Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Who wants to get crafty?

Victoria of Victoria Marie is hosting a three day retreat...in Texas.

It's a bit far to go sadly, and it sounds amazeballs to spend three days secreted away crafting to out hearts' content, buuut there is an alternative!

Victoria will be running a CYBER CROP for the duration of the retreat!  There will be lots of fun stuff happening including regular crafty challenges and prizes!  Hopefully we'll even get some sneaky peeks at what they're doing at the retreat!

It just so happens that this Pink Mama is hosting one of these challenges and yes I'm definitely giving away a prize so be sure to stop by and have a go at one or more of the challenges!  They will stay open for longer than the actual weekend so if you're busy you can still play along when you get time!

Please note that the dates and times are in CST timezone which you can calculate with this handy dandy timezone calculator, but if my calculations are correct, CST is 16 hours behind Australia's east coast (EDST that is).

MY CHALLENGE is 3:00pm on 21st Oct CST which corresponds to 7:00am on 22nd Oct so I'd love to see you and find out what you have to do in order to be in the running to win the prize I'm offering.

All you have to do is head on over to Victoria's Facebook Group and hang out there and get your craft and chat on!  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Stuck Sketches 1 Sept {aka use all the (cat) washi}

Wanna know what happens when things go a little bit wrong?  (I mean more than usual) This:

EmbarrassedI decided to play along with this sketch challenge for a few reasons
(click on the image above to take you to the challenge page) -
one big one being that I could use my 57 rolls of cat themed washi in place of the paper strips

Great idea in theory...and possibly in execution had I not ruined the background, but couldn't bear to waste the white sheet of Pink Paislee paper with black (and sporadic multi coloured spots).  It has a blue ombre on the reverse and I bought 2 sheets with the aim of probably using each as a background.  I don't usually care if I have to put something in the bin, but I didn't want to have to replace the paper or have to use my second piece.

Perhaps I should backtrack slightly...the bit that went wrong was the splodgy, inky, painty bit.

Normally this is almost impossible to mess up.  (Almost).  I wanted to use GOLD so I grabbed my Gold Mr Huey's (which isn't my very favourite) gold mist.  It was way too light.  Gold "Heidi Shine" was slightly better, but when that still failed, I decided to try the Tarnished Brass Distress Paint which I added a little water to so it would be runny enough.  It was by far the best, but after it dried it still didn't have to look I imagined.

Here's what I did:  I pulled out my Gansai Tambi watercolours and what a huge mistake it was.  😞The colour (despite attempting to mix something close) was way off, as was the style of using a brush vs the more free form "packaging method".  I couldn't use the wet-on-wet method on patterned paper.  It would have fallen apart.  I probably should have tried Distress Stain in the same colour.
I had also already applied the cat washi strips (which I was pleased with 👍) after the first lot of paint dried.

 The only damage control that came to mind was extending the strips to cover as much of the mess as possible.  This also meant some of the nicer areas of the initial painting would be covered, but it was a necessary evil.  Placement of the photo and embellishment would be critical to hide the joins.

The next issue was the photo.  I wanted a square(ish) photo to cover a ruined Polaroid I took a few days before.  Why was the Polaroid ruined?  A certain SCD* said "what does this button do?" and in a millisecond pressed the button which opens the hatch for the film pack so the light overexposed what was left in the camera (only 2 shots) so I thought I might as well use one for a frame.

Now my only method for printing at home right now is the Canon Selphy so there was no simple way of resizing and printing exact measurements.

After much trial and error I decided to trim it down and lose some of the image.  Of course I was about 1/16 or so out and it was obvious, 🙄 which is why the right side of the photo has some strategically placed washi.

Due to the washi being on the right, something needed to go next to it and after much deliberation and indecision, I put a journalling card there.  I hoped the whiteness of both the photo and card would help them stand out among all the washi craziness.  It worked a little.  I had a few distractions/side projects that needed finishing before this was done, so eventually I got those embellishment clusters to the point where I was satisfied.

