Sunday, 20 February 2011

And so LOAD continues...

I am loving LOAD this time around. Almost more than the previous times.

I think it's just because I am having fun and doing layouts that I love and sticking down photos that have memories attached and using up papers and kits and supplies and feeling the love of the community over there at Flickr!

I have even managed to make extra layouts, catching up with my 12on12's last Sunday (I made 4 in one day!) and today finishing up a commission for The Scrapbook Magazine.

11th February

Five Item Friday - 2 patterned papers, an alpha, something considered office supplies and a border punch.

I had these gorgeous paperclips that I bought years ago at Habitat and knew that I would find a use for them sooner or later. This was the day! Ok, so I added in some string and the little mini alpha but I did try to get creative with the embellishments with the papers including some serious "stealing the middle" of the papers to have enough left over to make my flower and leaves.

12th February

Use a colour scheme called Adacity (from the colour website

I was rather uninspired by the colours when I first saw them - not really my taste, especially the purple - but then I got to mixing up some papers and the title really got me going. All I could think about what the meaning of the word and how it seemed to sum up Isabella. If anyone is audacious, then it can only be her!

13th February

Today's prompt was to "Kill Maybe". Make decisions and go for it. Don't try double guessing every decision we make when designing a layout.

Relatively easy for me as this is the way I try to scrap most of the time. I learnt it in my Heidi Swapp class back in 2007 - "Glue and Go". I used to be much more indecisive, wanting everything to be perfect but now I am more relaxed and mix and match until I like the look of it.

Since coming up with this simple grid design for my 12on12, I can run them off so quickly and so it was easy for me to catch up completely, finishing Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb all at once! I even got my Cricut out and cut some numbers (never have enough for all those 12's and years.) I made really quick decisions, using up papers that I don't love as much as I used to which was good to see them used up and put to good use.

14th February

Happy Valentine's Day!

Take inspiration from a digital layout.

I love to "favourite" the best layouts I see in LOAD so that I can be inspired later down the line which was perfect for this prompt. I found a gorgeous layout from February last year which I had been so impressed with and decided to see how far I could go down the white space way of scrapping! This layout is quite a close lift and it took me forever! Somehow, with all that white space, I needed to be more particular with spacing, measurements etc but I got it done eventually and was pleased with how it went. But I won't be making such a sparse layout again in a hurry. Too few products on the page - it would take me a lifetime to use up all my stash if I made layouts like this all the time!

The original layout can be found here

15th February

Product highlight - use ribbons in a new or original way.

I was still feeling the romance of Valentine's Day and decided that last year's February kit teamed up with Paris photos was perfect and I made three ribbon roses to go with it. I got covered with glue in the process, but was pleased with how they looked in the end. I ought to make more as I have so many ribbons in my stash and really struggle to use it up.

16th February

Lift a layout - whole, part or just an element.

We were given a beautiful layout by Melanie Louette but it was rather structured for me so I used the music paper on the layout as a starting point for mine. I had seen these photos when I fished out yesterday's and decided that it was now or never to record this odd little story. This sequence of cloud photos was taken over the space of two minutes and we literally could see the clouds forming and growing in front of our eyes. It's good to stop sometimes and take time to really just gaze up at the skies.

17th February

Use quotes to inspire: “It isn’t the great big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.” –Jean Webster, Daddy Long-Legs

I used the end of the quote to think of the way that we don't take many real holidays but make the shortest breaks into holidays in their own right - be it a weekend in Switzerland visiting friends, or just an overnight in our local hotel here in Recklinghausen. I adore this kit from last year and am sad that it is almost gone :-( Totally my colours and designs. Sorry for the number of banners I am producing - can't help but make them at the moment.

18th February

Five Item Friday - use five pieces of patterned paper and a bonus item of an alphabet (It was Lain's birthday and she was feeling generous!).

