Monday, 16 November 2015

On being creative

I have always been creative. When I was a little girl I especially loved to paint, draw, take photos, and colour in my colouring books. My mum also had many crafty hobbies as I was growing up and I would sit and watch her making things, fascinated, for hours on end. In those moments, I remember wishing away my childhood, longing to become an adult so I could do all of the creative things that she did too.

Now I am well and truly an adult (I turn 40 in December actually - scary!), I rarely go a day without doing something creative, no matter how big or small it is, whether it's scrapbooking, painting, drawing, working in my art journal, taking photos, or sewing. It doesn't matter if I spend only 10 minutes long as I do SOMETHING. It makes me feel alive, fulfilled, at peace with myself. Without it, I feel very uneasy and incomplete.

I thought I would start a new series of posts here on my blog where I will periodically share my art adventures and sewing projects with you, in addition to my scrapbooking/Project Life/December Daily. Maybe it will inspire you in your own creative endeavours, help you to solve a problem you are having with your own work, or help you to feel more connected to your creative energies. I do hope that you will follow along with me on my blog as I share more with you. See you again very soon.

(Artwork by Jessica Bruggink, available here)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

My December Daily album - title page

Hi everyone :) 

Gee, it has been a long time since I blogged. To be completely honest, I had still been wrestling with my thoughts about sharing things online (as I had previously mentioned here) and was unsure whether to continue to blog or not. With December approaching once again though, people have been finding photos of my December Daily album posts on Pinterest and I have received many messages and emails about my work. It has made me remember why I share my creativity online in the first inspire others and to connect with fellow creatives. I have realized over the last couple of days just how much I did miss it so I have decided to get back into blogging and to share some more photos of my December Daily album with you. 

I thought I'd start by going right back to the beginning of my album to share my title page with you. This was one of the very last pages that I made. I just prefer to work that way as I feel that it provides a more cohesive look to my album. Each to their own :)

I used items from the kit which I put together from my stash. I showed you how I go about putting together my own kit in this post. For these pages in this post here though, I have used mostly pieces from the Simple Stories December Documented and October Afternoon Silent Night collections. I also added some old pieces of striped ribbon from one of my beloved Love Elsie collections that was designed by Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess many years ago now. The large gold glitter stars are Studio Calico while the gold glitter cardstock and tiny gold and silver sequin stars are from a local craft store for a couple of dollars. I just sprinkled them into the plastic page protector then stitched it shut at the top after I was done taking my photos. I love them so much! I think that they add a little something extra special to the title page to make it stand out more from the rest of the album.

As an extra insert, when you turn over the title page in my December Daily album, I decided to add in a page explaining what the album is all about. Here I also documented the traditions that are special to my family and I (as I mentioned in this post, I did not follow the traditional method Ali Edwards uses in her December Daily and went my own way with the album instead). Again, I used elements from the Simple Stories December Documented and October Afternoon Silent Night collections, a piece of striped Love Elsie ribbon, a large gold star by Studio Calico and sprinkled some more of the little gold and silver sequin stars in the page protector. For the adjoining page, I simply cut a piece of gold glitter cardstock to 6x8" size and adhered a Simple Stories Snap
 4x6" card to it with a random washi tape sticker. It kept it simple to delineate it from the rest of the album's pocket-page style.

That's all I have to share for today. I do hope you enjoyed looking and reading about my pages. If you would like to see more of my album, I will post some more pictures of it here on my blog in the coming days and weeks in the lead-up to Christmas. Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me and encouraged me to share more of my work here on my blog. It's so lovely of you. Thank to all of you for visiting and I will see you again very soon.

Monday, 11 August 2014

I'm Back

Hi there :)

Well, I never did get back here to show you my finished December Daily Project Life scrapbook album, did I? I actually finished the foundation pages (minus photos and journaling) in the first week of December last year, but then life got very busy for my little family. Add in a lot of pain and sickness over the last six months for me too (nothing life-threatening) and, all of a sudden, it's August 2014. I certainly do hope that the rest of the year is much more pleasant for my little family and I.

I'm going to do all I can to make sure that it is :)

Monday, 4 November 2013

December Daily album progress

I'm still busy working on my December Daily album...well, in-between resting when I need to, which is a lot. I've come down with the flu. Boo! I managed to finish off two more double-page spreads in my album over the weekend though so I'm pretty happy with that, especially being sick and all.

