Wednesday 31 October 2007

Are you the winner???

Okay, so we got lots of gorgeous entry's for the competition, and they were all sooooo wonderful. But as the rules say there can be only one winner, and here it is.....

This gorgeous and extremely scrummy page was sent in by Anita MacDonald. And i am sure you will agree with me that it is a stunning page. So Anita your prize is on it's way to you.
There were such gorgeous pages that i just had to show you a few of the ones we were sent.

These two gorgeous pages were sent in my Sarah Wilson.
Okay this page was sent into us by Angela Coote
This card was made by Leonora
Next a page by Gem meaden
Thanks to everyone that joined in and played along, and dont forget to check back for the next competition in the next few days!!!

Monday 29 October 2007

New paints!

The latest Ranger product arrived at the shop last week - distressed crackle paints! According to the bottle it's a "unique , one-step paint that cracks as it dries". So I sent a bottle to Debbie and asked her to have a play! Here are her thoughts, and the fabulous layout she created!

I was very excited to be sent a bottle of the new Tim Holtz distress crackle paint to try out!

The paint is available in the same 24 colours as the embossing powders and distress inks in the Tim Holtz range.

The paint comes in a bottle with its own applicator brush attached to the lid, which saves messing about looking for a brush.

The blurb on the bottle says it can be used on card, chipboard, paper mache and more. And I have to say that it really does work. I tried it on bare chipboard, coated chipboard, paper, card, acrylic shapes and it worked really well on all of these surfaces.

To get a good crackle effect you need to apply a medium to thick coat of paint, I found with a thin coat of paint no effect was visible. The thicker the paint the stronger the crackle effect you get. You don’t even need to worry about smoothing the paint out as it just sort of levels itself out. Once the paint is dry you can use inks to emphasize the effect and I also used sandpaper on the edges of the chipboard to add to the distressed look (see photo above).

This is the effect you can get with a medium coverage of paint:

And this shows a thick coverage!

Friday 26 October 2007


Have you ever used felt on your pages before? and i dont mean the type that comes in a pre-made shape and is in a cute package. I mean a sheet of felt.

No! well to be honest neither did i, and when Vanessa gave me some to use i have to say i was stumped.

But i took it home and played around with it. And do you know what i found? it is the most versatile medium that i have ever used.

Now i love embellishments in all their gorgeous colours and shapes but using the felt i was able to make embellishments to the size and colour that to my own design. It is also unlike paper or card as it is extremely tactile and dimensional but light at the same time.

Here are a few things that are design team did with it.

Okay our first page is done by the gorgeous Angie. She used papers from the Recess Basic grey paper and felt. She used the felt to to sew and create her own embellishments which are just gorgeous.
Next is one of mine. I created a mini album from scratch. I used thick card for the outside and covered both the front and back with felt. One of the good things i have found out about felt is, it stretches, so it was easy to pull it all the way over the card and secured with acid free glue.
I then made the pages out of white card folded. You need to use two sheets of 12 by 12 white card for this and stick one of each end together.
To cover the front i printed off a small photo of my son and then cut out a frame from red felt.
On the top of all the pages i added car tabs using McGill punches and the felt as little tabs. The little letters are cut out little rectangles of card with handwritten letters in a black pen.

I then decorated the inside. I used Love Elsie Roxie line but i cut out the flowers in felt to match the pattern paper.
The felt even fits into a hole punch!!!

And if you click on the pictures to make them bigger yes i did forget to rub out the pencil marks!!! lol!!!

Okay i also did this page using felt as well...
For this page i actually cut out the title 'fun days' from the black felt. Which is a really cheap way to do your title. I then cut out the flowers from light blue and white felt. I sewed round the edges and then added a button and some bling for decoration!!
Then because i loved the idea i cut out some little hearts and added them to the title.
Do you lot have any great ideas of how to use felt then let us know.

Thursday 25 October 2007

Crop time!

