Tuesday 22 December 2009

Digital stamps, digital LO

Brrr, it is soo cold here, I hope everybody in nice & cosy in their warm and cosy homes.

First, I'd like to invite you to invite my check my new blog, there's a digital stamp giveaway.

And talking about digital, Shimelle Laine has 4 new releases in Two Peas. They have a Christmas/winter feel but a soft look with burgund/pink/blues and greys, and I can see lots of uses for paper pack. I am planning to use her page templates to document our Christmas, in the meantime I used all the 3 remaining packages in a single layout.

* Patterned papers: DigiKit - Wrap it Up Christmas Papers by Shimelle Laine.
* Word Art: Penned Words :: Christmas by Shimelle Laine.
* Snow Flake: Snowflake Stickers by Shimelle Laine.
*Brush: Cluster Brush set by Mary Wise.

Friday 18 December 2009

She writes

More than anything, I like to scrapbook about the present time, specially the little things that might get forgotten or lost if I don't.
Like the page below, about a story that my daughter wrote. I made the layout soon after, but I intended to photocopy her story and include it in the layout. When I finally came down to it, I couldn't find the book nor could she - so at the end I copied another story she wrote, it's OK, but I'd rather have her first one...

Monday 14 December 2009

Check out my new venture!


I have taken the plunge and started making digital stamps. Please check it here!

Sunday 13 December 2009

PaperPlay and punches

I'm late to post it in my blog, but Kate set the challenge for last Thursday's PaperPlay Challenge. I loved this one, it got me to work on a layout that I have been thinking for a while but never got to do about my son's favourite books.

* Patterned paper: scraps from different sources.
* Chipboard Letters: Basic Grey
* Font: Times New Roman

I have some punches and they are rarely used, so I challenged mysef to use them for this layout. I used my oval punch to create the decoration on the left, and the circle one to create a little spot for the mouse.
Something was missing, so I added some stitching afterwards, I'll try to take a photo tomorrow and update it.

And while were are in the PaperPlay subject, Sandie is setting the challenge this coming week and she's also sponsoring the challenge, and she won't say anything else that it is going to be a BIG SURPRISE!

So don't forget to check the PaperPlay blog Thursday, 17th. See you there!
"Every night, at bedtime, we read him a story.
Here’s some of his favourites this year, the ones he asks to read again and again.
The Gruffalo He loves it and I love to read this one to him. I didn’t understand why this book about a mouse and a monster was in the bestsellers list, until I read it aloud. The beautiful rhyme, the perfectly chosen words makes this book a must for a little boy.
Charlie and Lola The adventures of a very small and very funny girl and her ever so pacient big brother. A favourite of Lucy’s when she was small, now loved by her very small and very funny brother. Mamãe loves the illustrations too.
Meg and Mog A book series featuring Meg the witch, Mog the cat and Owl. Cute drawing, simple and concise wording. Still in his favourite list.
Thomas the Tank Engine Liked little boys all over the world, Luke is no exception. His mother thinks it is boring and still can’t tell which engine is which.
In the Night Garden Babyish, very babyish, based on a TV series, lots of nonsense like “Makka Pakka Akka Wakka Mikka Makka Moo”. Anyway, a bedtime story that finishes with the line “time to go to bed” ain’t bad."

Friday 4 December 2009

Calendar Photos

Every year I make handmade cards for my extended family. This year I decided to be lazy and make a calendar instead, I thought that I could select photos, upload them in photobox and order them a matter or an hour or so. Not so. Took me ages, I found that I couldn't customise it as I wanted regarding language and national holidays, and it cost me over €80 for 6 calendars.

In retrospect, I should have bought a bind-it-all machine, printed the calendar (a freebie), printed the photos and put the whole thing together myself.

But at least I got a LO out of it, with a simple design plus a bit of softness added by the handwritten month names. Handwritten by Shimelle Laine, that is, not me :-)

*Digital paper: Starburst Mini Kit by Shimelle Laine @ 2Peas
*Month words:
Digi Kit - Penned Words::Dates by Shimelle Laine @ 2Peas
*Butterflies: PSE brush

*Font: Times New Roman

To be honest, not all photos were taken in the month as labelled, but they're the ones I used in the calendar.
TFL and have a good weekend!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

My boy is changing :-(

My darling daughter is a diva. Bright, talented and definitely high maintenance. After her, it was a relief to have an easy going - bright and talented too - little boy. He's just this little easy going, always happy kid. Or should I say, he was. Lately he started to show his other side, he now knows that he can be loud and high maintenance too.

