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27 April 2012


Here's my latest layout. I used the monthly challenge kit from my LSS, Wrapped in Paper. From the paper colours (Velvet Ensemble Collection from Kaisercraft) I decided to use some photos from our trip to the Northern Territory last July. I used the word See in my title so it qualifies for the latest Bird is the Word challenge as well.

So, I know I say this almost every time I finish a layout, but I really do love how this one turned out!! I'm loving using distress inks and used them to add stamping to the papers. Since the reverse of the cream and green papers was just wrong with the photos (wrong colours and too busy) I thought that if I added some Stampin Up! En Fran├žais script background and Stampin Up! Botanicals flowers in Frayed Burlap ink that it would add a little something to the papers so they were a bit more interesting.

I had already decided to add the small photographs to the layout and printed them, then realised that the fourth paper I had to use from the kit included the film strip, and that the small photographs were just the right size to fit the openings. Of course I had to make the openings first! I used the anywhere hole punch for punching eyelet holes to cut the slightly curved inside corners, then connected the holes with my exacto knife, and voila, the centres fell out and I was left with just the black frame part. Pretty ingenious if I do say so myself!

Of course one of the photos was portrait orientation so I had to put that one separate. I have been saving postage stamps with interesting pictures on them, and had this one of a young Aboriginal boy. Since the Red Centre is the home of many Indigenous families, this stamp seemed appropriate to add to this layout, and it was the perfect size. I added a few leaf and stamen die cuts (MFT Die-namics PrimaDonna Petals) and the small photo embellishment cluster was ready.

The flower in the top right corner and the green one on the left side were made with the Stampin Up! scallop circle punch and the middle flower and the stamens from the PrimaDonna Petals die. The green flower and the cream and red ribbon were both part of the challenge kit. I added the green chipboard stem (floral design 04) from Scrapmatts to the green flower.

The red sheer ribbon was also in the kit. What to do with that? I was just fiddling with it, so I'm not exactly sure how, but I made the flower from it. I basically folded the ribbon in half lengthways, and every 2cm or so I sewed it together on top of itself so that it made petals and came into a circle. I sewed it onto the black flower from the kit, and then added the discover label to cover up my stitching. I added a couple of die cut leaves and put it on top of the black lace that was leftover from another monthly challenge kit.

I put it all together by vaguely following AnnaMarie Mondro's interpretation of sketch #65 from GotSketch? I finished it off with letter stickers from Scenic Route and Kaisercraft for the title, and a few cream coloured brads in the flower centres. I love it and hope you do too!

Till next time, happy days.

23 April 2012

Lazy Days of Summer

Frosted Designs had a sketch challenge a while ago that I never got to do, but I had the photos in mind when I saw the sketch. I finally got a chance to make this layout and am very pleased with the result.

I'm really trying not to buy any more paper and use up my stash. I have a huge amount of TLC kits and papers from when I was selling it. While they're not the most up to date designs anymore, I think that I've learned lots of techniques since then and can make them work with the current trends. So, I used the papers and some of the elements from the TLC Sun Seekers kit (© 2004, so 8 years old!).

I started out by making the background. I made a sun using MS Word, printed it on an A4 sheet of paper and cut it out. Then I placed it on my cardstock and inked around the edges. It was a bit lacklustre, so using my Sew Easy tool, I pricked the holes to sew around the points of the sun with floss. Ah, much better!

I had already trimmed my photos when I decided to use one of the frames from the kit. It was too small for the large photo, but too big for the small ones. But, with the blue patterned paper showing through below and above the picture, it still looked good. There were three eyelets in the frame already, so I just made them dimensional by putting actual eyelets over the spot where they were drawn on.

I attached the patterned paper and photos and then came the fun part! I went through my ribbon, sticker and yellow embellishment stashes and found some cool stuff! The chipboard stickers (yellow "Summer spending time together" and blue "Ocean Summer") were from a Jasart Made 4u set I got free with some purchase I made once. I added a yellow gingham ribbon bow (made with this fabulous tutorial) to the top tag. I found fish brads, smiley face button (which I cut the shank off of), star brad, mirror, round brads and flat eyelets (not sure of the correct term, LOL!) in my yellow container. The stickers (fun, lazy days of summer) button sun (which I cut out and added a real button to), and pointy sun (I had two, cut one out and used mounting tape to pop it up on the bottom one) all came from the TLC kit. 

I die cut the mini suns (8 times) from the patterned papers using the MFT Die-namics Notched Tag die. I set the button sun on two papers die cut with the MFT Die-namics Layered Label die. The flags and posts I cut with the MFT Die-namics Mini Pennant die. I cut the flags out on the fold so that I could more easily glue them onto the jute (a leftover from a clothing tag). I made the posts different lengths and I think they really look like posts set into the sand. I realised later that I probably could have die cut the little bird from the notched tag die and drawn some feet to make a couple of seagulls, but now I'm finished, I don't feel like adding anything else.