I know the usual drill applies about the first layout I do after a break so I don't love it, but far from hating it.  I might even go so far as to say I kinda like it.  I'd like it better were it not for the pain disaster (and SCD even asked me why the cat has sparkly toe floof.  I think it was still from this layout).  I have lots more about NCC's* arrival so I'll get to those in due course and I think I'd really like to give this sketch another try sometime.

That's all for now! Til next time, love and sparkly toe floof! xxx

*Acronyms in left sidebar <---

Monday, 25 September 2017

Giveaway Winner for Fall Coffee Lovers BlogHop

Before I announce the winner, I just want to thank EVERYONE for entering!

I really appreciated all the love in your comments.  I will get around to replying, but the last few days have been a bit exciting and busy (more on that soon!)

So...I tallied up the number of entries each person got and gave each one a number.  In total there were 41 individual entries and as you can see below, the random number drawn was #29

So checking back with my handy numbered list, number 29 corresponds to....

Happy Frog Smiley
...Vinita Jain!

Congratulations!  Please email me your information at alex@pinkcraftymama.com

Thank you everyone for stopping by.  I wish I could give prizes to everyone!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Card 1 for Fall Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

It's that time of year again!  The Coffee Loving Cardmakers are having their quarterly blog hop! 

(The GIVEAWAY is now closed.  A big thank you to those who entered)

Click on the image below to go see all the wonderful Autumn inspired creations.  It's Spring here in Australia, but still a bit chilly so warm coffee is always good for that.  Speaking of which...I had the most amazeballs Dirty Chai the other day...so SO good! Anyway...I digress as usual!

So...as a big fan of coffee and tea )and caffeine in general!) I have amassed quite a collection of coffee and tea themed craft supplies.  So...what to use?  I shall attempt (although I cant promise) more than one card but here is the first one.

The Greeting Farm Latte Anya Copic Coloring Verve Stamps Heat Embossing Die Cutting copper American crafts Shimelle True Stories Go Now Go coffee cups tim holtz embossing folder diffuser

I wanted to use the Verve stamp set called "Coffee" that I've had on my stash for quite a long time.  They still sell it, although there is a new one out too.  In particular the stamp "This girl runs on" shouted to me.  Very loudly.  There is also a word die which I used instead of stamping it.  

The Greeting Farm Latte Anya Copic Coloring Verve Stamps Heat Embossing Die Cutting copper American crafts Shimelle True Stories Go Now Go coffee cups tim holtz embossing folder diffuserI tried heat embossing the sentiment in copper, but I think my freshly re-inked Versamark ink pad was a little too juicy.  Also boys and girls, don't forget to use your embossing buddy first! 😬 Too late for me I'm afraid (as you can probably tell) 😂

I felt this sentiment needed a girl and "Latte Anya" from The Greeting Farm came to my rescue.  The next ideas that pushed their way to the front were using the Tim Holtz embossing folder and using a diffuser to get a flat circle in the centre.  You can't easily see it, but it meant I could stamp there and I considered colouring the image on it, bit later forgot about that!  It definitely wasn't a very well planned design, but sometimes you just have to stick ad go and not over think it.

The Greeting Farm Latte Anya Copic Coloring Verve Stamps Heat Embossing Die Cutting copper American crafts Shimelle True Stories Go Now Go coffee cups tim holtz embossing folder diffuser 
Shimelle's second line with American Crafts (True Stories) featured coffee cups and I still have quite a lot of it (Huzzah!) so the grey takeaway cup print was perfect.  I ended up using the 6x6 size as it was a better fit.  So the embossing folder has cold drinks, but it still kinda goes, right? 😉

True Stories has bold colours which I do associate a bit more with winter, but I felt the olive green, red, yellow warm grey and warm pink etc would work for Autumn too...and Anya happens to also be bundled up in warm clothes!

I used colours from this collection to colour Anya and fussy cut a few cups from the 6x6 version of that coloured version of coffee cup paper you see in the background.  It's far from my best colouring but I feel so out of practise! 😬😬😬

NPCH* felt it was Autumny enough, but I didn't so I added some leaves in the form of clear stickers from the "Go Now Go" sticker book (also by Shimelle).  The acorns needed to be backed with white cardstock first to stand out enough.  A touch of Glossy Accents makes the heart look more like a button and co-ordinate with the shiny clear stickers.

