Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A day off...

So today was one of those rare days that I've done no crafting at all.... I did sort through a few things ready for LOAD to start tomorrow but I've not made anything.

So I thought I'd share a layout with you that I never got to last week, a back up if you like :)

* a layout about my baby girls birthday, hopefully showcasing the awesome heart in the background.

* see how the title is a massive part of this page for me. It keeps the eye centrally in line with the picture and tells the story at the same time.

* I loved adding the file tabs, little details make a better finish.

* the dark elements help to ground the page and stop it from moulding into one mass.

* TOP TIP OF THE DAY: love layers!

* when I first started scrapping I tried to use as little as possible, not wanting to 'waste paper' but as the years have gone on I've realised that nice layouts don't waste paper and I like layers on pages!

* today I challenge you to layer up your stash. Move things around until they work and make sure you love it when you finish.

Have fun xxx

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

hexagon crazy!!!

Good Afternoon!!!

A little later with my blog post today, but I AM HERE!

So as its tuesday i crafted with Carole.Carole chose one that I'd managed to avoid for quite a while.... since February at least... but today she decided we were gonna do it, i was scared!

I love this layout, straight from the Crate paper blog  but the thought of cutting all of those hexagons (I'm useless with a pair of scissors) and then lining them up... was very daunting.

* Heres the sheet of paper that they come from.... I cant imagine using it as a whole sheet so i guess this was the best option.

*As you can see i didnt choose which ones I would use I just cut them in rows to make the most of the paper for when i might want to use it in the future.

* TOP TIP OF THE DAY: When a patterned paper looks to scary to use, break it down into smeller sections. use the pattern to create new designs .

* this paper would also have looked nice as border strips.

* I chose a separate sheet for the border edge of the page, it also came from the Crate paper collection so i knew the colours would match.

* the white seemed a bit harsh for my page so I chose to change that for a kraft piece, kraft seems to go with EVERYTHING!

* I waited until all of this was done before i chose a photograph that would suit the page. Not my usual way of working but this page was different.

* I used a larger photo so i knew that I wouldn't have a frame to match. instead I used the space to my advantage and filled it with the minimal journalling that i needed.

* I used die cuts to fill the frame, these layered together made up my title.

* If you do a page like this, please remember to line up your hexagons all the way down the side.
It allows your hexagons to be straight and pattern to look as if you have filled the spaces behind the photograph. which obviously you don't.

* I added a similar section to theirs but using another hexagon and layered labels.

* I also used my sewing machine to stitch a few of the hexagons in place, it adds texture and looks pretty :)

* this is my finished page. Very similar to the original and i didn't explode whilst making it!

* I actually like how it turned out which is a lesson to me, and should be heard by you, try something new before dismissing it, you may surprise yourself xxxxxxx

Monday, 28 April 2014

Under pressure!

Good morning scrap buddies!

I had a bit of an odd afternoon yesterday resulting in my completion of a page during a lot of distractions... still I gave it my best shot.

My third from the Creative scrappers birthday sketches and this one went live via Kathy's blog.
I thought about the previous one, in order before this but it was too much for my head to cope with on a sunday, with everyone at home!! so i chose this much simpler one.

It seemed to get off to a good start... the photo choice was relatively simple, i chose to scrap a photo of Daniel, my eldest.. as it has been a while since i did, and this is a bit of an awkward photo but one that i like for its artiness!

*the title came quite quickly once i examined the picture closely.

TOP TIP OF THE DAY: if your mind goes blank when it comes to titles, Google is your friend. Type in the theme of your page followed by title, are usually a good one for finding suitable titles!

* I stuck pretty strictly to the sketch for the cluster part, using scalloped circle and stars as my main feature. I cheated and used pre cuts from October afternoon. they came in packs called flower bags and are AWESOME!

* the beach hut paper is one of my favourites, this last piece was cut to this shape in my scrap bag so i just used it as it was. As I've said before, the embellishments / papers don't have to directly run with the theme of your photo as long as it works for you. We weren't at the beach, or anywhere near... but it was summer so this was close enough for me :)

* As in Kathy's sample layout I chose to use the other block for a frame. I added my journalling rather than an extra photo as I didn't have anymore to go with this particular story.

* This was the last piece I needed to complete my page. I'd already added journalling so there was no need for a tag so these layered labels did the job for me.

*this is the end product, note that i added washi instead of paper strips. Plus i didn't do anything straight. this was a choice I made when the pre cut beach hut paper was slightly slanted!

*so it does resemble the proper sketch, JUST!

