Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas Card Comp Winner....

and the winner of our Christmas Card Competition was this card posted by Karen. We loved the way she incorporated the photo into the card design and made a fun card which I am sure will be treasured by the recipients.

Karen drop us an email and we will send you over your shopping voucher!

Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Say Cheese!

Sometimes you ust want a quick and simple page! I loved the colours in the Amy Tangerine collection and with the addition of a couple of stickers this was soooooo speedy but I really like it!

I am totally in love with the whole page of cameras which I am cutting up - yes I know this is not a *new* thing by any stretch but I have only just got my hands on this paper so you can expect to see a fair few more appearances by these little cameras!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Finishing Part Done Projects...

Once again as  end of the year draws near I find myself looking back over the past year from a crafting view point. I found the Shimelle "Perfect Collection" class I took immensely helpful in developing a system for *some* of my scrapping. I often feel like I have only a short amount of time available to scrap and so working with those base pages and a limited selection of product makes it possible to be quite productive in a short space of time.

One thing I always end up realising is that I am going to end the year with quite a few part done projects (usually layouts)

I had a short amount of time available on Sunday afternoon and so I pulled out a layout I started at a crop over a year ago! I managed to make a quick decision about what I wanted to add and finished the layout off and filed it in my album - boy did it feel good to finally finish it!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas Card Competition

So this year I have FAILED miserably to make even a single Christmas Card *hangs head in shame.* So I am going to accept defeat and buy even for close family as well as the few that I have already sent :(
For the sake of adding a picture here is a card I made in a previous year when I did actually make some.

To cheer me up (or make me feel even worse!) we thought we would have a little Christmas Comp. Upload a card you have made to your blog or online gallery and post a link in the comments section (along with your name) and we will choose one to receive a £10 ATDML gift voucher (Post Christmas Sale anyone?!?!?!)

The deadline for uploading and posting your link is Sarurday 22nd December at 6pm.

Looking forward to seeing your creations.

PS we may like to share some of the entries on the blog (with full credit of course) so please let us know in your comment if it CAN'T be shared.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Trends on Tuesday - Busy Backgrounds

I thought I would do a Christmas-ish page for this post....and the trend is using busy patterned papers as a background.  I used this paper from the MME All is Bright range, and it is quite a busy pattern with lots of different elements to it (take a look at Mel's class from the retreat (the 3rd page on this post) which uses the patterned paper in a totally different way).

I tend to always mount my photos on white card stock or a plain card to help them stand out against a busier background, but also to tone down the background a little I use some gesso - dry brushing it on the page and then I did a little stencilling too with a knitting needle measurer (yep use a few household objects to see what effects you can get :)).  I added lots of layers too which is another popular trend at the moment.  Another tip is that if you have a busy background paper a layer of vellum  behind the photo matts can just mute it a little and help the photos pop out.  So this week I would like to encourage you all to dig out some of your patterned papers and use them as the base layer for a page and I would love to see anything you create to so post a link on this post if you do.

I also want to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year as this will be my last Tuesday post before the big day.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Drowning in a Sea of Scrapbooking Supplies

Operation clear out and sort the scrapbook area is well underway! It is one of those jobs that I have been to frightened to start for a while as there seems to be such a lot of stuff much of it with no logical home within my stage.

I just woke up one morning and thought "right, that's it!" and started emptying shelves and temporarily filling really usrful boxes with stacks of paper, emptying hoarded boxes and other 'possibly alterable items' from under my desk and sorting out embellishment storage.

It is still nowhere near finished but I have worked out where I want my most used supplies and am now going through the difficult process of working out what I really am likely to use and what could be donated to a craft club or the kids craft boxes.

I really do hope when it is done I will be able to grab a couple of spare minutes scrapping every so often without needing a major excavation project to get to the surface of my desk!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Little Bit Crazy!

