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Year in Review – January Calendar Page

How are you all doing with your Year in Review album? I started mine with a January calendar page. I love the calendar pages that Kate Crane makes in her art journal as part of her art calendar challenge, so I decided I would make one each month in my Year in Review album. I have chosen to use an altered book for my album this year. I wanted to do this last year but decided against it as I was worried I wouldn’t fit the whole year into one book but this year I have decided it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit – I can just get another book (yeah I know – totally obvious but I couldn’t give myself that freedom last year).

Here’s a quick step by step to show you how I created the January calendar page:

Firstly I swiped Distress Paint across the page and sprayed with a water mister to blend the paints. I also flicked some drops of water onto the paint while it was still wet to get a mottled effect. Colours I used were mowed lawn, anitque linen and vintage photo.




When it was dry I used my Crafters Workshop spilled hearts 6×6 template and gesso and added some hearts to the page.



When the hearts were dry I sprayed the page with Heidi Swapp Colour Shine. I used coral and seafoam. I held the book up and misted with water to create some drippage.



For the next layer I stamped with two Darkroom Door background stampsFrench script and button, using the rolling method I described in my last post. The script is stamped with black archival ink and the buttons with Gathered Twig distress ink (the buttons are very subtle and you may not be able to see them on the picture). I also used the Darkroom Door Carved Birds Vol. 2 and Mowed Lawn distress ink to stamp some birds on the bottom of the page. How cute are they? So loving that stamp set at the moment.



I then cut 31 rectangles from some scraps of paper I had left. The papers were Shabby Chic from the Kaisercraft Basecoat 3 range and Excited and Salty Kisses from the Kaisercraft Paradiso range. I arranged the rectangles on the page to form the calendar. I stamped more birds along the bottom, stamped some foliage in the top left hand corner and added a title and some doodling and the page is ready for me to record one or two important events for each day.



I hope you have enjoyed reading this quick step x step. If this has inspired you to create your own calendar page please share it by linking in the comments. I love seeing everyone’s creations. And don’t forget to check out Kate’s Art Calendar Challenge.

Happy crafting all!


Creating borders and texture with Darkroom Door background stamps

One of my favourite stamp manufacturers is “Darkroom Door”. They are Australian owned and they use quality rubber to make their stamps. I find the Darkroom Door stamps are great to use as they give you a lovely, clear image every time. I think my most used Darkroom Door stamps are the background stamps. They are sized so you can stamp a background for a card in one go but my favourite way to use them is for creating texture on scrapbooking pages and mixed media projects.

I created a border for this page using the new chicken wire background stamp.


To use the background stamp to make a border like this simply hold the stamp so it makes a “u”, roll the curved part of the stamp on a stamp pad then roll it onto the edge of your page starting off the edge and rolling onto the edge as shown in the photo.

And here is the page with the completed border.


I have also used this rolling technique to add the white splatters to this canvas with the Darkroom Door splatter stamp and paint.

*If using paint on your stamps apply it with a foam brush so there is an even layer and clean the stamp straight away or the paint will dry and you won’t be able to remove it.

I hope this inspires you to get out your background stamps.


Photo a Day Challenge

This year I am making a concerted effort to participate in the Photo a Day challenge that Chantelle runs over at her blog “Fat Mum Slim” (Don’t you just love that name – I do) For those of you who don’t know how it works Chantelle posts a list of prompts at the beginning of the month and you use the prompts to inspire a photo.

Here is January’s list:


Here we are eight days into the year already and I have managed to take photos for four prompts. MMMmmmmm…………… four out of eight – that’s a success rate of 50% so I’m thinking that’s not too bad ……………. but maybe not so good either.

Here are the photos I have managed:

January 2nd: Begins with green and I took a photo of some of the green ribbon on the shelf at the shop.


