Wednesday, 18 September 2019

September 2019 - Counterfeit Kit Challenge - Back to School!

Good morning - Happy Hump Day!

It's time for Challenge #2 over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge but first, here's a quick reminder of the personalised, curated kit we're using as our September inspiration courtesy of the Secret Not Secret Kit Club.  If you missed this month's reveal, why not head back to the CKC blog hop on the 1st here and get the gen - it's never too late to join in.

And here's another reminder of my own Wanderlust kit (find the details here).

And now it's time for the challenge itself:

Challenge #2 - Back to School

"In the UK, September always marks the start of the new school year and whenever I see September on my calendar, my mind goes back to that time of my life. The low-lying sun, the misty mornings, the beginning of autumn, the smell of new school supplies, the familiar sights and sounds as we all piled back into the classroom."

Be inspired by this "back to school" feeling!

As I often do these days, I made up the whole layout without actually knowing what photo or story I wanted to tell. But it all started with that sheet of photo-realistic Crate Paper that I've used as a background. The road stretching out before me reminded me of the days of school and how it's the starting point to life. I love the design and when I have a pattern such as this, I try to come up with a layout that allows the full picture to be seen with a cluster of layers and elements tucked off to one corner or other.

I've also taken to looking for colour combinations in my kits that have some sort of significance and even though they are not true to the shades of my original school uniform (sky blue, navy and bright green), I picked out shades of blue and green for my layout and brought in blacks and grey to add a little more interest and contrast.

I'm always surprised at how many items of a particular colour I can find in my kits when I look at them critically like this.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit, Wanderlust lo#1

I have to admit to adding in that navy alphabet to my kit and yes, it now lives in the kit box - my kits tend to grow throughout the month!

It was a lot of fun looking for different shapes and small pieces to cluster up for dimension, texture and additional interest. I also like the symbolism that may of those items have to support my story.

The larger "empty" section above the cluster proved perfect for my longer journalling and then a modern (from 2011), bright, eye-catching photo finished off the design. With so few photos from my original time at school, I'm really enjoying finding ways to use the school building photos I have from that visit to tell stories from years and years ago. And I really like the contrast of the colours in the photo with the muted background.

We always love to see your work, so please share your kits and projects with us.
You can use our Monthly Link-up page, post them in our Facebook Community, or share them on Instagram (we are @counterfeitkitchallenge or tag us using #counterfeitkitchallenge and #ckcseptember2019).

Thanks so much for stopping by - don't forget to check out the blog after letting me know you were here!

What school stories are you going to tell this month? 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Counterfeit Kit Challenge - Forgery on the Fourth

I'm back today with my Forgery on the Fourth for Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit.

You can find out more links and other forgeries from the team over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog here so don't forget to head over there to see what's on offer :-) 

A reminder of our personalised curated kit for September's inspiration courtesy of Khristina Sorge from the Secret Not Secret Kit Club (you can find details about her club online here) who is also our wonderful Guest Designer this month. 

This is the kit she made for us.

My eye immediately went to the die cut viewfinders and the outline plane embellishment. I knew I could come up with something similar using my Silhouette. It took me a couple of minutes to find some viewfinders in my library so I was on a roll but a plane? I had to use a cluster embellishment and ungroup them to have a single plane to use.

Next up was to resize a bunch of them, position them in a similar way to the original in the kit and then work out how to connect them. Merging them was tricky and it took a long time to get them perfectly positioned so that they touched but didn't go "into" the neighbouring shape. While that looked ok as block shapes, once I worked out how to create an outline shape, I could see that when they overlapped too much, the outline wasn't solid but rather had openings where they touched. I went online to find out how to create an outline cut from a solid shape (apparently it's offset and I worked out that an inside offset was better). Then I kept nudging the shapes around, merging, offsetting and checking the form before undoing all those last steps to nudge the shapes around again and continue through that iterative process until I was relatively happy with the result! It's not perfect but I'm happy with it and I think that no-one would notice the imperfection. This is a screenshot of how my template looked in Silhouette before I sent it to cut.

