Tuesday 27 November 2007


They have been gone for sooooo long.

It has been ages since anyone has seen anything new out of the Chatterbox company. I for one am really sad as it is a company that i have really enjoyed using. There have rumors about there closure and then out of the blue here they are.

They are back with a few new lines for us. And because they are just soooooooo gorgeous i had to show you.
First of all they have change the thickness of their paper. I always found Chatterbox paper to be really thin and low quality, but now they have changed to a lot thicker nearly like cardstock paper and soooooooo much better .

Also some of the lines have something other than flowers and stripes on, which i always found hard with their old lines.

Okay so here is one of the lines. It is called dressing room.

And this this line is called Foyer...

I am going to Papermaze in a few days so i am going to pick some up and show you some pages!!! i cannot wait!"

Monday 26 November 2007

Book Review: Designing with Paper

Designing with Paper - Reimagining Scrapbooking's Most Basic Element
Publisher: Autumn Leaves
Contributors: Jennifer McGuire, Renee Camacho, Leslie Lightfoot, Lisa Russo, Carol Wingert, Tena Springer, Kristina Nicolai-White, Tracy Kyle, Cathy Blackstone, Nia Reddy, Tina Barriscale and Marilyn Healey
96 pages

Designing with Paper starts with a reminder that, for many of us, it was the paper that drew us into this wonderful hobby. The book seeks to re-ignite that passion and show us the endless possibilities for using paper in our layouts and projects. There are three chapters: Techniques, Creations and Inspirations.

So what techniques does the book demonstrate? Well, some basic techniques are included: tearing and stitching for example. But many others are either new takes on a familiar technique or innovative new ways to use scrapbooking's most basic element. Stamping into paint, creating paper string and plaiting are all covered here

The book then moves on to show ways to create your own paper: digitally as well as using methods such as quilting, leafing and painting to name just a few. Ideas for accents and gift projects are also shown using the techniques demonstrated in the first section.

The final section of the book seeks to inspire the use of unusual colour choices or bolder combinations of paper. There is also a gallery showing further examples of the techniques previously demonstrated.

The closing section of the book gives additional information about archival precautions and mixing papers along with detailed instructions for using some of the techniques.

Each new book in the 'Designing with...' series has me nipping up to Papermaze for a look and I now own several. They are well produced books and I like the work of the designers featured. Designing with Paper does not disappoint. The designers truly have dug deep to find new ways to use our favourite scrapbook ingredient. There is plenty here to inspire both the novice and more experienced scrapbooker.

We put all this inspiration to good use and created these scraplifts:

Scraplift of Float by Marylin Healey on page 29 of the book

This the original! Sorry for the bad photos, but do you know how hard it is to take picture from a book!!! lol!!!
And here is the scraplift

Cardstock: Bazzill Haley and Light Sky; Patterned paper: Daisy Bucket Garden Gate; Chipboard letters: Heidi Swapp She; Acrylic accents: Heidi Swapp; Chipboard accent: Fancy Pants Biggest Board; Other: 7gypsies jump rings, MM paint and crystal brad.

This one is a scraplift by Angie of the layout on page 60.
Here is the original
And here is the scraplift ...

It show how , while you can scraplift a whole page you can still make it your own.
The last page is by Deb
Here is the original

What she did was take the circle elements on the page and use them on her own layout.
So next time you are needing some inspiration pick up one of your books and have alook through. As the girls here have shown you don't have to copy the whole page you can use a few elements and go with where they take you!!!

Thursday 22 November 2007

A challenge for you!

Okay i love a challenge and by what you have been telling us that you want to see on this blog so do you. So i give you a scraplift challenge.

I created this card for a friend of mine and really like it. It is easy and quick to make and you can use your scraps to make it!! what can be better than that.

Here is how it was made....

I started first with a piece of card that folded into the size 14cm by14cm.
and i rounded the corners with my corner rounder.And then inked all the way round with black ink.
Next i cut out a piece of cream card to the size of 14cm by 8cm inked round the middle and then adhered to the card.
Next using my circle punch which punches out a circle size of roughly about an inch and a half, i punched out 9 circles from scraps i had from a page i had done.
Then using my ink pad again i inked all round the outsides of the circles..
I attached sticky pads to all of the circles and stuck them on the card.

