Friday, 29 March 2013

Big day for me!

This week, not only did we have Wednesday Wonderland but today is Fröhliche Friday.

I'm so excited to be share that I'm Guest Designer over at Jingle Belles!

You know just how much I love the Belles, Lauren and Stephanie and so I was delighted when they approached me to join in on the fun with my very own prompt. :-)

And I know that you know me well enough not to be surprised when I tell you that this week I intend to sparkle! Literally. Go on, use shimmer, bling, glitter, sparkle or shine on your Christmas card this week and share over at the Jingle Belles blog.

Jingle Belles #7 A blinging Christmas!

I tried to add as many different kinds of sparkle as possible so a large satin ribbon bow, a treasured sparkly button and a gem topped pin seemed fitting.

I know you won't be able to see the lovely sparkly glitter very well on the main photo and even this one doesn't do it justice but it's just so lovely.
I picked up this vintage image at a recent paper crafting fair and hadn't realised that it was supposed to be for 3-D effect cards. So I simply layered them up without the foam dots and love the effect. I decided to scatter a few flat gems I'm loving to use right now and keep the rest pretty simple.

A glittered mini alpha seems appropriate to add yet another sort of sparkle - I make that six different types.

I decided to keep the background relatively simple but also more modern as a good contrast to the vintage robin.

So, what are you waiting for!?! Come and join in the fun over at Jingle Belles. See you there!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday Wonderland #9

Wednesday again? Must be time for Wednesday Wonderland. #9 already and so far, not missed a week. A good start and at this rate, my target of 70 cards will come earlier than planned. I don't manage to get ahead very often so that would be something to celebrate.

As I mentioned last week, this Jingle Belles prompt was given to us by the delightful Noelle McAdams, encouraging us to have a "Neutral Noel".

I cut into a treasured piece of snow spotted kraft paper. I really ought to go and track this down and buy a dozen. I love it and it was perfect for my simple design using some Christmas bingo cards from a Simple Stories paper. Some kitchen string, a few tiny snow flakes and a wooden element was all this needed to give me the look I was aiming for. I'm happiest when decide on something simple and don't try too hard. This one fits the bill.

Well making Christmas cards doesn't really feel so out of place seeing as though we are scheduled for the possibility of a White Easter in this part of the world so we will see how that goes :-)

Happy Wednesday everyone and when are YOU going to start on your Christmas cards? No time like the present.

Make sure you check out the new prompt at Jingle Belles this week - it might be what you need to the start of your happy pile of cards ;-)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge member March blog hop

Welcome to the March Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop and it's hard to believe that it's almost the end of March and Easter is just around the corner. But my layout for this hop is perfect for this time of the year - pretty pinks and spring colours. I didn't even plan that when I made up my kit but I was making up my kit but was happy to find this happy coincidence when looking through my box for pretties for a pretty page.

Anyway, I am jumping ahead of myself. I'm at the end of the hop and hopefully, you find yourself here by way of Corina and I'm sure she shared something gorgeous with you. But if you are here direct, you might want to go back to the beginning of the hop at the Counterfeit blog and work your way through all the wonderful contributions so that you don't miss anything.

This is a layout for the Challenge #1 over at the Counterfeit blog (here) which was to use all pictures, no journalling. This was more difficult for me than I anticipated as every photo I picked up had stuff to say about it. I wondered about cheating and coming up with some hidden writing but in the end just went with a baby photo that could stand alone as long as my title said a little something ;-) so a minor cheat. I will no doubt scrap this photo again as there is definitely journalling to say but I will leave this for another day.

March kit, Disconnected, layout #4

Thanks for dropping by and make sure you let me know you were here and tell me: Do you like to make pages with no journalling or are you more like me and feel the need to write something, even if it's just a few words?

Here's the full blog hop list if you have missed some of the blogs:-

Counterfeit Kit Challenge
Lesley G
Julie H
Lisa H

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Scrapping with scraps

I've talked before about how I keep hold of my kits until I get bored of them or I run out of enough product to make a whole page. Then it's a matter of being relieved to take the kit remnants and put them back into my stash, or sitting there weeping and wailing as I face the fact that my kit is finished. Well, ok, maybe not weeping and probably not much wailing either but I am pretty sad all the same.

My Counterfeit Kit Challenge October 2012 kit, Brighter, was exactly such a kit. I managed a total of 11 layouts from this collection of papers and embellies and I love every single one of them! This was one mighty successful counterfeit.

But this post is all about the scraps and it was a kit I used right down to the tiny bits. Before I took out the last of the bits and pieces, I challenged myself to layer up the small pieces of paper left and create a background that I could then decide which photo to use and which direction to take.

