30 Jul 2012

Messy Mondays: Masking and misting

So back on the messy Mondays trail...I will probably be squeezed into the stands at the Olympics as you read this post. I'm glad that the Belgian persisted and signed us up for a ridiculous amount of events so that we secured at leats two in the end. I'm not the biggest sports spectator - but I do love an occassion and chance to take pics and scrapbook them afterwards!

Today I want to share a few techniques I have been using with misting.
I have a love / hate relationship with misting.
Sometimes it is the perfect thing to finish off my page.
Sometimes it destroys my page.

Here are some tips that I have learnt the hard way:
  • always try to mist FIRST before you lay down your pictures - or if you can't then cover all photos with scrap paper
  • if you are using stickers as a mask stick them onto your jeans or a jumper first so that they get wooly and less sticky and then don't pull your page up with them
  • you can dilute and mix colours with mists if you use a spare bottle with a spray lid
  • always practice first on scrap paper as different mists have different opaqueness and some can crumple your paper so its best to try to use cardstock
My first layout:

I loved this picture of the three of us outside this quaint little B&B in Julian, Calfornia. I had visions of using lots of apples on the layout but then I got my new Maya Road bronze mist and I decided to play around with vintage papers and misting to create a shabby chic layout.
I used the mist ot create a mat for my photo mat and then layered lots of bits of paper and ribbon on the top of it. The mist is quite thick and heavy and I should have diluted it or tried it out first as it was a bit heavy in parts and not as 'fluid' as I would have like - but hey ho! You all benefit from my mistake! I was happy with the overall layout and could have always added more layering at the top to cover it up!

My second layout:

A tribute to the yumminess that is Hummingbird bakery and their special cupcake of the day - Jame Donut. I was very impressed with the technique which I used for this layout and it was a bit of a fluke and a bit of an experiment so I was pleased when it proved successful.
I am a hoarder. Which scrapbooker is not? You always think 'oohh this could look nice on a layout' and so I have boxes and bags of random little tidbits just wating for their moment to shine on a layout! I had these merit stickers that I had used up at school - being the encouraging teacher that I am and all!
So I kept the negatives and I made sure that I got the stickiness out of it by sticking onto my duvet cover (comforter to my friends across the pond) and then stuck it on a plain piece of white card and got busy with the mists. I created a graduation of colour from turquoise to purple to pink and some shimmery silver on top for good measure. I decided that it reminded me of the circular pattern on the Hummingbird bakery walls and so I dug out these photos from last October.
I used lots of cutsey embellishments like my purple heart ribbon and I cut up a layout that was covered in cupcakes and sweet treats - I don't know which make it was.
Overall I was pretty pleased with the effect and now want to get my hands on some other coloured mists to try this out again. The mask was really only good for one use - so my eyes are peeled for a replacement.
I guess next term I'll have to keep being trigger happy with the merit stickers.
Surely it's a win/win situation all round?!

29 Jul 2012

Giveaway winner...

Thanks for all your kind words bloggers about my sunshine jars, my (our) anniversary, my outfit post (would you like more of these? I enjoyed doing it!) and my layouts.
I used random name picker - which is found on classtools.net a great tool that I use when I teach to decide who has to answer a question or who has to give a presentation first. One of my students is really shy and HATES speaking in front of the class and she told me that she has a panic attack every time I bring out the random name picker - so sometimes I sneakily omit her name and give her a knowing wink. I'm not here to cause panic attacks am I??? My younger students LOVE it though and they will do anything if their name comes up on the fruit machine- a great bargaining tool.
So without further ado the winner of giveaway...

(I tried to add the screen shot and it amde blogger go a bit crazy so...)

what a lovely idea Mel....looks like i'll have to make a trip to Wilko's too xx

Well Lousie no need for you to go! Louise is one of my most loyal and 'devoted' followers so it could not have gone to a better person. Please email me your address Louise - melide18@gmail.com
I will mail your package out at the end of the week as I am in London for the Olympics - yay! I will be posting some pics up soon of the handball and the view from inside the Olympic Park.
Hope you all enjoyed the opening ceremony as much as me.
'Brilliant, a little bit bonkers and very British' one of my friends tweeted and I couldn't agree more.

