Friday, 29 April 2011

Bet you don't know what I'm up to today....

.... I've got a day off.

I'm sitting inside.

I've got the TV on.

The scones are sitting on the side ready to be scoffed.

The bubbles have been poured.

And a tear or two have been shed.

Yes, I'm one of the 2 billion (!) people world-wide watching "THE" wedding today!

SOOC so it's a bit wonky! But you get the idea!

Can't help it - I've loved it all!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

What do red vellum and Earth Day have in common?

This week's Jingle Belles challenge was inspired by the combination of some junk mail and Earth Day. 

Kathe Deck is this week's guest designer (she can be found on her blog here) and was inspired by a red vellum envelope she came across when sorting through a pile of junk mail. She went home thinking, ""It would be good for something...oh, it would be great for a Christmas card... wouldn't it be really great if the Jingle Belles gave us reuse/recycle theme? Maybe they'd tie it to Earth Day or something like that..." 

Well, they did!

So re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle or up-cycle.

Out. Of. My. Box. 

I don't know why I found this so difficult - I want to be more eco-friendly, honest! But my mind was blank. It has taken me all week to just decide to go for it.

I had a Christmas card that I cut up for the white glitter background, the sentiment and the snowflake (which was on the front and I adore), then I used some Prima packaging as a splash of colour and then the ribbon was an odd scrap I had which probably came off a present. The cardstock is just from my supplies but is part of my unloved collection of colours that I am trying to work through for my Christmas cards rather than just throwing away. 

Can you believe that it's week 17 already? 

May is just a few days away....

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

New photo, not so new layout

Back from my Easter sightseeing and it was amazing - I will share some piccies soon. We walked, we sat, we ate, we drank and we soaked ourselves in the history and beauty of the place. It was a stunning few days...

But back to reality with work and scrapping.

As mentioned in my previous post, I completed another layout using my Counterfeit Kit some days ago but hadn't noticed that my photo of it was pretty pants! (What is it with the light these days? I thought everything would get easier for photographing my layouts once the days got longer and sunnier, although I think this might say more about my photography skills right now.)

Anyway, I got out there earlier this morning and took another photo so that I can share it with you - it's still not perfect, but it's better.

I've got so many fun fair photos that it's difficult to know what to do with them all. But one or two more of these types of layouts can probably still be made. Crange Kirmes (Kirmes = fun fair in Germany) is a classic tradition in the region where we live. It's quite famous and I know that I have written about it before, especially as Ted and I have gone every summer for the last few years.

I manage a few rides but have noticed in recent years that they hit me harder and harder! I think I'm getting too old for this malarky but Ted is grateful that I do manage some of the stomach tumbling ones!

I wanted to make this a bit lighthearted and whimsical, so I included some glittery clusters and somewhat mismatched products. I think it worked.

Oh, and I did some serious stealing the middle of my papers to make the pretty ones go further!

I want to get the last of the kit used up and posted by the end of the month because May's LOAD is looming now... which is pretty exciting.

This kit has been so much fun to use up and I have created 6 really different layouts - goal reached! Now I just have to run off a couple of simple cards using the leftovers and I will have done everything I wanted to do this month.

I'll be getting ready for LOAD this week. Tidying, sorting, organising, thinking.. can't wait!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter Greetings

I'm enjoying a bit of Easter sightseeing which I will share with you soon.

But it's wonderful to have a long weekend with gorgeous sunny weather and nothing to do but spend time together and take some wonderful (hopefully!) photographs.

How's the Easter weather where you are? All I can say is that I broke out the factor 30 today to protect my overly white and pasty coloured English skin :-)

Anyway, really just a quickie to say hi wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

I was going to post a layout I made using my Counterfeit Kit but I've just realised it's a horrible photo (with a horrible blue tinge to it for some reason) so I won't do that after all.

How about a little photo album scrapbook (PAS - a la Stacy Julian) instead?

I had a handful of AC scraps left in my kit, so I added in some more scraps and created this little album in next to no time. I used letters (BG)  and stickers (old Love Elsie!) from the kit although now I have to go back over and do the writing again as all the ink smudged on the stickers. I might have to just cover up the writing with some paper and do it again. Don't you hate it when that happens - pen or sticker problem?

Super cute, super simple, super fast. Loads of photos used up at once.

