Sunday, 30 September 2012

If you love free downloads and Prima then this is great news for you - Prima have a new free printable on their Facebook page!  This time its a set of vintage word cards in a PDF format, ready to print off onto cardstock.  These are so versatile, I'm sure that I'll find loads of ways to incorporate them into projects and layouts.  Check out the Prima Marketing Facebook page to download them yourself - unfortunately you can't click through from here despite what the pic says!!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Exciting stuff happening at Total Papercrafts!!

You may have noticed that there has been a recent flurry of activity at Total Papercrafts and you wouldn't be wrong!

The first thing you may have noticed is that we have a new administrator for the forum who has been a breath of fresh air!  Nikki is not only very knowledgeable about the IT side of things but she's also a scrapbooker so she really understands what scrapbookers want from a forum and how they will use the site.  Things have become a lot more streamlined, some forums have been deleted while other more useful ones have appeared.  The gallery has been weeded out and reconfigured making it much easier to upload your images.  We have a fab new photo prompt feature in the forum and we are already seeing photos being uploaded as a result.  Its so easy to access the forum now that Nikki has added a button so you can log in using Facebook - no need to remember usernames and passwords for 2 different places any longer!

Talking about Facebook, we are currently running a campaign to boost the followers of our Total Papercrafts Facebook page.  When we reach 200 followers we will be drawing a name from amongst our followers who will win a gorgeous fully embellished handmade mini album.  Not bad for clicking on a 'Like' button eh?  You can join in by clicking here - we only need about 20 more 'likes' to reach our target, woo-hoo!

The final bit of work that is currently underway is our shop website.  If you were to visit it today you'd find a very scary load of gobbledeegook instead of our usual front page.  Thats because we are right in the middle of a relaunch of the shop site with a fresh, modern new look planned.  We hope to have it back up and ready to go very soon - how exciting will that be?? In the meantime, if you want anything from the shop just give us a call on 01702 535696 and we can help you out directly. 

So as you can imagine we have lots of plates spinning right now but all with the goal of improving the services we offer here and making it easier, quicker and a lot more fun to scrapbook with us.  Hold on tight, its going to be a fast and fun ride!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Total Papercrafts September kits are on their way!!

The Total Papercrafts September kits are being packed and shipped as I type so it won't be too many days before you can officially start stalking your postie if you are a subscriber!! This month's kits have been really well received and hugely popular, so much so that we have had to re-order which is becoming a bit of a regular thing over recent months.  Its wonderful to know that in these tight economic times we are being recognised for the great value and strong design of our kits. 

If you aren't aware, Total Papercrafts offers a fabulous monthly kit subscription which comprises two kits - one with a double page sample design and the other a single page design.  You receive the two kits complete with step-by-step instructions for the sample layouts which is perfect for those times when you want to get on with scrapbooking rather then sitting for hours struggling to come up with an idea.  Consider it a 'recipe' for your scrapbooking!!  Of course if you find the designing the fun part then thats great and you'll love the fact that we put lots of patterned paper in our kits - usually 4 sheets in each!  You'll usually find a great technique or two covered in the instructions and many are backed up by a YouTube instructional video so you can see how to do something if the written instructions aren't clear to you.

There are a couple of payment options to choose from, you can spread the cost and pay month by month or save money by buying 6 or 12 months at a time.  Whatever method you choose we are sure that you'll agree that we are great value for money!  We have a fab forum where you can share your projects, discuss anything craft related or otherwise and even find a recipe or two!  Its all part of the service and we hope that if you don't currently subscribe that you'll give us a try xxx

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Photo Prompt challenge is live!

One of the new sections of the Total Papercrafts forum is a free weekly photo prompt and today sees its launch!! Every Monday we will post a prompt for you to represent in a photograph (or more than one photo, it's up to you). The first prompt has been published on the forum and is ready and waiting for you!

We have created a folder in the gallery so you can upload your pics and share them so that we can inspire each other. There is also a thread for you to post on so you can share your thoughts and ideas each week.

There will be a new prompt each week so you have seven days to find your photographic mojo before we change topic. This is aimed at encouraging us all to try to take a few different photos to those than we normally would, to have a bit of fun with our cameras and to inspire each other.

