Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sketch Inspiration Number 4

A little later in the month than planned we have sketch inspiration number 4. As always remember that the sketch is just a starting point and let your layout deviate from the sketch if your creativity takes you that way!

Here is my sketch and a layout I did using it.
And just to illustrate how one sketch can lead to very different layouts here is a layout by Ann Freeman using the same sketch. Same starting point but different styles, supplies and layouts!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Using Up The Scraps...

As promised we have another class for you, this time by Suzanne Torr, showing how to make the most of your supplies. She has used the leftovers from her class "Be Mine... Always" to create a gorgeous mini book and two cards. I have added the photos below and the link to download the free PDF instructions is HERE

In other news...

On Thursday I became an Auntie for the second time and my new neice Isla was born!

This prompted a crafting session to make a card for them and I was inspired by Jackies girlie colours in her A-Z layout from the Showcasing Reader layouts post. So as this post has a card making class link I thought I would add my card below!

In keeping with the title of my post I made this card entirely with scraps from my scrap box and left overs from alphabet sheets and embellishment packs - so satisfying!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Who Likes Surprises?!

It's Giveaway Time here at the ATDML blog!

We have a mystery box of goodies just waiting to send out to one of our blog readers. To enter just leave a comment here telling us why you *need* a surprise box of goodies delivered to you in a few days time.

We will pick the winner at random using so your reason can be as frivolous as you like!!

You have until Sunday night at 8pm to leave your comment. Please don't forget that if your comment doesn't link to your blog with a contact email you must check back to see if you have won - we will need your address to send said mystery goody box to!

Also, don't forget to check out Februarys challenge detailed HERE IN THIS POST - that way if you don't win the mystery box of goodies you might win the shopping voucher to pick your own box of goodies!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Showcasing Reader Layouts....

We love to have feedback from our blog readers and we received an email asking if we would be able to show some of the other entrie for the list challenge as well so you could see all the lovely ideas people came up with and we will be very pleased to share some of the entries with you so look out for that in a post in the next few days.

Tonight I wanted to share with you a layout that was sent in to us in response to Ann Freemans A-Z layout post which can be found HERE.

Ann's layout featured a patchwork of squares, a 6x4 photograph and a mixed font and colour alphabet with some letters highlighted with added words relating to the picture. The colour scheme in the Venice papers perfectly suited the photo and the fonts reflected the style of the layout and also hinted at the two girls' love of vampire novels!
This layout was sent in by Jackie Pocock and features her young daughter Hannah. We were wowed by her gorgeous use of colour and the beautifully done stitching. Again she has taken the idea of the mixed fonts but chosen ones that complement her subject - no vampire style thickers but the inclusion of more playful fonts and styles that resemble childrens' handwriting fonts.

I think you will agree that this layout and Ann's just illustrate how the same idea can yield two completely wonderful layouts that are utterly different. Variety really is the spice of life!!

If you have a layout you have done in response to a post here on the blog or maybe something that you saw in our Design Team Galleries we would love to see it. Just email

Look out for some of those list inspired layouts coming soon!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

February Challenge

Last months challenge to scrap a layout with lists got quite a few of your scrapping and there were some lovely layouts sent in.

This month we want to continue to inspire you to use that stash and get some pages done!

This month we want to challenge you to mix things up a bit by using patterned paper from at least three different manufacturers on one page or card. This is a great chance to raid your scraps box and play about with mixing manufacturers.

To enter just email me your layout, resized to no larger than 1000 pixels on the longest side and with February Challenge in the subject line to In the text please list the patterned papers you have used.

The deadline is 9pm on 20th March. The winner will receive a £25 shopping voucher for ATDML.
We look forward to seeing your entries!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Stitches Photos

We had a really busy day at Stitches yesterday. We spent the day visiting loads of stands, admiring the samples and products available and of course making a few orders.

Oh and we spent a little bit of time watching Tim Holtz work his inky magic and chatting to Karen Burniston about her amazing pop and interactive projects. Well ok, we spent A LOT of time on the last two things!

Here are a few photos from our day, spot some new products coming to ATDML in the shots along with lots of things that just made us go wow!

Ann was thrilled to finally get to see Tim Holtz "in the flesh" and we thoroughly enjoyed watching him create some amazing mini art works. We chatted to him about some of his new products including some very interesting sounding tissue paper tape. He was adamant that we must understand that it was tissue AND it was tape, no backing strip like DST but self adhesive tape on a roll just like masking tape. Because it is Tissue AND it is Tape!

