Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A bit of a Shimelle-a-thon

It seems that last week, I found time for everything new that Shimelle was throwing at us.  First there was the "starting point" that I shared with you in my last post. 

Then came Glitter Girl, her video this week was on "three scrap strategies".  If you want some new ideas on how to use your never-ending pile stash of scraps, I definitely recommend you watch this video.  I could happily do all three strategies, but this is the page I made, based on her idea of using strips of paper:

This was a great opportunity to dive into my collection of strips of paper, many of those used being branding strips (I think I could 11 different Basic Grey papers from different collections).  I finished it off with some older stickers and letter tiles (In fact those letter stickers might be the oldest ones in my collection!) and a stamped image tucked behind the photo.

This was the perfect story for this kind of treatment.  It is the only photo I have from the brief period in time about ten years ago when we had a pair of ducks (and no, don't worry, that is not two ducks in the photo, but one duck and a chicken).  It's a story I really wanted to tell in my album, but not one I wanted to spend lots of time and money on.

Finally, at the end of last week, came Shimelle's sketch of the week.  The sketch really appealed to me, in part because it is, once again, so 6" friendly.  I chose some photos and pulled out my 6" pads.  Even though they are very recent photos, I ended up teaming them up with some older paper.  Why?  Because I had a 12" sheet from the same collection also sitting in the stash - look at the words in the strip at the bottom and you will see the answer . . .

best friends . . . someone special . . . I miss you . . . This paper could have been made just for this page, showing photos of Maddy and Lillian (and their respective brothers) when our friends came up to visit from Tasmania.  This page mixes "old" with "retro" tags from (I think) Cosmo Cricket.  That one 12" sheet has been great value, appearing on 3 other pages and 2 cards!  I would have used more on this page, but the others had a bluish green that did not go with this page at all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

6" pads: a love story

Some love stories are the love-at-first-sight kind.  Some grow out of friendship.  But the ones that we love the most (at least when we're reading them or watching them on TV at least) are those that have some tension, some misunderstanding, some highs and lows, some will they or won't they make it . . . and that has been what my relationship with 6" pads has been like.
The first ones I bought (quite a few years ago now) thinking, what a great size for card making!  But they weren't the most successful purchase - aside from anything else, I probably already had quite a few scraps by then, and didn't really need to buy anything just for the size!  But looking back, I now understand that the biggest problem of all was that I had bought many of them on the internet, so hadn't actually seen all the papers I was buying.  And let me tell you, none of the papers that I didn't absolutely love 5 or more years ago have improved with age!  So last year, the 6" pads in my stash were somewhat of a thorn in my side.  But once I realised it was the individual patterns that were the problem rather than the size, things started to improve.
More and more, I'm discovering ways of using 6" sheets on my scrapbook pages.  Many of the older sheets have gone to paper purgatory, and I have purchased new pads without fear of them suffering the same fate.  of course, double-sided papers really help - even if I don't love the more themed "A" side, I tend to find the "B" side quite usable.
And now for 3 ways I've used 6" papers recently:

First up, just the starting point (really just a simplified version of one of Shimelle's)  I've done 2 pages like this using a pad from Basic Grey called Granola.  I'd classify this pad as old, but not ancient, and one that I've used, but not as quickly as I'd like!  So it's awesome to use 8 sheets as background, then a couple more for layering and titles through the Silhouette.  These pages will be more from the October long weekend camping trip last year.

Now, for a 2-pager I did based on last week's Lets Scrap sketch:

This page tells what I consider to be THE story of our lives right now.  The file tabs are not just decorative, but open up to be a "report card" on why each child is currently at the right school for them.  The file on the right is about me, and how the move affects me and my plans for the next 2 years.  The border strips and title are cut from left over Basic Grey "basics" papers and all the rest is from my latest 6" pad, Echo Park "this and that".  (BTW, my children are not wearing some strange, shapeless fluorescent clothes, I have erased their school uniforms rather than publish them in uniform on the internet)

Lastly,  after getting over my "starting point" block, I made this page based on Shimelle's latest starting point, here.

The creamy coloured 6" sheet is from one of my old pads, but the photos are even older, so that's OK!  That's Rohan, the skater boy up on the horse there!

Notice a bit of stamping on these pages?  More on why in another post soon, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with a couple of close-ups:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blue's not my colour, and neither is argyle.

Monochromatic isn't really my thing, and blue isn't really my colour, so when I saw this month's challenge photo from Scrapbook Boutique , I thought if I was lucky, I might manage a card.

But a month-long challenge pinned to your board has a way of permeating your subconscious, I guess, especially when it is as gorgeous as this one!

