Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Mum to a 5 year old

Apparently I'm Mum to a 5 year old, although I'm sure it was only a couple of months ago that I posted that I was Mum to a 4 year old. Wasn't it?

Considering the prevalence of superhero stuff for 5 year olds, it was quite a surprise when he asked if he could have a cake like an F14 Tomcat.

Here's what I made for him:

Candle missiles :-)

Candle afterburners!

For his card I chose a Star Wars theme, as we've just started watching some of the films:
The XWing twirls around the death star as you tip the card 

What I used:
  • Cake: Waitrose white regal icing, Dr Oetker's coloured regal icing, Dr Oetker's silver shimmer spray, black, green & orange food colouring, Supercook black gel icing writer,  silver candles, cocoa powder, Little Venice Cake Company decorating tools
  • Card:
    • Papers: Doodlebug 12x12 glitter card "Beetle Black", black paper
    • Embellishments: Anita's outline sticker letters, Stick It circular foam pads
    • Tools: XCut nesting dies "Circles", QuicKutz nesting frame dies "Circles"
Crafting notes:
  • Cake:
  1. Bob wanted to help make the cake, and we made two batches of Victoria sponge - one plain, one chocolate, and put them in the tin in uneven layers, so that the finished cake would look more interesting.
  2. To get the shape, I Googled for a plan view drawing of an F14, printed it out, then cut it into sections to make up a square so I could see how to cut the cake.
  3. For the speed-blurred landscape background I covered the cake board with green icing, then drew on streaks of green food colouring and dragged cocoa powder over it with my finger.
  4. I used a decorating tool to make grooves in the icing to show where the wings and tail planes were.
  5. I painted two circles of icing orange to look like the flames of the afterburners
  6. I made two tail fins that I intended to add just before I took it to the table, but forgot to add them!
  • Card:
  1. It doesn't show up in the photo, but the background is black glitter card, so looks like twinkling stars.
  2. I used masking tape to keep the circle dies in place to make sure the channel for the slider was an even width all the way round.
  3. I used a white card blank that I first covered with black paper. Then, in the bottom of the slider groove, I stuck the ring of card removed when I cut the groove. The rest of the glitter card is raised up on two layers of foam tape, to give space for the slider to run.
  4. The death star, x-wing and tie fighter are all print outs of images I found with Google.
  5. I tried to think of a pun around the word "sith" but with a "5", but couldn't think of anything Bob was likely to understand!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Layout #12: Sieste

I chose the theme "Holiday" for the August scrapbook challenge on the docrafts Craft Talk site, and this is my layout for it. It features my family having an afternoon nap while on holiday in France.

I based the layout on this page that I found on Pinterest.

What I used:
Paper & Card: Papermania Capsule Collection 12x12 "Lincoln Linen", Papermania Capsule Collection Blueberry Pie A4, Papermania smooth card 12x12, Papermill A4 plain paper
Tools: See D's alphabet stamps "Ancient", Whispers brush markers
Embellishments: DCWV Far East Chipboard sticker stack

Crafting notes:
  • I took my inspiration for colours and patterns from the duvet cover, so it would look like the whole page was in bed :-)
  • "Sieste" is French for afternoon nap.
  • The journalling is matted with offcuts from my Proto Plumber page.
  • Rather than journal just for the day the photos were taken, I summarised the holiday to that point to explain why everyone was so tired :-)
  • I spent the best part of a whole evening making no progress with the background of this project in artificial light. It took a whole 5 minutes the next morning to get a set of papers I liked once I had proper light. My house lights are allegedly daylight coloured, but maybe I need a dedicated daylight lamp! Or maybe I just need to stop trying to craft while binge watching old episodes of the XFiles :-)

Sunday, 4 September 2016

5uper Day

Bob's best friend turned 5 this week and, when I asked him what he'd like to put on the card he replied "Superman" without any hesitation. It seemed obvious to straighten out a couple of the lines in the "S" of the Superman logo to make a 5. Bob and I worked out the rest of the design together and, although the cutting and positioning was too precise for him to help with, he did draw around all the templates and chose the writing.

