Thursday, 13 March 2014

Adding Texture with Cork and Wood!

Hi everyone, Annie here today!

I love using natural materials like wood and cork to add texture and depth to a layout. You can leave them natural, or add colour and pattern to them by stamping, painting, inking and so on. For this layout, I've altered some wood and cork embellishments to suit the style of this page about my favourite Uncle ...

I still had loads of my February Kit left after using it to make my Flip Book Album, so I thought I would use some of it to make a page for Case File #113 over at CSI, because the bright pastels and all the butterflies in the Teresa Collins Daily Stories collection would be the perfect for the page I had in mind. Here are my leftovers ...

The kit included some Wood Veneer Butterflies by Studio Calico and a Prima Wood Word, and Sarah also sent me some Cork Sticker Butterflies to play with, so I thought it would be fun to mix it up and use the cork stickers and the wood veneers together.

I also threw in a handful of Wood Veneer Stars ... I love the contrast between the texture of the wood and the shiny Enamel Dots and Decorative Brads too - they really make you want to reach out and touch the page ... or is that just me?! :o)

The ledger paper from the collection made a perfect background for my layout and I used a couple of the cut-aparts and some scraps and offcuts to build up layers, distressing and inking the edges for extra dimension ...

Now for the butterflies to add a burst of colour and movement to my page ...

... some wood veneers, some cork stickers and some paper ones cut from a sheet of the patterned paper from the collection - these were lovely just as they were, but I couldn't resist experimenting with some Distress Inks, Paints and Stains ...

The paper ones were just inked all around the edges and finished with an enamel dot or pearl in the centre of each one. The wood and cork ones were given a base coat of Distress Stain in 'Picket Fence' and then I used different colours of Distress Ink and Paint to create an ombre effect - it looks much more subtle on the cork as you can see ...

To attach the paper butterflies to the layout, I added foam dots to the tops of the wings, then just a spot of glue to the centre - this lifts their wings off the page for a fluttery effect!

I love the look of the paper, wood and cork butterflies all mixed together and I'm sure there's lots more you could do with these - I might try stitching through the cork ones with embroidery thread and knotting it on the top ... now why didn't I think of that before?! 

Thanks for looking, and I hope you have fun playing with wood and cork on your pages!

Cheerio! Annie x

Annie recently joined the S J Crafts Design Team. She blogs her brilliant projects at her blog: Artyfarty Annie so please take a look there too! 

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