28 Jul 2012

Budapest tram meets Cosmo Cricket...

A few weeks back in my blog browsing this sketch over at Sarah's Crafts caught my eye. I had a big pizza box full of goodies from them only recently and so with stash to burn and holiday snaps of Budapest to scrap I got to work.
What I liked about this sketch was that it would work with my current preferred scrapping size of A4 and that I could include lots of layers whilst keeping the picture as the main focus.

I used Cosmo Crickets tea for two 6 by 6 pad and i just love the page that already looks like layers of paper strips or washi tape - it takes the guess work out of it completely. I also included a red Martha Stewart border to bring out the colour of the tram. The red spots were a happy accident as the cardstock that I punched the border out of was circular and these spots were the leftovers from this page that I was about to bin.
I jazzed some of them up with a green punched heart and then included two journalling spots - one for the handwritten journalling and the other for the ittle which I used my trusty dymo label maker to create. I love, love, love my packaging tape washi tape as it fits so well with all my travel layouts and with the colour scheme.

 Click on the picture for a better view as my editing software is on the other laptop and it's not working so well at the moment.
Do you love to use 6 by 6 pads on your layouts too?

Linking up with Sarah's Cards

P.S Don't forget to leave a comment on my giveaway by Sunday

P.P.S I have just been guest featured on Sarah's (a different Sarah - not from Sarah's crafts!) lovely blog - check it out!! My first ever guest feature.

26 Jul 2012

Food inspired scrapping with American Crafts...yum!

So now I have discovered photo collages I shall be making them all the time. I have a backlog of pages to share at the moment, but I don't want to rush it and I was them all to have their turn to shine so I thought today's post could follow the theme of food.
We're big eaters in my family. More specifically big eaters of desserts and anything sweet.
Hence why three out of the four sisters are into baking.
We always joke that on holidays all our pictures are of food and so it looks like that's all we do.
To be fair holidays are often focused upon food.
Aren't they?

My first layout (pictured below) focuses on our love of American junk food.
On a trip to London last half term my sister and I found an abundantly stocked little corner shop full of all things American - like marshmallow fluff, pop tarts in all sorts of crazy varieties and all things Hershey.
I brought a super sized tub of marshmallow fluff for making whoopee pies and then thought that this picture was worth scrapping about.
I had this sheet of AC knocking around for a while and couldn't find the perfect use but really was drawn to it. I find with overly busy pages it's best to include a matt to break up the pattern and ensure that the pattern doesn't swamp your pics.

My second layout features our buy one get one free frappes from Starbucks.
I used embossing and rule of three to embellish this layout and wanted to make these pictures the forefront of my layout.
A big title and some washi to embellish and et voila - layout complete!

The third layout is from Christmas Day when I went for dinner with the in-laws. It's my brother-in-law tucking into his oysters. I found it amusing as he picked the most expensive starter on the menu and his dad enquired if he was paying and I wanted the title to reflect this.
The journalling was written on a some Christmas labels that were 50p in a pre-Christmas sale at Ikea and we all used them for our pressies - but the leftovers made great journalling spots.

Do you often find yourselves taking pictures of food or scrapping about food - especially on holidays? Or is it just me?

24 Jul 2012

Three year Anniversary: PicMonkey photo collages

Although I am predominately a crafty blogger my guilty pleasure is checking out fashion blogs and so I thought I might indulge you with an outfit post - especially since I've just learnt how to make photo collages. I was pleased that the weather in England was actually nice enough to give my new zebra print dress an outing!
 Outfit details: dress - current range at H&M, cardigan - Primark, shoes - Zara, sunglasses - free with a magazine

Here is how we spent our day:

We took a steam train from Keighley to Howarth and back. We got the adult day rover ticket so that we could roam around for the day between all the stops and so that we could take the open air bus tour across the moors. It was a fab idea and a really fun experience.

In Howarth we went to our fav cafe Cobbles and Clay (which I will review soon on my other blog) and we decided to paint some gingerbread men as we like to collect Christmas tree decorations when we travel and of big events so that when we decorate our tree it is like a great trip down memory lane. So as you can see I was concentrating hard and even painted a 3 on his pocket so that we could remember that it was our third wedding anniversary. The Belgian, of course, painted his in the Club Bruges Kit. He is nothing if not dedicated!