You can find the photo prompt on the forum at www.totalpapercrafts.forumotion.co.uk - remember to log in to be able to see the whole forum, guests can only see a very limited number of posts x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Take the photo challenge!

We are launching a brand new feature on our forum to help inspire you to take more varied and fun photos - a FREE weekly photo prompt.

You can find the details in the 'Challenges' section of the forum and everyone is welcome!

You can find the Total Papercrafts forum at www.totalpapercrafts.forumotion.co.uk or click on the link in the panel to the right >>>>

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Facebook giveaway announcement!

Do you know that Total Papercrafts has a Facebook page where we post news, updates, links and fun stuff? Lots of you do and have already 'liked' our page but we want to share the love! We think more people would like to join in the Facebook fun and become a part of our online community so we thought that we when we reach 200 'likes' on our page we would have a giveaway!!

Every Total Papercrafts Facebook fan will be entered in the draw to win - its so easy, all it takes is a click on the 'like' button at the top of our page. The sooner we get there the sooner we'll be giving stuff away!!

We'll keep you posted in our progress and have some teasers for the prizes coming soon. In the meantime get clicking and share the love with your Facebook friends!

You can find the Total Papercrafts Facebook page at www.facebook.com/totalpapercraft

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

More free Prima printables



Prima have once again posted a free printable on their Facebook page and perfect for anyone who loves Prima designs and also cooking as they are recipe cards.  Actually I think that you could use them for a lot more than recording your favourite meals as they are really lovely. 

To print off a set of these for yourself you'll need to 'like' the Prima Marketing Facebook page and then click on the link at the top of the page.  They change these quickly so if you like them you'd better grab them soon!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 2 for September

Here is the sample page for our kit 2 for September which is perfect for holiday snaps!  The papers are full of pattern and colour and each side has something different so you can really ring the changes with this kit. 

The sample uses two 6" x 4" landscape photos but you could switch things around with two portrait or one larger photo This kit is certainly travel themed but with a couple of little changes you could use any photo, I thought masculine pics would also work well with these papers!

The kit contains; cardstock, 4 sheets of double sided patterned paper, an acrylic stamp, length of wired canvas ribbon and a die cut camera plus of course the usual step-by-step instructions

You will also need; a black inkpad, distressing tool or scissors, a stamp block, some adhesive crystals (or liquid pearls/black pen), a small metal charm (optional), Dymo machine for sub titles.

There's loads of fun to be had with this kit and I'll also show you how to create a rolled fabric rose using wired ribbon!!

September kit contents

Check out the fab kit 2 we have for September!!  I LOVE both of this months' kits but this one just might have the edge because it contains a stamp and I'm a bit of a stamp addict!! We have chosen the gorgeous 'Check In' line from Kaisercraft with its really fab travel theme - you can't go wrong with a travel kit after the Summer hols are over.  We have a postmarks/passport stamp that is so big, I think I blew the budget a bit on this one.  We have managed to squeeze in a little piece of wired May Arts ribbon as well to create a quick and easy floral embellishment!

I'm putting the finishing touches to the sample page right now and will upload it later today - watch this space......

Back online!!

 
 
Hurrah - the engineer has been and done his amazing stuff and we are back in touch with the world!!  I'll be wading through the masses of emails etc today as well as finishing off the single page kit for this month so looks like a very busy day ahead!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Forum changes

Hiya, no pics means still no broadband at home but thank goodness for smartphones!! The past few months have seen my workload explode and something had to give - that something was our Total Papercrafts forum. I just don't have enough hours in the day to devote to it and so things started to get a little quiet. Today I spoke with one of the most talented techno geeks/scrapbookers I know and mentioned this problem. Out of the blue she has offered to take it on!! If you pop by the forum you'll see some changes already. There are even more to come so be sure to drop in. There's an interesting question right now about scrap lifting and competitions that we'd be keen to hear your views on. The forum can be found at www.totalpapercrafts.forumotion.co.uk so come and take a look at what is new!!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Scrapbook etiquette

