Monday, 30 May 2011

Winding up with Sketchy Thurdays - Week 2 (I'm Yours Layout) & this pesky Blogger/Firefox Business

***I remember a year or two ago there was a Blogger/Internet Explorer problem & everyone's followers gadgets disappeared -remember that?  So now ALL MY FOLLOWERS HAVE DISAPPEARED AGAIN!!!  Grrrr...and I can comment on about 25% of the blogs I read!  Yup, 1 in 4 the comment box opens up - the rest I can read but not comment on.  So that's that girls - I have been reading & trying to comment today but no such luck.  I am paying visits to all the BIRD IS THE WORD participants to thank them for entering - but if you haven't heard from me you now no why - I will do my best to try to get back to the same blogs later in the week & try again but PLEASE KNOW I DID TRY!!!***

So May is almost over & I say goodbye to SKETCHY THURSDAYS - I LOVED guest designing for them for May, really I did. This is my Week 2 sketch for them - I have shown you the other 3 weeks already.

DON'T FORGET that  there is a new sketch up that has a deadline of WEDNESDAY & you can find it here.  There are prizes to be won AND features & sidebar badges to be had & monthly Guest Designer opportunities.

I went for the right-hand side page as my inspiration.  I switched up a few things - I'm getting confident with my interpretations these days :)

I used the latest palette from The Colour Room, which worked perfectly on this masculine layout about my son Jack.  Oh boy, do I LOVE this young man!!  I know that pages of him are few & far between but that is absolutely NO indication of any less love, just that he is such a busy bee & photo-ops with him are few & far between.

I took these photos of him on the night of his birthday, out on our verandah, after we had enjoyed a celebratory dinner of Thai food from Bangkok Wok.  We prefer to eat in as we have a lovely covered patio where we eat our dinner together every night in the balmy Summer evenings, but that doesn't stop us ordering in!

I started with some cardstock of the palest colour in the palette (always best to have the paler colours at the back & the deeper, brighter ones at the front). I stamped the edges with my new Kaisercraft bubble-wrap stamp {I am IN LOVE with this stamp :)}Did a messy job intentionally - this is a boy layout remember?!?  (mopped up the left-over MIST after spraying the chipboard red - onto PLASTIC - AND USED MY MIST TO STAMP WITH SO NO INK NECESSARY & NO MIST WASTED.

Heavy inked the outer edges of the layout to bring in the tan colour, which is also represented by the decorative stick pins, clock embellishment & brads holding down that awesome chipboard edging, as well as a couple more of them by the title & the date and the "Cinema" ticket sticker.

I made a feature of my journaling by using my mini-alphas (3 different varieties to alleviate boredom LOL) & added the brad as one of my visual triangle points.  I kept the rest of the space around the journaling open to show off the lovely vintage Collage Press paper.

The clock embellishment I used worked well with the title & the journaling, being relevant to the whole "For all time" idea :)  I am wanting to use twine on EVERY layout these days it seems...but am always thinking of what I can do with it that's not the same old thing so I used 4 strands thick, twisted them loosely & looped them into place.

The Glitz Design "Afternoon Muse" sticker forms the beginning of my title & also serves to cover up a logo on my son's T-shirt!  The "For All Time" also hides the base of the DVD my son is holding, as the line was slanted & looked distracting.  Lastly, the "Cinema" ticket again covers the logo on Jack's shirt, which would otherwise have been a distraction.

This beautiful chipboard is courtesy of Imaginarium Designs in Australia.  You can buy all their wonderful chipboard from this online store.  Lucky for me, all us girls @ Once Upon a Sketch got sent a big envelope full of the stuff free of charge & will be receiving an envelope a month for the rest of the year.

I misted the chipboard with Maya Mist "Raspberry Pink"  - just don't OVER mist or it gets soggy...a spritz will do, then a quick blast with your heat embossing gun to dry it off quickly & you're done.  I have attached the chipboard strip with brads at the centre of each design.


