Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My LSNED book

On the 1st of September Learn Something New Every Day will begin at www.shimelle.com. I took this class for the first time last year (you can see the art journal I made for it here), and I've been really looking forward to the class stating again. I love looking back on my book from last year and I hope I'll like this year's one just as much!

For this September I've made myself a counterfeit smash book, turning an old, damaged Ladybird book into a journal:

Here's a photo of the book when I'd just cut the front cover off, so you can see how battered it was (to cut the covers and pages off I just used a craft knife and metal ruler):

I punched the holes in the cover for the book rings by using my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite. To see what else I've done to get the book ready for class, you can watch this you tube video. The book is packed with papers and other bits and pieces, all ready to go (to view the video larger on You Tube just click on it once it's started playing):

Sorry about all the 'errrms'!

Things mentioned in the video (except Shimelle's site which I've already linked above!):

  • I've made the book a bit like a smash book, to see the actual branded Smash Book that I got the idea from then check out this YouTube video.
  • Some Studio G alphabet stamps like the ones I used can be purchased here (I bought mine a long time ago from The Range Home and Leisure)
  • Julie Kirk's blog: http://www.notesonpaper.blogspot.com/ (I won the Airmail twine on a giveaway on her blog, and she sent the fabric strip in with the prize!)
  • The airmail twine can be purchased from The Ribbon Girl here.
  • The kraft paper I used for the pages inside can be purchased from Paperchase here.
  • Kirsty Neale's first post on security envelope decorative tape is here, and her second post about using other papers is here.
  • The Stick It glue dots that I've used on my page markers can be bought here.

The book is a little bit smaller than 6"x4", so I could slightly trim down a portrait 4"x6" photo if I wanted to include one full size. But I'm planning that if I include photos they'll mostly be ones from my Ipod Touch Hipstamatic or Instagram Apps, so I'll print them as 3"x3" square pics to stick in. To do my 'dates' each day I'll either just handwrite them, or I'll cut them from a newspaper or mag to stick in.

Hope you've enjoyed having a look at my book! If you have any questions, eg. if you want to know the make of a particular stamp or scrapbook paper then let me know as I should be able to tell you.

Are you taking part in LSNED this year? Do you have any lessons that you want to learn this month? Or are you going to just take each day as it comes? I'd like to learn how to make blackberry jam. Let's see if that happens! I'll be showing my pages throughout September as they get filled up, I hope you'll be back to see them!


Saturday, 27 August 2011


I couldn't wait to scrapbook this photo of me cuddling my baby boy, and I love the photo so much that I wanted to use some of my favourite scrapbook papers with it. But I couldn't choose which one. The problem was solved by the Sarah's Cards Ltd Blog - I spotted their August Challenge to use 5 different patterned papers on a layout. Cutting up 5 of my favourites was a bit scary at first, but then I realised it meant they'd last me for more projects!

Papers used: WeRMK 72 & Sunny 'Summer', 'Scattered Clouds', and 'Sunkist'
                    WeRMK Madame Royale 'Catherine'
                    American Crafts Abode 'Oak Ave'
                    Cosmo Cricket Togetherness 'Elements'

I actually ended up using 6 patterned papers if you count the Cosmo Cricket elements ('Life is Beautiful' and the journaling spot). The page looks quite bright and busy with all these colourful patterns, but that suits me!              

I love the little bird sticker (from Tiffany embossed stickers by WeRMK) and had to have him perched at the top of my page:

I gave the page a little bit of extra texture and dimension by coating a chipboard bracket with yellow paint, then Sarah's Cards Crackle Glaze, and finally green paint, and added it under the photo:

The page makes me happy when I look at it, so I'd say using a lot of patterned papers worked this time at least! x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Mermaid Mesmerised Altered Plaque

This month's theme at Alter it Monthly is 'Sirens, Mermaids, and the Deep Blue Sea'. My head immediately started whirring with ideas when I saw this theme, as I love the sea, and mermaids have always been a magical creature that fascinates me - the one that I really think could exist in some form as we really don't know what lives in the deepest parts of the ocean.

So I've altered a 6¾” x 4½” wooden plaque, which started out as a image of poppies (bought at a car boot sale!) and ended up like this:

Here's how it started:

I painted on a layer of gesso:

Then a layer of turquoise acrylic paint:

I then painted a crackle glaze medium (from Sarah's Cards Ltd), let it dry, then painted blue acrylic paint on top. It crackled nicely so the turquoise showed through. That was the base finished.

