Saturday, 3 October 2020

Anybody still there?

It's been a long time since I blogged, mostly because it's been a long time since I crafted for myself. I'm determined to get some scrapbooking done over this winter though, so I thought I'd see if blogging would make me do it.

I may not have crafted for myself, but Bob and I have crafted together - it forms an important part of our homeschooling week. For this post though, I thought I'd share the cake and card I made for his birthday earlier this year. No prizes for guessing that his favourite cartoon at the time was "Penguins of Madagascar"!

Rico's job on the series is to cough up 
explosives and tools, so I gave him a cake sparkler :-)

What I used:
Colours: Sharpies
Embellishments: Papermania die cuts and stickers
Image: From Pinterest

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Layout #5: Snowdrops

I first put this photo, along with half a dozen different green and white papers, into my 'soon' folder close to 2 years ago. I finally got around to looking at templates and other pages on Pinterest a few days ago and, amazingly for me, the bulk of this layout was done in one day.

It was a great time to do this layout - we went to the same woods today and found that the snowdrops are in full bloom again now :-)

What I used:
Papers: Papermania "Temptations" 12x12 stack, Papermania Capsule Collection "Cranberry & Apple" 12x12,  Kraft cardstock
Embellishents: Me To You "Winter Wonderland" cardstock stickers, Papermania Capsule Collection "Cranberry & Apple (geen)" Alphamini Cardstock Stickers
Equipment: Unbranded snowdrop stamp, Whispers dual-tipped watercolour pen (dark green)
Colours: Ink It Up clear embossing pigment ink, Dovecraft shimmering blending chalks
Template: Mostly this one on Pinterest

Crafting Notes:
  • I considered using only green and white, but the layout looked cold and sterile, so I introduced a third colour. I tried dark brown and it was nice, but the kraft card brought out the lovely late afternoon sunshine colour much better, so I went with that.
  • I stamped the snowdrop in clear pigment ink, then dabbed iridescent chalk over the ink (green on the stalk, and a mixture of white and light green on the flower), being careful not to rub, and then blew away the excess. I rubbed a little chalk into the inside of the leaves and stem, and then fixed with hairspray.
  • I managed to get a smudge of green pen on one of the white panels, but covered it with white paper, and you'd never know :-)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Bob's thank you cards

Bob had a couple of thank you cards to make after Christmas, and I forgot to share them. Again, he designed them himself and did almost all of the making, including all the lining up and the sticking down. I just helped with some of the fiddlier bits of flower detail on one of the cards, and took the fragile butterfly stickers off the sheet for him.

What he used:
Anita's decoupage, Craft Tonic card blanks, unbranded peel-offs

Layout #4: Golden Bunny Hunt

When Bob was smaller, he loved hunting for chocolate at Easter so much that we used to hide sweeties for him on walks at other times too. This page is from one of those times, when his Easter chocolate lasted a couple of weeks. I really love the look on his face in the first of these piccies, where he's just spotted the chocolate bunny in the tree. This was one of his favourite climbing trees, and we really must take him back to it soon.

What I used
Paper: DCWV "The Green Stack", Gold mirror card, Craft Creations oval aperture offcut
Embellishments: Papermania Ribbon Stickers "Happy Easter", Unbranded rabbit eyelets, Anita's alphabet outline stickers
Tools: Crop-a-dile
Colour: Adirondack alcohol mixative "gold", Artistic Touch blending chalks
Sketch: This one from Pinterest

Crafting notes

  • The DCWV green stack only has 2 sheets of each design, and the two main papers I used here are really useful, so I was very frugal with them, cutting out and saving pieces that would overwise have been covered up. Handily, I was able to use the remains of the sheet from which I cut a circle for this layout. This was especially handy as I was able to add construction lines 
  • I mount all my photos onto (normally scrap) card before scrapping with them. It helps protect them from accidental bending, raises them up from their matting a little, and allows me to salvage the 'middle bit' of matting papers without seeing a dent, important when you have only small amounts of a favourite paper left!
  • The photos here are matted onto white core card on a dark background, so I coloured the edge of the photos and their matting with a black pen so that the white edges wouldn't show.
  • The bunny eyelets started out as brown. I showed Bob how to change the colour using alcohol mixatives.
  • It's hard to see in the picture, but the middle photo, journalling and woody strip are all matted thinly with gold mirror card.
  • I couldn't find any blue card that was quite the right shade, so I modified some plain blue card with some blending chalks.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Layout #3: Bob's 1st Beach

When I was little, most people only took photos on holiday and at special events. There was no chimping to see what the photo was like, as photos were shot on film. There was no taking half a dozen almost identical pictures to be sure of just the right expression, as the films only had room for 24 or 36 shots. And there was no 1 hour processing service either, films had to be posted off to the processing service and took a week to come back. As a result, there are very few photos of my childhood. Bob, on the other hand, has lived his whole life having everything he's done photographed many times on a camera phone. As a result, I have so many photos printed out that, for the past 18 months, I haven't felt I could order any more new prints from Photobox until I've made a dent in the existing pile. With this in mind, I'll be mostly focussing on layouts with lots of piccies, though I'll probably need to throw in a few simple layouts too, for morale - I procrastinate a lot more over double pagers!

This layout is the second of two 2 page layouts I've been working on this month. The thing I find the hardest on any layout is how to present the journalling so that it looks like it's not just stuck on as an afterthought, and it seems especially hard on 2 page layouts.