Stone cardstock - Bazzill
Green printed paper - Collage Press 'Knave of Hearts"
Red print - Basic Grey "Offbeat"
Black & Cream alphas - October Afternoon Mini-market
Red alphas - Adorn-It (Carolee's Creations)
Black alphas - Making Memories
Twine - Martha Stewart
Clock embellishment - LSS
Stickpins - Maya Road/local haberdashery
"I'm Yours" & "Cinema" stickers - Glitz Design (Afternoon Muse Titles)
Bronze brads - large & small - from my stash
Chipboard piece - Imaginarium Designs
Red mist - Maya Road "Raspberry Pink"
Bubble-wrap stamp - Kaisercraft
Tan ink - Colourbox

Here you can see the logo on Jack's Tshirt BEFORE it gets covered up (on the left) and AFTER it is already covered up with the CINEMA ticket (on the right).

Here you can see I've now covered up that distracting logo with the "I'm Yours" sticker & if you scroll up to the original image of the completed layout you will see how I covered up the slanted base of the DVD (that made the layout look crooked) with the "For all time" letters.

Okay Cherrio!

Off to try AGAIN to comment on all your blogs and of course to do my best to get to some challenges before the end of the month comes & they all close!  Too many sites too little time...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A new Design Team for Me & FIVE Layouts this week!!!

Phew, this week has been very busy for me - and to top it all I have been feeling pretty bad - full of flu & all 3 kids at home have been sick too - so it has been a week of running around to doctors & pharmacies, all when I am not feeling wonderful myself, and I have have met a scrappy deadline every single day!  Well, the good news is that I AM FEELING BETTER :) and I am very happy with my achievements this week - a good feeling!!

I have made it onto another design team - SCRAP-IT-LAH - well I actually found out weeks ago but I've learnt how to "hold it in" now until I'm allowed to announce it!  You can read all about the announcement HERE and if you don't know about Scrap-it-Lah challenge blog now is a good time to add them to your reader/blog roll & check out their MONTHLY CHALLENGES.  We have a great challenge coming up for you for June (I know because I have just completed my layout & sent it in - you can check back at the beginning of the new month - remember to look here for the latest challenge - which will be up after the 1st of June).

Scrap-it-Lah is a Malaysian challenge blog & I am so impressed with the Malaysian/Singaporean/South East Asian region scrapbooking style that I felt compelled to apply to this DT.  I have done some of their challenges in the past & they are always excellent - like this one for example - look here!  Yes, that high standard is what you have to look forward to & I do hope you will play along with us at Scrap-it-Lah!

Now onto the rest of my week!  It started on Sunday with the reveal at Bird is the Word - the new word being Life/Live/Living- you can see the reveal here and here is my layout!  This challenge is still open for 3 more weeks & the Sun/Sunshine challenge is open for another week still so get those entries in!

I combined this with a TIMED CHALLENGE over at Scrapbook Challenges (you won't find it in the forum though as it was part of a fun weekend organised for the Design Team only - the DT Olympics - so it is on the Design Team Blog).  We were put into 3 teams of 3 & I was "runner" no. 2.

It took me 1.5 hours to do this page, which is half my usual time, and considering that I misted, stamped, punched, fussy-cut & journaled, plus altered some chipboard I was pleased with my time & WE WON no thanks to me LOL as my time was the slowest in the group - oh well - quality not quantity I say!

I had to follow a sketch & had to mist, hand-journal & alter a piece of chipboard (see top right) I misted that swirl :) but it was fun nonetheless & I did win a lovely sheet of Basic Grey Bling in one of the other challenges.

I used mostly October Afternoon 5 & Dime for this page because of the speed challenge - using all one line definitely helps - and I now store my latest products ALL TOGETHER in 12 inch bags - papers AND embellishments & it's been the best move I've ever made in my organisational life - WAAAAY EASIER...


Backing paper - October Afternoon - 5 & Dime - Butterscotch
Fussy-cut paper - October Afternoon - 5 & Dime - Lemon Drops
Blue printed paper - October Afternoon - 5 & Dime - Rock Candy
Stickers, chipboard, punched circles, all October Afternoon 5 & Dime shape stickers & Chip 'n Stick
Green Grosgrain Ribbon - American Crafts
Baby brads - stash
Brads - SEI
Chipboard - Enmarc
Martha Stewart Deep Shell punch
Making Memories gold staples
Chipboard Alphas - American Crafts Thickers Sunrise

Doubled up my new punch there because I am just CRAZY FOR IT!!!