It's definitely a part of his growing up, as they are other symptoms too, like all the "why"s that peppers any conversation with him, and his interest in his origins, so overral it is a good thing. But must he be so loud?

* Patterned Paper: Sassafras (Hot air ballon and border), Karla Dudley @ The Digichick shop (digi paper with pebbles)
* Chipboard letters: Pink Paislee
* Font: Adobe Caslon Pro
* Also: Acrylic paint, thread and black pen

Sunday 29 November 2009

A tutorial - due to popular demand :-)

Popular demand is a bit, ok, a huge exageration, but some of my fellow members of them Studio Calico forum asked how I made the image below.

It's a variation of a previous tutorial, but with enough different steps to warranty another tutorial. I've used PSE 5.

Step 1. Open your background and save it as different file. This one is one of Shimelle's Autumn Apples polka dots papers.

Step 2. Open a new layer and copy your photography in it.

Step 3. In the layers pallete, click on the half-black/half-white circle icon (create adjustment layer) and select Threshold.

Step 4. Move the slider until you're happy with what you see. The background will become b&w too, but don't worry about it.

Step 5. Right click on the current layer (the adjustment layer), and select merge down.

Step 6. Modify the blending mode (pull down menu in the top left of the layers palette) to Darken. Then you will get what you see below.

Step 7. The final touches. In the photo layer, use the eraser to remove the bits you don't want in the background. Then make the bottom layer (the pattern) active, select the brush tool and paint over the face. Faces usually don't look good with a pattern on it :-)

That's it, folks!

Saturday 28 November 2009

I've scrapped but not paperplayed

I had a senior moment this week and completely forgot to make my entry for PaperPlay. But the other members didn't so check it out, fab entries.

I haven't been doing much scrapping this month and was having withdraw symptoms, so I took some time to get something done this week.
It is for a Studio Calico Challenge, had to use paint & SC stamps. I went a bit mad with paint, sewing and stamping and embossing.

*Stamp: Story Time by Studio Calico
*Chipboard: Sassafras
*Font: BooPee
*Also paper scraps, thread, ink, acrylic paint, glitter, gesso, packaging (Prima) and bubble wrap

The one below was done for the Sketch Challenge in SI, the photo is one of my favourite of all times. Shimelle Laine asked me to take part, the original layout/sketch was by Helen Miles, now Helen and I are part of Shimelle's Digi CT, so we meet again.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

A layout about photography and some good byes...

* Digital Papers: Autumn Apples Polka Dot Papers
* Flowers: Prima
* Date stamp: Viking Direct
* Font: Times New Roman

This is for Shimelle's CT, I added the title and a modified photo of me in one of her Polka Dots papers and them printed the whole bundle in white Bazzil cardstock. A few embellies and then it was done!

"I don’t much understand the technical aspects of photography.
I don’t know who are the best and greatest.
I certainly am not an expert.
But because one day Roger told me that I should choose our next camera,
because one day I had this beautiful baby daughter,
because one day I discovered scrapbooking,
because all of that,
I started to see photography as an art form.
Not that my photos are art.
But every now and then I take a photo that makes me happy.
And when I see art in other people’s photos,
it makes me happy too.
And being able to see beauty
is a true blessing."

The good byes are not from me, it is only that yesterday I got a layout back from Scrapbook Inspirations. My last assignment which was published only last month and now it is gone. I will be forever grateful to SI, that published my layouts and even commissioned a few sketch takes over the years.

Also good bye to Ali Edwards in Studio A, she's leaving CK, sniff, sniff.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Two sneak peeks


One my second project as Shimelle Laine's CT team member, I am loving her polka dots papers. This one is so pretty and feminine, irresistible. I even got my sewing machine off the box, I enjoyed playing the paper, primas and thread.

Another peek is for a little project of mine, I borrowed another of Shimelle's polka dots paper but is a completely different project altogether. If you have a little time, please let me know what you think of what you see, I'd love some feedback. Thanks.

