Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A day of challenges

I started running the new Masterclass group in Kent last night and have to admit that it was a step into the unknown as this was a group where I didn't know most of the group already which was quite a change.  The challenge of working with a new group was really exciting as I really didn't know what everyone had done so far or what they were expecting and I had designed something that would stretch most people to finish in the time allocated!

I went in with a completely open mind and tried to set a pretty steady pace and we all kept more or less on track so that by the end of the evening everyone had a more or less complete page.  I loved hearing the comments from the group at each stage as we completed each of the techniques, it was great to see people get excited trying out something new even when that technique was something quite small like distressing paper edges.  Its easy to forget that these simple techniques are still new to quite a few people and even if they know about it they sometimes need a little encouragement to actually give it a go.  Seeing it in action last night was really wonderful and it happened over and over again. 

The group was a little larger than the usual Masterclass size which was also a challenge but it still worked out great and I made a real effort to try to get round the tables to check in with most people.  What really touched me was chatting to a lady who was predominantly a card maker and had dabbled with scrapbooking but she said she had never done anything like my class.  Her excitement about all of the techniques and how she could take them forward was fabulous to hear - that is absolutely what these classes are all about!  I really want people to keep using the stuff they have tried out at my classes and make them their own.

The Masterclasses can be a bit of a challenge to design, teach and to take as a student but why not give them a go and strecth your creative muscles and challenge your limits?! Contact me if you are interested in having me teach masterclasses to you and your crafting friends, its so simple to arrange and I can design something specially for you!! Email me at sales@totalpapercrafts.co.uk if you would like to discuss this further xxx

Monday, 27 August 2012

New Masterclass group starting up tomorrow

Time seems to be running away from me just lately, I don't know where the hours are going and I am overwhelmed with work which hasn't been helped by having almost an entire week out of action when my back went last weekend.  While I haven't been able to physically do anything I have still been planning and organising like crazy and am really excited to have a brand new Masterclass group launching tomorrow evening.  I have groups running all over the place now and its great to get out and teach small groups in a home environment.  It keeps overheads down, everyone usually knows each other and we can get stuck into some more in-depth techniques as I'm not spread too thin!  I'm really looking forward to getting to know this new group of ladies and start a series of classes with them, its taken a little while to get our ducks in a row but we are now ready to go!

I have put the details of the kit, the contents and additional materials needed for the class up on the iScrap Masterclass page.  You can find the link above this post, just under the title banner.  We will be having tons of fun creating all sorts of different floral embellishments with punches, sprays, ink pads, the lot!! It is likely to be a messy class so I wouldn't wear your best clothes, an apron might be a good idea and if you don't like inky fingers then you might want to pop a pair of latex gloves into your tool kit.

If you are attending tomorrow night's Masterclass, I'll see you there and am really looking forward to having loads of inky, messy fun!! :o)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Here's my news....!!

I mentioned a little while ago that I had been featured on the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog again and that I had been approached about joining the team - well today is my official launch as a full member of the Contributing Artist team!!  Pam has made the announcement on the blog today with a wonderful write-up and there is a bit of a biography too.  You can find my feature here so be sure to pop by and check it out.

Pam asked me to share two of my favourite layouts/projects and I have to admit that I founnd it really difficult to pick just two.  Like most scrapbookers, I'm recording memories of special people, places and events and how do you pick what is 'best' from these?  In the end I decided to choose a layout that really shows my style off and that features some stunning photos.  I then opted for one of my all-time favourite projects that has lots of little memories incorporated in it but not a single photo.  I loved the techniques used to create it - although I'm not sure that the ladies in the class I taught for this will ever feel the same about beeswax again!!  I got a lot of help from my Mum and sister in the selection process so thanks to them for getting me focussed!

If you aren't a regular visitor to Ideas for Scrapbookers then I would suggest bookmarking it as there is a new post each day and the range of ideas from the rteam is amazing.  There is something for everyone whether you are a card maker, scrapbooker, digital or paper and glue crafter.  Its a fabulous resource for techniques and inspiration!  You can find the blog at www.ideasforscrapbookers.blogspot.com - keep an eye out for regular posts from all the team (including me!!) LOL xx

Friday, 24 August 2012

Big news tomorrow!

You might want to drop by here tomorrow to see my big news - I'm so pleased about this new undertaking and proud to be a part of an amazing group of designers...........

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A 'vintage' bargain

I am a lover of all things old and vintage-looking and so during a shopping trip today I fell in love with these keys.  They are really heavy and look like the sort of thing used to open an old cottage door or shed.  I thought that these would be great for a mini book or even a scrapbook page held on with some strong adhesive .  So how much did these beauties cost?? The grand total of £1!! 

