Saturday, September 01, 2007

A riot of colour! Mixing patterned papers, scrapping with colour.

Hello, it's Jo here again, with some thoughts on scrapping, colour and patterns. The more I've scrapped, the bolder I've become with my choices for colour and pattern mixing. I will admit right now that I am much happier scrapping bright than muted colours, and bright colours seem to match in better with my photo subjects, (usually my children's very colourful clothes!!) All of the layouts below have been published before, either in magazines or in online galleries, so I hope you don't mind me giving them another airing here, for the purposes of illustrating my post! When I'm choosing papers to use on a particular layout, I always start by looking at the photograph or photographs I'm about to scrap, and deciding on a colour or colours for papers that tone in with the predominant colour/s in the photo. looking-fruitily-delicious-IACW In this photo, as you can see, there is a mix of blue, yellow and green, in addition to the pink baby ;), and I felt that the best way to bring out these colours, without losing the photo, was to use a combination of patterned papers in a simple design so that the photo took centre stage, and the colours in the paper complemented the colours in the photo. I sometimes find that I have photos I really want to scrap, and no papers that immediately stand out as being a good match; in these cases, I like to use black and white papers, with embellishments that tone with the colours in the photograph, as with this layout: perfect-match-IACW This photo of my sister and I in our matching 70's kilts and capes, with bright red umbrellas, didn't lend itself to the use of highly patterned or very vivid papers, so I used the Blonde Moments black, white and grey papers, and matched my large blossom with the umbrellas. Sometimes, I have a particular patterned paper line that I'm desperate to use because it's so pretty that I want to paper my bedroom walls with it, but I don't have any photos that will really 'go' - in this case, a simple solution is to find a photo you like that you're happy to convert to black and white (I use Photoshop, but I think there are various programs that will do this) and, hey presto, you can use pretty much any patterned paper you like! hippie-chicks-IACW This photo of my daughters was very 'busy' as they were both wearing brightly coloured (though not matching) clothes, and I would have struggled to find papers to coordinate, so using a black and white images and these gorgeous SEI papers was the ideal solution! I sometimes like to set myself a challenge to produce a layout using only scraps and off-cuts from other projects. My favourite example of layouts done like this is this one, where I went to town and tried to use as many different patterned papers as possible, all very pink and girly! the-girl-in-the-mirror-IACW The different strips of patterned paper were all stuck onto a cardstock background, and the end result looks like one crazy, pink, floral piece of patterned loveliness!! I almost never throw anything away, and have a scraps basket that is overflowing. As well as using the scraps for layouts, I almost always find a suitable off-cut for any card-making project. And lastly for today, sometimes you just want a riot of colour on your page, and one of the best ways to achieve that is again by mixing lots of contrasting pieces of patterned paper. The layout below was my audition piece for the UKScrappers 'Scrappers' Block' competition in June 2005, and, whilst I wasn't sure whether or not it was any good, I was fairly sure it would stand out, either in a good way, or a really bad way :D pieces-of-me-IACW All the papers are different, but they do tone in with each other, and the cardstock is matched to the papers. I like the finished result, and, at the end of the day, scrapping should be about what YOU like - the layouts are for your albums, and you should scrap to suit you. That's all for today - wishing you all a pleasant weekend, and, for those of you, like me, who have children starting back at school next week, try not to stress out too much when you can't find book bags/library books/PE kit/school ties - will be thinking of you all as I hunt through the ironing pile!!! xxx

Friday, August 31, 2007

Little altered pieces

Hello, again! It's Joy, and we are going to make some little altered pieces that you can incorporate into altered books, ATCs, and other projects.
I first painted plastic (a plastic bag) and heated it as a workshop at Marion's Magpie Crafts. I owe Marion credit for teaching me that technique originally. Since then... I've been on a shrinking crusade!
This project began when I had put cling film in paint to create texture. It looked quite pretty when I removed it... and so I saved it. Then I zapped it with a heat gun.
And it made a heart!
I knew then that it would end up in my melting pot somehow.... I tossed it in with some UTEE and took it back out. It shrank more. Then I cut some of it up into little pieces. I found 3 objects I wanted to play with.... seaglass, shrink plastic, and a seashell.
First, I put the seaglass in the melting pot and added clear embossing powder and some coloured powders. Then I put the cling film on top, let it heat, and then added more clear powder. I removed it with the spatula onto a non-stick surface. The cling film wasn't totally flat, so I zapped it with my heat gun again. I think it looks like an altered roof and may eventually become part of an altered house!

