Thursday 30 August 2012

Relax Layout {C'est Magnifique August Sketch Challenge - Maja Designs} & some Chitter Chatter!

Hi there my friends!  I have missed you all soooo much this
week - truly I have!!  I know I owe almost everyone some
blog loving and I do intend to visit you soon, soon, soon!

I am playing nurse to 3 sick kiddies right now, no fun! 
 I am not in a great way myself either so that doesn't make 
it any easier!!  I caught pneumonia twelve years ago 
and ever since then I can be guaranteed that, when I get
 flu, it goes straight to my chest, so I am sounding
 like something you wouldn't like to be hearing right now LOL - 
coughing like an old hobo!!  

Anyway, yet again it's another month end and I haven't done all 
the challenges I wanted to do!  Sound like a familiar lament 
anyone?!? I wish I could just stay in bed watching videos
 on my laptop but that just isn't my style!!  I am ever the 
optimist that I may be able to squeeze in a couple more
layouts before the 31st gets here & there are a couple of
exciting DT calls on right now that I am applying to so I
can't afford to be slothing around right now.

I know it's not really the 'done thing' to be discussing what
we apply for but I know we all do secretly send off our
applications don't we?!  Well I've been disappointed a 
couple of times lately.  I am aiming pretty high with what
I am after these days and the competition out there is just
so stellar at the moment, don't you agree?  Yikes this year
the teams are full of absolute superstars & it actually spurs
me to try harder & harder, so with one of my DT terms
coming to an end soon I am looking to replace it, got to
think positively right?!?

Well I got this one done!  Yaaaaay!!  The August Sketch challenge
over at C'est Magnifique, where I am guest designing this month!

I really liked this sketch & had the perfect photos ready
 to match the beautiful Maja Design papers.

I really tried 'to get the balance right' with this one
& not submit to the temptation to over-embellish.

All products used here are from my C'est Magnifique kits 
except of course the punches & stencil.

The flourish & vine were from the C'est Magnifique store,
where they carry all sorts of pretty 'extras' to co-ordinate
with the kits.

I try to tell a story with most every layout I create,
rather than just having some pretty pictures with a title.

I used a couple of different stencils on this background.
See the vintage doily one peeking out from under the
flowers?  Thanks to Mitra from the US for that beauty!

I've been using a lot of Prima packaging on my layouts
recently - see that clock face in there behind the butterfly?

Supplies List for 'Relax' Layout

Papers - Maja Design - Summer Basics - Sweden
Stencils - Crafter's Workshop Reverse Chicken Wire 6"
Vintage Plastic Doily
Grey Ink - Prima - Old Road
Cream ink - Memories Mist
Purple Ink - Pretty Color
Alphas & vine stickers - Kaisercraft Lakehouse
Rhinestone flourish, braid flowers, butterfyl,
vine & resin bench - Prima
Beaded stems - Petaloo
Large flower & Teeny roses - Green Tara
Smaller ivory flowers - Manor House
Lace - May Arts
Punches - Martha Stewart - Deep Edge Floral Vine
 & Swirling Lace

Wednesday 29 August 2012

September Guest Designer at C'est Magnifique!

Yup, you read that right!  Wooooooo I can't tell you how excited 
I am about this - I just LOVE these kits!  If you've been reading
my blog for a while now you'll now that I've joined several kit 
clubs in the past - and subscribed to them each for 6 months. 
 I've never gone beyond that because I just can't get through
 them fast enough!

Well I've been a subscriber at C'est Magnifique all year & just
 LOVE the way Leslie puts those kits together.  She doesn't
 scrimp on ANYTHING - no broken up packs of embellies -
 nope you get the whole lot!  Really generous & lush!!
 Tonnes & tonnes of stuff I tell you!!!

I got to work with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL KIT of
the WHOLE YEAR - ooooh I really was very lucky!
We got to play with Riddersholm Design - Huntington Garden
papers as well as gorgeous embellishments & add-ons!!

Some close ups of the kit contents

What you get!

