Sunday, 23 December 2012

My Scrapbooking Process

As part two of my contribution to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge countdown to Christmas, I 'm back today to share my scrapbooking process with you (or one of my processes anyway).

We all took this different directions and I decided not to link it up to the page kit I shared with you yesterday, but rather to follow myself as I made a layout and notice the decisions I made and the thought process I went through to come to the end result.

Now this is a LONG post so I have reduced it down a little. But you can find the full post over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog today.

The layout comes from the prompt over at Whimsical Musings to be inspired by babies. 

My starting point was a photo that just shouted out to be scrapped of my new nieceKnowing I wanteded to base my design on white cardstock gave me a good starting point for me to then go to my piles of stash and start picking out anything that spoke to me. Before long I had a half dozen or so sheets of paper or scraps that seemed to go together. I laid them out and added a few embellishments to the pile so I could see what would work together. A few papers got taken out straight away and in the end, I only used a few of those selected.

The next step for me is to lay out some paper blocks to see how the colours are combining and to estimate the layers I want to incorporate. I just cut up blocks of paper and only then work out how and where to put them. I lay out the papers on the page to see them together and then added a few of the embellishments. My process is very fluid! As ideas hit, I just fish out the products from my stash and add them to the pile.

At this point, nothing is attached so I picked everything up and started gluing down, lightly pressing them down until I know that the position is correct. When everything looks about in the right position, I flatten all the items down with my hand to fix them all.

Next up comes the photo and the beginnings of my embellishments, usually placed in small, dimensional clusters, and very often forming some sort of a visual triangle or diagonal across the page. 

It’s now that I start rummaging around in my stash for extra little items to add in to my clusters. 

For this layout I continued to poke around on my desk and discovered some washi tape before I looked through my alphabets for something that would be suitable. I knew I wanted to write a long title but wasn’t sure what or where. When I came across these small BG letters, I knew they would be perfect due to the large number of letters on each of the sheets. I did this title back to front, starting at the bottom with the last word and working back to the beginning of that phrase before deciding how the title should start (wording) and where I would put it. That is another reason I like the current trend for small letters so much: it doesn’t restrict me so much and I can usually find a small corner to squeeze in these words.

One of the issues with creating the page like this is that there’s been no planning for my journaling! However, for this layout, I was lucky as the photo is the main focus, the title is long and says a lot and therefore the journaling was almost not needed. But I don’t make many pages with no journaling at all, so I got out some rough paper and jotted out a few lines until I found something a bit more than, “You are gorgeous and I love you”! Then I copied this into the small corner I’d picked out and was relieved to find it fitted in. 

 The last thing I did was to add some super thin paper strips (as you cut them, they naturally develop a curl) along the side of the photo with a small pink ribbon bow at the bottom that had caught my eye in my scrap bag.

Now it’s time to step back and have a look to see if everything is working ok together. I check for balance, for colours, for crooked letters (although they are always a bit crooked!), for if something else is needed to add a little extra.

So there you have it, a typical page following a typically chaotic process for putting it together. I hope you enjoyed this little insight to my rather disorganised brain. 

Again, there's a bit more detail over at the Counterfeit site if you'd like to read the whole thing.

Now, all that's left is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-kit

If you've been following along this month, you will already know that over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, we're doing things a bit different and have all created mini-kits for each month of the year.

And if you've been paying attention, you'll also know that we are up to November. So here I am.

I chose November as a few years ago, I decided to change my attitude to this month that has such bad PR. You won't find many people telling you it's their favourite month or even that they love it. But I decided to start to feel more positive about it and that attitude has worked for me - I really do like it a lot more than I used to. You might even say that I love it!

Ok, it can be grey and cold and miserable but so can any month. It makes you appreciate the wonderful blue skies even more when they do appear. And the build up to Christmas starts in November which was my starting point for my mini-kit.

I decided to focus on Traditions. And there are a few I thought of straight away for November which I thought might be good starting points for you to think about.

There's Bonfire Night for those of you in the UK, complete with hot sausages, a roaring fire and fireworks. Then there's Thanksgiving for all of my stateside friends. A huge X on the US calendar for sure.

