Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've been creating and it feels good. This is a layout I completed based on a Becky Fleck Pagemap Sketch that I saw online on the Aussie Scrap Source Blog. It is the first time I have done a layout based on a sketch. I knew I wanted to use the butterfly and the layout came together slowly from there. (I don't know why I can't get the photo of the layout to upload in the right direction!!!).

Winning is by voting so please vote for me:

I have put in the photo of the detail as the photo on their website doesn't show the detail: sparkly spritz on the butterfly (took me a few hours to unclog the head on the spritz bottle though before I could use it), the glittery cardstock (pale blue), the stamping and glass finish on the lettering or the faux cracked glass effect I created on the green cardstock matts (under butterfly and square stickers). The lettering was actually pale blue to start with but I spritzed them with the mist (managing to get some on my favourite designer jeans in the process!), then I added some script stamping as I wasn't happy with the overall effect and lastly added a coat of glass finish. I added the glass finish in a hurry before work (challenge deadline was looming) and it managed to overflow and spread on the background. Solution: found dog's tiny syringe and used it to mop up as much as I could then I had to use cotton buds to wipe away the excess. Even though I used Stazon ink it still bled with the movement of the glass finish.

I am really happy with the final product - been a while since you've heard me say that right? So, VOTE FOR ME!

The options are on the left-hand side of the web page. Mine is under the second section - single page layouts. Click the one that matches the layout here (It's the first one I think and the right way around!) and then click - Cast Your Vote on the button under my section - thanks!

Southern Girls Challenge: Challenge #5 - TRANSPORT

Southern Girls Challenge: Challenge #5 - TRANSPORT: "Up to our 5th challenge already. The weeks are really flying! Our challenge this week is to use something related to travel on your project...."

Southern Girl's Challenge - New Photos Added

This is a paperbag book I made of a road trip in NZ with good friends. It is filled with random items from our trip (funny roadsigns, things we did, photos, ticket stubs). I am putting it here for the Southern Girl's Challenge website for their weekly challenge: Use a travel item on a creation.

Here' the link to the Challenge website - give it a go yourself!

I hope I have done it right - still trying to get my head around online challenges and all the technical skills that go with it.
Inside pages now added. I made the tags and took them with me and got the girls to fill them in with memories during our trip. None of them were scrapbookers and the one who did the tags under sufferance did a brilliant job and really got into adding stamps and bling. There are lift up flaps on each page with extra quotes and pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't look too closely & a secret revealed

Not a lot has been happening on the creative front lately (thank you EVO4 transmission engine for the back injury!) but the universe has been conspiring to get me making a card or two. Let me just be upfront here: I don't like making cards. There I said it. Quite shocking for an ex- Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. The thing is, I would rather invest my creative time and energy in making something a bit grander, bigger and more permanent than a card. Don't get me wrong - I love handmade cards. In fact, I rarely buy a card because of the cost and lack of appeal of the store-bought cards. I do like giving handmade cards (but only to those who appreciate one), I just don't like actually making them. The trouble is, when people know you are a scrapbooker or if they have received a handmade card before - that's what they expect. Usually it is a last minute creation too - as in, can you make me a card for X whose birthday is today! Maybe that's why I don't like them. I usually make them under sufferance or because it is a requirement (ie, for a design team). I did make two similar cards this year which I absolutely loved - one was for a wedding and the other was for Mother's day. Maybe I just need the inspiration of love to make me want to create cards.

