Friday, 29 April 2011

Happy Hour @ Pretty Paper Petals & Bird is the Word - Beginning!

WOO HOO!  The Royal Wedding today!!  I still remember the last one clearly...does that give away my age LOL?!?  Well just a quick one again today as I have a layout on my counter that is waiting for some urgent attention (like a start LOL)...

Do you remember I made it onto this awesome Design Team here?  I seriously dig this stuff.  These blooms (and other goodies) are truly delicious & you can get some great deals on them FOR ONE HOUR A WEEK ONLY at 12 noon South African time, which is 8p.m Sydney time every FRIDAY.   So why not take a lookie at this post here and put in your orders while they are "on special". 

Even if you miss this time you can buy them ANY TIME, or join their club, that will give you great rates & a regular monthly supply of goodies, and how about taking part in their sketch challenge?  The deadline has been extended until the 16th of May & the sketch itself is beautiful, having been designed by the inimitable Nadia Cannizzo, who is a scrappy inspiration of NOTE!

I am dying to get going with adding their wonderful product to my layouts but of course I am still waiting for my parcel...why in this day & age stuff that is sent AIRMAIL - in other words - on an AIROPLANE that takes a matter of HOURS to get here always takes a minimum of THREE WEEKS is more than a little beyond me???  Nonetheless to give the South African Postal Service credit where credit is due I have ALWAYS received my parcels and NOTHING has ever been damaged - it will arrive - sometime :)

 And here is my second DT layout for Bird is the Word.  I love the concept of that blog, designing a layout around a single word - inspired!  And another great thing about it is you could always combine your challenge with a colour challenge AND a sketch too!  Right now the WORD is BEGIN/BEGINNING/BEGINNINGS and there is LOTS of scope for that one so put your thinking caps on & get creating!

You get a full month to create your layout & there are still 23 days left!  I have lots of close-ups & "stuff to say" about this layout so I will post it again with close-ups & details, supplies lists, etc, when I am not working against the clock LOL...Loved digging into my new stash with this one though...oooh...Glitz Design "Afternoon Muse" - drool...and the scallop paper & backing paper are both new WRMK - L U S H ...
 Used this glorious sketch from Sketchabilities here - you should check them out.  Lovely sketch right?  And now they have their own gallery so you can upload there.  Love that.  Always beats the linky thingy...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Woo to the Hoo! {Thank you my Peeps :) :) :) }Sketchy Thursdays GDT gig/Colour Combos Galore/Creative Scrappers/City Crafter

Aaaah it's been a good year :)

Thank you to everyone of you who took time out to vote for me at Sketchy Thursdays.  I am totally delighted to see that I won, I won, I won :) :) :) :).  Stoked...totally stoked!

I couldn't have done it without you so THANKS {{{{{biiiiiiiiiiig grin}}}}}...

For those of you who may have NO IDEA what I am on about here is the snip!


I had totally forgotten about the $25 gift card so that was a biiiiiiiig plus when I saw it!  Can't wait to check out Addicted to Scrapbooking & see what's in store...

Now I wish I could give you the lowdown on this layout but I just can't tonight.  Our long weekend is finally over (yes, today was also a public holiday here in South Africa - Freedom Day)  & I have a little girl waiting for me to bath with her & she heads off to school early in the morning so I need to dash off!!

I will post my close-ups & supplies list here again before the end of this month.

This is my week's entry at Colour Combos Galore.  I am also submitting it at City Crafter for their challenge 54 - Mother May I? challenge & I used Sketch 153 at Creative Scrappers.

 Thanks again for all your support & your votes at Sketchy Thursdays!  This sure is a short week but hope you're having a great one!!

Cherish the Memories of You & Me {The Colour Room/Pencil Lines} plus a mini-tutorial & Please Vote for Me!

***layout photography mini-tutorial & a voting plea PLEASE!***

Some time last week I promised to show you all a layout using Basic Grey's Curio.  I didn't forget - there just hasn't been an appropriate time to slot this in yet - but I must get it linked up before the end of the month because it uses Pencil Lines sketch 232, which is due in then.

I turned the whole sketch upside down so that the bunting falls at the bottom ot the photo as opposed to the top.  You all now how much I like a big photo & I took this one very recently when my daughter came home from university for a week, and her best friend from Zimbabwe came to spend the night with us on her way through Durban on hockey tour.


