Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

As the last few hours of 2012 tick away I'd just like to time some time to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. 2012 has been an eventful year for Total Papercrafts, we met some fabulous new friends at shows and classes and had a lot of fun. We have travelled a fair few miles to share our passion for Scrapbooking and it has always been a great time.

As we start a new year I'd like to thank everyone for their support and custom over the past 12 months. We have had such a great year and look forward to growing and developing throughout 2013 with everyone.

Wherever you are as the click strikes midnight I hope you are surrounded by love. Have a great New Years Eve and we'll see you in 2013!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Out of touch for a while

We are taking a must needed few days away and leaving the young adult in charge of things at Total Papercrafts Towers. We are so out in the wilds that we don't have wifi connectivity and therefore we are out of contact for most things. I'm sure there won't be a paper-based emergency while we take a break but I'll try to check emails at least once while I'm away. Enjoy these few days before the new year begins!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!

The big day is finally here and everything is pretty calm and under control so far. All of the gifts were wrapped well before lunch today, the veg is prepped, we've been to Midnight Mass and even managed to toast each other with a wee tipple on our return!!

With all that lot done I have the time to relax and wish everyone here on my blog a peaceful and happy time over Christmas. I'd like to thank you all for you support in reading my blog posts, following us on Twitter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Facebook and posting on here. Thank you for being such great customers both inline and in person and for all of the laughs we have during our classes, on the phone and via email. I am so lucky to have your support and extremely grateful that I can follow my passion for teaching and design as my job.

I hope you are all on Santa's 'nice' list and that your day brings you everything you'd wish for yourself. Enjoy this special day and I'll catch up with you when we are all wearing joggers because we ate too much!! Lol.

Merry Christmas from Karen, Dave, Jack and of course Miss Molly & Miss Lily - the cats who secretly run Total Papercrafrs when no-one is looking!!).

Monday, 24 December 2012

Final bonus layout

Ok I've had to call it a day with designing with the December kit despite having loads of leftovers!! Here's a peek at the third single page layout I have created. The page is full of little things to discover as you look at it such as scraps of lace, paper doilies, keys, a lock, paper flowers and more.
I love this photo of my sister and brother-in-law at Winter Wonderland as it evokes loads of happy memories. This attraction in Hyde Park has become another of our traditions, it really makes you feel festive!

I haven't yet added the picture and instructions to the password protected page but I'll get to it as soon as I can. Hope you are enjoying all of the designs we have created with this amazing kit. I think I have a little project that I might also put together which will be perfect for those who are following Claire's design instructions as she has quite a bit left in her kit. I'll sort that out after Christmas and may even do a little video to go with it too!!

Friday, 21 December 2012

There's more......!!

Even with all of the madness of Christmas we are still cranking out bonus designs using our December kit!!  This one just keeps going on and on, there's so much in it!

To tease you I've added just a peek here of the latest one to be added to our bonus design page.  This time I opted to record a relatively new tradition in our family, grabbing a Starbucks coffee when the Christmas flavours are released in the red cups!  We do it every year now and I didn't realise how much the red cups changed, its a fun and silly aspect of the build up to Christmas but still worth recording and remembering.

If you look closely you can see stitching on this layout, it takes a while but is so worth the effort.  You can find the instructions for this and more of our bonus designs by clicking on the link at the top of this blog and entering your password which you will find in your kit.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Another bonus design using the December kit

I've added a little peek here of another of the bonus designs we have for everyone who has our December kit.  This time its a Winter page rather than Christmas which demonstrates just how adaptable this fabulous kit is.  We didn't get an awful lot of snow this year but it didn't stop the kids wanting to go out with sledges and so I just had to scrapbook the photos!

I have a cute little technique to go along with this page and I think I'll make a YouTube video demonstrating just how easy this is.  The results are great and it's sure to be something I use again.

If you want to see the full page and the step-by-step instructions for this layout then simply click on the December bonus designs page at the top of the blog and enter the password you will find in with your kit.  I have even more in my kit and am working on more layouts so be sure to keep dropping in!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas canvas

At the beginning of this month I had a Masterclass with my lovely local girlies.  It was something that I had designed earlier in the year with a garden theme but when the girls were round for the class in October they had seen the sample and asked for the more seasonal version.  I ran with the idea and went a bit mad with the new Teresa Collins 'Christmas Cottage' collection!

