Saturday, 29 June 2013

The gift of giving.

Hi Tracy here. So much for flaming June eh? Apparently things are meant to be a little more summer like this weekend, so fingers crossed.
Anyway on to my post for this month. I love giving gifts, ( I like receiving them too), but when there's a gasp of excitement from the receptacle the gift is in or how it is presented and it's something I've made, that makes it even better. Sometimes the gift inside is just a token gift, but I think making a little box especially for it, adds a little something.
This month I've made a selection of  gift boxes and tags  ready to go when the need arises.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

Back in 2008 I made a mug from patterned paper using a cut file I made in Cricut Design Studio, however my Cricut Expression died a while back, and the new Expression2 I bought to replace it wasn't Design Studio compatible. But I've found it is just as easy to make a cute mug without a Cricut. I forgot to take photos whilst I was making this, but I think it's pretty straight forward. Just cut a piece of cardstock/patterned paper cut to 9" x 5 1/2". With the long edge at the top, score every 1". Turn so the short edge is top and score at 1 1/2". Cut up to the 1 1/2" score line on each section . Stick the ends together, fold and stick the flaps to form the bottom. For the handle, just cut/punch a 3" circle with a 2" cut from the center, cut it in half, fold approx 1/2" of the ends out, stick both pieces together and stick the folded ends to the side of the mug, then decorate.

Next I made this little bird house, a slightly smaller version of the milk carton I made here.


I made one of these boxes years ago, and had the instructions somewhere, but couldn't find them, so I made it from memory, and I'm unable to acknowledge who I got them from originally, sorry.

Open view,

My instructions,

 My final box/bag was so easy to make, I hope my brief instructions make sense.

 For the base,

For the sides,


And lastly, I cut three tag shapes measuring 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and simply decorated them.

Here's a list of supplies I used,

Simple Stories - Vintage Bliss - Simple Basics Kit

Simple Stories - Vintage Bliss - 12x12 Fundamental Stickers

Simple Stories - Vintage Bliss - 12x12 Expressions Stickers

Simple Stories - Vintage Bliss - Laugh Lots

Simple Stories - Vintage Bliss - Live Simply


Tracy G. x

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Jazz Up Your Title - Featuring Mint Julep

Hello lovelies.  It is Ifa with you today. Hope you are enjoying some sunshine days, as I am here. Surprised ?  Yes, not my normal date but I am helping fill the slot.

Today I am going to share two layouts using Basic Grey Mint Julep. I haven't worked with Basic Grey for a while but I was strangely drawn to the pastel and pretty colours of this range.  Could be the retro fabric feel to it...

I ordered a few sheets of patterned paper and the Chipboard Shapes. I added to this the alphabets from Basic Grey True Love collection ( pretty in pink, but no longer in stock ), a sheet of Jillibean Word Stickers and a packet of Studio Calico Heart and Arrow Wood Veneer. The wood veneer is unfortunately showing out of stock again.  I remember snapping it up when I saw it arrived in store early this month.
I love to "jazz" up the titles on my layouts.  My titles, almost always, are heavily layered with some personal touches. I never just write happy or day out or travel.  To start with, my chipboard or letter stickers are never stuck down straight...they always jostle and fight for space, like so.
Notice how the T is over the H and the first E is over the second.  They also, don't line up! I used to stress about everything being straight that the result was, they never ended up straight.  I abandoned the ruler and I am happier for it.
Another trick I used is to replace the O in company with some wood veneer hearts.  I know, they don't look anything like O but they look kinda cute all bunched up like that, no ?  When you read it, your brain makes up the missing letter anyway.  If you'd prefer, you can use something round like a button for O instead.
In the second layout, I replaced V in Levenham with a heart.  Better looking V, don't you agree ?  And perhaps a more acceptable replacement for V for many people, than three hearts to make an O.
For both titles, I layered the chipboard letters over some patterned papers. I also added some chipboard shapes from the Mint Julep collection. My next invention is some quilled scrolls.  These are so easy to do and provides another way of using patterned paper on your layout.  I won't go into how I made these scrolls as I provided a step by step on my own blog a couple of months ago.
I couldn't resist adding a home made badge to a layout. Now you know, the Badge It Machine is no longer sitting idle and is being put to good use.

