Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last minute cards for Lets Scrap Blog hop

On the weekend I chose two last sketches to play with the the Leap Around the World Blog Hop.
First up, based on Leap 46 at Eniko's blog, comes this card:

For this card I used papers from an old 6" pad, and couldn't resist covering one more slide mount!  The doily was cut on the Silhouette.

Secondly, from Janet, and her blog of Cats and Cardstock came the inspiration for this:

After using my old Basic Grey Fusion tags recently, I thought it would be fun to use some more tags on a card. These were from the first Basic Grey set I ever bought, called Aged and Confused.  I added stitching,  tulle and a flourish stamp.
The sentiment reads "Live: choose with no regret".  I like to think of the no regrets being from making wise choices, not from having no conscience!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scrapbook supplies online Feb sketch

Here's my take on the sketch at scrapbook supplies online:

I basically stuck to the sketch, just staggering the embellishments to suggest the hand-holds on the climbing wall.  I had originally hoped to do the primitive mask style embellies on the Silhouette, but there wasn't anything close enough to what I wanted so I - gasp - did them by hand!  Who would have thought such a thing was possible in this day of modern technology! 

And yes, once again I have twisted two colours of embroidery thread together, using colours to match the climbing rope!  Will the fun never stop?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fun with ColourQ and challenge heaven "bust-ups"

I've said it before and I hope I get the chance to say it again - I love it when the weekly ColourQ challenge coincides with a scrapbook page I'm working on!

Becci's challenge this month at Challenge Heaven is "bust-ups", and that was all the incentive I needed to scrap the photos of Rohan's broken arm.  I had the photos, ready to go on the table with a green, blue, brown and white colour scheme, and then I saw this:

Perfect!  I ditched the brown for the grey and added a hint of orange. Love it!

PS. The cast came off on Tuesday.  Woo Hoo! Now we just have to survive the next 4 weeks while he's not allowed to skateboard . . . .

PPS. after publishing this post, I realized that the Challenge Heaven challenge also required some stitching, so here it is again - and yes, I do think it looks more "finished"!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Pagemaps entry

I've been waiting for a suitable sketch to use for this photo of Hamish.  At the same time, I've been hoping to find some photos to use for this months PageMaps sketch.  When I replaced the two small photos with one 4x6, the two came together with perfect harmony!

The tags on the sketch combined with the colour of Hamish's jumper said one thing to me: Basic Grey "Fusion" tags!  Joy of joys, the tag I was thinking of was still in the stash!  I think it brings a real "dog tag" feel to the page, enhanced by stamping his name in the middle of it!

This page ended up being an explosion of "Fusion" goodness.  I pulled out all the left over bits of paper I could find, as well as the tags and letter stickers.  I love the Dr Seuss feel of the title, "No coat?  New coat!"
Hidden journalling behind the photo tells the story:

I have to tell you one more thing about the papers on this page . . . one of the offcuts I used to make the banners had been dropped on the floor and run over by my chair or something - it was looking pretty scrunched but it was so beautiful I wasn't going to throw it away!  Luckily in paper-craft land we call that "distressing" and sometimes do it on purpose! I distressed the other paper to match (not by running it over with a chair this time) and I'm very happy with the finished page!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Challenge Heaven/Scrapbook Boutique combined challenge

Don't you love it when you find a sketch challenge and a colour challenge that go together perfectly with a page you want to make?  I sure do!

Here's a page I just finished which combines the February sketch challenge from Challenge Heaven, and the colour challenge at Scrapbook Boutique.  I don't think I've missed one of these delicious cupcake challenges since I first discovered them!

  I was inspired by the pink, red and white colour scheme, as well as the scallops around the hearts.  The other obvious product this picture brings to mind is bakers twine!  Since using embroidery floss in place of bakers twine on a card, I've had the idea to twist two colours together.  Funnily enough, before I had a chance to try it out myself, a visitor posted a comment saying she had seem someone do just that! There really is nothing new under the sun, is there?  Never mind, the fact that it's not an original idea doesn't mean it's not a good one, so I tried it out.  What do you think? 