Next, I threw a bit of shrink plastic in (which of course, shrunk), and repeated the same process.

Finally, a added a seashell. This would be gorgeous in a carved window in an altered book.

I hope this helps you find some mojo for some fantastic messy play!

xxxx Joy

Creative children

Hi, it's Maria just popping in to say that sadly, our Summer campaign to get our children creating draws to a close today. You still have a wee bit of time to get any last minute entries to us though. As long as we receive them on by Midnight they will be shown.
Today we have masterpieces from from Danielle and Daniel.
Danielle is the daughter of the uber-talented Karen and will be 5 years old next week. Mum said *Danielle has drawn a fabulous portrait of her family. From left to right we have a stray sheep, our dog Max, Casey, me (I'm not that short irl and I don't really have hair like Rapunzel either *sigh*), John, Danielle and Charlie*.

Well, I think it's fabulous and want to know where the sheep will be sleeping.

Daniel is the son of Angela our guest designer who created the fabulous baby wall hanging.

Mum said *My little boy Daniel has done a painting for you guys, he is 18 months and is like his mummy - he loves getting messy with paints!*

I love the texture and colours he's used.

Don't forget that you still have a wee bit of time to enter and the winner of the £20 ELC voucher will be announced on Sunday 2nd September.
Toodle pip

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A simple card....

Hi all from Di in Cape Town. Hope you are enjoying all the exciting inspiration that the team has been bringing you.
A simple card for you today but one that was very special for me to make. It was for Caz's wedding in March ths year.

The card itself is very simple. Here are the measuremenst and basic instructions: I used Basic Grey Phoebe range of PP which is very close to cardstock weight, and decorated the front of the card very simply:

On the inside of the card, I included my wedding greeting to Caz and Stu: And I also included 4 tags at the bottom: 'each other', 'children', parents' and 'friends'. Then on the very inside of the card, I included some of my thoughts on love, specifically for 'each other', children, 'parents' and 'friends'.

I then made a large envelope and again used minimal decoration.
The envelope closes with a magnet.
So a very simple card that is quick and easy to make for a special occasion.
Thanks for visiting us and love from Di XXX

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mini Craft Apron

Hi, today I am making a craft apron from an old pair of jeans. I cut the legs of the jeans off just above the crotch area, the ripped up the centre seam at the back and re positioned to give the shape, pinning until ready to sew back together. Then I undid the seams at the sides and ripped along the waistband of the front of the jeans, just leaving the back, rear pockets and the complete waistband. I know it looks like a pic of my bum, but really it isn't lolI sewed the new back seam and used bias binding rather than hemming the sides and bottom of the pinny. I sewed lace over the bias binding and daisy chain braid on the back pockets, hand sewed beads all along the waistband just to add a bit of sparkle, I left the button on the waistband to do it up with and that was it, I now have a pinny with pockets for pens, scissors and knife etc while working. I hope you have enjoyed today’s project, we really want to see pictures of all the items you have made with our inspiration, so don’t forget to leave a comment with a link to any pics. Trish xxx

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fabric Baby Wall Hanging

Hi!!! It's Angela here, Guest Designer. Thank you to all the girls for asking me to share with you today! :)

I've been experimenting with fabric recently, and trying to incorporate it in some of my mixed media projects, so I am going to share a wall hanging that I made which includes some mixed media elements.

As usual when you have a baby, you have lots of little things sitting around the house, that you want to keep to remember how tiny your little one was once upon a time. I wanted to make something that I could have on display, instead of hidden away in a box, and so I decided on this wall hanging.

Here are some of the materials I used to make this:

Fabric Dye (Blue),LooseWeave, Muslin,Golden Gel Medium,Photocopied Images,Wire 18 gauge, assortment of beads,Coloured threads, organza,Heidi Swapp Ghost, StarButtons,Bamboo cane, Ribbon

I dyed the silk with the blue fabric dye following the manufacturers instructions. Cut the felt to the required size for the wall hanging and then covered the felt with the blue silk. I then randomly stitched into this and added beads to the edges. This is quite time consuming, but easy to do in front of the telly!

