Sunday, 31 December 2017

Top Ten of 2017

I try to post a round-up of pages at the end of each year, and I change the criteria by which I select them each year too. This year, these are the top ten pages with no comments by page view count. 

I blog as a record of what I've done, and also as a means to enter challenges, so all my challenge entry pages attract traffic and comments from the design team members. However I'm intrigued as to why these particular pages would attract a much higher level of interest than others this year. 

1. Happy Days
Beach photos from 1990

Attending a recording of the TV programme 

The Briksdal Glacier in Norway

Our daughter's birthday

Explorer Scout activities

Kristiansund in Norway (2013)

A Beaver Scout sleepover

Austria 2016

8. Schafbergbahn
Austria again

9= Views in all Directions
and again

9= Strobl
and again!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Rosette Christmas Cards

I was lucky enough to receive some Christmas papers and matching rosettes in my crafty Advent Calendar this year, and I turned some of them into cards with the aid of two sketches from Sketch-n-Scrap.

The first sketch came from their Be Merry and Bright cybercrop on Facebook - I cut the tag on my Big Shot and used one of the rosettes as my main embellishment. I tried to use washi tape for the stripes behind the tag, but it looked awkward against the bauble print so I settled for a small piece around the tag instead.

My second card was based on Sketch 112 from the Sketch-n-Scrap blog. I used the same patterned paper as the first card for the background, and layered a contrasting square over it, smaller and simpler than the rectangles in the sketch as I wanted to show more of the bauble paper, and topped it with  my rosette in place of the circle on the sketch. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Just Big Kids

This page is something of a filler in my 2016 scrapbook. It uses a photo that I might not have scrapbooked, but I needed another page in order to even them up and prevent a gap in the book. It was one of my daughter and her fellow explorer scouts icing biscuits as part of a Christmas craft night last year.

The design is a departure from what is 'normal' for me, but it came from the third of the Advent Calendar challenges at For the Love of Pretty Paper. Each of these challenges require us to use five stash items and a specific technique, and this time the list was gold washi tape, wood veneer, small tile alpha stickers, a date stamp, a 'cut-apart' paper and watercolour painting.

I started by marking the shape of a Christmas tree on the page, which I then roughly painted and stitched round the outline. I matted my photo on two 3x3 cut-apart cards plus another paper and overlapped it onto the tree. Gold washi on the right, tile stickers in my title, wood veneer star on the tree and a date stamp under my journalling. Looking at the page in the screen now, I feel that it needs an embellishment cluster at the bottom right so I shall see what I can add.

Cardstock - Stampin' Up!
Paper - American Crafts Deck the Halls, Pebble/Jen Hadfield Warm & Cozy
Letters - American Crafts
Washi - Tesco/Unknown
Sequins & Wood Veneer - Advent Calendar Gifts
Watercolours - Dr Ph. Martin's
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Docrafts

Amy Tangerine Roller Date Stamp

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Go Blues!

Sketch-n-Scrap run cyber-crops on Facebook as well as publishing new sketches on their blog, and I made this page from a sketch in their 'Be Merry & Bright' crop.

I chose a couple of photos from when my daughter's Explorer Scout Unit went paintballing earlier this year, and teamed them with Simple Stories' Awesome collection. I flipped the sketch and added an extra triangle of patterned paper as there was a motorbike on the background paper that I wanted to cover up.

Papers - Simple Stories Awesome
Letters - American Crafts, Basic Grey
Word Stickers - Tim Holtz
Enamel Shapes - Stampin' Up!
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Mister Huey's

Big Shot & Little B Arrows Die

Friday, 22 December 2017

Guesting at Stick It Down

I'm guest designing at Stick It Down today, sharing a card based on their December sketch. When I saw Laura's design, my immediate thought was to just copy the fringed tree, but I don't have any fringing scissors so I started looking for another way to make a layered pattern. 

I discovered a few years ago that my bracket border punch makes lozenge shapes when you overlap the punched paper strips offset from each other. The sketch specifically says to use any shape instead of the tree, and I thought that lozenges would be rather effective on a Christmas bauble.

I picked out a holly patterned paper and a plain red shimmer cardstock for contrast. I already had some die-cut bauble shapes and I started by covering the top part with glitter washi tape, before layering the strips from bottom to top, trimming each one to shape as I went. I finished the bauble with a bit of gold thread and decorated the background with stencilled stars and spatters of gold mist.

Having made one card, I decided to carry on with a few more as I had more baubles on hand. I stuck with the red cardstock, but changed the patterned paper each time.

Stick It Down have three sketches each month, for single and double scrapbook pages as well as cards, so hopefully there's something for everyone. Why not pop over, take a look and link up your creations too?

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Angel of the North

I'm back with another page from Stuck?! Sketches, using the second of their December sketches.

I'm still scrapping pages at random, and these photos are from April. We spent Easter in Northumberland and on our way home we visited the Angel of the North, Antony Gormley's statue outside Gateshead. 

I originally intended to keep pretty close to the sketch, but near the end I decided to flip the positions of the three photos while keeping the papers as they were.

