Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Heartstrings and Other Things

After the mammoth delivery of quality custom handmade wedding decor from my mum, the pressure is off me somewhat as I realise there's not too much for me to do.

The legendary bunting

I have had some decorations knocking about for a while, and now seems as good a time as any to share them.

I had to have hearts on a string:

I also had to have a sprinkling of tiny spheres:

There's more to do, but I'm not so stressed about it all.


Sunday, 26 June 2011



They're not exactly my go-to shades. But lately, I've come to see that I can use them.

In baking if not in crafting. Actually, I did try here to use lilacs - that was really difficult. And more recently I tried to use them to make a card for a friend to give to her mum.

For the card I also used something else I don't love: flowersoft. I was pretty brutal with it though, so I think (hope!) it's stayed in place.

Anyone out there got a least favourite colour/shadeset? Wanna share how you get over it?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wedding Flowers

This week I've been busy on the beginnings of bouquets for my bridesmaids.

Here's a little peek of something I've made so far:

And here's a peek of some of the flowers my mum has made:

I'm still trying to pin down all my ideas for my own bouquet. They're all still flying around in my head. If you have a tip, an idea, or a link to a bouquet that made you go 'ooooh', please let me know!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Happily Ever After: Wedding Card Special

While I was happy to have gone to my first wedding EVER as a guest a couple of weeks ago* some of my friends are boasting about having five, six, seven or even eight weddings to go to this year.

*It's true! Always the bridesmaid, never just a guest. What can I do about that? You might think it's handy to never have had to choose my own outfit, but I was itching to:

Anyway... one of my friends asked me to make her a batch of congratulations cards for all the lovers out there. I duly obliged, having weddings on the brain and all. She told me a little bit about each couple and I tried to interpret that and turn it into a card. I found this immensely fun. Some of my creations:

Mostly keeping it quite simple, aren't I? I can't let myself go with cards like I do these days with a scrapbook page. I'm itching to make another layout, but have to focus this week on making flowers. Sneak peek coming soon!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Punky Scraps Challenge 20: 5,4,3,2,1...

Challenge number 20 is up at Punky Scraps: to create a page using the following:

5 photos
4 alphas
3 patterned papers
2 colours of mists/pain
1 stamp
and also incorporate the colour blue.

My layout for this challenge looks like this:

Five photos - yes! I've been collecting these over the years and so badly wanted to use them on a page but am scared these days of using too many photos on a page. Perfect timing the challenge! Four alphas - yes, if you count either a different colour (white and black Thickers) or my own handwriting. Three patterned papers - yes: the background and two little flags on the right. Two colours - well, I used a blue home-made paint mist (and it worked!) and some white gesso. One stamp - that's the little star imprint in the gesso.

Oh, and blue - well, yes :-). The little piece of ephemera is actually a part of the most awesome event leaflet I've ever seen. It's a few pages full of really old circus-style adverts for events going on at one of our favourite local venues, aptly named (for this layout) 'Magic Mirrors'. It's where we go dancing - it has a proper wooden dance floor and a glass dome in the ceiling that splits sunlight into rainbows on the inside - no need for a glitterball in the summer when it's still light at 10.30pm.

My home-made paint spray. Proud!

I actually used a Scrapbook Challenges sketch for this one: number 256, which looks like this:

Go and get Punky at Punky Scraps by joining in the challenge. You know you want to!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

My Heart Belongs To Daddy

Although I can't claim I ever was a daddy's girl (nor much of a mummy's girl, for that matter), I can say with certainty that as I've grown up my relationship with my dad has also grown. I now see him as full of wisdom, happy to give advice if I ask for it, supportive and then some, relaxed enough to trust my judgement on things, uncomplaining, and accepting of those traits I have which set me apart from the rest, and from him.

I know this post is kind of coming a few days early, but it's because I want to share a little tutorial for the card I made for this month's Scrapbook Challenges card feature and Fathers' Day.

I made a card that combines the fashionable accordion flower with the more old-fashioned rosette.

So, grab your materials: cardstock, concentrically sized circles, and a strip of paper to score into the accordian flower. I embossed the lighter blue cardstock with a woodgrain folder to give the card more masculinity.

