November 2, 2008 – Miriam Thomas

Day: November 2, 2008

It is not unusual for people to say to me “How do you find the time for scrapbooking and cardmaking?” With 4 children under 6 years of age and their various activities and my commitments- the truth is that there isn’t a lot of time.  My godsend is my room which we affectionately call “The Tardis”.  This room contains my scrapbooking and papercraft supplies and is the home of many other things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else in the house! Having this space allows me to ‘take five’ at various times in the day in between all the other jobs that need to be done.  While I am waiting for the next load of washing to finish- I might pull out a photo, select some cardstock and pull out some stamp sets.  Later in the day when the kids are playing happily on their own in the next room I might spend 10 minutes shuffling things around and working on the layout.  Having the room to leave things and walk away- and then come back when I have a spare moment is great. The room is just modest with a well worn desk and chair and LOADS of little containers everywhere!  It is without a doubt the messiest/ most mis-matched room in my home. One day I might be brave enough to photograph it and pop it up on the blog!

The other thing I have been enjoying lately is attending the fortnightly scrapbooking sessions at my local scrapbook store.   It’s great because it encourages me to set aside some ‘me time’ in the evening to attend.  Everyone who attends is asked to bring along their basic tools and then items from a list of materials that may include things like 1 sheet of cardstock, one strip of a cardstock in a different colour, two strips of co-ordinating patterned paper, a certain number of brads or buttons, a chipboard title, a photo of a certain size, a piece of ribbon , a journalling stamp, co-ordinating ink, etc.  I like the fact that this ‘limits’ what I can use on a page and I am not overwhelmed by too many products at home (but it is a relief to know that we can duck downstairs to purchase something just in case the colour of cardstock we brought along just isn’t working)  We arrive to find a completed page and we are encouraged to ‘scraplift’ the page.  It is amazing how different everyone’s pages look so different and people are free to alter things to suit their photo and their own personal style, etc.  I like to bring enough materials to complete 3 pages (one for each of the oldest kids who notice when I have completed a page for one of them but another another! 🙂 )

Normally I have a wonderful time but the last session just wasn’t happening for me!  The entire layout we were encouraged to ‘scraplift’ was CUT BY HAND. Yes- not a paper trimmer in sight!   The mat on which the photo sat, the strips of paper bordering the page, the large scallops across the bottom, the felt flowers- everything- was cut with a pair of scissors!  In addition to this there was a strip of felt that hand stitching right across the length of the page.  Anyone who knows me well will know that I am not a fan of stitching/ sewing- I like the ‘look’ of it on a page but actually DOING the sewing is too much like hard work! I have been known to throw items of clothes away instead of attempting to sew the buttons back on. (Yes- Lazy- I know! I know!)    Anyway- I attempted this layout including the zig zag stitch across the felt on the page- and I just COULDN’T get it to come together.  I ended up going home defeated for the first time ever without a completed page.   

Well this afternoon I sat down and tried to ‘rescue’ the layout.  After spending so much time the other night I was determind to not spend a lot of time on it, not ‘overthink’ it, and just get ‘something’ completed.  The other night I was actually getting frustrated and really wasn’t enjoying myself.  I decided I need to stop for a moment and make this ‘my layout’.  I like straight lines and I tend to make my pages very simple.  I set the simple goal to just be true to myself.    I achieved my goal- I completed a layout.   It doesn’t look a lot like the original sketch and I resorted to using my paper trimmer to cut straight lines.  I also cheated and used ready-cut felt flowers instead cutting out my own and tossed out the felt strip with the zig zag stitch and replaced it with a simple back stitch straight onto the  patterned paper. 