Theto on this layout is one of my favourites from our trip to New York! Obviously it could have been taken anywhere but it captures a very specific memory and feeling from the trip. We had just been visiting the High Line park and it was a very long walk back from there to our hotel. With a 4 year old and a 7 year old in tow it was definitely necessary to take a rest along the way. I used these rest stops to take all sorts of photos against a wide range of backgrounds. The light was just beautiful at this point, really golden and warm. The girls were mucking around making shadows on this shuttered door and getting Elizabeth to join in and I just loved this photo.

I used the Echo Park Note to Self Collection to create the layout - I loved the quotes and colours in this collection.

Friday, 7 December 2012

On Top Of The World

A couple of months ago  was very lucky and won an Everyday Eclectic Collection Pack from Echo Park during their blog hop.
I used the collection for the first time on Saturday to make this layout with a photo of my girls and my cousin Elizabeth taken on top of the Rockerfeller Center. In the background you can see the vast rectangle of open space which is Central Park!

Everything on the layout was from the collection pack except for the "Love This" tab on top of the photo which came from the Note To Self collection pack, I love a brand new set of letter stickers, within reason you can make any title you like without panicking if you have already used all the vowels!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

New York New York

Way back in August I posted this blog entry about a layout I planned to make using this paper from the Bo Bunny Liberty range:

I wanted to make my own version of Anns lovely October Afternoon layout from her blog post

My layout ended up being quite different from Anns original but of course shared the main element of the "sunburst" being cut to look like ribbons coming out.

I used some old Basic Grey lettering I had hanging around and punched parts of the paper out to create other embellishments.

The three papers I used were:

Liberty - Patriot
Liberty - Stripe
Liberty - United

Monday, 3 December 2012

Scrapping At The Speed Of Light!

I went to a craft day on Saturday run by Tina, one of the regulars at our retreat. I always enjoy the day very much, it is such a luxury to be able to spend a whole day scrapping or card making with no distractions!

Although I usually have a little dabble in some card making while I was there I decided to focus on scrapping all day and I managed FIVE completed layouts which I think may be a record for me. What's more they were all done from scratch, no pre made base pages and only one of them had even had a glimmer of an idea before I got to the hall so I was very impressed with myself!!!

Today I am going to share the first two I made. A while back I decided that I really needed the Sassafras Sunshine Broadcast collection. It was one of the last they did before they stopped making scrapbooking papers and we didn't stock it in the shop but I did really love it.

I had a few photos taken with Instagram in my pile waiting to be scrapped and the vintage look, sun flare and colours work really well with this collection.

In addition to the items from the Sunshine Bradcast product I added some Studio Calico butterflies (love these, they go with everything!) Websters Pages lettering and some bits and bobs from old sticker sheets I had hanging around in my box of bits!
As before I added some stickers and this time I added October Afternoon lettering.
Back later in the week to show you more of my creations from Saturday!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

It's Starting To Look A Lot Like A Christmas Class!

My Friday afternoon class at the autumn retreat was a triple layout class. Well three single layouts to be more accurate. I loved the My Minds Eye All Is Bright Christmas papers and decided to use them to make some seasonal layouts. All the ladies had the option to make the layouts without photos in case they wanted to add photos from Christmas 2012 to them. On one of the layouts we added an acetate frame where the photo goes as there were stickers overlapping the photo. They could then slide the photo in behind the actetate.

The layout below IS straight in real life but the photo is wonky! I wanted to use the layout to tell a story about a family tradition as "Telling the Story" is something I am trying to make sure I get into all of my albums as often as possible.

This last layout features and pull out zig zag accordion booklet with space for adding photos of my favourite Christmas things.

It was only the beginning of November when we did the class but it was quite nice to play with Christmas papers!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Giveaway Winner

and the winner of the Graphic 45 giveaway is.....

Comment number 8 - Butterfly (Alison)

Alison, please email your details to and you G45 paper pad will be on it's way to you.

