Monday, 10 March 2014

Echoing The Weather

Hi there, its Lisa-Jane here today with a layout inspired by the awful weather we had for the start of this year! 

I'm a firm believer in scrapping all aspects of life both good and bad and I wanted to remember the incredible floods and damage that we've had. One of the memories I wanted to capture was a walk we did at Christmas in Wales because when I went back a month later there was substantial damage to the dunes and the sea walls. There had already been one storm a couple of days before we got there and it continued to be very wet and very wind for the whole week making it difficult to get out and about.

I'd been using Crate Paper's The Pier collection for the SJ Crafts March Challenge and I thought it would work really well for this topic too, as it is still beach themed but the water colour design adds to the rain-washed feel. The doily paper ('Cotton Candy') echoes the clouds and I was still able to use lots of the bits of the Splash Cut Outs sheet even though it was nothing to do with swimming in the sunshine!

I added some hessian for texture, which is very on trend this season, and some Enamel Dots to echo the droplets of water everywhere.

Funnily enough, the weather has been quite nice since I did this layout and we've started to see lots of daffodils and crocuses popping up everywhere.  I really hope this is a sign of a turnaround in the wet weather and that the people that have been flooded can get back to normal really soon.

Did you record those dramatic weather patterns in any way?  We'd love to see - leave us a link here or post to our Facebook Page!

Bye for now, Lisa-Jane.

Lisa-Jane shares lots of her gorgeous crafty creations at her blog Inside My Head, go check it out!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Flippin' Fabulous Books!

Hi everyone, it's Annie here today with my first post as a member of the SJ Crafts Design Team!

Last weekend I had a lovely time trying out the new Teresa Collins Flip Book Album and I'm delighted with the end result! Here's a little peek ...

Front Cover with layered papers and embellishments from the 
Teresa Collins Daily Stories Collection in the February Kit 

These little books are SO cooool! The clever bit is all done for you, so all you have to do is add your photos and choose whether to keep it simple or embellish to heart's content ... guess which option I went for?!

The bare album is plain black, so would work with any photos, colour scheme and style you choose. To make my book, I decided to use the SJ Crafts February kit which features the Teresa Collins "Daily Stories" Collection - perfect! 

It's hard to see just how brilliant these albums are in a photo, so here is a little video of the Flip Book as it comes, along with the other ingredients I used ...

... and here's another little video showing you how my finished book turned out ...

Here are a couple more pics of the outside of the finished book and some tips and ideas on how to make one of these for yourself ...

Back Cover with an enamel butterfly highlight

Spine decorated with offcut and word sticker

The first thing I did was to work out how many photos I could fit in - I decided on 12 

... after working out roughly where they would go in the book ...

... I got started on the front cover ...

Being a frugal crafter, I "gutted" all the pieces of cardstock which made up the layers on my front cover, and I used the merchandising strips from the patterned papers as decorative borders - waste not, want not!

Here's an easy way to add a knotted ribbon ...

... just tie it in a loop like this, then snip it to the length you need and tuck the ends behind the card before adhering to the background ...

I layered up one of the cut-aparts, a die cut and some border strips, then added a photo of my happy husband and finished with enamel chevrons and a layered butterfly sticker - you wouldn't be able to add this much to the inside pages as it would interfere with the mechanism, but I felt I could go to town a bit on the front cover!

Then I moved on to the inside of my book ...

In the picture above, I've matted one of the patterned papers onto plain cardstock slightly smaller than the album page, then used the reverse of the patterned paper to matt the photo. Being frugal again, I cut the tag into two - saving the other piece to use on another page.

The photo mount was "gutted" as before, not just saving the inside piece to use somewhere else, but also cutting down on the overall thickness of the finished book. I used the extra-strong tape throughout this project, as it will be sent in the post and will need to stand up to quite a bit of handling. I always use a bone folder to burnish it down well, because this makes sure the tape is adhered firmly, and it makes the backing paper peel off more easily.

Another tip I find really useful is to just peel the backing tape part-way off, leaving the ends folded out to the sides as you can see above - then when you position it on the background it will allow a little movement to get it just where you want it ...

... and once you have it lined up perfectly, you can grab the ends and remove the backing tape!

I used a border punch on some of the offcuts of patterned paper and cardstock, using them to trim the facing pages ...

This clock face was a die cut from the kit - it was too white for my page, so I coloured it with Distress Ink in Antique Linen before attaching it to the patterned paper with one of the decorative brads. All the edges throughout the book were inked with Black Soot Distress Ink, because I hate to see raw edges!

I continued to work through the book like this, keeping embellishments very flat now on the inside pages but still using lots of layers ...

There are lots of patterns layered together in the pages above, but they all go together perfectly, finished with some ribbon, a little word diecut and an enamel dot.

In the page below left, I've used the other part of that tag I cut up earlier, as well as some more of the die cuts and cut-aparts. On the opposite page I was a bit crafty ...

