Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Oh Hole-y Night

Not sure if the Jingle Belles puns are getting better or worse as the year goes on!!

Anyway, this week's challenge is "O Hole-y Night" and so we should make an aperture or window card.

Mmmm. Easier said than done for me. The whole technique seemed a bit elusive and my first attempt wasn't really right. I had cut out a window but you couldn't really call it an aperture as it's completely covered up at the back. But anyway, I struggled on and finished it!

I broke into my Figgy Pudding Collection for the first time (oh the shame!) and ended up with something a bit darker than usual but the patterns are pretty. A bit of ribbon, a bauble and a few stars and this one was done - if not what I had envisioned.

The second one turned out a bit better although not exactly what I had had in my head. These creative designs are much more difficult to get right than you imagine. The card-makers over at Jingle Belles certainly have a lot more experience and skill than me, and really know what they are doing when the challenge is a bit more advanced! 

Anyway, I cut a window and made a mat for the inside using this cut out. I backed my window with some acetate which miraculously and coincidentally, centred in the window perfectly! I liked the bauble elements in the Figgy Pudding set and decided to hang a few off the edge of the card. Done. Phew.

There seems to be a pattern developing here. The first card I make is some sort of warm up that gets the ideas going before it clicks and I realise how I should really be doing it. Then comes the second card which is closer to the idea in my head and usually better than the first. I guess making two cards can only be a good thing, right?

Like I said, those girls over at Jingle Belles are one bunch of talented card-makers and I'm learning a lot from them. They make it look so easy (and it's so not!)! I'm in awe of some of the cards they create - so inspirational!

Why not pop over and get inspired for Christmas - let's face it, with the weather we are having here at the moment (north western Europe) we might as well forget summer and head straight for the festivities!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Just two more...

Here are the last two layouts from my Counterfeit kit - Ingonish Beach - although I could probably get two more out of it if they were less stash heavy than my usual!

Combining the kit with Lain's prompts has used it up much more quickly than last month so I will be raring to go again with the new inspiration kit when it is published on August (can you believe it's nearly August?!?) 5th.

Prompt 21 was Q for Quick - we should have made our layouts in 30 minutes or less. Yeah, right!

I'm a slow scrapper. Really. Slow.

And that just isn't a problem for me. I'm not trying to catch up. Not trying to fill the album before the next event. Not trying to fit in the scrapping around a more than full life. I'm just scrapping for me. It's my main hobby. I don't scrap chronologically and I'm not working with new photos. I'm just tootling along, doing my thing and taking my time over it. Doesn't mean I'm not in awe of people who can. It must be great to get more than one page done at a crop or an album completed before the next holiday. But my slow style scrapping? If that means I only complete one page in a sitting or one page a week, then so be it. I'm not sure I could do a page in 30 minutes even if I wanted to. Maybe I should try it one day - just to see how it feels.

This one took ages as I was unsure about the photos. Then unsure about what scraps I could use in the kit. Then the design was hard. Then I decided to do a lot of cutting for my cluster. Well, you get the idea!

In the end, I was ok with the result. These are the types of photos that can be difficult to decide what to do with but this seemed to be the story that needed telling. (I have since changed the journalling to add in the word that's missing!). Oh yes, and I used up some more of my never ending brad stash!

Ingonish Beach kit layout #7

Day 22 was R is for Recycling.

This one was easy.

I recycled June's Scrap Happy sketch including the orientation and my banner cluster. I recycled many of the bits and pieces left over in my kit. And I recycled some basics that are part of my style: little white space, clusters, dimension, layers, banners, string bows and inking. Not so sure about the tag and bird banners but it was a lot of fun to make this and I love the bright colours.

Ingonish Beach layout #8

So, 8 layouts using up 16 photos, lots of brads and dozes of banners (well, quite a few anyway.)

I may still try to get one more layout from the kit and I have already cut out some card blanks to make up. Then it'll be goodbye once again to Ingonish Beach and the new kit is just around the corner.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Successfully forging ahead

This month's Counterfeit Kit - Ingonish Beach - has proved so successful this time around. I've made a total of 8 layouts and think it would be possible to make at least one more if I added in some more cardstock. I definitely have enough for a handful of cards so I'll have to see what I want to do with what's left.

For these layouts, I think the only extra I added in was two sheets of cardstock (the original kit only had 6 sheets I think and I back my layouts with cardstock almost exclusively.) which just goes to show how easy it was to combine the products to create what I think are totally different looking layouts. I have really made the most of cutting up elements in the kit and mixing all the products together - old and new, different manufacturers etc. I have really had a lot of mileage out of a few of the papers (the October Afternoon banners, the Cosmo birds, kites and strip elements and the BasicGrey flowers) and haven't really needed to steal the middles very much as I usually do!