My brother is over just for the weekend, so not much time to play but I just want to tell I am alive and well! Have a good weekend!

Sunday 15 November 2009


I went with a friend and my daughter to the "Art Fair 09" in the RDS. We didn't get to see everything - the drawbacks of going with a 7 year old, but some really beautiful paintings, ceramics and photos.

My favourites were: Alan Boyle Ceramics, some of his works can be seen here. Patricia Murphy, painter. Sharon McDaid, painter. I didn't buy anything, our house is a mess at the moment, but one we get it sorted, I'd love to get some paintings by Sharon McDaid, her landscapes are full of life and atmosphere.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Shimelle Digitals

Yipeee!!! Look at me here:

I'm part of Shimelle Laine's Baker's Dozen!

Baker's Dozen is a group of girls which will design with Shimelle's fabulous digital artwork . We are Shimelle's Digi Design Team.

We are:

allison http://hugharts.blogspot.com/

anso http://glitteradventure.blogspot.com/

avital http://www.creativityprompt.com/

dolly http://dollysdreamings.typepad.com/

elisa http://hybrid-alien.blogspot.com/

helen http://lovingthetraditional.blogspot.com/

karen c. http://redartscrapping.blogspot.com/

karen m. http://talesfromthescrapheap.blogspot.com/

kate http://libertycottage.blogspot.com/

nadine http://hello-love.org/

rani http://www.scrapyoga.typepad.com/

sheri http://www.auntierere.blogspot.com/

yvonne http://yvonnes-inkyfingers.blogspot.com/

All items from the Long and Winding Road DigiKit. It is a super easy kit to use. Being a slow scrapper, I was surprised that I managed to finish this layout so quickly. At first I thought the paper suited a feminine layout (and it does) but when I looked again, I saw that the shape resembled fireworks. Then it was only a matter of changing the colour (originals in blue and pale green) and I was almost done. Oh, the joys of digi scrapping! But yes, I'll print the layout in paper, I didn't buy a A3 printer for nothing!

Please go and check Shimelle's digi shop at Two Peas, and also the blogs of the other DT members for more Winding Road layouts.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Watch this space

I am very excited by a new opportunity that was given to me. Everything will be clear tomorrow, watch this space.

And finally a LO, it is a bad photo, I'll repost it if a managed to get a better one today.

It is a Halloween photo with Halloween paper and embellies but a bit unconventional as the photo doesn't show my daughter's costume and the journalling has nothing to do with the occasion.

"Every girl’s mother thinks
that she has got the most
beautiful daughter in the
whole wide world.
But somebody’s gotta be
And I have the sneaky
suspicion that it could be
be ME.

Halloween 2009"

Based on a sketch by Séverine
. She's one of my favourite scrappers, and I just loved the sketch. I made it big to adjust to my somewhat myoptic style but I think it looks better in the original version.

Paper by Creative Imaginations, bought in Craft Supplies. I kinda spoiled it to suit my design needs - the best parts are not seen!

The cute bat is a freebie from Paper Crave.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Did you have a happy Halloween?

The kids had a party each to attend and the weather was mild enough to go trick or treating so they had a great time.

Here's one of my favourite photos, just a portrait of my little witch.

Another great news is that, the new PaperPlay DT was announced, go and check this amazing girls. Sandie, Kate, Julie and myself are still there too.
I haven't finished a layout in weeks and am really missing my fix, scrapping and crafting in general are my fix, my way to relax and feel good. This freebie by Shimelle Laine has the words to describe what scrapbooking means to me.

Saturday 7 November 2009

I'll be back soon!

Without my trusted laptop, I haven't been scrapbooking nor cardmaking much - I'm sorta hybrid, I feel like trying to run with my legs tied together.

But I haven't been iddle, I have been working on a little project of mine. And I have received great news today which I'll share as soon as I can. (They are both craft-related by the way).

Saturday 24 October 2009

Not topless but laptopless

The poor thing is either very sick or terminally ill. Anyway, with the school midterm break and sometime to find out if can be fixed and have it fixed or buy a new one, it will be 2 to 3 weeks, plus a week to reinstall all everything.