I cut out 3 pieces of silk to make the tabs for the top, and mounted them on top of felt for stability, and attached them, placing a button on the 2 outside tabs.

For the embellishments, using Photoshop, I changed 2 images of DS to black and white, printed them off and then photocopied them. I also took a photo of DS's first baby gro and blanket, changed them to black and white in photoshop and used the stamp tool to make it into an outlined image. I then chose part of the image of his blanket and baby gro which had little characters on it, and printed those out. These were also photocopied.

Now to transfer them onto the muslin.

I covered the photocopied images with Golden Gel Medium (just over the image, careful not to get it on the back of the paper), and then added more Gel Medium to the Muslin. The images were then placed face down onto the muslin, burnished lightly on the back and left to dry overnight. I then took a bowl of water and immersed the muslin, so that the water seeps through the back of the paper that is attached.

Carefully rub the paper off - this can be quite time consuming. Leave the image to dry. You might find that once it is dry that there are still traces of the paper attached, simply wet this again and rub more. Once the image is dry you will see that the image is transparent, so you can use it whatever way around you prefer. I used it so that you were looking through the muslin at the image as it gave a softer appearance that suited the wallhanging.

I then embellished these with twisted wire and random beads.

I also encased one of DS's little socks between a layer of felt and some purple organza. I embellished this with random stitches in silver thread.

For the final embellishment, I cut up one of his bibs and used this to back a Heidi Swapp Ghost star, which also had purple organza behind it. I then embellished this with silver thread and more beads.

All of these were sewn in place and then a bamboo cane cut to size and put through the tabs at the top. Finally a ribbon attached to the bamboo cane to hang it from the wall.

Working with fabric really is a lot of fun, and it feels lovely to work with. I only used very simple stitches (which I learnt at school!) and did it all by hand, so you do not have to have any special equipment to work with - anyone can give it a go. Many of the techniques we use with paper crafting can be applied to fabric, painting, embossing powder, stamping... give it a go:)~Angela~

Monday, August 27, 2007

Scrap your Layouts

Hello again from Di, the mad darling mother of Caz this time coming to you from my home in Cape Town.

Do you hate to part with layouts and special stuff that you have created? I do and so I have created a story of my scrapbooking by scrapping some of my layouts. Its a neat way to give away originals of the originals if you see what I meen.

Start by taking photographs of your layouts and printing them. Then either buy or make an album ( I chose 8" by 8") and just scrap your layouts. You can use up the leftover cardstock, patterned paper, embellishments etc. AND create a great gift for family or friends.

(P.S. Please excuse the photos today, am still struggling to take photos of layouts. I will improve.)

My finished album is QUITE (very) FAT! so be careful:

First select the layouts you want to 'scrap' and ake your photographs.

Then scrap them using the leftover cardstock and PP etc. In this first example, I have recreated (well almost) the original layout:

And here, I have tried to carry the style of the original page onto the new page:

In this example I used dfferent 'button' PP for the new layout: And in this example again different but co-ordinating PP on the new layout: Here again I have almost recreated the original layout:
In this example, I just extended the 'happy in my skin' theme showing my 20s 30s 40s and 50s into my almost 60's. Finally in this example, I included the first card (yes the ORIGINAL lol) I ever made: I made this album for my DD Caz, so that she has a share of some of my very early scrap booking, and what scrapbooking means to me. Perhaps you could scrap your kiddies layouts as a gift from Grandma and Grandad?

Thats it for me from today except to remind you to get your kiddies crafting and enter our children's art competition. You only have a few more days.

Remember to "Use your Stash", thanks for visiting and love from Di

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Hiya. Cath here this Sunday morning, I hope you're having a great weekend?!! So, sketches! Do you sometimes sit down to scrap and your mind goes blank and you totally don't know where to start? Do you have a few photographs lined up but aren't sure where to post them? Do you have trouble with multi photo layouts? I know I can answer yes to all these questions and that's where sketches can come in really, really handy. You aren't scraplifting an idea, you are simply using a template that has been produced to help you. So, here are just of a few of the many, many sketch sites out there. I hope you find lots of inspiration! Page Maps Sketches R Us Got Sketch? Pencil Lines Sketch Lover Sketch It! Scrap Maps Sketches by Suzy Scraproom Blueprints Little Book of Sketches 2 Mad Scrappers Becky Higgins