Here is Three's Company.

I know. The saying should be Two's Company but H ( and us ) loves going for days out. It makes up for the time when he declines to go for a meal out.
Next is Beautiful Lavenham.  I love all those Tudor houses painted different colours. I was surprised to read that originally all the black visible beams would have been plastered over.  The exposed beams look is actually a modern invention.  I hope the exposure to the element will not deteriorate the beams too much and these houses will stay up another 500 years.  I am hopeful! 


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sand n Surf

Hi folks. It's that time of your that teachers dread - REPORT WRITING time!! I'm sure some kids and parents dread it too! Anyway, it means my scrapping time has been limited. So for my first two pages I stuck to pretty much the same format: a few layers of Bella Blvd Sand n Surf; some corrugated card shapes that I had left from last month and a little washi. I added a little Baker's Twine to stitch on the Harry Potter-esque lightening bolt on each page. The pages did not take long, but simple can be effective in my book.

I used the same supplies for the next two pages but I covered and layered up the corrugated card clouds.

When you are short on time, or even a little strapped for cash, keeping supplies and techniques to a minimum can be the way to go. As always, thanks for taking the time to visit us here at Sarahscards. Drop us a line or a link to your latest pages.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Matching up and making up my own monthly kit...

When I first started scrapbooking, I quickly discovered monthly kits  and remember subscribing to Sarah's first scrapbooking kits and Lianne's ribbon kits!  I loved how a kit helped to build up my stash of embellishments and papers and gave me supplies to use that already worked together.

It's been a while since I've purchased or had a kit to work with and, after a couple of months of not buying supplies and weeks away from making any layouts, I decided to inspire myself to get creating again by designing my own kit from items in the shop, trying to stick to a £20 budget.

My starting point was a piece of Simple Stories paper with a chalkboard design: I knew that this would make a great base for a page.  I then set about finding some other papers that I liked and would have some similar colours and theme to make everything hang together.  I like to mix and match manufacturers and after having a good search around the site, I found a piece of Lily Bee paper with a delicate heart bokeh design and a piece of pink Amy Tan paper with hearts and arrows.  To these, I added a sheet of Studio Calico paper which is made up of smaller cards, ideal for cutting out.  The reverse of this paper also had a pink pattern which also coordinated with the other designs.

A kit needs an alphabet and I chose a sheet of Jillibean Soup Alphabean stickers in teal (teal and pink are one of my favourite colour combinations).  I love these letter stickers as they contain a good range of upper and lower case and are a lovely size for long titles.  I also added a sheet of Jillibean Wise Words: these stickers are a bargain at only 99p per sheet and are ideal for titles or embellishments/extra details, especially as they contain images as well as words.  I love washi tape and use it on nearly every page that I make but instead of adding a whole roll to my kit, I chose a sheet of Crate Paper's washi paper.  These contain loads of strips of different patterns that you simply cut up and use.  My final touches to add details to my layouts were some Studio Calico sequins (I knew that the woodgrain sequins would be a perfect match for my papers), some label and star stickers for colour and interest and some Maya Road mini envelopes.

(links to all of the products in my kit are at the bottom of this post)

So far, I have made two pages using a selection of things from my kit and, as June is the month of my wedding anniversary, they're both rare pages featuring me and my husband.

