Monday, 30 September 2013

Chalk Studio Part One - Mix It up!

Hello! It's Jennifer here, with some projects using the My Mind's Eye Chalk Studio collection. The Chipboard Elements, Decorative Frames, and Label Stickers are all available in the shop right now, and I'm going to show you how to mix them up with various papers and embellishments!

First up is a layout made by adding Chalk Studio to some other My Mind's Eye supplies - I've paired them with papers and elements from the Cut & Paste - Charm collection, and the Find Your Wings and Fly - Sky's The Limit collection...

Muddy Puddles:

The chalkboard items add a classic feel to this gallery style page. The small photos I wanted to use could have got lost on a 12x12 page, but the bold style of the frames really helps them stand out. I added bunting from the Chipboard Elements on top of one frame to give it extra depth. The journaling (using a white gel pen) stands out really well too!

The right hand photo frame is adhered to the layout with Foam Dots to make it a focal point, which is also helped by the 'Adventure This Way' arrow from the Carefree Label Sticker Sheet pointing down at the picture:

I also loved using the Chipboard Elements along the edges of the page (you'll spot this on the next layout too), as it defines the edges and brings the page together. If the black items were just in the middle of the page then it would have a heavy centre, so spreading them out like this means you look around the whole page:

I also added lots of Mist splatters and Enamel Dots & Gems to look like raindrops all over the background!

The next page uses a greater mix of products - I used items from Basic Grey Mint Julep, Crate Paper The Pier, and Glitz Designs Wild & Free collections...

So Content:

I've been holding on to this picture for ages - I hadn't scrapped it yet because you can't see my children's faces. But you can see my face, and every time I look at this photo I'm reminded how happy it makes me to have people to play in the sea with - my husband does not like the sea so I've been waiting for my kids to be big enough to join me!

I pulled together an eclectic variety of papers and patterns. They all work together because of the pink and yellow tones, and because the chalkboard scattered around the page helps to unite them.

I added some colours to the top of a couple of pieces using Stickles and Liquid Pearls on one, and Gems on another - don't forget you can alter the chalkboard pieces to fit the theme of your project:

Some of the Chalkboard pieces come with words or a sentiment on them, so if you don't like doing too much journaling then they are perfect for sharing your emotions on the layout. Try layering one on top of another embellishment, like I did with the 'Happy Day' piece here:

I love how the chalkboard elements have helped me to bring an imperfect photo to life!

What do you think about the chalkboard trend? I'm totally loving it, and I'll be back with more Chalk Studio inspiration on a second post soon!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

You can see more of Jennifer's papercrafting at her blog Jennifer Grace Creates!

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Perfect Summer (Part 4)

Hi there, its Lisa-Jane back again, with my ninth and final layout from Echo Park's Perfect Summer collection! 

If you missed any of my previous posts using this collection you can see them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. It has been a wonderful summer this year, so I know everyone will have lots of photos to scrap that will work so well with this colourful pack!  

Remember last year? It wasn't such a perfect summer. The rain really interfered with the crops and the strawberry harvest was dire. We only managed one picking session, hence the title "One Fine Day". It was tough going and I will definitely be scrapping about the poor conditions. But this layout is about how my dear old Dad knows the ancient farmers where we go picking, and he managed to get my son a ride on a tractor:

I still had plenty of little bits to patch together to make this layout. I wanted to focus mostly on the red and the green, so I added red cardstock, green WRMK washi tape, green ribbon and a red paperclip.

I used the branding strips and a few other small leftovers to make this banner along the bottom, which adds lots of colour and interest and mimics the movement of the windy days!

So that is 9 layouts and 2 cards all made from 1 collection pack, by only adding a few bits of plain cardstock and some embellishments. And I still have these bits leftover for fun birthday cards:

I think it works out as great value for money and it also takes out a lot of the hard work of matching up supplies too! You can see lots more collection kits HERE - there's a variety to suit all tastes and themes!

I hope you've enjoyed this series. I'd love to know if you have used up a kit like this, and how much you got out of it too. If you link up in the comments we'll come and take a look!

Bye for now,


Lisa-Jane blogs about her life and crafting at her inspiring blog Inside My Head. Check it out!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Perfect Summer (Part 3)

Hi Everyone! 

Lisa-Jane here today, with more layouts for my challenge to see how many layouts and projects I can make from just 1 collection pack! 

I'm using Echo Park's A Perfect Summer Collection, which started as a pack of 12 double sided papers and 2 sticker sheets. You can see my other posts and layouts here and here. I have added plain cardstock and the odd extra embellishment here and there but predominantly my supplies are all from the pack.  

