Monday, October 3, 2016

Die-cut inlay card

Over the weekend I watched a You Tube video from one of my favourite card-makers Jennifer McGuire.  After watching the video I just had to give this technique a go.  A link to her video is at the end of this post, I do recommend that you watch it.  She shows you how to create the background and the die-cut so you can inlay your title of your card.

I loved creating the background so today I have created three more for even more cards.

I wanted to do this as I have a little friend that is desperate need of some happy mail, so I plan to make more cards and send them to her regularly.  I think we all need a little bit a happy mail sometimes.

Enjoy Jennifer's video and I hope you too will give it a go.

Taking photos is fun

We went out as a family to the Arataki Visitor Centre.  We went because the weather had been so terrible but had finally cleared up and we were all suffering a bit of cabin fever.  I had not used my camera in ages so I dusted it off and away we went.  It was nice to check out the view and take a couple of fun photos.


Once inside my daughters and I went straight for the Gecko display cabinet.  They are always a challenge to find and fascinating to watch.  I could not resist so I took a couple of photos.  Next thing I know my daughter is having a bonding moment with a Gecko through the glass.  It was so cute I just had to get a photo (or five to be on the safe side).



Little did I know, but one of the reasons for popping into Arataki was to check out the maps for a Sunday drive.  We chose one of the few (if only) round trips, down to Karekare Beach down Lone Kauri Road, then back up the other road (forgotten the name of it LOL)

So off we went, to one of the wild west coast beaches. Once at the beach car-park we set off for a walk along the waterway to the beach.  But we forgot that to get to the beach you have to cross the waterway which was about knee deep and it would have been rather cold.  So we stayed on the cliff side and have fun taking photos of us as a family doing that air jump photo.  We had to do it many times to get the results we were after, but we always ended up with the giggles. I was so glad I had a really good sports mode on my camera.  Some of the results were hilarious.  The whole afternoon was so much fun and laughter.






I highly recommend getting out there with your family and just having some spontaneous fun and photos.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sisters Layout


Over the weekend I was able to take a bit of time to scrapbook. (this is always a plus)  I looked through some photos and found one of my two daughters horsing around on a bush walk we did at the beginning of the year.  We had stopped in front of a beautiful big Kauri tree and were trying out our new camera.  My daughters were sitting across from me and I just happened to snap this photo.  I really like how it brings out the fun side of both of them.

It is not very often that I use pink on my layouts but for some reason this just felt right.  I also decided to use punched out circles from left over pattern papers instead of flowers on this layout.  I used a range of circle sizes of punches (2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2", 1 1/4", 1" and 3/4" circle punches were used)

I also used some sequins to add a little sparkle to this layout.  For the title/journaling I jumped onto Pinterest to find some 'sister' quotes.  I found about 8 quotes and then took them to my daughters and had them choose the one they felt was the most like them and would go with the layout.

This was a simple, but fun layout to create.

Monday, September 5, 2016

It's the little things that make life Big!

I hope you all were able to celebrate Father's Day yesterday (in NZ).  I made my Dad a cute little card and will be sending it shortly.  It just did not happen before Father's Day, but I did get to talk with him yesterday which was really nice.  My Dad lives in a little town up north, just South of Kerikeri.  I miss going out for a hot chocolate with him at a local cafe.

Ok last week I promised to do a colouring post this week.  So I have two cards here for you.  One of which I did use for my Dad's Father's Day card.  So I will start with that one first (I am hoping to do a video on how I did this technique soon - I miss making videos).

I created this card using Watercolour paper and Distress Crayons.  These are really nice to use. See the video below where Tim Holtz takes you through using Distress Crayons.
So I used my set of Festive Berries, Rusty Hinge, Fossilized Amber, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire and Seedless Preserves.  I took each colour and added it to more watercolour cardstock to make an Ombre look.  Then I took a wet-wipe and carefully wiping from left to right and slowing down ward to move and blend the colours.

Once dry I stamped with my favourite dandelion puff stamp.  Later I added a sentiment 'For my Dad'
I was not totally happy with the blending but I am going to try this again on the smooth side of the watercolour paper to see if that helps move the colour and blend better.

Here is my second card that I made.  I really love how this one turned out.  Firstly I used one of my Party Paws stamps from Crafter's Companion and a sentiment stamp from Kaiser Craft.
To colour this I used my Spectrum Noir pens.  I used TN2, TN3 and TN4 for the teddy.  The TN3 and TN4 are from the 'Lights' set of pens, they give a really rich, warm colour to teddy.  So I started colouring this Teddy's head first and then the rest of the body.

