Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Scrapping with Guest Artist - Sharon Brooks

Hi Everyone - hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

We have had some great inspiration this week on the blog from Tina (twice!) and Shirl.

We also have some fantastic entries to the challenge rolling in - and there is still time to get your entry to use before next Wednesday. We will be featuring at least one entry from each person on the blog on Thursday.
Your entry to the challenge can be either along our theme of "Birthdays and Blooms" OR it can be using our month's sketch. (OR of course it can be both!)

To enter the challenge - send a picture of your project You can send us as many entries as you like. We will be featuring entries and there will be a Kaisercraft prize for the Challenge Winner!

Guest Featured Artist - Sharon Brooks

This week our featured artist is Sharon Brooks - a very talented card-maker from the UK. Be sure to take a look at her blog - she has lots of great step-by-step instructions for creating the effects she uses on her cards.

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I actually got into cardmaking simply because I wanted a Mothers Day card for my Stepmother, and looked everywhere to find one that read' For my Stepmum/Stepmother on Mothers Day', and couldn't find one anywhere. Although this was 10 or so years ago, I didn't think it was a particularly strange thing to want on a card- step-parents are not exactly unusual! So as I couldn't find one, I made one- and thoroughly enjoyed the process. I bought a nice floral decoupage sheet, as I recall. Then I went to a Craft & Hobby fair, and I was firmly hooked.
Borealis Card
This card uses a technique I found by playing with oil pastels. By scribbling the colours onto a smooth, but not glossy card, then smudging with my fingers, I got a fabulous Borealis type sky, and quite realistic water. Both stamps are by Stampscapes, Lakeside Cove & Starbirth. Due to the nature of oil pastels, you need to stamp with Staz-on.I used a Stamp positioner to enable me to put the scene together. I used a wordblock stamp from Crafty Individuals for the base card. I love this because the Stampscapes Stamps work really well on a very basic background- brayering or sponging creates great backgrounds for them. As I said earlier, colouring images is not my strong point! If you want to try this, there is a how-to on my blog :). This was one of those cards that amazed me by coming out better than I anticipated.

What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
I think most of my inspiration comes from looking at other peoples blogs and the galleries on SCS and Rubber Stamp companies sites. Sometimes it comes from my stash, or from seeing a technique I haven't tried. Also it can come from the reason I am making the card- tying it to the likes & interests of the person I am making it for. Oh, and You Tube videos!

What other project types do you like to work on beside scrapbook pages?

I haven't done any scrapbooking yet, its on my to-do list though! In the past I have done glass painting and cross stitch, dressmaking and dabbled in making jewellery.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand, and why?

Tim Holtz has to be at the top of the list- I love his stuff. Stamp companies like Stampscapes,Crafty Individuals, Non Sequiteur, Lavinia Stamps because she has gorgeous fairy & fantasy stamps,and I do like K & Co papers.

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
Probably my Cuttlebug & folders, Nestabilities, my Silhouette digital cutter. Stamps & inkpads goes without saying. Besides these, its the real basics I use day after day: scalpel & steel edge ruler, Stamp positioner, scoreboard & embossing tool, Heat gun. Oh and reading glasses- they really are a must-have,lol. Not a crafting tool, but absolutely essential - COFFEE!
Valentines Card
The hearts were cut with a Sizzix die, from thick card- I use the back of notepads like chipboard. I coloured the card with two or three shades of red then triple embossed (or UTEE). One was also stamped in gold with a swirl stamp whilst still hot. The main image is from Elusive Images, Harlequin Rose plate, and coloured with H2O's. I made it as an easel card, as I was loving this format- more surface area to decorate! I think its the hearts I like the most- you get lovely marbled colours due to the ink soaking into the card. I also used a Martha Stewart punch for the lace- this is the first one I have bought & used, and I am quite impressed by them
What is your current favourite technique or embellishment?
I've just had a big Easel card phase, and I love brayering backgrounds. Actually, making backgrounds using different techniques is one of my big loves- I tend to get carried away and make loads.I have also just discovered what a useful product Glossy Accents is!

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?

I intend to do some pieces with canvases this year, and am determined to improve my colouring technique. Colouring is definitely a weak point of mine, but my youngest son & my Beloved Husband both bought me some Promarkers for Christmas (as requested), and I used them this week on the pieces I did for WOYWWStampbord, that has been sitting here for a couple of years now, that I want to make use of.