Next I painted the mermaid, using drawing pen, watercolour paints, and acrylic paint for the white dots, onto a piece of scrapbooking paper. I scanned her in before I did the next step, so that you can download and use her in your projects if you'd like to! Click on the photo to download - but please only use the image in items for personal use or gifts - not items you wish to sell.

I don't have any more step-by-step photos, but next I tore around the mermaid, and then very carefully burnt the edges. I stamped the words onto the same scrapbooking paper, and tore around them, but just used brown and black ink pads to colour the edges to look like they'd been burnt.

I adhered them to the plaque using Mod Podge, leaving the edges loose to add a bit of dimension. Then I used Anita's 3D clear gloss to adhere the collection of beads, shells, stones, and jewellery items around the mermaid.

Finally I coated the whole thing in gloss Mod Podge to protect it and to give a nice watery sheen to the underwater theme!

Hope you like it. If you like it a whole lot, it's now available for sale in my etsy shop here.

Do you think mermaids exist? Maybe, just maybe? I hope so. x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Chopping Paper and Butterfly Challenges

Hello Hello!

I've been working on a couple more layouts for Shimelle's challenges from last weekend's online crop. The first one I have to show you is using my favourite photo at the moment, of my two cute kiddies:

This is for the 'Chop Your Paper' challenge, to create a layout that is embellished with paper rather than fancy scrapbook embellishments. The papers I cut up were these:

72 & Sunny Woodlands Glitter by WRMK
Dollhouse Sweet Things Flat Paper by Brenda Walton

The papers were fun to cut up. When I first started scrapbooking I used to cut up papers to embellish a page a lot more often (before I had so much stash!) I shall have to remember to do it again from time to time! It helped that the animal paper already had glitter on it. The only thing I added was some pink gems to the flower centres:


I think the page ended up bright, fun, and cute, just like the photo!

The next layout is for the 'Bingo Cards and Butterflies' challenge, to use this layout of Shimelle's as inspiration:

Even though I didn't have any of the supplies that Shimelle used, I've still ended up with a similar layout:

I really loved the oversized butterfly on Shimelle's layout, so I made my own by hand-cutting the shape from blank chipboard, covering it with yellow spotted paper, and edging with black pen:

I also cut a few words from a book to echo the photobooth pictures:

The photos were taken using this app for my Ipod Touch. The main reason I wanted an Ipod was for the photo apps and I'm loving them!

Hope you'll all have a chance to play, laugh, and smile today! x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Half Page and Colour Story Challenges

I managed to get a couple more challenges completed this evening. Thank you hubby for putting little girl to bed. Now if only he could learn to breastfeed so I didn't get interrupted by baby...!

This layout is for Shimelle's 'half page' challenge, to scrapbook only filling half a 12x12 page. This one was a real challenge for me as I don't 'do' pages with white space (in case you hadn't noticed!).

I overcame it by thinking about what Shimelle said about it showing off the patterned paper in the background. I found this Sandylion 'fairy garden' paper that has been in my stash for years. I love it as it's so pretty, but I could never use it on a page because it's overwhelming and I usually put tons of embellies on my page. By keeping the page simple and leaving half the page blank it shows it off, but still keeps the photo in the foreground:

Journaling reads: 'You really don't like standing still for photos at the moment - you always want to be dancing, waving or pulling funny faces! It can be annoying but at least you're energetic!'

I was pleased with the end result, and it was quick to scrap. I shall try this again!

I've also completed something for the 'colour story' challenge - to create a project in red, white and aqua. As I have about a million birthdays coming up in September I opted for a card:

I bought this papermania 'Happy Birthday' stamp yesterday and couldn't wait to use it. I highlighted the letters with white gel pen to make them stand out more. I think the colour combo makes the card nice and cheerful!

I'm off to bed soon so no more scrapping today. I'll try and complete a few more of the challenges this week though. Anyone else taking part? What do you think of online crops? And if you've been to real life crops then which do you prefer? I've never been to an actual crop in person, and I don't know if I'd get much done if I did - would I be too busy chatting?

Night! x

'add to the story' & 'grid it up' Pages

The wonderful Shimelle is having another online cropping event this weekend. As I was at my best friend's wedding on Friday (photos to follow!) and didn't return until late afternoon Saturday, I haven't been able to do too much yet. But despite having to go food shopping this morning, and cooking dinner etc, I have managed to do two challenges today. Yay for hubby being off work to entertain the kids!

