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29 March 2011


After years of drought we've had a very wet year this year, and it has brought green grass (yay!), but also lots of insects and consequently spiders too. I watched a little spider build it's web the other day and went and grabbed my camera to take some shots. Then I went around and found others to photograph too. My kids will tell you that I have an unhealthy obsession of photographing insects, but I love the macro photography! So, I had all these cool photos and what to do with them? Well use them in a layout of course.
The Apron Strings challenge to use a box or block on your layout seemed as good a challenge as any, so I went to the Scrapbooks Etc site and used one of their collage templates to make the block of photos. I used one of their templates for this layout too. It's a quick way of putting a layout together, and very effective too I think.

I used Papers from the Pink Paislee 365 degrees collection, bought from Apron Strings. The white flocked designs are from a leftover strip of paper from my last LSS monthly challenge kit and the design fit very well with the papers. The letters are Scenic Route, also bought from Apron Strings. The finishing touch though is the spider web that I made. I just used some sewing thread, made the lines going out, then would the thread around those strings. I love how it turned out!!!

I'm also entering this layout in the Southern Girls "add an animal" challenge. I think spiders apply, don't you? Might stir them up a bit, amongst all the cute rabbits and bears, LOL!

Till next time, happy days!


Mouth Jewellery

Ok, so I know the topic of this layout is weird, but I've wanted to do this for some time, and the Apron Strings challenge number 16 gave me the impetus to make it. The challenge was to make a layout using round items, with at least two larger than three inches. I looked through all my collected sketches, and on sketch sites online and couldn't find one that I liked that incorporated enough, or large enough circles. So, I actually made this one up myself - first time in ages!

So without further ado - here's the layout:
So, yes, those are closeups of my teeth! I had a special apparatus to move my lower jaw (to correct it's position and help with my headaches - which it did!) which in turn changed my bite, necessitating me to wear braces. I recently had them removed and am now wearing a (clear!) retainer. But I digress. Every six weeks I had to have the elastics holding the wire in place changed. The assistant convinced me the first time I had them changed to go for coloured elastics (it was coming up to Christmas and she suggested red and green), so every time after that I had a different colour. When my neighbour saw them she said something I didn't forget - that it looked like 'mouth jewellery', and so the idea of this layout was then born in my head, and here it is finally!
Everything on this layout comes from my stash, all left over bits and pieces. When I first finished it, I didn't like it too much as it was missing something. I decided to pierce holes around the outside of the papers and pictures, then added stitching with beads. That took a while - but it suddenly lifted the layout and finished it somehow. For the title I used flocked letters and to the word 'mouth' I stitched seed beads in between each letter and put a wire through it to replicate the braces. I think it looks pretty cool! What do you think?
Till next time, happy days!

28 March 2011

How Time Flies!

My, how time flies! When I saw this sketch from Ingeborg on her scrapbooking competitions blog, it reminded me that I've been wanting to make a layout showing how my kids have grown over the years. So I took photos on their first day of school every two years. When you see them next to each other like this it really makes you realise how time flies!
For the layout I took the sketch and flipped it for the right hand side in order to make it into a double page layout. I find it really hard to make a layout of one child and not the other, certainly for layouts like this, so I had to make it into a double pager. Since I used four different patterned papers, this layout also satisfied the requirements of the Apron Strings birthday challenge number 15 as well. Three of the papers are from the Basic Grey Lemonade collection, and the striped one is from Wild Asparagus. I also added some tags from K&Co., rub ons from TLC, and metal embellishments that I bought at the Dollar Store when we were living in Canada four (!) years ago. I finished it off with some kitchen twine and dark green floss.
This layout is simple,
but I really like it, and I can't get over how the kids have changed so much. as I said in the journalling - gone are those adorable little children and in their place are two confident young people! I'm proud of them.
Till next time, happy days!

20 March 2011

Franz Josef Glacier

I made this layout for a CRII challenge to use this sketch from Page Maps. The snowflakes made me think of the wonderful photos I had from our full day tour of Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand this past January. I love how it turned out! It's a great reminder of a great day!

