Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Celebrating Special Occasions with Scrapmatts

I'm back with a new Scrapmatts DT post after taking last month off to spend some time with my new baby. Harrison Donald Tomecek was born on 5.8.14 and has consumed my life since that time. People tell me it gets easier after 6-8 weeks, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Right now though I'm managing on very little sleep and even less craft time. I did manage to whip up a painters tray as a Fathers Day gift for my husband though.
I love the variety of painters trays available (circles, hearts, stamps) and they are such an easy way to do an OTP project. Just pop in a photo or two, maybe a quote and embellish away!
Scrapmatts used: CB1078 Gears 05; CB1189 Scrapwords 01 and CB6094 Mini Tray Stamp 01.

My other project for this month was originally intended to be one of last month's projects, however my waters broke while I was working on it! I love doing Christmas layouts and find the Kaisercraft ranges work perfectly with the huge variety of Scrapmatts Christmas pieces available.

I have only used two chipboard designs on this layout but they are two of my favourite Christmas ones. The ornaments were coloured with distress inks and the stars have been embossed with gold.

Scrapmatts used: CB6081 Christmas Stars 02, CB1059 Christmas Ornaments 07.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Welcome to Harrison Donald Tomecek, born 5.8.14.

So besides my pre-scheduled design team post it's been a bit quite here on my blog. Regular followers will probably have been able to guess why: I gave birth! Even though my due date was 20.8.14, little Harrison didn't want to wait and was born on 5.8.14.
My waters broke around 4pm on 4.8.14 however I was not experiencing any contractions. After calling the hospital and confirming I had likely had my waters brake, I drove myself into hospital still partially expecting them to tell me I had wet myself when I got there and have them send me home. :) Instead, they set me up in a birthing suite and said I should settle in for the night. I tried to contact Ben to update him, however the battery on his phone had gone flat so I didn't get a hold of him for another hour. He did sound sufficiently guilty over the phone once I did speak with him.
At 8.30pm the on-call OB came to see me as contractions still had not started. We decided to wait overnight to see if things would progress naturally. By 11pm I had been having severe back pain for a while and decided to ask the midwife for some pain medication. She performed an examination and discovered I was actually 7cm dilated! Unfortunately, we didn't progress too much further during the course of the rest of the night. My OB saw me around 8am Tuesday morning and determine I was 9cm dilated however baby's head had not descended. He went to perform another induction and returned at 10am. We discovered I was fully dilated however baby hadn't moved and appeared to be stuck on the 'spines'. Dr Bopp advised me of my options, however given Harrison was starting to show signs of distress we chose to proceed with an emergency C-section delivery and he was born at 11.15am (19 hours after my waters broke).
 We spent five days in hospital recovering and were hopeful of a smooth transition to home when discharged on 10.8.14. Unfortunately, I developed a serious case of mastitis and was re-admitted to hospital on 11.8.14. We needed to stay in for three nights for the IV antibiotics to kick in and were discharged on 14.8.14. We then had another flair up within 36 hours, which we are currently managing at home with the assistance of our GP. The blood work has indicated the second bout is more intense than the first, however luckily it didn't come with the fever the first bout did.
 In addition, Harrison does not sleep well during the night resulting in me achieving three hours sleep per night on average since his birth. There is limited opportunity to catch up in this during the day due to the feeling/expressing schedule we are using to treat the mastitis. Harrison is also struggling with latching during feeding so he has not put on any weight since initially being discharged from hospital. We have another check up tomorrow with a midwife and I have my fingers crossed he will have gained some weight. It will probably continue to be pretty quiet around here until we can get all the health dramas worked out and settle into a new routine.

Photos of little Harrison from 8.8.14, 11.8.14, 13.8.14 and 24.8.14.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Discover Travel Tag - Couture Creations DT

Welcome back for a quick and easy travel-themed tag today. I received the Couture Creations Paris embossing folder in my design team kit and was stumped as to how to use this, given I'm not one of those people who has a real passion for Parris or the Eiffel Tower. I do however love to travel, so have kept the 'Travel * Escape' part of the design and covered up the part I didn't like. :)
Start by running your cardstock through the Paris embossing folder. I have used Core'dinations cardstock and then used the sanding block to reveal the kraft core which really highlights the image.

Adhere the cardstock to your chipboard tag and trim to fit. My tag is from Scrapmatts of course, they have a variety of sizes and styles. I find the thickness is perfect to provide good support yet you can still emboss them, sew through them or layer them up without getting them too bulky. I like to sand the edges of the tag too, as my cutting isn't always the smoothest.

