Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Creating But I Can't Share... Yet!

The October Design Team Gallery is being prepared for your perusal as we speak. The DT have each been sent some products from the *Gorgeous* My Minds Eye "Lost & Found" range.

Time to scrap has been a little limited with increased working hours and lots going on at home but what time I have had has been spent playing with the DT kit. With four different sub collections Lost & Found has a palette to suit everyone!

Click HERE to see the lost & Found products on our site.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Gadgets & Gizmos

I was sorting through some old boxes and it struck me how many gadgets there have been crazes for in scrabooking over the last few years and also how few of them have stuck around as long term features of our craft rooms.

In no particular order...

Sizzix, Quickcutz, Cuttlebug, Big Shot, Wizard etc...
Cricut \ Cricut Expression, Craft Robo, Slice...
Dymo, Provocraft roller stamp...
Cropodile, Big Bite, Fastenator...
Bind it all, dreamkutz...

I have owned \ do own several of those from the list, some are used often, some rarely and some not at all. Some are about to get dusted off and re-introduced to my crafting area.

But for all the gizmos and gadgets available are there any that you can say truly change the way you work and the items you produce?

For me, though I rarely make them, the Bind It All made mini books much more appealing to me. My cricut stood unused for along time until i took the time to play with it and realised I actually quite liked it. My Big Shot gets used, but not as often as it should and I just bought a new dymo machine because i actually missed the old one I got rid of because it was so dated!!

What gadgets do you use and which do you regret buying \ are glad you didn't buy?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

What is Your Favourite Layout? *Giveaway Time*

I was asked recently if I had a favourite layout from all the ones I have scrapped and i found it really hard to answer. I DO have favourites but more than one - they usually come in categories; most fun to make, most fun to look at, most elegant, ones that do a particularly good job of showcasing a photo I love (see the layout below of Olivia at 10 weeks old holding my finger - love the photo and I was really pleased with the layout and it remains *one* of my favourites)

So I am totally indecisive over what my favourite layout is, I am resisting the urge to go on with more of my sub categories of favourite layout and then post the relevant favourites... but the point is that looking back we have different reactions to the layouts we have made. We may look back and wonder what we were thinking as we stuck down the elements in our first layouts, we may remember with varying responses the "sticker sneeze" followed swiftly by the "Prima Got Flowers sneeze" and then the Elsie inspired doodle craze. But aside from scrapping fads and fashions we all have layouts that we love, most of us have some we didn't quite hit the mark on and wish we knew just what was missing and some even have layouts they dislike so much they re-do. Whatever reaction they cause it is important to remember that just by provoking a reaction, either through the memory of what is on the page or the memory of actually making it, your layout is serving one of it's purposes and keeping you linked to the memories related to it.

We would love to see your favourite layout (or if you are like me one of your favourites!) Leave a comment in the comments section with a bit about your layout and a link to it on a blog or online gallery before 8pm October 1st and we will select someone who has shared their work with us to receive a little box of goodies.

Good luck!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

All that glitters!

All that glitters is not gold is the saying, well I think I shall change it after my last few days crafting with the DT papers for October... "All that glitters, is My Minds Eye!!" Have you seen these papers? Seriously they have to be seen to be believed, they are just divine, with just the right amount of sparkly to make a simple girl like me happy. You have to ask yourself however, with so much sparkle going on, how I still managed to need stickles for one of my layouts?!! Seriously, and it's a page about my two boys!! One of the things I love most about the My Minds Eye paper ranges is the little embellishment cards that coordinate with them. Even if you have words on them that don't quite suit your page (for example this one has "just like brothers" on it and my photo is actually of my two sons) you can add items to them, just like you would with patterned paper - just think to yourself "smaller canvas".

Portobello Road is just one of the sparkly Lost & Found collections from MME, Union Square is another in a delicious Golden brown/Red and Kraft/cream mix. As the shop site says the images really do not do these papers justice - they have to be seen! If you love a little sparkle (or even alot of sparkle) these papers are for you! Funnily enough, this paper would work quite well with the Septmeber spotty challenge too!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Challenge Reminder....

Just a quick reminder about our challenge for September with the spotty theme! There is still a little over a week left of the month to come up with something to fit the challenge (Details HERE)

To enter email your image to me at as per the instructions in the info post for the chance to win a prize :)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Making Choices About Your Photos (1)

I must confess that over the last few weeks I have struggled to find enough time to scrap and so as a result when I was trying to come up with something to write for tonights blog post I had a look back through some of my layouts from earlier in the year to see if i could find something to put up that I hadn't blogged before.

I came across this layout from the January 2010 Design Team Gallery featuring Prima papers. I was really pleased with this layout - with it i managed to try out a clean and simple design style but allow the paper to offer the detail and embellishment that I find hard to leave out when i attempt clean and simple.

The paper has the fancy frame round the edge and my page just adds the three elements; photo, journaling and title, to the centre of the frame.