Paper Collection: Riddersholm Design Huntington Garden

Day Dream
Tea Room
Sky Blue

Kit Embellishments:

Lindy's Stamp Gang: Moonshadow Mist: Smoky Sapphire
KaiserCraft: Rub-Ons: Timeless: Dress Forms
Leaky Shed: Ornate Corner
Prima: Say it In Pearls: Black Flourish
Dusty Attic: Compass Rose
Wrights: Ruffled Lace: Natural
American Crafts: Thickers: Dear Lizzy: Splendid
Green Tara: Gardenias: Peach
Prima: Flutter Bits: Nature's Garden
Manor House Creations: Rosettes: Lilac

Plus!  2 stunning add ons:-

Flower Add-on

Manor House Creations: Imagine: Cocoa
Prima: Celyon: Attic
Prima: Charme Rose: Nature's Garden
KaiserCraft: Paper Blooms: Misty
Prima: Coventry: Tranquil
Maya Road: Vintage Lace Daisies: Milk

Embellishment Add-on

Heidi Swapp: Color Magic: Banner Delights
Prima: Wood Embellishments: Birds
Bo Bunny: Rub-Ons: Weekend Market
Zva: Pearl Flourish
Want2Scrap: Bonnie's Birdcage
American Crafts: Dear Lizzy: Letter Stickers
Lindy's Stamp Gang: Starbursts: Canna Lily Burnt Orange

This kit , together with the add ons and some individual
 items are all available at the store right now!! You
 just go HERE & you will find everything you see here. 

If you're interested in subscribing to the kits and to be 
assured to receive one each month, visit their Join Page
 for all the details. 

 You can subscribe to the monthly add-ons, as well.

Check out my introduction on the C'est Magnifique blog HERE!

I have FIVE layouts to show you - that I created especially for
C'est Magnifique, using this wonderful kit & both add-ons, as
you see above, and I will be sharing them all with you very
soon, but if you want a head start click the link above where
two of them are already up!

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Love Life Layout {Purple Pumpkin Guest Designer August 2012} Dear Lizzy/American Crafts

Hi there people!  How's your week going?
 Not so good this side unfortunately.

I have a very sick little girl at home who has been full of flu,
 coughs & sniffles since Saturday & now has passed it on to me,
so I have been feeling really terrible these last couple of days.

 Bad timing as the last week of the month is always a busy one
 for getting challenges in & finishing up the month's postings.

So let's take a closer look at my last layout for my
Purple Pumpkin Guest Designer stint!  

I started by slathering on some bright yellow paint 
using an old credit card.  I put it on quite thick so I left
 it to dry overnight although you can use a heat gun
 {embossing gun} to set, though I find sometimes it takes
 away the glossy sheen that I was after.

For my banner I used an old necklace again :)

I wanted to use the ribbon in a different way so I adhered
thick double sided  tape to the back of the striped paper
then quickly zig-zagged the ribbon up and down from right 
to left, adhering to the tape as I went - then pulled it up
 without cutting it, so that I could create a messy flourish
 with it, securing with stapling & teeny glue-dots.

The lumo fibre I used is an old shoelace & the pink heart
 on the chain is part of the packaging that came with my
 daughter's new jeans.  If you like creating lively, whimsical,
 playful layouts then Purple Pumpkin would be a great
 choice for you - they are having their next warehouse sale
 on Friday so check out their blog for more details HERE
but you can also buy their products at any time in their
store as well HERE.

Supplies List for "Love Life" Layout

Papers - Spotted - Pebbles - Happy Go Lucky
Striped - Dear Lizzy for American Crafts - Neopolitan
Yellow Paint - Making Memories - School Bus
Ribbon - American Crafts
Buttons, Doilies, Flower - Purple Pumpkin
Shoelace, heart & beads on string - stash
Alphas - Pink Paislee Cushies - Passion Fruit

*** That wraps up my August Guest Designer layouts from
Purple Pumpkin!  I had a great time there this month - come back
 tomorrow for some VERY EXCITING NEWS as I am
Guest Designer at another great site starting tomorrow!!***

Monday 27 August 2012

Purple Pumpkin Washi Tape Giveaway - Closing soon - Hurry!

Leave a comment HERE once you've blogged about this great giveaway!

**If you don't have a blog, you can still enter!
 Follow the link to the PURPLE PUMPKIN BLOG and you'll see a little 
'f' for facebook button. If you hover over it, it will turn blue - hit that, 
tell people about our giveaway, and it will post straight to your
 Facebook! Then just leave them a comment and that will be your 
entry. Too easy!!**  This giveaway is open to ANYONE, ANYWHERE! 

Entries will close at midnight on the 30th of August, 
and the winner will be announced on the 31st of August.

*** Don't forget to become a follower of the Purple Pumpkin 
Blog first.    Purple Pumpkin are a small embellishment 
business based in Australia.  I like them because they make
cute stuff, offer a great service, their store is constantly
restocked & I like supporting individuals like this {similar to
Etsy} & best of all they never descriminate against internationals,
whether it be for selecting their design team, entering their 
giveaways or simply purchasing their products ***


Sunday 26 August 2012

Their Love is Real Layout {Purple Pumpkin Guest Designer} - Glitz Design

This week these two {my eldest daughter & her boyfriend}
celebrated their one year anniversary.  Cute :)  They really
do make a great couple and are very good for each other so
I am happy for them.  As a mother I am just glad that my sweet
girl has found someone to cherish her & look after her. 

