Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My class for the Cybercrop

I felt very brave when I signed up to do a class for the UKS Cybercrop this summer, then as time went on my idea grew, but my free time shrank, so when I came to do it, I only had one run at it.

I think things grow in your head so that when they don't come out quite like you thought you panic! At least I did!  But actually, I am pleased with it and hope it proves inspiring for those intrepid scrappers who have got this far into the Cybercrop.

The technique is probably my signature style, and I've used it in various ways over the years.  The pdf file for the class is on UKS if you follow the link above, but it involves randomly applying watercolour paint to a sheet of White Bazzill and then using the most interesting bits to cut out/punch, then stamp, ink, emboss - whatever takes your fancy to make a completely unique set of embellishments for a layout.

I have done this with flowers, leaves, stars, but when Mary Anne mentioned a book theme for this CC, I decided to go with hearts for a romantic themed layout.  Who better to celebrate than my much travelled university friend, who ended up in Japan and fell in love with, then married a Cuban man.  The story is on hidden journalling behind the photo.

The title came from my love of frugality and using up of scraps and old stash.  I hope some of you have some fun playing with your paints - I find it a truly relaxing way to craft, as anything goes.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

UKS Cybercrop - Part 1

How lovely when you have no mojo to have a Cybercrop to help!  Even better a slow paced one, rather than the manic kind - so I have had a lovely time playing today with a couple of classes.  I'm never going to get it all done, but I am actually scrapping so it's all good.

First up I tried a class by Suzisnail - The Patchwork Papers  - which was a piecing of triangular scraps to make a patchwork pattern.  Being a fully paid up member of the awkward squad, I can't quite bring myself to do the class in the way I'm told, so I adapted it by using a 1" punch and an offset placing.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this class - playing with little scraps - thanks Leanne :) - and inking the edges - and getting very messy. I chickened out of sewing with the machine - compromising by handstitching a line across the top line of patches.  I kept up my 'use up old stash' challenge with the letters, the paperclip embellishment and some of the chipboard from Crate Paper which I have had for ages.  Definitely fun, and I am resolved to practice with my sewing machine so that a challenge like this isn't so daunting!

The second class was by Sutty - 'Mapping it out'.   I always like her scrapping so it wasn't hard to choose to do it.  Sadly I didn't have anything on the materials list, so I had to improvise.  This proved to be a lot of fun, so I started by choosing a photo and went from there.  

I can't remember the last time I used bright coloured Bazzill as a background, or primary colours on a layout.  I had a great time distressing, dragged out some embellishments that were lying around - Little Yellow Bicycle chipboard and K& Co journalling spots from forever ago, and more recently fabric tabs from Ormolu.

I started with my Cameo - cutting out the title and the chevrons, then got busy with gesso.  I had to iron the paper as I went a bit overboard and it got very wet, but no harm done in the end.  I enjoyed the distressing with scissors as I've mislaid my distressing tool.  I used some stamps, inked the Tando Creative stars and used some punched tiny stars to cover up the fact that I'm rubbish at splattering paint LOL.  Happy with this though, and the hidden journalling which talks about the day this was taken, I'm really trying to take journalling more seriously as without it, photos become a lot more meaningless to other people.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Scrapping!

It's time to announce a new arrival in our household - and no I haven't been expecting, at least not in the conventional sense.  I have been waiting impatiently however, for my new baby - a Silhouette Cameo - to arrive.  And yesterday it did!!

After my difficulties getting the Robo to work, the Cameo is an absolute dream.  Easy to set up, test cut and create gorgeousness with.  After cutting a couple of simple things I was tempted into the Silhouette store to spend some of my freebie card - oh the loveliness!  I bought a few files and had a play last night - dreamed about it all night, then tried again this morning.  I am in scrap heaven. :)

I have to say, I'm hoping that this will kick start my mojo which has been sadly lacking recently, especially with our crop at Eastbourne coming up fast.  I have become a bit phobic about whole sheets of paper, and have been sticking with my scrap bag all the way lately.  I know I need to get over this, and am hoping that I can make this happen using the Cameo.

I also hope it will help me to be creative with some of my older stash which I don't know how to use.  So watch this space,  I can feel some nice things coming on - thanks to my new baby!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sorting Stash

I'm having a blitz - I really want to make the most of the lovely things I have invested in, but working out the best way to use them (and find them) is a big challenge to me!

I don't have a scrap room, but DH kindly puts up with me having one end of the bedroom with a big table and a set of IKEA shelves.  The aim is to condense all my stash onto these shelves so that it is in one place.

One bonus is that we have recently had some shelves built downstairs where I can keep my albums - which gives me more space, plus I get to enjoy my scrapping more easily.   I love it so much!

I have all my clear stamps in a file; my totes have basics on one and tools in the other; I have two cropper hopper 'magazine' racks which have paper in - one has Bazzill the other is a bit random and I can't quite work out how to use it. Patterned paper is in a large IKEA box which fits into one of the cubes by range in 12x12 bags with odd sheets in a carry file - perfect for sorting out a Counterfeit Kit.

