Thursday, 30 June 2011

Creating Keepsakes Publication July/August 2011 & Featured at Crate Paper :)

***Will be back in the morning with the new reveal details for Once Upon a Sketch, Scrap-it-Lah & Pretty Paper Petals. ***

Hiya!  As you know I am off on a week's trip with my 18 year old daughter first thing Saturday morning so I am in a mad rush trying to prepare what we need to take on our trip, as well as a million lists for my husband (who needs to go where at what time, etc, etc), stock the fridge & pantry, run around after my budding superstar daughter all day - think rehearsals, hair, make-up, repeat!!  aaaaaaaall week!!! AND get in some end-of-month challenges!  Phew!!  I'm TIRED!  

I'm off to bed now & will come back to visit you all in the morning (yawn!) but for now I just had to share my publication at last!  Remember I told you all about it way back in January?  Well if you have the latest issue of Creating Keepsakes you'll find me in it - woo hoo!!  (okay not me, but you know what I mean !)

I need to submit again!  It's a good feeling seeing your work in print - surreal I have to say :)  My daughter says she's a celebrity now!!  I haven't submitted to ANY magazine since January, which is shameful considering I hope to be published again, but honestly I've been busy every minute with design team work & entering challenges.  I've decided to cut back on the challenges for the last half of this year though, so that I can start submitting again as well.

 I contributed to the article above the photo as well & have my name in print twice - weeeeeeeeee!!!
And...there's more!! 
I was featured on the Crate Paper site here yesterday too!  My June Sketch challenge entry was one of 5 featured layouts out of over 40 entries!

I've worked really hard this month so it's great to get some acknowledgment every once in a while.

While on the subject of photography (seeing as my photo was published this month) I've written an article on Portrait Photography which you can find in the Shutterbug section of the Forum on Scrapbook Challenges so if you are looking for any basic tips for photographing PEOPLE head on over here & take a look!

I have resigned from Scrapbook Challenges as my term was up, although we were all given the option to renew if we'd like.  As I am on currently on 6 Design Teams & have my eye out on some more {maaaaaybe - wink!} I decided not to spread myself too thin so that my husband & kids don't forget what I look like (seeing as I'm holed up in my studio for a good portion of every day & night already!).  

Thanks to Pamela Young for accepting & believing in me & giving me a great start to my year, being accepted onto the Scrapbook Challenges team in January.  To all my favourite peeps there, Jolanda, Nicolle, Alison, Marilyn, Sabrina, Yara, Bev, Lean, etc, etc, etc ...thanks for all the fun.  
 Miss you already!  I won't be a stranger & will come & visit you again soon!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Flying in with a copy of my June Challenge/Technique Tutorial at Scrapbook Challenges {also my June Prima BAP} & my July RAK

***I have copied & pasted straight from the Scrapbook Challenges forum thread where I have just posted this challenge - you have until SUNDAY 17 JULY TO PLAY ALONG - all details below ***


My June RAK was won by Yolande Sowden & I am still to post her winning layout here soon!

Flying out again to get my son to vocal coaching, pick up my girls from the mall then create another layout due in today :)  HAPPY SCRAPPING!  I'll visit you soon - promise ♥

Hi Girls!  This is my last challenge as my DT term here is up & I have decided to move on to other things.  I have loved my time here with you all & thank you all for playing along with me so enthusiastically.  I have made many wonderful friends & I will continue to pop in & see you from time to time!  For now I am going to show you how I go about creating a floral layout for a BOY!
I LOVE pretty scrapbooking supplies & generally don't buy a lot of boy-themed scrapbooking products even though I have 2 sons & a husband.  Life is just too short to buy stash you just don;t like!  So...what to do???!!!  Use PRIMA of course!

1).  CHOOSE YOUR PHOTO.  To begin with you need a photo that is suitable.  Choose one where the clothes your subject is wearing are neutral if possible, as pages always look better if you can match your layout to the photo.

2)  EDIT YOUR PHOTO.  If your photo isn't already printed lighten it up using the "highlighter" slider - to make it "whiter" & to get rid of some of the background.  Play around with the light sliders in your editing program (and your saturation levels) so you end up with a photo that's suitable to work with.  That's half your battle won.