Its hard to see everything but this is an 18" x 12" canvas with a Tim Holtz binder clip, lots of pocket pages, a bunting across the top and 'configurations-style' boxes across the bottom.  I used a selection of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies in creating this along with Tim's gorgeous stamps.

I love the fact that this is so interactive, you can flick through the pages, pull tags from the pockets and even add more pages if you want to.  Its not as much pressure as the December Daily I have done for the past 2 years, I can add whatever I want whenever I want to without there being an obvious missing entry.  This looks really super up on the wall and I've started to add our photos to it from all the wonderful Christmas things we have been up to this month.  I have a feeling that this will be a regular feature in our home as each year I can make some new pages and pop them in - easy peasy!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Free art journaling class

If you are interested in art journaling but don't know where to start or would like to take a class that guides you through a structured process then you might be interested in a free online class offered by Willowing.  I came across the Willowing website through a blog I pop into from time to time and clicked a link and then another and before I knew it I was on this wonderful website!

I believe that things come to you when you are ready for them and right now I feel that I would really benefit from an art journaling class.  This is a four week class but its self-guided so you can go as fast or as slow as you want to.  This time of year can be a bit nuts and might not be the best time to start a project such as this but its certainly worth registering on the site and book marking the class page to go back to later.

If you fancy something a bit longer term then there is a fabulous year-long art journaling class called 'Life Book 2013'.  This one isn't free but its amazing value - there are 22 contributing designers and there'll be 2-3 classes each month with videos, PDFs and more, all for £60.  There is also a payment plan if you prefer not to pay it all in one go.

I think I'll use my Crimbo money towards this class and it would be fantastic if there were a few people I knew joining in!

In the meantime I'll be joining the Art, Heart & Healing class to get my mojo going, if you do the same let me know how you get on xx

Bonus design & instructions uploaded

This is a little peek at a fab bonus design that Claire has created using our December kit.  The full design and step-by-step instructions are now available on the page at the top of this blog.  You'll need the password to access the page, the password is on a slip of paper in the December kit or you can email me if you've lost it!

We have more bonus designs in the pipeline so be sure to keep popping by the page.  Remember that you'll be able to create all of the layouts designed by Claire with just one kit or you can choose to create my pages from one kit.  If you would like to do all of the designs you'll need two kits - now there's an idea for a stocking filler!! Point hubby in the direction of our website if you'd like another December kit xx

As an aside, you don't need to subscribe to get your hands on this kit, for the first time ever we are making the kit available to anyone who would like it and at the same great price as subscribers pay!  Simply go to to find the December kit - all of the fab contents are listed in full so you'll be able to see what great value this is!!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Another free Prima download

Once again Prima are offering a stunning free printable, this time it is a set of Christmas themed printable postcards.  These are gorgeously vintage and you get six - yes six!!!!

If you have already like the Prima Marketing Facebook page then all you'll need to do is go to their Facebook page, click on the 'Free Postcards' link at the top of the page and then download.  How easy is that?  How cut would these look as gift labels for those special presents?  You could add a bit of crinkle ribbon, some layers of stamped images.........ooops, I'm off again!!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Prima printables

If you love Prima then you won't want to miss out on their latest free printable download! This time it is a mini book cover and envelope using designs from the Romance Novel line.  As usual, you will need to visit the Prima Marketing Facebook page, 'like' their page if you haven't already and then click on the link at the top of the page to get to the download.  They often change their printables on a Friday so I wouldn't hang around if I were you!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Heidi Swapp freebies

At this time of year there are usually more than the usual number of free downloads available on blogs and websites but the problem is finding the time to look for them!  I have loved Heidi Swapp's designs since waaaaay back when she worked for Making Memories - I think EVERYONE had her handwriting rub-ons back then!  Heidi has a cute blog that I stop by now and then and this month she is celebrating the days leading up to Christmas with 12 free printables.

The designs on the printables are her signature fun and fresh style with lots of layered images and text.  They come as a whole sheet with lots of different sizes and sometimes a few different designs on the one sheet.  As an added bonus she is also sharing ideas from her design team using the freebies to give you inspiration.  So go start downloading the gorgeousness!  You can find her blog here and be sure to keep popping back to get the rest of her fab freeness!!

