Saturday, 28 January 2012

Sprinkling the confetti love

I have to say that I have loved all three of this month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini challenges. To recap, we had resolutions {here}, then there was glitter {here} and now we have confetti!

To begin with, I was unsure about what to do. Should I use foil table confetti (of which I have bags and bags and bags) or something a bit different? I've seen quite a few ideas online recently but didn't want to copy anything directly and in the end just went with what I thought would be pretty although it has been inspired by online finds.

One of my favourite border punches is my Martha Stewart heart punch and since the summer, I have also tried to use the tiny hearts that are punched out. They really are tiny and fiddly to ink and glue but it never takes as long as I think it's going to and adds such a pretty touch. I've used them scattered on a minibook and a romantic layout and decided to do something similar turning into a confetti feature.

I started off punches lots of border lengths and then carefully picked the hearts out. At first I put them into a clear mini plastic envelope I've had since way back when but it didn't really fit the style I was looking for so I made a small envelope from vellum and added most of the tiny hearts in there. I secured the envelope with a pin but I don't think those hearts are going anywhere!

Then I painstakingly inked the rest and popped them into my mini Xyron so that they could be more easily attached. I'd already made up the page and decided to splat some Glimmer Mists (granite and apple) across the empty corner. Then came some glue splats covered with glitter just to add another element and also to try this technique that I've seen a couple of times online recently. The hearts were then sprinkled over this area. Pretty pretty pretty!

Yes, the facial expressions are often a bit funny for these self-portraits! Especially as I don't know what faces are being made behind my back so to speak! But I try to use every photo I can - funny faces and all.

I'll definitely be adding glitter splats to my layouts again in the future - I love this look ;-)

Everything is from my Resolve kit except the vellum, the pins and that tiny BG alphabet. I've now added this alpha to my kit as it seemed perfect.

I've now made three layouts from my kit and think there must be at least another three layouts to be made. I will be aiming to finish off this and other kits during LOAD starting February 1st - the kits are the best help when making daily layouts :-)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Pre-LOAD212 Blog Hop

Welcome to the LOAD 212 Blog Hop!

I'm so thrilled to see you here, whether you are a fellow LOADster or one of my regular blog friends. Please DO leave me a comment to let me know you were here.

If you've arrived here from Jennifer, then you are on the right track and if you've come here directly, you might want to go back to the beginning and drop in on Margie where the hop fun starts. You are bound to pick up a whole LOAD of tips and tricks if you check us all out :-) (pun intended!)

Anyway, it's almost February which means that LOAD 212 is just hours away and this blog hop is not only to get my brain into gear and prepared to start but also to help some of the newbies get to know what to expect. The first time can be a little overwhelming but we are here to help! Many of us have done this several times and it IS possible, as crazy as it sounds. And it's the most fun you'll have scrapping, that's for sure!

February 2011's LOAD wrap up page
So, today I'd again like to repeat, cut and paste and generally offer some of the advice and suggestions I've put forward before for making a layout every single day for a month. I've taken my posts from earlier and updated them a bit it so hopefully there is something for everyone even if you think it looks familiar!  I've added in some of my wrap up pages and the beautifully indulgent piles of completed layouts at the end of each LOAD - if those piles don't get you motivated, I don't know what will ;-)

For those of you who are new to the idea of LOAD, it can be done. Many of us have several LOADs under our belt with 100% layout completion! And boy, do we feel good at the end of the month.

But at the same time, it's not essential to commit to a layout a day - some members just join in the fun when they can and find that they get a lot more done than they normally would and that makes them feel good too. 

The key is to do what you can. And my number one tip is to keep it fun

As soon as it's just a slog, that might be a sign to give it a break and maybe try something non-scrappy for a day or two. Life gets in the way - we all understand! Kids need feeding and houses need to be kept, oh and there's that little thing called a job! Life is busy for us all so do what you can and enjoy it.

May 2011 wrap up page
Saying that, I've continued to have fun now for 8 LOADs (which includes two informal LOADs) and have completed more than 250 layouts just in those months. Again, that makes me very happy! I managed FOUR months of daily layouts in 2011 if you can believe it and I'm raring to go again this time around. Even when it feels like it's taking too much time, or I feel a bit uninspired at the start of the day, I always feel good when I've taken the time to create and have uploaded my finished page to Flickr and have taken the time to see what my fellow LOADsters have created! And I feel even better when I look at my pile of creations.