Thanks all for taking part :)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Magic of Handwriting

In the past I have posted at length about why I believe that the majority of journaling in your albums should be handwritten. OK there are times when computer journaling may enhance the look of a page but at the heart of why I scrapbook is that I am recording and documenting our lives for our children and eventually their children. I am not under any illusion that all my scrapbooks will be saved but I hope that a managable number of layouts WILL be kept by my children as a record of their lives. When I am gone I imagine they may like the very tangible piece of me that is my handwriting.

However mine is not the only handwriting that is featured in the pages - I shared a page which I had got my Mum to journal on. In the same spirit I asked ISabelle to write something for the page I was working on of her and my Auntie. I let her choose what to write and she came up with the short and sweet journaling "I love Auntie very very much."


OK, it isn't an essay but I decided to get her to write it on a strip of paper for me to add to the page. I think when I look back on the page in 5 years time I will be please I captured her 7 year old handwriting in my scrapbook and will be doing the same with Olivia too!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Trends on Tuesday - Love a little Mist

I cannot contain my love of mists in one trend post, so there will be others! This page is a very misty page, and it all started because I had made a background with distress stains that I didn't like, so I needed to cover it up and so began the playing with mist and paint.  I started by covering an area in a cheap plastic table cloth and put my pizza box on top of that.

When you use the mists you need to mix in all the sparkly mica at the bottom of the bottle.  If you don't want to get bubbles in your mist tube which create drips on pages then you are not meant to shake the bottle up and down, rather spin it around or roll the bottle between your hands (having said that I have never achieved perfect misting with no drips whatever I do, but it doesn't worry me either as I like it). 

I used 3 cosmic shimmer mists to cover up my base sheet of card - Aqua Lagoon, Purple Violet and Peacock Green - this was a cream sheet of card orignally so there is a fair amount of mist on there.  Then I added a white paint strip down the centre.  I also misted and scrunched up some white tissue paper to add some texture to the background and misted some chipboard - if you paint the chipboard then the misting colours don't come out so dark so this is the unpainted side on my page as I preferred the deeper colour.  I also misted some lace and a piece of purple Graphic 45 Nutcracker suite that went really well with the colours, and some fabric buttons.  The final touches were to upcycle some old bits of metal - primarily curtain weights and a buckle.  This page was inspired by Finnabair's (Anna Dabrowska) strong use of mist on her pages with amazing effects so here is a link to her blog for some more inspiration.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Playing With Pattern

You may recall that a while back I took Shimelles perfect collection class and was really pleased with the results. In a nutshell it involved cutting up co-ordinating patterned papers, arranging the cut up sections to form base pages which could then quickly have photos added along with journaling and embellishments.

I by no means exclusively use this method but I do enjoy how it allows me to get started very quickly with a page. I find more and more that I am snatching a few minutes here and there to scrap and on these occassions working in this way allows me to get pages scrapped in far less time than I would normally take.

At the weekend I pulled out one of my base pages I had made cutting up the Basic Grey Bittersweet collection which had been gathering dust in my paper storage.

It didn't take me very long to add border stickers, a photo, some embellishments and journaling tot his page but it struck me that the large block of very busy pattern on the right is not something I would normally have on my page. Infact I would probably have been left at the end of the collection pack with three or four patterns that would never get used because they are too busy.

I really like the effect and will be using some of my difficult to use but beautiful to look at patterns in this way in the future.


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Graphic 45 Giveaway!

I is time for another Giveaway and as the Christmas lights are being switched on up and down the country we thought it had better be a seasonal giveaway.

We have a Graphic 45 Nutcracker Sweet 12x12 Pad to giveaway to one lucky blog reader! This range has proved very popular and was used by Jane for her class during the recent UKScrappers Cyber Crop. (Take a look at her class HERE)

To be in with a chance to win leave us a comment on this blog post. We will do a random draw on Friday to select a winner!