3)  CHOOSE YOUR PAPERS Now select your papers & other products that you think you may end up using on your layout.  I took out some Prima & Webster's Pages stash, although I ended up only using Prima on this layout.

I used Prima Madeline on my page as the colours are quite strong & not too pastel or feminine.

As you can see my background paper is mosly neutral & although I ended up using a floral border sticker there isn't much of it as it only appears in really small quantities at each side of my layout.
4.  FIND YOUR SKETCH/INSPIRATION.  Next, choose a sketch or an inspiration piece to work from, just to get your creative juices flowing & get you started.  I used the Prima BAP for this month.

5.   SHUFFLE. Start thinking about what you'll place where & start cutting & arranging your elements without actually adhering anything yet.  I didn't want to introduce another sheet of paper on top of my cardstock as they all looked too "girly" so I cut up my Prima Packaging (the acrylic doily shapes with the white printing) & adhered these in a scallop shape instead, then stuck them down using tiny amounts of tape on the white areas so that it wouldn't show through the front
6.  MiST/STAMP/PAINT/ETC.  If you are going to "treat" your background paper in any way now is the best time BEFORE you start adhering your elements into place.  I used Studio Calico "Mr Huey" Clover & Smooch Spritz Deep Red.

The trick with misting is to keep it light & get your angle right.  Slightly overshoot the page, don't squirt directly down onto it.  Rather too little than too much.

To achieve the splodge dots take off the lid & tap the top of it so that the drops slide down the suction tube onto your page.
7.  START STICKING.  I chose a journaling sticker for my frame & slid it under my photo before adhering it - so that my photo is framed just up in the top left - then I used a border sticker, cut to size, for the other 3 sides of my photo "frame" & stuck them down, then added the maroon floral border strip at each side of the photograph.  I fussy cut the journaling sentiment from some Prima paper & adhered this over the left-hand side of the photo to cover an ugly window that was in the background of the photo.

8. TITLE UP.  Once your foundation is in place (papers/photos/stickers, etc) add in your title BEFORE you embellish.  It is an integral part of your design so shouldn't look like an after-thought that you've had to squash in!

I used last season Prima alphabet stickers but wanted them a darker colour so I customised them using Colourbox inks in various shades of maroon & brown, to match my layout.
You mustn't be impatient & use these until they are completely dry or they'll smudge your beautiful, almost complete page!  So get up & go & put the dinner on, then come back to them in about 10 minutes!
9.  EMBELLISH.  Take a look at your flowers & other embellishments & decide which ones will work on a "boy" page.  I used my gold "Precious Metals" ones as the olde gold colour already looked good, but I customised them further by painting on a tiny bit of dark blue mist on one & maroon mist on the other.  I left them to dry then sealed them with a coat of clear glitter nail varnish.

I wanted to use a metallic Prima Vine but it looked too ostentatious, so I cut it up into 7 different pieces, discarded the thick central stem & glue-dotted the branches into place, bending them into the right shapes as I went along.

I added a pearl flower centre to the end of my title & a cut a Prima Bling Swirl into two pieces & tucked one underneath my metallic Vine scroll above my flower cluster & added the other half to the top of my journaling sentiment cut-out.  (I ended up using another vine but you get the idea!)

10.   Something I so often "almost" forget is to add the date!  This is REALLY important because future generations will be looking through your albums one day wanting to know all about "Great Uncle Jack" or whoever!  And without a date they'll just be guessing!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial & are all ready to play along!  I will keep this challenge open until Sunday July 17th & will keep checking back for entries.

I will be choosing a winner on July 17th & will put in TWO entries for you into my July RAK which you can see below.  So you will have a double chance of winning it IF you leave a comment on my July RAK post AND are a follower of my blog (if not you can become one).  You can find my blog @ & look out for the RAK post coming up any time in July (before the 17th).  You can leave a comment as soon as you see this post (to be in with a chance to win even if you don't get the challenge in on time) then when I am choosing a RAK winner I will the challenge winner here an extra number (chance of winning) in my July RAK when I draw it at the end of July.
As you can see it's all BOY STASH & I'm just not that into it anymore!  But there is tons of stuff there.  Lots of colourful brads, chipboard, metals, rub-ons, Bingo cards & other game cards, felt words, tags, sentiments, stickers & alphas so if you want to WIN A CHANCE TO WIN!!  please play along & CREATE A FLORAL LAYOUT for one of the men/boys in your life!  Enjoy!!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Do you ever wonder if your blog will one day dissapear? (And some feedback PLEASE)