The card itself isn't a standard size so I'll have to make a custom envelope.  I wanted the dry embossed coffee cups to be as big as it could be since the diffuser took up most of the centre.  The other layers were built around it.  Being used to a 12x12 scrapbook canvas, a card size is always a bit of a shock!

Giveaway Details

The Giveaway is now closed and winner has been drawn
I have this tea themed stamp and die set by Verve to give away,  This is NOT sponsored - I just forgot I had one and bout it twice!  Oops!

*Acronyms are in the left sidebar <--

Sunday, 17 September 2017

News Flash!!

Wow long time no blog!  Doesn't feel like it's been 3 months!

But I have BIG EXCITING NEWS!  I officially resigned as a Stampin Up Demo a couple of months ago!

Dancing reaction gifs

NPCH* and I have BIG crafty plans for the future, and SU was really starting to hold us back.  I'll be honest and admit that it's not JUST that.  There's a little more to it which isn't worth going into since this is supposed to be a happy post!

Let's make it clear that it has NOTHING to do with the company itself.  Stampin' Up have extremely flexible conditions and take a really sensible, balanced approach when they changed their policy about competing products.

I will still continue using Stampin' Up products, and continue mixing them with other manufacturers as I have been (all allowed thanks to Stampin' Up policy!) but we have outgrown SU and it's time to move on to bigger and better things!

It will take some time to achieve our goals, but watch this space!!!

We plan to offer (among other things) both local and online classes and more in the way of free tutorials (both blog and YouTube).

As for the other things, they're a bit secret so you'll have to wait and see.  Don't Tell! animated emoticon

I am also in the process of selling of much of my retired stock.  I am thinking of starting my own group on Facebook (just for selling my own stuff) or otherwise using one of the many existing groups.
They can be a bit painful at times, though!  Bumped Head emoticon

If anything I've said so far about our future endeavours interests you and you'd like more info, you can:

*Be notified by email when a new posts come up  Just enter your address in the "follow by email" section in the right sidebar.
*If you use Blogger a fair bit (or just have an account) click "follow" at the bottom of the left side bar.
*You can also find me on Facebook
*Just drop me an email alex@pinkcraftymama.com

Also, if you are in need of a Stampin' Up demonstrator, please drop me a line and I will put you in you in touch with a really lovely lady!

*Acronyms in the left sidebar! <---

Thursday, 11 May 2017

April Moodboard and Layout for Mercy Tiara Challenge

Another Mercy Tiara challenge comes to a close.  Like over a week ago now.  Oops. 

But you all know me.  Actually I DID finish my layout in time I just didn't blog about it.  No,  really I actually did!

As usual I had the deadline breathing down my neck.  For the month of April, March challenge winner, LeeAnn (aka LeeLee Scraps on YouTube) came up with a beautiful mood board for us to work with.  It was designed with the northern hemisphere Spring in mind which is no issue for me since I don't scrap chronologically  A copy of the mood board is posted below.

I had hoped to make TWO videos to go along with this challenge given the improvement in our setup, but alas it's just one and a rather longwinded "kit" walk through at that.  I have been reassured many of us make not-so-great videos when we first start, but it doesn't reassure me too much!  I ended up just filming the papers I chose to go along with the mood board - a kind of kit, but only the papers.  There are still a few technical issues I'd like to iron out but we're almost there!

I tend to just make up kits containing paper only since I often have more than one sheet of the same paper and many more papers than embellishments.  I can add those as I go.

So after the challenge was posted in Mercy Tiara's Facebook group, this is what happened (aka a look into PinkCraftyMama's "interesting" creative psyche.  Proceed if you dare!):

I have such a hard time narrowing down papers in a kit and this is no exception.  It's made harder when the mood board is so full of the colours and motifs I love.  If I had to pick just three colours that jump out at me from the mood board, it's pink, aqua and yellow.  My most favourite combo and most of my stash is one of these three I'd say!

After saving the mood board at the beginning of the month, I just thought about it for a bit.  Several days later LeeAnn posted a video of her own choices and interpretation of her mood board.  I loved this little insight into her thought process and her interpretation.  This video is linked below.