Continuing on my album's theme of 20 December/Christmas traditions that are important to me and my family, this spread in my December Daily will document some of the fun things that we love to do as a family when the kids are on their Christmas school holidays. Being Aussie means that not only does Christmas fall in the middle of Summer, it also falls in the middle of our school Summer holidays. The kids typically have 6-7 weeks off school, so those weeks (particularly the December weeks) are usually full of lots of swimming at the beach or in my Mum's pool. As most of the photos that will go on this layout will no doubt be water activity shots, I decided to use my favourite aqua as an accent colour only on this double-page layout. 

The left-hand side of the layout (pictured above) is my favourite of the two pages - I love all of the colour and the tiny bits and pieces!

The filler card from the left-hand side was made myself from a 3x4 inch piece of tone-on-tone red chevron paper from the Simple Stories December Documented range, upon which I layered embellishments and alphas from Simple Stories Sn@p (pink alphas), Simple Stories' Smarty Pants range (school word sticker), Studio Calico (gold stars and speech bubble), October Afternoon (labels), and Crate Paper (gold glitter thickers). I've left the label at the top of the filler card blank so that I can stamp the date on it come December when I've taken the photos to go with the page.

The card above is designed to hold some journaling about all of the fun things we do on my kids' December school holidays as a family. I knew I'd probably have a lot to say, so I thought I'd write my journaling on a note and tuck it into a vellum envelope (I removed the envelope's flap) instead of trying to cram it all onto one 6x4 inch journaling card. Again, I made it using a piece of chalkboard-look paper from the Simple Stories December Documented range as a base before layering some red striped cardstock (cut from a 6x8 inch page that came with my Sn@p album), a gold tag from a Studio Calico Project Life kit, and a gold glitter number 8. Later I noticed that this spread was in fact number 7 in my album, NOT number 8, so since taking my pics I have changed the number on the tag. Oh well, no harm done :)

After constructing the base of the card, I added the little vellum envelope and layered some bits and pieces on the front of it - a pink "awesome" word bubble cut from a piece of Simple Stories Sn@p 12x12 paper, a green dotty Sn@p washi tape sticker, an old piece of black ribbon from my beloved Love Elsie collection, a red die-cut label by October Afternoon, a gold star by Studio Calico, an aqua camera flair button from Simple Stories Sn@p range, and some red sequins. Finally, I tucked a red striped paperclip onto the edge of my vellum envelope. When I write my little note to tuck into the pocket, I'll attach it to the pocket on the inside with the paperclip so that it won't fall out.

The right hand page of this spread will document photos that again, will be predominantly blue/aqua-based water action shots, so I wanted to avoid using aqua on this side of the layout. I'm anticipating that these photos will also be quite busy, so I wanted to include some filler cards that didn't have too many embellishments on them. I used two cards from the new Simple Stories Snap 3x4 Christmas pack. An old piece of pink and red dotty ribbon, a couple of gold stars, a chalkboard-look border sticker (also by Simple Storeis) and some sequins did the trick. I love how adding those few extra little bits and pieces to the plain cards makes them look that little more Christmassy :)

If you are new to my blog and my December Daily album, I have posted some info in a previous blog post HERE regarding what album I am using and how I went about putting together my own kit for my album. You can also see my completed album foundation pages to date HERE, and find some ideas for what to document in your own December Daily album HERE.

Thanks for popping by today! I'll be back in the next couple of days to share my other completed foundation page in my December Daily album with you...provided this flu of mine gets better, not worse ;)

See you soon :) xx

Sunday, 3 November 2013


I just wanted to drop in and say thank you SO much to all of you who have left me a comment or message here or on Facebook in regards to my December Daily posts. I feel very humbled at your kindness and thankfulness. It's really wonderful to hear how my posts have inspired you or helped you with your own December Daily albums! You have helped me to have more faith in myself and have inspired me to continue sharing my creations here on my blog. Follow my blog with Bloglovin if you'd like to keep up with my future creative endeavours, too. Thanks again everyone for your support, from the bottom of my heart. Happy creating :) xx

(Artwork by Yao Cheng, via Pinterest)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My December Daily (Part 3) - putting your album together

