Sunday 29 March 2009

Up North

yesterday and today I have been teaching scrapbooking at Dawn Bibby's studio in Lancashire. I love teaching there as the girls are really nice and always is nice to meet new faces and every time I understand a bit better the northen accent!
I will be staying all week up here as next weekend is the big demo days at Dawn's shop -for more info click here. I will be demonstrating the new die cutting machine The Slice, a lovely cordless electrical machine that has cartridges to die for, as well as one of my all time favourite craft tools, the Cuttlebug.

Friday 27 March 2009

Some shots at QVC between shows, i think probably before the 8pm one.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Birthday card

Last Thursday was Dawn's birthday so I had to make a card for her. As usual, I was up late making it! So that accounts for the bad light.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Creativity & Acomplishment

One comment in one of my recent posts hit a very sensitive spot. Are there really no talented scrappers? Are we really all the same as long as we are happy with the result? I guess we can have different opinions, but I certainly don't agree with that affirmation.

Scrabooking or cardmaking are crafts and, as such, have two main elements creativity and accomplishment. Within the creativity I enclose the originating idea and the design, when I say accomplishment I mean the quality and finish of the end product.

In my honest opinion, there is such a thing as a talented scrapper or great cardmaker. The one who has the whole package: the one who is creative, has a good eye for design and colour, and finishes the project beautifully -for example, no wonky lines and images stamped properly. The crafter who uses several techniques, use different layout designs, colours that match beautifully, is a talented one even though he/she may use sketches for inspiration, or not have invented the technique, although that might be a big plus.

Sometimes it is hard to appreciate it over the internet. Once I met in real life one cardmaker I had admired for quite a while through her blog. Her designs were beautiful -still are- but the card was all wonky, double sided tape showing a bit here and there, just badly finsihed. In that moment, I realized that her photographic habilities and photoshop skills were more impressive than her papercrafting ones. I still consider her a great designer, but not so much as a great cardmaker as for me is not the whole package.

We often tend to think that anything that is related to creativity can only be judged subjectively. I actually think that is wrong. One should always be able to see what is good even though is not to our taste, or know that something is bad even though we may like it or be to our taste.

But, going back to the comment that sparked me to do this post, I think what it meant is that all of this is not important if you are doing cards or layouts as a hobby. Cardmaking or scrapbooking is not a competition to see who is the greatest, but rather a way to spent time doing lovely things and improving ones skills. It is like any other hobby.
The important is to enjoy the process. And I, for one, totally agree with that!

PS: For this card I used a PaperArtsy stamp, alcohol inks and gold leaf.
And, for the record, I do not consider myself the whole package. I do tend to stay in my comfort zone too often when it comes to colours, design and techniques, like I tend to use too much monochrome colour schemes. And I have too many wonky lines! I have many more issues but I wont divulge any more publicly!

Wednesday 18 March 2009


I am honestly thinking that I might have been a vampire in a previous life, not because of my love of fresh blood but because of my likeness for the night. Just joking! I hate anything to do with vampires, I never understand the crazes for Twilight and this sort of thing.
Anyway, because of my body being much more creative and alert at night rather than in the morning I tend to be very unproductive when the light is perfect for photos. So, result, bad lighting.
Still you can have an idea of the card. All materials are SEI except the letters which are Basic Grey.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Multi photo layout

It is true that most of my layouts only have a single picture, and I have been in the past told off because of that. But Scrapbooking has no rules. Whatever you like, whatever express yourself that is OK. Of course, that has nothing to do with what will get you into magazines, or into the in scrap crowd, who value design and creativity and rightly so. If it has no rules it means that the reason why you scrapbook can vary greatly: because you would like to record your children growing up, your travels, or for no reason whatsoever.

After all scrapbooking should be regarded as any other hobby. It is done for the joy that procures to the one who does it. That the scrapbook is a keepsake or a treasure for the rest of the family is a secondary thing. I know it sounds selfish, but we rarely second guess the men who enjoy golf on the weekends, and pay mass amounts for club memberships as well as all the gear to practice the sport. I think of it as fishing, which type of fisherman do enjoy it more: the ones that eat the caught fish or the ones who put back the fish into the pond or stream? Although I have never quite understood why you would fish for hours just to put the fish caught back into the waters, my lack of empathy doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the fisherman in question. And, honestly I do not think that one can say that one type of fisherman enjoys it more than the other. Likewise scrapbooking, it is a valid hobby weather you do it for posterity or just for the pure joy that it procures you in the exact moment that you are creating it.

For me, scrapbooking is about combining two passions: photos and paper. And most times I think the focus of my layouts should be the photos, that is my starting point and often just the one photo is all I need. I am design/creativity oriented, so for me the fun of the hobby is to create pages that incorporate my photos rather than to document my life -although that is a nice plus that I get as a sideline from it.