If you are visiting Yorkshire anytime soon I would definitely recommend it for a day out - with kids or otherwise!

Check out the giveaway in my previous post - ending Sunday and open to international bloggers too!

22 Jul 2012

Sunday session: Care packages giveaway!

 I have been musing over the last few weeks how it really is the small and thoughtful things which means the most. I recieved these three care packages over the last month and they really made my day and cheered me up when I recieved them. The third was biscotti all the way from New York and it was delish! Do you know the funniest thing two of the senders were total strangers and they were just blog related RAKs? So I think I am going to pass along the love...first to people I actually know and then to...well...relative strangers via a giveaway. So make sure that you comment on this post to qualify.

 I got some of the ideas for my care packages from this blog she sent some friends packages of sunshine and I felt that my fellow Brits would appreciate some sunshine in all this rain. Although today the sun has made an appearance an the pub gardens are overflowing and badly fake tanned flesh is endemic in the high streets of a town near YOU!
So I headed to Wilkinsons to get some cheap and cheerful yellow coloured little pressies to fill these packages. And oh my gosh how cool have Wilkos gone? They even have some scrapbook worthy stationary like these post-its for a pound and lightbulb shaped paper clips - yay! Those were MY treat!

 So recipient number who has two little boys is getting this stash of goodies...

 Recipient two, who is off on a camping trip with her daughter, is getting these goodies...

 I packaged them like this...

So if you want to recieve a package filled with sunshine then comment below...will draw the winner NEXT SUNDAY at 8pm!
International friends welcome. Real friends welcome too!

21 Jul 2012

Amy Tangerine 6 by 6 LOVE!

So have you worked out what my new fav supply is? No, not my dynamo. Well it kinda is! No, not my JB paint dauber - although that is amazing! No, it's my 6 by 6 paper pads. Why do I love them so? Let me count the ways:
  • Very versatille
  • Perfects for oodles of layering
  • Takes the guess work out of coordinating a layout
  • Perfect for my new smaller scrapping
  • Often when I have a pretty sheet of 12 by 12 I am reluctant to cut into it - but not with these smaller versions
  • Perfect for embellishments and little journalling spots
  • The border page is great for edging pics
  • Perfect for cardmaking (which I rarely do, but you know - just saying'!)
So the other night I was playing with this:

 By the ever creative and funky Amy Tangerine and I discovered a photo from our English department's murder mystery party that I hadn't scrapped yet and so I played around and made this:

The greatest thing about the 6 by 6 pads is that you can just cut bits and match bits and it all coorindaes already and so you end up with a true 'scrap'book page. I went for the rule of three with the punched out and inked hearts. I also created the little rosettes using my fiskars punches.
In other news:
  • Last day of school yesterday. Woo hoo! The Belgian is leaving his job at Primary School (or elementary for all you Americans) and coming back to work at my High School and so he came home laden with chocolates - some of which we are going to have to 'regift' otherwise I will just eat them all. I have already made a sizeable dent in a chocolate orange!
  • The Belgian is very busy organsing a boy's camp for next week. I am loving how focused he is over it, but it is driving me potty having to proof read emails, help with timetables and abuse my ebay ordering large marquis and other items. We've been having a nightmare with couriers this week - they are such a pain and don't seem to realise that people do actually work (well during term time at least!)
  • This Wednesday is our three year wedding anniversary and so to make up for the fact he is on said camp I am being taken away to the Lake District this weekend. Expect some pretty photos if the weather stays good (always a risky business in Sunny England!)
  • Next weekend we are off to London for the Olympics - so this first week of the holidays it is all go and everything seems to be crammed in. Just think of all the laundry when we get back from all these mini breaks, *Shudder!*
Right folks we are off to the dizzying heights of pound land to load up on water guns, toilet rolls and other such excting items. for his camp of course - not our romantic weekend away!

16 Jul 2012

Messy Mondays: Embellishing with stamps!

Do you ever make a layout and feel that it is not quite finished?
It just needs a little embellishment in one of the corner or a border?
But as you root around in your stash you cannot find the right colour.
Everything seems wrong...
So bust out the stamps and the Jenni Bowlin paint dauber and add some home made embellies.
I especially like the recurring motif with a word stamp.
Thanks Amy Tangerine.