I actually much prefer the original layout we were asked to scraplift.  It looks so much ‘funkier’ so much ‘artier’, so much ‘edgier’ (I doubt any of those are real words- but they were the best words I could come up with to describe how fab the layout looked)  I especially liked the beads that were adhered with dimensional magic across the bottom of each of the handcut scallops and the ribbon that was creased/ crumpled and twisted and held in place with brads.  I like the opportunity to try out something different BUT…….. I just couldn’t make it work on MY layout……… and you know what I don’t mind.  I actually liked the fact that not being able to ‘get it to work’ made me stop for a moment and reflect on the fact that scrapbooking is such a personal thing and it has to feel right!  So here is is- my less edgy, less arty, less funky and very straight and simple layout! 

Oh dear- Next fortnight the layout focuses on the technique known as ‘stitch and rip’ – which is going to be tricky for someone like me who isn’t a fan of sewing nor randomly tearing the paper on my pages!!!! EEK!  I think I might be resorting to ‘faux stitching’ for this one.

Happy Birthday Emma

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Well the 31st of October was another birthday in the family-  Not unusual in a large family.  It also marked the end of the 20% savings on the selected birthday stamps sets.  These stamps sets are still available to order- but at full price.  At the moment there are no Stampin’ Up specials available- but Stampin’ Up! are such a generous company that I have no doubt there will be something exciting around the corner….so stay tuned.  

This is probably a good opportunity to point out what good value Stampin’ Up!’s products are- even when there isn’t a special happening.  One of my favourite things about Stampin’ Up! is the fact that the stamps are sold in co-ordinated sets.  You can use one or several of the stamps from a set and you can be confident that they will ‘work’ together.  When you look at how many stamps you get in a set- you know that you are getting good value.   Then you just have to look at the patterned paper packs and the rolls of ribbon- oh I could just go on and on.  Then off course, any time an order goes over $300- you are able to pick a FREE stamp set and select $30 worth of merchandise for FREE! (You don’t have to ‘host a workshop’- if personal sales exceed $300 you can select some goodies for FREE- and of course if you would like to host a workshop- please do not hesitate to get in touch with me)

Anyway- back to Emma’s birthday.  I wanted to make use of my “Short and Sweet” stamp set that I purchased for myself during the 20% off selected birthday stamp sets.  Even at its regular price it is excellent value with sentiments such as “Very merry”, “Love you”, Wish big” “Best wishes”, “Thank you, and “Welcome baby” plus 6 mini stamps that co-ordinate with the sentiments and could be used as a background or a border.  It is wonderful value at only $29.95 (on page 118 of the idea book/catalogue) 

I wanted to make a card that had fresh ‘spring colours’.  Christmas is just around the corner (52 days I believe) and I have no doubt I will be working with various shades of red and green so I wanted to work with something completely different.  I picked out the Groovy Guava ribbon from the Sherbet Ribbon Pack.  I really like the ribbon but groovy guava isn’t a colour I would normally go for- so the challenge was to find some colours that would work.  I used one of the stamps from “A little bit of happiness” (Hostess Set) and just randomly picked three colour I thought looked nice together and started colouring the image.  When it came time to match the cardstock I discovered that the three colours I used to colour the stamped image were So Saffron, Always Artichoke and Bashful Blue which are the main colours from the Le Jardin Patterned Pack.  I thought I was being random and spontaneous- but apparently not- so I slipped a bit of patterned paper onto the card too!

The edges of the Groovy Guava ribbon is wrapped around the cardstock layers and secured at the back of the cardstock- At the last minute I decided I wanted to add the Always Artichoke ribbon  (a favourite of mine at the moment) but I had already stuck down the layers of cardstock so I couldn’t secure the ribbon in the same way- so I sliced a little slit into the spine of the card.  The Always Artichoke ribbon was then fed through the spine and wrapped around the front and tied in place.



After completing the card I made the observation that the card could just as easily have another sentiment on it (such as ‘thank you’) and not necessarily be a birthday card.  I also realised how it bears some similarities to the birthday card I made for Dylan- which wasn’t my intention- I guess it is one of those things that happens from time to time when you don’t have a design in mind and just start putting things together.

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