This page will be the title page for one of Maddy's albums, hence the title "M" and no journalling - and the excuse to use fun stuff like bird cages!

The Silhouette bit:
Apparently the code "CRAFT" will get you 25% off at the Silhouette online store until 22/2/12.  Sorry but I was on a different computer when I found that bit of information out, so I can't tell you where I got it from.
Anyway, wondering if there was anything I should get to take advantage of this special made me think about what shapes I had already purchased but not used.  Hence lots of fun Silhouette shapes on this page.
  • The birds are from a "bird on a branch" set, (I used the "cut" function to separate the standing bird from his branch).
  • I cut the scalloped circle in two different sizes, adding the "M" inside the larger one.
  • I resized the birdcages down quite a lot, which meant I was worried about how close together the cut lines would be.  I countered this by using the "offset" feature, set at just 0.02, to give a bit more thickness to the bars.  If you do this, don't forget to delete the original shape and only cut the "offset" line, otherwise you really will have a lot of cute close together!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Use what you have . .

Inspiration sometimes happens in the funniest ways, doesn't it?   The other night in the shower I was pondering two things:
  1. I was feeling very pleased with my collection of words I have been gathering on Pinterest, and how fabulous a great quote plus beautiful typography can be. So much scope for the imagination . . . 
  2. I was pondering the bizarreness of Blogger randomly re-posting "Using your old Patterned Paper", which I had actually written and posted last year!  (I decided not to bother deleting it, a casual visitor won't notice, and any really regular visitor will be reading this and go "oh. so that's what happened").  Mainly, I was just thinking about how happy completing that scrapbook page had made me - so happy to be using supplies that had been sitting around unused.
And just like that, a new motto (and a new project!) was born:

Sometimes my life feels like a list of under-used purchases.  Of the three stamp sets used, only the butterfly set feels like I've used it quite a bit, and I'm still enjoying using it (but then seriously, who could get bored of butterflies?)
The bird comes from a Stampin' Up set which I bought on Ebay, not sure if I've ever used it before!
The flourishes are from a Fancy Pants 12" set.  I've used the alphabet from the set a bit, but some of the other stamps, not at all.

Bit I'm so happy with how they all came together on this page!  Sometimes these days I push myself to use more "product", and other days I say no! enough! and just love the simplicity.  

The colours come from this fabulous mood board at Jay Gee's Nook, and I am entering it in their monthly challenge:

I fell in love with this the minute I saw it, and knew I would be using these colours somewhere before the end of the month! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Using your old patterned paper.

Here's a challenge that I've been thinking of setting myself for a while, to help me work through some of  that old patterned paper. . . . the ones that you're starting to wonder if they are worth holding on to. . .

Start with an old sheet of patterned paper as the starting point, alter with paint or whatever if necessary.  Then use any or all of the following:
  • old supplies that are lurking in the bottom of boxes, again, the ones you're wondering if you should still own them
  • supplies that you own a seemingly endless supply of (ribbon instantly springs to mind!)
  • offcuts of cardstock or other patterned paper from the stash
  • re-usable supplies such as stamps, machine sewing etc
  • and, need I say it, nothing new!!!
Here's my first attempt:
The patterned paper was definitely old!  Very pretty, but never used.  I swiped a light layer of paint under the journalling to help it stand out more.
Unused supplies: The little flowers were bought at a $2 shop who knows when , and the packet had never been opened.
Reusable supplies: the sewing, the stamped and embossed title (my chipboard 3 was also embossed with glitter embossing powder, awesome!) and of course the hand journalling.
I'm not sure how to categorise the chipboard, it's not that old, but unlike many scrapbookers, I don't use chipboard that much, I occasionally buy it, but then worry about running out of letters so tend to not use it that much.  but anyway, it was in the stash! 
I hope to revisit this challenge again, and don't forget, you can give it a go to! 

Let's Scrap Blog Hop around the World: Dawn's card

I'm probably doing myself  real disservice here, but if you haven't been there yet, Dawn's stop at her blog Scrap My World, is definitely worth a look!  Heaps of lovely examples for the sketch she is showcasing, and such fabulous blog candy!

