On a roll

September’s been a productive month for scrapbook layouts (for housework, not so much). I scoured my stash and made up a ‘kit’ of patterned papers, cardstock, letter stickers and embellishments before going to a crop* a couple of weekends ago. You’ve seen the two layouts I made there in this post. Since that event I’ve kept going with the kit here at home. I have made three more layouts (including a double-pager). There is still enough left in the kit for one or two more pages, so it’s been a good exercise.

This one was inspired by a layout in Scrapbook & Cards Today. The pocket at the top contains cards, which was all I had to remember the event (the photo is from around the same time, which had to be good enough as there weren’t any from the work project I was recording with the page).

* crop – a gathering of scrapbookers, who create pages (or cards) in the social atmosphere (this definition for my MIL, a dedicated reader of this blog!).

Starting Points and Glitter Girl

I confess – I am a groupie.

The focus of my fixation? Shimelle Lane. Yes, you have heard of her before, and recently – she is the author of the Learn Something New Every Day on-line course I’m doing that has led to this burst of bloggy creativity. As well as paid-for courses, Shimelle shares her scrapbooking knowledge on her blog, and through videos on the twopeasinabucket site where she is currently producing weekly Glitter Girl episodes.

I know that other Shimelle groupies will immediately recognise this layout as being inspired by her most recent Starting Point post – but those who haven’t already seen it can find it here.

As you can see from the amount of writing on the page, I had a wonderful wander down memory-lane remembering the reasons I enjoyed horse-riding so much, and in particular this lovely-natured horse.

Yesterday I enjoyed a few hours in the company of the Scrapmates (a bunch of on-line and now in-real-life scrapbooking friends). Here are the two layouts I completed:

Can you tell that both layouts are made from the same ‘recipe’? Yet they look different enough that I could put them in the same album (although they’ll actually end up in two – the top one in a Places album, and the bottom one in a People album).


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!

Time for a layout

Is there such a thing as tempting fate? I’m beginning to wonder, as almost as soon as I commented to a friend that I hadn’t had a cold for two years, I got one!

The first day I wasn’t in any state to do anything but treat myself with paracetamol and hot lemon-and-honey drinks. By the end of day two however, with the headache under control with the above drug, I was able to concentrate for a while and doctor myself with a bit of creativity (very good medicine!).

I viewed this video and then shamelessly copied the LO after I’d created a background using some of my own stamps. So happy to have made something new (and I especially like the little cut-out circle at the bottom)!


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!


Fun with Shimelle

He just doesn't get itI completed this layout using instructions from UK Scrappers monthly challenge “& now for something completely different” run by Shimelle Lane. Each month (on or around 10th of the month) Shimelle posts a set of supplies and photo requirements – together with a photo to show what she has chosen. Then on 20th of the month she posts a set of 20 instructions to create a page using the supplies – so easy to follow along with as closely as you want. Here is the preparation list for June, and here is the set of instructions.

I followed the instructions pretty faithfully, and I’m pleased with how my page turned out. I used up a whole lot of yellow embellishments I didn’t know I had, and told the story of two cats and their very different reaction to catnip.

If you have difficulty reading my handwritten journaling above, the text reads:

We gave Toffee and Scruff catnip balls for Christmas. Toffee tore through the wrapping and abandoned decorum, rubbing and nuzzling his ball and rolling all over the floor, completely entranced. Meanwhile, Scruff was chewing the paper, ignoring the ball completely!

Drought broken

A scrapbooking drought, that is.

It’s been a while since I made any scrapbook layouts, but two sources from the web have inspired me to get out the photos, paper and glue once again. The first is from And Now for Something Completely Different, a series being offered by Shimelle Lane at UkScrappers.co.uk. I had been aware of her Glitter Girl series (as she generously duplicates this on her own website), but only found the ANFSCD series by accident. Here is my take on her March instructions (which you can find here):

This is quite different from my usual style and it’s not something I would have tackled without the step-by-step instructions. I like it though!

The second source of inspiration for my recent scrapbooking productivity has been a class at TwoPeasinaBucket.com – Scrapbook Stamper’s Workshop with Jen Gallacher. There are five sets of 10 lessons, each set comes with a video showing the techniques, and a detailed pdf that you can print out for reference at the scrapdesk. At US$25 the class is good value. While there’s no expectation that every lesson will spark a LO, I have used the first two today, and made these:

The first one uses photos from 2009, when I took my great-niece to a store to choose beads and make a necklace for herself. Her joy in creating something that she could immediately put on and wear was infectious, as you can probably tell from my grin. The class lesson I have applied here is the use of embossed stamps on vintage book paper. I used Jen’s lesson LO as a sketch too. My friend and fellow-Scrapmate Mandy gave me some washi tape to try, and and I have used one of the samples on the layout.

The second layout uses stamps to create the fun tag in the centre of the banner. Other than transposing the journalling and title, I have pretty much followed Jen’s example. The photos are from a combined birthday celebration back in 2005 – so good to have them scrapped at last (and to re-live the fun memories of that day while I trimmed the photos and put the tag together).

One thing the class has already shown me is that I have only a limited range of stamps. I have a few journalling blanks, an alphabet or two, some flowers and butterflies, several sentiment stamps (for card-making) and a set of flourishes. Lesson 3 suggests using stamps to create embellishments – but unless I’m making a layout about the garden, my collection falls a bit short. Do you agree that I need to go shopping?!


Documenting 2012

Last time I did the Photo A Day project (in 2010) I made four pages for each month. The first page for each month was a pocket page, on which I pasted ephemera collected over the month. The pocket held most of the photos. The next  two pages were the two sides of an American Crafts divided photo protector (the kind that hold six 4×6 landscape photos on each side). The final page was a scrapbook layout using one or more photos from the month that had a common thread or allowed me to tell a particular story. I enjoyed this format.

Roll on 2011 when I’d decided not to take a Photo A Day – but I grabbed a Project Life album on special (go here to find out more about Project Life).

This is what I’m using for my 2012 project – and I’m pleased to say that it’s working out OK so far. I’ve finished January and am still snapping a photo every day (often more than one). I’m managing to fit the bits and pieces I collect (receipts, cards, flyers) into the pages as well as writing enough to help me remember the whys and wherefores for each photo. It’s fun – and very affirming to have four weeks done. I’m off to complete week 5!

Crafty Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we’ve just had. Five of my scrapbooking friends came over to visit and spend some time creating together.

We had a yummy lunch (they provided all the ingredients, I had only to provide the plates and cutlery)!

We worked in the loft of our garage (where we lived while our house was renovated), which – by dint of relocating tables from elsewhere – became a crafting heaven for six.

I’d posed a couple of Challenges – here are three of the pages produced in response to Challenge #1 (use a pocket on a layout). Aren’t we clever! Unfortunately I am not clever enough to have remembered to take a photo of the results of Challenge #2, but there were lots of other pages and projects completed over the weekend.

In the afternoon a couple of the girls who had not visited before joined a tour and tasting I ran for visiting tourists. I was so pleased when they told me how much they had enjoyed the experience, and that they’d learned a lot – so affirming to have this feedback.

We went out for dinner on Saturday night to Goodness of Food Cafe in the neighbouring town of Carterton. All the dishes are gluten-free – honestly, you’d never know – totally delicious!

It was sad to say goodbye on Sunday – I hope we can do it all again soon!