Author Archives: jsquared

About jsquared

I'm a working mom to a lively 11 year old girl. I love crafting, photography and exploring new places. We live in Dudley in the Black Country.

Living the Dream

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An all expenses paid trip to Cyprus.  A room with a balcony and a sea view.  Breakfast on the terrace by the pool.  It sounds like the good life but this was a work trip and I had no-one to enjoy it with. And to make things worse I had to fly out on Mothers Day.  A day when I should have been with family and I was alone in paradise.

A photo taken from my hotel balcony and Challenge 1 spurred me to use the last of my May Counterfeit kit. However, The Grandma pointed out that Limassol is in Cyprus and not Corfu.  Yes I got the place wrong and I had to find a way to cover it up.  I decided on wash tape, which i then put in one or two others places on the page and then added enamel triangles to turn my mistake into a feature.

I considered adding splatters but decided I liked the clean look and I didn’t want to risk spoiling it.  But I think splatters worked well on my page using Creative Scrappers sketch.

I thought I could use some of the Project Life cards left from my kit and the bright alphas as the background, but things didn’t quite work out that way.  The 4 X 4 cards from Shimelle’s True Stories shad the perfect wording and the alphas turned out to be far too busy for the background.  After a bit of trimming and splattering onto white card stock my page tuned out well in the end.  I might go back and add some stitching to the trip at the top of the page once I have made room to get my sewing machine out.

NSD Challenges

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Did you have a good time last weekend, joining in with all the online challenges for National Scrapbooking weekend? Thank-you to everyone who joined in the blog hop and for all the lovely comments you left.  And a huge welcome to everyone who decided to follow my blog as a result.

I wasn’t overly productive last weekend – considering that I stayed in to scrap.  I made three layouts for challenges on Facebook, using my Counterfeit kit.  For the tic-tac-toe challenge I used a sketch from the Scrap Our Stash NSD challenges:

My fussy cut item is the stamped dog in the garland (I think the border punch and patterned paper are self evident!).  The black and white photo and twine were requirements for the tic-tac-toe on FB.

I did a pocket page of Strawberry’s bedroom makeover:

I had terrible trouble with those two small photos.  The ink lifted off and left one looking rather distressed.  It was a new pad of photo paper but a brand I’ve used before.  I think it may have been printing from Word and not being able to specify the paper type which caused the problem.  I’ll give it one try printing from iPhoto with the correct settings and if I have the same problem the pad is going back.

I finally got our trip to see the Room on the Broom in January 2012 onto a page.

The cat, bird and dog embellishments I made were perfect for the subject and Strawberry donated a frog sticker to complete the witch’s companions.

I’ve been buying Promarkers online for Strawberry and the last parcel also contained a part used 6 X 6 pad for me.  Four pages from that pad are now cards for future pocket pages.

The right hand 3 X 4 card has a pocket to slip in a tag or tickets.  Any ideas for a quote or phrase for the 3 X 4 card on the left?

There’s not much of my counterfeit kit left and I have so many ideas.  I’ll be back when I have something to show you.  Until then ‘Keep Scrapping’.

 

For the Love of Pretty Paper

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National Scrapbooking Day Blog Hop

This post is part of the National Scrapbook Day Blog Hop hosted by the Facebook Group “For The Love Of Pretty Paper”

If you are following the hop you should have arrived here from Julia

I struggled at first when I found out I had to create a page using my favourite technique – I wasn’t sure I had one.  I looked back through my last few pages and concluded that my favourite technique was clustering.

My first step was to choose a photo and gather some supplies.  I bought some London themed paper a while ago to scrap photos from The Shard.  I took that as my starting point and put together a page kit with papers from the Discover England collection from Paper House and Shimelle’s True Stories collection with London themed puffy stickers and button badges.

I picked one photo for a 12 X 12 page and others for a pocket page.  As I worked on the 12 X 12 I also worked on a 4 X 6 card for the pocket page to create two similar clusters on each.  The 4 X 6 card was cut from the 4 inch strip cut from the 12 X 12 background sheet.  

I needed something to use as a base to build the clusters and True Stories has a great coffee cup paper to fussy cut.  I picked three blue cups to make three clusters to form a visual triangle over the two pages.  I started with the largest cluster on the 12 X 12 page next to the photo and built a second matching cluster on the 4 X 6 card.

