Creative recharge

I have had a wonderful time this weekend, at a Stamp Camp organised by two local Stampin’ Up! demonstrators Charlene & Paula. 25 women spent the whole weekend, with another 11 joining in as ‘day girls’ for the classes on Saturday. The weekend was filled with learning new things, getting to know new people, and lots of laughter.

Liz Dobson taught an awesome technique class, showing us the steps behind this layout:

I have to confess to feeling completely overwhelmed to start with – but after I had made the background I felt better!

I made most of the components and laid them all out for a photo (but nothing is properly finished yet, this is just an idea of how my finished project might look):

Paula took the next class, and we learned the sponging technique that she uses to create lovely landscape cards. Charlene’s class (on Sunday morning) introduced us to watercolour crayons, aqua-painters and blender pens. I gotta get me some of those now that I know what to do with them! The card from Paula’s class is on the left, the three on the right from Charlene’s class. I am very pleased with how well they turned out, and if one of them finds its way to you, you’ll know that I had a lot of fun while making it.

I had taken along my Project Life/Photo A Day album which was several weeks behind, and this is what I worked on in the ‘free creative time’ on Friday night and Saturday. I am pleased to say that the album is now right up to date. Most of the time I like this project , but I really love it when it’s up to date!

I had also taken along a sketch from my current Shimelle class, together with photographs and papers. There was just enough time between finishing my watercolour cards and lunch to complete the layout (but journalling – the tale of making all the curtains for our house – is yet to be added):

I’m now ready for the week ahead, recharged with lots of creative energy.

5 reasons I’m thankful today

Not that I’m cheating or anything, but I am also very grateful for cupcakes as pretty as these ones, and you can choose whether this is item #0 or item #6 on the list!

1. I woke up breathing. Even when life is not wonderful, it sure beats the alternative!

2. Spring weather – with all its variability – means that Summer is coming (and I love Summer!).

3. I’m going to Stamp Camp this weekend – and I’m looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people.

4. I have wonderful people in my life – my family and friends are the best!

5. I work at something I love doing – with a job at the library where I get to mingle my love of books with loads of people interaction.

What items would be on your list of things that make you thankful today?

Recent creativity

I’m doing another Shimelle Lane on-line class, but as things have got quite busy on other fronts, I’ve not been able to produce many layouts (fortunately the material remains available ‘forever’).

Here’s one from an early suggestion – make a monochromatic layout.

I found this a real challenge. One of the things I have learned about my own scrapping style through the class is that I most often use only two or three colours – sometimes one or two more than that, but a monochromatic layout is a rarity. However, looking at the page above I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t repeat this look, as I really like how it turned out. What about you – do you know your own colour tendencies (and if you are not a scrapbooker, then consider your other hobbies, or your wardrobe or home decor colour choices)?

As a result of another challenge set in the class, I chose several sets of photographs that I want to use on layouts soon (I’m trying to reach the end of my 2005 photographs). Taking each set of pictures I then set about choosing patterned papers (and in some cases background cardstock). Looking at all five sets of photos and papers it was easy to see that I gravitate towards all-over patterns, small designs rather than large ones, and that I love stripes and polka dots This new understanding is going to help me a lot when I buy patterned paper – I will leave the designs I love the look of (but am not likely to ever use) at the store!

Here’s the only set of photographs and papers that have actually made it onto a layout:

This layout also dealt nicely with another class suggestion – to use non-traditional colours to scrap Christmas pictures.

In addition to stalking Shimelle on her blog, I have also joined UK Scrappers in order to participate in her monthly challenge And Now For Something Completely Different. On the 10th of each month Shimelle posts a set of supplies needed, and on the 20th of the same month she posts a set of step-by-step instructions. For October the ‘something different’ was that there were no accompanying photographs of each step, so they were much more open to interpretation. In addition, rather than making the layout and immediately posting it to the challenge gallery, we were asked to leave it until the end of October. Although in past months the layouts have been varied by small or greater degree from the example, this time there’s a much wider range. It’s interesting to see just how varied the interpretations of one set of instructions can get!

Here is my version:

The journalling is about the lovely surprise of an almost perfect rainbow on an otherwise gloomy winter’s day – and the second surprise of finding that I’d managed to capture the rainbow through the trees in exactly the way I’d intended. Isn’t it great when that happens?