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
Make the most of the Internet! I think we crafters today are so lucky-you can 'meet' other crafters and see their work via their blogs, learn how to do anything via You Tube videos, research products and how to use them- its the most awesome resource, all in the comfort of your own home, whenever you have spare time. Especially today, where many of us work shifts/have young children/don't drive or live close to a craft shop, and in this current financial climate, its not always easy to justify the spending on classes. Join a forum like Splitcoast Stampers- there’s always someone who knows the answer to your problem. They are all so helpful & encouraging.
Start your own blog- its easy, and you meet so many great people,if you see a technique that you like- ask the creator- they will always share their knowledge with you.I'm in the UK, and visit, and get visited by, crafters from all over the world. Blogland is huge and friendly! Don't be afraid to put your work out there- I only started my blog a little under a year ago, and it has improved my confidence immensely to find that other people like what I do. I think maybe we are each our own greatest critic sometimes, and only see what we think of as imperfections- we have a picture in our mind of what the finished project will look like, and if it doesn't match up we are disappointed. Others don't have that picture, so they see the project as it is.
Play! I have a few techniques I use for backgrounds that I have discovered just by playing around with ink & card. There really is no right or wrong- if it works for you that’s what matters.
Wedding Invitations
I haven't got round to posting these on my blog yet- they are Invitations for our Wedding & Evening Reception.As you can tell, our chosen colour theme was Black & Burgundy- and yes I did have a Black Wedding Dress! there are pictures on my blog to prove it too, lol. It was clearly the right colour theme to choose, as everything we wanted in those colours we found without difficulty, and at really good prices.
The cards are A5,pearlescent white, and were scored twice to give a wide left side, and narrow right side. The entwined D & S ( Doug & Shaz) were computer printed, then heat embossed using clear embossing powder. About 5 years ago, I had bought a couple of packs of paper that allowed inkjet images to be heat embossed, and still had sufficient left to be able to do all the monograms for the invites. This made the whole process quicker & less stressy than if I had had to get a stamp made, then stamp & emboss them. Each monogram was matted onto Burgundy, then Black card, and fixed to overlap the front opening. Black & burgundy ribbon was wrapped around the front & secured with a gluedot, then a bow tied separately & again added with a glue dot. I used Peel-off wording in black for the Wedding & Evening Reception. The insert was also computer printed, onto vellum,and stuck to the base with vellum tape.I hand wrote the names of the recipients afterwards. I punched a little black cat out of a velvet effect paper, and stuck him to the insert. Black cats are considered lucky in relation to weddings over here, plus we have a lovely black cat called Ambrose, so this was getting him involved too.I needed around 50 Wedding invites, and 150 Evening invites, and made the process easier by doing everything in blocks- I cut the Monograms down, then cut all the burgundy pieces, then all the black. Then matted them all. I measured around a card with the Black & Burgundy ribbon, then cut enough lengths of both to do all the invites. I did the bows the same way, I tied one, then undid it & cut all the lengths for the rest. I bought all the ribbon from E-Bay, and I still have miles of it left! I love these not only because they are our Wedding Invitations, but because they came out EXACTLY like the picture I had in my head, and that doesn't happen very often
Do you have a blog?
I do,, please do come and visit, and I will come visit you.

Here are some more of Sharon's lovely cards

Thank-you so much Sharon for sharing your creations with us.

Have a great week and stay tuned to the blog for some more inspiration.
Also be sure to check out all the NEW PRODUCTS In the shop AND the $1 reserve auctions on Trademe

Lowri :-)


  1. A lovely guest to choose. Inspiring cards!

  2. Sharon is an amazing cardmaker. Her work is stunning.

  3. I am glad to say I already follow your blog Sharon. I found it a year from someone else's blog and I am still inspired by your work. You are one very talented lady.

  4. I agree with all those who have commented already. Shaz is a very talented lady, and even more, she always has time to sort out my crafting problems. She always goes the extra mile to find what you need. I speak as both a crafter, encouraged by Shaz, and as a family member as she is mother-in-law to our daughter. Well done, Shaz, and thank you.

  5. Thank you to everyone, for choosing me, and for the lovely comments. Love to all, Shaz