Monday, 30 December 2013

Decorated Frame for the New Year and Beyond!

Hello everyone!

Jennifer here today. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 

I've started looking back over the year that's nearly finished, and looking forward to the year that's ahead. To try and channel good thoughts and welcome 2014 into my house I made this frame, which I can change the central panel of as the year goes by...

Want to make one for yourself? Here's how...

Step 1: Find a frame with a solid colour (woodgrain or patterns don't work so well for step 2) and take out any glass/plastic and backboards:

Step 2: Use some Jenni Bowlin Tiny Trims Gold Rub Ons to decorate the edge of the frame. I used triangles along two opposite edges and stars along the other two edges. If you want to make sure they go on straight then draw a pencil line with a ruler first as a guide - I didn't mind mine being a bit wobbly:

Step 3: Use a strong adhesive (I used a hot glue gun) to adhere three lengths of wire to the top of the frame at the back, and also a length of bakers twine a little below the top edge of the inner frame:

Step 4: Create a panel to hang inside your frame. I used the 'b' side of the Crate Paper Bundled Up 'Candy Cane' Paper layered onto some cream card. Then I decorated it with a Bundled Up Journal Card, a Chalk Studio Label Sticker, some Simple Stories Daily Grind Chipboard Stickers, Prima's White Canvas Alphas, and some Studio Calico Tiny Stars Wood Veneers. I also used a couple of Jenni Bowlin Doilies Gold Rub Ons.

Peg the panel onto the twine using some small pegs:

Step 5: Then use a few more Doilies Gold Rub Ons on some smooth white card - I used the white card that came as packaging in the rub ons packet! Fussy cut these out and glue them to the top of the wires:

I love how these look a bit like fireworks, but then in spring they could look like flowers, in summer they represent suns, in autumn they echo golden leafy trees, and in winter they are like pretty snowflakes - so I can use the frame all year round!

Then you just need to put the frame on display and smile each time you see it!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

In the meantime don't forget to check out our Design Team Call, and keep an eye on the Facebook Page for details of a sale that's coming soon!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

UK Scrappers Blog Hop Layout

Each day throughout December (up to the 23rd) UK Scrappers have been featuring a different project on their home page - kind of like a blog hop but one blog to visit each day! 
Today it's our turn!

UK Scrappers are offering a prize to one lucky winner who comments on all the participating blogs! More on that at the end of this post.

With just a couple of days to go now until the BIG Day, I thought we would have a little break from "full-on" Christmas themed crafting and so I've made a layout which focuses a little more on our day to day activities at this time of year. 

I wanted to document how we enjoy visiting our local coffee shop to warm up and sip coffees (me) or hot chocolate (her)!

I've used supplies from Echo Park "Keepin' Cozy". The papers in this collection are lovely for winter seasonal scrapping as they're not heavily Christmas themed. 

B sides of the papers!

 I kept the design very simple as at this time of year it's difficult to find the time to scrap so when I do get chance, I want to make fairly quick and easy pages. Less than hour from start to "in the album" is ideal!! I'm sure some of you are the same during the busy festive season.

I chose a piece of kraft bazzill cardstock as my background and two sheets of patterned paper. I started off by trimming .5" off two sides of the patterned paper (green) so that I would have a .25" border to my layout and I "gutted" both the patterned paper and the kraft to make the papers go further and also to use for punching shapes for embellishing later.

I also cut the other paper (red one) to a 12" x 7" panel. 
The edges are inked with distress ink and a blending tool.

Next I layered them all up and adhered in place so that the red strip was about 1.25" up from the bottom edge.

I'm loving instagram photos as the moment and picked one out, featuring my daughter enjoying a hot chocolate, for this page along with one of the journalling cards and adhered them into place.

Three clusters of embellishments using some Glitz heart washi tape, which I tucked just under the edge of the photo, a few punched scalloped circles, some stickers (from "Keepin' Cozy" and Simple Stories "Girl" Sn@p Stickers), wood veneers and enamel dots and my title (using letter stickers from Simple Stories December Documented) is all this page needed before I called it finished!

The supplies used on this page can be found in the S J Crafts Shop!

Don't forget if you visit each featured blog or project each day, leaving a comment (with your UK Scrapper user name) and then go back to UK Scrappers after you've visited the last project tomorrow and leave a comment on the "Blog Hop" thread over there you will be entered into the draw. The full list of projects and details can be found here.

We are currently on the look out for 1 or 2 talented crafters to join out Design Team. Details of our DT call is here and the call is open until 6th January.

All the S J Crafts team wish you a very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2014!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Quick (Last minute!) Christmas Cards

Hi Jenny here today
How are your Christmas preparations going?
Not long until the 25th now!

This year, I seem to have got behind with all things Christmas and I have found myself in need of a few more cards. 

I thought I'd pop by and share with you some "super fast" cards in case you're like me and need a few last minute ideas!