I used a large button badge in the main cluster, while the smaller cluster has a smaller button badge and stickers with the three London landmarks from the large button badge. The large cluster connects the photo and title and having a similar smaller cluster near the journaling helps to bring the two pages together.

The third cluster was based on the lid of a coffee cup and included London landmarks and heart stickers.  While these three clusters form a triangle across the two pages, each page has its own mini triangle formed of hearts and pink butterflies.

The triangle on the 12 X 12 page is formed by the red hearts, pink butterflies and silver accents.  The I love London sticker fills a gap between the button badge and the title.  It forms another link to the pocket page where I have used the same sticker on a card of Tower Bridge and echoes the phrase on my smaller button badge.

I kept the bulk of the embellishment at the top of the page so that I could add three diamond stickers to the map to show the positions of our hotel, The Shard and The Cambridge Theatre where we saw Matilda that evening.

There’s another triangle on the pocket page – formed by the Union Jack heart stickers and pink butterflies.  The 3 X 4 photo cards are from the Discover England cut apart sheet.

Having a 12 X 12 page with a pocket page is something I’ve started doing a lot of.  The downside is that it dictates that the following page must also be a pocket page, so I’ve been completing a number of pages to fit into an album – rather than making one or two random pages (you can see the pages which fit around these ones in my last post).  I used the photos from the rest of the day and worked with the photo paper on the back of my 4 X 6 and another cut apart card with a ‘Mind the Gap’ logo for the reverse of my pocket page.  I repeated the circular motif with a journalling spot made to go on the cards I made from a Tube map and the London Eye in the card made with my London Skyline die cuts.  A button badge and London stickers carry on the theme from the previous pages and I’ve included pink to help tie in the photos from the Theatre.

To be in with a chance of winning the Blog Hop prize you will need to comment on this post (and on all the blogs in the hop) and when you have completed the hop, return to the Blog Hop thread on “For The Love Of Pretty Paper” and leave a comment to let us know you have been all the way around the hop. Visitors who leave the same (or seen to be the same by the Organisers) comment on all the blogs will not be eligible for the prize. The Closing date for Blog Hop entries is Monday 8th May at 10pm. Only UK addresses are eligible for the prize due to postage costs. Good Luck!

After your visit here please hop on to Maria and if you lose your way or you want to start at the beginning of the hop you can find the complete list on the Facebook page here or on Fiona’s Blog: http://fiona-staringatthesea.blogspot.co.uk/

Be Inspired – Little By Little

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It’s National Scrapbook Day on Saturday and there’s a whole host of challenges planned for the weekend on various sites. I’ve got my Counterfeit kit ready and I have to confess to ‘cheating’ this month.  I know it’s all about using your existing stash but there was a 3 for 2 offer at Hobby Craft on some of the items in the inspiration kit so how could I not?

Here’s a little reminder of the inspiration kit:

and here’s my version:

and I also did a mini kit, inspired by the Project Life kit, for pocket pages and to make embellishments:

It’s polling day today and school is closed; since it is also Star Wars Day I have taken the day off work and Strawberry and I have been watching Star Wars movies.  And I’ve also used that mini kit to make some embellishments:

I used my flamingo stamp with a sheet of pink patterned paper from Shimelle’s Little By Little collection, fussy cut the flamingo and then adhered it to a journal spot cut from the same collection.

I counterfeited the wooden tabs from the inspiration kit by stamping on woodgrain paper and then die cutting tab shapes.

I stamped a fox, a dog and a couple of cats on white card stock and coloured them coloured pencils.  I then adhered the dog and cats with foam pads to garland squares cut from the Little By Little 6 X 6 pad.

I made a couple more embellishments using the bird garland stamp and the Little By Little pad.  One I stamped on white card, die cut a circle and adhered it to a square of floral paper and the other I stamped directly onto a sheet of pink paper, cut it into a square and, taking inspiration form the garland squares in the collection, I coloured outside the garland in a darker shade of pink.

Strawberry needs the computer now to do her homework, so I’m off to cook tea and then maybe some more scrapping while watching another Star Wars movie.

Scrap Our Stash have already started with the NSD challenges – there are four challenges on the blog already.  Just a reminder that I’m in the For the Love of Pretty Paper blog hop on Sunday – here’s a sneak peak compiled form all the participants.  Can you guess which one is mine?