I made them all as part of my daily challenge, Whimsical Musings, where we have been following some Lain prompts. Prompts to follow and ready made kits certainly takes a lot of guesswork out of this and on the whole, this has been a very easy month to create a layout every day!

The prompt for this one was "N for Never" meaning try doing things you don't do normally. So for me this was: white space, misting on the background, same photo twice, no background paper on top of the cardstock, not much distressing. But it seemed to work and I ended up with something I love! Those banners again... Sorry so many banners (more to come :-) ) but they were on the October Afternoon paper and were just calling out to be cut out individually!

Ingonish Beach #4

Ingonish Beach #4 detail

"O is for Order" or pay attention to the order you work (paper, photos, story or technique first?)

I can do a page from any starting point so this was an easy one for me. But I deliberately started by grabbing this difficult to use paper from my kit and cutting out the dogs to make a dog centric page. Only then did I go and find some photos to match the theme.

Not so happy with this one. Bit too much overall. But the dog banner? Cute!

Ingonish Beach #5

This day's prompt was more difficult. There was an interview with Liz Tamanaha and we should be inspired by her style. Well, even though I found her stuff stunning, totally gorgeous and lift worthy, it just didn't get me. In the end I decided to have a go at some sort of film strip as this is something which she seems to do a lot. I went with the music papers I have in my kit (both of which I'm not keen on!) and came up with something I can only say was disappointing! Never mind. Live and learn!

Ingonish Beach #6
I'll post the last couple of layouts soon to spread out the banner overload!

What do you find yourself adding to your pages time and time again at the moment?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The furry (or feathery!) side of Christmas

This week over at Jingle Belles, we were encouraged to play some Reindeer Games which meant including animals (or any other holiday animal) in our projects.

Eskimo Kisses immediately came to mind with the reindeer and penguins but I decided to go with the feathers this time as reindeers have been featured by me before and I like to change things up a bit.

So I went back to a previous Jingle Belles sketch (see here) and came up with this

Not really convinced about the festive qualities of a penguin (he he) and let's face it, they don't live anywhere near the eskimos or even Santa.... but I guess it'll do!

More scraps used up, another card for the pile.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Combining challenges and inspiration

I've already mentioned that I'm doing daily layouts this month. That's working really well. It's very relaxed and I'm enjoying the process of working through some older papers as well as some newer stuff and trying out some different styles and techniques. I'm determined to get a lot of use out of my Ingonish Beach kit which is the Counterfeit kit this month and it seems to be a perfect combination so far.

Part of this process is that we are trying to follow the prompts from Lain's "A to Z Define Your Style". These were actually the prompts we used during LOAD last May (May 2010) and then she turned it into a daily class (find out about it here). We thought it would be great to just go with it and see how we got on.

Even though I did LOAD last May, I didn't follow many of the daily prompts and so this time, am trying to push myself to follow them and think about what this says about my style. I actually think I've found my style (or couple of styles) after many years of floundering, but it's always good to look again give it some thought.

As part of the process, Lain interviewed some scrappy celebs and then our challenge was to see if we could lift something or be inspired by some aspect of their scrapping. This week's celeb was Jody Wenke and to begin with I thought it would be a big problem to find anything that I could make into a Lisa layout. Her style is very clean and simple. Single photos, lots of white space, limited embellishments - everything pretty opposite to what I normally do! This would be hard.

But I persevered and Jody had mentioned how important music was as an inspiration for her and that got me thinking. I went to my iTunes to see what is my most played track and decided to see if I could make that work. It was "I'm Alive" by Tom Jones and had been played loads more than any other track (don't really know what that says about me :-) ). I thought that was a great title in itself and flipped through my pile of photos to see if something jumped out at me. A photo of Isabella (not taken by me) stood out as it was happy, full of life and sunshine, wind in her hair, laughter on her lips! The whole caboodle. And I figured that a toddler just personifies living in the moment. I thought I could include some of the lyrics too.

As for lifting Jody's style, I went with a central block of paper with the large photo and journalling round the edge (and yes, I used a verse to sum up how "alive" Isabella is!) Then I made it my layout by adding a cluster of fussy cut flowers and elements from my kit.

The result is something I love but also something that I would never have come up with without the prompt or my Counterfeit Kit - Ingonish Beach. I love this way of finding new ways through all the possibilities, photos and stash that I have.

