Saturday, 30 January 2016

10 years!

14th January 2006 was a very significant in the history of Lisa. This was the day (although it might have been a day or two either side of this!) when I stepped inside my first scrapbook shop on a visit home to the UK and caught a glimpse of my very first piece of BasicGrey paper. And I was lost. Forever.

It was at that moment that I knew I had discovered something that I would love and that I had been looking for for a long time without even knowing it!

I'd been reading about this thing called "scrapbooking" online for some time. I think first through Flylady and then just generally as I looked into it and tried to work out what it really "was". It took me about 6 months before I felt confident that I understood the concept enough to talk to my sister about it and her interest was piqued. So when I found a shop that stocked scrapbooking product - whatever that might be - near to Birmingham, I persuaded her to come along with me to check it out. We both nearly gasped when we saw the papers and embellishments. And I'm talking about a shop which had a teeny tiny selection of product! But we were in awe! Such pretty bits and pieces to cut up and use to decorate our photos. Sounded like fun. So I bought a few a lot of items and took them home with me. I had been in England that weekend for my nephew's third birthday and knew that these photos would be ideal for my very first scrapbook page.

I suspect that it took me some time to pluck up the courage and convince myself that I had everything I needed to jump right in and looking at the page, I think that these products are not the items I bought at that first shop. I probably convinced myself that I "needed" an eyelet setter and eyelets - remember how popular they were, back in the time?!? - and the papers and stickers were from a DCWV paper pack - no BasicGrey to be seen here for sure! And I remember ordering some books to tell me how to do it right! But sometime in January would have been that first paper cut...

So, do you want to see that first page?

A double page spread featuring various random, unconnected elements and a bit of a sticker sneeze. Badly printed photos and even themed Barney elements from the party invitation and bits I picked up while I was there - the journalling tucked away was probably something I'd seen in one of the books as was the matting and double matting! I remember being short of title elements/letters and being proud of my computer title work. It all looks so amateur to me now but I'm still so proud of it!

Later on, in the first six months or so of scrapping, there would be layouts made which have not stood the test of time as much as this one due to really awful design and execution - most likely in the bin by now. But even though there's a lot of amateur mistakes on this one, it's really not sooooo awful!

Just for fun, here is that awesome little boy right now! He's 13 and all grown up. And I still love making pages about him and he must get a lot of credit for putting up with his old Aunty Lisa needing hugs and photos.

And this is my most recent layout about him - the ten years have brought a lot to my scrapping, the design style I have, the relationship I have with my family and life in general. Mostly for the good I hope!

Now that I have my layouts in albums, I was easily able to identify and pull out two further layouts from those early weeks - how I love that! I'm not sure exactly when they were made but I'm guessing that they really were right at the very beginning. Maybe even the first handful of layouts.

I still adore Blitzen by BasicGrey and was so happy to make up this page using a sketch (new for me!) I found on the BG website. I remember spending so long on this getting the papers exactly as the sketch suggested and the overlap of the photos just so. And there's story there too. I recall my husband looking at this when I first made it and asking why I had made it - what about the big story stuff. And I told him that these were the memories that were precious to me. Soon after this, I discovered the world of scrap celebs such as Stacey J, Shimelle and Ali E and I knew that this was my home. Capturing the details of life that I wanted to remember as well as some of the more important events...

...such as my sister's wedding. We used to challenge each other back then and this was in response to me saying we should make a page about the other one. Look! There's a sheet of the very first scrap stuff I picked up back in that very first shop we went to, and fibres and rub-ons! And hidden journalling, and the metal charms that were so "in" back then. This page is so dated but I really really love it. Still!

The intervening 10 years and probably way more than 1,000 layouts have brought about a lot of changes to me, my life and of course, my scrap style. Scrapbooking has improved my life in so many ways including the wonderful friendships I've made with creative peeps around the world - both online and in real life. Real, deep, meaningful relationships that make my life happier. I can't imagine not scrapbooking even if I don't make as many pages as I did in the past.

And I'm still scrapping the little memories as well as the big events. And I'm still using and loving BasicGrey papers - even though I'm sad that their time in the paper crafting business appears to be over :-(

Long long long story short, I also wanted to share my most recent page with you today which uses my Counterfeit Kit Challenge January kit, Rekindle and features elements of BasicGrey Infuse papers in what I like to think is a perfectly up-to-date, stylish way.

A big event recorded - a new baby in the family - which calls for an ├╝ber-pretty page which mixes up old and new. Both papers and embellishments. Infuse papers were from 2007 and the DIY shop collection was new to me in November. 2015. There's brand new gold glitter washi alongside the vintage price tag which was included in a Bellboo kit way back in 2008. This is one of my creative goals for this year - loving and using the stash I have and bringing it together on pages which make me happy!