Cardstock:- Grey (American Crafts) & Terracotta (Bazzill)
Printed papers - Basic Grey Curio ( Rosewater, Estate & Muslin)
Butterfly & butterfly circle (cut from Bo Bunny Gabrielle paper - Cut-Outs)
Inks - Dark Brown & Lime Pastel (Colour Box)
Bling (Bo Bunny)
Pearls (Basic Grey)
Flowers (Prima)
Lace (Prima)
Butterfly punch (Martha Stewart)
Cardstock stickers - Glitz Design (Love Nest)
Word Stickers - Glitz Design (Love Nest) titles
You & Me wording -Glitz Design (Vintage Titles)
Scallop Stickers - Jenni Bowlin Studio - Border Stickers black
Tiny circle alpha stickers - Jenni Bowlin Studio Vintage Black Stickers
Larger circle alpha stickers - Jenni Bowlin Studio Star Banner Red Stickers
Black glittered scroll & sentences - Melody Ross (GCD studios) Artsy Urban
Blue Scroll Sticker - Bo Bunny Gypsy stickers

I submitted this at The Colour Room last week. With these colour challenges it's always tempting just to use plains & add mists or paint if you don't have the perfect colours, but my advice to you is to get to know what prints you have in stock too as often some of them can be perfect for the challenges & prints always add an extra dimension of interest in my opinion.

I love these papers (Basic Grey Curio) so I'm glad I finally got to use them. They mixed really well with Jenni Bowlin basics & last season GCD & Glitz Design, embellished with Prima for a girly touch.

To get that unusual green I inked a lot.  Inks are a real life-saver.  For edging I use cat's eye inks (small eye shaped inks) but they're no good for stamping - for that you need bigger square or rectangular inks.

To emphasize the grey & tan colours I matted with plain cardstock - just to bring out those two colours from the palette, then the green came mostly from the title & inking & the cream from the embellishing & lettering.

I love using this Prima lace as a substitute for bunting - the fact that it has flag-shaped points is just perfect!

I cut that huge butterfly from Bo Bunny Gabrielle paper!  As you can see above I  made another one of my trademark looooooooooooong titles using various different types of letters/alphas & word stickers.


Layout Photography Mini- Tutorial - I love these sideview shots - just to show off the lush dimension.  If you want to take these yourself You are going to need to set your camera to A or AV mode (apperture priority) & go down to the lowest number (F stop) by turning the dial on the top & reading the LCD at the back. 

My lens goes down to 2.6 but some go right down to 1.2 (that's next on my list!) but most kit lenses only go down to 3.5 & it doesn't work so well with those unfortunately.  Focus at the front or middle (with the red square in your viewfinder) then the rest will blur in front/behind it.  Easy when you know how :0)

I have 5 layers of papers on this layout, excl. the photos.  Sometimes my layouts can have 8 layers.  If you prefer the "clean & simple" style of scrapbooking then usually there are less layers involved.  If you prefer the more "shabby chic" style then usually this is achieved by layering of your papers & clustering of your embellishments.

I saw today that I made it to the finals of the May Guest Designer Challenge at Sketchy Thursdays & the top 5 layouts are now up for voting & I am coming in second so far!!  Please, please, please, click the link I've given you above & go & have a look at the 5 layouts & vote for the one you like the most :)  I hate to say "Vote for Me" like an order, because maybe you won't like my layout the most, but I'm hoping that if you follow my blog you DO like my layouts & then hopefully you WILL vote for me so PLEASE take a minute for me & cast your vote :)  Thank you!

We are still on holiday here in South Africa would you believe?!  Tomorrow it is Freedom Day here, another public holiday, so today was an unofficial public holiday & a school holiday here too. 

We have visitors at the moment who are only leaving again on Saturday so it is a bit of a hectic time for me as you all know that so many challenges are due in at the end of the month, which is FRIDAY & I have SEVEN layouts I still need to blog about to link up!

Not to mention some DT commitments that I haven't yet...ahem...started...cough cough...but not to worry, I am not easily flustered & "It'll be all right on the night" as they say.  I work completely fine under pressure, which is good, considering the circumstances LOL!!!  Wishing you all a wonderful week! ***

EEK - Voting closes in 19 hours - hurry hurry!!!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Our Golden Girl {Creative Scrappers Sketch 152/The Colour Room Pallette 54}

I really like Creative Scrappers.  Before now I haven't played along there that much but I'm noticing that I'm going for their sketches more & more.  I'm fussy about my sketches - I don't like just following any old sketch - I like them simple so that my layout can take on it's own personality as there is plenty of room for interpretation.  You all know that I am also a fan of bigger photographs so these sketches are perfect for me!

I like to combine a sketch with a colour challenge - makes sense to kill 2 birds with one stone - entering two challenges with one layout - so I used this sketch for my entry for The Colour Room this week!  Worked out well for me as I was featured!!  I was very surprised as my style doesn't seem to really suit TCR - most of the layouts they feature are very artistic with a lot of mixed media play & small photographs, which I don't work with that much.  But of course I was delighted as colour challenges are my fave & I enjoy playing there.