I may even try a layout like this again!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Ric Rac Roses

When I first put my Ingonish Beach Counterfeit kit together, I mentioned that I wanted to have a go at making some ric rac roses that I had seen online. There was a lot of interest in the comments and then I panicked that I wouldn't be able to find where I had seen the tutorial or the gorgeous results.

Thank goodness for Pinterest! I knew that it would come in useful one day rather than just being a time sucker and sure enough, there was the tutorial pinned in my account.

So before I forget, here is the link to these stunning roses and such a great tutorial:

Anyway, I followed the easy instructions and even did it without a sewing machine which took a bit longer but was in a strange way, somehow calming!

I am pleased with the results although now I've made them, I wonder if they are too big (dimensional) for a layout and maybe I need to find another use for them.

The pink and cream turned out really nice although the shiny thread was a bit more tricky to control.  The white standard ric rac gave another effect and folded out differently. 

They take a bit of practice to get the twisting right at the beginning and the petals rolled out correctly but I'm thrilled with how they turned out. Definitely something to add to my list of achievements!

Once again, if you are interested in trying these for yourselves, check out the link below:

The Crafting Chicks 

Any favourite tutorials to share?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Got scraps?

Silly question really. If you are anything like me, you have LOADS of scraps. Mine seem to multiply more quickly than I can use them up.

But that was the challenge this week over at Jingle Belles: Holiday Leftovers! and for once, we are not talking all those turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas (although those are actually the highlight of Christmas dinner for me!). No, we have to make a card using only leftover scraps.

I made two because I figured that I could actually make 50 and still have a box full. Most weeks, I only dive into this scrap box but it never seems to get less!

Anyway, the first one used a Page Maps sketch and leftover Cosmo. Simple but sweet.

And then both Lauren and Stef had made gorgeous quilt inspired cards and I wanted to play along. But I was too lazy to lift their gorgeous ideas (!!!) so I just went with a simple square quilt look.

I'm actually thinking of making a whole load more of these as it was pretty simple and I love the end result! We'll have to see if or when I get time.

In the meantime, when are YOU going to start your Christmas cards? Time is flying and you know that you'll get caught out if you don't think about it. Why not head over to Jingle Belles and play along?!?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Ingonish Beach scrapping

My Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit, Ingonish Beach, is already hitting the mark for me and I've completed two layouts so far.

I am totally motivated to scrap right now and have actually embarked on a daily layout challenge with my LOAD friend Whimsical Nature. We called our challenge Whimsical Musings which I love as it brings the two of us together and we are using some prompts from a Lain class over at Scrap Happy.

It's not that I'm enjoying it more than LOAD, it's just that it's less pressure. One of the things I love the most about LOAD is the gallery, the comments and the message board but to be honest, that is also one of the most stressful things about LOAD! It's just too much of a good thing sometimes. I'll be doing whatever LOAD I can in the future but this month, we are a little private group of 2! It's a lot of fun and we are motivating and inspiring each other every day.

My first Ingonish Beach layout is based on a calendar event and I will use it as an example in the prompt for our informal Scrap Happy LOAD later in the year.

My journalling is tucked into the kraft envelope and I really went to town with the banners. I can't get enough of them at the moment and have to stop myself using them on every layout!

I completed the second kit layout this weekend and it was all about the grouping of embellishments. I mixed in a whole load of items from all sorts of places and was thrilled with the result. For once, it's a layout with some cardstock showing and I managed to fit in two 5x7 inch photos which can be hard sometimes. I messed up the journalling but that's ok! I added the fuller story on the back.

I love this story and have been meaning to get it down since it happened. So glad that it's done.

What stories are on your list to scrap?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Ingonish Beach revisited

Another month, another Counterfeit Kit Challenge inspiration kit.

This month, Polka Dot Whimsy was chosen as our starting point, using their July 2010 kit, Cape Cod, as our inspiration. I loved it at first sight and knew that I would be able to make up my own with the same summery feel of the original.

I think it was easier to create this kit with my existing stash because the kit is from last year and therefore, there's no chance to run out and buy new stuff! I recognised several of the papers but only had a few scraps of one or two of them which meant that I had to get creative with what I have - and that for me, is what CKC is all about.

I pulled together a pile of papers with some bright primary colours and the mood of summer more than exactly the same prints, shades and designs of the original. I added in lots of cardstock (the original kit only had three sheets and that's way too little) and then got busy with alphas and embellishments. I reserve the right to add in anything extra along the way but for now, I picked out some bright and very old ribbons, some flowers, some AC shapes which are really tricky to use so maybe I can work on that, buttons, brads (!), some journalling cards, tags, banner stickers, rubons, stickers, lace tape and two packs of K&Co die cuts which are calling to me! There are two lengths of ric rac because I've seen a great tutorial online for making ric rac roses and I really want to give them a try if I have five minutes of patience!