I used a thick white cardstock and it came out perfectly. It really took a long time but I learned about offsetting shapes and am gradually building up more than just the basic skills that I've had for some time now. When I use my Silhouette, I'm always thrilled with the result and just purchasing this shape might have been a whole lot easier but I've got a lot of satisfaction from creating this die cut myself.

I also thought I'd give the epoxy stickers a go. I liked the simple white on black form with the non-uniform white outline and thought I could recreate something similar. I used an almost black paper and them white heat embossed some motifs from a travel collection stamp set and a few phrases that were the same as the original set. I cut these out using three different sized dies and then cut a set of white cardstock circles too. I mounted the black paper onto the white cardstock in different ways - sometimes using a larger white circle and sometimes, the same size. I moved the shapes around so that there was a different frame of white on each one.

Then I covered a few of them with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, laying them out on baking paper first so that they didn't stick. I tried to get right up to the edges and knock out the air bubbles before leaving them for 24 hours to dry.

The final result isn't perfect as there were definitely some bubbles still left in the glue as well as some rough edges as the glue settled and dried. I was also a little disappointed that the white cardstock appears less than white now. The Dimensional Magic is not 100% clear but at least the white of the cardstock is now the same white as the embossing!

Just for comparison, I also did the same thing to a few with Glossy Accents. As you can see, the white cardstock appears a more true white but the surface is certainly not as smooth and glossy or as dimensional.

I've left a few without the "epoxy" effect and no doubt all my faux epoxy stickers will get used up on cards at some point.

If you have some clear epoxy stickers, you can of course make your stickers in an easier way than this. I've included a YouTube link over on the CKC blog today for different ways to put your backgrounds together for these.

In the past I've also talked about making complete copies of sets of word-based Thickers using my Silhouette (you can find examples here and here).

Why not try your hand at making your own embellishments for your own kit? It can be a lot of fun learning new techniques and trying different things out to achieve the results you're looking for. Not all of my "forgeries" are successful, but I love giving it a try!

Don't forget that there's a whole load of inspiration over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog and we always love seeing how you've been inspired. So please share your kits and projects with us.

You can use our Monthly Link-up page, post them in our Facebook Community, or share them on Instagram (we are @counterfeitkitchallenge or tag us using #counterfeitkitchallenge and #ckcseptember2019).

Monday, 2 September 2019

August at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge and mini-LOAD819

It's a new month and I'm going to try to get into a better routine of sharing my scrapbooking projects. I have plans!

I was quite productive in August - well compared to recent times - and made a total of 9 pages. Two for the Creative Team at Simple Scrapper and seven as part of the Scrap Happy mini-LOAD819.

Even though I didn't manage a layout every day - I skipped an evening in favour of a cocktail on the balcony which seemed a good call - I caught up the next day and completed 7 layouts in 7 days which still feels like a win for me.

While some of those LOAD layouts could also be counted for Whimsical Musings prompts (and don't forget my relaunch for that today over at the blog), I decided just to count them for the LOAD819 prompts. I was almost on prompt for most of the week too which wasn't bad for me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I'm going to share the mini-LOAD819 layouts in this post, 6 of which were made with my Counterfeit Kit Challenge August kit, Macarons (you can find out all about that kit here).

It feels like a long time since I did a regular layout share so here goes (sorry that this is a long post):

LOAD819#1 / CKC Macarons #1

The LOAD prompt was about the learning experience and I just knew that I wanted to make a pretty page featuring my gorgeously lovely niece who is growing up to be a simply wonderful young lady.

I had included this sunburst paper in my kit and decided to go back to a favourite technique of sewing along the rays to give it some interest and texture. I used white and gold thread to change it up a little.

My kit was full of some more cutesy items and they seemed to fit on this page.

You can just see a hint of a pull out tab here where I included a screenshot of her first school report which of course, is glowing. I was so proud to read the lovely words her teacher had for her and thought it was perfect to match the theme of the page.

