Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Jenny - Inspired By Winter

In the last part of our "Inspired By Winter" series I'd like you to get to know our 4th design team member, Jenny!
In case you missed the other posts here's the links to the other DT members: 

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Hi I'm Jenny and I live in Bournemouth with my husband and three children. I work mornings in a shop doing admin work and spend my spare time crafting, mainly making cards.
I've always been crafty and have dabbled at many different crafts including cross stitch, sewing (I made my own wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses), and candle making. I started card making in November 2008 and haven't looked back since. I have been on several Design teams over the years and really enjoy the challenge they give me and allow me out of my comfort zone with some of the challenges.
 S J Crafts owner, Sarah asked us all a few craft related questions and these are my answers:

  • What was your last crafty purchase? Gosh I can't think I have been really good this year and not really bought any christmas stash and I was determined to use up the box full I had here. I think the last thing I bought was the Sizzix Stamp & die set I've used in my cards below.
  • Who is your favourite Craft Manufacturer? and why? I love MME paper pads as the colours really seem to suit my crafting at the moment and Lili of the Valley and Wee Stamps for images for my cards as they are just so cute.
  • What is your favourite technique? This ones easy for me. It's just got to be colouring with my promarkers. I could spend hours colouring. I find it so relaxing.
I'm going to finish up by showing you a couple of quick Winter inspired Christmas cards I made

Both designs are fairly simple with some white embossed card, a piece of torn card to look like a snowy hill, stickles glitter along the torn edge and then I added a die cut tree or snowman from this set.


 Have you finshed all your Christmas cards? 
If my cards have inspired you to make some last minute quick cards, don't forget to leave a comment. We would love to see them.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and have a read. 
Jenny x

You can check out Jenny's blog at: Dragonllew's Spot

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Lisa-Jane - Inspired By Winter

Thanks for joining us for the next post in our "Inspired By Winter" series.
If you missed the previous ones you can catch up on those here and here. This week I'd like you to "meet" Design Team member Lisa-Jane.

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Hello, I'm Lisa-Jane and I'm really pleased to be spending another term on the S J Crafts Design Team!  I have a wonderful husband and I'm a full time Mum to Bella and Louis.  As well as being a total paper-craft addict, I'm also studying Creative Writing part time with the Open University.   

I've always loved cutting and sticking and collecting and telling stories so scrapbooking is the perfect creative outlet for me.  My sister-in-law first introduced me to scrapbooking about 6 years ago but after seeing magazine layouts and the price of basic cardstock, I was too intimated to do any thing more than collect bits and pieces.  A couple of years later, I met someone by chance who was an avid scrapbooker and she tipped my husband off about a local retreat as a Christmas present.  I was exhausted after some rather intensive classes but absolutely hooked!  In the last 3 years I have taken over the house with my papers and embellishments and adhesives!  I think my husband rues the day he surprised me with that ticket!

  • What was your last crafty purchase?  Back last week I bought the new Echo Park Photo Freedom kit for a friend who was wanting to start scrapping.  I'm trying to get lots more friends into it so we can get together more often!  I also treated myself to this gorgeous Glitz washi tape - washi tape is my new love!
  • Who is your favourite Craft Manufacturer?  - and why? My top three are definitely October Afternoon, My Mind's Eye and Echo Park.  October Afternoon have such great interesting designs in really funky colours which are great for children.  I love the versatility of My Mind's Eye with their classic designs and the ability to mix their collections together and they have such beautiful coordinating embellishments.  The winner for me though has to be Echo Park.  Their collections in the last couple of years have been fabulous with stunning papers at a cost effective price in some gorgeous colourways - what's not to love!
  • What is your favourite technique? At the moment I'm really working on my layering technique.  I always ink my edges and sometimes I distress them a bit too.  I love the look of heavily laden pages with lots of little bits and pieces peeking out.  I'll let you into a secret though... using lots of stash on my pages means I can shop for more, right?!

For my "Inspired by Winter" project I created this layout with lots of layers and little sneaks just peeking out.

