Sunday, May 26, 2013

Far & Away

OK, so it's not Tuesday, and I haven't blogged for a while, but family stuff got in the way ...

So anyway, I finally had some time to do some scrapbooking, and I wanted to use some more of the gorgeous Teresa Collins "Far & Away" collection that I blogged about last time, especially as I treated myself to some extra bits and pieces to go with the bits I'd already got in the Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn kit.  And this is a favourite photo from last year that I have been meaning to scrap for a while -

The background stamp is one that I have had for a while but never got round to using. I inked the stamp up all over as usual but then wiped some of the ink off from the edges of the stamp to help the edge of the design fade slightly into the backgropund cardstock, to reduce sharp edges - I saw the technique in a  magazine and this is the first time I have used it, I think it looks very effective.  Apart from the little red jewelled brad in the centre of the flower, eveything else on the page is either from the kit or from the Teresa Collins range.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

No more ScrapaGogo :-(

Sadly, my favourite scrapbooking kit company, ScrapaGogo, have now stopped selling kits, so I've been looking around for a new company to try.  So far, I am very impressed with the kits from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn - I have had two from them so far and they have been lovely.

The April monthly kit is based on the Theresa Collins Far & Away collection, which is a brilliant collection anyway, but it also contains some gorgeous extra bits and pieces.

This photo is not a very good photo, especially with the orange fence and the extra people in the background, but I love the happy smile and the memories it brings.  The colours in this collection were perfect to go with the colours in the photo, and I used some of the embellishments to cover up some of the less desirable parts of the photos and to draw the eye towards the better bits.  The title was inspired by the old "I love NY" slogan (only of course in this case it's York and not New York).

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's not Tuesday!

I'm going to be busy tomorrow afternoon so I've rearranged my week and have been scrapping today instead.  But I'm not going to blog about my scrapbooking today ...

... Scrapbooking is all about preserving memories, and most of those memories come in the form of photographs.  Like most people, I'm not a very skilled photographer, so when I had the chance to do a short, inexpensive, online course aimed at getting the most out of your iPhone camera, I jumped at the chance.

The course lasted for four weeks and each week we were challenged to take several photos inspired by some "prompts", each prompt being a word or phrase.  We  were also given tips on how to take photographs from different angles and in different lights, and on how to use various apps to help take photos and also to edit them afterwards.

So, here is an example.  The prompt was "mess".  As I have teenage sons, it was easy to find a mess in one son's bedroom -

Although I could use this in a layout (I can envisage a layout with lots of journalling about the mess teenage boys create), it's not really a very interesting photo.  But after I'd used an app called Snapseed to transform it and frame it, I think you'll agree that the result is a lot more visually pleasing.  The "distressed" look of the photo matches the messy theme.

The course left me with a little more knowledge and ability, so I'm now able to take slightly better photos, or at least to make them look better later.  But it also made me take some photos I wouldn't otherwise have taken.  I now have some ideas for some more "everyday" photos that I can use on layouts to capture our everyday life and preserve some memories of those more mundane moments, the ones we tend to forget over time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Tuesday ...

... so I must be scrapping and blogging again ...

This is another  paper I thought I'd never use.  I bought it years ago when I'd just started scrapping and my style was very different to today.  I had these three photos that I wanted to scrap but the quality wasn't brilliant, so I cut them down in size to concentrate on the main image, and this also made them a better size to fit on the paper.  As the patterned paper was so "busy", I used plain card to mat the photos on to. 

Using the pattern on the paper as inspiration, I cut out some circles of green card and drew on a line to represent the seam of the tennis ball.  Although this was quite effective, they looked a little plain. As I also needed somewhere to put my journalling, I hit on the idea of writing along the curving lines on the tennis balls - it's a bit difficult to read, but it looks good and adds some interest.

Finally, I added the title.  It doesn't show up on the photo, but the letters are made of felt (American Crafts felt Thickers) and so have a texture a bit liek that of a tennis ball.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday afternoon ...

... seems to be my favourite time for crafting.  Which is probably why most of my blog posts have been written on a Tuesday too ...

So, not surprisingly, here is another post with a couple of my recent creations.  I'm still working on an album of some of my favourite moments of last year, and I managed two layouts today, quite contrasting in style.  The first one took me quite a while to put together as I wanted to use two photos but getting them to work together, expecially as they were in different orientations, was tricky.  But I'm pleased with the end result -

As usual, most of the items are from a ScrapaGogo kit (January 2013) but I've also used some washi tape and Tim Holtz tissue tape and the alpha is from an earlier Gogo kit.

Very different in style is this one -

This layout is much plainer but I wanted the photo to really stand out.  I so rarely take photos of York (where I live) but it's a beautiful city and I feel privileged to live in a place that so many people pay money to come and visit as tourists (that's the sentiment behind the title).  Again, most items are from a ScrapaGogo kit but this one is from over a year ago.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Another ...

... item I thought I'd never use (like the lightbulbs I blogged about last time) ...

I was sorting through my stash and found an old ScrapaGogo kit that had hardly been touched.  The terracotta paper was exactly the right shade for the photos I wanted to scrap, but I wasn't sure what to put with it.  The circles paper was one I remembered looking at when it first arrived and thinking "I love that but have no idea how to use it".  But the colours are perfect for these photos and the circles remind me of plates, so I had to find a way to use it.  With such a "busy" paper, I tried to keep everything else pretty simple.  I'm quite pleased with the result.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A new dimension

I've never been one for "lumpy" layouts, possibly because when I was mostly scrapping at 8x8 size, the albums were too small for really lumpy layouts to fit in properly.  I thought I'd made a big mistake the other day when an order arrived from an online retailer with these in it - I hadn't paid enough attention to the size of them; I looked at them and thought "they're lovely but I'll never use them" ...

