Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stunning album class designed by Claire Bell

My workload has gone through the roof just lately and so it is wonderful to be able to call upon amazingly talented friends who are more than willing to help out when the pressure gets a tad too much!  This is what happened when I was asked to slot an album class into next month's timetable and I just knew that if I was honest I wouldn't have quite enough time.  Anyone who has seen Claire's work knows just how fabulous it is and that she has a great talent.  I put together a class kit, gave Claire the brief and let her loose - this is what she came up with, is it stunning or what??!!!!

I just know that the girls who have booked the class will be so pleased and excited to make this, the details in it are awesome and the board book hides all sorts of little secrets for you to find as you look through it!  Take a look inside....

I asked Claire to create both feminine and masculine pages within the album and she came up trumps as she always does.  I have to say, she has the most gorgeous heritage photos I have ever seen and soooo many of them!  There is tons of room in this album for photos of all sorts of shapes and sizes, even really tiny ones, what an amazing creation - I am in awe!! The feminine pages combine punched edges with flowers and delicate embellishments while the masculine ones have got a strong style to them without going too pretty.  Claire is so good at incorporating techniques into her designs and there is plenty here to keep you busy!!

So now I've whetted your appetite by showing you this album, what next?  Would you like to create this?  I have a VERY limited number of additional kits available and I appreciate that not everyone has the time or inclination to attend a class so I am willing to offer them for sale.  The kits are £20 each and include;

a board book
lots of patterned papers
stamped embellishments
die-cut embellishments
punched embellishments
embossed papers
cotton voile
cotton string

Plus full step-by-step instructions for each page of the album with colour photos

As I mentioned earlier, the numbers of kits are extremely limited and so they will be offered on a first-come-first served basis.  If you are interested in a kit please let me know by emailing and I will let you know if you are on the list.  I would expect to be able to post the album kits out at around the end of next week (8th June) and can let you know the cost of P&P then.

Thank you Claire for an amazing album, this truly is jaw-dropping and as always I am blown away by your work xxx

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Masterclass tonight

One of the things I love about what I currently do is the Masterclass series.  These are intimate classes held in your home for groups of around 6 people where we come to you and bring everything that you need to complete the sample project.

The local Masterclass group to me has fallen a little behind the other groups I am currently running as we have had 2 babies born to members in the past few months.  The great thing about this type of class is that we can be flexible like this and adjust the schedule to suit the needs of the group - we are here to fit around you and your timetable.  I was talking to a customer on the ohone the other day who asked about whether I could run a Masterclass as a birthday or hen party and the short answer is YES!! I am more than happy to run a one-off class for a group for a special occasion, girls' night in or any other reason.

So if you are interested in a regular Masterclass series of 6 classes or would like to try a one-off class please feel free to get in touch.  We travel all over the South of England in the week and can go even further at the weekend, we just need a bit of notice as we are getting pretty busy just lately. 

You can contact us at - this is a better option than calling us because as mentioned, we are getting very busy at the moment.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Coming soon...

Things have been very busy of late and I have had a few gentle nudges regarding the Scrap Your Scraps project.  This project uses the leftover papers and embellishments from the monthly kits to create pages for a mini album.  I had been putting photo steps up onto the forum each month but I had feedback that this was proving tricky to locate - you need to log in rather than visit as a guest in order to see these.

I have decided to take a different tack and will be uploading a series of YouTube videos showing how to create each of the pages.  With this in mind I have been putting together as many pages as possible so I can film the seperate videos in one sitting. 

There are four shown here ready to film and a fifth is going together right now which will bring us bang up to date with all of the pages so far this year.  Its looking like it will be a really fun album when it is finished with colourful pages of all shapes and sizes which is exactly what I was hoping for!

I think the great thing about this project is that you can not only use it for the kit scraps but you can make multiple pages of a single type to create an album or even leave off the spine assemblies to make fun and unusual cards.  I see this as a set of projects that you can come back to over and over again.

