I just want to give myself a little toot!

There's a new blinkie in my side bar over there! I got invited over to join the digital creative team over at Two Peas in a Bucket! Talk about heart palpating with excitement! I've got oodles of their digi kits on my hard drive already, plus I'm on Emily's (Polka Dot Pixel's) creative team (who sells at Two Peas) but to be asked to join in and play with the lush creations of ALL of the designers over there is thrilling! Thanks Erica!

I'm just starting to get into the swing of things over there and will share with you three pages for now.
Falling for Digital - DSD collab by the designers at Two Peas in a Bucket 
Template - Gridz by ChrissyW 
Fonts - Roundslab Serif, Jellyka Saint-Andrew's Queen 

Template Mixin' It Up 9 by Chrissy W 
I Hope by Edeline Marta 
A Vintage Affair by Polka Dot Pixels 
Font - Enhanted Prairie Dog

Fashionably Fall papers and elements by Tricia Chapman 
Font - Bud Hand 

DSD is here and there's so much fun to be found!

Starting off at ZigZagScrap!

To celebrate Digital Scrapbooking Day, we have a totally amazing blog train. And I really do mean amazing! The theme is Memory Keepers and it is such a beautifully soft and elegant colour palette. Plus there is an even more amazing 50% storewide (pretty well everything) sale! and not forgetting the games and challenges being hosted on the forum!

And there is even more to shout about as we have FOUR NEW DESIGNERS joining the shop this week too, really there is so much to choose from in store it's unreal!

Here's a page from me using the fabulousness from the blog train:

And a whole selection of inspiration from the other members of the Creative Team:

So you are probably here for your freebie, right? Okay well I love word art and don't think you can ever have enough, so I've got a pack for you available to download from Dropbox.

Not totally sure about the scrapbooking is cheaper than therapy, but it's okay to let other people think that :D

If you are following the train order, you will have arrived here from Terese of t for me designs and your next stop will be Rita of Blue Flower Art and if you get lost along the way you can find the whole listing over in this post at the ZigZagScrap Fun Place. Be aware that our team is diverse and spread throughout various corners of the earth! If the blog post link isn't up and running when you first visit it, give it a whirl a little later on.

The freebies from the Design Team are only around until Monday 7th November, after that you will have to head over to the store. My own freebie (can't speak for the other Creative Team members) will be around for a little longer :)


What a blast!

I had a blast teaching at the scrapping retreat this past weekend organised by A Trip Down Memory Lane.  I taught four classes over the weekend, so I was busy, busy, busy, but I had really great feedback from the ladies which is always a good feeling.

As ever, it was great meeting up with old friends and chatting and making new ones. Plus the chance to stroke (and buy) (yet more) goodies from well stocked shop. This was the 9th retreat organised by Mel and Jill and (again as ever) it was totally fabulous. I was really impressed by the restaurant staff who went above and beyond to provide me with scrumptious gluten free options (very appreciated it was).

My first class uses My Mind's Eye Lush products. I was given quite a generous kit to work with, but I was a bit OMG! when I saw it, as I would never have picked these papers myself in a million years (and all but two of the ladies in the class agreed with me). Though it does go to show that stretching yourself with new product can give you suprisingly great results! I decided to do three layouts in the one class (very ambitious) each layout focusing on a specific design technique.

The first was 'what white space?' as in the white space was taken up by patterned paper, so it was there, but not obvious at all.

The second was 'little and large' the use of contrast (size of photos in this case)

The third was 'again and again' being repetition of design elements (pattern, butterflies and text across the page). A simple page to put together making great use of scraps and my butterfly dies and punch! (though someone completed theirs using snowflakes and that was STUNNING!).

My next class was a double layout, quite simple in construction (though there was quite a bit of cutting out and layering images from the patterned paper) as this was a technique based class where the ladies got to play with shrink plastic to create their own unique embellishments (on mine the shrink plastic is the smaller butterfly and flower centres). In the class they used different colouring techniques as well as stamping and die cutting the shrink plastic. The papers, trim and fabric labels are all from the Webster's Pages All About Me range and are totally gorgeous!

