Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Happy, happy news!

Hello everyone!

I am SO HAPPY to be able to reveal I made it into the first ever Page Drafts Creative Team! Woo-hoo!

I love sketches and Em Stafrace creates beautiful and unique sketches over at Page Drafts so it's just fabulous to be a part of the team. I'm so excited to be amongst the first to create with the sketches.
Please head over to Page Drafts to see the full announcement.

The first release is in 2 days  - August 1 - hope to see you then!

Thank you for coming by.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pinterest and Favicon buttons

Hello all,

I am so proud of myself. I have just added a customised Pinterest button to my blog. This means, when you hover your mouse over any images on my blog, you can add it to Pinterest. Yay!
To help me do this, I followed this tutorial:

Once I had the button design I liked, I added the image to Photobucket, grabbed the Direct link and added it to the HTML.

This is my icon:

which I downloaded and adapted from:

The other thing I wanted to mention was the use of a Favicon. They are the little icons that appear next to your name on a tab, kind of like a brand, I guess.

This is mine:

They are super easy to do. I did mine in PSE however, you can do them in PIXLR which is a free photo-editing site. I made mine 72px x 72px which I believe is a fairly standard size to make them. To add it, go to your blog, choose Layout then on the top left you should see 'Favicon', click edit, and upload your icon. Voila! All done. You can make the icon any shape you like, but work within the square, and also remember that it is a very small area so nothing too intricate.

Anyway, just little touches you can add to your blog if you're feeling so inclined.

I am no expert, but if  you have any questions, please ask and I'll try to help.

Thank you.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Blog hop with a difference...

Hello everyone,

There are many scrappers whose work I really admire and take great inspiration from. Em Stafrace is one of those scrappers. Her digital layouts constantly amaze me with her ability to combine techniques, colour and design....and then she has the astounding capability of turning them into hybrid layouts! On top of which, her blog reads beautifully...and her sketches always get my mojo going. So when she asked me to join in with a 'blog hop with a difference', I couldn't say no.

The idea of this blog hop is to introduce some scrappers who I find inspiring and to give some more information about myself. The first aspect I struggled with. There are many scrappers I gain inspiration from, and it seems I am not the only one that does so. Everyone I had in mind had, on perusal of their blog had already done this blog hop, or when I asked them, were already asked. A few were crazy busy, and I understand that, too. So what I shall do instead is direct you to some blogs that I love for the reasons I shall list below.

For now, here is a bit more information about me....

1.What am I working on now?

At the moment, it is the second week of school holidays, so my time is limited and therefore I'm not as productive as I would like to be. However, I was fortunate to win a Guest Designing spot over at CSI for the month of August, so I am busy preparing for that when I can. I love working to a schedule, so if I don't have that, I flounder around a bit.
I also enjoy participating in online art classes, so I try to do some of the set work. At the moment, I am enjoying a class by Danielle Donaldson - 'Creative Girl: The land of light and shadows', which is held at Jeanne Oliver. She has some great classes, worth checking out.

Here's a little peek at my current work:

2. How long does it take to do a layout?

Ages! I am not a quick scrapper. I like challenges and the use of sketches, and when I find one that grabs my attention, I spend some time thinking about it first. A few days later, I'll make a start by choosing my papers. Two evenings later, I'm usually done. Digital layouts are a little quicker. Usually one evening, but then I always go back the next day to make sure it's okay. Sometimes I change it completely. Basically it comes down to having the confidence to believe and trust in my decisions. Depending on what is happening in my life at the time, I can make decisions with ease, or with great trepidation if my confidence has been knocked about a bit. I guess that is pretty normal, isn't it?

3. What are your favourite things to create with?

I usually use my Silhouette for die-cut pieces, I love the use of paper and I usually always use gesso, mists and acrylic paint. I love stamps but hardly ever use them (aiming to change this). I love chipboard as well - in fact I am totally in love with the way Heather Jacob adds it to her work.
With my digital layouts, I use Photoshop Elements 7 & 11 on my PC or Photoshop Elements 12 on my laptop. I also like to shop at Designer Digitals, Scrapbook Graphics and recently also, the-Lilypad.

4. What is your creative process?

Firstly I print out the challenge - I don't scrap if I don't have a challenge. Then I sketch and/or write some initial ideas on it. I go away, think about it, and choose my photo/s, then when I do start, I spend time on the background. I tend to allow the wet product to dry naturally.  I also collect my bits and pieces that I may use. The second evening, I put it all together. The title and journaling probably take me the longest. Sometimes I think I take so long to do the layout just because I don't want to reach the title/journal stage. I can have a layout sitting for days before finally adding the title and declaring the layout done. Not my forte.

5. How do you become inspired or stay inspired?

Challenges inspire me, so too, other people's work. However, if I am having a lull, I let it be. I have to go with the ebb and flow of life. Creativity comes in many forms, and I like to embrace the diversity of such.

6. How would you describe your style?

I find this quite difficult to answer. I guess I lean towards mixed media, however, I don't do heavy mixed media as I still like patterned paper and layers which isn't often part of that particular style (or is it??). I'm certainly not clean and simple (though greatly admire it when done by others) nor am I shabby chic, heritage, vintage, modern vintage, retro or traditional and I wouldn't say I was freestyle either. What other styles are there? I just do the Zen way, I guess.:-)

I'm sure you will have come across the scrappers I want to give a little shout out to, but I shall list them anyway, because they have all, whether they realise it or not, have had some impact on my day at some point whilst being a scrapper (initially I tried to limit it to just 3, but decided to limit it to 3 for each reason):

These ladies amaze me with their consistent ability to comment on so many blogs. They give comfort, support and a feel-good factor with their never-ending encouragement:
Lizzy Hill
Lizzy C
Julie Tucker-Wolek
Thank you ladies.

The following offer great tips, tricks and video instruction:
Sanna Lippert
Miae Rowe
Jenni Calma
Thank you for sharing ladies.

The following I love to visit simply because their work is sublime and inspiring:
Gayle Price
Emma Trout
Natalya Loi (just recently discovered)
and many, many others!

So that's it for me. A very wordy post. If you made it to the end, thank you.