Luckily, I came up with the cunning plan of collecting all the cards I have made from classes, workshops and from my other life as a SU demonstrator and now I have a go-to box for when people need a card quick smart. However, because I haven't created many lately the collection is dwindling. Then a dear friend requested only one thing for her birthday - a handmade card! What could I do - I couldn't simply resort to the collection for her so off I went to make a card. Then I got the brilliant idea to send a bunch so that she would have her own go-to collection. Of course I forgot the bit about me not actually liking to make cards. I did make her a card (and managed to stamp the script stamp up-side-down) and send her a few for her own collection (some newly made by me, some from my go-to box). Then I got the idea I could sit down and make cards en-masse for Christmas gifts - and then I remembered

{I don't like making cards - for those of you who needed the insert}

The BFF helped me come up with some card designs for the very dear friend (actually, I straight copied her ideas but with my stuff) and invited me to a SU workshop the past weekend to make - guess what? - a card. I really like doing the BFFs classes/workshops (she's very talented) and I always walk away with something I am really happy with for not much trouble. So, I took the technique learned at her class and set out to make some of my own (I think I was still under the illusion I would make cards en-masse for Christmas - insert snort here).

The above photo is what I came up with. The green card with the phrase - go confidently in the direction you want - is the BFF's workshop card. The green and pale purple ones are my versions. Unfortunately, I don't have all the coordinating SU products that the BFF has so, even though the idea was simple, the execution was a whole lot more complicated at my end. What? No chocolate chip cardstock which goes with everything? Black will do. What? I don't have every SU ink pad so I can't match my cardstock to ink? Choose one that you do have and one that's close enough (and tell people not to look too closely). What? No matching two-step stamp set? Use one I have. What? The black ink I used isn't fast drying dye-based ink? Just live with the smudged results (and maybe don't give them to people - chalk it up to experience and next time, don't be so impatient, wait for the ink to dry before using the stamp-a-ma-jig). I won't even mention not having the exact same stamp for the block design so I had to come up with something else - What? My nesting ovals don't match my SU punch? Hand cut one using the magic matter (and don't look too closely at my hand cut edges). What? I have glued down the front of the card before realising I wanted to add ribbon and hide the edges under it? The solution to that one will remain my secret. The embossed burgundy one is one I whipped up last night to enter a competition - not my finest but I am sticking to my adage - It's done, walk away!

I've just realised there is a recurring phrase which goes with viewing my masterpieces - don't look too closely. My own personal disclaimer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Highlight for the week

My best friend's almost 3-year old daughter hugged my leg and looked up at me to ask: you my fren [friend] aye?

Yes, my darling I am your friend and you are mine.

An update is well overdue

The blog hasn't been updated in a while - don't most of my posts start with that? We've had family visiting so I was making the most of the time available to spend with my nephews and nieces. A fab time was had by all, we managed to take a few family shots so I have a new stash to scrapbook (as soon as I actually get them printed).

I have lots of ideas floating around in my head but of course the scrap space had to be cleared and made into a bedroom for the family visit so the creative process was severely limited. I put some of the scrap space back together but I have a new invasion this weekend so I've had to create a bed-size space again. I am really wanting to work on a 2009 recap double layout (I've done one since 2007) today but I know I really should leave the 'bedroom' space alone. It's probably not very welcoming to have to fit your belongings around a layout in progress and worry about losing a vital piece of the layout (esp when the layout uses index photos).

My purchases (thank you with 50% coupons) arrived with the family so of course I got them all out the day the family left. And I did manage to finish the acrylic pages I started at SENZ in the small bit of floor space in the office/scraproom/bedroom. I guess I could get off the couch, snap some pics and put them up here for you....nah too lazy. I'll stick with a photo I used for an online challenge (which I won - thanks Megan @ Betterscrapbooking!). The photo challenge was simply to photograph your creative space as it is right now/then. Hmmmm, I really need to get more tech-savvy and figure out how to get the picture where I want, and not simply where the programme puts it.

Other news (apart from winning the photo challenge), I didn't get accepted for another design team I applied for but I did have another layout accepted for publication in Up2scrap. I submitted the layout in June but I didn't hear back from them so I added a few extra embellishments (the wallet photos kept falling into the pockets - of course I didn't custom fit the pocket when I did the layout!). I had to contact them and show them the updated version - they were still happy to publish it though. I wonder if they forgot to send me through an acceptance email because they said I needed to send the layout ASAP - to meet the next deadline I guess. I have no idea when it will be out but once it is published I will post it here. I'd really like to be published in Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooking Memories so I guess I should get back into it. I've had no luck as yet but I got to keep trying.