The third class was a home decor item of a chipboard star created from scratch, with a bonus card (as I felt guilty that the star didn't actually use up much of the kit contents lol!). I chose to work with the St Nick range from Fancy Pants as I like to use traditional colours myself for Christmas, yet there are enough whimsical touches in the papers (not those I used, but in the selection given to the delegates to choose from) if anyone wanted something more fun than traditional.

My final class was more technically challenging, it involved lots of measuring and cutting out to make best use of the beautiful Bo Bunny patterned papers (plus they had to cut a great big circle in the background which caused a few palpitations lol!), as well as creating flowers from fabric and paper.

Phew! A busy weekend to say the least!

Huge thanks to Mel and Jill for asking me along and to EVERYONE who was so friendly!

My class is up

Over at the A Trip Down Memory Lane cybercrop.

Sneak peek

Using the really fun Ad Lib range from Bo Bunny. See it on the blog here (and follow the link to download the pdf).

My next go I think will be either Ann's triple frame card or the sketch challenge.

Blogger isn't liking me today, it won't let me comment :(

Cybercropping today!

A heads up that there is a cyber crop this weekend over at A Trip Down Memory Lane. A no pressure, use up your stash and create beautiful pages cybercrop. Four classes are up already and two challenges have been issued. I'm a bit behind (so, what's new?) - I've just finished doing Ann's wonderful double layout class. Now to decide on which to do next!

Photos to follow :)

A freebie fruity framework for you!

I do love alliteration lol!

Things have been incredibly hectic this end. Seen far more of the Royal Derby hospital than I ever felt I needed to, and for far too many times too!

Josh's birthday came and went as has Mia's (my baby is TEN! - how did that happen?!) Chiara's is next on the list in May. FIL is still very poorly in hospital (thank you everyone for all your thoughts and wishes, they do mean a lot to me).

I have been doing a lot of creating in some form or another, whether it be baking and decorating, creating party pieces, cards, paper scrapping or digital scrapping. I just haven't really had the time to sit down and get all my thoughts together and bits and bobs organised for sharing properly.

Updating my slide shows is moving up my list of priorities (as should be clearing my paper scrapping space).

Just for now though I wanted to share a digital scrapbook template freebie with you. Bear with me, I haven't shared a download on my blog before so I am really hoping that I have it all figured out right. It's a .psd layered template, based on this digital page:

Two Peas in a Bucket: Eggstravaganza and Kitschensinque by Polka Dot Pixels
Owl Tree Studio: Iced Cookie Alpha by Wild Blueberry Ink
Sweet Shoppe Designs: Itty Bits alpha by Danni Mogstad
Fonts: Dancing Script OT and Vintage Typewriter

Which, in turn, was based on this paper page made for A Trip Down Memory Lane for a monthly DT gallery using My Little Shoebox papers:

Scraplifting your own pages is in no way cheating! Nope, it's making the best of what you've already done and can be a great timesaver too.

Download the digital template here

Please let me know if you have any problems and I'll try to figure them out.

Oh and, if you don't digital scrapbook, here's the sketch for you instead :)

A week of highs and lows

Happy birthday wishes this week for DH (ssshhh! he won't want you to know how hold!) and also my eldest child, DS Josh who reached 16! He didn't ask for anything or want to go anywhere. I was rather disappointed so made an extra special effort with the cake. Given the situation with FIL, I was running out of time and spent all day Friday (Josh's birthday) decorating my usual chocolate cake.

I used sugar paste for the first time in fifteen years (the last time was for his first birthday cake!). Inspired by a pic in a book, but I added lots of black glittered sugarpaste stars too, as well as spraying it over with edible gold lustre spray. The centrepiece stars should have been edible too, but there wasn't enough time for them to set hard enough, so they were cut from glittered cardstock with my Sizzix. The '16' was sparklers.

And here it is lit:

I think I rolled the sugar paste out a little too thin and it cracked a bit when put over the cake, but I managed to hide most of them with the glittered stars. I'm really proud of my efforts I have to say.

I've told the girls not to get ideas as I'm not going to this much trouble for all three every year! Too stressful (and too expensive!).

The low for the week is that my most treasured father in law has suffered a massive stroke and remains unconscious. This is devastating for our family - any prayers would be appreciated.

