Tuesday, 24 January 2017


In October 2016 I took a short girls trip to Hawaii. It was lovely to have some time out to relax and explore a new location. While none of us are big drinkers, we did get into the holiday spirit by having a cocktail before each evening meal.

As soon as I saw the DLish Scraps Just Add Paper kit I thought of this photo. I just loved the colour scheme, and getting all the embellishments sent to me makes creating a layout so much easier. I also used some beautiful Cocoa Vanilla papers I found hidden away in my stash that matched perfectly.

This layout was created for the Dlish Scraps January challenge.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Just Ride

My mother-in-law is visiting at the moment and she encouraged me to make some more time for crafting while she looked after Harrison, who am I to argue? :) I snapped this photo of Harrison on my phone back in July 2016 and I just love it. It's the view I see so often as Harrison hops on to his trike and takes off down the road. It does matter whether we're just going around the complex or walking to a local park or up the path behind out house, he just loves an excuse to get out and ride.

I tried my hand at creating a messy background but those cool paint splashes just didn't work for me. I think I might need to thin down my paint first? I've used lots of Scrapmatts goodies on this layout: CB5158 Triangles 03, CB1195 Silhouettes 03, CB1162 Assorted Words 08 and ST5018 Stencil Alphabet

The layout was inspired by the current Kraft+ challenge which was a kraft background and you had to use a bike somewhere on your layout.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Fiji Mini Album - Scrapmatts DT

Sofie and Andrew, the lovely owners of Scrapmatts, came to my town to run a day of classes in December last year. It had been far too long since the last time I got to catch up with them, so I took the day off work and signed up to do Sofie's mini-album with a cruise/beach theme. I was doing so well following instructions and got through most of it during the class... but then I got home and went a bit rogue. Before I knew it, there were pockets for hidden journaling, a lift-the-flap photo, even extra pages!

This beautiful cover page is entirely Sofie's design. A stunning mixed media piece, I didn't change a thing from what we created in the class.

For the inside cover I wanted to expand the seaweed at the bottom but didn't have any chipboard left. By masking off the areas I didn't want, I was able to use the frame as a mask and misted some extra seaweed. The photo on the right formed a pocket for a journaling card.

I created a lift-the-flag photo on the left because I had two photos of the jet boating I wanted to share.

The two chipboard shells were raw chipboard I painted with white gesso and then watercolored over the top to get the subtle muted tones.

More hidden journaling in this one. The tree branch is one piece that I've cut to fit across the two pages.

Sometimes the journaling works best without being hidden. 

I used the chipboard to create mini-scenes for each of these pages, continuing the elements from within photo. There are journaling cards behind each photo.

The back page is just to show Sofie I was able to use that beautiful paper as a feature instead of using the reverse striped side like her instructions told me to. :)

Most of my chipboard for this project was specially made in a kit for the class, even taking into consideration the extra pages. Before I was on the Design Team, I would always make sure to take a Scrapmatts class at every expo I went to because there are always lots of extra chippies to play with when you get home included in the kit. If you were looking to replicate this album, similar chipboard includes: CB6062 Shells 02, CB1218 Scrap Words 19, CB6113 Scrap Words 32, CB6103 Scrap Words 21, CB5056 Twigs 02, CB1126 Marine Life 01, CB1221 Nautical Designs 04. I also used stencil ST1004 Stencil Bubbles.

The challenge over at Show Us Your Stuff this month is the mood board above which I saw as I was finishing off my album. I was inspired by the beach theme, the shell and star shapes and the bright accent pink/red colour. My handmade items are all the hand-painted chipboard shapes.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Advent Calendar - Scrapmatts DT

Back in 2010 I created my first advent calendar, using a MDF kit from Kaisercraft. I figured I would make one calendar which we could re-fill with quality lollies each year, instead of spending $5-$10 on one each year filled with dodgy chocolate. Eventually it would pay for itself, right? The problem was, I hadn't quite factored in the initial costs for materials, the time it would take to make it or the fact that I would enjoy making it so much that I wanted to make another one three years later! :)

My Scrapmatts Design Team project for this month is actually my THIRD Kaisercraft advent calendar. Don't worry, this one is for my sister. She wanted a rustic theme and picked out the papers for me. I went with a different shaped kit to my last two and was surprised to find this one didn't come with chipboard numbers. I never use numbers in my titles though so this was the perfect opportunity to use up a few from spare alphabets I had lying around.

I love the range of Christmas chipboard available from Scrapmatts! They have reindeers, snowflakes, nativity scenes, baubles, trees, bells, words in a variety of different sizes and colours. In all honesty, I think half my collection of Scrapmatts chipboard is Christmas themed. :) I have painted most of the pieces with acrylic paint which really helps bring out the details in the chipboard. The background also has golden stars painted on it using a stencil.

 The decorations around the outside are actually just cheap embellishments I picked up from the local discount shop. The Christmas-themed printed burlap ribbon was perfect to wrap around, and the sprigs make a great finishing touch.