My July 2011 wrap up page
** Even if you are not participating in LOAD, I am sure you can find something here that might help you speed up your process or even something to inspire you to join in next time. I use these techniques pretty much every time I create. I am a very slow scrapper but I still manage to make dozens of pages most months. **

February's LOAD. I really got into my stride this time around and February is a great time of the year to do LOAD - really gets those creative juices flowing.
May was a mixed month with lots and lots of colour and dimension and distressing. 

Informal LOAD in July (the one I did with Pam!) Such a bright month - I think I was influenced by Pam's colourful scrapping and her happy personality.

Informal LOAD in October 2011 - so much dimension here!

This is a list you may have seen before but I'm posting it again as it really is the way I approach most of my scrapping. I've edited it a little to keep it updated and have changed the order to reflect the steps that we might have to go through to get our layouts done. Let me know if that makes sense :-)
  1. Clear space:I tidy up my scrapping space after each project. Completely. And for those of you who know me, you'll appreciate this is difficult and unnatural for me. I'm naturally an untidy person! But I put every scrap, pen, glue stick, ruler or ink-pad etc back where they belong - even if I take it back out again after 2 minutes. Clear space = clear mind. Now, if I could only apply that to the rest of my life...  
  2. Use that stash: I see this as an opportunity to use up papers and products that have been lying around a long time but that I still love. This is not the time to be precious. I will not be buying any new stash at all for this month but I have several partially used up Counterfeit Kits from August through to January and there will be my February kit, as well as a page kit I've committed to create, to use. Making up your own kits (CKC is a wonderful resource for this) can make your own products feel like new as you combine them in new ways. Make sure you can see the products that are inspiring you at the moment or that you want to use up - if you have them in view, they are more likely to be used up. And think about the excuse you will have to go out and stock up again when you have finished as you will have used up SO much of your stock!
  3. Preparation: Each day I think about what I might scrap. What picture I might use. What I have to say that day. If I have a bit of free time (I travel on public transport and so have a lot of time to kill!), I might even write my journalling out to a story that has come to mind. And I have a pile of photos - good, bad and a lot in between - on my table, and my storage binders to hand. Often, I just have a bit of a rummage, see what catches my eye and am off. This month, Lain has created prompts for us to mine our own stories from the past and I'm excited to see how that works for me. I have a lot of older photos and it would be lovely to remember some stories to go with them. In the past, I've checked out the prompt early in the day and let it stew in my mind until the evening when I will decide if I'm following it or not. I more than not follow the prompt but really, I'm not going to let that stop me if I have a brainwave of another idea. If the prompt doesn't resonate with me, I will either just store the idea for another day or ignore it and do my own thing. I have to say though, that even if the prompt hasn't jumped out at me at first, I will often find that the layout I've made using it is one that I love
  4. Sketches/Pinterest/Favourites: I have Page Maps 1 & 2 books and I love them. I use them all the time. There are a million and one sources online for sketches including Page Maps itself where you can find all the archives as well as the new month, or another great site is Sketch Support, which also breaks their sketches down into one or two pagers. Pinterest is fabulous as long as it doesn't turn into a time sucker. I have a board just for pages and I have found myself turning to that over and over again in recent months. I've tried out lots of new techniques and styles from this board so I know that I can find inspiration in there. And of course, my Flickr favourites is full to overflowing with favourite layouts and creations from previous LOADs. So so so many beautiful layouts that can give me the inspiration I'm looking for.
  5. Glue & Go: I learned this on my Heidi Swapp class in 2007. Yes, I move things around a bit before I decide on position, but I'm talking 2 or 3 minutes, not all evening. (If that's not working, try walking away for ten minutes then come back and go for it.) Then, it's Glue & Go. And live with the result. And love the result!
  6. Handwritten journalling: In the past, I've hand-written almost all my journalling when time is short. No, I don't particularly like my handwriting. But it's mine and there's not a lot to be done. Hand-writing is quick, easy and I don't need 16 attempts at getting it just so. If the hand-writing goes a bit skew-whiff, I accept it. It's typical Lisa to have a few mistakes in there after all. Saying that, I love strip journalling and with practice this can be done quickly and easily on the computer. But I'm not hooked on only having printed journalling. It's probably a 60% hand written ratio for me.
  7. Quick techniques: I try to return techniques such as border punches, inking the edges,  distressing or clustering which give good results with minimum effort and time. Although I might do a bit of stamping you won't find a lot of that on my pages - it's too hit and miss, and very time-consuming for me. Not to mention the fact that the ink ends up in places it really doesn't belong... several ruined tops later...
  8. Perfection is over-rated: I'm not the first to state this (Lain reminds us again and again), but it's so true. If you are doing work for a design team or a magazine, then it might be appropriate to get things just right - I check spelling, straighten things up, write and rewrite my journalling until it's just so. But the layouts for LOAD or in fact, just for me? They very often contain a mistake or ten! Over inked? Not quite straight? Colours not perfectly matched? Glue showing? Embellies not optimally placed? No problem, move on!
  9. Be part of the LOAD community: The community in our LOAD Flickr group is wonderful. I make sure I make the most of it. I spend (way too much) time in the gallery getting inspired and commenting on layouts. I know how thrilled I am when I get supportive positive feedback on my uploads and so I try to pass on the love. Even if you just look at the last 5 or 10 uploads before yours in the gallery you'll be amazed at the talent and creativity out there. I make sure that I "favourite" those that I really love and am inspired by so that I can go back to them again and again. Scraplifting is the highest form of flattery after all! And the message board is great too. I go in and read the latest and use it for tips and tricks or generally connecting with my fellow LOADsters. It's a great resource.  I've made some wonderful scrapping friends over the last year through LOAD and this is really special.
  10. Have FUN: Possibly the most important thing that I remind myself is to have fun. I'm supposed to be enjoying myself. No pressure. This is a hobby and nothing to be taken too seriously. Life gets in the way sometimes and if that happens, then I will not stress about it, I will just do what I can. I make sure I'm enjoying the process. I might experiment. I mix it up. I will use different products, different photos, different colours. More or less journalling. 4x6 photos one day and then chopped up or tiny photos the next. This way, I don't feel like I'm slogging through something. Now that might work for you - the target of a completed themed album for example - but I save those kind of projects for when I'm not under time pressure. I like to play and do different things every day. I'll be telling stories, using up product, preserving memories, remembering happy times. And that IS fun!