Create the rest of the background for the tag. I have just stuck down some patterned paper after inking all the edges and then layered two different washi tapes at the bottom. Ink the edges of the whole tag to give a cohesive look. I also cut two of the Discover word from The Van Roe collection.

Gather a random assortment of embellishments and adhere these to your tag. I have used both halves of a travel-themed tag, flair button, skeleton leaves, twine and some Gemstones. Lastly, adhere the two titles slightly off-centre to create a shadow effect. Now you have a travel tag, ready to display on it's own or add to you next travel themed layout or journal.
Couture Creations Materials List:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

My 30th Birthday - Couture Creations DT

I was feeling inspired to get messy when I created this layout, probably because I had just spent a couple of days cleaning my craft room. Nothing like enforcing order to make me want to pull everything out again for one layout! The photo is of my sister and I, it was taken at the end of my 30th birthday celebrations. My journaling is just a quick re-cap of how I celebrated, but I pleased I included it none-the-less. I need to make more of an effort to remember to include journaling in my layouts.
So because this layout was created as a Couture Creations DT layout, it also comes with a tutorial on how to make it:
 1/ Start off by die-cutting all the pieces you will need. To create the frame I cut four of the Light Box Frames from the same colour Core'dinations cardstock. Because this is a fiddly piece I found it easier to remove if I used to quick release paper between the die and my cardstock. I also cut one Moulin Rouge piece from vellum, again using the quick release paper. Make sure you keep the quick release paper die-cut too. Lastly, I cut two lots of the Roman Set from Core'dinations cardstock and covered these in crackle medium.

2/ Cut off the bottom section of each Light Box Frame, so the frame becomes square. Trim your photo to fit inside the four frames (I think this was 3 3/4" x 3 1/2" from memory). Tape the frames to the corners of your photo to create a single decorative frame.

3/ I had a beautiful piece of watercolour printed paper which matched my colour scheme perfectly, however I wanted to add a soft purple border to the page. I grabbed some ink pads and sponge daubers and set to work to create the effect you can see below. I found it works best if you move the dauber gently and lightly around the edges in a circular motion, rather than up and down like a stamp.

4/ Get messy with your background. I used some Gelatos and blended them into the background with water (hence the very warped background paper), then sprayed white mist through a mask, before adding the silver paint circles and teal paint splatters.

5/ Paint your chipboard pieces. I have used two lovely designs from Imaginarium Designs and painted both of them with metallic silver paint.
 6/ The next step is just to assemble all your embellishments. I adhered my two Moulin Rouge die-cuts first, with the quick release paper version at the top left of the frame and the vellum version at the bottom right. Be careful what medium you use to stick these to your page, I used spray adhesive and it caused both die-cuts to blend into the background quite a bit. From there, I added the washi tape, punchinella, ribbon and twine. Once I had this basic design sorted I placed my photo frame using some foam tape to lift it from the page. Then just build up your flowers and place the Roman Set die-cuts, chipboard, brads and sequins.
7/ Finish off your title using letter stickers. Create some strip journaling and edge that in a light coloured ink to blend it into the background a bit more.
Couture Creations Materials List:
CO723818 Quick Release Die Paper
CO723623 Sponge Dauber 6 pack
CO721962 Foam Mounting Tape
 CO721956 Stainless Steal Scissors
CO721986 Handheld Essentials Craft Knife, Piercing Tool and Scoring Tool


The colour scheme for this layout was inspired by the fantastic challenge over at Kreative Koncepts which runs until August 14. I was initially really drawn to the deep jewel tones and the way they popped against the greys. When I went to pull out all my supplies though it turned out I didn't have those rich colours or very much of anything in grey (only ONE sheet of cardstock!). Hence, I have taken a somewhat loose interpretation of the pallet this time round.

 I will also be entering this into the Gold Coast Show in the Celebrations scrapbooking category. I'm not sure if they will like the arty feel but there are only so many clean and linear designs I can do before I need to break loose. :)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sweetheart mini canvas series - Couture Creations and Imaginarium Designs Blog Hop

#couturecreationsaus  #imaginariumdesigns

Welcome to Day 4 of the Couture Creations & Imaginarium Designs Blog Hop!  