Two Peas Winterfest

Do you love to stamp? Winter is the perfect time to hunker down and get inky! Peas are gathering on the Stamping board and inviting you to participate in an event members have organized and named Winterfest! There will be challenges and chatter you won't want to miss. Two Peas in a Bucket will also be sponsoring prizes and giving you badges by participating. Interested? Just head on over to the General Stamping message board and dive right in! See the master thread for an index of challenges and details if you have questions; challenges begin March 5th. Have fun!

Now I'm not a master stamper by ANY MEANS of the imagination. In fact, the main times that I stamp are when I fancy joining in challenges like Winterfest. I love challenges, the chance to try new things and be inspired by the projects submitted by other people. I will be hosting a challenge at Winterfest myself, with a randomly drawn prize winner to get a $15 gift certificate to the Two Peas store.

The challenges take place from 5th to 13th March so there is plenty of time to join in.

Got to start clearing my desk ready to make samples for my own challenge!

Quickie share

Been feeling rough all week so that, coupled with the dire weather, has made half term with the kids rather a wash out in more ways than one :(

We did manage some baking, the girls made a marble maze game from an empty chocolate box, bits of cardboard, cut out holes and some marbles out of Kerplunk! So creative, must take a photo and scrap about that! I'm thinking of setting them some sort of treasure challenge tomorrow, but as the weather has been given as bad again, it is going to have to be an indoors one, I think. The one I'm favouring the most at the moment is a 'fit as many items in a matchbox as you can' challenge, though it's a larger than normal size matchbox they will be filling, and the girls will be working together as a team as it would be too unfair otherwise given the big difference between them.

Today has been half term hair cut day. No photos yet (unfortunately Mia had her hair curled after cutting today and they fell out by bed time). Chiara has gone for a more 'grown up' cut, reflected in the fact that they tried charging as if she was 14 - she's still 11 lol! Josh has had the normal blade 2 and bog brush on top style. I keep trying to talk him into something more on trend, but he's not terribly fashion conscious - until it comes to jeans (of which we had to buy two more pairs today - he's growing way too fast still!)

I've been playing digi whilst I've been poorly, using the laptop in the warmth of the lounge (when I've been able to wrestle it out of Josh's clutches). As it's up with him now I can't share my projects for Owl Tree Studio (which was my original intention) so I'm sharing this page using Two Peas products (including the weekly freebie template available here). As you can see, I kept pretty faithful to the template, though I straightened out the frame as I thought it being wonky gave it a playful look and the photo I used didn't match that mood at all.

The photo is just a fortuitous snap taking whilst the girls were out playing in the garden last year - I altered the colour tones to match the more wistful look captured on Mia's unposed pose (if you follow me).

Credits all Two Peas in a Bucket

Template freebie February 2011
Summer's Edge kit by Scrap Originals
Boho Chic (freebie) Brandy Buffington
Live Well word art (freebie) Jo Hanna
Font Angelina (freely available on the web)

Cute Things Make me Smile

I was lucky enough to be asked to guest design by Leo over at Quirky Kits this month. The kit came and I was amazed at all the different bits and pieces includes, so many different embellishments and textures as well as a lovely selection of papers by Sassafras and 4heures37 and a variety of cardstock types (including bling and dotted swiss).

So far I've created five layouts, have a further one planned and a couple of little extra projects too. I've blogged my creations on the Quirky Kits blog here and here.

A couple of close ups for you:

I told you it was a fun kit!

7Gypsies yumminess

This month Mel and Jill at A Trip Down Memory Lane sent out a selection of 7Gypsies goodies to create with for the shop design team gallery.

I have to admit that 7Gypsies papers aren't the first I think of when creating layouts as I generally like to use more colourful and/or playful papers. However, being given something different from the norm really does help to give a push outside of your comfort zone and normal creative boundaries. And the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so to speak, and I absolutely love all the projects I created this month!

I made three layouts with the Paddington papers, another using the Conservatory papers and then I decorated a beautiful decorative heart I bought from the local garden centre. So double whammy for me then because I don't usually do off the page pieces either!

The gallery is up over at A Trip Down Memory Lane (be sure to click over all three pages to see everything) where you can see a whole range of beautiful pieces created by the design team. Some sneakies from my submissions to whet your appetite are below:

On this page I used the packaging tag from a roll of 7Gypsies tape and added some of the steampunk style rub-ons to it and layered over some of the phrase stickers (I absolutely adore those sheets of 7Gypsies 97% complete stickers, I have LOTS of them and use them LOTS too!).

