Friday, August 31, 2012

Challenge Winners For August

THANKS for all your awesome entries for the August challenges. We had 63 projects submitted and a quarter were from new entrants! Welcome to the Artfull Crafts blog challenges.

This month's theme was "Anything Goes" and we had 2 sketches kindly provided by Sketches in Thyme. We have set up a new COMPETITION GALLERY - which makes viewing the projects easier AND from September onwards you'll be able to load your own projects up into the Gallery without emailing them to us. Now that's going to be great!

To celebrate the new Gallery launch, we thought we'd give away some MORE stuff! Liz has a new Kaisercraft Mint Twist Paper Pad and set of Twig and Berry stamps to give away to two lucky commenters. So head to the Gallery and leave a kind word or two for the entrants. While you are there, go and check out the Design Team projects and comment on your fav projects to go into a different draw for each person! Soooo many prizes to be won this week. Winners will be announced on Friday 7th Sept.

Please note: There is a slight problem with arrowing through the projects (on the final Gallery page) that we are working on - but it doesn't affect your ability to view and comment on the projects. 

Now let's look at the projects we received this month. The winners are announced at the end...

Sketch Entrants
 Anything Goes - Layouts

Anything Goes Layouts

Anything Goes Layouts

Anything Goes Layouts

Anything Goes Cards
Anything Goes Cards

And the winners are...
First Time Entrant goes to Shiree Arnold with her colourful paper piece layout. We think it must have taken ages to cut out all those pieces!!

The Sketch Winner is Annie Fitzgerald with this colourful, geometric card. Retro!!

Runner Up for Overall Challenge Winner is Michelle Henderson with this Anything Goes layout. The dog is calling, "Pick me!!"

Overall "Anything Goes" challenge winner is Michelle Frisby with this super birdcage album. I'd would love one of these on the wall to inspire me!

Could all winners please email and let the girls know your address and which category you won and they will organise the prizes to be sent out to you!

Many thanks to all the entrants. Don't forget to check out the new challenge tomorrow...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

DT Intro - Tracy Jackson

Today we welcome Tracy Jackson!

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win a 6x6 MME Indie Chic paper pad. Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I started Card making and Scrapbooking in 2007, after a friend came around for visit and showed me what she had just bought at a Scrapbook shop. I have always gravitated towards anything arty, so I picked it up rather fast. I joined many Design Teams along the way including the Marianne Createables International Design Team (image below), and even plucked up the courage to start up a challenge blog with a former Artfull crafts DT member Lou. It's called the Southern Girls Challenge.
 What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
I tend to get most of my inspiration from all the talented blogs I find on the net. I also love to see new product and I am in my element at night when kids have gone to bed, music playing in background, surrounded by my hoarded stash. Unfortunately when I get to bed, I lay there thinking of projects to do. I hope that being on Artfull Crafts design team that I inspire other fellow crafters.

What other project types do you like to work on besides scrapbook pages?
I am an avid card maker who dabbles in a little scrapbooking and of the page

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
I really struggle with a favorite brand because I think your tastes changes along with the trends. Kaiser is always a great one as the new releases are constant. I do tend to be a paper hoarder… at the moment I am loving Graphic 45, Bo Bunny and My Minds Eye.

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
Copics, copics and more copics… they bring the inner child out in me! (And they can’t be separated from me either…they have been know to sneak into my bag and come to work with me) I have constantly ink stained fingers! (See Tracy's fabulous colouring with her Copics>>)

What is your current favourite technique or embellishment?
Chipboard and Dies, they really add dimension to any project

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

My scrapbooking has really been put on the back burner over the last few years, so I am really hoping to step up and show you a couple layouts this year along with many cards and OTP. I am seeing a lot of smash books too… I am on the verge of taking the leap and giving one a go.