This is the 3rd layout I created for my Purple Pumpkin Guest
 Designer post that you can view HERE.  I wanted to use both 
these FAB mobile photos {all I can "steal" off Facebook} now
 that she is at uni!  So I had to overlap them quite a bit to
 avoid my page looking overstuffed and unbalanced.

I dabbed silver paint around the edges - it's not sparkling
 in the photos but it looks fab in person.  These alphas are 
old & had lost a lot of their "stick" so once I had them in 
place I smeared TOMBO MONO ADHESIVE over the top to help
 them stick.  It really does help so remember that tip!  

I used a script stamp to tie in with the script buttons sent
to me by Purple Pumpkin, deliberately stamping over the
photos, which I think looks kinda cool :)

I created that twine swirl using glue dots to secure.  A modern
version of the bling flourish (and a darn sight cheaper too).

I stuck in a few ancient Making Memories metal sentiments
that were just PERFECT for this layout.  A tip on STORAGE -
I store my "recent" supplies by manufacturer (anything from the 
last 2 years) then sort the older stuff out according to 
occasion, so these were easy to find in the "Valentine's"  tub!

I also added in 2 metal hearts (shown above and below) - 
one I bought at a bead store & the other came from an old
necklace (it's missing a rhinestone) which is barely noticeable
when used on a page as opposed to around my neck :)

Clustering embellishments like this is one of my favourite
ways to scrapbook - kinda rules out the clean and simple
look!  So many goodies here come from Purple Pumpkin - 
the satin flower, doilies, script buttons and twine.

I sneaked in another bit of bling from a broken bangle.
Can you notice it up above next to the metal "Promise"?
I have a whole shoebox full of casualties from my junk
jewellery obsession :)  Those bits come in handy!!

The stenciling at either side of the photos come from inking
over the Christy Tomlinson Vintage Doily stencil.  Gives a
lovely saturated look which is easier to achieve than with 
mists.  I hand journaled as I prefer to write directly onto 
my base paper - blends in more seamlessly.

I gessoed over the red doily and a little on top of the black
roses to give my layout a more artistic feel.

I randomly embossed the wooden Kaisercraft chandelier
with black then sponged on some silver highlights.

Supplies List for "Their Love is Real" Layout

Base paper - Glitz Design - French Kiss - Fleur
Mask - Pink Paislee {Christy Tomlinson} Vintage Doily
Red Ink - Memories Mist
Gesso - Claudine Helmuth Studios
Script Stamp - Chiswick
Pink ink - Prima Old Rose
Heart transparency & trinkets- Stash
Wooden Chandelier - Kaisercraft
Black embossing powder - American Crafts
Silver paint - Creative Talents
Tulle Blooms - Green Tara
Pink/red bloom, doilies, twine & script button - Purple Pumpkin
Mini roses {black & white} Green Tara
Metal sentiments - Making Memories
Glitter alphas - My Little Shoebox
Journaling pen - Schachihata 0.4

***A big shout-out to my darling friend Eila for sending me
the gorgeous Green Tara blooms, along with plenty more,
she really is a one in a million super duper friend! ***

Friday 24 August 2012

Featured at Manor House Creations & PUBLISHED!!

Hey there people!  Spring has sprung in my neighbourhood!!
The humidity is back which means Winter is tailing off 
- not always a good thing in the tropics but it has
 certainly put a spring in my step!  Or maybe that is
 because I have a layout featured up at 
Manor House Creations
  HERE today?!?

I am in good company along with my friends Camilla, 
Nadia, Erin & in the same post as Karola - 
faint from admiration!!!

More good news!  You can find me HERE too!!
In the latest issue of Scrap365 {UK} for September!

And that's not all!!  {do I sound like the HSN channel yet?!}

Yup I have another TWO layouts on their way to Scrap 365
right now AND another TWO on their way to....wait for it...

I also have another layout being published in Scrap 'n Art
next month so that's SIX layouts for me!  Wooooo!!

Finally I actually submitted to all of them FOR THE
 FIRST TIME!  I am so super excited!!  I am the
 worst publication submitter ever, I just never seem
 to be able to fit all that in as well as my DT work &
 the challenges I want to get done as well but now that
 I have been successful that is certainly a motivating
 factor to make me try to get to it more often.  


