Thursday, 29 November 2012

My Interview at Scrap Friends!

Hi Everyone!  Thanks so much for all your support on my 
last post!   I am so busy scrapping to deadlines so I can get
away for our Summer vacation, that I am  not managing to
keep up with commenting but I will catch up as soon as I can.

  HELLO and THANK YOU to all my new blog followers/readers 
and thanks to everyone who advertised my giveaway - I really 
appreciate it & will be announcing a winner on Monday, as I 
want to give everyone a chance to enter & I know sometimes 
the weekend is the only opportunity we have to get around 
all the blogs we like to visit.  

Nothing new that I am able to share yet so I am posting
my interview with Scrap Friends here.  I'd like to keep a 
record of it for myself & it may be of interest to someone?!
 To see it on the Scrap Friends blog click HERE.

One of the absolute joys of scrapbooking is the inspiring people you meet. Today I’d like to introduce Helen Tilbury from South Africa, who has a fabulous blog called SCRAP ADDICT

Can you share a little about when & why you started scrapping? 
I started scrapbooking 9 years ago after my daughter went to a holiday workshop with her friend & came home with a simple page. It was love at first sight for me. I had never seen anything like it before, as I was living in Zimbabwe at the time, where there were no craft magazines for sale. I've always been artistic and dabbled in all sorts of arts and crafts but as soon as I laid eyes on scrapbooking I knew it would be for life. I had boxes of photographs everywhere (pre-digital times!) and I wanted to get them sorted out so this was my initial motivation. I had no inkling that scrapbooking would turn into such a lifestyle for me – I now have a whole room devoted to it & create around 20 pages each month, photo & video tutorials as well as blogging for myself & the companies I design for.

What design teams / manufacturers have you represented?  
I began working with Design Teams in 2009 when I worked for Journaling Junkie [a journaling challenge blog] & Little Shop of Sketches [a sketch challenge blog].

In 2010 I joined more challenge teams & shops/kit clubs, across the globe - such as Pretty Paper Petals in Australia & Scrap-it-Lah in Malaysia & Scrapbook Challenges.

This year I've worked with Scrap That! Kit club In Canada & Creative Scrappers & I’m currently designing for the My Creative Scrapbook Les Papiers de Pandore French paper manufacturer , Berry71Bleu Tags & Purple Pumpkin embellishment manufacturer in Australia. Phew I didn’t realise that I’d worked for 18 different sites already! There’s always something new happening with me!

What keeps you motivated to scrap? 
  • Deadlines - being on Design Teams forces me to scrap!!!!
  • Challenges – I love taking part in them. They’re fun & inspiring.
  • My kids – they love seeing pages of themselves.
  • The creative aspect – I adore getting lost in the whole creative process.
  • My stash – seeing as I’ve invested a significant amount of money on supplies, tools & storage, I have what I call “an obligation to my stash” – I try to scrap as much as I buy to keep the equation equal!

If you had to describe your style, how would you?  

"Modern Shabby" - it veers towards the pretty/feminine (when I am working on my girls' pages) but I have 2 teenage boys too so I can't inflict too much of that upon them. I like lots of layers & clustering but also white space & modern, clean lines with a good amount of mixed media thrown in.
My favourite page elements are:
  • White cardstock
  • Misting/masking/stencilling/inking (mixed media backgrounds)
  • Hand-stitching
  • Fussy-cutting
  • Punching
  • Hand journaling

What type of scrappy projects do you mostly create?
12” X 12” layouts - although occasionally I make cards, mini-albums, canvases & OTP projects.

If your mojo is 'lost'...what do you do? 
Any hints for other scrappy peeps that might be facing the same thing? 
  I have commitments so I just have to fight my way through it. Sometimes I really don't like my pages [if they have given me a headache to put together] but I never admit it because I don't want to pass my negativity onto my blog readers, who may like my page, not having been part of the process! If I’m feeling "over-scrapped" & I’ve got the chance, I’ll go do something totally different - like exercise, read a mag or visit a friend. This type of refreshment brings my mojo back. I recommend trying it, but if it doesn't work then the best thing to do is just start a page. It may not turn out to be your favourite but often it kick-starts your creativity!