I have used some of my Christmas dies to cut apertures behind which I have layered some scraps of Christmas papers. Then I have simply  layered this onto some coloured card and onto a card blank.

 I stamped a simple Christmas greeting underneath each aperture in black memento ink and added some stickles and flat backed gems as embellishments.

If you don't have a die cutting machine, you could achieve a similar affect using punches!

Have you finished making all your cards or are you needing a few more?

Happy Christmas!

Jenny x

See more of Jenny's cards over on her blog: Dragonllews Spot

Monday, 16 December 2013

Fast Festive Scrapping with a Mini Book

Happy Monday to you! 
Louise is here today to show us some ideas to speed up our festive crafting!

Last week Lisa-Jane shared her process for telling her Christmas story in this post and this post! . She explained that gathering together and organising your scrapbook supplies helps with the whole Christmas Journal process. I really do second this and for several Christmas seasons this is exactly what I have done.

This year finds me restricted with my mobility. This limits the activities I might otherwise have been involved in over December which means unlike other years  I'm unlikely to have a daily photo. It has also meant that I've not been able to pull together all of my Christmas supplies.

It is still important to me that I record my Christmas however I didn't want the structure of a daily photo or entry so I started to think along the lines of a little book to hold some photos and record some stories in December, along with the big day itself.

Once I'd decided on the format for my little Christmas book - I found it a quick and easy project to undertake. This is an ideal project for a busy time of year, when lets face it most of us feel there aren't enough hours in the day.

Today I'd like to share with you five quick and easy steps to construct a little book for recording your family photos and stories during the month of December. 

There's also another five optional steps with ideas to help you add to your little book if you find you have more time available to craft than you thought, or if you find that you have more photos and stories you would like to include. Or you could add to it in January.

1. Restricting your supplies for a project can be more productive. If you are like me then you can spend hours looking for the right papers and embellishments. To narrow down your supplies use a Christmas collection Kit. I chose the gorgeous Echo Park's 'Tis The Season Kit perfect for this project. Within the collection kits you have your co-ordinated double sided patterned papers, including journaling cards, a sheet of alpha's and a sheet of festive stickers.

2. Pick out just one or two tools that you will use for the book.In addition to this Christmas collection kit I chose one punch (yes just one!) to use throughout the book.

3. Next, you will need to cut your papers to make the pages of the book.
I knew I wanted a smallish book so I selected some patterned paper from the collection kit for the pages and cut them to 6 x 7 inches.  I liked the squarish look of the album and decided to shape only the top cover into a tag shape. Of course, you can cut your pages to whatever size and shape you like.

I put a hole through the top of each page to hold them all together with a book ring.

4. Once you've got your pages and a front cover, you can use a few stickers to embellish. Try to limit yourself to using only the sticker sheets in the collection kit or if you're not using a kit choose just one or two sheets. This will make the whole embellishing process quicker and easier. I used stickers to decorate the front cover of my little book....(with a little help from the Teresa Collins Santa list sticker sheet, which in my defence just happened to be close to hand at the time!).

5. To complete the book you can add a page pocket to the back page of the book for somewhere to keep all of my Christmas memorabilia.

And that's all there is to it!
A little Christmas book all ready to be embellished and journalled in!

Optional Extras

Not only does a project of this type fit nicely around your hectic December schedule, it is also a superb project to add as many or as little pages as you like, when you like. Next Christmas....even!!

6. If you find that you have an hour to spare here and there, then you can add inserts or overlays. For example while I was waiting for the next few photos and stories to include in my Christmas book, I cross-stitched (freehand) this cute reindeer head from this pattern on Pinterest.

 I framed the reindeer and now it sits on top of the front cover.

7. Inserts can be in any form. Acetate pockets filled with confetti, decorative tags, envelopes for that special journaling. If you have the time and inclination these inserts can add interest and decoration to your book. This time I chose to
 include a glassine envelope to hold my children's Christmas wish lists.

8. At this busy time of year when we are trying to find the perfect present, inspiration can be lacking. This is the best time to consider a scraplift. I did it! I scraplifted a Christmas card (thank you Kandis Smith). It's a little inserted page that adds decoration to my book. Later on it will hold a photo and journaling.

9. Another quick and easy way I like to add interest to a project, is to add stitching. Hand stitching can be time I dusted off my sewing machine. I do love how decorative stitching can transform a page.

10. Finally, no Christmas project is complete without bling. A pack of gems or enamel dots is a quick and easy way to bling up your little book.

I hope that this project has inspired you to put together a small book to record your Christmas. 

Please leave us a comment and let us know if it has!

I will be sharing the finished book on my blog after Christmas when I've recorded and included photos from Christmas day.

Happy Christmas Scrapping 

Louise x

Louise shares stories and her papercrafting projects at her blog Boys, Bugs, and Beautiful Buttons

P.S. Don't forget about our Design Team Call!