14 Jul 2012

Saturday scraption time...

So I have some new layouts to share with you - well they are new to you but I have probably completed them some time in the last month - with the background noise of one of these chick flicks off netflix:-
  • One Fine Day- featuring a very fine George Clooney
  • Raising Helen - was so so, I do love Kate Hudson though
  • Jersey Girl - again average but watchable, quite sweet
  • The Prince and Me - fluff!
  • Perfect Opposites - this was shockingly bad
  • Prime - I quite enjoyed this, Uma is quite a good female leed
  • Stepmom - always makes me cry (loads!)
  • The Last Song - very, very cheesy but then it is Nicolas Sparks!
  • Whip It - probably my fav out the bunch as I'd never seen it before and I enjoyed the more alternative vibe
 It may seem like a lot but I rarely watched them all in one - instead I would watch half an hour here and there. My timetable's a lot lighter in the summer as three of my classes have finished their exams and left and so I only have two or three classes a day. It's bliss and good for winding down ready for the summer.

But you didn't come here to talk cheesy chick flicks and timetables did you? No you came for some inspiration and nosy at what I have been producing. Most of these layouts only took me about half an hour and I just used the scraps and bits that I had on my crafting desk.
You may notice my slight obsession with my dynamo label maker.
And bling.
And bright and funky patterned paper.
It could be to do with a certain order from gottacraft as they were closing down and were doing grab boxes worth £75 for only £25 and so the Belgian gave my permission to get two and boy was I glad that I did!

Totally and shamelessly scraplifting from October Afternoon's mix and match Monday gallery - I used Amy Tangerine's cute new range

A layout documenting our love for Nando's chicken (well I am a flexitarian so I love their veggie pitas more) but those peri peri chips - say no more! Using gorgeous paper from Lilybee
A double layout about our New Years trip to Hickory's steak house in Chester and how desperately we wanted to try their goodies! Including Oreo shakes and rootbeer!)

It wouldn't be Christmas without a new board game and so we went for Pointless this year and it afforded us hours of fun. I glimmer misted the '&' onto this page - using a negative and just scraps and washi left over from all my other projects.

So bloggers - what do you normally blog and scrap too?

9 Jul 2012

Messy Mondays: Creating borders with paints and stamps!

So last week I shared some ideas for using paint to create backing paper for your layouts. This Monday I am bringing you some ideas of how to use paint with stamps to jazz up the borders of your layouts.
The first layout is created using a humble sponge, lid of tin (as a mixing palette), green acrylic paint and a really old stamp which cost me no more than a pound. I very simply created a recurring motif with it - refuelling on paint with each stamp.

A closer look at my handiwork and all the layering. The title is stamped too in the same method.

The second layout was sat 'finished' in my scrap room - but I felt it was lacking something. One Jenni Bowlin paint dabber and a swirl stamp later and I now feel it is finished properly and framed effectively. I just placed newspaper behind the layout and let it hang off the page.

 A closer look at those swirls...

The third layout was less messy than paint as I used my Maya Road mist. I sprayed some mist into the lid and then used my paint dauber and inked the edges to make it stand out more - click on the image for a closer look as this picture wasn't edited first!

Do you like the secret picture between the pritt pads?

Lastly - perhaps my favourite of the four a New Year's Eve layout. I hope my sister forgives me as she thought that this pic wasn't very flattering - but it was all I had. I used my JB ink dauber and a star stamp to create a border around the top. I like the contrast of the black with the bright colours. I also created a 'shaker box' using the packaging from some stickers and lots of confetti and punched out stars - I attached it with washi tape and a paper clip and I was very pleased with the results and think I will play with shaker boxes again soon.

Next Monday  I will be showing you a step-by-step how to for creating a mini canvas with paint - till then have a great week and happy crafting. Go get those hands messy...
I am linking up with a challenge over at Fiskars to use stamping in a project.

6 Jul 2012

Buildings of Budapest...

Using a black and white photo to contrast the coloured picture of some of the lovely building in Budapest.