*this page was created in mayhem.... there was a lost homing pigeon in and out of our house, literally hopping through the door and making itself comfy on my furniture! we had to keep him overnight!... I was discussing business plans with a friend of mind which involved a lot of deep thinking and I had 2 out of 4 children playing and wanting me to play pretend!

Just a normal, crazy sunday afternoon in this house then :) see you soon xxxxx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Love a bit of LOAD


So I said I'd be back with some fab news so here I am!

On the 1st May LOAD starts again. LOAD stands for layout a day and everyday in May (when you sign up) you get sent an email with a prompt to kick start your motivation for that day.

* Click on the image to take you to Lain's site where you can sign up for this month long roller coaster of emotions and craftiness!

*please join me on my 9th LOAD adventure, if it wasn't so good I wouldn't keep coming back. I'll be posting my everyday layouts as well as sharing them in the exclusive LOAD gallery but I'd love to see your take on them. Everyone is different!

*join the LOAD community and make some friends. I've made a lot of cyber buddies through LOAD and through our layouts over the years we've gotten to know each other very well. You could be part of that, just go take a peek!

only 4 sleeps to go until this kicks off, I'm excited already,last LOAD I completed 52 pages in the month of February! imagine your potential :). Hope to see you there xxxxx

down at the second hurdle!

Good morning!

Firstly thank you to 'Momma Said' for her kind words yesterday and also to Jenny as they have both become followers of mine and I really do appreciate that, its kinda nice knowing that I'm not talking to myself lol :)

Sooo, you may remember from yesterday that I was going to work my way through the Creative scrappers birthday sketches, well ..... I did try..... it was getting on last night when I fancied making some mess so I came to my craft space and settled down to create the second sketch.

This is the second sketch that you will come across in the blog hop, I love it, I even love Ashleys layout from it but I couldn't get into it. Look at what happened when I attempted to try:

I messed up and cut my triangle in the wrong place.... I wanted his face and the hoop to be in the frame but it just didn't work as Id planned. I didn't give up straight away but I used this as a template to fit over other photographs that I would like to use and it didnt really fit well. 
So instead of spending all night trying to find something that did, I made an executive decision to move on, hopefully I will return and defeat this sketch, but just not right now.

This took me to the third sketch:

Much easier for my little brain to cope with when its tired!
This one was released by Danielle who did an amazing job with it... her pics are just stunning too, hop over and take a look.

I knew I wanted to scrap a photo of Michael after my last disaster, so when I found this very old set of him I was very happy.

* I've always loved these pictures but they've never been right before now. They make me feel grungy and give me a roughed up messy kind of feeling so I went into this layout knowing that it wasn't going to be a 'pretty' page.

* I scratched a border, which spanned all three of the photos. This was to make them feel more together, without having them touching, they definitely needed to have that little gap between them. 

* I knew the alphabet for this page would be a problem, so even as I was sticking the photos down I knew what i wanted to do with the title work.
The letters that i drew around for the outline were pink and sparkly.... made me feel better when I was writing 'gorgeous' and he will never know!

* Naked Thickers were perfect for finishing the title off, I did have to alter a few of the letters to make up for ones that I'd ran out of but i don't think it shows does it????

* TOP TIP OF THE DAY: Don't panic when your letters are disappearing and leaving the sheet bare. You can make most letters out of other letters.
I usually end up with 3's for E's or I change K's into Y's.... here I changed an N into an R and the E came from the bottom of a K... just take a few minutes to study what you have before writing it off.
You're a crafter, anything is possible!!

* I dont use brads often, but sometimes thats all you need. Then instead of the other strips of paper I drew in white lines just as an eye catching filler. 

* This grouping of brads sits on the washi tape border that acts as a roof for the photos. I didn't want the washi to be too perfect so I pushed in a few sections and ripped at others, hoping to keep the grungy feeling going. 

* I pencilled in some lines to write my journalling on... I always do this as if I don't I end up with slanted words, NOT ATTRACTIVE!
I wanted it to fit in as well as possible around the title so I carried on the sentences either sides of the drops from the letters. Luckily the gaps there aren't huge so its still legible. 

* the finished layout. I did my journalling a little different and spoke from my point of view now in relation to the pictures that were taken years ago. so I chose to add this years date and also a date for when the photos were taken. 

*the washi repeats top and bottom to keep the 'inners' together, as do the brads and the hand drawn lines. repetition is good and so are triangles around the photo. they make you look at whats in the middle. In our case the photos, which are most important on our layouts. 

