Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tropical memories

The last couple of days of LOAD are always a bit hard. The end of the month is in view and there's a feeling of relief but also one of sadness as you know that you are going to miss that daily scrapping and interaction with the wonderful community. It's also the part of the month where I start slipping off the daily prompts and start doing my own thing. I don't really know the reason but it's happened a few times. And this layout was no different.

I think the main reason this time around is that I have three or four piles of old photos sitting on my desk which I've been flipping through each day before scanning and using them. And since I did a layout about the Philippines a few days ago, and then another one a day or so later, the photos were just calling to me to use.

However, I also wanted to get my Counterfeit Kit Challenge February kit, Record, finished off so that I can start the new month with no leftovers. It's amazing that I managed to finish and clear out leftovers from my October, November and January kits as well as a really old Scrapagogo one. I still have a few odds and ends from this kit, my Halloween add on kit from last year and one more prehistoric Scrapagogo kit which I now think I will just clear out and put away. So I call that a result.

Anyway, back to this month's kit. I put together the base for this layout when I found the half-envelope left over from my "Love Letters" layout from earlier in the month. I thought it would be fun to fill it with punched hearts and then build the rest of the layout around that. I used up loads and loads of scraps for that and I think it looks great. I was inspired by one of Pam's layouts for the banner strips on the left and then I just added in the white cardstock, the white twine (but that gets added in to everything right now!), the doilies and the dark green alpha.

Once the base was made up, I went off in search of a suitable photo and just love the blues of this one against the colours I used. Perfect.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge February kit, Record, layout #6

So, six layouts reaches my monthly target from one kit but I think I could really squeeze out one more. I've already removed one or two items and put them to one side to give away - they didn't inspire me each time I looked at them so out they go. I'll have to see how I feel about the rest of the leftover product to see if I want to push myself to finish it off or just move on. The new kit is just around the corner now and let me tell you, the inspiration kit is lovely!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Grab your paints and get going

The Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #3 is up and it's all about the colouring. Crayons, pencils, markers, felt-tip pens, paint - whatever is your colour of choice. The gorgeous photo of Crayola crayons on the challenge blog post (here) reminds me of a layout I created last week as part of LOAD about my wonderful birthday present way back when I was 9 (post here). A box of 64 Crayola crayons with the integrated sharpener - I was so in love with this box. I think I need to get myself some more!

Anyway, onto the challenge in hand. I opened up my February kit, Record, and looked for inspiration. I'm not a doodler or a freehand artist so I was hoping to find something in there that could be altered in some way. This paper jumped out at me as something with an open pattern that could be interesting.

I took out my gold acrylic paint and watered it down a bit so that it was quite runny and less a solid colour. I then used a fine paint brush and picked out some elements of the pattern to lightly cover in gold.

As it was quite thin paint, some of it dried quite quickly so I gave it a few minutes and then sprinkled some gold glitter over it. The glitter only stuck to parts of the painted area which gave it a more random effect.

To match up the gold and glitter on the paper, I did one of current favourite techniques and splatted some diluted glue for some glitter and also some diluted paint across the cardstock.

My end result was a lot of fun and used up quite a lot of bits and pieces from my kit.

February kit, Record, layout #5

Now, got to dash. I need to track down some Crayola. A giant box :-)

Thursday, 23 February 2012


LOAD has me going backwards and forwards in time as the prompts make me think of events, people or just points in my past. But when the prompt came through about friends, this photo was right there in my mind and I went straight to it to use. It's an imperfectly perfect photo - imperfect in its overexposure but perfect in its capture of me and my best friend from school.

This wonderful woman is the best friend you could hope for and I'm so very happy that we are still in touch even if we don't see each other so often.

February Counterfeit Kit, Record, layout #4

I used a February Page Maps for this layout for the Whimsical Musings challenge #26, choosing to use the left-hand side of the sketch and shifting everything off-centre but keeping the cute little heart embellishment. I'm really enjoying the white on white effect of using a lot of white cardstock at the moment (mostly due to the fact that I've run out of other colours!) and my overuse of twine is rather addictive too!

Celebrate the special people in your life. I can promise you, it feels great!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

More buttons this time

Just a quick post.

I found a few minutes to make up another Jingle Belles card - feeling a bit blah blah about it.

I saw the most wonderful inspiration on Pinterest (here) but somehow, translating it to a Christmas card was more difficult than I thought. :-(

But it did use up 19 buttons which was a bit better than my score yesterday!

Therefore, three cards for two weeks. I'm on target which can only be a good thing. I'm aiming for 60 completed cards by the beginning of November so I need to keep up the pace!

Doilies and so much more

The Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #2 is use doilies on your layout. 

How much fun is it to be challenged to do something I already do all the time?!?