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
Hunt around on the net. There is a wealth of talent and experience out there. Join in on local classes. If unsure on a product, or wanting to know more on it, join in on the Artfull Crafts Facebook Page and I am positive that between the talents of the Design Team, someone will have an answer.

Can you share with us your three favourite projects – and tell us a little about how you created them and why you love them?

When creating anything OTP, I like for it to be used or seen. In this case I made 6 of these little carry cases for my daughters birthday to give to her friends instead of loot bags. Each of the four compartments was filled with lollies, makeup, stickers and pencil/pad set… Their little faces were priceless.

I wanted to create a soft vintage looking card. By bringing in the lace, cloth and choosing embellishments to match the paper I think this card has a wonderful dreamy look about it.

Finally, this card is a more recent card I have made for my cousin. I love the humor of this card, and knowing the new addition is going to be a boy, I got to use my new Bazzill Basics Paper – Wayfarer which is so thick and married it up with natural looking embellishments like the bare chipboard and brown string strip

Liz's Note and Prizes to win!
Tracy's blog is filled with bright, beautifully presented cards and we are looking forward to seeing lots more of her work! We invite you to start following Tracy.

Now head to Tracy's Gallery and leave a comment on a project that reminds you of your best friend. Since Tracy loves My Mind's Eye (and pinks and oranges) we are giving away a 6x6 MME Indie Chic paper pad to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight Friday Sept 6th to make your comment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DT Intro - Jo Johnson

Today we welcome Jo Johnson!!! Jo is going to be our Beyond the Page specialist for 2012. Her posts will progressively show how to assemble and decorate Kaisercraft projects.

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win a cute Twiddleybitz Chipboard Shadow Box Mini Frame. Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

Hi everyone. Sit back and find out more about Jo Johnson.
How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I got a camera for my 10th Birthday, and then took photos and then stuck brochures and notes with my photos into a scrapbook When I got older I got a photo album and I started seeing a few people with pretty paper and that was it.

What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
The photo itself, the pictures on a page, and what I can do with them. The colours and smells of the paper and places where I am also inspire me. 

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

Off the page is my favourite, but I like things that are really different. Sometimes when I am out and about, I will start to feel the idea coming. Then I can stand in a shop, or in a location, thinking, planning and waiting for it to hit. I will then start collecting for my projects. Ssometimes the idea changes as I find things that might work betters or colours that I prefer.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?

I don't have a favourite as such, but Graphic 45 has lots of things to cut out, and because it tends to be vintage and not so bright, I can use it as a background. Websters Pages has so much to cut out as well. I like lots of flowers for layering, and leaves. Kaisercraft - I use heaps of their off the page projects and their products for scrapbooking. Bobunny I use a lot as well as it's great for layouts. Oops no favourite!

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
Tim Holtz scissors, Distress inks stains or mists. Flowers, leaves, and bird nests at the moment.

What is your current favorite technique or embellishment?

Chipboard is by far the best thing on the market, and I am a big user of it. I paint it, stain it, emboss it, cover it, distress it, cut it up.

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?
I want to push gesso to its limits - what else can i do to it? I have started art journaling, so I would like to take that style to my scrapbooking more.

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?

Don't worry about what other people think. Do it for yourself. If you love it, then smile, and be happy that you did it. If you feel something is wrong with it, then try layering, add pieces of ribbon, tulle, fabric, chipboard, rip some paper.... Don't give up..... sometimes it can be the smallest thing that makes all the difference. A little piece of your soul goes on each page, a great gift for future generations.

Can you share with us your three favourite projects – and tell us a little about how you created them and why you love them
Lately I found a broken vintage camera, and then glued it back together, covered it with paper, and then added birds and nests, as a play on the old saying of photographers, "Watch the birdie". I collect vintage cameras so this was fun.

I love my little Curiosity Shop from Dusty Attic. It took me weeks to make as each drawer was carefully covered, and then I wallpapered and covered the walls and floors. Then I imagined what i would find in a little curiosity shop. I found so many fun little things, broken things, weird things and then cute things. It took a long time, but I love it when I show people and they just stare and then start to hunt out all the little things hidden in the background.