I love spending time cropping - chatting with friends, sharing ideas, and maybe occasionally scrapping! Here at Papermaze we hold regular crops on the third Saturday of every month. The crops run between 10am and 5pm and cost £3.50. That price includes light refreshments - as much tea, coffee, biscuits and homemade cakes as you like! Our venue is Otley Village Hall which is very spacious so there's plenty of room for overflowing totes! We have a regular group of ladies, who are lovely and a lot of fun - and we always welcome newcomers and try to make them feel at home. The hall is just round the corner from the shop, so we open up for a couple of hours especially for crop attendees - if you're feeling energetic you can walk across the fields, but most people opt for the 2-minute car journey!

We always have a class kit of some description, which includes everything you need to make the project, use of any tools and a detailed instruction sheet - the price varies according to what is in the kit but it's always optional. Last Saturday we had a great kit from Lesley looking at patterned paper. She used 3 Bugs Cotton Shop papers - here's her layout and Karen's interpretaion of it! (OK, blogger's not letting me upload, so I'll add them later!)

If you fancy joining us just drop us an email - and next time I'll try and take some photos of the crop to share - though I have a feeling the ladies may be very shy!

And don't forget there is still time to enter our competition - we must receive your email today though! We've had some great entries already and I've really enjoyed looking through them - it's going to be tough to choose a winner!

Monday 22 October 2007

Design team gal!!!

This is our very Deb. Again as with the others i asked her to answer some question so we could get to know her a bit better.

When did you start scrapbooking and why did you start scrapbooking?

I started scrapping about 18 months ago. My Nan was showing early signs of dementia and my cousins and I were trying to research the family tree, which is really hard as a lot of my family were in the army and based in India, so the records are hard to get. And as my Nan couldn’t really recall that much I decided that I needed to start to document the photos and stories that we did have not only for my generation but for future generations as my Nan is the last link that we have to the family history, and the rest as they say is history.

How do you organize your albums

Very badly!! Because I scrap in a variety of sizes, 12x12, 8.5x11 portrait and landscape and 6x12 portrait and landscape, I found that my Los were being left in pizza boxes as I didn’t have enough of anyone topic, time etc in the same size to put in a postbound album and then I discovered the American crafts D ring albums, and now I can store all my different sized Los in one album. So far I have a school album, heritage album, general album, holiday album and I am about to take all the remaining Los out of the postbound albums and transfer them to D ring albums

Fav supply

How can I answer this question lol Everything I own is or has been my favourite at one time or another lol

fav manufacturer

I think that has to be Autumn Leaves, I love their clear stamps and have way too may! But I also love their paper collections and embellishments. I love how they have such different styles of collections and they have sooo many new releases all the time. And of course for me their idea books are the greatest!

Biggest hoard

Ooh that’s a hard one lol

I could say bazzill cardstock as I was recently made to measure my bazzill mountain and I have a 12” stack of the stuff lol

But then I probably have the same amount of patterned papers as I do bazzill lol

And don’t even get me started on stamps, ink pads, embellishments. So to answer the question ……. My biggest hoard is everything lol

Here is a picture of her scrap area...

Deb is going to be bringing us photography class every month as well, so make sure you check back for her classes.

Okay you have until the 25 th October ( only a few more days) before the deadline for the competition, so hurry and send in your entries, we have had some gorgeous ones already!!! And im sorry there has been no photo of the prize. Vanessa is having BIG camera problems!! but trust me i have seen the prize and it is scrummy!!!

Saturday 20 October 2007

Our very own Chloe.

Okay first of all let me say a big congratulations to one of our design team members.
Chloe won the Scrapbook Inspirations Best of British New Talent. Have to say i am not surprised!!
So congratulations!!

So without further ado i introduce you to Chloe.

My name is Chloe, I'm 25 and I live in Coventry, though I'm originally from Sutton near London (and I miss my family and the South loads!). I live with my partner and three little cats, Bert, Ernie and Elmo and I work as a history teacher at a local secondary school. Scrapbooking started as my way of relaxing after a very busy day and has now grown into an obsession.

5 questions:

Ten facts about me:
- My favourite programme is Agatha Christie's Poirot (very sad, I know!)

