Friday, 31 January 2014

January Project Life with Jen N

Just like that January is over and we are steaming headlong into February. Already! I know a lot of people who say January is the longest month, but for me it has flown by. Did it go fast for you too? Or did it drag out? We are now into week 5 of project life (if you work like me and started the year with week 1, a part week, Wednesday - Sunday). Sometimes life gets in the way of finishing pages on a weekly basis, and for me it did a little this month. Surgery and the subsequent recovery meant that I wasn't able to sit at my scrapping desk as much as I'd have liked. But I have all the weeks planned out, and the photos have been printed and cut up to the right size, so I'm confident that it'll only take me an hour or so to actually put the spreads together. I did, however, complete the first two weeks of my album, and I have those to share with you today.

January 1st - 5th looked like this for us. Plenty of snuggly photos,taking down the Christmas decorations for another year, my son dressing up lots, and plenty of cute "just because" snaps. Most of my photos throughout the year are taken on my phone, and I find that works just fine for the sizes I'm printing them for this album. 
 Here's a closer look at the layouts.

Week 2, January 7th - 12th, was a busier week for us so I included 3 inserts this week. One 6x12, one 6x8, and one 8.5x11.


The inserts are for my daughter's 5 month pictures, and a bit of writing about what she's doing at this stage; her first swim, for which we rented a pool out and had a lovely family time; and an example of my son's drawings.  I kept my inserts very basic as I was short on time - most of them are literally photos put into page protectors, with a few bits of journalling here and there.The journalling card on the artwork page is stuck on to the outside of the page protector, as I didn't want to adhere it directly to the paper. If I feel inclined later, I may go back and add some simple decoration to the plain photos, but for now the pictures and the story are there, and that's fine for me.

You can see my planner in action above - with notes down the side of the inserts to include and then the layout scheme filled out with the photo sizes drawn on. I tick each one as I include it in my prints/photo order. I love ticking that 'Completed' box - very gratifying!

This week included such fun things as daily visits to the roadworks (15 weeks of annoyance for most, but 15 weeks of heaven for my little boy!), some of his current obsessions (which change at least weekly), a few details about new things my daughter has done, and a self portrait from the little one. Some cards don't need an accompanying photo - I simply journal on the card and it's done.


 I used some of the following supplies for my pages:


Monday, 20 January 2014

A lot of the little things with Alison Kreft Designs.

Happy New Year, my friends.  Hope you are having a wonderful 2014 so far.  

Now that we are in a new year, I wanted to do a layout showing highlights from last year.  I picked 12 photos, cropped them to square 2"x2" and placed all 12 on an A4 template. I then cut them all out leaving a thin white border around each one.

I arranged the photos in a grid. I wanted to include all 12 photos but then I found a better use for one of the spots on the grid. 

I used Alison Kreft Designs' Recorded and It's Christmas range. I got a packet of paper clips and the paper clips come in plastic packaging that I have recycled into a shaker box.

I love the Reindeer on this paper so I decided to frame some of them with slide mounts. I found a stash of plastic slide mounts from when I first started scrapping. The framed reindeers gave a perfect touch of colour to my otherwise "white" layout featuring photos of Christmas lights in Berlin.

My second layout also makes use of a lot of 2"x2" photos, this time 9 of them. 

I am more drawn to my "2013" layout. What do you think ? Do you think that perhaps my taste for white background is changing ? We'll see, won't we ? Watch this space.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Hi all. Jen G here with my first post of 2014. I hope this year has been treating you well so far. I have been enjoying scrapping my Christmas photos these last few weeks using the Allison Kreft Designs It's Christmas range along with some Basic Grey 25th & Pine Vintage Stamps and Title Stickers.

For my first page I made a Christmas tree effect that I have come across a few times on sites like Pinterest. I used 10 mini photos of our naughty reindeer getting up to his silly tricks (much like Elf on the Shelf) and arranged them on  strips of patterned paper that gradually got longer as I went down the page. I added the journalling where the tree stump would be and finished the page with the title. Oh no! I have only just spotted my own "typo" I have missed the p out of Randolph! Do you ever do that? Look at something again and again without spotting a mistake! I will have to see if those thickers are the uber-sticky kind or the come-off-easily kind! Doh! 

Moving swiftly on! I used some of the 3x4 cards from the Dear Santa sheet along with some 3x4 photos of my little cutie to put together this very simple and quick page. As the paper I chose had several titles running along it; one of the cards said "Merry, Merry, Merry" and the other cards had some wording, I opted not to add a title with Thickers. (Good job too, right?!) I added a couple of the Allison Kreft Tree and Reindeer Paperclips and a little WOW glitter in red and left it at that. Clean and simple and not overly fussy.