Some stamping with black paint to jazz up the borders and check out the photo corners - these were stickers

I embossed the city in white so that it was muted and understated - but then outlined it in green to make it pop

Inspired by the muted tone challenge over at the Studio Challenges blog this month.
I am seriously over this rain now. Where is our summer? Are we ever going to see any sunshine?

2 Jul 2012

Messy Mondays: Using stamps with paint

Good day to you bloggers. I have been experimenting with paint recently as it's an economical and very quick way to add embellishments to your layouts. I have a much neglected box of stamps which I dusted off  to use of the layouts below. 
Months ago when I was stocking up on stash I got a Jenni Bowlin for Ranger no.12 fountain pen acrylic ink dabber and then I promptly forgot about it. To be honest I wasn't sure what to do with it. But now I have discovered you simply dab it on top of the stamp and get a really clear and almost embossed image.
Here are some of the layouts that I created where I used the stamping to create backing paper. I started off with Kraft cardstock for both layouts. The layout below I used two different stamps to create a recurring pattern and then sprayed tattered angels' marshmallow glimmer mist to give the backing a nice glittery sheen and a matt finish. I also stamped on the picture using other stamps from the same set - I don't know the name of the make as I always take stamps out of their packaging to store them. I think that it makes quite a striking page which I didn't feel needed much other embellishment than a tag stamped with the title and some bakers twine. 

 This second layout was inspired by Jen's challenge over at Two Peas and I was so pleased with the effect that I will definately try it again with a different stamps. There is a video on the blog too and I love scrapping along to video's much more than written instructions. 
I used my journalling spots and the Jenni Bowlin dabber to create the recurring pattern and then added the two little pics, title and journalling. It is all about how my friend's little girl can say my husband's name so clearly when most adults struggle to say it right. It is Arne - but people often pronounce it "Arnie" or "Arn" and don't pronounce the 'e' at the end. The layout started as a status update on my facebook and then i decided to use it as a layout as I found these pics we had taken when we kidnapped her one day. (Please don't be concerned her parents were aware that the kidnapping was taking place!) 

Have you ever created a background that you were really proud of using stamps and paint? Please share it and I'll be back next Monday to share ideas for using paint and stamps to create effective page borders.

1 Jul 2012

Storytelling Sunday: The one about Hester the Hoarder!

Sian's story over on her blog for Storytelling Sunday made me think of a girl I used to know (well actually I still do, but it sounded better in the past tense...) and who I used to rent a little hovel with in Leeds when I moved up to do my teacher training at Leeds Uni. We used to called her Hester Wildchild, as this was her teenage nickname and I believe that there was even a fan club in her honour, but one thing is for sure there was never a dull moment with her around!
She was, however, a huge hoarder. She also had the smallest little box room in our house and it was always spilling with all her shoes and clothes - she had a bit of a shopping habit and worked in the town centre and would often return laden with bags full of treasures! She liked to keep lots of memorablilia and not scrappable stuff like napkins or leaflets - big things for her small room.
So when she came home from the cinema one night with a life sized cardboard cutout of Ben and Jerry's we thought that it was a big joke and she would get rid of it. However when we went into her room to sing into our hairbrushes along with Whitney we would have to contort ourselves around this sign. Plus when she came to move a year on the sign went with her - rather than onto the rubbish heap which is where I would have put it! It was similar to the one pictured below - I seem to have a few pictureless years when I didn't have a camera clamped to my hand the whole time and this was that time. I guess I was too busy having fun!

The second 'little' momento she aquired during this year was a temporary bus stop - similar to the one below but more red and slightly smaller but a lot heavier. It was the heaviest thing you have ever picked up. Although we were in our twenties we were no longer students and you know stealing road signs is a student type thing to do...but she seemed to *find* this on a night out. It became her jewellery stand and again when it came to moving day a year on she could not be parted with this item of memorabilia.

Whilst living with her we both met the men we were to marry. She kept many interesting items from their dates - including the empty Ben and Jerry's tub from the first tub they shared together. I think if she was to be a scrapbooker she would have produced very chunky albums and I think her husband is as bemused by the random clutter as we all were.
But I did help her move into her new marital home and was glad to help her load a very heavy item off the removal truck. Yep you guessed it. The bus stop. Well where would she keep her jewellery otherwise...?
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