Sunday, November 16, 2014

Invisible Ink and Homemade Watercolours

There's nothing more exciting than watching my girls take a real interest in wanting to learn how to scrapbook 'just like Mum'. I love that they're excited about crafting and more excited by the fact that they want to do it with me. And they're eager to discover new techniques too. That gasp of joy when I teach them something and they see it come alive before their eyes is soooo rewarding!

This week I showed them a couple of simple but fun techniques and taught them how to create their very own bright and vibrant Christmas cards. That's right, these two cards you see were made by my 8 year old (on the left) and 4 year old (on the right). Not me. Except for the trimming and sewing etc.

I call this my invisible ink and homemade watercolour technique and it's perfect for crafting for kids. You'll see why if you watch the video.


Meanwhile, it's also not bad for us adults too. I love the effect of this and can easily see myself creating cards along the same lines. In fact, I already have! Remember this card from my recent sketch feature on the Studio Calico blog? A bit more technical, but it's basically the same idea.

I love that my kids chose out these bright colours to create with. They're not hindered by thinking about traditional Christmas colour schemes. They just want what they like and for Moriah that always ALWAYS involves purple, and for Bethany it's not so specific - just something pretty.

Although I have to admit, I've been creating my own fair share of Christmas projects with lots of pink and aqua too. They're my favourite all year round so I don't see why I shouldn't include them into my holiday crafting as well ;-)

As a parting gift I've linked up all the supplies we used to create these cards in the list below. I'm still going crazy for Kellie Stamps Joy Set for all it's wonderful typographic sentiments, and I can never have too many stars in my life.

Happy scrapping!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

25 days with Stephanie Bryon

Let's be honest. Finishing a December Daily album whilst it's still December has never been a strong point of mine ;-) I have eventually finished every album I've started (which has been yearly for the last 4 years)... but usually it's finished in the following year! For example last year I started my album with grand plans. I printed off a few photos and assembled some supplies.
I got as far as decorating the front cover.

But I've never taken a class before. Maybe that's just what I need to keep motivated and create along at the same time? I'm certain I can hear the new Studio Calico '25 Days' calling my name! Especially when it's taught by Stephanie Bryon and a group of the most amazing contributors and it's promising to be simple and straightforward whilst still being amazingly stunning and elegant.


Signing up for the '25 Days' entitles you to the usual perks of any Studio Calico class including free digital files such as Printables, Cutting Files and Templates.

It also comes with a free class kit (whilst stocks last) which a little SC birdie tells me is fast selling out and they're down to their last few. So sounds like you better get in quick if you want to score one! These will ship for free no matter where you live. I love that Studio Calico look after their international customers like this so we don't miss out on the great deals :-)

All the details of what else is included and how to sign up for the class is here. Maybe I'll see you in there?


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tutorial: Christmas Ribbon Stamping (and a winner announcement)

I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels like I accumulate stash at an exponential rate. I definitely buy more stuff than I use, and yet two things remain true....
1. The lure of buying more stash never gets less. I have never once used the excuse of 'but I have so many things I don't need any more' to stop me buying something,
2. It's way too hard to throw stuff out. Give stuff away and give it to the kids I can do, but there's still sooooo many things that are in the "that's too pretty, I'm sure I'm going to use it someday" pile.

One such "too pretty to throw away" product that I've been hoarding for years is this seam-binding ribbon. I have no idea where I got it from or what my initial plans were, but for at least the last couple of years this little collection has been sitting inside that jar and biding it's time. Well today is the day I'm going to use it all up!

Pulling out some new products to pair it with is a great trick to reinvent some old stash, so I'm going to use my new Kellie Stamps Joy Clear Stamp Set to motivate myself!

My idea here is really simple - all I want to do is stamp a design along the length of the ribbon to jazz it up a level. But seam binding ribbon is by it's nature wrinkled and crumpled, that's part of its appeal... but not very conducive to straight stamping. So I moistened the ribbon with a few spritz of water and then ran the iron over it to flatten it out. I think it's quite pretty like this as well because now you can more clearly see all the gradations of colour in it.

I chose a couple of sentiments from the Joy Stamp Set which fit nicely within the width of the ribbon and used my StazOn Ink to stamp with. Choosing a waterproof ink is really important because if you want to crumple the ribbon again at the end you'll need to dampen it and scrunch it up in your hand... and I can just imagine what mess that might make otherwise!

