Saturday, 24 June 2017

Fathers' Day Card

Fathers' Day is celebrated at different times around the world, but it's mid-June here in the UK so I used sketch #99 from Sketch-n-Scrap for my card.

I picked a set of old papers that came with a magazine, added a Bazzill 'half the edge' border and and cut the word DAD on my Silhouette.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

30 Days of Scrapbooking Photos: Days 11-20

This month Shimelle has been hosting a 30 Day Scrapbooking Photo Challenge with daily prompts and stories on Instagram and Facebook. I haven't been playing along daily, but I shared my answers to the first 10 prompts last week, and I have the next ten for you today.

11. A Purchase I Can't Explain
Fiskars Texture Plates - Actually I can explain them, but I should never have bought them. They came with a small tool to work over the surface and emboss a design into your paper or cardstock, but I've rarely used them. I lusted after them for ages in my local WHSmith, and only bought them when they were drastically reduced, but it was a misplaced purchase. 

12. Something That Always Inspires Me
I make a lot of pages in response to sketch challenges on either Sketch-n-Scrap or Stuck?! Sketches, and if I'm stuck for ideas I normally turn to these sites first.

13. Storing My Albums
My completed albums are on the shelves of a console table in the lounge. The cream and brown ones are annual albums, cream from earlier years and brown from more recent years; the green albums are from Norwegian cruise holidays, black is Harry Potter and the blue is my Olympic and Paralympic album. I also have a shelf in my study/craft room for albums in progress plus two more cruise albums that I need to go through and add the finishing touches.

14. A Special Title
I wasn't sure what to pick for this; I normally use a mix of Thickers and smaller letter stickers for my titles but they don't seem to be particularly special. Scrolling through my pages for titles that stand out or are a bit different, I was drawn to a few where I've layered one part of the title over another. This one was cut on my Silhouette, but I've also layered two sizes of sticker in the past. 

15. Changes in Style
My first album was for a cruise we took in 2008; the pages were mostly cardstock with a few dark patterned papers and the occasional Jolee's sticker for embellishment while my titles and journalling were almost all computer-printed. These days it's mostly patterned paper in lighter colours, there are more embellishments available, my titles are either made from letter stickers or cut on my Silhouette and I journal by hand. These four-photo pages were made in 2008/9, 2013 and 2017 and show changes in my style over that time:

16. What I Need Before I Start
Just the obvious really - photos and patterned paper, plus a plan. I generally choose embellishments as I go along, and pick letter stickers for my title near the end.

17. My Camera
I don't stay completely up-to-date with my tech, and both my phone and my camera are hand-me-downs from my husband (who does regularly update his). My camera is a Olympus SZ-30MR and I use it for almost all my photography; my phone, a Samsung of some sort, is really just an emergency back-up for when I either don't have my camera with me or its battery expires unexpectedly.

18. A Favourite Technique
I'm never sure what to say for this, but I do like a stitched circle on my page and I chose a machine-stitched one for an NSD blog hop on favourite techniques. Nothing has really changed since then, so I'll pick it again (and re-share my page from that day).

19. A Page With a Punch
I have a drawer full of punches and use them often (unlike those stamps from prompt 4); my favourites are a postage stamp border punch from Fiskars and a 1" scalloped circle punch from Woodware. However I'm going back to 2012 and a page from a class Shimelle ran called & Now for Something Completely Different. This made a feature of several overlapping rows of punched cardstock; I use a bracket punch for my strips and they fitted together to make a pretty lozenge pattern.

20. Something With Circles
I have two circle cutters, a Fiskars shape cutter which works with a set of circle templates and a Kreaxions circle cutter. The Fiskars templates come in 15 fixed sizes from 1" through to 8.25"; the Kreaxions cutter is totally flexible (up to 10") but it works like a pair of compasses with a blade instead of a pencil' this leaves a small hole in the middle of the circle so it can't be used on photos. I used both on this page - Fiskars for the photos and Kreaxions for the mats.

I'll be back next week with the final 10 prompts; in the meantime, Shimelle is posting daily in the Scrapbook Like a Superhero Facebook group, and also on Instagram. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

QUEX - Queen Extravaganza

I'm continuing with 2016 photos, working backwards through the year, and I'm now in November when we saw the Queen Extravaganza at Hammersmith Appollo. They are a very special Queen tribute band, having been put together by Roger Taylor and Brian May, and they were playing the "A Night at the Opera" album in full. Photography wasn't allowed, but I wasn't the only one taking a few pictures, and I supplemented them with some from their Facebook page. 