Now, as you know, I'm all about using the stash, so it's not too often that you'll hear me waxing lyrical over new products.  These days, I'm trying to spend my money thoughtfully, on items I'll definitely use. 

And last week I discovered the new Echo Park line, "A Boy's Life" and I just love it.  I went to the shop looking mainly for papers I could use on boy pages.  Boy, does this line fit the bill!  I bought 2 12" papers and the 6x6 pad and there is not one paper I can't see myself using at some point.  Not only are they great for men and boys of all ages, but they could easily be mixed with other colours for more feminine subject matter.  The few pages with cars and planes don't excite me so much, but who cares when the B sides are equally nice!

(The more product-savvy of you out there might have actually recognised these papers in my previous post, on the page "Sk8 Belco")

Anyhoo, here is my card based on Dawn's sketch, featuring Echo Park papers, brads and embroidery floss:

Since I first wrapped embroidery floss around a card a week or so ago, I can't seem to stop!  I don't know that it would be that cost effective to buy the stuff purely to use on your cards compared to other options (or maybe it would, I haven't bought the stuff in years!) but in terms of using what you've got, it rates an A+ with me, and the colours . . . so many choices . . .

The robot stamp is from an acrylic set from, I think, Stampendous.  We've used it heaps, and the kids have loved "building" their own robots for their friend's cards.  There is even a little robot dog and cat!  The sentiment is a combination of a "happy birthday" stamp, and the word "human" spelled out using letter stamps which came from the same set (and no, don't ask me for the manufacturer of that one!) 

I love letter stamps for their potential to say whatever you want without waste (like stickers) or unnecessary expense (like stamps with phrases that are way too specific)

Fun with Dingbats

I wonder if anyone can guess what book I have just finished reading when I say that using both the positive and the negative of a die-cut gives so much scope for the imagination?  The same could equally be said for dingbat fonts.

Were you a scrapbooker way back in the day before we learnt to love our handwriting and all our journalling was done on the computer using fancy fonts.  I'm pretty sure the enticement of being able to download free fonts off the internet was one the key factors in finally getting the internet connected at our house!  I probably downloaded about a thousand, and regularly backed them up so that I could easily take them with me when we upgraded our computer.  Clever, hey?  But did I mention that I backed them up onto floppy disks? LOL. 

It was a good thought, but by then I was tending to do most of my journalling by hand.
My interest in fonts has revived somewhat of late, however, since I've had the Silhouette.  I downloaded some different script fonts from fontspace.com recently, and it occurred to me that some fun might be had with dingbat fonts.  On that one site alone, a search for the word "ding" comes up with 1,710 matches!

Here's two things I did with just one font: LogoSkate.

Idea 1: Dingbat font as patterned paper.

Couldn't be easier - I just filled a Word document with different characters to a size that roughly fitted the negative of the skateboarder shape!
This card also happens to be my card based on Michelle's sketch at her blog Scraposition for the Let's Scrap blog hop around the world. (I turned the sketch onto it's side and adjusted the elements a bit)

Idea 2: Dingbat as page accent.

For this page, I asked my son to pick 3 favourite skateboarding brands, printed them out at a largish font size (90 I think) with plenty of space around each one, then cut them out using a circle cutter!

PS What do you think of my banner? I've made a banner before with the Silhouette by cutting out a row of triangles, but then I thought of a quicker way . . . the strip at the top is of course hidden by the paper above it! If you've got a Silhouette, why don't you give it a go?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Colour Q challenge #123

Just a quick post to show you a card I made using this week's Colour Q challenge:

I've had some more ideas of how to use the positive and negative shapes when I use my Silhouette.  This is what I came up with this time, still using that lovely free butterfly shape: 

Fun to make, kind of hard to photograph . . .

it goes without saying that the papers behind the butterflies are all off-cuts.  In fact, I went back and chose different, smaller pieces once I worked out what I was doing with them.  At this rate, I could make a million cards and never run out of scraps!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's Get Sketchy DT call

Last night I treated myself to making this page with new photos, new papers, and a new sketch.  The sketch is from a new site called Let's Get Sketchy, and is the basis for their DT call:

I really liked this sketch, as well as the "mini challenge" sketch she's also got going.  So if trying out for a DT position appeals, you might want to pop on over and have a look.  I haven't given you much time though,  you've got until the 10th of February!