Next up I did this layout for Sketchy Thursdays, which I combined with this gorgeous palette at The Colour Room .

You still have until Wednesday midnight EST to enter this sketch at Sketchy Thursdays.

I used American Crafts stash for my layout & the chipboard frame is sponsored by Imaginarium Designs who are currently sponsoring Once Upon a Sketch & sending us free chippie ALL YEAR LONG - woo hoo!  If you want to purchase any of their awesome designs go to Seriously Scrapbooking - they are Australian based but chipboard is light & flat & they will ship it to you anywhere in the world!


Craft & printed paper - American Crafts Splendour
Pink printed paper - American Crafts - Blithe
*** both are double-sided papers & I used both sides***
Chipboard Frame - Imaginarium Designs
Paint - Making Memories - Daiquiri & Lemon
Glitter - Stickles - Shabby Shutters
Chipboard Swirl - Enmarc
Chipboard Alphas - American Craft Thickers - Hardcover
Text-print alphas - October Afternoon - Hometown Summer
Pearl brads - American Crafts Elements - Letterbox
Metal roses - American Crafts - Dear Lizzy - Enchanted
Chipboard Flowers - American Crafts Noteworthy
Decorative hatpins - Little Yellow Bicycle
Mini stickers - Making Memories - Tiny Alphas
Doily - Little Yellow Bicycle
Sprayed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist - Snow Queen
7 Gypsies Gaffer tape
Golden ribbon - American Crafts Peachy Keen
Gold staples - Making Memories
Border stickers - Crate Paper - Emma's Shoppe
Yellow scallop sticker - Doodlebug Fancy Frills
Deep Shell punch - Martha Stewart

I simply cut my printed paper & flipped over the bottom section to the revese side - which is the craft cardstock.

Then I used masking tape at the back to hold the pieces together at the seam.

I derived my title from the iconic 1983 song by Spandau Ballet - GOLD - (A - because my youngest daughter has incredibly shiny, golden hair) and (B - because she is like gold to us).

I am also entering this at City Crafter Challenge Blog for their "I've been Framed" challenge that closes at the end of the month so you still have a few days to enter this one too!
I experimented with some creative composition for these photos - for the first time ever - I've seen others do it & love the look of it!  (ie:- not showing the whole face/body etc...)

I am certainly enjoying my computer journaling at the moment & have seen that I don't like the hand-writing fonts as much as the typography fonts (particularly the old typewriter fonts - being my favourites).

 Can you spot the strip of 7 gypsies gaffer tape there under the ribbon?  I just needed something to make it stand out a little more - and HOW BEAUTIFUL is my new MS punch - just can't get enough of it!

Next I'll share  this week's  Colour Combos Galore layout but you can take a peek at it here.  I also sent in my DT layout for the upcoming sketch at Once Upon a...Sketch, which will be revealed next week so I can't share that here yet - but if you haven't completed your take on the last sketch yet you only have a few more days to do so so check it out here & get cracking to be in line for some tremendous prizes as per always at Once Upon a Sketch!

You can take a look at my DT layout for that challenge over here ( haven't blogged that yet!) and REMEMBER there is a MASSIVE giveaway going on at Once Upon a Sketch too - a whole May Nook kit up for grabs so get on over there now you hear me?!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sketchy Thursdays {Grade 11 Fun Layout} plus LOTS OF NEWS!!

This is my last week at Sketchy Thursdays as their May Guest Designer!  Can you believe it?!  Time flies!!  Thanks to Heidi & Diana for having me - I have so enjoyed working with some different sketches & it really has stretched my abilities!  This is the sketch for my WEEK I which you can find on their blog here.