Stencil used: ST1006 Stencil Stars.

If you've interested in seeing my earlier advent calendars, I started with this traditional themed one in 2010.

I then moved on to this White Christmas themed one in 2013.

Last year in 2015 I decided to re-visit my traditional one and update it by removing the centre panel and creating a new scene.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cactus Painting

This is actually a bit of a delayed post, as I created this cactus painting back on the 12th but the photos were all on my phone so took a while to transfer over to the computer. Two girlfriends and I took part in a Cork and Chroma Paint and Sip pop-up event at The Kitchens in Robina Town Centre. It was a great little event, with really easy instructions to walk you through to this finished product.

The event took three hours which allowed enough time for a somewhat leisurely progression with time for food and wine along the way. 

 I really loved the way we all ended up with very different artworks despite following the same instructions. Now I have to find somewhere to display it.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Wide Brown Land

I managed to find a couple of nights free to whip up a layout that isn't design team related! I have always loved this paper range from Kaisercraft, but struggled to get it to work with any beach papers. I think it worked quite beautifully with these photos from a family holiday to the Northern Territory outback though. I couldn't believe this took place way back in 2005.

Anyway, I have used a sketch from Stuck?! Sketches as the base, rotating it to suit my landscape photos.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Follow Your Heart Tag - Scrapmatts DT

My first Scrapmatts DT project for this month is a mixed media tag in my trademark purple/blue/pink colour scheme. These were the first three colours of mist I purchased and they are definitely my go-to colour choices. I love how sturdy the Scrapmatts chipboard tag bases are, you can really abuse them with multiple different mediums and techniques.

I've included a close up shot of this project too, to show the tulle backing to the heart, the crackle finish to the edging of the heart and the painted details on the metal charms.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Adore You

I was flicking through some old photos to see if I had anything to match the D-Lish Scraps mood board when I came across a series of photos from Harrison's first swim. How hilarious does he look with that bald head and so much chubbiness?! This is why I print my photos, rather than just store them on the computer. I need to have them at hand and randomly come across them to scrap.

I was inspired by all the geometric shapes in the mood board, so kept a lot of them in my layout. I also referenced the arrows and the frames. Such a lovely colour scheme.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Love You Everyday - Scrapmatts DT

My second Scrapmatts DT project for October is a simple yet colourful layout featuring a favourite photo of my son. I wanted the photo to be the focus, so have kept the embellishments fairly simple. Surprisngly, I actually created this one without using a sketch but had a firm design idea in my head and it turned out pretty close to that.

I enjoyed creating the busier photo matting that I normally use, and creating the rainbow with my Gelatos was fun. Can you believe for my title I had actually already used up all the 'y's so had to create more out of 'q's? Who uses up all the 'y's but still has two 'e's available?! 

Scrapmatts chipboard: CB6107 Assorted Words 25, CB6105 Assorted Words 23.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Life is a Journey Canvas - Scrapmatts DT

Are you like me and you keep all those left over bits of chipboard? You know the ones, when you only have one piece left from the sheet, or you take it out but change your mind so don't use it on the layout, or even the extra bits you get in the Scrapmatts kits if you take an expo class? I have had a great time using up some of my leftovers stash to form the base of a small canvas display piece. The great thing about it is that it doesn't really matter what you have in this stash, because it will mainly get covered up anyway.

I quickly captured some progress shots to show how I built up the background. Stage one: two layers of chipboard and a metal charm, along with some builders tape and some texture paste through the stencil. Everything has been covered with a layer of gesso. Stage two: I have added the flowers and some lace strips. I decided I wanted the brick texture to stand out more so re-applied more texture paste, including over the lace. Everything got another coat gesso. Stage three: I have built up the coloured coverage using multiple applications of three colours of mist. Because of the gesso, they initially dry lighter than expected, so quite a few applications were required, but this helps blend the colours together. Stage four involves flicking black ink across the canvas, dry brushing white gesso across the whole piece to highlight the contours and then dabbing on spots of gold coloured paste to the flowers for highlights.

My tips for creating mixed media background:
- put your flat layers down first! I forgot to put my lace and builders tape down first, so ended up having to cut it to fit around the chipboard shapes.
- always coat everything with gesso to ensure they absorb the paint at the same rate, otherwise you ended up with inconsistency in the colours between surfaces.
- Let ink colours dry before changing colours to avoid them getting muddy. Don't be afraid the overlap dry colours to blend them though.
- Spray inks from different angles and positions to get into all the nooks and crannies of the canvas.
- If in doubt, add more!

You can see in these detail shots the background detail created by putting some texture paste through the brick stencil as well as the layers of chipboard in the background prior to building up the frames. The gold frame is embossed, and the top frame has a watered down mist painted over white acrylic.

Scrapmatts chipboard: CB6103 Scrap Words 21, CB6113 Scrap Words 32, CB6091 Ornate Frames 19, CB6110 Ornate Frame 25, plus bits and pieces left over. Stencil: ST5013 (this is my go-to stencil for background texture).