Blue Sugar and Coffee

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I made my last page with my April Counterfeit kit last weekend, but I’ve been busy making sure my post is just right for a National Scrapbooking Day blog hop next weekend; so better late than never here it is at last – another page from the Tropical Biome at the Eden Project:

That’s the last of the Adventure kit papers, which makes it four pages from each of the kits I made last month.  And now that it’s May there’s a new kit to Counterfeit on the blog.  A very pretty kit from Gossamer Blue, but I have a dilemma (or two or three) – I don’t have any direct matches to the kit papers and I should choose between some alternatives to keep the kit to a reasonable size (I hate having too large a kit, not using it and putting it back in my stash).  So, can you help me to decide?

From the photo below I need to choose either the aqua and blue alphas or multi-coloured numbers to substitute for the multi-coloured alphas.  Instead of the cute animals I’m not sure whether to go with cute bugs or dogs.  And finally do I use the navy polka dot or the other blue paper?

Decisions, decisions.  I have until the weekend to decide and get my kit together for National Scrapbooking Day.  I’m part of the For the Love of Pretty Paper Blog Hop, so I hope you’ll join me at 10.00 am on Sunday.

Birdhouse Four, Adventure Three

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When I created two Counterfeit kits this month I wasn’t sure which one I would use most. It looked like Adventure was winning, but Birdhouse rallied when I picked up some photos from last year’s trip to London with the Grandparents.

Here they are in chronological order.

A drink at our hotel and then birthday dinner at the Rainforest Cafe near Picadilly Circus.  I used the frog puffy stickers for Challenge 2 and because the tree frog is the Rainforest Cafe emblem. I thought I could do another pocket page with photos from the meal, but it turns out I didn’t download them before I lost my phone, so they are gone for good.

I’m still not sure why I didn’t take photos inside The Old Operating Theatre – it was worth the visit.  It’s near the Shard if you want to take a look yourself.  The only one I have is this of Strawberry as we left. I used the sketch from the Studio Challenge blog for this page.

My last page from the kit is some photos from Blists Hill Living Museum. This one uses patterned paper only – no enamel dots, brads or other embellishments.

Finally I made another page from my Adventure kit to take its total up to three: another page from my Eden album, telling the the story of chocolate.

That’s five pages in two days! There’s one full sheet and some scraps left from the Adventure kit – I’ll see if I can even up the numbers.

The Man in The Chair

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It’s not very often I start a page with a specific story to tell, but when my friend told me about her daughter and how much she likes to visit The Grandma’s House the tale was so cute I had to turn it into a page.

It’s not so much that she will ask ‘Are we going to Maureen’s?’ or why she likes to visit, but because she has her own name for The Grandad.  She calls him The Man in The Chair because he always sits in the same spot and rarely moves.  Since they moved the furniture round, that spot is now the end of the settee and if he gets up she jumps into his seat so that he has to go and sit in a chair!

I used my March Counterfeit kit – I think those little pops of blue help to bring out the blue of her eyes.  I managed to squeeze just one more page from the kit, using the final full sheet and remaining scraps.

I used the March Stuck?! sketch and a little inspiration from Beth Moloney’s process video to pull this one together.  The photos are of The Grandma and my Grandad taken at his caravan in Wales.  I know the bottom right photo is a little wonky, but it is stuck down with double sided foam strips and it is impossible to take up to reposition it.  The foam strips were to raise it up so that the tag and its envelope could slip underneath.

I’ve also been working with my April kit.  If you visited my last blog post you may recall that I had already mentally cut and assembled three sheets in my head.  This is how that idea finished up:

We don’t really do daring adventures, so a photo from the Eden Project on our way to the platform above the tropical canopy will have to do.

Once this page was done I decided to have a go at forging some embellishments.  I stamped birds and a hot air balloon onto white card stock and then coloured then using the coloured pencils Strawberry (aka Puddle Duck) bought me for Mothers’ Day.

I think I’ll try with a less textured card next time, although I do quite like the checked effect.  I’ve used them already on another page for the Eden Project album:

It was meant to have a white hand drawn border and white journaling, but my white pen no longer works and that will have to wait until I buy a new one.