Tuesday, 4 June 2019

TTCRD 4 June DT Project

 Hi Lovelies!

Today is challenge day for Design Team B for the Through The Craft Room Door Challenge.  This is a WEEKLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with 2 design teams who alternate weeks to make projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week's sponsor is Newton's Nook Designs. You can read a bit about them below.
Prize: PRIZE $20 Gift Certificate to store

Newton's Nook Designs is made up of a husband and wife team located in Southern Wisconsin. Their goal is to provide you with unique and whimsical stamp designs and products that are fun to use and make you smile! Jen illustrates and designs all of the products and Jeff does the behind the scenes essentials! Their company is named after Newton, their sweet orange tabby cat, who is also the inspiration for their adorable cat themed designs!

This was one I was super excited to do since I have always loved Newton's Nook!

I used one of their newest stamp sets called Newton Cleans Up to make a somewhat unconventional Get Well card.

As soon as I saw that vacuum cleaner I wanted to try to make a shaker from it.  It reminded me of the reason NotPinkCraftyHubster bought a vac with a large clear barrel - so he could carefully identify and retrieve Lego which got sucked up.

I stamped it on my card front, masked it and then applied some Vicki Boutin Iridescent paste through a stencil as a bit of an experiment and I'm happy with how it came out.  I knew it would tie in wit the sparkly mix in the shaker.

I'm less than enthused by my Copic colouring.  To be quite frank, it SUCKS! 🤣🤣🤣.  The cat itself is OK, but the purple wasn't blending properly.  After it dried, I came back and touched it up which is a minor improvement.

My other issue was that my initial snarky thought of "You Suck" (with an optional "just kitten"!) was probably not going to be appreciated by anyone not quite as snarky so I decided on a get well type of sentiment.

It occurred to me that sick cats probably wouldn't be doing the vacuuming, so I added props from "Newton's Sick Day" stamp set.  I then proceeded to cut apart the birthday sentiment since I knew I'd never use it as is and used the "Not Feeling Well" from "Naughty Newton".  The similar one from "Newton's Sick Day" just didn't look right after I stamped it.

Well here is the finished product and I hope you visit us at TTCRD to play along and win the prize!

Not Feeling Well Cat Card

And here's the slightly improved colouring:

PS I thought you might like to see what happened as soon as I opened the pot of iridescent paste 9see the lid right there?).  That cat has a radar for any wet media,  Let's not even discuss the incident involving white Distress Paint! 😖😖😖


The products I used (or similar) are listed below:
This post may contain affiliate links.  By clicking on the items or making a purchase (at NO additional cost to you) you help support this site, so a big, pink THANK YOU
Please rest assured I only recommend products I personally love!

Love and crazy colouring!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Design Team Post for Embellish With Flair (31 May)

Hello Lovelies!

I'm here with the next installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series that I've been writing for the Embellish With Flair blog!  If you missed the first installments, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2

So what are we going to discuss today? I honestly didn't expect this to become quite the epic it has, but I'm hoping you're enjoying it (or at least the lovely flair on my layouts 😉)

This is the bit when I think it's worth talking a bit about finding inspiration from OTHER PEOPLE.  I guess you'd say it's like pulling out the big guns if you're really stuck, or perhaps you always do this and there's nothing wrong with that.  There is one golden rule as far as I'm concerned, though and that it to always acknowledge your source or inspiration.

There are various ways you can be inspired by other crafters - using a sketch created by someone else, "scraplifting" a finished layout or perhaps taking a class offered by another crafter.  I regularly use all three methods.

Sometimes, my chronic illness doesn't allow me to do the entire process so through trial and error I found that when I need to buy some time or energy, taking this first step out of the equation for me is key to having a finished layout and story told.

Today we'll have a look at scraplifting.  What's "scraplifting" I hear you ask?  While I dislike the term (it implies stealing), it's effectively copying someone else's project.  We're taught that's a big NoNo at school, but that's why people share their work online.  When you find a layout by another scrapbooker that you'd like to reproduce, or get inspiration from, there are endless degrees to which you can do this.