From back in May 2010

And finally to share with you today, my final page for LOAD October 2010

So, 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! 

The next stop for you will be Monica at her blog Scrap Inspired and the whole list of bloghop participants is...

Lisa       <---- You are here
Monica       <---- Your next stop

Have fun and thanks so much for dropping by - make sure you let me know you were here!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

All that glitters...

Time for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #2 and it's a good'un. We are all about the glitter today and you know how sparkle makes me happy :-)

I buy a fair amount of ready glittered items - letters, embellishments or papers - but it's not often that I think about getting the pretty stuff out to add to my pages myself. So this was an even better challenge for me as it got me covered in the stuff and I found that I loved the result.

I had a rather gorgeous sheet of Authentique paper in my Resolve kit and I especially loved the swirly lines in each of the corners.

I decided to turn this into a counterfeit MME sheet of paper by adding some swirls of glitter to some of those lines - counterfeiting the counterfeit, ever the over-achiever ;-) I just followed some of the lines with a glue pen and added the glitter. The pen dries quite quickly so I did it a line or two at a time and then once it was fully dry I went over the whole area with a brush so that the loose glitter was removed.

After that, the layout came together easily. I added in some yellow vellum to my kit for my butterflies, the brown thickers and some yellow doilies that I saw in the local supermarket and couldn't resist for my kit. I've taken to just grabbing the first photo that comes to hand and making it work in some way and this is a perfect example. I just saw this photo and knew I needed to use it as a reminder.

I can't do a layout at the moment without a loopy thread/twine embellishment and a banner so of course, these are both here too. And there's a nice spot there for one of Helen's sweet hand-made fabric flowers - perfect!

What will you be adding glitter to this week?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

In the best company

My very good blog friend S has brought her challenge series, In Good Company, back for the new year and I'm thrilled to have found the time to join in this time around.

Each two weeks S prompts us to reach into the depths of our forgotten stash and scrap "in good company" by challenging us to use a favourite manufacturer.

This time around, we could choose any product designed by or attributed to a girl.

Well, it just so happens that I have a HUGE amount of K&Co designed by Amy Butler - in fact, I bought every piece of the ranges I could when it came out and then hardly ever used it! So Amy it was!

And it also just happened that I wanted to do my OLW layout for the new year too and so it all came together nicely.

I went for something really simple and cut out doilies from one sheet and two very small photo mats from two other pieces - so three sheets of Amy in total! Success! Well ok, to use up all the paper I have in the three ranges I bought, I'd need to make a hundred pages but it's a start, isn't it?!?

I'm struggling with photos of myself at the moment and had to make do with yet another dodgy one - mmm, totally crappy, will have to try to do something about that but I guess it's real at least. ;-)

I included a few little items to support the theme I wanted to convey with my word and am happy to have found a couple of spots for the pretty felt flowers that Helen made for me as well as two of the metal charms she sent.