Next using my computer i typed Happy birthday and printed it out onto white card and stuck to the page.

This step can be quite tricky and i had a helper to help me. Wrap string twice around the card. I secured it all with little glue dots, which i place underneath the string hence the tricky!!! lol!!!
I then tied a bow using the string and attached it with glue dots as well.

And volia the finished card!!!

Okay you can copy or lift it!!!!! you have until the last day in November to send it in.
I have also made 2 cards for xmas using this system as well.

Happy card making!!!

Wednesday 21 November 2007

for you!

This blog is for you. Plain and simple. So i really want you , the readers of this blog, work on here as well. So last month i picked two girls who had either left a comment or joined in the challenge and sent them some really scrummy stash to show us what they could come up with!!!

So here they are..

The first one is by Angela Coote...
She was sent Fancy Pants

She has also done the most beautiful page but after spending an hour on here blogger will not let me up load it!!! but i promise i will add it as and when i can!!
And the next bunch was sent to Sarah Wilson and here is what she did with what we sent her...

So when you pop by let us know and dont forget to join in the challenges and competition as you never know a nice stash may land on your door step!!!

Sunday 18 November 2007

Using a Visual Triangle

One of the easiest ways to improve the design of our pages and achieve a balanced overall look is to use the design principle of the visual triangle. The visual triangle helps to unite the elements on a page and pull them together, and also gives the eye a natural path on which to travel around the layout so that the viewer can take in all the elements one by one. The visual triangle is embedded in the idea that the eye responds far better to designs including odd numbers of features rather than even numbers – placing just two of any embellishment or photo tends to leave the eye flitting back and forth between the two rather than allowing it to take in the whole layout.
The following layouts show several different ways in which you can incorporate the visual triangle into your pages, hopefully leading to layouts which are eye-catching as well as visually balanced.

The first layout is by Hazel who has used the visual triangle to great effect on this simple but very striking page. The main photo is strong in itself but to ensure the eye travels around the page, Hazel has placed her embellishments (the buttons, trees and title) in a clear triangle. In fact, one side of the triangle crosses directly through the eye-line of her subject, bringing further focus to gorgeous subject of the page. Hazel has also helped to unite the design by using similar colours for the embellishments which form her visual triangle. It is worth noticing too that Hazel has stuck to the rule of odd numbers too with the five trees clustered together and the three words forming her title.

In this layout, Wendy has also used the principle of the visual triangle but in a subtler way. The little paper flowers are positioned in a triangular design around the layout, again crossing through the eye-line of her little boy, helping to draw attention to his face. While she has used a four word title, she has arranged the words in three blocks which form another triangle around the page and reinforce the overall design. Finally, Wendy has used three green elements which also help to create balance.

Finally, in my layout, Flamingos, I have tried to show how the principle of the visual triangle can be used even on a very busy page. Firstly, I have arranged the photos themselves into a triangular design which helps to lead the eye around the page (in this case I have printed one photo at a smaller size as it allows the eye to naturally focus on the two more important photos first – too many photos at the same size can cause the eye to become confused as to what to look at first!). The blocks of journaling strips are also arranged in a triangle, giving balance to what might otherwise be a chaotic page. The flowers are grouped into three main clusters on corners of the layout, giving a sense of unity to the design. And I have even used the triangle principle with the little stitched crosses which add a touch of detail but do not detract from the balance of the page.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas as to how you might use the principle of the visual triangle on your pages, whether your style is clean and simple like Hazel’s or very busy like mine. But remember, rules are there to be broken so make sure you experiment – you might find that a four point diamond formation works well on your pages, or perhaps a circular design with no points at all is best for you!

Monday 12 November 2007

Night time photography

Now is the time of year when we least think to get our cameras out as its always dark and the darkness brings with it a whole new set of problems when it comes to taking photos.

