Monday, 26 May 2014

A creative blog tour

Last week I was thrilled and flattered to be tagged by my good blogging friend and fellow Master Forger, Jemma, as part of an ever growing and expanding blog tour. You can find Jemma's post here and the idea is that I should answer four questions about my creative life and then tag three more creative bloggers to carry on the tour next week.

1.  What am I working on? 

For those of you who follow me on my blog on a regular basis, you might have noticed that it's been a bit quiet round here. And if you look at the calendar, you'll have noticed that it's May. When I put these two facts together, it means that it must be a LOAD month. 

For those of you unfamiliar with that, it stands for LayOut A Day and means literally that - for the months of February, May and October, a group of us crazy scrappers aim to create a layout every single day. The group is led by Lain Ehmann who provides us with daily prompts that we can use to assist us in creating a daily page. There's an amazing community over there and it's an opportunity to touch base with so many of my internet, crafty friends as well as being a month of fun and creativity. 

I've been über-productive this month, creating a total of 28 layouts so far. And the 6 Counterfeit Kit Challenge kits that I had sitting on my shelf at the beginning of the month have been responsible for 24 of those layouts - got to love those self-made kits :-)

Here's my pile of layouts so far this month. All that product used up, all those photos on pages and so many stories told.

On top of that, there is the Counterfeit Kit Challenge team that I love to be part of and the layouts I create for their challenges and blog hops.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge May kit, Direction, #7

Of course, there's also my beloved Scrapabilly kits that need using each month - next month's is sitting in my room calling me to get going.

Here's a little sneak of the June kit - lots of fun goodies in here. Hope Sylvia doesn't mind!
Oh yes, and of course, there's everyday life, photo taking and work - life is full this month!

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

This is a tough question! I think I have a very specific style and I'm often told in LOAD that my friends can pick out my layouts from the gallery thumbnail. I LOVE to layer, I LOVE to splat ink, I LOVE sparkle, glitter and sequins and I LOVE colour - plenty of pink on my pages. I used to be known as the Queen of NO White Space but these days, you will often find lots and lots of clear on my pages. 

But maybe the thing that I do on my layouts that is consistently mine is my subject matter as well as the amount of journalling. 

My main topics to scrap are me, the life I share with my husband and our travels. Yes, I scrap about my nieces, nephew, siblings and friends...

Counterfeit Kit Challenge February kit, Nostalgia #4

Counterfeit Kit Challenge April kit, Growth #6

but the life I/we am/are living is my main focus. 

Counterfeit Kit Challenge March kit, Balance #4

Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit, Passport #4

And there is journalling - often extensive - on almost all of my pages. I rarely limit myself to the date, time and place but try to write the story behind the photo, maybe even a story that can't be seen in the photo, something that someone looking at the picture wouldn't be able to know. I very often use totally unrelated photos for a story that I'd like to share and I'm not afraid to use a photo more than once if I love it, there's more than one memory to share, or it can be used in a general way.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

The simple and short answer to this is: because if don't, who will? This is my story, this is our life and who better to talk about it than me? The longer answer is that I discovered scrapbooking back in 2005, started in January 2006 and was in LOVE with it from day 1. 

Counterfeit Kit Challenge May kit, Direction #4

I've always been a collector of memorabilia (or rather what everyone else calls "stuff"!) and a taker of photographs but was always unsure what to do with it all. I knew something was missing - I wanted to tell more than the photographs could show. I often wrote on the back of the photos or added comments under photos in albums, though so few of my thousands of photos made it into books. Scrapbooking brings all of this together.

And because it's a hobby that takes up a lot of my time, very importantly, I enjoy it. It's fun

An amazing side effect of this hobby is that I've met some incredible people with whom shared laughter, tears and lots of time. Many, many of these craft lovers have become very special friends  - even  a prompting a dream trip to NYC to visit my beloved friend Pam. In Pam I found a best friend, a confidante, an inspiration and a partner in scrapbooking crime! We set up Whimsical Musings to provide inspiration to like-minded creative friends out there. The WM community especially makes me smile! 

This hobby has brought me all of this.  

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

This might be the most difficult question of all! I have no set system. I tend to go with the flow. I take challenges which can give me the starting point - it might be a story topic, a technique or maybe a style. I might have a photo that's calling to me to scrap. And of course, it's very often product driven when I'm working with a kit. I know, I know, that doesn't really help!

Seriously, I have no set process. But I have a scrap space of my own, I'm a stand up scrapper and I have to have a clear space to start. So there I stand, and off I go. Everything is close to hand - kits, products, photos, computer - and then it's grab a piece of cardstock (usually white, cream or kraft) and I let inspiration take me in the direction it wants to go on that day. I take the paper and layer it up with pretty paper and photos on top, and then it's a matter of adding as much embellishment as my heart dictates on that day, journalling, a title and then usually something such as ink splats or sequins/enamel dots. I'm not the type of scrapper that often thinks about matching the photos to the products or colours. As long as I like how it looks, it's good. And as everything is usually wonky, then I often make stuff wonky deliberately. I'm the ultimate non-perfectionist scrapper!