Unlike much of what I post, this page is made using BRAND NEW PAPERS fresh from the shop, from Little Yellow Bicycle.  All I needed to add to these gorgeous papers was a bit of lace, some eyelets and my favourite - vellum butterflies!  I have added some hidden journalling behind the photo.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Let's Scrap Blog hop card 4: Betty Anne's card

Not having spent a great deal of time at Let's Scrap for a while before their Leap around the World blog hop, I had almost forgotten what a warm and friendly bunch they are!  They are fairly buzzing with the excitement of this month-long hop!  Less than a day in the gallery and all the cards I posted yesterday have more than one page of comments!  In particular, my card with the slide mount for my nephew received a few comments.  You can just imagine it, can't you?  "I have not seen a slide for years but this is a great way to get rid of all those slides I have" "I haven't used a slide in years.. time to haul them out .. have 1000's.."

I was actually thinking that my use of slide mounts was coming to an end - not because I'd run out of them, but because I was starting to run out of nice colours! LOL!  But then I thought to myself, but what if I covered the not-very-pretty-coloured slide mount in pretty-coloured paper.  So I'd like to say this card was created with a particular person in mind.  But it's not.  It's actually created with rescue-the-ugly-coloured-slidemount in mind!

Originally I had said that I wanted to do the cards for this hop with all off-cuts, but I have since amended that to include 6" pads.  It's really more about the size of the sheet of paper, and using what I have than anything else!  So all the papers, and the purple die-cut, come from the same pad from Kaisercraft.

Two more things I want to share with you about this card:
  • Much as I love the look of baker's twine that I am seeing so much these days, I haven't stretched the budget yet to buying any - knowing me I would want a roll in every colour!  But way back in the days before paper-craft, I used to dabble in cross-stitch.  And as every former- or current-cross-stitcher knows, it doesn't take long to build up a stash of a lot of different colours of floss, some of which have hardly been touched! So it's nice that two different colours of embroidery floss have made a cameo appearance on this card.
  • Now to the buttons.  To you, they might just look like buttons.  But to me, I happen to know that at a craft show 2 years ago I attended a seminar at a craft show where they demonstrated a particular dye, one of it's features being that it could dye synthetic products such as nylon lace and buttons!  Why I decided I needed to dye buttons, when I have about a squillion buttons from my mother's craft shop, I can't really say. Anyway I bought two colours of dye (green and purple) and I'm not really sure if I've used the items I've dyed on any item until today . . . . 
Last but not least, I need to tell you that this card is based on the sketch on Betty Anne' blog, Lets Get Scrap Happy

The secret to making cards for males who don't care about fancy embellishments

This afternoon, I had a card making session with my teenage son.
Now, I'm just going to pause for a minute while those of you with past or present teenage sons either dust yourself off after fainting on the floor, or wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes.  . . . but it's true.  This afternoon, Rohan and I made cards together.  But before I show you the results, I want to talk about the subject of this post:

The secret to making cards for males who don't care about fancy embellishments.
Now, it might be that every man and boy in your life absolutely loves and appreciates the miniature works of art you produce.  "Straight to the pool room", he might say, like the Dad in the movie "The Castle", giving it pride of place on the mantle piece.
And if your Dad, husband, brother, sons, and every other man you know is like this, you really don't need to read any further. 
But if, like me, you know one or two (or twenty) men who don't really seem to value the time, not to mention your favourite papers and embellishments, that go into your creations, you might want to keep reading!
It's not that they don't appreciate the sentiment that goes into your cards, because of course they do! It's just that they wouldn't appreciate it any less if it was written on a used paper towel!

My suggestion?  Keep it simple, and add a little dash of my secret ingredient . . . .


