Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is my 20th Wedding Anniversary! Funny, 'cause I sure don't feel old enough to have been married for that long, but apparently I have! So, a card for my husband, perhaps?

Before you look at this card and wonder why I went to so little trouble for someone I've been married to for 20 years, you might want to read this post here about my philosophy on making cards for men who don't really appreciate the finer details of our craft.

Don't worry, I'll wait . . .

You're back?  OK, here's the card:

I had intended to use the Retro Sketches sketch suggested at the CKC, but the lightbulb was just too big, so I ended up keeping it really simple.  If I get a chance before our anniversary dinner tonight, I think I might colour the lightbulb in a bit brighter though!

While I was in card-making mode, it's time for a Thank Your card.  Here's that sketch . . .

Well, I sort of used it, anyway! 

All cardstock and papers plus the vellum speech bubble are from this month's Counterfeit Kit.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chatterbox "Scrapbooking Walls", anyone?

Does anyone out there remember the old Chatterbox "Scrapbooking Walls" lines?  Maybe even have a sheet or two still lurking in their stash?  If you don't remember them, each range was named after a different room and had co-ordinating  wallpaper-style patterns.  They were one of the first papers (that I'm aware of at any rate) to be double-sided, and the B-side was always a very subtle tone-on-tone check.  Well I, for one, was not going to "waste" the beautiful A-side patterns in order to use the back!
Uh-oh, you know where we're going with this one, don't you?  I've been steadily working through the old papers in the last year and a half, but when I was recently going through the last of my old papers to choose my November Counterfeit Kit, "Purple People Eater" there was one full sheet left.  It's a purple-and-green paisley.  Guess which side I ended up using?

First up, a page using this sketch from Scrapbook Supplies Online:

Now, I could have just used the whole sheet and called it good, but I really really wanted to have another go at using the paisley, so before I sewed this page together, I cut out the middle . . . ready for another try.

This next page isn't finished yet -

not quite sure what direction to take with the title and journalling.  I do want you to notice my shoes, though.  Purple suede joggers!  And a different pair of tie-dyed jeans!  (and a different sheet of Chatterbox paper matting the photo - B side, of course!)

Still a bit of paper left . . . I wonder if I'll be able to use the A-side this time?  But hang on, check out the awesome challenge from ColourQ this week:

Wonder if I can work in the Counterfeit Kit challenge to be inspired by a stamp at the same time?

I have always loved the expression on Angus's face in this photo as he watches an older girl blowing bubbles.  The way he's looking at the golf club and ball is pretty funny too! 
I don't often use quotes on my pages but this one I found was perfect for this page:

"There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million". Walt Streightiff

What about you?  Any "Scrapbooking Walls" lurking?  Or other older supplies you're ready to get out and have a play with?   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A bit of paint . . .

From time to time, I'll experiment with a little bit of paint on my pages.  I'm yet to find a technique I'm totally comfortable with, but the other night, I was in the mood to have another try . . .

First up, I wanted to try this collage technique from fellow Counterfeiter, Glory Girl, using (what else?) some purple off-cuts!

I had some watered-down gesso left over, so next I decided to roughly brush it over a sheet of very dark coloured cardstock.

So far so good, but would I be able to make something with either of them?
 I came across this photo series of Maddy, wearing a hat of mine.

I've already scrapbooked the photos for her album, but what I actually thought when I saw those photos was, "I used to wear hats".  And the idea for a page was born!


 Journaling reads "before they became baby photo shoot accessories, I used to WEAR HATS
And here's what is probably the only photo of me wearing that same hat, at a friend's wedding.

It took me a long time to put that page together, but I got there eventually, with a little help from this lovely sketch from Shanna Noel's blog:

The next photo that caught my eye was a very ordinary one of me standing in our current house when we had just moved in, holding a friend's baby.  Like I said, not a great photo, not a family we still see regularly, and just one of many random "holding someone else's baby" photos in the album.  But the story I suddenly wanted to tell wasn't particularly about the baby, it was about me

I was so clucky back then, not that I would have talked about it (although I'm sure my actions spoke loudly enough!)

Remember how I told you I used to tie-dye?  I had to laugh because it was half-way through making the page before I realised that the baby in the photo is actually wearing a tie-dyed purple Bonds suit I made for him as a baby gift!

For this one, I used the monthly sketch at ScrapFriends:

Thanks everyone for stopping by!
P.S. Fellow Counterfeiters and Purple-lovers, if you want to see more you can jump back here to see another post using my kit that hasn't been linked to the CKC blog.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

White Christmas

No . . . not that sort of white Christmas, I live in Newcastle, Australia after all!
While we're on the subject of Christmas and where I live, we don't have any extended family nearby, so we alternate where we spend our Christmases between my family and my husband's.  Rob's family live down near Canberra, and my family is scattered between Kempsey, Tamworth and Sydney.
With a new air-conditioner installed in our living room and the possibility of a child going to camp on Boxing Day, we've volunteered to host Christmas for my side of the family this year.
What, I hear you say, hosting Christmas for the third time, ever?  Probably best start getting ready, then!
And I will, soon, but before I focus on Christmas present, here's a couple of pages I've done for some favourite challenges of mine, with memories of Christmases past.

