Friday, 29 December 2006

A good book cures all!



I have always been mad about books - an avid reader and hoarder of books and magazines and particularly scrapbooking and craft related titles. I think I'd sometimes rather have a book or mag than spend the equivalent amount of cash on stash - am I odd?

Like everyone, I get 'scrapper's block' from time to time and need something to bump start me again and I usually turn to my idea books or magazines at times like these. A little something on a page, a technique or a colour combination can suddenly have me bursting with ideas and I'm off again into the world of paper and glue!

Its for this reason that I have started off the shop sale with some fab reductions on books - I know books aren't cheap usually so I thought I'd give a helping hand by cutting some great titles to crazy prices! I had a pile of back issues of assorted scrapbooking and craft magazines once I had started sorting for the sale and so I'm offering these for 5 for £2.50 - cheaper than the cover price for just one mag!!

You can find all the sale items under the Sale! tab when you log onto www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

Keep dropping by the shop over the next few days as I'll be adding more bargains on an almost daily basis! I hope you are recovered from the excitement of Christmas - it came and went so quickly in our house and we seem to have more food in the fridge now than when we started!! We're struggling to find places to store all the toys the kids got from Santa and the tree is starting to drop a few needles but on the whole we got through it in one piece! I hope the same is true for everyone else :o)

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Lets celebrate!



Well, Christmas has officially started in our house - the first guests have arrived and we have started on the mulled wine!! We are all cosied up in the living room watching the first of the Christmas movies and there is a sense of peace in the house.

Everything that needs to be done has been done and the last thing for the day is to go to Midnight Mass in a couple of hours. I feel a bit like a kid, I have that churning excitement inside - I can't wait for the morning when the kids open their presents and the house is filled with the smells of our turkey dinner, I love it!!

So, here's wishing you all an abolutely wonderful Christmas day - enjoy yourself and have a fab time!!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Family Ties



The first of our family arrive tomorrow and our preparations for Christmas are already underway. There aren't enough hours in the day right now (but are there ever?) and its seems like I'll never get finished but like always, everything is sure to work out in the end!

You may recognise this layout from the cover of The Scrapbook Magazine a while ago - I keep seeing it in almost life size at different shows as it was made into a huge display board by the magazine publishers! I love this photo of Jack, Mum, Dad and I as its so full of joy. This is the time of year for family, so it was obvious to me that I should make a point of celebrating my family, they are what keep me going after all. Recording the stories and photos of family relationships is one of the reasons that I started scrapbooking - I want to capture a bit of the person in the photo on each page I create. I came across a great book to help get the story down in a way that is meaningful and interesting - 'Scrapbook Shortcuts using Quizzes & Questions' is full of lots of different ways to gather the story and present it on scrapbook pages. I have re-ordered this book twice now and it was part of yesterday's book delivery again. It's well worth a look if you find journaling challenging! You can find it at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Technique Tuesday on a Wednesday!!



This morning I finally received the Technique Tuesday stamp order that I placed at Memory Trends in early October! I don't understand what the issue has been with all of these orders as they were being shipped within the US but at least they are here now! It was a bit like an early Christmas present because I only choose things for the shop that I really like and want to own myself - I rarely get to own them though but at least I get to stroke them for a little while!

These stamp sets are just beautiful and we also had a selection of their new chipboard in the box as well (I had forgotten I had ordered that so it was a huge surprise!!). I absolutely LOVE the 'FUNdamentals of Flowers' packs - two 12x12 sheets of chipboard shapes that have been arranged on the board in such a way that you can use the negative space left on the board as a page as well - very, very clever idea I think! I took loads of photographs of the Technique Tuesday stand at Memory Trends because they had so many fab samples on display. This page is one of the samples at the show and uses the 'FUNdamentals of Love' chipboard pack - these are on back order and I should be getting them soon (I love these too!! LOL!).

I ordered a little of lots of things in this range so if there is anything you like, I would really recommend that you grab it quickly because I believe that it won't be around for long. The first order was placed within minutes of them being uploaded to the shop! (Val - are you stalking me?? LOL!!). Everything has been uploaded now and you can find it all at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

All wrapped up!



I spent today wrapping all our presents - I had forgotten just how many bits we had bought!! Its a great feeling to have most of it done because I'm the world's worst for leaving stuff like this until the last minute and then staying up into the wee small hours of Christmas Eve to get it all done.

The Daisy Ds Christmas embellishments I used on this layout add a feeling of wrapping paper to the design that I loved. I have recently reduced these sheets of die-cut letters and tags, so making this page will be even cheaper for you! Combine them with some cardstock, twill and some patterned paper and you are good to go. There are so many tags on each sheet that they do most of the work for you on this page, these are the kind of things that you buy because they are great value and then never seem to get around to using so I wanted to share an idea with you to help you use your stash. You can find these tags and other co-ordinating embellishments at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

I have wrapping paper left over and so am prepared to gift wrap any last minute purchases anyone may need to make this week - it'll be one less thing to think about!

