Friday, April 17, 2015

A Handbook Holiday

After posting my 'front cover' of the holiday section in my 2014 Handbook at the beginning of the month as part of my Studio Calico Lisse Street projects I figured I probably should finish off the rest of the pages!

Now I know I just stated that and then posted a photo with the left-hand still empty. It is actually complete but for the life of me it seems I failed to take a photo of it! But I wanted to push on and get all these up for you, so I'm not going back now to photograph it I'm afraid ;-)

I've been using a bunch of different SC Project Life kits, but I'm also digging into my old stash of 'vintage' products lately too. This spread below was all made with the old Studio Calico collections Sundrifter and Here & There from ?2012, maybe even ?2011. Still classic!

This spread is probably one of my favourites of this section, it's made with the Hello Hello PL kit and includes such fun embellishments like that line of sequins... which was actually an accident. I'd originally thought it would be cute to draw a little fish there, to fit with my theme, and just jumped right in with a pen. Needless to say it didn't turn out so well and then I had to find something to cover it up!!

There's still plenty of journaling throughout my spreads which is always important to me. I love the fun colourful filler cards, but I need to have the cards that allow me space to write! The SC kits always have such a great mix of both I find.

The last page in this section of my Handbook concludes with another spread not shown here (because I've shared it here back in January). I have such a sense of satisfaction that I've finally finished this now. I mean, the holiday was in September... so it's only 7 months late!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Handbook Christmas

In trying to fill in the gaps of my 2014 Handbook I found myself having to revisit Christmas. My album isn't a chronological account of all our adventures throughout the year, but it does include key events and other random moments that I felt required a photo and a story. 

Sometimes the events were spread out over multiple pages if I felt there was a lot to share, and the Christmas season was one of those. In December I created a '12 Days of Christmas' album, so I didn't want to rehash everything again, but my Handbook includes the photos that didn't make it into the album, and the ones that have more of a story behind them.

These first two pink and purple-heavy spreads (not your traditional Christmas colours but I'm really loving it!) are made with the Studio Calico Park Ave PL Kit which has been one of my favourites for the year.

And then this spread below included some cards that came as a bonus kit when you signed up for Stephanie Bryan's 25 Days class which ran during December last year.

And lastly, this one documents our Boxing Day celebrations with a mix of both these kits.

Even though the album is completely not chronological it just so happened that these spreads found their way at the end of the album so it's quite fitting ultimately. I've still got some gaps before this point which I'll continue to work on, and I share here real soon :-)


Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Jot Mood Board

I know I've been all about the cards for a while here, but it seems I have swung my attentions a little more towards the Project Life process recently. I think probably because I've got SOOOooo many photos and tonnes of stories to tell at the moment. I really must get started on that baby album soon. But in the meantime I'll start with sharing this spread:

Sure, it's not the most joyful of topics. It is indeed about the day we sprinkled my Grandmother's ashes. But this is real life right? Documenting the lows as well as the highs, journaling through the tough times as well as the celebrations. And seriously, this specific day was all of those things!

I actually took my colour palette inspiration from the April Jot Magazine Mood Board Challenge. With it's elegant combination of navy, gold and pink as well as it's floral theme I thought it would suit the 'atmosphere' of this page perfectly. 

I've used a real mix of different Studio Calico Project Life kits for this one, as well as some other stuff from my stash. I shuffled through Poet Society, Penny Arcade and Cirque - pulling bits and pieces that matched as I went. I'm thinking it's about time I integrated all my kits out, rather than having them in their original packing. It would make this kind of PL-ing much easier! 

I even included not one, but two of the prized gold foil speciality cards on this page. I'm desperately trying not to be a hoarder! And honestly, if a page about your Grandmother's ashes doesn't deserve two gold cards then I don't know what would! I splashed around some orange waterpaint to add the finishing touches.

I tell you what, the Jot Girls are just loving the Mood Board again this month and have come up with some stunning projects. You can check out all the details for the challenge here. Maybe you'll join in?


