Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The secret of my colour-matching success (Part 1)

Are you like me, and sometimes your colour combinations are a bit hit-and-miss?  Whenever I created a page that really works, colour-wise, chances are I've used one of two methods.  So I thought it would be fun to share with you my process.  So without further ado, here it is:

The secret to my colour-matching success, part one (or colour combinations are not just for challenges)

First up, I always start with my photos, and take one or two colours from there.

In this case,  I still had some orange paper out on my desk from the last page I made.  I was also hoping to use kraft, using the ledger paper left over from another page, and also I wanted to use this idea:

So what I do next, is, I pull out all the colour combination challenges I have printed out (most of which are from ColourQ) and I'll firstly go through them looking for the colours that I want to match - in this case orange and kraft.

Then it's a simple matter of holding your photos next to them and seeing how they look.  I was fortunate enough to find one that not only had the orange and kraft, but also some blue and red, similar to some other colours in my photos:

Now, here's why ColourQ is my go-to place for colour combinations: if I didn't have a printed combination I wanted to use, I can always go to the website and search by colour.  In this colour combo above, the orange is called "tangerine tango" so I could search for all the combinations on the website that use that colour.  Failing that, I could search for "Pumpkin Pie", or even "peach parfait" at a pinch.

Once I've gotten to this point, I find that you can tweak the colours a bit - I am guided by how my colours look together rather than whether or not my blue is an exact match for "not quite navy".  My red is definitely not "cherry cobbler", but it works with the other colours on my page, and that's what counts! (And all from my Counterfeit Kit)
And for the record, when you're thinking colour, you don't have to limit yourself to any one collection.  The papers on this page are all from different brands - the only exception being the two blue papers are both sides of the same sheet.

Here's how my doggies turned out, pretty cute, I'm thinking:

Here's a close-up of the journalling.  This page tells the story of one of those key moments where our family went from "we'll probably get a dog someday" to "it's time to get these kids a dog!"

I am linking this post up to Jennifer's Scrapbooking Soiree, so if you are visiting for the first time from there, welcome! Feel free to stay a while and have a look around!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Winter, spring, summer and . . . inspiration from everywhere!

{Do you want to read about a page inspired by a spring-themed challenge, created using a summer-themed kit and based on photos taken in winter? You do? Great! Then read on!}

Spring has been in the air over the last week or so . . . sometimes . . . although not so much today . . . but it's definitely just around the corner.  I love spring! It is my absolute favourite season!  There is something about spring that makes me want to get out into the garden and make things grow! (Or at least try to!)

This year, I will be working for the first three weeks of spring, so I have been madly getting out into the garden, weeding, preparing the soil, mulching and planting seeds.  The only gardening job I shoudld have to do during those three weeks will be watering (and hopefully watching seedlings emerge!)

With gardening very much on my mind, you might be able to guess what today's page is about . . . I started with this beautiful prompt from Scrapbook Boutique and the challenge to add a butterfly:

I also used this week's sketch from Let's Scrap:

I continued with my CK +CCC,  but I must give credit to this colour combo from ColourQ to help me put it together:

So I guess it's about time I showed you how I put it all together . . .

I also still had stitching on my mind, thanks to Clair's "stitching on paper" series on her blog, Obstinate Pursuit.

This page records the beginning of my garden in it's current configuration, inspired by a fabulous book called "The Permaculture Home Garden" by Linda Woodrow, hence the title, "a garden like Linda's.

Who else loves to get out in the garden in spring? And what are all you northern hemisphere folk looking forward to, with autumn just around the corner?

P.S. Counterfeit Kit girls, is it cheating to call this page "inspired by a summer garden"? As in northern hemisphere summer = my winter? Thanks for stopping by at any rate!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

two projects for the price of one

I was ready to get back into some double page layouts last week, so I headed over to my favourite place for 2-page sketches, Lets Scrap.  I was immediately distracted, however, by the sketch of the week, which was a card sketch:

So, as you do, I set off to make a Scrapbook page out of it.  Not that I didn't love the idea of the hexagons, but once I'd chosen my photos I wanted to use, I swapped them for some gears.


Now, there's something about the Counterfeit Kit Challenge that has brought out of me my natural tendency to be very . . . shall we say conservative with my supplies.  Something about getting the most out of my kit, I think.  So before I finished this page I had not only cut out some of the patterned paper behind where the photos are placed . . .

