Sunday, August 31, 2008 September Free Newsletter

Hi there!

Gosh I have been busy putting the final touches to the September Newsletter!

Not helped by the fact that my Web computer program didn't want to "Play ball" right when I needed it most! Still got round that and nearly everything is ready to roll!

Oooh how exciting! So if you want to be privy to the first newsletter... sign up! You can sign up on this blog (top left under the header picture) or go to the website.

The Newsletter graphic was made up from various digital scrapbooking elements, most if not all were freebies. Click here to see the credits page of the website for the list of designers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Laughing at Fonts

This is a very short post...

and that is because I won't waste time introducing this link apart from to say it's very amusing!

You have to be a Font lover (or at least know the differences between the common ones) but I think most of us in the world of Scrapbooking Layouts will appreciate this video!

And as it is a video... make sure you have your sound turned on!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Envelope Albums

I have been thinking about doing an envelope album for a while now.

I thought I might create one as a demo for my ScrapBuddies Group here in the UK, (Ditchingham, Suffolk Scrapbooking Club).

I have had a link in my favourites with an example of one for some time too. This picture is from the "Two Peas" site.
Holiday Project: Christmas Letters Mini Album by Traci Turchin.

There are more pictures on a slide show when you get to the site.

In this instance the bound envelope book is actually sold as a blank album to decorate, but as it is American, I would have to go a-hunting for an equivalent here.

So in the true spirt of "make-it-yourself" I have got out some envelopes this evening and have just tested them with my trusty pH tester pen. So far so good, but I like to leave the test over night as although an immediate change in colour of the pH ink can tell you if something is REALLY acid, it can take longer to show if something is only slightly acid. Either way it won't do your photos, etc any good.

So I will see how we get on with that first, but I was then thinking about the binding of the envelopes.

The picture here shows the binding of what looks like a "Bind It All". Now as I don't have one of those I thought that I may use either book rings, or possibly even stitch the envelopes together.

If I do the latter I will have to work out a way to attach the "board front and back covers! ANy suggestions anyone?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Child's play!

This is the last image of the "Swirly frame" stamp!

This one has been coloured by my 4 year old daughter. I realise I am biased on this subject maybe, but I thought her colouring was particularly good.
I for one could not colour as neatly at the same age!
However, the other reason I posted this picture was because I notice that Honey colours all the way to the edge of the paper (or card in this case).
I notice that she does this with a lot of her paintings too. Completely covers the paper with paint!
It's a "child thing" I think, but it's something we could "re-learn" perhaps, and by that I mean being aware of all of the area of a scrapbooking layout.
Take more care over our backgrounds, and not just concentrate on the photos and embellishments.
Quite often when people are disappointed with a layout they have made, simply replacing the plain background card with a patterned paper is enough to turn it into a successful page.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Masking your stamping mistakes!

Whilst on the subject of stamping... here is an example (on the left side of the photo) of a stamp that has not made a clean impression all over. Click the picture for an enlargement.

In this instance it is a "frilly" picture frame.

Now I could have just said "Oh bother"!!!! and thrown it away and started again - but I didn't.

That would have been a bit wasteful, wouldn't it?

So I did colour it (I actually used it as part of a recent demonstration about using aqua pencils).

And as I did so I thought of this blog and of you! This is because I want to show you how to "get round" or "cover up" scrapbooking mistakes. We see lots of lovely things online, in magazines and books and stare in awe at the creative prowess of the crafter, but many times a page has only turned out the way it has because due to having to "deal with" a mistake! But the viewer is observing in ignorant bliss! LOL

I, for one, learn a lot more from seeing how people have solved a particular problem, than I do from just seeing a finished project.

So.. and this is a really simple one... the dodgy corner of the stamped image above has merely been covered by placing an object over it! How simple is that!

On a scrapbooking layout, this could be a a page accent, or a matted photo, the list is actually endless, but it's worth covering with something that is substantial enough not to look like "a pea on a drum". In other words, the page accent covering the corner of the stamped image above is an element in it's own right, rather than just placing a strip of paper over it and hoping for the best!

Sometimes, ironically, mistakes lead to more lovely designs than the original idea!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Working with Aqua Pencils and stamps

I know a number of people who have bought aqua pencils, and have done nothing with them!