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lisse Street Reveal

It's reveal day over at Studio Calico and I'm rather excited that I get to play a part again this month. I'm fairly certain when the head-honchos decided April was the month to release the Australia stamp and die set that they also decided it would make the most amount of sense to send it to the only Aussie on the team to play with! Seems logical... and I couldn't agree more :-) 

Of course, what good is a stamp and die set if I didn't have some pretty papers to use it with as well? So I was lucky enough to also score the Lisse Street Main Scrapbooking Kit which I used to create this Handbook spread with. 

I'm desperately trying to complete my 2014 Handbook with all the monumental events of the year, and our September holiday to Queensland certainly counts as one of those! With lots and lots of photos to include it actually extends over multiple pages, so this became like a front-cover of sorts for the whole section.

I turned the Australia stamp and die into an interesting little add-in as it's just a touch too big to include into a 4x6" pocket (if you include Tassie in it's rightful place!) but that's cool by me because I've been tucking in lots of these types of inserts throughout my Handbook. I've pretty much decided that the Attacher die will be my most used die of the year.

I've since added another photo and some journaling to the back of the insert as well, but at the time I took the photo of my spread I hadn't quite decided what I was going to do with it. 

With so many pretty patterned papers in the Scrapbook Kit I wanted to include as many as I could onto this spread, but that meant when it came to my journaling I had to debate with myself how I was going to put it in. I didn't think I could journal directly onto the paper because the patterns are a little busy and I didn't think I would be able to read it. On the other hand, I didn't want to journal onto plain paper and stick it over the top because it would cover it all up. So the idea of compromising by journaling onto vellum was born. Rather happy with that!

Anyway, the Lisse Street Kits and all the Add Ons are on sale for now at Studio Calico. Check them out here. 

Or if you want the up-close and personal walk through, and you've been hanging out for the return of The Trophy Husband, then you're going to want to watch this....


Oh and PS. Did you notice that the Australia stamp and die also comes with a couple of cute extras like this koala? There's also a kangaroo and a fish and a boomerang. It's so fun!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Story of the Macrame Jar Project

The second project that was included in my Makers' Box was a hanging macrame jar kit. To be completely honest, macrame was one of those terms that I've heard of before but didn't actually know what it meant. A quick trip to Wikipedia informs me that it's a form of textile-making using cords tied into a series of elaborate knots that's used as a decorative or hanging item most commonly.

Now that I had that straightened out I could better visualise where I was heading with this project. The item that I would be hoping to hang was this glass jar which comes with it's own snugly fitting glass lid. I say hoping because at first glance of the instructions I was wondering if I would be able to master this retro craftform! But I figured I could just tackle one step at a time, so lets start with something I know.

What I know is that I always want to add my own little special touches to these projects. So whilst the glass jar and lid was nice, it was made spectacular by the addition of some bright pink paint. Seriously, all I did was pour in some rather thin running paint, swirl it around a bit and then wait for it to dry. But it looks so much cooler don't you think?!

When it came time for the macrame bit I needn't have worried. I had it all spread over my kitchen table when my Mum came to stay. She's a crafty type person herself and curiosity had her investigating what exactly all these cords and instruction book etc were about. Once she saw the word macrame I could see her eyes light up with recognition. "I haven't done this in years, I wonder if I still know how?" she exclaimed as she quickly set up her own experimental knot-tying station. Let's just say that by the time I got home from running an errand, my macrame project was done! ;-)

It'a little uneven and the knots are a little wonky, but I'm thinking that adds to the handmade charm of it all. The bright pink paint complements the neon green cords and I love the overall appeal of it. Very retro isn't it? It looks perfectly at home hanging next to a framed vintage Sassafras Lass print above Moriah's bed. And as for the possibilities of what I'm going to store in this - well, they're endless. Small toys is what Moriah will fill it with, she's got a Squinkies collection that's looking for a new place of residence. Or I'm thinking of reclaiming it either for my craft room to fill with embellishments, or to turn it into an air planter and hang it in the kitchen.