But how about the traditions in the build up to Christmas, many of which start in November?

  • Your family might have the obligatory unveiling of the decorations. 
  • You might always put the tree up the last weekend in November. 
  • You might wait to start playing Christmas music until the beginning of November (or is that just me?). 
  • You might take an evening to write all your Christmas cards. 
  • You might be organised enough to get all your presents and then spend an afternoon in front of It's a Wonderful Life and wrap them all up. 
  • Here in Germany, the Christmas markets all open up at the end of November and it's tradition to head out and get the first Glühwein of the season. 
  • Of course a big one is the first Starbucks Christmas drink in those long awaited red cups
  • But the big one that came to mind for me is all about Advent. Lighting the first candle on our Advent Wreath on the first Sunday of Advent. And that is more often than not in November. Of course this year it's 2nd December, but you know what I mean! 
So, with all these November Christmas traditions, I decided to delve into some of my Christmas stash which doesn't actually get used for so many layouts, and create a mini kit I called Anticipate

Page Maps sketch November 2011

The products I've used in my kit are mostly quite old and to be honest, could be used for more than just Christmas which I thought was important for my November kit. I could use it to make layouts about winter, cold days, cosy times or ski-holidays if you take out the Christmas themed stamps. Very versatile. Why not look at your Christmas products to see how else they could be used? It's a shame to just use them for those three or four days of the year. 

the important thing about a mini kit is to really restrict yourself but to make sure the amount of stuff you have in it reflects how much stash you pile up on your background cardstock/paper. If you put too much in, it's just another monthly kit. Too little and it's not enough to motivate me to use it and I will reach for the rest of my stash while creating which defeats the point of a kit. 

I've included two pieces of cardstock as my page kit is really big enough for two. There may therefore be a second layout to come. I've made sure there are large and small letters, a good flurry of embellishments and as a challenge to myself as I buy them and don't use them, some stamps.

But in the meantime, here is my Advent layout for you.


Thanks for joining the Master Forgers this month for a look through a year's worth of inspiration. Please make sure you let me know you were here and share your creations with us over at the Counterfeit site.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Greetings of the Season

If you have come here via the Counterfeit Kit Challenge site, then you will know that I'm here today as part of the Master Forgers' Greetings of the Seasons to all our fellow counterfeiters!

Keeping it short and simple today.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very wonderful Christmas full of love, fun and happiness as well as a smattering of creativity if time allows!

Pinterest inspiration here

And a bilingual Merry Christmas to you all!

Thanks for dropping by and, "Consider yourself hugged" as they say here in Germany :-)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


It's that time of year when we start thinking traditions, so it is perfect timing for Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #3 to be prompting us to record one (or more!) of them on our pages.

I came up with a long list of traditions for summer, Christmas, the build up to Christmas, things like British Guy Fawkes night. But either they needed photos I didn't have or couldn't find, or they were a bit too Christmassy for my Dempster autumn kit that I was determined to use.

So I fished around in my photos for inspiration and came up with a connection I hadn't noticed before and I suddenly realised that this has become a real autumnal tradition for me.

When the leaves start falling, and the temperature starts to drop, I start taking baths. Regularly. Maybe more than regularly! Let's just say that it's not exactly very environmentally friendly to be using up all that water - just for me.

But it's true.

And this is the layout I put together. A tried and trusted design but one that I love so why not use it over and over again?

Sorry for the bad photos. They are all a bit orange.  I need to try and work out a better routine to photograph my layouts now that I hardly ever see daylight!

So, hop on over to the Counterfeit site and join in the challenge of capturing one of your traditions - every family has them, whether they are the same as many others, totally off the wall, or somewhere in between.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

It's as if they planned this month just for me!

I know that you know that I love autumn. I tell you all the time. So when I saw the list of challenges for this month at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, I was happy, happy, happy!

First off we had our favourite stamps and I knew my trusty maple leaf would be the one. Now comes inspiration from autumn photos.

While I was putting my kit together, I knew that I wanted to make some more Yukon layouts and I had photos like this one below in my mind. I knew that I wanted to have sumptuous tree photos included and this was just what I needed.