Many scrapbookers will say that is essential to have a title, some others will tell you that journaling is the most important thing. Words are not something that come easily to me, at least when I have to write them, so if I do write journaling I tend to hide it away from the casual browser of my albums. And, to be perfectly honest, I do not care for titles, specially those which do not give any information such as Wonder and Beautiful... Don't take me wrong, I have layouts with those words as titles but I think that it only makes sense if there is a story behind that Beautiful or Wonder. But I do like type, so uninformative titles will still be cool in my book if the lettering is good.

But I like to think that the no rules thing really applies to me when I am creating a layout. Like many, I do have my comfort zone, wether is certain colour schemes or secret journaling. However, sometimes I want to do something different creatively or my intention for the layout is actually document an event or memories. This layout is a good example of that: I wanted to capture the many places that my spoilt cat finds in our house. So, here enjoy a rare thing: a multi photo layout with journaling up there for everyone to see.

Saturday 14 March 2009

More butterflies

I do like butterflies, I think they are so pretty; dragonflies, well I do like the shape but not the animal in itself.
This card was part of an article I did a few months back for Quick & Crafty using papers from My Little Yellow Bicycle I believe from a year or so ago. They are such a pretty colors and have got glitter already on them. The butterfly is already printed on them so i just needed to cut around except in the body and pop in some foam pads under the wings.

Friday 13 March 2009

Another Layout

When I say that it is really hard for me to take a good photo of a layout, I am not kidding as you can check in the above photo. I think part of it is that I don't a gorgeous house that acts as a backdrop in the house such as the like of Keisha Campbell or Jennifer Pebbles.
But I do like this layout using Bittersweet stuff and some of my favorite pictures of myself taken by Kirsty Wiseman. There is some hidden journaling behind the photos that is pulled out by the tab on the right hand side.

Thursday 12 March 2009


It's been a while since I posted any layouts. Well, it has a simple explanation, I find it much harder to take pictures of layouts than of cards or mini albums, therefore it is chore to post pictures of my scrapbooking in the blog.

All the papers are from My Little Yellow Bicycle except the buttons (Basic Grey) and the black card (Core Dinations).

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Less is more

I often feel that my cards are too simple, but when I tried purposely to made them more elaborate I end up with cards I don't like. Also, sometimes I find that super complicated cards often they all look the same.

So, I keep making simple cards but changing techniques, papers, folding... because less is more! (or so I keep telling myself!)

Tuesday 10 March 2009


Banana Frog clear stamps have been a favorite of mine for quite a while, specially this set, Fireworks. And I love gilding as well. For this card I use Stamp and Bond embossing powder, which works like the normal embossing powder (just don't over heat it!) just that the finish is tacky so you can add the gilding flakes or sheets and it will stick to it. The bottom strip is just double sided tape with gilding over it, the easiest way to add some real metal finish.

Monday 9 March 2009

Simple Card

I love simple cards. Like this one. Just a simple stamped image in brown and then added golden metal circles in the centers of the flowers.

Sunday 8 March 2009


For this one I use the card wrap horizontally as it sits nicely like that. The background paper is Making Memories (Paperie) and all the rest is from Craftwork Cards.

Saturday 7 March 2009

If you have browsed Making Memories blog today, you may have seen a very similar butterfly used in a layout. However I did this card about three days ago, but I suppose butterflies are in. so its going to happen that different people both sides of the ocean have similar ideas at the same time. That is not to say that I don't get a ton of inspiration from other crafters, crafty blogs are an endless source of ideas for me and for everyone. But be clear, when I get inspired directly by someone, I say so and, if possible, I post the link.

Anyway, back to the card, I used the Craftwork Cards acetate butterflies, some alcohol inks on the bottom one and for the one on the top, Choko scroll pattern stamped with white stazOn. For the butterfly body I used loads of self adhesive cat eye pearls.

For the card I used two big square ruffles (or scallop square mats) as the main card the back one is scored at 2 cm approx. from the left edge and glued to the front. This way you get scallops all around!

Friday 6 March 2009

New chocolate love

I do love chocolate, dark, rich chocolate. That is a fact well established between my friends and family. By the way, Mars bars and that sort of stuff does NOT qualify as chocolate in my books.

The first requirement is that it should be 70% Cocoa Solids minimum. Then, it should glossy and that cracks nicely, as a non glossy one will be too dry and rough or not smooth enough, and the clean cracking noise means that is fresh and cold (as opposed to warm cause if it is warm it loses some of its taste and texture).

