Friday, 29 December 2017


There is a pretty large age-gap between me and my siblings vs our cousins on my dad's side, they're actually closer to my son's age than mine. Each year we go around to my Uncle's house on Boxing Day, which is a tradition we've had since before my Uncle even had kids. It used to be that my cousin Nick would follow my brother around like a shadow with a fair bit of hero-worship. It was so funny to see the situation reversed last year, with my son Harrison following Nick everywhere all day.

I had so much fun creating this layout. The background is Tinby Designs Color Crush powders which I sprinkled in a tree shape and then spritzed with water to activate. There's always an element of mystery as to what the end result will look like when trying this. There are also about four layers of subtle stamping details, washi tape and some paint splatters to finish off the background.

So you know how some people can outline their title and it looks really cool? I'm clearly not one of those people! I'm always too impatient, I don't let the paint dry fully and then I rush the pen work too. Embellishments are a mixture of things: various ribbon off-cuts, glass cabochons, enamel dots and a Charm's Creations star which has silver glitter sparkles.

This layout was inspired by the current challenge at Scrap The Boys. I loved this inspiration image when I saw it at the start of the months and then I saw some amazing layouts created by the DT and other entries. I just had to give it a try myself. 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Crafty Friends

A very Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it! I wasn't able to travel to be with family this year due to my recent knee surgery, so my little immediate family spent it at home. I used the free time to create this layout. I wanted to create something messy with a lot of texture. I can safely say I achieved that. 

Given how intricate the background was, I didn't want to overload it with too many embellishments or layers on top. These die-cut circles and some resin pieces were all it needed. 

The other embellishment cluster:

I was not happy with my cushion cover at the end of the class. I think I had done it much too loosely, so the knitted part drooped and didn't fit snuggly around the cushion. I tried re-making it again once I got home but wasn't happy with how much of the white cushion showed through inbetween gaps of the knitting. I finally made one final attempt last night and it's good enough that I'm not going to do it again. 

I was inspired by two challenges for this layout. Firstly, I based it on the Stuck?! sketch for December:

The second inspiration was the Kraft Plus challenge. The boho feel of the room in the picture reminded me of the classroom for the cushion class, plus the wonderful assortment of cushions against the back wall. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Train Photo Display

My dad came to stay with me for three weeks to help out with recovering from knee surgery. Today was his last day and I wanted to give him a little gift to say thanks. I have had this train billboard from Imaginarium Designs since 2015 when I was on the Couture Creations design team and I knew it would come in handy for my train-obsessed son sooner or later. The photos are from when the two of them were watching 'Chuggington' (a train animation) together on Dad's iPad. I figured since Dad also took Harry on his first proper train ride while he was visiting it was the perfect theme for the gift.

Since I couldn't decide which photo I liked more, I just decorated both sides of the billboard in a similar manner and left it unglued, so Dad can remove it and turn it around if he wants to. 

It ended up being a pretty quick and simple present. I think it had taken me so long to use the display because I kept overthinking everything I wanted to do with it. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Santa Photo - CSI Challenge

Okay, so technically I'm all finished with my Scrapmatts design team reveals but they are also the sponsors for CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration blog and I just could not resist the last challenge board. It was Christmas themed and I love Christmas, plus it has a nice twist on the standard colour scheme. 

These holly bough chipboard pieces were released last year and I loved them, but haven't had a chance to use them until now. I've just inked mine with a light green VersaColor cube, then applied red glitter Glitzin' Glamour in place of the berries. I had meant to use the plain red pearl bottle, but I couldn't find it so went with glitter instead. I like the festive effect it created, plus it suited the glitter alphas for the title perfectly then.

I used up a whole bunch of left over papers to create this layout and really enjoyed mixed and matching from so many different Kaisercraft paper ranges. The Scrap Words made a great finishing accent.

The stencil for the background work is by Scrapmatts too. I've added some loose thread behind two corners of the main embellishment cluster and accentuated everything with two D-lish Scraps flairs. I like all the different layers that have built up to create the photo matt. 

Here is the CSI case file that inspired my layout. I loved the 'split pea' shade of great and the addition of the grey. For my evidence I used Christmas, stencils, (pom pom) ribbon and I'm also going with vintage given how old some of these paper ranges were. My testimony is hidden on a journaling tag and speaks about our excitement of getting the family Santa photo together. 

This layout also fits the criteria for the More Than Words challenge this month. I was inspired by 'family' to use one of our family Santa photos and the 'numbers' part refers to the year in the photo. It's very important to date your Santa photos, so you can show how the family and grown and changed over the years, I think.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Believe - Scrapmatts DT

This is a very sad post for me, as it is my last design team reveal after 5 years with Scrapmatts. I have had such a great time on the team, made fantastic friends and loved every day of working with the amazing designs.

