Friday 30 September 2011

Another Happy Day with Echo Park

Hey everyone, it's Ifa with you today. Are you having a great day ?

My layout today is made with the Happy Days range by Echo Park. The colours are fun and say, happy, to me...very, very happy! Perfect for some summer photos.

1. I started by stamping with Jenni Bowlin Labels stamp set onto 5 different patterned papers.

2.Next I cut around the labels before arranging them down the middle of a white cardstock. I also lightly drew around each label with a pencil to mark their positions. I wanted to add the sun behind one of the labels so I drew this in.

3.I copied the sun on to a piece of pattern paper and cut it out. Warning, this bit is a bit fiddly.

4.I colour in some AC Thickers fabric stickers with a blue marker pen. I used Faber Castell Stampers Big Brush but any marker should do the job. I tested on some less useful letters like X before I started.

5. I drew a frame around a white cardstock before running some yellow and blue watercolour along the edge. Then I added all the above to the cardstock.

6.I drew and colour in a beach hut and added some flags to the title.

7.I added the photos to either side of the title. Next I planned my journalling by writing on some post it notes. This enabled me to check for space and placement. I cut and moved the paragraphs around until I am happy.

8. I drew in some pencil lines for my journalling before writing it out.

9.I didn't like the original red flag so I drew one out on patterned paper to replace it.

10. I added some stickers from the coordinating sheet. I added some machine stitching on the index stickers to finish them off.

And here it is, the finished layout, documenting our trip to Provincetown on Cape Cod. We were here for whale watching and it was truly the best day ever.

If you are not confident sketching your own flag and beach hut, here is my own drawing. Click through to get the original size, save to your computer and print out at 5"x7".

That's all from me today. Hope you will give this a go and please do share if you do.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

~*Using Banners*~

Hi all, Gems here.
At the most recent CHA show, something that jumped out at me was the use of ‘banner’ shapes being used on layouts, embellishments and also incorporated into patterned paper designs. So this month I decided to use banner shapes on three layouts I created using the absolutely gorgeous, My Mind’s Eye Lost and Found Two – Sunshine line

As always the papers were of fantastic quality and the glitter on some of the designs add the perfect amount of pretty sparkle. 

All of the patterned papers on my layouts (with exception of the background on the first layout) are from the 6x6 paper pad which is incredible value for money. From this single pad I created three layouts and still have lots left to play with. 

I also used the following products:
You are my Sunshine Title 
Sassafras Mini Alpha
Kraft Mini Alphabeans
Jenni Bowlin Chipboard Buttons

[You are my Sunshine]

For my first layout I chose to scrap this photo of my daughter as a bridesmaid back in July. 

[Please click to view the image larger]

The title embellishment provided a perfect title for my layout which obviously co-ordinated perfectly. 

I love to layer on my layouts and bannered edges create a perfect alternative to your usual straightforward straight cut.  

The key embellishment is from a previous My Mind's Eye line.

[Year One]

For my second layout, I decided to mat my photo on a strip of patterned papers cut into banner shapes. I think they add a real interest to the layout. 

[Please click to view the image larger]

[Tree Hugger]

My third and final layout features two flag embellishments also cut into the banner shape. 

[Please click to view the image larger]

 It also features a strip of burlap cut into the banner shape. 

The flag embellishments were super simple to make. Simply, cut a length of patterned paper and cut into a banner shape and wrap around a cocktail stick/skewer.

 So why not have a go at adding some banner shapes to your layouts? If you do, then pop a comment in the comments sections as I would love to come take a look! 

As always, thanks for stopping by xx

Saturday 24 September 2011

* * American Crafts Daydreams * *

Hello all, it's Laura here with my first blog post for Sarah's Cards!

So for my first blog post I thought I would share with you a couple of my ideas on how to incoperate cards and envelopes into your scrapbooking layouts.

For these layouts I am going to be using the gorgeous bright and cheery 'daydreams' range by American Crafts.

Part of this range are the 'Just Write' cards and envelopes set. For just £5.99 you get 12 cards and 12 envelopes that match the Daydreams range. The cards are all A2 size which is almost 4x6 in size.

The trick is to look beyond their original purpose of being 'just' cards and envelopes and look at how they can be used as embellishments on your layouts.

Firstly... you can use the envelope as a means to store some memorablia on your page. This is particularly helpful when you want to keep several paper items from an event but you have not got room to scrap them all on your page.

I scrapped my friend's recent (and beautiful) wedding. (She had a photobooth, which as scrappers we obviously totally adored, but that is a story for another day!) I wanted the photobooth strip to be the focus picture for the layout but I also wanted to save the invitations for the wedding day itself. So I used one of the envelopes to create a pocket as part of my page and inside his envelope I slipped in the invitations. This way the details of the day will stay safe, they will stay with the layout and I know that I will love looking back on the invites in years to come.

