Thursday, May 31, 2012

A coffee date with Scrap Friends

I've just managed to sneak in one more challenge, this time a sketch from "Scrap Friends":

I rotated the sketch 90 degrees to match my landscape photo. 
The year before Maddy (my youngest) went to school was quite a social year for us; we had a number of friends (also Mum-and-last-child-at-home combinations) who we would regularly go out for coffee with.  It became so common that Maddy would sometimes ask: "who are we going out for coffee with today?"
(Journaling is hidden behind the hinged photo):

Product Challenge to Self:
I scored myself 4 points for this page!  Here's how:
It's not often these days that I buy a product purely because I've seen it used somewhere else.  But on the other hand, I like to stretch myself and try new things when the price is right.  So when I bought these My Mind's Eye papers (there are three on this page) I decided that at $1.85, I could justify buying a set of matching label stickers.  I added them to my product challenge because I wanted to use them before they got lost in the stash.
I've found using my fibres to be easier than expected, but the really . . . let's call them "hairy" fibres were yet to be touched, so that's what I decided to use on this page (mind you, the bits I tied to the tag between the photo and title I trimmed A LOT!
Attached to the fibres at the bottom is a little metal buckle, (which is also reminded me of the existence of the hinges, which then gave me the idea to hide the journaling . . . )
Finally, I used one of my mini misters to create the brown splatters (I used the drip off the end method rather than the misting method)

I've used 9 out of my 10 products that I challenged myself to use!  I'm left with only my ribbon threading punch, and 9 days to go!  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Golden moments with Scrapbook Boutique challenge

Wow, he month has really flown by! But I wasn't going to let it end before attempting one of my favourite challenges - the monthly inspiration at Scrapbook Boutique:

How gorgeous are those rainbow cupcakes?  I don't know where they keep finding them!

The brief was to use "bold and bright" colours.  If you've been visiting with me for a while you might have heard me criticise myself for being too literal when it comes to challenges like this - but you know what, this time I thought that the rainbow really encapsulated what I wanted to say on my page, so for now at least, I have totally embraced my "literalness!"

I drew my title, "Golden moments" from the journalling, which reads, "you are all the colours of my rainbow . . . and the pot of gold at the end".   The photo is about 5 years old.  I'd hate to think what would happen if all three of them tried jumping on the lounge now!

For my "product challenge to self", I scored two points for this page.

The first point was for using a Sizzix embossing folder to add texture to the clouds.  I really love my clouds!

The second point is for the title letters, which I also created on my Sizzix using chipboard from a "chipboard mat stack".  This was why I bought the mat stacks (one black and white, the other a range of neutral colours).  They were advertised as being perfect for using in the Sizzix, and the idea of making my own chipboard letters - ONLY the EXACT letters I wanted - was very attractive.  Problem being, the first time I tried, I could NOT get the letters to cut all the way through, and it took AGES to cut them by hand.
So this weekend I finally summoned up the courage to try again, only to encounter the same problem.  This time, I decided to just cut the tiles out and colour in the background, rather than cut out the actual letters.  I'm pretty happy with the results.
Come to think of it, I think I'll give myself a bonus point for colouring the letters in with my hardly-used Inktense pencils, which only barely missed out on the short-list for the month.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Holiday-themed scrapbook pages

It had to happen - the block of casual work that's been looming on the horizon had to eventually impact on my crafting time.  I was really hoping for a super-organised, get lots done around the house kind of impact, but sadly, it's been more of a freak-out, panic about how I will get the kids all off to their respective schools and get to work on time kind of impact.  Our teachers had some industrial action last week, which threw me into a spin, (one strike often follows another and I simply cannot, CANNOT work out how to get three children to three different school at 11 o'clock if I am already at work at 9!)
Today, on my last non-work day, I have cancelled all my outings except soccer photos this afternoon to monitor two children who are at home, somewhere on the spectrum between "sick" and actually sick.  I've been quite productive, ticking off lots of things on my "to-do" list, and now, while I'm having lunch, I can finally, finally show you the two-pager I promised last week!
Perhaps you will forgive my tardiness somewhat, when you see that it ended up being, not just a two-page layout, but three 2-page layouts, all about our road-trip to Queensland a couple of years ago.
I started with this sketch, which is the second (and probably last) challenge I've done for Lets Scrap (Inter)national Scrapbook Month:

This holiday already has it's own themed album, which you can see a glimpse of  here.