I am not supposed to be blogging!  I have a mountain of stuff to get through before I go away on Saturday!  My big DD is home from uni & we have planned ourselves a little trip!!  We have only seen each other for one week in 4 months so I'm sure you'll understand my reasons for being offline & hopefully we'll come home with lots of happy snaps to share right here on the old blog :)

So just remember, I'm not around from Saturday 2nd July until Saturday 9th July so if you don't see or hear me (aka "see me around & about" or "read" me - well that's why!)  I don't usually announce my absence until I'm back (paranoia that "someone out there" will know my house is empty!) but my house is going to be just as full as usual as we have visitors taking our place & everyone else is still gonna be here so no worries!!!
Anyway,as I said I am meant to be scrapping (101 layouts due in by the end of the month - Friday - eeeek!) plus DT work due in while I'm away, plus a secret project that I will share with you some time this week (a collaboration that I don't think I'm at liberty to discuss with you right now but you'll get to know soon enough).

 The reason I AM HERE is because I want to share something simple with you that you may not already know.  HOW TO BACK UP YOUR BLOG.
***Skip the rest if you know how to do this & do it regularly but if you have the time let me know if you NEED this type of post or if I am wasting my time sharing the techie stuff.  Seriously...I know I NEEDED it when I first started but since I'm guessing mostly experienced bloggers read my blog maybe it's not necessary & I would hate to bore you - so be honest!  While you're at it share with me which posts you like the most so that I know if I am on the right track - do you care that I share so much detail on my layouts?  Rachael has told me several times that she loves that, but I've never heard if from anyone else IN 3 YEARS & I really would HATE to bore you so I'll quit all the extra deets if I get enough unanimous NOs!!

As the years roll on I am actually trying to make my posts shorter & shorter (except for this one of course!) because I am all too aware of how many blogs are out there & how little time we all have to blog hop!***



Firstly, did you know that a shortcut to get into your DASHBOARD is the little blogger icon on the top left? When you are on your blog (the navbar - where it also says Follow/ Share/ Report Abuse/Next Blog) - well it's right there - on the top left so CLICK IT.
Okay, so now you are in your dashboard - Now click SETTINGS (Under your blog name - where it says - New Post - Edit Post - Comments - SETTINGS - Design - Monetize - Stats).  Got it? Okay!

Now - right at the top - under the tabs & the selection bar (aka all the greyed-out stuff)- the VERY FIRST THING YOU WILL SEE says "Import Blog - Export Blog - Delete Blog"

                                   Click EXPORT BLOG.

A pop-up will appear with some writing in & an orange bar that says DOWNLOAD BLOG - CLICK IT - Your download will start & finish very quickly (amazing) THEN go to your downloads by clicking on your start button (bottom left with the windows flag in it) then click COMP in the list that pops up - in the greyed out section on the right) then click on downloads - scroll up until you see it in the list - then click on it to locate your xml (Blogger format) file.

To find your downloads quickly & easily sort them according to DATE - go to VIEW in the selection bar that runs along the top - click on it then select SORT BY - DATE - DESCENDING - for your most recent downloads to appear at the top. If you are like me & like saving stuff to your desktop then also click (under VIEW again) - LARGE ICONS so you get a thumbnail instead of a long description.

Now minimise whatever is on your screen (so that you can see your desktop) & click on the Icon & drag it onto your desktop.  Do this at least once a month (I do it once a week) & delete the previous one on your desktop as soon as you have the current one in place.

Now SAVE TO YOUR EXTERNAL HARD-DRIVE ASWELL so you have a copy in 2 locations (or be paranoid like me and save to your second external hard-drive) Yup, I keep a spare one in the boot of my car so that if we have a break-in & the one attached to my PC gets stolen I have a back-up drive - even if you live in a crime-free zone you could have a power-surge that would damage BOTH external hard-drives & your pc simultaneously then you would LOSE EVERYTHING.  

