Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parcels from everywhere (and the last of the Swansea pages)

OK, so that may not be the most accurate title ever, unless you actually do classify the UK and the USA as "everywhere", but it was still pretty exciting to get not one but two parcels of crafty goodies from across the globe in one day!

First up: I've been increasingly drawn in to the lure of the washi, and decided the time had finally come.  I figured washi tape wasn't the sort of thing to only buy one of (it would never be the right colour!) so I made the most of a free postage offer from Amy Tan's blog, and ordered some from Freckled Fawn :

I also bought a pack of doilies. (You've already seen one of those in  action if you read my last post on my CASE study card).

Then there was my lovely winnings from the Organisation Celebration at Jennifer's Jumbles, courtesy of Julie Kirk's etsy shop:

Lots of mist-able, paint-able goodness in there, let me tell you!

And that was after I had been to Lincraft that morning, where (among other, less interesting purchases) I had bought some pins with the pearlised heads.  The rationale being, whatever I don't use on paper craft projects, I can probably use to, oh, I don't know, pin bits of material together while sewing.

So that afternoon I decided to take very seriously my almost-motto of the year,  "Use what's new, while it's still new".

See that little flag?  See the pin?  And the washi tape flag?  That's what I call using something new!

Before I go ahead and show you the whole page, (which is pretty much all Counterfeit Kit other than those new additions) let me just say that I would never put butterflies - let alone pink butterflies - onto a page about "real" skateboarding.  A page about skating and scooting around the caravan park with Ben and Jess, on the other hand . . . well, you tell me what you think . . .

I used a few of the stamps that I had put into my kit for this one, which was fun.  I particularly like how the sunburst stamp looked on my chipboard buttons! 
The scraps that I used for the title and the butterflies on this one are both quite old.  Anyone else remember the Chatterbox "Scrapbooking Walls" collections?  Turns out those thinner papers are a little prone to ripping in the Silhouette . . . or maybe I just didn't have the blade setting correct!

For this next page, the trick was that I wanted to have it flow on from the Swansea pages that come before it in the album:

 . . . and also connect with the page it will sit next to, which I had completed a month or so earlier for a different challenge:

So from my Counterfeit Kit I used the yellow and white chevron as a background, the white Thickers, and kept the idea of the butterflies attached with buttons.

And from the Sunset page, I took the orange splatters, purple fibres, tags and the strips of paper in the embellishment clusters.  I was also able to re-use the ribbon-threading punch and wove another strip of paper through it.  I had already felt like a bit of a magician on the Sunset page, finding all those Fusion and other Basic Grey bits and pieces, so I really felt like I was scraping the bottom of my magic hat pulling out all the bits for this one!
The story of this page is about the rest of us taking a walk and visiting my husband fishing on the lake.  The evening finished with watching that beautiful sunset, and fish for dinner - from the local take-away!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another card with CASE Study

First of all, I want to start of with a big THANK YOU and SORRY to all my lovely friends and visitors that have ever taken the time to leave a comment here on my blog.  I recently had a comment telling me that my Word Verification was really hard but - here comes the embarrassing bit - I didn't realise I actually had Word Verification turned on!!  So hopefully I've turned it off, now, and thanks again for everyone who stops by for a read.

But now to the important stuff . . .

One of my favourite little craft buddies, Hannah, is back in hospital again (and when I say "little" I am referring to her age, not her height, as she towers over me now!).   I thought I'd make here a card, and I've turned to this week's CASE study inspiration to get me started:

I really liked the doily stamp in brown on the kraft background.  I started there, added an actual doily, then just layered a bunch of fun stuff from my Counterfeit Kit.  Here it is:

I'm also submitting this card into the Simon Says "Anything Goes" challenge.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A little birdie told me . . . Case Study, CASology, and Cards for Diggers

Yep! I promised cards with little birdies on them, and here they are!

First up, I was able to take inspiration from this week's challenge at Case Study, from this cute card here:

Here's my version:

So greatful for the idea of cutting apart the words once I'd stamped out my "Happy Birthday".

