Monday, 30 June 2014

Rise Up and Fly - Shimelle Challenge

This is the last of the layouts that I managed to get done from Shimelle's weekend of inspiration.  This challenge was to scrapbook with a pink colour scheme which is something I don't do all that often despite having a little girl.  A page featuring miss Bella wouldn't be hard but I had something different in mind.
I bought these gorgeous My Mind's Eye papers in the S J Crafts sale and I was desperate to use them.  The collection is called Spread Your Wings and Fly and it made me think of my niece and how much she has blossomed since she found her niche as a Personal Trainer.  I changed the title to fit better with the images of the hot air balloons rather than relating it to wings.
I wanted to use the paper with the balloons in the top corner so it left a nice trip at the bottom for the small photo.  I have scrapped this photo before but with a different story.  I couldn't find anything that felt right to add to the stack for some texture other than some gems and bakers twine so I cut another balloon from another sheet of paper and added some pop dots to lift it at bit.

Sophie left college not knowing what she really wanted to do and it took a while for her to realise that her passion for the gym could be something she could share with other people.  Since then she's gained experience and qualifications and has become the assistant manager of the gym.  She has an expanding client base and has started developing specialist training programmes as she continues to grow and develop and it is a pleasure to see her spreading her wings and really taking off.

Bye for now

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Meet Opal - Shimelle Challenge

I've been meaning to scrap this photo for years, literally.  It was from our Round The World trip, no prizes for guessing where!  It was actually at Steve Irwin's Zoo in Brisbane and we were really sad to have missed him by a couple of days (well that's what they said but he might not have actually been there for months!)
It was one of those magical experiences that you never forget,so soft and fluffy!  We had to hold Opal under her bottom because koalas have no rib cage so holding them under the arms like a baby to pick them up would crush their internal organs.  To pick them up from the floor you have to hold their hands and dangle them!
I was able to use some new supplies (Glitz Finnley from the S J Crafts sale) and some very old ones.  I've had those lime green Doodlebug letters since I started scrapping and the little koala button from even before that!  I threw in some new Project Life cards and some felt leaves and back gems - it feels great to use some really old stuff!
My travel album has kraft card stock on every page so as well as the background I used a couple of Tim Holtz die cuts from my ancient stash too.  

The page was inspired by this challenge from Shimelle using half page photos.  It's certainly larger than I normally scrap but not quite half a page.  

I've still got a few more to share but they will have to wait until later after I've travelled back from sunny Wales.  Yes it is sunny - it was supposed to rain hard all day here but it has been beautiful!

Bye for now

Friday, 27 June 2014

Hang Tough - Shimelle Challenge

I managed to complete a few of the challenges from Shimelle's cyber crop last weekend.  Unfortunately I had to bring them to Wales to photograph as I ran out of time before we had to leave.  The weather decided to take a turn for the worse and I have struggled to get clear pictures but I will keep trying!  This first one seemed to be the better of the bunch and was inspired by this challenge.
I used Echo Park's All About A Boy collection which is in the sale at S J Crafts currently.  I'd forgotten how much I loved the bright colours.
I used the TOUGH banner from the sticker sheet for the title and added some more stickers and chipboard pieces for interest and texture.  I wanted to get across the fun and adventure that the girls were having when they climbed the wall at the play centre where Bella was having her 5th birthday party.
A couple of brads from a Halloween collection by October Afternoon and some very old gems and it was job done.  It took me ages because I couldn't decide on the papers but once I had done that it came together quite quickly.
I had a great time scrapping old and new photos and using old and new stash.  There was a wonderful sense of freedom as I wasn't doing a project or a DT assignment or making a rushed card for someone etc.  I'd forgotten how much I love scrapping and as such there are a few more projects to share over the next few days.

Did you join in with the challenges too?

Bye for now

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Its been a few weeks since I've been able to join in with this wonderful crafty blog hop but I've been in my studio a bit more this week and so felt compelled to share!  I love being able to have the doors wide open but it usually ends up with things being blown onto the floor (I did actually put those layouts on the floor to be photographed though, the wind blew other stuff!)  You can kinda see here that there are piles of stuff growing on my desk....
Strangely the piles from this angle don't look as precarious as they do in real life... perhaps its because you can't actually see that the things on the bottoms of the piles are smaller than the things I have balanced on top!  I'm in a very "let's get on and scrap" mood rather than a "putting things away" mood.  I blame Shimelle and her weekend of challenges!   And no, I don't know why there is a duster on my desk either...
But there is of course a full cup of tea...  Thank goodness!  Lots of lovely papers and photos and ideas and general chaos - perfect!  You might be wondering what that embroidered thing is next to my ATG...  Well actually there are 2 things - one is a stuffed heart that looks like it should hang in the wardrobe smelling nice - but it doesn't smell of anything.  The embroidered thingy is a piece of linen that hangs on your wall for you to display your loo rolls in.  Both items brought back from Malta by my mother "for our new house".  Grief, it almost puts me off moving...
I'm hoping to share a few more layouts and get back to being busy on my blog so please do watch this space.  For now, why not link up your creative room / table / spot on the floor with the lovely Julia (back from her Spanish hospital ordeal and we wish her a speedy recovery!) at Stamping Ground for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Choosing themes and colours with S J Crafts