Tims desk had some gorgeous bits and pieces on it, sadly we decided that he would notice if we "borrowed" them for a blog giveaway so you will have to make do with photos!

We loved these chipboard items on the stand selling Twiddlybitz, it is a company we have had an eye on for a while and we will be stocking some of their goodies verys oon so keep an eye out for them!

While we were wandering a familiar face appeared and we stopped to chat with Kirsty who was wearing a beautiful and very eye catching handmade necklace. It was great to catch up and have a chat as we haven't seen her for ages

We stopped to admire Tims new Alterations Dies on the Sizzix stand and then watched Karen Burniston demonstrating her amazing pop up dies and projects.

We have orders placed for various items that we didn't order through our contacts at CHA and they should begin shipping at the end of the week.
Talking of CHA keep an eye on the website as we received a big shipment today and uploading will be going on tonight and tomorrow :)
Be sure to visit the blog tomorrow for the next challenge. I hope you enjoyed the pictures from the show, I may find a few more to share in the next couple of days.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Winners & Stitches...

It is time to announce TWO winners...

First up the poll closed last night on the first instalment of the ingredients challenge and the winner was Ally Bright.
Thanks to all three ladies who took the plunge and went first in this challenge, it was great to see what you all did and how different they all were.

Ally will be receiving a £10 shopping voucher for ATDML.

Next we come to the January challenge to scrap a layout with a list on it. We had some really lovely entries with lists from Christmas, lists to record childrens favourites, wishes for a child and many more but our winner was this layout by Sue Beechey which lists the reasons her son got his new job.
Thanks to all the participants. Sue will be receiving a £25 shopping voucher for ATDML.

The next challenge will be posted on Tuesday so do come back to see what we are challenging you to do next month.
We have had a lovely day at Stitches today with Ann joining us to ooohhh and ahhh over new products and for us all to come up with ideas for classes, make and takes and other retreat fun!
Tomorrow I will post some photos of the show including us meeting some scrapping celebs and catching up with old friends (oh and a few photos of new stash too!)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Transforming Albums

You can buy some really beautiful albums today, but sometimes you haven’t got quite what you are looking for and you need to personalise an album. It is very simple to buy a plain album and then adapt it to suit the theme you are working on. Think of it as being like a mini book cover ….. only bigger! It is really really easy to do and you end up with a custom album that no-one else has got.

If you are covering a post bound album, the best way is to take it apart completely and cover the different bits piece by piece. Don’t be afraid ….. it’s simple. I promise. You cover the front, the back and the spine as three separate pieces and then just reassemble it.

If you are working on a smaller size like 8 x 8 then scrapbook papers work perfectly to cover it. If you are covering a 12 x 12 album then, unless you have a lot of joins, 12 x 12 paper won’t work. But – now here’s a radical thought – why not use something different. You could cover it with fabric. The fabric could be stamped on, sewn on prior to covering, embroidered, embellished and generally made very beautiful. Or, you could cheat totally and use wallpaper off cuts. I know they are not acid free but if it is a post bound album and your pages are all in page protectors inside then it really won’t matter. Once you go into the realms of wallpaper or material the world really is your oyster.

You also don’t need to cover the entire album. I have also bought cloth covered albums and just embellished them on the front. I did that with my A – Z Christmas album by adding run-ons and chipboard letters and it was very effective.

Finally there are the lush D ring albums. These are a little trickier to cover as you have to deal with the D ring mechanism, but if you work on it as separate sections it is possible to make a really neat job of them. The D ring albums really lend themselves to having the spine in a different pattern which also deals with the sixe of paper needed. You can add all sorts of embellishments and give your album a title that links everything together.

You can see my covered D Ring album here It was made as the album for my 5210 project running throughout the year.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Preparing For Stitches On Sunday

Stitches (Abbreviated name for Craft Hobby and Stitch International Trade Show) is the main UK trade show for much of the craft industry including the scrapbooking and paper crafts sectors.

We usually attend every year for a day trip, it is a chance to catch up and reconnect with suppliers, take advantage of good show offers and discounts and see the newer products in the flesh (especially important this year as we missed CHA)

We have been making plans for the main orders we want to place and highlighted stands we want to visit with a view to expanding the products we carry.

We are also planning on meeting up with a couple of the Design Team girls and it will be great to have their input into the lines we will carry and what new products catch their eye.

Sunday evening is when we will be announcing the challenge winner for the January Lists chalenge (there is still time to get your entry in before the 9pm Saturday deadline - see details in the linked post) but in addition I hope to have a little feedback from our day at Stitches and maybe even some photos :)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

*~* An Interview With Dawn Evans *~*

Today we are interviewing Dawn Evans, I hope you enjoy the peek into her craft room and a look at her favourite layouts.

