Throw Back Thursday – Personalised bunting

Once upon a time I tried to build a crafty business. I knew handmade cards were not really the way forward for several reasons (already a saturated market, especially with all the stampin up people out there, and also my style was not really ideal for making “cheap” cards to sell to the mass market). So instead I thought for a long time and came up with Personalised Bunting as my star product. And for a while it was kind of successful, I made quite a few buntings in a year! But sadly the “business” just died away. I stopped advertising, offering all kinds of discounts and offers, doing any giveaways, and it just died. It was way too much work for the few benefits I was getting.

However, just the other day I got an enquiry from a lady who had bought a bunting from me a couple of years ago. She has just had another baby and wanted another one! Repeat business! Yay! It made me feel really warm inside, I tell you. There isn’t a better feeling than seeing your craft being appreciated by other people!

Here are some examples of buntings made during the time I had my tiny, short-lived business:

millie2

julieta

alberto

george

charlotte2

chris

Paige Taylor Evans and BoaF event

On Saturday I attended the first Birds of a Feather event in Coventry, with the gorgeous Paige Taylor Evans as guest designer.

The day itself was beautifully organised. I arrived at the hotel (the lovely Ansty Hall) and I was greeted by James, who ticked my name off the list. I went into the room and I was shown to my seat. On the table there was a bag with the included kit and some extra freebies. The kit included for the workshop consisted in quite a lot of goodies from the Paige Evans newest collection for Pink Paislee “Take me away”. I must admit that from all her previous collections, this is probably my least favourite because it features a lot of violets and I am not keen on violet for scrapbooking at all. However, there are lots of other amazing papers, so I am happy to work with it.

Kitansty hall

Paige designed four layouts exclusively for this workshop and we were given photos and instructions for every single one. In addition to this, Paige also gave more detailed instructions and other tips on design, composition, etc.

The good thing about being given almost a full collection with papers, embellishments, etc, rather than just the exact materials that we would need, is that if you didn’t like a certain element of the layout or you wanted to personalise it a bit more towards your own style, you had plenty of papers and other bits and pieces to choose from. For the second layout I had chosen a photo of Eric, and the layout that Paige had designed used lots of “girly” papers, so I was just able to pick my own papers to make it a bit more boy-ish. I like having done this in a couple of the layouts, because now my layouts are kind of more unique than everyone else who followed the layout to the T.

I tried so many new techniques on the day! I did stitching (which I struggled with at the beginning, but it got easier towards the end), I did lots of fussy cutting (I’ve done fussy cutting before, but not to this extent!), a die cut piece with lots of different patterns underneath… Things that I don’t normally (or ever!) use on my layouts but that look so stunning!

I also enjoyed working with 12×12 layouts. I have said in the past that I struggle with 12×12 because of the amount of space to fill, but Paige’s technique is about filling the background with big, bold patterns and elements, so it is not so overwhelming.

Another great thing about the day was the the ladies who run Hey Little Magpie set up a pop up shop at the event! And it wasn’t just a small table, no… It was a huge display, organised by collections, with tons of papers, embellishments, inks, stamps and so many more things! I must admit that I have never bought from their online shop before, just because their prices are just slightly higher than Papermaze. The difference is that HLM are official American Crafts distributors and always have the latest collections straight away. As I have mentioned in the past, I don’t really care that much about the latest must-haves and always buy what I like and what I can afford. But we were given a £10 voucher to spend on the shop so I felt like I needed to spend a bit more! I ended up buying some thickers, embellishments and some 6×6 papers. I think I spent around £30 in the end… Naughty me!

shopThere was another bigger table on the other side of the room

I attended alone, although I did recognise some of the ladies as the organisers had created a private facebook group for all the attendees, so we could interact a bit before the day. To my right was a lady called Leisa, who I already kind of knew from the scrappy groups on facebook and next to her were Mimi and Rubina, who I got on quite well with too. To my left was Lisa, who came with her sister. I didn’t talk much to her, but she seemed like a great laugh. She had this very contagious laughter… I had no idea what they were talking about half the time, but when she laughed, I laughed too 🙂

room  room2

So, finally, here are my four layouts! My favourite ones are number 1 and number four (Elisa and Pepper), however, I must admit that I love all of them. I am specially happy with Eric’s layout, as I much more prefer the colours and papers that I used than the ones that Paige selected for hers.