You need to use the latest products for submissions and sadly my local scrapbook shop is closing down today. There is another one in town but it isn't literally 5 mins up the road like the last one. Not getting accepted on a design team frees up my time to focus on designing what I want, when I want but it also means I don't get free stuff to play with. To be honest it is probably not the right thing for me physically to be on a design team right now because I really have been having a hard time bouncing back from the fall I had at work in April (no pun intended). I prayed about being accepted (ie, if it's not right thing for me physically then I won't be accepted) and I wasn't accepted so it's not the right thing for me right now. Will wait and see what the Lord has instore for me instead :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I think a parrot exploded in there

It appears I have been remiss in updating my blog. One would expect either I am too busy to update or there is nothing exciting or creative going on to report on. The reason why you (my many readers) get an update today is because I have been static since getting a spasm in my back while getting ready for work Wednesday morning. Not fun and very boring! At least I can now sit up which means I can read and today I am even able to update the blog. I can now report that daytime TV is very boring especially when you can't move well enough to change the channel every time it gets boring. Bring back the daytime soaps I say; I only get to watch them once in a while when there is nothing better to do but that is enough to figure out what is going on. It is amazing how many times some one can die/disappear and suddenly be back on the show again. Dr Phil and Oprah just didn't do it for me this week.

Last weekend I went to SENZ in Christchurch which means I am now under more stress having time off this week ( I can neither confirm or deny that I may have spent lots while down there). I didn't even try to fool myself or anyone else this time by saying "I won't spend too much" or " I only have $X to spend and then that's it" - in the words of the famous Tui adds "Yeah Right!". At least I released myself from the guilt this time. It wasn't all scrapbook shopping. I did manage to find a gorgeous felted wool jacket top that is bright green. Yes, bright green! Dad says it is very Irish (more than once I'd like to point out). Even the best friend said "oookaaaaay, at least you like it" which translates to: it is very normal for you to be attracted to bright colours. You are ok with that and so will I be, as long as you don't walk to close to me as we walk down the street. We've been best friends since third form so we know each other pretty well and can read between the lines quite well.

Most people who are best friends are very similar but for me and my BFF we have many differences in our personality and likes and preferences. I remember one day opening the BFFs closet door and laughed at the colour range before me: navy, black, grey with a few spots of colour for events. I turned to the BFF and commented on the difference between our wardrobes: If you opened my wardrobe door you would think a parrot had exploded in there!

I better add a disclaimer in here and point out that the BFF isn't boring or limited in embracing colour. I think the work uniform is the main culprit. However, I was banned from wearing orange for her wedding. Being the BFF that I am, I complied. It's only one day and it's her day, besides, red is close enough to orange :)

The BFF and I have been friends for 20 years (yikes, how did that happen!) and have the benefit of knowing who we were then and who we are now. If you want your friendship to remain it has to grow with the people in it. I am not the same kid I was back then but what I've been through during that time has shaped who I am today. We aren't those carefree kids without responsibilities any more and we now have other things that demand our attention. Being a BFF to one another is recognising the other demands and being ok with letting those demands take precedence when necessary.

So how did I get from SENZ to a rant on friendships and exploding parrots? I think the Irish, bright green jacket was the link. I wore it to work on Monday (as you do when something is new) and was very surprised not to be made fun of by the two guys I work with. Maybe it's not that lurid at all?

Speaking of things Irish. I (actually my Mum) has sourced my favourite Irish beverage at a local supermarket. This was a week after I hunted it down through word of mouth to an Irish pub in town. $12.50 a bottle versus $6 at the supermarket. I went to an Irish pub/restaurant in Chch and was disappointed to learn that they didn't have it, even though it was on the outside menu. Turns out they are changing the menu and beverage choices. O well, the meal was great so I guess I will forgive them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The wait is over.....