When I first started scrapping a few years ago, the general trend, and I thought "the rules" were that you tried to match the colours in your photos with your supplies.  Of course that poses a problem when you don't have an exact match, and a near match can sometimes make things look forced or can accentuate the colour difference.  

lately I've been focusing more on the feel of the page or the story behind it. Using embellishments to bring out the focus of the story can give you much more scope for using different colours.  Changing photos to black and white can prevent any dramatic clashes and can often really pull the theme together.  Of course it can also help you to use up colour schemes you have in your stash already too.  

I used the Crate Paper Boys Rule collection from S J Crafts because the retro feel of the range was perfect for the photos of the gym.  You might have seen other photos on my blog of the gym in colour - the iron work in the weight machines is actually orange and a really close match to the orange in the collection, however, I didn't want to have to over-think where I put the orange embellishments.  Sometimes using colours very close to those in your photos can cause the image to get lost and this page was very much about the journey I am on so I wanted to make sure the embellishments were not too distracting or clashing.
The background piece is actually a great match for the back and white in the photos so the splash of orange in the photo mat lifts the pictures and stops them getting lost.  I wanted to use the cassette tape paper because music is such a big part of my training sessions but it has a lot of colours in.  If I had used colour photos, I would probably have had to cut the tapes out individually because of the likelihood of clashes and overlaps in shade.  Obviously the strip of tape measure washi tape highlights the theme a little more.
I wanted to create this page to remind me of how important it is to remember that I have just started on my fitness journey.  Yes, I do have a long way to go and it will be a long process so I have to bear in mind that this is just the beginning of a new me and it won't happen over night.  I have to be proud that I have started.

The embellishments in this collection are aimed at young boys but they fit perfectly here too, like the little word pieces from the ephemera pack and this fab veneer Boom!, which seems to be a word I hear often at Spartans gym!

Of course there is nothing to stop you using the colours in your photos as the lead if you are careful about your choices and they enhance rather than detract from the images.  I find the best way is to pick out one or two colours from the photos and then add in other colours.  Keeping a slight distance between the supplies and the part of the photo with the matching colour in it can also help.
In this layout I wanted to focus on the fun and playful vibe rather than overloading the page with seaside supplies.  I've picked out the orange from the hat and shorts but it is not a perfect match so I have kept them apart.  I also picked out the yellow from the te-shirt which is a better match but it does change shade in the photos depending on the light - this obviously makes it impossible to try and get an exact match in your supplies!
Choosing sunny colours lends itself well to the happy theme of the page and this helps to pull everything together.  Adding in the star print paper with the blue and green in it reflects the colours in the sea and the sky closely enough that it works, without being so close that it is trying to match and failing.
I've used embellishments from the ephemera pack and journalled onto one of the blocks from the cut apart sheets.  I love piling on layers from coordinating supplies and they don't have to be really specific to work. Here they just echo the theme of play and some of the colours I've used - they don't have to be boy specific layouts to use things from boy themed collections.
I added shells, twine and a cork heart from my stash to echo the natural beach feel without being over the top.  The veneer "4 fun" token from the collection was perfect here for the four friends playing on the beach. The journalling talks about the fun they had skimming stones and how great it was for me and our friends' mum to catch up while they played... until one of them found a hypodermic needle among the stones.  That's one theme I won't be accentuating in my embellishments!!
I've done a bit more shopping today on the S J Crafts Bargain Basement sale and the things that jumped out at me were always the feel of the colours or the styles and not the specific name or theme of the collection. I'm looking forward to using some Basic Grey Hipster on some more of my gym training pages because it has the right touch of orange and again with that slight retro feel.  I hope you find some bargains there too and expand your choices beyond the pure colours in your photos.  Let me know if you do!

Bye for now

Friday, 6 June 2014

Cleaning up at a Refreshing Blog Hop!

I was really pleased to be asked by Jennifer Grace, to be involved in one of her blog events again.  Jennifer is one of my co-designers at S J Crafts and her events are always full of inspiration, ideas and prizes and I always find new blogs to follow and projects to try.  

This event focuses on Jennifer's word for the year which is "Cleanse" and so those of us who are guesting on the blog hop this weekend have all made crafty projects to share based on something along those lines.  You can find out more about the blog hop the associated prize at the bottom of this post.   

I pondered Jennifer's word "cleanse" and very much wanted to tie it in to my own word for the year - heart. She suggested water themes, decluttering, healthy living, letting go etc and all those things could fit with my own word in some broad way or another.  I began to tackle a layout on the subject of letting go as a way of allowing myself to register that there was something I had to temporarily put on hold.  Some aspects of my crafting endeavors need to go on the back burner for a bit because my mental health needs to take priority and is taking up a lot of time right now.  I sat down yesterday to put the title on it "Letting Go... For Now!" When I looked at the layout so far though, I didn't like it.  I decided to to start over and the word "clean" kept coming to me, probably because its something I need to focus on in many ways.  However with only a short time available I needed something I could conjure up but that would take me forward in trying to free my mind and my home of some clutter.  I needed something to help me achieve order in the house.  Here's what happened....