Since the doily trend came out, I'm always looking for new ways to use them and I made sure that I had included a few in my Valentine page kit, Love Notes. The ones I'm using the most right now are just ones you can buy in any grocery store for cakes, cups or afternoon tea! I also have some printed ones from Maya Road and some die cuts ones given to me as a present, but these simple paper cake doilies are cheap and easy to use.

I used the LOAD prompt, "When I grow up" for this layout and had a lot of fun with my layering and paint/glitter splatting. Messy twine, an off the page cluster and a little journalling and this page has everything I'm loving right now! I added in the small white tag, the white twine and two buttons to my page kit for this. 

February Valentine page kit, Love Notes, layout #4

This might be my favourite layout of the month so far!

How will you be using your doilies?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

All Buttoned Up

LOAD has my Jingle Belles timing all off this month! I wanted to create a card last week but just didn't get around to it so I've made two tonight in case I don't get to it again this week! :-)

We've been asked to used buttons on our design and as I have a gazillion buttons I of course went with a design that used a measly 2!

But I wanted to make something quick and easy and I had these Prima papers out already from a page I scrapped so it all came together really fast.

Maybe I can get around to making two more tomorrow, but if not, then here's two for the pile!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Birthday memories

A LOAD prompt to scrap our birthdays from days gone by had me stumped as I just don't have so many photos from my childhood and I've already done a couple of layouts featuring my 16th and 18th birthdays.

Then I remembered the year of the collection box of Crayola crayons and the fact that I had this really funky posed photo of my dad with said box of crayons and the layout came together.

I used up the last of my January Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit, Resolve, and feel good that I got some layers and colours down for this typical 70s memory.

January Counterfeit kit, Resolve, layout #7

And I sprinkled some of my never-ending supply of brads here and there too. That dish of brads just isn't getting any less!

What's funny about these photos is that I could easily scrap all three again on another layout just to talk about what can be seen in the photos themselves - all those bits and pieces of our life in the 70s. The hair, the clothes, the kitchen stuff, the home decoration. I really might have to do that. I love it when photos can be used more than once, especially old ones as it means I get more story for my money out of them! When the photos themselves are limited in number, this is a great way of filling in some of those missing stories!

7 layouts from my January kit is great - my target is always 6 - and I've now dismantled the rest and put all the leftover bits away. The pile of kit boxes is now reduced to 4! Hopefully, I'll reduce that by at least another one or two between now and the end of the month.

How many layouts do you aim for out of a kit?

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I always thought...

Another LOAD layout where we are digging up stories from our past. So many prompts can be interpreted so many different ways and it's been fun each day to just see where my thoughts go.

Each day, as I look through photos, others catch my eye and then speak to me a few days later which is what happened here. This photo has really been popping up in my hand every day or so since day 1 and so I decided to make it work with the prompt "I always thought..."

I used my October 2011 Counterfeit kit, Fall In Love to make this overly pink layout but I think it works as it's about us women!

I'm happy to say that since the beginning of LOAD I've now managed to complete and break up the leftovers for three Counterfeit kits that I had hanging around and have just a few scraps left. Good to see these products finding a happy home.

Counterfeit October kit, Fall In Love, layout #7

I'd been saving this gorgeous ribbon for a special occasion but I'm learning that this attitude is crazy! Use it up right away and with abandon! It's perfect for this girlie layout and am happy to see it on a page rather than collecting dust in my room.

The combination of LOAD and Counterfeit is so great for these kind of aha moments!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Love Notes

You might remember that my Counterfeit Kit Challenge February kit, Record, was not as romantic as you might have come to expect from me ;-) That's because I made up a Valentine page kit and I have to say that I really enjoyed making it up and really going to town with all that pink just for a change *wink*!

I started out back to front really and picked out the most adorable Page Maps sketch from their January designs that just had my name all over it. Who could resist that gorgeous banner design with so many photos and pretty things?

And then I made up my kit, filling it up with pretty papers, twine, Helen's beautiful hand-made flowers, TH tape and some October Afternoon travel themed products as I had a few ideas about one or two other pages I wanted to make. I think it's super cute and pretty and "Love Notes" seemed to be the perfect name.

And this is the layout I made on Valentine's Day for my LOAD prompt, "Love lasts". I'm not sure I've made a layout about the love of all our lives, Blossom, so today was the day. I stuck pretty faithfully to the sketch because I loved it so much but the result is quite bulky so I might need to do something about the pins. But I love the result. The sketch and page kit worked so well together. I added the pins which I had forgotten to put in the kit and a couple of Prima page pebbles.

The next day brought the prompt "Songs of days gone by" and through a round about way, my inspiration for my layout came from the Carole King album, Tapestry, that I listened to all the time during the summer of '84. 

And one more layout from the kit for which I added a single sheet of cardstock and some extra twine. Simple and sweet. I've scrapped this photo before but this was another take on the story of my baby sister arriving in my life. I didn't really follow the prompt for this day but it's still a story from the past so I'm on track!

I know I've said it here on my blog just earlier this week, but the combination of LOAD and the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is working so well - how did I do it before???