I have created a new page link at the top of the blog which will hold all of the videos in a library so if you miss one on the main body of the blog you'll be able to go to one repository for all of the tutorials.  As you can imagine its going to take me a little while to get through all of them but I will get there, watch this space and the page link above ^.

Monday, 28 May 2012

A great online find!

While browsing Pinterest (again!) today I came across a fab website that is crammed full of inspiration for anyone who loves papercrafting. is a graphic design website which offers daily inspiration including mood boards, tutorials and craft ideas. 

One of my favourite sections was 'Freebies' which is stuffed with downloadable printables including this gorgeous set of gift wrapping ideas. The set includes printable papers and you can also find templates for a matching card and even the paper flower!  I love everything they design as it appeals to the feminine and girly side of me.  If you love butterflies, flowers and gorgeously designed cards and invitations be sure to check this site out - be prepared to lose a couple of hours though as its addicitive!!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Dipping my toe into the ProMarker waters

My Mum bought me a set of skin tone ProMarkers yesterday as a gift as I had said that I was interested in having a go with these alcohol ink pens.  I thought that the skin tones would be a good starter set as they are also sepia colours, the kind of colours I am naturally drawn to.  I don't make cards as to be honest, you can pick up nice cards in the high street for less than £1 and my time is really precious but I love using lots of different colour mediums so I had to try these out.

Up until now the only time I've seen these pens used has been with cutesy stamped images and thats just not my kind of thing so my challenge was to use them in a way that fit with me.  I rummaged through my stamps and found this Rose Canina stamp by Funstamps which I stamped with sepia Archival Ink.  I had a few trial runs with blending the pens and then just went for it.  This is the result of my first attempt and I'm quite happy !  It was very easy to create this blended effect of light and shade as the pens do all the work for you.  I could definitely see myself using something like this on a scrapbook layout after a bit of fussy cutting - how cool would that be!!

Just in case you are thinking about dabbling with ProMarkers too here's a little tip - HobbyCraft have sets of pens on sale right now for only £3.99!! What a great deal!!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Masterclass peek!!

Here is the peek for our 6th Masterclass in the current series uing the Bo Bunny Country Garden range.  The sample design is made up of oodles of layers of die-cuts and cut-outs together with inks and texture paste for loads of creative fun! 
There are more details on our iScrap Masterclass page up here ^

If you are interested in joining in with our next series of Masterclasses then feel free to get in touch.  We can travel all over and are willing to go further distances at weekends so don't automatically discount yourself as being too far away!  Give me a shout and we can see what we can do.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Punches + Pinterest = more decor ideas!

 Following on from yesteerday's post I thought I'd share a few ideas posted on Pinterest using punches and patterned paper to create fabulous wall art to decorate your home.  This first one is not a new idea but its still so effective.  Just grab a simple butterfly punch and a selection of scraps of paper.  Punch out a selection of butterflies, stick them to white card usimg 3d foam and then pop this into a frame - simple and beautiful!!
 Here's a second version using a heart punch where each punched image is folded in half vertically before adhering it to the white card background.  I like the idea of leaving one small space empty in the grid and then perhaps adding a small handwritten message, you could make this so personal and unique.
If you want to take things up a notch then how about this one created using lots of different punched images.  The trick to making this work is to use the same paper for all of the punched shapes.  I love this one, so effective and you could use shpaes that have meaning for you or that are just fun!
Why not get out your punches and create something for next to nothing that is simply stunning?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Scrapbook paper + Pinterest = home decor!

Last night at club some of us were having a chat about what to do with the scraps of paper we have left over.  I'm running a series of free projects using our kit leftovers called 'Scrap your Scraps' but of course there is so much more you can do with smaller pieces of paper.  While browsing Pinterest I came across this simple idea from where similar sized pieces of different matching papers are framed and hung as a grouping to create a gorgeous piece of home decor.