Counterfeit Kit Challenge May kit, Direction #3

Counterfeit Kit Challenge April kit, Growth #9

I know that I should probably take time to add the journalling or title earlier in the process to ensure there is enough space to say everything I need to say but that doesn't always happen! I get caught up with the creation and don't always remember which is why you might find a lot of pockets that can hold more journalling cards or even an additional 6x12 page for a very long story.

Now I have the honour of tagging three of my lovely blog friends. I really hope you'll go and visit all three of these wonderful bloggers. 

I "met" Clair through the Counterfeit Kit Challenge and we just clicked. She is a talented scrapper and mini-booker, and an awesome beadworker and jewellery designer. I love everything she does

How long have I known Danielle? Years and years! I'm not even sure if it was LOAD or Big Picture Classes where we first got friendly but she's such an inspirational eco-friendly scrapper she will help you change the way you think about your products. She has a style all her own.

Connie will delight and amaze you with her fabulous photography, her two gorgeous daughters and her artsy scrapbook style. She is known for her love of colour and her great scrapbook creations. I'm so happy she agreed to join in.

But enough of me, let the girls introduce themselves in their own words:
  • Hi, I’m Clair Rigby. I’m a fun loving, thirty-something (who was nudged into the next age bracket with my last birthday. Sigh!) I live on The Wirral in the UK and am in love with the nearby coast, which inspires my work so much! I count scrapbooking, card-making, wire-work and sewing amongst my crafty loves - and share my passions on my blog Obstinate Pursuit - but my real passion is for beadwork and jewellery making. Self-taught from magazines, books and on-line tutorials, the discovery of bead-weaving techniques about three years ago released a ‘design demon’ and I have become a little bit obsessed with teeny, tiny seed beads! I am now working on a small, but developing, range of bead-weaving tutorials and beadwork kits, which are available online from my own etsy store and from several, independent bead stores in the UK. You can find my blog at Obstinate Pursuit
  • Danielle Hunter is a multi-tasking mom of two creative girls and wife to her hubby of 13 years. She lives in Toledo, Ohio and has been dedicated to crafting since childhood. Danielle completed her first scrapbook at the age of four, was a scrapbooker-for-hire for several years, and has shared her knowledge in a classroom setting. Her focus is on eco-friendly scrapbooking and she enjoys creating pages that are artistic with bold colors and fun designs. Danielle is a Zutter Certified Instructor, a four-year Glue Dots design team member, and her projects have been featured on sites like Reader's Digest, HGTV, and Crafting a Green World. You can find her at
  • Connie Hanks is a mommy, wife, photographer, scrapbooker, crafter and volunteer-extraordinaire who never outgrew seeing the world as colorful as a fresh box of Crayola crayons! She resides with her "4-family" in San Diego; her loving husband with whom she fell madly in love with at just 19 years old (many, many moons ago!), and her 7- and 5-year-old daughters that are the stars of most her scrapbook pages. She loves to dream, travel, play with her daughters, sing while her hubby plays guitar and rarely misses an opportunity to be behind the lens when she's with family and friends. You can find Connie and her colorful adventures at Clicky Chick Creates

Ps. just wanted to note that I'm sorry if the photos are not as clear as usual. I'm fighting with a dead computer and have had to jiggle photos into the blog post with a combination of iPhone, iPad and my ancient Eee pc netbook. Resizing and editing photos is proving tricky! I will have high quality photos on Flickr in the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Flickr gallery later this week if anyone is interested :-)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Counterfeit Kit Challenge May member blog hop

Welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop for May.

I'm at the beginning of the hop this month so welcome, and make sure you check out all the hoppers today.

This month, we were challenged to use one of the following three prompts:

  • Challenge #1 Weather Related : Use a weather Icon (sun, cloud, raindrops...) on your project 
  • Challenge #2 Safety in Numbers :  Choose one embellishment to focus on in your project and use A LOT of it!  The whole pack if you are brave enough!
  • Challenge #3 Bucket List : Incorporate a Bucket List of things you would like to/accomplish. It could be a life list, crafting list, travel list... be creative!

I am in the middle of LOAD right now so I am doing lots and lots of scrapping (27 layouts already this month) and am feeling so motivated that I could have made layouts with all three prompts. But I decided to add to my Bucket List, especially as I had a sheet of map paper in this month's kit, Direction (see here).

I've just realised that I haven't dated and placed the photo on the layout (one I have used so many times over the years but very much sums up our travelling life) so I'll add that on to it now before I tuck it away in the pile!