I am also entering this at CASology . . .

. . . because if cute little birds don't say happy, then what does, really?

I had another 2 pairs of birds to play with, and lots of cards needed this week, so I also made . . .

This next card ended up being my favourite, though.  I started with the idea of sewing some strips of paper from my paper strip stash .  Then, when I went looking for a base card to sew them onto, I came across a card which already had a circular window cut into it.  Now maybe  it's just because I was watching Baz Lurhmann's version of Romeo and Juliet last night, but that gave me an even better idea . . .

I love how the yellow bird is "serenading" the pink bird.  Note to self: make cards with windows more often!

From the perspective of using my Couterfeit Kit for these cards, well, I always reserved the right to add scraps from my stash, didn't I?  The birds (cut from the back of the blue paper on the last page I posted), the twine, ribbon and yellow paper on the second card are the only things strictly from the kit.  But everything else is from the stash, and I am A-OK with that.

In other card- and Counterfeit Kit- related news, the Counterfeit Kit girls issued a challenge to make a card for "Operation Write Home" (where card-makers donate cards for use by the US military).  This was not the first time I had heard of this concept, so I figured it was time to do some research and see if I could find an equivalent that was a little closer to home.

I found one, and it's called Cards for Diggers.  At the moment they are appealing primarily for Christmas cards, but after an email to Tracey, the organiser, I was happy to discover that cards for any and all occassions are greatfully received.  I've pulled a whole pile of cards from my "finished card" stash (some Christmas, but not all), and am hoping they'll be on their way to Tracey by the end of the week!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

One for the boys with Scrapbook Boutique

Here's the yummy inspiration from Scrapbook Boutique this month:

The brief is to make it "one for the boys".  Here is my latest page, which is for Rohan's album, highlighting his special relationship with his little cousin:

I stuck mainly to my Counterfeit Kit, adding a paper from a 6" pad for the pinwheels, and using a different ribbon which matched better.
I knew I wanted to use that blue paper for background, but was also in love with the little birdies on the other side . . . that's why I ended up trimming it back and mounting it on white cardstock.  The bonus was a perfect home for my journalling around the edges!
(And keep your eyes peeled for those little birdies on a card or two sometime soon!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cardmaking with basic supplies

Finally getting around to posting about an exciting event that happened to me a couple of weeks ago . . .

I had the absolute privilege to give a card-making demonstration . . . .(drum roll, please) . . . at this month's meeting of my church's PWA.

They left it up to me to demonstrate whatever I wanted.  As most of the PWA ladies are on pensions or other limited incomes, I decided to show a few cards using only cardstock, patterned paper, very basic tools, and a couple of extras that they were likely to have stashed away in their sewing cabinet.  So ever since I was first asked a couple of months ago, I've been pinning ideas on Pinterest that would fit this criteria.  It quickly became apparent that variations on the banner theme were totally going to fit the bill.

The first card I made for them was based on this card here:

The ladies were very nervous when I told them there was going to be "audience participation" but the lovely Anne totally excelled at her calligraphy skills for this card.
One of the ladies commented that they were very masculine colours, which was perfect as that segued perfectly into my next card, the point being that with this style of card, you can use very similar effects but simply by changing the colour scheme you determine whether the card is masculine or feminine, grown up or child. 

I had considered taking my sewing machine with me, but wasn't sure how much room I would have or how close I would be parking, so I made this card at home and showed it next, (inspired by this card here):

We talked for a couple of minutes about sewing through cardstock, and finished this card off with showing them how to attach an insert to hide the stitching.

Next card up, (inspiration here):

I already had the little banner shapes cut out, and showed them how I had drawn the arc shape on the card by tracing around a bread-and-butter plate.  it was simply a matter of taping the banners down, piercing some holes and adding some embroidery thread.