Hi everyone! I am really excited to share with you some details about my December Daily album and process today :) I absolutely love all things Christmas, so this is a project that is really close to my heart. I have a lot to share, so I have written three separate posts. Part 1 (CLICK HERE) details how to put together your own December Daily kit, while Part 2 (CLICK HERE) gives you some ideas for photos and stories that you may like to document in your own December Daily album. In today's final post of my series, I will share with you pics of all of the foundation pages that I have completed in my album to date and give you a little info about my process regarding how I put my December Daily album pages/layouts together. I will also show you how you can embellish pre-made filler and journaling cards, and some ideas for how you can layer embellishments to create your own unique Project Life-style cards too. Enjoy :)

In starting my December Daily album, I chose not to decorate my album cover first up. When completing projects like this in the past, I have found that sometimes I can get too hung up on how I want the cover to look, and I have found it much easier to put it together later, so I will leave decorating the front cover of my album (and completing my title page and foreword) until I have finished putting the rest of it together. It's much less stressful for me that way :)

The photo above is an example of how I typically start putting together a spread in my album. This spread will be all about our favourite Christmas movies (left-hand side) and story-books (right-hand side). I start by choosing cards which will suit the theme of the photos that are to go in each spread, and if I don't have any cards that are exactly what I am after, I'll slip a piece of coloured paper in the pocket instead for the time being. Later I will come back and use that piece to create my own card for the pocket it occupies. I slip pieces of paper or cardstock in the pockets that are to hold photos and write a note on them regarding what photo I want to include. This makes it a lot easier to go back and finish off the spreads later on. I go ahead and do this for each spread in the album before I embellish anything at all. If you don't already do this, go ahead and give it a go. You might find it helps you too.

Generally I will complete one spread in my album at a time, layering embellishments on my cards and inserts before sticking anything down, before I move on to the next spread. I also adopt this same process in completing my Project Life spreads in my regular 12x12 Project Life album. The photo below is an example of how I do this. 

I love to embellish standard, pre-made filler and journaling cards. I don't scrapbook in 12x12 or 11.5x8 size anymore, so Project Life is the only form of memory keeping that I do now so I embellish my spreads just as I would a normal scrapbooking layout. Below is an example of how I embellish my cards. The card on the left is a plain Simple Stories December Documented 3x4 inch filler card. You can see in the card on the right how I rounded the corners, added an old piece of ribbon from my stash, a die-cut arrow, and a star sticker to it to make it look completely different. I love it :)

Below is an example of a 4x6 inch journaling card that I have made myself from scratch using a piece of tone-on-tone green patterned paper from the Simple Stories December Documented line as a base. Again I rounded the corners before layering some stickers, ribbons, a digital printable, a chipboard holly embellishment and some enamel dots to create a unique card that's ready for journaling to be added later on. I always hand-write my journaling so if you chose to type yours or print it out using a computer, you'll need to add the journaling before you stick any of your embellishments down.

Below is a filler card that I made using a piece of chalkboard-look patterned paper (also from the Simple Stories December Documented line) and a mixture of letters from different alphabet sets. If my alphas don't match my colour scheme (as was the case with the large ampersand on this card), I won't hesitate to paint or ink them with colour to them to make them work. They key to making this look work is to mix alphas of different sizes, shapes, and dimension (mix stickers with chipboards).  It gives the card texture and I really love the quirkiness this look adds to my spreads. 

 Here's some photos of the spreads that I have completed so far in my December Daily album. These are all double-page spreads, but some of my spreads further into my album will only need one page to complete them. I am numbering each spread from 1 to 20 as I work, to match in with my list of traditions that I am documenting in the album. Come December, I will add the photos and journaling to my entire album.

The spread above serves as kind of a stand-alone topic in my album. I live in Australia (Queensland) so for me, Christmas means Summer - swimming in my mum's pool or at the beach with my family, eating fresh prawns and mud crab, drinking a cold beer on a stinking hot afternoon, and evening thunderstorms. Looking for a way to use those snow-themed embellishments that inevitably always come with Christmas-themed scrapbooking collections, but which naturally don't apply to us here in Australia, I came up with this layout. I've documented how it never snows here in Australia for Christmas and how our Christmas falls in the middle of a sweltering hot Summer. I think it's my favourite in the whole album - I love it :)

The first spread proper in my December Daily (above) will document our Christmas tree. We always put it up and decorate it on December 1st so it was only natural that I make it the first of our Christmas traditions to document in the album. Again, photos and journaling will be added in later.

