Saturday 29 December 2012

Repeat after me

Hello lovely ladies. It is Ifa with you today. How was your Christmas ?  Are you enjoying the holiday ?  I am.  Though I share the common problem at this time of year, too much eating. The thing is, nothing looks good in the sale on my fat tummy! Fortunately, that could be a blessing for the bank balance.

I have a couple of layouts to share with you today. I have the tendency to pack my layouts full with embellishments; more often than not, they are on top of each other, jostling for position. I wanted to try something different this month. I am going for a limited range of embellishments. I am opting to lay out my embellishments in a row. I am using a common design idea, repetition.

In this layout, I stamped "hello" three times before adding Hello chipboard letters underneath. It echoes the spirit of the photo somewhat. We were on an empty beach, making silly poses, perhaps even shouting out our Hellos.

I wanted to use some fancy Tim Holtz type safety pins but I couldn't find any in my stash so I opted for a row of three safety pins.  I appear to have built up quite a collection from all the dresses I have bought!

Now, something that I have a lot of is buttons.  I added a row of five sweet buttons, some of them vintage, to this layout.
The main area of these layouts run across the middle, top to bottom.  Most of my layouts take the form of a cross so I sprinkled some sequins across the middle to complete the cross.
I had intended to fill a whole layout with this idea of simple repetitions but as this was a new idea for me, I don't yet have the courage. So I opted for a couple of simple layouts.
A beach layout from the summer,
and a holiday photo from Morocco, many years ago.
Hope you all have the Happiest and Healthiest New Year.

Thursday 27 December 2012

A little gift of thanks.

Hi, Tracy here. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and got all you wished for.
Now it's time to start  thinking about sending those thank you notes for the gifts we received.
I thought it would be nice to give a little gift of thanks, instead of just a card.  So I made a little set of cards for the recipient to use throughout the year.
I started by making six very simple cards, then I made a folder to present them in, along with the envelopes. The cards measure 6" x 4 1/4".
The whole thing only took around an hour and a half to make from start to finish, so it wouldn't take long to make a few of these for your friends and family.

Here are the cards.

 Here's how I made the folder.

The inside....

 .... the finished project.

Links to the supplies I used for this project.

Bella Blvd - Birthday Girl
Bella Blvd - Birthday Boy
Bella Blvd - Card sentiments
Bella Blvd - Designer tapes

Sunday 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Back in November, with Christmas fast approaching, I ordered from the gorgeous Studio Calico Wonderland range. I was particularly intrigued by the Die Cut Polaroid Shapes.

                                 Studio Calico - Wonderland - Die Cut Polaroid Shapes
However, when they arrived I had no Christmas photos printed out yet. After a quick flick through my “to scrap” pile I noticed that some of the Polaroid die cuts were actually perfect for these photos of my son learning to ride his bike back in August. Both the colour and the wording were perfect. So I decided to go down the “Christmas papers for a non-Christmas layout” road.
The Sugarland paper has a gorgeous road map on one side that does have the odd snowman on it. By careful cutting of paper and positioning of photos I was able to hide those tiny snowmen leaving no trace of winter or Christmas on the page.

On each of the three pages I’m sharing today I have used the polaroid die cuts in a different way. On this page I used two of them to frame photographs. I added some washi tape which helped to make the words stand out and coordinate the die cuts with the woodgrain paper behind the main photo.  

For the second and third pages I got around to printing Christmas photos. My three boys really enjoyed our visit to Santa this year but the photos we got sure don’t look like they did! Still, they need to be scrapped. For the first Christmas page I documented my eldest son’s struggle with whether to believe in Santa or not. We have been calling it his “Christmas Cold”. This time I used the Polaroid die cut to frame the title. I backed it with some patterned paper first, then added Thickers and alphabet stickers to the already existing word to create the title.

My third and final page uses an almost identical photograph to document my middle son’s love of Christmas. I backed the die cut with patterned paper again, but this time I asked him to write in the space to finish off my journaling. I also added a cute Christmas tree from the coordinating sticker sheet.

There are 12 of the Polaroid Die Cuts in the packet so I still have plenty to play with. Have you used them yet? Leave us a link to any pages you have created with them.

