Monday, November 30, 2009

Scrapbook layout using 8x10 inch photo

I don't print my own photos at home. I have considered getting a photo printer in the past but by the time you buy the printer, the inks, and a good quality photo paper it works out cheaper to have them printed in the stores when they are on special.
Camera house have had a special on 8 x 10 inch photos for $1.95 each this month (ends today) which is pretty good, so I got a whole heap printed to either scrap or frame and hang on the wall.
This photo is so pretty and I used the Lightroom program to alter the colours and just leave the blue tones - which highlights the inside of her hat and her eyes. It was very glary the day this was taken so it made it hard to get a good colour balance on the original photo.
I have got piles (I'd hate to count the number of sheets - my guess would be somewhere in the vicinity of 150 12x12 pieces) of paper sitting in my paper rack from my 4 years of scrapbooking and I have decided that it is time to move it along... use it or lose it!

This background paper is a Basic Grey paper, flowers, brads and rhinestones are Kaisercraft, stamps are Grant and Autumn Leaves, inks are Ancient Page. The title has Rock Candy over it (although the ink I chose for the "love" is not bold enough for my liking and I may try and go over it in some way to make it stand out more). I have a hidden journalling tag under the photo that explains how this photo was taken on Feb 7th this year - Black Saturday when the bushfires destroyed so much of our state, and we were out sightseeing on the Great Ocean Road and had no idea until we came back to our accomodation after dinner and saw it all on TV.

I know there isn't much to this layout but with a photo this big there isn't a lot of room left, and I didn't want to take away from the photo with too much else.

Artwork hanger

I have had these MDF letters and plaques sitting around for ages so I decided I would finally make something with them.

The plaque I painted with Tarnished Brass Crackle paint around the edges, and dabbed the top with Snow Cap Adirondack paint. The letters are covered with Eggplant Adirondack paint, then stamped with the Circle Trio stamps using the Snow Cap paint.
The letters are adhered with Glossy Accents - it is an awesome glue! The butterflies are painted with Snow Cap white and stamped with a variety of inks (Ancient Page, Vivid and Colorbox chalk) in the colours my daughter chose.
The antennae are a pin (they actually came on a shirt of my husbands - you know how they are pinned in place in the packet) that had a pearl top. I threaded on some beads - mostly glass beads and stuck them into the top of the butterflies and tapped them right in with my craft hammer. The butterflies are decorated with assorted Rhinestones and Rock Candy stickles.
I cut the ribbons to various lengths and spread them out across the bottom on the back of the plaque. I stuck them on with Glossy Accents and then punched a hole and hammered in an eyelet (without setting it) to hold them in place. I threaded ribbon through one side of the clips and tied a knot to keep it on, and hung it on the wall with a 3M removable hook - no holes in the wall.
Now Emily has a place to hang all of her paintings and pictures she brings home from kinder without them piling up on my fridge!

So what do you think??

Friday, November 27, 2009


I love photos. I always have, but since becoming a mum and wanting to capture all those once-in-a-lifetime moments, photos have taken on a new meaning.
When Emily was less than one, I only had my basic 35mm film camera (no fancy settings or anything) and I would put a blanket behind her and make a "studio" - which was much cheaper than what Pixi charge!
I then got my first digital camera (which my parent's have just borrowed to go overseas and still works fine) and the photos just multiplied. Instead of taking one or 2 photos on film, I would take 10 at a time because it was so easy to delete them later and only print the ones I wanted.
About 2 years ago Matt suggested that I should get a better camera, and I did consider a DSLR but at the time it seemed a bit daunting - I still wanted the ability to just point and shoot, so I got the next step down from a DSLR - my Canon Powershot S5 IS. It has good optical zoom (digital zoom is useless) and has a lot of the features of a DSLR without having to worry about lenses and focusing it manually.
In the last 12 months I have done more reading about the settings on my camera and now I have figured out how to create those gorgeous shots where the subject is in focus and the background blurred. These are my favourite sort of portrait shots, although depending on the setting they aren't always possible.
Even more recently I downloaded a trial for a program by Adobe called Photoshop Lightroom - which adjusts the settings of the photos (not really an editing software). Thanks to Kylie and Bruno for telling me about it.
Here are some of the photos I have adjusted - I will share the before and after to show how you can change photos - even if they aren't great in the first place.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mojo Monday 114

This is my take on this week's MojoMonday sketch.