Where do you look for inspiration if you feel you are getting a little 'stale'? 
I never feel stale because I receive daily inspiration online! I follow lots of blogs – viewing the work of others I admire is really inspiring to me. My 4 teenagers keep me in the loop with fashion & music – so I’m always up to date with the latest fashions in clothing, music, etc. As a fashion designer by profession, I’ve spent decades ‘trend spotting’ so I’ve learnt to recognise how these translate from one art form to the other, for example from clothing to paper.

Have you some fave, inspirational scrappers that you'd like to share - or blogs? 
I follow far too many blogs – I have fave scrappers in every country!
I can’t possibly mention them all but some of my all-time favourites are: Iris Babao Uy in the Phillipines. Karola Witczak & Anna Dabrowska from Poland. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer from the US & Gabrielle Pollaco from Canada. And the Studio Calico blog – it is LADEN with tips & tricks & SO trendy! Right now I’m most inspired by the ILS blog here – those girls are really amazing!!

What scrappy materials are on your 'go to' list - things that you literally have at your fingertips because you grab them all the time?
Up to date supplies are really hard to get hold of in South Africa, so I make sure I have BIG stocks of all my favourite things - if I run out I'll be waiting a minimum of 2 weeks for parcels from Australia or Europe & 4 weeks from the US, so I have to be very organised.
My ‘must haves’ include:
  • White cardstock
  • A good collection of inks
  • A few nice stencils
  • Mists
  • Good journaling pens. I am very fussy here - I only use Creative Memories or Shachihata!
  • Adhesives, including double-sided tape, glue dots & my favourite Tombo Mono glue.
  • Trimmer blades!

Are there some 'now' items that you are enjoying using?
I'm crazy about all the new Prima embellishments - the resins and metals. They are simply superb!
I'm also in love with Martha Stewart punches and stencils from Studio Calico & The Crafter's Workshop as well as Donna Downey for Prima.

Do you scrap from sketches, ideas, or is it the photo [s] that dictate how a LO comes to life?
Working for Design Teams often means using certain products – so I start there, & find a photo/s to match. If I’m scrapping for myself, then I start with the photo - & if I’m entering a challenge, I’ll often find what works for that sketch/colour combo. So it all depends on what the agenda of the day is!

I notice you've started to create your own sketches. What inspired you to head in this direction?
I was sick for a few weeks and missing scrapbooking so I started creating sketches on my laptop in bed. Since I've been better I haven't had time to create any more! I have my sketches under a page tab HERE on my blog for anyone who would like to use them.

Some of your LOs have amazing background work. ‘TIME WILL TELL’ is one example. How did you create this one?
This is one of my current faves - It was quite simple to create but looks complex - gotta love that!

You can achieve this look with a few simple steps:-
  • All good pages start with a plan in mind, so begin by choosing your focal point for your sunrays - mine was just underneath my photo - then, using a co-ordinating print, mark out your sunrays from that point to the edge of your page.
  • You need to measure equidistant points around the page. I had my rays going to each bottom corner and three points in between. In other words, the centre of the page along the bottom - then halfway again between the centre point and the edge of the page. I had my rays only going across the bottom 2/3 of the page (the section below the photo) and if you look carefully at the page you can actually see that the bottom 2/3 of my page is more defined than the top section as a result.
  • Now you need to glue the sunrays paper onto your backing paper, cutting out every alternate section so your printed paper looks like sunrays (this will automatically give your page some texture & depth). Now your task is to ink, paint and gesso away!
  • I started by inking the cut out sections (using a Tsukineko ink dauber as they are great for getting into smaller sections). That is the darker red you see on the page.
  • Next you need to dry-brush on the gesso. I actually used a small cosmetic sponge to apply it.
  • For shimmer & shine I used Ranger's Liquid Pearls smeared on with my fingers. That's the Peacock Green/blue you can see.
  • Lastly I used green ink on bubble-wrap around the edges of the page – the lime coloured bits - to emphasize the sun rays.
  • Dry your mediums with your embossing gun between layers so you don't end up with muddy colours.
  • Keep your photo well away from everything until it is completely dry so you don’t spoil it.
  • Clean everything straight afterwards with warm soapy water – including your hands, before you start handling photos & embellishments, etc. I clean my counter/cutting mats with benzene between projects.
Do you have a quote that sums up what scrapping means to you?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit" Aristotle.
I've been scrapbooking for 9 years & I'm still learning all the time. I'm forever "pushing the envelope" & trying new things. As Van Gogh said "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart"I firmly believe that if you want to become really good at anything you need to DO IT.

