Monday, 26 January 2015

LOAD215 blog hop


So, it's that time of year again! 

LOAD215 begins in just a few days and we are all here (see list at the end of my post) today to share our collective wisdom on taking part in the most scrappy laughter you'll have all year, and having a chance of completing it too.

Yes, creating a scrapbook page each and every day for a whole month (or whatever your own personal monthly goal is), while having more fun that you thought possible, is totally doable. We are all proof of that.

This will be my 18th (!) LOAD which makes a whole lot of pages - more than 500 - and over the years, I've participated in several pre-LOAD blog hops. Check out my "Pre-LOAD posts" page there in the right side-bar (or click here). I've shared how I approach the month (relaxed), what I do to prepare (not a lot) and what I intend to get out of the month (community and plenty of smiles).

Several of my posts have ten point strategies for completing the month, basically boiling down to...
  1. Clear space
  2. Use that stash
  3. Preparation
  4. Sketches, Pinterest, Flickr favourites
  5. Glue & go
  6. Handwritten journalling
  7. Quick techniques
  8. Perfection is over-rated
  9. Be part of the LOAD community
  10. Have FUN!
But relating my advice to the theme of this blog hop - What do I wish I'd known? - I think my post before LOAD214 is probably the best I can offer here. I drew up a list of LOAD myths and then busted them! Check out the link to the post for all the details but let me just give you a quick, edited overview...
  1. This is a competition. No! You are not in competition with other layouts in the gallery, for the numbers other LOADsters might be achieving or for who does or doesn't win a spot prize. We are mostly doing this challenge for ourselves and our own personal satisfaction. 
  2. You HAVE to follow every prompt. No! The prompts are there to guide us as we go along but if they don't "speak" to you then there are no scrapbooking police round here. :-) Create the pages you want, when you want.
  3. If you miss a day, you might as well give up. No! If for some reason, you miss a day, then just continue when you can. Every page you create is a success.
  4. Every page needs to be a work of art OR made in 30 minutes. No! Don't feel that you have to do what others are doing if that doesn't sit well with you. Stay true to yourself and your pile of layouts on the 28th will be authentically yours.
  5. You are not at your scrap desk for one day and can't scrap. No! I've scrapped at the airport, on the train, written up stories to be scrapped on the go and stolen an hour to get my page done while visiting relatives. If you want to scrap, then find a way to fit it in :-)
  6. You are feeling discouraged and disheartened for whatever reason and want to give up. No! Come to the gallery and share what you're feeling. There's so many people over there who can offer support, advice, a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on. When we talk about the LOAD community, that's exactly what it is... a community. It's loving and friendly and welcoming. Use it as much as you can and you will be amazed at the connections and friendships you make. 
As always, my best advice to anyone joining us for the first or 20th time is to relax, enjoy the process and make sure you have fun. 

And to finish, I'll write what you can find at the bottom of every one of those pre-LOAD posts: Take a deep breath, clear off your scrap space, print off your photos, stock up on your adhesives, collect your supplies so that they are near to hand and enjoy the ride! I know I will be.


This is my layout pile from LOAD1014 which makes me very happy. Think of all those photos scrapped and stories told

I try to make a round-up page on the last day of each LOAD to capture my feelings about the creative month. These are often among my favourite of the whole month. What will February bring? Let's see what my 28th Feb layout has to say. I can't wait to find out

You can find all my previous blog post for tips and tricks about participating and completing LOAD on my Pre-LOAD posts page

And here's the full blog hop list today!

Karen
Nicole
Alice
Lisa
Wendy
Connie
Kelli
Lain
Christy
Lynnette
Danielle
Danielle
Leslie

Kirsty
Heather
Melissa
Valerie
Marcia

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Counterfeit Kit Challenge January member blog hop

Welcome to the first Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop of the year and I'm thrilled to be kicking off the hop too.

Just to remind you, we were given the following three challenges...

Challenge #1 spoke out to me as I like to record what I want to achieve in the year to come. Not resolutions as such - let's face it, they are just made to be broken - but just the direction I want to go and where I'd like to get by the end of the year.

And of course, as the layout was about me, then it had to be gold! So I picked out all the gold elements as well as a few other pretties from my January Welcome kit and got making.

I'm short of photos of myself right now hence the slightly "dodgy" one so I'll have to get onto taking some more for when I need them next.

I used my Studio Calico gold numbers for my list. I probably could have written some more to be honest, but I ran out of 1s






This was my one of my first layouts of 2015 and keeping it simple but still using product that makes me happy gently broke me in for the year. It's good to be back.

So, are you up and running again in the creative way so far this year? And do you have any goals for the year? Challenge #1 is perfect for you to make a reminder for yourself about where you'd like to be when December comes around all too fast.

Tina's next up so hop on over to her blog and here's the full list in case you get lost along the way.

