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Sunday, January 31, 2010

They're Off

Well it's official - I am the mother of TWO school children and as such Surfer Boy seems to think that the house will be immaculate, meals will be prepared, and various home crafts will be completed. He was a little miffed to find that nothing has changed in one day! Little does he know that I headed straight for 'The Corner Shop' cafe and sat around with various lovely ladies until 1.30pm!! There really wasn't much time left after that for chores of any sort. Maybe tomorrow will be different - but I doubt it!
Here's the lovelies off to their first day -

Gidget - year 2
Moondoggie - Prep
(and before you ask - no I wasn't at all sad or sentimental. He was so happy to be there that there didn't seem much point)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Weekend Project

If you need a little weekend project, don't forget about our January challenge, which ends Monday. Check out this post for more details and ideas on making some pretty magnets.


Flashback Friday

We had people over for dinner tonight and during the course of the evening, for some reason, the wedding photos were brought out. They are a whole other Flashback Friday, but when I was putting them all back I came across this photo.

This is the group of people I spent much of my teens, and all of my 20s with on an almost daily basis. I think it must have been taken in the mid 90's. Most of us met at dancing class in 1984 (year 9) and we were inseparable for well over a decade. This photo makes me miss those days so much - before, husbands and wives, before kids and mortgages, when every day was an adventure and we lived for each other.
I am happy to say that every one of these people is well loved, with families and big joyous lives. Doesn't stop me missing 'us' though.
(By the way, that's me at the front in the delightful cream canvas coat thingy!)

There's Always One In Every Holiday Snap!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hilde's Juliette Layouts

We are happy to feature two layouts created by Hilde (aka Scoobie) from Norway. We love how she used the Juliette collection. She took the floral papers and added pearls & doilies to made them look like snowflakes and flurries. For more of her SEI projects and details, check out her blog.

Here's what Hilde said about the Juliette collection last month:
"When I saw the Juliette line, my first thought was Snow! Don’t ask me why, but I think it was some of the patterns which made me think of snowflakes, and the colors, too. Where I live, in Norway, we often have snow this time of year, at least quite cold (right now: -10 degrees C and 50 cm of snow)."

Thanks for sharing, Hilde! We love to see your creations. Just send them to our e-mail at seiblog(at)shopsei(dot)com.

The First In A Series.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be Mine Banner

Here's a quick and easy banner idea.
1.Cut some pretty paper into 4 x 6 rectangles. We used papers from the Juliette collection

2. Cut letters out to spell "Be Mine" (or another sentiment) and glue each one to a rectangle. We printed them on plain white paper and used that as a template to cut them out with scissors and an exacto knife. 

3. Slip the rectangles into our 4 x 6 sheet protectors

4. Thread ribbon through the holes in the sheet protectors. We used Juliette ribbon

You could embellish it more, add treats, or just keep it simple.

Drop In And Visit

Upper Silver Lake, Michigan.

Keith, Kid and Sheryl

Help For Haiti was a huge success but this was a stand out for me - bet you can guess why...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3rd Thursday - Pastiche

Club SEI's February kit features Pastiche. This kit is full of new embellishments, an entire paperpad packed with patterns for every occasion, and tons of layout ideas. Click here to see what club members can make with this kit. If you aren't a club member, you can still sign-up and receive this kit.

This sign was made using some of the contents of February's club kit. We love that club SEI kits come with easy-to-use instructions or you can use the products for something completely different. Happy 3rd Thursday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bugs Bitten Back

Well, we've been to the architect - seems like our plans are still stuck at council but at least we now know what the next steps will be. If they decide to give us the green light and ignore the heritage consultant then Woo Hoo, but if not then we'll send in the big guns!!! We did make sure our architect knows that we're not scared to take the issues to VCAT so fingers crossed council will decide we're too much work and let good sense rule!!

The meeting has put the extension back at the front of my mind, especially as we had to let council know exactly what colours and materials our house will be. I think I'm feeling all enthusiastic again after loosing interest there for a while.
(We're having a cathedral ceiling upstairs hence the photos - tipping ours won't be quite so grand!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What will you do?

I've been thinking a lot about goals this year. So many things to accomplish and see and experience! It's been my project over the last few weeks to compile a list of what I really want out of 2010. There are some on the list that will take the whole year and some that I've already been able to check off.

I feel like a lot of these would go to the wayside if I didn't write it down though. It always seems so much easier to keep your eyes on the prize if you can actually see it! And knowing myself, I knew that I would need to see that prize a lot. I thought a layout would be a good way to help me remember. So I literally scrapped the list I made. It's a visual reminder too of other things I was thinking about when I wrote them down, and my feelings about these goals. Plus, the note paper is fun and different. And I like that.

The supplies are Mimosa and Juliette ribbon, Mimosa brads, Juliette stickers, Alpine Frost alphas, and two Juliette papers (1 + 2).

So here is your project for the week: decide what you want and go for it!

