Friday, February 27, 2015

Time to Shine

I'll be honest, this is actually a spread I made ages ago.
Might have only just gotten around to photographing it, but the making was ages ago.
Let's see... this is the Poet Society Scrapbook Kit and Add Ons, so that makes it September! 


Not sure why I did a Project Life spread with the contents of a Scrapbook Kit, especially given I subscribe to the Project Life kits as well. But probably I was just challenging myself to use more of my stash. And obviously it really IS all about using whatever you have on hand. The real point is about capturing the memories right?


Anyway, I do love these photos of Bethany with our aging family dog. She's a true farm dog, lives outside, barely trained to any other command apart from the call of food. But she's friendly and calm and just the sweetest thing. Which is why it was weird that Bethany was always deathly scared of her as a child. Somewhere along the way though things changed, and all at once they became best friends.


Meanwhile, I've actually got heaps more PL spreads completed. September holiday snaps now all documented. Working on Christmas next. Really gotta get more photographed though!
Will probably have to resort to a massive catch up post.
Watch for that soon.
I hope!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

The Story of the Tassel layout

I always love the February kits at Studio Calico. I don't know what it is, maybe because it's the month of love and the kits tend to be girly and colourful, but without fail it's the February kits that always make it into my top 3 by the end of the year. It's no doubt that Cirque fits the bill for 2015, and I was lucky enough to be sent High Wire and Flying Trapeze to work with! My assignment? Create a little tutorial for you :-)


When faced with a 'challenge' like this I simply just start off with what I know. I make a layout! And whilst I'm piecing it together I look at my products, I look at my colours, and I look at my embellishment choices and wait for inspiration to strike about what I can add that's a little funky and different. What can I do that's a little technique-y and suitable for translating into tutorial form.


Inspired by the feather stamp in Flying Trapeze, and because I'd been perusing all the latest CHA releases which seem to have rather a party focus this season, I thought I could definitely do a scrapbook version of fabric tassels.


The tutorial was up on the Studio Calico blog last week. If you'd like to check it out you can find it here.

And if you were contemplating a subscription then February is definitely the time to do it with these codes for 50% off your first month.

Links: 
Subscribe to the Scrapbook Kit. 
Subscribe to the Card Kit.
Subscribe to the Project Life Kit. 

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Story of My Journaling Bible

Once again I'm here to confess to my slight Instagram addiction. I'm feel like it's so easy and immediate that I'm posting on there all the time, and it seems to give me the impression I'm up to date! Then I realise my poor old blog gets a little bit more neglected each time, so I thought it was time for a bit of a catch up :-)


For those of you who follow me on Instagram you would have noticed that over the past few weeks I've 'discovered' the world of bible journaling and it's quickly become a main staple in my creative ventures. It's not necessarily a daily routine, but perhaps every second or third day I start out my morning looking something like this : breakfast, coffee, journaling bible, Handbook full of stamps, printables and some old Studio Calico kits.


I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do this, and I'm certainly still feeling my way along and working out my style. Not that I think you have to have a style either! I see it as very similar to art journaling in a regular journal. Sometimes you want to test out different mediums, try a specific supply, work in a certain genre. Sometimes you want lots of words, other times it's visual impact you're going for.


What I do know is that since I started it's been like a lightbulb moment when it's finally dawned on me that the creative talents He has blessed me with, and the desire to get more involved in the Word could be combined into this one glorious outlet. Now one craving drives the other, instead of my previous impression that they were competing interests.


I really can't credit anyone else more highly than Shanna Noel for inspiring me to begin this journey. I've been following her on Instagram for the longest time (I'm certain I was following her there even long before we were both on the Studio Calico Creative Team together last year) and that's because she's one of the most genuine people 'I know', and because her scrapbooking style is out of this world!! So when she started what she called "Illustrated Faith" slowly but surely last year I watched eagerly to see where this was going. She just launched her website last week (?) and I've been devouring it ever since. It's definitely the place to go for bible journaling inspiration!


Anyway, so that's just one thing I've been up to lately, and I felt it was worthy of blog-post status! ;-) Here's some other things that have happened recently too:
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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Story of the Fruit Card

Despite appearances that suggest I'm on a Project Life and Card-making rampage there is also quite a bit of Scrapbooking happening around here as well. Most of these pages can't be shared at the moment though as they're all in preparation for the next Jot Magazine issue. If you fancy having a shot at being published in it too then you should check out the submission themes here and shoot Kim an email. I know she'd love to hear from you! But you better get in fast, submissions close tomorrow.


So yeah... in the meantime... here's another card!!


You can see I had a lot of fun with this one. And it came together really quickly too. A diecut circle, a transparency and a bunch of chipboard fruit pieces, that's all it took for this one. All the bits and pieces for this is from my stash of Studio Calico South of Market collection. It might be 'old' in the scheme of scrapbook collections but I really find that the stuff Studio Calico makes is truly timeless. Plus, I'm still on a fruit bender at the moment!