The first step in improving your photography skills, whether in daylight or night time is to read your manual, it will help honest :o)

The secret of night time photography is Long Exposure, a very narrow aperture (high f-stop) and low ISO. Combining these, will give you a huge depth of field and everything will be in focus.

Cameras set on automatic exposure will usually be fooled into grossly over-exposing the image because the scene will be dominated by the blackness of the night sky.

During the day, since there is so much light available, the aperture only needs to be open say, 1/500th of a second to accumulate all the light your camera needs to produce a high quality photograph.

However, at night time, with much less light available; the aperture needs to remain open for a much longer time period (from 1/2 to 30 seconds) to accumulate the amount of light needed for a good photograph.

Slow shutter speed =Aperture remaining open longer =Long Exposure

Most cameras need to be in full manual mode to be able give you the slowest shutter speeds but its best to have a look at the manual to see which shooting modes give you the slowest shutter speeds.

Adjust Camera Settings
The first thing to do is check that you can override the camera's automatic flash. Most cameras have a symbol that has a lightning bolt within a circle with a 45 degree line through it - just like a no entry road sign. This turns off the flash and ensures the camera makes use of its long exposure setting.

Next set your ISO setting to 100. The ISO refers to the camera's sensitivity to light. High ISO will make your camera more light sensitive but will add more noise to your photo. Set your camera to a lower ISO if possible, say between 50-100, for sharper detail. A lower ISO will increase exposure time but it will create a better photo.

Widen your digital camera's aperture to let in more light through the lens. Often, f2.8 is the widest opening for most lenses.

Since your flash is off, the shutter speed of your camera will be lower in order to get sufficient light. The shutter speed will be of several seconds. This is kind of low for camera terms.

Here are a few general settings that you may find helpful to get you started
Shutter speed f-stop
Fireworks 1sec f/2.8
Floodlit building 1/2sec f/2.8
Brightly lit street scene (maybe with Christmas lights) 1/15sec f/2.8

Another trick to taking better night time photos is to use a tripod. Because you will be using slow shutter speeds you need to keep your camera still for longer than you normally do so camera shake can have an adverse effect on night time photography. Using a tripod will ensure you don’t suffer from camera shake.

Now you should be ready to start taking some photos!

Friday 9 November 2007

SEI Kitty's Place

As those who know me well will tell you, I am a total ‘Cat’ person. I have three little fluff monsters called Bert, Ernie and Elmo who frequently help me to scrap by lying on my piles of patterned papers and running off with my pens/glue sticks/anything else which catches their fancy! And of course, like most scrapping pet owners, I have an album dedicated to recording their lives and all the little things they do which make me smile. So when I was asked to try out the SEI Kitty’s Place papers I jumped at the chance, and quickly got to work on a couple of pages I had been planning about Ernie and Elmo.

What struck me first about the papers when they arrived was how versatile they are. They are all double sided, with a bold pattern on one side juxtaposed with a plainer pattern or solid colour on the other side. This not only makes coordinating your papers far easier, but also saves you money as you can get several different designs from just a couple of sheets of paper. The papers are very bright, with colours ranging from orange and pink to purple and white – a nice change from the usual cat themed papers which tend to be a mixture of browns and beiges and far more muted.

My first layout was about my cat Ernie, who has a habit of jumping into any box which comes into the house. Of course, with ours being a scrapping household, he gets a lot of opportunity to practice this trick! The Kitty’s whiskers paper worked perfectly with the bright fuchsia blanket in the photos, so I decided to create a simple but bold and funky layout, doodling a wavy scalloped edge and hand-cutting the papers and then using stamps to create a title and add interest with a few hearts and stars. If you find the papers are too bright for your photos, consider changing your shots to black and white in a photo-editing program – the strong pinks in this particular paper would make a black and white print really ‘pop’.

For my second layout I decided to scrap some photos of Elmo in the garden which I had taken in the summer – she loves to play out in the sunshine and the photos bring back memories of a lovely peaceful morning spent together outside. The pattern of flowers and butterflies on this Kitty’s playground paper were ideal for a summery layout, and the bright orange created an excellent backdrop for the photos. I added some stamped doodles and a title and then journalled inside the large bookplate – some fabric flowers with button centres finished off the layout perfectly.