Why... because it looked like a good idea, but they didn't really know what to do with them, or how to achieve good results.

So if you have some aqua pencils languishing in one of your draws, get them out, dust them off and I'll tell you what you can do!

In the top picture, you can see a pack of pencils. Obviously you need to have some water and a paintbrush... OR use a waterbrush (pictured)

A waterbrush has a built in reservoir, so you can use your watercolours/pencils wherever you are. No jars of water to accidentally knock over!

Anyway, if you are using moisture of any kind with your stamps then you need to use a solvent based ink, rather than a water based one, otherwise your stamped image will "run" into your colouring.

Stamp your image using the solvent based ink onto (preferably) some card - this means that there will be less "warping" when water is introduced to the image.

To achieve the gradual shading, as in the close-up picture here, colour only one side of an area with the pencil. Now use your brush gently over the pencil colour and "pull" the colour across the rest of the area. You should end up with a gentle faded colour from one side to the other, the darker area being where the original pencil colour was. As you can see it gives a "3D" effect because of the shading.

Make sure you turn your paper around to suit the direction you wish to "pull" the colour. Don't be afraid to turn your paper upside down if necessary to create the right vignette.

The final photo here is of some different coloured stamped images.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Card using aqua pencils technique

This is a very simple card!

Unfortunately you can't see the effect very well on this photograph... I have put a close up of one corner in the picture below.
The subtle splatter of light blue dots on the card was made by flicking a wet paintbrush off the end of a light blue aqua pencil directly onto the card.
I used an oval ring to mask off a shape in the middle of the card.
The edged were not inked here, instead I dragged the same blue aqua pencil down the edges of the card and then dragged a wet paintbrush over the edged to blend the colour out onto the card a little.
Of course then there is a stamped sentiment in the middle and some ribbons, a flower and a brad to finish off.

Monday, August 18, 2008

ScrapBuddies Sketch number 4

Well going back to the "Is Simple what you want" last Wednesday, I have created a sketch based on the simple layout in that post.

The trick to this layout is to make full use of your patterned paper, just make sure it's not over-powering. As I like to say "let your paper do the talking".

The tag on my page is interactive... that is, it opens to reveal journaling inside... but you don't need to keep this feature.

Anyway, the "motto" (or "Mission Statement" as company execs like to say) for the site and therefore this blog too, is...

"Keeping it Simple to get you Scrapbooking Now"

So let's start right now!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is it a Tag, or an an Accent or what?

Ok this is a little something I made very quickly using some left overs from finished scrapbooking layout.

It's just a piece of paper, a paper bloom (I think they are referred to as "splat blooms") and a few ribbons tied around a paper clip.

My question is now... what do I do with it?

I could use it on a layout... then it would become a page accent.

I could clip it to something else and call it a tag.

I could even stick it onto a card and then it would be a "topper".

What do you reckon?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wedding Anniversary card - using a "Quick Page"

It's my wedding anniversary today!

16 years Miles and I have been together - in marriage that is! We've actually been "together" for 18 and a half years!

So here is the card he received this morning.

The title was cut using my trusty Craft Robo, eventually! That was because I had forgotten how to set it up in the program, and for some reason (probably because of the UK Scrappers changes to their whole site) my favourite link to the helpful article in the Craft Robo forum doesn't work any more!

Isn't it always the way when you want to do something quickly! I made the card last night!!!

There is a bit of ribbon and a "gem" brad of course but here is the clever bit you might want to remember!

The background is actually a downloadable digital "Quick Page"!! That means (for those unfamiliar with the term) that the page is done for you and it is actually just a picture file a PNG or even a JPEG - just like the ones from your camera).

The designer, in this case Retrodiva, designs a whole page and leaves a "hole" for you to put your picture in!

Most of these quick pages come in 12x12" size but, of course you can resize! I resized to 5.5" square so that I could place the finished "page" onto an A5 sized card - I obviously cut the bottom off the base card to make it square!

But quick pages are GREAT for cards... I have used a few recently for cards and just added embellishments... effectively making them Hybrid cards!

And the beauty of it is that you can do the same using any program (such as a word processor even) that supports the use of pictures!