This needed to be a double page, and I turned to the sketch archive at Stick It Down for ideas, picking this one from 2014. I had a half-sheet of music print paper which worked perfectly for the vertical panel on the sketch and found some 6x6 papers from the same collection to go with it. I picked dark blue for the panel across the bottom of the page to work with the blue hues in my photos, and decided on black for my background.

I cut the musical notes on my Silhouette (using a cut file based on some free clip art that I had made previously) and added washi tape, stickers and clear stars for further embellishments.

Cardstock - Craft Sensations
Paper - 7Gypsies Avignon, Echo Park Hello Winter
Letters - American Crafts, October Afternoon
Stickers - Tim Holtz
Stars - Papermania
Washi Tape - Little B, The Works

Silhouette Portrait

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Starry Birthday Cards

Two of my June birthday cards are for two boys of the same age, born one day apart, and I often make them similar cards. I was looking through my previous cards for inspiration and found one with blue inked stars that I made a couple of years ago. I decided to repeat the inked stars, but in three colours, and to make use of some of my aperture cards, leftover from my cross-stitching days.

Cards & Paper - Craft Creations
Gold Stars - Readicut Crafts?
Inks - Ranger, Memento, VersaColor
Mist - Docrafts

Heidi Swapp Mask
Ranger Ink Blending Tool

Friday, 16 June 2017

Paper Pieced Birthday Card

June's a heavy month for birthdays around here, five in a row from the 9th to the 13th, plus a few more at either end of the month. I often employ my Silhouette for cards, and I decided to try paper piecing for this one. I found a free clip art image of two beer tankards and traced it with the Silhouette software, before ungrouping the design and cutting it in four colours of cardstock.

I'd intended to ink the edges of all the pieces, but I forgot for the first couple of colours. Sadly one of my cardstocks has a white core and that's noticeable on the card. I really will have to remember to ink the edges to disguise that next time. Also, I feel that the card looks a bit 'flat'; I think I should have painted or inked something on the background card behind the beer tankards.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Time to Dine

We're nearly half way through 2017, and my 2016 album is far from complete. I've tried a couple of times to start from the beginning of the year and work through chronologically, but that's not working for me. I'm having another go at that album now, but starting at the end of the year with December pages.

One of our friends organises a Christmas Ball each year in the Lake District and I pinched two of her photos from Facebook to use with one of my husband and me. 

I picked a sketch from Rochelle Spears' part of this months Scrappy Friends challenge and used Christmas papers from Simple Stories. On this occasion I kept fairly close to the sketch, except for swapping the portrait photos for landscape ones. 

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Pebbles/Jen Hadfield Warm & Cozy, Simple Stories DIY Christmas
Letters - Hobbycraft
Brads - Simple Stories
Holly - The Works
Enamel Dots - Simple Stories, Trimcraft
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Docrafts

Bracket-Shaped-Square Template

Monday, 12 June 2017

30 Days of Scrapbooking Photos: Days 1-10

At the beginning of the month, Shimelle launched a 30 Day Scrapbooking Photo Challenge with daily prompts. I haven't posted any photos yet, but I have thought about them each day, and I'm pulling the first 10 together in this post.

1. A Layout I Love
This was hard to choose, and I limited myself to pages made in 2016/17. Flicking through them there were actually a lot that I'm not completely 100% happy with, pages where I wish I'd done things slightly differently in hindsight; I won't change any of them but there are tiny niggles with placement or product choice. I've picked this one because there is absolutely nothing that I want to change about it.

2. A Paper I'm Still Saving
I'm not deliberately saving this one, but when we started cruising I bought a lot of themed papers, and then discovered that I don't use many. Most of the pages in my cruise albums are about the places we visit on the land, so I haven't used all the ship/sea papers that I bought. 