I'm still struggling without Internet and so thought I'd use my phone to have a browse through a few blogs. One UK blog had a number of posts featuring layouts that they had entered for challenges/competitions. I was very taken aback when I realised that one of these entries was in fact one page of a double page layout I had taught at club in January 2010. This person was in the class and even asked me to redesign the page to incorporate her photos. This was the class kit, the class design and additional design input from me to place her photos. There was a second entry that was a direct copy of another class I had taught to a group including this lady. Some of the kit contents were used, the class technique was used and the sample design was exactly copied but with slightly different papers. I love when people post pictures of my class projects on their blogs but there is an etiquette to this sort of thing where you should credit the original class/designer/kit company. It's not something I usually pay much attention to but I think this is a whole different issue. Entering a competition with something that's not completely your own work is unfair. It's unfair to the original designer and also to the other entrants. There's always going to be the issue of scrap lifting vs inspiration but I think this falls into a whole different category. Using someone else's work to enter a competition is practically fraud. Those of us who design and teach crafts as our job regard our kits and designs as our livelihood, while I love what I do for my work it is still my job and like everyone else I have to pay bills. The daft thing is that if this person had simply credited my kit and/or class I wouldn't have paid any attention. This is something that comes up in different forms over and over again and can be quite contentious - what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

No Internet at the moment :(

For the past few days we've been without Internet which has left me struggling to get by with a dodgy 3G connection on my phone. It has meant I'm extremely limited in what I am able to do online and even emails have been affected owing to our semi-rural location leading to intermittent 3G. Frustrating isn't the word!!
If it seems I've been quiet, that's the reason. If you're waiting for an email reply, I may not have even received your email yet. I'm not bring rude, I'm struggling to get it sorted. After I plugged the dratted home hub into what feels like every blooming socket in the house and spent hours pressing 'option 2' then 'option 3', a very nice man tells me he can't deal with the fault as it requires assistance from the level 2 team. He has promised me that they will be calling me back between 9am and 3pm tomorrow but something tells me not to hold my breath. Very nice man did say that my home hub is struggling to communicate with the broadband - I know exactly how it feels. Its been an exhausting journey getting to even speak with very nice man - at one point I called the BT operator to ask her to try the broadband fault number as it kept cutting me off. Guess what? It cut her off too!!

I really hope that the really nice men on the level 2 team are tying on their capes and slipping their pants on over their tights because right now I need Super Nice Man to fix this blooming thing! I live in hope and am somewhat bereft without my link to the cyber world out there!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Art journaling on Ideas for Scrapbookers

Each Wednesday on the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog is a 'Designers Showcase' where the members of the design team collectively share their work on a particular subject area/theme.  This week's feature is the hugely popular subject of art journaling. 

I was first interested in the idea of art journaling a few years ago but didn't really know where to start or what it was supposed to be for.  I checked out a few YouTube videos and found some fabulous ideas but still couldn't get going so I was really keen to take a free class with Jessica Sprague when she offered it in 2010.  As well as digital printables that we could use to create pages, Jessica provided daily prompts and ideas for subjects to art journal about.  It really helped to get me off and running even if the style wasn't really 'me'.  I was looking for the push to get started and this was it!  A few of the pages I created in the Jessica Sprague class are showcased on the IFS blog today and you can find them here

Following the class I have continued to art journal and I tend to use my journal as a playground for techniques, mediums and anything else I fancy.  Sometimes I leave my journaling on display for anyone to read, like in my example above and other times I might pour out my feelings and them cover it all up with paint, paper or some other medium so I've got it onto a page but its not for anyone to see.  I've found that art journaling is also a good way to 'warm up' before I settle into creating a specific project like a scrapbook page.  I can't always just 'turn it on' when needed and sometimes I need to play with no specific end in mind.  I might spray some colour onto one page, spread gesso onto another, stamp a few images and just generally mess about - who knows, something gorgeous might result but if not, its only paper!! 

At the end of the IFS feature Cathy has listed some great links to art journaling resources, why not check it out and find out what its all about?!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Total Papercrafts kit 1 for September

Here we go with the sample design for the double page kit for September.  I love the muted colours in this and while I was playing with it I was thinking it would work really well with school uniform, I didn't g wth the school uniform in the end but they were a very close second!  We all take those '1st day of school' shots but then its hard to find anything to put them with, these papers would work a treat and the quotes would work well too.  Just a thought if you were struggling with finding masculine photos, pics of girls in school uniform would be a good alternative.  This kit would also look amazing with heritage photos, so you might want to look at a few of those as an option.