When I started this challenge, the photos and colours were perfect for the sunny weather we were enjoying. Now I am so grateful for this collection to cheer me up from the awful drizzle outside!

These layouts are my 7th and 8th from this collection, so I am using offcuts in both of these pages. I also made 2 cards (I'm sorry but I was unable to photograph the cards before sending to the recipients due to a poorly camera!!)

Here I've used one of the stickers layered up on a banner strip to make the title, and then a small piece that I gutted from the sunshine paper makes a great home for my journalling:  

I love the cute bunting stickers on the alphabet sheet, because they are so perfect for a little spot of embellishment in an opposing corner.  I've added a few gems and of course the background kraft cardstock but that is all.  Not bad from leftovers!

For the next layout I was inspired by Glitter Girl's use of borders in a recent video, so I layered up some border stickers with some longer scraps. Actually that stripy piece is two small pieces but we'll just keep that secret between you and I, okay?

The large amount of teeny letter stickers meant that I could easily spell out the 3 different types of crab that we handled on a boat trip one day. I make no apology for using pinwheels again because this layout is the first of many for our 2013 holiday album. They use such small pieces of paper and make a great impact on a Summery page - perfect for a layout about a windy boat trip:

The cut-apart sheet provided the title card and a little space for a sentence or two.  Here I only added a sheet of kraft, a couple of buttons and some twine to finish off.

I hope these sunny layouts cheer you up if you are adjusting to the suddenly Autumnal weather!

I still have some scraps of papers and stickers so check back for the final instalment later this week!

Bye for now,


See more of Lisa-Jane's wonderful creations on her blog: Inside My Head 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Our New Blog Look!

Hello, Jennifer here to introduce our new blog look to you - what do you think? If you're looking at this via a blog reader please click through and see the new style!

I've been working on this with Sarah behind the scenes for a couple of months. As well as a new background, header, and other visual changes, there's also some new features I want to tell you about!

Firstly, there's some buttons in the right sidebar which take you to our Facebook page, or to follow us on Twitter - yes SJ Crafts is venturing into the world of Twitter - you can find us at @SJCraftsShop! There's also a button to send us an email if you need to.

Check out the menu bar along the top, where you can select additional pages to look at. The 'About Us' and 'Crops & Events' pages have been updated and there's now also a new 'DT Gallery' page. The gallery shows pictures of some of the Design Team projects from the blog posts here. If you click on the photo of a project, it will open a new window with the blog post that it featured in. At the moment there's only a few projects there, but I'm going to go back through old posts and add more this month. You'll be able to check that you didn't miss any inspiring projects!

At the end of each blog post you'll see some social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, to Email the post, or for Google +. If you think the post includes something brilliant, click on a button to share the post with others on your preferred social network!

Finally, I've added some links to manufacturer blogs at the bottom of the right sidebar. SJ Crafts stocks some fabulous brands, and once you've had your fill of inspiration here on our blog, you can click through to the manufacturers blogs to see even more ideas.

I think that's all the new things to tell you about. You can still see a list of labels in the sidebar, if you'd like to look back at old posts of a certain topic like 'Christmas' or '6 x 6 pads'. And of course you can still get to the blogs for the Design Team members - check out what they've been working on lately. 

Most important of all, you can still click on a button to visit the shop - make sure you haven't missed the latest stock arrivals!

Please do let us know what you think of the new blog look! We hope you like it!

If there's anything you feel is missing, or that's difficult to view on your screen, let us know so we can fix it. 

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Friday, 6 September 2013

September's Six Cards on the 6th! Prize added!

Hello and welcome to the September edition of 'Six Cards on the 6th'! This series encourages you (and us!) to get some Christmas cards made in advance of the festive season - this year we will be prepared!

On the 6th of each month from now until December, there will be a post filled with Christmas card inspiration for you. You will be able to link up your own cards at any time throughout the month, and at the end of the series one link up from all the posts will win a prize (more details on that at the end of this post)! 

If you join in with the series at any time, or if you just want to help us spread the word, it would be fantastic if you can copy this button into your post or sidebar! You just need to select all the text in the box below the image, and copy that either into a html gadget (or text widget) in your sidebar, or into the html on a blog post. Then the button will appear and will be linked back to the series - your button won't have a box underneath!

 photo Sixon6thbutton200pix_zps673fb713.jpg

Today we have cards by Jenny and Louise to inspire you to get started!