I also used one of the card fronts as part of my title. This 'smile' card was a portrait card that I laid flat and scrapped as if it was a seperate journalling card or patterned paper/cardstock.

I also used one of my all time favourite thickers font, these fabric 'patchwork' thickers in aqua are a great colour match for the Daydreams range. I then jazzed them up a bit with a few bits of bling. (FYI: only £1 for a sheet of gems.. such great value & they will last for ages!)

Alternatively you could use your envelope to store additional photos from an event. Maybe ones that are not quite 'perfect' but you still love.

For my next layout I scrapped my little nephew's half birthday... again a story for another day, but basically he was born quite close to Christmas so we kinda skipped his first birthday last year and celebrated it in June instead!

I had a couple of 6x4 photos that I wanted to use for the page but around 5 or 6 extra ones that I liked but didn't work as well as a combo. So I popped these into an envelope and constructed my page around this element. Again once this layout ends up in my album I will know that the photos will stay together and in years to come I will be able to pull all the photos out to enjoy them.

Again for this layout I used a card front design as part of my title work but this time I also used the card for my journalling. The full sized card didn't quite work with my layout but that was easy to fix by chopping the card in half. I added my journalling inside using my all time favourite pen (American Crafts Precision Pen... 0.3) and the outlining was done with a white pen (Ranger Inkessentials)

And finally...

You could use the cards to actually write a letter.

Though of course I didn't post it but I scrapped it!

On this layout I wrote a letter to our baby and included my thoughts on becoming a parent, how I am looking forward to meeting her and how I imagine what she will look like and how that first cuddle will feel.

This time I stuck the envelope to my layout first and then the card is attached to the envelope flap. This allows the card to open up fully so that the journalling can be read easily.

The only other embellishments I used on these pages was some bakers twine. Again the aqua works really well with this range, alongside the pink twine.

And then... after three layouts completed. I still have 9 cards and envelopes left for future layouts... or I could use them to write to my friends.... or my mum.... or anyone really.

Friday 23 September 2011

My Baby Cuz!

For my next layout using the Amy Tangerine range, I've used the Fabric Paper as my main background and using the AC Glitter Yellow gel pen, I've highlighted the yellow hearts, giving a touch of sparkle. It hasn't shown up that well on the photos, but I've also used it on my own 3d accent camera sticker cut from the from "The Good Life" paper, which does show up a bit better on the second photo.



Wednesday 21 September 2011

A Doodling Footballer

Hi all, when I was deciding what to choose for my blog work this month, the Amy Tangerine range got my attention.  I love the doodle style accent stickers and the doodle designs on some the papers.  I quite often have a bit of a doodle on my pages, especially outlining embellishments and photos etc. But I always use black.   Then, I saw the AC Candy Gel pens and thought - lets try the white (first!)

Firstly, I doodled around the edge of the cardstock, several times, before putting down my first matted layer and then I doodled around the edge of the layer, and each subsequent layer after that, as well as the hand cut elements from the papers.  To add a touch of extra dimension that the accent stickers already gave, I added Glossy Accents to the heart on the camera sticker and the "you are my favourite" sticker.  I also added a thin line of Glossy Accents over the stitched effect on the Thickers.

The row of fabric hearts on the left side of the top photo are cut from the fabric paper.

Thanks all and happy doodling :).


Tuesday 20 September 2011


So here is the second page I have made using the same paper collection MME Lost & Found 2 - Breeze.

This time I put my chains to use to add extra texture and style to my flowers and sticker embellishments, it was easy peasy to cut up the chains using an old pair of scissors and they are attached to my embellishments using a few drops of Glossy Accents.

I also used a scrap of sequin waste i found lurking around my craft cupboard to creat the paint effects with a sponge dabber.

Here is my supply list;

MME Lost & Found 2 Breeze -

Train Paper
Boyish Title
Preciuos Brads

WRMK Sewn Cardstock

Kraft Cardstock

Ball Chains

Adorn It - Etched alpha

Have fun all xx

Sunday 18 September 2011

Playing with chains

Hi all.. This month for my blog work I decided to give myself a little challenge by creating layouts using ball chains for embellishments, as I was browsing through Sarahs goodies in the shop I came across this little bag of ball chains and it got my mind in a tizzy thinking how I could use them on my pages.

I chose to use the gorgous new range from MME Lost & Found 2, I thought these papers would compliment the chains perfectly as you will see with my first page.

I decided to use the chains for picture hangings and I think they look really effective, I love the chunkyness and the sparkle it adds to my page. Here is the list of supplies I have used for this layout. MME Lost & Found papers;
Breeze boyish plaid (I have used the reverse side for my base)
Breeze Dream - Stamped (beautiful glittered stamped paper)
Breeze Dream - Wallpaper
MME Breeze precious brads
Adorn it - Sketched alphabet
WRMK Sewn Cardstock in grass green & sky blue
Tropical Hydranga in navy blue
Ball Chains
Chalk eyes ink pad in brown

I hope you enjoy my page, more ideas for chains tomorrow.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Making the chop!