We’re so excited to team up with Imaginarium Designs  sharing inspiring projects created with both our products with you this week. What could be more perfect than our Embossing Folders and Dies and Imaginarium Designs  gorgeous Chipboard designs.
Each day this week we will feature our Design Team projects and over on the Imaginarium Designs Blog they will also feature their Design Team projects all created using Couture Creations and Imaginarium Designs products. So loads of inspiring projects for you to help get your creative juices flowing.
We will link to the tutorials on each Design Team members blogs, please show all our designers some love and leave a comment on their blog.
We’ll be giving away Two $100 prize packages filled with Couture Creations & Imaginarium Designs goodness at the end of the week, so be sure to play along and check back on both Imaginarium Designs and Couture Creations blogs Monday 4th August 2014 to see if you’re one of 
the lucky winners!
 Here are the different ways you can play along with us –
Like Couture Creations on Facebook 
Share this blog post on your Facebook wall and tell us you did on our Facebook page
 Follow our Couture Creations Blog 
 Leave a comment here on our blog and on our Facebook page
 Follow Couture Creations on Pinterest
Follow Couture Creations on Instagram
Hop over to the Imaginarium Designs Blog and see what their Design Team has created using
their Chipboard and our Couture Creations products! They also have a  giveaway, so what are you waiting for – hop over!  Oh and don't forget to follow our Design Team Blogs.
The ID ladies posting today are: Natalie May, Amy, Chito. Patricia is also posting today from the Couture Creations website along with me. 
Finally after all the administrative stuff is out of the way, welcome to my post for the combined Couture Creations and Imaginarium Designs blog hop! I have created this three piece mini-canvas series.  

So, without further ado let's get on to seeing how you can create a mini canvas series just like this one. I wanted to create some texture in the background of each canvas and decided to create my own stencil using the Moulin Rouge die from The Treasures range of ornamental lace dies. Because I cut this out of an acrylic sheet, I made my sandwich up using cutting plate, die, acrylic, metal plate, cutting plate. The metal plate helps get a really tight sandwich and can be used when cutting acrylic sheets, fabric, light chipboard etc.

Once you have your stencil, place it on each canvas and apply texture paste over the top. I put the stencil in the centre for my centre canvas and slightly off-centre for each of the side pieces. Let the texture paste dry before moving on to the next step.

I chose to use the beautiful Embellishment 1 Corner pack from Imaginarium Designs on each of the edge canvases. The feature of the middle canvas is a Light Box Frame die-cut from The Metricon range. I have cut two of these from an old cereal box and glued these together to become the same thickness as the chipboard. Glue these to the canvases using a strong adhesive. Cover all three canvases (including the chipboard/cardboard) in gesso and leave to dry. 

Use your favourite colours of mist to add some colour to the canvases. I sprayed mine while they were close together to give a more cohesive look with the pink along the bottom. Don't forget to paint the edges of the canvas as well. I found the chipboard didn't absorb the colour as well as the rest of the canvas so I painted more colour directly onto those pieces. Dry brush some gesso over the canvas to highlight the stencilling work we did at the start.

Add a photo to the centre of the Light Box die. Embellish to your heart's content! I used lots of Glitzin’ Glamour and Gemstones for bling, along with ribbons, flowers and other bits and pieces.

Couture Creations Materials List:
CO721990 Gemstones 100pc Vintage Gold
CO721992 Gemstones 100pc Blue Iceberg
CO721991 Gemstones 100pc Green Envy
CO721980 Glitzin Glamour Glitter Glue Rainbow

If you're new to my blog, I've also got some giveaways going on at the moment. Please check them out too if you're interested. All you need to do is leave me a comment on the relevant post.

Kaisercraft Paper pack


Rubber stamp packs.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Couture Creations Creative Inspiration Issue 4

Couture Creations produces a small magazine to advertise their new releases every couple of months. Because they take a few months to prep and print, Issue 4 is the first one the current design team appears in. You should be able to find a free copy at your local scrapbook store or you can click the image below and see the online version.
I have a couple of projects included in this issue, so thought I'd post them all here to share with you.
Go-karting: uses the gears die-cut and barbed wire embossing folder for the border strips. The chipboard cogs are silver embossed Scrapmatts pieces.

Work Party: A OLD photo of me with my dad and siblings. This uses a decorative doily die and the siblings die. Snuck a Scrapmatts chipboard arrow on to this piece.

Two card newborn set: Used the light box and siblings die cuts, plus the small dots embossing folder to create this set.

