished.  Turns out mini alphas, ribbon and stamping were what this page was missing!  Once I thought of using the clock/watch stamps and the theme of time ticking, it came together very quickly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two thankyou cards, and Make your own mini alpha sticker tutorial

I sent my final TAFE assignment in this week (hooray!) and my last day at the school at which I have been doing my placement is Monday. Here are the thank you cards that I've made for the two teachers I've been working with:

The Marvy Markers got a workout this week, which was nice.  For the male card, I took my starting point as this week's ColourQ colour scheme.


For the female card, I took Shimelle's challenge to make a card with a circle design in the centre.  I am really, really happy with this card!  And yes, they are the letter stickers I'm talking about.  So if you're interested, read on . . .

DIY mini alpha sticker tutorial
Step 1: In a word document, type out a full set of letters, numbers and whatever characters you want to use. YOU get to choose how many of each letter you would like, how many upper- and lower-case etc.  But don't go too crazy, you can always print them out later.  You'll want to have a space between each letter and a line space between each line.

Step 2: That's the tedious bit out of the way.  Now you can copy and paste to make as many sets as will fit on one page.  Make each set a different font and/or point size.  If you're clever, you might want to label each set at this point .  I didn't think of this until later, so I hand wrote it in the margin.  (Don't forget to save the document for future use!)

Step 3: Print out onto thin cardstock.  I printed mine onto white cardstock I bought especially for the printer.  You could of course print onto coloured cardstock, or change your font colour, but again, don't go crazy, you only need to print them out just before you plan to use them.

Step 4: Use your trimmer to cut between each row of letters.  I left a bit at the end so they are all still attached.

Step 5: Run a length of double-sided tape across the back of each row

Step 6: Now it's just a matter of cutting out each letter as you need it.  If you run out of a particular letter, you can always print more out!
Step 7: Store each font sent in a separate zip-lock bag.

Cutie on a skateboard! (and product challenge to self #3, fibres)

I don't tend to print photos out at smaller than 4x6, unless I plan to fit stacks of photos on a page, like a birthday party for example.  And I actually had printed out stacks of photos from this particular day, for Rohan's album.  When I saw the November sketch from Scrapboxx, however, I decided to use just a couple of photos and do a page for the family album first.

This meant I could make the focus of the page my niece (her first skate) and therefore make it a bit girlier!  I loved using the Basic Grey offcuts, a number of different fibres, and flowers on a skateboarding page!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scrapbook boutique november challenge

Here is a the card I made for the Scrapbook Boutique November challenge.  Follow the link to see the cute little cupcake with those gorgeous dots!

What do you think, are these large dots or small circles?  Who cares, I loved making this card, so fun going through my small scraps box looking for papers that would work   I'm so glad that I inked the edges of my circles, too - it gives it a much more finished look.  I thought a bout adding eyelets to every circle, but (apart from the fact that I didn't have the right shade of pinkish red) I like the good old visual triangle.

The girl is from a folder I have creatively named "card bits".  It's a lever-arch folder jam packed with all sorts of punched shapes, half-finished projects and stamped images - many from stamps belonging to friends, when I've been to craft get-togethers.  It's one part of the craft stash I haven't really tackled, so for now, pulling out the odd image every few  months will have to do!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The least fun craft experience of the year so far . . .

It started innocently enough . . . browsing my blog list, when I came across a challenge to make an altered tag, with a link to a Tim Holtz video.

Bad thing #1: He was demonstrating his distress inks, which aren't exactly new, but I never realised how awesome and versatile they are!  My internal wish-list, which has essentially been lying dormant this year, went into over-drive!  Wouldn't it be great to have those Distress Inks in every colour! And how about those stamps he's using!  To die for!  Now, if you're confused as to why this is a bad thing, let me explain what used to happen with my "wish list" items.  Many times it would be months between being inspired by a particular stamp/embellishment/whatever and actually buying it.  By then, I would have no idea of what the original inspiration even was, or else the desire to try it may have been superseded by some newer idea. 

so anyway, I decided to try and combat that particular attach of the "I wants" and try to modify his techniques using what I have, "Spend Less, Craft More" style.

And so we come to Bad thing #2: I decided to start my background with a direct-to-paper method using some hardly-touched chalk ink pads.  Problem was, they were so dry, in the process of dragging the pad across the paper, I actually dragged the ink pad off the cover! 
At this point, I thought some re-inking was well in order.  Which brings me to a sad little confession: I have something like about 60 ink-pads, and re-inkers for less than half of them.  As I was re-inking, I was observing the sad state some of my pads are now in, some have cracked, some have lost their sponginess.  So the new agenda for early 2012: work out how much I am prepared to spend on re-inkers, which colours to invest in and which ones to sacrifice. 