CKCB              http://www.counterfeitkitchallenge.blogspot.com
Lisa                 http://lisahausmann.blogspot.de
Tina                 http://tinasscrapcorner.blogspot.com/
Susanne          http://snapsandsnippets.blogspot.com
Laura               http://beadsbuttonsandbirds.blogspot.co.uk/
Margie             http://scrappinmargie.blogspot.com
Virginia            http://celtichouse.blogspot.co.uk
Jemma            http://just-jimjams.blogspot.co.uk

Friday, 16 January 2015

15 loves {January 2015}

Welcome to the next in the series {15 loves} for 2015 based on the original concept by my beloved friend, Pam, back in January 2013. I shared my loves (mostly late) all through 2014 and now it's time to see if I can continue the series through 2015. I hope you will come back each month to see if there is anything in my list to inspire you. You can see all my {14 loves} {here} and now all my {15 loves} {here}

I hope there's something in here to inspire you or maybe just make you smile.

While January's list may be a day late, I promise to try to get them up on time in the months to come :-)

one

You might know that I'm a huge Tiffany fan. So I totally and utterly adore the Concierge of Love theme they have going on over there in the run up to Valentine's Day. Not only do the gorgeous videos feature plenty of pretty stuff, they are also full of fluttering paper hearts and other paper goodness.

 
Check out the Concierge of Love over at Tiffany's for some beautifully produced videos here

two

I love a good spoof and this one made me laugh out loud. I know you can relate!


three

I appreciate you might not be in love with Boxer puppies as much as me, but this Pinterest find is too much cuteness to let pass. Don't you think?

Pinterest source here

four

And if the t-shirt fits... I think I have to get one made like this - too funny

Source here

five

I think this is one of the prettiest cards I've seen in a long time. The link under the photo is to a blog post where she posts three similar versions of the same technique. I need to try this - just gorgeous.

Found at Stamp Away With Me

six

January's Scrapabilly kit was a total stunner. I know I say this every month but this one is really just super. I was sceptical about the lilacs and purple shades but I honestly can say that each layout came together like a dream. I'd buy another if I had enough snowy photos!

Scrapabilly January kit available here

seven

Yes, that's me...

Pinterest source here except I know that even on the 22nd, one is seriously a Scorpio and especially the year I was born. I've done my star chart and really, the 22nd was really Scorpio!

eight

This Instagram photo by my adopted baby, scrappy sister, Charly caught my attention right away. It's just gorgeous and seems to sum up everything I think about when I think about London. I'm hoping to get back there at some point in 2015 and I'd love to get a shot like this of my own!


nine

I saw this new paper line/company linked up on Facebook and fell in love with the "Up in the Clouds" collection right away! Click on the link below the photo to see the full range. Beautiful colours agains a bright, clean white background, a smattering of gold, pretty designs and a collection that I think belongs in my stash. Who could ask for more! I look forward to seeing more from PinkFresh Studio.

Find PinkFresh Studio and the Up in the Clouds collection here

ten

Studio Calico posted this mood board as a sneak and a hint for their Februay kit which will be revealed on 27th January. This has my name all over it. Shame I don't order stuff from the US due to the postage costs!

See the sneaks here and the mood board here

eleven

Fellow Counterfeit Kit Challenge Master Forger Stephanie, who blogs at Skyline Paperie is simply a wonderful scrapper and such a lovely person. She has a beautifully designed blog and is a far better and more regular blogger than me. I don't get over there often enough nor do I always comment but she's inspirational and creates wonderful layouts and cards. I'm sure she'd be delighted if you popped over to say hello!


twelve

The Belles are back again jingling their way through another year of Christmas card inspiration and I'm thrilled to be back on board. I've already made 4 cards for Christmas 2015. This year I WILL get ahead of the game.

Join in the Jingle Belles fun here

thirteen

I'm a member of Simple Scrapper and have to be honest that I just dip in from time to time. But I love the amount of content, inspiration and general guidance you get there as a member. There's a lot to be found over at their website for non-members too, including the Story Starters Challenge to kick-start your creativity. It's definitely worth being a part of this gentle, inspirational community and even though I'm not a very vocal or even active member of the group, I feel at home there. If you've not checked Simple Scrapper out, why not head over there and download some of the freebies to get a feel for what's on offer. 

Simple Scrapper

fourteen

Can you guess...


fifteen

Another Pinterest find that just spoke to me. Happens a lot...

Pinterest source here



Id love you to share your own {15 loves} lists with me. Why not link up in the comments below?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wednesday Wonderland

And we're off!

The wondrous girls over at Jingle Belles are back for another year of inspiration and merriment complete with a new logo. I think the header alone is enough inspiration to get me going on making those Christmas cards for the end of the year.


I didn't manage to make as many as I would have liked last year and ended up cutting some out with my Cameo - which was great but not the same as making them myself - so I'm determined to keep going with my weekly card creating as much as I can.

Anyway, this first prompt of the year is "No Time Like the Presents" or rather to use recycled gift wrap on our cards.

I came up with these two as a warm up to - hopefully - better cards to come!


I didn't have any wrapping paper itself to use so made good on the bits and pieces I had kept from the Scrapabilly Advent swap gifts.  I repurposed a small sentiment banner and the shiny, gold ribbon for card one and the deer's head was cut from a gold gift tag I just hadn't been able to throw away.


