Feel free to leave comments on blog posts- & thanks for doing so. Comments need to be 'approved' (filtering out the pesky spammers) so don't worry if comments don't appear immediately.

24 January 2015

ALBOTAT: Frosty!!

bbbbrrrrr its a bit chilly here in Essex at the moment, the sprinkling of snow was .. well... pathetic to be honest lol. but the frost had a very pretty effect on the garden...

... and I have no idea what this poppy is doing... shouldn't it flower in the summer?? 

and the gates look lovely with a dusting of frost! (makes up for the lack of plant coverage!)


23 January 2015

DLP & a sneek peek

I am loving the Documented Life Project - I might not always stick to the plan/theme (at the moment) but I am having fun covering pages in my journal...

Here is another one of the pages... and a sneek peek (just sayin...)


22 January 2015

Busy busy busy.....

so many exciting things going on at PaperArtsy at the moment....

here's a sneek-peek at what's buzzing around in the JOFY section of HQ

so exciting!!! not too much longer to wait- can't wait to show you all.....


13 January 2015

DLP: Week 1

Oh the 'drama' of getting this page to this stage! Sooooooo many layers, rescues, & the hour or two (split over several days) of getting it finished & being happy (ie not wanting to rip it out!)

11 January 2015

ALBOTAT: New layout, new desk...

.... I reorganised my workroom recently... It hasn't been working for me for a while.. It's a nice size but felt cramped - never enough worktop space (but isn't that always the case?!).  So we (hubby & I) moved the desk (which is in the centre of the room) rotating it 90 degrees... Taadaa!!!  Surprising how much space that simple alteration created!  I'd always wanted/dreamed of a second desk in the room - somewhere I could keep my sewing machine and diecut machine out all time... (I'd use them more if they were easily accessible, I hope!)... a 'clean' desk - away from the existing inky painty desk.. 
I'm very grateful to my oh-so-handy hubby who built a desk out of an 'off cut'  length of worktop left over from our kitchen refit (it's 1.7m long lol!! a little bit more than an 'off cut' lol) - it fits in the 'dead space' under the window... It's nice to put this to good use & it's perfect for its intended use- heat proof, easy to clean, sturdy:  win win.
Hubby did good! (& he braved Ikea on a Sunday (& during their sale) to get the legs! Lol).

So there they are- my new desks that make it feel like a new room! ... I find it so much easier to work in... the only downside is that I now have TWO desks to keep tidy!
I'd encourage you to move your work spaces around if possible- is surprising the difference it can make - if just storage on desks or shelves... (and you 'rediscover' items.. in my experience lol)

PS: this photo was taken just after desks were finished & so tidying is needed, but that's for another day... when the 'to-do' list is shorter


10 January 2015

Some dies are like puppies - they are not just for christmas!

I love a bit of die cutting!!  and recently the lovely Paula Pascual gave me several of the die sets she designed for Sizzix - such a clever chickie!!

I've been using this one- its a christmas set - but I seriously think its too good to use only at christmas! (called 'Christmas Phrase Cards' ref 659973)
The 9 dies cut pocket-scrapbooking sized cards and co-ordinating elements - words, a word block.  and a really useful circle.

I have used it for festive projects, obviously - as part of my 'christmas book' (more about that tomorrow)...
On this page I cut a white panel, a kraft word block and a blue spotted word - love how all the elements layer up - and looks great laid over my snowflakes stamps.

On this page I just used a single word... (I'm definitely a 'less is more' type of person)

I started playing around with non-festive ways to use the dies and elements, using the Prima Epiphany 6x6 paper pad for these projects - great pad - lots of each design, double sided & a little bit distressed... but not grungy - nice.

What I like about the dies is that they can be positioned in just the right place over patterned papers to create perfect little scrapbooking cards, or panels for cards - so it you want to cut at an angle right in the middle of the page you can!... It so much quicker and accurate to die cut than to sit and measure the space - not lazy just time efficient!
I use the magnetic platform with my BigShot to hold thin dies in place - genius piece of kit for the BigShot - you NEED one of these is you use thin dies! I bought mine from the The Stamp Attic

I got busy cutting bits and pieces: several panels using the different sizes of journal cards (creating perfect mat'n'layers (bottom left in picture), and circles as motifs.. the rectangular cards are ready for journaling or large words of photos...

On this card I mat'n'layered two panels, tearing off the bottom of the smaller panel.  I chose this circle motif because of the hanging thread of the cages...

I marked the position of the hanging cord, so I could remove the circle and sew the line on my sewing machine

Here is the finished card - the circle a has been 3d mounted...  Note about the sewing: my sewing machine was having a funny five minutes and the tension wasn't quite right which caused the odd stitching (in cream) down either side of the card...
I could've unpicked it and restitched but one of my new year resolutions is to 'embrace the imperfections' and so I left it as it was... the stitching isn't horrible, its just not what I planned ... so it'll stay

This card is created with the scrap panel remaining when the circle was punched out..(too interesting to waste!)..  I rounded off the corners (with the We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile Corner Chomper - another go-to tool)

The circle becomes an aperture to mount flowers, embellishments onto, and one of the words from the die set - nice for a birthday card (or if used with the right colours, papers and embellishments- a baby card)

I liked how this card looked (I'd added lines of stitching...) so I mounted it onto a 12.x12.5cm greeting card:

I sewed the die cut circle onto a card to create a simple panel:

I stitched onto all of the cards to add texture/interest, but the stictching can be seen on the other side of the card so I covered the stitching with washi tape (LOVE!)