So I just started at one end of the ribbon and stamped each sentiment until I reached the other end! Nothing hard about that! But it's got a completely different look now doesn't it? Gone is the shabby-chic appeal of the scrunchy seam binding, and welcome instead the clean and graphic appearance of typography ribbon!

This will do nicely for some present wrapping :-)

I also tried out the re-scrunched version on this quick layered tag I whipped up.
Obviously this is a really quick and simple technique to try out, but I just think it adds a new level of design detail to some otherwise pretty (but plain) ribbon.
Plus I'm quite chuffed that I'm going to be using up all that old stash this season ;-)

On a completely different topic, it's about time I announced this...

My winner (chosen by is
SC username: jazzyjay

Yay Joanne! I've already forwarded your details onto the powers-that-be at Studio Calico, so I've got no doubt they'll be shipping out your Underground Scrapbook Kit real soon.
Thankyou to everyone that joined in on the fun of the Blog Hop, it certainly was inspiring wasn't it?

Happy Scrapping,

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I was excited to receive my latest order from Studio Calico because amongst my goodies was the Ashley Goldberg supplies I had picked out in preparation for her class Paint.Plan.Play. and also some super cool Christmas stuff too! I'm hoping to get into some Letterpress action for my Christmas crafting this season.... I finally caved and have just ordered the Letterpress Bundle for my birthday so watch this space :-)

But in the meantime I couldn't resist but break in a couple of those stamps and start practicing colouring them with waterpaints. I am smitten with that little girl can you tell? I want to work out the perfect colours for her!

Ashley had some really interesting things to say about her class on her Instagram account this morning which has got me quite excited....

      "To those of you that have signed up or have expressed interest, thank you. Thank you for being excited about, and intrigued by, art journaling. Thank you for being curious. Curiosity and expression really are the core of art journaling. I was told once, art journaling is both a place to ask AND answer questions. Art journaling is where you solve creative problems. It's a rare place where testing out techniques can live beside completed pieces of art. A page of journaling can be next to a collaged page of ephemera and personal memorabilia. Art journaling is YOUR space to be adventurous. Art journaling is a way to find your creative voice. When I took German in high school I expected to learn German, which I did (please don't test me on it though!). What I didn't expect was that I would understand English better. Learning a new language gave me a better knowledge of my first language. I think that is a metaphor for all skills. Creating in your art journal, even when you don't consciously realize it, will teach you more about yourself as an artist, maker, crafter, scrapper...however you identify yourself. It will make you better in all the other areas where you create. And it will help you understand your own creative process and preferences." 

If this has got you as excited as me and you want to sign up for Paint.Plan.Play you need to get in REALLY QUICKLY! Registration closes today at midnight EST (which equals 3pm today Aussie daylight savings time). And if you're interested in buying a few of the class supplies as well, you can check them out here. See you in class tomorrow!


PS.  Whilst on the topic of new stash, these super-popular Mama Elephant Christmas Stamps have just been restocked in the shop too. These have sold out really quickly whenever they come in, so if you've been hanging out to get your hands on them - now is the time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Christmas Time is Beaut!

Oh yes I'll admit the Christmas crafting has begun in full swing at my house, despite the fact it's still only October! I'm blaming the Pine Hill Add On I 'had' to work with for the Walden release. It sparked something festive in me! And once I've started I don't think I'll stop until January I'm guessing ;-)

The good news is I've also just had some new season Christmas goodies land on my doorstep as well and really.... they were begging to be tested out. Firstly there was that Joy Stamp Set from Kellie Stamps with all it's glorious typography, and similarly I'm in love with the script word dies Studio Calico keep releasing. This 'Christmas' one is sure to get a work out this season!

Now I don't mind the traditional red and green colour scheme, especially when you throw in a touch of gold too, but I'm also a sucker for the more pastel schemes (not that I really consider this card 'pastel' but... you know what I mean!) I'm no expert at stamp colouring, but I think I can just about manage something small and cute like these presents. I used a waterbrush on my Color Theory Ink Pads to do it.