However another reason I love this layout is I find the combination of the colour in the page and the black and white photo very easy on the eye. I have always loved the simple and timeless style of black and white photos and when I look at my scrapping I notice that I tend to choose black and white for specific sorts of layouts. Often (though not always) I reach for the black and whites for those layouts focusing on relationships, character etc... where as colour seems to be first choice for documenting events.

One of the big joys of black and white photo graphs is that it really opens up your options for which papers to work with. Sometimes the colour in your photo just screams a paper line at you and that is great, but if it doesn't then it is always worth converting the photo to black and white and you may find that removing the colour element opens up whole new avenues and ideas.

So what do you prefer to work with and why? Black & White, Colour, Sepia or a combination of all of them?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

September Sketch 2

Here is the second sketch for September. I love this sketch for using up lots of photos from a single event or place where you don't have a stand out photo that can carry a whole layout on it's own.

Remember, if you have a go at this sketch load it to an online gallery or your blog and post a link on this post (or the post for September Sketch 1) Deadline for linking is Midnight on September 30th.
PS New stuff being added as we speak to New Products, some of it is showing but there is more that is uploaded but turned off as it is due in on Monday!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday Night is Soup Night

Well actually tonight in our house was Fish & Chips (ssshhh don't tell Ann I am supposed to be doing her SOFA healthy eating thing but no one wanted to cook and it is the weekend so fish and chips it was!)

However, it is Chicken Soup day.and this week the recipe was the poster for Audrey Hepburns Breakfast at Tiffanys. I used the design as the inspiration for my layout of course but i also used the title as a theme and worked with a photo of Olivia and Minnie Mouse from our cruise character breakfast! I cut around the photo to mimic the silhouette on the poster and also because rather annoyingly there was someone else looking rather strange in the background!

If you enjoy taking a look at the Chicken Soup blog each week and playing along sometimes why not take a look at the Chicken Soup DT Call. We would love to see what you have to offer and remember that you are not committing to joining in EVERY week, just a minimum of once per month (although if you want to participate every week then great!) Details of how to apply are HERE.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

7 Weeks To Go...

It is just 7 weeks until our 2010 Autumn retreat and as always plans are coming together as the preparations are finalised. Class details are being finalised and I am having fun designing my two classes. Once again we have a fabulous teacher line up including Debbie Jewell, Ann Freeman, Suzanne Torr & Clare Brown... It is hard work preparing for it but i can't wait!!!

Once again we are returning to the Stoke By Nayland club on the Essex \ Suffolk border for our 7th retreat. With two more booked for 2011 we still very much enjoy hosting the events and seeing the many repeat delegates as well as some new friends.

Keep an eye out here for a couple of sneak peeks soon and of course after the event there will be photos, write ups and anecdotes!


New goodies are on the way for the shop as well. beautiful Bo Bunny lines are amongst those which have flown across the pond today and which will be here on Monday. Keep an eye on the website throughout the next week for new arrivals being added :)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Gallery Time...

Our September Design team gallery is now live on the website, come on over to see what the team did with My Little Shoebox products this month. Click Here And Follow The Gallery Link

We had loads of fun playing with these cute new ranges which as always are beautifully complimented by the adorable MLS Alphabet stickers. Here is one of Suzannes DT layout to give you a taste of what's in the gallery.

Also check out new products, the last month has seen 240 new products so far so take a look HERE

Sunday, 12 September 2010


It's a funny thing, they say that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and yet sometimes people in the creative world get a little worried about copying, lifting and being inspired by other peoples work.

For me, the act of "Scraplifting" is a compliment to the original artist and perfectly acceptable so long as credit is given and it is done in an open honest way. Of course the lines become blurred when something is not a direct copy but inspired by something else.. How many shared elements make a scraplift? When does a scraplift become an interpretation and when does an interpretation become something inspired by another piece? and just how many different ways are there to arrange some paper,photos and embellishments on a (usually) square piece of cardstock?!?!

Sadly I don't have the answers to ANY of the above! What i do know is that *usually* you know when you have created something which has been heavily influenced by someone elses work and that if you have the slightest feeling that it may have been it doesn't hurt to credit the person who inspired you if the work is going in an online gallery. Of course your own personal album doesn't need a list of credits on each page protector although on occassions i have noted on the back of a layout if it is a direct lift and whose the original was, mainly so I remember later if their gallery is emptied or changed. It goes without saying that scraplifted work should not be entered for competitions, or in contexts where only original work is expected.
I see scraplifting as a great way to kick start a sluggish mojo - sometimes your final LO looks just like the original and sometimes it is unrecognisable by the end but either way it is often a fun way to get started on a project without having to do a lot of thinking!!!
Here are two of my favourite scraplifts. The first one is a scraplift of a layout by our very own lovely Debbie Jewell - the original was one of her entries into one of the UKS summer comps a few years back (Scrappers Block or Scrap Idol I think) but sadly it is not on her blog now.