Finally, I really like the tree canvas. This is a picture that I lovel. I spent ages just getting the edges of the reversed canvas to look like wood. I started with gesso and put it all over the back of the canvas edges. I then painted it, and then started the process changing my mind, colour and products used. Everything from paint, to sprays, to inks, to stains. I inked all the edges as well. I added metal Tim Holtz corners to the project. I added the picture in at this stage, it was cut from the inside of a calendar. I then added chipboard flourish painted brown, up the left hand side and then some glitter tulle stapled amongst it. Then added a Prima Marketing vine, prima birds nest and a couple of little birds. I added extra Kaiser flowers and then some black and green leaves. I still wasn't happy so I added the top chipboard flourish and some flowers in the top right hand corners.

Liz's Note and Prizes to win!
We really enjoyed looking through the projects on Jo's Blog and are looking forward to seeing what she does with the new Advent Tree from Kaisercraft next month.
Now head to Jo's Gallery and leave a comment on a project that you'd love Jo to do a tutorial on. Since Jo loves chipboard we have this cute mini box frame from Twiddleybittz to give away to one lucky commenter. You have until the end of August to make your comment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DT Intro - Teresa Abajo

Today we welcome TERESA ABAJO!!!

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win a NEW RELEASE 6.5" x 6.5" Kaisercraft Paper Pad from the Turtle Dove range. Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

Hello from sunny (?!?) Melbourne! My name is Teresa and I'm thrilled to be joining the Artfull Craft Design Team. I fell in love with the shop when I visited in March to teach a couple of Copics classes. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to develop the friendships with all of the wonderful people I met, and make a whole bunch of new friendships.

Here's a little Q&A so you can get to know me a little better:

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I was originally a cardmaker, and using lots of scrapbooking products, just not on layouts. My first layout was for a design team commitment, and I continue to produce layouts as wall art more than for albums.

What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
If I'm making something for someone in particular, I like to reminisce about them while I make it. Could be why I'm often smiling while I work ;) It's usually the patterned paper I've chosen that leads the way with a project. My heart beats a little faster when I find an embellishment that matches perfectly.

What other project types do you like to work on?
Cards cards cards! I have boxes on the floor of my studio overflowing with cards. I love to make books and other off the page things in my spare time too.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
There is no possible way for me to choose one! That's like trying to pick a favourite child!

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
This is going to be a long list! Let me save time by listing the things I use more than most of my arty friends: distressing tool, brown ink, Spellbinder dies, 6x6 paper pads, foam mounting squares, arty stamps.

What is your current favorite technique or embellishment?
I still love distressing and ageing things. I really can't see a time when I'll tire of them either. One embellishment I use heaps of is buttons - I'm certainly not a koumpounophobe! (I'll give you a second to google that LOL).

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?
Time management. I MUST spend less time on the computer, and more time in my studio. And who wouldn't like more time with friends and family?

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
If you see an idea you love, don't be afraid to try it. If you're having trouble with something, just ask - we're a kind, sharing lot and there's not too many secrets among us. Don't be afraid of failure - we learn so much more through trying and failing than we do getting it right the first time.

Here's a little collage of some of my projects you can find in my gallery:

I look forward to sharing my ideas with you over the next 12 months or so.

Liz's Note and Prizes to win!
We really enjoyed looking through the variety of cards and projects on Teresa's Blog. Why not start following her?

Now head to Teresa's Gallery and leave a comment on a project which you'd love to give your best friend. Since Teresa couldn't pick a favourite brand, we thought we'd pick ours! So we're going to give away this NEW RELEASE 6.5" x 6.5" Kaisercraft Turtle Dove pad pack to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight Friday Sept 6th to make your comment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

DT Intro - Robbi Bell

Today we welcome ROBBI BELL!!!

