Monday, 31 May 2010

Focus On Multi Photo Layouts - Part 3: Photo Clusters

Welcome to part three of our focus on Multi Photo layouts. This time we are looking at the photo cluster, I guess you would say it was the middle ground in Multi Photo Layouts, not clear and reginmented like the grid system but not extreme hack your photos and layer them within an inch of their life style like a full on collage!

Again the beauty of this, like any other multi photo layout, is the ability to tell more of a story than in a single photo layout. Photo cluster layouts can work with any number of photos from 3 upwards. All of the examples below use 3 or 4 photos but I vividly remember a layout Debbie has using lots of photos in a cluster - hopefully I will get her to post it.

The key to successfully clustering photos is to think about the relationship between the images both in terms of the subject and the physical characteristics of the image. Then play about with your composition - STEP AWAY FROM THE ADHESIVE! It is much better to take your time and try out different arrangements until your are happy with your cluster.

Ususally you will want your main photo to be most prominant - you can achieve this in several ways:
  • Place it on the top layer so it is not obscured at all by any other photo
  • If matting your photos mat the main photo in a different way \ colour (see the Blue Twits layout above where the photo of Izzy is mounted on the pale blue coloured cardstock where all the others have a white border)
  • Draw attention to part of the main photo with a frame or embellishment (see below in the "Daffo Deels" layout where I added a chipboard frame to highlight part of the picture.)
  • Size matters - you can make one of your photos stand out by making it larger than the others in the group. (see Daffo Deels and 1st Hair Cut)
In the two layouts below; 1st Hair Cut and Fibbonacci Sequins, I wanted to use 3 photos but felt that the cluster became to angular for the feel I wanted. To break up the straight lines and corners I made one of the photos in each layout a circular one. This softened the edges and served as a great way to draw the eye to a details. Because I only had two pictures from the first hair cut I used a second copy of one of them and punched the circle with her face in and added the bling circle to it to make an accent.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

It's Sale Time!

Be sure to come over and check out our ATDML sale! We have discounts of 15 - 20% off most regular stock in store plus additional items added to the clearance section with up to 75% off. It's a great time to come and get yourself a little stash fix for less than it would usually cost you!

Also we have revamped the Deal of the Day section. items posted there will now only be staying for a 24 hour period so be sure to check back often or you may just miss a BARGAIN!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Reminder: May Ribbon Challenge

Don't forget as you are crafting this Bank Holiday Weekend that we have our ribbon challenge running for the month of May, still a couple of days to create a little something and share with us for a chance to win a £25.00 ATDML Store voucher.

The original blog post about the challenge, with all the details on how to enter is here.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Photo opportunity in London this half term

Happy end of the term for those of your linked in some way to the Education system!
Most of us scrapbooking parents will be trying to think of what to do with the children in the coming week that is inexpensive, fun and of course photographable (is that even a word?!) Even if you are not a parent but fancy a day out in the city there is a fantastic free event currently occuring called Elephant Parade. Elephant Parade is a conservation campaign that shines a multi-coloured spotlight on the urgent crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant. The event sees over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants located over central London this summer.

There is a website, with a downloadable map telling you where these beautiful works of art are located, many of which are close to the city's picturesque parks.

Last weekend Debbie and I spent the day in London with our children. We found over 30 elephants in Green & Hyde park, enjoyed a picnic in the sunshine and of course captured a photo or two.

So far I have taken over 200 photographs of the 145 I have found (so many more to find though!) It is so much fun and, dare I say it, a perfect excuse to scrap a multi-photo layout using the tips we have been sharing these past few days on the blog. I have only created one page so far of my elephant photographs, but I used the grid method to do so.

Also I found purchased this fab chipboard keychain coaster elephant book by Maya Road from the shop, have painted them white and each of my children is going to decorate one which I will include in a mini-book or layout of their elephant parade adventures!

Running from May to July 2010, Elephant Parade is London’s biggest outdoor art event on record - go check it out!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

It's All About The Patchwork!

I will admit that at the moment I have a little obsession. Patchwork! Not real sewn patchwork, just patchwork effect. I was reading on UKS about someone looking for Cath Kidston style papers to make a room accesory and the conversation turned to a patchwork bedding set from Tesco which is in the Cath Kidston style. I bought that bedding set for Isabelles room but I bought it 3 times! once to use as a devet set and twice so I had spare material in this beautiful patchwork design to make a canvas, some bunting and some cushion covers (well ok I am going to enlist help with that as I can't actually sew!)