The wait is finally over, not only am I updating my blog after a seriously long absence, but I finally received my layout back from the UK with the complimentary copy of the magazine it was published in. Actually, the magazine/layout arrived about a month ago and I still haven't had a chance to look at it. I had just arrived back from an unexpected trip to find my package had arrived. I ripped into it as soon as I realised it was here and skimmed through to find my layout. I briefly looked at it, flashed it around at our visitors and haven't had a chance to spend some time enjoying the mag since.

Here's the official fine print I have to add: as seen in ScrapBook Inspirations Idea Book Volume 1 (March 2010)

We had visitors staying with us for a wedding, which I missed because I had to go on the unexpected trip, so I thought it would be rude to sit down to immediately devour it. Besides, I was starving and exhausted from the 5 hour journey after a couple of full-on days. Did I mention our car battery died that morning? We got a jump start but were told we couldn't stop the motor until we reached a small town about a half hour away. We hadn't finished our errands so I drove the car around the country lanes while the person I was with finished off our jobs - lucky for us it is a small town and everything was within walking distance. Did I mention we also needed to get gas? We made it all the way to the next biggest town an hour away to get gas and the car started again no problems afterwards - phew! One good point was, right after we realised the car wouldn't start when we got out and lifted the bonnet to do checks etc. I thought I could hear a Tui and looked up into the tree above the car to see one spying on us. I've never seen one in civilisation (ie, not in the bush or at an animal park).

Boy was I glad to be home but it was short lived as we had to make the trip south again three days later. My excuse for not updating or creating since then is that I have been busy getting caught up at work - did I mention my company was sold when I was away and I wasn't there to smooth some things over? On top of that, a close family member had planned but significant surgery so I have spent my time up at the hospital and at home helping to ease the boredom of 6 weeks of recuperating. Phew - what a month and now it is June already. In the meantime I have booked a trip to the South Island for SENZ in July (my first time to the South Island SENZ) and today the class list was released and for the first time I have booked into a class. I am looking forward to it - I hope it gives me my mojo back.

I'm off to the big smoke for the long weekend ahead. I am looking forward to spending some quality time with good friends and I may even take a few pictures along the way....and if I can finagle it, I will pop into a few scrapbook shops up there too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Friday...

It's Friday and it's been two weeks since my last post - better rectify that

Today is a day off for me and I didn't get outta bed till 11am; it's currently after 12pm and I'm still in my PJ's - Bliss. I know I really shouldn't boast about that, my mum's probably horrified I've just announced it to the world. The dog couldn't even hack the long lie-in; he abandoned me about 9:12am and the next time I saw the clock it was 10:14am. I blame the osteopath treatment yesterday - that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

Today's plan was to make a card for my niece's birthday, submit a layout to a NZ magazine, and complete projects to submit to a design team call for a South Island Scrapbook company. I am thankful that the deadline for the submission is Monday so I still have the weekend to get it all together. One part of me wonders why I am putting myself through extra work again and the other part of me misses the challenge of creating from only the product supplied. And to be honest, I miss the free, latest product! It's funny now that I have decided to apply, the self-doubts have crept in. What if I don't get selected? Does that mean my work isn't good enough? etc. But, I am going to apply because you never know what can happen in life. I once saw a fridge magnet that read: 80% of life is just turning up. That phrase resonated with me - if I don't apply/turn up then I definitely won't be considered.

To apply for the design team I need to submit 2 Layouts, 1 card and 1 project using product that the company stocks. The dilemma for me is that I have a wonderful scrap stash and I buy wherever is cheapest. I am very lucky to have family in the USA so I can order items there (cheaper) and impose on the Grandparents (my parents) to bring stuff back for me on their many visits (and a very good friend who brought back a Clip-it-up for me this year which I really love - both the clip-it-up and my friend!). The USA family is coming to NZ later this year and Aunty Manda has a sizable stash for them to bring back already. It is truly lucky that our families have to love us because one of the items is an octagonal, yes, octagonal, storage unit for my desk. Sooooo lucky that they have to love me. My fabulous sister-in-law will bring it out for me but I have had to promise not to order anymore things for them to bring and I had to solemnly swear 'no more octagonal things'! I did push my luck and ask if hexagonal was ok?

