Friday, 30 December 2011

#19 Another layout created with scraps

Well, folks. This has been a quieter week which is a welcome change. I still have family (and kiddies) around, so my scrapping time is limited, but I could not take another second of my desk in disarray, so I buckled down and set out to clear it.

If you remember from my post earlier last week, this is what my desk looked like once I was done with my challenge layout.
 the b-side to the colorful scenic route paper is that yellow with orange dots pattern. I used that and several punches to create the sun below and this layout came together in 15 minutes, including drying time for the watercolors used. That's what I call productive.

The nieces and nephews pictured above are the same ones in town today. I have been thinking a lot about how much they have grown since the last time I saw them, so I just needed to do a layout with all of them together like this.

Hope you will be joining us next week as Lisa kicks off another fun challenge for us on Monday and we embark on what could potentially be a 52-challenge year. Oh, how exciting!


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

#19 Inspired by Scraps

At last! Here I am posting my layout for Pam's challenge #19.

It's taken my some time to get back to my table and apart from a Christmas card I created last night (if you can believe it), this is the first creating I've done for almost two weeks. I'd almost forgotten how to do it!

I posted this photo yesterday showing you how my table looked after creating my WM#18 layout and explained to you that this in unusual. Yes, I make total chaos while I am making a single page and usually end up with about 3 square inches of free space at the end of it, but my table doesn't stay like this for long.

Right away the next morning, I cleared my table to look like this. 

But I kept all those scraps in one place so that I could quickly and easily create this page. And Pam was so right. This came together in minutes! I mean it took me ages to get it finished (we are talking the slowest scrapper in the universe after all) but just grabbing those scraps and making it work made very light work of the process and was so much fun

I went light, bright and girlie. I'm enjoying the bright colours and even coloured cardstock right now. I'm not sure if it will last but sunshine yellow, tangerine, raspberry pink and green seems like a perfect combination right now!

I decided on the design and actually stitched the banner down (can't have a layout without a banner at the moment!) before I even thought about a photo. And this was the first girlie photo that I put my hands on. No story behind it so it was perfect just for a few words to our little headstrong niece! Some of the embellies were out of the same Christmas kit box and then I threw in a sprinkling of other items that were near to hand just to keep it bright and colourful. 

It may not be my usual style but it was a lot of fun and I'm hoping that this is a good start back to creating now that the crazy days are over :-)

And my table now?

5 minutes ago it looked like this:

And now, I'm happy to say it looks like this again:

Ah, that clear table feeling! If it wasn't so late, I'd be dragging everything out again right away to get creating! But it is late, and I'm full of another cold :-( so I'm off to have a steaming hot bath.

As promised, I'll be setting the new challenge (#20) to go live on Monday morning (2nd) so in the meantime, I wish you a wonderful few days from now until your New Year celebrations.

Happy 2012! And here's to a creative start to the new year.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Hi there everyone.

Yes, I'm predictably late on two counts.

First, I haven't yet managed to get to Pam's last challenge - to use our scraps. I had every intention of getting to it, but the holiday week overtook me and somehow, I never made it back to my scrap table.

I did take a photo of the scraps I had leftover from WM#18 as I don't generally let the table get piled up. So this is what it looked like when I had finished the last layout and as luck would have it, I'd left it there overnight. Usually, I tidy everything right away but on that night, it was too late and I was too lazy. But here you go.

Now, I just can't have my table all messy before I start something new so I then tidied it all up like I do every time! Every single item goes back where it belongs and then I can breathe more easily when I come to create next time around. I kept all the scrap stuff shown here together though so that I would be able to come back to it and create. But this is what I had when I'd finished.

Ah, that feels better!

Now, I have every intention of getting to that scraps layout either today or tomorrow so check back soon for more!

And second of all, I know that I am late for Challenge #20. Because I'm now two days late, I've decided to get it ready to go next Monday (2nd) and it can be our first challenge for 2012. I hope that's ok for everyone and I haven't messed up Pam's plans for her challenge - if so, Pam, let me know and you can go first ;-) - but I think we all have enough to be getting on with this week!

In the meantime, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the time with friends and family. 

I'll be back again within the next 48 hours!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

#19 Layout created with scraps

So like everyone else around here, I am busy celebrating and spending time with family this week. But I find a sense of calm in creating, so I pushed myself to create tonight: a) to give myself a mental break and b) to finally clear my desk.

 As you remember, I challenged us all to create a layout with whatever remains were on our desk. So in a moment of truth and honesty, here is what my desk looked before I got started.