When I was happy with how Teddy looked I went onto the gift.  I used TB1, TB2 and TB3 from the basic blues set of 6 pens.  TB2 is quite a different blue so I used that as my base for the side of the gift going over it with TB1 so it looks a little darker.

For the ribbon on the gift I used DR1, DR5 and DR7.  Use the DR7 sparingly as it is very dark.  To finish off I used EB1 for the tag and IG4 for the ground shadow.

Very happy with the result of my colouring for this card.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Latest Layouts

I had my monthly workshop over the weekend and managed to mostly finish 3 layouts.  I got them to the point at the workshop where all I needed to finish them was my titles - these I do at home where I can use my Silhouette Cameo.
Well today, I took the time to design, cut and add my titles to my layouts.  I also worked on another cardstock house ready for my Christmas Village at the end of the year.  A couple of weeks ago I made my first building for the village which was the school.  Today was a house.  I might do the church next.


Anyway, here are my three layouts.  Firstly I put together this layout of my daughter taking part in a busking competition at the beginning of the year.  I wanted to do something a bit different with my layout so went for a colour blocking style of layout.  So pretty much the whole layout is covered with different sizes of cardstock and pattern paper cut into rectangles.  The plain Bazzill Calypso cardstock I embosses using a music embossing folder.  I am really pleased with how this page came together.  Sometime working with a landscape photo and a portrait photo can be difficult to find a way to display them creatively on a layout.  I like how these compliment each other without having to be beside each other.

My next layout was when my eldest daughter visited my pen-pal and his wife last year and they visited the Cheesecake Factory.  As big fans of the TV program 'The Big Bang Theory' this was a fun visit.  Apparently their slices were huge and my daughter shared her piece with her best friend that also traveled with her last year.  I am looking forward to maybe making a visit for myself next year - we will see.  For the four small photos in the middle I just cropped two photos and mixed them up together.  I like the use of the two pattern paper circles.  I am also trying to experiment and play a little more with my titles and using more than just one font to give a fun looking title.

My last layout I really stepped out of my comfort zone and created a sun-rays with pattern paper.  This was fun as I just cut some pattern paper and just trimmed  blue each strip then placed those on my cardstock, then measured the gaps between each piece and cut strips accordingly.  I am very pleased with the out come.  I adhered all the strips in place so they hung off the edge of the layout and once happy with there placement I trimmed off the excess.  My daughter really loved this wee little dog.  He was a bundle of energy and morning kisses - what a great way to wake up in the morning LOL!

Well during the rest of this week I am hoping to get some more colouring of stamps done so will do a post on my next colouring project.  Until then ...

Let's get creative!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Title Spacing Trick

I love cutting out my titles using my Silhouette Cameo, but have often found once cut out I can't get the title to look good on my layouts as my letter and word spacing goes out the window.
Just last week, I cut out a title and took it will me to finish the layout at a craft group.  While at the craft group I started using the negative space of my leftover title as a guide as to where to put my letters on my layout.  Wow, it worked and was so easy.  Let me show you how I did.


First take you layout and place the negative space of your title onto your layout and decide where you want your title to be.


Once you are happy with the placement of your title start adding adhesive to the back of your letters and adhere them back into the space where they were cut from.


Carefully remove the negative space cardstock from your layout


Check out your perfect looking title. Here is the finished two page layout.
This has become a favourite way to get my titles looking the way I want them.  It helps to design and cut out your title using your Silhouette, Scan'n'Cut or Cricut so that it cuts the way you want it to look on your finished layout.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Working with Skin Tones with Spectrum Noir and Copic Markers

It was wonderful to get back into blogging last week and I thought it would be fun to share some more things I have learnt lately with my colouring.  As mentioned last week I like to colour with both Spectrum Noir and Copic Markers.  I also mentioned that I have been watching some great You Tube videos by Sandy Allnock about colouring with Copic markers.  I have been able to use what I have learnt and apply them to my Spectrum Noir Markers - as well as purchasing some Copics to have a better variety in skin tones.

Right lets jump right in with two images I have coloured.  The stamped image 1 was coloured solely using Spectrum Noir markers.  I was more interested in the skin tones with these images.  The girls with the brown hair, her skin was done how I always used to colour which was starting with FS2, then adding some shading with TN2 and then blending the two together with FS3, and lastly going over the whole skin areas again with FS2 for a final blend.

Then I tried something different with the blond girl.  I started like I normally would and coloured all the skin with FS2, but then for shadows and depth I add some LV1 (yep a very light purple) sounds crazy, but give this a go. Then I carried on like I normally would with the TN2 next, then blending with the FS3 and lastly blending with the FS2.  It just gives another look for skin that I had not thought of.