One happy (Easter) bunny here wishing you many eggs and lots of chocolate tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wednesdays are to DIE for!

Another Wednesday, another Jingle Belles challenge, another Christmas card to add to the pile!

We've been challenged to use die cuts - of any sort - on our cards.

I really wanted to go to town on this one. Drag the Cricut out, use the Christmas cartridge that I "had" to have, you know.... the whole caboodle!

But then I ran out of time. And I went for the easy option.

I cut two scalloped circles with my Cuttlebug, used a Cosmo die-cut shape and a snowflake sticker on top.

Simple, but done.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Calendar Inspiration

In my last blog post, I talked about a fun new widget I'd installed on my blog listing special days and famous birthdays. I also talked about a class I did in the past over at BPC based on the great book, The Scrapbooker's Almanac, which takes inspiration from the calendar - special days, birthdays, anniversaries. That got me thinking...

Well, never one to underachieve, I've been at it again!

Thursday last week (14th April) listed "International Moment of Laughter Day" and "Look Up At The Sky Day".

Both of these just screamed, "Lisa pages! Scrap me!"

So I did.

My Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit (still without name, shame), has proved so successful this month and is almost all used up. But not before it helped me with these two layouts.

They were both completed almost exclusively with the kit - I added in a few more brads I think (ever mindful of my objectives from the beginning of the month).

"Look Up At The Sky Day" was perfect for a handful of sky photos which is one of my favourite subjects. I am fascinated by the clouds, the incredible colours, the play of the sun behind the clouds or even buildings. I have dozens and dozens of photos of sky. This couldn't have been more perfect. I even just lifted the day's name directly for my title.

Layouts like this make me happy.

I made a couple of ribbon flowers but would like to ask anyone who has made these how I can avoid getting glue EVERYWHERE! I ended up placing these pearls on the flowers just to cover up the globs of glue that I couldn't get off. Up close, it's not a pretty sight. 

Has anyone got any advice for me?

And then came "International Moment of Laughter Day". Created just to capture gorgeous, sweet, kiddie photos. When I looked through my current crop (all around two years old now!), I had a whole pile of niece and nephew giggles to choose from. But these of the Diva of the family made the final cut as I couldn't imagine how else I would use these super cute shots of the little monster, other than a more abstract topic like this.

Not so sure about the cluster here but I wanted something a bit whimsical not to mention some brads. Simple journalling using the day's name as the basis and finished. 

This layout makes me happy.

Have you noticed a theme here?

Scrapbooking makes me happy

Isn't that great? 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Do you know what yesterday was?

No, I don't mean that it was Saturday!

Yesterday was, in fact, Husband Appreciation Day!

Some time ago I did a BPC class by Elizabeth Dillow, based on her book The Scrapbooker's Almanac, called Red Letter Days. One of the fun things I learnt was to see what special days or anniversaries or even famous birthdays there were across the year that could be used as inspiration for pages - either directly or more abstract. At the time, I noted down a lot of special days in my diary as I came across them - for example it was Incredible Kid Day back in March (more on that day another post), or Read In the Bath Day back in February. Therefore, I was really excited to find a new widget on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge site that lists famous birthdays and special days. I immediately added it to my blog (bottom right corner on the sidebar) and was interested to see what was coming up.

When I saw Husband Appreciation Day (how kitsch and sweet is that anyway?!?), I knew I had to do something. Now I don't need a special day to tell me to appreciate my husband or some random date on the calendar to remind me of what I have, but I thought it would be fun to mark the day in a Lisa way. A rhubarb krumbie (what we call a "crumble" in our house - yet another long story!) had to be made as it's his favourite and let's face it, it's a doddle to make! And a layout should be done.

I did my usual of just grabbing a couple of completely unrelated photos and making it work! (Or not, depending on how you look at it!). I used my counterfeit kit but ended up adding in a few more AC paper scraps and a couple of AC journalling minis. The rest is all out of the kit.

I hadn't intended it to become this bright, but it just evolved this way. Originally, I had a picture in my mind of lots of cardstock showing and what others might call, shock horror, "white space". But alas and alack, it was not to be and the result is this no-white-space layout! But that's only what you expect from me, isn't it?

I do loads of layouts like this. Just noting down little things as and when I think about them. Commenting on things from different perspectives and just generally rambling. It makes me happy!