. . .but I also cut the title out of  the block of black cardstock that I mounted the photos on!

This proved quite serendipitous because I had not long finished the page before the Counterfeit Kit blog announced a "2 for 1" challenge, the idea being to make a scrapbook page and then a card using the same supplies and layout ideas.

I actually forgot about the yellow washi tape when I made the card, but even so, I'm happy with my fun boy page and the boy card it inspired:

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jay Gee's nook August challenge

Hi everyone, just ducking in quickly to show you a card I made for the challenge at Jay Gee's Nook this month.  As soon as I saw the inspiration board I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, and I've just managed to scrape in!

I'm very proud to say that I attempted my first ever spiral rose! I can see how you could get addicted to these things . . . but I don't think I'll be sending it to anyone through the post, those things are bulky!

See what I mean?

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Two scrapbook pages with stitching

Last week I very much enjoyed the "stitching on paper" series of classes at Obstinate Pursuit.  I frequently machine stitch on my pages, but it tends towards the fairly standard, stitch-around-the-edge variety.  So on these two pages, both using my Counterfeit Kit, I've tried to push myself to use my stitching a little differently.

First up, the Counterfeit Kit girls challenged us to "enter an online challenge".  I've created a page based on this sketch from Australian company Scrapbook Supplies Online

And here's my page:

I still stitched around the edge of my page, but I also stitched through the pinked circles, making them a bit more of a feature.

Secondly, I used the Counterfeit Kit Challenge sketch:

Gone are the days when I feel the need to follow a sketch exactly, but I've kept the overall feel of the sketch, and also found the perfect home for my bicycle paper!  (I just cut a strip off the side which will make a perfect journalling spot on another page!

As well as stitching down my ric rac and around the edge of the page (of course) I also stitched the photo down, through the larger banners, and attached the title tag.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Counterfeit Kit + Coloured Cardstock Challenge

I wanted to show you a few double-page layouts I've made using my Counterfeit Kit, but first, I'd like to tell you a little story . . .

Once upon a time there was a scrap-booker who loved to collect craft supplies.  She almost always made double pages with a coloured cardstock background, so she collected cardstock in every colour of the rainbow.  Her stash grew, like huge towers all around her craft room. Then one day she woke up, as if from a dream, and realised the amount of money she was spending was not in proportion to the amount of time she was spending in using the stash.  So she created a Blog, dedicated to using up her craft supplies and keeping a closer eye on her budget.  She used up all those huge towers of supplies and lived happily ever after. The End.

True story?  Yes! Well . . . up to the last sentence that is!  (You can go back to the beginning of my blogging journey here if you like)  I have made progress on using my stash, but in the past year of so, I've started to create a lot more single page layouts, with a lot fewer cardstock backgrounds.  When I do use cardstock, it's much more likely to be a neutral colour, so that "tower" of coloured cardstock . . . still looks like a tower of coloured cardstock!

When I was looking for photos to use for my Counterfeit Kit this month, I've pulled out lots of older ones from past holidays and other events that call for a double-page layout.  So I've decided to go back to my scrapbooking roots a bit this month and see how much coloured cardstock I can use.  I'm calling it the Counterfeit Kit + Coloured Cardstock Challenge . . . CK + CCC for short!

OK then, are you ready for some photos?  Me too!

I really had a hard time with this first one, partly I think because I ended up using the A-side of the patterned paper after choosing it for the B-side, and struggling to find anything else in the kit that matched.

I managed to rescue it (just barely) with the washi tape (the only one I own I hadn't officially included in the kit) and the columns of stamps.

I was a lot a happier with this one . . .

I love how I got to use washi tape, ribbon, old letter stickers and felt on this one about a summer camping holiday.

Not much journalling, but that's what you get when you're writing about a holiday you had 4 and a half years ago!

One more to go, and it doesn't really have the "summery" feel of the kit as a whole, but almost all of the elements really were from the kit!

The only elements that I used that weren't from my kit were the letter stamps and stickers in the title (dug from deep down in the depths of much older supplies) and the splatter stamp.

I love that I got to use that train stamp in a way that actually made sense on a page!