Last but not least, I thought to myself, what do Grandmas like to give away?  Money or gift cards was the answer I came up with, so I thought it would be fun to make a card which incorporated a gift card holder.  After a Pinterest search I ended up drafting my own little gift card envelope (I won't link you to the template I found as it printed out at the wrong size)

I think the PWA ladies enjoyed my demonstration.  When this last card came back around the circle they had added a little addition . . . 

. . . with love from all the Grandmas

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Musings on DIY chipboard buttons, and the spelling of the word "Swansea"

With an intriguing title like that, what's left to do but show you my two latest pages using my Counterfeit Kit.  They're two complimentary pages that will sit next to each other in the album, as opposed to being a double page:

These pages will go into the family album.  If you look closely you might be able to see that I have left the top of the title block on the first page unsewn; I will add journalling tags in there once all the pages about this holiday are completed and I know what is left to say.

Musings on DIY buttons
If you were around for my Product Challenge to Self, then you'll already know of my struggle to use a certain couple of Chipboard Mat Stacks that have been sitting around in my stash for forever.  (If not, you can always catch up here and here).  I had already stated that I would attempt to DIY some buttons for my kit, so when the Counterfeit Kit girls put up a list of tutorials I decided to give the chipboard mat stacks another go.

Now, I probably should have worked this out earlier, but the original Sizzix machine (like the one I own) has quite fat dies, which are merely ridiculously hard to push through a piece of chipboard.  The Sizzlit dies, on the other hand, (like my button ones, which I use on my machine with a converter) are much thinner, and it is physically impossible to do anything more than make an impression with them onto a sheet of chipboard. 
So that's what I ended up doing - made an impression with my button dies, then cut them out by hand, and punched out the centre holes.  To finish them off, I stamped over them with a flourish stamp and inked the edges.  I'm pretty happy with them, and will probably do the same thing again in the future.

Musings on the spelling of the word "SWANSEA"
Come on, we've all done it, haven't we?  Looked at the word "Swansea" and been sad that it contains 2 "S"s and 2 "A"s.  (Ok, for you it might have been a different word, but you know what I'm talking about, don't you?)  It's why I struggle so much with letter stickers, and why letter stamps (and of course my Silhouette) are my generally preferred method of making titles.
But I bought the Thickers, and I put them in my kit!  My theme of the year is, "Use what you have in a way that makes you happy" and part of that to me means "use what's new while it's still new".  I decided no, I am not going to wait for the perfect combination of titles that will use every single letter in the pack, (if only such a thing existed, but how could you be bothered taking the time to find it, really?) So, as you can see, I did use the Thickers, and I do love the dimension they bring to the page. But no, to all you Thickers addicts, I haven't been converted!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pooh Sticks (the story of two scrapbook pages you'll never see)

Today is Rohan's first day back at school after the holidays, and the other two had a pupil free day, so I took them off to a lovely park only a suburb away from us which was a very important part of our social life when the kids were younger.
These days it's more about skateboarding and taking the dog for a walk than playing on the equipment, but today Angus reminded me of another important ritual we used to perform at Lambton park:
"How do you play Pooh Sticks again?" he asked.  There's an open rainwater channel that runs through the park, which occasionally has enough running water and few enough weeds for a few decent rounds of Pooh Sticks.
I was a bit dubious about the speed of the water flow, but the kids were keen to give it a go, and we had an absolutely awesome time.  Sure some of our sticks didn't make it all the way under the bridge, but that was all park of the fun!

So what's the problem? My brand-new phone, (with much better camera and easy-uploadability, and no excuse to never take a photo again) was back at home on the charger.  Sigh.
So.  Page about Maddy riding her new skateboard.  You won't be seeing it.  (Although I'm sure she'll be riding it again, and there will be more photo ops).
Page about playing Pooh Sticks.  Sadly, I never took any photos of it when they were littler, and I didn't take any today.  But I promise you, it looked a little something like this:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ten Crafty (and not so crafty) goals for this month (and beyond)

For 10 things on the 10th this month, I decided to see if I could come up with some goals I'd like to achieve over the next month or so.  There's something about getting your goals out there in black and white on your blogthat makes you so much more accountable, don't you think?
So here they are:

1. Scrapbooking-wise, I want to mainly focus on my Counterfeit Kit, and see how that works for me. 

2. Teenage cards.  Rohan's social group has suddenly expanded from a smallish group of boys from school that like to skateboard together to a much larger mix of both boys and girls, from both his school and the nearby Performing Arts school.  The potential number of parties he could be invited to is kind of scary.  So.  Teenage cards.

