Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Forging the Forgers

Gabrielle's original page
This month's blog hop over at the Counterfit Kit Challenge Blog is all about taking inspiration from one of the Master Forgers' blogs.  In other words scraplifting from one of the CKCB DT's blogs.  If you've joined me from Shazi's blog - you're on track.  If you've just happend by you can find the start of the hop here.

I had a good look around the Master Forgers' blogs earlier in the month and found LOTS of inspiration, but in the end I settled for a page from Gabrielle's blog from last year.  I love the stitched background, the playful leaves, so perfect for her photos and the colourful strips of patterned paper with more stitching.  Gorgeous!

I have a stack of photos from my recent trip to Italy where it wasn't the leaves that were catching my eye but the Mimosa trees.  Vibrant sunny yellow balls contrasting against the dark leaves and the clear blue skies.  On our first day in Italy there were sprigs of Mimosa everywhere - in vases on cafe tables, in children's hands, in shop windows - we had no idea why.  We knew that back in the UK it was Pancake Day - perhaps this was the Italian way of celebrating Shrove Tuesday? 

No!  It turned out that this was not only the last day of Carnivale, but it coincided with La Festa Della Donna - Women's Day (and the 100th one at that!).

Everything except the yellow lacy trim and the journalling spot is from my April Counterfeit Kit.  The journalling was written directly onto my background cardstock with a white gel pen which I then coloured in with two shades of yellow pen.  The title alphas are cut with Broadway Melody Sizzlits.

The page also tied in with a weekly challenge a few weeks ago over on UKS ... scrapping a celebration, flowers and blue!

Thank you Gabrielle for helping inspire my page.  If you want to see another forger's forgery please hop over to Margie's to see what inspiration she has selected!  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Cheers Cheers and more Cheers

A quick post from me today to do three things:

  • Firstly to wish you all a Happy St George's Day.  Despite St George being the patron saint of England, any celebrations are pretty low key, mores the pity.  Apparently St George's Day used to be a major feast day and national holiday between the 13th and 18th centuries ... not any more.  In fact some say that it has actually been postponed until May 2nd because of Easter?!?!

  • And also to show you my latest page using my April Counterfeit Kit for the CKCB's 3rd challenge about favourite food (or drink).  Now beer isn't actually my favourite tipple, but a cold, cold bottle of it can't be beat on a hot, hot day!  This particular bottle was helping me cool down in Egypt at the end of last year.  The stamp edge border was made by punching out regular half circles with the largest punch of my Silent Setter.

  • And finally to share the news that I managed to get through the first round of the UKS Scrap Factor competition.  Phew!!  My Round Two page, based on this week's Advert Challenge is already with the judges but there is still plenty of time for anyone else to have a go and upload their own advert inspired pages to the special galleries here.  I'm still not quite sure when the deadline is for playing along for prizes ... I think that the deadline for Round One's Colour Challenge is tomorrow evening!  Round Three's theme will be announced on Monday if you fancy joining in with that too.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Completely Random Organisational Problems

Last month Alexa posted a very funny description of preparing for a crop which reminded me of my own pathetic attempts at getting ready to make the most of some creative "me" time.

Stanley Robox
My cheap & cheerful rolling tote
  • For my very first crop I forgot to take anything to cut paper with - no scissors, no craft knife, no trimmer - tricky!  Not the best impression to make on people I'd never met before - luckily my fellow croppers were better prepared and willing to share.
  • A couple of months later I forgot to take a cutting mat - when I got home it was still waiting by the back door.  Now I have a small A4 mat permanently tucked into the back of my Stanley Robox - it's kinder on the crop tables!
  • One time I arranged to meet up with some UKS friends at a fantastic all-day crop about an hour's drive from home.  No lunch!  Luckily there was plenty of cake ... I was slightly hyper on the drive home, not to mention several pounds heavier!
  • I love joining in with sketch challenges and will prepare papers and photos ready for crops - great unless you forget to print the sketch too - thankfully one or two of my fellow croppers have phones that do more than make calls and will look the sketches up on the internet for me. 
  • The ultimate fail, as far as cropping forgetfulness goes, has to be the time when I had gathered specific supplies, including paper, card, embellishments, ribbon, ready trimmed photos, sketches ... everything I could possibly need for a whole series of pages ... this was going to be a super creative day.  The fly in the ointment?  I left ALL my photos behind.  Every one!   Luckily Hubby was home and was able to tell me the dimensions of each photo; I used scraps of card as temporary place-holders and substituted them with the pics on my return home!
Haslington Scrapbook Crop - inaugural meeting
The first meeting of a crop that I helped to set up at the beginning of the month.
For once I remembered everything, including the brownies and shortbread!
Do you crop with friends?  How do you remember not to forget stuff?  All hints and tips gratefully received!

