Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Wednesday Wonderland

I promised you more last week, and I'm keeping my word.

The Jingle Belles prompt is to "have yourself a merry LITTLE Christmas" using inchies or twinchies on our cards.

As I said last week, I'm trying to use up scraps and left over embellies as far as possible so when I saw these little flair badges that just happen to be exactly 1", I knew it would be a good combination for this prompt.

The Echo Park papers were also all found in my scrap box.

Wow, another three cards to add to my pile. Feeling good!

Hope to be back next week for another share with the new Jingle Belles prompt which will be out on Friday. Why not join us over there and get ahead (so, so, so ahead!) with your festive crafting!

Wednesday Wonderland is a series of posts featuring Christmas cards following the inspiration to be found at Jingle Belles

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pre-LOAD214 blog hop

Wow, two hops in two days... busy times here on the blog.

Hopefully, you've arrived here via Lisa E (here) but if you are here direct, I suggest you start back at Kelli's blog (here) to make sure you don't miss any of the advice and shared experiences along the way.

Well, it's late January which means that LOAD (Layout a Day) is literally, just around the corner. It's always exciting to be preparing for the first LOAD of the year and it's a short one which usually helps me as I'm often a bit rusty after not much scrapping over the Christmas and New Year period. And as always, there are plenty of new LOADsters joining in on the fun (hi Sylvia!!) which usually prompts a group of us to join in on a pre-LOAD blog hop where we hope to offer some advice or maybe just share our experiences of how to participate, complete and still have fun in the process while making a page every day for a month!

I've been part of quite a few of these hops and decided to set up a page where you can find all my previous posts. You can find that at the top right of the sidebar. There's a lot of information so stop, browse around and hopefully you can find something useful for you if it's your first or tenth LOAD! I won't repeat all the details here but there is a 10 point strategy which could be used/adapted as fits!

  1. Clear space
  2. Use that stash
  3. Preparation
  4. Sketches, Pinterest, Flickr favourites
  5. Glue & go
  6. Handwritten journalling
  7. Quick techniques
  8. Perfection is over-rated
  9. Be part of the LOAD community
  10. Have FUN!

So, what will I share with you today when it would appear that I've written it all several times before? That's a tricky one.

How about what LOAD means to me and as this is LOAD Scrapbook Mythbusters, perhaps a few LOAD myths that I could address.

LOAD, and I've said this before, is usually the most fun I have scrapping ALL year! I love the daily creating, I love the community, I love my LOAD friends - and many of those have become very close, meaningful friendships which I value very very much - I love the discussions on the board, I love the creative stretching I get from the prompts, I love seeing my stash being used up, I love watching my pile of layouts grow, I love the stories being told, I love the photos finding a pretty home and I love the love I get on my uploads - I mean, who doesn't love some validation?!?

All that love makes this girl a very happy one! And what I hope is that you get to feel some of that love too. Enjoy it. Find joy in the challenge!

At the end of most LOADs I try to make a page which sums up what I feel that LOAD means to me - sometimes the focus is on the photos, sometimes the stories, sometimes the community. This is a great tradition and one that many of us have. I choose to photograph my layout pile and feature that one my page and many other make a collage of all their layouts which is totally cool and something I've not yet tried out.

For me, this page is a summary of the feelings I have about that particular LOAD and reminds me of how much I love this hobby, this community and this month-long process. Let me share just a couple of faves with you..

And what about some bashing some LOAD myths?