That really took the wind out of my sails, but come Sunday I was determined to get this tag made.  I didn't use enough ink to totally cover the tag, but I decided I didn't mind the effect.  You probably can't tell from the photo, but the Pearl-ex on the stamped images has a lovely shiny effect.
It's not a really polished project, (in fact I will probably redo the sentiment on another layer before I give this card away) but I'm proud of myself for seeing it through to this stage, and it was great to be reminded of the Pearl-ex powders that have been sitting neglected in my stash for so long, hopefully I will find some time to play with them again soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Found objects on a Scrapbook page.

I'm on my third day of a gastro bug and feeling pretty blah! The only creative thing I've managed to get done is finish this page for the latest Let's Scrap challenge, which is to use found objects on a scrapbook page.  I had been shopping only the day before I saw the challenge, and had looked at my shopping bag from Tree of Life and thought, now that has potential craft value, so it was awesome to use straight away!
Here's what I started with:

These photos (which Rohan took when he was only about 7, by the way) have been sitting in my work-in-progress folder for a while, waiting for a suitable challenge, and something to journal about - you know I'm not very good at taking some nice photos and whacking on a quote or something!
I was inspired by a blog I have started following recently, Scrapparazzi,  to use Bible verses on my layouts.
So here's the finished product, complete with verse from John 10:10:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

ColourQ meets Shimelle

It is always a happy day in my book when the current ColourQ challenge matches a scrapbook page you feel like working on!

Here is the page - for Rohan's album, about Hamish joining the family:

I used Shimelle's sketch of the week, and it all came together pretty quickly.  Not much in the way of product other than paper this time, including:
  • 2 "rescued" papers, (the red and the brown)
  • 2 from a 6" pad (the "vanilla" ones
  • an off-cut (the blue)
  • which leaves the orange - a recently-bought untouched sheet (but it goes without saying that I cut away the part that you can't see in the middle - to use again another time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Product challenge to self #2: metal birds and 6" pads (and scrapbook packaging)

This morning there was a two-hour teachers strike, and I ended up keeping one child home for the rest of the day with dizziness and headaches.  Which meant the things I had planned to go out and do were either condensed or cancelled.  I could have used that extra time to catch up on some housework, or maybe to work on my last TAFE assignment.  What I actually ended up doing, was scrapbooking . . .
The current challenge at Let's Scrap (challenge 119) is to interpret a LS sketch incorporating some scrapbooking packaging.  Not having done a lot of spending recently, I don't have a lot of cute packaging lying around, but when I bought a Fancy Pants stamp set last year I did save the packaging, for the over-sized scalloped edging, which I thought would be fun to use someday.  That day has arrived!

I bought a little package of 10 metal birds at the craft show I went to earlier this year.  I was determined to use them before they turned into "old" supplies.  The tree on this sketch gave me the perfect excuse . . .truth be told, I'm not 100% sold on the colours on this page, but it's a story I wanted to tell, so I'm calling it a finished page and moving on  . . .

When I posted a few months ago about some cards I made using 6" pads, a lovely reader made the comment that it was a great idea to use 6" pads for cards.  Oh wow. Cards is pretty much all I have ever used them for . . . I thought about this again recently, when the presenter on a Two Peas video commented that she liked using 6" pads on her scrapbook pages because the patterns were . . . I think the word she used was "tighter". Enough said, and the Monday Mixer sketch at Colorful Creations looked like the perfect place to practice using 6" pads on a scrapbook page.
By a happy co-incidence, I ended up using the same packaging and some more metal bird on this page also.  I painted them this time; can you tell which one of these birds used to be hot pink?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Product challenge to self #1: Slide mounts

Last time I posted, I alluded to the fact that lately I have been focusing on using my paper stash, more so that all the other bits and pieces in my stash (especially since I got my Silhouette!). So, with only two months left of the year, I thought I would challenge myself to get some more use out of a wider variety of products.  There are products that have been sitting totally neglected in boxes or drawers, others I have a lot of and would like to try some more varied ways to use them. Here's the list I came up with (no particular order):
  • vellum
  • slide mounts
  • 6" pads
  • metal birds
  • other metal
  • chipboard
  • ribbon
  • flowers
  • paint
  • eyelets
  • stamps
  • buttons
  • ribbon-threading punch
Here's what I've come up with first, using (drum roll please) slide mounts!

I have a little drawer which contains only slide mounts and other small frames.  I'm not sure why I bought as many as I did, probably inspired by some long-forgotten project in a magazine.  I have used some over the years, but the trick with these guys if to find something small enough to frame!  On the card above, the easy solution was to frame a sentiment.  for a bit of fun I added butterfly wings on either side.
And here's a peek at the page I did for Maddy's birthday party earlier this year.  Butterflies again, but this time they are bursting out of the frames.   Hmmm . . . that works . . . wonder how else I could use that idea?