Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Power of Flowers

"Say it with flowers!" 

That's was the advertisement slogan to encourage you to send flowers to your loved ones - to say "I love you", "Happy Birthday", "Get well soon", "Congratulations", or even "Cheer up"!

Well this month, in honour of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog's sponsor - Miss Arts Papercrafting School,  we are investigating the power of flowers on our blog hops.  If you've joined me from Kim's blog - then you're on track.  If you've just happened by, you can find the start of the hop here.

To ring the changes this month I decided to make a greetings card rather than a layout - to send my love and congratulations half way round the world to welcome my brother's new baby boy.  I've used my July Counterfeit Kit and several flower punches to create a soft, dimensional border; I also had to nab the Cosmo Cricket tiny alpha stickers from last month's kit as they matched better than this month's alphas!  Not a particularly traditional baby card - I'm hoping it will stand out from the crowd!

Having punched out a load of spare flowers, I put them to good use and made another card ... just because. It's good to have a few cards in reserve when you feel like getting in touch with someone; I'd far rather receive a postcard or a letter than an e-mail.  Wouldn't you?  Speaking of receiving things in the post, Julie Kirk is running a Going Postal series on her blog here - lots of fun ideas, including making "Hello" cards!

If you want to see what some more flower power in action then please pop over to Margie's to see what her flowers have to say!  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Inspirational Scrapbooking

Well the final outcome of the UKScrapper's Scrap Factor Competition will soon be known as the final voting finishes tomorrow at 8pm BST.  The two remaining contestants - Nic & Katherine - have submitted three final pages for UKS members to choose between here - so there are another six gorgeous, inspirational layouts to enjoy - plus a challenge over on UKS to scraplift one of them!  Now that ties in beautifully with Challenge #3 over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog - to browse an inspirational gallery and create a page using our July kits - details of mine are here.

Dave & Emma were really keen to show us Barcelona's market as it had been a highlight of their visit in 2009. The cool dark interior was packed with people & produce. A giant tuna head caught our eye; the brain-seller didn't allow photos; we couldn't identify the odd green custard apples; the range of sweets was eye-wateringly colourful.
If you are a member of UKS you can look at the page I chose for inspiration - the second one from Nic's final 3 pages, all about the social side of scrapbooking (I'll update this with a link to her blog if she posts her page there after the competition closes).  I loved how it included lots of journalling and photos in an interesting page design. I've used photos from Barcelona's indoor market which we visited in April on our Silver Wedding celebratory holiday!  The title frame was made in MS Word using two separate Word Arts in Legrand font and an ellipse shape for the frame. The fancy borders are cut with Sizzlits Architectural Accents #3 & #4 and their Decorative Accents die.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Five on Friday #2 (Favourite Pages)

It's been a while since I did my first "Five on a Friday" and so far I haven't blogged any of the pages I made specifically for the various rounds of the UKS Scrap Factor Competition.  So I thought I'd share five of my favourite pages.  As it makes for a photo heavy post, you'll have to go to my UKS Gallery if you want more details about the pages and supplies used (you have to be a registered member, but it's quick & easy & free to join).

Week 3: "This week your layout shall be lyrical. Take inspiration from a favourite song and scrap away with the lyrics, title, or wherever your creativity takes you!"

At that time my favourite on-line tool was Tagxedo and I used it twice to create the background and titling for a BOM page celebrating the first album cassettes I owned - given to me by one of my (step-)brothers.  Still love the music now too.

    Week 5: "Create a layout with just ONE photograph. How will you give that image the special treatment?"

    Having recently found our wedding album and several envelopes of photographs languishing in our attic I have a gold-mine of old, old photos ready for scanning and scrapping.  I'd used one wedding photo for the auditions and thought I'd do a page about the adventures that lead to our engagement on the steps of the Sacre Couer in Paris.  The whole sorry tale was part of a Sunday Storytelling here.

    Week 6: "This week choose any theme and style you like, but you must include multiple photos! We challenge you to find unique ways to showcase additional pictures."

    I decided to use a collage method taught to me by Tracie to make the paper for a page showing how No.1 Son has evolved changed over the years.  It was a steep hybrid-learning curve making the overlay that week too.

    Week 8: "This week your layout should be inspired by film or television. How you interpret that is up to you: in visual design, quotation, a literal theme or something else entirely!"

