Friday, 26 March 2010 0 comments
No More Freebies for a Little While ...

I've got to concentrate on my new jobs here at:

Hazel Olive Designs

She is just WAY too creative and fun to work with! And she's got some freebies for you right here.
Available at MScraps .
Here are my pages with the above kits:

Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 1 comments
Getting Published

The more I get my work published in magazines, the more I realise how clueless I am about which layouts to send in.

There are the ones I feel aren't very striking or particularly technical. Yet, they will get published. There are some layouts that I feel particularly strong about and supremely happy with, and they don't get a response from other people at all.

When you're a crafter, it's hard to look at your work objectively and know if it's good enough or not. Your judgement can be clouded by so many factors, least of all your emotional attachment to the subject matter.

Only the trained eye can guage how much time and endless, finicky effort went into your creation. To most people, it's just a gorgeous, lovingly hand-crafted photo decoration. They do not see the processes behind it all - how hard it was to cover those chipboard letters, the mess you made embossing that embellishment, or how finnicky it was to sew around that title. Especially with your crappy sewing machine!

And I guess that's part of it all - you want your layout or card to look so professional that there is no evidence of all behind-the-scenes stuff.

So because it is so hard to know what the magazines want, my advice is to send in anything remotely good and sit and wait for a response. You have to be in it to win it.

I know with traditional scrapping, it certainly helps to have a lot of the latest releases piled high onto your page. You also have to be good at photographing or scanning your page to show them a preview before sending the real one in. Make sure you photograph it in good light and don't use a flash. Crop your image to include only the page, not the carpet behind it! You need to be willing to part with your original creation for about 6 months if you get accepted, and be willing to pay postage. Keep a list of all the brand names of the materials you use - you'll need them.

With digital, I think it's a lot easier. For a start, you just need to resize your layout to 72dpi and send that in as a preview. Send only one layout per email. Send that email to lots of different magazines. Don't be embarassed to send off fifty emails in one stint. If you get an acceptance offer, you're going to need to list all your materials. Here's where a good organised digi supplies program comes in.

I use ACDSee to organise my supplies. It's a tedious process of tagging each element/paper/brush but it helps when you've got to go back and find the exact piece to list in your materials blurb. These designers have spent a lot of time and effort creating the stuff you use on your layouts, so I think it's imperative to give them Kudos for it :)

A more efficient method would be to list the materials you use straight after you've completed your layout, on the off chance you send it in and it gets published. I tag all of my materials into a new favourites folder and then, if a particular layout gets accepted, I can just bring up my favourites folder with that layout name on it, and it's all there. It sure beats 6 hours of searching back through all your stash trying to find the name of that brush you used 6 months ago!

Most magazines have specific submission calls, which you should refer to in your subject line. But they are almost always looking for "general" layouts or "digital" layouts too, so don't restrict your submissions only to those they've called for. 

Don't create layouts specifically for magazines. It doesn't work. Create what you want, when you want. It'll turn out 100 per cent better than something you've created only through motivation to be published. When it's finished, then browse the different submission calls and see where it might fit in. Remember, there is always just plain old generic "digital" or "general" submission calls too. And if you've never been published before, then add "newbie" or "fresh face" to your subject line.

When you get that acceptance email, act on it straight away. Do all the paper work, and post it in!

So to recap:
1. create first, submit last.
2. write down all your supplies and their brand names
3. Browse submission calls and see where your layout / card might fit in
4. Send in anything else under the "general" category
5. Send in more than you think will get published
6. Don't be surprised if something you think is fairly ordinary actually gets accepted!
7. When you receive that acceptance email, ACT FAST! Deadlines are deadlines, after all.

Edited: In recent days since I wrote this blog post, my friend Brittney has had a cute layout accepted in Scrapbooking Memories after much pushing from me to start submitting her stuff to the magazines. She was ecstatic! And so was I! So if you want some very one-on-one advice or pushing, please don't hesitate to email me for some guidance. I'm really happy to help. Congratulations Brittney!
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 2 comments
Project 365 or Project 52

I'm sure you have all heard of this concept - a photo a day for a year, or a photo a week for a year. The idea is to pick just one photo per day, and write a few words - philosophical, eventful, mundane, or not. But when you look back on the book after a year, you'll be so glad you did this project!