When I think of Winter I think of cold mornings with pretty patterns of sparkly frosts.  I used doilies to recreate the delicate patterns that the frost leaves on the windows and I used winter colours of white, grey and ice blue, with a hint of sunny yellow.  I sprayed through a doiley with Mister Huey mist and added more Winter sparkle with some white gems and some snowflake patterned vellum to make a little envelope to hide my journalling.
My supplies also included: MME Lost and Found 2 6" x 6" pad, stickers from Lost and Found 3 (these two MME collections work so well together), Studio Calico wonderland stickers and Glitz Cashmere Dame washi tape.   

 The Open University year traditionally runs from October to April so the Winter months for me are often spent studying.  Although this photo was taken at my graduation many summers ago, it represents years of being tucked up in the warm with a text book and a highlighter pen. 

With that in mind, I'd better get back to some studying.  

Bye for now
Lisa-Jane xx

Don't forget to stop by Lisa-Jane's blog at Inside My Head

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Carta Bella Traditions Scrapbook Layouts

Hi and happy December to you all!

A few days ago we showed you Lisa-Jane's gorgeous cards made with Carta Bella's Traditions collection. Today LJ is back to share with you some scrapbook layouts made with the same collection.

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One of the things I love about this collection is the mix of traditional and modern and I have used both alongside each other for this scrapbook page.  It was the perfect colour scheme for photos of my friend's little boy at Wisley Gardens a couple of years ago. I think the rich Autumnal colours work so  well with the blue and cream.

The superb quality of these papers meant that it was a breeze to distress the edges with my scissors.  I used plain card stock for my background and a leaf punch to add some scattered details and I raised up some of the stickers on This to That foam dots.

Traditions was also the perfect collection for me to use for our visit to Powderham Castle in Devon.  I have literally packets of photos from our week away leading up to the Jubilee so there will be a fair bit of red, white and blue in my Devon album.   Here I was able to use a lot of red, cream and blue but in a more subtle colour scheme with the hints of green and yellow and cream.

The traditional patterns and muted tones matched well with the historic building and gardens.  Because this particular double layout focuses on the wider extensive grounds, I used floral dies and punches for the embellishments.

I also used garden twine to add texture and a natural border on one side of each page.  A punched border on the other page brings in another of the gorgeous patterns which is then followed through on the flowers.

I fussy cut around the large flowers on one of the papers and added dimension by curling up some of the larger flowers.  There is a lovely sheet of tags included in the kit so I used 3 of them for my journalling area, raising the central one with my writing on.

Traditions is such a versatile collection which lends itself to feminine or masculine, traditional or modern. I can see Carta Bella becoming a firm favourite of mine!

Enjoy your weekend!
Lisa-Jane x

To see more of Lisa-Jane's work please visit her blog: Inside My Head 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Carta Bella Traditions Cards - By Lisa- Jane

Hi Everyone .... Lisa-Jane here today!

I really enjoyed using the Carta Bella Traditions collection kit.  True to their word, the quality of the papers is amazing.  Carta Bella papers have a lovely subtle texture and are slightly thicker than normal patterned papers.  This collection is ideal if you are after something general to use for everyday, Christmas and Autumn rather than buying a specific themed collection. At first sight it might seem rather vintage but the mix of designs and gorgeous, rich colours enables you to get quite a different feel just by being selective with the patterns.

I had a couple of "Thank You" cards to make and I used this home decor project as inspiration for my butterfly card.  I inked the edges on this one with Rusty Hinge distress ink to echo the Autumnal feel.

For my Dad's birthday card, I made a more traditional card in the true feel of the collection.  I love the blue patterned paper - it is so hard to find "proper" blue scrapbook papers. The vintage car image is stamped and embossed and I some script ribbon finishes it off, complimenting the more traditional style.

