Saturday, 31 July 2010 0 comments
Some Layouts to Share

This week I've been so caught up in the becoming-a-designer minefield that I have been concentrating less on producing my own layouts, lol. But I've loved every minute of it. I think I've found a new passion (swoon, swoon). And I just adore textured papers - now I can make my own to my heart's content!

So, here are some layout offerings. Thanks for looking :)

This one took most of the day. I tried really hard. Dug up a whole heap of old DesignerDigitals supplies. From very old EHD's. It was for a scraplifting challenge. I had lots of fun doing it and took my time, and I'm happy with the results. Haven't actually checked to see who won the challenge yet, but it's about the process anyway :) The credit list is a mile long so if you really need to know, go check out my gallery there and I've listed them ALL .... (sigh).

Some gorgeous messy Cinzia Loosemore from Oscraps. It fits perfectly with my messy mischievious darling daughter.

I really hate how this one turned out, don't know why I've even bothered to show you ... It's using Lauraskathi from Mscraps. Just for fun. Had to use bling. (Don't ask, giggle).

Some layouts I created for some extra fun by participating in Mscraps' monthly challenges. There both use Mscraps' July collab.

Danielle Young Designs' new itty-bitty glass alphas. So cute. The rest is made up from various kits of hers at Oscraps.

Some layouts with Digiridoo Scraps kits with Scrappin' Mint's My Mother's Garden and Say Ahhh; Nath Designs' Deeply Beautiful Day and Snippets Inc All About the Belly.

Some of my layouts with kits from Elemental Scraps: Bella Gypsy's Delightful; Bella Gypsy and Trixie Scraps collab Saffron Blues; and the huge ADSR5 Collab Spring Fling 3. You could last a whole year on this kit, it's so packed full of goodies.

One with a Jennifer Fox Designs collaboration with a whole lotta other Digichicks. This kit was inspired by a fellow CT member who is going through cancer as a single mother, and the proceeds will help her out. Check out her story here.

Some more SAS Designs kits Sounds of the Sea, Rain or Sunshine, and Naturally Yours.

Argh! This terrible Blogger old uploading device is so stupid! I can't see what I'm uploading and it does them all out of order. But I hope I've rearranged it all properly. All I can see is great long lines of goobble-gook. When is Blogger gonna fix it???!!

Anyway, it's the end of the month as I write this, so don't forget to back up your photos, layouts and digi kits.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 2 comments
Zzzzzz Friday Freebie is a goer!

I should be in bed, you know that, right?

Want to make this or something a bit like it? Check out my layered template freebie.

Available to download (DOWNLOAD LINK EXPIRED)

And a bit of a surprise for you (excuse the non-packaging) I am in the midst of a designing frenzy and am working towards opening my own store!

Here's a sneak peek at my first set of papers:

Will be back at a more respectable hour to upload some of my layouts.

Friday, 23 July 2010 6 comments
Friday Freebie: My very first Alpha!

I really like white on white. It just oozes class and brings out all that great texture. I've got quite a few white alphas in my exorbitant stash, but I couldn't find any that mimicked my beloved American Crafts white foam alphas.

Now technically, I should just leave off the title and make it a hybrid page once it's back from the printers. But I was playing around with some Photoshop techniques and came up with my very own alpha. What do you think?

While the preview isn't fantastically clear, be assured that it is saved as a 300dpi PNG file, so you just cut and paste onto your layout as usual. Download here.

And here's the layout that called for its creation:

15 Years Together: Materials: Cardstock: Lynne Grieveson; Patterned Paper: Three Paper Peonies (Commitment Kit); Digital Elements: Three Paper Peonies & Joyce Paul (Collaborative Commitment Kit) circle bunting, pearl & glitter splatter, studded storyboard frame, heart sticker; Katie Pertiet watery wash; Anna Aspnes distressing brush; SAS Designs glittered staples; Alpha: Katharyn Brine blog freebie; Font: Timeless; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, ACDSee Photo Manager 2009.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 0 comments
Layouts to Share

Big Bed Materials: Cardstock: Siamese Studio (Little Monkey Solids); Paper: Siamese Studio (Little Monkey kit); Elements: Siamese Studio paper hearts, monkey stickers, ribbon, string, frame, stitching & epoxy; Alpha: CD Muckosky (Luv Song - recoloured); Other: Katie Pertiet scallop mask, Amanda Taylor word art; Font: Verdana; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, ACDSee Photo Manager 2009.

Sweet Bread: Materials: Cardstock, Elements and Title: Siamese Studio Collaboration (Sweet On You); Other: Anna Aspnes paint splatter; Font: Baby Boston; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, ACDSee Photo Manager 2009.

Too Quick:Steph Designs (The One For Me) kit @ E-Scape and Scrap

First Kiss: Jennifer Fox Designs (In My Life kit)

I Can Do This - Recycle: Scrapmint's Earth Matters kit at Digiridoo Scraps.