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Studio Calico Snippets, We R Memory Keepers Free Spirit
Letters - American Crafts, Basic Grey
Wood Veneer - Studio Calico
Washi Tape - Unknown
Puffy Stickers - Fancy Pants
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Docrafts
Thread - DMC

X-Cut Scalloped Border Punch
Bazill Paper Piercer
Studio Calico Stamp Set

Monday, 18 December 2017

Selfies for Six

Sometimes photos just can't wait to be scrapped; I finished this page within a couple of days of the photos being taken. A group of us went out for a meal last week, and took a few selfies afterwards. We weren't too good at getting us all in the frame, and we got a waiter to take another photo afterwards, but I like the selfies more than the posed shot as they have so much more character. 

I picked the 1st December sketch from Stuck?! Sketches for my page, rotated for landscape photos, and combined it with the second Advent challenge in the For the Love of Pretty Paper Facebook group. One of the admin there is opening a calendar envelope each day for six days and then we have to use five stash items and a specific technique on a page. Last  week the items were word stickers, puffy stickers, Project Life cards (or paper cut to PL card sizes), sequins and gold alphabet stickers, and the technique was stamping.

Close-Up of Sequins and Stamping
I picked a background paper with a pattern in opposite corners and added my stamping and sequins and a spattering of gold mist to the printed snowflakes. All the other papers came from a 6x6 pad - lots of strips plus two papers cut to 4x6 and 3x4 to substitute for the Project Life cards. I layered the larger pieces behind the photos with a couple of doilies and cut all the paper strips in two so that I could stretch them across the page with the photos covering the gaps. 

Paper - Simple Stories Winter Wonderland, Fancy Pants Merry Little Christmas
Letters - American Crafts, American Crafts/Dear Lizzy
Doilies - Dovecraft
Word Stickers - Tim Holtz
Puffy Stickers - American Crafts
Ink - Hobbycraft, Memento
Mist - Docrafts

Studio Calico Stamp Set

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Artist at Work

I'm trying to fill in a few gaps in my 2017 album, and this page comes from July, when my husband exhibited at a local Arts and Crafts Fair, including demonstrating the art of watercolour painting.

I wanted a slightly 'painty' feel to my background so I smooshed silver mist onto the page using the packaging technique and spattered more silver and aqua mists along the diagonal. I used a 6x6 pad for the layers along with a doily to break up some of the straight lines and corners. Washi tape at the top and bottom of the page gave it some boundaries, and I finished off with translucent enamel shapes.

Paper - Fancy Pants Park Bench, Pink Paislee Moonstruck
Letters - American Crafts
Word Stickers - Cosmo Cricket
Brad, Gems & Washi - from Stash
Enamel Shapes - Marianne Designs
Staples - American Crafts
Ink - Hobbycraft
Mist - Mister Huey's, Cosmic Shimmer

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt - The Lake District

We spent the first weekend in December in the Lake District and I was determined to make a proper start to this year's Photography Scavenger Hunt while we were there.

The hunt's being run by Eileen at A Bracelet of Days, and she's set us a list of 25 items to find and photograph before the Spring equinox. It's open to everyone, so please hop over, check out the list and join in.

We spent Friday night in Cartmel, and I spotted an old mangle in the hotel that I think qualifies for Domestic Trivia (no. 3).

Wandering around Cartmel on Saturday morning we found The Gatehouse Bookshop (no. 11)

and we visited Cartmel Priory, which dates from 1188 so has a great
Sense of History (no.16).

We spotted Smoke (no. 24) rising from a few chimneys, but it was hard to photograph against the cloudy sky; this was the best I could manage. Not very photogenic, but at least we can see the smoke against the roof tiles.

From Cartmel we drove up to Tarn Hows for a walk out to Black Crag and back. As we followed the path around the tarn, I picked off both A Pair of... Sheep (no.19)

and Many trees (no. 17).

Heading away from the tarn and into the hills, we passed a wooden Signpost (no. 18)

and several piles of Stones (no. 14).

Having reached Black Crag, 

we paused and admired the views in all directions, especially the light On the Water (no. 7) of Esthwaite Water,

the slopes of Silver How (a slightly dodgy no. 8),

and the summit of Bowfell (an even dodgier no. 15) lost in the Mist (no. 24 again).

We retraced our steps for a bit, before taking in the opposite side of Tarn Hows where we spotted a fallen tree embedded with coins, 

and paused to capture the Detail (no. 20).

Unbelievably, we recorded 12 finds in just a few hours, though I've stretched the definition on a couple of them, and I'm not particularly happy with my smoke picture. Still, that's half the hunt done already, and plenty of time left to improve on these.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Here We Go Again

I'm not feeling particularly motivated by my cruise photos at the moment so, rather than force myself to do those pages and potentially be dissatisfied with the results, I'm switching away for a while.

I'm combining a couple of stash challenges for this page, with photos from last weekend. For the last four years we've headed up to the Lake District each December for a black tie ball; it's fabulous excuse to break out our posh frocks and a great start to the Christmas season. 