Now if you're wondering, "Hey! Where's the coloured cardstock on that last page?" then I'll let you in on a little supply-conserving secret of mine.  (OK, it might not be much of a secret, but there might be someone out there that's never thought of it before!)  On pages like this one, I often use a sheet of cardstock as a base that I will totally cover up with photos and strips of patterned paper.  This means you can get better usage out of your full sheets of paper (like my top one) or stretch the use you can get out of your off-cuts (like my bottom one).  Not only does it conserve your papers, but it is a great way to use cardstock that might be slightly damaged, in a shade you don't like, or those plain white sheets you sometimes get in page protectors.     
Whew!  There's still a lot of life left in my Counterfeit Kit at the moment . . . I might have to go and do a singe page to mix it up a bit!  Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A cleaning schedule for the perpetually hopeless

In my "ten things" post last month, one of my goals was to "organise how I'm going to get more organised". 
I'm pleased to be able to tell you that I have made some progress, and share with you my new cleaning schedule.

(By the way, if you're the sort of person with a touch of OCD in your cleaning style - you know, can't leave the house until every surface is sparkling, you might want to go off and polish your silverware rather than waste your time reading this post.  If, on the other hand, phrases like "I can't remember the last time I -insert dreaded chore of choice here-" regularly roll off your tongue, then sit back and read on!)

But first of all a bit about my relationship with cleaning.  Not being the most organised person on the planet, I like the idea of having a clean house, but I can easily get sidetracked . . . 
My sinus might be playing up, and I just can't face the dust. 
Or my back might be sore, so I'll go to bed with a heatpack. 
Or my hormones might be raging, and I'll be fit for nothing but curling up in bed with a book and a big block of chocolate. 
Or it's been raining solidly for weeks, and I've lost track of when I last washed the sheets. 
Or there's an event on at one of my kid's schools, which fills up my day leaving no time for mopping. 
Or it might be none of the above, but I'll be so overwhelmed by the sheer number of chores there are to do that I'll fail to do anything at all!

My goal, I've decided is not to turn my house into a magazine cover-worthy show-piece every day of the week.  That, for me at least, would be impossible
What I think is achievable, on the other hand, is a method that gives me some direction, and helps me keep track of where I'm at.  Because, quite frankly, I don't think the world will end if, every now and again the floors don't get mopped or we sleep in the same sheets for another week!

Here's why I think having a schedule, any cleaning schedule is a good thing.  It eliminates that overwhelming "too many chores" kind of feeling. If it's Monday, just dust and vacuum.  No decisions to be made, no need to feel like it "all" has to be done.

I've tried to write my schedule so that it works in with our family schedule as it is at the moment. (For example, my husband leads a Bible Study in our open plan lounge/dining room/kitchen every Tuesday night, so cleaning that area is my Tuesday job)
What I'm hoping will be the secret to my success, though, is the final column, "last completed".  By laminating the schedule and using a whiteboard marker, I can easily keep track of when each job was last completed.  So I didn't mop downstairs last week? No big deal.  I can see that at a glance and make extra sure it's a priority this week.

For the time being, this is my weekly jobs only, although I have put space at the bottom for current spring-cleaning  and de-cluttering jobs.  If this one is still working well after a month or so, I may attempt a similar system for spring-cleaning jobs also.
What about you?  Do you clean to a schedule?  What methods have and haven't worked for you in the past?  (OCD silverware cleaners need not reply)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Counterfeit Kit - "Memories of Summer"

I loved playing along with the girls at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge last month, and I just couldn't wait for the new inspiration kit to be announced!  Last time I spent a chunk of money on craft supplies (I talk about it here)  I bought some Basic Grey papers, so I was kind of hoping for a kit that worked with the BG collections "Out of Print" or "Konnichiwa".  In fact, I had even gone so far as to pull out some photos that would work with the "Out of Print" papers. 
So when the kit turned out to be a digital kit called "Summer Lovin" I was a teensy bit disappointed.  Not because I don't have a bucket of old summer holidays to scrapbook, but because I wasn't sure if I had enough papers in my stash to pull off another summery kit!

I'll leave it up to you to see how well I did . . .

