Thursday, 16 December 2010

How to make the Christmas Tree advent calendar!

As a result of the mystery kit challenge on UKS I have had several requests for instructions on how to make the Christmas Tree Advent Calendar I entered so here goes......

Fisrt of all - you need to make and decorate the twist boxes (all 25 of them!). I used a Stampin' Up! die to make mine, but a template to make them can be found HERE. I was limited in the challenge to just using black and white cardstock, paint and ink, but feel free to make them up in colours of your choice. I made 13 black ones and 12 white ones and decorated the middle section with patterned papers from the kit. Its best to add the paper before folding and sticking! Don't add too much extra embellishment around the middle section as these need to fit quite tightly into the shelves on the tree

(NB You need 25 boxes to make the base and the triangle shape)

Use punches to make numbered tags to match the boxes using the papers and card (I used Safmat to print the numbers) and attach to one end of the twist box. Open the other end, insert gift and close up.

Set aside 4 boxes to use in the "pot" of the tree and lay out the remaining 21 in a triangle with 6 on the bottom layer, 5 on the next and so on up to 1 in the top layer measure each layer and add a bit extra to each to allow for the triangle slope. I advise you to measure your boxes before starting the frame as they will vary slightly in size - and you don't want to make the tree frame too small!

I used the pizza box the kit came in to make my frame, but you can use mountboard for a more polished result. If using the pizza box, be careful how you cut it up. For the sides and "shelves", you want the corrugations to run the length of the cardboard piece for rigidity. the pot strip can be cut either way, but if you want the frame to be free standing when empty, you need to have it cut lengthways too!

My card pieces were cut as follows (and this gave a fairly tight result) - all strips are 2 1/2" wide

2 side pieces @13"
1 base piece @ 11 1/4"
shelves@ 3 1/2", 5 1/4", 7", 8 1/4" and 9 1/2"
pot frame @ 13"

Paint the cardboard pieces using acrylic paint in the colour of your choice and set aside to dry completely before spritzing with mica mist or glimmer mist. if using patterned papers on the sloping sides, add them at this stage

Cut a lot of cardstock pieces which match the painted cardstock, 2 1/2" long by 1" wide and fold in half lengthways - these are for the shelf supports. I used my ATG gun to assemble the tree but strong double sided tape would also work - you need a strong DRY adhesive for this!

Start by hinging the two side pieces together at the top (all hinges should be on the INSIDE of the frame) and then add the base at one side only. Starting from the bottom of each side, mark light pencil lines across the strips at 1 3/4" intervals to show where you need to attach the shelves.

Add hinges to both top and bottom of each end of the shelves, but leave the free edges free of glue until you are ready to insert them. I started with the top shelf and matched the upper side of the shelf to the pencil line. Ensure you have a strong join by using a bone folder to press the hinges firmly onto the sides. Add each shelf in size order and finish up by joining the free side to the base. Cut a piece of white card 2 1/2" x 4", tear or punch the short edges, fold in half and glue this over the apex to hide any mess, and likewise over the bottom corners if need be.

For the base, fold the base strip in to 4(fold in half then bend each leg back on itself so you have a W shape), open up and fold into a square and secure with a hinge. Use a really strong glue or tape to attach this square centrally to the base of your triangle. I put the boxes for the 22nd to the 25th in the base to ensure the tree stayed standing for the duration but the others should be popped in randomly with 1 box on the top shelf and 6 on the bottom.

Finally finish off the tree with extra embellishments of your choice. The large snowflakes on mine were the TANDO chipboard snowflakes inked with SU white craft ink and embellished with Kaisercraft rhinestones, and snowflakes punched from mica misted white cardstock finished off with a rhinestone centre.

Thanks for looking and good luck with making your versions!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

I've finally been published - sort of!!

Well after all of these years scrapping - I've finally seen my work "published"!

Its not published in a book or magazine, but in something completely new and different - an iPhone app for scrapbookers called Sketches 2 Scrapbook! (the link takes you to the website for more details!!)


The app is the brainchild of the very talented Anam Stubbington (known as Kihaku on forums and the internet) and what it is, is an app with no less than 104 sketches for scrapbook pages which you can access on your ipad or iphone so if you are stuck for ideas at a crop - alll you do is open the app and flick through the sketches - and there you go - no need to remember to take along your books or mags - its all there on your phone! Singles, doubles, multi photo - you can find examples of them all on the app!

This is what the screen looks like as you browse the sketches..... you tap on the one which takes your fancy.......

and it opens a larger version on the screen for you - like this.....


But best of all - once you have the sketch up on the phone screen - tap it again to be taken to a picture of a layout made using the sketch you are looking at.  Here are some sample pages for you to look at!

The app itself contains a whopping 104 sketches and accompanying layouts - and is available to download on iTunes for the very reasonable amount of $4.99 but if you want to have a play before you buy - there is a demo version available for free. The demo version has a further 12 sketches so thats a total of 116 unique sketches for you to use!! Pretty good value for less than a magazine would cost you with a lot more to see (and no adverts!!)

My layout is down towards the bottom of the selection on the screen but if you want to see it - you'll have to buy the app!

Go -on - try it out! What do you have to lose???

Friday, 6 August 2010

Scrapping for me!

Well I'm having a nice time with Katy around after all - and I've set up a scrapping station at one end of the dining room table to get on with the mountain of kits sitting in my stash and trying to get some of the vow renewal pictures scrapped!
So - here we go with some pages made using my Total Papercrafts monthly kits, and some kits from the recent Kent crop day.