The spread in the photos above will document how we decorate our house for Christmas. I made a few extra 4x6 inserts to go between two 6x8 pages in my album. I like how it adds a little more room for a title, some journaling, or photos without having to add a full extra page or two to the album. In this case, I cut some old printed transparency that I had and added the spread's title to it. Love this look!

The spread above will document how my kids give their classmates at school a Christmas card accompanied by a candy cane every year. This is a really important tradition for them and it wouldn't be a December Daily album if I didn't include it. It'll be a special couple of pages to look back on and remember when they are all grown up, that's for sure.

Music is an important part of Christmas in our house. The pages above will document all of our favourite Christmas tunes. My children also learn to play Christmas songs on the recorder every year so I couldn't not include something in my December Daily about that. My daughter also plays violin at school and every December the school orchestra and band hold a concert. The red "MERRY" die-cut card is actually a flip-up card that I made myself which will hold a photo of her playing in the orchestra and some journaling about what Christmas music means to us as a family.

All four of us in our household are prolific list-makers, and with all that there is to do at Christmas, we always have a stack of lists to write. The December Daily spread pictured above will document that. I've included another 4x6 insert here between the two full-sized pages to hold the title of the spread, and a pocket to hold our many lists we all write - my December Daily traditions to document list, the kids' wish lists, shopping lists, lists of things to make, lists of things to do around the house, lists places to go and thing to take to each place on Christmas's endless in this house, I tell you! We'd be lost without our lists :)

The pictures above show my most recent finished December Daily album spread. It will document how my family and I love to go to the shopping in December and gaze in awe at the beautifully decorated shops and shopping centres, visit the store Santa, and admire all of the lovely things for sale that we'd love to receive from Santa for Christmas. This spread is another of my favourites in my December Daily - I love how the stacks of embellishments and words look with the gold title.

I hope you managed to stick with me through my mammoth post! Thank you so very much for joining me for a peek into my December Daily album and the processes that I use to create it :) You will be able to see more of my December Daily here on my blog soon where will share photos of my album as I complete more spreads in it. I will be sure to share pics as I begin adding photos and journaling to it later on, too. Happy December Daily-ing everyone :) 

Karen xx 

My December Daily (Part 2) - ideas for what to include in your album

Hi everyone! I am really excited to share with you some details about my December Daily album and process today :) I have a lot to share, so I have written three separate posts. Part 1 (CLICK HERE) details how to put together your own December Daily kit, while Part 3 (CLICK HERE) shows pics of all of the foundation pages that I have completed in my album to date and gives and a little info about my process regarding how I put my December Daily pages together. In today's post (Part 2 of my series) I will share with you some ideas for photos and stories that you may like to document in your own December Daily album. Enjoy :)

You may feel like your December is not “interesting enough” to devote a whole album to. Please, don’t think that! You don’t have to go to special Christmas parties, do something different every day in December, or have a fancy Christmas Day to make a December Daily album :) You don’t have to take a photo each day to include in your album, either. I am not. As I said in my last post, don't be afraid to make your album completely your own.

I have chosen to document 20 December/Christmas traditions that are very precious to me and my family. I wrote them all down in list form and pinned the list to the wall in my studio so I can easily see what topic to document next in my album. Later I plan to put the list into my December Daily album too (more on that in the future). I've included my list below for you to give you some ideas for things you may like to include in your album. Please excuse it being a little rough around the edges...keeping it real :)

I have found some other layout/photo prompt lists that you might find helpful in deciding what to include in your own December Daily too. Here’s the links to them for you…

*Ali Edwards – 25 awesome prompts, direct from the lady who first developed December Daily.

*Scrapbooks Etc. – downloadable holiday photo checklist. For those of us who enjoy a Summer Christmas, instead of the snow-themed elements in this list, you could take a photo of footprints in the sand, building a sandcastle, a Summer thunderstorm, your kids’ favourite Christmas t-shirts/new swimmers/Christmas day outfits, etc. Fun ideas to try! 

*Katie Scott – Katie’s list of stories to include in her December Daily. I love her ideas!

*Kasia – as part of her “Inspire Me Christmas 2012” series, Kasia (of Worqshop blog) designed a downloadable December Daily prompt list. It’s fantastic! Scroll down to the bottom of her blog post and click the link to download it. 

Thank you so much for reading along today! I can't wait to share some pics from inside my December Daily album with you in my next post, along with some details about the how I put together my album and embellish my filler & journaling cards. See you soon :)