Everything I used was from my stash, Some things I've had longer than others. I used papers from TLC. I picked the colours from the the blue and red jackets. The title used some Pressed Petals letters that I had left over from a project many years ago. Only problem was I didn't have a "g", so I used a glittery red one from my stash instead. Hopefully it looks like I meant to do that, LOL, but I guess now I've told you the real story! The (Franz Josef) sub title was made with tiny letter stickers from Kaisercraft.

The clear acrylic ribbon slide over the snowflake punch on the bottom right is also from TLC and another thing from my TLC days that I had in my stash. I don't know who made the ribbons, the metal snowflake or the white brads. I've had them all for a long time too. The snowflake in the left hand corner of the right hand page, is a diecut from CM. It was grey, so I coloured it with my white gel pen which didn't work very well. Then I coloured over that with some moonlight coloured Smooch. It made it look kind of silver. I tried to cover it with white micro beads, but that really didn't work, so in the end I coloured it some more with my Sakura silver star gel pen. I was happy(ish) with it at last!

Finally, the snow flakes I punched from white Bazzill cardstock. It's
a CM punch that I borrowed from my neighbour. I coloured them in a little with my clear Sakura star gel pen, then added these small flower sequins that I had bought at a $2 shop, and sewed them onto the layout with a small white seed bead. I love the look, besides the fact that it helps to secure the ribbon to the layout.

So, what do you think? I'd love you to leave me some comments!

Till next time, happy days!


Apron Strings Birthday Party Day #11

The Apron String Birthday Party Challenge #11 was to make a layout with at least 6 photos on it. My first instinct was to create a double page layout, but then I decided to really challenge myself and make a single page layout instead. I remembered that on the (Better Homes and Gardens) Scrapbooks Etc. site that they have collage templates. I found one that I liked and put my photos in. I did change the template slightly, but it was a great starting point! Thanks Lori for reminding me (indirectly at least!) about these great templates. So here's what I came up with.

I used an old TLC Spotlight (birthday) kit that I had in my stash. (In fact I have lots of TLC kits in my stash and I really should get in and use them up!) Because the photos were already set out in the collage, most of the work was already done and the layout itself came together really quickly. I just added a bit more sparkle by doodling on some of the chipboard pieces with my Sakura star gel pens. You can see it a bit in these detail pictures.

I did blur out the boys in the pictures since I'm not sure if their parents would approve.

Till next time, happy days!


14 March 2011


I posted just the photo of this layout yesterday so that I could link it to a challenge at Apron Strings (and still managed to miss the link - only by a few minutes though!). The challenge was to put something on your layout on an angle. In my case it was the photos and the butterflies. Anyway, I thought I should come back and add some more pictures and tell you the story of this layout.

It was made with my monthly Wrapped in Paper challenge kit. Unlike last month, I really liked this kit, but am a bit sad about the way it turned out in the end. It looked much better in my head, LOL! I once again forgot to take a picture of the kit before I cut it up, so I'll try to tell you about it. It had two pieces of cardstock, the yellowy cream that I used for the background, and a piece of beige. There were two pieces of patterned paper by Webster's pages (Feather Fashion and Stardom), as well as two lengths of cream ribbon (which I layered on top of each other in the centre of the layout), the large chipboard flower and two chipboard flourishes, the purple and green flowers, a length of string and the white flocked design paper strip.

I found this great sketch (by Michelle Fowler for Handmade by Suzanne) while blog hopping and instantly fell in love with it. Since my photos were landscape though, I flipped the sketch 90degrees to the left. Initially I tried to colour the chipboard with ink, but it just didn't turn out right, so I ended up colouring it with twinkling H2Os. They're much brighter than I would have liked, but at least the colours match!

