Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Winter weather.

We have been so fortunate with the weather so far this winter, while other parts of the world have faced freezing or scorching temperatures we have stayed unseasonable mild. The down side has of course been that is has been so wet and windy, many areas have flooded severely and around here most of the fields have became lakes. I am pleased to say that so far our village has experiences no flooding at all as the surrounding flood plains have absorbed all the water and kept it at a safe distance.  We have started to have a few frosty mornings recently, followed by some very welcome winter sunshine so I am sure it won't be much longer before the freezing temps and snow make it to our shores. I know a few people who are looking forward to seeing some ice and snow and I must say I will be happy to see a few more blue skies!

It was the freezing temperatures in her part of the world which inspired digital designer Michelle of Shel Belle Scraps to create her latest release entitled "Cabin Fever". The kit contains 23 papers, 49 elements and a full alpha and features snow and outdoor themed elements like snowmen and sledges as well as things associated with staying cozy indoors such as hot cocoa and TV! The kit will be available from her store at Scraps N Pieces from 16th January and what's more it will be 30% off until 24th January! As if that wasn't enough Shel will have a great freebie available on her facebook page from the 16th too!

I have had fun trying out the kit and making a few layouts which form part of my project365 about the adorable little moments with my daughter, more on that in another post. I have also used layouts for the monthly challenges on the Scraps N Pieces forum too, why not come and play along! I made the above layout for the January template 1 challenge which is being hosted by Grace Blossoms 4U. The challenge is to make a layout using the template provided, it really was a challenge for me as this isn't my usual style but I had fun making it work! Everything I used it from "Cabin Fever" by Shel Belle Scraps.

I am quite taken with the "Cabin Fever" alpha and have already found myself using it more than once as the wooden letters are so versatile and go with so many different themes and styles of layout. The alpha was just right for this layout about my daughter at Forest School and the warn colour of the letters went really well with the kit I had used, "Seasons of Change" also by Shel Belle Scraps. I entered this layout for the week 2 word art challenge for the SNP P52 challenge, the great word art was provided by Joyful Expressions.

The "Cabin Fever" alpha features again on this layout which I made for the January use it all challenge on SNP using the "Strong Enough" mini kit provided by the host True North Scraps. These challenges are so much fun as you have no control over the mini kit and their contents so you are pushed to use elements and colours which you would normally avoid or ignore, the results can be surprising! I am looking forward to using "Cabin Fever" to make more layouts, especially if  the long awaited snow finally arrives!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New beginnings - hello 2014

In just a couple of hours it will be 2014! A new year and hopefully a new life for us with a home of our own. How appropriate then that today is also the deadline for my first assignment as a member of Shel Belle Scraps Creative Team, the assignment was to use a kit called "New Beginnings". I decided to use the kit to do some long overdue scrapping of my wedding photos, from seven years ago!

"New beginnings" is part of the January Bits N Pieces collection from Scraps N Pieces which goes on sale tomorrow. Shel Belle Scraps portion consists of two paper kits, an elements kit and a alpha set and they will be on special offer for just $1 each from 1st to 7th January! After that they will be on sale at regular price and also available as a combined kit from her store. If you fancy having a play why not pop along to the Scraps N Pieces forum and play along with the Bits N Pieces challenge which is being hosted by Shel Belle this month.

Above is my first layout made with the kit and a favourite photo from my wedding. This kit is perfect for scrapping layouts of this kind. I chose to convert my photo to sepia, the colours in the photo would have worked well with the colour scheme but converting to sepia made the background less distracting!

For my second layout I also used a photo converted to sepia and many of the same elements so that the pages would have a consistent look.

For this third layout I kept the photo in it's original colouring and used mini frames to highlight the key features of the photo, me and my Hubby! I again used mainly the same elements to maintain a consistent appearance. I plan to carry on using this kit to scrap more of my wedding photos, in fact I have committed to a January layout a day challenge on Pixel Scrapper for which I plan to scrap some of my wedding photos as well as ones of my daughter.

My fourth wedding layout made using the same kit as the others. Now I need to find the disc with he rest of our wedding photos on so I can scrap some more!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Up for a challenge!

One of the things which I am loving about joining the on-line scrapping community is all the monthly and weekly challenges run by various digi scrap sites. I have always liked the idea of taking part in challenges and competitions but been put off by the hassle of trying to get a good photo of my creations and the fact that I rarely got round to uploading those photos and submit them before the deadline! With digital creations that whole stage is pretty much removed as my work is already on my computer and need only be re-sized where relevant and uploaded to the host site! The other great thing about taking part in challenges is that I am able to earn points or rewards from them which I can use to increase my stash and create projects fro the next months challenge! Since I joined Pixel Scrapper I have been entering their weekly layout challenge and my entry for this weeks challenge is above, the challenge was to use a template Marisa suggested. I made this LO using "Grandma's Kitchen" by Janet Scott Design I also made another layout with the same kit to enter for the December Kit Challenge on PS which is for layouts made with newly released kits.

This last week or so I have been focusing on making layouts for challenges on the  Ginger Scraps Forum, They have a good range of challenges posted each month and although projects submitted must be made with at least 50% Ginger Scraps products you are allowed to use items which you have received for free. As a reward challenge participants receive a coupon to spend in the "Buffet" section of the GS shop, the value of which is determined by how many challenges you have completed that month. So far I have completed 8 challenges so should receive a coupon for $4 next month! Below you can see my layouts and a brief description of the challenges I made them for.