When I do a page like this one, I usually adopt a very clean style, with strips of paper running the full double page.  And I can spend ages trying to match colours!  But with photos with so many different clothes and locations, making anything matching was going to be a nightmare, so I opted for a clean white base, and paper strips from my stash.

Page one
 I decided to try and not "over-think" the process, and just went for bright!  (Usually when I hear/read someone use the phrase "try not to over-think" I can spend twenty minutes trying to analyse my own process, wonder what exactly the definition of  "not over-thinking" is and whether I do it. LOL).
As you can see, I allowed myself to take this sketch quite literally.  For those who may not know it, Queensland likes to think of itself as "the Sunshine state" so the sun was perfect for this page.  It may even have been why I originally put this sketch and these photos together. 

If I was going to use all the photos I wanted without making a whole other album, I was going to have to add more than 6 photos to a page.  So on the second page, I added two extra landscape photos . . .

Page two
and made mini accordion albums for the portrait shots.  The left hand side opens up to show two extra photos . . .

Left hand accordion
while the right hand side has three extra photos and a journalling block.

Right hand accordion

Page three

These pages were a great success from the Product Challenge to Self perspective.  Each double page uses fibres (on the tags), strips of patterned paper and cardstock, and the stamps are from a Stampin' Up set. So that's a whopping 9 points!  I've also decided to award myself two bonus points - one for using the little tags which I might have included on my challenge if I'd remembered they were there. The other is for stamping with my Marvy Markers - they represent a serious financial investment at some point in my crafting past, and I want to get as much use as I can out of them before they dry out. 

PS. How are you going using your stash?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

(Inter)National Scrapbook Month at Lets Scrap

Sometimes you go somewhere all the time, until one day you suddenly realise you haven't been there lately.  In real life for me, that would be our local dog beach.  In on-line scrapbooking world, that would be Lets Scrap.
One thing I love about LS is the two-page layout sketches, and I haven't been doing so many of those lately.  There's nothing at all wrong with that, except that certain stories need two pages, and those are the stories I'm not telling at the moment!
Now that I've whetted your appetite for a two-pager, I'm not going to show you one - today at any rate, although there is one on the craft room table as we speak!
The other thing that I love about Lets Scrap is the way they have recognised that the internet is not confined to borders on a map, but have created a truly international community.  Case in point, they have taken the idea of National Scrapbook Day, and created (Inter)National Scrapbook Month.  Gotta love that.
I knew that if there was only one challenge I got done for INSM, it was going to be this one, inspired by this image:

How divine is that?  As soon as I saw this picture, I knew I wanted to shamelessly copy it (on a scrapbook page at least. Maddy, on the other hand, is looking over my shoulder as I type, and now wants a tree like that in her room, once it is "painted".  And yes, she really did do the quotation marks with her fingers.  Seems she thinks that home renovation projects take a while to get started around here.  Sad but true)

I've been waiting for a little while now to have an excuse to  buy some new images for my Silhouette (when you've set yourself a budget as small as I have, even a Silhouette image or two needs to be a carefully thought-out process!)  So I bought myself a tree, and the build-a-paisley image, and a couple of others I know I will be using soon.  Here's my finished page:

This page ended up being one of those creatures that was once so common in these parts and now so seldom seen - the cardstock-only page. The only addition being the pink fibres, which I probably wouldn't have thought of except to give myself one point in my Product Challenge to Self.

The Silhouette bit:  Remember my tip for when an image or font seems a bit too fine at the size you want to cut it. (Like this font, Adorable, which I used for my title) Just add a very slight offset, and don't forget to delete the original!  You might have to play around a little bit to get something that's thick enough not to tear, but thin enough to not lose any detail. The added advantage in a title like this is that it welds the letters at the same time.  (I could have moved the "B" and welded that too, but I don't mind leaving it separate.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DIY stencilling

First of all, let me say a huge welcome to my new followers, I am so happy to have you!  Don't forget to let me know what progress you are making on your own stash!
Yesterday afternoon, Rob took the kids out to see The Avengers.  There's something about any time at home alone on the weekend which is so different from any time at home during school hours.  Instead of screaming at me with a hundred competing jobs, it screams "what a treat! Spend this time crafting.  So I do.
So here's a page I completed for no challenge at all, other than my very own Product Challenge to Self.
I try to do a page for my children at each age of their life, just with photos of them at that age, and a bit of journalling about their current interests, etc.
I'm not up to date with all of them, by the way, so it's nice to have done this one for Angus only one month after his birthday!