Here is the first one I made - a lovely bright page designed by Karen which will remind me of the gorgeous island where we renewed our vows - I don't know what it is about the Caribbean but all the colours are so much more vivid be it flowers, the sea, the birds and even the gaily painted houses. I think its all down to the non-stop sunshine myself! Anyway there's a secret hiding on this page - see that blue button below the photo?

Give it a pull and.......

out pop two photos of us all being silly while waiting for the paperwork and some photos to be downloaded to disc for us - I must say that going for a paddle in the lovely warm sea while hitching up a full length wedding dress and juggling a bouquet  is one thing I'll remember for a while....

Next up was this rather stunning dark background page, also by Karen - I think it Bo Bunny's Mama Razzi papers but I love it and it sets off the photo beautifully!

this next one is a design by the lovely Claire Fader - there's a lot more to it than meets the eye as the photo is actually a mini book which opens up

open the front cover to find.... the journalling (with the full story of why we renewed our vows where we did - remind me to tell the story on here sometime.....) and a great pic of me in my lovely dress (and don't let anyone tell you that nice wedding dresses don't come cheap - this one cost me a princely £26 on eBay - its all silk and is from Monsoon - original price was well over £200 and it had never been worn.....) it was absolutely perfect for a ceremony on a tropical beach.

and finally a couple of my favourite pics of the two of us.... including the must have "kiss the bride one!

The flowers are leftover ones I stamped for the SU Blog Hop pages - they were too nice to chuck away....

Here's another one from Claire.... the papers on this one are scrummy Webster's pages and I just lurrrrve that organza rose ribbon! That little block below the larger photo is actually a wee accordion book for the journalling

Finally for now - one from my monthly kit mountain - I think was one of the July kits (no- you don't ask where all the others are,  thank you very much!)..... I finished it up with some flowers left over from the fun & romance page up top, and added a chopped up pearl swirl with cute little clay roses  for the final touch.

Anyway - I'm off to make the most of the P&Q afforded by the fact that Rog is at work, and Katy is snoring gently having stayed awake all night! See you soon!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Cybercropped out!!

Well after a fairly short run in - the UKS Cyber crop has come and gone and I had a great weekend of scrapping.

This time round the theme was Monopoly and all the teams were the playing pieces which go round the board, and the classes and challenges were named after the streets and other things on the board.  There was a pre crop challenge set by Fi (aka scrappybunny) called Officer Mallory (just in case you didn't know - that's the name of the little bewhiskered banker) and we had to scrap someone who means a lot to us using a minimum of 4 colours and 2 techniques. Here is my offering for that one.

I chose to scrap this lovely pic of Sam who of all the family did the most to get me through my depression. He was there for me to talk to and cuddle when everyone else was at work/ school/ asleep and give me a reassuring paw when I needed it. He was the one who dragged me out on walks when all I wanted to do was hide under the duvet, and by insisting on playing with other dogs we met, and greeting their owners he made me talk to people on those walks. His love and compassion came cheap - all for the price of a few walks a few pats and regular meals!! I didn't win - but it felt good getting all that out on a layout!!

Now each Cybercrop also does a mystery kit challenge. Each team gets a kit designed by one of the sponsor shops, and the challenge is to do your worst with it... the creativity of some of the UKS members never ceases to amaze me (as does the lack of creativity in some!!) as some of the items produced are simply stunning! The Cars team kit was put together by the lovely Lyn at Craft Emporium and I got a boxful of lush October afternoon papers, cardstock and embellies to play with.

This is where it helps to be a Scrapaholix organiser who has to get at least 2 pages out of each monthly kit using (as far as possible) only what is in the baggie. With this challenge, I was allowed to add extra cardstock and a few extras - and I managed to come up with 2 layouts almost straight away, with a third one following with very little effort! This one was the first page I produced.....

When I was clearing out mum's house in December - I found this long forgotten photo of me at a friend's wedding back in the early 1980s. As well as smiling ruefully at my long forgotten size 12 figure... the hairdo and fashion always raise a laugh. The bright red jacket (with frightful padded shoulders and supersize lapels) floaty scarf and Charlies Angels hairdo  just epitomise the decade taste forgot!!! The red was picked up in several of the papers, so this one just begged to be used. The page is based on a sketch from BasicGrey - which funnily enough was also featured in one of the challenges on Sunday morning.....

This was the second page I did - back to my own clean and simple style.....

We could add as much black  and white cardstock as we liked to the kit and with the bright papers, I took advantage of that to have a contrasting base. One of the papers featured pinwheels so I chose to make a few to embellish the page which features Katy with THAT look on her face....

The final page from the mystery kit was this one based on a Davinie Fiero design in an old Scrapbook Trends magazine......

This was Karen aged about 6 when we went on a last minute holiday to Scotland. Mum rang up and asked me to find somewhere in Scotland which could take a party of 6 at a week or so's notice and not cost too much! Not that easy to find something to meet that requirement at the height of the holiday season - but I managed it!! We ended up in a mobile home at a lovely site near Perth Racecourse in the grounds of Scone Palace!! It was great location for going around sightseeing, and on one day out in Dundee - we found this gorgeous Wonder Woman outfit which Karen just HAD to have... This was her posing on the bonnet of my old car (Grandad almost had a heart attack when she asked if she could jump on his shiny new Rover......)

Anyway - that's all the pre-crop stuff.... I'll deal with the weekend pages in my next post - or you can always check out my gallery on UKS if you want an early peek!