January 3rd: My Town. I admit I didn’t get this idea myself as Sue-Maree had a photo taken from the newly opened footbridge in town too but mine is better as it has my favourite shop in it 😉


January 5th: Something found. I found this gorgeous moth flying around in our house and then he landed on the orchids Mum had brought up for me at Christmas. I think out of the four photos this is my favourite.


January 6th: Happens Everyday. Not very creative but something that I definitely do everyday and sometimes more than once.


This is a fun challenge and definitely a way to, not only make you take more photos, but to take photos of things you normally wouldn’t. If you would like to play along with us I have created an album in our gallery or you can post a link to your photos in the comments here.

Happy snapping all!


January 2014 Challenges

Happy New Year everyone!

Sue-Maree has posted our monthly challenges in the forum and there have been a few changes to the way we are running the challenges this year. If you want to check out the details you can see them in our forum.

Here are the challenges for January:

Challenge One – Sketch

january sketch challenge



Challenge Two – Colour Challenge

Fly your true colours! With Australia Day this month it is time to get patriotic. We would like to see some green and gold flying.


Challenge Three – Stash Busting

Time to stash bust your alphas… there always seem to be all of those left over alphas that just don’t fit with the letters you need. Use your alphas in a creative way, either by changing letters, mixing up alphas in your title, changing the colours to something more useful or using your alphas to create a feature on your project.


Challenge Four – Year in Review

If you have done a YIR in 2013 your challenge is to finish another month in that and, if possible, to complete the album altogether. If you are planning on starting in 2014 then your challenge is to create your cover or your title page.


Challenge Five – Card

January is a time of new year’s resolutions and trying new things. We would like you to create a card that is a twist on the traditional rectangular card with straight edges opening to the right hand side. You might want to make a trifold card, an easel card or just a card that has a fancy edge. Different shaped cards would also work here… just step a little out of your comfort zone. If you want to convert this challenge to a LO challenge I guess we would need a shaped page.


Challenge Six – Christmas Card

Christmas card – Red and green are such traditional colours for Christmas. We would like you to start with these colours in mind but to twist it up a little. You might add different colours or just change the red a green slightly e.g. pink and green or red & aqua


As you can see you don’t need to create cards or layouts for these challenges – they can be interpreted however you like. To be in the running for a $10 Chook Scraps voucher make sure you upload your entries into our gallery by midnight on January 31st.

Happy creating, Chooks!

Celebrating Toni aka Scrapdragon

Over the past twelve months Toni has been a member of our design team. It has been wonderful working with Toni and I’m sure you will agree with me that her pages, cards and OTP’s are always inspirational. We will miss her creative input and I know many of you will be sad to hear that she will not be giving out any more cryptic clues ;). To celebrate her time as a Creative Chook I am sharing with you a selection of her projects.

toniconfigurations toni2 toni3 toni4 toni5


Thankyou for your dedication over the past 12 months Toni. Everything you have done in your role as a Creative Chook has been fantastic and such a help to me. I wish you all the best for the future and please don’t be a stranger.

Journaling – Telling the Story

Recently I had the good fortune to attend Heidi Swapp’s “Make Pretty Stuff Down Under” Workshop in Perth with my lovely friend, Marion. It was a great workshop! We learnt new techniques and had the opportunity to play with lots of Heidi’s products including her colour sprays and one of her memory files. We also received three very generous workshop kits and I now have lots of lovely Heidi products to play with.

Here’s a pic of the first kit and there were four colour sprays to keep in the “Make Pretty Stuff” bag.


Experimenting with all those wonderful products was heaps of fun but the most important lesson I learnt was the importance of telling the story behind the photos. Heidi and Kim (who ran one of the workshops) both shared very moving stories with us that highlighted the importance of journaling. One of the things Heidi spoke about was how we remember or focus on the few negative things that happen while forgetting the hundreds of wonderful things that occur in our lives every day. Recently, I was looking at one of the very first scrapbook pages I had made. I had added some journaling to the page and the story was something I had completely forgotten. This confirmed for me how important it is to record our stories before they are gone forever.