Mini kit challenge; the host provides a mini kit which you use to make a layout so this seemed like a good place to start! This months host is Little Rad Trio and the mini kit provided is "Let is Snow". I used the kit to make the layout above entitiled "First Snow".

Mix it up/ surprise challenge; the theme of this challenge varies from month to month but this time it was to use the template provided by Twin Mom Scraps. I again used the "Let it Snow" mini kit by Little Rad Trio as I thought it would be interesting to make a totally different layout with the same kit.

Template challenge 1; there are two template challenges a month for which you have to make a layout using the template provided. This template is by Seatrout Scraps and the kit I used was part of the welcome waggon, "yesterday" by B2N2 Scraps.

Scraplift challenge;  the host nominates a members gallery from which you choose a layout to scraplift. This month the chosen member was Saviscrap and she had lots of great layouts to choose from. I used a mini kit called "Whoo loves you" by Blue Heart Scraps which was part of the welcome wagon to make this layout.

Designer Spotlight challenge; each month a designer is chosen and you must make something usig their products. This month it was the turn of Connie Prince and I was able to get a mini kit of hers from the welcome wagon, it's called "For you".  I re-coloured some of the elements because I really wanted to do a black and white layout, I hope that isn't cheating!

Template challenge 2; half way through the month a second template challenge is issues. This template is by Keystone Scraps. I used "Yesterday" by B2N2 Scraps again to make it and the alpha is from "Deck the Halls" by Marisa Lerin from PS.

Colour challenge; this months colour scheme is unsurprisingly green and red! I again used "Whoo loves you" by Blue Heart Scraps to make this and had fun punching out all the circles and flowers to make the wreath!

Inspiration challenge; the host chose an image and quote for us to use as a starting point. This month is hosted by Viola Moni and the quote is " It feels good to be lost in the right direction", I changed the quote a bit as I felt it fitted my photo better. I used "Whoo loves you" by Blue Heart Scraps again, I really love how versatile that little kit is!

Well that is it for now! Next I am going to explore the challenges on Scraps 'n' Pieces, I need to get settles in over there now as Shel Belle Scraps has just accepted me onto her CT so I will be spending a lot more time there!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Janet Scott Design and Tiny, but mighty.

Well I think I mentioned a few days ago that I had some exciting news? The news is , drum roll please.....I got accepted onto a creative team! I can hardly believe my luck! I know that I have been scrapbooking on paper for about ten years now but I only started making digital layouts about a month ago so I was really going out on a limb when I decided to answer Janet Scott Design's creative team call. To my great joy she accepted me and I have already had my first assignment!

You might have guessed that my first assignment was to use Janet's new kit "Tiny, but mighty" and below you will see the layouts I have made with it so far. It has meant even more to me to have this kit as my first assignment because the kit is about premature babies and during December the proceeds will be donated to the NICU where Janet's youngest daughter spent the first two months of her life. This is a subject especially close to my heart for several reason. The first reason being that I was myself a premature baby, I was born two months early and weighed just 2lb 11oz. I was very lucky to have been born at the John Radcliff Hospital in Oxford which even in 1997 had a silver star baby unit which was able to care for preemies like me, I believe I was the second smallest baby born there to survive at the time! The second reason is that my beloved niece Xanthe Rose was cared for at a similar NICU surrounded by teeny tiny 0lb 5oz babies during her short little life so I have some idea what it is like for families in this situation. And lastly my own daughter had a three month stay in hospital when she was a baby, although not newborn, which included her first Christmas! It was the connection I felt with Janet when I saw this kit and heard about her daughters stories which gave me the push to apply for her CT and I am so glad I did! If you would like to but her kit and help her cause you can do so on her website;


The first layout is about my daughter as a newborn, just a couple of days old and still in the hospital. I love that photo of her, she doesn't look real! The second is about her discovering ice-cream when she was about a year old! I made this layout to show that the "Tiny, but mighty" kit isn't just for layouts about preemies or babies, it is a truly beautiful and versatile kit which can be used for lots of different themes.

Joining Janet's CT has also had the added bonus of spurring me on to check out other websites and forums dedicated to Digital Scrapbooking, as well as getting be back onto flickr and encouraging me to actually start using Pinterest! It is all a big learning curve, but lots of fun too! I even figured out how to resize my photos to fit all the requirements for uploading to different online galleries!  I might even stick my neck out further and apply for a couple more CTs!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Scrap365 last sketch challenge of 2013

I entered paper layouts in the sketch challenge a few times earlier in the year and then found that it was too difficult to get scrapping done in the limited time I have with a little one to take care of and no dedicated craft space. That is until I tried my hand at digital scrapbooking! After checking that it is OK to enter digital layouts for the Scrap365 Sketchbook challenge I started trying to put together a layout using this months sketch.

 Of course that is when block struck! Today I came across a great set of freebies by digital designer Shel Belle Scraps. The papers and embellishments are her portion of the Scraps-n-Pieces blog train "Giving Thanks", it is available on her blog She also had an add on alpha set on her facebook page As soon as I saw this set I thought of this old family photo, the colour pallet and embellishments seemed just right. I rotated the sketch 90 degrees and it all fell into place!

I'm looking forward to next years sketch challenges and maybe I'll even get brave enough to submit some layouts for the magazine calls! Now I'm off to add this link to their blog, hope I manage to do it right this time!