Steampunk card: This one was really outside my normal style but I ended up loving it. Again using the gears die-cut, I've also used the Roman Set die cut. Charms and chipboard by Scrapmatts again. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Classy & Fabulous

I have started my maternity leave this week and am hoping to use the extra time to get ahead in some of my DT commitments. Before I sat down to work on those though I wanted to create a layout for a challenge, so turned to my trusty favourite Once Upon A... Sketch. The journaling prompt for this month was to focus on a number. I have used photos showing my growing belly during different weeks of pregnancy, my journaling in included in the yellow pull-out tab to the left of the photos.
The title is meant as a joke, it was one of the journal tabs in the paper range and it made me laugh as anyone who knows me would agree I am neither classy or fabulous. :) I have used the Butterfly Kisses range from Kaisercraft as I like the bright colours and thought I should squeeze in one last girly layout about me before they all become focused on my coming son.
Lots of bling and beads added to this layout, plus a little bit of black to grunge it up a bit. Can't get too carried away with the girlyness. :) Here is the sketch I worked from:
There has been quite a bit of growth since the week 21 pictures was taken. I reached 36 weeks yesterday and this is what I now look like!

Anyway, I continue on my missing to clean and purge my craft room, so have decided to give away the remains of my Butterfly Kisses collection. I think I won this collection at some stage and while this is the second layout I have created with it it's always a struggle for me to work with. Rather than hold on to it I'd love to see it go to someone who will use it. International postage costs restricts this giveaway to Australia residents only. Again, if you're interested just leave me a comment and I'll draw a winner in the coming weeks. Don't forget I'm also giving away some stamps to a good home.

Included in the pack:
Collectables (die-cut shapes) - partially used
Rub ons - as new
Layered chipboard - partially used
6.5" Paper pad - partially used (I think I've used maybe three sheets of the 24 included, all 12 of the speciality papers and 4 sheets of die cuts are still there too)
4 sheets of double sided 12" paper - partially used
3 die-cut speciality 12" single sided papers - as new
1 speciality spot varnish 12" single sided paper - as new
1 x 12" sticker sheet - as new

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Craft Room Clean Up = Stamp Giveaway

So while I'm going through this 'nesting' phase I thought it might be a good idea to tidy up my craft room too (plus, there is that much junk on the floor that I actually can't walk around the room!). The good news is I also appear to be in a bit of a purging mood, so have decided to try to be ruthless and discard those supplies I'm simply no longer using.
I'm a hoarder, so this is a big step for me and I'm not sure how successful I will be but it's always worth a try. Hopefully this will help me keep my room neater and allow me to use more of the supplies I own as they wont be lost amongst all the rest of the 'stuff' I have.
I have accumulated a whole pile of wood block mounted stamps over the years, even though I rarely use stamps at all and certainly not wood block ones any more. I have listed these for sale in bulk lots over on ebay, so if you are looking for a bargain please check out my listings (postage within Australia only).
I also have two packs of unmounted rubber stamps which are free to a good home! Just leave me a comment telling me which pack you would prefer (or both if you don't mind either) and I'll draw two winners in the coming weeks. Because I can send these as letters they are open to International visitors too.

Keep an eye out for future posts like this, who knows what I may decide to throw out tomorrow!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Christmas in July - Couture Creations DT

 Couture Creations is showcasing their beautiful range of Christmas themed die-cuts and embossing folders in a special Christmas in July serious of projects. I love creating Christmas scrapbooking items and chose to go with a tree ornament/painters tray as my contribution.
This is actually a really easy project to create. Start by preparing your painters tray. I have used CB3005 Mini Tray Round 01 from Scrapmatts as my base. I painted mine gold initially, then applied a layer of crackle medium and then white acrylic paint over the top so you can only see the gold in the crackles. This takes a while as each layer needs to dry thoroughly between applications but it creates a lovely subtle effect.
Select the patterned paper you want to use and adhere this to the different sections as needed.
If you want to have a dangly charm at the bottom like I have, punch the hole now and thread it through before you adhere the frame to the base.

Cut your relevant die-cut decorations. I have used the largest dove (this comes in a three pack) and the Pine Needles from the Merry Little Christmas Collection. Use a stamp pad to colour the vine in the dove's mouth. Adhere your die cuts to the tray and them embellish with chipboard and flowers. I have also use some Gemstones as accents and for the dove's eye. I have thrown in some more Scrapmatts chipboard in my decorations (CB1058 Words 11 Season's Greetings and CB1212 Scrap Words 14) which I have inked up in the desired colour; as well as some Manor House Creations flowers and berries from a $2 store sprig.

Couture Creations Materials List:
CO721996 Gemstones Crystal
CO723780 3D Foam Dots

I was inspired by the great sketch over at Just Add Ink with this project, it suits the painter's tray perfectly.