Saturday, 30 November 2013


Jimjams - Embellishment cluster
I've had an awesome day!  Brilliant company, great cake (courgette & chocolate courtesy of Lesley) and plenty of scrapping at my monthly crop.  As it was the last one before Christmas we had a Secret Santa gift exchange and extra goodies in a raffle.  A really lovely day.

As ever, my scrapping output was fairly minimal (I enjoy the chat as much as the creativity) and I only managed one complete page to share today.  That's Child No.3 in the frame earlier this summer ... a very bonny lass I'm sure you'll agree.

Jimjams - Layout - Hey! Good Looking

The page is based on November's sketch over at Sarah's cards and uses some scraps from my October counterfeit kit (fitting perfectly with a challenge over at UKS to use shades of teal and orangeon a page).  Those teal gems and swirly paperclips were in my the Christmas surprise package on my crop table today - aren't they lovely!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Thanks But No Thanks

Jimjams - Cards - Thanks for All OccasionsWelcome to the start of November's Members' Blog Hop from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  The challenge this month, was to make a little book of thankfulness. Oh dear, I thought.  It's not that I'm not grateful for things, I am.  But I have enough (unfinished) mini-books to last a life time and I need to use my creative time usefully ... so I decided to twist the challenge slightly to my own ends.

Normally around this time of year I am busy with one of my many sisters in law, gathering gift requests and financial donations from Hubby's very large family. There are so many brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, cousins and spouses that we found it easier to put together a huge pot of money and buy each relative ONE gift on behalf of everyone else.  Far better to get just one decent sized exactly-right present than two dozen much smaller and less perfect gifts.  Each family contributes according to their means and last year the pot was nearly £1000 divided between 34 children and adults.

However this year several families are feeling the pinch and sadly the majority have decided that they will be cutting back and not joining in with extended family giving and receiving.  The end of a very useful family tradition, leaving a big hole in the festivities :-(

Which is the perfect excuse for me to think outside the box and start making gifts instead ... starting with a set of Thank You cards for a variety of occasions:

Jimjams - Cards - Thanks for All Occasions

Using my November Counterfeit Kit along with some white card, Sizzlits Retro Metro alphabet & Decorative Accent dies I concocted a number of reasons to be grateful and printed them in Veggieburger Font.

Jimjams - Cards - Thanks for All OccasionsJimjams - Cards - Thanks for All Occasions

Hopefully this set of cards will make one of Hubby's sisters happy on Christmas Day.  Now I'm off to look at other creative things to make and package prettily for the other four lovely ladies.  Do you make gifts to give away? 

The next stop on the gratitude trail is Valerie, but if you get lost along the way, the full blog hop order is published on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Secret Style Swap

Lisa recently asked the whole Master Forger team over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog to define our scrapbooking "style" by answering a questionnaire.  She mixed the style sheets up and supplied us each with the answers provided by another Master Forger.  We were then challenged to make a page in the style of our secret swap partner.  I was hoping I wouldn't be required to scrap with too much pink or florals or glitter ... and luckily I did manage to avoid all of those!

Today the Master Forgers are sharing the results of the style swaps and you may have arrived from Dawn (especially if you started on the CKCB here).

While I was waiting for my style swap partner's questionnaire I had a bash at scrapping according to my own answers:

CPH Walking Tour detail photo CPHWalkingTourdetail1400x300.jpg• started with a sketch
  (#6 from Scrapbook Generation's Travel Sketch Book)
• used a colourful, cardstock background
• chose several event-themed, cropped, standard-sized prints
• stuck to straight lines and geometric patterns
• kept things clean & simple with no messy techniques
• placed elements off centre and used visual triangles
• distessed/sanded/inked/torn/stitched edges
• used classic products from a variety of collections
  (my October Counterfeit Kit)
• mixed up my title letters and added handwritten journalling

Jimjams - Layout LHS - Copenhagen Walking Tour

... and because I had answered that I occasionally do double pages (and that book of sketches is crammed full of brilliant ones), it seemed appropriate that there was a second page of photos from our free walking tour of Copenhagen this summer:

Jimjams - Layout RHS - Copenhagen Walking Tour

... making a double page spread that I recognise as mine, but is probably a little cleaner and simpler than most of my single pages thanks to the number of photos:

Jimjams- DLO - Copenhagen Walking Tour

Then it was time to have a go with my style swap partner's answers:

Posh Nosh detail photo PoshNoshdetail400x300.jpg
• start from a single momentous, standard-sized photo
• use a neutral, patterned paper background
• feature clustered angles and visual triangles
• strike a balance between sticker sneeze and clean & simple
• centralise the main elements
• keep the tones muted with organic and girly patterns
• use classic products from a variety of collections
• mix up the title letters and add handwritten journalling
distress/sand/ink/tearn/stitch edges

Jimjams - layout - Posh Nosh

I think I managed most of the instructions: a single, cropped, photo from No.1 Son's recent holiday in Thailand, using muted papers and mixed-collection embellishments from my November Counterfeit Kit along with a scrap of girly (?), swirly patterned paper.  The title is made from two different alphabets but I have yet to add the journalling because No.1 Son can't remember the name of the restaurant they ate in ... I shall have to call his girlfriend and find out.  To be honest, I forgot about the edge distressing and struggled with the angled clustering, but I really like the use of a neutral patterned sheet as a background and will definitely be trying that again.

Now all that remains is to guess just whose style I have counterfeited ... I was torn between Lynette, Milissa and Stephanie because most of the other Forgers love getting messy with inks ... but I have to choose one, so I'll plump for Milissa!

