17 March, 2019

So This Happened - TTCRD Design Team Spot

I have to say I'm pretty excited!

Design Team roles usually come in two main types - either designing for online challenges or for a retailer/brand.

This one is the former, except Through The Craft Room Door also has an electronic magazine so writing articles for the magazine is part of the role too and that's the bit that made this one really interesting to me.  I mean...it's not like I like writing much judging from my blog posts, right?  🤣🤣🤣
Sadly I found out just after posting that the magazine has been discontinued and the last issue just came out.  My acceptance was in January but I didn't get my start date til recently so haven't been privy to all the behind the scenes stuff

I think it was less than 24 hours since sending off my application that I got a reply inviting me join the team! 😮😮😮.  My term officially starts in April, so if you like to get your craft one, please join in the weekly challenges!

You can find the blog (with challenges) here: TTCRD Blog
The TTCRD Facebook Page
There is a public Facebook group too: TTCRD Facebook Group

That's all for today!  There are a few things I want to make sure I get done in March before I start making for TTCRD so stay tuned!

Love and caffeine fueled creating!

16 March, 2019

Return to the Collection and RYS Challenge

This month over at Sara Scraps' Rediscover Your Stash Facebook group the product focus of the month is...letter stickers.  They're another one of those products that you can use in vast quantities and yet the stash remains undiminished.  Except Thickers where the very pack you want is always missing a critical vowel or T, S etc.

You get the idea!

Sara threw down a challenge to post a project using all the letter stickers while she and Khristina Sorge were away co-hosting a retreat.  A crafty retreat is exactly what I need need, but since I'm inconveniently located on the wrong side of the world, making amidst feeding hungry boys is the best I can do.

The layout I made that used the most letter stickers was one I made last year for a Paige Evans challenge and while it's basically done, I still want to add a few finishing touches.  Definitely cheating to upcycle it for this!  I'll post it in due course - (probably when I binge scrap all the other partially started Paige Evans challenges).

The other possibility is a rudimentary layout that originally began for a 2014 class by Shimelle called Return to the Collection.  I have a whole lot of partly finished layouts for a small holiday we took at about the same time. 

We rarely get away so despite being a short getaway and not far from home, it was a memory worth recording and in its own album since we crammed a lot into those few days.  We had a two day pass to Sovereign Hill and as a Janeite (yes it's an actual thing) I got a bit excited when I saw this guy leading his troops through the park before giving a rather lengthy speech about his conquests against the Russians (much my my amusement and NPCH's* consternation).

 Shimelle also used a 5x7 photo, but in the landscape view and I wanted the lines from the novel to serve as a kind of long title or journaling.  I applied most of it before peeling it off and throwing the layout back unfinished and pulled apart before it was even half done.  I just couldn't get it to work.

Five years later I was determined to get it done and I'm pleased to say I have, although with a LOT more of the page covered than the original prompt and my expectation required, but I'm reasonably pleased.

The passage of time allowed me to come up with new directions and adding supplies to the original ones I pulled out to use in the album.  I added a few extra layers of paper  - in particular paper with a notebook, text or bookish feel.  Even a strip of stickers on the My Mind's Eye sticker sheet I had been using looked like a row of pages so I shared it around the areas of embellishment.

The quote required smaller stickers and to be positioned next to the photo to get the proportions right (although taking up more page space than I initially hoped). 

I even managed to fit in a title and little bit of journaling.  For any given layout in a "themed" album, no page requires a lot fortunately!

And here's the finished page - the first finished page in the album! 


Love and alphabet antics!

03 March, 2019

Don't Grow Up, It's A Trap! RYS Challenge 8, Boy Layout

Remember how I said I would be trying to work on as may of the now closed challenges from JANUARY'S spending freeze over on the RYS Facebook Group run by Sara Scraps and Khristina Sorge

Well today I'm sharing another one.  I really did finish it on 28 Jan, buuut blogging took a bit longer!

This one uses both January and February's product focus which was 6x6 (or on this particular case 8x8) paper pads and February's product focus was really exciting - VINTAGE products - both in terms of era (think companies who atr no longer with us) or vintage style.  I'm running with October Afternoon which is both!  I so miss their collections! 😭😭😭

The Rediscover Your Stash challenge I'm doing is #8 called "Reach for the Stars".  I was thinking that maybe I could sneak it into challenge #10 which is called "Top 10".  It's about making a top 10 list and while my layout isn't about a top 10,  it definitely is about the number 10.  I toyed with the idea of working a top 10 list, but wanted my page to have a lit more breathing space.  I failed in that as well, but on the balance of things, I'm not unhappy with it.

My first objective was to figure out how to get stars as the focus. I use them a lot, so it's one of those times where initially the number of options made it hard to decide.  I wanted to include it all!

You may remember my Silhouette playing up last December?  I had a couple of solutions to implement and figured a simple star cut file was the ideal test subject.

I found one in my Silhouette Library called "Spooky Stars" by Paige Evans.  The stars were relatively big and sparse compared to some designs and charmingly irregular in shape.

I did have to make a few adjustments to get the stars to fit nicely and evenly on the sheet without any of them being too small.  I also wanted to use October Afternoon's  "Rocket Age" collection.  The colours were right for what I was thinking,  I have multiple copies of (most of) the 12x12  papers, and the paper pad 9which due to its smaller scale) will be ideal for backing the cut file.  I probably also have some of the original embellies.