Well, I started  off in 2008 and got about, oh I dunno, 15 days into it before I started missing photos, swapping other photos for different days, making up idiotic thoughts to go with the photo of a cow pat ... etc. I failed. Or rather, the concept failed me.

These are all 2008 December Daily pages, using Designerdigitals products. The album remains unfinished :(

I am a hoarder. And a very busy lady. It's part of me. So choosing just one photo to represent the whole day, was impossible. I also didn't make a regular time to create the layout each day. So. Well. It failed.

Come 2009 and I approached the project in a whole new light. It took a while to figure out my own Project 365 mojo, and some of the layouts are so completely different to the rest of the book they look out of place. But it records everything we did in 2009. Everything. And I lasted the distance.

I think the only constant I kept with my 2009 Project 365, was the title!

Out of this experience, this year I learned that my Project 365 works best when I create a weekly double-page layout featuring as many photos as I choose to represent the week. And as much journalling as I needed to get off my chest. Or record what we did all week. Or all day. Sometimes so much happens in one day that I respond with a resounding silence when someone asks me "so, what have you been doing with yourself lately?". Uh .... let me think. What haven't I done? Where have my days gone? It comes with the territory when you have 3 little munchkins living in your house.

This year I am also creating pages ahead of time. And I'm scheduling them in my diary to complete them each Sunday night. So I just slot in my photos, maybe touch up a few elements, press save and call it done.

I'm up to week 13 in my created pages. We are only 5 weeks into the year (at the time of writing this). I find it relaxing to play with kits and create layouts ahead of time. I have made sure my weekly double-page template has photo slots for horizontal and vertical and lots of smaller square photos. So I always get most of the photos I want in. This suits me because I no longer print out my digital photos and slot them into traditional photo albums. So this album is a summary of the 6000+ photos I took that year, lol!

I sometimes journal each day in a word document I have saved on my desktop. Sometimes my memory is better triggered by the photo itself when I'm slotting in my photos. But most of the coolest details are recorded the night that it happens. So much detail. And it's just as well, for I have such a vague memory 2 days later!

This year I'm sticking to the one template. It's one I designed myself because I couldn't find anything on the market that suited my needs. I may change my mind about it halfway through the year. And that's ok too. My family hasn't oowed and awwed at my scrapbook designs when they've flicked back through the 2009 album. They've laughed at the photos, read the journalling, and remembered the moments.

And that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Sunday, 14 March 2010 3 comments
Toot, Toot!

Wow, this scrapping business is turning into a full-time gig!

I love that I am working to deadlines again, and I have quite a few now! (16 per month minimum) I just have to remember to still live beyond the computer, because I'll have no photos to scrap with soon! And I am still slightly adverse to morphing into a computer geek.

I have been asked to join the Exquisite Team at Charlize Creations. She produces fabulous kits with so much flair and detail, I'm sure to use them again and again. You can find her stuff at these shops:  Scrapbookbytes, Elemental Scraps and Scrapable. Here's an example of her wordart:

I've got two layouts in the current editions of Scrapbook Creations and Scrapbooking Memories magazines. The photos are a bit dodgy as I've been reading these issues front to back - lots of inspiration in there! I've now got ideas for new templates and layouts spilling out my ears ... ;p

I've been spotlighted by the massive scrapping community at A Cherry On Top, as one of their notableMarch Artists.

"Each month the Digital Creative Team here at ACOT chooses layouts made by the digital community to highlight for exceptional creativity.
Congratulations, because this month your layout has been chosen for this honor. Click HERE to view the spotlight article including your layout with a comment from the CT member who chose it. "

Not really sure what it all means, but I'm happy nonetheless :)

And here are some of my latest layouts:

She's such a character. Bossy! 23 Months credits: All SUS Designs' "Feeling the Love" kit and Alpha, available at

I've been wanting to use circle frame elements like this for SOOO LONG!
Harmony: Credits: SUS Designs "Harmony" kit, Ruth Davis Sweet Meadow Delight Elements(bookplate), Julie Mead Quirky Back to School Elements (wordart), Kay Elfin White Space templates, Anna Aspnes stitching

My sister's wedding: Just Married credits: SAS Designs' "Pure" kit, Amanda Taylor title.