Brighter #11 (yes, really 11 layouts from one kit!)

Tiny punches like these are perfect for those miniscule scraps that you still love
There weren't any full images to cut out so I just hid the missing edges or just cut around what I did have

Again, small punches and a little detail makes an interesting cluster. And this was the first time I had used the TH tiny attacher. I was hooked. I'm now the proud owner of one myself :-)

Not so sure about my arrows but I needed to find a way to use the last of this yellow paper that I loved so much. In the end it fitted perfectly with the photo I found

The whole thing was put together, misted, layered, decorated and then I sat down and found a photo to go with it and added in the alpha for my title.

The main thing here is that I didn't put myself under any pressure to make a perfect page. Because I was just playing with what was left in the kit box, this wasn't a layout that I needed to make or one that I had thought about or one I was making for just such a photo. And that meant that at the end, if I had looked at it and thought... neh ... I could have just tossed it out with no more loss than a sheet of cardstock (the embellies would have been saved no doubt.)

So why not try making up a page with what's left. Just play around and see what you come up with. At the end of the day, I love the page I made and how I finished it off with photo, title and journalling. A worthy end to a wonderful kit. Sniff sniff.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

13 loves {March 2013}

Thanks for stopping by again this month. Already coming up to the end of March and a full month of loveliness online, at home and around and about. 

Yes, I'm here again to join Pam with her {13 loves} series. She's one inspirational soul and I happen to know that she's worried this month to keep it to 13 so be sure to go over and be wowed by what she wants to share with you.

So with no more delay let me share this month's eye-catchers and I think you'll agree that it's a list that shows I've been spending way too much time on Pinterest.


Pinterest credits {here}

Dreaming of a holiday. This is Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. I've been there in winter and walked across this lake when it was covered in ice and snow. It's an awesome place and on my revisit list. I relive those holiday when I find photos like this online and that makes me happy.


Find this on (here)

I know nothing at all about this author but I heard her interviewed and as soon as they mentioned that she had written books about the north (and south) pole, I was hooked. I intend to get this (these) books and start reading. My kind of literature.


Pinterest credit (here)

I would love to have a go at bringing some more colour into my home. This jumped out at me with the soft neutrals and the gorgeous coral and aqua. I'm not sure I could pull it off but I love it. I will keep pondering.


Check out the Jingle Belles blog (here)

I'm a huge fan of the brains behind the Jingle Belles blog, Lauren and Stephanie. They are so inspirational and help us to stop the stress of homemade Christmas cards by inspiring us every week to create our pile of cards all the way through the year. My pile is already 20 strong. I love going there every week and they work really hard to make it fun all year long.


Check this one out too over at (here)

Well, you were warned! Another book on my wish list. As you know, I have a bit of a "thing" about the poles - I can't wait to get my hands on them. Hope they are good as I hope!


Mint Apple Candy by Essie (here) #99

The colour of this coming summer season, mint green, is inspiring me at the moment. I have already bought myself some clothes in this unusual - for me - colour and when I saw this nail varnish, it was a no-brainer. Purchased but yet to be used. I just have to stop nibbling in order to give my nails the summer look they deserve.


Pinterest credit (here)

Beautiful photograph. Sentiment that speaks to me.


Pinterest credit (here)

I want this to be my cosy reading corner. The colours are not really me but that chair looks just the most comfortable thing ever. I'd never get up again.


Pinterest credit (here)

Ever hopeful that I will get up off my proverbial in the evening to cook myself something a bit more delicious than the standard microwave ready meal, I pin scrumptious looking food over and over. This looks good, sounds delicious, is tempting. You never know...


Pinterest credit (here)

My heart just melted.


Pinterest credit (here)

More colour gazing. Love this combination too. I really have a fancy for mixing some aqua in with the whites we have round here. This yellow and grey addition really appeals.


These shoes literally shouted out my name as I walked past them on my way to the cash-till having chosen some boring, sensible, black work shoes. How could I ignore them. Into my shopping bag they went. They are so high I can't imagine they will be comfortable but I just had to bring them home with me. They make me happy.


Pinterest credit (here)

This made me smile, wryly. I know that feeling. Not as often as in the past, but sometimes. My pick for number 12 will help me out on those days :-)

What's on your list this month?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wednesday Wonderland #8

I'm not managing to blog very much recently but I am busy keeping busy in the background. And I know you all understand when I say that I feel like time is on fast forward at the moment... Wednesday again already.