Thanks for coming back to visit. Ill be doing an extra little post this afternoon about something exciting thats coming up... an adventure that if you don't know about already you may want to join me on! see you soon xxxx

Saturday, 26 April 2014

blog hopper!

Good morning!!!

Have you ever done a blog hop??!!? No??? Me either, and to be brutally honest, I wasn't even sure what one was until yesterday.... thats quite bad to admit in this day and age right?!?!?!?    

Well as you know I love sketches and I've been a follower and fan of creative scrappers blog for many years and it just happened to be their 6th birthday yesterday and wow did they celebrate in style... they released 12 new sketches AT ONCE and did this by creating a blog hop... Im pleased to say that I am no longer a blog hopping virgin!! this makes me so happy.

The first blog it took me too belongs to Amanda and she revealed the first new sketch it looked like this:

I had half an hour between starting this and meeting a friend so I crafted as hard as i could, I didn't quite finish it in time so had to do a little more when I got home but heres how that ended up:

* The Green background paper choice was completely by random.... I closed my eyes and flicked through my paper box then just took one out! scary but true :)

* At first i thought I would cover this hole made when my sewing machine began to not play nice... but as I was putting more things onto the page i realised that it didn't need covering, it needed altering.
I took my black pen and added some zig zag lines to make it look like I did this on purpose!! I love it!

TOP TIP OF THE DAY: happy accidents are REAL! make the most of a bad situation, don't give up when you think its gone wrong. Make it into something else, or add something to make it better!
You may find you love it more than the original plan :)

* my favourite section of the page. I inked a plain wooden butterfly to match the fake tattoo on her arm, added big blobs of pewter glimmer glaze and a title to the side. Im in love with it, I know i shouldn't admit that bout my own work but for once I do!!!

* I gave the same black ink treatment to some basic wooden arrows and surrounded those with glimmer glaze also. they all point towards my favourite part and lead you're eye through the photo.

* so this is it completed.. quite like the original sketch for me, the only thing I moved really was the title.and I left out the chevrons, I love how it looks and I'm so happy that I finally scrapped this photo that I love so much.

see you all again tomorrow, where i might do the second sketch from blog hop.... or will I?!?!?.
have a fab Saturday xxxx

Friday, 25 April 2014

Angel without wings

Good morning!!

I'm back again with a step by step guide to building a layout from scratch. This time I used the decide now app to determine the way I put my page together. I have these points on my wheel of fortune:


I chose the sketch by Elle's studio blog that Wednesdays page came from, I wanted to show you how differently they would turn out.


*when starting without a photo in mind you'd think choosing papers to start with would be easy?
I asked my mum to choose the first paper as after all, mums know best!?!?!?

* I started with the angel paper, and chose to use the angel part as the top section of the sketch as it had a nice focal point and a title starter.

* I chose a red/pink stripe to go with as it pulled in both colours from the blue title piece.


I looked straight in my square photo box and it wasn't a hard choice once here. I knew it had to be girly and the one of Lola in mid air on the trampoline just clicked for me.


*the journaling card, again from the pack that I was sent by Claire, thankyou xxx

* I loved how the words went perfectly with the sub title on my paper and with the photo.

* washi tape, because I LOVE it. And every page should have a little :)

* I also included a month sticker and a little chipboard heart to make a cluster away from the main bulk of the page

* I chose a chalkboard label sticker instead of a circle, in black because it needed something to ground the photo.

* TOP TIP OF THE DAY: always add the date! Or at least the month or year.

*This is most important to me and a reason why I scrapbook. To keep record of when, why and how so don't forget to add it somewhere.

*more washi and an extra sentiment.
The vellum works as it's not too overpowering but is definitely there.

The embellishments tie everything together and play their part by leading your eye around the page.


* usually boring and factual in my case but necessary.

* hidden journaling works well for those of us that aren't keen on our handwriting, or for those times when you might not want EVERYONE to read your feelings.

*washi tape is a hero! Here I've used it to make a hinge for my journaling card as well as a decorative feature

* well with all the words that happen to be on the papers already I felt no need to add an extra title. For me the card says it all.


As you can see I added a final splash of ink to the page, without it looked a bit naked, so that just fills a void without making too much of a statement.

* notice how I've splashed in a diagonal line from top to bottom. This brings your focus right through the centre of the photo.

Thanks for joining me once again.... see you again soon xxxxx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Spot the difference?!?

Good afternoon!

Welcome back, I hope you've been able to have some scrappy fun since the last time you were here, I certainly have!

Today I caught up with my crafty partner in crime Carole, we meet up weekly, when we can, via skype for a scrapping DAY.