There are some wonderful stickers on the sheet that comes in the collection pack and I loved this peacock sticker but I knew it wouldn't work on a scrapbook page for me.  It was the perfect focal point for this card which has a completely different colour-way than the previous two cards.  I used a border punch and some ribbon for texture and layered up the stickers on 3D foam dots. I inked the edges of the paper with Faded Jeans distress ink

I'll be back soon to show you some scrapbook layouts with the same collection kit!
Lisa-Jane x

You can see more of Lisa-Jane's work on her blog: Inside My Head

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Louise Brooks - Inspired By Winter

My apologies this is a few days late - it should have been posted last Wednesday. 
Lots going on here at the moment!
If you missed the first "Inspired By Winter" post you can find that right here!
This week it's the turn of SJ Crafts DT Member, Louise!

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Hello, I'm Louise and I live smack bang in the middle of the country with my husband and three boys. 

I work part-time and when I get a few minutes spare from family life you'll find me cutting and sticking. Unless it's a Sunday then I spend the best part of the day watching, cheering, shouting (words of encouragement) on the sidelines between three rugby pitches.

I've been scrapbooking for over 13 years now. It's been so long that it's now a way of life. It all started when my eldest son was born.......although if I think back it may have all started with my childhood when I became (a Duranie!) infatuated with Duran Duran. Remember this was in the day, pre world wide web! A scrapbook wasn't big enough so I kept everything in an arch lever file. Newspaper/Magazine cuttings, photos, posters (ones that weren't on my bedroom walls), lyrics, concert memorabilia .....I'm sure some of you must have kept something similar!  Please say you did!?
The world of scrapbooking has advanced here in the UK since I created my very first layout, there is so much more on offer now. Sarah (SJ Crafts lovely owner) asked me a fescrapbook related questions and this is what I had to say:
  • What was your last crafty purchase?  Papers are my thing. I would rather buy a pack pack than a set of alphas or embellishments. Hence, my last purchase consisted of two paper packs, the gorgeous Echo Park This & That Christmas collection kit and the stylish Classic 3 kit from Studio Calico.
  • Who is your favourite Craft Manufacturer? and why? I imagine we all have our favourites. There are times when one manufacturer releases a new line and for a while they are my favourite. I do have my all time favourites though, they are Lily Bee, My Minds Eye and American Crafts. This year my favourite manufacturer has to be Echo Park. Their collection kits are super value, come with plenty of papers and alpha's and stickers (which is a bonus). When you predominantly scrap with boys, it can be a challenge finding suitable these kits work perfectly for me.
  • What is your favourite technique? Hmmm this is a hard one. Many techniques come and go... at the moment for me it's stitching on layouts. Next month it will no doubt will be something different. 
I couldn't finish this post without sharing something pretty with you. Christmas is approaching all too fast and Winter is now upon us. Winter is the best excuse to stay inside, to sit in front of the telly, to create. I spent an evening with a tray full of patterned stars, some seed beads and a score board. 

These 3D stars turned out well and made a lovely contributions to the tall dried tree decoration that standin the corner of my living room. It now lookvery christmassy indeed!

These 3D stars can be made to any size. 
I used a sizzix die, but you can cut them out by hand.

Papers are  from the wonderful Carte Bella Merry & Bright range.

All you need to do is score from each star point across to the other side and  gently fold the peaks and valleys.

          Tfinish off I added a few seed beads to some cotton to thread through the stars for hanging. 

 Are you planning on making any Christmas decorations this year?  
Have you been inspired today to have a go?
 We really would love to see if you have.... so do leave us a link so we can come and see!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by today!
Louise x

Don't forget to visit Louise's blog at Boys, Bugs and ... Beautiful Buttons

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Monthly Challenge 11 (Nov/Dec)

Thank you to everyone who entered last month's challenge - we have loved visiting and seeing your work! Jenny will be along in a few days to announce last month's winner!

Our new theme for this month's challenge is:


And the (optional) extra is ....Mix Up The Alphas!!

It's not long now until Christmas will be here so we want to see Christmas cards, gifts, last years photos scrapped .... or anything with a Christmas theme!

