Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to everyone!!!

It's Christmas already!
Santa's been already - I so I think - I've heard some noise coming from the chimney and footsteps.

I usually try to make handmade cards for my parents, brother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They are usually very similar with a few customisations (names and languages). This year I made them hybrid cards, mostly designed and printed in the computer with only a few bits of patterned paper.

I followed Jackie's tutorial for the CS Christmas Party for the card shape. Thanks, Jackie!

Most of the digital elements are from I discovered this digishop sometime ago and completely fell in love with two designers, Paislee Press and TaylorMade Designs. Their stuff is simply amazing! For about U$ 9, I got all the embelishments I needed and also - unexpectedly - a fab freebie from Sue Cummings.

The outside of the card - all digital. I love the cute postage stamp by Paislee Press.

The inside. I liked how the photos with borders turned out so much that I printed an extra copy to frame. An extra decoration for Christmas! My daughter wrote the message, which I scanned and printed inside a digital journalling brush by Jessica Sprague for Creating Keepsakes.

This is one of the original digital images which I printed in photo paper:

Another detail of the outside of the card. I used to think that it was a waste of time to buy wordart, but I changed my mind. Like these ones, they look great and save so much time!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas ATCs

I've only finished one layout this month, but I have been doing some Christmas related crafts. Here's my ATCs:

Try to post the rest tomorrow...

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Christmas Storybook and Lainey's crop: some tasters

In her first year in school, my daughter (and every child in her class) got from her teacher a custom-made Christmas storybook.

She loved it, we had to read it several times, and every year since then, the book is found mid-November to be read again.

Helpfully, the book had a website printed on it, and this year I went to investigate and you can print up to 3 different stories.Which left 2 stories, one for my daughter and another one for my son.

Ms M, having to make around 30 books, took the faster option and stapled the books together, but as I had only 2 to make, tried to make a properly bound book. I'm happy with the results, and I'll do a tutorial sometime, but for the time being, here's the link to to, the customised books can be found here.

In the cover, I attached a small photo of my child plus the title of the book. Here's my son's:

Oh, yes, the books are for free. :-)

Today there was a all-day class & crop, promoted by Lainey and Annamarie. I finished 6 Christmas ATCs which I am going to send to the CS forum girls who send me beautiful handmade cards. I don't much make cards, so this was something I could do, which is slightly better than a shop bought card.

I haven't taken photos of them yet, but I can show to the back of it, which I just finished designing PSE.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Got this award from Jackie and JeanJeany:

This award states that: This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut,even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these people, Deliver this award to 8 bloggers who may then pass it on.

I'll pass it to Audrey, Neasa and Rachel.

Layout flush

Sometimes it is good to "flush" all my layouts in my blog, so I can get my inspiration back and finish a few that are in the pipeline.

This is probably my busiest layout ever, I probably never used so many different items in a single LO, I even use the tickets from the show as an embelishment. The dark paper is one I got in a kit and thought I'd never used it but it turned out to be perfect for the photo. You never know.

Another about my daughter. Went back to simple again. :-)

Now one for my son.

I overheard when my daugher was trying the roller skate. She can skate more or less, but was making a bit of a drama, saying Heeeelp and then my son went to her and said:

"Are you OK, Lucy?"
"Can you manage?"
"Here, hold my hand."

Isn't he the sweetest kid?

Christmas Party at the CS forum!

Today and tomorrow we well be having a Christmas Party at the Craft Supplies forum.

Cara Craft Supplies, affectionately known as CS, is a fab online shop for cardmakers and scrapbookers. Probably everyone in Ireland who is into either craft has heard of it and mostly probably regularly shops there.

It also hosts a very friendly forum thanks to its owner, Ais, and today we're having a party. Check here, here and here for a number of games and classes which will be posted during the weekend.

Here's mine. I'll also will post it as a class in the forum. It is a little decoration to add to your Christmas tree. It is something that looks pretty and will use some the bits and pieces of leftovers that I bet you've got hanging around your craft room.

Sorry about the bad photos, the light is hopeless today.

This is something that came in my Studio Calico kit, and most of us will have something similar in your stash: chipboard labels (or frames).

You will also need:
Scraps of patterned paper (mine are BG, bought in CS, out of stock now)
organza ribbon
2 small photos (to fit the inside of the frame)
glue, pen knife, nail file
Crop-a-dile (if you have one)

Step 1: Use the label and trace it onto the back of the patterned paper.