- I love eating Cadburys chocolate with mint chips straight out of the fridge

- I think Brad Pitt is the most gorgeous man alive (but I have randomly had crushes on Damon Albarn, James Stewart, Richard Beckinsale, Ewan McGregor and Russell Crowe at various times in my life. A strange mix, I know)

- I have a first in History and Politics from Warwick Uni

- My favourite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (but I also love Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Kate Atkinson and anything by Terry Pratchett)

- I have a collection of cuddly toys which live in my spare bedroom

- I would love to live in Brighton one day (and I'm very jealous of my friend who does!)

- I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the computer reading about scrapping!

- I love sixties music

- My favourite feature is my smile.

When did you start scrapbooking?

I started scrapbooking about a year ago - I had been cardmaking for about a year before that after discovering it on QVC when that was one of the only channels I could pick up on my digi box in my student house!
I really liked the idea of rubber stamping and my first craft purchase ever was a set of Hero Arts stamps and inks. This quickly started a love affair with rubber stamping which carried through into my scrapbooking, though now I much prefer to use clear stamps, especially Autumn Leaves ones.

How do you organise your albums?

This answer to this is a bit haphazardly! I have two 8.5x11 scrapbooks - one is a book of me, the other is a book about my cats - though I have to admit that I haven't gone too far in filling those up yet as I prefer to scrap in 12x12 format.
I have a holiday album which I add to every time I get around to scrapping my latest holiday snaps (and which contains my embarrassing earliest works). I have a 'growing up' album which includes all my childhood photos and memories. This album is now bulging at the seams so I will have to buy another one for this theme pretty soon. The rest of my albums really fall into a 'general' theme and they are far less organised.
They contain anything from celebration snaps to pics of my friends and family or days out. I would really like to start organising these into years but I have too few albums to do this at the moment and I'd rather spend my money on more stash to create the layouts!
I plan to start a 'heritage' album in the future, scrapping all the old photos that my mum has of the family.
What are your thought processes when you start a page?

I rarely begin a page without either sketching it first or having a clear idea in my head of what the final layout will look like. I find this makes it easier to ensure that the photos and journalling are balanced and the overall look is appealing. However, some of my best work has simply fallen together with me moving around elements on a page - these are often the easiest pages to complete.

I nearly always work with a plain cardstock as a base and organise blocks of pattern on the top - I find this gives a nice base for any stamping I want to do on a page. I admit that I find journalling quite easy - I usually have plenty to say about a photo and almost always write in my own handwriting - I think this gives a page a really personal touch.
What is your favourite manufacturer?

This is a definite draw between Scenic Route and Basic Grey - I love them both for their different looks - one is clean, the other distressed but both perfect in their different ways. And of course, Autumn Leaves for my stamps.

And here is a peak into her scrappy area!!!

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Focal point!

Do you remember when every channel on the television showed diy programs? Everybody was painting their walls in zebra print and making tables out of front doors! I know i did ( oh the shame! LOL!

The one thing that every designer said was that every room has a focal point and this is even more true in scrapbooking.

Each of your pages convey a story and wether you realise it or not each page that you do has a focal point. When you or somebody else looks at your pages their eyes start somewhere first and the focal point is that starting point it also sets the mood or tone of your page.

Figuring out what my focal point is tends to be how i start my page. To find out what my focal point is going to be i always ask myself what it is that i want this page to convey. I have cut it down into 4 sections which makes it easier.
1. Single photo
4.Multiple photos

I asked some the design team girls to make a page using each of these points and see what they could come up with. And write a bit about how they did the page and give any helpful tips.

Okay first is Chloe's page. She was given the job of showing you how to use multiple photos on your pages and still have a focal point.


One of the problems you often face when creating a multi-photo layout is how to design an exciting page which includes many of your favourite images of an event without sacrificing that balance or style which is often much easier to achieve on a single photo layout.

When i began scrapboking, i soon fell into the trap of only using one photo on a page - pages with lots of photos looked messy and amateurish when i tried. But as my style developed, i've embraced multi-photo layouts - after all, it allows you to include some of those photographs which might otherwise not have made it into your scrapbooks. But how can you avoid the messy look?