Too Cute

Awesome

love this

pepper

 

The ladies of Birds of a Feather are organising another event in May. This time it will be a full weekend retreat but the are also bringing a special designer… Wilna Furstenberg!!! This is specially exciting as Wilna uses lots of mixed media and I would absolutely love to attend one of her classes, however, due to the fact that it is a full weekend retreat, the price for the event is quite high (over £350 – that includes accommodation, obviously, but a bit pricey!). I have enquired about coming for a one day only to attend the workshop with Wilna, and apparently several other people have asked the same, so they are going to look into it. Or I could start saving now!

And a last couple of photos:

Paige and the ladies Paige and me BOAF and me

Another mixed media project

Hello all! This post is being written from the lovely Ratley, the village where my in laws live, as we’ve come to spend a few days.

Today I wanted to talk about a new mixed media project that I have started. I took inspiration from these two layouts, and somehow I want to combine them both into one:

lets-do-this-again1  collectbeautifulmoments

Basically I want to take the design on the right (popped up smaller square in the middle of a 12×12, with elements underneath) but use watercolour as well as cut out elements underneath the the popped up square.

This project is going to be unique as well because I am going to scrapbook about ME! I made a page with a photo of me for National Scrapbooking Week back in May, and I have a page with Jon and me from back in the day, pre-kids. But other than those two, there aren’t any photos/layouts of just ME!

As I didn’t have any watercolours, I had to pop into hobbycraft and buy a set, as you have to 🙂 I am quite pleased with it, as it has got plenty of shades.

So, so far, I have cut lots of small flowers to use as the elements popping out of underneath the central square. I cut tons, but I am not sure I am going to use them all. I may end up only using a third of them! I will have to play and see what quantity looks better:

Flower elements

To the left of the photos are the watercolours that I originally chose to go with the flowers. The photo of me that I am going to use on the layout is in black and white so I am happy that these colours are not going to clash with the photo.

And here is the watercolour applied to the cardstock (previously primed with with gesso):

watercolour background

At the beginning I wasn’t sure about it… I thought the watercolour had gone a bit too over the place, however the more I look at it, the more I like it, so I am sure it will be fine in the end.

And this is all I have got for now! I still have to print the photo and I want to either type or print the journalling, which most probably will be hidden behind the photo in a tag of some sort.

I can’t wait to get it finished! It’s been in this half-done state for far too long 🙂

Birds of a Feather event

Apologies for the lack of content lately! This weekend I am going to be away and hopefully I will get a chance to write a couple of extra posts that I have in the pipeline…

But, most importantly, on Saturday I will be attending the first event organised by “Birds of a Feather“. This is a UK company, just formed, that create events like scrapbooking workshops, retreats, etc. Their first event is a workshop with renowned designer Paige Evans. She currently designs for Pink Paislee and her collections are super cute.

She has created four exclusive layouts for the workshop, which at the moment are top secret! We have only had a small sneak peek and the whole layouts won’t be revealed until the workshop starts. All the materials for creating the layouts are provided and the only thing we need to bring (apart from basic tools like trimmers, glue, etc) is the photos.

The workshop is taking place in Ansty, near Coventry, so the whole family and I will be spending the weekend near Banbury with my in-laws, which is only a little drive away from the hotel (around 45 minutes drive)

So, I’m really excited and I can’t wait to see what I create on the day!

Birds of a Feather

 

 

My first retreat (October 2016)

Last weekend I attended my first scrapbooking retreat. What an event! So many new adventures! So here’s a detailed recount of my experience:

Friday.

I arrived at the hotel at around 6:30 pm after having left the twins at home with the promise that “I would be home soon” 🙂 I checked into my room -pretty average hotel room, nothing special about it- and went down to the hall where the retreat was taking place. I met a lady in the lift on my way there and she showed me the seating plan and helped me find my seat when we got to the hall.