What are your creative goals this year? With January almost over, it's time to make sure our goals really do match what we can achieve. This layout has proved to me that I'm on the right way.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Simple Scrapper January 2016 #2

Here is the second of my contributions for the Simple Scrapper Creative Team in January using a sketch (#281 from the Simple Scrapper membership community here) and a November story starter from 2011. 

The original sketch was a double page spread with 7 photos 2.5x4". I cut out the middle three photos which brought it down to a single page and made the photos 2x2 so that I could fit double the amount of prints into the same space. The story starter was "When November tools around, it's time to..." which was perfect for a round up layout covering all the highlights of my birthday month.

I used my Counterfeit Kit Challenge November kit "Remembrance" and picked out soft tones to add a neutral backdrop to my busier pictures.

I could imagine making more layouts like this to summarise a whole month - a sort of Project Life without the pockets!

Adding some stitching, mist, silver thread and staples provided some extra detail and texture to what appears to be a relatively simple layout.

I love it!

To find out more about the resources available to inspire you to create beautiful pages and tell meaningful stories in a supportive, communicative community environment environment, check out the Simple Scrapper premium membership go here.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wednesday Wonderland - the return!

I missed the Jingle Belles girls so much last year! I allowed myself to get caught up with other things and stopped having my weekly Christmas card fix which meant less inspiration for me :-( and a far too small pile of holiday cards come December :-( :-(

So, I'm going to try harder. Let's see how that works.

Last week, I got into the swing of things by running up some easy cards and then on Thursday, moved onto the first (for me) Jingle Belles prompt of the year:

I picked up a sweet pack of reduced die cuts from Pinkfresh Studio (from Scrapabilly here) and quickly made these two quick and simple cards

A little white on white embossing using one of my favourite embossing folders ever with a 3D geometric pattern (might have to get my own), a little silver twine, a frame, a tree and a word strip. Edge the whole think with some silver pen lines and finished. Ah, that feels good. 6 cards ready to go when Christmas comes around all too soon again :-)

I'm delighted to be back - hoping I'm not speaking too soon - playing along with Jingle Belles. That mad dash panic to get cards finished off at the end of the year was too much for this girl.

Why not join me for a little Christmas card making fun without all the pressure!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Simple Scrapper January 2016 #1

It's so wonderful to be able to share my first layout for the Simple Scrapper Creative Team using the January 2016 Story Starter #7 - "Capture the story of a time when you felt completely alive" (story starters and templates/sketches are available at Simple Scrapper as part of the community membership - find out more here)

My experience of stepping out at the Top of the Rock and seeing the lights of New York twinkling below sprung to mind and I knew that would be my starting point.

I might have mentioned before that I have put together a small huge kit of supplies to record my New York stories including the Dear Lizzy Serendipity and Amy Tangerine Stitched collections along with a whole array of embellishments that seem to fit. So it was easy to find the products I wanted to use. I might have hoarded more than a couple of sheets of this star paper too which seemed the obvious choice for a night-time layout.

Keeping it simple with the gold letters, stars and geotag because the papers and photos are gorgeous enough.

I don't often print my journalling these days but there was quite a lot to say here once I got thinking and I wanted to fit it on a small journalling card which picked up some of the pink elements found elsewhere on the page including the pinkish hue that the Rockefeller Center seems to have developed on my photograph.

Starting with the story and then finding photos and product to support it is something I haven't done for a long time and I look forward to working with the story starters every month as part of my Creative Team contributions. It took me back years where I would often write up journalling in my free time so that I had something to work on when I found the chance to scrap. I love that burst of new found inspiration that trying something new (or retrying something old) gives me.

To find out more about the resources available to inspire you to create beautiful pages and tell meaningful stories in a supportive, communicative community environment environment, check out the Simple Scrapper premium membership go here.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Scrapabilly January 2016 kit shares (part 3) and my One Little Word

Last week, here and here, I shared the first four layouts using the BasicGrey stuffed January kit from Scrapabilly. And I'm back today to share with you my fifth and final layout which also happens to feature my One Little Word.

First of all, let me remind you of that lovely kit - you know how much I love BG!

And here's my layout - my OLW is "Composed".

If you're unfamiliar with the One Little Word concept, it is an Ali Edwards concept to select a word to guide you through the year which sums up the direction you wish to take - in whatever way that means for you. You can read all about it on her blog - just use One Little Word as a search criteria. She originally started it in 2007 (I think) and I played right along with her from the very beginning. Some years - such as 2007 / positive and 2009 / calm - have been more successful than others but there has been a word and a layout (um, no actually no layout last year. I should make one retrospectively) to remind me what it is I wish to achieve in those 12 months.