Again at my sister's beach wedding: Nieces credits: SAS Designs' "Pure" kit, Art Warehouse brads.

Buddies: Credits: SAS Designs' "Argh!" kit.

And last of all, my last layered template freebie is up to 173 downloads and climbing! Thanks for all your support, and I hope to see some links to your creations using them, or email me some jpegs so I can feature them in this blog.

Take care, and I'll see you back here next time :)

Friday, 12 March 2010 1 comments
Friday Freebie: Layered Template 001

Well, a few posts back I showed you a peek at this, my first ever layered template design. It is ready to be released from the vault by Kaisercraft, in their Saturday Sketch Challenge for March 13. You get the chance to win two digital kits valued at $19.95 if you upload it to their gallery before the end of the month (here).

To download this one, you will need to go to Kaisercraft 's blog tomorrow and look up Saturday Sketches. (DOWNLOAD LINK EXPIRED)

Good luck. Here's mine.

Puppy Love uses Kaisercraft"s Argentella Mega Kit and my very own, very first, EVER, Katharyn Brine Layered Template 001.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010 0 comments
More Creative Team Success & What's Going On With Kaisercraft?

Just wanted to give y'all an update on how my quest to become a famous online creative designer is going .... ;p

I am now on three creative teams, all of them online shops that I'm very happy to be working with. I just love, love, love the new horizons this is opening up for me. And I have fellow scrapper Brittney Tinkey to thank for a lot of this - she has been busy sending off applications on my behalf, to a lot of her contacts. Thank You Brittney!  It feels like I've got an agent or something :D

So I have been creating new pages for e-scapeandscrap, although I don't officially start until my first "reveal" scheduled for March 28. But I couldn't wait to get stuck into their delicious goodies, so here are some of my first pages for them. My username is SkrappyKathy and you can check out my gallery here, which has all of the materials listed with links.

New Beginnings is just a layout about li'l ol' me and how exciting it is to be on creative teams. The journalling reads: "I have now reached my goal of getting onto a design team and creating wonderful pages with beautiful materials. And they are free! Gotta love THAT!"
Materials: Ruth Davis Put it in Your Pocket (denim pocket) ; Jeanne Maries Scraps Playtime Elements (tree and journalling frame); Paint Blogs (splatter); Sugar Loaded Cardstock; Julie Meade Keep You in Stitches (circle and cross stitching).

Feel Alive was made using an older collaboration kit, but I just love all the whimsy and summer colouring in it - this kit will never grow old! Materials: Collaboration papers Kit  BirdsBeesFlowersTrees kit, Collaboration elements Kit BirdsBeesFlowersTrees kit; Other: Jesse Edwards white background paper.

Guilty Pleasures is about playing under the sprinkler and on the trusty Slip n Slide when you know you are breaking the law because of water restrictions ....

Journalling reads: "I know I’ve said it before, but this is such a guilty, guilty, guilty pleasure nowadays! It used to be the way to cool off when I was a child - pools were not a common backyard event, although we did swim in the dam a lot (leaches, snakes and all!) But with water restrictions still at Level 3 permanently, it is a rare extravagance to let a lawn sprinkler go, let alone run the Slip n Slide! I pity what it will be like when you’re a mum Dana. Sprinklers might be obselete altogether!"

Materials: Collaboration papers Kit BirdsBeesFlowersTrees kit, Collaboration elements Kit BirdsBeesFlowersTrees kit; Other: Lynne Marie template; Anna Aspnes water droplets.

I've also just been accepted onto the Creative Team at SAS Designs - it's soooo cool. I will be playing with this kit as a starter - and then Sarah is such a prolific designer, she releases a new digital kit each week, so it's going to be busy and wonderful playing there!

This kit, called Argh!, is 25% off atm. That's $US3.75 - what's that convert to atm - about $4 AUS?  Dig in!