How does this relate to paper craft? Well the canvas will be a fabric and paper combination of course but aside from this project I am also making lots of paper patchwork items. A while back I posted this photo of the card I made for my new neice,

and last weekend was one of Izzys school friends' birthdays so I made this... another patchwork card!

What I love is that they are so simple to make (cut squares and rectangles of paper out, ink the edges, join them together with no gaps to cover the space you are filling, add faux stitching and a few embellishments - dead easy and a great way to use up scraps :)

Of course you don't have to make the patchwork just be the background, I made a brighter card using BG Lime Rickey scraps where I cut out the numeral 5 and patchworked that, then mounted that onto a dark blue background, unfortunately I gave it to the recipient without photographing but it was a completely different effect and much more gender neutral than the card above.

Next on my to do list is a patchwork layout - It is under construction and I will post it when it is done.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mulitple Photo Layouts - Part 2

Continuing on from the blog post yesterday I find that when creating multiple photo layouts (and I do create quite a few!) I tend to follow a grid pattern. This is a neat way of sharing several photographs on the same page without getting overwhelmed with where to place everything to ensure your page looks balanced. The photographs tend to be the same size when using this method, but that doesn't need to be the case. The sketch below is based on my layout for the ATDML April gallery but as you can see from the second sketch this can be quickly altered to accomodate varied size photographs, which allow to to scrap plenty of photographs but showcase a favourite all on the same page.

When using the grid basis for your multi-photo layout, the grid does not need to take up the entire page. My layout below, Nine from '09, features multiple photographs which only occupy the top third of the page, leaving the remainder of the space free for some serious journalling, or in my case, to leave the scrummy flocked Chatterbox paper showing!!

Photo editing software is a good way of "cheating" the grid method too, especially if you are anxious that your photos/square won't quite be the same size. Picasa (available as a free download from Google) has a functionality that allows you to produce a grid collage of a selection of your photographs very, very easily. I used this in my layout below where what appears to be a 4x5 grid of photographs is actually an A4 page printed in one go having created the collage in Picasa first - instant same sized images! The layout then falls together very quickly adding a title, journalling and a few embellishments.

I'll leave you with a couple more grid-inspired layouts and we'll be back with more multi-photo inspiration soon!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Focus On Multi Photo Layouts - Part 1: Photo Collage

When we run our retreats classes that are multi photo layouts are always popular. It seems that many of us have sets of photos which we want to scrap but where either there is no single standout photo that can carry a whole layout, or there are many photos we want to include. So I thought here on the blog we would do a little series of pieces on Multi Photo Layouts. Hopefully the DT might chip in with a few of theirs and some tips as well (I just thought of that bit as I typed so I need to ask them about that!)

First up is the Photo Collage. I find this is a good way to use potentially a large number of photos where none of them is great but as a collection they capture an event of idea. It could be a holiday, a person, a feeling - it is very versatile.

This isn't a new layout but it is one I wanted to share on here. I taught this at a retreat in 2009 and I was inspired to do it when I was sorting through an old box of stuff I had saved from my teenage years.

My friends and I used to enjoy making a photo collage using pictures of each other and places we had been. A couple of months before I started making this Elizabeth, my cousin and, at the time, our lodger asked me to help her make a photo collage of her holiday the previous summer. We spread out loads of photos on the floor and played about chopping them up, cutting people out of them and creating a collage. It was about then that I remembered how much fun it was and decided to do a layout using the same technique.

The photos in my layout are a mixture of pictures of our old house and our new house and I also cut out photos of Darren and the girls (I am on there but only a tiny pic of me in front of our old front door!)

When using this technique I find that cutting out some people or images allows you to cover the straight edge joins between some of the photos giving a more fluid effect with photos linking into each other rather than having abrupt lines where they meet. For this layout I changed them all to black and white as I wanted it to be quite a cohesive background although sometimes a riot of colour is fun!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Apologies & Results...

Due to a technical problem (issue with keeping a stable internet connection for more than a few seconds) we didn't manage to post here over the weekend. We can see that there were lots of you all wanting some of the BG freebies, because of the internet problem we didn't use the much loved Random dot org, instead we went for the old fashionned bingo set method!