3. I used my overlocker for the first time in ages the other day, and when I went to put the flimsy plastic cover back on . . . . let's just say it had died.  So I think sewing an overlocker cover is in order.  While I'm at it, the thin piece of packaging foam I've been using as a Silhouette cover could probably do with a more durable replacement.

4.  Finish my soft-sculpture dragon.  Before I got into paper-crafts, I was into doll- and bear-making.  I think I was last working on this dragon about 5 years ago.  He should end up looking something like this:

But at the moment he looks more like this:

5. Send some cards.  OK, now this is embarrassing.  It's a bad habit I was hoping to break this year but haven't yet - making a card for someone, and then never actually sending it to them!  Many have graced the pages of this blog.  Cards that you hand over in person, no problem.  Ones you've actually got to put in an envelope, address, put a stamp on them and place in the mailbox, on the other hand . . . let's just say I've still got Mothers Day cards sitting on my desk, as well as all the birthdays in between.  But it's not too late!! (Is it?)

6. Last year sometime, I had a whole bunch of family photos enlarged, the aim being to frame them and hang them on the wall.  Well, I still haven't bought the frames, so the goal is to buy frames and actually GET THEM ON THE WALL!!!! (one of the enlargements has since ended up on a scrapbook page here, so I also either need to get it reprinted or re-design how all the photos hang together)

7. And while we're on the subject of hanging things on walls, I'd really like to complete a home decor project.  One that caught my eye on Pinterest lately is this one:

And now on to things less crafty, but in other ways probably more important . . .

8.  Organise how I'm going to get more organised.  Does that sound as lame to you as it does to me?  But that's kind of where I'm at at the moment.  My tiny baby step of a goal is to work out a plan of attack.  I've been pinning ideas and organisation blogs of late, in the hope that when I'm ready, I'll have a few places to start.

9. Get back on track with my Bible reading.  I am really, really bad at this at the best of times, and when I had my block of casual work recently it just went totally out the window.  So, any improvement would be good right now.

10. Get something growing in my garden other than pumpkin.  Now, don't  get me wrong, I love pumpkin soup as much as the next person, (and there have been a lot of "next people" who have also enjoyed soup from our pumpkins this winter!) but growing something else would be nice.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Counterfeit Kit: first page!

Well, here's my first page using my Counterfeit Kit.  I've more or less made a decision that the Counterfeit Kit Challenge will be my number one priority this month, but I came up with a problem straight away, that of the one portrait and one landscape photo, and how to place them together on a page.  So I went through my bloglist and came up with this sketch from Pagemaps . . .

. . . stretching it the way I often seem to at the moment, by replacing smaller photos with the 4x6 variety.

About half-way through the construction on this page, I realised how much I had been influenced by the latest Glitter Girl video, on creating depth through embellishment.  Check out the video, if you haven't already, then come back and see my clusters of embellishment here:

If you're following along with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, then you'll want to know that what I used in addition to the kit is the following:
  • off-cut of blue cardstock, used to cut the butterflies on my Silhouette 
  • off-cut of green patterned paper.  (I used it exactly "as is", but decided it wasn't wide enough, so added the border strip next to it).
  • green flower brads, used to attach flowers
  • letter stamps used to spell out "Swansea"
  • embroidery floss used to attach buttons.
Sound like a lot, when you say it like that, but it's just details, really!  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Summer in Swansea," the Counterfeit kit Challenge

If you're a reader of blogs, (and if you're reading this, then you most probably are) then this scenario will probably be familiar to you . . . you peruse your blog list and click on an interesting sounding link.  Sometimes that leads you to another link . . . and before you know it, you've added another blog to a reading list that's already too long to do justice to. .  .