While I was making this layout, Bob wanted to have a go with the seagull and yacht dies, and made this for me :-) He even added a number on the yacht.

What I used
Papers: Papermania "Colossal" 12x12 paper pack, DCWV "The Stack 5" 12x12, Papermania "Mr Smith's Workshop" 12x12, plain vellum
Tools: XCut Impress alphabet dies, XCut Shadowbox Dies "Build A Scene: Seaside", Water brush, Xyron magic sticker maker. Bob also used XCut decorative stickers and a Carl sun punch
Embellishments: Papermania "Pebbles" cardstock stickers, Sun sticker from a Papermania scrapbook kit.
Colours: Papermania watercolour pencils, Artistic Touch blending chalks, Sharpies

Crafting notes

  • I cut the letters from scraps of the wood paper, but they didn't all show up against the sand, so I darkened them by painting on some dark brown from a watercolour pencil.
  • The pebble paper (DCWV) was black and white, and I thought it was too stark on the page, so I coloured individual pebbles with various yellow to brown watercolour pencils, matching the pebbles in the photos more closely. I just scribbled a little of the colour onto a pebble, then spread it around with a damp paintbrush, using a circular motion. Bob thought this was great, and he altered some of the pebble paper too. He was then inspired to use watercolour pencils in a picture of his own.

  • For the seagull, Bob and I looked up what a herring gull looks like, and then I coloured the die cut to match it with watercolour pencils. Bob loved this too!

  • For the journalling, I didn't want to add just another rectangular element to the page, and wanted to tie in the water theme, so wrote onto wavy pieces of vellum. They looked a bit disjointed on the page, so I changed the backing paper to look like the surface of the sea. I tried this first with watercolour pencils, but couldn't get the effect I wanted without getting the paper too wet, so I applied arcs of blue, green, and brown blending chalk with a piece of cotton wool. Once I was happy, I sprayed with hairspray to fix it, protecting the photos first

  • I made so many banners with the place and date, trying to find a look I was happy with. I tried stamps, stickers, peel-offs, various papers. Not sure why it took me so long!
  • I journalled onto vellum, because I didn't want the journalling to be stark against the paper, and I also wanted some of the pattern to show through from behind. The only vellum glues I've ever found that don't show through also don't stay stuck for long enough for a scrapbook page. Usually I stick vellum down under things, round the back, or using brads or eyelets, but none of these were possible with the design. Ages ago though, I bought a big bundle of stuff from a friend who gave up crafting, and it included a Xyron sticker machine, so I decided to give that a try. I worked brilliantly well. The only snag is that the cartridge is a massive great plastic thing that really isn't eco friendly. Xyron says you can break it up to recycle it, but I can't see why it can't be returned to them for refilling. Anyway, I'm unlikely to be able to bring myself to buy a refill for it :-(

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Layout #2: Nee! Naw! Nee! Naw!

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do for almost everything on this page quite soon: photos going up and down to suggest a two-tone siren, red and yellow background suggesting a fire engine, and "Nee! Naw!" title spread across the page. Almost everything, that is, except for the journalling, which I just knew I didn't want in a default box. I did almost all of another double page layout while I tried to figure it out. When I get stuck, I often find that explaining my stuckness to someone helps me to unstick, and that's what happened here. Showing my Mum and Dad, the idea for blue lights as journal blocks seemed so obvious I couldn't understand why I hadn't thought of it before. It came out better than I thought - I love the way it contrasts with the red and yellow background.

As always now, I used this project to show Bob a few things about design - the main thing here was showing him how matting the photos and the title letters makes them 'pop' out of the page.

What I used:

  • Paper: Papermania 12x12 smooth cardstock
  • Tools: Round-It-All corner punch, Tool Buddies "Alphabet Parade" alphabet stamps
  • Colours: Ancient Page ink "Coal Black", Sharpies
  • Embellishments: None! Everything's made from simple cardstock

Crafting notes:

  • The thin shards of blue card around the 'lights' were hard to glue neatly - I used a large pin to apply PVA.
  • The title letters are stamped, but the ink looked grey compared to the black card I used for matting and the black Sharpie I used for the journalling, so I went over it all with the Sharpie
  • I tried to find a way of doing the subtitle ("Kempston Fire Station Open Day") using products, rather than hand writing it, but couldn't find anything suitable and wasted lost of time looking. I often forget that it's not my job to design stuff to sell products any more and that hand writing is just fine if I like it :-)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Nanny's birthday

It was my Mum's birthday a few weeks ago, and Bob made a card of his own, as well as helping with mine, so I thought I'd share our creations:

Bob's latest card
He chose all the elements and designed the card himself. He learned how to butt one paper up against another, and we looked at how using foam pads makes decoupage stand out against the background

What he used:
  • Papermania Woodland Folk paper
  • Papermania Woodland Folk decoupage
  • Country Companions heart paper
Crafting notes:

  • Bob chose the greeting because he had the idea of putting it on the owl's wing, and this was the one he thought looked the best.

My latest card 
Although I used a kit, this card gave me a little bit of teaching opportunity. I showed Bob how to add glittery dots around the outside, and how to add dimension to a single layer. For a couple of the main pansies I curled the petals and added foam pads only to the outsides of the flower, and glued the middle of the flower down to make a more realistic bowl shape. Bob thought this was really cool and had a go himself :-)

What I used:
Papermania pansies A4 card kit
Stick It glitter glue. 

Summary of the skills Bob practised:

  • Design
  • 3D techniques
  • Paper placing