Last week I pulled out the photos I had printed from a camping trip with friends last October long weekend.  I ended up dividing them into four sets of photos, with pairs of pages having a matching background so they work well together in the album.  For one of the pairs, a chose a really pretty shade of . . . you guessed it, blue!  I don't tend to post pages with photos of other people without their permission, but I don't think I'm really invading anyone's privacy with this one, do you?

The other requirement of the challenge was to use hand-made flowers.  As you can see, I ended up being inspired by the patty case rather than the rose in the tea cup, and made pin-wheel flowers!
Just like blue isn't really my colour, argyle isn't really my pattern, and this paper was sitting in paper purgatory - but I rescued it for this project, and I'm really loving how the argyle works to make a pretty flower pattern! Not to mention a very cheap embellishment!

Thanks for taking the time to look

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Old school" scrapbooking

The Design Team challenge at Let's Scrap at the moment is to scrapbook an every day moment, "old school" style.
So just for fun, I thought I'd show you another one of my early layouts:

We're talking no patterned paper, double- and tripe-matting, punches, eyelets, and computer-generated journalling!

Now, here's the page I made this week:

It took me a little while to decide what colours to use with my photo, until I remembered this lovely Easter-inspired mood board from Jay Gee's Nook:

 It won't be a surprise to my regular readers that I added an extra spin on this challenge by not only going old-school style, but literally using old school supplies.  To say that nothing on this page is less than 4 years old would in most cases be an understatement!

I tried to go for the no patterned paper, but I just couldn't do it!  I did use punches, eyelets and (sort-of )
triple matting though.  One of the challenge rules stipulated no electronics, so I couldn't use the computer (or, sigh, the Silhouette), so I dug out some old stickers, letter tiles and stamps.

Now, to the other part of the challenge, the everyday photo.

This was one of those rare times that I took a photo just because I scrapbook, documenting what I was doing at 11am on the 11th of the 11th, 2011.  An everyday event (or it should be, sorry Hamish!) made special by occurring at a unique time in history.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ten things about "Using what you have"

Based on Shimelle's "10 things on the 10th" today I thought I'd share with you ten things about what this year's motto means to me:

"Use what you have in a way that makes you happy"

1. Challenging myself to look for fun ways to use what I have.  When I do on-line challenges I tend to be drawn to sketches and colour challenges, which allow me to use the products I already own, rather than product-based challenges which require anything that I don't already own!
I had a bit of a light-bulb moment with Chapter 2 of Shimelle's hitchhiker class, which is about "Starting Points".  I have to confess that prior to this I hadn't really "got" starting points and had only attempted one.  But Shimelle points out that they are just like sketches, but more versatile, because you can add the photos, journalling etc where-ever you want.  Lightbulb time!  I can decide where I want my photos to go before constructing my "starting point"!  Hey presto! Just like a sketch!  Here's the page that I did for the class:

If you know me at all, it will be no surprise that my first thought for this starting point was: offcuts!  which brings me to my next point:

2.  I tend to look through my off-cuts first, for smaller pieces.

However, this was a little bit at odds with another thought that my new 6" pads might work really well for this page, and guess what  . . .

3.  Use what's new while it's still new could almost be another motto for the year for me.  After all, I don't want to go to all the hard work of finding creative ways to use my old supplies, only to discover in another 5 years a bunch of vintage pages circa 2012 that feel old and dated!

I'm proud to say that this page ended up being a happy combination of both - the first 3 stripes are offcuts but from new papers - the third time they've been used each in the month or so I've had them!  All the other papers are from a 6" pad.(I love how the Echo Park ones are a little bit taller, so you can use them to mat a photo!)

4. Make it don't buy it.  I don't tend to buy a lot of embellishments, preferring to make my own when I can.  The hand-cut clouds on this page are a simple example.

5.  I find that  Sneaking older-products doesn't always date a page.  The scrabble letters I used in my title are amongst the oldest items left in my stash, but I think they go just great with the kraft background.  Likewise, the ribbons I used would hardly qualify as new.

6.  Having said that, I think a perfect time to use older products is on older pages, like the flowers on this page, about an event back in 2004.

7.  Getting value out of your supplies doesn't always mean using every last particle.   After making this flower girl page, I decided I am getting quite tired of  these Kaisercraft flowers, of which I still have many colours and sizes.  My $1 per use guideline I set for myself means that a pack of flowers that cost, say, $3 or $4 needs to be used 3 or 4 times for me to feel I have "value" out of it.  That means I do not need to use every flower in the pack!  I've decided to keep a certain number of each, and plan to offer the others up to crafty friends!

8.  I am trying to banish "reasons" to hoard
I have loads of buttons (don't think those jars at the top of my blog are the only ones I own!), for example, but I sometimes come across mental barriers like, but what if I want those ones for a sewing project one day, or what if I run out of those nice red ones?  I'm trying to say to myself, so what!  I'm pretty sure they still sell buttons at the shops!

