Monday, 27 April 2015

Better With Friends - Let's Get Sketchy DT

Have you ever had a layout that just didn't want to work for you, no matter what you did? This was the problem I faced for this week's DT sketch over at Let's Get Sketchy, with the added complication that Harrison had been sick all week so I was already late with my submission. In the end I just chucked it in and started from scratch, first time I've ever completely given up on a layout. I'm much happier with the end result though.
Lots of fussy cutting in this layout. I don't know why my brain gets fixated on fussy cutting whenever I have a close deadline, it seems the closer it gets the more fussy cutting I want to do! Some gesso swipped over the background for a photo matt. I meant to do some stamping then but forgot. Made it much harder as I then had to add it after the flowers and photo were added. :( I like the way the flowers all blend into each other and the background. Ben thinks they would have looked better if they stood out a bit more. What do you think?
Here the sketch number 4 over at Let's Get Sketchy. Check out the post to see the amazing work of the rest of the team. We'd love to see what you can create with it.
Want to see the layout that defeated me? This is how far I had gotten before giving up. If anyone has tips for how I can save it I'm all ears. :)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Family Picnic

I am a sucker for anything free so when I heard that the April challenge over at Words or Whatever involved receiving free chipboard I had to take part. Upon signing up I was sent a chipboard sheet with two hearts, the 'Family' title, the scalloped journal spot and frame plus a hashtag. I really enjoyed getting to play with a different company's chipboard and the challenge of incorporating the set pieces into my layout was fun.
My photo is from a picnic we went on for Valentines Day. There's no journaling because I've already scrapped this event but I might add some later. There is quite a mixture of embellishments from different companies. I also took some inspiration from Linda Eggleton and did two layers of stencil work behind my photo. It's amazing how adding more patterns to a busy background actually makes it less busy.

I used the April 1 sketch over at Stuck?! Sketches as inspiration. Simple sketches are great for leaving room to add your own touches and extra details.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Movie Themed Birthday Card

My cousin turns 21 this weekend and I wanted to make him a card to celebrate. He is currently studying film at university so I went with a movie theme. The ATC film strip (CB3001) was perfect, Scrapmatts has also recently released some new film strips in a longer pattern.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Blue Dreamcatcher - Scrapmatts DT

I had so much fun making my last dreamcatcher that I had been thinking of making another one for a couple of months now. I finally sat down to do it this month and found that my fellow Scrapmatts DT member Crece had also created a dreamcatcher for her project this month! They must just be the in thing at the moment. Still, you can never have too much of a good thing so I continued with mine and came up with something completely different to hers.

As soon as I saw these feathers (CB5116 Feathers 01 and CB1222 Feathers 02) I knew they would be perfect for a dreamcatcher. I put some clear embossing ink on the edges and then dusted it off up the length of the feather to get that gradient effect. The little feathers have the same treatment, but were embossed with blue powder before the gold was applied over the top. The 'dream' chipboard word (from CB1200 Scrapwords 08) is just straight embossed with gold, I love the way the etched in word stays clear when you do this. The flourish is a left over piece I had from doing a Scrapmatts class at an expo (but you can get it from CB4066 Ornate Frames 23). I painted it white with acrylic paint then put some crackle medium over the top for texture and shine. The chipboard is flexible enough to bend to match the shape of the hoop while still being strong enough to not rip or break.
If you create a dreamcatcher with Scrapmatts chipboard we would love to see it over in our gallery!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