What we used:
Paper & Card: Papermania smooth yellow card, Papermania A6 card blank, glossy red paper
Tools & Colour: XCut All Aboard large luggage tags die set, Whispers black brush marker pen. 
Embellishments: Papermania foam Alphaminis "Yellow"

Crafting notes:
  • The buckle was a late change because a set of dies I bought arrived just in time and included a buckle die :-)
  • The cape is only attached at the top of the back of the card so that it sticks out a little
  • I found the original Superman logo on Pinterest
  • The foam letters are wonky on purpose :-)

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Layout #11: Keeping Cool in the Pool

I haven't used a specific sketch for this layout, but I was inspired by a few sketches and layouts that I found on Pinterest.

What I used:
Paper & Card: Sandylion CK OK 12x12 "Blue Floral Paper", Papermania Colossal 12x12 paper pack (original), Papermania 12x12 green and yellow plain cardstock
Embellishments: Papermania Creative Papercraft Kit "Summertime", Magazine freebie die cuts "Summer", Doodlebug Simply Sweet mini alphabet rub-ons "blue jean", yellow mini brads, Papermania Paper Shapes "Pastel"
Tools & Colour: XCut Impress (original) standard and italic alphabet die sets, XCut pokey tool, Orange and blue Whispers brush markers

Crafting Notes:
  • I had intended to put the sun embellishment where the 'splish splash' embellishment is, but Bob said the sun should be high up to be like real life, so I moved it :-)
  • I considered using blue swirly paper for the centre, because it's like water, but I thought that was a bit too literal an interpretation of the subject. I used the yellow swirly paper instead because it suggested both water and heat haze, and because it was a great match for the pool.
  • I didn't want lots of journalling because the photos and the title tell the story, so I just added a couple of bullet points at the edge to remind us of the things that weren't obvious.
  • For the journal bullets in the bottom right, I used the chipboard sheet from which I popped the "Summer" banner as a template.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Layout #10: Proto Plumber

My first step in making a layout is to gather together all the things I think I might like to use on the page and stick them in a bag (I use empty do crafts goody bags). I generally only get to craft in the evening, but I do my picking during the day, because I don't trust even daylight bulbs when it comes to colour matching. I sometimes have lots of these bags ready, and some projects to do have been in the bags for a very long time - the photo in this layout is one of those. Originally I was going to scrap it with a photo of a different occasion where Bob helped Daddy with jobs, but then I found this really nice single photo layout on Pinterest and decided to scraplift it. The photo I've used isn't great quality, but I really like it anyway, and I think it's turned out OK (the title isn't wonky by the way, that's just the photo!).

What I used:
Paper & Card: Core'dinations Core Colour 12x12 "Ming", Dovecraft 8x8 Designer Paper Pack "Masculine", Papermania textured card 12x12, golden brown textured paper (The Paper Box Company I think).
Embellishments: Daisy & Dandelion embossed transfers "Marshmallow does DIY", stars from Anita's masculine word outline stickers in cream and brown, Forever Friends "Christmas Tale" Ultimate Collection cardstock alphabet stickers, Doodlebug Simply Sweet rub on mini alphabet "bon bon".
Tools: XCut large corner rounding punch, Whispers permanent brush marker "brown", XCut Impress italic die set (original). Carl star punch

Crafting notes:
  • I couldn't find any borders that I liked for under the title, so I made one with layers of paper and some outline sticker stars.
  • I made the template for the large star by printing out an enlarged clip-art star.
  • To make the small stars, I didn't have a star punch pointy enough to match the other stars on the layout. I punched out the closest thing I had, then added dots a mm or so in at each obtuse angle. Then I cut from the star tips to those dots to make a pointy star with minimal measuring.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Layout #9: 1st garden makeover

I picked these photos to scrap for my March challenge of "Home" and then realised I'd already done a layout for that one :-) I didn't work to a sketch for this one, and there was a lot to fit in, so I chose a simple background.

What I used:
Papers: Basic Grey Lilykate "Parasol" 12x12, Papermania "Pampered Pets" 12x12, plain vintage green paper
Embellishments: Anita's sticky ribbons "Daisy Chain", various paper flowers, die cast metal trowel, Anita's Dimensions stickers "small butterflies"
Tools: See Ds alphabet stamps "Dot to Dot", Sizzix "Vine #3" die, Sizzix Sizzlits decorative strip die, XCut decorative dies "Tags and Bookplates", Basic Grey "Flower Burst with Ribbons", small embossing stylus
Colours: Ancient Page dye ink "Pine", Whispers brush marker "vintage green", Papermania watercolour pencils in brown and vintage green.