Thursday, 16 February 2012

“The totally non-patented, nothing new here, Lisa method of clustering!”

You might have noticed that there are things that I do on my scrap pages that I repeat over and over and over again. Clustering is one and since I really started to get to grips with all that layering (thanks to BPC classes with Nic H), I hardly do a layout without some sort of cluster or grouping – no matter what the topic.

To help explain my way of doing things, I took some photos of my developing cluster when I was making a  layout back in October. At the time, I shared this with my fellow LOADsters but I've been asked if I could post it here again. (The photo quality isn't good as I was scrapping in the evening and the light is really bad but I hope you bear with me.) This is a really long post with lots of photos so apologies for that upfront!

1. I layered up some papers across the middle of the page, inking all the edges to give definition. I realised there would be a perfect cluster spot on the left hand side, under the photos.

2. Before anything else, I added my twine around the layout and tied it in a simple knot. This way, it will peek out from under the cluster.

3. Then I laid out some fussy cutting that I’d done from the tropical flower print BasicGrey paper as well as some ribbon roses to roughly see how the main elements would work.

4. First down are the flat, larger pieces – directly attached to the background papers.

5. Then come the rest of the flowers raised using foam squares, and in some places, double foam squares (my layouts are very rarely flat LOL). I carefully place all these elements and adjust them before giving them a press to attach them.

6. I attached the ribbon rose strip along the bottom of the photos, bordering the fussy cut flowers. Now I have dimension, texture, contrast. Next up were a couple of word strips just placed to peek out of the flowers. A sparkly button finished off with a bow filled a little empty looking spot.

7. And just to finish this part off, I remembered some word strips and I made a small banner out of the word “dream” which I then nestled into the flowers.

8. Next up, I also wanted to add one of my “signature” (not sure if this is really so but one or two people have commented on it!) bows to extend the clustering across the page. I cut a small piece of ribbon and a smaller piece of jutte type ribbon (which I actually bought in the Philippines which is the reason I HAD to put it down on this layout.) and then squeezed them together in the middle so that they formed a bow effect. I tied this off first.

9. Then I ran the loose ends of the twine through a button and pulled really tight to gather up that centre point. Another knot and bow to make sure its secure. At this point, I sometimes apply a glue dot or just liquid glue to keep it in place.

10. A swirly rub-on fills in some of the space above my bow.

11. And to finish, I picked out a couple of the colours from my photos with pins stuck under the button.

12. It’s at this stage that I might have a rummage through my embellishments and take a few things out to see if they have a place. Or I might notice a corner which doesn’t look balanced and need something to place there. Or I might decide that I want to enhance one of the elements or colours. I do a lot of button, brad or bling sprinkling too. In the case of this cluster, I left it as it was.

13. As you can see by the completed layout, it takes up quite a lot of the bottom third of my page and I think even for me, that’s probably enough.

So the basic principe remains the same if you are making a small or an extravagant cluster – biggest, flattest pieces first, followed by smaller, more dimensional items, finishing off with the very small buttons or bling or whatever last, on top, peeking out or in the middle. Remember to start small and build up. Don’t be afraid of repurposing/cutting/altering items, fussy cutting or looking in your local haberdashery for suitable items so that you have a lot of possibilities when building your cluster. There is no perfect way to cluster, it’s really just a matter of try it on and see if you like it, then practice until you establish what works for you. So why not find out what your cluster style is and try one today. ;-)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini challenge #1

This was a sweet challenge and one that was close to my recent ramblings over at Whimsical Musings about letters and handwriting and the importance of both.

Include a love letter on your layout to let that person know how much they mean to you. I love these kind of romantic gestures.

As my main kit, Record, isn't all *shock horror* pink and romantic, I chose to make a layout that doesn't look overly love themed, choosing a vellum envelope to house my "love letter". I like the way that you can see there's something handwritten inside but it's still private and hidden. I think I need to source more vellum - loving it so much right now!

A selection of little papers and photos randomly filling the grids of this super calender paper from KI and a twine loopy element was all that was needed to finish this off.

Letter writing is so therapeutic, why not try it yourself sometime?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

LOAD and me

Still working my way through my January Counterfeit Kit Challenge Resolve kit while LOADing. I actually don't know how I managed LOAD before I started playing along over at CKC - I reach for my kits more often than not and it's so easy. Love it!

I made this in response to the prompt "I miss..." which I bet you would never have guessed by looking at the layout, would you?!? *wink*

It may look like an odd photo to use but I was flipping through photos and ideas and this one spoke out to me as a worry-free time where putting on our make-up in the 6th form common room was the main priority of the day and yet we thought we had it hard!

January Resolve layout #6

I used several different blue items as a nod to the school uniform we wore until we were 16 even though I haven't matched the colours exactly. And there's my new favourite craze - glue splats and messy twine.

What's your favourite thing to do at the moment?


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