    An opportunity to scrap some photos from 2006 when my three were still building things with Duplo despite having boxes and boxes of Lego available: Child No.3 had built a roller-coaster from the first episode of a crazy Aardman claymation series called Rex The Runt - the title is one of Vince's catchphrases that often gets shouted here as an argument closer!  I had fun with an on-line bar-code generator for this page.

    Week 10: "This week, patterned papers are OFF-LIMITS. Use plain cardstock or solid colours to create a layout that is still true to your style."

    I love bright colourful pages and so a rainbow of textured tissue papers seemed like a way to meet the challenge of having no patterns.  I  used a different technique for each line of colour and word paths to trace my journalling about our day in Chester around the various photos.

    Phew - a long post with a lot of photos - thanks for sticking with me this far :D

    If you do pop over to UKS you can see the final pages of the Scrap Factor Competition from the two remaining contestants Katherine & Nic - voting is still open until Sunday if you haven't yet made a decision. 

      Monday, 18 July 2011

      Travelling Man

      My baby is leaving today - despite his corset and meds and his mother's misgivings!  Today is the start of his epic journey through the Far East, taking in the sights of India, Vietnam and Bali and several other countries besides.  I've made a Smash Book to help him and his girlfriend document their adventures.

      I've used up scraps of ancient papers, some free wordart printed onto cream card, some old CD wallets, some cut-down manilla envelopes and some 6x4 journalling cards.  All cut up, decorated, folded into pockets, and bound with my friend's Bind It All.  The closure holds a pen in place so that they can always jot down some notes and is made from a brad, 3 eyelets and a hair elastic - here's how!

      The tabs are decorative rather than functional; plenty of pockets for tags with extra writing space.

      Free WordArt to brighten up the odd page; manilla envelopes for BIG storage space.

      Cut down CD wallets provide see-through storage for smaller items like tickets; secured with home-made twine.

      Hoping that they find lots of low risk activities to fill the pages with - and that they come home safe and sound in September!
      That 3rd eyelet is upside down under the brad,
      creating some space between the brad and the front cover for the hair elastic.
      ETA: My traveller has returned with his book filled with memories here!

      Friday, 15 July 2011

      Ten on the Tenth: An Update!

      Back on the 10th I listed my 10 reasons for No.1 Son to take more water with it, but I wasn't quite ready to share the project that would list the reasons.  I've now managed to complete it and photograph it - hooray!  He didn't understand the title reference (perhaps a generational thing?) - so I had to explain that it was a way of saying he should dilute (or reduce) the amount of alcohol he drinks in future!  As he's on so many pain-killers he won't be able to put that advice into practice for a while, but hopefully the mini-book will remind him later on!

      It's a 5¼" square mini-book made from my July Counterfeit Kit (with the addition of some extra rub-ons and a brad) and would have been my project if I had still been in contention for the  UKS Scrap Factor Semi-Final theme: "Go beyond a traditional scrapbook page to create something original that tells an important story."

      That blank flap now contains a private dedication to No.1 Son.  The top left corner pulls back to reveal reasons 3 & 4:

      The bulldog clip is just holding the pages flat for me to photograph them in the absence of a 3rd hand!

      The bottom left corner pulls up to reveal reasons 7 & 8:

      And the final two reasons are found under the bottom right hand corner:

      I decided to hinge the back cover using hand stitching to help with the folding back & forth - that was what was holding me up last Sunday!!!

      The cover is made from 1 sheet of card and the inner pages are based on a 10 sided card made with just 2 pieces of double sided paper that fold back and forth to reveal each photo & reason.

      Tuesday, 12 July 2011

      Finally ... A Scrap Factor Victory!!!

      Woo hoo - I won on Scrap Factor :D

      No, not the overall competition LOL - I was knocked-out from Round 11 with this knock-out page - but my Week 12 page did win in the Playalong category!  The theme was 1,2,3 i.e. 1 sheet of black cardstock, 2 photos and 3 patterned papers.  Just my sort of thing :D

      I was really busy with No.1 Son's affairs following his fall, including making space for him to sleep downstairs for a while, so I was a bit lazy with the hybrid element of my page, just adding overlay frames.  The rest of the page came together pretty quickly: black stitching to add texture, strips of paper (BG Discover, Prima Azure Beyond,Scrapworks Citrus Flourish) plus mesh, tiny alpha stickers, 2 little tags, a few buttons and Sticker Studio brick red Sassy alphas.  Unfortunately their outline showed up a LOT on the black card, especially over stitching - so I had to add a bit more of the Citrus Flourish paper and try again with new stickers (luckily there are loads on the sheet).