Hi, I’m Dawn, a forty –something (!!!!) wife to Robbie, mum to Phoebe and William, full time Reception class teacher and scrapbook addict. I discovered scrapbooking in 2003 and have been hooked ever since-the photos, memories, stories, papers, textures, friends, shopping-what a fabulous hobby this is! I am lucky to have been part of ATDML DT since 2006 and am thrilled to be returning to the team after a short break last year

When did you discover scrapbooking?
It was during the Summer holidays 2003. I caught the last few minutes of a craft show on a shopping channel and then spent the rest of the holidays trying to catch the repeat show-even setting my alarm to wake up at some early hour in the hope of finding the important item numbers to order a trimmer, a huge pack of plain cardstock and the biggest assortment of vellum you would ever see!!

What subjects do you scrap?
More often than not my family and friends.

If you had to choose one scrapbooking format 12x12 8.5x11, minibooks, atcs etc and only scrap in that format for a year, which would you choose and why?
Always 12” x12”-I love all that space

Describe your scrapping style in 5 words.
Busy,with lots of inking!!!!

Tell us about your favourite ever layout (please attach photo or scan to the email)
“Stay Beautiful”-Pink and blue –my favourite colour combo; lots of ribbons and flowers; a song lyric as a title; and photos of my best girl!

If you could take a class or do a workshop with one scrapping celeb or teacher who would it be and why?
Ooh so many... in the UK, Debbie Jewell and Tracie Hudson; In the US, Kelli Crowe and in Aus, Carole Janson

Show us your scrap area (don’t worry we can handle mess!)

These are photos of my craft space in the conservatory-I spend most evenings here in my little haven, whether I am scrapping, surfing or working on school planning and record keeping!!

What is your favourite manufacturer and all time favourite range from them. Why?
I have to say Basic Grey-right from the early ranges, I have been hooked. The plains are my “go to favourite”-in fact I always take the plain sheets out of the collection packs and store them in separate baggies-all the greens together, etc. I think I use some Basic Grey on almost every layout I make. If I had to choose just one range, then I would say “Urban Prairie”

What technique or style would you like to try or master but have not managed to yet?
White space!!! I try, I promise...but I just have to put something in that space.

Do you make cards as well as scrap? If so can you show us some?
No-I am the world’s most useless card maker-I take hours and hours and it ends up looking like a button on a pretty piece of paper!

How long do you spend on average per layout?
I can spend days and days on a layout, but usually about three or four hours for each one.

How often do you scrap?
In fits and spurts...I can scrap every day for a week and then not touch a glue stick for days.

What does your husband \ partner \ family think of your scrapbooking?
Rob loves that I have found something I love so much-and the fact that it keeps me busy whilst he is busy with his hobbies!!

Do you pre plan your layouts or just sit and shuffle paper til it looks right? Describe the process you go through when creating a layout
I find it really hard to follow a plan-I love to pull out lots of papers and just fiddle with shapes and layers. Often I can spend hours working on the background just to cover it all up with a photo or title. At the moment, I am enjoying working first with all the beautiful papers and then adding a photo and title at the end. I have also started to work on two or three layouts at the same time-making the backgrounds one day and returning to them the next day to finish them off.

What colour schemes are your current favourites – if you have a layout you have recently scrapped in this colour scheme let us see
Pink and blue (Stay beautiful - shown above in my favourite ever layout);

pink and green(flower girl);

I love pale icecream tones (A High Tea and Yum)

What colours do you rarely use and why?
Orange and purple

How do you organise your layouts into albums (e.g. chronological \ date you scrapped them \ random \ by subject)

I keep an album to outline each year and then all the other layouts fit into non-chronological albums for Phoebe, William, Family and Friends, Holidays

What is your favourite design tip, style or technique that you use on your layouts?
A little black edge-whether it is ink or card -always makes a page pop.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A Card Making Mini Class By Ann Freeman

Remember the "That Hat!" Class by Ann freeman? Well as promised here is the mini card class using the left overs from the layout class. Of course you could use items in your own scraps box to make the card.

To download the PDF Instructions for this class click HERE

Monday, 15 February 2010

New Class Showcasing Prima Strawberry Kisses Range

When I was planning my class for this month I was wondering what to use... Then the new Prima paper was delivered and I knew exactly what I wanted to use!