I'm not even sure I have "published" them every year here on the blog but it's something I follow, even if it's just in my head.

I started thinking about my word about three months ago and knew exactly the type of things I wanted to work on - being less clumsy, more deliberate, moving and being more purposefully, acting more calmly, being more tolerant. It took a long time coming and R helped me a lot along the way, brainstorming different words until we came on one we both agreed was "the one" - and remember, he's doing that in a foreign language! I almost think the German word - "Gelassenheit" - is even more perfect sounding that the English but it makes more sense to record it in my own language!

The idea behind using this paper was actually both Sylvia's (Scrapabilly herself!) and my crop evening bestie, Charly. With all the months listed for this year, they thought it was an ideal way of showing it was a year long work in progress. When I decided how I wanted to decorate those months - using stitching - I was sold.

The rest of the layout is quite simple.

I didn't have many good photos of me to use when I look calm and in control but this one came pretty close even if the quality isn't so good. The pose looks relaxed and I know that I really was feeling good that evening so it works for me.

I have to remember to focus on getting some better photos this year for my pages - I'm certainly running a bit short at the moment.

And just for interest, my words have been:

  • 2015 - align
  • 2014 - smile
  • 2013 - renew
  • 2012 - choose
  • 2011 - release
  • 2010 - ahead
  • 2009 - calm
  • 2008 - consolidate
  • 2007 - positive

Do you have a One Little Word? And how successful are you? Any tips?

I've got posts coming up with my Simple Scrapper makes later this week and there are some changes going on being the scenes at Scrapabilly which I'm excited to share. Which all means, there's going to be more to see over here on my blog so keep coming back, won't you? :-)

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Counterfeit Kit Challenge January 2016 member blog hop

I'm excited to be back into the swing of scrapping and happy to be back here for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop.

Hopefully you've reached me via the ever enthusiastic and inspirational Tina but if not, why not pop back to the beginning of the hop at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog to catch all the fun.

This month, we were given the following challenges as inspiration although the members can decide to use the challenges or present any items they've made with their Counterfeit kits:

I decided to use #1 to make a list of my favourite David Bowie tracks that really make me smile even though I'm so very sad right now after the news of his oh-too-soon-death. 

I selected some happy papers and elements from my January kit to lift the feeling of this page because of the bittersweet element to it. A play on words for the title was the final little spin on my emotions right now.

Layers of elements make this more serious layout a little more playful.

Keeping the list to 10 was so hard. Tomorrow, my top 10 might be different and with so many awesome tracks to choose from, how could it possibly be static? But here, right now, here is it!

I used a photo I copied from the internet of a shot from his last publicity photoshoot. Such a happy photo.

Thanks for dropping by :-)

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

If you haven't been back to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog yet, then please do as we have a short survey there to ask your views about the member bog hop. We really want to hear what you think on this so please share.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Scrapabilly January 2016 kit shares (part 2)

I shared my first two layouts here using the Scrapabilly January kit which features elements from the BasicGrey Typeset collection as well as a bunch of embellishments which perfectly complement the main items. Here's a reminder of what the kit looks like!

As soon as I saw the paper with the sewing elements, I knew that I wanted to make a layout about one of my dresses from way back when. When I saw this bright, happy design I knew it would be perfect. We'd all been out for the Birmingham gala premiere of the James Bond film (Licence to Kill I think) and during the dinner after the film showing, I'd won that magnum of champagne! We had such a lot of fun and giggles and got to dress up in party dresses. I loved being able to wear one of my own designs and I was so young! Ah, the good old days.

The little scallop edge here was cut from the manufacturers strip at the bottom of each sheet of paper - I like to make sure I use all the scraps!

The sequins in the kit came in a lovely clear plastic bag which I used to future a selection of my own sequins in colours to match my party dress - yellow, red and blue. (see sequins at Scrapabilly here)

Last one for today features my adorable nephew. I took this photo of the two of us just before Christmas and knew I wanted to use it. I picked out all the neutral elements from the kit and was surprised just how much there was. The camera and grey design paper, the grey woodgrain cardstock, the paper bag, the doily, some stickers, the washi, sequins and of course the Thickers. I added in some silver mist and looped up some silver thread to bring in a hint of sparkle and then decided to use the next most neutral element in the kit - the mint green b-side - for some journaling pages to tuck into the bag. I've written some words to this lovely young man about my feeling for him as I watch him grow.

I love how neutral and masculine this layout turned out using this kit which at first glance gives the impression of being full of colour. This is one of my favourite techniques when using a kit - it really stretches my creativity to see how far from the original I can go and what combinations I can make.

Come back on Monday for my last layout using this kit and featuring my One Little Word. I'm looking forward to sharing.

How do you like to challenge yourself when using a kit?


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