{the mess was so embarrassing to me, I had to add some actions to the photos to make them look "cool"}. After I cleared up a space for me to work and collected all the random bits, I came up with this.

not very inspiring, huh? For the most part it doesn't even match. The paper is in its majority from a Scenic Route beach paper with surf boards and one with snowflakes, plus a scrap of American Crafts striped paper. Add some random buttons and two punches from cardboard and some twine. But I was determined to show you that if you use your imagination, you can make just about anything work. 

with just the addition of my staple white cardstock and a simple photo, I was able to pull together a quick layout.

And if you're curious... this is what the area looked when I was done. 
  What do you say? I think I have enough scraps for one more...?

 For now, this will sit on my desk as it is. {and I ended up no being 100% cleared up, oh well.}

I am in hurry to get back to more of this instead. 

There you have it. Challenge accomplished and a little inside look at my process {and mess}. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. If you had a moment to create, then please share with us. We love to leave comments and have folks play along. Remember to tag it WM#19.

Until next time - xo,

Monday, 19 December 2011

Challenge #19 Week of 19th of December 2011

Another busy week down and one closer to that special time. By this next next Sunday, Christmas will be essentially over. How fast time flies! 

Mostly this week I want you to concentrate on spending time with those you love. I want you to take deep breaths and remind yourself when things get hectic, what the purpose of this Holiday is for you. Whether the meaning be religious or not, I am sure it is about much more than presents, cooking and trying to please everyone. So, don't stress out too much. Be kind to others as you come across shoppers and attendants. Smile and greet others with warm wishes.

That is your true challenge for this week. But lest we forget what this blog is all about, I do have a scrap-related challenge as well -- and it truly is scrap related.

If you are anything like me, your area is probably overflowing with half-finished projects you're are vowing to get done in time for the opening of the presents. And you probably are wondering how you will ever uncover your desk from this mess. Well, I want to challenge you to use those scraps and things found on your desk to create a layout. I'm serious! I don't want a piece of patterned paper bigger than 3"x3". {in the event your desk is tidy and clean right now - I want you to write me an extensive email telling me how you do it}. 

You know I love scraps - and you might think I am cheating, but often that is how I clean up my mess. I take all those random little bits and instead of putting them away or finding a place for them, I just use them up. So go ahead and use those bits of paper, the rest of that sticker sheet, those unused buttons you brought out and the ribbon you didn't use on your December Daily.

Here is a link I found with some ideas to get you started on what to do with those scraps {65 ways to use your scraps by Sweetly Scrapped}. 

And I leave you with a sampling of my own use of scraps.
Wishing for warmer weather right about now...

use scraps to create your own patterned paper background

So, if you decide not to take the week off, play along with the first photos you find and all those bits left on your desk. It will be fun. I can't wait to see what turns out {don't forget to upload and tag WM#19}. And I am giddy with the excitement that I will get to clear parts of my desk as I work on my challenge this week. {I'll be photographing and uploading my desk as it stands for your viewing horror}. 


#18 Inspired by seasonal details

As ever, I could have gone on in a million different directions with this week's prompt and even repeated some of the topics I've already made layouts about. After all, there is always a second or a third twist to the stories. And then some years I'm a bit of a Christmas fiend with all the decorations and many of them have their own stories which also need recording. I have all the photos for them after all.

But I decided to keep it simple and the one detail that kept coming into my head.

Silly paper hats.

Yes, I know that seems a little odd and I don't know if you all have Christmas crackers but in the UK and in my family, they are quite traditional. When I came to Germany I was surprised that they didn't have them and only have standard crackers for New Year's Eve. But the British ones are so much better. The crappier the better in fact! The really cheap and uncool ones are the most fun as they have the most corny jokes, the best stupid toys and of course, nicely bright, too thin, paper hats! So I started bringing them over so that we could have them with our English style Christmas dinner that I cook for my German family. They were very unsure to begin with and I had to a bit of cajoling to get them to actually wear those silly hats for the camera. But now we all love this little bit of silliness in an otherwise quite formal dinner and I try to always get photos of us all wearing our trademark hats.

I thought about using photos of the whole family before realising that I actually had three different dinners last Christmas with different crackers, hats and photos. And the layout was born! I love the contrast between the elegance of the dinner table, the smart party clothes and the childish headwear!

I used some elements from a kit I had last December. In contrast to Pam, I am a Christmas product freak and get a lot of stuff but I don't make that many layouts ;-) I use it to make cards but the drive to create 12x12s is not so strong. I wanted to make a daily December mini-album of some sort from 13th December through to 6th January which uses up quite a lot of product but so far, this is far from reality. So it was nice to use up a few bits and pieces from my Christmas drawer.

I always think that if I tell my story of Christmas details in my own way just one layout at a time like this one here, then the picture will be fuller and more rounded as time goes on. This type of layout makes me happy and I don't feel the pressure to make those formal pages.