Watch out for my creations with this one, I've used the same username, SkrappyKathy, in their gallery.

And now Kaisercraft ... You may have noticed Kaiser has stopped creating new digital kits all of a sudden. They had been releasing one every week from October last year. The digital creative team (of which I am a member) had been participating in blog hops, digital tutorials, free layered templates and even a live chat and blog party (which crashed because it got so bombarded!) all the while enjoying brand new and innovative digi kits like Loire Valley, Bloom, Grunge, Flutterby, and Hideaway, to name only a few. 

Now Kaisercraft Digital has been placed in limbo while some restructuring goes on within the company, and apparently their digital line is not selling well enough. I'm told there are tentative plans to release a digital version of their paper scrap collections each month, after April 2010 some time. But nothing new will be created for their digital market.

(The rest of this article has been removed upon request of Kaisercraft.)
Friday, 5 March 2010 4 comments
Friday Freebie Template 006

Gotta write this on the fly - I've spent far too long creating this! I'm working on another sample layout as well :) But first I have to deliver a forgotten lunchbag to school! Poor little hungry mite.

You can download it here.

Here is one of my sample layouts using it.

This uses the SAS Designs "Argh!" kit.

Don't forget to provide a link to your gallery or email me a low-resolution (72) jpeg of your creation using this, so I can feature it next week. If you are clueless as to how to use a template, go back to my mini tutorial here.

Here's one Melissa completed last week, using katharynbrine LT004 (which is still available for download. Just scroll through my older posts.)

This is beautiful and soft Melissa, and I love those papers - I'm guessing Mindy Terasawa?

Friday Freebie: Template

It's coming ... still working on it :)
Monday, 1 March 2010 2 comments
Let Go of  Your Journalling Demons

As you would already know, I'm a BIG journalling fan. I just don't see the point of having pages which sure look pretty but will have the viewer stumped in 20 years time. What the hell's it meant to be about?

 I know some people have difficulty journalling. Luckily, I've never had that problem, I like writing, and it's my job. But for those of you who do, here are some points to consider next time you're procrastinating and hyper-ventilating at the thought of putting pen to paper on your layouts.

1. If all else fails, just remember the golden who + what + when + where + how. If you answer all these, you're laughing.

2. Start writing it down from the beginning, the middle or the end. Doesn't matter. Just get it down. You can rearrange it after it's all out of your head. Just do it on a scrap piece of paper before committing it to the layout.

3. You know how you mentioned this story/event to your friend the other day? You should write it down as if you're telling it to another friend, verbally. Say it out loud if you have to, then write down what you said after. Informal journalling speaks volumes, and puts the reader at ease. And it is, after all, a photo memory album, not a textbook.

4. Be in the mood to tell the story. Just like people can tell if you're smiling over the phone, readers can tell if you're bored sh**l*ss as you write.

5. Don't be put off by perfectionism. Nobody writes perfectly all of the time. This page is about you, and how you feel about the person you're journalling about. The words will come to you as you go. Don't go back and try to change it back into something staid and perfect. Be personnal.

So if you've been holding back from journalling on your layouts, why not give it another go? And if you're an expert, post your tips in my comments. Share and grow.

Here are some of my layouts which utilise journalling. It can sometimes be easier to make the journalling a bit part of your design, if you're like me and take a bit too long to tell your story...

Sweet Icypole Bandit uses a Jessica Sprague text semi-circle text path, Andrea Victoria cardstock, Katie Pertiet and Ivy's Inspirations patterned paper and Ivy's Inspirations elements.

This is a really old layout, I think it uses a tutorial by Cassie Jones, which included all the elements and papers in it.

Church uses Lindsay Jane Designs postage frame, Anna Aspnes stitching and Jesse Edwards cloud patterned paper.

This layout has Jessica sprague written all over it, lol! I think I got the idea of 3 jaggered journalling columns from an article she had in Creating Keepsakes. I know that flower is from Shabby Princess, the tag is Katie Pertiet's, but the epoxy brad I'm not surte about, sorry. The flourish brush is the FIRST digital scrapping supply I ever got, it's from Rhonna Farrer.


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