By Helen

My Kit:
Simple Stories Chalkboard Paper
Studio Calico Snippets Me Oh My Paper
Amy Tan Yes Please Commit Paper
Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe Marshmellow Paper
Crate Paper The Pier Washi Paper
Basic Grey Mint Julep Title Stickers
Studio Calico Sequins
Jillibean Soup Wise Words
Jillibean Soup Alphabeans
Maya Road Envelopes

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

{Inspire yourself}

Hi all, it's Jen N here again, and this month I'm taking inspiration from myself! There are so many resources out there where you can find work from inspiring scrappers, but sometimes I find it can all be a little overwhelming! I tend to find I spend ages looking at ideas, and I use up all my scrapping time without actually ever touching a piece of paper or a photo. I sometimes also run into the problem of loving another scrapper's work, but it really not being my style, so when I try to recreate the page it just doesn't sit comfortably or I really struggle with it. My favourite way to get around these problems if I'm stuck for ideas is to go back to my own albums and pick out a page I've made in the past that I really like. Your own albums are your closest source of inspiration, so why not use them?!

This time I chose a page from my 2011 album to use as inspiration. There were several things about the page that I liked - the basic design, the misting & masking technique, and the use of butterflies, which is something I haven't really used for a while.

The first thing I did was to create a quick sketch from the page. Sketches are my favourite way to take inspiration, as they can be flipped, rotated and altered so that no two pages look the same.

The first page I made used the sketch rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise. This allowed me to use a portrait photo rather than landscape, and immediately gives the page it's own look. I layered up papers (Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe Candy Stick, Jillibean Soup Chilled Cucumber Peeled Cucumber) and cut-apart pieces (Elle's Studio Serendipity, Basic Grey Mint Julep Snippets) along with stickers (Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe Labels, Jillibean Soup Hexies), vellum die-cuts (Studio Calico Atlantic) and washi tape (Bella Blvd Grey Chevron, WRMK washi paper). I really liked the diagonal element of the original page, so once the page was almost done I added the final touches - I splattered some teal metallic mist, and then sprinkled on some sequins from a deconstructed Webster's Pages Polka Dots, and lastly some tiny stars punched from American Crafts Glitter Tape in Spinach. I was suprised how well the tape punched, as it's quite thick, but my punch went through it no problem.

Next up I used the sketch again, but this time I didn't stick quite so closely to it as I adapted it to include two photos. The page looks totally different from the original, but I think if you look you can still see the sketch fairly clearly - there's a vertical element on the left (this time the full height of the page) with photos stacked on top, title to the right and three embellishment areas. Along with the layout sketch I also took inspiration from the butterfly motifs - these were cut from the Jillibean Soup Chilled Cucumber Peeled Cucumber paper, and I wrapped twine around them to give a similar look to those on the original page. The background paper is Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe Marshmellow, and I've added some strips from Heidi Swapp Serendipity Lovey Dovey and Basic Grey Mint Julep Carolina. That yellow strip across the bottom is the gorgeous WRMK washi paper again - just like the name suggests this is a 12x12 sheet of washi, which means that it gives you the same semi-transparent look as washi tape, but can be cut or punched to any shape or size. I just bought the one sheet this time to try, but I'll definitely be buying some more! I've used cut-apart pieces (Elle's Studio Serendipity, Basic Grey Mint Julep Snippets) along with stickers (Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe Labels, Jillibean Soup Hexies) from the same sheets as the page above, I just stuck to the pink, yellow & grey shades for this page and the green, blue & grey for the first page. As a final finishing touch I used a thin paintbrush to draw a line all the way around the page using a pink mist.

My third page is loosly based on a rotated version of the sketch too, but the main point of inspiration for this page came from the misting and masking that was done in the corner. This time I used stars instead of butterflies - I punched two different sized stars from scrap paper, laid them out on my blank 12x12 sheet and then misted over the top. I concentrated the mist into the top left corner, and then dabbed over the whole misted area with tissue to get rid of the "splotches" and give a softer look. I added a few stars punched from the WRMK washi paper also. My papers and embellishments were layered up in a similar way to my previous pages, with a few pieces on foam squares to give a little extra dimesion to the page. I love tiny strips of American Crafts Glitter Tape and some sequins cut from Webster's Pages Polka Dots as a finishing touch for just a hint of glitz!