It's really important to read, and learn, and observe others, but theory and practice are two very different things & the best way to hone your skills is through trial and error, by carving out some studio time every week for yourself.

Online classes are great, as are photo and video tutorials but at the end of the day practice makes perfect & if you’re short of time spend the time you have experimenting with your supplies & creating! I hope I have inspired you to do just that…

I certainly am inspired….I hope you are too & I encourage you to take a peek at both Helen’s blog as well as some of the scrappers she’s recommended here. And, of course, most of all – happy scrapping!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Featured, Featured, Featured!!!

Hello there!  Happy Hump Day!!  Already?!?  Eeeeek!!
So it's all going on here - LOTS of secret squirrel scrapbooking!

In fact I made something really exciting yesterday, that 
will be revealed in a week!  And I got a very cool commission
to create a layout for the February issue of a magazine,
which is also on it's way overseas right now.

But for today, all I can show you are things already seen!

I have been featured ever day this week!!
That is so weird!!!

On Monday I made the line-up of Featured Layouts
at InspireME HERE {Webster's Pages Ning Community}

with this layout below.

"Banner of the Week" still eludes me, but I keep trying!!

On Tuesday I had this layout featured at Manor House
Creations HERE alongside several familiar names!

Then today I had the above featured at Imaginarium
Designs HERE so I can't complain this week!

Wooo!!  I could get used to this!!! Anyway, just popping in to 
get this recorded,now I am popping out again with my daughter
to buy her school uniforms for HIGH SCHOOL! My BABY
 is going to High School next year, hard to believe!

And yes, here in South Africa {and Africa in general} 
schools are very strict and have a regulation uniform
that the kids have to wear, right down to the colours of
their hair elastics!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

November Giveaway! It's a BIG one!!

Hello Monday!!  
Okay Monday is nearly over here but I'm running late :)
So late that I'm only announcing my November giveaway NOW!

{at least 10 full packs of buttons, badges & flowers}
Some Purple Pumpkin Airmail Stripe Washi Tape
7 Gypsies Tags {loads of 'em!}
Jenni Bowlin stickers {1.5 packs}
Studio Calico Flowers {about 8 of them}
Kaisercraft Chipboard Alphas {an entire pack of them!}
Glitz Design Rub-ons (one full sheet)
Sassafras Flowers {one full pack}
American Crafts Ribbon {pink rikrak}
My Mind's Eye Sentiment cards
Want2Scrap Chipboard Birdcage with backing piece
Pink Paislee Transparency strips
Prima Journaling card {glittery!}
Studio Calico sentiment cards
Maya Road journaling cards in scallop envelopes
Skeleton Leaves (one full pack)
2 Giant chipboard film strip pieces

THIS IS A BIG RAK!!  At least 50 US dollars worth

What do I want in return?!


Please advertise this RAK on your blog, in a blog post and/or
in your sidebar, by adding this image & linking to this post,
then leave a comment on this post, together with your link.
{If you advertise in a post AND in your sidebar mention it
in your comment - those who do will be counted TWICE!

If you want ANOTHER chance to win then advertise it on Facebook
& leave me another comment {if we are Facebook friends so I
can check up on you!} So!  THREE WAYS TO WIN!!


I will draw a winner when I reach 410 followers OR
in 2 weeks time - on Monday 10th December
{whichever comes first!}

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunshine Blogger Award {for you!}

That's right!  I'm passing this award on to any of my blog readers
who would like it!  You certainly all deserve it!!  Thank you so
much for your support this year, my readership has grown
tremendously and I have to pinch myself now when I see my
stats!   Finally 4 years of blogging has paid off!!
The Rules {simplified by me!}

1. Include award logo in blog post.
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and include a link back to them.
3. Answer these 3 simple questions!

THANK YOU to Desire Fourie for passing this award on to me.

Desire is a fellow South African blogger.  One of the sweetest women
 on the planet.  Kind, honest & an absolutely brilliant photographer.  
She is hardworking & runs a business called "Doing Life" 
which is geared towards a simple system of layout-making using 
templates, to help people incorporate many photos on their pages. 