The layout I'm scraplifting is by Shimelle Laine.  Her "style" is pretty close to mine so I often am inspired by her work.  The layout I'm "scraplifting" is a few years old and can be found HERE.  I really recommend you have a look at it first.

Now I could reproduce this layout exactly if I wanted to since I have all the exact same supplies in my stash (I know! 🤦).  I've never done this though!  Not that her layout isn't perfect as it is, but I personally don't want mine to be a cookie cutter replica.  Where's the creativity?  Talking about creativity may seem like a luxury when your mojo is MIA, but I promise, once you get going you will see that your page starts to develop a mind of its own even if it's a pretty close scraplift.

I'd call mine pretty close.  I guess for me it is since I know how far (or not) I end up when I do this.  There are loads of examples on my blog.  If you click on the word "scraplifting" at the bottom of a post on my blog when I use it (like this one), it will bring up more entries.

You might deviate a lot more (and I have a layout in progress where my scraplift took on a mind of it's own which I will post when I revisit this topic later) or a lot less.  Both are absolutely OK!

So where to start?  The easiest way to stay true to the original is to choose a photo which is roughly the same size and orientation.  In this case it appears to be 4x6 in landscape.  Mine is a touch smaller.  The next thing is to pick supplies, but I do find that when scraplifting, the layout does tend to evolve so it's never quite that simple.

My process for this exercise was to first decide on my background paper.  I did toy with navy, but if I was going to use the black and white "Cats" flair badges I'd have to include at least some black which can be a challenge with navy, though not impossible.  I ended up choosing a dark grey which bridged the gap between black and the colour of the grey cat.  I also wanted the focus to be more on the colours of the box.

If you read Shimelle's blog post and journaling, you'll see that rainbow and colour overall play a key aspect in her story, whereas in mine, the story is about the box in the photo, so emphasizing those specific colours made sense, but I did want to include somewhat of an array of bright colour (especially red of the box (and to a lesser extent blue)).

Since my photo had far fewer colours than Shimelle's, and that initial pop of rainbow is what makes the dark background so striking, I did want to include some multicoloured paper with black (OK so it could be a very very dark navy in the triangle pattern but reads as black) as well as incorporating all the other colours I planned to use.

I also ended up having to use more layers because it just didn't look "right" with fewer.

This is what I mean when I say the layout starts taking on a life of its own!  I had to go back and search for various colours and add them in a few times!

As you can tell, I deliberately curled up loose corners for texture!

I was also thinking embellishment at the same time.  I did want to use that same "delighted" die cut since it's a word frequently used in Regency society and had all the colours I was going to use!

I wanted to use stitching like Shimelle, although mine was more for decorative purposes (except in a couple of places) rather than holding down notorious chipboard!  I like leaving loose threads if it suits the layout and anything to do with cats suits since they like string and yarn.

I wanted to use some gold also as a nod to the Regency era, so gold mist and gold detail on some of the embellishments worked with the Thickers.  Also...if you're going to stitch, make sure said mist is totally dry or else you'll have to cover up the smudges with the chipboard and enamel stars!! 🤦🤦🤦

I positioned the badges around the photo and picked mostly white ones to stand out.  I did have to use the one with a touch of red to again go back to the original chicken box element of the story!  Also, my son calls him "little man" so that sticker on the top left was perfect in all aspects.

I'm sure you can figure out the connection between cats and birds/feathers.  It's one of the few times I use bird paper since I have a phobia and aversion to the things and quite frankly the connection freaks me out further, but 🤷.  Shimelle jokes that I'm the only one allowed to disike the birds she has included in her last few collections! 😳😳😳

Most people wont have any idea that all these little decisions relate to the story and my memory of the event, but I love all these little connections and they really make the memory complete in my mind.

Speaking of story...that cat is named Fitzwilliam (after the heartthrob hero), and there is also a character in the novel called Colonel Fitzwilliam!  Not who he was named after, but a good pun in light of the story being about the box!

So can you see how while I have scraplifted a layout, I've also used elements from the Part 1 and Part 2 of this series as well to help make the layout my own and just let the initial inspiration take me where it was going to lead.