One way of achieving a balanced and stylish multi-photo layout is to create a focal point.

First of all, the selection of the photo is important. You may have a number of shots from an occasion which you want to include, but try to choose a strong one to form the central focus of the page.

I choose the main photo on this page, partly because of the subject matter, but mainly because i loved the composition of this shot taken from above - the eye is naturally drawn straight down and into the photo from the lefthand corner. Ensure that your main photo is fairly good quality and print it out in a large size ( my photo on this page is half an A4 sheet.

When choosing your other photos, look for the ones that complement the main image, so avoid clashing colours or very different backgrounds. Print these out much smaller than the main image, and arrange them around the main photo in a balanced way. In my layout i have selected to include two on the right and two on the bottom edge of the main photo, both leading into the title section in the bottom right corner. Your images dont have to be placed straight - I usally angle mine for a sense of fun and movement, but try a few different arrangements before sticking down.

The collections of embellishments are used to frame the page and give the eye a direction to follow around the layout.


When i first started scrapbooking i used to scrap with multi photographs as i didn't want to leave any out. But over the years i realised that i was being left with some gorgeous one off photographs that i loved and deserved a place in my albums.

So i started to do pages just using single photo. I found out very quickly that i need the one photograph to be big as i had lots of problems filling up the page, and my photo was getting lost amongst all the journaling and embellishments.

I found that i need to frame the photo and make sure that it stood out more then the rest of the page so it was the first thing that people could see.

I made this page a while ago but i think it demonstrates very well about using a single photo on a page and making it the focal point.
The page is about some old photographs that i found in my parents attic. My dad used to print out his own photographs years ago in the dining room and i suddenly found that i had lots of new gorgeous photos to use. As the topic of the page was the photographs i picked the biggest one i could find to use, as i wanted them to be the focus of the page.

I made sure that when planing the page, i framed the photograph with paper,card and embellishments, in doing so it frames the photo and it is the first thing that people see when they look at the page. I made sure that the journaling and the title were smaller and not so bright so they didnt take the focus away from the page.
I use this method every time i use a single photo and i love the results everytime.


SOmetines a photo is just a photo, there is nothing special about it to the visual eye. Cameras can only catch the picture, and some of the time they dont catch the feeling or the emotion behind it. The photograph below is of 3 boys.

When you look at the photo it means nothing, but if you add a title like 'big brothers' you get the jist of what was happening when the pictures were taken. The title, if it stands out as your focal point can give people the sense and feeling behind the page before they look further.

This layout is done by our very own Karen. She has made the title of this page the focal point. Not only has she made the title the biggest thing on the page, she has also matted the title letters with pattern paper, which really makes them stand out. Using contrasting or co-ordinating colors will give your title a big boost.
The last page i have to show you is done by none other than Vanessa!!! When you look at her page the first thing your eye is drawn to is the journaling. She has kept the rest of her page simple and has made sure that the journaling is on a brighter piece of cardstock than the rest of the blue, making it the first thing your eye sees when you look at the page. And again it is the biggest element on the page.

Th most important thing to remember though is that while these tips can help you to achieve a balanced layout with a strong focal point, breaking the rules is half the fun of the design. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

So experiment with various different page layouts using your photos and papers before sticking it down ( take photos of each one if you are worries about forgetting your favourite ) or try sketching your ideas first to see if the basic shape looks balanced before you begin.

If you have any tips or ideas that you use for focal points email us and let us know and send us your pages so i can post them on the blog for examples of focal points as well!!!

Post written by Chloe and Wendy.

Sunday 14 October 2007

Okay the next of our design team is Hazel.

How long have you been scrapbooking? How did you start?

About four years ago, I followed my sister into card making. Like so many others, I always felt a little reluctant to give away my creations. Whilst I was searching for some card-making essential or other, I came across the UK Scrappers website and realised that here was the answer. A creative outlet using lovely papers and embellishments PLUS I get to keep the results!