So, what do you think? I don't often scrap with yellow (even though it's my favourite colour), so it was fun and I think this layout was very summery and not really dated despite the mostly old supplies that I was using.

Till next time, happy days.


16 April 2012


I had so much fun making these little birdhouses! I found the idea on Pinterest and would like to acknowledge Steffi Nitzpon who made the original card/birdhouses on which mine are based. I think they are so cute!

I had a set of seven ATCs to make so being able to set up a bit of a production line was a good thing. I cut out the black cardstock bases, then the blue patterned paper (from my TLC stash), and punched 14 sets of heart, then square from some left over book board/chipboard. I also punched 7 extra squares from the chipboard and using the Stampin' Up! 2 step bird punch I punched out the branches.

I cut the seven plain squares in half diagonally and then cut little nicks out of them to make the rooves. I used some fired brick distress ink to colour these pieces. For the birdhouses, I attached a scrap of red patterned paper behind each heart. Because the birdhouse was a bit raised, I attached a small (and I mean tiny!) scrap of book board/chipboard under the peak of the roof piece before attaching it to the birdhouse so when I stuck it own onto the ATC it would sit flat. Then I started my production line. To finish, I drew the line from the roof to the branch with black gel pen, attached the jute bow and used a few pieces of jute to make the post the lower birdhouse was standing on. To complete the piece I added a black diamante to each birdhouse.

I love how they turned out and hope the recipients do too!

I'm entering these in the anything goes challenge #20 at Challenge me Happy.

Till next time, happy days.

15 April 2012

Mount Sonder

I found a new (to me) challenge site, called My Creative Sketches. Being a sketch based site of course it's right up my alley. Here's my layout for the March sketch.

I actually made a digital layout first, but didn’t like it much, so made another one the traditional way. I'm quite pleased with the result. This is the one I'm entering in the challenge (since you can only enter one layout). 

I used PSE to alter the picture first - layered a black and white photo on top of a colour one, then 'cut' a circle out of the B&W layer, to show the colour underneath. I did it in a circle to mimic the circles in the sketch.
The circle doilies are made from kaleidoscopes I made from a picture taken on the same walk so the colours are the same as the main photo. After printing them, I cut them out with the Cheery Lynn English Tea Party Doily die.  

All the papers I used are from my large TLC paper stash, except the background paper, not sure where that one came from. The other dies I used were the Cheery Lynn Exotic Butterfly small and Cheery Lynn FancifulFlourish. I also used a chipboard twigs 02 (CB505) by Scrapmatts that I coloured gold with a Sakura star gel pen, and some chipboard heart punches I had laying on my worktable from my last ATC project that I also coloured gold. The letter stickers are Kaisercraft, 'Loire Valley', also with some gold pen added!

Here are a few close ups and the kaleidoscope that I used.

In case you were wondering what the digital layout turned out like, here it is.

I used a kaleidoscope I made on that one too. The kaleidoscope was created from a photograph of a rock pool - seaweed/plants and shells. All the 'papers' on the digital layouts were made using colours selected from the photograph, and brushes. I love digital brushes! Here's what I used:
fonts - Euphemia and Angelic War.
brushes (from PSE presets) - Special effects brush (azalea), and natural brushes, plus one that I downloaded as a freebie quite some time ago -- House of 3 - RhonnaSwirlCluster8.

At left is the kaleidoscope for the digital layout.

That's it for now - till next time, happy days.

8 April 2012

Keys ATC

I've been swapping ATCs for about two years now with my friends on The Crop Room but I don't often blog about them. Today I had to make seven with the theme "door". My mind went from door to welcome mat, to key under the mat, to just key so this is what I ended up with in the end. I love the result and got to try several techniques I haven't used before.

Here are the products I started with. (I realised after I had already put them away, that I forgot to include the crackle medium, Kaisercraft key stamp, Cheery Lynn Heartland America heart die and black Stazon Ink in the picture.)  
I started by making the keys. I painted the chipboard with black acrylic paint and as soon as it was dry I painted on some crackle medium. While they were drying I made the ATC bases. I cut up some leftover book board/light chipboard that I had used to organise my cutting dies. I inked them with the three colours of Distress inks, then splashed some water on them. I dried the water marks with a heat gun, then using the Stazon ink I stamped the keys background stamp on and then the bases were finished.

By this time the keys were dry and I put some of the bronze versamark ink on them, wiped a bit off, then stamped some more on.
For the extra embellishment I cut up some leftover pieces of kraft cardstock with the heart die, but only the circle "flower" parts in the top of the die. I inked them with a little bit of the fired brick red distress ink and then put a bit of the bronze Versamark ink over top of that.
I tied the jute bows and attached them into the holes at the top of each key with some red liner tape. I then put the cards together. As there were only four of each design of key in the pack, the keys face different directions so the ATC's aren't exactly the same, but then I guess multiple handmade things never are.

I'm very pleased with the final result and I'd love to hear what you think.
Till next time, happy days.