On this card, the tag and die-cut were originally on day 6 of my Advent swap and obviously inspired the tag on card one! The small sentiment was cut out of another of the Advent tags.


Both of these cards are simple and used up elements that were lying around - both from the Advent swap pressies, but also from the mini-card kit I made for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge post back in December.

I'm excited to see what ideas Lauren and Stephanie come up with for us over the next months and hope to play along more often than last year. I need to see that pile of completed cards growing!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Scrapabilly January kit shares (part 2)

Today I'm finishing off the shares I have for you with the January Scrapabilly kit (find it in the shop here).

As a reminder, here's the kit featuring a wide selection of BoBunny "Altitude" collection items.


I made a total of 6 layouts and 2 cards so if you want to see my previous shares, why not click back to Monday's post here.

For the remaining layouts, I added in purple glitter cardboard which came from a New Year's Eve cracker and coincidentally absolutely matched the kit, a small piece of Studio Calico printed vellum, a few gold and silver Thickers and mists.

This bokeh, snowflake paper was too pretty to cut up so I just used the full sheet as the background to this New Year layout #4. A small vellum pocket holds my journalling and I used my BigShot to cut the stars out of the smallest scrap of glitter which I salvaged from the cracker decoration at the dinner table. It matched so perfectly that I couldn't quite believe it!






Ah, there's the gold again! That feels better. Layout #5 again features such gorgeous bokeh, snowflake paper that just cried out to be used whole as my background. I layered up some remaining scraps from the kit and used a piece of vellum to tone it all down a little. The vellum snowflakes seemed a good way to add a little more embellishment without detracting from the background paper and I tucked the journalling round the edge which also acts as a sort of gold border to the whole page.




I think I need to invest in these two Martha Stewart snowflake punches - so perfect in so many ways.





Last up for layout #6, I again decided to use a whole sheet of paper as my background but added a small border of cardstock on two sides just to change things up a bit.

My November subject certainly didn't feature any snow weather but it was cold and crisp so the snow design on the paper isn't so far off! I added in a lot of little bits and pieces to layer things up and use up scraps but tried not to cover up too much of the gorgeous design.
 





So that's it for another month but I've had a sneak peek at February's Scrapabilly kit and you are not going to want to miss it. Another winner for sure.

As always, check out all this month's team creations over at the Scrapabilly gallery here or check out the team members' blogs there in my sidebar.

Thanks for dropping by and do let me know you were here! What do you think of me using snowflake paper for a page whose subject talks about the perfect weather on that day and not a single snowflake to be seen? Too much artistic license perhaps? :-)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Scrapabilly January kit shares (part 1)

I've been busy and it felt great.

The new January Scrapabilly kit (find it in the shop here) features some amazing items from the BoBunny "Altitude" collection (papers, alphas, stickers, buttons, film strip) as well as jewels, a charm, ribbons, veneer snowflakes, a bottle of Stickles, vellum, glitter cardstock and of course, regular cardstock. Phew, that was quite a kit!


Shades of purple are usually not the direction I tend to go but I have to admit, this collection of stunning papers and colours went together so well and worked so perfectly for a whole range of different photos and topics, that I am a lilac convert.

I really went to town with the kit and didn't stop until it was completely used up - 6 layouts and two cards. All that was left was a few tiny scraps of paper and a couple of the embellies.

For today's shares, all I needed to add in to the kit was a little cardstock, some silver thread that I found at my local haberdashery section, mists and a set of silver Thickers to complement the fantastically versatile sticker alphabet in the kit. I decided to create some glittery layouts in shades of silver and although it won't take away my love of gold, it was nice for a change!

For layout #1, it makes me happy to to see such recent photos (27th and 28th December) being put on a layout so soon. This, as I'm sure many of you will know, is not normal for me :-)







Layout #2 features yet another instgram photo steal of my ├╝ber-gorgeous niece. She always looks like she's modelling for a magazine. My sister has such style.







And of course, how could I resist featuring the ever-gorgeous Pam on layout #3 to record how we stay in touch across the miles.



I stretched the vellum by punching some snowflakes which I scattered across a few of my layouts. I love the dimension and detail they add but in such a subtle way,


The "Altitude" filmstrip was so gorgeous, I really wanted to cut it up and use it on more than one layout but I loved the look of the full width so much, I went with the whole strip being used at once. I really like how working with a kit pushes me to go for what I love rather than trying to "save" the best parts of the kit for later (which we know never comes.)



I was left with a few scraps and some bits and pieces as well as a larger piece of cardstock so I just decided to make two really simple cards to send out for the New Year. There are one or two people I didn't get around to sending Christmas greetings to so these will be really useful for that.

Sorry for the poor photo quality of these last two cards - I was chasing the fading light.




I'll post the remaining three layouts on the blog on Wednesday so do make sure you come back to check out my shares. As always, you can find all the items created with the Scrapabilly January kit over at the Scrapabilly gallery here and the links to the rest of the team's blogs are up there in my sidebar. I'm sure they'd love it if you dropped by to say hello. I'm sure they have some amazing layouts to show you and their card-making is truly inspirational too!

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