Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Magic | A hybrid tutorial

I've been dabbling with hybrid pages recently, just playing around and experimenting. But I have to tell you, I really love it! I've got a quick and easy tutorial for you today to show you how I made a page that documents a trip I took to Disneyland Paris last summer. Enjoy!

I decided that I wanted some sort of grid to my page that would consist of a mixture of square photos and square pieces of patterned paper all the same size. So the first thing I did was to crop all my photos to 2x2 inches in Photoshop. I also made a blank square of the same size, which I could use to map out where my pieces of patterned paper would go. I coloured the square grey so I would be able to see what I was doing with it!

Next, I dragged the photos and multiple copies of the grey square into an 8.5x11 document and arranged them all in a grid design that I was happy with. I decided I wanted strips of squares with spaces in between each strip, rather than have all the squares touching each other. To achieve this, I aligned the photos and grey squares together in a strip and then linked them together so that I could move the whole strip in one go. I made sure I was happy with the spacing in between the strips and round the edges.

I used the blank spaces around the photos to type my journaling, making sure that the text aligned perfectly with the squares. I made sure to leave some space at the bottom of the page for a title.

You could absolutely print out the photos and journaling on photo paper and build your page from there. However, I still wanted the texture and dimension of physical photos glued on to a background so I printed the photos and the journaling out separately. In order to do this, I first hid all the text layers in the layers palette, coloured the grey squares white so as to not waste ink and printed out the document on to photo paper. Then I hid the photo layers and made the text layers visible, printing the journaling on to white cardstock.

Once all the printing was done, I cut out the photo strips...

...and adhered them to the cardstock, lining them up with the journaling.

With my Silhouette Cameo, I cut out a title on to adhesive gold foil paper using these digital brushes from Ali Edwards.

 I cut out some 2x2 inch squares of patterned paper from the Crate Paper Notes & Things collection (plus a patterned vellum from the Oh Darling collection) and adhered them on top of the blank squares. After that, I added a few pieces of chipboard and a rub-on, also from Notes & Things, to pretty things up. And voila!

 I absolutely loved putting this page together and I loved that it was so quick and easy even more! What I didn't love was reading back over my journaling when I was editing all the images and realising there are a couple of typos in there! D'oh! Oh well.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Underground reveal

Reveal happened a couple of days over at Studio Calico. There are still kits available, by the can pick them up here.

Here's my Project Life spread for this month's gallery...

Have you checked out the gallery yet? It is full of good stuff!

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Can you tell I'm ill while I'm writing this?! (It's ok, I know you can!)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Underground sneaks

It's been quiet here on the blog this week and I haven't liked it one bit as I really felt like I'd been getting the momentum going over the past few weeks. But I've not been feeling well recently and I've had some emotional stuff to deal with which has made me feel not quite myself. Something had to give and so the blog has been abandoned for the week!

Just dashing in today to share my sneaks for this month's Studio Calico kits, The Underground, which go on sale later for subscribers at 12.00pm EST (5.00pm BST) and for the general public at 12.00am EST (5.00am BST).

All of these are sneaks of the main Project Life kit. Other things had to give this month and unfortunately, crafting has had to go! I'm SO glad I was able to at least put this PL spread together to just tide my creative side over until I'm able to start creating again. I'm now quite behind for Project Life...currently constructing a catch-up plan in my head!

Don't forget that there's still a few days left to enroll for Snapshot, Pen & Paper and won't be sorry!

See you for full reveal later :)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Today is the day | scrapbook layout

Earlier this week, I started a new blog series called Get Real. In that post, I talked about how I've recently been inspired to write from a deeper, more genuine place again and I mentioned that I'd be sharing a layout that came as a direct result from my writing revelation.

Well, I'm excited to share it here today as it's one of my favourite layouts I've ever made. Like I said before, it's not full of artsy techniques. It's simple. But the words are deep and real and true. They mean something to me.

Chipboard, die-cuts, rub-on, patterned paper - Crate Paper (Notes & Things)
gold letter sticker - Pebbles (Jen Hadfield's Home & Made)
wood veneer stars - Studio Calico

(Excuse the blur on the image...I had to apply a little blur to it before uploading it anywhere to protect the modesty of my little niece at the request of my brother and sister-in-law!)

The journaling reads:

Today is the day that our family gains a brand new member. Today is the day that someone else becomes a Baxter.

Today is the day that your mummy and daddy's dreams come true by becoming parents and being the happiest people in the world.

Today is the day that we all get something good to focus on amid a year that has been full of struggles and heartache. Today is the day that your grandad has something else to fight for and hold on to during his battle with cancer.

Today is the day that you make two girls who were once just sisters now also two very proud aunties together. Today is the day that they have a reason to buy baby clothes and spoil you rotten.

Today is the day that you come into the world so small and beautiful and innocent.

Welcome to the world, Jemima Jayne. We're so happy you're here.

For the journaling, I used that gorgeous chipboard piece from Crate Paper's Notes & Things line as a jumping off point. Once I'd decided to use it as my title, I decided to start every sentence with the words 'Today is the day'. I found this such an easy way to write as all I really had to do was form a list in my head of all the things that my niece's birthday meant to us as a family and put each one in a sentence after the prompt. It's such a simple story-telling technique but it managed to elicit some really heartfelt words that my niece will hopefully come to treasure as she grows up.