What keeps you scrapbooking?
To remember. So the children can remember. How they were, what we got up to as a family, details of our everyday lives. The children love to hear about things they said or did when they were very little.
Sometimes, the memory is forgotten until it’s rekindle by a photo or a journal entry. This is the role that I hope my scrapbooks will play for both us and the children.

Are you a paper or digi-scrapper?
100% paper. I work everyday with computers so part of the pleasure for me comes from abandoning the technology for a while and absorbing myself in this whole other world of creativity.

What are your ‘must have’ scrapbooking tools?
Craft knife, steel-edged ruler, Basic Grey cutting mat, glass cutting mat, trimmer. Oh, and there’s usually a cup of tea close to hand as well!

What are your favourite products?
It’s all so lovely, do I really have to choose?
I almost always use Bazzill cardstock and patterned paper, so they would have to be high on my list. Chipboard is up there as well - so versatile. Ribbon - I love ribbon and have way more than I could ever use. Buttons - making a bit of a come back at the moment and I totally understand why. Heidi Swapp ghost embellishments - another really versatile item. Alphabets of all kinds - chipboard, acrylic, stickers and rub-ons. And last but not least, paint and inks.

How do you start a page?
Sometimes it will be a photo that kick starts a layout. Other times, it will be a particularly lovely paper. It always ends up about the story though.
I can have papers and photos cut and stuck down but only once I know the story I’m trying to tell can the layout can be finished with the journalling and title.

Here are some of her pages!

Thursday 11 October 2007

Design team gal!!!

Okay it is time to introduce you to the next design team member!

I asked her some questions and here is what she said!!!

Hi my name is Angie, i am 34 years old ( but i still feel about 18 inside!) I have been married for 12 years and have two beautiful children.
My scrapbooking addiction started nearly 2 years ago when i asked my husband for an album for Christmas. I was going to use scrapbooking as a way of using scraps leftover from making cards.That didn't last long!!!

* i am a true blonde, through and through. You can tell this from my total dizziness and lack of organisation !
* I love hot chocolate with marshmellows and sprinkle on top - yum!
* I was bought up in Essex
*My favourite colour is ..PINK
* My mum wouldn't let me have my ears pierced until i was 16 despite much pestering from me... however it wasn't until nearly my 17th birthday that i actually picked up the courage to get them done.
*As a child i won a first place in a dance festival - as a caveman.
*I can play the piano, recorder and violin.. but i am not very good at any of them.
*My current scrapping obsession is with buttons.
*My favourite dessert is sticky Toffee pudding and custard.
*I am naturally a very messy person.

I started with one general album, then bought 2 more so i could have one for my daughter, one for my son,and a general one for everything else. I scrap photos i like far more than events, and i dont scrap them in any particular order-just what ever takes my fancy at the moment.

Then i bought one for me to use as my Book of me. I started that so long ago i no longer like most of the pages in there, and plan to start work on it again soon.
Before long the first 3 albums were full to bursting ( my pages used to be very bulky) so i bought 3 more. All those albums were 12 by 12 in size. I have recently bought an 8 1/2 by 11 album which i love and am well on the way to filling up! This currently is the size i tend to scrap in.

When placing pages in my albums they go in the order they are made. i dont like the thought of putting them in chronological order as my scrapping style is constantly changing so much and i like to see the progression.

That is a question i can't really answer.
When creating a page, i always start with the photo.
Then i choose the papers and general colour scheme and feel of the layout.
Once i have all the ingredients i throw them onto the floor, and see what happens! I have no method, i never sketch how i want it to look, or consider any 'scrapping rules'.
Fortunately this technique seems to work for me - most of the time!
I currently love fairly freestyle scrapping, and this works so well with the way i work.

Such a hard question! And i really dont think i can possibly narrow it down to just one!
I have different favourites for different types of products... for example...
I have to say a definite Heidi Swapp for chipboard alphabets. And probably Scenic Route papers, but i also love Basic Grey... but any bright funky papers will be considered right now!
At a push i suppose Bazzill could be the absolute favourite , due to their gorgeous cardstock.
Boring aren't i!!!