I'll be browsing and checking the forum, but won't be posting anything in the blogs in the meantime. Maybe a blessing in disguise to let me pursue the creative activities which don't need a computer. Sigh...

See you in a few weeks.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

No Name LO

This layout's been in my desk for a couple of weeks. It started with a title in stickers - which i hated - I then tried a combination of amhandwritten & handcut word and another set of stickers. Didn't work either. I considered having all the title handcut but by then the patterned paper had disappeared, so I gave up.

Not all layouts need a title.

It is about my son's progress in this first bike.

12.08: Got a bike from Santa. Could not pedal, but looked cute on it. 01.09-04.09 : Bike just stood there. 05.09: Started pedalling in a really odd way, as he only put pressure on the right foot. 06.09: Got the hang of it. 07.09: Went cycling all the way to Gran gran. Slow. 09.09: Cannot keep up with him anymore. Too fast.

* Patterned Paper: Making Memories (script) and Studio Calico (trees)
* Chipboard turns: Maya Road
* Bycicle Paper: Studio Calico
* Big brads: American Crafts

Friday 16 October 2009

Finally a LO!

I really missed working on a layout. I think this is the first one I have finished this month. I've been doing bits and pieces of crafty stuff, but this is the first paper LO in quite a while. And I enjoying doing this.
This is the my August 09 summary. It is based on a challenge @ Studio Calico - to get inspiration from a favourite catalog or magazine.

Here's my layout:

* Patterned paper: Studio Calico
* Digital pattern: Photogenic by Paislee Press & Audacious Designs @ Oscraps.com (on top left paper)
* Fonts: Marketing Script, VT Portable Remington
* Other: pearls, masking tape

and here's my inspiration:

* Anthropologie website

Sunday 4 October 2009

Too much sleep, not enough craft

A good night sleep might be good news for most, but for me feeling sleepy greatly impairs my crafting. I only get to do something when the kids are in bed and I get the last day chores dones. And my emails/forums checked, of course.

This week I only made 3 cards, and 2.5 layouts. And not even one of the weekly tasks I assigned mysef only last week. Ah... well...

One of the layouts was a digital one. Usually I end up working a way to print it and add some papers and embellishments, I can't figure out a good way to do this one, so it will remain only digi. I might clean it up and have it printed sometimes.

* Fonts: Impact, GF Halda Normal
* Brushes: Design Fruit

It says:
"She loves the camera and the camera loves her."

I used PSP, I am not sure it there's a way to do hollow letters in PSE.

Friday 2 October 2009


I'm a born pessimist, a glass half-empty sort of person, sometimes I have to remind myself how lucky I am and that I should be grateful for my blessing, specially my family.

This layout does triple duty, as it is also my PaperPlay entry for this week, and another fun project for my "to-do" list - I used gesso and acrylic over a b&w paper, to tone it down a bit.

*Patterned Paper: Teresa Collins
*Other: gesso, pink acrylic paint, cardstock, bit shot die-cuts and buttons.

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Lifebooks, lists and manga - another long winded post

Did I ever tell you about how I started scrapbooking?

When adopting Lucy (and Luke) we were told how important was to write a lifebook for them. A lifebook is the story of the child, from birth. It is a great thing for every child, adopted or not, to have a book to tell their story, but even more important from a child who's been adopted or in foster care. It is a way to provide information about their origins, understand the circunstances that led them to an adoptive or foster family.

While trying to write it, I found this book by Beth O'Malley, which helped enormously with the topics it should cover and the wording. But on the design side, I was on my own, and I wasn't pleased with it.

While trying to find out some hints on how to improve it, I stumbled across the word "scrapbooking" and a whole world opened to me. I started me into digital scrapbooking. Eventually I finished the lifebook for my daughter and jumped into paper scrapbooking and the rest is history.

But the story if not finished. While I slowly managed to scrap their little (and big) current stories, the lifebook remained untouched. And while I have a few pages for my son's book, it never got even printed.

Because I got into scrapbooking, mini albums, photography, cards, craft forum, blog hopping, etc. Besides my daughter loves to look at her earlier photos, but never had much interest in her lifebook. So why bother when there are much more interest things to do? And not enough time?

But the thing is, now that I know my audience, I probably can rewrite the book and make it more appealing to them. By adding much much more photos. Oh how the love to look at photos of their cute selves when they were babies! And how their love the stories of what made them happy or laugh or cry.