Ink all the edges of all your shapes, fold the cardstock into a card and stick the embossed part onto the cardbase. Then start to make the flower.

Score the strip of paper (30cm in length; the width should measure half the diameter you want the flower to be) at 1cm intervals and then fold alternately (mountain and valley folds for origamists). Stick together with double-sided tape (this is what you see in the picture above).

Push one edge of the flower in towards the centre. This is really where the magic happened for me - the first time I made one, it all suddenly just popped  into place. Hold it down with one hand, and stick your largest circle on to hold it in place. I'd recommend using a hot glue gun for this.

Then stick on the medium circle and then the small circle. It's a good idea to punch an extra one to stick on the back so it's easy to stick the flower to the card.

Then cut two ribbon-shaped  strips (or, yes, use ribbon!) and stick them onto the back before sticking the flower onto the card (again, with a glue gun).

Finish off by cannibalising some wrapping paper, or using specific scrapbooking fathers' day embellishments.

A quick reminder: remember this page I made recently? Well, it's up for lifting on the True XOXO Girls blog - get your entries in in the next two weeks to be in with a chance of winning some goodies!

Oh, and before I go... check me out for getting featured on Paper Issues!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

At Last

As you may remember, I had (like most other people out there) some computer issues a couple of months ago. Namely, my computer showed a dislike of wine and shut down with a flicker and a huff, and wouldn't wake up again.

Apparently, though, it is possible to dry them out. After purchasing a shiny new laptop, I eventually braved the on button of the old one... and whaddaya know? It works. Just like it did before.

So, at last, I can share the original photos of our wedding invitations.

cute, no?

This is but one of the piles of them:

And here is what they look like on the inside:

You simply slide off the outer band, and you have three cards - the invitation proper, some info and an RSVP:

We used Bazzill swiss dotted white cardstock for the sleeve and some paper from MME for the cards (Lost & Found Union Square "Happy" paper). I did a little bit of letterpressing for the "&" circle, some fussy cutting to get the printed swallows, and employed some good old Cricut action for the hearts and stars. Oh, and a circle punch for the sleeve.

Now, although I didn't think I was doing any jumping, there really is a bandwagon. And not in a bad way. Over at Paper Issues there is a linkup opportunity for wedding projects. Yes, I've already played linky a few times this month, and there will be more linkups before the month is over!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Layout Central

I'm really happy with the amount of layouts I've made so far this year - I think it's 24 or 25 - and it seems I've finally arrived at an acceptable amount of time it takes to produce a layout. It's a combination of sketching and planning in advance, knowing my stash much better now it's sorted and tidied logically, and generally being more aware of placement, colour matching and style.

In fact, I'm on such a roll that I need to post 2 layouts today - a Punky Scraps one and a Creative Scrappers one. Get me!

First up, the Punky Scraps challenge site had its number 19 challenge this week, and since I'm now on the DT, I had to play along. In just 19 challenges the site has gained over 200 followers - it's on a roll too. The number 19 challenge was to be inspired by this photo:

And this is my layout:

If you want to play along for a prize, go to the Punky Scraps site and get scrapping.

Next up, the number 159 sketch from Creative Scrappers got a hold of me on Friday. The sketch:

And my layout:

I journalled about what I most like when I'm feeling under the weather - my man, my dog, my dressing gown, the sofa, a cup of tea, and maybe a film. I actually put this page up on the Scrapbook Challenges site under the ABCs of Me challenge for the letter U: the challenge was to scrap about when you're feeling under the weather.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Saving the Date: Waterfall Card Tutorial

As soon as I asked my husband-to-be if he'd prefer lollipop or filmstrip STDs, he immediately pricked up his ears. The plan was always that I was going to be making all the stationery and decorations myself,* but suddenly my man was offering assistance. It wasn't until we started making the STDs that I fully realised how grateful I was - and how good he is at doing stuff with paper ("It's just lady-tools, isn't it?").

* Later it turned out my mum would make a very large portion of the decorations too.