Monday, 18 December 2006

Scrapbooking on the wall



I put the finishing touches to the decorations in the house today and suddenly remembered this 12x12 Christmas canvas I designed for the Bedford Scrapaholic Retreat in September last year! I have the perfect spot for it this year and so just had to find it.

This was another one of those projects that is really simple to make and looks just stunning on the wall. I stamped the gold card using VersaMark and foam alphabet stamps and embossed it with clear embossing powder. Alphabet stamps are an addiction with me - I just can't have too many! We have some fab foam alphabet stamps in the shop at the moment together with the utterly gorgeous Autumn Leaves clear stamps. Watch this space for news of more beautiful stamps arriving any day now - they are irresistable!

Sunday, 17 December 2006

The countdown continues!



I was woken early this morning by a telephone call from very frazzled husband desperately doing his Christmas shopping for his wife - my heart went out to him as getting the perfect gifts can sometimes be a real challenge! My lips are sealed - but someone has great stuff coming their way next week!!

This page was one I designed last year using photos from before I started scrapbooking. It was so great to get these pictures from nearly 11 years previous finally into an album. I don't scrapbook chronologically, I just use whatever comes to hand and fits with what I want to work on. I have this feeling that if I went back to the beginning I would never ever catch up to where I am now - and I would worry about taking more photos! Its hard to believe that my baby is now in senior school and in the full throws of puberty - the time has just flown by.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!



I'm officially excited about Christmas!! We took the kids to the Santa Special steam train at Isfield in Sussex this afternoon. They had a brass band playing carols, a Santa with gifts, Christmas lights - the full works including free mince pies!! It was a fab day and very Christmassy.

Keeping in the spirit of Christmas scrapbooking, I have added another simple layout today. This one really is easy to put together - its just cardstock, a frame and some letters for the title! The photo is of the tree and fountains in Trafalgar Square a couple of years ago. Large scale photos are a great way to scrapbook quickly as they fill a lot of the space on the page, just add a title and most of the work is done! I'm all for quick and easy at this time of year!

Friday, 15 December 2006

'Flip' ping fun!!






I've taken some of my own advice today and took some time out for myself and what I love to do - as a result I have finally made the 'Flip' book for my MIL!!

I grabbed a Flip book, some of the new Well Worn papers, a pack of Well Worn Words and a few flowers and I was good to go!! I love using co-ordinating ranges as it takes all of the headache out of putting projects together. It took less than an hour to make including printing the photos so I still had time to play afterwoods!! You can find the Flip books, Well Worn papers, Well Worn embellishments and flowers in the shop at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk I love these Flip books and the new Flop book - they make an unusual project and don't take up anything like the time that a 6"x6" album would but with a stunning end result. Plus - they don't cost a fortune to buy or fill! If you are stuck for a last minute gift I really would recommend these.

I stocked up on some basic cardstock for the shop today - the colours that we all use masses of but don't really think about until we need them. All the new card is Bazzill 12x12 to supplement the colours of Scrapbook Sally that we have sold out of. I love both of these cardstock ranges as they are textured, I suppose its that 'touchy-feely' thing again but I am a self-confessed stash stroker!! So if you need some basic colours, we have black, white, cream, brown, red and pale pink back in stock. If you are lucky, you might be getting lots of scrapbook related stuff for Christmas but perhaps not so much of the essential basics - I'm thinking that'll probably be down to you!!

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Christmas time



I'm offically feeling Christmassy - we bought our tree for the house this evening and it is now filling up almost an entire room! At this time of year it can be hard to find the time to carry on with your hobby as shopping, parties and the other activities of Christmas start to take over but I firmly believe that its important to take time for myself and what I love to do - I just simplify things down a little!

The page here was designed for a magazine feature last year but is a classic example of how I pare things down when I have a little less time. Its just cardstock, paper, a few stickers and photos - it doesn't really get an awful lot simpler! The paper isn't even a Christmas themed line because I didn't have the time to hunt for the latest seasonal designs. This kind of look is so quick and easy - the Well Worn paper line comes in rich tones of red/blue/green and beige that would work beautifully with Christmas pictures. Then grab something like the American Craft Thicker Stickers for a fast title that also has some dimension and you are practically done! You can find these products in the shop at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk and the great news is that this kind of page is CHEAP (the paper is only 65p a sheet and the stickers a mere £2.99!!) - plus we have no minimum order so you only need to get what you really want!

I really hope we can all slow down over the next few weeks and if possible take some of that time for ourselves - now thats a gift worth giving yourself and everyone around you!

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Something a bit different



Like many people I'm busily making gifts for a few special people in my life, those who I know will really appreciate the thought. Today I'm finishing off one of the Make & Takes I did at the K&Co stand at Memory Trends in Vegas - a gorgeous clock covered with Hannah papers. I'm not sure who it will be for as yet but I really like this idea, in fact I noticed the clock blanks and mechanisms in HobbyCraft not very long ago so this is something you could very easily do yourself. The decorative elements are Grand Adhesions but we took them apart to produce flat accents that the clock hands could pass over easily, to be honest I think the Hannah Scrap Pad To Go would be perfect for this as it is stuffed full of embellishments that you wouldn't need to take apart! I still have a few of these left in the store at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

I still have a mini album to make for my MIL, I know that she will love something like this and I'm thinking that one of the Lippy Chick Flip books might be a great starting point. I was so pleased with how my Flop book turned out that I am itching to get on with the Flip - I think I need to ask Santa for a few more hours in my day though!!