Winners Are As Follows:
FRIDAY COMMENTS: Comment Number 20 - Hannah at 21:09
SATURDAY COMMENTS: Comment Number 11 - Sue at 13:15
SUNDAY COMMENTS: Comment Number 4 - Lorna at 11:06am

Ladies whose names were picked please email me ( ) and we will get your goodies out to you!

Hopefully back with something pretty to look at later tonight or tomorrow!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Do You Want Some Freebie BG?

We have some BG Basics Goodies sitting here just waiting for a loving home so we thought we would send a little selection of Basic Goodies to three of our lovely blog readers!

We will giveaway one prize to a comment from each of the three days of the weekend so be sure to come back every day and add another comment to be in with a chance every day.

Ends Sunday 23rd May at 7pm!

Good Luck!

Imaginary Friends Door Hanger

Do you ever look at scrapbooking paper sometimes and think that is just too nice to use? That is what I thought when I saw the Imaginary Friends papers by My Little Shoebox. With the funky aliens these papers are such fun and perfect for little boys, far too nice not to have out on display hence my door hanger for son #1.

Robert asked if I would make him something for his room some time ago, and these papers were the answer. Combined with the MLS alphabet stickers and some chipboard banners from Maya Road this project came together really quickly and even used some of the skinny ribbon the ATDML girls put in our pizza boxes!

A list of items from the ATDML store used to create this doorhanger is shown here:
Imaginary Friends Paper
MLS Stickers
Maya Road chipboard

Do share with us your Imaginary Friends creations, we love to see what our customers create!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Ingredients Challenge Winner

And the winner of our Ingredients challenge is Fabiana Dixon with this layout "Gorgeous"

Congratulations Fabiana, we will get your shopping voucher emailed over to you ready to spend at your leisure :)

Thanks again to all the ladies who took part!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sketch Inspiration Number 9

The second of our sketch inspirations for May. This layout was a lot of fun to make and I found it easiest to consider each square as an individual mini layout and then consider its place in the wider context of the whole layout.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Back To Basics

We have just uploaded our selection from the Basic Grey Basics range. I have a feeling this is going to become a staple part of every scrappers stash box. It is neutral and will work wonderfully with a whole range of patterned papers, from grungy to vintage to bright and funky and much more!

I know i am looking forward to working with this range.

Click HERE to see new products on our site including the Basic Grey Basics range.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sketch Inspiration Number 8

Back with another sketch for you to play with. As always upload your creations and post them to an online gallery or your blog then add a comment to the post with a link to your sketch - we will pick our favourite and send a £10 ATDML shopping voucher

I have had quite a crafty weekend. I spent Saturday at a craft day \ crop run by a lady who comes to our retreats. It is always so lovely to go to a craft event as a scrapper rather than the organiser, I am not the most prolific of scrappers especially when I am away from my own crafting space but it is just wonderful to be able to just sit and craft. i did take a few shop bits and pieces for the ladies but it was just a small selection and didn't require me to "man the shop"

I got two layouts done - both are for next months DT Gallery and use Bella Blvd products. I also made a card with a kit provided by Tina in our goodie bag of card making bit and I also made a card to enter in a vintage challenge.

We were all given a sheet of printed vintage images and the challenge was to use one or more in a project. I made this card and I won the challenge as judged by the independant judge who they have to judge their challenges!! :)
Apologies for the photo taken in less than perfect light! The papers used are Prima Strawberry Kisses (Background and flower) and Flights of Fancy (Die cut butterfly) 7 Gypsies Avignon (behind the ballerina) and a bit of torn up corrugated card. The sentiment was stamped and everything inked liberally with brown chalk ink. I finished off the butterfly and the flower with a little bit of Prima say it in crystals bling!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Little Sweetheart - A Class By Dawn Evans

This is the final one of the thre three classes Dawn has put together for us this month using the My Minds Eye Ooh La La paper kit.

Click HERE to download the free PDF instructions for this class.

Friday, 14 May 2010

What's in your scrapbooking storecupboard?