Here I used some more of the rub-ons, a couple directly onto the sheer journaling block and a third onto a button. Oh, and I wanted that splash of red in the bottom corner but the words on the tape didn't 'fit' the page at all so I simply cut it down into smaller pieces so you get the effect without the distraction of uncomplimentary text.

I already had a pile of these die cut butterflies sitting on my desk from my previous post over at It's a Creative World. Some more of those rub-ons on buttons, layered them on a selection of the journal blocks from a Pink Paislee notebook and there is a very easy (but striking) embellishment for a very simple (but striking) page.

You know, I really probably wouldn't have bought the rub-ons either, I'm not much into the grunge or steampunk look, but I feel a need to buy more of them because I have loved how they add such fun and interesting detail to the pages. The actual ones I used are these but there is a whole range of 7Gypsies rub-ons available in the shop here.

Yet another of those butterflies (well, two actually, the sheet music one was rather flimsy so I layered it over a corrugated card one to make it more sturdy).  I absolutely love these little typewriter words, the set I had was Family but there are other themes too - and just how perfect was the 'gather' one for a page about my daughter's snail collecting habit?!

Finally, a peek at the decorated heart. I  added in quite a few bits and pieces onto this item. The key and quote sticker are 7Gypsies, the bird/oval frame was cut out of some very delicious My Mind's Eye Lost and Found papers, the sticker heart is Webster's Pages and the little love embellishment is from way back when when I first started scrapbooking, as are the little metal pins (which I added some beads to).

Who knew?

I was playing with a digital page the other day and found out that you can use a brush in conjunction with the eraser tool to create a punched effect. Adding a drop shadow increases the 'depth' of the cut out. How cool!

I created this page with a free template over at Two Peas in a Bucket and using the Apple of My Eye kit (it's such a beautiful kit) by Vinnie Pearce, also at Two Peas. I altered the template slightly to included two photos rather than three, added a photo mat, the butterflies and moved the title down a bit.

Oh and that title effect - I re-coloured a tag from the kit, used a standard font (Georgia), made it bold and added a Simple Pillow Emboss effect layer style. I love that this gives a debossed effect to the text.

Counterfeit kit for February

I put together my kit for February yesterday ready for crop today.

All the links are available at the Counterfeit kit challenge blog, the kit photos at the kit site (Scraps of Darkness) are here.

I've made the colours of my kit less 'boudoir' and more girly, but tried to keep in with the general feel in terms of tone and pattern.

I've got nine patterned papers, plus a half sheet and a die cut sheet. These are a mix of Prima, Webster's Pages, My Mind's Eye and Making Memories.

There are seven sheets of cardstock and a LOT of part used sets of alphas. I like to have a variety of fonts and sizes and I think this is a good mix.

I've added in a lot of bling and buttons (more things I missed last month) together with the ribbons, Cosmic Shimmers and Prima masks. I've not bothered with the mirrors or page pebbles (substituted with the epoxy brads).

I added in the stamps rather than stamping the images onto cardstock as I thought this would give me more flexibility in using them (ie stamping directly onto the patterned papers, which is something I did with the January kit). I love adding stickers to my pages too, especially word and phrase stickers, so just added a few sheets which I felt went with the kit colours.

Finally, I added in a pile of die cuts and metals. I love layering on my pages and use die cuts LOTS! And the metals are from a box I have been hoarding for many years now. Glad to see metals coming back into fashion, scrapbookwise!

So, yes, a HUGE kit, but I limited myself on what I took to crop to this kit, the remnants of the January kit and a Guest DT kit. I had my trimmer, tool kit, inks, Big Shot and a selection of punches and dies and that is it! Walking in with one tote instead of two totes PLUS lots other other stuff was a shock to everyone I can tell you LOL!

Counterfeit Kit pages

A while ago on It's a Creative World, I wrote about a new blog I'd discovered, The Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog. My original post at IACW lists all the goodies I used putting together the January kit (together with links to the original kit we were counterfeiting) and can be found here if you want all the details.