So you see it can be worth dabbling in digital, especially when some of these things are free! (I will point out that this one wasn't free but was a mere $5.99 (£2.70) for 5 quick pages! Just over 50p each!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is "Simple" what you want?

I posted this Scrapbooking layout in my gallery at UK Scrappers a while ago (I am a team member there).

It is an incredibly simple layout designed for use at a workshop for complete beginners.

As a member of UK Scrappers, I am able to see (due to some site changes, not all of which are welcome!!) who has left a comment and/or who has added any of my Layouts to their "favourites" folder on their profile.

I have to say that this layout is rapidly becoming the most "saved in favourites" by far! Over and above all those layouts I have slaved over for hours!

Is it the cute photo of Inde perhaps?

Is it that we look at this Layout and say to ourselves "I can do that!" ?

Or is it that we are all crying out for a little simplicity in our Scrapbooking?

I am actually hoping it is the latter because it will mean that my next ebook - Easy Scrapbooking for Beginners - will be welcomed by those looking for that simplicity.

This is another reason why I have set up to Keep it Simple.

I have seen too many ticking, flashing and wurring websites that shout at you and confuse the eyeballs! Do you stay on sites like that? I don't, I can't be bothered! I'd like to think that my website and newsletter will become welcome symbols of calm and serenity... a Scrapbooking Oasis in a world wide web of noise and dazzling colours.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

From Event to Scrapbook within 24hrs

I made it!!! I made the scrapbooking page - even with no photos of my own - within 24hrs of coming home from the event!! Woo hoo!
See this post if you are confused!! LOL
It's an 8x6 page, which I will be adding to my "Random Things" Album.
Thte background is Dovecraft paper put directly through my printer for the journaling and title.
The Tote tickets were the big pile of "Non-Winners", so I thought I would tie them with some fibres just to give the impressiono f a big pile!!! Just to emphasis the point of how useless we were at picking the winners! 3 out of 14... better than non I suppose! LOL
The picture of the racing dogs you will recognise from the picture I used for yesterday's post! and I just hand wrote today's date and did a bit of doodling!
Phew! What a rush... took about 30 minutes. Should I mention I was drawing a scrapbooking sketch while I was at the races??? LOL

Sneeky Peek - New Scrapbooking Website and Newsletter

Have you noticed? Well of courwe, for those of you for whom this is a first visiting to this blog, then you won't have known that today my blog header has changed!

What d'ya think then?

And the reason for all this? ... you ask... well I am launching a number of things at the beginning of next month!

First a New Scrapbooking Website,
Second a Free Scrapbooking online Newsletter
Third, My Ribbon Storage Solution ebook!

Although you can buy the ebook right now and you can sign up for the Free Scrapbooking Newsletter right not, And, you can go check out the pre-launch stuff on the website right now too! LOL

So you see now, why I haven't been blogging every single day as I was! I have set up and built all these sites, products and newsletter all by myself and ALL from scratch! PHEW!

So you see the new Header on this blog is to show that it is now the official Blog for the new site.

I realise you may think, "Gosh there are so many scrapbooking sites out there already, why start a new one?"

Well there are a couple of reasons, but the main ones are...

So many of those sites have the following bad points:
They are confusing with all sort of flashing icons and adverts everywhere,
The information they give can be quite useless sometimes,
The information is boring to read and often have "no" pictures to illustrate,

I am creating a rich and colourful website that is easy to use, with lots of graphics to aid the articles. I hope that the articles I am writing will be very useful to Scrapbookers and Card makers, and I can expand on some of the topics I have touched on in the past on this blog.

I also want this site to be personal, and by that I mean that I am approachable, you can contact me and make suggestions for site content, or reviews, etc. On many sites it is very difficult to contact anyone and is very impersonal.

Scrapbooking is a friendly kind of hobby, all the fellow scrappers I have met are nice people and this should show through on the website... I hope it already does on this blog.

I also want to send out a Scrapbooking Newsletter that actually has some content in it! Not just adverts!!!

Of course, I do want to make money from all my hardwork online, hence my Ribbon Holder ebook and there are two more books in the pipeline as well, but I also want to build a strong business and I want to do with all you lovely people out there!!!

