Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Magic of Handwriting

In the past I have posted at length about why I believe that the majority of journaling in your albums should be handwritten. OK there are times when computer journaling may enhance the look of a page but at the heart of why I scrapbook is that I am recording and documenting our lives for our children and eventually their children. I am not under any illusion that all my scrapbooks will be saved but I hope that a managable number of layouts WILL be kept by my children as a record of their lives. When I am gone I imagine they may like the very tangible piece of me that is my handwriting.

However mine is not the only handwriting that is featured in the pages - I shared a page which I had got my Mum to journal on. In the same spirit I asked ISabelle to write something for the page I was working on of her and my Auntie. I let her choose what to write and she came up with the short and sweet journaling "I love Auntie very very much."


OK, it isn't an essay but I decided to get her to write it on a strip of paper for me to add to the page. I think when I look back on the page in 5 years time I will be please I captured her 7 year old handwriting in my scrapbook and will be doing the same with Olivia too!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Trends on Tuesday - Love a little Mist

I cannot contain my love of mists in one trend post, so there will be others! This page is a very misty page, and it all started because I had made a background with distress stains that I didn't like, so I needed to cover it up and so began the playing with mist and paint.  I started by covering an area in a cheap plastic table cloth and put my pizza box on top of that.

When you use the mists you need to mix in all the sparkly mica at the bottom of the bottle.  If you don't want to get bubbles in your mist tube which create drips on pages then you are not meant to shake the bottle up and down, rather spin it around or roll the bottle between your hands (having said that I have never achieved perfect misting with no drips whatever I do, but it doesn't worry me either as I like it). 

I used 3 cosmic shimmer mists to cover up my base sheet of card - Aqua Lagoon, Purple Violet and Peacock Green - this was a cream sheet of card orignally so there is a fair amount of mist on there.  Then I added a white paint strip down the centre.  I also misted and scrunched up some white tissue paper to add some texture to the background and misted some chipboard - if you paint the chipboard then the misting colours don't come out so dark so this is the unpainted side on my page as I preferred the deeper colour.  I also misted some lace and a piece of purple Graphic 45 Nutcracker suite that went really well with the colours, and some fabric buttons.  The final touches were to upcycle some old bits of metal - primarily curtain weights and a buckle.  This page was inspired by Finnabair's (Anna Dabrowska) strong use of mist on her pages with amazing effects so here is a link to her blog for some more inspiration.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Playing With Pattern

You may recall that a while back I took Shimelles perfect collection class and was really pleased with the results. In a nutshell it involved cutting up co-ordinating patterned papers, arranging the cut up sections to form base pages which could then quickly have photos added along with journaling and embellishments.

I by no means exclusively use this method but I do enjoy how it allows me to get started very quickly with a page. I find more and more that I am snatching a few minutes here and there to scrap and on these occassions working in this way allows me to get pages scrapped in far less time than I would normally take.

At the weekend I pulled out one of my base pages I had made cutting up the Basic Grey Bittersweet collection which had been gathering dust in my paper storage.

It didn't take me very long to add border stickers, a photo, some embellishments and journaling tot his page but it struck me that the large block of very busy pattern on the right is not something I would normally have on my page. Infact I would probably have been left at the end of the collection pack with three or four patterns that would never get used because they are too busy.

I really like the effect and will be using some of my difficult to use but beautiful to look at patterns in this way in the future.


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Graphic 45 Giveaway!

I is time for another Giveaway and as the Christmas lights are being switched on up and down the country we thought it had better be a seasonal giveaway.

We have a Graphic 45 Nutcracker Sweet 12x12 Pad to giveaway to one lucky blog reader! This range has proved very popular and was used by Jane for her class during the recent UKScrappers Cyber Crop. (Take a look at her class HERE)

To be in with a chance to win leave us a comment on this blog post. We will do a random draw on Friday to select a winner!

Good Luck :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Scraplift Saturday

Back again with a blog post with a layout by one of the design team to use as a scraplift inspiration for your next project - perfect for crop days or a weekend where some crafting time is on the agenda.

“Scraplifting” is a term that refers to copying/borrowing (or taking direct inspiration from) the idea behind a layout or design and using it or modifying it for your own layout.  This week we are hoping to inspire to create your next page by drawing inspiration from this layout by Karen Moss from the October design team gallery.

Love flowers? Then go with those, or replace with stars for a more masculine feel or snowflakes for a wintery page.
Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your scraplifted page, we can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Pretty Patchwork Long Weekend Bonus Class

Anyone who books the Long Weekend package on our retreat gets a bonus class kit with instructions to complete in the classroom. We tend to keep this nice and simple so that when you arrive you can ease yourself into the weekend with a relatively straight forward project which is easily completed in a short space of time. There's nothing like getting off to a flying start to keep those creative juices flowing.

