Sunday, November 25, 2012

The last from Eastbourne...

In 1985, I went to Hong Kong and China.  It was one of the best trips I have ever taken as I was staying with a HK Chinese family and so got to spend time doing some 'normal' things as well as being a tourist.  However, my photos from that holiday are typical of the time - not great quality.  I am going to scrap them come what may, although it is a slow process.

This is the last photo in my album - when I saw this cut file on Studio Calico it spoke to me of aeroplanes - so this is my departure lounge photo.  I was going to call it Leaving on a Jet Plane, but then I thought it was too corny!

The stamp is a lovely Kaiser crafts one which I embossed with white embossing powder.  The paper for the cut file is old Scenic Route.  In fact most of the layout has been in my stash for a while - Echo Park For the Record Stickers, a Maya Road envelope, patterned paper from Echo Park, Cosmo Cricket and SC?  Border stickers from Sassafras from ages ago.  The only new bits are the flag and a couple of bits of pp from BG Paper Cottage.

Now to tackle the rest of the album.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Getting even more messy!

The Mystery Kit at the Eastbourne Crop was a challenge in getting outside the box - with two sheets of white Bazzill, one of kraft, a square of red and white checked fabric and another of hessian, the brief was to make a layout without any patterned paper or premade embellishments - or anything else added in fact - but with free rein to use inks, stamps, paints, mists, masks, stencils, wire, embossing, diecutters etc.

It took me a while to get going but this was my finished result:

Please forgive the photo - it's so grey today I can't get a good one.
For anyone who is interested in the technique, this is what I did:

  • In the spirit of the current trend I started by flicking mist across my Bazzill!

  • I painted some bright rough flower shapes using acrylic paints and mists, used texture paste through a couple of stencils, one cut by a die cutter.  I also hand cut similar shapes out of the White Bazzill so I had a negative shape. I fixed some of the painted paper behind the cut shapes, and cut out some other flowers to use in my layers.

  • One of the most fun bits was making my own stamp - you take this special foam block thing and use a heat gun to warm it.  Then you press it into anything textured you want - in this case it was decorative glass bits in a vase and then you can use it as a stamp - I have to do this again soon.
  • The base layer was the texture paint and a wire mesh mask.
  • Then came the hand cutting, and inking through a mask to make the blue flower shape.
  • I decided to sew my title and used thread from the checked fabric to stitch the letters, which I then cut out in outline.

  • I coated some threads from the hessian with gesso and arranged them in loops on the base.
  • I had a ball playing with various embossing folders and the Big Shot to get some textured papers.  I coloured the kraft ones with paint, and used white embossing powder on some of the circles.  I stamped and embossed a border for my photo mat using a Hero Arts border stamp.  

  • I then layered up my flowers, circles and embossed bits and pieces and stuck them down. The flower centres are made from texture paint, stamped, metal circles and curled up hessian threads, tinted with bronzing powder.  I also added dimensional paint to some of the flowers and embossed paper.
  • Finally I added a flower (in two halves), cut from metal sheet and fringed, then tinted with alcohol ink.
  • I also added some punched tiny hearts from the scraps of the painted Bazzill, and cut some more from white scraps, and added some butterflies in white. 

I absolutely loved playing with all this and getting messy - I'd even bought gloves so I could play without getting covered - and they are still in their packet.   I had no clear idea where I was going when I started, beyond using those photos and that font for the title, and I worked on it on at least 5 separate occasions as it evolved.  Some things I imagined didn't work out, others needed modifying, but all in all I have a layout that I am really pleased with, and that my DD loves too, which is great as it is for her album.

I'm definitely getting messy again - it took a change of mindset, but opened up a whole new world of possibilities - not to mention a new list of things I 'need'!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Annual Eastbourne Crop

Another successful scrapping weekend in Eastbourne with my lovely crop friends.  We had a Wild West theme - complete with human cactus - and so much effort was made to make the theme work - from Tin Can Alley, to the Wanted poster frame for wonderful photo opps, the Dirty Cowboy cocktail and cuban heeled boot bunting to decorate our room.

I didn't achieve as much as I had planned (as ever) despite the grey gloom which filled the first days making it less enticing to hit the shops.  This was partly due to the mystery kit (of which more in another post) which took up an inordinate amount of my time, and partly due to dithering on a grand scale.

I started off well with my Olympic themed layout (see previous post), and then moved on to the Silhouette heavy Wetland Centre double layout, and a challenge using an advert as inspiration - it was green and yellow with a sunburst on it - so guess where I went with it?  I even cut my own mask :)

This is testimony to just how finely the Silhouette will cut!  Am I getting boring?  Can you tell that I am in love with my new toy?

I was frustrated to not finish very much - due to massive ineptness on my own part - missing photos, or decisions to use things I hadn't brought and so came home with at least four incomplete layouts - but they will keep me busy if ever I get a spare evening!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Olympic Memories

We had a ball at the Olympics this summer and the bulk of my photos are destined for a minibook, but I wanted one layout for my 2012 album and armed with a new Silhouette I set out to make something interesting to showcase what was for me a highlight of my life.  So this is the first thing I have designed for myself on the Silhouette.  Of course you could keep the insides of the letters, but I decided not to.