  1. This is a competition. No! Ok, there are prizes. There is even a grand prize for someone who has uploaded a layout before the "deadline" every day for the month. But that's NOT what most of us are focussed on - we are not in competition with each other for the prizes, we are challenging ourselves to create every day - for us! For our memories and personal satisfaction. 
  2. You HAVE to follow every prompt. No! The prompts are there to guide us as we go along. Some LOADs are technique based, some LOADs are more story based and some are a mix of a bit of everything. Not every prompt is going to appeal to everyone and that's OK. There have been some LOADs where I have followed every single prompt (except for the last day) and there are some where I have gone my own way almost the whole month. Lain isn't going to tell you off if you don't follow her lead! There are no scrapbooking police round here. :-) Create the pages you want, when you want.
  3. If you miss a day, you might as well give up. No! If for some reason, you miss a day, then just continue when you can. You have not failed if you create 26 pages for the month, or even 20 or even 10. If you usually create two pages a month and you get four done during LOAD214, I call this a result! What a success - double the amount you would normally do and hopefully you've had fun along the way.
  4. Every page needs to be a work of art OR made in 30 minutes. No! Don't feel that you have to do what others are doing if that doesn't sit well with you. I am a SLOW scrapper. Each page is usually a couple of hours. Even during LOAD. Yes, I follow my own advice (see above) and try to make quicker decisions, but I'm not going to push myself to speed scrap just because others are if that means I'm not going to like the result at the end of the month. Stay true to yourself and your pile of layouts on the 28th will be authentically yours.
  5. You are not at your scrap desk for one day and can't scrap. No! Way back when, I knew I would be travelling to the UK for the last weekend of the month. So I did a bit of planning and still managed to create and upload each day. I even sat the Düsseldorf airport cafe and put together the layout below surrounded by bemused-looking businessmen (without scissors or a knife of course!) and then stood up, took a photo and uploaded it to the gallery with my phone. Is it a masterpiece? Not really, and this is not a page I particularly love. But more than the page itself, is the memory of creating in less than conducive conditions! I've also scrapped on the train, written up stories to be scrapped on the plane and stolen an hour to get my page done while visiting relatives.  

  6. You are feeling discouraged and disheartened for whatever reason and want to give up. No! Come to the gallery and share what you're feeling. There's so many people over there who can offer support, advice, a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on. When we talk about the LOAD community, that's exactly what it is... a community. It's loving and friendly and welcoming. Use it as much as you can and you will be amazed at the connections and friendships you make. 
So as I say at the end of every pre-LOAD post, take a deep breath, clear off your scrap space, print off your photos, stock up on your adhesives, collect your supplies so that they are near to hand and enjoy the ride! I know I will be.

And if this has whetted your appetite to join us, check out this link where you will find our host, Lain, telling you all about LOAD214 Scrapbook Mythbusters - we'd love to see you there :-)

This is the end of the hop but here's the full list in case you got lost along the way. Make sure you leave a comment to let me know you were here and let me know your top LOAD tip!

Lisa E
Lisa H  

Friday, 24 January 2014

January Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop

Welcome to the January Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop. Delighted to see you here today. I think we are all feeling refreshed after the Christmas festivities and I'm delighted to see such a big hop this time around and so many lovely new faces!

I’m kicking off the hop today so carry on along and make sure you see all the inspiration on offer today. I’ve got the list of all the hoppers at the end of my post in case you get lost and when you’ve finished here, Tina’s next on the list!

We have adjusted the “rules” a little so the member blog hop is for everyone to showcase anything made with their Counterfeit kits for any of the three challenges posted on the Counterfeit site. This month, those challenges were:
  1. Challenge #1 Subway Art - Use the subway art technique (using different colors/fonts in a block of writing like a title or journaling)
  2. Challenge #2 Container Challenge - stamp it, die cut it, draw it…use a container somewhere on your project!
  3. Challenge #3 Stamp On Patterned Paper Challenge - Stamping on plain paper is easy.  Stamping on Patterned Paper takes guts!  Let's see how gutsy we can get with some stamping! 

I’ve been a bad scrapper recently and have only just managed to open my kit up but it’s LOAD next month and I think this month’s kit will get a good airing then! However, I decided to christen it using the 2nd Challenge – to use a container of some sort on my layout.

I had included a set of Alison Kreft for Webster’s Pages mini bags in my kit so that was the first place I started. In fact, the whole layout was built around the bag I chose. I decided to use it to hold a couple of polaroid frames I’d cut out of the MME paper on which I attached a couple of supporting photos and then my journaling is on the back. Finding a double use for an item is always a win in my book.