Followers of this blog will know my great love of patchwork style layouts. For this kit everyone had half a pack of a My Minds Eye Love Me paper pack and a sheet of cardstock. I added a sketch plan with info on the sizes of pieces I used and all that was left was to choose which pattern to use in each section.

I saw so many lovely examples of this layout and also a couple of the delegates did a second version using their own scraps. Of course when making a kit for nearly 50 people using a 6x6 pad is the easiest way to do this but I do like to use this technique as a good way to use up my scraps and you can create quite different looks by mixing up the colours and styles.

If you want to have go see below for the sketch we used - each small square represents an inch.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Telling the Story...

At the moment I am actively trying to make sure that aswell as showcasing lovely photos there is plenty of journaling in my albums to tell some of the stories behind those photos.

I have already shared some of my journaling heavy layouts like this which dedicate lots of space to telling the story.

But something else I wanted to share is the idea of asking someone else to journal their version of the story for your albums. For this layout I asked my Mum to journal the memories which were triggered by an old photo of us together on a beach.

To make it less daunting I gave her the journaling block before it was added to the page and then added it afterwards once her journaling was in place.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Working 9-5

I knew the moment Oct Afternoon 9-5 range came out that I wanted to create with it. The background paper alone entitled General Ledger had me excited as an Accountant!! So this was my second class kit for my Sunday morning class.  Using six tags as the basis for the layout design we had a title tag, then 5 tags for Mon through Friday and the Friday tag opened up to reveal Saturday and Sunday.

There were other interactive elements and plenty of products to play with from papers to journalling tags, washi tape and alphabet stickers too.

Papers from  October Afternoons 9-5 can be found here in the shop.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Trends on Tuesday - Gesso

I like to use a bit of gesso...and my tub of Claudine Hellmuth Gesso has lasted me nearly a year and I am only just near the bottom - I don't use loads but it is often on my pages.  The difference between Gesso and white acrylic is not huge (unless you are an artist in which case you often use gesso to prime your canvases) - the things that I noticed are that gesso is slightly runnier than acrylic, and slightly more transparent which can be useful with some of the techniques you use it for.

For the page above I did some basic printing with gesso. I stripped down a piece of corrugated card and then painted it with gesso and printed it on my page.  You can also use milk bottle tops like in my Glitz retreat class, and one of my favourite parts from the class - you can also put it on your fingers and then just brush it onto the edge of papers and flowers to add a painty effect - so don't just think brushes and paint :)

As well as that gesso works really well for scrapping across surfaces - you can use an old credit card or stiff cardboard and then add some gesso and scrape it across the page .  This works well on plain card stock or textured cardstock or patterned paper (sometimes I use it just to dull down the pattern a bit around where I want the photo) - each method gives a slightly different look - here are a couple of examples

And as in both the pages above you can just water it down a little to add some paint flicks too.

Monday, 12 November 2012

That's Customer Service For You!

Just had to share this photo of Jill. It was taken after she came back in the house having met a local customer who had come to pick up her order. Unfortunately the lady had tried to turn around in the swamp next to the drive (the curse of poor draining soil and lots of rain!) She got stuck and Mum and Darren gave her a push - with all the wheel spinning Mum got a little bit splattered!

Just goes to show we *really* go the extra mile to keep our customers happy and set them back on their way with new goodies to play with!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Interactive Year In The Life Class By Mel

This is one of the layouts I taught over the weekend of the retreat. The house opens up to reveal an expandable pocket holding months of the year bingo cards. The idea being that you document the year ahead by adding a small photo and some notes to the back of each months cards.
There is some journaling behind the door (mine is about what kind of a year 2012 has been) and then the roof pulls up to reveal a second journaling spot to journal a similar piece about 2013 next December.

To add extra "ooomph" to the sun, clouds and dots I outlined them in black pen to make them "pop" more. 

Below you can see how the roof lifts and the expandable pocket inside the house

and here is the layout with the house open.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back later in the week to see my Long Weekend Delegates bonus class and the triple layout class I taught using My Minds Eye All Is Bright!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Scraplift Saturday

Resurrecting an old challenge idea for you lovely blog readers out there... welcome back to a Scraplift Saturday! We will be creating a blog post every other Saturday with a layout by one of the design team to use as a scraplift inspiration for your next project - perfect for crop days or a weekend where some crafting time is on the agenda.

“Scraplifting” is a term that refers to copying/borrowing (or taking direct inspiration from) the idea behind a layout or design and using it or modifying it for your own layout.  This week we are hoping to inspire to create your next page by drawing inspiration from this layout by yours truly.