The other reason why this card came together quickly is because I was scrap-lifting this amazing creation by Aimee Dow which was featured on the APOCD blog! Don't worry, I asked her permission first ;-)


Commonly when I scrap-lift I take a fairly literal interpretation. But I always like to take one element and change it around slightly. So what I did was change the square transparency window and the rectangle elements and substitute them with circles instead! Not overly imaginative ... but something different all the same ;-)

How do you scrap-lift?

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Friday, February 6, 2015

The Story of the First Day of Prep

Wasn't it only just a week or so ago I was spouting my resolution to stick to my Handbook for any of my Project Life adventures this year? Yes, yes I think it was ;-)

And then this happened....


So I'm pretty sure I was talking about how the larger 12x12" size of Project Life freaked me out. You know, there's just soooo much space to fill. And that's usually too much space for just one story (which is the way I tackle my Handbook currently). But when I sat down to start documenting this story I just knew I would have way too much to say about it for a 6x8" spread.


Not by the time you take into account the 4 photos I wanted to include, plus some pretties, as well as the story. So after playing around with it for an hour or so the genius idea finally occured to me that I should just take it over to a 12x12" spread.


And honestly, this page then came together quickly and I enjoyed the process so much! Granted it was made way easier by the fact that I subscribe to the Studio Calico PL Kits and by using the January Far Far Away Kit I didn't even need to think about things. I just slipped cards into pockets! I think it's safe to say that you're definitely going to see more of these from me this year. I'm still contemplating how I tackle it exactly. I still don't think I can commit to the idea of doing it traditionally with a spread a week, but I also know that I have lots of little stories I want to get down, and they certainly won't all have a whole page to themselves. So I'm thinking my process might be somewhere in the middle where I just fill in a different amount of pockets for each story as I go along, and when a page is full then it's done!


Meanwhile, I don't think I could have started my 2015 Project Life adventure with any better story! What a big year this is going to be for Moriah as she started Prep last week. As you can see it wasn't all excitement and smiles, especially not in the morning as she nervously prepared. There was certainly a tear or two and it was really difficult to leave her there, although I knew that it would only take a few moments after I was gone before she settled in.


I was right of course. By the time I picked her up at the end of the day she proclaimed, "I don't like school Mum.... I LOVE it!!" So here we go! 2015.. Adventure Awaits!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Story of the Embroidered Heart

February is here (crazily enough!) and so we're all getting in the mood to celebrate love. To help you out our Jot Magazine Mood Board challenge is sure to inspire you to create something lovey dovey, or possibly something a little more saucy given this bold colour scheme?!

Because I literally can't seem to stop creating cards these days, and because Valentine's Day is surely the peak of the greeting card season I was prompted to whip this up...


It's absolutely 100% inspired from that photo of the cookie in the lower left of the Mood Board! Who knew food photos could inspire a card design? But when the mood strikes I guess anything is possible.


The main focus of my card was that embroidered heart which is a from a free set of Valentine's Day Printables by Studio Calico. It was originally pink so I changed it to red in Photoshop to fit the Mood Board. I pierced all the holes, and pulled out my embroidery thread. Then with the sudden realisation that there was no way I would ever have the patience or skill to stitch it all properly I went with just a few cross stitches here and there instead!


Since I skimped on the technical side of embroidering I figured I better get a little more fancy with the rest of the design. And given there was no way of avoiding the addition of gold sequins I thought a shaker card might be in order. I do love a bulky noisy moving interactive card ;-)

To see what the other Jot Girls have created based on the Mood Board and to check out all the details on how you could win a $20 voucher to Scrappy Canary then take a little wander over to the Jot Blog. You'll be feeling romantic in no time!

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Monday, February 2, 2015

The Story of Making More

You may have noticed there's been an absolute flurry of kid-art happening around these parts recently. I think that comes down to the combination of me being on maternity leave whilst the girls were still on holidays which meant we needed to fill in the day with as much quality time as we could manage. Luckily for me what they kept asking to do was "scrapping"!!


'Scrapping' is their term for anything crafty by the way. It usually doesn't actually mean scrapbooking! Their favourite activities usually involve painting. That's their medium of choice most of the time. But anything goes around here.


Apart from documenting all our creative times, I also want to make more effort to actually capture the artwork their creating. You may have seen the watercolour fruit series Bethany made that I shared as free downloads. That was one method of getting the art off the paper and into the computer. But I also want to get them into albums, so that's what I did here for this Handbook spread. I literally just stuck Moriah's drawing onto a spare card and cut it down to size so it could fit right in.


So I guess I'm just giving you fair warning that you're going to see quite a bit more kid-art around here if all my plans come to fruition!

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Story of the Peacock Card

I've definitely got a whole feather-obsession thing going on right now. My Instagram account is filled with different images of me making different versions of them. Some of them I have plans for... like when I posted all these peacock feathers in progress. Some of them (like this one) I don't know what I'm going to do with yet :-)


The photo above was merely step one in the great peacock-feather-adventure-card which ultimately ended up looking like this. 
 


I was super super excited to have my card and it's corresponding tutorial featured last week as a Guest Post on the blog of none-other than my long time crafty idol Julie Fei Fan Balzer!!



