Friday 22 May 2015

It's time for May Team Training ...

Welcome to our May edition of Team Training brought to you this month by our very creative team member Di Hasthorpe - Di always thinks outside the square!

Each month one of our team will inspire you with a little tutorial, tip or trick to help you in your scrapbooking pursuits. 


This is a technique I've played with and used, fairly frequently. The only equipment you need to start off with, is some good quality paper (laser print paper, thick watercolour paper), a Cuttlebug, Big Shot or similar machine, various flowers and leaves from your garden and  some paper towelling and you're set to go.

* NOTE: I try to gather smallish flowers that aren't too chunky. Remember to think about herbs as well. If flowers are chunky (like dahlias or roses) you can use individual petals. If you are using aromatic flowers or plants (like scented geranium leaves or lavender) you do have an additional bonus (for a little while anyway), of the most delightful perfume on the paper.

Have your paper of choice an A4 size (or slightly less for a Cuttlebug). Fold it in half (shorter sides meeting) and then reopen. On one side, place a selection of flowers, leaves, grass heads, so that their right side is facing upwards. This can be a random placement or a more constructed arrangement.

Cover  them with the other half of the paper and sandwich between your machine's plates. I use the thick base plate and the 2 clear B plates. There needs to be a satisfying 'scrunch' as you pass the lot through your machine and the feel of some resistance...... like when using an embossing folder.

* NOTE: If the flowers you have used are particularly fine, you will also need some form of shim. You could use the shim plate designed for your machine or just pad up with some thicker cardboard. After pressing your arrangement, just check to see if there is any leakage from the plants you have used... some can be very juicy. Just clean the machine with some paper towelling.

Open your paper carefully and lift away the squished flowers and leaves. Some pieces may not come off at this stage, but don't worry about this, as the bits usually brush off when dry. Set aside to dry naturally. You will notice that you now have two prints to use.

If you feel that there is not enough print on your page, when dry, you can add more flowers, leaves etc. and run them through again. I tend to make sure that I don't overlap the plant material too much, but you can play around and experiment.

Now, what to do with your unique papers. These make the most delightful backgrounds for cards, ATC's, bookmarks, photo mats and of course to make flowers using diecuts or punches.

I've done a selection of cards and a bookmark to show how I've used these papers.

Card 1:

I've stamped directly onto my print and highlighted some sections with pearl pen and dry-brushed modelling cream.

Card 2: 
Direct stamping with highlights in gold ink.

Card 3:
Direct stamping. Some sections painted with dry-brushed modelling cream to enhance colours. Highlights with glitter pen.

Card 4:
Two small panels. One has been left as is with the addition of a stamped and fussy cut butterfly and the other directly stamped and enhanced with modelling cream and glitter pens.

Card 5:

Direct stamping. Enhanced with gold ink and pearl pens.

Card 6: 
This has been left as is and a sentiment added.

I've used three pieces of the plant printed paper with direct stamping. Colour enhancement  has been done with chalk ink edgers, dry-brushed on with highlights in pearl pen. These have been placed onto another piece of the print paper and the lot matted onto black card.

NOTE: The pearl pens and modelling creams I've used are from the Viva Decor range. Direct stamping was in black Archival Ink.

If you look at my layout for this month, I've used some of my papers to make flowers.

These were diecut and then constructed. Part of this construction meant dampening the papers. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I hadn't lost any colouration in the process.

I don't know how long the prints will last, as I don't have any pieces more than three years old (and these are doing well, with no signs of fading).  Just have fun with the experimenting and playing around to see what you can come up with.

Just stunning Di and so very creative - amazing work.

Don't forget to have your entry in for our challenge this month.  Some lovely prizes on offer - one prize by vote, another completely by random draw and a guest designer spot with RAK to offer one lucky entrant.  You have until 11.55 on the final day of the month to have your submission linked.

Friday 15 May 2015

Welcome to our guest for May ...

Giorgia Rossiniwith her wonderful layout based on her interpretation of our image this month  ...

 - can you guess what inspired her?  ....

I took inspiration from the photo colors and the retro mood.
I was in USA, travelling on the road: we were in a city on Route 66 :)

My name is Giorgia Rossini - a.k.a. Jò in Wonderland - I'm 32 and I'm Italian. I live with my lovely husband in a small city near Ancona, in the beautiful region of Marche.

I’ve been scrapping from 3 years.  I love playing with papers and all those lovely embellishments and preserving memories.  I mostly make layouts, but I' m trying some cards and off the page projects too.  I can't really define my style: I love CAS but also mixed media, create my own background, layering... scrapbooking is my happy place!

I'm actually on Paper House Productions DT, CreaFamily DT and Scrap it With a Song DT (where I am also DT/blog coordinator). Previously I was on Sketchabilities DT and Sketches4All DT.

My blog

Here are some some examples of my work ...

Thank you for joining us this month Giorgia and sharing your lovely work with us. 