I don't usually manage to create ahead of time these days but knowing that I would be out this evening, I pulled myself together and got my Jingle Belles cards for this week made ready to upload when I got back.

This week's wonderful prompt is set for us by the delightful Noelle over at Paper and ICE who challenged us to go for a "Neutral Noel" (so love all those clever titles the girls come up with - he he!).

So only neutral colours allowed but that is still quite a long list and it just so happens that I have some gorgeous MME from way back when which is perfect for this (ok, so some of the greys are a bit blue but let's pass that over shall we?). I will cry when these papers come to an end :-(

I decided to go with a sketch this time around and found this one from BasicGrey (October 2012)

And then just layered stuff up until I was happy.

Once I'd come up with the first...

I decided to just go for a second one - variations on a theme.

Another two cards for the pile. That's a good Wednesday result.

It's still snowing here where I am. Winter isn't giving up without a fight. I think I said this last week too but I hope Spring is winning the fight where you are.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wednesday Wonderland #7

Making the most of a small amount of time I had yesterday evening, I fished out another sheet of stickers to use a few on some more Jingle Belles cards from the latest prompt "Stick-y & Sweet". The challenge this time around is sponsored by SRM stickers and as the name might suggest, is to use at least one sticker on our cards. There's even a prize of a pack of stickers as an extra incentive - as if that growing pile of cards wasn't enough.

I could probably use a dozen on each card and still have some left over but I did manage to come up with a card with one sticker and one with 6 so that's not too bad.

As ever, I decided to go simple this time around and use the large ampersand as a design element in itself with a few layers and a simple sentiment.

And the sheet of stickers had a set of photo corners which have been turned into trendy chevrons. Quite inventive even if I say so myself. 

Seven Wednesdays in a row. Not bad!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Storing and working my Counterfeit kits

Sometime last month, someone commented on the fact that I have multiple Counterfeit Kit Challenge kits going at the same time (I never ever use up a single kit in a month) and asked me to share my storage solution.

I'm a bit worried that she will be ever so slightly disappointed when she sees the reality but here goes...

I use old pizza boxes from previous kits (at least three years ago now) or more recent online purchases.

I find they work really well for me. They are free, big enough to hold everything - well pretty much anyway, some months are a bit of a squeeze if the kit is big - I can write the name on the front and then cross it out and reuse the box easily, they stack fine and most important of all, they are what I have on hand. When I want to scrap, I look up on the shelf where I can see which kits I still have running and just take it down and use the stuff directly from the box on my table.

If I add stuff in when I am scrapping, this generally get thrown into the box too and there they stay until I decide the kit is finished and the left over bits get sorted, thrown, recycled or put back in my stash.On the rare occasions I leave the house to scrap (once or twice a year), I can just plonk those boxes in a large bag and I have ready-made, put-together products to use. Last weekend, I took three kits with me and used two. It felt good to just go with what I had rather than worrying about having the perfect products with me. But that is much more my philosophy these days - I just make up the pages with what I have and very rarely worry too much about matching the photos to papers or colours. I just make it work :-)

Here is my March kit just after I made it up. You can see that I chose the larger of the boxes I had empty as this is a big kit. Cardstock is generally at the bottom, then papers and alphas with all the embellies tucked up in a bag so that I can rummage as I create.

In an attempt to be a bit organised and can keep track of what I have created with each kit and when pages need to be posted and where, I have come up with a small form for myself that is often also tucked into the box so it's right on hand whenever I create as well as the kit and challenge info we get from the Counterfeit girls. 

All this is right there in the box so whatever kit I pull down to use, there's everything I need.

Now this works for me, but I appreciate that this isn't going to be the way for many of you out there. The main thing is to think about how you go about using your kit. I know that for me, it's never going to be that I have one kit and use it for a month before moving on to the next one. I'd get far too bored that way so having several kits working at the same time gives me the variety I need. And of course, there's all my stash too which I dip into from time to time. I try not to give myself any boundaries. This is my fun time after all. 

So I hope my low-tech, stingy-style storage solution wasn't too disappointing for you and I'd love you to share with me what you do with your kits.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #2

March is already skipping along and I'm here today to share my creation for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge mini-challenge #2 - to be inspired by Vera Bradley

ETA: The main challenge set by the CKC girls was to mix up at least three patterned papers - something that I sort of missed in my efforts to get to grips with the Vera Bradley design idea! Ha ha. I'm bad at reading like that. However, as luck would have it, there are three pattered papers on here - all Crate Paper. The bright pink down the middle, the small print I used as photo mats and the large flowers were cut from another sheet. Phew - I'm relieved I realised this crucial point.