Family Bond: Jennifer Fox Designs (Won't You Tell Me You Name kit)
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 0 comments
Closet Culling and Less-Is-More Principle

I wrote this post back in early April. Enjoy.

Ok. I've got a lot of traditional scrapbooking stuff littered throughout my "scrap-room". I put that in inverted commas because my husband seems to think it's the "junk-room" or "dump-anything-in-here that-doesn't-belong-on-the-kitchen-bench room". And my kiddies use it as the "I-want-to-create-with-Mum" room, full of lovely, space-consuming art paper "inventions" that they show me and want me to record somewhere (even if just inside my brain).

So it's junky. And I hate that.

But it IS the right colour. Thanks to my recent home-decor painting spurt. And it IS starting to resemble the space that I want it to be. Small parts are coming together. The rest is just ... well, a change of habit. Mess that needs to be catalogued, fixed, finished or thrown away. (That's awfully hard to do when you're a hoarder). It takes about 30 days to change a habit. Or in my case, 30 years.

I always thought I was tidy. I mean, I can remember at uni having my top desk drawer utterly organised and everything had a place. I knew when someone had taken off with my sticky tape, because it had left a gaping hole in my draw. I knew where to find a working pen. I knew I had staples still in my stapler.

With a family of five, however, it's become somewhat difficult to keep everything in it's place - and especially hard if there's no "place" to put it in anymore because there is TOO MUCH MESS!

It's so easy to pack away at pre-school, because everything has a box to put it in. And bad, bad stuff, like permanent pens, are not within kiddy reach. They are never, I repeat never, left on the dashboard of your new car.

It's easy to clean up after a holiday in a cabin at the beach, because the three outfits you chose for everybody to wear throughout the week have already been washed and hung and folded ready for next use. No overflowing washing baskets to  "catch up" with. And toys! Well, they all fit into a single backpack. It's no headache at all packing up while on holidays. Because you've only got a car load and not a lifetime load.

But come home, and well, there's just way too much stuff to handle. Toys overflow from one room to another. Clothes hang out of washing baskets like I haven't laundered in 5 years. Can you guess what I've been doing today?

Yep. I've culled.

Which, for a hoarder like me, is hard. But it gets remarkably easier each time I do it. And I've truly got to wait until I have stuff spilling out of my ears like today, to get into the right frame of mind to do it successfully.

I've cleaned out my kid's closests. They were overflowing. I figure if they have less clothes to change into every five seconds, then I'll have less washing / ironing / grief thereafter. So each boy now has no more than seven shorts / t-shirts/ tops / trousers. Well, actually, my eldest son has only really got one of everything because he doesn't get any hand-me-downs from cousins.

My second son had way too many clothes that are now waiting to be stored long-term until our next boy comes along (JOY JOY JOY if that happened!) or to be given away to my siblings for use with my future nephews. Whichever comes first. Spread the joy, I say. He was inheriting hand-me-downs from three cousins and well, it all got a bit much really. I loved most of the items, but I really don't think he'll ever wear 28 t-shirts. Not before he grows out of them in 6 months.

So now they have nice, sparse shelves. And it even allows for untidy re-folder's like Riley, who can't seem to get the whole "put it back as you found it" scenario. And they can see the "piles" each item belongs to. I've even made up some shelf labels for those of us who are still reading-impaired.

So my moral today is really LESS IS MORE.

Less stuff = More room for sanity inside your head.
Less mess = More time to enjoy life.
Less stress = More liklihood you'll enjoy time with your offspring.
Less clutter = More independent children. And husbands. (They don't need to ask you where everything is ...)

So what are you doing today? Tell me your tips for a more organised life and share your sucesses / failures with the rest of us struggling mums!
Friday, 9 July 2010 0 comments
Friday again? Just as well, are you hanging out for a quality digi freebie? Well, you've come to the right place. It's SkrappyKathy here (Katharyn Brine) and today we have for you a PNG frame altered with some goodies from Jennifer's Won't You Tell Me Your Name kit, released this week @ The Digi Chick.

Download here.

I just love the paper figures. And the alpha prints out really well too. I know this because I got 80+ layouts in the mail today (Yip-Yip-Yippee!!) And no, they weren't all made with this kit, silly ...

It's my favourite part of scrapping - seeing the actual, tangible page in my hot little hands. The kids love them too. Tonight I did a show 'n tell presentation to them as they all had a bath. They were begging for me to read out more pages "about me! about me!" Well, as the night progressed, the layouts were sorted into 6 piles according to album and before I could insert them all, my 2-year-old DD spilt green cordial ALL OVER THEM. Like, I'm talking a whole cup full. What's worse, is that I didn't discover the scene of the crime until I came back to it after dinner and bedtime stories. By then, a lot of my pages had a bespeckled green tinge to them. Oh dear. The prints are advertised as "archival" and "waterproof", so I guess we'll see.... They were soaking for too long for a lot of them to escape real damage. But I guess I'll have to learn to live with it. They are hanging up drying out at the moment.