So happy to have managed to join in this fun challenge and I'm looking forward to which paper line S chooses next. Thanks S for the push to get out my pretty Amy papers!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sketching through the snow

Another Wednesday and more Christmas Jingle Belles' cards to add to the new pile. I'm trying to make at least one card per week so that at the end of the year I have more than enough to send out from the 24 prompts and this week, I've managed two. :-) It seemed easier to just run off another one using the same sketch and the papers I had out already so I did. I'm also planning to make another one next week.

We are so lucky that this week Kirsty Vittetoe from the Pixie Dust Paperie provided us with a really pretty sketch to use and if you join in and create a card using her sketch, she's kindly offering a $15 gift certificate to her shop!

There was some gorgeous inspiration provided by Kirsty, Stephanie and Lauren this week week and I recommend you going over to Jingle Belles to check it out. It's never to early to think about starting those cards :-)

Here's the sketch - isn't it pretty?

And here's what I made. Maybe not as pretty as the inspirations but maybe I'll go down the pretty route next week.

Again this year, I'm going down the route of using up cardstock that wouldn't now be used for my layouts and also papers that have been sitting around for a long time such as this Sassafrass "Life At The Pole". That pile of Christmas papers doesn't seem to be getting any less but in reality it must be, mustn't it?  ;-)

Want to join in the fun? Come on over! {Jingle Belles}

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Counterfeiting for a purpose

My scrapbooking start to the New Year has felt a little difficult and I'm wondering if my mojo had too many mince pies and has gone off to recover.

But whenever this happens, I always find that challenges (and deadlines) can get me back on track a little. So it was ideal that the Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #1 was scheduled for us to complete this week. If you haven't checked the prompt out, you can find it {here} and it's all about resolutions.

I gave up resolutions as such back in 2007 and instead switched to my One Little Word and a few goals for the coming year. Things to work on or improve or to think about. While I document my OLW, I rarely put down the goals on paper. Even though I'm pretty goal oriented, I noticed that this wasn't really working. And then back in February, Pam posted a layout during LOAD that grabbed my attention right away. It was a list of things that she wanted to do before her next birthday. So 27 things before her 28th birthday to be precise. I loved this concept and was thrilled to see her next layout appear soon after her November birthday with the next list. I decided I needed to steal this idea and make my own list. I didn't manage to get around to it right away, so this CKC challenge was a perfect excuse to put pen to paper and come up with my list.

Now I'm a *bit* older than Pam so my list was a *bit* longer than hers and it's amazing how difficult it was to come up with a mix of items that would be fun, useful and manageable by November. But after a few days of tweaking, deleting, editing and adding, I came up with *cough cough* 44 activities and goals for the next months. I recognised from Pam's list that it would be much better to put "12 x something" rather than "do something every month" and to leave some things vague while others are much more specific. I think I've come up with a great jumble of ideas and projects that will encourage me to plan more, get out of the house more and think of others more as well as concentrating on completing some aims for myself. I think that when I combine this with my OLW, I might be able to stay on track and end the year with a smile on my face. When I look at what Pam packs into her year, my list should be attainable ;-)

Not only did I lift her idea, I also lifted her title and even some of my list :-) True counterfeiting at its best methinks! :-) (Oh, and I checked with her and she didn't mind in the slightest!)

Everything on the layout is from my January kit, Resolve, and I love the way I was able to mix the products and colours up to create something that I wasn't expecting when I first put the kit together. And that is the fun of CKC, isn't it?

Um, yes, the photo is horribly goofy but it was the only one that was even the slightest bit acceptable that I had of me in the last few months. I didn't even have one from my birthday ;-(

Do you have any resolutions, goals or general ideas for what you'd like to achieve this year? And have you chosen your One Little Word yet? New year, new beginnings....

Friday, 6 January 2012

The January Counterfeit Kit Challenge Kit Reveal Blog Hop

Hi and welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit reveal blog hop!

It's lovely to see you here for our newly scheduled hop - right here at the beginning of the month so that we can show you the kits we've created from the Cocoa Daisy inspiration kits chosen by CKC to kick off 2012. 

If you've just arrived here, you might want to think about starting at the beginning of the hop at this month's wonderful Guest Designer, Van Nguyen. And if you've come via the talented Kim, then you are on the right track.

We were spoilt for choice this month with a grand total of 5 kits to choose from and it was difficult as each one was as lovely as the next!