So for the mini challenge #2 "Be inspired by fall foliage" was a no brainer. This photo jumped out at me and my Engineer Creek layout was born.

Look at those colours, look at the brilliance of that golden hue, look at how unreal these leaves seem to be. That was exactly what we got at Engineer Creek and it was somewhat spectacular! Sunset, when the setting sun hit the top of the trees was all the more amazing. I am still living off those memories!

I think I could do this challenge a dozen times and still not get bored! Why not give it a try?

Don't forget to share your creations with us over at the Counterfeit site (here), we love to see where these prompts take you.

Friday, 16 November 2012

I just made #70!

I made it. I reached my target of at least 60 Christmas cards made. It might be a few days late but it's not too bad. In fact, I just counted up and I managed 70!

I've made a few this week that I can't actually share just yet but here is my take on the latest Jingle Belles prompt #24 "Christmas Feast".

It's the last one of the year and they are inspiring us to include food of some sort on our cards. A nod to this being Thanksgiving time of year as well as all the delicious food that is associated with Christmas.

I was surprised to find that I didn't have any paper with food on it. I expected to find Christmas puddings somewhere on the Figgy Pudding papers but nothing!

So I went with candy from the Eskimo Kisses line, making a little layered banner full of sweets.

Simple and fun and a way to use some of the stickers I knew I wouldn't use on layouts. I sprinkled a liberal amount of sparkly bling just to finish it off and a sweet (pun intended) sentiment.

And there you have it. Card #70!

I spent some time yesterday stamping inners with a mix of English and German sentiments so now I just have to put them all together and get writing! I'm aiming to get them in the post the first week of December (wow, so early!) and I could NEVER have managed that if it weren't for the delightfully, wonderful girls over at Jingle Belles.

This is their last prompt of the year but you can be sure that they will be back in January for the next batch of fun prompts to get us Jingling all year. You really should join in!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Inspired by stamps

I hope I'm not alone when I say that I have a small collection of stamps (I don't consider myself a stamper at all really) but even then, I don't use them very often.

I think that it will take too long to get them out, pick out a colour, fish out the acrylic block, practice the stamping and then risk my whole project by getting the stamping wrong!

But it doesn't have to be that way. And every time I'm challenged or inspired to use my stamps, I remember how much fun it can be.

So the latest Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini challenge is perfect to blow the dust off your favourite stamp and get going!

"Pick ONE stamp (not the whole set) to inspire you and use on your project. You can use more than one stamp, but your inspiration one should be prominent.  You will tell me which stamp it was on your blog and how it inspired you."

With my November kit, Dempster, being such an autumn inspired kit and with my intention to capture some more of my Yukon memories, I went with a tried and tested leaf stamp to guide my design. In fact I saw the end result in my head before I even opened up my stamp drawer and knew exactly how I would use the stamp to make a leafy border.

The leaf is part of a pack of four that I picked up when I was making my monster Nova Scotia album back at the beginning of my scrapbooking adventure.

I didn't know anything about stamping back then and just picked up a set to add some detail to my pages.

In fact, the set has four leaves in it

 ... but the truth is I hardly ever use the others, reaching for the maple every time.

It's a really good quality stamp and the detail is so lovely that it's hard to go wrong with it.

The connection between the leaf, the maple, Canada, my kit and my travels all come together in this page and it turned out pretty close to the picture I had in my mind which is always a surprise and a delight.

"And to think I was worried there wouldn't be enough trees"
I used a whole range of different distress ink colours, stamping the leaf three times in each and then fussy cutting them out to form a layered and scattered border across the centre.

I tucked in a lot of pretty pearls, some funky wooden toadstools and a scatter of buttons to add some more dimension.

And of course the star of the show is the photo. I really was worried that there would be few trees on our travels through the Yukon and NWT but even though they definitely got smaller the further north we travelled, there were more than enough to keep me smiling. I might have more tree photos than anything else in fact!

Glad to have captured another little piece of the puzzle that is our adventure. One day I will bring all these pages together to see how full a story I've told!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Christmas is a coming...