When I chat to fellow Scrapbookers, there seems to be one technique above all others that divides us memory makers - hand cutting! It seems we either love it, creating numerous embellishments and details from patterned paper, or simply avoid the "fussy cutting" like the plague!

Personally, it's a technique I love and couldn't survive (scrapbooking wise!) without. When you start thinking about how a piece of paper could be hand cut, a world of possibilities (and endless original embellishments) are suddenly within your reach - patterned paper can be far more than a flat, dimensionless matt for your photos.

This month I decided to work with some gorgeous Authentique papers. They really are fabulous - a very heavy weight, luxurious feeling paper with an appealing, slightly dimpled texture. If you like My Minds Eye, you will love these!

When I clapped eyes on the beautiful Uncommon range, I knew I had to get my hand-cutting mitts on a sheet of Unique....

Sadly as 12x12 is a little small to wallpaper my living room with (!!!)- I excitedly made plans to hand cut those beautiful roses to create some dimensional blooms for my scrapbook.

The main thing that appears to put people off hand cutting is that is is just too fiddly - well that needn't be the case. First of all, the right pair of scissors makes a big difference. A small pair, with sharp, pointed  and slightly curved blades make getting into small spaces easy. They needn't be expensive, I picked mine up from the stationary aisle at the supermarket a few years ago and they have served me ever since:

Spring loaded scissors, although more expensive, are also highly recommended and require less effort to create the cutting motion, so are great for tired hands or those with dexterity issues.

I began creating my rose embellishment by cutting one of the large motifs from the paper:
It looks really intricate and fussy doesn't it?! Truth be told - it wasn't! And so here is the most important lesson in hand cutting:
Pick Your Battles!
If something looks too fiddly or complicated or delicate, just leave it off your cutting - just chop it straight off! Who is going to know (or even care) that you did not stick to the detailed image exactly?! So many people are put off hand cutting as they think it is too intricate and time consuming, but you can make it as intricate as you choose.

Here's a shot of the pattern paper intact - the thicker black line is the cutting path I chose; the coloured parts are what I kept, and all the grey areas outside of the black line is what I ignored. Any bits of the design that were too fiddly I simply didn't bother cutting.
Once cut out, I began giving my flowers  bit of dimension. Working on the stems and leaves, I curled them over the blade of my scissors (a bit like you do with curling ribbon) to give them a curved appearance, holding the parts I wanted to remain flat tightly between my fingers so I could get my scissors in closely to the leaves.
Once I was happy with the stems and leaves, I began giving the roses a spot of 3D treatment. The beauty of a repeated pattern like the one on the Unique sheet is that you have several prints of the same image that you can use on top of each other to build depth, almost like decopage. But rather than simply layering up flat images with 3D foam, I took inspiration from the MLS Roll Ups I used last month, and set about creating more realistic floral shapes.

I began by roughly cutting one of the repeated rose shapes from my remaining paper.
Next I cut a rough spiral shape into it (that's twice I've used the word "rough" - see, who's been kidding us all this time that hand cutting had to be a fine art?!) and inked all the edges. This was made easier by gently pulling the spiral apart.
Then, starting from the outside and working inwards, I tightly rolled up my spiral. Squeezing it tightly as you go means it will eventually hold more of a swirling, rosebud-like shape - paper is surprisingly mouldable in ways like this.
I then let it uncurl slightly (or bloom!!) by leaving it on a flat surface.

Finally, I added some adhesive directly to the flat flower part of the hand cut section from earlier:
.....and stuck my curled centre on top. I repeated this process for the other two roses, until my embellishment was complete:
If you scroll back to the first image of the flat hand cut section, you'll see the difference in dimension!!

Here's my the finished article on my page, which uses other papers from the Uncommon range:

Click on any of the pictures to view a larger image

If hand cutting still seems a little daunting, note that I also hand cut doily shapes from the Original pattern paper and layered them together under my photo, and some strips of stamps from the Rare paper which I snipped from the sheet using a pinking shears for a stamp-like edge. It can be that simple!
I embellished my page using some lovely vellum butterflies and jewelled stick pins by Jenni Bowlin.

In the top right corner of my page, more of the butterflies flutter across the Gifted paper background, which I spattered with Pomegranate mist.
I added a few dots of Liquid Pearls as the butterflies flight path, and used them to create a heart frame around the subjects of my photo. To do this, I cut a heart template from ordinary A4 paper, and placed it over my photo,
then simply dotted the Liquid pearls all around the outside edge before carefully removing the paper:

Some sparkly Thickers completed the look of my feminine but glitzy page.

I hope that my post has given you a bit of inpsiration to unlock at the potential of your flat patterned papers with a spot of handcutting! It can be simple to do, and is always effective :)

Thank you for stopping by, as always xxx