      Sunday, 17 April 2011

      Alphanumeric Blog Hop

      Are you here for the blog hop? From Jinnag's place?  If so, you're in just the right place.
      If not, please stay a while anyway!

      One of my blog buddies Mel invited a few classmates from Blogging For Scrapbookers to join in with her Alphabetic Blog Hop - quite a few more than 26 people wanted in and so it became Alphanumeric.

      Each participant was assigned a letter or a number ... to make a blog post with.  I was delighted to find that I got the letter ....

      As you can see from the text at the bottom of my picture, I have been having fun creating shaped word clouds over at Tagxedo.  Click on the pic for a closer look at ALL the words beginning with J that I selected!  In fact it was playing around at this site that gave me the idea for my non-photo page shared here.  I have a few more pages in the pipeline using my Tagxedo creations.

      In the words of Porky Pig "That's All Folks!" - it's time to hop on over to K's Crafty Corner - have fun!

      And if you weren't hopping but want to join in - you can start at the very beginning - it's a very good place to start: I Speak Melsh.

      Thursday, 14 April 2011

      A Novel Experience

      Here's the latest page from my April Counterfeit Kit which was done for the Monthly Challenge over on UKScrappers. I also took inspiration from this post on the Banana Frog Blog - it's a great place for ideas for stamping (I have a few of their stamp sets :P) and added interest to my background cardstock by laying out my Tiny Teen clear alpha stamps on an acrylic block and stamping parts of the alphabet. I used Versamark ink which just "watermarks" the cardstock - darkening light card and lightening dark but not altering the colour tone!

      The title was done with Scenic Route chipboard alphas from the kit and Willing Race stamps (also from Banana Frog).

      The page is about when I took No.3 child and her best friend to a booksigning by their favourite author - Jacqueline Wilson.  We beat the queues by getting there very early, but they'd read half the book before it was time to meet her!

      I did have to add to my kit for this page - part of the challenge was to alter an item ... I altered a Mince Pie case left over from Christmas by punching out stars from it and adding colour with a Sharpie pen.

      This was a first for me - I'd saved the cases for mixing paints or holding PVA glue - but I loved the texture once I'd flattened one.  I'm hoping this will also have sharpened up the punch a little too :o)

      Tuesday, 12 April 2011

      Paper or Hybrid?

      Yesterday morning there was an announcement on UKScrappers that the Scrap Factor judges were shaking things up: a few entrants in the "Paper" category were being asked if they'd consider switching to "Hybrid" and that one or more of those asked might, just might, make it into the final 15 contestants! 

      I entered the "Paper" category - I consider myself to be a paper scrapper.  But then what exactly is "Hybrid" scrapping?  According to Wikipedia we're talking about a digital page, with some ribbons, brads and tags stuck on after printing it out.  That's not me at all.  However the judges over at UKS have decreed it to be any combination of digital and paper elements resulting in a page you can hold and as long as there is at least ONE item (other than journalling or a plain photo) that started life on the computer it will count as "Hybrid".  I can live with that.  I sometimes print out a journalling spot to use, or type (white) text onto a photo before printing it out, or use a dingbat font to add flowers to a page ...  So maybe I can be a "Hybrid" scrapper too.

      Some of the words to my favourite song by James Taylor "You've Got A Friend"
      Page layout inspired by
      This is one of my  paper audition pages - the "No Photo" page - it could just have easily been hybrid - in fact it would have been a darn sight easier to do as a hybrid!  Anyway, enough embarrassed, typically British, beating around the bush ... I was asked if I'd consider switching categories, I said "Yes" and I am so HAPPY to share that I made the final cut!  Now comes the scary bit - scrapping, speedily to order!!!!  Oh and the voting ... arghhhh!

      Although the finalists for the Scrap Factor have now been announced, anyone and everyone is welcome to play along with the weekly challenges.  There are extra prizes on offer too!  Just check out the challenge, choose a category to scrap in ("Digi", "Paper" or "Hybrid") and upload to the special galleries to be in with a chance of being picked by one of the judges!

      The challenge for Week 1 of the Scrap Factor is here - do come and keep me company!