You can replace a photo with a journalling spot or section of patterned paper, rotate the page for landscape photos, incorporate banners onto a layout -  the choice is yours. Papers used on the layout above are by 7Gypsies from their Postale range.

Leave a comment to this post with a link to your scraplifted layouts and lets see how many different variations we can get!
Happy Saturday lovely people!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mels Mini Book Class

I totally loved the Studio Calico Yearbook range and used this to teach my mini book class. Now I do usually opt for the majority of my classes to be layouts but my all time favourite class I have taught is my 7 Gypsies Travel Mini Book and I do like to do a mini book here or there.

In this class we constructed the book which includes pages which are pockets and little sideways pocket spaces in which you can tuck tickets, leaflets and memorabillia. My example is blank at the moment and the delegates only had time to make the book itself in class but it will be ready for photos, journaling and additions when the right subject comes along.

Despite some precision scoring needed to create the binding and a little confusion over pairs of mountains and lonely single mountains the delegates got on really well with this in the end and I saw lots of lovely examples in the crop room over the weekend.
Back over the weekend with another of my classes!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Messy Class

Back from a fantastic weekend away with an amazing group of ladies, this was my first experience of a retreat and I loved it, gorgeous hotel - a desk for me with lots of goodies and a shop stacked with paper and embellishments....and then lots of classes, inspiration and new friends - I think it was the largest amount of scrapping I have ever done in one go and just a great time.

This is the page I did for my messy class which involved some spritzing and dripping with cosmic shimmer mists and also bottle top printing with gesso.  The papers are some from the Cashmere Dame collection by Glitz which has a lovely painty/distressed effect on it already.  I had a fantastic group of ladies (do link me up with your pages as I want to see them and I only saw a few completed ones) who had a go at printing with bottle tops, spritzing and distressing with me.

Behind the main photo are a couple of tags with extra photos and journalling on too.  The flowers are all by prima, and the orange lace is by Websters, the alphabet (one of my favourites and comes in lots of colours) is by prima too.  I used a couple of the cosmic shimmer mists Aqua Lagoon which you can see in some of the extra paint drips in the corner and then Mango Blaze which we used to colour the prima flowers.

And for more from the classes check out Karen's and Ann's.


What a Difference!

Hello, Karen here with a quick 'show and tell' of the class I taught last weekend at the retreat.  It was made from just two pieces of paper and a set of stickers plus various office supplies.  I also took a couple of typewriters into the class so that the ladies could type their journaling. 

The class focused on using normal stationery products such as post it notes, labels, staples and page reinforcers on your layouts.  My two pages also illustrated the big difference between how boy's like to play and how girl's like to play!

A gentle girl version


about the companionship of baking.


A frantic boy version

 about competitiveness of boys playing sport.

p.s.  If you like my class enough to want to make one yourself I believe that ATDML may have some spare kits.

Monday, 5 November 2012

My Retreat Classes

As promised sharing some retreat inspiration with you this week in the form of my first class using Simple Stories Harvest Lane papers, which are so perfect for your autumn/fall photos. Notice the banner style pieces in the layout which are a popular sight on pages these days and featured on Katherine's technique Tuesday post last week.

I created two layouts from one of the Simple Basic kits that Simple Stories do which contains 5 double sided patterned papers, one of which is the suite of bingo cards. I also used a Sizzix die available from Stamping Up and a matching set of stamps for the leaves and acorns on the pages and supplied a template to create the owl from the left over papers. Titles using  a set of Thickers in my favourite font Jewellery box completed the pages.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Retreat news and What's new...

Evening bloggers, and a very tired Ann saying a quick hello to you all having safely returned from another successful retreat in Stoke-by-Nayland. Surrounded by a bunch of lovely ladies, hosts with never ending patience and enough inspiration to sink  the Titanic all over again we have once again stunned a hotel full with our wonderful hobby.  With classes taught by Mel Hand, Debbie Jewell, Jane Hewitt , Karen Moss, myself and a debut class by Katherine Sutton, the general vibe I picked up was one of very satisfied customers.  We will have plenty to share over the coming week and will be telling you all about what we got up to. In the meantime why not take a look at the some of the newest items we have in store and scrap up a storm yourself.
Graphic 45 Place in Time - a great calendar range.
7 Gypsies Epicurean - Double sided papers where one side is filled with vintage graphics,  the others are simple restaurant inspired backgrounds or their Santa's Journey range which as you would expect has a festive feel.
If Christmas preparation is on the agenda take a look also at Royal Christmas from Websters Pages or Joyeux Noel from Glitz.

Happy Shopping!