I find that paper with a lot of wording on it can make for a fussy page. On this page I tried to take the focus off the wording on the background paper by having it run vertically instead of horizontally. I then added a few strips of other patterned paper from the range before layering my photo on top of that. A cluster of Vintage Stamps in the top corner and one in the bottom corner create the visual triangle with the paper clip on the photo. Again I left this page title free as there is already so much wording on there.
On the final page that I have to share with you I used small pieces cut from the worded patterned paper to create a little cluster of titles along with one of the Vintage Stamps. That along with the wording on the journalling card meant there was no need for Thickers etc again. (I'll say it again - good job right?!!) You can all have a good laugh at me in the elf hat - I don't offend easily!

I still have Christmas photos to scrap and luckily I have enough of the gorgeous Allison Kreft papers left to use up. Please leave us links to your Christmas scrapping. We'd love to come and take a look before all the Valentines layouts take over!

Take care all.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Out with the old....

As you probably all know, Sarah and Lianne are away at CHA, checking out all the new arrivals for us!!

This got me thinking about previous times (New Year is a time for reflection after all!) and all the discarded scrappy stuff that gets pushed to one side when we just have to have the shiny new goodies!

So, I decided to make a couple of layouts using scraps from my previously loved ranges (in this case Bella boulevard's snapshot)!

Using a sheet of white cardstock I set to adding as many scraps and bits as I could.

Using up your scraps shouldn't have to mean compromising on design and so I decided to make full use of 'white space' to give the photo and embellishments more impact.

Not enough letters left to finish your title? I used a tip I learned from a very dear friend of mine and cut around the negative shape left on the sheet, like I've done here with the 'e' in drier.

I love this photo of my gorgeous daughter with my wonderful grandson and I thought printing it off in black and white would make it stand out more against the lovely bright colours in the papers.

To pass the time until the girls get back from over the pond I intend to use up as many scraps as I can, so that when I fill my scraproom with all the scrummy new stash items that I know I'll need - I won't feel half as guilty as I usually do (ok, I admit it, I rarely feel guilty about it, but I know I should!!)

So, I hope I have inspired you to use up some of your old stuff to make way for all the new stash that will be coming our way soon!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

~January Sketch Challenge~

So how about kick-starting your 2014 creativity by creating a page with our sketch, plus be in with a chance of winning a £20 voucher for the shop while you're at it?!

This month's sketch has been designed by Natalie. Will you see it as the opportunity for a multi-photo layout, or choose to interpret the squares in another way?:=
 Here's how some of the DT interpreted it to make some lovely pages:

Jen G stuck closely to the sketch to whip up the funky multi-photo page of her boys rocking out in an unusual location!

Tracie also stuck closely to the sketch for her soft-coloured page, choosing to scrap just one photo and filling the other two squares with frames and journalling.

Lou replaced the two squares behind the photo with patterned overlays, and the three strips with the feathers in this lovely girlie layout:

Natalie also used a round element in place of the top square, and dived into her scraps box to chose a number of different strips to lay together to represent the bottom square, bringing them together as a block using faux stitching:

We'd love for you to join in our challenge - don't forget to add your link here by the 31st of January to be in with a chance of winning the prize.

It's also time to announce our December Sketch Challenge winner....the prize goes to Nancy; the DT loved her layering and clustering!  Nancy please drop Lianne an email so she can arrange your prize (she and Sarah are currently at CHA and return on Monday 20th, so bare with them!). Nancy's winning page can be found here.

Friday, 3 January 2014

New year scrapping resolution!

Hello all, it's Louise here with a couple more LOs to share using the Lily Bee Sweet Shoppe papers and the Die Namics Open Hexagon set.
2013 was a difficult year for me in many ways, and as a result my creative mojo took a long walk of a short pier and sank to the darkest depths! Well that's how it felt at times! On New Years Eve I sorted my work space and all my stash and made the promise to myself to get back on the scrapping train! So what better way to start the new year than with a LO about the new year.
I used s photo of my eyes, rather than a scary full face shot! I created the background by stamping onto Kraft with white acrylic paint and using some really old rub ons that I found during my clear up. After layering the patterned papers with some decorative tape I mounted the photo onto a card, trimming it to size. This allowed me to add hidden journaling about my thoughts and feelings. The LO was kept simple with the date being added as a title.