Closing date for entries is: 19 December at 1pm

One random winner will win a Mystery Christmas themed prize! Don't forget to check back to see if you are our lucky winner or you are chosen for our favourite 3 entries!!!

Please remember to check out the monthly challenge rules on the tab at the top of this blog, before entering. A quick reminder of our main rules:

Please link directly to your post & not a general link to your blog. 
You must mention and include a link back to the challenge in your entry post. No back linking please - new work only.
The winner must contact me by e mail to receive their prize. A few of our favourites will also be selected to be featured on this blog!
The final (& most important rule) is to have fun!!

Check out the festive samples from the Design Team!
Please do click on the name to visit their blog and leave them a comment ... I know they'd love you to pop by and say hello! There's also lots of detail and extra photos on their own blogs of their challenge piece.

Jenny - Easel Card Luminaire

I used a Hero Arts stamp and some old papers from my stash, inked with Antique Linen  distress ink. I added a couple of pearls to the corners and the cute little wooden deer. I've achieved the extra challenge by using a sentiment with different fonts.

Lisa-Jane - Joy layout

I used lots of layers on this layout of a photo we took of my baby son in the days before we had a digital camera. 

I mixed up the alphas for my title including some black and white Jenni Bowlin stickers and red Cosmo Cricket tiny alphas. The chipboard Joy die-cut is sprayed with green Mister Huey mist and some sparkle added on top.

Jennifer - Photo Shoot layout

This layout features a photo from 2008, of a photo shoot I did with my daughter. 

My supplies included Bazill Sugar Cookie Cardstock. My Mind's Eye All is Bright 6x6 Pad, Stickers from the Collection KitButtonsRhinestones, and Decorative TapeHero Arts Clear GemstonesCosmo Cricket Tiny Type Cream.

Louise - Christmas Wreath

I've been wanting to make one of these since I pinned something similar on Pinterest. It was so simple to make and my only supplies were a snowflake sizzix die, White Bazzill Card, some Gems and a White Huey Mist.These snowflakes would look so pretty with liquid pearls in the centre as an alternative to the gems and you could add some sparkle with stickles!!

We can't wait to see your Christmas projects 
Please remember to link directly to your blog post and not just your blog and to include a link back to the challenge.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Jennifer Grace - Inspired By Winter

Welcome to our very first "Inspired By Winter" Post!

Just over 12 months ago I announced our Design Team here. Since then we have had a fantastic 12 months working together. Their endless support and talents continues to amaze me and I can honestly say they have all become firm friends.
A few weeks ago, I asked them if they were happy to continue on the S J Crafts Team and I'm delighted that Jennifer, Louise, Lisa-Jane and Jenny all agreed to stay on the team.

This new blog series, "Inspired By Winter"  is a celebration of my amazing Design Team, a chance for you, our readers to get to know them a little better and  best of all enjoy seeing some crafty goodness!

Each week, on a Wednesday there will be a chance to "meet" a DT member and find out what inspires them this Winter!

I hope you will join us!!

First up is .... Jennifer!

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Hello! I'm Jennifer Grace, a craft-crazy mum-of-two, from Dorset, England, and I'm super happy to be on the SJ Crafts Design Team for another term!

I like to craft as much as possible, and I frequently run around with alphas stuck on my top when my daughter wants to decorate me with my stickers, or with a glittery baby on my hip because he wanted to investigate mummy’s supplies! I love going on family adventures (especially to the beach), dressing up (I was Ariel the Mermaid for my 30th birthday), and celebrating the little moments of joy that life brings!

Here's a few questions & answers to help you get to know me and my crafting:
  • What was your last crafty purchase? I've been buying lots of winter/Christmas crafting supplies, including bits from the collections of Crate Paper's Sleigh Ride, Pink Paislee's City Sidewalks, My Mind's Eye All is Bright, and Studio Calico's Wonderland!

  • Who is your favourite Craft Manufacturer? This is a hard question as I love all those mentioned above, and more! I guess right now it's My Mind's Eye, but I reserve the right to change my mind on a daily whim!