With school report work piling up I haven’t done a lot of scrapbooking lately (other than my DT work) so I don’t have anything crafty to blog about. I also haven’t done a lot of cooking…
So there we were out for dinner tonight (Me & Mr H the scrapbook widower) and conversation turned to what I would be blogging about. We had been talking about our grandmas and how they always kept a well stocked store cupboard ready for baking, containing flour, sugar, currants, pie fillings etc. This is not something I do since Tesco is literally round the corner from my house. Just think if I had Mel & Jill’s shop just round the corner – then I wouldn’t need to keep my well stocked scrapbooking store cupboard!! So Mr H proceeded to tell me what he thought the contents of a well stocked scrapbook cupboard should be – here is his top ten…
1. Lots of Basic Grey (the only paper he knows the name of)
2. Those sticky letters (he means Thickers)
3. Glossy accents
4. Tim Holtz distress ink pads
5. Coloured buttons
6. Black fine liner pen for fake stitching and journaling
7. Thick heavy duty card (he means chipboard)
8. Jars of flowers (he means Primas)
9. Bits of ribbon from Mel
10. No more nails - well you have to have glue(my guilty secret is out!?)
Not a bad selection given that he’s not a scrapbooker…or is he? He does come to ATDML retreats whenever he can and he quite often has pizza boxes delivered…
So what would be your scrapbooking store cupboard top ten?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Happy Days By Dawn Evans

Another class from Dawns series of the 3 from the Ooh La La For Her collection. As promised this one has a colour palette suited to both boys and girls.

Click HERE to download the free PDF instructions

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

May Ingredients Challenge

This months ingredients challenge is here again. First of all let's meet the three ladies taking part:

Jackie Ashton:

Hi, I'm Jackie, married with one son, (12) and living in Birmingham. I have always been interested in crafting of some sort, but found over the past few years that I LOVE scrapbooking. I love to add details to my layouts buttons, hand stitching and distressing and inking. I have made loads of lovely friends and love going to crops and retreats to not only gain the extra insight into new techniques but to spend quality time with like minded people. My new technique I want to learn is to crochet and knit. The kit was lovely to work with but the papers were not normally the colours I would use so it was a challenge, but a worthwhile one.

Tina Thomas:

I'm Tina (aka tinasue) I've been scrapbooking since 2005, I started just to do a Prom book for my eldest Daughter and I still havn't done one! I love that scrapbooking has enabled me to combine my favourite two hobbies, photography and playing with pretty paper. The papers included in this challenge were great to work with and the weight was just brilliant for cutting on my Cricut.

Fabiana Dixon:

I am Fabiana (Fab to my friends). I have been scrapbooking for about 3 years, having started as a card-maker. I share my life with my two teen boys, who indulge my endless scrapping. I work full time in a Project/Finance role, and love crafting to both relax and challenge my creativity. I love experimenting, and like nothing better than playing with a new paper range, some sparkle, and a little ink of course! I really love the journey from the raw products to a completed project, and beyond, to the faces of the people its intended for!! I think thats my favourite moment! I recently got my own scrap room, and thats just glorious, a real creative capsule for me. Everything is now readily to hand and thats already freeing my flow of work so that I am just creating rather than wondering where to find things!

And here are their layouts:

Vote for your favourite in the poll on the right hand side of the page.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Good Friends - A Class By Dawn Evans

The first class of the month comes from Dawn Evans and is in three parts. She has used the Ohh La La For Her Paper Kit by My Minds Eye and created three layouts from it with a few additional supplies.

Each layout will be uploaded as a separate class each with a free PDF to download. Although the paper kit is quite girly one of Dawns layouts focuses on the less feminine pieces from the kit and features her son so do check back even if feminine pages are not your thing!

First up is "Good Friends" - Enjoy! Click HERE to download the free PDF Instructions.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Customer Project Feature - Afshan Sameen

We thought we would take some time to showcase some more work by our blog readers and shop customers.
With the arrival of our 7 Gypsies order we also got restocks of the popular Printers Trays. This project was sent in by Afshan Sameen who thoroughly enjoyed working with the tray to create a beautiful project for her home.
Thanks to Afshan for allowing us to share her work here on the blog. If you have a project or projects you would like to share with other blog readers do drop me an email ( ) with the words Reader Showcase in the subject line.
We love to see what you do with the products and are interested in seeing layouts, mini books, cards and other projects.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Westminster Cropping

Click on the screenshot to read the text...

The journalists may all have jumped to the conclusion that Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron are eating pizza over deep and meaningful political discussion but I think we ALL know the truth. They are having a parliamentary crop in there! Probably presenting their non negotiable policies in mini book format :)

DT Gallery For May

just a few sneak peeks of the DT Gallery for this month which can be found HERE on our site...
The team used a variety of new Fancy Pants ranges and were joined by Helen Salthouse and Elaine Loughlin this month as guest scrappers.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Sketch Winner For April

The sketch Winner for April is Jane Notley whose layout "Bethan" rotated the sketch. We loved the colour scheme on this layout and it also features my all time favourite thickers - the metallic copper letters in the "honey" font!