This is the kit I put together

So far, I've created two layouts - I've put off doing more as I am wanting to take the kit to crop with me tomorrow. I used everything from the kit. I added a different coloured thread and also used the doily stamps with versamark and and Distress embossing powder on this first page (which was part of the Stamping and Scrapbooking class challenge for February over at Two Peas).

Here's a close up of the heat embossed image - I used the Tattered Rose Distress embossing powder, it was a perfect match for the pale pink on the clothing tag I used on the page.

And this close up shows the clothing tag I used (as part of another Two Peas challenge), just the perfect addition to a page talking about how much fun my daughter had shopping for new clothes for her new High School (no school uniform!).

This second page I added some Cosmic Shimmer mists to the background (hence the slight crumpling to the background paper). Also extra to the kit are the alpha stickers for the word 'so' which, in the spirit of the challenge blog, are by Creative Imaginations and must be six or seven years old! 

I also punched out one of the digital elements, I think it adds yet another touch of whimsy to this page.

And I used some of the border stickers as journaling lines (again for a Two Peas challenge - to use border stickers creatively on a layout).

I really enjoyed working with such a mix of products from so many manufacturers. It did take a while to put together (in no small part due to the huge stash I have and which I trawled through), but all I have to do now is look for a few more photos to 'fit the kit' and I've got another two or three pages all planned for tomorrow.

I'm also going to be putting together the February Counterfeit kit too based on this kit

I have to say I'm not too hot on the colour mix here (rather I can't think of anything I would be scrapbooking with those colours) so I will be changing the colours up a bit - which is one of the great things about putting kits together this way.

Lucky Me!

I won a cute digital kit for a facebook comment this week. It's this one here at Two Peas Me and You kit by Edeline Marta. And here's a quick page I did with it as I was eager to play (and also I used a freebie template by Chrissy W, also at Two Peas ). I love this kit and I can't wait to play more with it, but I have other things I have to do first! And, unfortunately, tomorrow I'm at the Accountant's so no time to play *sulk*.

I've done lots of scrapping over the weekend, enjoying the challenges over at Two Peas as they celebrate CHA. Lots of new goodies coming out, I can't wait to see what Mel and Jill get in over at A Trip Down Memory Lane. Lots of lush stuff to be added to my wish list I'm sure.

Here's a couple of the pages I have done. I admit to starting them at crop but not actually getting very far with them. For all of these three I used the Sugar Rush collection by Basic Grey (a wonderfully generous prize pack sponsored by Basic Grey and issued by Two Peas for another challenge quite a while ago).

This snap of Chiara posing in a replica turtle shell at Chester Zoo a couple of years ago came out great (with a little PSE tweaking!). I love the look of pure enjoyment on her face. The colours of the kit were perfect for the photo and I couldn't help using that corny title! The journaling is about how Chiara was growing in confidence at that point in her life, so the title did double duty.

I used some Hot Off the Press stamps (that I seem to recall were another prize, I know, I've been so lucky in drawings and challenges!) to add part of the title to a handcut banner, to fit the Scrapbook Stamping class that was running over at Two Peas in January (to include stamping in your title and journaling). This is a year long class (February's is to add heat embossed images to a layout) and I'm already getting a lot more use out of my stamps than they have seen in like .... ummm .... forever!).

I loved these fun pics of Mia at a local park last year and, of course, the purple dress was another great match for the papers. I always get a bit 'blah' over journaling these park play photos, just how many times can you talk about having fun playing on the swings or whatever? So for this one I used the photos as a link to something that is very dear to Mia's heart and that is animals. She loves all animals, but has a special dream of having a horse, or pony, or donkey or dog! Like the title says ... Dream on!

These photos are from the same day as the Dream on layout. We don't always get the chance to go out much as a family (and even on this day, Josh didn't want to join us at the park - not fun enough for a fifteeen year old any more I guess) and especially last year as it seemed to be permanently raining! Mia is such a happy and loving little girl and she really is a joy to be with (well, mostly!).

These layered embellishments from Basic Grey are such fun, I thought off setting them was perfect for the cloud shape and it gave me more room for the title too. As you can see, I'm working my older stash a lot at the moment. These rub-ons are by Crate Paper and the paper flowers are years old and by Making Memories - I love them and happily bought a lot when they were on clearance.