This was created for CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration current December challenge. I've used a 2016 Santa photo and can't believe how much older my boy looks in just one year. 

That wonderful title piece comes from CB6111 Assorted Words 27. I've built up the depth for this using cardboard between each paper layer and distressing the edges. Some lace and fuzzy pompoms add texture.

I love the range of reindeer chipboard designs available and had this lovely guy left over for a while now from CB5050 Reindeer 07. The 'falling snow' in the background uses the ST5003 stencil, first with gesso applied through it and then a bead mixture with matte medium once the gesso was dry. 

I loved the CB1053 Christmas Ornaments 03 and just coated them in some silver embossing powder, then popped a D-lish Scraps glitter enamel dot in the middle. My flourishes are offcuts from CB4069, inked in black for contrast. That wonderful metallic flair is from Accent Scrapbooking. 

If you want to see the CSI reveal, it is based on the below image. I used Christmas/winter elements, silver, circular elements and something fuzzy. I actually forgot all about the journaling component though. :(

Thank you so much for coming and checking out my blog. I hope you'll still pop by even without the Scrapmatts posts. Have a great Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Family - CSI challenge

I know a mid-month reveal is not normal for me, but I was so inspired after my weekend retreat at Tamborine Mountain that I just wanted to keep creating. I've used one of my current favourite photos for this layout and keep to a pretty natural colour scheme. 

Couple of different chipboard pieces in this one. I like using the shaped pieces to add some extra dimension to my background layouts. If you cut them up they will last for ages, I've actually only used half of a sheet on this layout.

Snuck in a couple of D-lish Scraps embellisments too, just because I love them so much. You can also see the distressing on the edges of the paper, just to add a bit more texture to the layout. 

I have actually combined a couple of different Kaisercraft paper ranges on this layout: the green is from a Christmas release, the brown from a general release and the diecuts are all from a beach release.

My inspiration for this layout is the mid-month challenge over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration blog, as Scrapmatts is the sponsor. How did I solve it? I was inspired by the repeating squares/rectangles of 'The Scene' and used that to build up my paper layers. I loved 'The Scheme' with the focus on brown/green/white. My 'Evidence' includes clips, leaves, stamp, button, tags and string. My 'Testimony' has been written on a tag.

How will you solve the case?

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Smile - Scrapmatts DT

The last challenge at the Queensland Scrapbooking Retreats getaway to Tamborine Mountain was a sketch challenge. It came with one piece of cardstock and one piece of patterned paper, of which you had to use at least 70%. I made sure to use a number of Scrapmatts chipboard pieces so I could double it up as a design team piece for November too. 

These flowing script words from CB6117 Assorted Words 30 make perfect titles. I've coloured mine using two layers of Versacolor inks to match the background cardstock. I've coloured a medium sized butterfly from CB4008 Butterflies 01 with liquid pearls to add texture and shine.

You can see the largest circle from the CB5139 String Circles 03 set in these close ups, which I've cut in half to use in two spots. This has been inked too, then some pearls glued as accents on all the dots. You can also see a small tab covered in washi tape from CB5117 Tabs 01 and a smaller butterfly from the same set. The flowers are from D-lish Scraps Little Birdie ranges. 

This last cluster is an assortment of Little Birdie flowers, chipboard butterfly, D-lish Scraps tassel and Accent Scrapbooking flair, which was perfect for this layout. 

I'm very proud to say I was voted the winner in the sketch challenge and won a terrific Kaisercraft paper pack. I can't wait to get scrapping with it. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Daddy Hugs - Scrapmatts DT

Sometimes when you have a great photo, it's important to let it be the star of the layout and not over clutter the layout with embellishments or layers. I find Scrapmatts chipboard is the perfect finishing touch for these kinds of layouts, subtle yet effective. It's also nice sometimes to create a simple layout that doesn't take ages.

I have used the stencil ST9008-A5 to apply some white gesso over parts of the background, then covered the same areas with sections of CB5126 Diamond Mesh 02. Lastly, I've used CB1155 Ferns 01 to frame my title. 

I'm so happy to have finally used my die-set to create that vellum bow. I've had it sitting in my stash unopened for about 2 years now!

Scrapmatts is sponsoring the current challenge over at CSI: Color, Stories and Inspiration. The case file is below. I've used leaves, a heart, wood/woodgrain and vellum from the evidence and my journaling is inspired by the words 'outside' and 'calm'.