Equally simple to create is this wall clock found at made using a simple board covered with scrapbook paper and a cheap clock mechnism.  You could match the paper to the colours and style of your room for a high-end look at very low cost.
Here's another idea from - wrap hardback books with scrapbook paper to create colourful decor items that you can group together with photos and other items for an eclectic arrangement.  This is really simple and can be changed whenever you change your mood or your mind.

I hope that these have inspired you to take another look at your scrapbook paper scraps and use them to make pretty things for your home.  Have fun!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Chuffed to bits!

Check this out....yesterday Graphic 45 asked me if they could add my layout to their Pinterest board and looky here, they have done it!! I'm so pleased and proud to have my work shared with a wider audience like this and very proud of my gorgeous sister - she's going to be famous because I used her photos! LOL x

Its been a day for fab feedback, I've had tons of requests for two kits for May 2 as they can't choose between the two designs we have in the kit this time.  It is lovely to hear just how much people like the Total Papercrafts kits and that we seem to have something right with our current formula.  I've also been contacted by loads of new people wanting to have the kits, days like this make me smile as I pour my heart and soul into my work.  I really love what I do and am priviledged to have the support of my family and friends that allows me to carry on despite the rough days with my back.  I think its a perfect time to say 'Thank you' to everyone who has helped me through the past few years - my success is yours too and I am so grateful to you all. 

Lets move on to the next step in my plan for world domination!! LOL!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 2 for May - v.2

Photo credit -

As promised, here is my version of this month's kit 2 - you can see how beautifully the papers can be altered to co-ordinate with the colours in your photos!  I opted to highlight the purple in these stunning photos of my sister and added touches of complimentary yellows.  I also wanted to do a 2 photo design for those who prefer to get more photos onto each page.  There is still plenty of room for all my usual 'twiddly' bits and layers so it was tons of fun.

I have to admit to more than a few unsavoury words when I was using the transfer foils in the kit, some of the colours seem to easier to use than others - I have no idea why.  It turned out to be a happy accident though, I ended up creating stamped swirls with two colours of foils rather than just the one colour I had initially intended.  The end result had far more depth and dimension than I ever expected and I loved it.  I think thats the best way to create sometimes, just accept that things go wrong sometimes and just go with it - you never know what you may end up with!!  Foiling onto the ribbon wasn't as successful and I ended up with a distressed painted finish which was patchy and not what I was really hoping for but I went with it anyway - oh well!

I used two portrait 6" x 4" photos, the kits has lots of butterflies and flowers so it would be fab for heritage photos and/or feminine pics.  I do think this kit could be used for more than these themes though, it really depends upon what you choose to cut out of the papers and how you decided to colour them.

You will need a selection of water based inks (I used Distress Inks in Ripe Persimmon, Dusty Concord, Mustard Seed, Festive Berries, Black Soot and Peacock Feathers), a brush and water (I used a water brush to prevent accidents!!), a swirl stamp, Glossy Accents, decorative border punch, needle and black thread, crystal flower centre.

The stamps and punches that I used for my sample will be available to use at the Kent and Essex clubs.

As I said yesterday, the instructions for this kit will include the steps for BOTH the designs that have been created with this kit - you get 2 for the price of 1!! When we have offered this in the past we have had enquiries regarding purchasing second kits as you have loved both of the designs.  The answer is YES, we do sometimes have some spare kits and if you would like a second kit just drop me an email.  I really love how different the two samples are this month, one is light and airy and the other is darker and atmospheric - just goes to show you that these kits can be used for so many different types of pages!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 2 for May - v.1

I gave the kit for our May kit 2 to Claire last week as I had a feeling it would be right up her street and boy was I right!  Her sample page using the kit is absolutely gorgeous and really does the papers justice.  Its hard to see in a scanned copy but she has added foiled highlights to the papers and handwritten foiled journaling around the outer edge.  I also love the addition of colour to the kraft and black of the papers - it adds just the right amount of pop to lift her design into the extraordinary. 