.... and I'm still catching up with cards.

I must get around to counting, I must be almost at the number I need by now.

But first, here are three more I created today from the Jingle Belles sketch this week by Allison Fillo.

I've just realised that I missed off the three elements on each of them, but the layers and main elements are still there.

Happy to be using up some of the older BasicGrey Wassail papers.

I'm hoping to find some time to work back on some of the older prompts now that I have caught up with this week's.

How are you doing with your cards? Next up is getting the inserts ready and my list updated and drawn up. It's coming!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Counterfeit Kit Challenge November kit reveal blog hop

Welcome to the November Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit reveal and by now you will know that this month was really a bit different from usual! This month we are all here to share with you our counterfeits of recent CHA collection releases! I love how the girls like to shake things up round here and once I got my brain working on the ideas offered up by some of the other Forgers, I had a whole lot of fun.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself! If you are here via the inspirational Jemma, then you are on the right track, but if you've come here direct, you might want to pop back to the beginning of the hop over at the CKC blog and start there - you don't want to miss what these creative Forgers have counterfeited this month.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun and decided I needed an autumnal kit and there were loads of suggestions from the Forgers for this CHA challenged girl. Gradually I whittled all those gorgeous collections down to just one: Take a Hike by Simple Stories. I loved the mix of traditional autumn colours with some blues, lots of spots and a good sprinkle of neutrals, giving me the possibility of using this kit for more that just Fall layouts.

This is a BIG kit for me as the collection was huge! And of course, being Simple Stories, it was based around the paper products so of course, I had to add in a whole load of embellies to match those papers too. Again, this is a BIG kit for me! We will see how it works or if I get bored of it before it's finished.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is - Dempster

I know you all find this funny, but as always I started off by matching up some cardstock and the neutrals (I was happy to find a way to include some of my BG Basics)

And then I went through the collection and matched up the papers - by colour and design. There's a good mix of old and new papers here which pleases me and many of them are double sided which gives me so many more possibilities.

Then there were alphas and journalling cards etc which were also part of the original collection. In fact, there's lots more in the original collection which would be really easy to counterfeit - bingo cards, ready clustered papers, journalling cards, borders etc but I'm happy to have included a lot of older Mr Campy stuff with some newer Echo Park and the new nature inspired Cosmo Cricket S'more Love. But you never know, I might get inspired to have a go at some of the other elements. Fellow Forger Libeeti is bound to do some of that :-)

And the final fun bit for me is the addition of oodles of embellishments, picking out elements with lots of texture and a hint of brighter colours to extend the possibilities of the kit

And there it was, a huge autumn kit which was just calling out to be used for some Yukon pages (can't believe that our Yukon adventure is 5 years ago now!) and that led me to come up with the name - Dempster. The infamous highway going north for more than 700 km to Inuvik which took us through the most breathtaking landscape you can ever imagine. Yes, this is the perfect kit for some more of those pages!

If you've made it this far, do leave a comment and let me know you were here. And let me know which of the recent collections you are going to lift. Such a fun exercise! (question: these blog hop posts are becoming pretty hefty with all these photos - do you like it or would you prefer something a bit shorter? Let me know.)

Here is the full hop list in case you get lost along the way:

Guest Designer: Julie -

Lisa -  ß you are here

Libeeti -  ß go here next

See you over at the CKC site - have fun!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Rolling and a jingling

I am keeping my Christmas cards super simple in the hope of catching up and today managed to go back to Jingle Belles prompt #22 "Holiday Creatures" and make 4 cards.

I've found that while I am making one in a particular design, it makes sense to run off another one similar or even the same - everything for ease, me!

First off, I made two whimsical silly ones using some old Sassafrass papers. I was trying to think of something clever for the wording on the second one like "Sliding into the Holidays" or something but it all sounded a bit negative - ideas?

And then I used a sketch that Lauren had posted as she was a GD and made something a little less frivolous. I liked the blocking and the banner so I adapted it to what I had. I used some really really really old My Mind's Eye and I'm going to be sad when it comes to an end - love those browns and blues together.