These SEI papers are bold and bright and are versatile enough to be used on all kinds of layouts – although they are designed with pet owners in mind, don’t feel restricted to just using them for your cat pages as very few of the papers are specifically ‘cat’ themed.

Thursday 8 November 2007

Let me introduce you to.....

Jennie Bowlin.
I know that you have seen her work and her products are just the most gorgeous!!!! So as she is a favourite of mine i emailed and asked her a few questions!

  1. how did you get into this hobby? I have always been a “crafter” – my hands were always making something. I had my first son 9 years ago just about the time creative scrapbooking started evolving. At the time I distinctly remember only being able to get really innovative products from the Pebbles in My Pocket catalog out of Utah. I would pour over that thing when it came in the mail and make my wish lists!! I loved their cardstock. It just seemed to be drawn to it all.
  2. what competitions have you won? I won the 2003 Hall of Fame contest.
  3. do you think these are how you got to where you are today? I have seen so many talented people find ways to contribute to this industry without winning that or other contests. Contests are certainly a way to get recognized quickly, but they are not a necessity (I believe) to following your dream!
  4. what do you love about your work? It is personal. It is so gratifying to put a piece of yourself into something and have it be loved and enjoyed by others. I love seeing how people interpret my papers, stickers, etc. in their own creative ways.
  5. How do you come up with the designs for your products? I wish I had one thing to say or a short answer, but the creative process, for me, is made up of so many things. I would have to say that vintage and antique imagery is huge for me – you will see a little bit of “old” in everything I do!
  6. How do you go about putting a page together always start with a picture. My title and journaling come from that. The design, color, etc. always comes after that and are always built around the colors and theme of the photo for me. Many times I use bits and pieces that have been left out on my desk from the last couple of projects!
  7. who are your favourite scrappers? It is not secret that I have always found so much inspiration in Rebecca Sower’s work. She has been given such a gift, not only as an artist, but maybe more so as a communicator. She was the one early on who really turned me on to journaling, and not just the “who, where, when” but the deep stuff! I was changed forever the day I came across her stuff in a CK!
Okay here is a page i did a little while ago using her products and i have to say the line is just to die for!!!

And if you fancy giving her stuff ago click on the link below
Jenni Bowlin

Monday 5 November 2007

Sketches everywhere.!!

Okay. i for one am not the best person when it comes to sketches. I find them really really hard to work with, what about you???

So in my mind a plan came. I want to see your sketches, your own ones. Not ones that come from a sketch website your own from your head!!! LOL!!!

When i have got them all, later in the month i am going to post them on here and then ask you to vote for your favorite one. The one that is picked will be used for a competition in January!!

So sketch away ladies, you can send in as many as you like in as many different sizes that you like!!

Saturday 3 November 2007

Competition time!!

Well girlies it is that time again. Competition time!!!
And this one is an easy one.

This is an idea jar. I have had one on my room for ages now and it has helped me no end. THe idea is that you print off loads of idea prompts cut them up and put them in the jar. So when you get stuck half way through a page or you need an idea for a page to help you start it, you put your hand in and pull out an idea. cool huh!!

Okay so my challenge to you is to come up with as many ideas as you can to put into the jar. The person with the most ideas wins this jar and i will print and cut out all the ideas that everyone comes up with.
The ones that are in there already are:
* do a page using horizontal and vertical photos
*do a page using a letter template
*use stripes
*use orange
*create a layout using list list journaling
*Use something that dangles
*create a layout without matting your photos
*do a layout without photos!
*do a layout with paper tearing
* use an old sticker sheet
*do a single photo page
*mix and match your letter stickers
*create a layout around a poem or lyrics
*use two or more punches on your pages
*do a layout using only cardstock!
*one or more pictures at an angle
*Scrapbook a personality trait
*do a page using a tag that you have made

Okay girls send us your ideas!!!