ETA: You can see the layout I made on one little Christmas detail over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge site (here) or on my blog (here), which inspired this week's challenge.

What detail did you capture this week?  Don't forget to share over at Flickr using the tag WM#18.

I'm sure Pam's challenge tomorrow will be a good one and then it's almost count down by hours to the big day!

Happy Sunday everyone and wishing you a great start to the week!

Friday, 16 December 2011

#18 inspired by the details of Christmas

Well, Lisa has done it again. She has inspired me to create another overlooked story. I take lots of pictures at every family event, but here's a little secret about me - I don't actually like themed products and I rarely use/own any. I also quickly get bored with telling the same story over and over. But then Lisa asked us to take a look at the details that make this season special [here].

So I looked through my pictures and found the ones I took last year which I still haven't gotten around to scrapping them. And I looked closely at all the reasons why those pictures make me smile. And a page was born.

 A short word about the tags - I was dying to use my Ormulu tags which came in my Studio Calico December  Kit - Brooklyn Flea. I am not one to endorse vendors often, but I simply cannot get enough of my Studio Calico kits and all the wonderful trinkets they find. I am so glad they introduced me to Ormolu's tags. I am in love. {I am no way affiliated with Ormolu or Studio Calico, but I am a big fan of their products}.

And a quick note about theme product {from my soap box} - guess what? You don't need it! Like I said, I don't have any. But by scrounging through my overflowing stash I was able to find items that would fit the theme either through their color or their shape: buttons, red/green papers, bling, felt, silver pen. And it works! So if you're like me and don't own the entire My Mind's Eye Merry Days of Christmas line {as gorgeous as it may be} you can still create pretty Holiday pages. Get a little creative.

So, I hope you were able to take some time this week from your busy Holiday preparations to play with some paper, glue and baubles. If you did, I look forward to seeing your creations added to our flick'r gallery with the tag WM#18. I am looking forward to seeing what Lisa creates.

And remember to check this space next Monday for a new challenge from yours truly. Now, get back to enjoying those details that make this season so special.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Challenge #18 Week of 12th December 2011

Sorry for the delay everyone...

Well guys, Christmas is now well and truly knocking at the door. Are you ready and organised? Or are you like me - in chaos?!?

Whatever stage of preparation you are in and however you celebrate, I'd like you take a few minutes this week to recognise some of the details that make this time of year special for you.

I wrote a post for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog (which will be posted on Sunday 18th)  which covers exactly this topic. In that post, I talk about the fact that I tend to make more of these detail types of pages than the event of Christmas itself because it's the details that might get lost over the years. I'm not going to forget the people who sit around our table each year but the thrill of seeing the Christmas Market for the first time each November, or the gorgeous decorations I choose each year, or the fantastically stylish window displays in the city, may well slip my mind.


What details will you choose to share this week? I can't wait to see this holiday season through your eyes!

Don't forget to upload your creations over on Flickr with the tag WM#18.

Now back to work on trying to get a grip on things :-)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

#17 Inspired by photos we love

I'm happy to have found time to tell my story today.

This week Pam challenged us to scrapbook just for fun, grab a photo we love and just go for it. No pressure, no specific reason, just because.

Well, I love this sort of creating! I have so many totally random photos that when I flipped through just one pile I had, I sorted out around 10 that could easily have fit the prompt. So I went through them all one more time and this photo of the two of us kissing won through. There's no story, it's unrelated to what else was going on that day (it was my autumnal colours walk) and was certainly an imperfectly composed photo with the shadows rather unflattering and way to the right of the photo. But I love it as I know we are kissing and the long autumn shadows are indicative of the time of year.

And then I was totally delighted to notice that between our heads a heart has been created that I hadn't noticed before. It might be a bit wonky and difficult to see, but it's there and that sort of coincidence is just too good an opportunity to pass up ;-)

I went to my scrap inspiration Pinterest board to find some new inspiration as I've been having fun recently trying on some different scrap "hats" and this design by the amazingly talented Tara Anderson over at Crate Paper got my brain working (here). I loved the overall design, the single photo, all those layers and the loopy threads which is something I'm seeing a lot of recently and have been trying out for myself.

I used some recently purchased BG Sweet Threads and made it pretty colourful. I even did a bit of paint splattering which is also a new design idea for me - I liked it! And it doesn't make the page warp like some of the mists do.

Thanks Pam for permission to just play with paper today. I really enjoyed it as I've been doing a lot of stuff for a "reason" recently and this was a welcome change.

Don't forget to link up over at Flickr with the tag WM#17 and watch this space for the new challenge which should go up tomorrow morning.

I'm off to the Christmas Market now for a Gl├╝hwein ;-)

#17 inspired by Photos we Love

Hello, Friends! Another week has past us by and here I am again happy to report another layout completed. Earlier this week I challenged us all to make a layout "just because" and focus on the picture.