This designer was totally new for me and I had to go online to see what she was all about. Well, colour seemingly! It reminded me a lot of all the Amy Butler stuff that K&Co came out with some years ago (and yes, I have all of that!).

I'm not really sure this is really my kind of style but I can see that it's gorgeous. Full of bright, bold colours and strong patterns. There's nothing "quiet" about these designs.

So I started off by saving some photos that caught my eye that I could use for inspiration. This is what I came up with...

Photo mosaic made over at

The things I noticed were:
  • lots of white space background (which isn't very noticeable at first but is a very strong design point)
  • strong flourishing designs
  • bright colours
  • layered flowers
  • clusters of leaves
  • strong lines in the designs themselves
  • beautiful font for the brand name
  • gorgeous shop front

So I decided that this would be the direction I would go.

I took the shop front photo which is definitely designed to be warm and welcoming - I'd go in for sure - and made a layout sketch out of it. I loved the panel for the door with the script shop sign and the windows either side giving us a hint of the bright colours to be found inside.

Then I decided to layer some cut out flowers and leaves, bring in all the colours that I found appealing - not automatic colour combinations for me -  and base it all on a white background with some sprinkles of mist. I mirrored the lines of the shop front with my papers, the journalling block and the photo mats and just layered it all up until I thought it was enough.

March kit, Disconnected #2

This was a good stretch for me and I'm glad I took some time to look around before I started this layout. It came together so well and I think the inspiration is really easy to see.

Don't forget to link up your projects {here}. Where will this inspiration take you?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Wednesday Wonderland #6

Wednesdays come around thick and fast round here. Can't believe it's another week already.

But I managed to find a bit of time to run up two simple cards for this week's Jingle Belles prompt "Stick-y & sweet" - to use stickers on our cards.

Another rummage through my old stash came up with some simple product to pull these together really quickly.

But the stash is never ending. Mary Poppin's bag has nothing on my Christmas paper drawer.

Glad to find a home for two more of these little sayings stickers.

How's your Wednesday? :-)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Counterfeit Kit Challenge March kit reveal blog hop

It's that time of the month again and I'm happy to be here again to share my March kit with you.

If you are here directly, you might want to pop back to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog to start at the beginning of the hop but if you are here via Libeeti's blog, then you are on the right track. I hope you're already filled with ideas to put your own kit together and we are looking forward to seeing your creations in the weeks to come. But let's get going.

This month we were given the HUGE Soda Shoppe kit over at Noel

It's enormous and is filled with so many goodies! And as much as I loved the kit, I found it a bit hard to counterfeit. I usually try to find a common theme or colour to give my kit a starting point but with this one, it was full of lovely product but I couldn't find what connected them. Due to the size, I started off by going through the list of contents and making up a Pinterest board to have a look at the individual items. It looked something like this...

I set up a Pinterest board for as many products from the kit as I could find so that I could get a better overall feel for it.
There's a lot of neutral looking things, some brights, some yellows, some browns, geometrics, florals, stripes - all in all, a bit of everything. And then I made a kit with, well, a bit of everything! And I've given it the name I thought of when working through my kit in the first place. It might sound a bit odd but I think this is going to be a great kit to work through as there are so many different colour and product combinations in there. It's all wide open.

It doesn't look all that much like the original kit but I promise you, it was inspired by it :-)

So, as usual, I started off by picking out some cardstock that matched the basic colours of the inspiration kit

And then started wading through my papers, starting off with the older stuff. I'm determined to use up some of the ancient stuff I have lying around but that I still like. I pulled a lot out and just piled them up, picking out patterns or colours or just something that seemed to match something in the inspiration kit. Then I moved on to some newer papers and decided that it was ok to add a few of those in too.

To finish, as always, I piled up the embellishment trying to match them up type for type - so bling (rather than the enamel dots), ribbon (for the HS trimmings), tapes, date stamp, polaroids (for the paper that I would love but don't have), MME date stickers, various journalling blocks and die cuts, some plain bags to decorate (as I still don't have any of the cutie little ones I'm seeming everywhere), buttons and several alphas as well as some sticker sheets which I can never resist but don't seem to use.

Anyway, I've held you up long enough so why don't you head over to the ever delightful Lisa J and check out what she has in store.

Here's the blog hop list in case you get lost along the way.

Lisa H.  ß you are here

Don't forget to let me know you were here and in the next couple of days, I intend to put a post together to show you how I store my kits while they are still in use - I now have 5 here to pick and choose from - so please come back again soon.


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