Lindt 70% has been a firm favorite of mine for a very long time. In fact it was the first 70% minimum that I came in contact all those years ago in Mallorca. But lately I found the supply that I have found in supermarkets around where I live has lacked the freshness, texture and even the flavor I have became accustomed to.

So, I have trying different ones. A colleague of my husband got me this one from Paris. To die for. Really. That good. But to go to Paris just for the chocolate...that is a bit too much even for a crazy chocolate lover like myself.
I tried Montezuma and Hotel Chocolat. The first one is good, but not enough, the texture is not very refined. Hotel Chocolat has a fabulous chocolate line called The Purist, its 75% Tanzanian is very good but, you can not buy in its own anymore.

But today with my grocery delivery I had a nice surprise. A lovely little box, nicely designed that looked like this:

OK, the photo is not mine - I would had never put that blue ribbon nor the bright pink fabric in the background!- I am sucker for good graphic design, put anything with a nicely designed wrapper and I will buy it, so as soon as I saw it in the freebie bag I wanted to tasted but, before I eat anything, specially chocolate, I always read the contains. I do not have any dangerous food allergies, however I am very picky as the list of flavors I do not like is a very long one. So, I soon saw the 63% minimum cocoa solids. A bit disappointed, that is below my minimum requierements of 70%.

I hear you saying, all that long write up for this?

Well, not quite. While I was doing some design work on the computer I felt chocolaty, in need of a chocolate taste. And beside me there was Choxi+. I tried a small piece first. Then a second soon followed, and a third was needed to make sure that first and second impressions were accurate. It is actually it is a brilliant chocolate. Glossiness, tick; nice crack noise, tick. Rich flavour, smooth texture.

The best? I am not sure, but certainly the marketing doesn't harm as it says that cotains up to three times the level of antioxidants. With a 10gr piece, you are sorted for the day. I will try to stick to this, I think I prefer this to the five a day! -provably you are meant to do both.

So here it is: to the little happiness that chocolate, good, extremely good chocolate brings us!

Akina flower

This is a bit of an unusual colour combo for me. Red and Brown. It actually goes against everything that my father has taught me over the years about colour. Although it should not work, somehow it does work for me in this case. Maybe it is due to the case that I just wanted to use this product rather than spend ages deciding whihc was the best colour as a background for the red flower. At then end, I just like it even if it is a bit colour wrong.

The flower is stamped using the parasol image on the Akina set, then trim them, score the lines, make a cut on one of them and fold it. Repeat twice more the same process , then intertwine them and glue them together. Not sure which flower that will be, be I think it looks a bit like the Remembrance poppies.

Thursday 5 March 2009

Choko Butterfly

Using Basic Grey Bittersweet range, my favorite at the moment, a pink wrap, brown candy dots and the butterfly from the Choko stamp set.
Have I mentioned that I designed the Incircles messages? Well, I suppose I have mentioned, but I love to use them, they are really handy!

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Three wraps make one large card

Well, not exactly. I use a card mat with has the same shape as the wrap minus the scoring line as the base of the card. Then I trimmed off the scalloped sides and attach one wrap at each edge to create a gatefold sort of card. The scalloped edges overlap and the circle maintains it flat when the card is properly closed.
For this set I use the Grasses stamp set, I used Archival Sepia (I can't get enough of Archival inks lately, such a crisp impressions) and then I used a metallic gold pen to draw the flowers centres.
I like this card, softer colours, calmer colours that are suited for so many people.

Tuesday 3 March 2009


Another Japanese girl from Craftwork Cards stamps. I love this one is such a beauty! As mentioned in the previous post, I can't get away from the wraps. In this case I trim off the bottom because otherwise it wouldn't stand up since it has the same shape as the top.
All materials from Craftwork Cards.

Monday 2 March 2009


I love stamps, clear or rubber (not so much foam), so I was super excited to get to play with the new stamps from Craftwork Cards. They are made out of a clear material that is much stiffer than the traditional clear ones so they stamp beautifully small detail. And it seems that nowadays I can't get away from my beloved wraps. They are so cute! and so easy to use.

You can find them here. And if you click here you can see the gallery with many ideas on how to use them.

Finding photos

Finding things is an art that should be recognized with a diploma of some sort. Really. With subjects such as How to find things in your computer folders, or How to find the missing white sock with the blue stripe. Or even how to find the will to keep enjoying your job! Just kidding, or not.
The thing that prompted me to this little rant is the fact that I have got over 13,000 pictures on my iPhoto, and although the event organizer is quite clever is either not enough clever to solve my problems or I am not clever enough to make the most of it. I never manage to find the photos of past projects that I haven't already posted.
So from now on, and also in the past, my apologies if you ever see photos that already have appeared here before.
I will leave with an image that may or may not have been shown here before.
(All products by Craftwork Cards)
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