I wonder who Julene was swapped with ...and whether she had trouble adapting her style?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Sofa Friends & Scrapfriends

Jimjams - layout detail - stitching and embellishment cluster
I have a number of sketch challenge sites in Feedly and usually grab a few sketches from around the web for inspiration before a crop.

I don't actually print them out - just re-sketch them onto a scrap of paper, indicating where the photo, title and journalling will be, along with any embellishment groups.  This more or less guarantees that my page strays from the original sketch, especially if I can't refer back to it before finishing the page.

This month I popped over to Scrapfriends and grabbed their November sketch (#19), my November Counterfeit Kit and a festive photo: our three kids and their cousins have been snapped on our sofa almost every Christmas for the last 17 years ... it's getting harder to gather them all together thanks to jobs/studies/travels and it is definitely harder to squeeze them onto it. 
{It won't happen this year either as we are facing our very first Christmas without No.1 Son; my heart strings are being tugged hard each time I cut an apron string *sigh*}

Jimjams - layout - Xmas 2010

Scrapfriends - November sketchI remembered that there were some feathers hanging down on the sketch and chose to interpret them as hanging baubles because we use them to display our Christmas cards from them each year - see what I mean about deviating from the sketch LOL

There's a colour challenge over at Scrapfriends in a couple of days ... I wonder how far I'll wander from that ;-)

In the meantime they also have a great blog candy giveaway at the moment ... take a look here for details.

Giveaway @ Scrapfriends

P.S. See my title figures there ... they were plain grungeboard ... amazing what a little blue ink, a swirly stamp and some black Stazon can do - check out other ideas for changing colour over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Blinging Up Buttons

Jimjams - Blinged Up Buttons
In this month's kits to counterfeit there were some lovely sparkly buttons in Jenni Bowlin's Artisan Add-On.  I had a packet of tiny glittery tiles but thought I'd try and add a little glitz to a few translucent orange buttons with sparkly embossing powder:
Coating the back of the buttons with Versamark ink, dipping them in embossing powder and heating them with my heat gun worked like a dream.
You could achieve the same effect with glitter glue but this was super quick to do - just let the melted embossing powder cool for a couple of minutes before touching the button.

Jimjams - Adding sparkle to buttons
Versamark Ink and Kaleidoscope Embossing Powder is a quick and easy way to add sparkle to clear buttons!
(I use an old chopping board covered in aluminium foil to protect my work surface)
I also had a go with some clear buttons and added my own colour with Sharpies - great results!  At first I tried colouring on the front of the button, but it actually worked better on the back - and it also worked perfectly well with coloured pigment inks rather than Versamark.  The embossing powder is slightly rough so it's better to use it on the back of the button or you risk scratching anything that the button rests against.

Jimjams - Coloured Buttons

You could even try adding a multi-colour design with your pens ... or an initial (just remember to use a mirror image if adding it to the back of the button!)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Newvember Kit

Jimjams - Kit detail - Pink Paislee Portfolio die cuts
Hello and welcome to another month of kit counterfeiting with the Counterfeit kit Challenge Blog.  This month we are are joined by Vikki our guest designer for November who starts the counterfeiting ... and if you started at the beginning you will have hopped over to me from fellow Master Forger Dawn.

The kit(s)-to-copy are Jenni Bowlin's offerings for October and, if I'm totally honest, I wasn't blown away by them.  Not my style as I don't really do floral :-(

Jenni Bowlin - October 2013 Main Kit

Furthermore I was itching to use some new scrapbook supplies, having just celebrated a medium birthday (ending in a 5) by splurging for the first time this year!  So this month I decided to counterfeit with new stash using some of the original kit's colours and patterns as a starting point:

Starting with the 3 papers on the top row, I found an orange diagonal, a blue dot and a grey chevron from Simple Stories Urban Traveller's Basics Kit;  the next row of papers in the original were counterfeited with papers using a grey grid, blue hexagons, a red dotty (did I mention that I struggle with florals?), a cream ledger and multi-coloured circles, all from three 6x6 pads (Studio Calico Snippets and Simple Stories 24/Seven and Urban Traveller).

Jimjams - November 2013 Counterfeit Kit

I added a couple of other sheets from the pads to pad (!) out the papers and chose a selection of 3x4 cards from the Urban Traveller & 24/Seven collections.  A couple of alphas, a roll of washi, some acetates, flair buttons and die-cuts later my kit was nearly ready.

Jimjams - November 2013 Counterfeit Kit - reverse papers

I had a quick look at the embellies in the Jenni Bowlin add-on kits and loved the sparkly buttons in the Artisan Add-On ... and made my own!

Orange Stripes/Map, Navy Dots/Ledger & Chevron/Grey Concrete from Simple Stories Urban Traveller's Basics Kit
B side of Okay from Studio Calico Snippets
Today from Simple Stories 24/Seven
A side of Stop from Studio Calico Snippets
Notebook/Yellow Honeycomb from SS 24/Seven
Lets Go, Downtown & Goodtimes, Bingo Cards/Coloured Dots from SS Urban Traveller
3x4 Journalling Card Elements from SS Urban Traveller & 24/Seven
Jimjams - Counterfeited buttonsWebsters Pages Transparency Cards
Die Cuts from Pink Paislee's Portfolio Ephemera
WRMK Orange washi
American Crafts Flair Buttons
AC Meadow Thickers
SS Sn@p! Typeset, Letters & Icons stickers
Glittery tiles ... who knows where these came from?
Counterfeited Queen & Co Sparkle Buttons

I'm really excited to get started with my new goodies - I'll be back with details of button experiments in a few days.  In the meantime please hop over to Julene to see whether she's used old stash or new stash in her counterfeiting.