It didn't take me long into looking through my pile to find the perfect picture for this project. I printed the picture 9 x 12. When I am selecting pictures to print I usually don't have a specific layout in mind. I just go with what feels right for the picture. They are usually all 3 x 3, so having such a big picture in the pile instantly drew me to it.

As I sat with it to create, and in trying to come up with a title, I asked myself, exactly why did you print this so huge? And Ta-da! The title was born and the page came together hitch-free.

 I set up the main elements (photo + leaves + title) at 2am one morning in about 15 minutes ... but it didn't feel done. So I let it sit there a few days to allow me to mull over what it needed. The next day I added buttons, another 5 minutes and still it didn't feel done. The next day, my new Studio Calico came in with the wonderful Amy Tangerine border stickers (the leaves) and the tiny type words (the strips of words). Those two elements added that little something the page was missing (in my opinion) and I knew I'd be proud to share my page with you.
This long-winded story just goes to show that when you are not quite done with a page, don't rush the process. Don't hurriedly try to fix it as you may end up "ruining it". Instead, let it rest, simmer. Come back to it at a later time and it might just speak to you. (and now I sound completely bonkers).

Hope you had a great December week. I cannot wait to see Lisa's take on this challenge, although I know she has limited time to play today. It'll be fabulous regardless. If you played along, I can't wait to see your creations in our flick'r gallery later. Remember to tag them WM#17.

Bye for now,

Monday, 5 December 2011

Challenge #17 Week of 5th of December 2011

Hello again friends. I have had a very fun week celebrating my Birthday with my best friend as Lisa mentioned. Now, I know you all think I'm spoiled to be getting a whole week off to party. But trust me, my birthday has never been this big of a deal. I just got lucky this year.

Anyway, because I have loads to catch up on and because I know some of you are participating in December Daily/ preparing for the Holidays / making handmade gifts, etc... I will keep the challenge simple this week.

Here is my little example -

the entire purpose of this page? To use those photos. Why? because I love them. The journaling/title/page isn't about the date, time and place. It doesn't tell a story about this day or why we took those pictures. It is a 'just because' page, and I am ok with that. Now, I know some of you may be cringing. How can I take time off to just play when I have so many important moments to document? Simple, I just do. If you are making 5 or 20 or 100 layouts a year, I am sure you are getting those details in there somewhere.

But often we have this picture (or pictures) that keep getting pushed to the end of the pile simply because we don't have a story. Your challenge this week is to take that picture and make a page. Allow yourself to play and have some stress-free fun.

Make a page using a photo or photos which you love - Just Because. 

For journaling or a title try to come up with a quote, saying, lyrics, leave them out altogether or go with "just because". Keep it simple. This is about that picture you love. Trust me, it will feel good.

As always, Lisa and I will post our fun pages by next Sunday. If you decide to play along, please add it to our flick'r gallery so we can all be inspired by you and tag it as WM#17.

Until next time {oh and Be Awesome Today}.


#16 Inspired by Birthdays

You guys, this challenge could not have come at a better time. Thank you Lisa for being so thoughtful and putting this together for our Birthdays. I cannot tell you all the amazing week I have had.

Anyway, I didn't forget you all, or my little commitment to this blog. Lisa's challenge gave me a great excuse to get that new list {yes, I was able to finish the list this week} down on paper and then scrap it.

It is one of the funnest layouts I have done in quite some time and I feel it totally represents me. If this layout is any indication of how my year will turn out, then I am anxious to see what it holds. I just used some scraps from my never dwindling pile and my Martha Stewart circle punch and just created a rainbow. I added brads in the empty spaces for interest and I think it adds a touch of whimsy. And of course, I misted the corners for extra fun. Challenge complete. Because the concept was so simple, I worked on it throughout the week adding bits here and there.

But Lisa's prompt almost had me thinking about the one thing I want to highlight from my birthdays present or past. And so today I found the time to also fit this page in. Design wise it doesn't say much nor do I love it, but the story is one of my favorites so the page gets a gold star.

From just looking at the photos, you can't tell this is my birthday and that she is cooking my birthday dinner last year. There are no balloons, cake or candles. No banners or party guests. But these pictures are as true for my birthday celebration as any other. I could have just scrapped about my grandma's gnoccis being the best or about what a great cook she is in general... but instead I told this story. And it is perfect. And this is a page I will cherish for a long time. Thank you Lisa for asking us to look past the obvious as we celebrate our days.

For the record, the gnoccis this year were exceptional. Wish you all could have come over!

Remember to add your creation to our flickr gallery and tag it with WM#16 if you played along, which I hope you did.

I will be back later with our new challenge.



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