I also added a little banner at the top and created a filled element. This is an idea I’ve lifted from Mary Ann Jenkins at I Rock Paper & Scissors where I saw this idea (here) and knew I wanted to have a go! I filled it with some punched out snowflakes, some veneer stars and a few sequins. How cute is that!

So, two containers, two different functions. This was a great challenge for me to try out something new, get my kit started and just make a happy layout.

Thanks for dropping by and it would be lovely if you could let me know you were here! Off you go now to see what Tina has to offer us.

Here is the full blog hop list in case you get lost along the way.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wednesday Wonderland

Another Christmas card post today thanks to the inspiration from the Jingle Belles girls to make a card to "have yourself a very merry LITTLE Christmas". In other words, to use inchies or twinchies as a design feature on the card.

This was a bit tough for me and I twisted the rules a little to make use of a punch I have - it's a bit bigger than 1" and nearer 1 3/8" to be honest. But I don't think Lauren's going to come round and wrap my knuckles for that, is she?!?

I am determined to try and use up some of the Christmas bits and pieces I have hanging around - all those odd embellishes, scraps of paper etc and this card design was perfect. I have lots of these little wooden shapes and they never seem to find their way onto my layouts so to use 12 at once was a good way to get them used up. I decided to forego a sentiment as it's pretty clear that they are Christmas cards and the sentiments always seem to be the hardest bit for me.

You can't really see here but the white is also glitter paper.

And I have a confession to make! I also made another three cards while I was at it, ready for next week's Wednesday Wonderland. *insert virtuous feeling here* So come back next Wednesday to see where else the Jingle Belles inspiration took me.

Wednesday Wonderland is a series of posts featuring Christmas cards following the inspiration to be found at Jingle Belles

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Scrapabilly shares - January kit

Warning: Photo heavy post ahead :-)

What with one thing or another, we are all a little late posting our Scrapabilly January kit creations. The gallery (here) will go live tomorrow - 19th January - but Sylvia said I could share a little early. Probably because she realised just how excited I was with what I'd done with my kit! You can find the kit in the Scrapabilly shop here.

First things first, let's have a look at the kit:

 Can you see all that Simple Stories goodness in there? It's based on the Daily Grind collection and as soon as I saw the monthly bingo cards and cut apart sheets featuring places, activities and people, I knew I needed to make this into a year in review album. This is a really super kit - love at first sight.

The kit itself would have been enough to complete this whole project as I have quite a lot left over which I am considering making into a set of cards, but I decided to add some of the extra papers available in the set. I really wanted to have as much fun as possible with the paper combinations.

Here are the papers I added in:

In the shop here

In the shop here

In the shop here

In the shop here

In the shop here

In the shop here

In the shop here

One of the things I love most about Simple Stories is that the colours are so consistent across all the papers. I'm not sure if this is really the case, but it feels like every piece of multi-patterned paper features every colour in the collection to some degree. So that makes a project like this so easy as I never had to stop and think about which papers would "go", I just grabbed what I liked.

I also picked up two packs of the Simple Stories Sn@p divided page protectors (see here) to make it even easier. I worked on it one afternoon, then a few extra hours another day and finished it off on Monday evening. Really, if I'd been a bit more organised, this could have been done and dusted in one weekend or even just one day. My time included picking out my photos, printing them, making up the pages, writing out all the journalling and then embellishing.

Here are some shots of my album. You can see the full set of photos over at the Scrapabilly gallery (here) otherwise this will turn into the longest blog post of the century! (there are 20 photos in total):

I've become such a fan of Simple Stories over the last year or so, and this quick and easy project has really cemented that feeling. In fact, I'm considering picking up more papers - perhaps mixing in the original Sn@p collection from Scrapabilly - and making year in review albums for 2008-2011 and 2013. With a little planning, I think I could get these done in a couple of weekends if I organised the photos and sent them to be printed rather than doing that all myself.