So... after all that... remember... 1st September is the First Newsletter from I have put a sign-up box at the top of the blog (on the left) so you can easily subscribe from here, or check out the site now to find out what's on offer (including SUBSCRIBER FREEBIES !) and sign-up there.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gone to the Dogs - A scrapbooking Self-Challenge

My husband, my daughter and I went to watch some Greyhound Racing this evening!

We didn't stay till the end as Honey was getting tired, but we had some fun betting a £1 to win on my choice and her choice for 7 races!

We were doing quite well at the beginning with a win on the first three races! Then it all went downhill!

Honey had great fun yelling her head off... urging her chosen dog along!

Anyway, my "Self-challenge" is to scrap a page of the event within 24hrs! I have a very fuzzy photo only from my phone, which isn't useable, so it will definitely be a challenge indeed.

And on trying to find a simple "free" Greyhound Racing graphic for this post, I now realise that finding a picture from the web is not easy either!

Anyway, credit where it is due, this graphic is courtesy of an American site I'll let you know how I got on in my next post!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Circle Journal - "Favourite Group" finished pages

Well here is the double page layout for the Circle Journal, as they look in the CJ itself.
I much prefer to cover the whole page when making an entry into a Circle Journal, but as this journal is going to be bound with a "Bind it All", there are many holes all the way down instead of the usual 3 or 4!

So for ease of entry, I decided to stop my scrapbooking pages just short of the holes.

It mucks up the design a little, but I couldn't be bothered to hand punch all those holes! LOL

As for the "sign in" tag... this was made by photocopying the official ticket and then covering the provided blank tag with an area of the ticket, adding a large eyelet and some ribbon and there it is!

So the scrapbooking layout is fully digital and the tag is traditional/hybrid (hybrid due to the use of the photocopier/scanner)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Digital Layouts for a Circle Journal

Well I managed to complete the digital scrapbook layouts in time to put in the latest Circle Journal and deliver to the next person on the list... hello Katy!

So here are the digital files...

The first is the left hand page and the second is the right hand page (obviously!).

These were made using the ScrapBook Max scrapbooking program which I am currently reviewing and will be posting that review on here shortly. But suffice to say, it's a jolly good program to get you into the world of digital scrapbooking.

Anyway, more of that later!

This my friends is a true multi-media production! Well multi something!

The photographs on the right hand page are off the internet (from the official Bon Jovi Site).

The ticket on the left hand page is a scan of my concert ticket and the photo of me and family was taken on my phone!

I'm sooooooo technological now, don't you know! LOL.

Digi Supplies;
Background paper - Cinzia Loosemoore
Leaf - no idea as file name a bunch of numbers!
stitching freebie - KsharonK Designs(will have to let you know!!)
stapled journaling strips - E Kipler
Hessian style material graphic - J Horsford.
"Enjoy" embellishment - S Carling

Anyway, I will post a picture of how the pages look in the book and the "sign in" tag (that goes into the sign in pages usually at the back of a circle journal) next time.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bookmarks - an alternative to ATCs

Artists Trading Cards (ATCs) are very popular! However, a lot of scrapbookers aren't too sure as to their point!

I can sympathise a little, as apart from making them to swap, one seems to make them just for the sake of making them... they are a genre in their own right.

So I was interested to come across this blog bySarah-Louise Mitchell. This is because she has examples of book marks!

"Bookmarks?" you ask... yes, but not those boring things these are fantastic ones! Look at the ones in the picture! Click the picture to go to Sarah's post, you will need to scroll down a little.
I particularly like the "bodice" one... bottom right of the picture, there is a close up of that one at this post. Again you will need to scroll down a bit! Worth a look.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Finished New Baby Card

When I came out of my house recently to take Honey to nursery, I noticed lots of blue balloons attached to the neighbour's house and a banner across the front door saying "It's a Boy".

So I deduced, with my Sherlock Holmes style tenacity, that I needed to make a card for a Baby Boy arrival! LOL

So Welcome to the World "Little Harry"!

I made my card based on the sketch from Di Hickman's site. See my post showing an example.
Link to Di's sketch on her blog

And here it is!

You can't tell from this photograph really, but the blue strip with white spots is a length of ribbon!

Anyway... I'm now off to create a double page spread for a circle journal entitled "Favourite group or singer!"

Well It's just got to be Bon Jovi... rock on... see ya later!