... this tag was the right colours and I like the arrow, but it wasn't long enough and the word on it didn't fit my page - so, I cut it up, stretched it out and covered the offending word with an offcut of a contrasting paper - BINGO! - once I add the photo you won't see the join!

By now, my photos were getting bigger and the pages were getting smaller ...

... so I kept these pages very simple and just added some word stickers from the kit ...

Well, I think you can tell that I am totally smitten with these clever little flip books and I will definitely be doing some more - they would make lovely presents for Mothers' Day, or a Brag Book for Granny's handbag or a friends's birthday maybe.

They are available in two different sizes and you can Click Here to find them in the shop.

If you make one of these we'd love to see it - remember to leave a link in your comment or come and show 'n' tell on our Facebook page.

Cheerio for now.

Annie joined the S J Crafts Design Team last month. She regularly blogs over at her blog: Artyfarty Annie and she would love it if you popped over to say hi!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

February Challenge - Winner And A Few Of Our Favourites!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined in with our February challenge!

At the end of this post we will announce the winner picked at random to win a little prize from our new DT member, Jemma.

Over the last few weeks we've enjoyed hopping around your blogs to see your layouts and today we'd love to share a few of our favourite entries! 

K's very boyish page has lots of lovely details and bright colours, we just love the row of cogs along the top...

Lesley G manage to create a lovely soft layout while also using some supplies that had been in her stash far too long, it's great to get things out of your cupboard and onto a page, isn't it?

Jo's page is cute and perfect for spring, and the padlock detail at the bottom left is so fun!

And now for the winner!!

Number 1 was picked at random which is Lesley .... Please could you get in touch so we can send you your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who joined in last month .... we hope you'll play along again with our March challenge too, and we will pick another few favourites to share here next month!

Have a great day! x

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March Challenge - A Photo Collage For Inspiration!

Welcome to our March challenge! 

Thank you to everyone who joined in with the February challenge, it was fabulous to see all the different takes on the sketch & we will show a few of our the entries and announce the winner here on the blog soon!

Here at S J Crafts we love a challenge. Something to take us out of our comfort zone or to encourage us to try something a little different.

Each month throughout the rest of 2014 we will set a challenge and we'd love it if you would play along and take up the challenge. Each month the challenge will vary - sometimes we'll have a sketch, sometimes a colour palette, a photo inspiration or a "recipe" of stash to use or maybe a technique.

At the end of the post there is "linky tool" for you to link up your challenge entry so we can pop along and see and we will feature a few of our favourite projects next month. We really hope lots of you will play along with us and take up the challenge!

For this challenge you need to use the below photo collage as inspiration, in any way you wish.

Your inspiration might be to scrap a photo of a place you love to visit.

Go for a walk at a location near where you live and take photos of your surroundings to make a layout.
Be inspired by the colours : blues, greys, beige, stone, cream.
Scrap  a photo which has no people in it.
Scrap a photo of a beach, sea, sky, clouds, sunset etc
Or you could take "water" as your theme
Or you could use the design of the collage as inspiration for your photo placement.
....or you may have your own idea!!

The wonderful Design Team have created some samples to get your ideas flowing! Here they are:

For Louise the photo collage made her think 'weather', 'blue', and 'clouds'. Her supplies include This Sheet of My Mind's Eye paper, and some Wood Veneers.

The design of the photo collage inspired Annie to make this really quick and simple multi-photo page - her layout has a large 'white space' on the left instead of a large photo, with small photos down the right-hand edge. Annie used the MME Chalk Studio 2 Collection.

Jennifer was inspired to use a photo from the beach, and to use muted colours - with darker colours at the bottom going to lighter 'sky' at the top. Her supplies include some Crate Paper The Pier Paper and Stickers, Prima Canvas Alphas, Jenni Bowlin Tiny Trims Rub Ons, and Simple Stories Chipboard Stickers.

Lisa-Jane was inspired to use wood veneers, woodgrain papers and sandy coloured embellishments to echo the natural textures in the inspiration photos. She also utilised the muted tones of Crate Paper's The Pier collection. 

Jimjams - Layout - Surf's Up! - Crate Paper Boys Rule - SJ Crafts

Jemma was inspired by the water ... to scrap an aquatic activity! She used Crate Paper's Boys Rule which was just the perfect colours for her photos - the papers were Zap,  Top Score, and Vellum Stars, and she used some of the Wood Embellishments and Stickers.

So, will you take up our challenge this month?

Our New Design Team member Annie is kindly offering a prize this month to celebrate joining the S J Crafts team. She will select one person at random from all those who link up to win a small prize!

Use the linky tool below to add a link to the blog post (or your gallery) with your layout or card and a link back to this post is much appreciated.

You will need to ensure your link is added by the 31st of March (11.59pm) and we'll select a few favourites to be featured in a post soon after.

Enjoy x