All of us at Sarahscards hope you have an amazing Christmas. We can’t wait to see your holiday pages so please do leave us links here or on our Facebook page.  

Merry Christmas!

Sunday 16 December 2012

Embellishing your Chistmas!

If you're as unorganised as me, it's that time of year when any spare cash is being plunged into (starting!!) your Christmas shopping, and the odd festive scrapbooking treat for yourself may well be pushed to the back burner. With that in mind, I decided this month to choose just a few brand new select seasonal embellishments that I could easily mix in with paper and other bits already in my stash, so as not to break my budget and to help me feel good with a bit of stash busting.

I plumped for the gorgeous Sleigh Ride vellum embellishments from Crate, a star mask and some tin badges from Studio Calico....and then, as you can see from the picture below, ever a slave to my patterned paper addiction, I crumbled when I saw the sweet "Rudolph" paper in the Crate collection!

The first page I made with my goodies records a recent "Santa Jog" my fiance and I took part in for the British Heart Foundation. I started my love-hate relationship with running earlier this year when I embarked on the C25k programme, and although I still can't profess to being able to run 5k yet, I really have developed by running ability more than I thought I ever would and it has helped me to loose 24lbs so far. My commitment to the programme does dip when I find it challenging - so my "darling" other half entered my into the Santa Jog without me knowing as a way to step up training efforts!

Click on the picture for a larger image
I began by using the rear of the Rudolph paper as my base - I loved the geometric tree pattern in pale ice blue. Wanting to get those cute deers in on the action - I popped a slice along the bottom of my page. I love that scrapping in A4 allows me to use a patterned paper as my base sheet and still have some left over - especially when they are gorgeous double sided designs like this.

I layered lots of the vellum tags on top of each other to create an area where my title would go - I loved that their translucent nature allowed the patterns to still subtly show through. The map tag was a must for my running themed page! For my title itself, I used some of the lovely letter stickers from the Echo Park Photo Freedom sticker sheet I used last month (read the blog post here). I created the date using a December sticker from the same sheet, and the one of the vellum numbers that are in the pack from Crate. 
You may notice a little silver star peeping out from behind the photo. I had a go at using the star mask and sweeping some Liquid Pearls through it. It was a little hit and miss; if you pulled the mask of too soon the pearls would pool into a blob, and if you left it on too long, the pearls would pull away with the mask and take a little of the paper with it too. But it was fun to try something a little different. I simply taped the mask into place, squeezed a little Liquid Pearls through each hole, and then swiped over it with an old store card.
 I topped each up as needed until the Liquid Pearls was flush with the top of the mask.
Underneath my picture I popped a row of punched hearts to represent the charity that organised the event. I punched them from some Kraft, but felt they needed something a little extra. So I took a scrap of card, and covered it with some washi tape. I added the strips at an angle as I wanted the striped to be reminiscent of candy canes.
After trimming the rough edge so it would fit, I popped it through the same heart punch.
This gave me a strip of candy-cane striped hearts. I cut a few free from the chain with a small scissorsand added them at random to my original strip of Kraft hearts.

The final touch to the page was adding some more of the badges to the corner of the page. I used some of the vellum numbers as decorative frames for them - they were the perfect size for the job!

For my second page, I managed to avoid patterned paper completely - a rare thing for me! I decided to use a piece of the delicious new dark Kraft for my base, and the star mask with some white Mister Hueys to create a background. I absolutely love filling the house with candles at this time of year, and wanted to record some of those little pockets of glowing light.

With this in mind, and looking at the "fading" pattern on the mask, where there is a heavy concentration of stars at the bottom and then fading away towards the top; I decided that I would pivot the mask around a point at the centre of the page, to create a pattern that appeared to be "glowing" right from the middle:

I wasn't too concerned about the overlapping marks you can see in the middle - I had three photos and I knew I was going to put them in a triangle formation (like a Christmas tree!) right in the middle so this would be covered. The important thing for me was to create an effect of the stars radiating towards the four corners.