Another four cards. One more day like this and I will be past my target and it's still early enough in the November to feel like I did it within my self imposed deadline!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Trying to sprint to the finish line

I've been a bad Jingler these last months and now I'm paying for it!

I had a target of a minimum of 60 Christmas cards ready made by November by joining in on the Jingle Belles challenge and I was almost there. Then life got in the way and here we are at the beginning of November with only 54 cards made and lots of super Jingle prompts missed.

So I'm determined to try and catch up a bit and run off a few cards. Starting with the current prompt #23 using this lovely sketch by Allison Fillo.

Sketch by Allison Fillo

I really liked the sketch and got to work on it straight away but I have to admit to always having more problems with card sketches than layout sketches. Perhaps because there is less room for interpretation as the size is so much smaller.

Anyway, I stretched my card making muscles with this one first...

And then stayed truer to the sketch with this one...

Another two cards hit the pile and I'm back with the Jingle gals!

Nice to be back :-)  I promise to try to stay "back"!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A little early and also a little late

I've been out of action for a couple of weeks. It wasn't really much of a surprise, but when it happened it was a bit like Christmas. You know Christmas is 25th December. In fact, it never moves. But it still manages to creep up every year and surprise you! And then you find yourself out there scooping up last minute presents on December 23rd. 

Well, it was the same with the new addition to our family. My new, beautiful, precious niece. It's not like we didn't know she was coming. You get 9 months notice! And the due date was always going to be wrong. We all expected her earlier than the November 1st date my sister'd been given. But when everything started happening, I was totally not prepared and ended up dropping everything to rush over to the UK to be with everyone when the little bundle arrived - exactly the two weeks early that everyone had predicted.

I was in the middle of unpacking boxes, creating layouts every day through LOAD and up to my ears at work. But babies are so much more important. I'm sure you understand.

When I came back, it took me a few days to find my rhythm again and we had a manic weekend planning and ordering our new, fancy kitchen as well as fixing the old flat for handover.

So it was lovely yesterday evening to get my hands on some pretty paper and photos to create my last LOAD layout for the month. A different one to the usual but one I love all the more for that difference.

And apart from being late for everything right now, I'm really late for S's "In Good Company" challenge, which is sadly being retired. But I'm going to just give her my link to let her know how sad I am that she has decided all good things must come to an end :-(

S, I wish you would reconsider keeping IGC going... but hope that you at least come up with a new challenge for us :-) Pretty please?

Oh yes, and this is layout #7 with my Counterfeit kit, Brighter (Oct) and I know I haven't shared the others with you yet, but there's a whole lot of layouts to share so watch this space and I promise to try harder.

Sorry for the dodgy photo, but it's that time of year again and I have yet to discover the good light in the new flat...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Inspired by quilting

The latest Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge is up and this time, we were asked to be inspired by quilting.

I recently participated in Clair's Stitching on Paper class and one of the prompts was also quilting so I had done a paper piecing patchwork design already (see my post here) so I wanted to try something different but familiar.

I went back to the design I did for Whimsical Musing #30 where we were to be inspired by the trendy geometrical shapes (here) and decided to take that white on white stitching and start from there.

Then rather than add the papers on top, I decided to cut out the centres of each shape and add the papers behind. Leslie tells me this is reverse appliqué. I made sure that there was a bit of dimension behind too so you get a sense of depth.

My October kit, Brighter, was the perfect combination of colours and patterns to give this a mismatched whimsical feel to it.

The stitching took a long time, but sitting in front of the TV, taking me time, it was just the slow down therapy I needed after some hectic days.

Having spent the last weeks packing and unpacking boxes I thought it was a good idea to try and participate in the Scrap Happy member LOAD this month - yes, I told you I was crazy! But to be honest, this bit of me time every day had done me the world of good ;-) I'm hoping for a full month of pages but I am not stressing about it - later in the month could be hard for me so we will see.

Why not have a go at being inspired by quilts - there's so many ways to take this and I know that the Master Forgers all went in different directions so do make sure you check them all out. Don't forget to share your creation over at the CKC Mr Linky (here).

Have a great Monday everyone!


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