Anyway, enough commiserating and back to this freebie - this is the whole kit it is made from;

Don't forget to post your layouts in the gallery - we'd love to check them out.
See you next time!
Friday Freebie: Altered Frame

Know you're probably getting sick of templates, and I am a bit too. So I've made a little cluster frame to giveaway. It uses digital scrap supplies from Jennifer Fox Designs Won't You Tell Me Your Name kit, available at TheDigiChick.

Download from here TOMORROW.

Happy Scrappin'.
Monday, 5 July 2010 1 comments
Giveaway and Woot Woot Woot!!!

Got my first layout published in the prestigious Scrapbook Magazine (United Kingdom) Issue 47 today. Well, I received my copy of the mag today, the parcel full of paper scrapping goodies had already been opened and re-sealed by Customs. But everything was in tact. And since you can't get that magazine in Australia (as far as I'm aware), I'll post a scan of it here.

How exciting! And see all of that American Crafts patterned paper featured on the cover - I want to give it away, along with the beautiful 12 x 12 paper pack I was given ( 12+ sheets, including matching Bazzill cardstock). I might keep the extra special glimmer Bazzill though. Maybe....

So, all you need to do is leave me a comment about the last thing you scrapped. I'll pick someone at random and email you. Be sure to realise you're paying the postage though, so I think within Australia a 12x12 pizza box costs about $10 to post domestically.

Also, I've been approached by a software company to have a try of their digital scrapbooking software, called Digital Scrapbook Artist 2. It's meant to be a whole lot more user-friendly than Photoshop Elements (which I currently use). So when it arrives from Customs (again ...!) I'll have a play and write up a review. If any of you out there have used the product, I'd be happy to know what you thought of it.

Got another freebie coming up on Friday, so don't forget to hop back then. Cheers.
Thursday, 1 July 2010 3 comments
How Many Is Too Many Albums?

I've come across this question a bit lately. I've asked it myself a dozen times. You each have to find your own answer because there are so many variables when it comes down to it.

I've currently filled 3 albums per child (= 9) and also have 3 Family albums, and each child has a separate School album (made with paper supplies and which house all their school books and certificates and formal school photos).

So that's a grand total of 14. So far. And they are aged 2 (no school album started yet, but the supplies are ready and waiting - they match the other two siblings' school albums), 5 and 7.


That's a lot. I mean, it's a lot just to house here on the bookshelf, let alone for them to take with them when they move outta home. By then, keeping the current average, they'd have, oh, say 12 volumes each. Average. That's a whole lotta real estate space they are consuming.

But there comes into play a few variables when working out these figures:

More baby photos = more layouts scrapped. As they get older, there are fewer "milestones" or "cute" moments to scrap about. Sorry, no offence, but it's just a reality. There's less to scrap about as the growth rate slows. In my experience, anyway :)

First child v's Third child: I try to keep the number of layouts per child at roughly the same number, but, well, my third child happened to be my first little girl. So, well, I had a whole lot of new experiences  as a mother to scrap about. So she probably has even more pages than my first.

Age of the children: My first and second children were born pre-digital camera days (doesn't that sound OLD??) So I obviously took a lot less photos back then, because it was an expensive business to snap away "blind" (that is, for you post-digital generational folk out there reading this, on film cameras you didn't know how well your photos came out until you got it back from the processor months later.)

When you discovered scrapping: I did a bit of sticking photos on fancy coloured paper when my first was born. I even used to try using the same bit of paper twice over by sticking more photos on the back of it (!!) Most of it was simply writing down everything I thought I'd like to remember. I didn't really realise there was a world of inspiration out there about how to make it more creative.

Traditional Paper v's Digital: Paper scrapping is one. hell. of. a. lot. slower.

How organised you are at cataloguing / printing out photos: Specifically for you paper scrappers out there - a lot of it depends on what photos you have on hand when the creative urge hits. And for digi scrappers, if you can't bloody-well find the darn photos on your computer, then it's hardly going to entice you to scrap much.

The Size you Scrap At: I've got a lot of mini-albums that only take one sitting to finish. Do these count? Well, they each record a bit about us as a family. So yeah, I guess they do count.

Your Own Scrapping Style: Are you a multi-photo scrapper, or a portrait one?

So my grand total is far too many to count. Is that excessive?

It's really up to you to decide how many albums you want to make. I don't think it would make me happy to limit myself creatively. Yes, I do scrap and print them out and album them all up, with the end goal to be to present them to my children, or their wives, so that their childhood can be understood and reminisced about. And it may be a bit cumbersome to walk out the door with 50 albums.

But I also do it for me. I like scrapping. I like reading back over them a year or two later. I love, love, love it when the kids get them out and look at the pictures. My eldest is now reading, so it's even more of a pleasure for me to hear him quoting my journalling back at me.

I guess I probably should try to slow down. For neatness' sake. But to hell with that. I've got lots to tell about my family. About my thoughts. About our experiences together. And I like recording them.


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