The first challenge I've completed was to 'add to the story' by looking back on an old scrapbook page and finding a way to add more journaling to it. I chose this 'home' layout which I created in May 2010:

I still had some of the paper with houses on, so I was able to just cut another sheet the same size as the last, and use it as a flap which could be lifted to read journaling on the back. I added the little 'open' sign so that viewers would know there's more to the story.

I enjoyed adding this description of our house. We might still remember the rooms in years to come, but we might never think to tell our daughter about it. Now she can read about it. And it's recorded in case our memories fade, and we forget things like how hard it was to mow the sloped lawn!

The next challenge I've completed was 'grid it up' - to create a layout with a grid element. I thought this one was perfect as I just had some Hipstamatic prints from my Ipod touch delivered, they worked great in a grid:

Papers = BoBunny 'Beautiful Life Stripe' & 'Turquoise Dot', Pink Paislee 'Old School', music paper unknown scrap, Journaling spot = Making Memories 'Great Escape', Alpha's = Anita's, and studio G stamped alphas onto paper scraps, Lace = from haberdashery, Journal pen = Sakura Gelly Roll Green Moonlight, Adhesive Pearls = Papermania. Also grey pen, adhesive ribbon, outline dress sticker, yellow ribbon, turquoise button, little bird sticker (various manufacturers)

Journaling reads: 'The visit to Bath Fashion Museum was a last minute addition to Rosie's Hen Weekend, and I'm so glad we went there! We had great fun giggling at some of the crazier outfits, and being awed by the intricate, beautiful wedding dresses they had there. It was also brilliant trying on corsets and crinolines and dancing around in them. I would definitely recommend it!'

I handmade the ribbon flower, and included a button in the centre which I bought at a flea market the same day:

There's lots more challenges I want to enter! I shall try and complete another this evening. But they are open until next Sunday (21st August) so I might manage a few this week - if you want to join in too then head over to www.shimelle.com and check them out!


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Going Postal Bracelet

Julie Kirk at Notes on Paper is currently running 'Going Postal' - a mail themed blogging extravaganza, with giveaways, lots of inspiring blog posts, and the chance to join in by writing your own post which Julie can link to a Pinterest board. So here's me joining in!

I bought a bumper pack of worldwide postage stamps from Ebay a couple of years ago, and have been working my way through it by adding the odd few to cards, scrapbook layouts, or altered art projects. I wanted to do something different with them this time, so I opted for a bracelet, for some philatelist ornamentation (!):

It's very basic, as my crafting time is limited right now, but if you would like to make your own here's what I did:

1. Cut a 1.5" deep strip off the bottom of an old cardboard tube, from inside a kitchen paper roll or similar. Cut a slit up one side - it will automatically open to be a larger gap:

2. Using PVA glue, slightly watered down (mod-podge or acrylic gel medium would work too), coat the outside of the cardboard tube with stamps, overlapping them so there's no cardboard showing through. Put the PVA on the back and the front of the stamps, smoothing them down as you go so there's no bubbles and to make sure the edges are coated. I folded some over the sides of the cardboard tube, and left some showing whole so that you can see the edging to the stamp.

3. Once the cardboard is all covered, leave it to dry, holding it in shape with something (I used tools that were within reach!):

4. Once the PVA was dry, I then put on a coat of sparkle mod-podge to give it a nice glittery finish (you could just use plain mod-podge or more PVA if you're not a glitter lover!):

5. And I left it to dry again in the same position as before.

That's it, ready to wear! You could maybe go fancy by painting the inside to give it a more finished look, or even lining it with felt to make it softer. My bracelet seems to be holding it's shape perfectly - the gap is big enough to push the bangle onto my wrist but small enough for it to stay on - the PVA and modge-podge stiffened the tube. But if yours needs help staying on your wrist you could attach ribbons to tie the gap together.

And then wear your stamps with philatelist pride:

I was also inspired by another blogger's idea for the theme - Kirsty Neale's post on DIY deco tape using security envelopes. You can see her post here. I've been making some of my own from envelopes I'd been collecting for their funky patterns:

I haven't used them on any projects yet but I'm itching to! I'm glad I have them cut and ready to use when called for. Have you looked inside the envelopes your bills arrive in? If not, check out the next one - free, funky, patterned paper is always a plus!

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