Step 2: Hollow out the centre of the paper.

Step 3: Distress the inside of the frame and reserve

Step 4: Cover the chipboard and distress the edges.

Step 5: Glue the photos to the chipboard and the paper.
{sorry forgot to take a photo of this step }

Step 6: Glue the chipboard and the paper back to back. Trim the paper, distress the edges. Make a hole in the top. Use a crop-a-dile if you've got one, otherwise use the pen knife. The hole does not have to be pretty as it will be hidden.
Decorate with the ribbon and rhinestones.
Attach a hook or thread so that you can hang it in the tree.

Monday, 24 November 2008

All pink!

My daughter has an ambivalent attitute towards the medals she won at Irish Dancing competitions. She is dismissive of them: "Everyone gets them, mamae!", but can't help displaying them in a proeminent place in her bedroom.

I've been meaning to make a board to display them properly for a while, and last week's theme for PaperPlay challenge helped to get the project going.

I covered a cake base with patterned paper, decorated it and put hooks for the medals. The cake base was an improvisation - has been laying around since my son's birthday in June - but it worked out perfectly. It is lightweight and I could add the hooks by hand, no need of a drill.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


We took these photos in a amusement park in Bray in 2005, and it is being lying around my craft room ever since. I thought the original one was already fading so I scanned it and printed another copy.

The floral paper is from a Studio Calico kit, I thought it was pretty but a bit too vintage looking for my style, but I liked the final result. Sometimes it is good to try to do something a little bit different.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Follow-up layout

The latest Journaler's Junction challenge was to either add journaling to an existing layout or do a follow-up page.

The reason I like their challenges so much is that often it goes with some of the ideas I have to scrapbook - but would probably never do if not for their prompt. Like when I was looking at one of the first layouts I make of Luke: it had Luke's photo in a puzzle frame and the title was "Found the missing piece in our family".

That was 3 years ago. Now I see how Luke fitted in our family in a way that seems to complement and complete our family.

Here's the original layout made in 2005:

And this is my follow up:

While I was trying to fit the journaling around the photography, I joined a couple of words together, so there are more mistakes than my usual spelling and grammatical errors. Sorry about that...

The main part of the journaling reads:
"When Luke joined the family we could never have imagined how well he would fit in our family.
Somehow he is, for each of us, what we wanted and needed without knowing it.
Luke, the missing piece in our family.
Luke, the perfect fit."

Coincidentally, after I wrote the journaling, I went blog hopping and this layout (last photo in the post) by the Rita Oliverio has a very similar tone.

What can I say? Great minds think alike! ;-)

Monday, 17 November 2008

PaperPlay Challenges

Got an invitation from Mandy to participate in the PaperPlay Challenge blog. I was thrilled, challenges are not my forte but I will do my best.

Here's my contribution for last week's challenge. We had to use 2 patterned papers, a stamped image and a ribbon.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Autobiography in 6 words

I had never noticed it before, but I was reading the Irish Times newspaper, when I noticed at the bottom of one of the pages a strip with a quote from the American comedian Joan Rivers. I can't remember the quote now, but it had 6 words, and it was supposed to be an autobiography.
It explained that Ernest Hemingway had once written a story (*) in 6 words which he considered to be one of his best work. His' was "For sale: baby shoes, never used.”.

(*)I had first assumed that it was a biography - I lost the original newspaper quote - but maybe it was not.

I thought it was a great idea and decide to make one. Since I'll definitely never write a "proper" autobiography, this is the next best thing. I thought I'd go for humour first but settled in for a simpler one.

Since then I googled 6 words and Hemingway and found that it was a well known story, there even a book of 6 words memoirs. How come I had never heard of it before? In any case, here's mine in a layout.

It is fun, have a go and post your bio here!

{ Photo by my daughter - it was Halloween, as you might have already have guessed }

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Halloween mini album

I didn't post this mini album last year and since I didn't take any photos of my kids treat or treating this year, it will do.

It is the cheapest project I've ever done. The album was a freebie, I used only left over papers and the journaling stamp was a present from Kiki.

The swirls are from a digital brush set. I'll dig the source.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A bunch of layouts

Today is a very quiet day for Irish scrapbooking blogs and forums. The Megascrap with Donna Downey and Anita Mundt was on. I missed it because my little star was in a show. We went to see it today and we're so proud of her!