If you are tempted by this fab bargain you might want to track down your local branch of The Factory Shop.  I think they are pretty much everywhere across the UK so you should be fairly ok finding a branch.  Happy hunting and let me know what you do with them!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

40 free photos!

Photos are the heart and soul of scrapbooking and while it is of course possible to scrapbook a memory without a photo, most of our pages will feature at least one picture.  Good quality prints can be costly and even if you print at home it can still add up.

I came across Photobox, a site the other day offering 40 free prints when you first sign up - you may already know about it but I thought I'd share it anyway.  I signed up on Thursday and uploaded 40 images from my phone to see just how good the prints would come out. I chose phone photos as they are lower quality and are a good test of a print. 

As I said, I ordered them on Thirsday and they came in the post today.  I was really impressed!! I got 40 glossy 6" x 4.5" prints and they were very good.  The prints themselves were free, I just had to pay postage which was £1.99 and considering how fast I received them that was a real bargain!!  So if you are looking to try somewhere new for photo prints or love a bargain then you might want to give them a try.  You can sign up at www.photobox.co.uk

Friday, 17 August 2012

Friday Freebie!!

As you may have worked out by now, I'm rather partial to a free printable and keep an eye open for things that I think others would like as well.  Making Memories shared a few links today on their blog and I thought I'd check them out which is when I came across this fab set of tickets.  Its a single sheet which can be printed off and cut apart to create rows or individual tickets, so cool!!

If you'd like to download these as well you can find the original blog post here

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Inspired by Etsy

A little while ago I shared my love of Pinterest as a source of ideas and inspiration.  Today I thought I'd talk about another great place that is stuffed full of wonderful handmade creativity - Etsy!!

If you have never popped to the Etsy site then I can highly recommend at least a peek.  The site was devised as a place where artists and designers can showcase their handmade items and you can find amazing works on the site.  You name it, if it can be made by hand then you will probably find it on Etsy.  They also have a great blog with a How-Tuesday feature showing how to create all sorts of different projects through videos, printables and even step-by-step photography. 

You can find Etsy at www.etsy.com - have fun and get inspired!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Clarifying club venue tonight

Just a quick post to clarify that following a few more confirmations today we will be running club at the hall in Wakering tonight.  Low numbers led me to decide to move the venue but now we have enough people coming along to be able to hold club as normal - phew!!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Second sample design for August kit 2

Here we go with the second sample design we have using the August kit 2, this time using a single 6" x 4" portrait photo.  There are oodles of layers going on here but its straightforward to put together - honest!!

I used a neutral beige ink pad - something like Distress Ink in Old Paper would be ideal for this.  You'll need a decorative border punch, its hard to see in the picture but its across the bottom of the pink layer.  I also added some large cream gems to my page, I have some in stock if you would like to use the same ones.  You'll need a water spray bottle for one of the techniques on this page.

If you are attending any of our clubs then I will have the stamps I used to create the border across the top and bottom edges available together with the border punch I used. 

The instructions for both sample pages will be included with this kit so you can choose to create either one.  Sometimes having two sample designs makes it hard to choose so why not have two??!! LOL xx

Monday, 13 August 2012

Total Papercrafts August kit 2

Claire B has designed up a storm for us this month using our single page kit!  This stunning page is perfect for feminine photos and would also work with heritage shots or summery scenery photos. Claire used two 6" x 4" portrait photos, one black & white and the other colour but you could make this design work with landscape photos or even one larger print.

The kit includes; cardstock, 4 double sided patterned papers, a pack of cardstock stickers and a decorative felt gate.

There will be a second design option for this kit which I'll upload tomorrow - it'll be hard to top this one though!!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Moxley classes online now!

Working with Lisa from the Moxley group has got me fired up and so ahead of schedule I have managed to get the classes for the Birthday Crop up onto the website ready for booking.  Its a great selection of Masterclasses with something for everyone including a masculine class, a modern vintage class, a canvas project and a feminine kit.

I have listed the photo sizes in the descriptions so you can start to think about what you might want to use in the class.  I'll let you know details of what to bring to the class after booking has closed on Monday 27th August.  Are you getting excited yet?? I am!!!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Moxley Massive turns 7!!

I was invited the other day to help the 'Moxley Massive' celebrate their 7th birthday.  Despite what you might initially be thinking, this is not some street dance crew or grafitti group, its a fab group of scrapbookers in the west Midlands!!  They have been succesfully running as a monthly crop and next month sees them turn 7 which is certainly worth celebrating!