      Monday, 11 April 2011

      I ♥ Counterfeiting

      Are you joining me with Counterfeiting Kits this month?  I've made a start at using my April Kit - two pages to share and another that is 90% complete, plus ideas for a few in the pipeline.  It turns out I don't really mind using pink that much - as long as I can tone it down a LOT ... and I've used hearts too!!!

      My first page features my Mum's dog Ebony who was pretty miserable the day after an operation.

      I've used just one of my kit's double sided sheets of paper for this page - but did add some brads and substitute some pinky Coredinations cardstock as it matched the carpet colour better than the card in my kit - especially as I could turn it over and stamp on the back with my Banana Frog Tiny Teen stamps!  These matched the Scenic Route chipboard alphas pretty well - they started life as cream/beige and were inked with black Stazon to provide contrast and match Ebony's fur.  Thankfully she was fine after a couple of days of TLC.

      My 2nd Counterfeit Page avoids pink completely and uses a photo from last year's Red Sea holiday.  I was also joining in with a challenge on UKS to include a lyric from a song as my title and had a couple of photos of an egret to scrap.  I was tempted by "Egrets, I've seen a few, but then again too few to mention ..." but you were spared this when, thanks to, I found that Collapsis (?) had the perfect lyric: "... an egret by the shoreline".

      The round rosettes are made from my kit's Scraperdashery paper with a Martha Stewart Arched Lattice punch using a fab tutorial by my friend Siân over on the Gotta Craft Blog.

      More pages to come ... watch this space!

      P.S. An update on the clean and sparkly mobile phone ... it worked for about 10 minutes after drying out, but won't recharge ... an expensive mistake for No.1 Son, especially as my spare phone isn't anywhere near cool enough to borrow!

      Thursday, 7 April 2011

      A Little Help From My Friends

      I love how sharing the world of scrapbooking is.  At my crop I will regularly borrow and lend tools, swap papers and cardstock and use and donate inks and brads.  I'm also amazed by how caring the Blogosphere is - ask and I am answered!  Today I posed a question on the Blogging For Scrapbookers forum about where to find cost-free and royalty-free photos to help illustrate posts.  Within a few hours I'd had plenty of detailed help.  The photo below is from Flickr - and, while I'm not 100% sure if I've managed to link to it in quite the way I wanted, I know I'm 100% nearer to being able to use other people's photos than I was before I asked!

      I've managed to include a link to the photo on Flickr in the caption - should that be the Photographer's name rather than just "Source"?  The photo also appears to have a title which is quite funky - hold your mouse over it to see!  You can also jump to the photo on Flickr by clicking on the photo - not really sure if I want that - I wonder how I switch that off?
      If any of you have any hints and tips for finding and sharing photos for blog posts, please let me know.

      Why the pegs?  Well No.1 Son returned home from Uni today, laden with dirty washing and proceeded to strip down to his boxers in front of the machine.  I do have a photo of that by the way, but thought he might object if I used it on here.  When he came out of the shower, the washing machine was clanking a little!  Oh dear!  In his rush, he hadn't emptied out his pockets before loading the machine ... and now he has a very clean and sparkly mobile phone!!!  We decided NOT to put it in the tumble drier or hang it on the line, but will see if it still works after a night in the airing cupboard.

      Wednesday, 6 April 2011

      It's Teally Good!

      Not in the kit - just playing!
      Who is joining me this month at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog with a bit of forgery?

      This month's kit-to-copy comes from Front Porch Kits - a brand new kit club from The Little Blue House in Texas.  The kit sold out before the end of the live Ustream launch on March 18th so the only way to get it now, is to counterfeit it ... which is what we fans of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog like to do right?!  If you want to get stuck in straight away, the full kit list is here, but do check out the CKCB for the examples of forgery, handy tutorials and other inspirational ideas.

      I loved the fresh colours and large doses of teal and chipboard in this kit, but (why is there always a but?) I don't really do birdies on my pagies so I've substituted some hearts and butterflies ... Who am I kidding?  I don't really do hearts either, but I have lots so I'm trying to use some up!