9. Inspiration is everywhere.  In just over a year I've gone from someone who hadn't read a blog or attempted an on-line challenge to someone who belongs to a number of challenge websites, follows more blogs than I can do justice to, and is an avid Pinner on Pintrest.  But like my motto of last year, I try and focus on what inspires me to create.  Another way of thinking of this is focusing on technique, rather than product.

10. Finally, I try to stay flexible.  I don't get too hung up on "rules" and worrying about breaking them.  As they say in the first Pirates of the Carribean movie "they're not actual rules, more like just guidelines.

If you stayed with me through this very long post, thank you!  I don't expect too many of you to choose to follow my example (and what is probably a tiny budget compared to many!) but if I've inspired you in any way, I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hitching a ride with Shimelle

If you've been reading for a while, then you'll know I'm a big fan of Shimelle Laine over at 2Peas. So you'll understand that I was absolutely ecstatic to discover That I had won a place in her new workshop, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Scrapbooking".

Chapter one is about "choosing pretty paper", with the occasional Douglas Adams reference thrown in for fun.  My fave so far: "white space is big.  You won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is"

Our first challenge was to take a photo of our supplies on our desk before starting our next page,  then come back later and post the finished product.  Here's my photo:

One thing I have learnt more so far, is that most of those who have posted before me had pulled out way more supplies than me, something that probably shouldn't surprise me, and might not surprise you either - what would the photo of the supplies for your next layout look like?

The sketch you can see in the photo is the March challenge from Scrapbook Supplies Online, which I am entering this page into.

For the first time, I decided to try planning out my layout using my Silhouette Studio software, as a way of making sure I cut all my bits out at the right size.  I started with a big 12" square, and a rectangle the size of my photo mat, and went from there.

As I only have an SD and not a cameo, my cutting mat is not 12", so I just had to kind of ignore the cutting mat on the screen for the time being.  Once I was happy, I just dragged everything out of the way and brought back what I needed to cut.  I ended up cutting the doily twice, once in the PP and once in the cardstock, figuring whichever one I didn't use would probably end up on a card or something.

The story behind the page: When my sister got married, she had the boys as pageboys (I did some pages for their albums which you can see here) but Maddy, at just 20 months old, was a bit too young to be a flower girl!  For some reason, she didn't want to put off her wedding for a couple of years so Maddy could be flower girl though!  LOL
My sister is an amazing seamstress, (come to think of it, she probably wouldn't mind me linking you to her here) and not only did she make her own wedding dress and the boys's outfits, but she made the adorable dress that Maddy wore that day.  I remember being overtired and bursting into tears when I first saw it! (In a good way!)

Thanks for reading, I'll probably see you around the galaxy somewhere . . .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Enjoy the journey

If your family is anything like mine, (and in this respect at least, I'm sure they are) they love to pull out the scrapbooks and go through the old photos.  It's pretty natural at these times to consider what has changed and what has stayed the same in your scrapping style.
Here's a page I made years ago, which is still one of my favourites:

Back then, coloured cardstock was my number one supply (the idea of using more than one patterned paper on the one page would never have crossed my mind). 
But hey, I was using embroidery floss even back then, I'd forgotten that! And home-cut titles.  Except now I use my Silhouette! (print the outline in WordArt, mirror it and print on the back of your cardstock before cutting by hand, remember that?)

So with this in mind, it's kind of surprising that when I set myself a product challenge to do a cardstock-only page again, it took about 10 months to get around to it!

Here's a page I did based on the weekly sketch at Lets Scrap:

For a while now I have been looking wistfully at pages that people have made using all those lovely sprays you can buy these days.  It was one particular trend I stayed strong against though, how could I choose which colours to buy without buying them all?
But when I saw a tutorial in a magazine about making your own though, I couldn't wait to buy my own empty misting bottles and give it a try! Depending which version you make, all you need is acrylic paint and/or reinkers, pearl-ex powders, glue (optional). . . . and water!   My first attempt came out a bit thick if anything . . . but that's all part of the journey!

When we go bushwalking, I often take photos like these, I love recording the journey up and down the winding tracks.

Scrapbooking . . . bushwalking . . . life . . . don't forget to enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

metal challenge

I've been doing a few Lets Scrap challenges in the last week, and here is the first one I've finished: use metal on your project!

I do have a few special little metal bits that I'm keen to use, but I also had this set of photos sitting patiently with a Lets Scrap sketch waiting for a challenge to match.

I ended up using some shaped paper-clips, some metal (and metalish) buttons, and some brads.  I do use brads, but rarely the plain metal ones!