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win two packets of Manor House Flowers! Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

Hello Everyone in "Scrappy" land. Robbi here and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life for the next 12 months.  Q & A time might need a coffee, I get a bit long winded sometimes!

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
To tell you the truth I can't remember, except 8 years ago I thought I was pretty good putting photos and stickers on the same page and being able to call it scrapbooking...isn't it wonderful to look back at those first pages we all create and see how far we have come?!

What Inspires you for layouts, project and cards?
Anything and Everything as my Darling Hubby will tell you, it can be the smallest of things or the pattern on the back of a large truck. Sometimes to get a page started if stuck I scroll the pages of well worn books and usually something will pop out that puts a whole page into context for me, however its not very often that the idea in my head is actually the finished article!

 Graphic 45 Box and Book set, absolutely love the vintage feel of this and the pages of the book are jammed packed with lots of goodies.

What other projects do you like to work on besides scrapbook pages?
I love OTP items, I love changing things, especially vintage type goodies. I love the browns and creams of vintage style and usually always include an OTP item or 2 in my class schedule for the year. I do enjoy creating cards however they usually end up "front" heavy as I forget to stop putting embellishment's on the front so the end up a bit OTT.

I found this clock at the Warehouse and instantly knew what I was going to do with it. the Graphic 45 Ladies Diary papers look amazing inside it and yes there is dimension and distressing

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
Sorry that is a impossible question to answer, I can not pick one or even 2, I tend to use a lot of Prima, Kaisercraft, Manor House, Simple Stories, Glitz Designs and of course a little bit of Tim goes a long way.

Manor House is definitely one of my Favourites this last year, the soft pinks and patterns are awesome to work with. This is from the Bright side of Life collection

What is your current favourite technique or embellishment? always has been and will be, creating dimension is the next one, unfortunately I can not do flat I love layering and the more the better. The Ladies that take my classes all know now that they are going to be tearing and inking before anything else.

Favourite embellishment(s) will always be flowers, lace and pearls.

Lots of cardstock and inking, amazing what you can do with a little ink and the bottom of a cup!

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?
I am hoping to be able to get Ladies to not think about what they are doing and just let it happen. Sometimes stressing about it being "right" can make you not enjoy the process and everything does not have to be measured to the last mm, sometimes things look good out of kilta a little. The other thing I need to improve is my photography, so I can put up better photos that show the dimension involved in one of my layouts.

A whole lotta Tim Holtz for this layout about my eldest Son Chris, the envelope with the key has some hidden journalling. It is not very often I get a nice pic of Chris so this worked well with the range from Tim.

What advice can you give to someone just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
You don't need to have all the latest gear, especially if its going to be left sitting in a corner because you are not sure how to use it correctly. Buy the basics and build your stash up slowly buy items that you are comfortable with and experiment. So long as you have a good cutter or knife and steel ruler and a good cutting mat then your already away laughing. Don't be afraid to put colours together, and different brands...most brands compliment each other so go for it.

The scrapping fraternity is amazing and the friendships that are made from this awesome craft are wonderful and long lasting. I can guarantee that if you asked any one of them for guidance then you will be greeted with a smile and a helping hand. We all started somewhere...and are only to happy to point "newbies" in the right direction.

Thank You to Liz and the Team for allowing me this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and I look forward to being able to hopefully give you some ideas and perhaps inspire you a little over the next 12 months.
Take Care, Robbi

Liz's Note
We're very excited about having Robbi on board. She's a talented lady and we hope to enjoy her company in Timaru sometime soon! Her blog is called Little Scraps of Heaven and she'd be thrilled if you started following her.

Now head to Robbi's Gallery and leave a comment on the project which represents your favourite type of papercrafting (cards, layouts, albums, projects, papercrafts etc). Since Robbi enjoys working with Manor House flowers, we're going to give away 2 packets of flowers to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight Friday Sept 6th to make your comment.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

South Canterbury Small Retail Award Winners!!