I'm thinking next time I make this card I might just tone down the background inky colours a touch? Perhaps a bit too bright? Anyway, it sure was fun and it came together in a flash. Now that you mention it, this card is actually based on one that I made for my Flashy Card Fast class which is due to start in November. So if you're interested in the techniques I've used, be sure to sign up and get all the inside scoop! ;-)

And speaking of 'the inside' - I didn't forget to add a little something there as well!
I'm linking this up to Kellie's "Currently Creative" linky party. Heaps of inspiration to be had over there. Check it out.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walden Reveal

Happy reveal day! The Studio Calico Walden kits are here and they are fabulous! If you've been feeling like the colours in the past kits haven't been quite your thing, or perhaps even a little light on with the embellishments then this month is going to blow your mind. The Main Kit is choc-a-block with exclusive products such as a Wilna Furstenberg stamp and vellum leaves, and our favourite rubber alphas are back in grey!

Here's my first Main Kit Only layout. I stuck with a green, blue, grey colour scheme which fit this underwater theme quite nicely, and splashed about some Gelatos and water-colours (pardon the pun!) to create a similar feel.

Look at those colours! Makes you just want to jump in a pool doesn't it?!

It's a bit hard to see in the full layout photograph but I've also used this background cutting file to stencil in some extra texture in the background. It looks much better in real life - makes me want to run my fingertips over it every time. Like it's some kind of braille :-) You can catch a glimpse of it in this detail shot though...

My second Main Kit Only layout also wasn't in any way Autumn-themed. I mean, the main kit is filled with lots of greens, reds, tans and blues - inspired by the natural tones of the countryside. But I took it in a much more tropical direction by focusing on the splashes of orange.

Anyone been to The Big Pineapple recently? I visited as a child, and then after an absence of perhaps 20 years took my girls to see it on our holidays. Ummm..... so it wasn't quite like these romantic memories I had in my head from back in the 90's. But I guess these things never are ;-)

Taking inspiration from the pineapple photos I folded these little paper squares to mimic the skin. Yes, I thought initially about how technically they should be hexagons but really... that was going to be much harder! I swiped a little bit of gold and orange acrylic paint over them for some highlighting too. I kinda love it! Something a bit different hey?

Next up is my double page spread for the month. If truth be told, it actually started off just as a single page. As in, I started and finished it all as just the left hand side. And then felt guilty for not including enough photos or journaling so decided to go back and add another page to it (which still failed on the journaling front, but at least got 6 more photos included!)

My big inspiration for this one was the 'Today' card from the Baker Bridge Add On. I wanted to try and recreate the same colour scheme on my background paper and so once again reached for my Gelatos (they got a lot of love from me this month! I'm so happy I got the 34 colour set and not the smaller version) I think I've managed to match it pretty well actually. My title comes from one of the digital stamps converted into a cutting file. It comes in this bundle which is so cute: 

My fourth layout uses mainly the Concord Add On (with a bit of the Main still mixed in). This kit has certainly more of that girly vintage vibe that is my standard fall back... although I have a suspicion that might be about to change a bit in the future ;-)

So I finally got around to scrapping one of the pregnancy-announcement photos we took 6 weeks ago! The colours in the photo were perfect for this kit, and the little bits of cutesy like that fox badge, and the cloud paper worked well too.

And despite the fact that me and hand-stitching generally don't really mix (which is ironic really.... given I do soooo much of it in real life!) I was excited to see the embroidery stencil in the Concord Add On too. I even thought I might actually do it. But once I counted up that my title had 12 letters in it I had second thoughts and figured I could just get away with this cheat version instead ;-) I still punched the holes, traced around them with a Precision Pen and painted in the rest with a coat of gesso and then... yep.. you guessed it.... more Gelato action!

My fifth and final layout for reveal was a Christmas one. It's the first Christmas project I've made this season and it's awoken my love for holiday scrapping again. Might even prompt me to tackle my unstarted unfinished December Daily from last year. Well.... we'll see!

But yes, I would consider the Pine Hill Add On to be my favourite this month. Every single bit is perfect, from the mix of papers to all those fun embellishments too. I mean, you've seen the masking tape right? The deer though is actually from the Main Kit - I just added the antlers and red nose separately to make him into a little miniature Rudolph. Super cute, and keeps my reindeer obsession burning bright.

You can see all my layouts (including more detail shots) and a more comprehensive supply list in my Studio Calico Gallery here, but I've also linked up my most used products below as well.

Earlier today I posted what new products made it into my shopping cart this month in case you're interested too ;-)

Oh and I can't believe I nearly forgot! Here's my unpacking video for the Walden Kits. And by "my unpacking video" I really mean "The Trophy Husband's unpacking video" because he's taken over again this month! This is most certainly the most product-ignorant colour-blind walk through you'll ever get. Just be aware!


Happy Scrapping,



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