Three for one

Following an idea from the lovely Shimelle Laine (my scrapbooking superhero) I gathered a set of supplies and some photos. I made layouts with three photos, two photos and one photo using these supplies, and took inspiration from some of my own favourite layouts for the 3-photo and 2-photo pages. I watched Shimelle’s latest YouTube video (Glitter Girl #124) for inspiration for the 1-photo page. I’m very pleased with my results – thank you Shimelle/Glitter Girl!

3-photo page 2-photo page Inspired by GG#124

Something scrappy

I’ve been working with photos from our 2007 trip to the Big Island of Hawaii over the past few months. It might seem a bit of overkill to create an album of 12×12 layouts devoted to just one 10-day holiday, but I’ve been having a great time re-living some of our adventures. In fact, one album is completely full and I’ve started on volume two….

Over in another corner of blog land Jennifer Grace has started her annual Frosty Festivities event for 2015, and although my layout’s not at all frosty or festive, I used some inspiration from her first post in the series to create this:

Brave - the story of Richard's snorkelling adventures in Volcano National Park.

Brave – the story of Richard’s snorkelling adventures in Volcano National Park.

There are lots of ideas still to come in the Frosty Festivities series, and some fantastic give-aways, so why not play along too?


Photo of parcel contentsI had a lovely surprise in the mail last week: a parcel of scrapbooking goodies from Jennifer Grace, who recently taught me during an on-line course (Projects that Wow). When she e-mailed me to tell me I had won a spot-prize, I had no idea it would be such a generous one. Thank you Jennifer! I have spent time happily imagining what I might make with these supplies. One sheet of paper has already made its way onto a layout:

Olives r Us LayoutCan you spot it?

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).



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.



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?

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?