Crafting notes:

  • I chose background papers with lots of swirly growth. I used sheets with the same colours  but swapped around for the before and after pages to emphasise the changes. I die cut swirls from a darker green paper to carry on the growth theme.
  • I used single flowers cut from the sticky ribbon border to centre the layered flowers and on the date tags to tie everything together.
  • I made a simple flower pot from the same paper I used for the swirls, embossed the rim and added shading with watercolour pencils.
  • Since needing to wear reading glasses for close work, I've struggled with writing in horizontal lines and don't like to add pencil lines as some papers don't play nicely with erasers. For this project I made a window from low tack masking tape to help me. Remember to aways dab the tape on your clothes first - you can probably tell from the picture that I was wearing something fluffy! I also always write out my journalling on scrap paper strips first to see how much space it will take.
Winning the battle against the warping effect of reading glasses!
  • The Pampered Pets paper packs only contain one sheet of each design and matting 6 photos would have taken a whole sheet. I gutted the matting rectangles (ie I cut smaller rectangles from them, turning them into frames) so I could use the same paper for the journalling and the title.
  • Gutted rectangles/frames don't always stay square when you're mounting onto them, so I leave them joined together until I've stuck the top layers on (see pic). This has the added advantage that you only need to line up two edges and can cut the rest to fit. Alternatively you can stick the frame to your cutting mat with low tack masking tape while you're adding layers.
Layer up gutted mats while on the sheet
to keep them square

The paper saved by gutting.
Without it I wouldn't have had any left for my journaling

Challenges entered:

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Layout #8: July Challenge - "Summer"

Yay! You've read it correctly, this is the July challenge, being published in July,and no it isn't last year's July challenge, I really am on time for once! However, before I pat myself on the back too much, I started tinkering with this page with a view to using it for February's "Favourite" theme, since it's one of my favourite photos and favourite memories. I think it works better for this month's "Summer" theme though :-)

When I saw this Sketchy Thursdays sketch on Pinterest, I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for and thought the circle theme was great for a sunset. I also knew exactly which papers I wanted to use for the circles. I wonder then, why it's taken me so long to finish the page. I guess at least partly because it's one of my favourite ever photos, and because I've hoarded those papers for the best part of a decade without being able to bring myself to do more than stroke them and sigh :-)

Here's what I made, not sure I've done the papers or the photo justice, but I like it anyway. Whenever I do a clean and simple layout, I'm always filled with doubt that maybe it should be more complicated, even when I really like it how it is. If you think it should have more, please let me know in the comments :-)

What I used:
Papers: Basic Grey Ambrosia "Smoke" 12x12, Dovecraft Designer Paper Pack "Abstract Prints" by Kelly Harwood 8x8, Papermania textured black card
Embellishments: Doodlebug Simply Sweet mini alphabet rub-ons "beetle black", Papermania "Botanicals" alphabet stickers
Tools: XCut nesting circle dies, Whispers permanent brush marker "black"

Crafting notes:
  • I wanted to put the journalling directly onto the page because I felt any more definition for the journalling would detract from the strong central layout.
  • To see what the journalling would look like on the page, and to position it, I wrote onto a clear piece of acetate with a permanent marker first.


    Thursday, 21 July 2016

    A pre-schooler no more

    Hard though I find it to believe, this week was my little boy's last at nursery and pre-school. He made cards and little gifts for his key workers at both - a lavender pomander for one and a decorated pot for the other. He chose everything himself and, except for squirting the glue and cutting out the pomander's cloth circle, he did everything himself too. Even the lavender was from a batch he picked last year :-)

    Wednesday, 20 July 2016

    Layout #7: May Challenge "Partner"

    The challenge I set for May this year was "Partner" and I had a few candidate subjects - Bob and his best friend, our two dogs together, and of course my husband, but in the end I chose a couple of pictures of our dog Molly with her first best friend and running partner. I found a sketch I liked on Pinterest to work to, by SketchSavvy:
    SketchSavvy Sketch 126
    And here's what I made:

    What I used:
    Papers: DCWV 8x8 Scrapbooking kit in a stack "Dogs", Papermania kit "Dogs", Papermania smooth cream 12x12 card
    Embellishments: DCWV 8x8 Scrapbooking kit in a stack "Dogs" cardstock letters, Papermania kit "Dogs" adhesive letters, American Traditional Designs Sticker Gems "Dog Gems", Papermania Capsule Collection "Spots & Stripes Festive Brights" mini notelets
    Tools: See Ds "Cute & Cuddly" stamp set
    Colours: Whispers dye ink "Sepia", Whispers brush marker brown

    Crafting notes:
    • This layout has a lot of layers in places. To keep upper layers flat, I added layers of card underneath.
    • I misplaced the journalling as I was sticking it down and the lower card tore a little when moving it. Running over the tape with glue stick would have made moving it easier. I hid the tear with a couple of extra paw prints.
    • My original plan for the background was to use coloured arrows, but these looked too bright so I switched to paw prints.
    • The paw print paper is not one whole piece, because I didn't have a large enough piece left, so it's actually in two small sections.
    • The dog writing paper is also in two sections so that I could choose the most relevant words to be visible in the two pieces that can be seen.

    Saturday, 2 July 2016

    Layout #6: June challenge "Red"

    For June's challenge on Craft Talk I chose the theme "red". I had a few photos I fancied for the page, but for all of them I knew I wanted a single photo page with a lot of white space so that the red subject stood out well. I made my final selection and started choosing papers on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme - it wasn't a conscious decision to do that, it just worked out very appropriate :-)

    What I used:
    Papers: Papermania "Portobello Road" 12x12, DCWV "The Paper Stack" 12x12
    Embellishments: Forever Friends "Cosy Christmas" alphabet cardstock stickers, Papermania enamelled brads, Royal British Legion poppy, Papermania "All Aboard" Page Tabs
    Tools & Colours: Marvy le Plume brush marker "cherry", Whispers light blue brush marker

    Crafting Notes
    • When I was almost finished I decided I'd like a thin dark red outline around the page. Rather than fiddle around trying to centre the page on another sheet of card, I drew an outline with a brush marker and ruler.
    • The poppy on the page is a real Royal Legion poppy, but I can't guarantee it's the one Bob wore on the day!

    Layout #5 Bob's Hat

    I've been having a major clear-out in my craft room recently, trying to be realistic about the number of cards I'm likely to make in the future, so I haven't had much time for crafting. I *should* only work on layouts for the challenges I've set I suppose, being late for most of them, but with so little time left after sorting, that makes it all a bit of a job. So, I've rebelled a little and made a page just for fun. It focuses on my little boy's first ever Easter party and it's quite an interesting page, to me at least, because it says a lot about what scrapping means to me. I'm sure I could have made a prettier page from these photos, but I'm at my happiest scrapping when everything on the page means something. I love it when I can include something from the event being scrapped, and even better when it can be something my little boy made. With this page, not only have been able to include something of Bob's, but he's been able to help with the page too.

    The structure of the page is dominated by a party hat we made together ready for a tots Easter party. At the time, Bob had fun finger painting and scissoring (with me holding the paper and steering) and he stamped his name on the back strap with foam stamps (again, with help). He then had even more fun splodging his painty fingers over some more of the paper. I used all of the hat in different places on the page, and had Bob extend the stamping on the back strap to create the title too.

    What I used:
    Papers: Papermania Colossal packs "Springtime" 8x8 and border strips, Plain pink and orange card
    Embellishments: Doodlebug Simply Sweet rub on mini alphabet "lily white", Papermania Honey & Hugs alphabet transfers
    Tools & Colour: Whispers brush markers, Whispers permanent pens, Whispers black dye ink, Craft Planet foam alphabet stamps, Papermania italic foam alphabet stamps, Studio g mini alphabet stamps, Forever Friends clear date stamps, Early Learning Centre finger paints

    Crafting Notes:

    • Bob didn't like wearing the hat at the party, but he did play with it quite a bit afterwards, so it ended up quite battered. Before I used it I painted thick card with PVA glue and stuck the hat to it to get a smoother finish.
    • I used a different font for the word "Hat" as there wasn't much space and the result of the two words being too close together was a bit unfortunate!
    • I used ink, rather than paint on the alphabet stamps both for the original hat and for the title extension because it's easier for children to do neatly.
    • I didn't have any pink rub-ons for the lettering on the photos, so I used white letters and coloured them with a permanent marker.