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Seeing the bright side of life...

When I scrap, I often start from different places - maybe it's a story, maybe it's some papers I want to use and sometimes it's a photo. It all depends on how I feel on the day. I like to think it makes things more interesting for me.

This time around, I looked through my photo storage binder to find a photo that spoke to me.

Finding a happy photo of me, even though it was a couple of years old, made me think that it was time to be positive and to look for a few things to be grateful for.

I knew my Counterfeit Kit would be perfect for a happy layout because it's quite full of pinks and blues and cheerful yellow, and a Page Maps sketch was all I needed to pull it together really quickly.

The title made me think of that song from the 70s "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3" by Ian Drury and the Blockheads - now there is an odd list of things to be cheerful for!! I think my list is a little more conventional! Spring, birdy visitors and a long weekend away to look forward over Easter.

I love my Counterfeit Kit - off to use it some more!

Have you given yours a name? I keep thinking I should...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A Wednesday Recipe

Can it really be time for Wednesday's Jingle Belles again already?

Well, it's the middle of the week so it must be although it's hard to keep up with the days right now. Weeks are simply flying by and it really is week #15 over at Jingle Belles - The Ghost of Christmas Present.

This week's challenge was set by Clare over at Miscanthus Crafts and she decided we needed to cook up a bit of a card recipe...

The ingredients are:
1 - as white as a ghost
2 - a present
3 - a bow or knot
4 - a touch of traditional Christmas colours

Having just discovered that my embossing folders do, in fact, work (long story for another time!), I decided to do a bit of white on white with some texture added on for interest and then just the tiniest splash of colour.

All four ingredients? Tick, tick, tick, yes, and tick!

Following a sketch or a recipe like this certainly helps me to come up with something more quickly than when I am left to my own devices! And this one was a lot of fun.

So impressed with my little pile of cards!

What have you done this week that you have impressed yourself with?

Monday, 11 April 2011

The April Counterfeit Kit Challenge begins...

April 5th came and went.

I think there were lots of us were waiting for this day so that we could jump onto the Counterfeit Kit Challenge site to see which kit had been chosen for our forgery work to begin.

The inspiration kit this month has been created by a brand new kit club called Front Porch Kits  - this kit was their first and it totally sold out on its FIRST day! This ├╝ber-popular kit, A Little Birdie Told Me, is gorgeously full of a great mix of papers by Echo Park, Fancy Pants and Bella Blvd and a wonderfully colourful collection of embellishments.

Now I know this sounds a bit lame but I have some of the papers from the kit in my stash (Echo Park, For The Record) and I couldn't bring myself to break up my collection pack and put just one or two of these papers into my kit!

And one of my main objectives in playing along with this challenge is to use up old and older product and For The Record is way too new for me to include! Weird but true!

Anyway, I put together a set of papers taking inspiration from several of the wonderful Mater Forgers (the CKC design team - check out their kits here) such as including BG Urban Prairie papers, and pulled together a large embellishment selection to go with it. I love the original kit from Front Porch Kits but if I had had the original kit, I would have needed more alphabet! There was only one in the kit. I have decided to add in all three of the BG alphas I had, some Crate Paper chipboard letters and some Tiny Type from CC. Better to have too many letter than not enough! And then lots and lots of bits and pieces including a pile of buttons and brads. I seem to have way too many of both and I hardly ever use brads, so this month I want to find ways of including brads into my designs.

So if anyone has any ideas for how I can use brads in new and/or interesting ways, please let me know - I've literally got hundreds.

Anyway, I decided to dive right in, grab a photo and get going. I challenged myself to use a mix of papers and this background paper was my least favourite so that had to be first. And I kind of like it after all! I cut the banners from a sheet of AC (sometimes I seem to give myself work!)

And I used 12 brads (only another Xhundred to go!)

The layout is ok - although I feel it's missing something. I had wanted to use two photos but couldn't put my hands on a second so filled the space with some words. Maybe that block should have been central?

My target for this kit?At least the same as last month (6 single layouts) but I'd also like to make up a few cards and I have been thinking about using up a batch of photos at once by making a photo-album scrapbook - quick and easy.

Watch this space for progress!

Friday, 8 April 2011

An Experiment in Purple

Recently, I wrote about catching up with my "Colour! or is it Color?" class. I had lost my momentum when I was originally part of the class and had only managed two of the layouts which was such a shame. 