I had fun playing with this set of dies - I like them very much - going to be using them A LOT - and are definitely not just for christmas.

I created the pieces above but then discovered lots of little bits & pieces of the paper that were too nice to throw away, so I chose some scrapbooking cards and altered them... (cards that I wouldn't use in their current format).. I think covering the words also makes them more versatile...

Here are the cards - I also added some stitching - all these little additions and alterations makes them more personal, individual and less generic...

and created a whole batch of co-ordinating cards.... ready for journaling, scrapbooking & cardmaking - even a quick thankyou note or gift card...

And now I am definitely finished- no more scraps to use!


9 January 2015

ALBOTAT: Testing testing 1 2 3 ....

... these 2 pieces started out as a couple of 'tester/ lets try this and see what happens' pieces... but I liked them so much I thought I'd show them to you...

The board canvas (5x7inches) was painted with Fresco Finish paints (Blood Orange, Orchid, Tango (loving Tango at the moment!), Claret, Chalk, Tinned Peas) , the tile effect on the background is the 'blocks' stencil  by Georgina (available from The Artistic Stamper).
Stamps are all JOFY - JOFY13, 14, 26,  JM40

This little block of wood (5x4cm) is an offcut from recent work on our house (I 'rescued' it from a pile of 'stuff', receiving strange looks from our builders lol) .. enjoyed painting this ... it felt as if I was proving a point - it was not rubbish - too good to throw away!  (I have another block in this February's Craft Stamper magazine)
I added strips of lazer cut greyboard flowers on each side (from buzzandbloom.com) - cute little strips out of the 'lasercut elements' box on the shelf...

Don't throw away offcuts - upcycle them!

8 January 2015

First workshop of 2015!! .....

.....  I'll be at Birds in the Barn on Saturday January 17th where we'll be using all sorts of creative products to decorate a papermache mannequin....

Call the shop on 01206 211099 for more details and to book a place.


3 January 2015

ALBOTAT: Tag - you're it!

Clothes come with such nice swing tags that its hard to throw them away so here's a quick blog post about how I altered a couple..  quick n easy...  great for all types of presents or embellishments on cards and other projects....

first up is a Next tag - loved this one as it had holly leaves cut out of it! (& yes it was on a christmas sweater lol).. it definitely needed to be upcycled! (the tag, not the sweater!)
I pulled together some 'supplies' - bits and pieces to hand really - from christmas projects I'd been working on..
I cut a wide band of the red paper and glued across the tag to block out all the product information, and also attached a snowflake punched from kraft card (this is my 'go-to' Martha Stewart snowflake punch)...

Nice but looked as if it needed 'something' else... green spotted paper and gems..  I cut a piece of the green card to cover the holly leaf cut out, this also meant that I would be able to write on the reverse of the tag if I needed to...

Here's the finished tag - I'll show you how I used this in the coming days..

I was on a roll now and so 'up-cycled' another tag - this time from Monsoon - this shop always has lovely packaging: swing tags and bags.. and the items wrapped in tissue paper sealed with stickers (I'm so easily pleased!) ... lovely!

Here are the pieces I gathered up - these were on my desk in a 'stash' pile (its good to create with items on the desk because they are still 'inspiring', still in the mind set of creating with that colour or pattern palette)..
The tag has a printed/embossed pattern on that I wanted to keep but I needed to hide/disguise the shop name on the tag and on the tube/stopper on the string.

There was a lot of text on the reverse of the tag so I covered this with the pink paper:

I wrapped a length of the striped paper around the tube on the string to disguise the word, and glued a strip of the striped paper around the tag...

So here is the finished tag, front and back - really simple to alter and now I can use it on someone's gift!


2 January 2015

ALBOTAT: Scraps but not so scrappy...

... that they couldn't be used...

I love this pad of basic grey Aston Frost paper, it's a christmas pad but many of the papers can be used all year round and I especially like the green spot and the two striped papers... (do love a spotty paper!)

While I was tidying my desk the other day I found a strip of it the diagonal stripe paper which got me thinking.. you don't always need to always use it diagonally - so I cut some more strips to see/realise how it looks with alternative orientation....(its these little things that keep me distracted from the tidying up!)...

Another scrap on the desk was this red & white patterned piece which was very nice (more about why it was on the desk in the next few days) but the scrap I trimmed off was cute! - nice little scallop border: 

It was perfect for covering over a line of small text on this upcycled tag - it came on a christmas ornament - I like it when that happens: a nice ornament with equally nice tag! bazinga! lol

Sometimes 'scraps' are perfect for a project however small they might be...