What a crazy day Friday ended up being! The shop was busy, the web orders were pouring in, the phone was ringing, and I was unexpectedly alone in the shop for much of the day (thanks Tanya for coming in at short notice to give me a chance to get my hair done!).  We LOVE crazy around here - but the fun was only just starting!

So with the shop shut at 5:30pm I had until 6:10pm to be dressed in my glad rags, do make-up and nails, and be out the door for the South Canterbury Business Awards. Artfull Crafts had made the finals in the Small Retail Category (5 or less full-time employees). That's pretty much most of the Timaru retail district! Large retail finalists were Noel Leeming and New World.  There were 3 other businesses in our category and I was nervous about the stiff competition. Our applications had been judged by professionals in the business world - including Peter Townsend from the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce - so that also made me a bit nervous! How would they view this business which has evolved from a hobby to home-based business to a big store in Timaru City?

The other categories were Small and Large Tourism & Hospitality, Manufacturing & Primary Produce, Emerging Business, Service & Community Organisation, Technology & Innovation, and Sustainability.

The evening was a Black Tie dinner event - so I did take the opportunity to buy a lovely new dress! It was held at the Caroline Bay Hall and there were 400 people attending - including the Mayor, Councillors and other dignitaries! The MC for the evening was Rawdon Christie from TVNZ's Breakfast Show and there was a range of entertainment (some better than others - side note here - I don't see the need for dirty jokes and innuendo at such a wonderful uplifting events). Anyway, there were plenty of reasons to smile (like when the Mayor mispronounced Edinburgh...)

The awards were presented during the 3 course meal. Each category was introduced by the sponsor and then 30sec videos shown of each finalist. Our camera man was with us for about 10 minutes catching some footage and we didn't know what the end product would look like. That made me nervous too! Then they announced the winner as...

.....  ARTFULL CRAFTS (clap clap, cheer cheer!)

We got a really loud cheer! We had some other friend's businesses in the finals too and so it was great to feel the love.

Graham and I made our way to the stage and I was pretty excited! I had a plan that if we won Viv would record the speech on Graham's iphone, Diana would take some photos on my iphone (before it ran out of battery) and Ella would take some fancy photos on her beautiful camera! So we had all the bases covered. We received a lovely trophy, framed certificate and beautiful orchids. I gave my speech (remembered to thank the staff and loyal customer - as if I would forget them) and then headed out to the photography room. The ladies taking the photos were commenting how excited I was (wouldn't you be??!).

We waited to the end of the evening to hear how we did in the People's Choice Award. We had a HUGE response from you (our loyal customers and friends) and we knew we were in the top five. BUT they said prior to the announcement that even though thousands of votes had been cast, there were so few between the top four, that they wanted to recognise the 3 runner ups.  Artfull Crafts was called as a runner up! That was such a great result. I mean, we were up against big businesses like the Cancer Society and so we were very satisfied with the Retail Award.

The evening was topped off with some great dancing (and Graham and I were able to practice our dance moves from Thursday night's Charleston's Class!). Here's our table:

Ella, Christine, Liz, Graham, Juanita, Miss Betsy and Diana. (Vicki and Lowri missing)

We thank you all again for helping us get to where we are today. It's a team award - so pat yourselves on the back and share in our success!

We will load the speech up on Facebook (but we're off to the Queen Concert tonight. Can the weekend get any more exciting?). Yes - it already has! We sold our house in ChCh yesterday and are now free to settle in Timaru properly. Soon we won't feel like gypsies.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DT Intro - Nichole Parker

Today we welcome NICHOLE PARKER!!!

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win an Echo Park Hello Spring Mini Theme collection pack. Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

Hi everyone!  I'm Nichole.  I've been card making for over 2 years.  I'm new to the Artfull Crafts Design Team and live in Wellington New Zealand.