I lifted myself for this layout which was in turn a lift from Maggie Holmes over at SC. I just loved the title of the layout and when I saw this photo which had been hanging around for ages, thought it was ideal. I really did only use 5 pieces of paper and in fact, they were only partial pages that I got from my scrap box. I decided to go with the punch for the butterflies and the scallops for the flower which is a bit cheaty but it needed more than flat paper.

19th February

Today's prompt was to get inspiration from things right in front of our eyes and offered a small bright coloured notebook to use as our inspiration.

To begin with, I thought about going my own way because I didn't get anything from looking at the notebook, but then I thought that the bright colours of the notebook were interesting and the stems, flowers and bird were something that was quite me. I grabbed a totally unused kit and dug in. I have come to realise that there is something good in every kit, I just have to see past the obvious. I used what is obviously the backs of several of the pages and cut out the stems from a particularly dull piece. I punched flowers from a spotty transparency and added buttons and a little bird to pick up the inspiration piece. I found these photos of Jess and thought a tribute page might be nice. I trimmed down four of the photos so that they just show details and added a few details.

20th February

We were supposed to embrace imperfection to the point of actually making a deliberate mistake. Mmmm.

I decided that I make enough mistakes on my layouts on a regular basis that it wasn't really necessary for me to do it on purpose. I often get splodges of ink right on my photos or globs of glue in the most inconvenient of places. And then there are the wonky photos and my handwriting mistakes!

So I just grabbed yet another of my unfinished kits and looked through my photos until I found some that could work with the more masculine elements of the kit. I kind of like this one - me but not me if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

No Red?

LOAD is keeping me really busy and I am loving every minute of it - will post some more of my layouts soon - but this evening, I managed to pull together a little card to keep up with the Jingle Belles Christmas card challenge.

My small growing pile of cards is keeping me motivated and the idea of all that work avoided at the end of the year - such a good feeling!

This week's challenge #7 was "No Red, she said" - so anything goes except the traditional colour red.

We are so lucky that there are so many gorgeous papers and Christmas products that come in modern colours and designs, so I picked through my supplies and decided to go all the way on the non-traditional scale as far as colour goes. An ice glittered snowflakes makes it a bit more festive!

Thanks Jingle Belles for such great challenges and such a great idea! I'm so loving it!

Monday, 14 February 2011

It's 14th February...

... which means that it's Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope your day is filled with love and kisses and lots of chocolate!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Whole LOADa Fun!

LOAD February 2011 is full underway and the creativity is flowing. It's a bit tricky to keep up with the important things in life such as cleaning the bathroom (yeah right! ;-)  ) and feeding us both in the evenings, but the Martha Stewart in me will just have to wait until March (as if!).

I am targeting old stash which may be out of date, but it's stuff I still love (or it wouldn't still be sitting on my shelf) and therefore, it's a pity that it is forgotten. So far, it's working and I love seeing these papers reappear out of the depths of my room.

This month's theme is "Inspiration" and Lain is giving us a daily inspiration prompt which are encouraging us to really think about all the places which can spark our creativity. So far so good.

1st February

Take a stack of photos and flip through them. Take out the first that grab your attention and away you go.

These gorgeous ones of Cameron did exactly that and off I went. I can't take any credit for the photos - I kind of swiped them off Liberty's laptop (with permission of course!). I teamed the photos up with some really old product from BG - these papers were some of the first I got  but I still love them and have just been waiting for that special moment to use them up. Bizarrely, I seem to have two copies of each so I don't really feel like I have used them up!

2nd February

Go to ebay and type in your name. Take inspiration from the results.

I was really skeptical about this one - what one earth was that going to bring? Well, there was a book by Lisa Something or other which featured a blue monochrome cover with lots of branches that I thought was interesting. When I saw what others had done with this idea in the gallery, I realised just how wide that "take inspiration" can be. This is definitely something I will do again in the future. It was a lot of fun.

3rd February

Use the title of a song or the lyrics to title and feature on your page.