    Friday, 29 April 2016

    Layout #4: March challenge "Home" and some tinkering

    The topic I set for my March scrapbook challenge was "Home" and I've taken a rather loose interpretation of it here, as I'm using photos of my son gardening at home.

    The layout of the page was inspired by this layout that I found on Pinterest. I had intended to have flowers go across the page, like in the inspiration piece, but my natural minimalism took over and I simplified the page :-) Minimalism aside, I think this made the page more balanced, particularly as I wanted to include journalling. Here's what I made:

    What I used:
    Papers: Papermania "Secret Garden" 12x12, K&Co "Dorset Blocks flat" 12x12, Dark green textured card
    Embellishments: Various paper flowers, Anita's Dimensions "Floral Gems", Papermania chipboard elements "Secret Garden", rub-on from scrapbooking kit, die cut watering can and water drop.
    Tools and colour: Mini alphabet dies (bought from a friend), Promarkers

    Crafting notes:

    • The watering can and water were my little boy's idea :-)
    • I bought the watering can as a die cut that had been cut from glossy green card that didn't match my layout and was pointing the wrong way, so I turned it over, coloured it, re-embossed the details and decorated it.
    • The die cut numbers for the date are really thin. To apply glue to them I put PVA on my hand and then dabbed them onto the glue using tweezers.
    And finally, an update on my last project - the one that took me 6 months. Despite all that time spent thinking about it, I still wasn't happy with the journalling. It looked too stark and blank. So I fiddled with it today - I put a dark red outline around it and I'm a lot happier. Now you know why it all takes me so long...

    Thursday, 28 April 2016

    Layout #3: December 2015 "Celebration" Challenge

    I chose "Celebration" as the theme for my December scrapbook challenge on do crafts' Craft Talk, and I found this lovely (if ancient) sketch for it by Prima on Pinterest:
    Prima blog post
    I started working on the layout in November, in time for my December challenge, but I got a little stuck, and then Christmas prep got in the way. The page has been gathering dust on my desk since then, waiting for my mojo to return. Once I realised that I was getting too hung up on the sketch I was able to finish quite quickly, at least until I reached my normal stumbling block of the journalling. Here's what I made. Eventually:

    What I used:
    Papers: Papermania Home for Christmas 12x12, Snowflake wrapping paper from Pondskipper Crafts card and cracker kit, Papermania snowflake acetate 12x12
    Tools: Purple Cows trimmer with zig-zag blade, Sharpie pen
    Embellishments: Me to You Winter Wonderland white cardstock alphabet stickers, Papermania Alphaminis curly white, Santa embellishment from Ponskipper Crafts card and cracker kit (as used on our crackers), mulberry paper die cut bow.

    Crafting notes:

    • The photos on this layout had a hard time. I cut into one while matting the other, as I hadn't noticed it on my cutting mat. I fixed that with tape on the reverse. Then, while crafting in front of the telly, I put them on the floor next to me just in time for one of my dogs to jump down from the sofa. I removed the resulting claw marks by tracing over them on the reverse with an embossing stylus, with the photos on a glass mat.
    • As well as setting a sketch for the challenge, I asked people to include some memorabilia if they could. I thought I'd kept pieces of the crackers we made, but couldn't find them, so I included wrapping paper and an embellishment from the card and cracker kit.
    • I wanted the cracker to be patterned the same as the crackers we made. The cracker blanks didn't look right, so I used wrapping paper from the kit. I couldn't find any backing paper that went as well as the paper itself. To make sure the cracker wasn't lost, I used the variation in lightness and added an acetate layer over the backing paper. I chose a snowflake pattern, given the impact snow had on our Christmas.
    • The wrapping paper was folded to smaller than 12x12. I hid the fold under the cracker.
    • The journalling looks green in the photos, but in real life it looks a pretty good match for the paper.
    • The acetate layer is only stuck down underneath the red layer.

