Thursday, 16 October 2014


Hello lovely blog readers!

I meant to post this earlier in the week but I've been chasing my tail since being off work with a stinker of a cold! I'm just getting back on track now and I'm excited to be posting about a contest that Studio Calico is hosting at the moment...

Studio Calico is all about delivering inspiration; through the kits, the classroom, the creative team gallery and in many other ways. I am personally inspired by the wonderful community that hangs out on the message boards and posts in the member gallery. There have been so many times when I've been supported, uplifted and encouraged by these wonderful women and I am so grateful to have it as my online home!

And, of course, there's that box of goodness that comes to the house every month! I really look forward to seeing the Project Life cards...they continually inspire me to tell my everyday stories in a simple but fun way. Here's some of my favourites from The Underground kit...

Now, Studio Calico is wanting to hear all about what inspires you and is hosting a fab contest to make it even more fun! Here's what you need to do in order to be entered to win some amazing prizes...

1. Download this beautiful and totally free digital poster:

2. Share a photo and caption on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter that explains what it is about Studio Calico that inspires you, and tag it #scinspires.

3. Tell your friendsThe more uses of the hashtag #scinspires, the more prizes SC will give away! Be sure to check back on the blog every Friday to see how it's going!

Are you ready to see what's up for grabs?

Contest Rules:
You must download the printable to be entered to win the prizes. Shared photos on social networks must be tagged with #scinspires and set to public to be considered. Number of individual winners and prizes received are dependent on number of shares. Contestants may share more than one photo. Contest ends 10/31/14 at 11:59 pm EST.

Some of the creative have also been taking part in a blog hop this week, giving away extra prizes! Visit their blogs to be entered to win...

I'm getting in on the action too! I'm giving away The Underground Project Life kit to one lucky winner!
Just leave me a comment by Sunday night at 23.59 EST (Monday morning at 4.59 BST) letting me know what you're planning on sharing with the #scinspires tag!
Happy Thursday!

Friday, 3 October 2014

The latest from the Calico classroom

I've been following Ashley Goldberg on Instagram for a good few months now and I'm always inspired by her unbelievably awesome patterns. So it might not come as much of a surprise if I were to tell you that I was over-the-top excited when it was announced that she would be teaching a new class over at Studio Calico...

We've all experienced it – the frustration of sitting in front of a blank page for hours and still coming up empty. Well, we've got the remedy: cutting-edge artist Ashley Goldberg. Ashley’s come wielding her brush and paints to invite you into Paint.Plan.Play, an “art” class designed for scrapbookers. Grab the paints and brushes you've been collecting and let Ashley help you tap into the creativity you've got hiding inside yourself.

During the first half of Paint.Plan.Play, you’ll explore core painting techniques Ashley uses every day, then you will transition into putting those new skills to use in several projects. With Ashley’s expert guidance, you will learn how to take control of color, pattern, and text by using paint, collage, and various other mediums to add allure to all your paper crafting projects – from personally designed journal layouts to Project Life spreads.


  • 4 technique videos from Ashley sharing tips and tricks for painted backgrounds, mark making, stamping and working with patterned paper.
  • a PDF from Ashley sharing how she uses her painted pages to create an Art Planner.
  • Inspiration PDFs from our expert contributors sharing 10 ideas for using these paint techniques on art journal pages, layouts and Project Life® spreads.
  • Access to a class message board and gallery, where you can share and learn with your teacher and fellow students.
  • Weekly challenges to inspire you to use what you've learned.

Enrollment is open until October 31st at 11:59pm EST, and Paint.Plan.Play will begin on November 1st. 

I honestly CANNOT WAIT for this class to start. How am I going to wait for a whole month?! And have you seen the goodies that have arrived in the shop for this class?! Here are some of my absolute favourites...

We're also getting into the holiday season over at Studio Calico with a Christmas card class, which I'm hoping will actually make me send out cards this year!

The Yuletide season is upon us and that means it’s time to send hand-crafted greeting cards and tags for those you hold nearest and dearest. In Send Joy Lisa Spangler will show you how to create 15 cards and 5 tags in bulk so that you can send them to 100 of your closest friends. Provide your entire Christmas list with handmade cards made with care.


  • 5 videos - 4 from Lisa Spangler and 1 from Jennifer McGuire - sharing tips and tricks for well designed cards that you can make for everyone on your list.
  • PDF lessons sharing ideas for 10 stamped cards, 5 letterpress cards and 5 tags from Lisa and her contributors.
  • 5 card sketches to use as starting points
  • Access to a class message board and gallery, where you can share and learn with your teacher and fellow students.
  • Weekly challenges to inspire you to use what you've learned.

Send Joy is enrolling now through October 31st at 11:59pm EST, and all class content will be posted on November 1st.

Happy Friday!

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.