Or you could have a fire!  All far-fetched scenarious perhaps but possible nonetheless & I don't take chances with my photos.  Apart from my family my photos & scrapbook albums are all I care about.  Everything else can go & it would just be a matter of replacing it whereas these things are IRREPLACEABLE.

So go back up your blog NOW!!!
The reason for this OUT OF THE BLUE post is due to the fact that my dear friend Heather Jacob lost her entire blog on Friday - for 3 whole days.  She reported some spam on her blog & next thing it had been obliterated.  Blogger have now restored it, along with their heartfelt apologies, but nonetheless, for 3 whole days she was left wondering if all her hard work had just evaporated in a moment.  

I know that the anguish of that would have taken a year off my life so put your mind at ease & JBU!  
I must just add that if my blog DID ACTUALLY DISAPPEAR I have no idea how I would use my back-up file to restore it, but I have my IT guy on speed dial so hopefully he could do it LOL!!  

I don't think the back-up would include all the sidebar gadgets & the only way I can think of backing these up would be to screensave them - using your SNIP tool - which you can find in "All Programs" - this wouldn't save the functionality but at least you would remember where everything was so you could get it all back into place :)

My side-bar needs a good clean up so I haven't done this in an age but have every good intention - soon!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

My Echo Park Fresh Face Application

***Sod's law...our internet service provider is carrying out scheduled maintenance all weekend so our service is being disrupted intermittently & I have been trying to publish this post for the last 6 hours {no jokes :)}so I had to e mail my appication to ECHO PARK last night instead. Finally our internet is back so here it is!***

 Hey Echo Park fans!  Seen this?!  Thought I may as well have a go seeing as I am a HUGE Echo Park fan!

My first project uses Echo Park SPRINGTIME and fussy-cut a lot of the sweet detail, raising some of the elements with pop-dots for some extra dimension.

I computer journaled in various different colours, in keeping with the bright stripes of the SPRINGTIME printed paper.

As you can see I added some other supplies to compliment my Echo Park products, such as a hand-made doily, some ricrac braid & some decorative stick-pins.

To make my page "out-of-the-ordinary" I created my own grass using tulle (netting) which I bought at my local haberdashery store.  I sprayed it with one of my glimmer mists then gathered it up with some hand-stitching & placed it behind the white picket-fence border sticker.

The little family of birds is 100% significant on this page as they symbolise my husband & me & our daughter leaving the nest (growing up & leaving home).  I was so glad to find the perfect paper to tell my story!


My second project uses the same Echo Park Line - Springtime - yet, as you can see, it looks entirely different!  Just goes to show how very versatile Echo Papers are!

 I fussy-cut almost an entire-sheet of Springtime paper to use here (the birds on my first page also came from the same sheet of paper!).
Once I was through with all my fussy-cutting (which took me an hour while I was chatting to my daughter) I simply layered up the elements, some flat & others using pop-dots, at opposite corners of my photograph. 

Lastly I added some bling dots to the centre of some of the flowers, for some extra sparkle, then titled up with some chipboard for texture.  Due to the graphic nature of the Echo Park Springtime floral print it is just as suited to masculine layouts as it is to girly ones, as you can see below...

So easy to create with the beautiful Echo Park SPRINGTIME line!


 Lastly I am sharing a layout with you using Echo Park FOR THE RECORD line.  

As I've said before, this is my absolute FAVE Echo Park line to date, just love the vintage touch & am so excited to see that they have a new vintage line June Release called Victoria Gardens.  I will give you a sneak of that soon when I show you my fave CHA picks for June!

Here I punched & pleated some paper all around a circle of floral print paper, which I then machine-stitched to hold everything in place perfectly.

I printed my photo extra wide using a custom-setting in Picasa (where you state the dimensions of your choice) & selecting the SEPIA option, which I think works perfectly with the vintage papers.

I hand-journaled this time on one of the very convenient "For the Record" journaling cards & mixed some Echo Park flower stickers with dimensional fabric flowers & some of my trademark bling! (Swirls this time).

At the bottom of the layout I layered up  an Echo Park border sticker alongside a strip of "For the Record" paper which I scallop cut, using the scallop design of the paper as my guide.

