Saturday, 30 July 2011

Summer stencilling

Things have been a bit quiet on here lately as the summer holidays are here and it's been a bit of a social whirl. I think that will continue over the next month or so and I am trying to make an effort to be outside with the kids as much as we can, even though naturally I'm a "stay-inside-crafting" type of girl.

I've been pining after my craft desk for the past couple of days and found myself with a couple of free hours this morning and so dug out my desk from under the camping supplies to get a scrapbook page done...

Brightly coloured tie-dye items seem so summery to me and so I started my page by using my new Crafters Workshop stencil and some alcohol inks to make a tie-dye type background.

I found some butterfly punchies and stitched them together on my machine to make this garland. This was a project idea from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's "It's Sew Easy" class.

I made my own tape with stamps and Promarkers too...

I would like to have time for a bit more crafting like this over the holidays, but I am definitely taking my sketchbook with me wherever I go, so I'm hoping to have lots to share from there.

Friday, 22 July 2011

A present for a teacher

It's the end of the school year - hurray! I'm really looking forward to the summer holidays. My daughter has had a great teacher this year who has really looked out for her and her learning has come on really well. I wanted to make a gift for the teacher but never really know where to start. Last year I saw a project on UKScrappers where a mum had collected up pictures from her child's class and presented them in a beautiful folder and it really inspired me.

A couple of weeks ago we sent out letters to the children in the class with a piece of card to ask if they could do a little drawing for the book. I was really nervous about doing this as I wasn't sure about the response we would get. Families are really busy this time of year and I thought we might not get many replies. Thankfully we had a great response with pictures from almost everyone in the class and some lovely comments from the parents about what a great idea it was.

My daughter helped me decorate the book and here are some of the pictures and messages we got - aren't they great! (these aren't all the pages but I wanted to keep all the names out of the pictures).

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Who me?

I've been taking part in Cheryl Johnson's portrait class and picking up loads of great tips and techniques for better photos. Our last module was really fun with lots of ideas for characterful portraits. Here was my favourite shot of the ginger one. She was a very willing model, particularly when I got out the face paints. I'm looking forward to scrapbooking this picture - oh, the stories I could tell!

On a side note you may spot my name in the current issue of the Scrapbook Magazine in the Four Ways challenge. I got to play with a "Quirky Kit" from Crafty Templates. It was a fabulous kit and I was really pleased with my page. Unfortunately I was so excited about it I forgot to photograph a sneaky peek before I put it in the post - oops! I guess you'll just have to buy the magazine to see it!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Happy 21st

This week is my friend's 21st birthday. She was our little bridesmaid 10 years ago but she's a lot taller now! I had to stop and think about how to make a card for a vibrant young woman and so this is what I came up with.

I used an old piece of die-cut cardstock as a stencil and used red and yellow alcohol ink together on the blending tool. I really like this tie-dye sort of effect.

I cut out the numbers from some patterned paper and then used my sewing machine to add free-motion stitching around them. I had to add a bit of bling too.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Painting on the walls

The stencilling has escaped from my sketchboook and onto my walls. I'm hoping that the kids won't take this to be a sign that it's OK to paint on the walls - only Mum is allowed to do that!

This is the wall by our front door and it has become quite marked. The hall isn't painted very well (not by us) and it really needs all repainting but that's not possible at the moment. I'm hoping that these flowers will distract from the rest of the walls!

The stencil is from Stencil Kingdom and you can find it here.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A twirly tutorial

Here is my latest page I've been working on and it features a beautiful photo that the official photographer took of one of my girls at the wedding we went to recently. This page has loads of techniques that I've learnt recently and so I thought I'd share my process with you to show the different layers.

I started this page by creating a background of torn tissue paper from an old sewing pattern using Claudine Hellmuth matte medium as the glue. Ths is a technique from a Live with Prima class by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. You can watch her class and her fabulous page here.

I used floral patterned tissue paper from Paperchase to finish the background.

I'm really into using stencils at the moment but I don't have many bought ones. This was a punched border from a mixed lot of border strips I bought recently from Ebay (I've found it's cheaper than buying lots of punches). I used gesso as my paint to get a bold image.

More stencilling, and this time I used a butterfly airbrush stencil (another ebay purchase). They are cut out of acetate and so are much thinner than a crafting stencil, but they do the same job for a lot less money.

Time to get out the sewing machine. I did some free-motion stitching to add movement to the butterflies.

I stuck down the photo and added a gesso border then glued down a group of Prima flowers.

I've got an old book about ballet moves and so this book page seemed the perfect addition to a page about twirling. The page was finished with some journalling and a handwritten title (I was feeling brave!)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mini tiramisu cakes

Oh mini tiramisu cakes, how I love thee and all your yumminess!

I went to a barbeque with friends this week and so I took a tray of these cakes with me. They are so delicious. There were a few left at the end of the evening but some friends took some home for their other halfs to try!

I saw this recipe on "Baking Made Easy" with Lorraine Pascale and they looked so good that I had to try cooking them. I have made them before as the regular muffin size and they were a full on dessert portion. I made them this time as a fairy cake size which was perfect for a sweet treat.

You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Mixing it up

I was feeling a bit poorly yesterday as so I couldn't go along to my local crop which was a big disappointment. My lovely husband let me play at my desk for the day and so I still got a few pages done using my new messy painty style which I am so enjoying.
My first page used stencils with mists and alcohol inks to create a background with some stamped details. I used masking tape as a frame and some chipboard embellishments.
I saw this piece of patterned paper from Echo Park sitting on top of my paper stack and felt inspired. I created a muted band of pattern across the middle by painting some gesso on. I wanted to add to the messiness and made some inky drops.
Have you noticed the border? Yes, it's straws - love those stripes!
I ended up with very sticky fingers as I glued down bakers twine to write the title and add the circles to the page.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Doodle stitching

I made a card for a friend's birthday this week and I used my free motion stitching again. I stuck down the book paper and then stitched the flowers freehand over the top, which I coloured in with pencil crayons. This was my second attempt as I forget to open up the first one before stitching it, creating the amazing non-opening card!