That's how I came across the Counterfeit Kit Challenge.

I've been more aware of the whole idea of Scrapbook Kits lately.  They've been around in the stores for ages, of course, but I've never been tempted to purchase them, as they are usually too embellishment-heavy for my budget.  Lately, though, I've been reading more and more about people making up their own "kits", whether individual page-kits or larger ones.  Shimelle fans will already be familiar with her recent video where she makes her own kit and then keeps on scrapping until it's all gone.

So anyway, while I'm still not convinced that I'm a kit type of scrapper, I thought it was time for a bit of a different challenge, and I'm going to give the Counterfeit Kit concept a go this month!  The basic idea is that each month they choose an existing kit to "counterfeit" and then challenge members to copy it as closely or loosely as they chose, and then scrapbook using those supplies. (Follow the link for more details)  It's all about "shopping your stash" rather than shopping for more stash you don't need.  Now that's a challenge that's right up my alley!

The first thought that my too-literal brain had was that I wasn't going to have papers (and especially embellishments) that were close enough to work, but after going through the "Master Forger's" kits (what a cool name for a Design Team) I was reassured that anything I came up with was going to be just fine!

I started out with the papers I bought last month, which meant all Echo Park, "This & That" and "Hello Summer".  All except the paper on the far left are full pages.

The back side of the same papers (but not in the same order)

Next I added my cardstock, a few more sheets than the kit had:

The blue in the middle matches better than it looks in the photo; the light was fading as I was putting my kit together, but I knew I wanted to start crafting TODAY and didn't want to have to wait until tomorow for better light to take pictures. Edited 9/7/12 to add:  NO! that blue does not match at all! In the light of day, I've swapped it for another blue that matches better!

Now for lettering:

My new (and first ever packet of) white thickers, This & That tile stickers, which made me think of my good old scrabble tiles, plus the blue stickers which were my free gift with that last big purchase.

Embellishments include tags:

Sorry about this really bad photo!

All old Basic Grey (all except one from Lollipop Shoppe). 

Ribbons, twine and flowers:

I pulled out two different yellow ribbons and one of my new sets of twine.  The flowers in the photo represent all the flowers I own in each of those colours!

The kit also included a set of stamps, as well as other embellishments that could be replicated to some extent using stamps.  I pulled out:

The first two sets  I chose because they resembled aspects of the kit in some way. The third one because it had some words in themes that might match the holiday photos I've got in mind to begin with.  The final set I chose because they are my new stamps and I haven't used them yet!

The kit also included a book page, some linen   I haven't pulled either of these but I've put a note on my board to remind myself to consider them when making my projects.  Also buttons.  I forgot to take a photo of my jar of white- and off-white buttons, but they are also there in the kit.  Some  of the girls had DIY-ed some more decorative buttons, and I totally love this idea, but would want to make them for a specific page, not make some random ones before I know how I want to use them.

Finally, I added a sheet of ledger-style paper to match the off-white tones of the This & That papers, and another large off-cut:

This brings my total to 7 full sheets of paper and 2 large offcuts.  I totally reserve the right to add as many other off-cuts as I need to, as the month goes on. 
You'll notice I haven't included any ink or other form of colouring into my kit.  That's because it seems silly to limit myself - for me the point is to make sure that products get used, not to only use certain products.
For the same reason, the stamps I've put into the kit are ones I want to think of using first, not the only ones I want to limit myself to.  So I reserve the right to use other stamps, tools, my Silhouette (of course!) . . .um . . . . I'm actually feeling nervous about not including more cardstock, so we'll see how we go!

One more thing!  All the girls have named their kit, so I thought I'd better do that too.  I've named it "Summer in Swansea" in honour of our camping trip last school holidays.  (which was actually Autumn, but "Autumn in Swansea" totally has a different sound, especially for you Northern Hemisphere visitors, to whom autumn has a completely different colour palette!)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back soon to see how I'm doing!