Two new layouts

I’m enjoying working through the prompts from the UK Scrappers Class by Shimelle Laine. Here are the layouts I made for weeks 2 and 3:

How It All BeganIt feels good to tell the story of how DH and I got together – and because the prompt said ‘pick paper you really love’ I finally put to use that pretty floral pattern that’s been sitting in my ‘save for something special’ pile.

Only One StitchThe subject prompt for Week 3 was ‘hands’ and at first I couldn’t think of anything – but when I took a look at some old blog posts (in view of the 100th post coming up) I found this one. Perfect! It’s been a long time since I used a monochromatic colour scheme, and I’ve never, ever, used a red one before. While I was making it I managed to cut myself on something and it took me a while to realise not all the red on my hands was actually ink! (The story from the blog post and additional pictures are in the pocket behind the photos).



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.

Christmas Card Crafting

This was supposed to be a “ten on the 10th” post, but I let that deadline slip away (since this a ‘no pressure’ Christmas season). However I have had an enormous amount of fun making Christmas cards this year. When I sent off my overseas cards (only 15 of them) I was pleased that they were all handmade; what I had forgotten to do was take any pictures! I then had the task of recreating the designs for the New Zealand card list. It would be interesting to see the differences.

As a relatively inexperienced card-maker, one of the criteria I use is that the design must be simple. As a pressed-for-time card-maker, the other is that I can construct the card in about 5 minutes. The design on the right is my ‘go to’ card design for all occasions (some of you might recognise it!) – and I think it works well as a Christmas card too. The design on the right (one I made up  myself) is only possible in 5 minutes if you have a scoring board (but it’s quite possible to make without one, it will just take you longer). It’s another design that’s very adaptable to other occasions simply by changing the colours, papers and sentiment.

The card on the left is a Stampin’ Up! design, and the one on the right was inspired by a similar card I saw here at Carta Bella’s blog.

The card on the left is my own design – and uses a Stampin’ Up! ornament punch. The origami card on the right was taught to me by Sarah Chapman in 2010, and looks more complicated than it is. It took me a few goes to get the folding right, as 2010 was quite a long time ago!

The top card is another Stampin’ Up! design, and the bottom one my own. The sentiment on the lower card is one of my favourites – it reads It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.

And last but not least, another ‘lifted from the internet’ design, and one from Stampin’ Up! These are two more examples of cards that can easily be adapted with different papers to become cards for other events.

Now that I’ve completed this post I’d better get busy and send the cards out!


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.

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?

My signature

It’s no secret that I love to create and place a high priority on carving out creative time in my schedule.

My sewing machine is often used to create colourful quilts. While I enjoy the process of making them, the process of giving them to the recipient is actually more fun:

I made a quilt for my niece, using lots of different cat fabrics. This was so she could have cats on her bed even in the university hostel!

The first quilt that was entirely of my own design was a play-quilt (again featuring cats), made for my great-niece. Seeing her move the cats around their various homes on the quilt was such a thrill.

I have also enjoyed making albums for non-scrapbooking friends to easily show off their baby photographs (this one is based on a template shared by Angie Lucas in the Nove/Dec 2007 issue of Simple Scrapbooks):

As well as making gifts, my enthusiasm for hand-made items has led to work with children to create colourful art and crafts. There is something almost magical in children’s enthusiasm for learning and enjoyment in their finished product:

After a holiday craft session at the library, the children happily posed with their decorative kites – look at the wide smiles (but mine was probably wider!).

Through this reflection I have learned that I am happy to have ‘handmade’ as a signature trait. I have also learned that I am grateful for the photo organisation system DH has imposed on the photo files in the computer – I can find what I am looking for!

10 on the 10th – oh wait, it’s the 11th

Thanks to the wonders of the time difference, my contribution to Shimelle’s blogging meme 10 Things on the 10th is a day late. However it will hit the blogosphere at the same time as many of those actually written on the 10th in the northern hemisphere. Go figure.

For my list this month I’ve decided to give a shout out to the awesome women who’ve influenced my scrapbooking.

Sue – the first person I knew who actually scrapbooked (after I understood what it was, I thought I’d quite like to try it).

Rosalie – without whom I would possibly not be a scrapbooker. I attended a class she taught at the local craft store and was hooked.

Stacy Julian – I read her book Simple Scrapbooks before I even knew what ‘scrapbooking’ was. Rosalie pointed me in the direction of Stacy’s on-line education site, Big Picture Scrapbooking (now Big Picture Classes) and I was inspired all over again.

Amy Sorensen – who tutored the first Big Picture class I ever enrolled for – Write Now. It was amazing and I still refer to the class notes from time to time.

Lain Ehmann – whose Layout A Day (LOAD) challenge I signed up for in February 2009.

Krislyn – who was a participant in the same LOAD challenge in 2009, and who invited me to meet up in real life. As a result I joined the on-line group she co-ordinates and got to know the other members – who are also inspiring scrapbookers.

Cathy Zielske – whose books Clean and Simple Scrapbooking and Clean and Simple Scrapbooking II made it OK for me to make layouts that were, well, clean and simple.

Ali Edwards – whose ‘week in the life’ idea inspired me to make my first mini album, and whose blog is full of real life stories.

Shimelle Lane – who with her alter ego Glitter Girl, is so inspiring every week!

Becky HIggins – whose Project Life system provides such an easy way to scrapbook daily life that I still have some creative energy left for other projects.

And do you know what? I think I could list at least another 10 inspirational women who have made their mark on my scrapbooking! Thanks so much, gals, for everything!