I cut a lot of the flowers out of the papers, and had the most difficulty in using the piece of string. In the end I put double sided tape under the centre of the chipboard flower and wound the string inside the space. I did this once before on an ATC that I made, and I like how this looks. I punched the butterflies from the patterned papers with my Martha Stewart (stamp and) punch. For the title I added some silver glittered letters from my stash, and pierced some holes in the corners to finish it off. I guess the layout is ok - but certainly not one of my favourites. I do really like the photos though! They're pictures of my dad and his older sister when they were children in the 1930s. I guess that bows were in then for little girls since the pictures span a period of five or so years and my aunt has bows in her hair for all of them! I think it's quite cute.
Well, till next time, happy days!


Milford Sound

I quickly posted these photos yesterday before the challenge link expired and just made it! Here now though is the story behind them.

I created the left hand side of this layout for the Apron Strings birthday challenge #5 - use at least 10 buttons, brads or eyelets. Well I used several buttons, although not 10. However, I did use 12 brads around the central button.
The sketch I used is this one. I really liked how it used a large photograph. I like this photo of Mitre Peak that I took on holiday in New Zealand in January. I put the title and journalling directly onto the photo in PSE, then printed it out. I added some stamping, buttons and ribbons, and pierced a line of holes around the left, top and right hand side of the photo, and the layout was done!

The right hand side of the layout was based on the above sketch. I used four portrait photos though instead of one single photo. the page was made for Apron Strings challenge #7 - use at least three ribbons. I used two of the same ribbons that I used on the left side page, added a third ribbon, some buttons, pierced some holes around the central piece of patterned paper, and added the sub title with sticker letters (from Carolee's Creations?)

The patterned paper used on both layouts is from Stampin Up!

I'm not sure if I've ever pierced holes on a layout before, and this past weekend I used this technique on three layouts, but I think it is quite effective! It's very simple, but adds a nice touch. All in all, this double page layout is quite understated, but I think it turned out quite well, and really has the emphasis on the photos.

Till next time, happy days!


6 March 2011

Larnach Castle

I finished another layout for an Apron Strings challenge. The challenge was to use this Page Maps sketch. I love Becky Fleck's Page Maps sketches, so had to enter. The layout I came up with is of our trip to Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand in January 2011.

The papers I used were from 7 Gypsies - Flora and Mesofauna. For the central circle I used some Swiss dot Bazzill cardstock, and plain Bazzill cardstock for the base. I traced a scalloped circle piece of patterned paper onto the cream Swiss dot cardstock and then cut it out. I swiped some brown ink across the paper, and also pierced a border of holes along the edge of the scallops. It is very simple, although a bit time consuming (!), but effective.
The flourishes are from Dusty Attic. I painted them with twinkling H2Os for a bit of colour and some sparkle. I added a bit of ribbon, bought by the metre at Wrapped in Paper, and a few brads for embellishment.
The resulting layout is simple, but I think it turned out well.
That's it for now. I need to find a bit more time to make my next project - so until then, happy days!


Well, I'm combining challenges again!

This layout came together relatively quickly actually. I started off by turning the sketch on it's side to cater for the portrait oriented photographs. I used a Stampin Up! patterned paper kit,
flowers from my stash as well as a few punched ones, some skeleton leaves that we bought when we were in Vietnam, and ribbon that I bought by the metre at Wrapped in Paper.
I picked two organza ribbons and a very narrow one, so braided them together. I think it looks great! The hardest thing was starting the braiding. I finished it off with the rickrack and plaid ribbons along the top and bottom edges of the page.

The photos are of a lovely sculpture called the Chalice, and made by the New Zealand artist, Neil Dawson. Around the bottom there are carvings of the title, and pictures of the NZ plants used in the sculpture. I used a photo of the title for the title of the page, and the nine small (greyish) photos are of the plants used in the sculpture. I took these photos when we visited Christchurch in January of this year, which was (obviously) prior to the earthquake which brought down the steeple of the cathedral you can see in the background of the night photo.

I love your comments, so please feel free to leave me some!

Till next time, happy days!