I raided my Shimelle sticker book for some stickers and elements to add some whimsical elements to decorate different corners of the page.

LOAD819#2 / CKC Macarons #2

This prompt was about school timetables. I discovered that I really only have a handful of random school shots, most of which I'm not even in, so I need to get very creative about how to scrap the few school stories I want to tell. When I saw this photo it struck me as unusual to have me sitting there with my homework spread out. I normally hung out in my room, not doing it if at all possible. That was the way I decided to go to tell a snippet of my ambiguous relationship with school.

I was drawn to the darker shades in my kit along with the star design and then just lightened it up a little to mat my photo. It was fun to pick out some elements from my kit that were totally different to layout #1 and show how versatile most kits are if you look at them in different ways.

I've actually changed this title slightly to replace the a and t for an @ symbol because I needed the a for another title! ha ha.

LOAD819#3 / CKC Macarons #3

The prompt here was about "recess" or lunchtime. I thought about writing about our "playroom" which was always an experience and not really much about "play" at all. But then I saw this photo that I'd taken back in 2011 when the school had a building anniversary that we were happy to attend. It helped me get some captures of corners of the school that are connected to some strong memories even they're not all positive.

Another example of how you can usually shop your kit for various motifs and colours to make each layout different from the last.

The story is a little bittersweet but I haven't concentrated on the negative side of it. Sometimes this is the way to tackle those more difficult stories - connect it to happier times, and just refer to it in passing rather than dwelling on the negative.

LOAD518#4 / CKC Macarons #4

I've shared this already (you can find it in my blog post here) as part of last month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge prompt #2 - What is summer to you?"

Obviously, this was definitely off-prompt for LOAD but it made me happy to get so many photos of a recent event onto a page so quickly.


The challenge today was to talk about school friends but I was inspired to make a layout about my "mint greet washi friend" (in-joke) online friend who has become a real life friend. This is the third time we've got together - London, Germany and Paris! That seemed to deserve a page. I recently acquired the Carta Bella Let's Travel collection which seemed perfect for some Paris pages and it's true. This is the second Paris layout I've made and it's got a bit of everything - pretty colours, nice designs, a hint of theme, interesting bits and pieces for embellishment.

I included the banner here and it reminded me how much I love making these thready loops to decorate the top of the banner tags. I have to remember to do that again soon.

I layered up that tag element at the bottom with four die cuts and lot of foam squares. Perfect for a dimensional corner of the page. 

LOAD819#6 / CKC Macarons #5 

The LOAD prompt was a visit to the Principal's office and it immediately made me think of waiting outside the Head Mistress's office, watching the lights with dread until I had to go in to face my fate.

I'm less pleased with this and have changed out the journalling block several times. I've decided to let it go now and leave it as it is. It uses another photo from 2011 but I'm glad to have found a way to connect it back to my time as a "naughty" teenager (I was nowhere near as bad as it sounds!)

I deliberately used blues and greens here to mirror the school uniform that we wore back then. It was fun to find different shades that could carry though that colour theme (dots and stickers) as well as that days of the week strip of paper which made me think about the school weekday routine.

I hate that photo but it's the only one I have so that's what I have to live with!

LOAD819#7 / CKC Macarons #6

The LOAD challenge was to create a page about after school. I immediately decided that I wanted to capture a story about arriving in France on day one of my new life to be faced with the reality of the day to day of adult life after school. Before I made this layout, I went to my albums to look at what other S of France stories I have only to find that I have about three. So there's definitely some catching up to do.

It's another one I'm completely happy with but I'm going to let it go and live with it without any tweaking. Sometimes, you just have to accept that not every layout is going to turn out as lovely as you'd like.

Some pretty elements and a couple of stickers from the Shimelle pack proved perfect decorations to "lighten" up the mood of the layout.

I wanted to write a lot so I knew I had to keep the embellies low key to give me that space on the background paper.