Materials: White and Black cardstock, Medium Butterfly stamp, Dogwoods Jumbo Rollagraph wheel, Fancy Flourish stamp, Mini Messages stamp, Plum Wine Ancient Page ink, Black organdy ribbon, Rock Candy Distress Stickles, DST.

I'd like to try this sketch again using a watercoloured image on the lower left.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ink Comparison

While I'm at it I thought I would show you the difference between some of the inks available through Kaszazz.


Ancient Page is a dye ink. It is light-fast (won't fade), permanent, waterproof (excellent for using when watercolouring images), and acid free. It is available as ink pads and also as cartridges to use in the Rollagraph and Jumbo Rollagraph handles. It stamps an evenly coloured, bold, solid image. Because it is a permanent ink, it can be a bit difficult to clean off rubber stamps, but Ancient Page also makes a stamp cleaning pad that will get rid of any stains. The dense foam pad is raised well above the plastic casing to ensure an evenly coated stamp with minimal effort. Stamp pads are available in a full size $8.95 or mini pad $5.95 as well as combination colours (8 in each) in a petal point shape $37.95. Each colour has a refill bottle available too.


Vivid! is an acid free dye ink also. It is water soluble, slightly transparent and fast-drying. It creates great bold stamped images but can not be used when watercolouring or using any liquids (e.g. mini-mister) as it will bleed on the paper. Like the Ancient Page inks, the dense foam pad is raised well above the casing to ensure it is easy to coat the stamp. The Vivid! inks are available in a full sized pad $9.95 as well as a mini $5.95. Re-inker bottles are available for each colour.


Distress Ink is acid free and a unique blend of water-based dye ink. Because they are a dye ink they soak into the paper and give a realistic aged/weathered look. The pad had a raised felt surface so you can use them direct to paper, or ink up a blending tool to colour the paper. These inks are usually talked about when blending (one or multiple colours together) but they do stamp equally well. The more ink you add, the deeper/brighter the colour. When the ink sits on the rubber stamp it tends to bead a little, meaning you don't get an evenly coloured image - however that is what these inks were developed for. They will bleed and blend when misted with water and a range of techniques can be used with these to give subtle, bold, smooth or mottled effects depending on how they are applied and treated. These inks come in the range of colours that match the re-inker bottles, embossing powders and distress stickles to ensure each element compliments each other. The pads come in a 2" square (casing is 3" square) $11.95.

These are an acid free pigment ink, which unlike a dye ink which is absorbed into the paper, pigment inks sit on top of the paper. They are a thick, opaque ink with the colour pigments (tiny particles) suspended in the ink. I don't have any of these inks, so I can't comment on how they stamp (as well as not having a photos). The Colorbox inks are available as a mini sized pad $6.50, cat's eye $4.45, in metallics ($7.95 and $4.95 respectively), and in a paintbox (12 colours in each) $35.95.


Colorbox Fluid Chalk inks are a blended ink. They give the visual appearance of a chalk/pastel finish in a fast drying archival quality ink (will last in your albums and are acid free). The ink gives a matt finish to the stamped image, and blurs the outline slightly to give a soft effect. These inks are one of my most used inks because I just love the finish they give. The pad is made of foam and is raised well above the casing for easy application to the stamp. The pads come in a full size $10.95, mini $6.45, cat's eye $3.95, as part of a combination of colours (5 in each) stacked queue $21.95, cat's eye set (5 colours + stylus) $22.95 or in an option pad (8 colours in each) $37.95. Refill bottles are available for each colour.

Embossing Medium Comparison

I mentioned in my last post that I was doing some comparisons of Embossing Mediums.