My next task is to sort through my rather large scraps collection.  I do love them and I do use them, but sometimes they seem to take over.  I have allocated a carry file which I will put them in by colour and see if that works better than the RU box I had them in before.

Embellishments are sorted in three ways:

  1. My trusty Craft Mates tote has 7 divided boxes with buttons, brads and small embellishments divided up by colour.
  2. On my desk is a static Really Useful set of mini boxes that has more colour coordinated bits and bobs that don't fit into the tote.  I find that sorting by colour suits me better than theme or manufacturer.
  3. Finally, I have a larger Really Useful box with bulky embellishments (such as washi tapes) or fairly full and new packets which stay together until most are gone, then they get reallocated into the two places above.

Chipboard has been divided up into patterned - in three pockets by colour, and plain - in a box ready to paint.  Journalling cards are in a box, ideally I will sort these in some better way - ideas welcome!!
Paints are in the 'Paris' box as seen above, together with distress stains, gesso and 3d pearl pens - I don't have a big collection.  Embossing powders are in a box, embroidery silks in another and inkpads in an open IKEA container.  I'm wondering whether to get a box for my mini inkpads so I can access them more easily.

I still have lots of bits and bobs that are not really categorised at all and need to be - but its a work in progress which may take a long time.  No-one could call my shelves coordinated or matching, but I have developed a system that is working so far. At least I'm going in the right direction - I think!?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Fearless & Fly - 2

A new challenge this fortnight from Fall Fearless & Fly - to be found on the Artists in Blogland site and the prompts went like this:

Headline Prompt:  Taking a Chance:  When did you take a chance or a leap of faith?  How did it turn out?  What did you learn?
Color Prompt:  What color do you like least? Use it!
Quote Prompt:  "Don't refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase -- that's what wild geese are for." 

I decided to be brave and face the colour challenge - Purple is really not my colour - in any sense except perhaps nature.  I look terrible in it and it's a colour I actively avoid in my crafting 99% of the time.  So I bit the bullet.

Even mixing the colours wasn't easy, I couldn't get the colours right in mist or paint form, but as I loathe burgundy as much as lavender I went with what I had!

I misted, then applied gesso around the edge of the right hand page, and all over the left hand one.  While it was still wet, I added feather strokes of a variety of different purple shades on the diagonal and left it to dry.  As I was putting my paints away I came across a pot of metallic powder - now gold is probably my second least liked colour in crafting so i got it out and added a few brush strokes on both pages.  Amazingly I actually quite liked the look I had achieved!

My Headline prompt took place in this creating process.  I haven't hand drawn on anything for ages.  I wanted to follow the idea of a wild goose chase, but take it further in a positive way - towards flying, and also those things you find/see/hear/discover by serendipity when you are on the way to something else.  I found that I enjoyed using the Sharpie to create the bird silhouettes and the feathered wing.  This is definitely something I will try again and soon.

The last thing I want to say is a big shout for Gin X from Imagination Project - now sadly defunct.  They made the best rubons I have ever used - smooth, high quality and easy to use - love them, miss them, wish rubons today were as good.

So thankyou for the prompt - I definitely grew in my artistic journey by facing this challenge.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Playing with Pastels - CSI #41

For those of you who know me well, you will know that I don't do pastel!  So it was somewhat surprising that when this week's CSI challenge #41 came up, I already had a pale and interesting layout on the go, on which I based my layout this week.

Materials Used: White Bazzill Basics, Patterned Paper - Studio Calico, Basic Grey,Crate Paper; Alphabets - MME and Pink Paislee; Punches - Martha Stewart; Embellishments - Flags - BG Paper Cottage, Flower - Prima, Metal Flowers - from stash, Brads - BG and Making Memories, Veneer Camera - Studio Calico, Lace, Ribbon, Button, Doily and Vellum from Stash.

When I say on the go, I had the hearts which were left over from another project, and had been playing with vellum in an effort to counterfeit the rather lovely vellum feathers currently on the market from Jenni Bowlin.

No messy this week, but its amazing what you find on your desk when you have a colour scheme in mind.  The flags, pp strip, button and flower just sprang to mind as I was musing on how to accomplish this challenge.

The alphabet is one of my favourite ever and seems to have lasted really well in terms of available vowels - Lush from MME - wish I'd bought two!  Layers were the order of the day, so I grabbed some vellum as a base, then ruffled up some strips and put them through a scalloped circle punch to make some texture.  Ronda Palazzari's 'Art of Layers' has a great section on tucking in embellishments that inspired me here.  I added a piece of doily, a banner of patterned paper, a couple of flags from BG Paper Cottage, as well as a beribboned journalling pocket containing six things that make my friends special.  A few little extra embellishments and I was done.

One of my personal challenges is to use up some old stash on every layout and coming to the fore today were the metal flowers which I have had forever and finally decided were perfect for this layout (even if we were challenged to use gold!).

So in summary:

Colour scheme # 41, and an attempt to capture some of the dreaminess of the scene, Evidence in the form of  ruffles, flags, layers and texture, and  Testimony in a ribboned pocket containing six things.  I'm still not convinced about pastels for real life, but for scrapping, I might try it again sometime.  Tfl :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Messy Play - some layouts

It was our North Cheam crop on Saturday and it was soooo good to get back and see everyone, catch up and do some proper scrapping.  I was far too busy talking and admiring everyone's new stash to achieve an awful lot but I did enjoy what I made.