I've just sent in my page for tomorrow's reveal so remember to check it out HERE tomorrow - although I will be posting it shortly after - yup I am committed to getting caught up this week!  They are running a monthly GUEST DESIGNER COMPETITION at the moment so have a look out for that & enter - your chance to show off your stuff!  I must be honest & say that circles aren't my favourite - I prefer lines & angles...

Nonetheless I gave it my best shot, using photos my daughter's friends took @ school a couple of years ago.  She has recently turned 18 & I am wanting to finish up her "up until she left school" albums.  The title of this page is "Gr. 11 fun" {Grade 11 fun} just in case you thought it was Grll (as in girrrrl) fun like my son did!
I used this palette from The Colour Room as their challenges close on Thursday evenings, so it has worked out perfectly for me to combine these 2 challenges each week.  If you are looking for great galleries where people actually take the time to comment on your work then I highly recommend The Colour Room & Colour Combos Galore.
Not the best photos I've ever taken but you get the idea right?  I sprayed my mist through a toilet roll here!  The more you spray the more "coffee cup stains" you get! Then added some journaling around the circles.  Lots of Sassafras Sweetly Smitten here - I am smitten with it indeed!

The sketch works well without a lot of changes - and there is lots of scope for adding all sorts of pretties.
I am still crazy-in-love with those Sassafrass metal flowers - swoon...

Even the alphas are vintage Sassy...

If I had known how cool the Sassafras "Foldies" were (the paper flower die-cuts that you just press out, fold under & over for dimension, and stick!) then I would have ordered more - such a cool & cheap embellishment.  So there you have it - Week 1 FINALLY - I will be posting Week 2 next.  You saw week 3 yesterday.  Then week 4 will be coming soonest LOL.

More Sketchy stuff - there is a brand new challenge up there right now so why not play along?  There are luscious prizes up for grabs & lots of faves selected AND displayed every week - and with  a name like Sketchy THURSDAYS it's not difficult to remember what day the reveal is every week!!  To play along just submit before 10p.m EST on Wednesday then the results are posted soon after.  They have a BIG following - 1691 followers!  So it's the place to be seen :) :) :)


DON'T FORGET to check out the NEW SKETCH at Once Upon a Sketch - it is due in on May 31st Aus EST & there are always some seriously cool prizes up for grabs.  THREE big prizes this fortnight PLUS a MASSIVE giveaway so check it out now please!   If you only have time to complete one challenge this month it should be this one!  FIVE ENTRIES make the FEATURED HEADER & stay there for all to admire for TWO WHOLE WEEKS - want to be spotted???  This is your place...Check out the NEW REVEAL here - there is a layout of mine up there that I have n't had the space to blog about yet!

BIRD IS THE WORD is also going from Strength to Strength right now!  LIFE/LIVE or LIVING are the new words you have to work with for the next 24 days AND don't forget about SUN/SUNSHINE that is still open for another 10 days!  Sponsored each fortnight by the site's creator, Wendy Otterness, from Tidbitz in Time, you get to choose an ENTIRE KIT!  And first, second, third place are all voted on by the DT then shown off on the blog too!  Geez I work for some rocking places...I am still pinching myself about that daily!!

 Scrapbook Challenges have regular sketches too - a BUZZING gallery - the forum is a HIVE of activity.  Check out my latest challenge going on there HERE, the gallery here (sketches are posted in the gallery but you can also find them in the forum HERE , my portrait photography thread HERE - always stuff happening there - THOUSANDS of members & often little RAKS up for grabs here & there too - you do have to register though so take the time to do that - it's worth it!  

Same story at Inspired Blueprints - LOTS going on - WEEKLY sketches this year and FREE DIGITAL TEMPLATES too.  They also have a blog where you can catch the DT REVEAL every SUNDAY (I have a couple of pages in there I haven't shared yet too!!)

I still haven't received my parcel of flowers etc from PRETTY PAPER PETALS in Australia (I am now on their DT).  Right now the store is closed until June 10th but you can still pop in & have a look around so you are ready to grab what you want asa it reopens.  Vicki is just fast & furiously replenishing her stocks!