There's a reason behind the way I've angled the photos on this page.  My kids don't have the patience for long, drawn out photos shoots where all the distracting elements are removed from the background.  The left hand photo has a small but suprisingly distracting bit of Hamish's ear (Hamish being our dog), and the BBQ in the right hand side photo has, amoung other things, a large and very distracting pumpkin!  
For a while now, I've been wanting to make my own stencils on the Silhouette to use with my Mini-misters.  But I'm still a beginner in getting the mist right, so I thought it best to start simple.  I cut out some triangles, like the ones on Angus's shorts.

This page earns me 3 points, as I used not only my misters, but fibres and felt.  When I was choosing the ten things to put on this month's lists, it was a toss-up between felt and tulle, so I hereby award myself a bonus point for using something that almost made the list!

Silhouette owners, have you tried this trick yet? After creating my title, "11", I added an internal offset, and then changed the line style of the offset line to a dashed line.  Not sure where I read it, the Silhouette blog maybe?  Easy but effective.

thanks for reading, and I'll be back again soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Product challenge to self re-launch (10 things on the 10th)

The type of challenge I gravitate towards is usually a sketch or a colour challenge.  Why?  Because they give me the most flexibility to use the products I already own.
More than once, I have seen on the challenge forums comments like: "great challenge - time to go shopping!"
Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with going out and buying a product that you're going to use straight away - in fact, I think that's the best kind of shopping that there is!
But I don't think I'm the only one who already has more than enough supplies in their stash to complete many, many projects!  I like to look for ways to use what I already have, not go out and buy more!

So today, I'm linking up with Ten things on the Tenth to re-launch an old favourite of mine, "Product Challenge to Self".  This is where I challenge myself to use products that I already have in my stash.  

What makes a good candidate for a "product challenge to self"?
  • Something you've bought recently but haven't used yet, and want to use before the next new purchase pushes it aside
  • Something you used to use all the time until you got bored of it, but still have heaps of
  • Something you bought because you saw a great idea using it on Pinterest, but haven't tried out yet
  • Anything that you've bought and never used
  • Anything you buy more quickly than you use
  • A tool you don't feel you've used enough to justify the money you spent on it
  • Something you've been keeping for "that special project"
  • Anything that you bought because it's on-trend, and you want to use before it goes out of fashion
my recently reorganised fibre collection

 You get the idea?  Anything ring true for you?  Here's what I will be challenging myself to use for the next month:

  1. Fibres (scroll through the last few posts and you'll see I've started working on this already!)
  2. Mini-misters
  3. Thin strips of PP and cardstock (hopefully lots of them as a background of a page!)
  4. Chipboard matt stacks
  5. Metal (photo corners and buckles)
  6. Ribbon threading punch
  7. Felt
  8. My Mind's Eye label stickers and papers
  9. Embossing folders
  10. Stampin' Up stamp sets
I'm going to award myself one point each time I use any of the items on my list, and tally up the total on the 10th of June.

What about you?  Are you ready to challenge yourself to use what's in your stash?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

PageMaps: a special place

Getting to play with two PageMaps pages in one week! what a treat! 

For this sketch, we were asked to make a page about a place that is special to us, and my first thought was . . . the beach . . .any beach (although one close by is a bonus!) The family just seems to get on better when they're outside, it seems to me . . .

These photos were actually taken in Tannum Sands, QLD, during our road-trip back in 2010.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Scrapbook Stamping

I first started out in card-making before I took the plunge into scrapbooking. And back then, card-making was pretty much synonymous with stamping.  I think one of the main reasons I started to scrapbook was the idea that I would have double the opportunity to use my tools and supplies - that was the stated reason of course, but there was also double the opportunity to buy more stuff!
And while I certainly have used my stamps in my albums over the years, there's always the sneaking feeling that many of my stamps have really not been used enough to justify their existence in my collection. 
That's why I was so excited to win a spot in Jen Gallagher's workshop, "Scrapbook Stamping" At 2Peas in a Bucket.
While I haven't finished the "assignments" for all the chapters yet, I've jumped ahead to the "bonus chapter" she added for "National Scrapbook Day", and here is my page which combines a range of stamping types:

The hoodie Angus is wearing in the photo immediately made me think of my Echo Park "This and That" 6" pad, so I chose all my papers out of that.  (Mind you, I think he'll be wearing it in every photo this winter, he only takes it off to have a bath and go to school - yes I have sometimes caught him sleeping in it!)