I'll be running a series of classes on 1st September at Moxley Community Hall, High Street Moxley, WS10 8RT from 10am and it looks like it will be an amazing day!  We will have the shop there as well for all those 'essential' purchases.  I will be releasing the classes to book through the shop very soon, there will be an additional charge to pay to the group on the day for the hall hire and lunch but it should be a brilliant day and fabulous value. 

If you are local and haven't discovered this fab crop then please feel free to get in touch about attending and if you are a member of the 'Moxley Massive', I'll see you there!!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

We are on Twitter!

The world of social media offers so many different ways of communicating with one another and so far we have focussed on a few but it has become apparent that different people prefer different methods and we need to offer something for everyone.  For this reason we have started a Twitter account where you can find quick updates on everything related to Total Papercrafts.

If you don't know about Twitter, its a social networking and micro blogging site where text-like messages are posted.  You are limited to just 140 characters so tweets are short and to the point - perfect for those who want quick info. 

Our username is @TPapercrafts if you would like to follow us on Twitter and receive all of our updates.  We have also used the hash tag of #TotalPapercrafts if you search for trending articles.  Its early days but we will be building on our tweets with news, updates and more!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Amazing IFS news!!

On Friday I was featured as a Special Guest Artist on the Ideas For Scrapbookers blog and Pam was kind enough to create this fab logo for my article which really tickled me!  The feature looked so great on the IFS blog and the feedback so far has been brilliant.

Imagine my surprise then when Pam contacted me to invite me to become a regular contributor to the blog!  I am really honoured to join the team of amazing artists she has put together for her blog - if I'm honest I'm blown away!  I will be posting at least two articles each month of my own and then will contribute to regular art calls with my designs for scrapbook layouts, albums, altered art and more.  Its been such an exciting few days!

If you don't have the IFS blog in your favourites, not might be the time to do so!  You can find the blog at www.ideasforscrapbookers.blogspot.com   I'll be seeing you on there pretty soon, just a few weeks in fact.  I am so chuffed right now and thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement,  I really appreciate it.  Looks like things are going to get even busier around here - can anyone find me an extra couple of hours in the day??!! LOL!!

Friday, 3 August 2012

I'm a Featured Artist at IFS!!


I am very excited and proud to be a Featured Artist once again on the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog today.  I found this blog a few years ago and it has continued to be a regular haunt.  I like the fact that the blog is written by a wide range of artists and designers who have lots of different styles and ideas, it has a real collaborative feel about it and is a terrific library of tutorials, techniques, templates and sketches.

My article is a technique tutorial featuring glassine paper and includes step by step instructions together with two layout samples.  If you fancy taking a look you can find the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog HERE

Be sure to leave a comment and say Hi!!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

New Tim Tag for August

If you are a fan of Tim Holtz then you'll probably already know that the next tag in his 12 tags of 2012 is up!  This month he has plenty of fab tachniques including stamping and embossing, texture fades, die cutting and more.  The element that caught my eye was the tattered pine cone roses.  Tim originally showcased this at Christmas and I fell in love with the versatility of this Sizzix die right away. 

I don't usually invest in seasonal or themed products as they tend to have a limited number of uses but the pine cone is really fab.  Not only does it make a very authentic looking pine cone when made in brown card but if you use coloured cardstock and make a slight adjustment it creates a really lovely rose. 

If you'd like to see Tim's step by step instructions and his video for creating the pinecone/rose you can find it here

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 1 for August

Here we go with the sample design for our kit 1 for August using Ruby Rock-It products from the 'Keepsake' line.  I think these papers are fabulous quality, they are really thick and have different designs on each side so you get loads of options to play with.  The colours are one of my favourite combinations - cream, duck egg blue and brown, such a soft and easy to use palette that works with so many different types of photos.

I opted for non-standard sized photos - 3.5" squares cut from 6" x 4" prints.  I think this is a good option when you have prints that would work better if cropped down slightly.  You can start with portrait or landscape prints which is also great.  If you have photos that you would rather not crop then I think you could make this design work with one portrait and two landscape photos. If you are going to use the smaller square photos you will need four prints.

The kit contains; cardstock, 4 double sided patterned papers, a diecut journaling pad, pack of cardstock stickers, length of string.

To create the sample design you will also need scraps of narrow ribbon, a few cream flowers (optional), small brads, brown inkpad, flower punch (optional), liquid pearls or adhesive gems/pearls.

For those attending the Total Papercrafts cubs I will have the background stamp I used on the sample available for you to use.