So I decided for the n'th time to finish/rewrite their lifebooks. But I didn't want my whole craft time taken over by this task - I still wanted to scrap, edit my photos, read blogs, etc etc. So I came up with a list.

With things I should do daily, weekly and monthly.

For example:
each day:
a card (OK, maybe each other day, or each 3 days... :-) )
each week:
a page each of the children's lifebook
a page of my childhood memories book
my paperplay challenge entry
each month:
a month summary
a couple of fun, do-not-worry-if-it-is-going-to-be-a-disaster, project.

It might look a bit like the scrap time is going to like a job, with goals and timetable, but for someone like me that is disorganised and slow, it is probably the best way to accomplish what I want long term, while still leaving time to pursue this scrapbooking hobby of mine.

I will also nurture my creative by just trying to do something without worrying too much about the outcome. Like painting, stitching, origami, or anything I fancy at the time.

I was lucky this week, because the fun project turned out to be the one for the PaperPlay Challenge, check it out tomorrow (1st October).

And today I made another one, inspired by Lily. She made a manga inspired card.

I spent good part of my childhood drawing pictures, and lots inspired in the mangas lying around the house, which I couldn't quite read - Japanese is complicated it has 2 alphabets plus a symbol based writing. But I loved the drawings which were elaborate, and full of girls, flowers, stars and beautiful dresses. Looking at Lily's card brought back memories and I decided to draw a manga inspired girl. But boy, am I rusty! After a half-dozen attempts I decided to use a photo of my daughter and draw her manga-style.

Since I don't own any copics, I went the digital way and scanned it, coloured and added some ready made embellishments.

* Drawing: my own
* Heart background paper: Shabby Princess
* Floral brush: Fresh Foliage by Design Fruit

What am I going to do with it?
Probably nothing, apart from posting it here.
But that's the fun of a fun project.


By the way, she's way cutter IRL, see here, fourth photo, right-hand side.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Height Chart

Besides the regular measurements at the doctor's (which I don't put much faith), we used to measure and record our children's heights on a certain bedroom wall.

Now, this bedroom is going to be my son's bedroom and the wall was repainted. Before that, I took a photo of the height chart and wrote down the heights and weights and the respective dates.

I am slightly disappointed with this LO, I was happy with the idea of printing all the dates & measurements directly on the cardstock and the design and photos are OK, but I think the colour combination is a bit wishy-washy, it lacks a certain punch...

*Patterned Paper: Archaic, Basic Grey
* Chipboard Letters: Fetching, Pink Paislee
* Journaling Paper: Collage Press (I think)

Tuesday 22 September 2009

On top of the world

That's why I don't do much handwriting. I always make a mistake...

* Patterned Paper: Scenic Route
* Letter stickers: Thickers, American Crafts (pink), Fashion Script, Pink Paislee (white)
* Other stickers: Making Memories
* Pearls: KaiserCraft
* Other: Ribbon

Thursday 17 September 2009

PaperPlay today

The PaperPlay challenge is up, check it up, the entries are great!

Jackie set the challenge : " Tag it "
I would like you to use a tag or multiple tags on your creation .. any size .. any shape!! =o)

I got stuck of a sec, I don't do tags, then I remembered a fabulous minialbum made with tags by the SC DT member, Tina Aszmus, check it here (more in the Studio Calico gallery), and decided to lift her idea. Completely. I've got no shame.

I put 10 of my favourite photos of my children in it. Since it would be hard to trim my favourites to 10 I concentrated only in the early photos and very recent ones.

Intro page says:

"Some are good photos, some are quite bad.
In some there's a story behind them,
in others they just look cute.
But each one of them makes my heart skip a beat."

* Tags: Luggage Tag Coasters, Maya Road
* Fabric: fabRips, Studio Calico
* Labels: Scenic Route and twogirlzstuff.etsy.com
* Journaling paper and butterfly: unknown

* Font:VT Portable Remington

Wednesday 16 September 2009

School Trouble

My son started a new Montessori school this September. He's loving it but he's got an active imagination. I assume this previous teacher and classmates were used to it, but he's confusing his new coleagues. Like the day he said his house went on fire and he had to ring 999. Sigh...