Now, off you go to visit the delightful Tina to see what she has to share. Here's the full list in case you get lost along the way.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Scrapabilly Shares pt 2

Yesterday I shared the first three layouts using the Scrapabilly May kit (see the full kit here) and I'm back as promised to show you the final three layouts I made using this lovely collection of products.

Using the kit coincided with the beginning of LOAD514 and this month's theme is Past Perfect 2 meaning dipping into our past stories. Or at least, I'm trying to make all my layouts about the past - some more past than others!

Prompt: In the news
I came up with the fact that I share my date of birth with Boris Becker and can remember the summer when he stunned the tennis world to become the youngest Wimbledon winner, beating John McEnroe in a monumental battle. Little did I know back then that this connection to Germany would be my first of a somewhat bigger connection, ending up with me living here! I just matched the story with a photo of my on my 17th birthday - Boris and I were both 17 when he won...

Prompt: Mum, I'm board (ie. games we played)
I matched this up with my love of backgammon which comes from when my dad and I used to play a long time ago. I filled the layout with spots to represent the backgammon stones and talked about a few memories I have of that first backgammon set I used to play with.

Prompt: If these walls could talk
I used a photo that I've used several times before but I love the glimpse it gives of my childhood bedroom. I tucked some journalling in behind the photos and added some memories I had. I've asked my mum for a few more details and I'll be adding to it with any more that come up

What a great kit. 6 beautiful layouts which were a joy to create and practically made themselves. Check out the Scrapabilly site (here) to scoop up your own. You won't regret it!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Scrapabilly Shares part 1

It seems like I'm the eternal White Rabbit of blogging - always late for something or other!

A week out of town and time busy doing not a lot are all the excuses I can come up with for my late post about my Scrapabilly creations this month.

So let me get straight to it by showing you this month's über-gorgeous kit full of My Mind's Eye Now & Then collection. Golds, pinks, dark teal and greens mixed up with plenty of alphas, pocket page cards, a selection of veneers and die cuts, two types of enamels and a length of gorgeous ribbon. Right up my street of course, especially with the gold in there - still very much on my gold kick right now! Once again, I hardly added anything of my own stash into the kit as it was so beautifully self contained. A little mist, some thread and that's about it!

Another kit which was so easy to use and I ended up with 6 layouts I love. I'll share the first three here and then another three tomorrow (from the first three days of LOAD).

My first layout is a light, bright creation about our apple tree. I really enjoyed how easy it was to create a very clean page with the soft colours of the kit and even did a bit of fussy cutting and sewing which is a fad that comes and goes in my creations

My second layout focused on the gold items in the kit - including the gorgeous gold spotted vellum. I also included the small white paper bag that the embellishments come in with the kit. I can never bear to throw them out and always find a use for them - usually to hold my journaling, as is the case here.

The design was influenced by a recent Glitter Girl video where she laid pocket life 3x4 cards across the page as a band. I was also influenced by a blog post at Simple Scrapper where Jennifer lists things "around here" at the end of each month. It seemed like a good idea to capture a few private thoughts in that journalling bag.

Some more stitching adds some texture and interest to this simple design.

And then my third layout features a whole border of stars that I die cut from the funky piece of corrugated cardstock in the kit. The solids are from the die cut themselves and then the outline stars were hand-cut around the negative stars left by the die cutting - I've been loving doing this recently!

I added a sprinkle of mist and a little of my gorgeous fine gold thread.

Tune in again tomorrow to see the rest of my Scrapabilly creations and my first three LOAD layouts. This month is all about the scrapping!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

(Inter)National Scrapbook Day Colour Inspiration with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog

Welcome to the (Inter)National Scrapbook Day Event courtesy of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge!

We have been having a weekend full of colour inspiration and challenges and I kicked off today's posts with a colour inspiration post (here) using a mood collection from A Creative Mint. Look at this lovely selection of items and colours, perfect as we head through spring and look forward to summer. 

I especially love all the whites with the splash of green contrast along with the softer peach and greys. And of course, the burst of raspberry really spoke to me!

You can find the source of this photo along with the other inpsiration shots at A Creative Mint (here)

I created a mini page kit (enough for two pages) using the colours that spoke to me from the mood board.

If you've come from the original Counterfeit Kit Challenge post (here), you'll have seen that I created two pages using my products. Well, I had enough left over to have a go at a third layout as well.

This was an effect I had seen in a 2Peas video by Wilna last year and was determined to give it a try. I love how these glitter dipped feathers turned out and you will no doubt see these again on another layout.


If you came here direct and have not yet checked out the celebrations over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog (here), I suggest you head over there directly! You should start at the first post from Saturday morning (here) and work your way through all the challenges and inspiration posts. For EACH of the 5 challenges, there are sponsored prizes to be won (open until 16th May) and there's a grand prize too! It's worth checking out, I can promise you!


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