More December designs coming soon

So far the instructions for all of the designs created with our December kit is running to nine pages! I have three more layouts on my table in various stages of completion and Claire has at least one more coming which makes an insane amount of instructions!!  I have decided that the instructions for the layouts released on here so far will be available in printed format with the kits for everyone who subscribes but the additional designs will be a bonus only available through a password protected page here on the blog.

Confused? There's absolutely no need to be - all of the instructions that you have seen posted so far will have printed instructions in the kit when you get it.  There will also be some bonus designs available in a few days and you will be able to access the instructions for those by clicking on the page link at the top of this blog.  This page has a password to protect it so its only available to those who have purchased the kit - the password will be in with your kit so as soon as you receive it you will be able to log on here to see the bonus pages.  

I think having bonus pages that are only for those who have the kit is a nice 'thank you' for your loyalty.  We have the nicest customers in the world and so why not give you something extra?  After all, you deserve it! I hope that you are excited by the prospect of 'secret' bonus pages and that you love what we have created for you so far, this is an amazing kit crammed full of fabulous stuff, its like an early Christmas present!

Friday, 7 December 2012

A 3rd single page layout

I am surprised by just how much I have out into the December kit and the layouts just keep coming! Here we have another single page design that features the Aged Mahogany ink pad included. I used a Crafters Workshop template and the ink to create the hexagonal chicken wire background which picks up the hexagon sticker shapes. If you would like to order one of the templates just let me know and I'll arrange it some time next week.

I glittered the chipboard using the gorgeous pewter coloured glitter (one of the 3 colours in the kit) and then added another coat of adhesive over the top. This tones down the 'bling' of the glitter and also holds it firmly in place - no puddles of glitter in the bottom if your page protector!! I added some white roses and rose buds and two 6" x 4" landscape photos and you're good to go. I may add a tag behind the left edge of the photos as I've created a journaling pocket using 3d pads. I can't do it now as I'm away for a few days and don't have my tag die with me - doh!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

And another single page

There is so much in our December kit I am rattling through the pages and don't seem to be making much of a dent in it!  I designed another single page layout for two 6" x 4" photos as sometimes we don't have loads of pictures of the same event at Christmas, I know that in our house it can be hard to remember to pick up the camera sometimes as we are just enjoying ourselves! My sister sent me these cracking pics of my brother-in-law dressed to impress on Saturday 1st December at a local charity event.  He is such an amazing man, he contributes so much to the local community and volunteers so much of his time, he deserves a special page to remember this fun day.

There are some stunning designs on the papers in the kit and it is really hard to cut some of them up which is really weird for me because I'm the queen of 'its only paper'!! You could almost drop your photos onto a single sheet of paper and be good to go.  Of course being me, I couldn't leave it at that and had to titivate.  There are lots of layers of paper and stickers plus the fab retro printed ribbon from the kit.  I added some more deep red roses and it was done!

Remember that if you have subscribed to the kits you will receive the instructions for every one of the sample designs that we are showing on the blog - thats a LOT of layouts!!

Another double page layout

We are really flying now with more layouts being completed all the time!  This is a second option for a double page layout, this time using five 6" x 4" photos.  These wreaths were on display outside a very posh florist in Prague and they just stopped me in my tracks - snail shells? wine corks? really?? I decided to reflect the shape of the wreaths on the page using the evergreen sprays, holly leaves and branch included with the kit.  There is lots of textural variety going on with glossy holly, matte evergreen and rough branch created with Distress Stickles.  A large red bow made from one of the gorgeous ribbons in the kit completed the wreath effect.

I added strips of washi tape from my stash for a bit of fun and interest and some of the darling little rose buds for tiny pops of colour.  I love the pine cones made using the Tim Holtz Tattered Pine Cone Sizzix die - they are very easy to create and Tim has made a very easy to follow YouTube video if you are not sure what to do.  Just search for 'Tattered Pine Cone' on YouTube and you'll soon be bale to create the pine cones from my page and also the roses from Claire's!!