Colonel Fitzwilliam

Well thanks for sticking with me and hope to bring you another way to find that lost mojo very soon!

Embellish With Flair products used: Cats set

Love, and Embellish With Flair!

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Design Team Post for Embellish With Flair (21 May)

Hello Lovelies!

Here's next installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series for the Embellish With Flair Design Team! 

If you missed part 1 you can find it here.

Today we're talking colour.  I absolutely love colour and don't shy away from throwing lots and lots of it on my layouts!  So how can we use colour to get us out of a creative rut?

Are you a crafter who needs to start with a basic staple like white cardstock each time or do you prefer colour and or pattern? 

You can still be inspired by colour even if you are, for example, a white-sheet-of-cardstock-as-a-base scrapbooker.  You just need to keep this in mind while you pick out your other supplies in your chosen colour scheme

There are plenty of colour palettes all over the internet like Pinterest (we’ll touch on Pinterest a bit later) where someone else has come up with a selection of colours (usually to go along with an inspirational image.

You may wish to take colours from your photo, but you don’t have to.  It may seem like a strange idea, but it can work really well especially when the colours in your photo don’t relate to the story as it happened in your head or reflect how the event really was.  (Today’s layout is one of these!).  For example, a photo taken on an overcast wedding day (especially of its of guests rather than the bride and groom) wouldn’t be true to the story if created with similar colours!

So where to begin if you want to use colour to get your mojo going again?  Are there any specific colours that relate to your story or memory?  Today’s layout is one of many layouts of my son’s year 6 graduation.  I use his school colours throughout his “school” album: purple, aqua/turquoise and black.  I also use a fair bit of grey since it's one of my favourite neutrals and the boys’ school uniform has a lot of grey.  This doesn’t mean each page in that album uses those colours and only those colours.  Usually it incorporates one or more colours mixed with others to make new combinations while still giving a sense of continuity.

Doing a Google search for color scheme or colour palette (followed by the name of at least one colour) can give you sites like Magnet Street or Design Seeds for example. With colour palettes created by other people,  I prefer to search Pinterest and make boards for various albums where I have recurring colours. 

There are also sites like Coolors where there are random colour schemes constantly generated,  you can enter a colour to filter the colour schemes in the database,  adjust shades and hues,  pick colour schemes based on a photo and so much more!

I find that searching Google or Pinterest for one colour at a time gives better result than entering the whole string, but definitely try both and in between options.

So…for today’s example I did just that, but not at the very start of my process.  Firstly I got an idea when I saw these Embellish With Flair purple star badges.  I use stars as a motif in the school album, but even more so in the graduation photos.  For some reason I thought of cut files with a star in place of a letter like this super star cut file by Paige Evans.  I don’t use cut files on all my layouts, but it fit beautifully in one of his graduation layouts.  Especially when the star is turned into a shaker!! 

I decided to look through some of Paige's collections as a starting point.
📍Tip when you get stuck: if you’ve made one decision, stay with the same manufacturer or designer as a starting point.

I got really excited when I saw paper 11 from Turn the Page collection.  Then I saw paper 19 and decided I was found to fussy cut both papers.  The back of this paper co-ordinated beautifully and I toyed with using it as a background, but I wanted my cut file and stars to stand out and the stripes might compete too much with everything else, but I hadn’t ruled it out.

In any case, the fussy cut stars in the “wrong” colours could be turned around and used anyway!  I did want more than just the aquas, greyish blues and greens.  I hoped to add purple and possibly something else.

I searched Pinterest for the terms colour palette and colour scheme with each of the colours and saved anything that grabbed my attention.  I really wanted to see how purple would look with these colours in an actual example to confirm how it linked up in my head.  Lots of times I imagine something and it simply doesn’t translate to paper the way I thought.

Most of the search results that come up on Pinterest are from Design Seeds.  You can visit their website directly and what I love most is that there is an image along with the colours they chose, so you can use the image and add more options for yourself.

 What I love about Pinterest is that you can make a board (even a secret one if you don’t anyone else to see it) and save what grabs your attention.  Like this cat.