My 6 Year Blogoversary

Today marks my 6th year of blogging and as I have for the past four years I'm going to take this opportunity to reflect on my progress. Let's start with reviewing my goals for 2014.
  1. Complete more off-the-page projects - I definitely achieved this goal, having created a mini-canvas series, two dream catches, a masquerade mask, table centrepiece and some tags. It's good to have the freedom to change it up from 12x12 works sometimes.
  2. Complete (ahem, start) Lynda's wedding album - okay, so I STILL haven't finished this but I did at least make a start on it. I have all the photos printed and allocated to pages. I would say I'm probably about 1/3 of the way there. It's just really hard to get motivated to work on photos you don't know the background story to (especially when I could be scrapping my cute boy).
  3. Continue to make time for scrapbooking even while pregnant/after the baby - It is definitely much harder to find time as I have a baby who does not like to sleep. I'm happy to have remained on some design teams which have given me motivation to keep creating, as I do still need the stress release. I would say this goal is a work in progress.
  4. Win a major scrapbooking award at the Gold Coast Show - Despite the Show falling 3 weeks after Harrison's birth and only having created seven layouts to enter into the ten categories, I still won both Best Exhibit and Most Successful Exhibitor in 2014. I think this is a reflection that the standard of the competition needs to be raised. I know we have many wonderful scrappers on the Coast but it seems to only be 'Close To My Heart' consultants who enter so there is little variety in the styles.
  5. Apply for Scrapbooking Memories Masters competition - I didn't get around to doing this, I figured I didn't need the pressure of more deadlines with a new baby. I did finally apply to the Kaisercraft Design Team after many years of admiring their team, haven't heard back about the result yet but I'm not hopeful after checking out lots of the other fantastic entries they have.

I think overall it was a fairly successful year of scrapbooking. Interestingly, I starting doing a major clean up of my craft room a few weeks ago (then got side-tracked by creating some new projects and it's back to looking like a disaster zone) which also prompted me to have a think about the way I had been creating. For some reason, trying to get blog hits had become a driving force in my scrapping choices, to the point I was picking challenges to enter based on how many design team members would visit my page and comment rather than which challenges I connected with the most. I thought about why I was scrapping, was it for external validation from people I didn't know? Let's be honest, I lot of those DT comments are nothing more than a cut and paste "Great page, thanks for playing at (challenge site)". I've made some friends through scrapbooking, but that's via being part of a design team and having regular contact and those people will always leave more meaningful comments for me. I think this year my focus is going to be more on scrapping what I want to preserve and it if fits in with a challenge then fantastic. If I only get a handful of visits to my blog then that's fine. With such little free time for scrapbooking I need to be creating for me rather than some perceived audience.
With that in mind, here are my goals for 2015:
1/ Scrap what I want to, without consideration of the visits or comments it may generate for the blog.
2/ Finish Lynda's wedding album - can't leave this hanging around forever!
3/ Try to generate some extra interest in entering the Gold Coast Show by other crafty ladies.
4/ Try to actually keep a clean craft room - I know I will fail at this but I need to find a way of keeping it more tidy.
5/ Keep making time to create - I need to remember that it's already to make time for me and to use my 'free time' on things I want to do, not boring things like cleaning the house.
So to compare the statistics of my blog over time (even though I just said I wasn't going to care about them any more!), here is a quick snapshop of my progress since I started doing these reviews in 2012:
Date Pageviews Posts Followers
20-Apr-12 5736 264 50
15-Apr-13 26396 382 95
14-Apr-14 41240 454 98 (20 via bloglovin)
15-Apr-15 61571 541 108 (26 via bloglovin)
I hit a low point in visitors in January 2014, but July and August 2014 were close to record numbers. My most popular post is still Playing with Seals and Dolphins (not craft related), but my Alice in Wonderland Altered Tea Pot is quickly catching up.
So there you have it, a sum up of my yearly reflection. Do you set yourself any scrapping goals?

Monday, 13 April 2015

Easter Bunny - Let's Get Sketchy DT

I am very pleased to announce that I was successful in my application to join the Let's Get Sketchy Design Team! This great sketch site has a new sketch up EVERY WEEK. This is my first reveal and I've used a photo I took of Harrison on Easter Sunday, which also happened to be the date he turned 8 months old. He doesn't look very impressed in the photo but he was actually puffing out his cheeks to blow me a raspberry, which is one of his favourite things to do at the moment. I'm so happy I managed to capture it on film. :)
I found this Kaisercraft background paper in my stash and it matched the chevron pattern on the bunny perfectly (it is a bunny, the ears have just flopped backwards). I didn't want all the square elements from the sketch to just be floating on the page, so I laid down some cream paint and added some stamping and paint splatters to the background to ground and centre it all.
Here is the sketch for April Week 2. I know it might look a bit scary (I had a choice of this sketch or another one for my DT application and avoided this one because I didn't think I could make it work), but I've ended up with a layout I love by playing around with the sizes and placements. Check out the blog to see the work of the other DT members too, there are some amazing layouts to inspire you.