  • What is your favourite technique/style? I don't know how to define my style - it's somewhere between graphic and arty! I like my photos to always be straight, but I don't mind tilting other elements, and I love to scatter small circular items - most often gems/pearls, but also sometimes buttons, brads, or drops of mist. If anyone can come up with a phrase to describe my style, I'd be happy to hear it!

We're approaching winter now - it really feels like it here, as it's been cold and drizzly! But I don't mind, as I love crafting in winter... I'm especially inspired because it's a season of 'giving'. I love crafting gifts, cards, and tags, to give to those I know and love, and hopefully light up their day. It's a great feeling to see someone appreciating what you've made for them, I love sharing my hobby and putting my thoughts and love into projects to pass on to others!

With this in mind, I've made a couple of tags to decorate some gifts this Christmas:

Supplies: White CardstockJenni Bowlin Studios Kraft Flag TagsRed Rhinestone Stars, andClear Rhinestone Stars, Hero Arts Clear GemstonesGlitz 'Yours Truly' Alpha stickersStudio Calico My. Huey Calico White Mist, Sewing Machine with White Thread, Bakers Twine.

They look great on some gifts with a bit of twine and ribbon:

These are a tiny sample of the things I've been making lately with a winter or Christmas theme.
I'd love it if you joined me for my 'Frosty Festivities' Blog Event this coming weekend (16th - 18th of November) to see more! There will be winter themed posts every hour, including tips, tutorials, challenges, crafts, a blog hop, and lots of GIVEAWAYS! Check out more information in my announcement post here.

I hope you'll be able to stop by, but either way I'm sure I'll see you again on the SJ Crafts Blog soon! Thanks for reading a bit about me, it would be lovely if you can leave a comment to say hello!

Jennifer x

Visit Jennifer's blog at Jennifer's Jumbles

Monday, 12 November 2012

Gift Bag & Tealight Holder!

On the last post I showed you some cards I made with the Studio Calico Wonderland 6" x 6" pad. Today I'd like to show you a couple of handmade gifts.

This little gift bag is made with Kraft card which really seems to work so well with many of the papers in the Wonderland pad. The snowflake paper is from the Wonderland Collection and I added some red twine. The sentiment is a digital one from Whimsey Stamps and I added a tiny button which I coloured to match and tied with twine to the centre of the snowflake.

The bag opens up and revels a little pocket into which I put a few celebration sweets.

 Now for something different .... the papers are again from the Wonderland Collection and I think this shows just how versatile this collection is as I have gone away from Christmas completely and made a tea light holder. 

With the light lit!
Will you be making any handmade gifts for the festive season?

Jenny x

You can see more of Jenny's work on her blog: Dragonllew's Spot

Jenny followed these tutorials to make her bag and tealight holder:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Wonderland Cards - By Jenny

Hi Everyone, Jenny here today!

This month Sarah gave me Studio Calico Wonderland to work with, I love the range of colours in this pad - you have your traditional reds and greens but also some lovely blues, creams and browns. There is a good mix of Winter/Christmas patterns and also more general patterns. I made a few different things to to try and show you how versatile these gorgeous papers are!

First up a nice simple card using Kraft card to mat the patterned paper onto and some twine wrapped around the paper which gives the card a nice rustic look. I have used glossy accents to highlight some of the pattern on the paper and stamped a sentiment in Rich Cocoa Memento ink.

The large snowflake has been cut from a piece of patterned paper and then covered in glamour dust and the smaller one is cut from white card, a clear button tied with some blue twine finishes the snowflake off.

Another fairly simple card - this time using one of the green papers from the Wonderland pad which is matted onto some dark green cardstock and then onto a card blank. I stamped the sentiment in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and then drew the square around the card with a fineliner pen. The snowman is a diecut which has been embossed and coloured with promarkers.

I'll be back soon to show you a gift bag and a tealight holder - both would make great Christmas gifts!

Thanks for stopping by today!
Jenny x