It more or less had the colours I was after.  Another one of Paige’s collections has a very pale purple, but I wanted something a bit bolder so I kept looking and found these other palettes.

I figured that between the three I was set.  I was a bit disappointed not to find a new colour, but when I thought about all the shades of the ones I had, I probably had enough.  The exact greens in some of the palettes are way off, but it gives the general idea.  A more muted green needs a more muted purple, but in the case of this…the lime green goes really well with the bright purple.

So back to my layout.  I use a nested star cut file of Paige’s and cut different sized starts on the silhouette out of mostly purples, but a few more greens and aquas to.  I tried to pick papers where I could use both sides.

I cut my title and printed my photos then took a punch or two to the scraps to get some tiny and medium stars.

Shaker Pocket and backing the cut file - done!

Stitching some of the stars together for texture and interest - done

Once everything was in position, I used a ruler to mark out the area for the starburst and stuck down the stars.

I used the flair badges to make the centres of the letters such as R and P since they didn’t have them and the stars on the flair badges co-ordinated with the shaker pocket star A.  It's a lot of flair in a concentrated area, but they definitely stand out!

As much as I love piling on the embellishment, this page didn’t need a whole lot.  I used a little bit (for me), but even so, the whole page is practically covered which is NOT what I had in mind!  The title isn't the best choice for the specifics of the story.  On the surface it's about that bear, but on a deeper level it's about our relationship and I always think of him as my buddy and my superstar so while other stories of the night might have been better suited to this title, it's certainly not totally out of place.

Mama's Super Star

Embellish With Flair Product used: 3 Tone Stars Purples

That's all from me for this installment.  I hope it made sense.  Colour is such a vast topic!  If you have any questions, comment below! 

Love and Embellish With Flair,

Friday, 24 May 2019

Design Team Post for Embellish With Flair (6 May)

Hello Lovelies!

This is a replica of my very first Design Team post on the Embellish With Flair blog (6 May).  I've had so much happening that I've not had the chance to reproduce it here.

I love that the four of us in the EWF Design Team have different strengths and passions and we all bring something different to the table, so I felt it natural to use this as the inspiration for this layout!

Today I thought I’d talk a bit about inspiration or “mojo” (in particular lack of it!) as it’s known around the crafty community.  We’ve all heard about it and probably all experienced it…but how do we get past it if we want to make something?

Inspiration for a project can start anywhere no matter what you’re making.  It also can come from several areas at once.  Understanding the possible sources and what is likely to work for YOU will hopefully help you get out of a rut and get you making again. 

I may have to break this topic up over more than one blog post so it’s not ridiculously long - and I’m not likely to be able to give you a single project that covers aaaaaall the examples!

Story or Photo

I’m starting here since I’m mostly a scrapbooker (and mostly for the story telling aspect), but I’m sure you can take something away from this even if you don’t scrapbook.

For scrapbookers, it’s often a story or a photograph which starts their creative process.  The photo and story might be the same, but not always.  If not, it adds an extra step when getting ready to scrap.  I actually love it when my photo doesn’t directly correspond to the story and only by reading the story does it all comes together and you make the connection!


Sometimes it’s a product that starts the creative process.  Is it a sheet of patterned paper with a motif that makes you immediately associate it with a photo or story?  Something brand new that gets you excited and your pulse racing, or an old favourite you forgot you had and only stumbled across by accident it as you tidied up in your craft room?

I can tell you that my product choices almost always tie in with the story very closely and I’ll tell you about all the important bits as I go along in this particular example.

Let's Get Scrappy

So what inspired today’s layout?  If I had to break down the MAIN source, it would be story and photo, but for me, product played a part too.  I don’t mean the flair badges themselves, but the specific ones I decided to use.  This ended up touching on colour a little bit too.

As I thought about what kind of project to make, I naturally considered what story I wanted to tell.  Finding a photo to work with it is often a simpler issue (for me) when I already have a story in mind.

Naturally it needed to be compatible with those lovely flairs.  Since I had such a varied selection to work with, I wasn’t overly concerned about finding some to showcase.