The feathers are actually made with a 6x6" stencil that Julie designed. It's a couple of years old now, but still remains one of my favourites, so when Julie asked for a tutorial using her stencils I knew just which one I was going to reach for. 


After much texture paste, watercolours and of course glitter (!) I had a whole flock of feathers that needed nothing anything else but a sentiment in order to create this fun card. Kinda looks like a firework explosion of peacock feathers don't you think?


If you're interested in checking out the whole tutorial of how this card came together from beginning to end then please go over and visit Julie's blog. Maybe you'll be inspired to create something feathery this weekend?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cirque Reveal



The full reveal of the latest Studio Calico kits "Cirque" is set for under two hours from now, so things are getting rather exciting over there on the blog and message boards!

I was lucky enough as a Contributor to be sent a couple of the scrapbook kits this month and let me tell you they are vibrant, they are on-trend and they are spectacular. Here's a little gathering of some of my favourite bits. And if that doesn't get you in the mood to make something then I don't know what will!


I'm ridiculously ashamed to say that so far I've only had the time to create a single layout from them (I've been SUPER-busy with another secret major project that is set to be revealed rather soon!), but what I did make with the Flying Trapeze and High Wire Add Ons I'm pretty happy with!


There'll be a tutorial on the Studio Calico blog later on in the month sharing my inspiration and process behind making those tassels and feather hanging things.

Along with the reveal of all the kits also comes some new products, and whilst there is lots that are on my shopping list to get if I'm quick enough at reveal (Noah Alphabet Stamps anyone?!), here's just a couple I'll draw your attention to.


This copper foil vellum paper pad is really cool. As someone suggested on the message boards, gold foil sometimes feel like it's for special occasions and might hinder you from cutting into it, but the copper seems like it could be for everyday use ;-)

And then there's the re-release of this rather popular stamp designed by Kim Stewart. You might remember it was included in one of the Add On kits back in October, and among other projects I made this card using it. Pretty cool hey? Well if you missed out on the kit, but just wanted to snatch up the stamp - here's your opportunity!


Don't forget about the digital shop as well (especially good for us International shoppers hey?!). Especially cool addition this year is the digital scrapbook papers, and digital Project Life cards for each months reveal. These are exactly the same as what you get in the kits, so even if you get the real deal you might just want to have a digital back up copy for 'just in case' ;-)


Happy Scrapping!
xx
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Bethany's Fruit Series

In the last couple of weeks since I started my maternity leave and the girls have been on school holidays, something remarkable has happened. I've been spending all my time with them, and we've been doing heaps of crafting, and it's been really amazing!

Not unexpected. I never said unexpected :-)
But super cool!



We've been experimenting with different crafts and lots of techniques. The girls have always enjoyed painting the best of all, so I thought we could take it to the next level and try and learn a thing or two about the technical aspects of waterpainting.


We just starting simple. After all, the girls are only 8 and 5 and they're not really that interested in colour theory or which brush is best or what paint to buy... they just want some simple tricks to paint some more realistic pictures, but mainly just to have fun! So literally all I taught them was the idea of creating layers of colour. Starting with a lighter colour and then layering different tones of the same colour over the top.

Seriously. That was it.



Bethany got the idea into her head about painting different fruits, so we looked up examples of other people's work on Google for inspiration and then I left her to it. And over the next few days these are the pieces that resulted...



A pineapple, kiwifruit, mystery red fruit (it began life as a cherry, but we've decided it probably looks more like an apple!) and a passionfruit.  Not bad for a first effort hey?

I was so impressed even with just the first one (the pineapple) that I immediately made it the wallpaper on my phone. And the whole collection has been added to my inspiration board in my scrap room.

Since I started sharing them on Instagram it seems like a lot of you agree that these are pretty cool. And there were even requests for copies so that you could do the same! So I'm pleased to announce that at the bottom of this post you'll find the links for you to download each of the four fruit! Then you should be able to use them for whatever you would like - art prints, phone or computer wallpapers, journaling cards etc etc. Can I please just request that if you download her pictures that you leave a comment to let us know, and to tell us what you plan on doing with them? I'm sure Bethany would love to hear! And if you are on Instagram, it would be absolutely awesome if you shared something there and tagged Bethany or me into your post. My user name is 'natalieelph' and Bethany and Moriah share an account where they post all their artwork and photos with the user name 'elphiekids'.


And just to prove that anything her sister does, Moriah can do too, she came up with her own series of fruit paintings!

So proud of my two artistic girls :-)

Link to Apple pdf
Link to Kiwifruit pdf
Link to Passionfruit pdf
Link to Pineapple pdf


PS. I've also been asked what we used to create these paintings, so here's some links to the products:




We use this system for almost all our waterpainting for a couple of reasons. I find the colours in the watercolour papers really vibrant, you get heaps of variety in the set, they're very easy to use and because it's virtually mess-free!


In comparison, Moriah's painting was done with a cheap supermaket set of 12 watercolours in a palette, a normal brush, and plain ol' printer paper. Good results, but you can definitely see the difference.

Hope that helps?

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