Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's Your Favourite...?

The latest Simon Says Stamp Challenge is: What's your favourite Stamp, Tool, Product?

For me I love tools and I consider stamps as tools too! Such a good investment as they are reuseable on every product! Ev-er-y creation people. Layouts? Mini albums? Cards? Off the Page Items? Stamps and tools are good for them all. Reuseable = more $$$$ to spend on product. Basically I love it all: stamps, tool and products!

Cast your mind back a ways and you will remember me saying I won a kit from Artfull Crafts. I finally got around to creating with it. Best bit of all - I got to scrapbook a layout. I truly do enjoy creating layouts the most. I've been putting my latest designs out on display lately and I enjoy seeing them as I go about my day.

The gorgeous subject of my layout is my second oldest niece and I love seeing her lovely face every time I walk by. The picture itself was taken from a webcam and then she altered it digitally so it is really terrible quality in real life. When I ordered the print the developing programme suggested it was too poor quality to print. I'm glad I took the risk of developing it (at 9cents a print I figured I couldn't lose!) as the picture looks fine from a distance and you only notice how grainy and pixelated it is the closer you get.What a shame I didn't have a professional shot of this pose as it would be on permanent display in my home.

I can't claim any ownership of the design as it was a kit put together by Artfull Craft and it came with pictures of cards and 2 layouts you could make with the contents. I did make some changes and individual flair to the layout though.  A key piece was not included in the kit so off to my stash I went. That's where the square, almost see through, element in the bottom right corner of the photo came from. When I raided my stash I found other bits I wanted to substitute for examples in the original layout too (top right corner and the lower right flower instead of heart). I also early on decided to use a chipboard sticker from the supplied sheet instead of a word cut from the provided paper.

One cool thing, from my perspective, was that I got to curl the stems of the roses and use them as part of the design. Looks so cool and is super easy. Why did I waste time trimming them off before? Never again!

The original layout was done by Lisa at Artfull Crafts and the blog link is here and it has all the items I could make with the kit. Of all the options the layout is my favourite. Here's the original layout for you to compare.

Thanks for the inspirations Lisa!

Am I submitting it to the SSS Challenge? Sure am!

This layout used not only gorgeous product but also one of my favourite tools: border punches. I tell ya, a simple border punch edge can really add some oomph to a layout and a border trim really can easily and simply finish a mini album page.  I'm in love with them - but in a good way :)

Simon Says Stamp Challenge: What's Your Favourite?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And the Winner Is:

And the Winner is: [insert my name here]. Well, that's what I am hoping for!

Today's post is all about a tag (not a boy, sorry).  Ellen Hutson has a 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist blog event going on and I am joining in. I was inspired by Jennifer McQuire's tag on Day 4. I happen to think that JM, as I like to call her, is a fantastic lady and super talented. She shares so many products, tips and techniques on her blog and on the blogs of others.

So, I had a design already for me, provided by JM. I had some of the products or alternatives. The final product however just didn't end up looking like hers at all. Luckily, I made another tag - why waste all that distress stain on your TH craft mat or the second snowflake rosette on the TH die? (That's right, I call him TH!). So, I am submitting the second tag I made:

How was I inspired by JM?
Instead of stamping on the acetate as per JM I embossed it with a script embossing folder instead.
I stamped snowflakes in white on the lower layer (not on top as JM).
The snowflake rosette and ribbon replace the bird and branch
I made the rosette using metal packing tape and coloured it with alcohol ink. (I only have 3 Copic Markers: red, grey and brown).
I did colour the bling as per JM but with Stazon (not Copics)
I did try to get a similar colour base but I used a piece of cardstock lying around and it absorbed so much of the Broken China and Silver distress stains that it ended up looking like Iced Spruce instead. I tried to reintroduce the blue colour by using teal Stazon on the embossed parts (and bling)

Doesn't sound like I followed her example at all now does it?

Confession: First go, I added the foam tape to the white layer - duh! I did rip it up and attach the white layer flat to the acetate then added foam tape to the underside of the acetate as per JM. (In real life the white paper looks just like it has been ripped up and wrinkled - never mind)

Because I am a sharing kind of gal and admit my [crafting] disasters, I shall show you my first attempt:

This tag was just too big! I altered the size for the second one. Of course I don't have a tag die - why would I spend $$$$ on that when I can just cut a rectangle and go from there? Turns out it might be worth the investment ;)

Same inspiration from JM as for the tag I am actually submitting, but this time I stamped a script stamp with white stazon on acetate. I really love how this looks! Must try it again, especially as my white stazon pad was bone dry and is hardening up from lack of use. This first time I also was inspired by Kittie Caracciolo who added strips of corrugated paper to look like hills on the bottom of her tag (see Day 5). However, it doesn't really look right  with only one layer and it flattened out a bit when I adhered it.

There's a confession for this one too: I didn't line the white up with the acetate properly - how could I, the acetate is clear!!!! I decided to cut the corners after adhering as I didn't think I could line them up properly afterwards - again, I reiterate: how could I, the acetate is clear!!!! I tried to cover the faux pas by adhering a bit more white behind the 'exposed' clear piece as it was bugging me. Did it work? Not so much.

Some good things about the creative process:
I got to colour some seam binding ribbon with distress stain. I didn't add too much colour as I wanted it to still match the white paper piece.
I broke my new rule of using old stuff (I'm big on rule breaking!). A little, cough, parcel may have arrived from Inspiration Station ($10 international shipping! Of course you need to buy 10+ items to make the postage cost even out though right?) so I played with some *new* stuff: TH distress stain and metallic distress stain, TH mini rosette die,  and WRMK fancy corner chomper (LOVE!). I love my WRMK corner chomper and crop-a-dile so it's not surprising.

However, I did use some older stash items: bling, ribbon = snot, a Stampin' Up french script background stamp and snowflake stamp, plus the unbranded word stamps may never have been used before.

Here's the official stuff now

I am entering this tag to 3 challenges:
Ellen Hutson 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist (Day 4, Jen McQuire):

Simon Says Stamp (who also ship internationally I'd just like to add!) Snowflake Challenge:

Artfull Crafts (NZ!) Christmas Tags and Wrapping:

Materials: Stamps by Stampin' Up! and unbranded, Stazon ink, Sizzix embossing folder, WR Memory Keepers crop-a-dile and Corner Chomper, Tim Holtz distress stains, distress ink pad, alcohol ink and mini rosette die. Apart from the bling and metal packing tape, the rest is stuff lying around literally on my messy desk: Cardstock is packaging, acetate is Spellbinder's packaging, ribbon = snot.