I shared green and blue with you in that last post. (I blogged about red and yellow last year).

Well, next on the rainbow comes indigo and violet, ie. purple. Do you like purple? Do you scrap with purple? I can't say that I had ever thought about it before but if I had thought about it, I would have said, neh, not my thing. I'm a pink girl. 

But purple was the colour we should use and we should see if we could be converted to loving purple. I was sceptical. But decided to jump in anyway.

I had used BG Euphoria during LOAD last month and it's soooo hard to use - or it is for me at least. Knowing it had a lot of purple in it, I challenged myself to use it. I tried not to think too much about it and really go for the stronger tones of purple in the collection. 

I grabbed these three adorable photos and just decided not to worry about the colours in them but just make it work. And I had a set of the chipboard pieces and threw on a whole load of them instead of lots of layered clustering. I took Nic H's advice to throw in some other colours (I chose blue and green and just a bit of pink) and a splash of something quite bright (that red paper). Nothing would have possessed me to use these colours together before and I am still really unsure about what to think of it, but you know what? I don't dislike it as much as I thought I would. Now that is something I wasn't expecting.

I followed the sketch quite closely because I love the three photo design. Mine looks nothing like Nic's, but I think it is quite me!

Once I had done one purple layout in really bright shades, I wondered if I would like it if I made one with softer shades - BG Wisteria.

Again, I followed the sketch quite closely, just mirrored it to the left. I made the flowers and leaves that Nic had suggested but less product in the cluster itself. And I always need a little bit of journalling so a sticker journalling block was perfect. I just grabbed some pretty flower photos as the layout was more of an experiment than anything too serious. 

I like this one more than the last - the shades are more what I use usually, but I am really surprised at how purple I can go.

Like it or not, it's great to take the challenge to select product that wouldn't normally be used. These purple buttons were unlikely to be anywhere on any layout without this challenge, nor the lilac gems. And I think they work really well.

One last thing? When I had finished the first purple layout using Euphoria, I decided to make a couple of cards using some scraps. I've heard from lots of card makers that they make one or two cards from whatever is left on the table and decided that it was a great idea. And it was. Within a couple of minutes, I had two simple cards. I am trying to make more and more cards at the moment. First, practice makes perfect (I'm not a good card maker yet!) and second, I really hate to hand over so much money for nice cards when I have all the necessary right here in my room. I really must try this technique more often as I was very pleased with myself.

The moral of the story? I can be very prejudiced about colours and maybe I just need to select odd papers and make them work, regardless of the colours. I have way too many papers to be fussy!

What is the colour that you avoid the most? Care to share and then make a layout using exactly that?
Give it a try!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Joking around...

There's a funny challenge over at Jingle Belles this week. 

Funny as in "ha ha" not "um, strange"!

The challenge landed on April 1st so they April Fooled us by giving us a "Jingle Belles, Batman Smells" theme, asking us to make a humorous card for the holidays. "It can be a bit twisted, silly, or just plain laugh-out-loud funny ... just incorporate some holiday levity into your design."

Those of you who know me, know that I'm not all that funny! So this one tested my somewhat already limited abilities and I knew I wouldn't be able to carry off anything really comical.

So I tracked down some free vintage images featuring Christmas kitties mixing the pudding, Santa checking his list, kiddies hiding under the tree and finally decided to use a doggy challenged Santa. It made me smile so I figured it would fulfill the challenge!

Here's a closer look at the image - love the fact that Father Christmas has a dog biscuit in his sack!

Deb suggested I use some vintage images for my Easter cards and after this, I will definitely be following her suggestion - love how this turned out!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Cheery Post