Merry & Bright can be seen on their blog {here}
Amber Snowflake can be seen in their shop {here}
Sunshine & Snowflakes can be seen in their shop {here}
Frosty Windowpane can be seen in their shop {here}
Cocoa & Marshmallows can be seen in their shop {here}

I was really tempted to go with the Merry & Bright as I haven't really done much Christmas scrapping this year but then I realised that my this time (January), I probably wouldn't be so much in the mood any more and a different colour scheme would be much more inspiring for me.

In the end, Amber Snowflake won out because I loved the mix of browns and yellows with that splash of red and blue added to the subtlety of the greys. And hey, it has a banner paper in it. What's not to love? :-)

I only had the sheet of red BG paper and a portion of the Authentique Ruler paper in my stash  so I started off by dragging those out and based the rest of the kit around that. I added in plenty of vintage browns with some creamy yellows and rather than the starker black, toned it down a little to some deep greys. I'm happy to have managed to include several different manufacturers and lines - BasicGrey, Making Memories, Authentique, Cosmo Cricket, October Afternoon and My Mind's Eye. (If anyone wants more details about the contents, just leave me a comment) A selection of cardstock followed and then came the extra fun part - adding in the embellishments.

I've got more than the original kit which won't surprise you and have added a few of the items I received from Helen in our 12 Days of Christmas Embellishment Exchange (mentioned here). I reserve all rights to add in lashings more extras as the month goes on of course. And as for the banner paper and the OA Little Flyers that I loved so much in the inspiration kit? Well I guess I'll be trying to make my own as I go along... So no surprise there either.

Suitably for the start of a new year for this resolution making (and breaking) scrapper, I've decided to call this kit "Resolve". 

It's such a positive word and I'm looking forward to creating with it - I have ever so slightly fallen in love with it already although the proof is in the pudding (or rather the scrapping).

Thanks for dropping by. Make sure you say hello in the comments - it's always lovely to hear from you :-)

Your next stop on the blog is the delightful Margie {here} but just in case you need the whole list of bloggers, here it is:

January Guest Designer: Van Nguyen
Lisa  <----- You are here
Margie   <---- Go here next!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The tree's not even down yet...

... and I've already got 3 cards ready for Christmas 2012!

Yes, ok it's a bit crazy but I so got into the habit of creating a card every week that I thought, "It's Wednesday, time to get crafty for Christmas." And let's face it, one more isn't going to harm at the end of the year ;-)

So, in response to prompt #1 over at Jingle Belles, No Time Like The Present(s), I decided to go with the present chipboard pieces from BG Wassail to create this super simple card. I was inspired by a hand-made card I received this year and like the off-centre placement. It's a bit different and the card came together in just a few minutes.

Come on over to Jingle Belles and join in the fun. You'll be smiling all year and laughing by the time December comes around. :-)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


You  may not believe me because it's quite a long time since I shared much here on my blog, but I have been busy scrapping recently - just not over here.

I've been keeping up with the Whimsical Musings challenges but forget to post over here so I just thought I'd do a catch up post.

WM#13 was a challenge to use a triadic colour combination. I decided on an aqua blue, a rich raspberry pink/ red and a creamy yellow. The aqua came out a bit greener than planned but the combination was so bright and fresh that I loved it.

WM#14 was to be inspired by or incorporate maps onto our layouts. I adore maps and atlases and this was a prompt I'd been thinking about for a long time. I adored identifying all the places I'd visited and marking them with a brad. Of course, Europe is much smaller on a world map than you think and not big enough to fit them all - but the general idea is there. I was inspired by a layout I'd seen by new scrapbook hero Rahel Menig.

WM#15 was to reflect on ourselves and think about what aspect we are grateful for. This was an interesting exercise and I was inspired by so many layouts I've seen on Pinterest recently. All layers and papers and stitching - a fun layout to make.

WM#16 was all about birthdays but of course to find a way to record it other than the usual. We had the most amazing November in history and I was thrilled to have blue skies and sunshine on my special day. I chose grey as a base for my layout to reflect what we usually expect for November days.

WM#17 was all about the fun. Take a photo and scrap it - just because. Again inspired by Pinterest, this layout was so much fun to make - all those paint splats and the twine swirly bits.

WM#18 was details of the season. I used a Christmas kit from two Christmases ago which felt good to use up. The paper hats was the one detail that kept coming to the surface and I'm so glad to have recorded this detail of my Christmas celebrations in Germany.

WM#19 was to grab the scraps from our last layout and get creating. Who could resist these pretty papers and embellishments along with that beautiful little face? This was 100% joy to make. Can you tell that the banner thing has taken over my scrappy life at the moment? ;-)

Pam and I would love to see you over at Whimsical Musings for our weekly challenges. No pressure, just creating with friends.


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