I guess the submission isn't going to happen if I continue to sit here, in my PJ's, so I will sign off and get to work. I will keep you posted if I am successful.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Follow up on the spray paint comment

I resisted getting the latest Kaisercraft shelf unit, oh, for about a minute, then purchased one at my LSS on sale. I decided to make my life easier by spray painting it. Now, I know that it is important to prime MDF and it gives a much better finish to the overall job but as I stated earlier I was opting for the easiest, less time-consuming option. So, I thought High Gloss spray paint would be thick enough to cover the MDF in only two coats. Well, after one really patchy and streaking coat I realised that I miscalculated. Not only was one can not going to be enough (which meant it was no longer the cheapest option) neither was two coats going to suffice. This required me breaking my lazy Easter weekend and actually getting out of my comfy bed and trotting myself off to Bunnings to buy more paint (which I hadn't budgeted for). What's worse, an out-of-town friend had come down to spend the day with me and I dragged her to the hardware store with me. We did do coffee and Chai Latte later, I'm not a complete slave driver.

It was Saturday at this stage and I thought the whole painting bit would be all over by now (saving me the hours of priming, painting and cleaning the brushes at each stage). How wrong was I. I decided to assemble the shelf unit and spray it as one piece instead of painting each piece seperately as I started (which would've given me a more smooth, professional finish). The paint finish was still streaky and kept soaking into the MDF but by the end of Sunday I was totally over the painting thing and had inhaled enough aerosol from the spray cans that I decided to call it done and cover what I couldn't fix with paper.

So, I started working on the boxes. I thought they would have flaps for adhering the sides together, turns out they don't. My original idea was to spray paint the flat surfaces and only adhere paper to the fronts (the non-existant 'flaps' would hold it all together in my mind) but we all now know about the success I had had with the spray paint. So, I had to prestick the boxes together with masking tape before covering the boxes with patterned paper. Of course, you can tell it is all going smoothly at this point, the boxes needed paper strips of more than 12" to go around all sides! Did I mention that the masking tape wasn't providing a longterm bond either?

They look pretty though -just don't pull them out all the way to check them out because a) they may fall apart, and b) you will see a lovely combination of patchy spray painted chipboard with masking tape in all directions. I have an amazing stash of scrapbooking supplies that I have been adding to for 5+ years so I am trying to use up items in my stash (means I can buy more, new stuff right?). I used a DCWV paper stack (Luxury - apparently now deleted - go figure) so all the papers matched. I also added a bit of glitter embossing powder to some stamp images because I decided, after the boxes were all assembled and [partially] covered in paper, that one of the paper sheets really didn't work with the others - grrrr!

Of course, during the many stages of embossing the paper (already attached to the project) I managed to 'forget' to put a sheet of paper under my work surface to catch the embossing powder when I poured it out. And naturally, it is not like me to clean as I go so the glitter embossing powder spread everywhere. At one point I forgot about it being on my hands and rubbed my right eye. It didn't sting but I had amber glitter twinkling off my nose for the rest of the day. I even had some on my arm when I went to work on Tuesday (yes, I had showered). It got everywhere and spread throughout the whole house. I can still sees spots of it when the sun hits the carpet in the lounge - 5 days later. I am really over the glitter embossing thing too btw.

It doesn't stop there. I adhered the patterned paper to the shelves with double-sided tape because a) it was quick and I was getting to the stage where I was over the shelf unit too, and b) I wanted to save myself the effort/work involved with using Modge Podge. No, I didn't sand the surfaces first and remember the pesky glitter that was everywhere? Yes, the pieces of paper are lifting off the MDF but I am totally over the shelves now too so I have decided to not care and just keep pushing it back onto the surfaces everytime I go past. I think the peeling paper will make it easier to completely 'update' the unit at a later date (way, way in the future, when I've forgotten how over it I am).