3. Three Colours I Love Together
This is a hard choice too, so I'm going to pick two sets of three colours: aqua, yellow and grey (which I used for the whole of my 2013 cruise album); also orange, green and blue (which feature in my 2015 cruise album). Neither of these pages are cruise pages though:

4. Stamps - Use, Collect or Ignore
I tend to ignore my stamps. I don't have very many because I learnt that I don't use them very much, so buying more would be a waste. I keep all my clear stamps in one relatively small basket; I've bought about half of them and won or been gifted the other half. I tend to only use them when prompted, or when making an album where I want to be able to repeat a motif throughout. 

5. Favourite Pen or Font
An easy prompt - my favourite journalling pens are Faber-Castell Pitt pens in superfine. I have black and brown and really wish they made grey in this thickness. 

6. A Page About Myself
Like many scrapbookers, I'm often behind the camera and don't appear in many of my pages; even fewer of them are specifically about me. I've had to go back to 2012 for this one, which I made in response to a Glitter Girl prompt to scrapbook ourselves.

7. My Desk Right Now
My desk in the aftermath of a card-crafting session. I have a dedicated craft desk so that I can leave pages-in-progress out while I work on them. A page can take me several days as I tend to craft in short sessions.

8. Something I'd Buy in Bulk
There isn't much, but I do buy cardstock in bulk when I'm preparing a themed album. I did my Olympic and Paralympic album on kraft, my Harry Potter album on cream and my Canadian cruise album on grey.

9. Favourite Subject to Scrap
This ought to be my children, but they are teenagers and have turned camera-phobic, so I will choose our holidays instead, especially cruises!

10. My Scissors and/or Trimmer
I have quite a basic trimmer which I use in conjunction with the A2 sized self-healing mat that covers most of my craft desk. I use these scissors for most of my cutting as I find the longer blades give a smooth outline as I cut, and I switch to a craft knife for the fiddliest bits of fussy-cutting.

I'll be back next week with the next 10 prompts; in the meantime, Shimelle is posting daily in the Scrapbook Like a Superhero Facebook group, and also on Instagram.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

You Rock

This page came from the third of 'five sketches in five days' at Lottie Loves Paper on Facebook, originally published by Basic Grey. 

I decided to rotate it, and printed three photos of our friends' son from our Northumberland holiday earlier this year. Initially I went with the photo size from the sketch, but that didn't work for me and I reprinted them a bit larger.

All my papers (except the background) came from a 6x6 pad; the strip across the middle hides the joins in the vertical pieces that appear to be 12" long. The camera die is a new one by X-Cut, exclusive to Hobbycraft.

Paper - Cloud9 Design Finley's Estate, My Mind's Eye Now & Then, Colorset
Vellum - The Works
Letters - Freckled Fawn
Border - Bazzill Half the Edge
Stickers - American Crafts/Shimelle
Washi Tape - Little B
Pearls - The Hobby House

Big Shot, X-Cut Ticket Stubs Die & X-Cut Camera Die
Fiskars Shape Cutter & Circles Template
X-Cut Small Circle Punch

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Caro Live

Last month Sarah posted 'five sketches in five days' in the Lottie Loves Paper group on Facebook. This was the second, originally published by Bella Boulevard.

I picked a single photo of singer Caro Emerald; my husband's a fan and he saw her live for the third time earlier this year. I'm not keen on banners, so chose to miss those out and to layer the photo on 6x6 papers instead. I picked the leaf paper because of the stage backdrop but tried loads of others to go with it before settling on the frames. I'm not completely happy with it but I couldn't find anything better. I moved the title and made a triangle of embellishment clusters, so moved a long way from the sketch in the end.

Paper - Pebbles/Jen Hadfield Everyday, American Crafts/Amy Tangerine Plus One, 
        We R Memory Keepers Love Notes, My Mind's Eye Now and Then, Crate Paper
Letters - American Crafts/Dear Lizzy
Die Cuts - Studio Calico, Jillibean Soup
Flowers - Poundland
Pearls - Scrapberry's
Ink - Hobbycraft
Mist - Mister Huey's

Fiskars Shape Cutter and Circles Template
Big Shot and Cut & Make Doily Die

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Butterflies Birthday Card

Sketch N Scrap celebrated their fifth birthday last month with a series of challenges on their Facebook page, including this card sketch.

