Saturday 30 July 2011

Birthday Season is around here, anyway. Today we're off to a Leo Party with about 40 others. We're all wishing for sun. But in the event that he doesn't put his hat on and come out to play... actually, there is no back up plan. We'll just have to wish really hard.

I've made a softly coloured card this year for my fiance's mum, who is a Leo like me. I've used my not-so-new but newly favourite technique of cutting lots of strips of paper and fanning them out across the canvas. It was inspired by this week's challenge at the Play Date Cafe, which looks like this:

And my card looks like this:

I'm off to the Leo Party. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

This is My Tree

This is my piece of artwork. Many times pencilled in, many times erased, painted over, re-sanded and re-pencilled. It finally took shape, aptly enough, from the roots upwards; specifically, from the heart.

Annoyingly, I was so eager to get started on it that I completely forgot to take a 'before' picture of the frame. It was something I found on recycling night: down the road from us, someone had left this painting outside their house to be taken. By me, it seems. It's made out of a few short planks (hehe), joined together by a frame at the back, and on it was painted a bottle of wine, and possibly a plate of cheese and some grapes. All very rustic.

But with the power of will, the grease of elbow and a big pot each of white and black paint, I removed all evidence that that wine bottle had ever been there.

Many trees came and went: realistic ones (or attempts at), Tim Burton-esque ones (or attempts at), abstract ones (or attempts at... see where I'm going with this?), but none were quite the tree. So I thought more about what was going on - a wedding, namely - and realised that there needed to be two trees, not just one. A la Louis de Bernieres in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, it was the roots that needed to be joined together.

The idea is for people to stick their thumb in an ink pad and make a print near the branches to represent a leaf. And then they sign their name on their leaf. It'll be a nice 'togethery' reminder of who was there on the day.

Sunday 24 July 2011

One Love

Yesterday I had a hair and make up test run for the wedding. I felt pretty special. A tiny part of me felt a bit silly, going to such showy lengths, but mostly I am just so excited now - it's drawing closer, everything seems to be under control, and we are gonna have such a great party!

I know I'll have a thousand photos to scrap after the wedding, but that doesn't mean I'm holding off on wedding layouts until then.

There was a sketch released earlier this month on the Creative Scrappers site - number 164 - that spoke directly to me. It looks like this:

I needed to scrap it. But I needed a good reason to scrap it. It had to be special.

Then the challenge over at Punky Scraps this week was given to us on the DT, and I knew exactly what to do. If you want to join in, you need to use the following ingredients list to create a layout:
  • Photos of items, not people
  • 3 circles
  • Turquoise
  • Stitching
  • Red
  • 2 or more staples
That first one on the list is what sparked off this whole page.

I'd been working on my photography and took a photo of our rings that I was just so happy with, I had to scrap it. I know people shouldn't really be seeing them yet, but I couldn't resist. In trying to keep things fairly simple I didn't used as many layers as I'd have liked, but I did get to use the beloved Heidi Swapp Ghost Alphas again:

Love that red stitching! Thank you, Creative Scrappers, for such a great sketch; and thank you, Punky Scraps, for a great ingredients list.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Stars in Their Eyes

I can't resist quickly celebrating the fact that I've been selected again for publication in the Scrapbook News and Review magazine - out now - with the page I made about my brother a while ago.

Things are moving very quickly for me at the moment and it's hard not to get dizzy with it all. It's an exciting time!

Some celebratory stars:

I made these by printing a template directly onto the card, cutting them out and ensuring there were flaps on the outside edges, and scoring them so they bend outwards. I cut out the accent parts and stuck them on. Then I proceeded to remove my fingerprints by gluegun, sticking two 'halves' of a star together back-to-back, and pressing down on the points so they bent at the scored  lines and the stars became 3D. They'll hang by fishing wire, from the ceiling of the dance hall at our wedding venue.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

It Must be Alchemy

I have some great, great news to share!

I'm getting married!

....oh, wait, we already knew that. For, like, three years.

So what is it then?


We-ell... a little while ago I made a video tutorial as a job application:

and I got the job!

From September, I'm going to be one of Gauche Alchemy's two video tutorial masters! You can read all about their new DT here. I am so excited to be an Alchemist, to work with all those talented artists, and to be able to display this badge on my blog:

Here is a still of the layout that was the product of the video:

From September, look out for more awesome video tutorials from me which will feature lots of yummy products from the Gauche Alchemy store!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Don't Miss the Punky Scraps Challenge!

Lately I've been gorging myself on sketches, and can't immediately recall the last time I made a layout without some sketch or other I found online.

That's not to say, though, that all design problems are solved and quite often a layout seems to run away with itself and go further beyond the sketch than I'd originally intended. Sometimes this works out, but sometimes it doesn't and I find myself unconvinced of the result.

This is kind of what happened with this layout:

At the end of the parents' visit, I shoved the camera into my fiance's hands, so that we didn't suffer yet another missed photo opportunity.