Before adhering these I added some gathered up tissue-paper (from a new pair of shoes my son bought!) - to match with the neutral colours of the sepia photograph & to add some extra dimension & interest.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Colour Combos Galore/Sketch Inspirations {Can I come too? Layout}

Still haven't blogged this Colour Combos Galore layout from last month so here it is!  Can I come too?

Another gorgeous Colour Combo from Colour Combos Galore again & a sketch from Sketch Inspirations

I haven't missed a CCG challenge for months - they are all just too nice to say no to!

I am not going to be using sketches as much as I used to in future - for the time being anyway - I just feel like doing my own thing for a while & have plenty of ideas of my own that I am dying to try out.

That beautiful printed paper is from Echo Park's "For the Record" collection - SUCH a nice line, am going to miss it (although I still have quite a bit left!). I used plain cardstocks alongside it to compliment it.

As opposed to selecting "Black & White" or "Sepia" when I am editing my photos I prefer to control the saturation slider myself - here I went almost all the way to "Black & White" but stopped a bit short so the skintones have a slight blush to them.

I used the reverse side of the Echo Park print (which is a text print) to matt the photo, but gessoed it to keep it really pale, then placed two pieces of  Webster's Pages Vintage Inspired Netting underneath the matt, before gathering it up at random intervals with some hand-stitching.  

It was difficult to get the photo, paper matt & 2 sheets of netting to adhere to the page so I hand-stitched all the layers together onto my page with embroidery thread, finishing off with a big bow framing the photo on one side.

I also fringe-cut the printed paper matt then curled it around a pencil, gessoed it to give it some stiffness, tore each side & held them down with a resin bloom, just to add some interest to the focal area.

I computer journaled all down the left hand side (scroll up to read if you like) This did take a bit of pre-planning & lining up so that there was a nice variance of lengths jutting out along the left-hand side but nothing you couldn't do either with a little patience.  I always print my journaling on to photo paper as it's thicker than computer/bond paper, with a far superior finish.

I hand-journaled a teeny bit for the date etc (see above) & heavy inked in pink instead of matting again onto pink cardstock, thus keeping the layout "light".

I embellished with my staple American Crafts Thickers, combined with some Prima bits - namely pearl/diamante bling swirls- cut into 2 pieces to mimic the trail of the butterfly (scroll up to see) & lastly added a few lines of green & white twine all down the left-hand side - to accentuate the journaling, as well as some Maya Road resin blooms (to hold down the torn sections of the photo mat but they also serve as 2 points of my visual triangle, with my butterfly as the 3rd.


Cardstock - American Crafts
Printed paper - Echo Park "For the Record' - Newsprint
Tulle - Webster's Pages Vintage Inspired Netting
Ink -Memento Dew Drop "Angel Pink" 
Journaling Pen - Shachihata Artline 200 FINE 0.4
Embroidery thread - DMC
Twine - Martha Stewart
Butterfly - Prima
Bling - Prima
Resin blooms - Maya Road
Alphas - American Crafts Thickers Fabric Chipboard letters DOLL
Gesso - Paper Plus

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Pretty Darn Cute Layout {Colour Combos Galore 197}

Yesterday - as I was lying in bed drowning my sorrows in hot chocolate courtesy of DH I couldn't stop thinking about Color Combos Galore & how, if I didn't get my layout done that evening I was going to break my record of 17 consecutive layouts - so I got up & did it - here's no. 18!

Perhaps it wasn't the most sensible thing to do when I was feeling totally sick, but it actually made me feel a bit better!

I just loved the colour combo & had been looking forward to creating a layout with it all week!  The Designer's Challenge for the week was to enhance your photo in some way, using a frame, etc so I used a chipboard die-cut piece from Crate Paper's Emma's Shoppe.

I used some beautiful Bazzill Bling cardstock as my base (I usually make the neutral colour in the combo my MAIN colour) & added some bits & pieces, just looking for anything "pretty darn cute" to tie in with my title.

I used my giant flower burst punch from Martha Stewart & my smaller EK Success punch that is almost identical only considerably smaller (see top left hand corner).

You can actually see the pearlised sheen of the cardstock in the above photo.  I used mainly Crate Paper's Emma's Shoppe" & Echo Park's "Springtime" & "Sweet Summertime" for the embellishments.