You have until the end off the month to play along with our Pixels and Paper challenge.  We'd love to see how you are inspired by our photograph.  Thank you for your continued support.

Next week we have something special to share with you from a member of our design team.  Please call past on the 22nd for some Team Training.

Friday 8 May 2015

April winners ...

Some fantastic layouts in our gallery for April.  It was wonderful to see so many boy inspired pages. Thank you everybody for playing along with us. 

We were working from this photograph ...

While two of our monthly prizes are selected by creative team vote, one of our monthly prizes is completely done via random draw so anyone, regardless of style or years of experience can be a winner here on Pixels and Paper - you just need to have an entry in :)

Our MAIN winner for April is Heather Robinson with this delightful layout.  

We would like to ask Deb to guest with us for June  and will send her a small prize for her efforts.

and our random draw winner is #4 Bridget Blake

Ladies, please email me with your address and I will make sure your prize gets away to you.

Please pop back on the 15th when we introduce you to Giorgia Rossini, our guest designer this month with her take on our challenge image.

And don't forget you have until the end off the month to play along with us with our challenge.  Details can be found on the left sidebar. We'd love to see how you are inspired by our photograph this month. 

Friday 1 May 2015

And then it was May ...

This month we celebrate Mother's Day here in Australia (and in many other parts of the world) so I thought we might find some inspiration in this lovely vintage image of bits and pieces we might recall from our childhood and which may well have been relevant to our mothers.

Cast your mind back - do you remember hand-made clothing using tissue patterns?  Was your Mum an embroiderer or knitter or did she enjoy another type of craft?  Have you followed in her footsteps and enjoy doing similar things?  Do you like having tea in dainty little cups?  Does a cup and saucer filled with hot fragrant tea remind you of someone from your past?  Or are you inspired by the bright, cheerful colours in this image or are drawn to the blue birds and flowers?  Whatever it is we would love to find out what inspires you.

Our team have some amazing layouts to show you ...

with a gorgeous vintage feel page.

This month I have taken the blue colours inspired by the 'Bluebird of Happiness', the lacy edge on the embroidery and the floral elements and have incorporated these to produce a layout predominantly in shades of blue, white and cream. The photo is of myself as a junior bridesmaid at my sister's wedding. The gift my sister gave me was a double bluebird of happiness brooch, which can just  be seen on my dress. I still have this piece along with a bracelet, signet ring and locket, which were subsequent gifts from the family for birthdays and Christmas. I gave the page a shabby, distressed look and also used dry embossing techniques on vellum.

I wavered a LOT when thinking about what I'd create this month. My initial thought was to use bluebirds. {My mother each had one of those little bluebird brooches and gave it to me when I was a child. I still have it kept in a safe place.} I didn't the have right photograph to make the layout I envisaged, so I decided to go with the dress patterns. I used some vintage dress pattern tissue paper, lace, and stitching (and I did use some chipboard birdies too!) I'd love to see how everyone else is inspired!

I was immediately drawn tot he blue of the birds and the patterns. I had just opened a paper pack that had this blue pattern on it. I was also wanted to do something of women with the girl on the pattern. So chose these photos of me, my sister and mom, and my mom alone. I used the red and yellow as accent colors to go along with these colors on the pattern.

I was inspired by the embroidered flowers, the round hoop and the birds in the photo.Also, since May is Mother's Day month, I thought a photo of my mother and grandmother would be perfect to scrap!

This month I had a great time using sewing theme with some paper from my stash. This is a special photo of my mum as a flower girl. I did a vintage feel  to my page and made a hoop out of paper and my "sewing" was done with pen ....

As it is Mothers Day in Australia in May, I was inspired to make a "Mother " LO using a photo of my daughter and I taken only a few weeks ago when we suddenly had snow again on top of flowering spring flowers. I also used the stitching and birds from the inspiration picture and did some machine stitching a few places on the page.

I hope you find some inspiration too and want to join in our  challenge  :)

I was inspired by teacups and flowers and loving memories of my Grandmother from days gone by.


Please upload the DIRECT link to your actual entry to the link tool on the LEFT by 11.55pm on May 31st.

You are welcome to submit traditional paper layouts, art journals, divided page protectors, smash books (etc). Digital entries are welcomed and encouraged.  All entries must be new for this challenge and no back-linking please.

  I am happy for you to combine with two other challenges but the essence of the Pixels and Paper inspiration must be clear in your work. Combining with a sketch and technique/product challenge would be preferred. Please include our inspirational picture as well as provide a link back to Pixels and Paper on your blog post and don't forget to tell us how you were inspired. International submissions are welcome.

This year we will have two main prize packs - one will be selected by Creative Team vote and the other purely by random draw - so anyone could be a winner, no matter your style or your level of experience.  All these prizes will be available to anyone, no matter your country of residence.  We will also offer one entrant a chance to guest with us for the following month and they will also receive a small prize.

Please come back on the 8th when we will announce the winners for April.