Good Luck :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Scraplift Saturday

Back again with a blog post with a layout by one of the design team to use as a scraplift inspiration for your next project - perfect for crop days or a weekend where some crafting time is on the agenda.

“Scraplifting” is a term that refers to copying/borrowing (or taking direct inspiration from) the idea behind a layout or design and using it or modifying it for your own layout.  This week we are hoping to inspire to create your next page by drawing inspiration from this layout by Karen Moss from the October design team gallery.

Love flowers? Then go with those, or replace with stars for a more masculine feel or snowflakes for a wintery page.
Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your scraplifted page, we can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Pretty Patchwork Long Weekend Bonus Class

Anyone who books the Long Weekend package on our retreat gets a bonus class kit with instructions to complete in the classroom. We tend to keep this nice and simple so that when you arrive you can ease yourself into the weekend with a relatively straight forward project which is easily completed in a short space of time. There's nothing like getting off to a flying start to keep those creative juices flowing.

Followers of this blog will know my great love of patchwork style layouts. For this kit everyone had half a pack of a My Minds Eye Love Me paper pack and a sheet of cardstock. I added a sketch plan with info on the sizes of pieces I used and all that was left was to choose which pattern to use in each section.

I saw so many lovely examples of this layout and also a couple of the delegates did a second version using their own scraps. Of course when making a kit for nearly 50 people using a 6x6 pad is the easiest way to do this but I do like to use this technique as a good way to use up my scraps and you can create quite different looks by mixing up the colours and styles.

If you want to have go see below for the sketch we used - each small square represents an inch.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Telling the Story...

At the moment I am actively trying to make sure that aswell as showcasing lovely photos there is plenty of journaling in my albums to tell some of the stories behind those photos.

I have already shared some of my journaling heavy layouts like this which dedicate lots of space to telling the story.

But something else I wanted to share is the idea of asking someone else to journal their version of the story for your albums. For this layout I asked my Mum to journal the memories which were triggered by an old photo of us together on a beach.

To make it less daunting I gave her the journaling block before it was added to the page and then added it afterwards once her journaling was in place.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Working 9-5

I knew the moment Oct Afternoon 9-5 range came out that I wanted to create with it. The background paper alone entitled General Ledger had me excited as an Accountant!! So this was my second class kit for my Sunday morning class.  Using six tags as the basis for the layout design we had a title tag, then 5 tags for Mon through Friday and the Friday tag opened up to reveal Saturday and Sunday.

There were other interactive elements and plenty of products to play with from papers to journalling tags, washi tape and alphabet stickers too.

Papers from  October Afternoons 9-5 can be found here in the shop.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Trends on Tuesday - Gesso

I like to use a bit of gesso...and my tub of Claudine Hellmuth Gesso has lasted me nearly a year and I am only just near the bottom - I don't use loads but it is often on my pages.  The difference between Gesso and white acrylic is not huge (unless you are an artist in which case you often use gesso to prime your canvases) - the things that I noticed are that gesso is slightly runnier than acrylic, and slightly more transparent which can be useful with some of the techniques you use it for.

For the page above I did some basic printing with gesso. I stripped down a piece of corrugated card and then painted it with gesso and printed it on my page.  You can also use milk bottle tops like in my Glitz retreat class, and one of my favourite parts from the class - you can also put it on your fingers and then just brush it onto the edge of papers and flowers to add a painty effect - so don't just think brushes and paint :)

As well as that gesso works really well for scrapping across surfaces - you can use an old credit card or stiff cardboard and then add some gesso and scrape it across the page .  This works well on plain card stock or textured cardstock or patterned paper (sometimes I use it just to dull down the pattern a bit around where I want the photo) - each method gives a slightly different look - here are a couple of examples

And as in both the pages above you can just water it down a little to add some paint flicks too.

Monday, 12 November 2012

That's Customer Service For You!