{the SA version of Becky Higgins!!}

1.  Where are you when you're not in your studio?

I spend a lot of time in the car, the grocery store & the coffee shop
{love my cappucino & my ADSL line has been faulty!}

2.  What do you read?

I subscribe to NOW magazine {from the UK} for a quick celeb/
fashion fix, scrapbooking magazines & real-life stories, not novels!

3.  What's your favourite holiday?

The Drakensberg mountains in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
{the province I live in!  Lucky me!!} it's really rural & relaxing!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

10 of my Favourite Projects featuring Chipboard!

Hi ladies!  It's always fun taking a look at your layouts
'all together' don't you think?  Time to start thinking 
about those Christmas posts "My 10 Favourite Projects
from 2012" etc.  Actually I've never done one of those
before so maybe this year....

Today I've compiled a post showing my 10 Favourite
Projects featuring chipboard.  I've no aversion to using 
chipboard on cards or Off-the-page projects either, but
it just doesn't happen as often as layout making does, as
I prefer 12" pages to keep up to date with my kids' albums.

So without further ado here they are :)
Here I inked the chipboard words with an ombre effect
then clear embossed them, painted the maroon chippie
at either side of the photo & left the chicken-wire chippie
in it's raw state.  I like to mix up my chipboard techniques.
On this one above I used a resist technique and spray 
inks on my chipboard, all sealed with Matte Medium.
Here I did nothing at all to the chipboard :)  It's still
 one of my favourite layouts though - no need to over-think
 things all the time, sometimes less is more!
For this page I gessoed the chipboard first then applied
paint thickly with a stencilling brush to add texture.
Here I painted the chipboard using acrylic paints
so that the chipboard was quite glossy and shaded.
Here I wanted my chipboard pretty dramatic so I inked it
up in purple then highlighted with white & lastly I 
gold-embossed it to give it the WOW factor!
Here I simply painted my chipboard pieces with metallic
paint then sprinkled some gold micro-beads around them.
I went with the metallics aswell for this one but used
inks instead of paint, moving from old gold in the centre
to bronze on the edges of the embellishment.
For this grungy effect I painted my chipboard with
Antique Linen paint then inked with red & black
for a shaded/ombre effect, leaving the pieces matte.
I incorporated tons of supplies & techniques into this layout.
Paintng, inking, crackle-glazing and luscious swirling of
my metallic paint too.  I hope you have enjoyed my little
chipboard feature.  For us "3D, tactile" scrappers chipboard
is one of those "must-have" items & so customisable too!!

I do hope you are all having a wonderful weekend & enjoying
some scrappy time somewhere along the way!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Each Moment Only Once Layout {Berry71Bleu/ 7 Dots Studio / Imaginarium Designs}

My turn to blog at Berry71Bleu yesterday!  Our challenge was to
"Go Crazy!" so I tried!  I did several things differently to usual.
We were sponsored this month by 7 Dots Studio so of course that
 made my job just that much easier :)  I mean papers designed by the 
almighty Finnabair herself are bound to be anything but ordinary!
I mixed the tags and stickers from 'Hopefully' with the papers from
 'Domestic Goddess', along with twine from Purple Pumpkin, a funky
Prima lightbulb & some grunged up cogs from Imaginarium Design.
Yeah I smudged the journaling - but it's all in keeping with the
 'look' right?!  I got quite a lot of background texture going on 
with my modeling paste - that is so thick I battle to squeeze it
 out of the bottle!!
Splatting some dots of black mist onto a layout = a sure-fire
way to add some manly grunge.  I also freehand cut a strip
along the top of my layout & tucked in a few bits & pieces.
This is a very trendy new technique I've been wanting to try!
I went crazy with the twine as you can see above & below!
I was thinking it kinda reflected my son's inner 'teenage angst'
as he is an 'over-thinker' like his mumma...
And of course printing out a large photo then backing it onto 
chipboard, mounting it and inking the edges in black give a
 'cardboard cut-out' look which is something I've never tried 
before either!  Thank you Bellaidea for setting a challenge that 
certainly had me 'pushing the boat out'!  Still time to enter HERE!