I'm really enjoying my Makers' Box subscription - both this macrame jar project and the clay cloud magnets that I shared earlier in the month have been really fun and super-cool. Mikaela is up on the Makers' Collective blog sharing an insight into the latest project kit too. And if you want all the information about how to sign up for a subscription for yourself then you'll find that over here.

Happy Making!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Story of Creating with Kids

Have you seen the all-new Big Picture Classes website yet? With its recent launch, I wanted to share a little bit about the site with you. I'll be teaching some classes online with Big Picture Classes this year, and I'm so glad to be able to work in such an all-around amazing place to find inspiration, advice, and creative content from experts all over the world.
If you're not familiar with Big Picture Classes, it's an online learning platform for all things crafty, offering classes that cover all the crucial topics about crafting, creating, and documenting memories that you'll need to excel and then some.  Become a member of our learning family, and you’ll get access to as many classes as you want for only $9.99 a month.  Each class brings you a variety of topics and ideas, not to mention videos, PDFs, prompts and so much more! Stop on by the BRAND NEW Big Picture Classes website to find out more about how you can learn everything you need to know to document your memories beautifully every time!

The first class I'm teaching this year has already launched and it's called 'Creating with Kids'. This installment focuses on Cardmaking. Yes I'm giving you a great big hint there! ;-)
I'm really excited about this topic. I think there's something very special about sharing your talents and imparting your passion to your kids. My girls were so chuffed to be invited to collaborate with me on this class, and every morning they were asking me "what project are we going to do today?" They pretty much consider themselves as co-teachers in this class now!

The way the class is structured is that I teach you 9 different art and craft techniques that you can do with your kids. They're fun and different and messy and awesome! They'd work great just on their own for keeping kids busy during boring weekends and school holidays. But then I take it a step further by showing you how you can take their finished pieces and turn them into 9 different greeting cards that you could give to anyone.

And no, you totally don't even need to have kids to do this class! I've had plenty of women say to me that they're excited to try out the techniques for themselves, and they're coming up with some spectacular results.

Big Picture Classes is also offering a FREE 14 day trial at the moment where you can take my class and as many other classes as you can handle during that time. So what are you waiting for?! You can find out all the information about Creating with Kids | Card Class here.

Happy Scrapping,

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jot Magazine March Mood Board Challenge

So the good news is I've got plenty of reasons to be giving away lots of these today....

Yesterday we welcomed the safe arrival of our third baby, Judah James after a speedy labour. It all went very well and we're both doing fine. The girls are super excited of course, and the Trophy Husband couldn't be prouder. Obviously anticipating this moment I have taken the opportunity to make up a few pre-prepared Thank You cards. This one that you see here was inspired by the March Mood Board challenge at Jot Magazine. Aren't the colours just delightful?!
Very fresh and crisp and representative of new life don't you think? So it couldn't be more perfect for me right now. And whilst I know that at first glance this card might look a little complicated with all it's layers let me share my trick with you.... all I do is gather scraps of supplies that match the colours and put them in a big pile. I usually don't search very hard, I just find the first things that my eyes land on, and then I build up some layers on my card until I'm happy with the arrangement. So it's actually a reasonably quick process.

For example here the white butterfly is a scrap that was still lying on my desk from something else (which was too long ago to even remember, but I kept this negative image because I knew it would come in handy for something like this!) and then all the layers underneath that are Project Life cards. The only bit of 'real work' I did was diecut the word Thanks using one of my most-used metal dies from Studio Calico. I cut it in green glitter cardstock because I just couldn't help myself!

If you've been just as inspired by the March Mood Board at Jot Magazine as I was then you'll want to check out all the details on how to play along here. You can of course create a layout or a Project Life spread, or anything paper project essentially. I'm just still stuck in my card making groove lately!

Our sponsor this month is A Piece of Cake Designs with a generous gift voucher up for grabs. Maybe I'll see you over there?

PS. You can check out my fresh baby pics on Instagram if you're interested :-)



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