Tomorrow there will be a new Colour Combo up at Colour Combos Galore, as well as a LIVE CHAT (always fun if you can make it!) & a fantastic reveal, showing the inspiration photo, optional Designer's Challenge & some fantastic design team inspiration pieces.  If you are interested in playing along I guarantee you that you'll create some awesome layouts in the process, as well as meet some fantastically friendly bloggy pals, as well as be in line for an awesome sponsored prize monthly.

 Your layouts will thank you as a result too!  
Creating with a controlled colour combo definitely makes for a classier result!

I'm hoping, come what may, that I'll keep my record going at CCG, of never missing a challenge!


Cardstock - Bazill Bling - Pearl
Pink Printed Paper - Echo Park "Springtime" Fresh Flowers (Reverse Side)
All stickers - Echo Park "Life is Good" & Crate Paper "Emma's Shoppe"
Punches - Martha Stewart (big) & EK Success (small)
Journaling cards x 2 - Crate Paper "Emma's Shoppe"
Die-cut chipboard frame - Crate Paper "Emma's Shoppe"
Inked scroll corner piece - Pink Paislee "Artisan Elements"
Dark brown ink - Colorbox
Bling gems - Bo Bunny "Gabrielle"
Filigree flowers - local
Chipboard butterfly - American Crafts 'Letterbox"
Cream resin blooms - Maya Road
Fussy-cut birdie - Echo Park "Springtime"
Alphas - Echo Park "Life is Good"

I am feeling a bit better - thanks for all your well wishes :)  I ♥ my bloggy friends ♥

Off on my taxi-driver duties now but will blog-hop when I get back!!

Not a Great week! And that's not all...

Wow, well first of all THANKS for the FORTY comments I got on my layout post on Sunday! lovely for me that they have kept rolling in all week, it's been very cheering for me as I've had a BAD time :(

One of my sons  is seriously sick.  He got sick on Monday & has missed 4 of his exams so far!!  Finally we got a diagnosis today & he has been written off sick for the rest of the week & is going to miss out on writing all the rest of his exams!  He is a hard worker so while this may sound like fun he has had a hard time accepting it!!

And that's not all!  I am now sick too...I just hope that I am not following suit...I am trying to keep at everything but it is proving impossible & I think I'm going to have to bow out of some of my plans for the rest of this week.  I haven't been well all week but now I'm getting worse!   Add to that the fact that I am having computer problems & my IT guy can only come on Friday, means this week has been a bit of a write-off...

And that's not all!!  The cat is sick too - yes she is!  In fact she had to have an operation at the vet today & while it will make her better for now she is sicker as a result of the anaesthetic & has to be locked in the bathroom crying the house down...the poor baby...I hope by tomorrow she will be much improved :)

There is some good news too though!  My daughter arrived home safe & sound from uni today & is currently in the lounge watching reality TV & eating crisps - so all is well in my world :)

We have had our first silly argument already (aaaah I've missed those!) over washing her converse sneakers.  They are FILTHY but she was horrified at the thought of washing them & snatched them back - telling me "that's the whole idea!!  Do you know what I have gone through to get them to look like that?!"!  The generation gap will never close will it?

And my youngest has made it through the local singing finals & is in the top 10 for a show/contest that is taking place in 2 weeks from now, so we have 4 hour rehearsals EVERY DAY & no car pool so I am traipsing  back & forth like a true taxi-driver - yikes...the joys of motherhood!  She is so cute up on stage belting out "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus, how can I say no?!

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I am still alive, although not well!

I have done a bit of blog hopping but not much as I don't have a laptop & my studio is freezing - it being mid-winter here (not very cold by international standards but for an African I'm suffering @ 10 degrees at night!!)