Scrapbook Boutique never fails to have an inspiration piece that is absolutely delicious, in more ways than one . . .

And here's the page I made, using photos from the last time we hosted Christmas, 4 years ago . . .

I really enjoyed pulling out anything and everything white I could think of, trying to find some different textures . . . 

 Then I finished it off with a bit of Kindy Glitz, because if you can't use glitter on a page about Christmas, when can you?

Next up comes Jay Gee's Nook, where the selection of images is always enticing . . .

This month, I  was drawn to the colours and textures of the "Noel", but wanted to add a touch of the red as well.

This photo dates back a little earlier, to Rohan's first Christmas in Canberra.  That's him in the red on the lounge, with his cousins.

I have the latest Glitter Girl to thank for the idea of the panel with the stars. I considered filling the negative space with washi tape, like she did, but then came across this text paper with definitions of "happy" and "brighten", so that worked really well.  I inked the edges and added stitching to make a bit more definition.

I'm also linking this post up to the "Frosty Festivities" at Jennifer's Jumbles this weekend - the challenge is to make a Christmas (or winter) project without using Christmas supplies. 

Thanks for stopping by to visit! What are you up to at the moment, remembering Christmases past, or getting ready for Christmas 2012?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Practising What I Preach.

In my recent 10 things post, Current Trends and the Noble art of Stash-Busting, one of my suggestions was to copy the techniques your favourite designers use, rather than the products.  In that post I was mainly focussing on paper off-cuts, but the same could be true for your older papers, letter stickers, ribbons . . . any supply in your stash you can lay your hand on, really!

So tell me, honestly, (as long as it's nice-honest), what does this page say to you? Does it say "current trends", or does it scream "old supplies"?

Actually, if you said "old supplies" that would be OK, because other than the white Thickers, the supplies are in fact pretty old!

But, unless I'm totally delusional, here's three reasons why this page at least whispers "current trends"

1. A fabulous sketch, of course! This one is from PageMaps

 2. Clustered embellishments:

3. A big title with a mix of fonts.

I'm also entering this page in the S J Crafts Monthly challenge with the theme of "Christmas" and the optional extra of "mix up the alphas". Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time to change blades (and a couple of pages for Lets Scrap)

 A trait that I inherited from my parents (nature or nurture? It could be either. Or both) is that I tend to be a bit frugal.  And usually, I think that's a good thing.  But more than once in the past, it's taken a friend to borrow my trimmer and comment that "when it cuts, it makes the paper all hairy" to force me to admit the obvious - it's time to change the blade on my trimmer!

Well this week, I didn't need a friend to tell me - the camera embellishments I was cutting on my Silhouette came out "all hairy".  Time for a new blade on my Silhouette?  I think so.  After trying to tidy them up with a blunt craft knife, I decided it was due for a new blade, too.  And my trimmer?  Wow, it cuts a lot smoother with a new blade!

Anyway, here's the weekly sketch at Lets Scrap I was working with:

and here's my page:

Next up is my page for their "Scrap Our Stash" challenge.  It's one of those "recipe"-type challenges with a list of products to use: 2 patterned papers, 4 pieces of cardstock, one piece of chipboard, 4 flowers, 3 eyelets or brads, 9 buttons, 2 lengths of ribbon and lots of bling! And don't forget to use a Lets Scrap Sketch!  Is it just the way my brain works or is that a hard challenge?  Mind you, I say that's hard, then add an additional restriction to myself: use my Purple People Eater Counterfeit Kit!

Here's the sketch I ended up using:

And here's my page - the photos are from the very early 90's when I had a little market stall and sold hand-made goods.  What I never took a photo of was the candles rolled out of sheets of beeswax.  Remember them?  Imagine them on a windy, summer day at Maitland markets - the dirt would blow onto them and get stuck, and then people would pick them up to take a look and leave finger marks in the soft wax. Ugh!

{Finally, I have to say "I wish I thought of that" about the comment I received recently saying that I should have named my Counterfeit Kit "Purple Paper Eater" instead of "Purple People Eater".  It is so true, because I have been eating up the kit so quickly that the papers I used on both these pages are actually from my off-cuts folder, not the original kit! }

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Current trends and the noble art of Stash-busting. (Ten things on the Tenth)

Hello and welcome to my November contribution to Shimelle's "ten things on the tenth".  This month I wanted to focus on some different ways of using up those piles of paper off-cuts we all have lurking in our stash.

There are so many paper-crafting trends right now that are compatible with the noble art of stash-busting.  Before you pay top dollar on the latest embellishments, or purchase every latest release paper collection, consider these ten ideas to give your budget a break and your stash a bit of breathing room:

1. Banners, bunting, flags . . .
The more I like an individual patterned paper, the smaller the off-cut I'm willing to keep.  Sound familiar?  Recently I challenged myself to dig out some of those small pieces and make some bunting.  The only problem?  If I was going to use every piece of paper, I would probably have enough bunting to decorate my whole house, rather than just a scrapbook page or two!