 LeeLeeScraps April 2017 Mood board Challenge Video

In summary, I felt the mood board included flowers, watercolour, stripes, rain/clouds/umbrellas, an animal, geometric shapes (triangles in particular) doilies, bunting, wood grain texture, fabric texture, brush script typography, hearts, circles containing colours and patterns, scallops, bright rainbow colours but mostly pink, aqua and yellow and plenty of black and white.  Phew!

I had at least one specific layout in mind when I assembled the mood board, so it might have turned out differently had it not been the case.  Given the size of the kits I think I'll only let myself take anything extra from my box of scraps.

Green was something that struck me about this mood board.  Odd since I'm not normally drawn to green  I don't dislike it, but have a hard time using it.  I guess I mean a grassy emerald green like the leaves in the watercoloured flowers.

The other thing I really appreciated about LeeLee's video was the shout out she gave to scrap lifting.  This us something I have had to do if I want finished layouts in my albums.  Arthur* just doesn't let me do it all right now and I have found (through trial and error) that this part of the process is one I struggle with (at least at this point in time).

Sometimes I can do more than others and it took a long time to accept that I simply had to eliminate part of the process.  I'd wistfully gaze at past cards and layouts I made without the use of sketches, but gazing at empty page protectors makes me feel worse.

Many very accomplished scrapbookers use sketches or lift others too.  This gave me the idea of starting a kind of miniseries on this blog (and over on YouTube).  There are MANY ways to use these and some dos and don'ts too.  Scraplifting is so much more than just "copying" someone's work.

Meanwhile, here is MY moodboard video and links to all the relevant channels appear at the end of this post.

PinkCraftyMama's April Moodboard Video

The vast amount of paper doesn't worry me.   I love these colours and patterns so much that I'll the rest of the paper kit to my other paper kits (!) and keep working with it.  I definitely have some rainy day photos to scrapbook.

I knew the moment I saw the "Lovely Day" paper from Dear Lizzy's Lovely Day collection that I wanted it for this layout.  Oddly, not an awful lot in the story about flowers.  A little bit in my sister's home decor (photos were taken at her house), but that's about it!  The red is probably coming from SCD's* shirt, but there really isn't any navy blue.  Some black yes but I think I prefer navy.  Perhaps I confuse that red shirt with another red and navy one he has??

Now before I get any further, no we don't encourage underage drinking,  He had just a sip and doing it this way keeps alcohol from being a taboo and all of that.

In any case, this story is about an invitation for dinner and margaritas which had just the perfect timing!  I printed the photos about 3x4 since the quality wasn't great and strangely for me, I had a rudimentary plan in my head for what I wanted this layout to look like!

I wanted what I call a "1/3 2/3 split" where 4" of the page has one paper and the rest in another,  Combine that with the colours and main print I wanted, I certainly was way ahead of where I normally would be in my process!

I found this older page by Shimelle and it seemed like the perfect one on which to base my layout.  I wanted the floral on the left so I had to mirror image the layout and I also loved the addition of acrylic paint.

"Concrete Planning" by Shimelle Laine for American Crafts

 I used Heidi Shine (yes I do mean Heidi Shine not Heidi Swapp Color Shine) in Navy since I had already used it on the DIY Thickers 

The other Thickers needed surgery to make the "O" I didn't have left.

 I also used a 3x4 card which had been "frankened" since the text and border were from 2 different cards.

The addition of the critters simply happened.  Started with one die cut and then another and then it really needed a third.

The other think I knew I wanted from the start is that Kelly Purkey stamp on the bottom!  I added a couple more for balance - One by Shimelle on the right and another Kelly Purkey Stamp on the left.  The pages preceding this one  in the album haven't been made yet, but put the story in context which is why I didn't need to put the back story into the journalling.

Other papers used on the layout came from Shimelle Laine's Little by Little and True Stories, Amy Tangerine's Finders Keepers, Paige Evans' Oh My Heart

Do I love the end result?  Not so much.  I definitely don't hate it, though.  I admit I pulled up a bit off the bottom the following day and added another strip of yellow to give the illusion that the yellow box is a bit bigger.