First up was an Advent Calendar 'Grab Five' challenge in the For the Love of Pretty Paper Facebook group. One of the admin is opening a calendar envelope each day for six days and we have to use five stash items and a specific technique on a page. This week's items were sparkly washi tape, flair or similar, 6x6 papers, black letter stickers and mist, plus hand-sewing for the technique. I cut and stretched the 6x6 papers and substituted large brads for flair.

I'm also linking to this month's tic-tac-toe challenge at Scrap Our Stash. My original intention had been to do one of the diagonals - mist, holiday theme and sequins - but I forgot all about the sequins and used wood veneer stars instead. I was going to go back and add them, but then I realised that I had the middle row instead - journal card, holiday theme and something gold (doily, washi tape and mist).

Cardstock - Papermania
Paper - Simple Stories Classic Christmas, Fancy Pants Merry Little Christmas
Letters - American Crafts Thickers
Word Stickers - American Crafts
Doily & Journal Card - Unknown
Washi Tape - Hobbycraft
Brads - Simple Stories
Enamel Dots - Simple Stories
Wood Veneer Stars - Studio Calico
Ink - Hobbycraft
Mist - Docrafts
Thread - DMC

X-Cut Circle Punch

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The New Church

Another page from Tasiilaq today. The last one was the old church, which is now a museum, and this is the new church which has replaced it for worship.

Page design is simple and straightforward with two 4x6 photos matted together and layered over a vertical panel. The embellishment cluster is a repeat of several elements already used on other pages.

Cardstock - Craft Sensations
Paper - Photo Play Boarding Pass, Echo Park We Are Family, Basic Grey
Letters - Simply Creative
Washi Tape - Little B
Enamel Dots - Echo Park
Mist - Mister Huey's, Docrafts
Ink - Ranger

Big Shot
Little B Arrows Dies
Quickutz Tabs Die
X-Cut Camera Die
X-Cut Star Die

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Old Church

I have another page from Greenland to share with you today. This is the Old Church in Tasiilaq which was reopened as a museum of East Greenlandic life once the congregation grew and built a new larger church in the 1980s.

I printed a couple of photos - the church itself and one of the displays inside - for this page, though I've already made another page for the reconstruction of a traditional turf house which is a part of the new museum. 

Cardstock - Crafts Sensations
Paper - American Crafts/Shimelle Go Now Go, Echo Park, Pebbles, My Mind's Eye
Vellum - Crate Paper
Letters - American Crafts, Basic Grey
Word Stickers - Tim Holtz
Brads - 7Gypsies
Enamel Dots - Doodlebug
Washi - Unknown
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Docrafts

Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch
Big Shot & Quickutz Tabs Die
X-Cut Circle Punch

Friday, 1 December 2017

Advent Calendar 2017

Last year I organised an Advent Calendar Swap with 20 other people via Facebook, which I blogged about here and scrapbooked here. No sooner was it over than people started talking about what they would do 'next year', but then the group went quiet. 

Come September, I quietly changed the group name from 2016 to 2017 and the response was immediate and positive. The group has swelled to more than 60 people and this year 48 took part in the swap. Each of us prepared 24 envelopes of scrappy goodies and sent them to me. Chaos ensued as the parcels stacked up in my house, and once they'd all arrived I swapped all the envelopes round and sent them back out to their new owners.

The envelopes and packages varied hugely in size and style and I love them all (though they made repacking into a tricky 3D jigsaw puzzle).

A good many of the participants sent me their offerings in pizza-style boxes, so here are a few of them refilled and heading back to their owners:

Today's the first of December and it's time to start opening them at last. I hope that they bring a little bit of joy to all these ladies as we start the Christmas season.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt

It's that time of year again - December is almost here, and that means the start of the annual Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt.

It officially starts on Friday, but Eileen  published this year's list a few days early over on her blog, A Bracelet of Days. There are 25 items to be found between 1st December and the spring equinox on 21st March next year.

I spent last weekend in Lincoln, checking out the university with my daughter and unknowing took a couple of photos that would have been perfect for the hunt, if only I'd taken them a few weeks later. 

This is the University Library (no. 11 on the list), converted from an old warehouse:

and there was this display of luggage (for no. 2) in the window of a shop selling Harry Potter merchandise:

Sadly neither of these will count, but I'm looking forward to finding alternatives to them, plus the other 23 items. Here's the full list:
  1. Men at work
  2. Luggage
  3. Domestic trivia
  4. A Winter's Tale (or tail)
  5. Passengers
  6. Wrapping paper
  7. On the water
  8. Silver
  9. In the making
  10. Having fun
  11. Library/Book shop
  12. Stationery
  13. A line of ...
  14. Stones
  15. Bow
  16. A sense of history
  17. Many
  18. Signpost
  19. A pair of ...
  20. Detail
  21. Handle
  22. Symmetry
  23. A heart
  24. Steam/smoke/mist
  25. A peek inside
All the prompts are open to interpretation, so it'll be interesting to see what the other participants come up with, especially when they live in countries other than the UK. Please do join us this winter.