The sample uses just two 6" x 4" photos, one portrait and one landscape but could very easily be adjusted to fit a different combination of photos and sizes. 

The kit contains; cardstock, 4 sheets of double sided patterned paper, pack of rub-ons, 2 large playing cards, length of black cotton tape, length of string, strip of admission tickets.

You will need; brown and blue inkpads (sample used Gathered Twigs and Weathered Wood), water spray, deep edge punch, stapler.  I used a tiny amount of cream acrylic paint under the main title to help it to stand out against the patterned paper, if you like this effect then bring some along as well.

Looking forward to getting on with kit 2 now!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

September kit 1 contents

The kit materials for this month arrived on Friday after they were specially shipped in for us by Kaisercraft because we obviously need so much of everything - those guys are amazing!  I opted for the new 'Sears & Son' collection because it can be really difficult to find good masculine papers and so the men in our lives can tend to be less prominent in our scrapbooks.  I matched the papers with an absolutely HUGE rub-on sheet.  I have to honest, I never expected it to be as big as this and it offers so many fabulous quotes & phrases that are perfect for a wide range of photos.  The theme of the rub-ons would best be described as 'Be Who You Are' - great for a strong person or to encourage someone.  There are both masculine and feminine quotes so you could take your layout in a host of different directions.

While I have described the paper range as masculine I honestly think it would work with other photos too.  The papers have a retro 50s feel to them and the ones I have selected have playing cards, vintage adverts, numbers and stripes.  The reverse sides are a little more masculine with images that look like catalogue male models, pocket watches and tiny moustaches but you have plenty of scope here and I can image everyone having a lot of fun with so many options with these papers.

I am currently working on the sample double page design so pop back tomorrow to see what I have come up with.  I hope that you like what you see so far!!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Amazing Moxley birthday fun!


Yesterday was the 7th birthday of the Moxley Massive scrapbook group and the club secretary, Lisa had very kindly invited us up to teach some classes and bring along the shop.  As the day dawned we were packed, prepped and raring to go! 

Right from the outset we were made really welcome and the atmosphere was so friendly with a great buzz in the room. The local Gospel choir were meeting in the same building and popped by to say hello and spontaneously burst into a rendition of 'Happy Birthday to You' complete with harmonies.  It was really sweet although I think they were a little confused and possibly thought 'Moxley' was a person!

Our first class was scheduled to start quite soon after we arrived so we got stuck in straight away and very quickly it began to feel like I'd known everyone for years (I actually HAD known a couple of them for years in fact!!).  Like all of my classes, there was a lot to get through but everyone coped really well and some even managed to actually get the whole thing completed - a real achievement with the number of layers and techniques I chucked at them!!

There was an amazing buffet laid on for lunch and during the break Lisa and I got our heads together and got very excited - suddenly we were planning a return trip, the classes and all sorts!!  We were a terrifically creative mix, bouncing ideas around and getting wonderfully out of control!  We got so out of control that we ran a little over the lunch break but no-one seemed to mind at all when we announced some of our plans.

The sessions after lunch were loads of fun and I don't think anyone will ever forget the lesson on the 'right' and 'wrong' way to mix glimmer mists!! Thankfully everyone 'got' my unusual ways of describing certain parts of the classes and we all have a huge laugh.  This was one very funny group of ladies and the energy level stayed so high I really didn't feel like I was working.

Our shop was extremely popular and thankfully we can guarantee beans on toast for the rest of the week!  My glamorous shop assistant really pulled out all the stops and ran the whole shebang so I could concentrate on the classes - whatever would I do without him??

So what next?? Well, its all booked for us to return once again to Moxley on 1st December for what Lisa has named the 'Christmas Extravaganza'.  We will be teaching a fabulous Christmas project and a layout, both of the classes are on the Moxley Massive Facebook group page for those who are members to check out.  Just in case you were wondering - Moxley is not far from Wolverhampton so if you are a scrapbooker and interested in joining this fabulous group get in touch with them via Facebook or drop me an email and I'll hook you up!!