When we meet we choose a lift or a sketch between us and we both work on it at the same time. It's a great way to get pages done and having a friend to help, and to talk to about it is always a bonus, we certainly love it!

Anyway what I wanted to share with you today is a little note about how nothing in scrapbooking is wrong as everyone sees things in their own way, art is about interpretation and that certainly works for our art too.

If you click HERE this will take you to the blog of the Virginia,who got us started today. This is her layout which caught our eye in the Pinterest gallery, you can find my Pinterest selections HERE.

* Pinterest is a fabulous place for inspiration of any kind. If you haven't got it already please take a look but be warned it's addictive

We loved this page because of the love it shows, the hearts are awesome and she used colours and stacked embellishments that attracted me.

Here's Carole's page:

*notice how Carole's differs from the original slightly. This is OK!

*everyones style is different. Carole hates the colour yellow with a passion so was never going to use that on her page but she has made the page her own, by adding her own colours and embellishments.

*when following a sketch or a scrap lift you should remember that you are not this person, you may not have all the tools or products that the other person has, so allow your page to be different.

*Carole knew that she was not going to fit her embellishment block on the left where the other lady has it, so instead she shifted it over and it looks perfect!

*I love Carole's choice of photo, and I am particularly drawn to the splash of green that Carole has added, it really lifts the whole page.

*HERE is Carole's blog, please pay her a visit and let her know who sent you :)

Now for mine:

*notice how crazily different it is, to the scrap lift and to Carole's. This is fine and I am happy. To me scrap lift and sketches are just a point of inspiration.

* It ended up like this due to the fact that I originally made 3 hearts the same size, then I noticed that hers were not and that threw me.
I cut one smaller to fit inside of the others and still wasn't happy so I took the whole thing apart and started again.

* TOP TIP FOR TODAY: use your scraps!
The orange heart outline was the waste that I trimmed off to make one of my hearts smaller, it's not perfect in the slightest but it works and it will have otherwise gone in the bin!

* you are allowed to add your own touches. The 4 hearts weren't enough for me along the border so I added circles and stars until I was happy.

* the last thing i would encourage you to do today is this: when it feels like a layout isn't coming together, persevere!
It can be the tiniest thing that pulls a page from not keen to amazing. Add your title, some embellishments and see what happens to your page.



Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pirate ahoy!!!

Good morning!!

So Im back again with todays layout and its much more my style, I found it a lot easier to do than the bits and pieces page from yesterday. 
Ive also taken step by step process photos to show you just how it went together, hopefully this well help someone along the way

Before i begin let me tell you a bit about how I scrap, I don't do it in chronological order, I actually don't do it in any order... if I have photos that I LOVE then those tend to get scrapped first, if not they are all put into my photo file box. 
I arrange them into sub sections which look like this:
one each for my 4 children, then i have one for all of them or more than one of them in the photo, then i have a section for pictures of myself or Paul, my husband. I also have a section for our spanish holiday (which was 9 years ago!) and a section for our wedding photos. the last ones are used for the photos that i print into square format and a section for randoms... this is what i call it anyways but it includes pictures of people who are friends or not immediate family, it includes pictures of our pets and any other random photo that doesn't fit anywhere else in my box! 
This allows me to get hold of photos that I know I have, and that I want really fast, it works you should try it if you struggle.

When deciding on what photo to scrap I use a great decision making app.... I'm horrendous and making choices, seriously!, so this app called decide now (free in the app store) is perfect, I input all of the sections I have in my photo box and let it choose which one I will delve into for that page.
Im telling you all of this because today.... I cheated!!!!!!
Today it told me to use a photo of Michael, my 12 year old son.. so I did, I chose one and I started to scrap with it, then I decided that the page, and the way i wanted it to go was way too feminine for a boy photo so i changed it up and used a picture of Elsie! 
I say cheated but this is allowed, we are allowed to change our minds, thankfully else I would be in trouble!
I have learnt over all my years that you have to change your mind, you HAVE to make a choice, whether to stick with something because you've already made that decision... or to change it even if it means pulling everything else up, because it just doesn't feel right. 
Ive made far too many pages that Im not happy with, hundreds probably so i made a pact with myself to NOT do this anymore, and i don't!!!

omg that was long and boring right?!?!? sorry but I've said it now!

on with the good stuff, this is the inspiration that i used to create todays layout:

I found this via pinterest but you can go straight to the web link here, i just loved all of the little elements, the slanted patterned papers and the square photo. Heres what I did with it:

So... this is the first stage of my layout building... as you can see I chose a simple grid paper as my starting point, followed by a red/pink wood grain paper, it was at this point that I decided that the photo of Michael setting off for camp just wouldn't work, but instead of changing the paper I was using , I opted to change the picture as I really did fall in love with that woodgrain!!!
I found a strip of the kraft patterned paper to go under the red and stuck those down.
I do tend to just go with my gut instinct and stick things as i go along, sometimes this works for me and sometimes it doesn't but its how I do things, if you are unsure about things then id say wait until you have a few more bits together to see if you are happy with it then do a mass stick... I find the only problem i have with that is that you have to move things to then stick them down which isn't so great if you've got it just perfect! there are good and bad points as with everything, so this is just personal preference!

This was my next choice.... a paper that i don't normally look twice at, yet alone for a girl page... but today it spoke to me. I wanted the page to have a grungy kind of girly feel, she is a pirate after all!! so for me the kraft worked and the bright colours gave me more to work with as I went along.... you may be thinking im mad, why would I ever choose this to match with that gorgeous woodgrain but I'll show you...

Once you trim that patterned paper down and use it only as a border it takes away the overpowering boldness and allows you to just focus on the photo but with a lifting element. i think it draws the eye straight towards the photo, which is where the eye should be looking. hopefully you'll agree.

Ill let you into a little secret of mine... this is how I secure most of my page elements, just a single strip of double sided tape diagonally across the piece I want to fix. This is so that i can tuck in pieces behind this element once I've stuck it down, many a time I've had to rip up bits to add more in, so this makes sense to me... and if it feels a bit floaty once the page is done you can always add more to stick the edges down. 

So by this stage I've glues my photo down and added some extra pieces. This is where I start to go slightly off track and more my own way, when this happens I tend to turn off the pinterest and go it alone... obviously I don't forget everything and so some elements remain the same but its much more relaxing to just do what feels right to me than to try and copy someone else's design 100%.
I was looking through my project life card box to find something to sit by the side of the picture (as in the original) I was originally searching for a 4x6 and instead this beauty was lying on the top. 
A lovely cyber friend sent me a package which included this only last week... I love it!
It doesn't match the red in the photo exactly, neither does the woodgrain that i love so much... but to me it doesn't matter, and as long as you, the person making it, feels happy about it thats all that counts!
it did however need something behind it so I did manage to find a 4x6, the kraft lined card, which fitted in perfectly with the colour theme for this. 
Then I started thinking about where I would put my title, as in Jenny's its on the bottom of the journalling card... I knew i didn't want to do that as words on top of words don't generally stand out too well.
I chose to move my title and tried it in a few places before settling for here, it could have gone underneath the cards, along the bottom of the photo, or even at the side of the journalling cards or the photo but I decided to go with my old favourite, the top!
I chose 2 alphabets for this, and the reason behind this is simple, i wanted the grandad and pirate to be more masculine as those words are to me and i wanted the gorgeous to be feminine, the colour that screams girls to me is pink... I know its not the only girly colour but my girls are so pink it just had to be! 
It works because the red woodgrain has pink undertones, making the pink lettering fit in just right. 

The next bit i addressed was the semi circle that i saw on top of the photo... I chose a pre cut floral patterned circle from my embellishment bag and went with it, it was perfect as it had the cream to blend in with the grid paper and red to tie it in with everything else. I cut the bottom half off to use another time, it has a button image on it which just didn't work for me on this page but i didn't want to waste it altogether so thats gone back into its pocket for another project.
I knew my journalling would not fint on this tiny space so I chose to fill it with the date, which i stamped on in a brown ink. I slid it slightly underneath the photo mat so that it flows nicely. 

To finish up I added some journalling onto the 4x6 card. as Id only stuck along the bottom of the 3x4 card i was able to slightly fold it back to add what i wanted to say. this wasn't my original plan, I was going to add the journalling along the bottom of the photo, straight onto the grid paper, but in my experience, with my handwriting I chose to hide it instead. 

I added a couple of wooden, sea related embellishments and the gold metal tab onto the journalling card to weigh it down, to balance the gold out i added a gold phrase sticker on top of the sewn banner that i had already added to the left of my picture. I also used some gold star rub ons on top of the journalling card and machine sewed through it as i really loved that piece on Jenny's page!
Then to make the circle balance I added a much smaller semi circle rub on underneath the journalling.and this completes my page for today, heres the finished layout:

I hope you like it?!?!?! let me know what you think?? and please share if you create something today, Id love to see it xxx