I printed out my instagram photos from our recent trip to Berlin - no time to sort through the camera ones!  They are going into a minibook at some hopeful point in the future, but I wanted a couple of layouts for my yearbook.

The first one shows some of my favourite bits of the longest remaining strip of the Wall, upon which East German artists were commissioned to paint after the reunification in 1990.  It has recently been restored (although there is still loads of graffiti on it).  I loved the 1.3km walk along it, seeing different interpretations of what had happened, and trying to imagine what life was like when it was up for real.

I particularly liked the Trabant crashing through the wall!  For this double layout I used Concrete Bazzill and different strips of Lily Bee Persnickety papers, including the handcut clouds.  The red alphabet, the flair badge (which says Fly Free - the photo caught the light!) and the chipboard are all from Basic Grey's Paper Cottage range.

For the next one I wanted to play and got out my mist - brand new and still didn't work.  Thank goodness for Ranger mini misters which I used to decant some of the other (shall remain nameless but I'm not happy) into.

A couple of masks, plus a new technique to me, using alphabet stickers as masks for my title.  These were Making Memories epoxy letters and just wiped clean and ready to re-use - my kind of thrifty.

I then stamped on the layout using stamps from Kars, Purple Onion and Studio Calico, before matting my photos in the German flag colours.  I also stamped the extra journaling onto the layout.  Thank you to Lorna from My Little Blogette and a crop friend for letting me beg the little people from her.  A few gems and some 'confetti' made with a cropadile and I was nearly done.  The flags are from BG Paper Cottage (yes I splurged on the whole set!) and the delicious little camera stickers are from Claire 'Another Year Another Blog' Fader who discovered this source of fabulousness and was kind enough to share it here and share her stickers with me for the perfect finish.  Thanks ladies.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Making the most of the weather

We had a free morning so we headed down to Brighton with DS1 for a lovely walk along the sea and a bacon buttie - part of our new resolution to make the most of our time.

The weather was so lovely it seemed a shame not to be outdoors in it, and where better than by the sea?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Fearless & Fly - Prompt 1

It starts like this...

Headline Prompt:  Inventing the Future:  Where do you want to be 5, 10, 15 years from now.  What's holding you back?  What's propelling you forward?  What do you need to do or stop doing to create your future?
Color Prompt:  Warm colors (reds, oranges, pinks, yellows)
Quote Prompt:  "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."  Abraham Lincoln

I was just ready to have a play after a huge crafting break which has been immensely frustrating.  However, out of it has come a big sort out (still unfinished, but making steps in the right direction) and now I can play, with my stuff more organised and within reach.

This was my response to the prompts:

This weekend was the Jubilee (50th Anniversary) of our church.  Many people came back to celebrate the event, and the local community came in their droves to the Community Fair, but on the Sunday evening, the Archbishop's Missioner, Graham Cray - a very good speaker - challenged us to look to the future, and not rest on the laurels of the past.  I was thinking about this when I started to muse on this challenge and an old hymn came into my head - beginning.  "I know who holds the future...'.

I'm very aware that not everyone has a faith, but mine is precious to me and I titled my piece 'Future Perfect' - using the words of the hymn around the side.  I used gesso, acrylic paints, a Sharpie, stencils and inks to make my background in the requisite colours, although I wasoverwhelmed at the brightness of them, especially the yellow and had to take steps to tone it down A LOT!  The arrow is a painted journaling block from the Basic Grey Oliver range.

I do like the quote from Abraham Lincoln though, and may be tempted to have another go, using that quotation.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, October 12, 2012

CSI - Case File 40.

Colour. Stories. Inspiration.

My DD is a great fan of CSI so when I saw this mentioned on a blog I was intrigued to find out what it was all about.

A weekly challenge, with just over a week to complete it - a colour prompt, embellishment prompts (evidence!) and a testimony prompt which guides journalling.  It offers loads of different options and some very delicious printables which complement the Case File #40.

My attention was taken by the 9 happy things prompt - which formed my title.  A printable list is hidden behind the photo and looks like this:

I am a big user of white Bazzill and I have a new pack so it was an obvious background. Using my Ranger mini misters I created a spray concoction with Adirondack Dabber paint and some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and sprayed!  I decided to use scraps which were currently on my desk and came up with a couple of fuschia flowers, some punched butterflies in the chartreuse colour and a couple of buttons.

One of my nine happy things is my Benefit Lipstick, so I coloured a chipboard circle with the lipstick then sealed it with Glossy Accents.  I decided to put my photos into a collage, but also decided that a mix of black and white and coloured elements would work best.

'Evidence' Prompts included Circular elements (tick!), transparent elements (the letters in my title, that I have had since at least 2008 when I used them on a layout!), and a big flower - well quite big. I also used some ribbon in the green shade on the colour chart.

The yellow was the hardest as I'm not a big fan or user, so I settled on a couple of accents, just to close the case file!

So my first case - it's not exactly my usual style but I had fun creating it. TFL :)