I haven't posted any layouts for a couple of weeks because everytime I thought of taking photos of them, the light was so bad that I gave up.

These are my last ones from October, I'll try to get more done this month - I am overflowing with ideas lately. Problem is, I have ideas like photos and journaling but not design ideas. :-(

This one is about my son not liking changes (such as moving to Montessori class). I had it almost finished at Lynn's last week. We both subscribe to the Studio Calico kits and we had a SC crop at her place. She's mega talented and competing in the Scrapbook Apprentice title.

Another SC layout. This one I am not mad about, but I love the story behind it.

"She loves you. A lot.
If you are looking for proof, don't go looking for kisses and hugs.
Remember all the times she let you have something you're fighting over.
When you're upset and she tries to make you laugh.
And the little drawings she makes for you."

This another Journaler's Junction challenge from some weeks ago. I know I am not the most constant blogger, but still I am pleased that I managed to post every now and them.

The photo above was taken by my daughter. Maybe not the best of framing, but it left a lot of white space for my journaling. Great to have another aspiring photography in the family!
I created the words with Wordle, if you haven't tried do it, it is great fun. I cut and paste the latest entries from my blog but you can type whatever you want or give the name any website.
Wordle doesn't have any option to save the result so what I did was to click the "Prnt Scrn" key, then open PSE and create a new image from clipboard. You could also open Word and "paste" your pic.

Finally one celebrating one of my son's recent achievements: potty training, phase II.

It's based on a free template by TaylorMade Designs at Oscraps, which I later printed on paper. Template is the digi equivalent of a sketch. They're amazingly simple to use if you got PSE.

I am absolutely in love with TaylorMade Designs and Paislee Press @ Oscraps. I've been bookmarking some of their kits which I plan to use in a mini album.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Journaler's Junction

I am loving this challenge blog. Got to know it through Emily Pitts (check her blog, she's brilliant), a Studio Calico forum regular, now in SC DT.

For once I've finished a challenge before it expired. This week's is to write all the journaling in a single line. Mine's kinda short, though. :-)

This one is from a few weeks ago, I choose challenge #42: Journal a conversation.

I journaled 3 conversations between my daughter and her friends, and one between her and me.

My favourites are this one:

K: We do look a lot alike, don’t we? Except my hair is shorter.
And brown. Yours’ black. And our eyes are different, and the nose too.
L: And our skin is different...

and this one:

L&J: Do you have a boyfriend?
S: { whisper }
All: {giggles }
L: Is he from your school?
S: {inaudible }
J: Is he nice?
S: { inaudible }
All: {lots of giggles }

Stamp "book"

I am not good at stamping so I hardly ever buy them, but my collection is slowly increasing thanks to the scrapbooking kits I have been getting. Scarlet Lime always have at least one stamp in their main kit and so does Studio Calico.

I used to have them all in a box, but I am determined to use them more often so I wanted a better way to keep them.

I found some A6 plastic pockets in Easons this week which were ideal for them. Add to it cardboard, pretty paper scrap, a stamp, two book rings and a cropadile and voila, my new stamp book was done in minutes!

I had 3 tries before I could stamp a half decent frame. And it is still not very good!

Some stamps are inside the pockets, some are stuck to the outside of the pockets and some I punched directly on the stamp's acetate cover and made it into a page.

Skinny layout

Two firsts, my first scenery layout and also my first 12x6 one.

What I am going to do with it? Don't know. Maybe I'll make another few from our trip to Italy this summer and make it into a separate album. Or I'll just stick it in my 12x12 album.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Box card template

These are the instructions on how to make the box/card from my previous post.

To make the box you can either
(*) Print the template below on a A4 paper
(**) Use the measurements given to draw the template

If you follow the first option you will have a box slightly smaller than if you draw the box following the measurements. Otherwise the final results will be identical.

My box was plain on the inside and patterned on the outside. For the purpose of these instructions, I'll refer to the outside of the box as patterned side.

1 *) Print the template on the side of the paper which you want to be the inside of the box.
1 **) Draw the template on the side of the paper which you want to be the inside of the box.

2) Cut out the box - outside lines plus the two grey squares.

3) Score all the inside lines.

4) Decorate the base of the box, and the 2 transparencies.