 Otherwise, probably too much "stuff" and too little contrast maybe?  Patterns too busy?  Pages like these typically happen after a break of even a few weeks since I want to use "all the things" not knowing when I'll scrap again.  The solution is to scrap more often.  Oh if only it were that simple!

Anyway I do want to try this page again - in its original "right to left" orientation and with acrylic paint.

So please subscribe both to this blog and my YouTube channel for more.  I'm going to make a superhuman (for me) effort to do more and more often.  It makes me excited, because I feel much better within myself when I scrapbook regularly and this had a flow on effect to other areas of my life.

My YouTube Channel

LeeAnn's YouTube channel

Mercy Tiara Youtube Channel

Shimelle's YouTube Channel

*Please refer to left sidebar for acronyms

Friday, 31 March 2017

Cats and Coffee?

But of course!

It's been a while since I made a card and this one counts double since it's for two challenges:

The Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop 

 and Challenge #43 over at Newton's Nook

I knew I wanted to use a Newton's Nook stamp set, but I didn't want to use a stamp from the Newton Loves Coffee stamp set in its original form.  I knew what I had to do when I saw the pot plant stamp set from Naughty Newton - I was going to have Newton knock over a cup of coffee.

This was going to be quite the exercise in masking.

In a nutshell, when masking you need to work from the part of the image most in front and work backwards.

To start with, I stamped a few of the Naughty Newton images in StayzOn on the masking sheets (and the cup from Newton Loves Coffee) and cut them according to the different stages of the stamping and masking.  Newton's front paws were going to prove interesting!

Alignment was a bit tricky since I've become used to using a stamp press.  It meant I had to trace over some parts which didn't stamp well.


When it came to the cup, I covered the lid of the stamp with some scrap masking sheet, inked it and peeled it off the stamp prior to stamping (hard to see in this picture)

Ok so the imperfect masking and stamping mean we're going to have to use darker colours when colouring!!

Now that we have paws and a cup, both the mask for the cup and the one for the pot need to be layered so this area remains protected when the rest of the image gets stamped.

At this point I decided the dirt with the flowers spilling from the pot sort of looked like coffee with some flowers floating in it so I decided to leave that.

I needed to extend the spill a bit by hand, but it still looked a bit lumpy like dirt.  Drawing has never been my strength which is why I stamp!

To stamp the coffee lid, I did the opposite of stamping the cup.  Now time to colour!  I'm glad I chose Copic markers so I could use darker colours to cover the imperfections.

Yes I know the light source isn't exactly consistent, but nevermind!  I used a Memento marker to go around the white cut edges and also the fussy cut flowers.  I also added a tiny heart from one of the stamp sets to the cup to tie in with the cup print paper.

I sketched some sloped lines on scrap cardstock to use as a template for the sketch, but most seems to have been covered!

Because of the darker colours I had to use paper with similar ones and it doesn't exactly scream "Spring" does it?  The cup print from Shimelle's True Stories 6x6 paper pad was a little more spring-like.  The polka dot is also from True Stories and cloud print from Go Now Go.  I fussy cut the smallest flowers from a couple of the Starshine paper pad in order to add a bit more "Spring" to the card.

The sentiment is from a Verve stamp set.  Newton has indeed been naughty...and jealous since he changed it with his best paw-writing.  (He makes no apologies for it because he doesn't have opposable thumbs!).

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Design Decisions Class Prompt 1

Design Designs is Shimelle's newest class which ran throughout November and as the name suggests is all about breaking down and analysing the decisions we make on layouts.

As someone who has taught classes, it may seem strange to others that I actually take them myself, but it's something many crafters do since we all have something to offer and I love seeing experienced crafters willing to learn from their peers.  Nobody ever truly stops learning. 🎓

Attack of the Man Dollies

scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decision class october afternoon starshine #designdecisionsclass

I often (OK pretty much always) do a "post mortem" on my layouts and cards when I'm done.  I'm probably overly critical, but this isn't a bad thing.  It helps me to continue to identify what I like and dislike and what I should or should not repeat on future projects.