So I've just received my box full of CHA goodies at last, including Crate Paper's Emma's Shoppe.  It was love at first sight for me with this line & I had to have it all.  I knew it would make for the cutest layouts of my little girl & none of it would go to waste & sure enough so far I have been right!
I didn't actually think I was going to have the time to play last week actually so only got to starting this layout on Thursday evening & having to photograph it at night (so the photo you see here on my blog is actually much nicer than the one above as I rephotographed it in the day) .  There is NO substitute for natural light even though I have a really cool system for photographing at night using 2 lamps that shine directly onto my layout, which I attach to a solid white background - it works & it'll do but it's not the best.

I started with white cardstock & misted it yellow.  If you look closely you'll be able to see that.  Then I attached the background check after roughing up the edges with my Making Memories distressing tool & inking them in orange.  I also tore the edge in a few places & bent it back then adhered it like that to show a hint of the gorgeous floral print underneath.

I actually added the black "faux" stitching at the very end - just because I thought my layout could do with some definition & "finishin-off".  I added quite a few strips in the centre of the layout because there were so many nice ones to choose from on one of the pp sheets & because I also bought the border strips!

For my main panel I used the left-hand side for my title area & layered it up using the CP chipboard embellishments & a journal spot I cut from one of the pp sheets.  The resin flowers used are Maya Road & the gingham ribbon is American Crafts Peachy Keen, the alphas are Sassafrass Lass - I just added the stitching lines using a journaling pen - everything else is Crate Paper, except of course the mist & cardstock. 

My very last touches were the hand-journaling - always a hectic moment for me because sometimes hand-journaling can unfortunately ruin the look of a layout & has to be covered up - thank Goodness this time it worked out fine - I always take a deep breath & hardly breathe while I am doing it to get the best look!  I also inked the outer edge of my layout heavily in black ink to tie in with the journaling & stitching.

At the side of the photo I used the beautiful pink broderie anglaise that came with the CP ES trims but pleated it up for sheer decadence - this can be easily done with only double-sided tape & no stitching or measurements needed - just use the edge of your working mat with the grid measurements - I used 1cm.

I tried to imitate the look of the sewing-machine going backwards & forwards here - that messy stitching look that is so popular on layouts & looks so cool - mainly because I've lost my bobbin box right now & my machine is threaded with red LOL...gotta find that soon 'cos red is rather limiting hee hee...

So that's it.  It took me 2 hours - which is about average for me.  If it's any quicker I can't add all the little details that I like & for anything fancier, fussy-cutting, etc it always takes me quite a bit longer to do.  I took that photo on the day I scrapped it!  It was my test shot before I started photographing Lloyd & wasn't the best but Cami's hair shone so nicely due to the metal door that was reflecting the light so beautifully that I just had to keep it.


Cardstock - Bazzill pink & mauve
Printed papers - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Fabrics (yellow check) & Sweets (orange diamond design) & Books (Strips)
Yellow mist - Tattered Angels Lemon Zest
Black ink - Doodlebug
Orange ink - Colourbox
Black journaling pen - American Crafts Slick Writer - Fine
Strips - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Border Stickers
Ribbon - American Crafts Peachy Keen (gingham)
Stickers - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe "Phrases"
Broderie anglaise lace - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe trims
Journaling card - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe - Accent Cuts
Chipboard pieces - Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Chipboard stickers
Maya Road resin roses
Alpha stickers - Sassafras Lass Yellow Paper

Saturday, 23 April 2011

My April RAK is up {but you have to play along at Scrapbook Challenges to win!}

Easter Saturday here - 11.30ish in the morning & I have to leave my computer now & go & get myself ready to visit a bloggy pal who is holidaying here - woo hoo - that should be fun hey?!  Will be my 3rd bloggy IRL meeting - not bad I suppose - one a year!!  So I am just popping in her quickly to show you my challenge NATURE IN ALL HER SPLENDOUR that I have just put up at Scrapbook Challenges.

I would LOVE for you to join in so here is the link DIRECTLY TO MY CHALLENGE IN THE FORUM too.

And, just so I have a record of it here too...I have cut & pasted & screensaved it for you to see & hopefully be inspired to play along with me there...

My forum entry reads:-

Helen here wishing you all a Happy Easter & bringing you a great challenge to keep you busy & "thinking green" this Easter weekend/Earth day.  As we all know, scrapbooking uses paper, which inevitably means chopping down trees, so we can give our little bit back by taking it easy & sometimes just using CRAFT PAPER.  Yes, you can buy craft cardstock but I challenge you to use craft cardstock that YOU HAVE NOT BOUGHT!  I have to order most of my stash online because getting hold of new stash in South Africa is a challenge - & I always request that the paper is braced in "strong cardboard" on either side to stop it from getting KEEP THESE 2 SHEETS and always make sure to use them before ordering my next lot of papers...makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile for the environment at least!

 I used a Creative Scrappers sketch - no 151 - which you can find here - you have until the end of the month to play along there too...