The layout also fits the criteria for the More Than Words challenge this month. I've been watching them for a while and they have some stunning entries to their blog.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tamborine Mountain 2017

At each retreat, Queensland Scrapbooking Retreats takes a group photo and sets a challenge to scrap it. We were given the photo, a sheet of cardstock, a sheet of patterned paper and a custom made chipboard piece to use on the layout, with a requirement to use at least 70% of the material supplied. Normally the group photo is taken first thing on Saturday so we have lots of time to work, but this retreat it rained all Saturday so we didn't get to take the photo until 9am on Sunday, which made for a bit of a rush to make the 11am judging cut-off but I got there in the nick of time. 

The chipboard piece came as one large design but that didn't work for my layout so I cut it up into smaller elements. I hadn't brought my acrylic paints to the retreat, but I had brought my Color Crush powders. I coated the chipboard with gesso then mixed up the powders with some water to create a watercolour paint/wash, which I built up over a couple of layers. 

After doing so many relatively clean layouts, it was nice to finish up with more of a messy/mixed media piece. My background is a mix of gesso wash to tone down the bright cardstock, builders tape for texture, stitched circle stamp from Craft Queen and texture paste through a Scrapmatts stencil. 

I was very pleased to be voted second in this competition against a number of great entries. It's so interesting to see the different ways everyone used the same materials to create very different layouts. 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Leave Ordinary Behind

The Saturday afternoon class is an optional extra at Queensland Scrapbook Retreats, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to trying something in a bit of a different style so I gave it a go. This is a very masculine layout, so a big contrast to the morning class! Initially I was stuck for what pictures I was going to use, until I remembered I had a whole disc of photos of my brother-in-law's rally driving cars. This one is known as the Phoenix and is painted bright Bansagi orange.

While the two pages were created from the same range, Kaisercraft's Factory 42, I didn't feel like they actually worked as a double layout so went a bit rogue and deviated from the instructions provided in the class. It's not like we all want to share the same layout in our albums anyway, right?

There is quite a bit of stencil work in the background with the pipes and cross-hatched bricks. There was yet more fussy cutting on this layout too, which slowed the process down a bit. The pipes are actually cut from the speciality foiled sheet and I've coloured them brown using distress ink applied via a sponge. The foiling works as a resist and the sponging leads to the beautiful variations in colour through the pipes.

I liked the idea of ripping holes into the papers and backing them with some die-cut grid pieces and scrap papers. We were also given a pack of Collectables (die-cuts) and a sticker sheet to use as embellishments, which I've scattered across the layout.

Again, so many techniques on the one layout but that's what you want from class I think. It wouldn't be anywhere near as fun if I ended up with a layout just like what I'd do by myself at home. 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Just Us

There is always a class on Saturday morning at the Queensland Scrapbooking Retreats getaways, hosted by a guest teacher and included in the cost of the retreat. This year we had the lovely Alicia McNamara come and teach this beautiful girly double layout featuring new release Kaisercraft papers from the Rose Avenue collection.

The class went for three hours, with a short break for morning tea. There were quite a lot of different techniques used on this layout: texture paste to create the photo mat paper, die-cutting the flourishes and SO MUCH fussy cutting! I ended up spending some more time finishing it off in the evening because I didn't want to end up with yet another unfinished project.

I thought it was a beautiful layout when I saw the sneaks before the retreat but I must admit I struggled to find four photos that would suit such a pink and feminine layout. I ended up going with some different photos of my sister and I. I love the versatility of using black and white photos.

Just a close up of one of the clusters: paper flowers, sticker, die-cut flourish, sequins, pearls, fussy cut flowers and muslin.

A couple of the Little Birdie flowers from D-lish Scraps managed to find there way onto my layout, along with all the Kaisercraft blooms.

And here I am (in the black jumper) hard at work trying to get the layout finished. :) I love that you get a whole table to yourself at QSR retreats, since I like to spread my stuff out.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Story

My second unfinished project that finally got completed at the Queensland Scrapbooking Retreats getaway at Tamborine Mountain was this one. Perhaps this time from a 2014 craft expo, this one was designed by Kerri Gurney for Couture Creations. How great does that background look with the embossed surface which has then been sanded for effect?

I didn't still have the instructions for this project, so I had to just make it up as I went. I think there were meant to be a lot more pockets and lift ups, and I know I have two clear arrows left over that were meant to go on there somewhere. Still, you can see how the main photo lifts up and there is some hidden journaling hidden behind that. 

I was really impressed to find that the rub-ons still worked perfectly, even a number of years later!

Below is how far I had managed to get in the class before packing it away for a number of years. You can clearly see that I haven't stuck the main photo mat on straight, but it was adhered so well I couldn't pull it off to fix it. It's less noticeable with the photo stuck on top on an angle though.