There is really a good mix of old and new in here and several items that I find "difficult" that I'm hoping to get my head around (if not, it might be time to declutter them out) and use.

The kit is much bigger than last month so I am hoping it will fill me with inspiration to create at least 6 layouts and some cards like this month.

As I said, the original kit was called Cape Cod and this made me think of the last holiday that in any way felt like a summer holiday way back in 2006. Even though it was September it was a perfect late summer holiday for us and we discovered how beautiful Nova Scotia is.

So I have decided to call mine, Ingonish Beach which is where we stayed on Cape Breton Island and many of the colours in the kit remind me of this stunning place.

With my daily page challenge this month, I'm looking forward to attacking this kit and seeing what comes.

What's on your scrappy schedule for July?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Celebrating the stars and stripes

In recognition of 4th July this week, Jingle Belles decided that we should incorporate stars and/or stripes into our designs.

I expected to go through my stash and come across lots of both but was surprised to see that I have no stars at all in the Christmas section!

I therefore went with the stripes of which I had lots to choose from! I think that almost every single collection I have has one or more to go with and in the end I chose yet another vintage selection from My Mind's Eye.

Oh, how I love MME!

Non traditional colours and a few layers and there you have it.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Where do you want to go?

As mentioned last week, I sometimes get commissions from The Scrapbook Magazine that make me scratch my head and draw an initial blank. These are always interesting to create as they really get the grey matter working.

Then again, there are times when I almost punch the air with joy when I get an email with a certain subject matter as I know immediately what I'll scrap. One of the recent designer galleries was entitled "Favourite Places" and it found me grinning from ear to ear.

No one who's been reading my blog for any length of time will be surprised to know that my favourite place and somewhere that I ALWAYS want to go is Canada!

The only problem I had here was to choose the design and only one single gorgeous photo. that took some time but I was happy with the end result. Any layout featuring photos from our Canada adventures makes me smile just looking at it.

What subject matters make you smile?

Oh, and not to forget my American friends... 

Happy Independence Day!

ETA: And of course, a belated but heartfelt Happy Canada Day (for the 1st July) to my Candadian friends!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Shaping up

I just wanted to post my last and final layout for my All A Flutter kit (from the June Counterfeit Kit Challenge).

It was in response to the mini-challenge to Get In Shape using a shape "to take center stage in your layout" and I took inspiration from several layouts I have done recently using this type of die-cut paper. I have found that if I cut if off centre, I have a natural place for my photo and the other side is great for the journalling. I wanted to try placing the shape top and bottom but somehow it didn't work, so I went back to the original design and finished it off with some flowers leftover from when I cut them out of the Crate Paper in the kit.

I added in some TH tape and a single button but I couldn't find anywhere to squeeze in any brads :-(

There really isn't a lot left in the box other than brads (!) and some small scraps. I will be making up a few cards to finish some of these leftovers and then it's nearly time for the July reveal on 5th!

Hoping you are having a wonderful Sunday. 

Friday, 1 July 2011

Me, me, me ....

Happy 1st July!

It's Friday and that means the weekend is just a few short hours away which can only be a good thing.

Today marks the first day of a new challenge that my LOAD friend Whimsical Nature and myself have set ourselves – a daily layout throughout July so that means I will be really busy creating the whole month. I can't wait to get started on today's layout.

Daily creating makes me happy. 

But more of that later in the month...

Today I just wanted to share a layout I created with my All A Flutter kit for one of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini challenges.

They very cleverly took inspiration from my blogosphere friend S's blog post (here) which featured a rather smart, witty, creative creature. Yes, S wrote all about herself and then followed it up in the Counterfeit Blog Hop (here). So cute!

Anyway, I decided that I could do that – a layout about me. I do them all the time after all. In the end it was more difficult than I thought and even now, I'm not so satisfied with the journalling but it does use quite recent photos so that can only be a good thing.

I was really struggling to get enough out of the kit leftovers but in the end got very creative with the scraps and even used some Prima packaging. I think in the end, I added in the sheet of cardstock, the single letter for my title, and the small kraft doily but all the rest is the kit. I used the Scrap Happy sketch for June, turning it on its side and deciding to really go for a cluster of banners instead of a usual cluster. I think I must have seen this overlapping banner look somewhere online and have taken that as inspiration (sorry but have no idea where now... I wonder if I pinned it?!?)

I only have small paper scraps now plus dozens of brads (!) and a few flowers left in my kit so I will probably make a few cards and call it a day. I have one more layout to share from this kit but apart from that.... job done.

Happy Friday everyone!


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