I have another EXCITING NEW ANNOUNCEMENT {wink!} to make here VERY SOON!  So keep checking back for that!!  Yup - life is preeeeeetty busy over here right now but I am LOVING IT :) :) :)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sketchy Thursdays/The Colour Room {Love You More - every day}

*** Edited to add***  Ooopsie girls - I forgot to add that I am also submitting this for The Studio Challenges Dimensional challenge here this month***  You have until the end of the month to link up any project using layers & dimension so why not play along?!***

Happy New Week Creative People!  I created this layout last week for my Guest Designer month over at Sketchy Thursdays.  Please pop on over & have a look at their blog & sketches!  They are a super-friendly site & a great place to play - very chilled & no problem with combining their sketches with other challenges - they also feature lots of their favourite layouts each week so you could be a Sketchy Thursdays Fave!

I haven't blogged my first 2 week's sketches at Sketchy Thursdays yet!  I have so much to blog about these days & I just can't get to it fast enough.  I think I may start scheduling my posts in the near future - maybe that will help.

I fussy-cut an entire sheet of Echo Park Springtime to use as my embellishments.  As soon as I saw the "Spring Feathers" patterned paper in person I just wanted to cut into it straight away!  It took me an hour to cut up the whole sheet but I did it while having a chat to my little daughter so time passed quickly :)

I printed these photos as a collage in Picasa.  Picasa is a FREE photo editing/storage program & is absolutely awesome.  My long-time blog readers will be sick & tired of hearing me say that but I just love it more each day (like the title of this layout!) hee hee...So if you don't have it DOWNLOAD IT NOW...

The scalloped paper is by K I Memories & it's called Daisy Calendar paper.  It comes pre-stitched - awesome!  Did you notice that I tied in my title with the paper?  Because the paper has the days of the week on it I called my layout "Love you More {every day}" - get it?  I try to do that kind of thing wherever possible, just personalizes your page just that little bit more don't you think?

All the Design Team members at Once Upon a Sketch are being sponsored for the rest of the year by Imaginarium Designs chipboard so that's why you're seeing a little chipboard revival here!  I actually have tonnes of chipboard (as well as being sent an A4 envelope of the latest designs each month) but I just kinda gave up using it - it is definitely making a big comeback though I've noticed - have you?

The bling is from a multi-coloured sheet by Little Yellow Bicycle.  They also do really cute miniature doilies.  So if you are in a store remember to check out their section - they have some handy embellishments.


I layered up my fussy-cutting quite a lot with foam pads & 3D glue-dots.  Another trick is to not adhere everything - like the leaves for example - so that the dimension is more obvious & everything is not so flat.  I matted the photo with blue tulle (Vintage Inspired Netting) from Webster's Pages, which is almost indistinguishable in the photos but really made a difference in real life - see if you can spot it in the photo above.

Because I am getting the sketches a week early as a Guest Designer I am required to return them by Tuesday - ready to launch on Thursday - so I have been combining them with the latest palettes at The Colour Room, which closes on Thursday evenings.

This week I forgot to upload my Colour Room layout (even though I had finished it on Tuesday) because I have a house full of sick children & was busy playing Florence Nightingale as well as preparing for my first "real" photo-shoot, which took place on Friday morning.  (Read about it here & let me know what you think).  Anyway, I uploaded it late (better late than never) but I was disappointed in myself for letting that happen...


Paper - Basic Grey Curio - Cabriole
K I Memories - Daisy Calendar paper
Echo Park - Springtime - Spring Feathers
Tulle - Blue Vintage Inspired Netting (Webster's Pages)
Bling - Little Yellow Bicycle
Chipboard - Imaginarium Designs
Paint - Daiquiri - Making Memories
Paint - White - Dala
Yellow alphas - American Crafts Remarks - Beckett - (Dandelion)
Journal pen - Artline 200 FINE 0.4 Black

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Giveaway Time at Once Upon a Sketch! And a new challenge at Bird is the Word!!

How would you like to win one of these?

The absolutely gorgeous May kit from My Scrapbook Nook??

Once Upon A ..Sketch is giving one away right now!!