I am closing this challenge on SUNDAY 30 APRIL 12pm EST - so you have until the end of the month!

Happy Creating!


{This is my RAK for April so if you want a chance of winning it you need to please join Scrapbook Challenges {becoming a follower of my blog would be a nice gesture too!} and post your entry directly in the challenge thread ASWELL AS in the gallery AND remember to tag it correctly - NATURE IN ALL HER SPLENDOUR challenge.

What you see is what you get - beautiful handmade crochet blooms - wish I could say by me but actually crocheted by some Zimbabwean refugees for me, which I did as a way to help them earn some money here.

Spot the Studio Calico STAMP in there - the circular woodgrain one - just received it in my latest kit but don't like it so am happy to give it away..I have a funny story about those twill-tape flowers too - my son Jack made those for me because he wanted to earn some extra money - so I paid him R10 :) :) :) so funny...he's now earned R35 off me for various odd-jobs as he is DESPERATE for a Blackberry & there is no hope of him getting one otherwise!  He got a Christmas/Birthday present rolled into one because it was a bit costly, so there isn't even hope of him getting one for Christmas LOL!

And the twine & Cosmo stickers are also BRAND NEW from my latest Studio Calico me fussy but I just can't use stuff I don't like...I could force myself but I've decided life's too short for that :)

So...what do you think of my challenge?  Will you play??

Was fun to get that layout done & just shows you that, much as we all love the new stuff, you can still create with "not much" & it can end up looking just fine...

Friday, 22 April 2011

It's been a GOOD Friday!!! {Pretty Paper Petals new stock & a Double Feature!!}

Get it?!  Good Friday??!!  Well it IS Good Friday today & I do hope it has been a GREAT Friday for you all...  Happy, happy Easter - I hope you have all had a blessed day surrounded by friends, family and/or those you love.  My day started with breakfast in bed from my dear hubby, who just happens to be one of the last gentlemen standing, I mean Mother's Day, yes...then I expect breakfast in bed, but today I fully expected to start the day washing the dishes :)

First up, somehow I missed out on posting the Pretty Paper Petals Happy Hour post, which is sadly now over :(  BUT I can show you the goodies available in stock right now & STRONGLY SUGGEST you head on over there now & decide on what you would like :)

 What with the next royal wedding fast approaching there are some Grande new additions in store...Just check out these DIANA BUDS...


More gorgeous colours of those in stock too...along with the COUNTRY PRINCESSES...

Not only are there gorgeous blooms, bunting, other assorted cuteness...but there is also a Pretty Paper Petals CLUB you can join to ensure that you NEVER miss out on a new release!  Great value too - see!!

Those are prices for Australia but international customers are MOST WELCOME & shipping shouldn't be excessive as the blooms & other goodies are all light, small but they pack a big punch when on a layout :)

Browse through the blog here to take a look-see at how the Design Team are busy using up all their Pretty Petals - hopefully mine will arrive soon as I can't wait to get going with them on my pages!

Now, when I woke up this morning I had 45 e mails on my know when you forget to click "unfollow" & everyone who comments on a layout in a gallery after you...well, all their notifications come to you...???...yeah well it was something like that LOL...and as I was busy binning them all I saw one from THE COLOUR ROOM.  "Your layout has just been Featured..."  Say what?!?  Yup I gulped & read it again & sure enough...tadadada!!!
I join in there purely for "fun" & to keep on learning & experimenting, getting "out there" & interacting with like minded souls...I don't ever expect anything in return at The Colour Room, the work is of an exceptional standard & with over 3 000 members & over 100 people participating on average per challenge, the likelihood of ever "being featured" as one of ONLY FIVE entries is against the odds.  But I did it this week!  Woo Hoo!!

And I shall be back again this week, God willing...I like to discipline myself to take part at The Colour Room & Colour Combos Galore every week if possible, as Colour Challenges are my ultimate fave!  So here's this week's palette...a little dramatic perhaps, but I shall tone it down with a nice devonshire cream methinks...oh well, who knows what I'll do yet but I'll keep you posted LOL...

And THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS!!!  Blow me down if I don't get ANOTHER E MAIL from Colour Combos Galore - Yikes - now I really DID think I was hallucinating!!  But I grabbed the laptop, checked in to my favourite site & there I was again!!!  Featured in the line up for the week & in the side-bar too!

 Along with my dear & sweet friend Eila - who doesn't have a blog & I keep telling her she needs to start one!  {listening Eila?!} but she is the most wonderful & faithful commenter in both the CCG & TCR galleries.

And HOW is that combo for DIVINE???  Can't wait to play this week with those gorgeous chalky pastel colours - my favourites...

So now can you see why I said it was a VERY Good Friday? :-D  And now I am off with my family & friends to watch "Country Strong" at the movies, which should be the perfect way to wind up a glorious day!