Hmm... tricky one this. I was initially going to answer eyelets as i probably have the greatest quantity of them, as individually they are so small. In my early scrapping days i had a real obession with buying them, but i now dont think i have touched an eyelet for months! ( note to self- must try and use eyelets more!)
Then i was going to say brads.
After the eyelet obsession came the brads love affair. I do still like them, but rarely use small ones. I love ones around the 8mm size mark - i think the new American crafts ones are fab!.
But then the chipboard alphabets are taking over my living room and they are far more exciting than both brads and eyelets!!!

Here are a few photos of her scrapping space!

Keep your eyes peeled for another showcase of one of our designers!!!!
Also are you entering our competition, see the side of the blog for details!! and win a bunch of Heidi Swapp goodies!!

Monday 8 October 2007

Take a tour.

This post is for you girls ( and guys!!!) that live to far away from Papermaze to pop in and see us for a cup of tea!

On the shops first day i was there about half an hour before they even opened the doors!!! as i was thrilled to finally have a proper local scrapbooking shop. I think i have been there nearly everyday since they opened. Not always to buy, sometimes for a chat and a cup of tea!!! ( in my defense they only open 3 days a week!!!)

First of all let me introduce me to the lady who started all of this - Vanessa
She is one of my favorite people as she buys sooooooo much gorgeous stuff for me to get my hands on!!! I asked her to answer some questions!!

I had my third child in December 2002 and my eldest two were at school, so i was looking for work that i could do from home. I am trained as a primary school teacher, but didn't want to go back to that while the children were young.
I have always been interested in crafts, and have been making cards for a few years, and i hit upon the idea of having a website- that way i was not restricted to any times and i could fit the work around my family.
Little did i know how big it would become! We had our first appointment about developing the website in April 2003 and we went live on 1st October that year!

I was originally a card-maker ( and still make them from time to time) and i discovered scrapbooking whilst i was researching the website business. I think i did my first page that summer.
When Papermaze first opened we catered more for card-makers, but as my passion for scrapbooking grew,so the website changed direction!

The best thing is that if I'm doing a layout or project i generally have what i need. I am very good though and don't buy things unless i intend to use them.
There are lots of things i have my eye on, but I'm happy to wait until i want to use them on a layout before i buy them! And of course there is always ] a huge amount of Bazzill to hand and i usually have just the right colour!
The worst thing has to be that i don't actually get much time to scrap,and when you unpack the boxes of all the gorgeous new stash as it arrives,that can be very frustrating.

Scrapbooking for me is much more than just a hobby or a job-it is a way of life! Because my job is my hobby, it can merge into one sometimes.
Layouts i do are often for class kits, or end up on the wall of the shop- i rarely do one just for me. I've become much more interested in photography as a result of scrapbooking, and am keen to document my children's lives so keep notes of their achievements, routines, firsts etc.
At one point scrapbooking had literally taken over the house! Boxes of stash could be found in almost every room of the house as we outgrew the stockroom-of course now we have the shop that problem has been solved!

Has to be paper! I am a real paper addict and having said that i don't buy anything unless i am going to use it,the exception can be paper - if we are down to the last couple of sheets of a design that i really like, i will buy one for me!

Okay the next lady to work at Papermaze is - Karen
I have been working here at Papermaze for almost a year now. I was an occupational therapist for the NHS for over 20 years, but scrapbooking is my therapy now!!!!

I have been scrapbooking since February 2006. A very good friend of mine bought my 2 girls a scrapbooking kit each for christmas. I literally had to sit on my hands to stop myself from 'helping'!!! . Since then i have been hooked!

I eat sweet things like chocolate and jaffa cakes and always drink a gallon of tea!!!

The best thing is opening all the new boxes full of gorgeous goodies!!!! these arrive daily!!
I also love meeting lots of people with a like minded passion for scrapbooking who understand what you are talking about!!

Karens love of scrapbooking shows through in her pages!! Here are a few! Again i will show you more of her pages later in the month.

I also wanted you to see a few snaps of the shop.

This is the best sight ever. When you drive up and see lots of boxes outside you know there is new goodies inside!!!!