My title is a mix of letter and word stamps, and I added the pointer finger stamp to draw attention to the lizard he is holding.  Other stamping includes a clear-embossed background stamp, a thin border stamp and a journalling spot.  Our lizard does not yet have a name, and it is too young to tell whether it is a boy or a girl, so I included some question marks as embellishments.

I have used the Scrapbook Supplies Online sketch for this month.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bathtime memories

What would you do if you got your hands on a working time machine? I would write a book titled "Things I Never Thought To Tell My Children Not To Do Because It Would Never Cross My Mind In A Million Years That They Would Come Up With The Idea Of Doing Them".  Catchy title, don't you think?  Then I would send the book back in time to myself and I would avoid all sorts of unusual disasters.  For example, I would know to tell my children "don't spontaneously decide to make skateboard wax without talking to a parent first.  And definitely DO NOT do it in the kitchen with the good saucepans". 
But why am I telling you this?  Because that is just what was happening at one end of the house as I was in my craft room at the other end, blissfully finishing this page I'm about to show you.  Even now, hours later, the entire house still stinks of burnt candle wax, only with a bit of air freshener mixed in. And that saucepan?  Any tips on how to be really, REALLY sure a saucepan has had the wax cleaned out of it well enough to be used for cooking?

(Big deep breath.  Move on.)

I love a PageMaps sketch, and so I love it when I get to play along.  Here's the sketch, that I've been playing with this weekend:

 If you are a parent, (especially a scrapbooking one) would I be right in guessing that you've taken stacks of cute "bathtime" photos over the years?  In their younger years at least?  I know I have.  But I haven't done that much with that many of them. Why?  Because when I looked at them, they were just photos of my kids doing what they did every night. 
But I was recently going through some older photos and was blown away by the memories . . . ALL my children in the bath together . . .all my children playing HAPPILY together . . . ALL my children willingly posing for a photo AT THE SAME TIME . . . here's the page I created . . .

By the way, if I invited YOU to be a guest contributor to my book, what advice would YOU send back to yourself?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thank you - Play Date Cafe

Here's the final thank you card, with yet another new (to me) challenge - from the Play Date Cafe.  Here is the inspiration colour scheme:

And here is my card:

Did you pick any similarities between this card and the last two (apart from the fact I used other people's fabulous colour combos, of course!)
For me, the three similarities are: stamped flying things (birds and butterflies), embossed cardstock backgrounds (done using my friend's embossing folders and sitting in my stash for forever) and . . . the elephant in the closet . . . fibres!

My fibres have been sneakily hiding in plain sight amongst my ribbon collection . . . until now!

Yikes!  I didn't realise quite how many of my "ribbons" were actually "fibres!  I know what I need to start working on now . . . perhaps I'll start a kind of retro trend! (I wish!)

PS.  If you thought that's all the ribbon I own, there's also a drawer full of ribbon on rolls . . .

And another whole drawer full of bits and pieces that are too long, too wide or too thick to fit into the bobbin box!

Thank you - CASE study

For this next card, I wanted to have a go at a challenge I've been watching for a while, but haven't played along with yet, it's called CASE Study.  Here's the inspiration:

My first thought was to use the lovely big letters for my "thank", but I would've had to use the Silhouette and I didn't have the time.  But the colours are just lovely too, so I ended up using those . . . .

 See any similarities between this card and the last one?  Stay tuned for the next card and see if you can see what I can see?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thank you - ColourQ and Retro Sketches

Last weekend, 3 of the young women from our church and a couple (with their 4 young children!) took our youth group to Katoomba for a Youth convention.  Wow!  And guess who's been asked to provide a thankyou card for each of them?

What a chance to play with some challenges I rarely get to have a go at! 

I started with an old favourite of mine, ColourQ, with this lovely mix of colours here:

and combined it with their sister sketch challenge, Retro Sketches . . .

Here's my card:

Is it possible to get bored of butterflies . . . I don't think so!