Those of you who know me personally won't be surprised by this one. I chose Elton John's The One to highlight the one and only time in more than 12 years that we have danced! The words say it all. I loved how this came together.

4th February

Five on Friday - the five product challenge. Two pieces of patterned paper, some bling, an alpha and 18" ribbon. Lain generously allowed us free cardstock, pens etc.

I started off by deciding I would use this Bella Blvd paper left over from a magazine layout last summer. The line was perfect as the papers were double sided, with elements and strips on the other side as well as having an alpha which included two fonts and some stickers. So I guess I "cheated" a bit! But I couldn't work in the ribbon so I saved there! As soon as I had decided on the papers, I then knew that I needed to find some of these Maddie photos. She is a cutie and a half!

5th February

We were given a page from a magazine as inspiration - a contents page.

I liked the large and two small photos and after flipping through my photo files, I knew that I wanted to do a teenager in the house page and another set of half used papers from American Crafts seemed to fit the "house" theme.

6th February

Look into your inspiration file and use it.

This design was from the Nic H class I did last year "Colour! or is it Color?" that I just love so much. I love the strips of paper and the space for a lot of journalling. I used the anniversary card I created and I made a small pocket inside the card for the silly little copper wire hanger I had included as a little present.

7th February

Use colour to conjure up an emotion even if it's not a colour or combination that is usually thought of.

I'd seen a lot of greys aroudn the galleries recently and decided that I wanted to try it out. I matched it up with a pretty picture to make a calming layout. More old BG (Ambrosia and Blush).

8th February

Product inspiration - use buttons in a new or original way.

I used my Flickr favourites file and looked for ideas. I came across a gorgeous digital layout with a tree topped with heart leaves. I grabbed this favourite Scrapagogo kit from last year and pulled this together quite quickly. I know it seems like I do a disproportionate number of  Ted layouts but over the last few years he has spent a total of about four months with us and we have tried to do a lot of local sightseeing and activities. Therefore, I have a LOT of photos of him and events which makes for a lot of layouts.

9th February

Use a sketch.

The is based on one half of a double sketch and I decided to even things up by featuring the adorable Isabella having done the other two Chance kiddies earlier in the week. Photos courtesy of Liberty again. Using up some more old papers. Every time I use Crate Paper, I realise how much I love it. So looking forward to their CHA released papers to hit the shops. Portrait and Emma's Shoppe look like gorgeous ranges to get.

10th February

I didn't follow the prompt today as I had the idea of this layout and wanted to get it finished. I had sorted out these photos when I had done the Ted layout two days ago and decided that it would be nice to get these Köln (Cologne) Cathedral photos done. Again using the Nic H design from a few days ago but also a fellow LOADster, Cathy D's 4 photo design.

Well, that was the first ten days of LOAD and as usual, I'm having a ball! It's so wonderful to be creative every day and to be surrounded by talent, by inspirational scrapbookers and LOAD friends and to be having fun.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

... well, it IS still winter after all!

Don't know how I will feel about this kind of challenge in the summer, but it's still early enough in the year for the cold feeling to still be very much present. Ask my toes early in the morning after standing on the platform for 15 minutes!

Anyway, Jingle Belles challenge #6 is exactly this sentiment, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - meaning scarves, gloves, mittens and hats, or using felt.

For these one-off Christmas cards, I am determined to use up lots of the stash that I have lying around that I don't really imagine using on layouts - and I have a lot! It's stuff that I don't necessarily love enough to use on precious layouts but I don't not love it enough to pass it on! So I think that cards might be the perfect way to use them all up.

So delving into my bits and pieces, I came up with this simple one to start off, using a piece of felt border that I have had for at least two Christmases and was unopened:

And deciding that it wasn't exactly my favourite, I came up with this even more simple card:

I now have 7 cards ready for December! Talk about getting ahead - that feels great!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Hello sunshine... we've missed you

Sunshine all day. Blue skies and long shadows.

What a lovely surprise after so many weeks of clouds and grey, damp weather.