Well done if you've got this far - so many photos that I really wanted to share with you!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the design team (see sidebar on the right) to see what they've created with these versatile papers.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wednesday Wonderland

Back again with another three quick and easy cards for this week's Jingle Belles challenge where we've been prompted to make a card with "Something Old... Something New".

I used a sketch by Karen Giron over at The Sweetest Thing blog with her Sweet Sunday sketch challenge 202.

The main papers are new BasicGrey 25th & Pine and I was struggling with something old but in the end went for my tried and trusted "old" technique of wrapping my twine around the top and adding a couple of very old buttons.

So, another three in the pile. That's 6 already! But it's only week two and who knows if I'll manage to keep this up. Watch this space.

Started making your own cards yet?!? :-)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

14 loves {January 2014}

Welcome to a new series for 2014 based on the original concept by my beloved friend, Pam back in January 2013. I enjoyed sharing my loves so much through the year that I decided I needed to continue through 2014. I hope you will come back each month to see if there is anything in my list to inspire you.


Pinterest source (here)

Still working on my (lack of) positive attitude so when I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to pin it as a reminder. Fingers crossed.


Winter sunlight hitting my chandelier at about 2.30 every afternoon and creating a kaleidoscope of pretty, dancing light fairies all through the room.


A Christmas present which I'm waiting for excitedly. I have been checking all things Silhouette out online and can't wait to get the machine in my hands.


Source : Mary Anne Jenkins at i rock paper & scissors

I need to make a little pocket like this on one of my pages - adorable! Love this.


Even though a traditional Feuerzangenbowle (a type of Glühwein) should be made and drunk when it's really cold outside, our lack of winter weather didn't spoil this once a winter treat. Hot red wine infused with lemon and orange juice, vanilla and cinnamon and then set alight with high % rum poured over a sugar loaf until it's melted into the wine. Oh my! Heaven in a glass. Ok, so the headache the next morning wasn't such fun, but it was, and always is, worth it.


American Crafts announce the new Shimelle collection here

Excited to see what Shimelle's first collection with American Crafts will look like. I'm guessing there will be turquoise, pink and possibly red too if I'm reading the clues correctly on the announcement poster. Could definitely be something for me!


As much as I love, love, love the Christmas decorations, and this year, I was particularly in love with my tree, putting it all away on 2nd Jan made me happy and appreciate the space I have without it all the more!


A pretty and thoughtful birthday present. Now that I don't have to wrap up against the cold as if I'm going on an Arctic expedition as I did when I was using public transport, it's lovely to be able to wear pretty gloves and scarves rather than practical. The little bow on these are the perfect, final touch.


A tradition here in Germany is to give out four leaf clovers for new year. We received two and I hope they bring me lots and lots of good luck for the year to come.


I know I chose Instagram at some point last year, but I really love using it. Not everything goes up, but I love to share some of the snippets of our life with my limited following!


I am determined to plan more, do more and follow through more this year. And to smile. So tickets for a favourite German comedian were perfect. While I didn't understand every joke, and I have to confess to missing a few mins while I "rested" my eyes, I followed enough to laugh and laugh. A great evening.


I might not be able to enjoy this quite as much right at the moment as I did over Christmas due to a bit of cutting back and watching the calories, but this cheese dome from my sister was a perfect Christmas present, Cheese and Wine being a favourite, relaxed evening in front of a movie.


Source (here)

I'm always on the look out for a good sketch and this one really appeals. I've made a few layouts recently with little piles of layers like this and will certainly be giving this sketch a try. Creative Scrappers really is a great resource. Most of my favourite sketches of late have come from there.


Pinterest source (here)

It's years since I spent a weekend in London and it's on my "list" for 2014. I've really missed it recently and am determined to keep it in mind for later in the year. Christmas shopping perhaps. New Year, new list of things to achieve.

I’d love you to share your own {14 loves} lists with me. Why not link up in the comments below?

{14 loves} is a series that will feature on my blog on each 14th of the month


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