It always feels a bit uncomfortable scrapping about myself. So it was a bit of a relief to get back to scrapping about one of the boys! This time it was Harry's turn.
Another photo from the photoshoot we had last year. And I just love how Harry was captured in this picture. I added journaling around the page about why I love this photo so much.

The hexagon die was used to create a cluster over a stamped image.

And the open strip was added underneath the photo and given a light misting with turquoise.

Whilst I'm still in this new year creative zone, I'm going to go and choose what I want to work with for February. Come back in a couple of days to see what Jen N has created.
Happy New Year to you all.


Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year, New Album - Jen Naulls

Welcome to 2014 here on the Sarah's Cards blog! From all the team, we hope that you had a lovely festive season, and that the bump back to the reality of January hasn't been too harsh for you. In 2014 you can expect to see lots more wonderful projects and inspiring pages from the design team. The 11th of the month will see a new sketch challenge here on the blog, with a £20 voucher to the shop up for grabs each and every month if you complete the challenge before the end of the month. New products are just around the corner, with a huge selection of gorgeous new goodies being released at CHA in just a few days time. I can't wait to see them come into the shop.

Starting at the end of January I'll be hosting a new regular blog post featuring my Project Life pages. This way of documenting memories has become so popular over the last few years, and we've seen an increasingly large number of products from various companies that are geared towards this way of scrapbooking. I'll be focusing in on some of these products, as well as using some more general supplies.

You can find all of the Becky Higgins Project Life supplies here in the shop, but I also like to use products from many other manufacturers in my layouts.  All you really need in order to start is an album (I like American Crafts D-ring albums), some page protectors (I'm using Becky Higgins Design A), some project life cards or patterned paper/cardstock cut to size, a pen and your photos. I definitely think that a little planning and preparation goes a long way in making project life style scrapbooking work for you. I use a standard A4 ringbinder to house my planner pages, which I print back to back. In between the two pieces of paper I put an A4 plastic wallet in which I store any 'extras' like tickets, business cards, flyers etc and the photos once they are printed and cut down if I don't scrap them right away.

My planner is pretty self explanatory really. Each week I fill in the week number (this is mostly for me to locate the photos on my computer) and the dates. Then I add details of events, places we went, and things we did each day. I use an app called Momento on my iPhone which keeps track of my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds for me. I also record quotes and silly things I want to remember (mostly from my toddler) and milestones that the children have reached directly into my phone on the go, then transfer a quick note to the planner at the end of the week. I use the little boxes at the edge of each day to make a note if I have any memorabilia or ephemera to include for that day, if I want to include an insert for extra photos, and also if I have used my "proper" camera, since these days most of my snaps are from my phone.

At the end of the week I plan out my spread, making a note of where the photos are going. I tend to stick to a few easy photo sizes - 4x6 and 3x4 which fill the slots, then some 4x4 and 2x2. I print everything on standard 6x4 prints and use another app on my phone called Photo Collage to do this easily. I have also recently added a new size into my "repertoire" which is 3x2 (ie. 4 photos on a 6x4 print). The fact that I can do all of this on my phone, along with uploading and ordering from Photobox (which is where I tend to get mine printed) means I'm much more likely to keep up to date. I added a little tick box at the end of the week's planner because I like lists, and I like ticking things off!
(I'll show you an example of my completed planner sheet at the end of January)

Photos are stored on my computer in yearly and weekly folders, with sub folders for any big event like a wedding for which I have a lot of photos. I like to work Monday - Sunday, so week 1 for me is a part-week, since the year began on a Wednesday. A quick ten minutes spent at the start of the year creating and labelling folders means I'm set up for the next 53 weeks! I edit and sort my photos using Picasa, although I do use Photoshop for special photos or ones I want to print at a larger size.

I know a lot of people (myself included) who have started a year of documenting, only to give up half way through, or never complete it. Unless you stick to the way Becky Higgins originally intended Project Life - paper, pen and photos - it can be quite a labour intensive way of scrapbooking. Me personally, I like to add quite a few twiddly bits. I can't resist a bit of washi tape, or wood veneer, or cute stickers, or glitter. My inner self does sometimes wrestle with the "staying caught up" pressure that comes with this project - something I have never sought to achieve in my 12x12 scrapbooking. But I love my finished (and unfinished) albums so much, and I love that my family, my son especially, adore looking through them. So, grab your camera, grab a pen and some paper (or grab your phone, and a note-keeping app!) and join me throughout 2014 - let's see if we can keep each other motivated, because the end result is so worth it!
See you at the end of January!