      The photos are of two sculptures built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  The journalling is simply white gel pen, coloured afterwards with red and/or orange Sharpies and reads:
      "An afternoon spent walking back from the floating mall at Port Vell where we'd left the kids (window) shopping: Mike & I were blown away by the Ray Lichtenstein ceramic head & smiled back at the cheeky lobster by Javier Mariscal."

      The Scrap Factor competition has now moved on to the final 3 contestants ... the Semi Final with a theme of "Beyond the Page" ... their creations are here if you fancy looking/voting.   It'll be a hard choice as they are all very creative!

      Sunday, 10 July 2011

      Ten on the Tenth: Reasons to Take More Water With It

      I'm busy constructing a little memento for No.1 Son to remind him why he shouldn't drink so much following his recent escape from really serious injury.  It contains 10 photos to go with the 10 reasons.  I had hoped to upload the finished project, but it's proving to be slightly more time-consuming to construct than I'd anticipated!  So for tonight, you'll have to make do with the reasons and some of the photos - sorry!

      So here's Reason #1 - You may lose a favourite shoe ...

      #2 - You may try to get the shoe back from an impossibly high place & find that you aren’t really that good at “parkour”!

      #3 - You may end up flat on your back in bed!

      #4 - Your friends may not be all that sympathetic!

      #5 - Your girlfriend may get very, very cross!!!!

      #6 - You may have to take a lot of painkillers & other tablets!

      #7 - Your Mum may have to clean up your room & find all kinds of {unmentionable} things under your bed!

      #8 - You may need help putting on your socks!

      #9 - You may need to wear a CORSET !!!

      And finally ....

      #10 - You may not get the shoe back next time!

      Great customer service from Fenwicks department store - who lowered a member of staff from an upstairs window to retrieve the missing shoe which we then gift-wrapped for our boy :D
      Please check back in a couple of days to see the finished project.  In the meantime check out more Ten on the Tenth posts here.

      ETA - the finished project is now available to view here!

      Friday, 8 July 2011

      Forging Behind

      Here it is - better late than never - July's Counterfeit Kit. Again I have used my own colours and adapted the travel theme to suit my stash/photos as I have found that works better for me when actually using the kits!

      Ribbon-centric embellies this month
      Polkadot Whimsy's Cape Cod Kit
      July 2010
      In any case, I had nothing that directly matched the kit-to-copy (the CKCB went back to Polkadot Whimsy's July 2010 kit for inspiration), so I started by looking through my papers for small geometric shapes - choosing the Paper Salon paper and matching alpha stickers.  I then stumbled across a part used prize kit containing a Daisy Bucket collection, blooms, and ribbon which toned in nicely.  As I have some photos in mind for this kit I chose was some bicycle paper from Basic Grey to replace the jet planes of the kit-to-copy.  Though not shown in this picture, there were loads of fun trims, so I, too, went a bit mad with them!

      So there it is - not a counterfeit that would fool anyone, but hopefully a kit that I will use - starting tonight when my friends on UKS are hosting a little challenge evening to get us scrapping!

      Kit Contents:
      Cardstock (not shown):  ½ green, 1 brown, 1 brick, 1 AC Vanilla, 1 Bazzill Deep Blue Dotted Swiss

      1 Paper Salon Tribeca Small Squares (plain green reverse)
      1 Mustard Moon Navy Wallstreet
      ¾ Party Mix (multi-striped reverse), ½ Synchronize (white circles & stripes on teal reverse) - both from Daisy Bucket’s Playlist collection
      1 Bo Bunny Fall Festival Cocoa (under) KI Memories Lace CS
      1 Assembly Required, 1 Confession (both Basic Grey)
      1 Daisy Bucket Fast Forward (multi-coloured circles, stripes on reverse)
      1 Dream Street Papers Wisdom

      1 Paper Salon Tribecca alpha stickers
      1 MM Beach Red alpha rub-ons
      1 MM Misunderstood Navy alpha rub-ons
      1 Adornit Tiny Whoopsy Teal alpha stickers
      1 MME Paisley rub-on
      8 Lime gromlets
      Selection of flowers in brown, orange and light teal
      Various ribbons and strings
      Various journalling cards (KI) and word spots
      Some left over collage pieces using Playlist papers

      Wednesday, 6 July 2011

      Just Thought I'd Share

      This is SO beautiful: artistry, music and a sweet message!