I'm not ready for winter to be over (you know me, loving the cold weather!) but I love to see signs of spring around the corner.

Isn't nature amazing?

I just hope that the next cold snap that is bound to come before the end of winter doesn't harm all this wonderful new growth. 

On the creative front, LOAD is underway and I am having such a good time and I am creating wonderful (if I say so myself!) layouts that tell some of the stories that have been calling me and using up photos and stash and memorabilia. It feels good. 

I will be posting LOAD layouts later this week, but in the meantime, how about a few sneak peeks of some magazine layouts that I had lots of fun creating recently?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

One Little Word 2011

"Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?" 

Mary Manin Morrissey

New year, new word. 

For the 5th time, at the end of 2010 and for the first week or so of 2011, I concentrated on finding a word that meant something special to me. 

Something that I want to work on this year. 

Some part of me that needs improvement. 

Something that represents what I want this year to be for me and for us.

The word that suddenly appeared to me after a few false starts is: RELEASE.

There are so many ins and outs and different meanings to this word and that is what makes it perfect. I want it all. It won't be an easy word to keep in mind as I often function in exactly the opposite way to this - I'm a Scorpio after all ;-) who never forgets a slight or a grudge and is über-secretive. But it's an opportunity for me to try a new way. 

And that is exactly what OLW is all about.

To mark my new word, there is of course, a new layout which I completed this week as part of LOAD (more on that in a day or two). Please excuse the poor photo but all my scrapping is happening in the evenings right now and that means evening, electric light photos producing rather grotty results! I am hoping to use the daylight tomorrow to retake the LOAD layout photos so far to post here on my blog but this will have to do for now.

For us scrapbookers, Ali Edwards kicked off this One Little Word movement and for those of you who are interested in finding out more a, you can link to Ali Edwards blog (here) where she explains how it all started. She also has a year long class over at BPC this year (here) relating to OLW which I hear is very good and so inspirational.

My previous posts for my words can be found here (20072009, 2010) and some years have definitely been more successful than others. 2010 was a bit of a disaster as far as "Ahead" goes, but another year, another chance!

Do you have a word? What are you doing to keep it fresh and alive?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Christmas Card Challenge!

Right back at the beginning of January, Deb starting blogging about her latest card challenge find - Jingle Belles. What a great concept - create a single card each week of the year and then, by next December, you will have a gorgeous pile of cards ready to go! Wow, I love this idea. In theory, I have time to make a card every week, right?

Well, it took me a few weeks to really decide to jump on board but by the time Deb had created her fourth card and I already had a vision in my head of the lovely, growing pile of cards that she had, I was hooked.

I want to say right here and now that I am NO card maker. I can't seem to get inspired by the small format and really struggle not to do the same old design that I always make but with the challenges each week, I am trying out new things. Actually, I think I will just copy Deb and hope that the talent sticks!

I caught up with the first four weeks and now have just managed to do this week's challenge.

Week 5 is to use a really simple but pretty sketch by Amy Tsuruta.

So here is my #5 based on the sketch:

This is #4 based on the colour scheme of dark pink, light pink and lime green:

And #3 which was to use paint. This is totally my least favourite so far but at least I made an effort to get out the paints (I'm usually far too lazy!). It seems to need something on the left but what?

Week #2 was to use inchies or twinchies (!) and it so happened that I had these little stickers that were 1" square - perfect!

And therefore this must be #1 which was something old, something new - the centre piece was recycled from a lovely Christmas card I received this year. It felt good to use it along with some pretty dots.

I know that I need a lot more practice but that is half the fun. I hope to get inspired by the others and I won't worry if I miss a week or ten! But I already have 5 cards ready for this year's festivities and I am using up some of the huge amount of Christmas stash that I seem to have accumulated. Much of this stash is old and I no longer love it as much as I did which is a shame so I am hoping to really get it used up in a new way.

Oh yes, and excuse the awful photos! Typical winter problem with a total lack of decent daylight!


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