All you need to do is...

1. Follow the Once Upon A ...Sketch Blog.

2. Copy this exact information and post about this on your blog, together with the above May kit picture and a link back to Once Upon A ...Sketch

3. Make sure you also post the information about the current offer at the Nook (written below).
4. Link your post using the Link Tool at the bottom of this Once Upon a Sketch blog post!

That's it! 

You have until the end of the current challenge, which is midnight May 31st, Australian Eastern Standard Time.   

Nadia will draw a random winner soon after.

My Scrapbook Nook has a wonderful offer for a limited time only! 

Sign up for 6 months and receive the May kit for free...great deal! 

Or Sign up for 12months and get the 13th kit free!!!!!!!!!

  Kits value between $31- $34 – Yours for only $29.50

This way we ensure that you receive a fully loaded kit each month. 

We will also offer combined shipping with any add-ons or goodies from the store you need.

Tell a friend and if they sign up email us at and give us your friends name and we will give you a $5.00 store credit. 
Good only while supplies last.

Go for it!  Post about it on your blogs & go  back to Once Upon a Sketch to link up for a chance to win!


Keep an eye out at Bird is the Word later today too - new challenge coming later TODAY!

If you entered the BEGIN challenge you need to keep a look-out on the blog for the next few days because it is time to ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS!  Awesome prizes up for grabs on this blog girls so add Bird is the Word to your reader NOW!

Last winner got to choose an entire kit from Tidbitz in Time - Way to Go!

The CURRENT CHALLENGE at Bird is the Word is to use the word SUN OR SUNSHINE on your layout - either in the title OR the journaling OR both!

There is an OPTIONAL sketch for your inspiration too!

So why not participate - join as a follower & adding this Bird is the Word Badge to your sidebar, together with a clickable link, so that you can pop in any time to keep abreast with the latest challenges.




Thursday, 19 May 2011

Colour Combos Galore 192/Sketch Inspirations 220 - Oh to be Ten Again!

 Wednesday 12p.m EST is the deadline every week for the Colour Combos Galore Challenge.

The designer's challenge was to use layers - well I don't need to be asked twice!  Love layers!!

Found the perfect sketch at Sketch Inspirations, due in this Saturday.

Apparently layers are difficult for some people, but the easiest way I have found to approach a layered page is to firstly design the background paper, using lots of other papers, ribbons, etc.

Next is to place your photographs on top (sometimes tucking under & over some additional layers too).

I always add my title in next, then my journaling, then LASTLY my embellishments, so that I don't run out of space for the important stuff. 

I took a photo to show you this corner & how I covered up the meeting point of the punch using a butterfly.  I know you can buy corner punches that match the border punches but they are expensive.

I also wanted to show you how you can get a nice mixed colour butterfly by punching out of an ugly paper.  I actually used the reverse side for this layout.
I fussy-cut some Crate Paper Restoration flowers because they were the right colours for the challenge.

I painted the chipboard with a mauve pearlescent paint so it shimmers beautifully.  The challenge called for lilac but I just couldn't bring myself to use it - just hate most shades of purple!
All us Once Upon a Sketch Design Team girls are being sponsored ALL YEAR by Imaginarium Designs chipboard company in Australia - so awesome!

There is the butterfly hiding the ugly corner!  I am preferring computer journaling on my layouts these days - just looks slicker...

Printed paper - Webster's Pager - Country Estate - Sentimental Journey
Cosmo Cricket - Now That's a Good Thing - Swingin'
October Afternoon - Sleeping Bag
Making Memories - white lace paper
Crate Paper - Restoration - fussy-cut flowers & border - Slipcover & Fringe
Pink Paislee - bracket offcut
Crochet flower & doily - handmade
Prima bling swirl - cut into sections
Bling butterfly - local
Brads - Basic Grey Lemonade
Chipboard alphas & branch - Imaginarium Designs
Purple ink - Pretty Colour
Martha Stewart deep shell punch & butterfly punch
Pearlescent Paing - L'il Davis Designs
White twill tape - local
Mini-doily - Little Yellow Bicycle