Double page layout by Claire

Claire is on a roll now and has created this gorgeous double page layout with our bumper December kit.  I love that the papers have a traditional look but aren't in the usual traditional red/green/gold colours, it gives the pages a light and fresh look that makes a really nice change!

Claire has broken out a few of her personal dies for this page with the Tim Holtz rosette snowflake and gorgeously delicate swirls.  You can create a similar look by punching the edge of a strip of paper and concertina folding it and you could print off a swirl design to use as a template if you've spent all your pennies on gifts.

I love how Claire includes fab details - did you notice the stamping on the base card around the edge of the design?  She has used the Distress ink pad that comes with this kit to stamp a delicate pattern that adds just a little touch without swamping the whole thing.  With such a lovely rich colour it can be easy to go crazy but she's such a talented designer that she knows when to go mad and when to hold back.

Remember that instructions for all of the layouts that you see posted on here will come with this kit, you will just need to choose whether you are going to create Claire's designs or mine.  You could possibly switch between the two sets of instructions but may need to swap papers around a little, we can't make any promises about that! LOL xx

2nd Layout using the December kit

The designs using our December kit will come thick and fast now as we put the finishing touches to our layouts, photograph them and get them uploaded.  This single page is out of my comfort zone with lots of white space but it still has plenty going on.  There is a gorgeous banner cut from one of the papers, a doily cut from another and lots of punched flowers.

This design uses three 3" x 4" photos - perfect for those 'less than perfect' photos which don't hold up to being printed in a larger format or if you want to get more on the page.  I have to confess to having a wee bit of a passion for those tiny rose buds which arrived a few days ago.  At just £1.99 for a bunch they go a long way for not very many pennies!  I also added a few red roses from my stash - who says you HAVE to use poinsettias on Christmas pages? Not me!!

I've just realised that both Claire and I chose the exact same patterned paper to start with, how freaky is that?!!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

First kit design for December

Our December kit is always a monster and this year is no exception!  To go along with the larger size of kit we also offer lots more designs and here is the first layout created by Claire.  You can almost feel the cold emanating from her page and of course I'm rather partial to a bit of glitter!  

The kit contains; 8 sheets of cardstock, 9 sheets of My Minds Eye 'All Is Bright' double sided papers, 12x12 sheet of My Minds Eye 'All Is Bright' cardstock stickers, 3 packs of glitter, pack of crystal gems, Distress Inkpad, pack of My Minds Eye ribbons, length of cotton lace, length of printed ribbon, chipboard lamp post, chipboard branch, chipboard, holly leaves, chipboard Noel, chipboard '25', die cut tattered pine cones, die cut pine branches.

Claire used a Stampin Up snowflake die and an alphabet die on her page but you could get back in touch with your inner child by folding paper and cutting your own snowflake!  Her photo sizes on the sample are 4" x 5" and 3 x 4.5.

More designs will be posted here over the next few days so keep dropping by.......

Christmas masterclass

First of all a huge thank you to the fabby ladies at Moxley for inviting me up to teach for their Christmas Extravaganza - it was a blast!  We had such a crazy busy day and by the time that 6 o'clock came around we had more than a few projects that were well on the way to being finished.  I can't wait to see how they all turn out as there were some gorgeous personal keepsakes being added.

After the Christmas crop day it was straight into more Christmas projects.  First up is this Masterclass canvas with an album.  For the past two years I have done a December Daily album but it takes a lot of planning and organising never mind the time!  This year I wanted something that would be a bit more relaxed and that could be used over and over so I was drawn to incorporating a Tim Holtz binder clip.  This way we can add more pages if we do more, there aren't masses of pages crying out to be filled and we can use this again next year.  Its a win/win as far as I can see!

I chose the new Christmas Cottage line from Teresa Collins and added lots of seasonal stuff like baubles, bead chain and Timmy's tattered pine cones.  The kit contains an 18" x 12" canvas, 10 sheets of cardstock, 12 sheets of patterned paper, a sheet of printed acetate, flash cards, border strips, adhesive gems, ribbon, Tim Holtz binder clip, chip board, die cut word, die cut pine cones & leaves, baubles, jingle bell, bead chain, pegs, washi tape - plenty to play with!!

I'm so happy with the finished sample and have already got it up on the wall, its the first decoration that we have up!  I'm really looking forward to teaching this tonight x