Wednesday 22 August 2012

Featured at Prima! {June Build-a-Page} Wooooooot!!

Of all the embellishments that have come & gone in the world
of scrapbooking FLOWERS are probably the one that has
caught my heart the most.  I'm not an awfully feminine person
- I am very tough.  I had a harsh upbringing & I was on
my own from aged 17, fending for myself, and have been ever
since.  I've lived in a dictatorship in Zimbabwe & then moved to 
the Wild West {as I call South Africa} where you have to look
 over your shoulder wherever you go and pay attention 24/7.

But I digress! I love my studio, I feel safe in here, 
surrounded by beautiful things.  Sure I love cardstock, yup, 
me & plain old cardstock have been in love for YEARS.  I
 simply ADORE journaling pens, and my printer probably has 
over half my heart!

But flowers, they just feel like such a forbidden treasure.
They are totally unnecessary, simply there to beautify!
And that is why I love them & have dozens of them.
  They are my indulgence.  I have a hard time saying no to them!

Bap Helen Tilbury

I've been stalking the Prima blog, wondering if the results
 were ever going to go up as CHA swallowed the whole of June,
 then the July BAP features were announced and I gave up...

So it was honestly a surprise of the best kind to see my 
layout up on the Prima blog on Saturday HERE!

They did feature 27 layouts but I like to think they get
A LOT of entries :)  I was in good company there too along
with my friends Agnieszka, Eila, Erin, Joyce, Kelly, Keren & Marilia!

Well done girls - we did it !!  Wooot!!!

Tuesday 21 August 2012

True Love Layout {Berry71Bleu} using I Lowe Scrap/UHK Papers from Poland!

***Copied and pasted from the Berry71Bleu blog where it is my
turn to post today :)***

Hi there everyone!  Helen here sharing my latest layout with you,
using another very beautiful tag from Berry71Bleu Etsy store HERE.

These tags are just SO pretty - it really is IMPOSSIBLE
for your pages to turn out anything short of beautiful!!

Berry71Bleu tags are expertly hand-crafted under various
 different themes and colour schemes and can also be 
ordered & custom-made to your requirements.  

Unfortunately the store is empty right now as all these 
beauties have been snapped up!!!  But if you are
 desperate to get hold of some just contact Marivic 
on & she will sort you out!  

Meanwhile why not take a browse over at our sister Etsy store 
Zeus & Zoe HERE where there are over 100 different items
 in stock, including chipboard, embellishments & Manor House
 Creations flowers - both from Australia - now available
 in USA & able to be sent ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
 at actual postage cost!

This photo is just to show you how I created my photo "cluster" 
- instead of layering up my photos & tag on patterned paper mats
or strips of different widths I got out my Big Shot & my 
Spellbinders dies, along with some doilies & cut out lots of 
Floral Doily Motifs which I then positioned all layered up 
around the photos & tag.

I stamped, inked and stencilled around the edge of my page & 
used a vast assortment of blooms, leaves, butterflies & hearts 
to surround my focal photos and tag.  Mitra from Zeus & Zoe
made me that beautiful die-cut flower using Tim Holtz dies.  It
matched perfectly - I just inked it a bit more for more depth.

In keeping with the "Cupcakes" tag {& everything sweet} 
I centred my journaling around how SWEET my daughter
& her boyfriend are as a couple.  Truly in love :) ♥♥♥

I cut some of my flowers in half so that I could tuck them in
 behind others {like the green one above} & used all sorts
 of different textures too like die-cut felt flowers.

See the pretty seam-binding above, on top of the tag?
I always just use a couple of glue-dots on each side
to hold down each side. 

See the little butterfly above?  Just above the journaling?
I was sent those little beauties by Scrapmatts Chipboard
company in Australia, who are our sponsors for the month.

Our talented DT member Cathy Cafun set this month's
 challenge & she designs for Scrapmatts so there's plenty
of inspiration to be found on her blog too.

Look at this amazing prize pack they have donated for 
the winner - WOOOOOW!!!  Check them out HERE.

Most of the chipboard I was sent contained WINGS
of some sort, ie butterflies, dragonflies, angels etc as
that is our current challenge theme for August.  
The only requirement for the challenge is that you
use WINGS somewhere on your project!  EASY!!

We also have a prize for our random winner too.
 Sponsored by Zeus and Zoe - Marivic's Kit Store.



You can win this entire pack of keys!  They are gorgeous!!
To win this random prize everyone  has an equal chance, just by entering!