I forgot to put the date and the last sentence is not right, I'll have to reprint it.

*Patterned Paper: Basic Grey
*Letter stickers: Sassafras
* Font: Times New Roman

Sometimes I just stick photos and papers in a piece of paper, but usually I sketch my layouts computer, sometimes the real one ends up pretty different from the plan, but sometimes it is almost a carbon copy.
I like how the title turned out.

Sunday 13 September 2009

In search of the magical photo - rambling warning!!!

This post doesn't have anything to do with scrapbooking or any papercrafts. Or it has, because photography is the raw material for the scrapbooker.

I've got interested in photography about 2 to 3 years ago, mainly because I wanted better photos to scrap. We bought a DSLR, I tried to decypher the manual - which was hopeless. So I read books, took an online course (@ 2Peas, by Joanna Bollick), then another two (by Cheryl Johnson), bought countless magazines.

Somewhere, probably several times, I must have been told this, but only now it hit me. If I want to take magical photos I have to have a vision in my head, a vision of what I want to acomplish. It doesn't mean that I have to plan days in advance, sometimes the vision might come only a second before the click, but it has to be there.

It just hit me as I was following my son in the park, I saw him cycling towards the bright area, under the yellowing tree. Then I saw the photo - him in the bright light, framed by the shaded ground, the golden tree, and a second tree trunk.

I didn't get it, the tree trunk on the left is missing, making the tree on the left float like a cloud, and the one on the right is too dark and a bit boring. But it COULD have worked. And the it would have been a magical photo. Well, at least for me. Thanks for listening.

Saturday 12 September 2009

School Challenge

This is a very late (a week late) entry for Davinie's school supplies challenge at Studio Calico.

"In honor of back to school, let's break out those school supplies.
The challenge this week is to create a layout, card, or altered project that includes:
the color red (you know, inspired by that apple for the teacher).
journaling spot (in honor of note taking)
stars (for a job well done!)"

I decided to talk about my daughter's many talents. She's an all-rounder and I don't think she appreciates how lucky she is.

Friday 11 September 2009

Double Challenge

I've completed two challenges with this layout. This week's PaperPlay was set by Kate: "No Patterned Paper", and Davinie's Project 12 Challenge.

* Letter Stickers: Pink Paislee
* Font: Lucida Sans

Thursday 3 September 2009

How Small is a Small Elephant?

A dialog between my daughter and son.

*Patterned Paper: Early Bird, Cosmo Cricket
*Chipboard letters: Basic Grey
*Chipboard shapes: Whoop De Doo, GCD Studios
*Font: Century Gothic

Sunday 30 August 2009

Back to school

Even though I had more than 2 months to cover my daughter's books, I only had it done yesterday. Typical!
Last year, I asked her to write her name and do some drawings which I scanned and made into a label. This year I took the easier route and started with a premade label, I only removed the original writing and added my own.

I covered her printed books with them.
* Digital labels: Kawaii Cute Fruits Mini Kit

For her copy books, I used the same frames but replaced the fruits by these cute dolls - a freebie from "A Print A Day".

* Dolls: 2 Panel Dolls from A Print A Day

And last week's PaperPlay challenge was "Back to School".
I made a layout about my son and his first teacher, his Montessori teacher. She wasn't wearing sunglasses, I only added them because I couldn't contact her to get permission to put her photo in the net.

* Lace Paper: Ki Memories
* Paper strips: Studio Calico and Cosmo Cricket
* Digital Frame: Paislee Press @ Oscraps.com
* Font: Century Gothic
* Other: Felt and owl embellishment

Monday 24 August 2009

Challenges Ahead

It's probably the first time I used lots of purple & lilacs in a layout. I like purples and lilacs in clothes, but have a mental block about using them anywhere at home or in a scrapbook page.

To balance it out, I put the flowers against a greenish background.

The title looks a bit weird, I wanted to use this specific letters but had run out of "A"s, "D"s and had only one "E", so I used upside down "V"s for As and cut bits and pieces of other letters for the remaining.

* Die Cut 12x12 paper: Collage Press
* Letter Stickers: American Crafts
* Flowers: mostly Primas
* Other: decorative tape, brads and buttons