Similarly, I wasn't worried about the untidy misting at edges where the mask hadn't covered (or the punched "nibble" out of the top left corner!), I always have a border to my pages and knew I could cover this up with that. However, this time, rather than mounting my page onto a sheet of card stock for this, I decided to make a border with some lovely wide washi tape. I created neat mitred edges by folding back the tape as you can see in the picture below, making a firm crease as a cutting guide, and then trimming the excess away with a scissors.

With my base completed, I was ready to start on the pretty bits! Here's my finished page:
 For my title, I altered the "Let it Snow"vellum tag to "Glow" using some of the stickers on the second Echo Park Photo Freedom stickers sheet I used in November. I kept the embellishment simple, allowing the photos and the misted background to be the focal point.
A few dotted pearls and wooden stars added a small, festive finishing touch.

Finally, for a very quick make, I whipped up a tag for a special friend:
I misted a scrap of kraft card using the star mask. The concentrated band of colour at the bottom of the tag was card below the edge of the mask that wasn't covered - I loved the contrast between the block of colour and the star pattern so decided to include it when I cut my tag shape, rather than trim it away. A quick strip of washi tape, a tin badge and wooden stars, and hey presto - a hand made tag in minutes.

As mentioned by Jen in her post, we can't at present share direct product links with you like we usually do due to the exciting happenings over at the shop! If you haven't already checked out the brand new and totally revamped website at its temporary address - go now!!!

That just leaves me to wish you a very merry Christmas from me, and a happy New Year!
See you in January 2013 xxx

Thursday 13 December 2012

{Speciality papers}

This month I wanted to highlight to you a few different companies that make what I call "speciality" papers - those 12x12 sheets that are something a bit more than just flat card stock or paper. You can get a huge variety of different designs and styles these days from lots of different manufacturers. They include everything from varnished designs to embossed to glittered to transparencies and fabric papers.

You may have noticed that there's something exciting going on over at the shop - the new & improved website will be up on Friday 14th December so be sure to head over and have a nosey at the refurbishment! As such, links to products I've used will be added to this post once the new website is up and running.

For this page I used four different speciality papers. I use the term "paper" loosely because at the top and bottom is a strip of printed canvas from SEI's Mirelle collection. It has a gorgeous design printed onto neutral canvas material and comes in a 12x12 sheet. I found it cut easily with my trimmer, and adds a lovely tactile element to the page. In strips beside the photo I used a printed kraft design from American Crafts Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go, a gold embossed vellum from American Crafts Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, and an embossed honeycomb design from My Minds Eye Lost & Found 3.

I find that using papers like these means you need only a little simple embellishment, because the designs themselves give depth and interest to the page, and you don't want to cover up those beautiful details too much!

For my second page I used another SEI sheet, this time from the Entrada collection. This stunning lime green "paper" is actually a very fine woven mesh, full of glitter. It's so hard to do it justice in a photograph, but you can see the detail to a certain extent in the close up below. This paper is sturdy enough to go through a trimmer, and punches also work well with it.

I also added some strips of transparency from Hambly - the yellow chevron comes on a sheet with 3 different chevron sizes. I love how transparencies look on a page  - a lovely shiny finish, great for layering but also great used in their own right as a paper strip. 

My go-to suppliers for speciality papers like these are:
My Minds Eye - for glittered papers and embossed finishes
American Crafts - for varnished, embossed, kraft and glittered designs, and for vellum
Hambly - for transparencies
SEI - for foiled and fabric sheets

Monday 10 December 2012

***December sketch challenge***.

I know time is tight at this time of year with all the preparations for Christmas but we hope you'll manage to find some crafting time and play along with our sketch challenge this month.

All you have to do to be in with the chance of winning a £20 e-voucher to spend in the shop, is create a page based on our sketch below, and add a link to your creation to our inlinkz collection at the end of this post by the 31st of December.
 Here's a few examples of how some of the design team have used the sketch to create their layouts.

 Helen rotated the sketch to create this lovely colourful page.

Tracy followed the sketch exactly, and created a page with  muted tones

Ifa swapped the four papers with photos, rotated the sketch, and created this fabulous page.

Lou has recorded her fantastic Triathlon achievement on her page.

Jen has produced this gorgeous page featuring the cutest photo of her Son having his first haircut.

We are all looking forward to seeing your creations.