I selected four papers from the Strawberry Kisses range and added a set of thickers, a prima crystals swirl, a couple of My Minds Eye Life Stories journaling cards and a pack of Prima tea Roses which I had been coveting for a while and sat down to play.

The papers were so lovely to work with that instead of ending up with one layout I managed three out of those supplies and I still have some left overs to use on cards and things. So this has turned into a bit of a Product Spotlight post as well!

My three layouts are below and the PDF instructions for all three can be found HERE

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines Home Decor

On this day of love and romance we thought we would share this fabulous little home decor project by Ann Freeman. It is a sweet piece perfect for Valentines but it will last the whole year through (unlike Chocolates or Roses which for different reasons don't last long!)
Here is Ann's project and the supply list and instructions are below:

Patterned Paper/Card:
SassFrass Hog Heaven - Lots O Luck
Pink Paislee Cupid - Eternal Love
Pink Paislee Cupid – Postcards
Bazzill Bling – In the pink

Ranger Cotton Candy
Ranger Baby Blue

Prima eLine - White
Prima eLine - Aqua

Polystyrene Heart, sequins, short pins, wooden dowel, small plastic plant pot (Hardware shop)
Brown fabric scrap, pink organza ribbon, blue ball fringe trim, paper bird, brads, gems.

Cut variety of heart flowers from the Sassfrass paper, punch/die cut a selection from the pink cardstock, and stickles a selection of the Aqua flowers too.

Cover the polystyrene heart in the selection of flowers using brads, sequins, pins etc to secure and decorate with gems and other brads to fill gaps/add depth to the flowers.

Decorate the plastic plant pot with Pink Paislee Eternal love paper (Tip: make a template first using scrap paper to determine the shape of paper to cut and prevent wastage!) Whilst doing this also cut a cardstock lid for the plant pot and punch a hole in the centre.

Add a fabric strip border to the top of the pot and wrap over to cover the plastic edge. Add the blue ball trim and a flower.

Run a length of double sided tape along the fabric strip and wrap around the wooden dowel.

Adhere a large piece of bluetack inside the plant pot (use strong glue) and push the dowel into the bluetack and slide the cardstock lid over the top. Add a further heart flower to the centre if desired. Seal with clear drying strong glue and add a layer of stickles to hide any imperfections! (Tip: Be generous with the blue tack as it acts as the weight in your home décor piece as well!)

Using a pencil make a small hole in the base of your decorated heart, fill with strong glue and gentle place on top of the fabric covered dowel.

Add a tag (cut from Pink Paislee postcards paper), a bow of organza ribbon and a small paper bird to complete your home décor project.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Vintage Valentine

So tomorrow is Valentines Day and perhaps, like me, you are spending a little time today making a card for that special someone?

This year I decided to go all vintage and use pages from an old poetry book to alter a big heart shaped box and make a card. The box I made for my hubby is actually in the DT gallery (spoiled the surprise for him somewhat!). You could also decorate a small box, just big enough for one little chocolate heart – that’s what I’ve shown below…

To make my box and card I started with a plain box and kraft card and glued on torn strips from pages of poetry.

I then painted over this with a metallic glaze so that the text would still show through (Ranger’s dimensional pearls are good for this).

Then I made the flowers and leaves to go on top…

At our January crop in Kirckaldy (Fife, Scotland) we were treated to a fab class by friend of mine, and fantastically talented scrapper Vicki Canning. She taught us a LO using the stripped down cardboard from a pizza box.

The LO was great but my favourite part was the technique for making these great 3D flowers. Thanks Vicki for giving me permission to share them here.

Cut several different sized circles from double sided paper (I’ve used October Afternoon and Basic Grey ‘Nook and Pantry’).

Dampen the circles then crumple them up ramdomly. Next uncrumple and then reshape by holding the circles at the centre to form the petals of your flower (see picture as this is hard to explain!!).

Hold the circles like this while you dry them with a heat gun. Then layer up the flowers with the smallest circle in the middle. I used glossy accents to glue them but any adhesive will do.

I used a similar technique to make some crumpled leaves which I just cut freehand.

I glued two leaves and a flower on top of the box and the others to the front of my card. (If you’re posting the card though you’ll need to flatten down the flower a bit). I then distressed the box a little with some vintage photo distress ink and added a little sparkle on the leaves with some Stickles. On the card I filled the centre of the flower with glossy accents then sprinkled in some red beads.

The thing I like about these flowers is that they’re so quick and easy to make and could be used for a range of purposes. I’ll be getting the 9 year olds in my craft club at school to make them to decorate gift boxes for mothers day – I’m sure their mums will love them.