Starting from left to right, here are 3 papers from Echo Park "A Boy's Life", one  Crate Paper and the rest various collections from Basic Grey.  I used the chevron paper as my starting point of which colours to use, with the exception of some hot pink.  If you think those last two papers are a bit of an odd choice, I really chose them for the "B" side . . . . 

See those greens?  That's better, isn't it!  All the papers except the ledger paper are double sided.

The inspiration kit had a woodgrain paper, so I've added some 6" sheets this month as well including some woodgrain themed ones, and all the remains of my A Boy's Life pad:

My biggest problem with my kit last month was the mental block associated with the thought of cutting into a brand new, recently purchased sheet of paper.  This month, therefore, I've tried to overcome that block by "officially" including more off-cuts into my kit.  Here they are:

After the blog hop I was inspired to add some thin strips as well as this paper with the bicycle motif . . .

Embellishments next!  The digital kit has LOADS of embellishments.  I had already decided to try and add more product this month, sort of like my "product challenge to self".  Here's what I've pulled out:

In this photo I've got some new (to me) product - twine, pins, and washi, as well as my mini-misters.  Then there's also coloured staples, the Chipboard mat stack again (with a cut-out of the relatively successful book labels to hopefully remind me to use them) as well as a few other chipboard bits and pieces.

There's a few felt embellishments in the inspiration kit, so I've pulled out felt in every colour I have that matches.  Then there's also a random tag left over from last months kit, some braids and ribbons (mainly gingham and polka dots, but again, I don't promise I won't end up using something different if it works better).  After discovering my new-found ability to colour white flowers with my misters, I've realised I don't have many white flowers left! So if any shopping needs to be done this month, it could be for white flowers . . .

I've also included this recent parcel of loveliness, which is yet to even come out of it's packaging.  I'm not sure how well it will go with everything else in the kit, but it's too new and too fun-looking not to want to try and use!

For lettering, I've kept out most of the stickers and tiles from last month, and added the matching stickers from "A Boys Life" (as yet unused) and a very well used Basic Grey sheet that I'm hoping to get a bit more love out of!

For my stamps I've kept out three of the sets from last month, and added my cute little Stampin' Up family stamp sets.

The one thing I haven't included in my kit is cardstock.  I spent most of last month wondering if I was better off adding heaps more cardstock or just not adding any, and pulling out what I wanted to use as I went.  In the end, I've opted for the latter, although if I go out to scrap anywhere, I could of course add some then.

So that's my kit! A nice mix of new and old and somewhere inbetween.   I've named it "Memories of Summer" because it sure ain't summer here now, but I hope to use it to document lots of memories of summers past . . .

Monday, August 6, 2012

July Counterfeit Kit Wrap-up

Here's what's left of the papers from my Counterfeit Kit after 7 pages and 5 cards: First up, the Hello Summer papers (and the one on the left is the Basic Grey offcut). 

And here's the This & That papers:

These photos were taken before I made the butterfly card in my last post, which uses that middle pink paper as it's background.
I started just playing around with the larger sheets, until I came up with something that looked a little bit like this:

The only cutting I did to get to this "starting point" was to trim a row of flash cards off the other side of that teal damask paper.  At this point nothing was adhered to anything in any way - I wasn't going to commit any further until I looked for a photo/photos to match.
And I found one!  This photo was taken quite a few Christmases back at my sister-in-law's.  The papers perfectly matched Maddy's shirt and Ariel's tail!

My aim with finishing this page was to see what else I could use from the kit, without just gratuitously adding product.   (The little banners and the "You Make Me Happy", if you're trying to play Eye-Spy, I think are from another, shorter offcut of that border strip paper that I found after I took the photos.  Similarly, most of the thin strips of paper in my clusters are actually from the branding strips, which didn't make it into the photos either)
An aside: The first paper flowers I ever bought were three packets of white ones in different sizes.  (I'm not sure if they hadn't started packaging them in multi-sized packs back then?)  My reasoning was that I could just re-colour them to suit my projects, and I would never need to buy another colour!  My first attempt, using an ink-pad, was NOT a success.  Needless to say, I have since bought flowers in many other colours, and have been gradually using white flowers untouched ever since.  I'm happy to report success, FINALLY with my home-mixed mini-mister on the flowers on this page!

I'm going to call my July Kit finished . . . thanks for sharing the journey with me this month, it's been fun!