As a bonus, I was thrilled when I signed up to Ali Edwards' first month of Story Stamps yesterday as she talks a lot in her content (free access when you purchase the stamps) about using this exact story structure where you repeat a word or phrase to begin each sentence. I cannot wait to get my hands on these stamps and use them to create more journaling like this...I'm feeling super inspired right now! If you haven't signed up for these stamps yet, you really should. The free content alone (two videos, a handout and a digital file) is worth the price of the stamps. And the fact that I'll be getting a fun little package through my letterbox in a little while? BONUS! Can't wait to see what she's got up her sleeve with the kits she'll be bringing out in the next couple of months.

What stories have you been telling on your scrapbook pages recently?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Favourites

1. The newly-released Project Life app. True scrapbooking on the go!

2. Autumn boots. Now if only it would get a bit colder here...

3. This print ad from Krispy Kreme. Everyone needs to eat a doughnut every now and then!

4. This. It just makes me smile.

5. This blog post. #10 is my favourite.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Workspace Wednesday

I've got a Workspace Wednesday post up on the Studio Calico blog today...come over and check out how I store my scrapbooking goodies in my very small space!

Happy Wednesday :)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Get Real | A new blog series

If I asked you to tell me something that you know about me, what would you say? Would you say that you know I am from England? Or that I am a teacher in my twenties? Would it be that I am part of the Creative Team for Studio Calico? Or maybe that I love reading? Would you be able to tell me anything beyond that?

Because I'm not sure you would.

And that's not your fault.

It's mine.

Here on my blog, my Instagram page or even on my scrapbook/Project Life pages, I tend not to go too deep with my thoughts and feelings. Everything tends to be a 'this is what I did and when' show and tell scenario. Which is fine. But there's always been something within me that feels I want to delve deeper. To be more real. This is especially the case with how I approach my memory-keeping. Journaling for me tends to be a bit of an afterthought or, dare I say it, a chore. It's the thing I always leave for last because it's the thing I enjoy the least. How did that even happen? I love writing. Or, at least, I used to. But you wouldn't know that from reading my blog or my scrapbook pages. And I think that's a dreadful shame.

Over the last week or so, I've had what you might call a bit of a relevation. And that's all thanks to Laura Kurz's class for Studio Calico, Pen & Paper. Laura has helped me to reconnect with the author within me and fall back in love with writing. And I am so grateful for that. Yesterday, I created my first traditional scrapbook page with meaningful, heartful journaling for the first time in years. And you know what? I think it's my favourite page I've ever made. It's not technically brilliant. It's not particularly artsy. But looking at the photo I chose alongside reading the words I crafted tells a story that is very dear to my heart in a way that will be so special for years to come. And it feels good, my friends!

But it doesn't just stop there. I want to have that feel on my blog here, too. I want this to be a place that's more than just a place to share my projects and host giveaways for you, although I'll still be doing those things.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to a new series that I'm starting here on the blog...

Get Real will be an opportunity for me to tell real stories about me and my life here on the blog. It won't always be serious. It might sometimes be short. But the stories I tell will be me. The stories I tell will be real. And I'm really excited about that.

To kick things off, I'd like to share with you something I wrote one evening last week and then shared on the Pen & Paper message board. It is the first part of a story about a day that turned out to be one of the most memorable days of my life...

I stir from my sleep with a heavy feeling. Today is Wednesday. I hate Wednesdays. It's my longest day at work and still so far from being the weekend. Following my waking ritual, I roll over and look at my phone. It is some time before 6am and so I have a little time before I need to get up for work.
There's a missed call from the one person from whom I have been waiting to hear. That can only mean one thing. Today is going to be no ordinary Wednesday.
I have been waiting for this call for a few days now. Since the 11th of July, I have prayed to receive this call and every day that has gone by has brought with it a sense of disappointment. Not today. Not yet. Maybe tomorrow?
The call was logged some time after 11.00pm last night. I have slept the entire night in blissful ignorance. A sense of annoyance rises up in me. How could I have missed this?
I press the callback button, my fingers shaking ever so slightly. There is no answer. I immediately send a text explaining how I'd been asleep, all the while getting crosser and crosser that I should have been having the conversation last night. Suddenly, I am faced with a strange dilemma. I am desperate for the toilet but I don't want to leave the room! I compromise…I take the phone with me!
A text comes through a few minutes later. “Can't talk at the moment...I'll try within 30 minutes,” it reads. Thus begins one of the most agonising waits of my life. Every second seems like a minute, every minute an hour. I try to go on with my morning as normal but my thoughts are consumed of what news will await me on the other end of the phone.
Closer to about 7.15am, the phone rings. That familiar sound that usually inspires a sigh before I see who's calling. Not so today. My heart is pounding as I swipe my finger across the screen.
“Hello?” I answer in a questioning tone, despite the fact that I know very well who is calling and what he is calling to say. The familiar voice of my brother on the other end of the phone responds with a casual greeting. Definitely not the greeting that I would expect on such an occasion. But this is Daniel, after all. He does like to play jokes by feigning ignorance or indifference.
“Have you got some news for me?” I ask, timidly.
In the next sentence he tells me what I have been waiting months to hear. I'm an auntie.
The rest of the morning is spent in a hazy dream-like state. Despite the fact that I am still not allowed to know the gender of the baby (not until I meet him or her face-to-face), I am almost unbearably excited. I am an auntie.
This is no ordinary Wednesday. This is the most exciting Wednesday in the history of Wednesdays.

I hope Get Real is something that you can get excited about as well...I'm pleased to have an opportunity for you all to get to know me a bit better! If there's anything in particular you would like to know, please leave me a comment or send me an email! And be sure to check back here later in the week...I'll be sharing that scrapbook layout I mentioned earlier.

Happy Monday!