... then today I was planning a layout and I looked at the lightbulbs again and suddenly realised I could use them -

I think it works rather well.  I know I've scrapped this photo before, but it's a real favourite photo of mine.  The last layout was A4 size, this one is 12x12, and it's to go in a different album, so I really wanted to do another layout with it.  Yet again it's mostly using items from a ScrapaGogo kit, this time it's the gorgeous kit from March 2012 (probably my favourite of all the kits I've ever had from them).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back to cards ...

My first experiences of papercrafting were as a cardmaker.  Since I discovered scrapbooking, I don't do as much cardmaking as I used to, but I still make cards for family and friends (much more personal than bought ones).

When I needed to make a couple of cards the other day, I discovered some pretty patterned papers I had forgotten I owned.  As 6x6 papers they seemed ideal for the base of a square card (trimmed down a little to fit). The pattern being mostly around the edge of the paper meant that there was a need for a central image or focal point of some sort.  I wanted to use my favourite butterfly stamp but stamping it directly on to the paper seemed a little stark.  So then I remembered a technique I used ages ago ... I found some white tissue paper and crumpled it a little before lightly brushing over a couple of distress ink pads in toning colours and then spritzing with a glimmer mist. Then I stamped the butterfly image on to this with a darker toning colour, tore around the edge and adhered this to the centre of the card ...

... I did this in two totally different colourways and could do it again and again (in fact, I probably will as I think it looks really effective but difficult to capture effectively on a photo).  And as the tissue paper was originally used as wrapping (part of a package from my favourite online scrapping retailer), it was free too! Us scrappers love to recycle :-) 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I attend a monthly crop and really enjoy it - it's not just the opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time scrapping, but it's also meeting up with other scrappers and sharing ideas that is so enjoyable.  (For those that don't know, a crop is a group of scrapbookers meeting up to do some scrapbooking together).

Last year we completed a crop CJ (circle journal - I've blogged about these before) and we've finally added some photos to the crop blog

It was a small-scale CJ, but still produced some beautiful books


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Here to stay ...

... yes, I really think my scrapping mojo is here to stay after going missing for so long last year :-)  I didn't have much time last week to scrap, but I did manage to get to my crop on Saturday - more of that in a day or two.  Last year, a few days without scrapping left me feeling even less likely to scrap, but this year it's making me impatient to get on with the next project ...

... so, today, having a free hour or so this afternoon, I got out a favourite photo from last year, opened up my latest ScrapaGogo kit, and had fun creating this

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Peace and Joy

I'm not going to have much time to scrap in the next week but that won't kill my mojo - I've rediscovered my love of scrapbooking :-)  I'll definitely try to flick through some of my accumulated scrapping magazines during the week though (even they went ignored in last year's scrapping desert) - they are full of great ideas and inspiration ...

In the meantime, here is another layout I have produced this week.  We had a quiet christmas day with just the four of us, which is unusual in this house; I'm more used to catering for 8 - 12 people, sometimes more.  Anyway, partly because it was so quiet, I didn't have many interesting photos, so instead of choosing one photo as a focal point, I chose three smaller ones to tell part of the story  ...

Again, most items are from a ScrapaGogo kit, this time December's (very appropriate).  I also used a distress ink with the ScrapaGogo stamp to add pattern to the plain beige cardstock (underneath the photographs) and some lettering from a previous ScrapaGogo kit.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013


And no, it's not a spelling error, it's a play on words

It's an unusual photo as it has me in it (I'm usually on the other side of the camera) and it was a sunny day (taken last summer, which was more rainy than sunny).  And the "sonshine" reflects the fact that I am incredibly proud of my two wonderful sons.  (Sorry about the quality of my photography today - it's a dull day and I didn't want to use flash as it reflects on the photo and distorts the colours).

The layout continues my recent run of creativity - I think my scrapping mojo is here to stay :-)  I loved the ScrapaGogo kits I received last year but never got round to doing much with them so I was itching to use some more of them.  This layout is a mix of items from the August and September kits and I think they work very well together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Last year ...

... wasn't a complete scrapping desert; I did do some scrapbooking, but not much and I didn't always enjoy what I was doing.  Not much of it is worth showing off, but today I was looking through some of what I did last year and found a few pages that I remember enjoying creating ...

 This is my favourite of the three.  As soon as I saw ScrapaGogo's September kit, I knew I had to use this background paper, and the other bits and pieces went together so well with it.  I like the faux-Polaroid effect and the random lettering.  I think it turns a not-very-exciting photo into one that you want to look at.

These other two layouts were also created using ScrapaGogo kits.  They are probably not the best layouts I've ever created, but they make me happy because I enjoyed creating them.

Happily, my creative drought appears to be over and I have been scrapping a fair bit over the past few days.  I hope to share some more of my creations soon ...


Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Year, new focus

Happy New Year!

It's been a long time since I last blogged.  Much of that is because I didn't do much scrapbooking last year, and not as much stitching as I'd have liked to either.  A combination of things got in the way - work being done around the house (a new kitchen, a new patio and driveway, complete redecoration of the lounge), work and other commitments, and my creative mojo going AWOL for a while.

BUT, things are calmer around the house now and my mojo appears to have returned, so I'm busy stitching again, have sorted through all the photos (a HUGE job as I'd not even done much of that last year either), and I've been doing some scrapbooking and really enjoying it.  So I thought it was time to restart the blog ...

... and my first post is about one of the pages I completed today -

It is a page for an A4 sized "book of the year" that I am compiling for last year.  Each month has a double page devoted to it with a selection of mini photos and journalling.  This is the final page, devoted to one single photo that is one of my favourites of the whole year - I love the photo as it is so bright and colourful but also because it was such a happy occasion as my 17 year-old son returned from a long trip abroad.