Firstly I carried out a partial scrapectomy of the unwanted layout in order to keep the cork print (From Simple Stories, Daily Grind) to attach to a baking tray.
I trimmed the cork paper to fit inside the flat area of the tray.  Then I trimmed it again.  And again.. ahem... I brayered Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the tray and to get a firm flat surface.  I still got air bubbles but you can't see them.  Mod Podge dries clear so you also can't see where you've run the glue along the edges to give them a good seal.
I needed to be able to hang my schedule board up and luckily there were 2 drainage holes in the tray that I could thread ribbon through.  I used bottle tops for my magnets so I punched a pinked circle and added a blob of glue in the centre to adhere them.  
I also wanted to use a few wooden pegs but I didn't have time to wait for paint to try so I added a strip of washi tape to the fronts.
When I bought the bottle tops a while back I also bought some matching epoxy circles so I added one on top of the punched circle.  Then I remembered that I was supposed to put letter stickers on the paper circles first... ahem... Then the circles popped out because the glue in the middle of the tops wasn't touching the paper so I had to redo the glue around the edges...ahem... It was going well at this point, yes?
Next I added some magentic tape to the backs of the bottle tops.  You can see the size that I used here was really small because I only needed them to hold a scrap of paper really.  Later on, when I came to take the photographs I discovered that the magnets were too small  to hold the paper through another layer of paper and Mod Podge.  I discovered this when the wind blew slightly and I spent a while rummaging around the garden for the bits of paper and magnets!
So with those bits done, I could move on finally... I covered the back of an envelope with matching paper (it was actually Christmas paper!) to keep all my bit of paper in.  I folded back the flap and stuck it down then decorated the front.
I started assembling the magnets on the board which proved quite tricky because there was a lot less room than I thought!  I made a title of Chores and added some flowers but there was little room to add anything else that wasn't part of the actual scheduling.  
I pegged the envelope on the board to hold the individual chores and made another magnet from a button to hold the things I need to do every day.  In time I will laminate all the chores and the daily list but I'll wait until we move and have sorted out how different things might or might not be!
So this is the finished article (minus one of the chores that I never found in the garden...) We have a list of the days of the week down the side with room for a chore  (you need to leave enough room on the slip of paper for the magnet to sit on without covering the writing) and then the rest of the chores go in the envelope.  The pegs marked B and L are for little chores for Bella and Louis to complete.  I'll keep these on circles so we can tell the difference when they are in the envelope.  The green theme is to go with our kitchen which is where I will be hanging this pretty schedule.  
Thank you Jennifer for giving me a prompt to do something I've been meaning to do for ages and something that will hopefully help us start sorting out our cupboards ready for moving if / when it happens!

So that's my contribution, I wonder what the other people on the hop have come up with?  As always, if you comment on all the blogs in the hop, finishing at to let Jennifer know you've been all the way around, then you'll be in with a chance to win a refreshing prize pack featuring Glitz 77 and My Mind's Eye Izzy items, total worth over £25. All entries must be received by Monday the 9th of June at 10.59pm BST. 
Your next stop along the hop is Louise:

I hope you enjoy the weekend as much I will!

Bye for now

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

S J Crafts June Challenge - "It doesn't have to be pretty"

This quote actually came from my trainer / niece when we were discussing the gym where we work out.  Its not one of those places with fancy TVs on the wall and lines of cardio equipment and artistic interpretations of the human body in the changing rooms.  It is functional, hard wearing and appropriate for the job in hand and how it looks doesn't really make a difference to how it works.  

"It doesn't have to be pretty" is a sentiment that could be applied to a lot of things actually now I think about it and that is certainly true of the challenge's over at S J Crafts each month.  Of course we like the things we make to be pretty but being happy making something is as much a part of the process as the end result - I think I need to keep that in mind with my fitness too!

It was a combination of this wording and the colour scheme for this month's challenge that gave me the idea for this layout.  I love the way Jennifer has put together the image on the blog for the colour inspiration and I hope it inspires you to join in!
I don't use much pink at the moment and I had the older Echo Park Off The Record collection out already so it was the most fitting thing I could find!  The hot pinky / red matches my vest and the orange matches the equipment and I went to town on the flowers and pretty embellishments to contrast with the cheeky title.
I usually edge my papers with Vintage Photo but I wanted to pull out the black in the photos so I chose Black Soot Distress Ink.  The ribbon, brads and doily came from my stash and the 2 pieces of chipboard are by My Mind's Eye..
You can see some enamels dots in use here - some of them are home made and some of them are My Mind's Eye.  There are some gorgeous metallic ones in the shop at the moment but I am particularly taken with the woodgrain ones too.  SOME things DO need to be pretty after all... ;-)

Bye for now