Time and again I've noticed that the cards that my boys have most loved to give and receive, have been the ones that have had a touch of the giggles.  Whether it's a funny picture or a couple of hand-written lines in a store-bought card, or an explosion of hand-made goodness, it's the funny cards that work every time.  And I haven't noticed this changing as they've gotten older.

So here are our two versions of a funny skateboarding card (using my new stamps, of course!)

Rohan not only decorate the front of his card . . .

but also the inside . . .

and the back!

My card is based on Sherri's card, stop 11 on the Let's Scrap blog hop.  Here it is:

As I explained to Rohan, it is open to interpretation whether this baby is the next Bob Burnquist, pulling a really hard trick, or the next admission in the Emergency Ward.  I know which one I prefer!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Let's Scrap Blog Hop card 3: Debby's card

This next card, for my mother-in-law, was based on the card showcased by Debby, at her blog, ScrapSoul.  It might seem like I've been crazy-busy working on these cards, but like I said, Rob is off to see the family this weekend (he actually left about half an hour ago) so I had a day and a half to make 3 cards.  I'm not sure how many more I will do, if I make cards for anyone too far  in advance, I'll probably just end up making them another one closer to the date! So we'll see.

Anyway, here's the sketch.  This time, I was inspired by the sketch itself.  The retro picture reminded me of a sheet of Cosmo Cricket tags which I bought last year and been getting good use out of.

You might think (or at least I thought) that this would be the quickest card so far, what with just using a couple of pre-made tags, but I agonised about the placement, and which tags to use.  In the end I mirrored the sketch and added a flower, brads and some braid. 
And yes, I wet the edges of the background paper before distressing.  Told you I love that!

Let's Scrap Blog Hop card 2: Elizna's card

Next card was based on the sketch that Elizna used to make this gorgeous card you see at the left.
There's so much to love about this card - the way she used the tags, the dimensional hearts and the gorgeous border.
Having said that, my card, being for my father-in-law, is totally different!

Here it is:

The first point of inspiration for this card was the cute little Stampin' Up house stamps.  From there I thought of this map paper, which dictated my colour choice. 
I loved in the sketch how everything was in the bottom right hand corner, but I moved my sentiment up to cover a place name that was in a larger font and somewhat distracting.
I noticed that a couple of the girls were wetting the edges of their papers to distress them. I am totally loving this technique!

Let's Scrap Blog hop card one : Kristin's card

My kids went back to school this week - three different schools!!!!!! I've been dreading it all school holidays and I'm here to tell you, yes it's tough - we've got some organising to do if we are going to survive these next two years!  My mornings have been emotionally exhausting, and I have spent my school days spending way too much time on the internet!  I have:
  • joined Pinterest - took a while to get my boards how I wanted them, and going back tracking down a couple of favourite projects I wanted to pin, but from now on, it's a quick press of the "pin-it" button when I see something I love!
  • joined the Silhouette group on Flickr.  I went back and added some of my favourite projects from last year (and pinned some other people's while I was there!).  Again, from now on, I will just be able to add the odd project as I do it.
  • started following my blog list in Google Reader - don't know why I didn't do this a long time ago, it is much more user-friendly! I spent quite a bit of time going through reading and "marking as read" old posts, so from now on I will be able to see at a glance who has added new posts since I last read them!
  • And last, (but by no means least) I embarked on the epic Leap around the World Blog Hop at Let's Scrap.  If you're not a member of LS already, I totally urge you have a peek - 50 hosts around the world, each with a card sketch to show you, each with some blog candy to give away, and it goes for the whole month!
Robert's off to see his family this weekend for his nephew's 21st so I had three cards to make pretty quickly.  Here's my first card, based on the sketch at Kristin's blog, Some Scrap Sugar:

My goal for the cards I make for this blog hop is: to use only offcuts (but then that doesn't surprise you, does it?) and hopefully a few other under-used items for the stash.
My starting points for this card were
  1. the bunch of beautiful key stamps I own
  2. the little wooden numbers that I bought specifically for "number" birthday cards, followed by the thought that they might fit nicely in a slide frame (they did!) and
  3. the colour scheme was dictated by this almost perfectly-sized patterned paper