1. You are allowed to make a an altered/off the page
 project as long as you follow the challenge specifications.

2. Projects must be linked up to our linky tool in the sidebar,
 using the URL of the ACTUAL POST not your entire blog.

3. You may submit as many entries as you want and 
combine your entry with up to 2 other challenges.

4. It is required that you mention in your blog post
 that you are playing along at Berry71Bleu 
TOGETHER with a link back to our blog.

5. All entries must be received by MIDNIGHT EST 
on the last day of the month the challenge was posted.

6. Entries to be submitted via the linky tool at the top
 of the sidebar ONLY, not by e mail and not by 
linking up in the comments section please.

So that's it from me today!  I hope I have inspired you
 to order some of these one-off tags - they truly are mini masterpieces.  

Supplies List for "True Love" Layout

Papers - Green - Daisy Bucket - Playful Petals
Purple (base) UHK Gallery (Poland) Blackberry Yoghut
Yellow print - I Lowe Scrap (Poland) Meadow Sorbet
Purple print - UHK Gallery (Poland) Lavender Lemonade

Punch around the page - Martha Stewart - Swirling Lace
Die-cut shapes - Spellbinders Shapeabilities - Floral Doily Motifs
Doilies, trinkets & ephemera - stash
Layered stickers - My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart" "Be Happy"

Inks - Old Rose & Vintage Pink (Prima)
Yellow Cadmium - Color Box
Stencil - Crafter's Workshop - 6" reverse chicken wire

Flowers - Pink - Prima - Lady Godivas Strawberry Ice
Blue Spray & skeleton leaves - Green Tara
Felt & corrugated flowers - Precocious Petals
Petaloo blooms
Die-cut flower using Tim Holtz Tattered die

Metal title plates - Making Memories
Journaling - Pacifico font
Chipboard butterflies - Scrapmatts
UTEE - Ranger
Banner Sentiments - Prima Packaging

Monday 20 August 2012

Tutorial - Creating a Mixed Media Background/Making Your Own Stencils

Hi ! I have a really simple idea for you today.  I'm going to show you how anyone can create a mixed media background using 2 simple supplies. Gesso and an inkpad. If you don't have these you can simply 
use different coloured paints for a very similar effect.  I don't always use gesso, in fact I often use white acrylic paint by Dala, which is readily available here in South Africa very inexpensively. 

I do prefer Gesso though & recommend you use a good brand. I have used cheap gesso before & there isn't any point as it is all one solid shade, whereas good gesso shows up light & dark & really adds depth to a project.  I have acquired quite a few of these Prima inkpads designed by Ingvild Bolme & they are cheap & magnificent.  They are so WET & don't dry out half as quickly as the Color Box ones, I am a huge fan!

Now that weird thing above is actually an ant zapper!  It contains a
spongy pad drenched in insecticide aimed at driving ants out of
your home (some type of repellant) & it actually works!
 Anyway, I've been dying for it to "expire" & waiting patiently
to cut it up! As you can see I opened it up  (It opens up easily
with a simple hinge) & I cut out the centre with a strong
 pair of scissors.  See below to see what I ended up with.

Voila!  What is it?!  Well it is a stencil!!  And it is also 
a stamp!  It is actually quite thick plastic so it doesn't work
 very well to ink over it (between the holes) as the little ink
 pad struggled to reach the paper.  So I used the gesso, 
with a paint brush, to get through the holes & then I used it 
as a stamp (after wiping quickly with a baby wipe).  I inked it
 up all over, flipped it over & pressed down hard.  I kept 
repeating the process until I ended up with the background 
I showed you above.  Here it is again.

I had already assembled my "paper stack" complete with photograph
so I placed that on my backing paper first & marked off some 
points with a pencil so that I knew roughly where to ink/
stencil. A little background interest is all that's needed to
 take your layout to the next level - the more you do it the 
easier it becomes - follow THIS BLOG to become brave!

I really recommend you look around your home for everyday 
things you can use as stencils.  There's mesh from vegetable
 packaging, fridge egg trays (yes I have used those before, 
washed them & put them back - shhhhh...) & chipboard makes
 great stencils too!  Even punched paper works well as a one-off.

I always make my stencils do "double duty" & serve as messy
 stamps too - once I am finished spritzing or painting through 
them I flip them over & press them onto my paper to use up 
every last bit of ink rather than washing it down the sink.  I 
can't justify buying tonnes of stencils either so I'm always on 
the lookout for what I can use to improvise!  I hope my 
little tutorial has sparked some ideas for you today :)