Claire added a bling buckle from her stash to add a touch of sparkle and used Distress Inks in Peeled Paint, Festive Berries and Evergreen Bough (red and greens).  You can add any colour you like to make the kit match up with your photo, what a great idea!  You will need a small applicator for your ink such as a make-up applicator or a water brush. 

You will need a 6" x 4" landscape photo but by rotating the design by 90 degrees you can really easily add a 6" x 4" portrait photo. 

The kit includes; cardstock, 3 patterned papers, a pack of 10 transfer foils in 5 colours, a length of ribbon and a 2-way glue pen.

Watch this space for yet another version of this kit as I'm still working on mine!

Friday, 11 May 2012

A special gift album....

I rarely make anything to give as gifts because my time is completely filled with designing for work but there are some occasions that are very special and for those I am prepared to put myself out.  Recently both my friends Lindsey and Melissa safely delivered beautiful babies - Lindsey had Samuel and Melissa had Amelia.  Those of us who are friends with them went through quite a journey along with them both through pregnancy and the eventual wonderful news of the arrivals.  Its times like these when I really feel the need to show my love for those close to me by creating something by hand that is unique and very personal so I created albums for both Lindsey and Melissa using kraft card, lunch bags and a gorgeous paper line from Stampin' Up.  I'm not an SU rep or anything, I saw this particular paper pack and loved it for both the babies so bought two of them from Pauline!

I gave Lindsey her album a week or so ago and realised that I had completely forgotten to photograph it.  I could have kicked myself because I photo all of my work as a record and so show it on here when I can!  The papers have pinks, blues and browns in them so for baby Samuel I used more of the blues and browns and for little Amelia I was able to play up the pinks and browns.  So before I give Melissa her album tomorrow I made the time to take some photos and share them on here.  Btw, she has no idea that this is coming her way so if she reads this before tomorrow - SURPRISE!!

I went through my stash to find as many baby girl embellishments as I could, despite only having a boy it was shocking just how much stuff I still had!  I created a fold-out photo mat on the 1st lunch bag page and there are hidden tags in the top of the bag for even more photos.
The base of the paper bag is folded up to create a pocket for more tags, photos or any other memorabilia that Melissa may have and want to keep.    
I created a waterfall of photomats to allow even more photos to be added to the album and make them easy to flick through.

The right-hand page lift by the tassel charm to reveal another photo mat and the lines on the patterned paper page opposite allow tons of space for journaling.  The stories and memories of the very early weeks can so easily be lost in the fog of sleepless nights so I wanted to give an easy place to quickly write them down.

The pages didn't upload in the exact order that they are in the album but I think it gives a good idea of the finished result.  It is very pretty and feminine with flowers and butterflies throughout and offers oodles of space for photos and stories both on the actual pages and on the tags tucked in the top of each bag.  I know that the last thing that a new mum feels like doing is probably sitting down and scrapbooking, so I wanted to make it as easy as possible to pop photos and memories into this album to make it a family keepsake.  I really hope that Melissa likes it because it nearly killed me making it on top of everything else I have on the go right now!! LOL!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Take a peek at the May kit 2......

The last of the products for the May kit 2 were delivered this morning so I thought I'd give you a sneaky peek at what we will be playing with. 

First off, Graphic 45 papers - need I say more?! We have three stunning papers in the kit from Graphic 45, two of which are double sided so we will have lots of design options.  Next we have transfer foils - these are something that can be really hard to use and so are ideal for the technique part of the kit. We have included 2 sheets of 5 different colours of foils, all scrummy and very much in keeping with the papers.  There's a Zig 2-Way glue pen - a tool kit essential and so I thought if you don't have one I'd give you one!  You'll need glue anyway for the foils so lets make it a good glue that you'll go back to over and over again. Last of all we have a length of really good quality ribbon, this one is really thick, like a grosgrain but single faced with satin - unusual and very tactile. 

