One step at a time guided creativity

I’m doing a free class at UK Scrappers, with my favourite tutor, Shimelle Laine. It’s called “Break It Down” and each week day there’s a post with a prompt for one stage of the ‘making a scrapbook layout’ process. Even if you play along only once, you’re sure to have some fun!

Here is the layout I made after the first week’s prompts:

Experiencing-OlivesThe photos along the top are from 1999 and the other is from 2006. The theme for the week was “Before and After” and we were challenged to find photos that could be used to tell the story of something where there was a difference over time. If you look in the UKS Gallery you will see layouts with photos from the same event, and others with photos decades apart. It’s fascinating to see how different people have interpreted the prompt.

Through the week we got more prompts on selecting the colour scheme (with links to some very useful websites), a new technique to try (stamping off), planning the layout, putting it all together and embellishing. I followed along right up until the last one, when I did something different to the suggestion. I was thinking how to decorate my page as I fell asleep, and the idea came to me just as I was dropping off – I’m glad I still remembered it in the morning!

I’m especially pleased with the colour scheme, which is not one I would have come up with by myself. I enjoyed documenting the change in our experience of olives before and after buying and planting an olive grove. The journaling reads:

At the Telecom Christmas Picnic held at the Wellington Zoo in December 1999, the olive trees made a nice background to a photo and easy climbing trees for Edward. This was our experience of olives.
In 2000 we bought land and planted olive trees.
Now we fertilise, prune and harvest our 800 trees every year. We know the different growing habits, harvesting ease and oil flavour for the varieties we grow. We have a business selling the bottles of oil we produce. We have a detailed and intimate experience of olives.

 

Recent creativity

I’m doing a Studio Calico on-line class called Pop Off the Page #2 and I’m learning a lot. The community at Studio Calico seems nice too – it’s always good to get supportive comments and the general scrapbooking forum is full of ideas.

Here are two pages I have just posted in the Studio Calico Gallery:

Fly BoyThis page features a few photos of DS helping to sweep up some of the dreaded Cluster Flies that plague us during March and April if there’s been a damp summer. I loathe the little horrors and the daily ‘sweep up’ of the buzzing hordes of dying insects really gets me down. It was so nice to have the job done for me in my scrapping space one weekend when DS was home. Although the drought this year has been hard on many, at least it’s meant we have been almost Cluster-Fly-free!

A Mother's LoveThis page is about my dear friend Mary’s last sewing project – a quilt she made for her daughter’s 21st birthday. She poured her love into every stitch, so the result was very special indeed. The photos are from 2010 and Mary died at the very beginning of the following year; it’s taken me a while to be able to write what I wanted to say about working with her to create this extra-special gift.

The background to the layout was inspired by one of the POTP#2 videos. It is fabric – first painted with gesso, then misted, stencilled, stamped and stitched. It is very pretty with a shimmer from some of the mists I used, and I think it almost does justice to the quilt.

I want to make…

I-want-to-make-postThis is a quilt I have been working on for years. The four-patch and half-square blocks were part of a block-swap from 2011, and I have been sewing them together in infrequent batches ever since. I am SO glad to be nearing the end of this project. I need another 28 4-patch blocks to complete the outer border, and by posting this I am hoping to motivate myself to get them made and sewn together.

I have another quilting project I want to get onto. DS’s 21st birthday quilt is calling to me (it is currently only an idea and a pile of fabric); it’s just as well he’s not really expecting to get it before he’s 25!

Scrap in pink

As well as being Star Wars Day, last Saturday (4 May) was (Inter)national Scrapbooking Day. All over the internet there were challenges, tutorials, videos, layouts and giveaways. It was fun! I made a couple of layouts over the weekend, and the one I am sharing today is the first NSD challenge from Shimelle’s blog: scrap in pink.

As the mother of a son I haven’t had too many opportunities to use pink in our family scrapbooks, but there are a few pink pages in our ‘People we Love’ albums about my great niece, and this layout will be joining those. The papers and embellishments¬† come from a kit supplied by Nic Howard – lots of lovely Teresa Collins papers and associated stickers – with some Stampin’ Up papers thrown in.

pink-pageI think this meets the requirement to ‘scrap in pink’, don’t you?!

Project 365 (aka Project Life; Photo-A-Day)

I’m still doing it – taking a photograph every day.

Blog7May-P365#1

On the left – January’s collage; on the right, the first page of photos

For 2013 I’ve abandoned the Project Life albums and weekly spreads, and gone back to the system I used in 2010, making a monthly series of pages. To begin, a collage made from the month’s collection of bits and pieces (did you know the word for that is “ephemera”? Isn’t that a lovely word?).

The next two pages with photos from January

The next two pages with photos from January

Then most of the photos for the month, with the date and a brief annotation if required, simply slotted into divided page protectors. For 2013 I want to display every photo, so I am using two sheets (that’s 24 photos, with 6 to a side).

On the left the final page of photos; on the right the first of two layouts made celebrating a January theme.

On the left the final page of photos; on the right the first of two layouts made celebrating a January theme.

Finally, a layout (or two) using the remaining photos.

My second layout for January, and on the right the collage to begin February's pages.

My second layout for January, and on the right the collage to begin February’s pages.

The first of the layouts I made for January celebrates my rediscovery of cycling:

Blog7May-LO1I used a technique from Shimelle Lane, and took an artsy photo of that detail:

Blog7May-LO1-detailThe second layout was inspired by the captions I wrote on three of the photos – they all ended with the words “at the library”:

Blog7May-LO2The background was inspired by this post from Big Picture Classes; I had a lot of fun making it and it was just right for the library layout.