The second one is probably my all time favourite ever scraplift. I uploaded it to UKS with credit in the blurb to Jennie Leon and a link to her original and it got a great response. I was so happy with how it turned out and thoroughly grateful to Jennie for the wonderful design that was ready made for me!

So if you are feeling less than inspired why not take a look round some galleries are start a bit of sincere flattery by scraplifting some of your favourite layouts by other scrappers - you never know you might just add a few lovely layouts to your albums and get the creative juices flowing again!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

July \ Aug Sketch Winner

As many people were enjoying the sunshine when it appeared and also going off on holiday we combined the sketch challenges for July and August. Our winner is this layout posted by Janet.

Please email me Janet - and I will get your shopping voucher emailed across to you.
There is already one sketch posted for September and I will try to rustle up another... the deadline for posting a link to your entry on the rlevant sketch post will be midnight on September 30th.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Time For Some Soup...

This weeks inspiration over at Chicken Soup is one of my favourites so far. I knew I wanted to use a bit of the gorgeous new Lost & Found product that we unpacked earlier in the week so i ended up using the Portobello Road, Party, Celebrate paper and combined it with the October Afternoon Sprinklers paper and some cardstock to make this layout.

It was great to go through my old stash and use up some rub ons for the frame around Lost and also some flourish vines and borders. Finally I finished the body of the butterfly with some e line pearls.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the recipe, do take a look at the Chicken Soup blog to see what the others got up to.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Take A Look At Janes Gorgeous New Class...

Our next class is now online on the site and it is by Jane Hewitt. It really is very beautiful and although it looks like a very complicated layout as there is a lot of work that has gone into it, Jane has provided great step by step instructions and as always these are available as a free PDF download.

CLICK HERE to visit our website and click on the link to download the instructions.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Back To School

This term I am starting a maternity cover working 3 days a week as the teacher in our school nursery. I am happy to admit that I am quite excited about this and found it similar to when I first started teaching and wanted to get my classroom ready and have nice matching boxes etc... Like many scrappers I am also a stationery junkie and love note books, folders and the like.

I needed a nice new folder for my planning etc... and went on a hunt, I found nothing that I really liked and then I found this plain kraft one in WHSmiths which i bought to prettify!

I really love the Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking range (coming soon to the ATDML store) and so I cut into my pack to cover my folder.

The spine is covered with a 2.5 x 12" strip which I aligned to the middle. Then, holding it in place I opened the folder and drew around the circular hole in the spine. I then used a slightly bigger circle punch to punch the hole in the correct place. Rather than use a sheet from the actual pack I cut this strip from the cover sheet of the collection pack!

For the front i cut a second strip the same as i had used on the spine and aligned it on the left edge. Using the same technique I marked the holes where the ring binders poke through the front cover. These were a little trickier to cut out as the holes had to be bigger and of course I didn't have the right size or shape of punch so for this i used a craft knife.

Once that was correctly cut I adhered this section to the left edge with the holes left open, then cut a second piece to make the rest of the front cover. As I have the Wishful Thinking Collection pack I used the stickers that come in the pack to finish the cover

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Spots Before My Eyes... AKA September Challenge

Today, I am a little pre occupied with spots. Izzy, my oldest has got Chicken Pox (well at least it looks very much like it although she doesn't have them head to toe, mainly on her tummy and a few on arms and legs.

Also they don't look as pretty as the Jenni Bowlin paper pictured above but I thought it would be nicer for you than a photo of a five year olds spotty tummy!

So this preoccupation has sparked my idea for Septembers challenge which is to email a layout, card or other project to me that features a spotty, dotty or circley (yes I know that isn't a real word) pattern or element somewhere on the page or project.

The email address to send your entries is and the winner will get a shopping voucher for ATDML. Of course by the time the winner is announced there will be even more in the New Products section to tempt you!

Friday, 3 September 2010

September Class By Mel

This is not strictly a new class, well it is new for the blog and only around 30 people took this class at one of our retreats so I can safely say that it is new for most!

This is, hands down, my favourite class I have taught which is unusual because mainly I prefer to teach layouts but I really love this 7 Gypsies mini book and it is still sitting on my desk and often read!!

As always there are free PDF instructions, Click HERE to get those.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Winner and New Products

Our winner of the blog giveaway was number 27

Kirsteen... please email us your details and we will send you your parcel of goodies.

For those that didn't win do hop on over to our site and see what we have on offer. There are lots of lovely new items that would make great additions to your projects.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

My Little Shoebox challenge at 2 peas

Over the pond on 2 peas there is a vendor challenge with My Little Shoebox running for the month of September. All that is required to be in with a chance to win one of two $100 MLS prizes is to create a layout using 85% LMS products and link it the 2 peas gallery.

We have all of the new ranges in the store and our design team have been busy creating with these for the September gallery.

These papers are always popular with our customers, expecially the versatile alphabet stickers which stretch for many a crafting project. So to be in with a chance to win even more, dig out your MLS products, or pop over to the store to stock up! Good luck to all our creative shoppers!