With 2013 ending and the New Year just around the corner it is the time to make resolutions for the coming year. I think one of mine will be to record those important stories – whether it be on my scrapbook pages, in a journal or in some other way.


A Last Minute Christmas Card Idea

Here is a quick step x step for those of you needing to make a last minute Christmas card.


  • 10cmx14cm piece of card for the background
  • Triangular, piece of patterned paper for tree – the triangle needs to be about 12cms tall and 8cms wide
  • Rectangular piece of patterned paper approx. 2cms x 3cms
  • Various punched shapes – I used 6 small stars, 3 small flowers, 3 medium flowers
  • Selection of buttons
  • Sentiment sticker or stamp
  • Kindy glitz
  • General scrapbooking supplies
  • Blank card


  1.  Ink the edges of the triangle and rectangle.
  2. Adhere the rectangle and triangle to the background card so they make a tree shape (the triangle will overlap the rectangle)
  3. Decorate the tree with the punched shapes and buttons
  4. Ink the edges of the background card and adhere to the front of the blank card
  5. Add your sentiment and finish decorating the tree by adding some dots of kindy glitz 
  6. Share your card with us by posting a link here.


Christmas Crafting

Hi everyone!

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.

I was wondering if anyone has or is planning on some Christmas crafting this year. I haven’t done any thing myself but I have been doing a few projects in the kids classes. One project was a snowflake hanger which we made from some snowflake cut-outs, snowflake stamps, a little bling (a must have for a Christmas project) and ribbon. They were really cute when they were finished so I thought I would share them with you.


If you have any Christmas projects that you would like to share with us please upload them in our gallery or on our facebook page.

Kaisercraft Gingerbread Man Step x Step

Hi everyone! Well it’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 37days away and if you are like me you are totally unprepared.

For my last kid’s class I had the students decorate three Kaisercraft gingerbread men. These are a quick easy project that are perfect for giving as a gift or using to decorate your home. I thought I would share a quick step x step to help with those last minute gift ideas.

Kaisercraft gingerbread men or other MDF shape
Acrylic paint
Christmas scrapbooking paper
General scrapbooking supplies

Step 1
Paint the edges of the gingerbread man shape.


Step 2
Trace the outline of the gingerbread man onto the back of your chosen patterned paper (you need to do this twice – once for the back and once for the front.) Cut out the shapes and adhere them to the gingerbread man. When the adhesive is dry sand the edges.


Step 3
Add some stickers, stamps, cut outs, die cuts or rub ons to decorate and ink edges with a blending tool.


Step 4
Add final touches – facial features, buttons, ribbon etc.


You can then add a hanger for a single decoration or string them together to make a garland.

I hope this project has inspired you to create some Christmas decorations.

Guest Design Team

As many of you probably remember, last year we had a competition for guest DT spots. It has been truly wonderful to work alongside so many fabulously talented ladies so thank you all who have filled that role over the past year and a half or so. Today we bid farewell to Jem. Jem, you always humble and inspire me with your ability to use such heartfelt and wise words and I so wish I could get a glimpse of the way your creative mind works. Know that if when you make it to a retreat I will be watching every creative step you take 🙂 Your input into the challenges over the past four months has been truly wonderful. Here are a few of Jem’s creations:
Jem 1

Jem 2

Jem 3

And, as we farewell Jem, it is with great anticipation that I introduce out new Guest DT – Marion. I have the good fortune to be able to watch Marion create on a fairly regular basis and she is not only amazing with her ability to ferret out and (successfully) try new techniques but I have never met a person who is more generous with their knowledge. Marion’s use of colour is always perfect and the finish on her creations is truly superb. I am so looking forward to having you as part of the team over coming months Marion. Here are a couple of Marion’s beautiful pages:
Marion 1
Marion 2

Marion 3