      And have you seen? The Counterfeit Kit to copy for July has been announced - with some fabulous examples from the Master Forgers - and this month there is another great sponsor supplying a prize for joining in the fun!
      I've been inspired to get cracking with mine - better late than never eh?!

      Monday, 4 July 2011

      So near ...

      Just a short while to go now until the new Counterfeit Kit to copy is announced over at the CKCB ... despite being forewarned I was a bit pre-occupied last week and couldn't get my kit ready for tomorrow's big reveal, but I'm planning to have a root through my stash this afternoon (which is in the room being used by No.1 Son rather than be alone upstairs in his bedroom all day).  In the meantime I can now share something made from last month's kit.

      Bingo Card made by me in MS Word - true counterfeiting!
      A page using photos from Italy in March - we loved chilling with a good book/glass of wine/cup of coffee by the lakeside in the afternoon, enjoying warm sunshine and the wildlife!

      The journalling tag (free from Melissa at Pretty Little Studio) was originally red, but I re-coloured it in PSE5 to go with the rest of the page and that's also home-made bakers twine!  I'll do a tutorial on home-made Bingo Cards sometime if anyone is interested.

      Sadly, this page also marked the end of my time in the UKS Scrap Factor Competition - but nevertheless I'm really happy that I made it into the top five finalists ... so near, but still so far from the big prize money!!  Never mind, I don't need new stash when I still have so much counterfeiting to do :D

      P.S. Apologies to anyone who has now gone off yoghurt after Sunday's tale about Hubby's colleague "Phil" - I'm sure that "Phil" must have retired some time ago so you're probably safe - I certainly haven't let it put me off eating yoghurt by the bucket-load!!!!

      ETA P.P.S.  Just realised I have rudely not thanked anyone who actually voted for any of my pages in the Scrap Factor - erm - Thank You, you have great taste ... and if you didn't vote for me that's fine too, you probably have even better taste LOL!

      Sunday, 3 July 2011

      Storytelling Sunday Seven

      Gosh don't the months roll around quickly?!  Time for another instalment of Siân's Storytelling Sundays - check it out here (after reading mine of course :-P)

      At work this week, I was wondering what to write about  ... and then realised that work itself would be something to talk about.   Namely my first jobs ... and possibly Hubby's first jobs!  They have no bearing on where we ended up working at all - but they have influenced us!

      My first job was working in Woolworths on Saturdays - guarding the fur coats!  THE most boring job in the world: hanging around the rack containing half a dozen, not hugely expensive (we are talking Woollies after all!), rabbit fur coats: to make sure that nobody tried them on and walked out of the store! Do I have a fur coat now? No!!

      My second Saturday job was in British Home Stores (BHS) working in the homewares department, where I learnt to use a till that didn't add up very well ... if someone came to me wanting to buy 15 items at 99p, I was supposed to enter 99p fifteen times!   Luckily my co-worker showed me the quick way to do this and honed my mental arithmetic skills to boot - £15 less 15p i.e. £14.85 is a LOT quicker and more accurate to key in than 99p, 99p, 99p, 99p, ...  My colleague also taught me how to fold (tea-)towels for display on the shelves so that there were no visible edges.  Do I still fold towels this way?  YES!

      Layout - First jobs - Jimjams

      I then worked as a shelf-filler, and eventually on the tills, at Waitrose - their tills did a much better job of adding up than the BHS ones ... do I still shop there?  Sometimes :D

      Now Hubby had various jobs before he started down his final career path, but the job that has left him with a legacy is the one in the dairy - producing yoghurt.  He won't eat it!  Not because he dislikes it.  Not because he's allergic to it.  But because "Phil" used to flick his bogies into the mix!!! I somehow don't think I'll be doing a page about that, do you?!

      More stories here - enjoy!