2. Rosettes.
These guys are a great way to use off-cuts that you love the colour of more than the design.  Back here I discovered a way of using an argyle print that I wasn't too fond of, by turning it into a rosette.  And since  discovered a cut-file for my Silhouette for making them . . . rosette bliss!

3. Layered embellishments
When I first saw cute embellishments like these layered circles on this cute card by   Lynn Gahary it never occurred to me that they were a purchased embellishment.  Surely someone had just cut the same shape a few times and sewn down the middle!

4. Flowers
Flowers never really do out of style . . . do they?   I made this flower using my Silhouette, but even the oldest, most basic flower punches or of course hand-cut shapes come up a treat with a bit of layering and distressing!

5. Cut the whole sheet of die-cuts
In the past I've always been one to cut my die-cuts on a strict as-needed basis.  But that does produce some rather odd-shaped off-cuts that I end up storing!  So lately I've been experimenting with the idea of cutting the whole sheet.  My parameters: only basic shapes or shapes I tend to use often (think pinked circles, scalloped circles . . . and of course butterflies!) and secondly, I'm storing them in a fairly small container (it's a smallish Stampin Up stamp set box).  If or when that box fills up, I'll stop cutting until it empties out a bit.  So far, it's working great!

6. Copy the technique of your favourite designer, not the products they've used.
My stashbusters board on Pinterest contains many Pins which are actually pages by designers using the latest products.  How does that work?  Because when you try and showcase as many papers as possible on the one page, you probably haven't used too much of each one!  Think layering, think grids, think strips of paper at the top and bottom of the page and think off-cuts first!

7. Titles

I am absolutely in love with this page by Wilna (as I am with every single page of hers I've ever seen) and I totally recommend you watch the video at Studio Calico to learn how she made this cool, layered title, a technique I am dying to try.  But you know what, she cut into three brand new sheets of paper to make that title, and then misted over the top.  Can you tell? I reckon I could use some of my older stash and still feel like I'd achieved the same effect!

8. Welcome back vellum!
I don't even have to think off-cuts when it comes to vellum! I stocked up on so many sheets of the stuff, I don't like to think about it.  So I, for one, am very excited to see all the ways vellum is being used at the moment! On this page, I made a vellum banner and a pocket for my journalling cards.  I've also used vellum in my layering recently, and made vellum confetti pockets (both on this post), as well as making vellum feathers.  Although I haven't used them yet, I've cut some  vellum speech bubbles for my latest Counterfeit Kit.

9.  Project Life
I am so totally excited about starting a Project Life-style album next year. And the good news?  I'll hardly have to buy any supplies. I figure my off-cut stash plus my Silhouette plus my stamps is really all the supplies I need.  I already have a bunch of landscape-oriented photo protectors, so at the most I'll be buying some in other orientations, maybe some neutral cardstock and I'm good to go!

10. Mini notebooks, mini albums, mini anything!
By their very nature, nothing "mini" requires you to start with a full sheet of paper!  My mini notebooks (inspired by Elsie here) were a fun project using only the left-overs of my September Counterfeit Kit and some home-made die-cuts.

Could your bank balance do with a break from spending?  Could your stash benefit from a little busting?  I hope you're feeling a bit inspired! If you do manage some on-trend stash busting, I'd love to hear all about it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Embracing my Inner Purple People Eater

Warning: the photos in this post are very . . . . purple!
The obvious place to start with my Counterfeit Kit this month was always going to be with older photos from when I was first married. Not that I'm opposed to mixing older products with recent photos.  But I definitely think older photos go with older products, especially in large doses! The following things also apply to our early married life: anything DIY, anything cheap and cheerful, anything bright, even to the point of clash.
Oh, and definitely purple.  You know how you might wash a load of whites?  Between the clothes from those cheap hippy-style clothes shops and the tie-dyed pants,  I used to do a load of purples!

It wasn't hard to find candidates for the Purple People Eater treatment.  The first page of my photo album, in fact:

I never claimed to be a kit-only scrapper, did I?  As well as using my kit. I've added the mini DIY letter stickers, doilies, mist, and buttons - and I think this was the first kit I didn't put a sheet of ledger paper in.  Well, it's got one now! 

And the next candidate?  Well, the next photos in the album, as a matter of fact! When I realised they were going to face each other in the scrapbook, I thought I should use some of the same elements, although I did add a few extra papers as well.

From early '90s to early 00's, and I wanted to have a go at  the latest challenge at Let's Scrap, to incorporate polaroid-style frames.  I chose the LHS of this sketch here:

. . .and used a cut file from the Silhouette on-line store with polaroid frames and the words "today, here, now".  At first it felt a bit weird to use  that phrase on a photo that's 11 years old, but decided to run with it anyway.

Now that I'm looking at this page on the screen, I'm thinking I might move that photo down a bit.  Otherwise, I've got to say I've had a lot of fun releasing my Inner Purple People Eater.! Thanks so much for dropping by.