I had to borrow more red from other OA paper pads when I had an idea that revolved around a particular sheet of pattern paper by Shimelle from her "Starshine" Collection.  That paper (called Voyager)  is basically a cut apart number paper with a fantastic B-Side.   I'm talking about the one with the different coloured blocks numbered 1 to 10 in words.  Since I have this paper in a variety of sizes and both single and double sided sheets, I figured this would be a good opportunity to use up at least one of them.

(And no, Sara Scraps I am NOT counting "Starshine" as vintage!) 🤣🤣🤣

I ended up using the largest one (mostly covered) to the right of the photo... and the smaller one from the 6x6 paper pad as an embellishment.

Seeing the smaller one in its entirety makes it more obvious the the big one is the same even though you can't really read what it says

Before I made any decisions on where such large pieces should go (I hadn't figured out what I was doing exactly!),  I had get on with backing my cut file and that meant cutting up small pieces of 8x8 paper pads and maybe the odd scrap from my scrap box.  Backing the stars was easy since there is plenty of room around them and the pieces didn't have to be accurate,  I had the urge to stitch around the stars... in SILVER thread!  Not as easy as it looks!  I wasn't going to go near the tiny ones, but that's OK,  Still looks purposeful.  In hindsight, it might have been better to use the free motion foot on the machine to go around he stars and and maybe "scribble" messy circles of thread around the stars.  Next time!

(Can you see the remains of the previous two layouts n my desk?)

Every so often there is something I have learned on this crafty journey so today I will share one such thing with you.  I hope you find it useful ab I'd love to hear about your journaling habits on the comments.

Today I'm going to tell you about matching a photo to a story that might not have one


(click on pic to enlarge)

Believe it or not, despite having an idea for a story, I didn't have a photo!  I do that sometimes - having an idea for a story then finding a photo to go with it even if the pic isn't directly related to the story or of the event in the journaling.

This layout is about SmallCraftyDude turning 10.  I don't celebrate birthdays and this isn't about a birthday, but more a general reflection of his first decade and how I feel about it and about him growing up,  I found a photo of him posing (with a pencil sharpener of all things), but the soft focus and warm slightly vintagey atmosphere seemed pretty good to me.  It was taken in June which was the same month he was born, but not the exact day I don't think.

I love this photo yet never had any idea for a story,  I mean what can you say about it?:  
"This is Max and his tiger pencil sharpener his friend gave him,  It sharpens really well" 
I have. fair few of such photos, but I find that biding my time will find me a story eventually like this tune!

Now where was I?  Oh that's right!

After applying my usual paper layers under the photos (from the same OA 8x8 sheets that I used to cut pieces out for the stars).  I chopped up a square 6x6 sheet that looked like a data log from Shimelle's "Starshine" collection into pieces for the journaling,  It ended up being longer than I expected!  I also added the largest "ten" die cut ticked into the right hand side just enough so that the full one at the top makes the connection between them - I hope!

For the title I really wanted to use the phrase from a Dear Lizzy "Lovely Day" Collection set of chipboard Thickers,  They are quite big and can be challenging to use, so they work well for titles...except on this one because the colours didn't quite work and while I did mix white and cream, these were really white.  I will have to make another one with this as a title,  Perhaps for my nieces?? 🤷

I went with Shimelle's "Fitzgerald" Thickers in silver and OA's faithful mini market stickers in red.

At this point it seemed Starshine was the way to go for embellishments so that's what I did along with a lot more stitching on the machine.  Shimelle's collections often include a sheet of numbers.  I found a few bingo style patterns among my remaining OA stash and cut out the 10 from those.

I also wanted the branding strip from the one of the "Starshine"  papers,  I think it might have even been the "Voyager" paper since I remember it had a countdown!!

Because the background was dark, it make a good opportunity to use those clear stickers designed or photo, but in white,.

At the same time, the clear stickers from Starshine would not work so I just mounted on cardstock scraps and cut them out. Too easy.  A scattering of word stickers to each embellishment grouping and more stitching!

There has been a great deal of controversy online in the crafting community about flair badges rusting,  I find it depends on the backing, because some with a particular type always rust and others never do. Unfortunately OA badges are the kind that rust. 😭😭😭

The rust is contained within the badge so I don't worry about it getting on my layout, Certain layouts actually lend themselves to rusty badges and I think this is one of those, so I threw on half a packet! Another tick and another dimension to the vintage product focus at RYS!

While looking for finishing touches, I remembered I still had some metal stars by Basic Grey which I used on the "Game Boy" layout.

Due to their age, the glue on the foam dried up on both sides and fell out, so cutting up teeny bits of foam squares wasn't fun,  but these ones were not so bad.  Maybe they were from a newer batch?🤔

Huzzah for another vintage product!

Lastly I thought the red half beads by Ink Road Stamps (which are actually named after me - for reals!) kinda looked like moon rocks so on they went.

I think I have learned enough over the past few days to stop!  I think I pulled off fairly sizable embellishments as it was and didn't want to ruin anything.

I have to say that while the block with the photo and journaling (and also the embellishment clusters themselves) turned our a bit bigger than I expected, it definitely was not as bad as it could have been or as big as yesterday's clusters!

Big clusters aren't a bad thing...they just aren't always what I want!

So here's the finished product:

Don't Grow Up, It's a Trap!

Well, my projects for this week didn't come on the order I expected, so if you've been waiting patiently for cards, I do apologise and please check back in a day or two!

Love and lets-hope-she-makes-them-cards!