Fairly often, I get hit with an idea like a bolt out of the blue and this is what happened this time too.  I can’t tell you how exactly it occurred to me to make a layout using the photo of the whole design team (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in my Instagram travels occasionally) but the timing seemed to make sense just as the first DT begins its first term, no?

The aqua and blue feathers of the Embellish With Flair logo were a natural starting point.  I remembered I had a light blue paper with a feather print from Shimelle’s "Little by Little" Collection!  Perfect!  I had a photo, the beginning of a story and a paper I was pretty sure I’d use as the background.

Now that I had a few decisions made, was a good time to go through my flair badges and pick something that works.  I knew straight away these Mirror Ball flair badges were the winners. These colours reminded me of Shimelle’s "Head in the Clouds" collection.  The playful and whimsical nature of that collection would work.  I could possibly even get away with a dragon or two!  They remind me of imagination and creativity.

Shimelle’s "Box of Crayons" and "Glitter Girl", Paige Evans' "Whimsical" and crafting themed lines by Echo Park and Simple Stories also had some colours that might work and they all had crafting/inspirational motifs and phrases.  I don’t always go for themed products, but sometimes (especially when it’s about a topic near my heart) I just go for it.  For me personally it’s a bit of an all or nothing approach!

While we’re talking crafty motifs, Virginia Walker (the brains behind Confessions of a Paper Addict)  has been making some incredible cut files (especially ones which made great titles for craft layouts).  This was as good a time to use one as any and the one I chose seemed to make me think of starting something and the start of a design team working together for the first time connected the dots in my head.

Once I backed the cut file with patterned paper and added dimensional foam to the back, I just had to figure out where the photo, journaling and embellishment areas would go.  Then it was time to commit!  I did some messy stitching to give the paper strips some texture.  It's a simple but effective detail!

You'll find all kinds of little bits in my embellishment clusters,  There are almost always cameras since that's an integral part of scrapbooking, some whimsical critters and even peacock feathers as a nod to Crece's logo!  Speaking of her logo, I used one of the packaging inserts as a base for my embellishment here.

I also used the three chipboard circles from the Whimsical chipboard pack to hold the flair badges.  I didn't want them to get lost and these were the perfect size.  The little sentiments around the circumference are quite perfect and the colours are variations on pink, aqua and purple too. 

Phew!  Thanks for sticking with me after all that and I hope you found it useful.  I’ll be back with another project on 21st May with the next installment in this series.

Embellish With Flair products used: Mirror Ball


The products I used (or similar) are listed below:
This post may contain affiliate links.  By clicking on the items or making a purchase (at NO additional cost to you) you help support this site, so a big, pink THANK YOU
Please rest assured I only recommend products I personally love!

Love, and Embellish With Flair!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TTCRD 21 May DT Project

 Hi Lovelies!

Today is challenge day for Design Team B for the Through The Craft Room Door Challenge.  This is a WEEKLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with 2 design teams who alternate weeks to make projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week's sponsor is Morgan's Art World. You can read a bit about her below.
Prize: 3 Digi images

I’ve been trying out alcohol ink backgrounds this past week and enjoyed it so much that I decided to use it on these butterfly images.

The complication is that being a digital image it needs to be printed.  I have a laser printer which is great for colouring images, but not all paper can be put through the printer since the heat would melt it.  The best option for alcohol ink is Yupo.  It’s so cool!  It looks and feels like paper, but it’s 100% polypropylene!  That sounds like a disaster in a printer!

Glossy paper is the next best option, but it’s unlikely to print well even in a laser printer and I was still not convinced it wouldn’t kill the printer.

I remembered that the black foil that I used with the foil quill for my last card looked much the same!  The quill is hot, so slightly nervous (not gonna lie) but it’s fast and you can heat emboss on Yupo and glossy paper so should be OK.

I wanted to use foil on the alcohol ink so I decided to make the backgrounds first them foil the images last.

As you can see the first page I did wasn’t as clear as I’d like it so I set the quill to do two passes for the next one and it was much better.  The left one was a single pass and right was 2 passes.

I'm not totally thrilled with the composition - I think I cut the butterflies too large, but I do like the white with the only colour being the butterflies.

That's all for today!

Love and fabulous foiling!