If I owe you a visit bear with me - I'm doing the rounds slowly but surely :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

She Admires Him {Bird is the Word - A New Word Challenge!} plus The Paper Variety/Sketchabilities}

Hi all!  I'm back with my latest Design Team piece for Bird is the Word - There is a new challenge up today using the word ADMIRE/ADMIRES/ADMIRATION so why not play along for the chance to win an entire Tidbitz in Time kit for yourself?  Winner is judged on merit so get working on your best effort :)

You have a full MONTH to enter the challenge for ADMIRE/ADMIRES/ADMIRATION and the challenge for AMAZING is still running for another 2 weeks so get creating & share your  stuff with Bird is the Word!
I found this beautiful sketch at Sketchabilities & you still have 2 weeks to use it & link up to their blog too.  I am also  linking this up to THE PAPER VARIETY for their very cool "Mix up your alphas" challenge they have running right now.  You have a couple more days to link up to be in the running to win there too :)

I used one sheet of My Mind's Eye Paper & divided it into thirds then flipped the centre section over to reveal the heart design & misted over the side sections (before adhering the centre section so that it stayed mist free).  I misted with 2 colours - in specific sections - in retrospect it would have been more effective on white cardstock but it is nonetheless pretty anyways & really glimmery in person  :)

I really wanted this one to be PRETTY and with a sketch like that I knew it would be.  Bling - Check!  Flowers - Check!  Then I added some more pretty touches with misting & pleating of some scalloped paper ribbon that I've had in my stash for forever & a day.  It looks right at  home here :)

I cut my papers first, misted the side panels then pleated up the ribbon on each side of the centre section & adhered the centre panel over the top & the photos on top of that.  Thereafter I added my title "She Admires Him" and my subtitle/journaling "Oh so Happy to Have you", then the fun started with the bling & lastly the flowers.  Embellishments are like jewellery, better left until last &I always put my pages together as above.

The new Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists are apparently a new formula & it sure seems that they splodge a lot more - which is great as it's the effect I'm after these days (or maybe it was just because of first time use - not sure!) I used a My Mind's Eye ticket for the date & some very glossy Dear Lizzy alphas for the title.

I am really tackling my flower baskets now as I want to use up all my eclectic bits & pieces & stick to Prima from now on.  Yup I am sold hook, line & sinker!  So as you can see above I added all kinds of interesting bits & pieces from various sources - a felt flower from a local haberdashery, a felt heart & a big flower folded over & peeking out from under the ribbon, also used up quite a few decorative brads - yummy...

As you can see I used two very different types of alphas in my title, to good effect I hope...The shiny "Rainboots" thickers & the very dimensional postage stamp ones in the centre (vintage K & Co. perhaps?).

The lovely sentiment is courtesy of Studio Calico May kit & is from one of MME's latest lines - Stella & Rose.  Again I cut up a Prima swirl into 4 parts for this layout so only actually used one entire one.

Some dimensional shots just for the drool factor...

Can't live without bling & decorative brads, really...

So there you have it.  A tribute layout about my eldest daughter's relationship with her Uncle Dorian, who really is a great uncle & just adores her.


Printed Paper - My Mind's Eye "Happy Valentine" -Sweetheart
Sentiment Card - My Mind's Eye - Stella & Rose - Hattie - "Happy" title 
Glimmer Mist "Pink Bubblegum" & "Lemonzest"
Pale blue mist - Smooch Spritz
Alphas - Thickers "Rainboots" alphas in Berry by Dear Lizzy for American Crafts
Postage stamp alphas - K & Co. 
Bling swirl - Prima
Decorative brads - Making Memories & S.E.I
Glass pebble & decorative pearl- Prima
Felt flowers - haberdashery store
Felt heart - Fiesta felt (cut from flower)
Flowers - Prima & others (local)
Paper ribbon - local

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Teeny Peek into my Studio

For a year now I have my own dedicated scrap-space after many years of having to work in our bedroom, without enough dedicated storage.  My space is really tiny though - 2.5 metres wide by 5 metres long and within that I have fitted a multitude of cupboards, shelves & drawers, so the floor space is just enough to open the drawers out into & fit in a chair & a place for me to stand.  I love my little studio & spend a lot of my time in here as I have a desk on one side, at sitting height, with my computer & printer & my working space on the other side at counter height as I scrap standing up.

I have started using a planner this year, in which I diarise my deadlines & I print out my challenges & design team work & adhere those to the pages too.  Just in case you're wondering "MK Sched" stands for "Scrapbooking Shedule" - I came up with the abbreviation MK years ago (Memory Keeping) because I keep my "To Do" lists in my phone & abbreviate everything!