That's it from me today, thanks for dropping by!

Monday, 10 June 2013

***June Sketch Challenge***

Another month rolls on past and it's time for another sketch challenge here at the Sarah's Cards blog, this month hosted by me, Jen N. There's a £20 voucher for the shop up for grabs again this month. All you have to do is create a layout inspired by this month's sketch and post a link to your work at the bottom of this post by the deadline of the end of the month.

So without further ado, I present you with the sketch for June 2013:

The design team have been busy creating a variety of example pages this month. I used three landscape 6x4" photos to form the vertical strip, and chose a gorgeous flowery background paper, slide frame and tags from Crate Paper's 'The Pier' collection to document our team getaway last November celebrating Sarah's big 4-0. 

Helen has converted the sketch to A4 for this lovely beach photo, and adapted the vertical element to include one portrait photo with patterned paper above and below. Don't you love those little wood veneer people?! There are all sorts of shapes available and they make the perfect finishing touch.

Ifa has used lots of white space and 4 smaller photos in a stack to create this wonderful page. I love the big wooden button as a feature. You can find lots of buttons of all shapes and sizes in the shop.

Tracy G has showcased her gorgeous photo alongside My Mind's Eye 'Boy Crazy' range. Like Helen, Tracy has adapted the sketch for one photo and used the space above and below to really show off some lovely paper designs.

Another great adaptation of the sketch into A4 size, this time from Lou who has used such a fun selection of papers on her page. For a bold, stand-out title like Lou's, you can't beat American Crafts Thickers - take a look at the huge selection of colours and styles available.

The design team love seeing your pages come in throughout the month, and we are looking forward to seeing your interpretation of this month's sketch. Get scrapping!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

May Sketch Challenge Winner

Thank you to everyone who joined in with the May Sketch Challenge. We love seeing all of your creations. As always there can be only one winner.

Drum roll please....

the winner is...


We loved the use of circles in place of the triangles and what a fabulous photo! Contact Lianne for your £20 e voucher Debbie.

Watch this space for the next Sketch challenge.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Shaping up

Hello ladies! Tracie here, this month I have been playing with all the little wooden veneer shapes that are available in the shop.

There are lots of shapes available but I loved the tiny little sundrifter ones from Studio Calico, and because they aren't themed you can pretty much do anything with them.

For my first layout I started arranging them to make branches and flowers.
Once I was happy with the arrangment I glued them down onto my background paper (I used the stunnning Basic Grey avalon paper from the Serenade range) then I painted over it all with white acrylic paint to soften it.
Sticking with the Serenade range (Just because it's so lush!!) I cut some branches and birds from the Chemise paper, to give it some depth.

Then all it needed was a few rub-ons (I do like my rub-ons!!) I used the Pink Paislee Cottage Farms ones, I also added a little of the white acrylic to the edges of the photo to soften the edges.

For my second layout I wanted to try a much bolder approach.
The wonderful thing about these shapes is that they work equally well on vintage and modern layouts, and are also ideal for adding just a little interest to the more simple style of layout too, the possibilities are endless!

Foregoing all patterned papers, I started off by stamping a background with the fabby Beed Background stamp from Basic Grey Hipster collection onto white cardstock.

Sticking with the Hipster range and I was back to my trusted rub-ons again!  These aren't just any rub-on these, oh no!! These are flocked rub-ons!! ease and texture all in one rub!!

I added  a few Hipster alphas and a mix of embellishments from Fancy Pants and Pink Paislee
and a photo of my gorgeous grandson of course!

then out came the shapes agan!
This time I inked them slightly and glued them randomly all over the stamped background.

I've loved playing around with these shapes and seeing just what can be done with them, but I would love to see your creations, so please leave a link to your work in the comments box so I can have a nosey!!

That's all from me for now, I'm off to enjoy what's left of this lovely weather!