I Can Dream

We've got a meeting with our architect tomorrow to discuss the progress of our extension which is languishing away at council due to the heritage consultant. That is a long boring story for another day, but the meeting did inspire me to buy a new home mag today at the supermarket. I've been having a lovely time imagining this to be my new kitchen...

In fact the whole home is delightful and fills me with envy. The home is situated in Seminyak, Bali which explains a lot but surely I could replicate some of their ideas? I wish I could show you the rest of the house but my scanner is on the blink. Best you pop out and buy the magazine.

(Real Living - Jan/Feb 2010)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Boys Are Back - and they're going to kick arse!

Giveaway Winner

Thank you for all your comments on Eric's amazing layouts and posts. Don't forget to check out more of his layouts and tips on his website, Load of Scrap. Without further ado the giveaway winner as selected by random.org is:

Congratulations Kim! Now all you need to do is send your mailing address to us at seiblog(at)shopsei(dot)com to claim your grab-bag of SEI goodies.

Also, don't forget there are only 2 weeks left to participate in our first challenge. Today would be a great day to make some magnets. Happy Monday!

Twitter Update

DanMacPherson - So im MCing an event with Prince William this week. deciding whether to shave my beard off? i mean, its not like its the Queen...
about 4 hours ago from web

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not Enough of a Good Thing + Giveaway

I was looking back at some of my past scrapbook layouts recently and I realized there are a few tricks and embellishments I use very often. VERY often. I started thinking that perhaps I use them too much. You ever think that?

After mulling it over for a while, I thought there certainly can’t be too much of a good thing in your scrapbooks. I enjoy creating these elements and using these embellishments on my layouts. So why stop? As the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Instead, I frame it, stitch it or pierce it. In fact, between these two layouts, I did each of these tricks at least once – if not more.

1. Cardstock Frames
I love creating a focal point on my pages and I find that framing a photo is a great way to do just that. I usually layer a few frames made with contrasting patterned paper and separate them with cardstock. My little pièce de résistance to finish off the frames is to place brads in the corners where the picture meets the frame. Parfait!

2. Stitching
I think there is no better touch on a scrapbook page than finishing off a seam between two pieces of paper with some good old-fashioned stitching. The Betsy Ross inside me gets a secret joy from lugging out my Kenmore and feeding the paper through the sewing machine foot. The hum of my sewing machine motor combined with the syncopated piercing of patterned paper is beautiful music.

3. Paper Flowers
Since the sewing machine tidbit pretty much eliminated any chance of being named the next James Bond, I might as well fess up to another less masculine embellishment I absolutely love: paper flowers. Whenever I’ve got a scrapbook page needing a little something special…I find a flower usually fits the scrapbooking bill. I especially love layering flowers and topping them off with a brad stuck through the middle.

4. Brads
Speaking of brads, I adore them. I love how a line of brads are the perfect way to highlight a photo or die cut. It’s hard – if not impossible – for me to pass a package of brads at the store and not purchase it. Glazed, jeweled, velvet, metal, fabric…I love them all.

Eric, thanks for all of the amazing layouts and tips you shared with us this week! You have a lot of wonderful ideas and great craftsmanship.

Readers, leave a comment telling us which post was your favorite this week and you will be entered into a giveaway to win a grab-bag of products Eric used throughout the week. Just leave your comment by Sunday January 17th at midnight and we will announce the winner Monday. Be sure to check back next week to see if you are the winner because if we don't hear from the winner by January 25th we will pick a new winner!

Cute Twitter Pic

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mixin’ and Matchin’

I was quite excited when the good people at S•E•I asked me to be a guest blogger. I was even more excited when they told me they encourage people to create layouts mixing paper lines on the same page.

Nothing makes me happier!

Like everyone else, I sometimes only use paper from the same line for a project. It’s like a safety net – you know up front everything’s going to coordinate.

However, I’ll admit to getting a bit of a thrill when I find designs from two different lines that can be used in the same layout. Even better – finding two different pieces of patterned paper from two different lines AND two different companies. Talk about euphoria!

Here are some tips I follow for finding pieces of cardstock from different lines that can be used together.

1. Find one color that brings the two designs together. In this layout, I noticed the lime-greenish elephants in the S•E•I Playday Tag were very close to the green polka dots on the Bridgeport Tennis Court design.

2. Stripes – stripes almost ALWAYS work. Since there’s usually an array of colors on a piece of striped paper…it’s pretty easy to find another design that will coordinate. The stripes on SEI’s Playday pattern Tickles were another easy match for the Bridgeport polka dots.

3. Use muted, monochromatic patterns. For the Imagination Amok layout, I used the faded yellow stripes from the Bridgeport Oceanfront paper – they didn’t exactly match the lime green of the Playday paper, but they accented it just perfectly. I used By Air from the En Route line for the top half of the design…it works so well because it almost looks like a sold piece of grayish blue cardstock.

4. Bring two pieces together with solid cardstock. The red background of the Arrows from the En Route By Land paper on the right side of the layout doesn’t exactly match the red hues from the Playday line. So, I framed the photos with a reddish piece of Bazzill cardstock that seemed to match them both, tying the entire design together.