Supplies List for 'Each Moment Only Once' Layout

Papers - 7 Dots Studio - Domestic Goddess -
 White Apron & Women's Talk
Stickers & Tags - 7 Dots - Hopefully Collection 
Stencil - 6" Reverse Chicken Wire - The Crafter's Workshop
Modeling Paste - Reeves
Mon Ami Creamy Crayon Sticks - Red, Yellow & Orange
Black Mist - Maya Road 'Charcoal'
Twine & Wooden Heart Buttons - Purple Pumpkin
Chipboard Cogs - Imaginarium Design
Inks - Black - Doodlebug - Red - Color Box - Warm Red
Beige Crackle Paint - Ranger - Antique Linen
Black Paint - Making Memories - Asphalt
Journaling Pen - Shachihata
Light Bulb, Wooden Bird & Black Alphas - Prima

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! {10 things I am Grateful for} Out of Many, many more!!

{Julie FFB has this image available for free download today - yay!}

Hi there and Happy Thanksgiving! It's not a holiday we celebrate
 here in Africa but it's one we certainly should! So, like Hump Day,
 I shall adopt it!! I wish I had the day off though! It's business as
 usual here with kiddies at school and guitar lessons coming up, 
and I have ANOTHER layout to work on!

Things are relentless this month as I'm squashing 2 months into one
 so I can get away on a Christmas vacation. That's how we do things
 in these parts - no long Summer vacation - at that time we are in
 the midst of our Winter (not freezing but a bit chilly...) Hubby 
works in the manufacturing industry, which has an annual 
Dec/Jan shut-down so it's the only time we can get away.

If I'm to reflect on what I am thankful for I could go on forever
 so I'll list my top 10 and leave you to enjoy your day ;)

1. My faith in God that keeps me grounded.

2. My husband who is my most ardent fan and supporter.

3. My beautiful 'big' daughter Chelsea who tells me I'm her
 'role-model' - no words are sweeter to a mother!

4. My son Jack who makes me laugh almost ALL day - 
he is honestly hysterical - he should be a comedian!!

5. My son Reilly who is a one-of-a-kind special - like me he is 
creative and makes the most beautiful music remixes ever!

6. My 'little girl' Cami, who is almost as tall as me and just 
brings me an absolutely infinite amount of joy constantly...

7. My house-helper Mercy who takes the time-consuming chores
 of laundry and cleaning off my hands, giving me my creative time.

8. My little home - small but sweet and homely and always getting
personalized with another decor project.

9. My cats, who I love even though I sometimes wonder if they love
 me back - they are the aloof variety generally.

10. The weather here, which is generally hot, but can be made 
bearable with air-conditioning, which is so much nicer to me than
 having to huddle by a heater.

Having a thankful heart is one of the keys to happiness I think
- thanks for the visit ;) 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

All Grown Up Layout {Purple Pumpkin/Riddersholm Design/Imaginarium Design}

Hi everyone!  This layout has just gone live at 
Purple Pumpkin HERE today!!

I used up the last of my Riddersholm papers from my 
C'est Magnifique Guest Designer stint a few months back.
I mixed my Purple Pumpkin product with Imaginarium Designs
chipboard & cut that awesome chippie butterfly right down the
middle and popped him on opposite corners of my photograph!
I layered up tonnes of Purple Pumpkin loveliness - 
fabric button (polka dots) plus doilies & crochet lace too.
My title and cogs also come from Imaginarium Designs
and my stencil from The Crafter's Workshop.
I did all sorts of things to that chipboard :)  I painted it
first with black, then again with crackle-paint & lastly 
went over it with ink & distress stain in random places. 
I used up the negative sheet from the cogs as a rectangular
mat behind my photograph, together with one of the
 Imaginarium Designs fancy filigree corners.
Layers are key to achieving this look!
I tucked in a little piece of Imaginarium Design picket fencing too.
The paisley button on the left is from Purple Pumpkin available HERE.
as my starting point.
Supplies List for "All Grown Up" Layout

Papers - Riddersholm Design - Huntington Garden - Pavillion
6" Chicken Wire Template - The Crafter's Workshop
Black Paint - Making Memories
Distress Stain - Tarnished Brass - Ranger
Crackle Paint - Antique Linen - Ranger
Inks - Toffee (Color Box) Teak Wall (Prima)
Doilies - Store bought
Doily Die-Cuts - Quickkutz Nesting Doily Circles
Die-cut used on photo - Spellbinders - Labels Seventeen
All chipboard - Imaginarium Designs
All embellishments - Purple Pumpkin
Pen - Shachihata