I love this project – especially now it’s finished

Album coverRight through 2012 I tried to take a photograph every day. If I missed a day I didn’t stress about it, I just took an extra photo the next day (usually of something that would have been the same the day before).

Title pageThis is the title page – the easiest to complete because it was a simple “fill the slot” page, and all the components came in the Project Life Amber Edition kit. I’d purchased this in late 2010, but didn’t use it for 2011 as I took a break from the photo-a-day thing.

March spreadThrough the year I placed the photos (7 for every week) into the slots in the divided page protectors, and filled the other slots with journalling and bits and pieces I picked up.

August spreadI was still going strong in August. My routine was to sort out the week’s photos on Sunday evening, and then print them out in draft quality on plain paper. On Monday night I’d complete each week’s spread, slotting in the images and writing about the events of the week, using the collected ‘ephemera’ from my handbag, mailbox and recycling bin to create mini collages for any slots left over. Every couple of months I would take advantage of a printing special at Harvey Norman and get the images printed, slotting the photos in place of the paper place-holders. I kept up with that routine until mid-September, when I started getting behind. I did a big catch-up at Stamp Camp in early November, but the rest of the album had to wait until this weekend to be finished.

Blog-PL-Complete-5But finished it is!

This year I am continuing to take a photo every day, but I will return to the format I used in 2010 when I create my album.

 

Starting Point

Lovely – a new scrapbooking page starting point from Shimelle Lane. Go here to see her example, and compare it to my page made with pieces of a similar size:

Why does he do it?As usual, I had fun adapting Shimelle’s ideas and putting my own spin on them. I have a feeling a certain person may regret all those faces he pulled when he sees this post though!

Listmania #1 – Currently I am…

Joining in the fun (see Mandy’s blog here, and Deb’s post here – Deb is the one who has started us all off).

Currently I am:

1356 coverReading: 1356 by Bernard Cornwell (I love his novels – he writes about battles better than anyone else; his novel Agincourt is one of the best historical novels ever)

Listening to: the sound of the TV news, and of DH, DS and DS’s girlfriend talking about the current item – the Cabinet re-shuffle – with some amazement as to who has apparently kept her portfolio.

Laughing at: Ninja and Scruff – it’s an unexpected bonus of having a kitten (now a young cat) that the older cat discovers how to play again

Swooning over: summer fruit – I adore peaches, apricots and nectarines and the fruit bowl doesn’t stay full for long

Planning: my work-flow for pesto and chocolate spread production, so as to have enough ready for our stall at the Martinborough Fair #1 on 2 February

Eating lots of: salads – and using our new Citrus infused olive oil in the dressing (it tastes like sunshine to me!)

Feeling: that this year is already rushing along far too quickly

Rail-Trail

Discovering: biking the extended Greytown-Woodside Rail Trail is a great way to start the day (the link is to the event marking the official opening, but it’s actually all available to ride now)

Looking at: photos from my phone – I’m a little embarrassed to admit I have only just worked out how to get them from the phone to the PC (so some of the shots were taken in 2011!)

Wearing: shorts or skirt & t-shirts; I love the casual look and it’s important to be cool on hot and sunny days

Cooking: more new vegetarian recipes. Tonight we had Spiced Rice Scramble from Alison & Simon Holst’s Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook and it was yummy. Next time I make it I’ll put in two tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce though, as it wasn’t quite spicy enough with only one

Wondering: how it is that yoga poses I could do with ease only a couple of years ago are now impossible

Frost-detail

Trying out: hybrid scrapbooking. I’ve downloaded the Storybook Collection #2 elements from ACDigitals, printed & cut them out and used them on a layout (for some reason the link to the actual page isn’t working, but if you go to the main link, you can find them on page 5 under the Journalling Cards tab).

If you would like to play along with Listmania, create your own post using this list. The best bit? There will be another prompt next Monday!

Inspired

It’s been a year since some of my on-line friends, the Scrapmates, visited Fantail Grove for a retreat (you can read about the 2012 event here).

Last weekend we did it all again – and it was just as good this time around. As you can see from the image below, we worked hard. (Followers of this blog may realise why we are working in the living room this year, and not the garage craft space – go here to see the reason). Hard at work I was very pleased to get my 2012 Photo-A-Day project album up to date as far as the beginning of December, but the highlight for my own creativity was completing three layouts:

Waterfront WellingtonDH takes amazing photographs. These are from his daily walk between the railway station and his place of work and showcase just a little of how lovely (and busy) Wellington’s harbour can be. I wanted to try something new with my title lettering, and used plain chipboard letters from Kaisercraft. I inked these and then embossed them to give them a shiny finish. Next time I will have to remember that the grey of the chipboard substantially darkens the colours – but I’m pleased with how they turned out anyway.

Really Good at SleepThis layout was my response to the challenge I laid down to the Scrapmates: use machine stitching. I have stitched on the scalloped border strips, and over the lettering. I also used up some Scenic Route journalling cards that were already quite old when I got them – as part of my challenge to myself to make a good sized dent in my stash this year.

Haymaking with Farmer TomThis is my favourite of the three layouts I made. I think I am at last beginning to get to grips with layering items and I love how the clusters look. I am so glad to have used the Kaisercraft chipboard embellishment and some very old diecuts. I will forever be grateful to Shimelle for showing me how to repeat elements to bring unity to the design and lead the eye through the layout. I am sure I have lots more to learn, but I think this this is real progress.

Have you found that working with others inspires you to create more than you might have if you worked on your own?