5) Tape the transparencies onto the plain side of the middle layer and top layer. The transparency should be upside down in the middle layer.

6) Now we're going to put the two A sides together. Glue the patterned side of A2 to the plain side of A1. Notice that A1 is wider the A2 - align A2 with the base of the box.

7) Now the two C sides together. Glue the patterned side of C1 to the plain side of C2, aligning C2 with the base of the box.

8) That's the box done. Just fold the box cover over it. You can put a ribbon across the box to keep it closed. To keep the ribbon in place I glued it to the base of the box with double sized paper.

Here's the template:

Saturday, 4 October 2008

I've made card - or is it a box?

Since Sabrina sent me this card, I wanted to do something similar.

I could see that hers required precise measuring scoring and cutting. Something that I hate to do and am very bad at. So I was raking my brains for a version that required only one piece of paper instead of 3. Everytime I saw her card in my mantelpiece I thought - maybe if I did this, or maybe if I did that.

When I finally got the idea in my head, I made a template in the computer and it worked first time! OK, it is only a silly thing, Karen Burniston I am not, but still I was very pleased with myself.

This is the box, closed.

As the box opens there are two layers, each with a piece of acetate in the middle. I decorated the two layers and the base of the box with rubons.

It is possible to fold the box flat without destroying it. This surprised me, as it wasn't part of the design :-) So I could post it to Sabrina in a normal envelope.

This is the box before I finished to put all the rubons and before I glued the sides together. You're seeing the inside of the box.

I admit that my version also needs precise scoring, and maybe more thinking would make the box neater, but I am done with it. Back to scrapbooking.

I still have the template if anybody is interested.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A little bit of sugar

Sometimes I like to make this sort of layout. A bit of sugar, not enough protein. I liked the photo, but didn't have much to say about it.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Carrie's artwork

I've always admired Caroline's beautiful artwork, so when she offered to pay me for a little canvas print I did, I asked for a card or a small artwork from her.

Very bold indeed, as anything of hers is worth about 10 times what is did! Last week I received this absolutely gorgeous canvas with her trade mark cage, which take place of pride in my craft room.

As will her card, which I am going to frame.

Many thanks, Carrie!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


"Unless you take your creative impulse seriously, nobody else will. You simply have to put your money where your mouth is. "

July horoscope for Taurus in "Marie Claire". Saw it here.

Should make a poster with it and stick it on my craft room.

Which reminds me, got an absolutely gorgeous 3D-painting from Carrie. Will take a photo and post it.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Journaling in scrapbook pages

I enjoy looking at challenge blogs - there are so many of them and so many talented people around. But I hardly ever do the challenges. I always mean to, but I never do.

Lately I felt the need to have more "meat" in my layouts. Instead of concentrating in pretty photos or papers, go for the content. I had the Journaler's Junction blog in my Google Reader for a while, but finally I made my first layout based on last week's challenge. It helped that I had 20 themes to choose from!

I have been meaning to write about the fact that I speak Portuguese with my children for a while, but since I didn't have a recent photo with me and the kids which I liked enough to scrap, I always postponed it. Challenge #1 was just the kick I needed. It ain't pretty enough to be one of my favs, but it is done.

Should have run the spell checker but I don't have Word in my laptop - excuse any errors your find.

"I write {most of} my scrapbook pages in English, I blog in English, I write notes, emails and shopping lists in English. In a daily basis I speak English. English is embedded in my life so much that now, I even dream in English. But just so that you know, my main language and most importantly the language I speak to my children is Portuguese. And they speak back to me in Portuguese. Well, sort of, sometimes they speak a kind of Portunglish, and you have to be able to understand both English and Portuguese to know what they mean.
I am proud of them. They are so much better that I was. Because technically my first language is Japanese but as soon as I started learning Portuguese at the age of 3, I slowly forgot Japanese. And Lucy, aged 6, is an fluent Portuguese speaker and able to communicate with my parents and my brother. And so is Luke, aged 3.
I am so lucky that Roger also took the time and effort to learn Portuguese.
So we are a bilingual family.I speak to my children in Portuguese. I speak to my husband in English. And the children - regretably - speak to each other in English.
Often I recount the conversations I had with the children in translated to English, because I figured that they might not be able to read Portuguese when they grow up.
But we speak in Portuguese.
Just so that you know.