All in all, I'm relatively happy with the results. My Counterfeit Kit Challenge August kit is well used and I now have a few more stories recorded. I'd love to achieve a full month of LOAD in October as part of the Scrap Happy membership - let's see how that works out for me.

I'll be back soon with my August projects for the Creative Team at Simple Scrapper.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit reveal and blog hop

Yay! It's September which means we are ending awards my favourite time of year and a season when you will find me smiling - each. and. every. single. day! 

And I'm excited to be organising the Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit too. Double yay!

You should have reached me via the ever creative delights over at Leslie's blog here and next up is Ms Productive herself, Lori at her blog here. There's a full list at the end of the post if you get lost along the way.

I wanted to do something a bit different this month and approached Khristina Sorge from the Secret Not Secret Kit Club  (you can find details of her kit club online here) The Secret Not Secret Kit Club  provide personalised, curated kits to fit your own specific requirement - it's just about as personal and flexible as you can get.

She agreed right away which made me happy and then went one step further and curated a kit specifically for us - the Counterfeit Kit Challenge! I was delighted. And not only that - she's also our wonderful Guest Designer this month so you won't want to miss any of the blog hop this month. Make sure you say hello to everyone.

I gave her a few guidelines of what I was looking for - a more muted colour scheme than we've had recently, some travel/city/trip themed items and of course, lots of embellishments. She came up with this stunner of a kit and I couldn't wait to get going and make up my own. Of course, I'd jump right in to this one too and scoop it up in a second given a chance. I LOVE it.

You can find a full kit content list over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog today

I was immediately drawn to the constellation paper which will surprise none of you, as well as the travel motif and the full array of embellishments. Starting with a sheet of my own star paper (of which I have, ahem, many to choose from!), I matched up papers according to feel, colour and pattern. I haven't made a direct copy but was totally inspired by the original and I think I have a lot with the same vibe. 

So, let me introduce Wanderlust.

As mentioned above, I started with the constellation paper and then went through the cloud, birch trees and soft blue floral sheets before heading over to my BasicGrey Carte Postale remnants which all made their way in! Some graph and lined prints, a repeated word print, an all over camera pattern and the bright chevron seemed to match up closely with the original kit and then the cut apart sheet definitely fitted right in as well as reminding me closely of the boy paper. That's a lot of paper to be honest and almost every sheet is two-sided, which I'm totally open to using, but I really like the mix of muted colours and patterns. I know I will get a lot of use out of it.

Next up, I created a Silhouette file with the viewfinders and and the connected plane outline die cuts. That took me a long time but it was worth it as I found out a few new tips and tricks along the way (you can find out a little more in my Forgery on the Fourth feature). I then matched up a handful of metal star clips and a bunch of random die cut elements in colours and patterns which I thought would work with my papers. There are some REALLY old items in there so it will be interesting to see if they get used up.

A few leftovers from my Carte Postale collection, a pack of One Canoe Two enamel shapes which reminded me of the hearts and dots in the original kit and a couple of random items which got scooped up and put into the kit seemed good additions.

I spotted some frames from a Pink Paislee travel collection and the back/grey and white sticker sheet from Echo park also seemed ideal to fill out the embellishments as well as three white and three kraft tags as in the inspiration kit.

I found a bunch of used up black Thickers so we will see how far they take me. There are only a handful of useful letters so I'm not sure how much use they'll be but it's time for them to get out of the packet and onto pages if at all possible.

Last but not least, I've included a generic mask which isn't quite as funky as in the original it but you never know, I might find a way to use it in a way that works for me... 

I adore my kit and yes, I know I say that every month but it's true. I know I will get some fabulous pages from it and I'll really enjoy getting some of these older products used up somewhere I can actually see them.

Here's the full blog hop and you know that we always love to see your work, so please share your kits and projects with us.

You can use our Monthly Link-up page, post them in our Facebook Community, or share them on Instagram (we are @counterfeitkitchallenge or tag us using #counterfeitkitchallenge and #ckcseptember2019).

Thanks so much for stopping by! We can't wait to see your kits and projects this month! 


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