This is what I came up with.  The hole, title, journalling and stars were cut out of a sheet of white Bazzill, then the rings cut out of different coloured cardstock.  I backed the cut holes with coloured card and cut my photos to back the rings.  I am dead pleased with the result.

I am very happy to share the studio file with anyone who would like to use it, but I can't upload them onto the blog, so leave a comment below with an email address or contact me on UKS (Ali TS) and I'll send them on.

Monday, November 12, 2012

UKS Weekly Challenge - 12/11

I haven't really got into weekly challenges, usually because I'm too disorganised, or because even if I do it, it's usually not done in time to gain any points.  My poor team, the Crafty Cupcakes, don't get a lot of points from my crafting efforts, but they are very gracious about it!

So when Alison asked for sample makers in advance, using scraps, it seemed like something to jump at.   Her brief:

• a colour scheme that is unusual for you to use
• delve into those scraps bags and use up some scraps
• do something arty! (whatever that term means for you)

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love scraps, and I have to confess that the scraps I used for this challenge weren't even mine!! Leanne, over at My Little Life of Scrap is a member of my crop, and has a completely different set of stash to me, mainly, I believe, Studio Calico kits, that I covet but can't really afford right now.  So when she offered me a root through her scrap bag I went for it, little knowing how quickly I would use them.  I know I'm sad, but I find it easier to scrap with scraps than with whole sheets of paper (of which I have many - untouched!)

So I went for a mix of pink and brown, something I rarely scrap with, although I couldn't resist the turquoise polka dots!  I used my Sissix Banner Die with Stamps found here. This is probably my most exciting recent buy as I can see so many uses for it, and I made a few cards from the scraps left over from my layout.

So a different colour scheme and scraps ticked off, now to do something arty.  Well I'm not very arty but to me arty means messy so I got out my paints.  Using the reverse of some Tando chipboard clouds as masks, I mixed and sprayed some acrylic paint to make a 'sky' to extend my photo a little.  I then embossed the right side of one cloud with white embossing powder to make it stand out better.

The embellishments all came from bits that were in a pot on my desk - a button, , punched heart and butterflies, a flower from a Doodlebug border, a couple of Primas and some gems.  The alphabet title is made of thickers, Gin X Rubons - my 'using up old stash challenge for every layout' achieved. 

I really enjoyed doing this, and will make more effort in the future as it took me outside my usual box!

eta - I've just seen Sutty's beautiful blog post about banners, and my heart sank as this looks just like a scraplift!!  However, I'm putting it down to 'Great Minds Think Alike' as I did this long before her post - I guess there was something in the air!!

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ten things I love about Autumn

I think, just marginally, that Autumn is my favourite season, so here are 10 things that make me happy that it's here:

  •  My wedding anniversary on October 3rd.

  • Gorgeous colours on the trees and kicking through the leaves.

  • Clear blue sky with just a touch of chill in the air.

  • Harvest time - a good excuse to preserve for the coming winter - apples and plums in the freezer, chutney, pickles and jam, sloe gin and damson vodka for Christmas. 
  • Thanksgiving - I'm not American but I really like the idea of being thankful for what you have and the past couple of years we have celebrated it.
  • Comfort food - curry, soups, rice pudding and baked potatoes.
  • Bonfire Night - I am such a big fan of fireworks.

  • Eastbourne Crop - for the past 7 years I have had a November weekend of laughing and scrapbooking with my friends from the North Cheam Crop at a hotel by the beach. Such fun.
  • Making my Christmas Cake.
  • Boots and scarves come back into my wardrobe choices.

Friday, November 02, 2012

More from the UKS Cybercrop

One class and three challenges - complete!  I think that is all I will manage before the deadline, although there are a couple of classes that I will tackle at some point when I have more time.

Half term has been a very busy one with the addition of a French boy staying that needs some entertaining, (when I'd rather be at my scrapping table really!).  The arrival of my Cameo has made the week much more fun as I've been able to cut a few things that have helped my layouts, not to mention allowing me to scraplift Chick's wonderful class pretty much intact - which is something I very rarely do as I like to see my own style in my scrapbooks.  However this was too beautiful not to copy, and here it is.

I then got distracted into a couple of challenges:  Papillon which was a sketch challenge:

Then Fifty Shades of Grey:

The diagonal style was taken from a Layout by Kinsey Wilson for Studio Calico here.  Again the trusty Cameo came to the fore with my title cutting and the star borders.

Finally a challenge to use up my scraps on a card.  Well, this is second nature to me anyway, but as I'd been using scraps anyway, there wasn't a lot left, but I came up with this - mainly from the patchwork class and the Spring layout above:

It's been fun  - thanks everyone for lots a challenging classes.