They are a type of 'glue' that is stamped instead of ink. They are not an ink because they usually have no colour, although you can get tinted versions. Their job is to attract and hold the embossing powder (very fine particles that melt when heated). Some inks can be used for embossing - such as the Distress Inks, but you have about a 20 second window between stamping and getting your powder on so you'd need to be quick! Embossing mediums are generally slow drying so that it gives you plenty of time to sprinkle on the embossing powder and start heating it.

There are many embossing mediums available sold under different brands. Of the non-Kaszazz mediums Versamark would probably be the most well known brand. Kaszazz offers 3 different embossing mediums - Perfect Medium, Top Boss and Watermark. Because I noticed the 3 different ones in the catalogue I decided I'd better find out what each do (or don't do).

I decided to use a fairly detailed stamp to show how well it adhered the powder, and it just happens to be one of my favourite stamps - the Cherry Blossom stamp. I used black card with white embossing powder, stamped on coloured card with no embossing powder to give a watermark effect, and on white card with black embossing powder. The embossing powders used are the Top Boss embossing powders.

Below is the photo of the results:

When I first stamped the black card with the mediums I did them in a production line style - as in, I stamped them all with each pad then added the powder all in one go. When I did this, by the time I added the powder the Watermark image was dry and the powder didn't stick so I had to re-stamp it. This indicated to me it is a fairly quick drying medium.

For an all-round performer I think the Perfect Medium performed best. It gave nice crisp images and held the embossing powders well, as well as creating a clear watermark effect on the coloured card. Perfect Medium is $8.95 for a 3 inch square pad. A re-inker bottle is also available.

The Watermark also performed well, but as I mentioned it dried quickly (within 2 minutes) so would not be useful if doing multi-stepped processes, but in clarity it performed well in both the embossings and watermark and gave the clearest and boldest watermarked image. Watermark is available in 3 sizes - cat's eye $4.95, mini $7.95 (as pictured) and full sized $12.95 pads. A re-inker bottle is also available.

Versamark performed equally as well as the Watermark in terms of image clarity however I find this medium a bit too sticky. I often have to pry paper from under the stamp, which can lead to a blurred stamped image. Versamark is available from most craft stores and retails around $14 for the pad.

Top Boss Clear (not the tinted version that is also available) performed well for embossing and attracted a large amount of embossing powders, giving a lovely raised image. It is obviously not a watermarking medium, because as it dried it disappeared on the coloured paper. I guess you would need the tinted version to leave a watermark. Top Boss is available in either clear (as used) or tinted, and comes in a mini $6.95 (as pictured) or full sized $13.95 pad. Re-inker bottles are available for both.

Contact me if you would like an embossing demonstration or would like to purchase one of the embossing pads above.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If you are visiting my blog and you are not on my monthly email list, please email me with your name and email address.
Every month I send out an email with any specials, promotions, new product releases, and dates to remember. Make sure you don't miss out!
As you will notice, there is no scheduled workshops for the month of December. I figured that most people will be pretty busy with the holidays approaching, so if you do have some spare time let me know and I can organise one for you.
Also, don't forget pressies for all your wonderful family and friends - I can make up a scrapbooking or cardmaking pack to suit your taste/budget or you can choose one of the quick kits from the catalogue (pages 3 - 16) prices start from a low $11.50 for a Surprise Box kit (page 4-5) which are always very popular. There are heaps of designs and colours to choose from and you could make one, or give it as a project kit... or just keep it yourself!
I am in the process of doing a comparison of Embossing Mediums, so keep a lookout for my next post :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mojo 111

I decided to get creative and do a card for this week's MojoMonday challenge.

I used a cuttlebug embossing folder for the dark blue background (Bahama coloured Bazzill) which I then rubbed with the Ice Blue Colorbox chalk ink to highlight the raised bits. I stamped the cute little bear image with Chocolate Ancient Page then used the Lyra watercolour crayons with an Aquabrush to colour it in. Some extra daisy stamps put together to make the flower at the top, some ribbon tied around the middle and finished with some rhinestones.