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I first started creating cards back in 2010 – I needed cards that fit all seasons or occasions to be able to send them back to my family in the US.  I first bought some patterned paper and cardstock looking to see if I could make my own cards and became addicted to all the wonderful paper lines and embellishments.

What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
I gather inspiration for my projects through different areas: colors, other designers, paper lines or embellishments themselves.  Sometimes I like to put the paper or items on my desk and “live with them” keeping them in sight until I have an idea – other times I like to sketch them out purposefully.

What other project types do you like to work on besides scrapbook pages/cards?
I’ve made a few altered canvases for friends and myself and use them for d├ęcor items.  I also like to watercolor in my spare time.  I also enjoy making “exploding boxes” that can be used as cards or as a container for small gifts.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
My favorites will vary from season to season, but right now I really like October Afernoon for its clean vintage style.  I also enjoy Echo Park for it’s fun playful designs.  I enjoy mixing patterns and colors freely and find that my "favorites" revolve around fun vintage themes.

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
I like to try new tools – sometimes I think I have more tools than paper!  However, the mainstays of my craft table are my Slice 12x12 Glass mat, Ranger Inkssentials Crafting mat, Brother GS2700 Sewing Machine, and my Silhouette Cameo.  I like to have durable, reliable tools that will stay with me no matter what project I take on and will last through every trend.

I also can’t do without Youtube, I think it’s an invaluable learning tool and how I got started learning new techniques.  There’s lots of generous crafty people on Youtube sharing their experiences, teaching you new techniques, and reviewing new products first hand.

What is your current favorite technique or embellishment?
I’m just starting out stitching, so I like to be able to stitch and working threads into my card designs.  I also like spray inks or paints for a fun mixed media look.

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?
Again, since I’m starting out with stitching techniques I’d like to be able to improve my ability to sew perimeters around cardstock, and to sew on items to the cardstock itself.  I’m always on the look out for new materials and I think incorporating fabric is a trend that’s on the rise.

I’d also like to improve on my quantity of items I produce, photograph, and submit.  I recognize that I need to be firm and set a time every day when I can sit down and devote myself to crafting.  Unplugging even for a bit is a challenge in today’s over-wired world.

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
  • Practice makes perfect! Find your style and don’t be afraid to experiment. 
  • Anything goes in today’s world and you can look outside traditional materials and techniques – even ones you didn’t think you could use.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match lines of paper – most of my best pairings were when I accidentally mixed scraps of papers in the same drawer.

FINALLY - can you share with us your three favourite projects – and tell us a little about how you created them and why you love them.
It’s really hard to choose just 3, and it’s hard to choose past projects as well as I see myself constantly improving and developing as I take on different styles of cardmaking and projects.

What I would consider "favorite" are the ones that have the most story or joy behind them.  Also, the ones that stick out in my memory are cards that I've had a personal connection to - and the ones that I've given to others.

I made "Silver Lining" for a coworker whose partner's battle with IVF treatments ended in twins!  I love this playful paper and thought the robots were just too cute.  I even decorated the inside with die cuts from the same line.
Silver Lining

This was my first exploding box project for a friend's mother's 65th birthday - which included pictures of her cats, her family, and little cat paw rhinestones.  It was both a card and a mini album all in one!
Exploding Box

And "Nuts About You" was made for my partner for Valentine's day - he's a fan of squirrels and I got to use my Silhouette Cameo for my first shaped card.
Nuts About You

Liz's Note

We really loved cruising through Nichole's Blog - I'd Rather Be Crafting. She has a mix of simple, but eclectic cards, along with great product reviews. She recently swapped to a different blogger company and lost all her followers - so why not start following her too!

Now head to Nichole's Gallery and leave a comment on the project which uses YOUR favourite technique. Since Nichole enjoys working with Echo Park, we're going to give away this Sunshine Mini Theme pack to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight Friday Sept 6th to make your comment.