I am taking the shop to Carolyn's Scrapaholic club in Tunbridge Wells tonight and have spent this morning packing up the car. I'm always willing to take bits to crops and clubs, this is such a visual craft that I appreciate it can be difficult to buy things online as you lose the 'touchy-feely' side of things! If you are going along I'll see you there - save a mince pie for me!!!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

'Well Worn' for Christmas!



I feel it looming now - less than a fortnight to go and I'm not ready (but then again, I'm never ready for Christmas! LOL!). I suppose I'm not alone in starting to feel the frazzle so it was a bit like Christmas this morning when two huge boxes were delivered containing the brand new Well Worn range from Paper Loft. I know I've said it before but I have no shame in saying it again - I do love the stuff in the Well Worn range! The new colours are really gorgeous, deep blue and terracotta - I'm desperate to get designing with them! The new Well Worn Words are great too - you get four cardstock word stickers in co-ordinating colours, this time there are also dog and cat themed ones - great idea as we are a nation of pet-lovers.

I used the Well Worn chipboard monograms to create the title on this Well Worn page I designed for the Scrapaholic Retreat in Leicester. I smeared the letters with texture paste, painted them with white paint and highlighted the texture using metallic rub-ons. I traced around the 'L' onto thick cardstock as there was only one of each letter in the pack but I challenge you to guess which one it was!

There were more goodies in the boxes from Bazzill as well - beautiful Bitty Blossoms in huge pots of about 100 blossoms in assorted colours. I think the mixed colours are a much more practical purchase, after all who wants or needs large amounts of any one colour? At only £7.99 a pot, perhaps Santa might pop one into my stocking this year?!

There were also new chipboard alphabets from Bazzill in black and white - I love these as they are already finished with Bazzill cardstock so they can just be used as they are or you can get all messy with them and add paint, ink or chalks to tie them in with the theme of your page. These are fab value - you get at least 2 of each letter (some letters there are 5 of!) plus there are 20 numbers and 35 symbols. All of this on four sheets of chipboard for only £4.99 - bargain I say!

I have spent a happy couple of hours pricing and uploading all the new stock and it is now good to go! You can find it all at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

Monday, 11 December 2006

'Bling' it on!


I've had great fun today designing a LO for my second scrapbooking club in January (we're doing the canvas I uploaded here last month on our first club night). The technique is using 'bling', the fab crystals that are very hot right now! I'm loving this page because it has one of my favourite recent photos together with journaling about how there is a standing joke between my OH and I about him being from Essex! The flowers are Angel Kisses hydrangeas and the punctuation elements are 'dingbrads' which have been 'blinged up' using the crystals. You can find both of these on the website at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

I have to say that these kits are getting even better value in the new year as there is more than enough to make a double page layout. I only used one of the patterned papers and have more than half of the cardstock left - and the price of the kit has stayed the same at only £5.50!!

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

I've come over all 'Gypsy'!


Late last night one of my neighbours knocked on the door to drop off a couple of boxes that she had taken in - it was my 7gypsies order from Memory Trends (its been a saga and a half getting this!). I just love the stuff that the guys at 7gypsies come up with and it was all I could do to stop myself from buying everything in sight while I was in Vegas!!

I couldn't resist 2 of their fab class kits - one is here and will be the project for my scrapbooking class on 24th January, the other is on its way. I'll post the project sample on here when I've finished it and if anyone wants to pre-order one they certainly can! I also got some of their fab rub-ons, journal handles and some great handbag albums that just cry out to be altered!

I think one of the best things about 7gypsies products is that they seem to work so well with everything else I have in my stash. I designed the layout above a few years ago and I think I used a little of everything and a LOT of 7gypsies! Its terrifying how quickly time has flown, my little man is in senior school now!

Monday, 4 December 2006

New 'Blog only' offer



I am a self-confessed trimmings lover - twills, rick-rack, lace, you name it I love it and have buy it!! So you can imagine I was so pleased to receive another box of gorgeous jumbo rick-rack from America on Friday!! These rick-racks are lovely and soft and are 1 1/4" wide so they make a great statement whenever and wherever you use them. We have black, white and red - great colours for your Christmas pages!

I felt a bit of the Christmas spirit come over me today and have another 'blog only' offer for this week only!! How do you fancy half-price ribbons and twills on our stock sold by the metre?? You just need to put the code 'ribbon12' in the comments box when you place your order - be sure to order before 9th December to take advantage of this great deal!

I don't think I have many layouts that don't have ribbons or similar on them - perhaps a few commisions for magazines that involved using one product line. I think its harking back to my needlecraft roots, I just need to have textiles on my pages somewhere! What about you? What common threads (excuse the pun!!) are you seeing in your pages? Do you use a lot of a certain type of product or do you tend to use a particular technique a lot? I'm genuinely interested in finding out if I'm the only one with a fabric fetish!!