Well, I got some lovely ideas about what cheers you all up! 
Thanks for joining in the fun.
Here's your list of happy-makers:
  1. shopping
  2. purchasing scrapbooking supplies
  3. a nice dinner out
  4. getting messy creating something from a piece of pretty paper
  5. fossil hunting
  6. a finished LO that looks pretty and featured one of my lovely children
  7. sunshine after a gray yucky day
  8. a clean scrap area
  9. a smile from one of my boys first thing in the morning when they are sleepy and happy
  10. my family 
  11. my friends 
  12. the promise of brighter days ahead
  13. chocolate 
  14. wine
  15. great pictures 
  16. good food (especially chocolate!)
  17. hearing from my daughter or son just for the heck of it
  18. having an evening to myself to get one of those it-seems-neverending-projects done
  19. recently my youngest daughter discovered a Jack in the Box. We were out shopping yesterday when I showed it to her. When it (a sock monkey) popped up, she said "That scared me. Again!" This continued numerous times and we ended up buying it. She was so cute
  20. a bit of sunshine
  21. spending time with my girls
  22. a shiny new magazine
  23. lazy sunny days spent with friends & family, 
    days where nobody has a care in the world and is totally relaxed and having fun
  24. popping in to others' blog homes: it's like having a cup of tea on their veranda
  25. a visit to a very well-stocked bookshop, with some money in my pocket to spend, preferably 
  26. a cup of chai tea: my most recent taste sensation
So, it's pretty clear that we get a lot of joy from family and friends, sunny days and being outside, scrapbooking or other crafty/creative activities, and not to forget food and drink!

And I agree with all of you! 
Here's just a few of mine - in no particular order!
  • A good book, a glass of wine (or even better, a cocktail from my own "personal" cocktail bar) and some Cadbury's


  • A cuddle from adorable little ones 

  • A cuddle from an adorable big one

  • Good food - asparagus season is just about to start and I have some of the early crop ready for dinner tonight... I can't wait!

  • Sitting on the balcony, just taking in the life around me

  • Experimenting with my camera and taking photos that I love

  • Some new scrapbooking products

  • Scrapping my stories, showcasing my photos and feeling a sense of satisfaction when I see completed pages

  • Sweet memories of favourite places

So I promised a giveaway and using (and I promise that I put 1-12 not the 100 that it shows here!)  the lucky winner is commenter number 4:

True Random Number Generator  4Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations Erin!!  

Erin, email me your snail mail address using the link at the top of the right-hand sidebar and I will get a little parcel of goodies out to you.

Thanks to all of you for joining in and sharing your ideas.

I feel a lot more cheerful now and each comment made me nod and smile! (It also helps that my cold is on the way out and my voice is almost back!).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Feeling lucky?

Want the chance to win some goodies?

Earlier this week, I celebrated 300 blog posts and wanted to share the love!

I was feeling a bit under the weather and asked you to share something that cheers you up - I have had some lovely comments already but a couple more would be even better.

Go to this post (Help Me Celebrate!) and leave me a comment. Your chance of winning is high!

The sun is shining today and I am sitting out on my balcony, soaking in a few healthy rays. Now that cheeps me up!

Come and join in the fun...

Friday, 1 April 2011

You know a kit has run its course when...

.... you create something that you look at and think... bleh!

This is exactly such a layout. I like the colours. I like the papers. I like the design (courtesy of Page Maps 2). I like the photos. But all together, it does nothing for me at all!

Anyway, more photos used up and almost all these products are ancient! Old Fancy Pant papers, Heidi Swapp tapes, KI journalling spots and a scrabble alphabet which had never been used and is probably 4 years old. So good in a way but bad that the combination leaves me somewhat cold. :-)

So, I guess it's time to move on then. To break up the rest of my March Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit and put the pieces where they belong so that I can move on. Move on to a new month and a new challenge kit. And also to move on to some of the still unfinished kits I have sitting around here.

I can see 5 on the floor (it really is reducing!) and I think there are three or four mini-kits left over from my Bellaboo days. So the overall kit usage is getting better as I really work through what I have and there are no new kits coming through the door. Although I really hope to be able to subscribe to one again sometime in the future.

I made a total of 6 layouts from this kit which is 6 more than I probably would have made without it! My kit was filled with some really old stuff and to see it being used up felt really good. In April, I might try to whip up a card or two as well before I put it all away.

And the verdict? This is a great incentive to shop your stash and then use it! The mini challenges were great and really got me moving. And there are some wonderful fellow forgers out there which was really inspirational. Count me in for the next kit.

PS. Don't forget to check out my post (Help Me Celebrate!) to share what cheers you up and to be entered into my mini-prize draw to celebrate 300 blog posts! It would be lovely to hear from you!

I want to make the draw at the weekend so there's still a few days - it's been lovely to hear from you and to hear what cheers you up. I am still feeling under the weather and have now lost my voice :-( so you've been helping me feel a bit better. 

Keep it coming!


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