Just had to share this photo of Jill. It was taken after she came back in the house having met a local customer who had come to pick up her order. Unfortunately the lady had tried to turn around in the swamp next to the drive (the curse of poor draining soil and lots of rain!) She got stuck and Mum and Darren gave her a push - with all the wheel spinning Mum got a little bit splattered!

Just goes to show we *really* go the extra mile to keep our customers happy and set them back on their way with new goodies to play with!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Interactive Year In The Life Class By Mel

This is one of the layouts I taught over the weekend of the retreat. The house opens up to reveal an expandable pocket holding months of the year bingo cards. The idea being that you document the year ahead by adding a small photo and some notes to the back of each months cards.
There is some journaling behind the door (mine is about what kind of a year 2012 has been) and then the roof pulls up to reveal a second journaling spot to journal a similar piece about 2013 next December.

To add extra "ooomph" to the sun, clouds and dots I outlined them in black pen to make them "pop" more. 

Below you can see how the roof lifts and the expandable pocket inside the house

and here is the layout with the house open.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back later in the week to see my Long Weekend Delegates bonus class and the triple layout class I taught using My Minds Eye All Is Bright!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Scraplift Saturday

Resurrecting an old challenge idea for you lovely blog readers out there... welcome back to a Scraplift Saturday! We will be creating a blog post every other Saturday with a layout by one of the design team to use as a scraplift inspiration for your next project - perfect for crop days or a weekend where some crafting time is on the agenda.

“Scraplifting” is a term that refers to copying/borrowing (or taking direct inspiration from) the idea behind a layout or design and using it or modifying it for your own layout.  This week we are hoping to inspire to create your next page by drawing inspiration from this layout by yours truly.

You can replace a photo with a journalling spot or section of patterned paper, rotate the page for landscape photos, incorporate banners onto a layout -  the choice is yours. Papers used on the layout above are by 7Gypsies from their Postale range.

Leave a comment to this post with a link to your scraplifted layouts and lets see how many different variations we can get!
Happy Saturday lovely people!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mels Mini Book Class

I totally loved the Studio Calico Yearbook range and used this to teach my mini book class. Now I do usually opt for the majority of my classes to be layouts but my all time favourite class I have taught is my 7 Gypsies Travel Mini Book and I do like to do a mini book here or there.

In this class we constructed the book which includes pages which are pockets and little sideways pocket spaces in which you can tuck tickets, leaflets and memorabillia. My example is blank at the moment and the delegates only had time to make the book itself in class but it will be ready for photos, journaling and additions when the right subject comes along.

Despite some precision scoring needed to create the binding and a little confusion over pairs of mountains and lonely single mountains the delegates got on really well with this in the end and I saw lots of lovely examples in the crop room over the weekend.
Back over the weekend with another of my classes!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Messy Class

Back from a fantastic weekend away with an amazing group of ladies, this was my first experience of a retreat and I loved it, gorgeous hotel - a desk for me with lots of goodies and a shop stacked with paper and embellishments....and then lots of classes, inspiration and new friends - I think it was the largest amount of scrapping I have ever done in one go and just a great time.

This is the page I did for my messy class which involved some spritzing and dripping with cosmic shimmer mists and also bottle top printing with gesso.  The papers are some from the Cashmere Dame collection by Glitz which has a lovely painty/distressed effect on it already.  I had a fantastic group of ladies (do link me up with your pages as I want to see them and I only saw a few completed ones) who had a go at printing with bottle tops, spritzing and distressing with me.

Behind the main photo are a couple of tags with extra photos and journalling on too.  The flowers are all by prima, and the orange lace is by Websters, the alphabet (one of my favourites and comes in lots of colours) is by prima too.  I used a couple of the cosmic shimmer mists Aqua Lagoon which you can see in some of the extra paint drips in the corner and then Mango Blaze which we used to colour the prima flowers.

And for more from the classes check out Karen's and Ann's.