The containers above may look like a mess but I am forever scrabbling through them looking for stuff & quite frankly there is no point keeping them any tidier as I need to be able to tip out often!  I have a container like this for every brand that I use a lot of.  I have started storing according to brand & it is working like a dream for me.  At the top of the box is a sticker with the name "American Crafts" or "Jenny Bowlin" for example.  I could add a sticker to the side too but as they are clear I can spot the manufacturer just by looking at them.

I am crazy about journaling pens & own tons of them in various colours & thicknesses & keep them all in those turquoise tubs.  Truth be told I most often use my favourite FINE 0.4 black Shachihata, but I own a multitude of others I have collected over the years & this is where they live.  By the way have you noticed that all great journaling pens are Japanese?  

I see my "Brads & Badges" have some rub-ons in them right now...this is just temporary as I was sorting through my older run-ons to use on my Colour Combos Galore page for next week - as the challenge requires using digital brushes or something similar on your photo.  As I have so many older rub-ons I thought that it would be a great way to use some on my photos instead & as this container is right next to my scrap counter I just put them in there for the time being.

My little paint tubs are all lined up in front of my desk, on a pink plastic bar tray, and I like that I can see & grab them so easily.  The idea of having them on display was in order to make me use them more & it is definitely working.My studio is too small for me to worry about how things look - I am far more concerned with how things are going to FIT & I've found that the neater my room looks the less work I get achieved in it.

That shelf above houses my old faithful Fiskars cutter (I have 4 cutters - this Fiskars one, another great Creative Memories one, a Cutter Bee that I loathe (hate rotary cutters) & a Natstat (locally-produced cutter) which is perfect, except that now the blade is blunt & I can't find new ones for sale ANYWHERE & the factory itself refuses to sell them to me because I am not a wholesaler) (yeah...go's a bit of a South African phenomenon!)

I also keep my Imaginarium Chipboard up there as the Once Upon a Sketch Design Team is sponsored by them so I need to have it close at hand to use it on as many pages as I can.  I have various bits & pieces in that pile that I use often or just haven't put away yet.  The green tub has all my older Making Memories bits in it.

These days I have started keeping my off-cut pieces WITH my cardstock, instead of in a separate location - another inspired idea - works so much better!  If I have any pieces that are more strips than squares they go into the tubs on top of my bookshelf, and I grab from there if I need strips for punching etc. My tubs are not the prettiest but there are no scrapbook storage products available here so I have to make do with what I can get & these are functional & have no lids.  I hate lids - big time-wasters.

Art mediums here next to the paint, Stickles, modge podge, varnish, paint dabbers, modelling past, Glossy accents, syringes for dropping paint splodges, old credit cards for smearing paste - largely underutilized but as I don't have a lot of storage space these ended up next to the paints for the sake of logic.

One of my latest Studio Calico packages waiting to be unpacked.  Their packaging is just perfection.  After 6 months of subscribing I am stopping for now.  I have decided that for now kit clubs are not for me.  I know what I want & when it's available I like to order it, and with kit clubs I have to settle for someone else's choice.  As I can't afford both I'm rather using the money to choose my own stash for the moment.

My latest toy - a "Sew-Easy" from We R Memory Keepers.  The first time I tried to use it was on quite a few layers & it didn't work - I've yet to try it on a single layer but others love it so hopefully it will be fine.

A typical Studio Calico kit.  Full of lovely stuff but from what I can remember I've never received a Prima Flower or any Webster's stuff in them and I'm so into the pretty stuff these days & need more embellishments than what you see here to go with all those papers, to suit the way I create.

So that is a really tiny sneak peek into my studio - just my counter that you can see above, which is big enough to hold 2 large cutting mats, with 3 bar trays of goodies in front of them & a shelf to the left.  To the right I have 2 tubs full of adhesives, my desk lamp, glue-gun, heat-embossing tool, 3 tubs of scissors & a few jars of flowers & ribbon, so still lots more to see.

I gather, from what I read, that a lot of studios are a mess, and I see, from the internet & books & magazines, that a lot of studios are so beautiful that I wonder how much work goes on in them.  My studio is not beautiful, but it is very functional & clean up is really quick & easy as there is a place for everything & everything in it's place.  

I sometimes wish I had more time & money to spend on the aesthetics of it but the most important thing really is how "workable" a studio is & in mine I am able to find what I am looking for & produce lots of layouts, which surely means my space works for me.