Claire B played with transfer foils at our last retreat and created some stunning effects and so I've given her a kit to play with too.  If she has time to design something we will include her instructions as an added extra, perhaps as a free download on the forum? Watch this space......hope you like what you see!! xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Just glue some gears on it and call it Steampunk!!

A little while ago Michelle from the Essex club sent me a link to a youTube video that she was sure I'd find funny.  I sceptically clicked on it and have to say she was bang on - it was hilarious!  I thought that I'd share it on here today so you too can have a giggle......
I love Steampunk when its done well, it adds a fun, whimsy and edgy style to our technique repertoire and is great for guy pages but like all things when its done badly it can be awful.  I love the computer keyboard in the vid with a row of gears stuck across the top as an example of just how crappy it can be!!  They do a pretty good job of defining the style in the vid too, just in case you were wondering what this Steampunk thing was all about.  Enjoy!!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Counting down to International Scrapbook day - freebie!

I don't know if you are aware but tomorrow is International Scrapbook Day!  It's a great excuse to set some time aside to just craft and enjoy the act of creating something - it doesn't have to be a scrapbook layout.  There are lots of events running both in real life and online all over the world to allow crafters to get together tomorrow and tons of these are free of charge.  A simple Google search will show you all sorts of different events running locally and online, why not take some 'me time' tomorrow?

Over the course of this week the adhesive company Xyron have been counting down to International Scrapbook Day with a series of giveaways.  Together with Ali Edwards they are offering free prize draws, competitions, a Silhouette download and a couple of printable PDFs.  I love Ali's handwriting style, it can be used n so many different styles of layouts and so the printables are a great resource.  I can see me printing these onto white card, cutting them out, inking them and popping them up on 3d tape to highlight an element on a layout - super cute!!  You can find the freebies by clicking here but you need a Facebook account in order to download them.

Have fun with these!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 1 for May

There is a funny thing that happens to me when I am presented with gorgeous papers to design with, I just seem to get a block and everything takes an absolute age to come together.  Thats exactly what happened with this first kit for May using the stunning Glitz 'Pretty in Pink' paper line, I just couldn't find my mojo.  The papers are so pretty I couldn't think of anything that would make them look as good as they did on their own and then of course there's the fear that they could end up looking worse!  I think I got there in the end though and I'm really pleased with the result even if it did cause quite a bit of angst to get there!

The kit colours are dusty rose, warm chocolate and fresh cream - think of raspberries drizzled in single cream with a swirl of chocolate sauce.  All of the papers in the kit are double sided and cleverly they are arrnage so that you can increase the pink content of your pages or completely remove it altogether and just use the brown options.  These are really versatile papers with a couple of phrases to cut out - 'Something good will happen today' and 'You look Lovely Today'.  You can choose to include these and perhaps go for a 'Today' themed page.  Alternatively you might want to play up the pink and go very feminine and pretty.  This is a great kit with lots of options if you're not sure about using pink.

We have a great technique using glassine paper, not the dark kraft version but the original delicate white version.  We will be creating gorgeously lacey looking flowers and leaves and colouring them to match your photos.  You'll need two 6" x 4" portrait photos and a 6" x 4" landscape for the sample design. 

The kit includes; cardstock, 4 sheets of double sided patterned papers, glassine paper, white alphabet stickers, burgundy ribbon, white cotton tape.

You'll need deep pink, brown and green inks (the sample used Distress Ink in Aged Mahogany, Vintage Photo and Shabby Shutters), water based wet adhesive such as Matte Medium or Glue n' Seal and a heat gun.  If you have a border and corner punch set (Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page or similar) they'll come in very handy. We'll also be distressing some of the paper so if you have a distress tool pop that in your tool bag, if not your scissors can be used to achieve this effect.

We will have a large and small flower punch (EK Success Retro Flower) available at club together with embossing folders, leaf dies stamps and a selection of border and corner punches.