I picked some old spring-themed papers for a birthday card for my sister, covering the card with a butterfly print and using a polka dot for the banner. At that point my card was looking a bit plain, so I added a second banner and a die-cut butterfly, and outlined all my papers with a fine pen.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

30 Day Scrapbooking Photo Challenge

I don't know, you wait all year for a photography challenge and then two come along at once. 

Shimelle Laine has launched a 30 Day Scrapbooking Photo Challenge on Instagram and in the Facebook group Scrapbook like a Superhero. There will be prompts, photos and stories each day in June.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt

I've taken part in a Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt organised by Rinda at Gallo Organico for the past few summers. Unfortunately, she has stopped (paused?) blogging and I thought that we would be hunt-less this year.

Happily Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards has stepped into the breach and this week launched her own list of 25 things to find between 1 June and 30 September. As with Rinda's hunts, some are easy to find and some are trickier, but none look impossible. 

The List:
1. Something fuzzy
2. Bubbles
3. A web
4. A zig zag
5. A seasonal relaxing space/item
6. A pipe
7. The inside of something
8. Rust or something derelict
9. A kite or balloon
10. Something yellow
11. A toy only found out during June to September
12. A wedding
13. A dome
14. Someone fishing
15. Something crafted from wood
16. A baby (human or animal)
17. Circles or crosses in architecture
18. A fan
19. Feet of man or beast
20. Something found under ground
21. A plaque
22. A dial
23. Something powered by wind
24. Seasonal food or drink
25. A hat

I'm in and I hope you'll join us too. Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


I seem to do more challenges from Facebook groups, and less from blogs these days. Sarah at Lottie Loves Paper posted 'Five Sketches in Five Days' during May and this page came from the first of those sketches (originally published at Sketch Savvy).

I flipped through my 2017 photos for some that would fit the sketch, and picked a couple of my daughter and her friend at Explorer Scouts, chopping wood and lighting a fire as part of their survival skills badge. I used a woodgrain background with papers from Simple Stories' Awesome collection, designed for boys but I find it useful for outdoors and camping photos.

Paper - Jillibean Soup Apple Cheddar Soup, Simple Stories Awesome
Enamel Dots/Triangles - My Mind's Eye, Trimcraft
Ink - Ranger

Silhouette Portrait
X-Cut Circle Punch

Monday, 29 May 2017

Art Attack

Cindy's Page
This is the fourth and final page from the game of Chinese Whispers that we played recently in the Mind the Scrap Facebook group. This one started from Sarah and I was last to play, scraplifting Cindy's version as always. 

I chose to scrap a couple of photos of my husband and our friends' son painting together on holiday. I'd already printed them at different sizes but I added a piece of patterned paper to them to make a photo block similar to the one on Cindy's page. I backed it with strips of patterned paper from a 6x6 pad and switched it to the opposite side of the page to suit the direction that the people are facing in the photos. 

Since it's a page about painting, I decided on an inky background for my page and used a variation on the packaging technique. I inked up a piece of 12x12 acetate using colours to match my papers, spritzed it with water and smooshed the colour around before laying my cardstock on top. I cut a set of icons on my Silhouette to match Cindy's snowflakes, and spread them around the page as she had, but I preferred them in clusters. I cut my title on the Silhouette too, and moved it to the side as I had more space there.

These were the pages that came before Cindy and me - inspiration from Missy Whidden, Sarah's version of Missy's page, and Jo's lift of Sarah's page:

Mine is so different from that starting point, but the progression is clear to see.

Cardstock - DCWV, American Crafts
Paper - My Mind's Eye Quilting Bee
Sticker - Cosmo Cricket
Enamel Dots - Doodlebug, Studio Calico
Ink - Ranger, Memento, Hobbycraft
Mist - Mister Huey's

Silhouette Portrait & Paper Issues 'Circle Fun' Cut File

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Dinosaur Court

I'll admit that I was initially flummoxed when I received Cindy's page to scraplift in the third week of our Chinese Whispers game at Mind the Scrap as it's not my normal style. I left it for a few days hoping that my subconscious mind would work on the problem and decided to break the page down and take some of its elements rather than make a faithful copy.

The first step was to find a similar shaped photo - long and narrow - and I picked one of the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park. It had been my Facebook cover photo for a while so I knew it would suit that shape. The subject made me think of Basic Grey's Archaic collection, which has a dinosaur print, but I knew that I had killed it with a 'starting point' page sometime last year. That page had a row of layered scraps across it and I hadn't used it yet, so could this be my chance? I dug it out (complete with the remaining scraps including some tiny pieces of dinosaur paper) and decided that this would work perfectly if I added some spotty vellum above and below the papers.