First up is Jenny:

 Last month it was mentioned that making up a kit might speed up the creative process. I'll admit starting off a cardmaking session with a kit is not something I would normally do, so I decided to just pull out some basics to start me off! My kit consisted of a MME 6x6 Mistletoe Magic paper pad, some sheets of cardstock and some Christmas stamps.
As I got stuck in to my creative session I also used diamond, gold & silver stickles, scalloped lace border punch, zig zag border punch, tag punch, gems, ribbon, Memento black ink pad , promarkers , various spellbinder dies and six scalloped 6 x 6 square card blanks.

Here's the six cards I made:

Jenny x

Next is Louise:

 Jennifer and Sarah shared photos of the Christmas kits they pulled together last month. Taking the lead from them I did the same, and then discovered the Teresa Collins 6x6 Santas List paper pad had all the elements I needed to make my cards! The only touches I ended up adding were the snowflakes and twine:

Louise x

Didn't they both do a great job? I love how the cards in each set all go together, but each have their own distinctive charm too! 

So what are you waiting for? Jenny and Louise have both shown you can just grab a 6x6 pad and a few extra details and get stuck in... and you have the added incentive that joining in with the series could win you a prize:

One person who links up to the Six Cards on the 6th series will receive a prize - a Christmas present with a mix of old and new scrapbooking goodies for you to unwrap and enjoy! It will be a pizza box nicely stuffed with goodies. Each time you link up a set of six cards you'll earn an extra entry into the draw, so join in each month for more chances to win! Last month's entries will be included in the draw too. (NB: the prize will go out in early January to the lucky winner, to allow for late December link-ups).

I hope to see your cards soon! Jennifer x

Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Perfect Summer (Part 2)

Helloooo - thanks for popping over to see what else I made with Echo Park's "A Perfect Summer" Collection.
If you missed it, you can also catch up on my last post to see my first two layouts.
Okay, I admit it, I love this collection.  I was embracing the sunny weather and the bright colours of the line and I decided to see just how many layouts I could get out of one collection pack.  
Swim - Fun - Sunshine - Happy

I loved the little fishy paper because it has a theme but yet it is relatively subtle about it.  The colours were perfect for these rainbow paddling pool photos too.  I used one of the journalling cards from the cut apart sheet to do double duty as my title and added some WRMK washi tape and ribbon from my stash.

The matching fishy stickers that were in the kit were raised up on pop dots and then I added some gems for little bubbles.  I love the strong blue in the patterned paper on the banner piece!

I Love Summer ....
I wanted to keep the sunshine paper as a whole piece but it had a lovely ice-cream print on the other side which I also wanted to use!  I gutted a panel from the bottom left area so I could turn it over and use the ice cream design to mat my photo. Adding a piece of red and blue cardstock behind my photo helped to cover the hole left in the sunshine paper.  This is a great technique when you want to use both designs of a double sided paper but you  only have one sheet of it.

For my title I sectioned up a border strip from the cut-apart sheet and embellished 3 areas with some of the fun stickers. The kit includes two 12" x 12" sheet packed with fab little stickers.

To highlight the wonderful sun rays, I hand stitched around the sun and a little way up some of the rays to add texture and interest.
I used a similar stitching technique on this layout.

Now, how about something completely different?  
So far, I've made all summer themed layouts but I want to show you just how versatile this collection is.
Cherry Tree
I fell in love with this dark pink woodgrain paper and the little cherry print paper and I had the perfect photo for it.  It's actually a picture taken in the Spring and the layout focuses on the cherry tree that the school uses as a backdrop for the Easter bonnet photographs. As always with Echo Park, the papers are often suitable for more than is immediately obvious. Just because it's packaged as a summer collection or an Autumn collection certainly does not restrict your layouts.

I made a messy stack with some embossed pale pink cardstock and picked out the turquoise of the sky with the coordinating letter stickers and chevrons from the sticker sheet.  I added some very old Dear Lizzy rub-ons and cherry print ribbon for a layout with lots of negative space.

Next to this one in my album will be this coordinating page.  Its not a double page but I wanted to continue some of the colours and papers with the photos from the same day.  I made a pocket for lots of photos that are pretty poor but are special visual reminders of school life and friendships.  It was an idea that I used before during Shimelle Laine's 4x6 Photo Love class.

I edged the pocket with Glitz washi tape and again used the sticker sheets for the title and to embellish the tops of the inserts.  I finally used up all my rub-ons to embellish the background.

I've still got papers and stickers left and I am working on a couple more projects so I am getting a LOT out of this kit.  
Check back soon to see what else I made!
Don't forget it's Six on the 6th tomorrow!!
Have a wonderful day!
Lisa-Jane x
See more of LJ's blogging and creating on her blog: Inside My Head