For me, a lot of the classes I take aren't necessarily to learn new techniques (though some are), but if I find a fellow crafter whose style matches mine, taking her classes gives me material to use when Arthur* doesn't allow me to do it all.  Something needs to give and I need to remove some part pf the process.  It's the difference between having a layout done or not.  In such cases,  using a sketch - either an actual sketch or using a layout as a sketch helps me most.  For others, removing another part of the process might be more useful.  This is possibly something to revisit in the future.

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decision class october afternoon starshine #designdecisionsclass
For this first layout, I was so inspired by Shimelle's use of October Afternoon papers - especially a multi coloured stripe which OA does ever so well.  I loved the slight retro vibe the papers give to the project and I immediately thought of these pictures.

I chose a different stripe with colours that better reflected my memory of the photos and the colours in the pictures themselves.  I also wanted to use a fair bit of woodgrain since that (for me) often evoke a vintage feel.

I tried to stay towards "boy" colours and motifs since the story is very much a boy story and my boys (yes even the Man Child is included in this) are very BOYboys.  As a general rule, I don't have a problem using pinks or florals on boy pages, though.

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decision class october afternoon starshine #designdecisionsclass

 So in addition to the three design questions that Shimelle presents us with each prompt, I usually have a lot more of my own.  It started with the supplies for this layout.

Next part of the analysis is always the "post mortem".  I wish the red piece of paper was smaller,  but it was slightly complicated by the fact that the photos were not the same size as the ones in the sketch.

Overall I'm pretty happy - wish I had a third star with the woodgrain pattern but this was out of my control.

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decision class october afternoon starshine #designdecisionsclass

The embellishment areas are a bit different to what I usually do. and I don't normally use so much orange so that was nice for a change!

I was feeling a bit brave, but really I wanted to capture those retro feels.  I admit I used some filters on the photos since the boys were all excited about their "rare" find.

Remember that scene in The Big Bang Theory when they find those dolls and...More than one person has referred to NPCH* as Sheldon.  Anyway...

I'm also using this class as my challenge in Mercy Tiara's challenge for December which is to finish something!  I'll have to make sure one of my layouts fulfils the Tic Tac Toe mini challenge

Feline Hydration Appliance

scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decisions class go now go collection dear lizzy lucky charm sassafras lass #designdecisionsclass

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decisions class go now go collection dear lizzy lucky charm sassafras lass #designdecisionsclass

This layout shows that it's possible to use a travel themed collection (Shimelle's  Go Now Go in a layout which has nothing to do with travel (unless you count the 5 minute car ride to buy the thing).  😉

Plenty of the papers and embellies in that collection have lovely neutral patterns (as in non-themed - lots of bright colours!).  Even the bits that are travel themed are so versatile that they can be used to document short trips or used more metaphorically in terms of taking journeys in life etc.  I really love using themes in unexpected ways.

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decisions class go now go collection dear lizzy lucky charm sassafras lass #designdecisionsclass
I wanted my product choices to reflect the look of the fountain (The drinking fountain looks like a white daisy with a green stem and yellow centre). It isn't easily apparent in the photo.

I found a packet of green Sassafras blossoms quite by accident which look a bit big for the embellishment areas, but I really wanted to use them.  The navy floral is a way of doing that without being really matchy matchy.  

Several pages later in the album, there is another layout about this and it shows the rest of the story.  I plan to use similar (though not the same) colours and motifs on that page.  I have a page kit ready, but page not made.  

embellishment cluster scrapbook scrapbooking layout page shimelle laine design decisions class go now go collection dear lizzy lucky charm sassafras lass #designdecisionsclass
I think in both layouts, my urge to "Use ALL the things" kicks in strongly after a hiatus of any decent length.  It's something I recognise and try to control and it settles after a few layouts of more regular crafting.  

I even made a third layout (It was for Prompt 14, though) in the small hours of the morning and definitely less than pleased with the outcome, but more on that in due course.  The main thing is I have identified what bothers me, but not to the point I want to pull the layout apart (been there done that! 😱).  

Anyway enough of that - I need to get through the whole course before 27 December if I'm to succeed in my challenge!

*Please refer to left sidebar for acronyms! 😊