What a huge place! The room that we were using was much bigger than the one normally used for the crops and it was pretty full when I got there! If I remember correctly, there were approximately 6 tables with an average of 12-15 people per table… That is a lot of people!

On my table space there was a goodie bag with chocolates and snacks, a bottle of water and a scrapbooking pack as well. There was a letter from the organiser explaining the times and activities taking place during the weekend and also a list of challenges.

I decided straight away that I was not going to take part on any of the challenges, as you had to put your pages on the wall for everybody to then rate, and because of the way that I scrapbook with my books, there wasn’t an easy way for me to enter the challenges. So I decided to skip them.

A little while after my arrival, Claire arrived too. I know Claire from the Facebook group and we’ve also met before once at one of the crops, so at least I wasn’t completely alone! Unfortunately I didn’t know anyone else at our table. The rest of the people that I know from crops or facebook groups were already sitting in a group table. I must admit that I was a bit jealous of this. I went to the retreat for the break from my routine and to scrapbook a lot, but I also wanted to build a little bit on the friendship with the “Bracknell crew”, and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance. There were at least 15 ladies on that table and they all knew each other, they were a group. So much so that on the Saturday they were all wearing marching t-shirts and all! It felt a bit intimidating, like a closed circle… However, I didn’t let that affect me and I still had a great time.

On the Friday I only managed one layout. A little while after arriving, there was dinner included, so I took a little bit of time to relax having dinner and chatting to some of the ladies. So after more chatting and hardly any scrapping, I finished one layout and decided to go to bed.

Saturday.

I got to the hall at around 10 in the morning, after having breakfast at the hotel. Claire, who was sitting next to me, didn’t arrive until well past noon, so the morning was very quiet. The other ladies on my table were not really the chatty type, so we all just got on with our layouts.

For lunch I had a sandwich in the hotel bar. The hotel gave me a £5 voucher to spend for declining to have my room serviced that day, so a £9 sandwich ended up only costing me £4. Kaching!

After lunch Claire arrived, and the afternoon was more entertaining. She is really chatty and very friendly, and she is even more crafty-crazy than me! There was another lady at the table who was very chatty, who also came in the afternoon, so that was good as made it very enjoyable.

For dinner I asked several times what everyone was doing and got no replies or shrugs (Claire was on a diet and didn’t eat much at all all weekend). So I ordered myself a pizza for delivery. After my pizza arrived a couple of ladies in my table said that they would have ordered with me had they known…. well, I did say!

I finished 8 layouts more (wow! huge number!) but by 10:30 again I was knackered and went to bed. A lot of the ladies, especially the Bracknell crew, stayed until much later. I heard stories of bottles of wine rolling and scrapping until well into the night.

Sunday.

Again, I made it into the hall at around 10 in the morning after having breakfast. However, I kind of lost my mojo and took me a while to get started again. Eventually I got the mojo going again and managed to finish three more layouts before packing up and going home.

Before going home, we all got to vote for our favourite entries in the challenges. As I left before the results were announced, I didn’t get to see who won. I found this a bit annoying, actually. It would have taken the organisers very little to take a photo of the winners and let everyone know. But, nevermind, I suppose next time I need to stay longer if I want to find out!


All in all I had a good time, but I think I would have enjoyed it better if I had had “friends” with me. All the groups are already made and it seems hard to “infiltrate” these circles. Conversation at my table was sometimes a bit forced and not all that natural, given that some of the interlocutors didn’t know each other that much. So when I heard real laughter coming from the other many groups of friends I felt a bit of lack of belonging.

But hey, I’ve only been going to crops for less than a year, and I see some of these people only once every couple of months, so I can’t expect them to welcome me into their already made group just like that! It will happen with time…

So here are the layouts that I made over the weekend!

Crazy hat

Balance bikes

Hello friends

shine today

Greedy chops

New skirt

breakfast club

round round

Love you loads

meeting pepper

world book day

wagamama selfies