In saying all of that- it is quite a blog post isn't it? - I am really happy with the general look of the unit. I have put felt on the bottom so it won't scratch the surfaces and have placed it on the window shelf beside my creative table - it fits perfectly (atleast something did with this project).

Oh, and in the pictures you will notice that one of the inserts for the nameplates is missing - I didn't notice till after taking the photos and loading them to my computer. I have located the missing piece, way, way in the back under the table, behind the picture frames, cutting mats, heater etc. BTW if you see anything else that is amiss with my finished project (like I stuck the paper on upside down or back-to-front or something), please don't tell me - I'm so over it!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scrapbook Inspirations Vol 1 is out!

Scrapbook Inspirations Vol 1 hit the shelves today in the UK. I can't wait for my layout to be returned with my complimentry copy of the book. Must check out their next submission list and get creating this weekend. I bought the spray paint on the way to work this week so stay tuned for the results later next week ;0

Here's the link for the book:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2009 Layout

Thought I better figure out how to load pictures to the blog - just to prove that I actually do create masterpieces, not just talk about creating them.

During 2008 and 2009 I was on the Design Team for Better Scrapbooking. I decided not to reapply for 2010 as I wanted to focus on new opportunities and getting some pieces published here in NZ and overseas. (Although, I didn't actually apply in 2009, I was automatically 'rehired'). This layout is done with one of the monthly kits I was sent to work with last year. I really like these candid shots of my friends and I at the beach one evening and I'll let you in on one of my favourite things - fish 'n' chips at the beach (it's the best way to have them I think). The layout is very simple, partly because I don't like my photos to be overwhelmed by the embellishments and partly because I wanted to stick with using only the items supplied (plus stamps). I really enjoyed working on the design team as you are challenged to work predominantly with the pieces in the kit and it stretches your abilities. I put myself in the place of the kit subscribers and thought that if I was purchasing the kits every month I would want the designers to stick with the product supplied and not use additional items, so as a design team member I kept that in mind.

Once I have finally figured out how to manage the beast that is my blog I will upload some more examples.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My ESPN must be working

Isn't it funny how the universe works? I ended up creating a blog yesterday and today I have the opportunity to link to it. I submitted a layout to Creating Keepsakes magazine on Friday and today I received an email letting me know that they are going to post my layout in this weeks Blog - I am ecstatic! I was also asked if I would like them to add a link to my own blog or website - why, yes please do! Lucky I created one; my Dad would probibly claim he was right, if he didn't tell me I should write I would never have created a blog.

Maybe I should post my "Life List" or my list of magazines I want to be published in and see what the universe does...

BTW - the ESPN reference is intended to be funny (not a typo!). I'm obviously not a good comedienne if I have to explain when I'm trying to be funny.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What have i signed myself up for?

My father has always said that I should write a book. He thinks it would be amusing, witty and well written - but he's my dad and he's supposed to think that. I'm not really sure the rest of the world will agree with him but I have signed up for a blog anyway.

I set myself a personal goal of setting up a blog as a way to connect with family/friends overseas and showcase my marvelous creations (ok, maybe only Dad and the rest of the family/friends call them marvellous). Now that I have signed up I realise that I now have an empty canvas to fill - no pressure! I guess I need to update it regularly so now the panic sets in - is my life really that interesting? Probibly not, but if my Dad is correct (he usually is but please don't tell him I said that) I possess the most amazing ability to make even the most mundane of activities sound riveting. On that note, watch this space for a wonderful rendition of the last time I cut my toenails (circa 1997) - Just kidding!

Well, now that I have ticked off one more goal off my 'Life List' I guess I better go book a skydive as that is next on the list....

Watch this space