    Wednesday, 27 April 2016

    A birthday card for Grandad

    It's been a little while since I did any proper crafting with my son, but my Dad's birthday this week gave us a good excuse to do some. I asked my son what he thought Grandad liked best and the first thing he said was "planes", so I suggested a card with a plane on a spring. Being 4, he really wanted the card to have *all* the planes on :-) , but we settled for a Spitfire and one we're not sure about, Mustang maybe? Other than the outline design, the only things I did were to cut out the planes, hold the mask in place, and to peel the stickers off their sheets (holographic peel-offs tear *really* easily). Here's what he made. The only snag was that he didn't want to post it!

    What he used:
    Tools: That Special Touch 6x6 mask "Clouds", angled tweezers
    Colours: Adirondack paint dabber "snow white", Whispers permanent markers
    Embellishments: Goldlabel Birthday and balloons peel-offs, vintage aircraft holographic peel-offs, Papermania male words outline stickers, Papermania large card springs

    Crafting Notes:

    • The clouds were done by 'dabbing' (with the gusto you'd expect from a 4 year old boy) white paint through the cloud mask. 
    • The planes are mounted on salvaged acetate packaging, partly in case he wanted to cut them out himself (so he wouldn't have to be so accurate), but also so that he could colour on the reverse and not worry about going outside the lines (ink can be removed with a Qtip dipped in blending solution).
    • The planes were coloured with a random mix of green and brown to look like camouflage.
    Colouring on the reverse and staying in the lines!

    • Stencilling
    • Handling and placing stickers
    • Tweezer use
    • Spring mounting
    • Permanent markers - colouring on acetate and stickers

    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    Layout #2: Splash!

    I've set a monthly scrapbooking challenge on the do crafts Craft Talk scrapbooking forum and, as I've only managed to complete the one for January so far, I should really be working on those. However, I've been wallowing in so much stuff to do and such a deep doldrum of crafter's block that I was grateful to be able to make progress on any project. If I was being cheeky, I could claim that this layout works for February's "Favourite" theme, as the photos feature my son doing one of his favourite things, but I have something else in mind for that theme :-)

    I haven't done any journalling for this layout, other than date and place, as the photos don't really need any explanation.

    What I used
    Paper: DCWV Photo Stack, DCWV The Stack 5, blue linen card
    Tools: XCut nesting circle dies, Papermania circle punches, grey Sharpie pen

    Crafting notes

    • The letters of "Splash!" are cut freehand from water photo paper. I cut some of the circles from this paper and the others from the cropped parts of the photos.
    • I didn't use a sketch for this layout, but it was inspired by a layout in "How to Scrapbook" by Joy Aitman & Sarah McKenna.

    Thursday, 10 March 2016

    I'm back! Layout #1 January challenge - Brr!

    I never manage to do much of my own crafting in December or January. December is full of Christmas prep and January whooshes past in a jumble of tax returns, lurgy, and attempts to fulfil good intentions to reorganise and clear out. This year though, February slipped through my fingers too and I got out the habit of doing any crafting. Ah well, I've managed to pull myself together now, and I've made a start on the challenges I've set over on the Craft Talk forum on the do crafts website. This year I've chosen single words for the themes, and have tried to make them pretty general, so people have lots of freedom about how they interpret them.

    January's theme was "Brr!" and I've scrapped some photos from one of only a couple of snow days last year. For the layout I've scraplifted something I found on Pinterest, here. Here's my page:

    What I used:
    Papers: DCWV Christmas Stack, Papermania dark red and navy plain card, lightly glittered white card
    Embellishments: Anita's snowflake border outline stickers, Papermania Elements "snowflake shimmer", "silver trees", Dovecraft adhesive gemstones (on a strip), paper alphabet stickers (scrapbooking kit).
    Tools: XCut nesting circle dies, QuicKutz nesting circle frame dies, Ranger distress ink "chipped sapphire"

    Crafting notes:
    • I liked the way the small pieces of paper at the bottom looked like icicles, and I chose the wordy backing paper for the same reason.
    • One of the 'icicles' near the snow angel photo points to the words "snow angels" on the backing paper :-)