Jane, your £10 shopping voucher will be emailed to you shortly.

Thanks for playing along. Look out for another sketch in the next couple of days.

Friday, 7 May 2010

New 7 Gypsies Is Here

Just a quick post as we are all a little tired after watching election coverage!

There are some lovely new products in the classic 7 Gypsies style, the letterblock trays are particularly lush and, like the printers trays I expect they will be very popular.

Take a look at the new products section to see what there is to tempt you.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

We said be patient....

Way back in January we asked for some Audience Participation regarding which new lines to stock. NEARLY all the Winter CHA orders have come through (except a couple of things where there were delays) and so we have a box of goodies going out to...


She added the following comment to that blog post:

Carole said...
I would love to see a combination of Websters Pages, Graphic 45 and 4 heures 37 from France.

The ranges of papers from these 3 different companies, really work well together.

Sadly though, not a lot of UK businesses have opted to supply any of these ranges, despite the fact that they are of a fantastic quality ?

I see scrappers and cardmakers asking for suppliers of these ranges on all the forums that I belong to.

Thanks for reading my comment.

6 January 2010 11:46

Carole, unfortunately your blogger profile is not leading us to a blog with contact details so please get in touch via email to claim your prize and give us the address to send the goodies to :) the email address is

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Its Challenge Time Again

OK, with a bit of rejigging our Challenges are now going to run through the calendar month so from the 1st to the last day of the month whatever that maybe, however because of the camping trip I am a little behind schedule posting this, our challenge for May.

May = May Day = May Poles = Ribbons...

So this months challenge is to show us what you can do with ribbons. Your entries (you can enter more than one item) can be cards, layouts, mini books or home decor projects and the only stipulation is that you have used ribbon - no specific theme, no colour scheme just use some ribbon.

We would love to showcase some ideas of how to use ribbon so if you have used an unusual technique then write a few sentences about how you did it and include it in your email text.

As usual, email your entries to with May Challenge in the subject line before 9pm on 31st May.

The winner will be chosen and announced in the first week of June and will receive a £25 ATDML Shopping Voucher.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Another "Must Have"

If you are looking for a staple stash range I would recommend the 7Gypsies 97% Complete stickers. They can be used as accents on layouts no matter what brand you are working with and are extremely useful when you're looking to add a lil' extra detail to your page. I have collected a rather large selection of themes from the 97% Complete range and always have them near to hand when I'm working on a project.

The other option would be to use them as the focus and/or starting point of a layout as seen here on this 97% Complete - Retail Therapy page which was designed for the ATDML Spring retreat last month.
They have some pretty cute quotes on too ... my favourite being:
"Your husband called and said Buy whatever you want" Now, isn't that a nice thought!
Hope you all have a happy Bank Holiday Monday

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Adding the fun factor to your scrapbooks with MLS

In April the ATDML DT got to work with the delightful products from My Little Shoebox (you can see all their creations here). Currently there is much excitement in the the scrapbooking world as MLS are running a design team call (all info can be found here on the MLS blog) so why don't you check out the fantastic range of MLS products on sale in the shop and give it a go!

Using MLS products to create a layout adds the FUN factor to your scrapping - the colours are bright & funky and the graphics super cute. I am especially fond of the Mini Alphabet Stickers which come in a wide range of colours and can be used for journaling or title accents.

We'd love to see what you can do with MLS products so please leave a link in the comments.

Hope you all have a superb Sunday

PS Just popping back to say its not possible to publically share any projects that are created for a DT call until after it closes but for the record .... we think the ATDML customers are an extremely talented bunch .. teehee. Good Luck!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

{inter}National Scrapbooking Day

How did you spend today? There were any number of blog hops and challenges, special crops and events on both sides of the pond. Many of the US manufacturers had offers and promotions as did a lot of digital sites. It got me thinking that although I primarily see NSD as a largely US event, there is certainly more going on in the UK this year than last. I have to confess that I didn't do any of the challenges, attend a crop, shop for bargains or blog hop any more than I usually do. How about you? Leave a comment if you did something special :)
As you know, I am not a blogger but as Mel is under canvas (and no, I didn't suggest she did a post on her blackberry) I had to do it. Talking of tents, I do wonder how much sleep they will get with two children under five and thunder storms forecast in the early hours. Hopefully they will sleep right through it.