Anyway, we opted for a filmstrip-style design. But we wanted something a little different, a lot fun, and somewhat interactive. Here's what we came up with:

It's a postcard, a photo booth strip, and a waterfall, all in one. We received such awe-filled praise from our guests-to-be that, apart from feeling very pleased with ourselves, we want to share what we've done. So here's a little step-by-step on how to make a waterfall save the date postcard.

A few words of advice before you begin: decide on - and print - the final photos you want to use BEFORE cutting any card. It'll save you loads of time, stress and wastage. Even though you'll probably take some amazing photos that you love, you might have to let go of them and accept that they don't work. For this project the photos were portrait and roughly passport-sized (4.3cm x 5.6cm to be exact). All relevant measurements I give will relate to this size.

For the mechanics of the card:

1. Cut your card to size, and print your message on the back. (If you've chosen an image to print on the front, like we did, print this too now.) Our cards were postcard size - A6/C6.

2. Cut a strip of card that is as long as the postcard is wide and wide enough to be sturdy (2). Ours were 2.4cm wide by 10.5cm long.

3. Cut another strip that is as long as an A4 piece of paper, portrait-wise, and as wide as your photos (3). Ours were 4.3cm wide by 29.7cm long.

4. Measure where you want your small strip (4a) - about a fifth of the way up from the bottom of the card is good. Measure where the large strip needs to be folded - one end needs to join to the small strip (4b). And you don't want it to extend past the top of the postcard, so you'll need to make a fold there (4c).

Then fold and score the large strip like this:

so that the intervals between folds are half the height of your photos, except for the first one (the part where your large strip will join onto your small strip).

5. Fix the small strip across the postcard - with glue, double-sided tape, eyelets, brads, whatever you want. Just make sure you only fix it at the edges because the large strip needs to move underneath the small strip (5).

6. Fix the large strip to the small strip with glue or double-sided tape (4b again).

7. If you want to, back your photos with patterned paper:

- do this before sticking the photos down.

8. Then stick them down, the last photo in the sequence first (on top of the part that joins the small strip), by applying the glue or double-sided tape to the large strip and then putting the photo in place (it's much easier this way round, trust me!).

9. To make sure your recipients know what to do when they receive the card, give them a little instruction (9). Alternatively, you can punch a hole and add a ribbon if you prefer, or anything else you can think of.

Et voila!

It took us about 10 hours altogether to make 50 of these. That DOESN'T include the time we spent agonizing over the photos, which I don't really want to talk about! The chosen pics in the end were a compromise but we're essentially happy with them... except that we are a little gutted that this one had to be vetoed (yes, my fault, because I didn't like my expression):

Still, we had fun! I hope you like them!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Moving up a Gear

With the exception of some DT posts that will appear from time to time, I’d like to officially declare June the Wedding Month here on my blog. Not because I’m jumping on the bandwagon: oh no. It’s because we’ve just returned from a long wedding weekend where we watched our friends get married, and as their wedding was one day shy of three months ahead of ours, we always felt invincible when it came to the organisational side of things.

Until now.

That date has passed, and we are now sharing a house with a pesky but necessary countdown timer. Every now and then this little fella jumps out at you from behind doors and makes you jump out of your skin. But we’re stuck with him for a while, a while that will speed by I’m sure (even if we suddenly need it not to).
So I’m taking a deep breath, and diving into Wedding Month with the card I made for our friends. It’s a box card of sorts, in that it is box shaped and it comes in a box. I wanted to make a summery, not-too-feminine (there are, after all, both a bride and a groom involved), cute-but-not-sickly kind of card.

I repurposed the box from some old packaging I kept...

 ...I covered it with some paper from a leaflet picked up a couple of weeks ago that I matched to some MME and Echo Park papers...

...added some American Crafts ribbon for the pullout...

...and, ooh, stamped on a chipboard frame and then chalked over it.

The card can stand up on its own (kinda useful) and is lined on the inside so whichever angle you look at it from, it's pretty.

That's about the extent of my sharing my Wedding Month time with others. From here on in, it's almost exclusively going to be about our wedding. Self-indulgent? Perhaps. A chronicle of creations? Certainly. Interesting? I hope so.