I wanted more space on the page, and somehow ended up with less. It came from this sketch:

Anyway, that is what this week's Punky Scraps challenge is - to respond to this sketch. Go check out the inspiration, and why not join in? You could win this lovely kit:

Thursday 14 July 2011

Flowers coming out of my ears


Wedding flowers, beautiful wedding flowers. Beautiful handmade wedding flowers. I've just made the bouquets for the bridesmaids, and I can't wait any longer (I can't wait at all, it seems) to share them with you.

I was so unsure for so long how I wanted the bouquets to turn out... I had one idea, then another, then went back to the first, then had a third, a fourth, and so on. Then we changed our minds about the bridesmaids' dresses, and that totally threw all bouquet plans up in the air.

But a late April visit to bluebell-carpeted woods convinced me that uniformity would be most visually impressive. And so I got to work. The result is a simple, understated and elegant little bouquet which should hold up pretty nicely against the bridesmaids' dresses.

Now just to solve the problem of my own bouquet...

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Wedding Trees

What feels like a long time ago I posted about trees. I've been thinking a lot about them since then (and I still have to scrap that photo I took) - in the context of a wedding celebration.

Trees fascinate me, and how people live with them and use them all over the world sometimes just blows my mind.

Tree bridge at Cherrapunji, India (source:

Treehouse in somebody's garden, NY State (source:

Wishing tree in Phuket, Thailand (source:

I love wishing trees as a way of bringing people together for a common reason. For that reason, I'm choosing to feature trees in the wedding. But I'm going to be mean and only share sneaky peeks of them right now.

Actually, they're quite generous, as far as sneak peeks go, don't you think? The first one is mine, the second one my mum made. I'll elaborate on them soon....

Sunday 10 July 2011



...keep from getting stressed at wedding planning

...stop putting pressure on myself

...stand any more negativity!

So... I'm throwing it all off my back. I made a layout for the Punky Scraps challenge site that was like a catharsis for me. And now I feel freed from the clutches of pressure and stress.

It's called 'Can't afford to keep up', and contains a big page of  hidden journalling where I describe the pressure I feel from the scrapbooking industry to spend, spend, spend, how I resist it out of necessity, and how it feels like I'm fighting a sometimes lone battle to do my own thing. This is what the Punky Scraps DT membership has done for me, and the honesty is refreshing.

The challenge this week is to make a page using tissue paper - apt for someone trying to resist all those new products out there, screaming to be bought. Fancy joining in? You could win this if you do:

Friday 8 July 2011

Summer Really Brings Out the Kid in You, Huh?

It's summer! And over at True XOXO the July lifting challenge is up. Go get lifting! Gorgeous prizes to be won!

One of the criteria for creating our liftable pages this month was to use multiple photos that were action shots which really showed our fun side. I browsed our photo collection on the backup drive; then I rummaged amongst the printed photos; and then I dug out the 'old photos' box and went through that. Sad to say, I found absolutely zero photos of me being 'fun'. From this moment forward I resolve to be more 'fun' in photos!

I resorted to using photos of my fiance and his friend, messing about in a playground one Sunday afternoon a few years ago.

'Summer really brings out the kid in you'? Apparently that's not the case for me. But I'm happy I could rely on others to live up to this.

Go on, go get lifting! There is so much inspiration on that site right now!

Monday 4 July 2011

Red, White and Blue

Independence Day in the USA means a celebration in red, white and blue; a European in a multi-cultural city makes something in those colours, but for a different reason.

A couple of friends of ours announced their engagement last week. They live in Delft, in the Netherlands. A windmilly, red, white and blue Congratulations card is snailing its way to them as we speak.

Friday 1 July 2011

Oh My Stars! It's Another Scrapbook Challenges Blog Hop!

It's Scrapbook Challenges blog hop time again. If you've just stopped by and want to join in, start at Brynn's blog. If you don't want to join in, that's OK - but have a look at my red, white and blue page below before you go! Finally, if you're on the hop, you should have arrived here from talented new DT member Anna's blog.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Cheryl, a returning DT member. I'm a lindy-hopping, rockabilly-loving, soon-to-be-married twenty-something living in Brussels, Belgium. I share my time between walking our dog, scrapping, and freelance editing. I'm an increasingly punky scrapper with a penchant for clouds and hot air balloons. Oh, and bunting and stars... so this sketch was right up my street:

Here is my response to this sketch:

The colours actually came about because of my dress in the photo, not because of Independence Day (being as I'm not an American), but it fits well, I think!

Now onto the juicy stuff: blog hop RAKs.

1.  For one person who leaves a comment on all the blogs in the hop, they will get the Salt Air Collection from Cosmo Cricket.

2.  For one person who does a layout based on the sketch and posts in the HOP ON section, will receive a $20.00 USD Gift Certificate to 

3.  For inviting people to join the group one person will receive a mix of alcohol ink goodies from Ranger.
** Colors may vary

4.  One new member over the weekend will also receive a mix of alcohol ink goodies from Ranger.
** Colors may vary

Thanks for stopping in!

To continue hopping now, get on over to talented new DT member Milagros's blog. Happy weekend everyone!