5. Be Bold! Have confidence in your choices. Sometimes I put together two pieces of patterned papers and people comment that they never would have thought to match those two particular designs. Perhaps they actually like my choices…or perhaps it’s just a clever back-handed compliment. Either way, people admire a healthy dose of crafting chutzpah.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Completing a Puzzle

My name is Eric and I’m a picture-aholic.

Everyone together: “Hi Eric”

See, I take a LOT of pictures. An average vacation typically results in around 1,000 photographic reminders – and that’s not even including the sub-par pictures I delete from the camera on the spot. Even at a small party, I may come away with 100 digital shots.

When thinking about the New Year over the past couple weeks, I thought perhaps I could change my picture taking habits.

Now, I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions because mine are rarely successful. However, to start out a new decade, I thought I would also start with a new plan for my pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not going to vow to take fewer photos…that’s plain silly talk.

Rather, my resolution regards when and where I’ll be taking pictures.

While I do take a lot of photos at life’s big events like birthdays, holidays and weddings – I take fewer pictures commemorating life’s little moments. I admire those scrapbookers who create layouts memorializing a random afternoon or commemorating someone’s smile.

I decided to make a layout doing just that. I gathered up the few photos I have from some less monumental moments in my life – and as it turns out, I only had a few.

I found an old chipboard puzzle embellishment I purchased a few years ago and it turned out to be a perfect fit for this page.

I used Xyron adhesive to stick the pictures to the chipboard puzzle pieces and covered them with Mod Podge to give them the look of an actual preserved puzzle.

SEI’s En Route paper offered a beautiful background for the layout.

While scrapbooking this page, I was reminded at why I love to scrapbook so much. Creating a layout is like reliving a memory. It is certainly important to preserve and remember life’s major moments – anniversaries and holidays. However no one lives a life that is 100 percent full of major events. I bet even the biggest celebrities have an occasional day when a trip to the mailbox brings the most excitement.

So, it seems by only scrapbooking the big events in my life, I’m leaving out a lot of other important moments…a Tuesday dinner, chance reunions with old friends or curling up on the couch for a Sunday TV movie. Sometimes, those casual moments can instigate louder laughter and more smiles than even the most elaborate event.

Life really is a little like a large puzzle…to complete it, you’ll need pieces for every planned party as well as every insignificant afternoon.

Since no one wants a puzzle with half the pieces missing, my New Year’s resolution is to scrapbook more inconsequential occasions from my life.

That said, I feel I should put my friends and family on notice…plan to have your picture taken a LOT more in 2010!!

When 2010 comes to a close in a year, my name will still be Eric and I’m sure I will still be a picture-aholic.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scrapbook Pages that POP!

I wanted to do something really spectacular to commemorate my sister’s wedding. When deciding how to create a layout as beautiful and memorable as her wedding, it hit me that the design needed to pop off the page – literally.

I love doing pop-up and interactive scrapbook pages and this subject matter was worthy of the extra work it takes to create such a layout.

When my sister’s photographer was taking pictures of the wedding party, he walked us outside the hotel a couple blocks to Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. If you’ve ever been to Indy during the holidays, you know that they turn the towering monument into a giant Christmas tree by stringing large colored lights from the top of the monument to the ground.

I decided to recreate that monumental tree on my scrapbook page. Here’s how I did it:

1. For the base of a pop-up page, I use watercolor paper. This is thick and stiff, yet still pretty easy to fold.

2. I fold the paper in half long ways and lay it down so it’s opening toward me.

3. I then cut a slit in the lower half of the paper from the middle of the page vertically down to the bottom.

4. Next, I fold the upper half of the paper vertically away from me.

5. I decided to make the background to the pop-up monuments a circle to mimic the center of the city. I cut out the circle and covered it with a sheet from SEI’s Juliette collection.

6. Then I adhere the two bottom flaps to the two sides of the layout and lay the patterned paper and cardstock over them.

7. The pictures of the monument need to be adhered to stiff cardboard. I ran them through my Xyron machine (sidebar: best invention ever!!) and stuck them right to the cardboard before cutting out the monument. Cutting out the monument first before adhering it to the cardboard would have meant I would have had to cut out each picture twice – which means there’s an increased chance I could have cut or ruined the photo.

8. After adhering the monument cut-outs to the pop-up, I reinforced the back of them with another thick strip of cardboard.

9. I put my photos and embellishments on the bottom part of the layout and finished it off by running some Jolee’s Boutique Christmas light strings from the top of the two monument photos to the bottom part of the layout…just like the real thing!!

While pop-up pages are fantastic additions to a scrapbook – there are a few things to keep in mind.
• You can’t usually use page protectors with them.
• They will make your book thicker – ϋber-thick. I have one book with three or four pop-ups and was only able to fit a few other layouts in the book.
• The bottom two pieces of cardstock need to have a gap between them. I usually put my pop-ups in Creative Memories books – which need a gap of about a quarter of inch between the two pieces of paper.
• This is a pretty basic pop-up design. There are some that are much more complicated and I’ve found the more complicated they are, the more fabulous they are!