I removed the smaller pieces that I had stacked on the left, and added more paper pieces to the right. I matted my photo, and cut a couple of tags from the dinosaur print paper. Having positioned the photo (which is actually a pocket with four more inside) I surrounded it with the tags, more scraps, stickers and chipboard frames, throwing everything I could find at the page. 

It's not an exact copy of Cindy's page, but it's definitely related; not my usual style, but I really like it. That's one thing I love about playing Chinese Whispers with scrapbook pages, the way it forces you to do something a little differently.

These are the pages that came before Cindy's and mine, Jo's inspiration page and her own copy:

Sarah followed mine, and this was her version:

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Basic Grey Archaic
Vellum - American Crafts

Letters - My Mind's Eye
Stickers - Basic Grey, Tim Holtz
Ink - Docrafts

Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Let's Bake

This page is the second one that I made in the Chinese Whispers game that we have been playing in the Mind the Scrap Facebook group. I played second in this chain and was scraplifting a page from Cindy.

I took the multi-coloured circle in another direction. I've had a hankering to make a rainbow page made up from lots of bits and pieces - stickers, die-cuts, gems, buttons, etc. and this was the perfect opportunity to put it into practice.

I marked out an 8" circle on my page and divided it into six sections, then stitched the inside and outside edges with six colours of embroidery thread and filled in the middle with an assortment of pieces from my embellishment drawers (which I sort by colour).

The photo is from a recent holiday when I was baking with our friends' son. I matted it on a couple of layers of paper and placed it on the same side of the circle as Cindy had hers, but closer to the middle to show as much of the circle as possible. I couldn't put my title on the circle as Cindy had, so I ran it along the side of my photo. I love these puffy letter stickers; they are smaller than Thickers and have more dimension than flat stickers making them really versatile and I shall be buying more.

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - My Mind's Eye
Letters - American Crafts
Thread - DMC
Embellishments - My Mind's Eye, Jillibean Soup, Paperchase, Studio Calico, Doodlebug, Trimcraft, Dovecraft, Crate Paper, Pebbles, Teresa Collins, Making Memories

Fiskars Circle Template
Paper Piercer

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Run London 2017

I'm a member of the Mind the Scrap group over on Facebook where we've recently been playing 'Chinese Whispers' with scrapbook pages, passing a page from one to another and scraplifting it to produce a chain of related layouts. We played in groups of four, each picking a starting page or sketch and passing it round the group in turn so we each had a go at each design.

I wanted a layout with one main photo and space for lots of minor photos in order to scrap this year's London Marathon which one of our friends was running with one of her friends. My plan was to show all the different groups of people who were taking part, but to focus the attention on one main photo of 'our' runners. 

I eventually decided to scraplift one of my own old pages, from the Flåmsbana (Flåm Railway) in Norway. This was the original page (from December 2011), with only four photos and hardly any embellishment, but with plenty of scope for changing it to suit my current purpose. 

There's not a lot of colour in my photos; they're predominately grey but the reds and blues led me to a spotty paper from Photo Play, and I picked a grey triangle print as a neutral background. It needed livening up though, so I smooshed some ink and water on it using the 'packaging technique'; this gave me some colour behind my circle of photos without adding any large layers of paper.

More embellishment this time, an indication of both the change in my scrapbooking style and their general availability. I sort most of my embellishments by colour and that was really useful here as I picked out an assortment of pieces from different manufacturers and used up some older bits like the pinked chipboard circle. 

I passed my page to Sarah, who passed her version to Jo, who passed to Cindy; these were their pages.

Paper - Pebbles/Jen Hadfield,  Photo Play Paper, American Crafts/Amy Tangerine, Echo Park, My Mind's Eye
Letters - Hobbycraft
Die Cut - Jillybean Soup
Stickers - Elle's Studio, Jillibean Soup
Chipboard - Making Memories?
Enamel Dots/Stars - Marianne Design
Ink - Docrafts, Ink It Up!
Mist - Mister Huey's

Fiskars Shape Cutter and Circle Templates