The stamped image 2 I used some Copic markers and had a play doing the same thing.  This time I did the blond girl with just E51, E33, E11 and E51 for the final blend.  Then on the girl with the brown hair I used E51, BV00, E33, E11 and back to E51.  Again I really like the extra depth the light purple gives to the shadowed areas. I coloured the rest of the image with my Spectrum Noir markers just the same as in image 1.

Another thing I have learnt is using a white gel pen to add some details.  On stamped image 1 I used a white gel pen to add dots to the blond girls pink dress.  It really adds another great way to add variety to things.  Such as patterned clothes.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.  I would love to hear from you.

Happy crafting everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Getting Creative

Wow, it has been such a long time since I have even looked at my blog to be totally honest.  Don't think I haven't thought about it, I have.  But my excuse was always, I just don't have time.  But I really wanted to blog, so, if you want to do something, then just DO IT!  So here I am.  The same goes for getting creative and getting out into my studio, JUST DO IT!  So I have been out in my studio a lot lately and loving the time of being creative, but still I wasn't blogging, so tonight I decided to DO IT and hear I am.

I wanted to share with you some things that I have created recently.  I have discovered a wonderful lady who does amazing colouring videos and I have just started checking out her blog as well - Sandy Allnock.  Wow, I have been learning heaps from her videos about colouring with Copics.  I use Spectrum Noir pens at the moment because that is what I have.  But I have been slowing purchasing some Copics, mainly for the skin tones.  Here are the two big things I have picked up from Sandy lately.  1) To use a very light purple when adding shadows to skin and then blending over it with more skin tone colours.  Wow, this looks really awesome.  I will try to do some examples in the next couple of days and share them here on my blog. And 2) To use light greys (browns or greens for ground) to add shadows under my coloured stamped images to 'ground' them.  It makes all the difference.  My images don't look like the are just hanging there any more.

Oh one more thing Sandy has inspired me to do is to colour my stamped images with coloured pencils or water colours.  I need to find some water colours but I am playing round more with coloured pencils.

So here are a few cards I have created recently






One the weekend I had a workshop.  At the workshop I started a few layouts, most of which I could not finish due to not being able to use my Silhouette Cameo or forgetting punches and other items.  Well today I finished one of the layouts and I am really pleased with the end result.  So here is that layout as well.


I love how the layered circles helped to 'ground' my photos.  It also looked like a shield wall that the Norsemen would often practice.  Yes these guys would practice and train in full armor with proper chainmaille, helmets, swords and axes.  Very impressive.  My husband and daughter were very new so all that had to defend themselves with was a large stick (which later would have been made into an axe)  Fun to watch the training's.

I hope you feel a little inspired to raid your scrapbooking or card making supplies and get creative.

See you again soon ...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Changes to Better Scrapbooking Ltd

This is my first post for 2016 so Happy New Year everyone.  Some of you may think I fell from the planet, no I am still here.  There have been lots of changes here and now is the time to reveal my plan for 2016.

As many of you are aware from some of my Facebook posts I have moved my workshop from our home garage to the lovely little room behind the garage.  This was a much bigger task than I thought at the start.  But finally I am at a place where I have a nice place to create and craft.  The only down side is it is to small to display shop stuff or have classes and workshops.
The cluttered workshop stage - eek, I was trapped

Looking from the door of the craft studio

Showing my scrapbooking table
This meant some changes to the way I run Better Scrapbooking Ltd.  Please don't get me wrong, I love scrapbooking and card making.  I love being able to help you with ideas and new products so that won't change.  The online shop and my online presence will continue and aim even higher with more videos and ideas for everyone.  I love workshops so these will continue, just at a local hall (the Oratia Settler's Hall) just round the corner from me.

The ScrapPack Club closed as of the end of last year and the Spectrum Noir Monthly kit will finish when those that are receiving it at the moment finish getting all their Spectrum Noir colour pen sets.  I will continue to bring you new products and ideas which will be available from our online shop.

I am looking forward to having more time to create with new products and to share fun tips, techniques and ideas with you all.  I was lucky enough over the summer break to up-grade my camera which now enables me to create videos.  I am aiming to create my first video shortly (probably once school starts back and a new routine is in place)

I have also started a new little part-time job as a personal carer assistant and have really been enjoying that lately.  I have been amazed that even with my little job I still have time to create and craft, maybe even more time as I reschedule things.  I have been continuing to work on my daughter's school ball album from last year and have almost finished it.

So as you can see there have been some changes but we will be continuing and we plan to bring you some amazing projects and ideas throughout the year.  So please continue to support me, I thank you for all that you have supported me with so far.