      1½ kraft, 2 AC vanilla, 1 AC black, 2 green, 2 red, 2 blue, 1 yellow Bazzil Dotted Swiss

      1 yellow grungy paper (pink gingham with lime/pink leaves on reverse) - manufacturer unknown!
      ¾ Impish by Urban Lily
      ⅔ Piñata by Basic Grey
      1 Sending My Love (bicycle ledger on reverse)
      1 Loves Me Loves Me Not (pink on reverse)
      1 Dearest (green dots on reverse) by We R Memory Keepers
      1 Shakespeare's Robert Burns by Scraperdashery
      1 Strips (yellow damask on reverse) all from the Love Birds Collection by Fancy Pants 

      Reverse sides plus 3 other papers
      1 Sea Glass by K & Co
      1 white flowers on black, 1 black flowers on white from a DCWV paper stack
      1 Affectionately Yours embossed paper by We R Memory Keepers

      Bag of 2nd hand Scenic Route chipboard alphas in cream and white
      Selection of blooms and two silk butterflies
      Teal adhesive flower trim
      Chipboard Butterflies & Hearts & Flower
      Maya Road key-chain of tickets
      Maya Road Build a Bloom (with heart-shaped petals)
      Selection of buttons

      Aida fabric
      Teal fabric
      Multi-coloured felt
      Various ribbons, trims & lace
      Little wooden box (instead of “Hank” the Plank)

      Not shown: 4 journalling cards by Jenni Bowlin

      MIA: giant bottle caps, glitter, stamp, acetate heart, feathers!

      There you have it.  Another kit all ready to go ... cost to me ... £0 / €0 / $0 which is a great feeling!  Better get creating now though!

      Tuesday, 5 April 2011

      No Post From Me Today

      I won't be posting anything on my blog today as I haven't got anything much to share.  I do have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow though!   Today is the big reveal of the April kit-to-copy over on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog, where I am a Master Forger and I have to wait until tomorrow to share my copycat kit.


      While I'm not posting anything, I guess I have room to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who wished me a happy and slug-free Mother's Day - it was both :D and I sincerely hope that those of you celebrating along with me also had similarly blessed days!

      Right, as I'm not blogging today, I have plenty of time to wander around Blogland and say "Hi" to a few of you - see you soon!

      Sunday, 3 April 2011

      Mothering Sunday

      Being the first Sunday in the month, this is Storytelling Sunday and, in the UK at least, it is also Mothering Sunday, so I've been thinking about Mother's Days past (and presents). 

      Mothers.  We all had one. Some of us are fortunate enough to be one. Sometimes we gain extra ones along the journey. As I grow older I find I’m turning into mine in many ways, and she, in turn, has become someone else. The dynamic has shifted and now I’m the one asked for advice rather than reluctantly taking it. Eventually, I hope, my daughter will let me lean on her in the same way that I am supporting my mother now.

      Mother's Day Card - Jimjams

      Today I will be handing over a simple home-made Mother’s Day card and a small token gift. I too will receive a card. Or three. One arrived in the post yesterday and is waiting on the mantelpiece as No.1 Son seems to have rejoined the Human Race - I have a LOT to thank his lovely girlfriend for.

      I’ve never expected too much in the way of presents for Mothering Sunday; I’d rather have a bit of TLC than an overpriced bunch of flowers or a calorific box of chocolates. Hubby “helped” the kids to buy me a garden strimmer one year - officially my worst Mother's Day gift - ever!! Conversely, the best present in recent years was this little trolley coin - a daily reminder that I am blessed with loving offspring (especially when they are less than likeable!).

      Mother's Day Coin Key-ring

      So what am I hoping for today? Well, if my luck is in, I’ll be woken with a plate of Marmite toast and a mug of tea. If I'm really lucky, Child No.3 will check that any flowers she picks from the garden for decorating my tray don’t have any baby slugs clinging to them! That was a memorable breakfast in bed I can tell you!

      I'm sure there will be more tales of mothering and other subjects over at High In The Sky - do check out the other Sunday Storytellers.

      Friday, 1 April 2011

      April Flowers

      Scrapping with Scoubis - Jimjams
      AND I've used up some Scoubis!
      Sorry folks, I've been a BAD blogger!  All but one of the Blogging For Scrapbookers' prompts for week 2 are sitting here, printed out, read, but un-digested.  I have been visiting a few classmates' blogs, but sadly not the forum, nor have I been posting.

      BUT I have a good reason - honest!  You see I've been playing around with my latest scrapbooking tool.  It's so clever.  Ever wanted to do lots of journalling on a page, but keep lots of white space too?  Ever got fed up with having to remove pages from an album in order to access the hidden journalling on tags and in pockets?  This clever little device is the answer!  It's a pen that writes in transparent ink!   Take a look at it in action on to top of this page:

      Layout - April Flowers - Jimjams

      And what's more - it comes in several different colours so that you can always have exactly the right shade.  My particular favourite is sky-blue-pink - more details can be found here.  I'm off to play some more - have a great weekend!