Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Michelle Reeves - Guest Designer

Hi everyone. Michelle Reeves was the lucky winner of our blog competition recently and she had a parcel delivered and the opportunity to create projects! She's certainly been busy!

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Michelle Reeves and I live in St Martins, Christchurch with my husband Neville and daughter Chelsea. We all enjoy camping - well camping for Chelsea as she is in a tent and has been since she was about 8 years old. Neville and I go 'glamping' as we have a 9.5 mtr articulated camper (5th wheeler) - toilet, shower, kitchen and comfy bed. Some of my best photos have been taken while we have been away, usually at Lake Aviemore - no power, no internet or cell 'phones...what more could one want! The camper is a work in progress as Neville has built it from scratch and every good man must have at least one project to keep him out of trouble!

Earthquakes and Crafting
I bought Chelsea a new camera about 7 years ago and booked us both into scrap booking classes so she could get more out of using it. We were both hooked! After the 3 classes finished, we started going to crop nights once a month on a Friday, 6pm to midnight. It was a great environment to learn from others, stretch ourselves and meet a great bunch of ladies. The last night we attended a crop night was 4.9.2010 - we arrived home just after midnight and were then rudely woken at 4.35am by the ground shaking quite violently. Although I have taken a lot of photos since then, it has taken me until now to get back into my crafts. After the February earthquakes, we remained in our home, but it was seriously damaged. We moved out in March 2013, living in two different rentals until we finally moved back into our new home July 2015. My craft room is coming together and I mentally feel good about life, so getting back into all sorts of projects!

My favourite style
I enjoy scrap booking and creating layouts to show off my photos, although a lot of my pages are plain with a few embellishments, etc as I want the photos to be the main feature. Landscapes are my main work environment, but occasionally friends and family pop up. I don't what my inspiration is, but I love showing off photos in a different way. I have done a lot with cards yet,  but I really want to do more 'beyond the page' work. I have a couple of projects to do and have been waiting to settle in our house as there is one I want to start for our bedroom. With winter coming I don't feel guilty spending time on my crafts!

Kit Contents (Kaiser's True Love collection)
The kit that Artfull Crafts sent me had these goodies inside and I tried to restrict my page to the items in the kit, but I did end up using some mini pegs for the bunting and a green ribbon rather than the pink as it fitted my theme better.

My layout
I had loads of fun with this layout. When I received the kit I knew exactly what photos I was going to use. The photo's are of my daughter, Chelsea, in the South T-shirt, and her very close friend, Georgia, in the North t-shirt. Georgia is from Auckland and is like my second daughter. The 2 girls met in 2008 at a Guide jamboree in Christchurch and have been to 2 more jamboree's since then while in Guides and Rangers. Thank goodness for cheap airfares as they see each other 2-3 times a year either here in Christchurch or in Auckland. Georgia's parents were fantastic to Chelsea after the earthquakes, offering her a place to chill out. They are now 20 and 19 respectively and are as close as ever.

The main image is the girls looking at a digital camera screen and were totally oblivious of me taking their photo. In the smaller images they are wearing tie dyed shirts created on one of our camping trips and picked up the colours in the kit. I laid out the items with the photos and shuffled things around, taking some off, putting them back, until I was happy. The bunting was created using three of the smaller sheets of paper stock cut into triangles and pegged to the string in the kit.

Favourite Projects
The other layouts I have included were a lot of fun to create, especially the one of my mum, her sisters and their mum. Again the papers, etc jumped out at me as I looked through my stash and it was a very easy one to complete. (I have had pages that just sit there and I had to really work at the layout...they usually come together in the end!). It is quite special as my grandmother and one of my aunts have passed away and the page brings back a lot of memories. 
The second page I have included is of my husband and daughter at Lake Aviemore, opposite Cave Stream. I picked the papers and embellishments for these photos as they epitomise the colours of the area and the reason we are there! I have also included a snapshot of my next project - can't wait to get into this one! I'm envisaging blacks, silvers and a splash of red. I have some really cool wee knobs to act as the hangars for my jewellery. 

My stash
When I first started scrapbooking I wasn't fussy and bought papers, embellishments, etc that I liked the look of. I also used to buy the occasional kit that came with all the pieces and a suggested layout. This was another great way to learn what to out with what and things can look. Now my stash is at a reasonable size I am a lot more selective and my favourite brand would have to be Kaiser craft. I love the variety of themes, colours with matching bits and pieces. 

Techniques I use
I feel I'm still a novice and learning techniques as I go, but one I learnt a while ago still gives me a buzz - I don't use it often as I keep it for that special layout. I tear the size paper I need and dampen the edges, one at a time. Then using a piece of sandpaper I gently rub/roughen the edges, also rolling up the edges a little. I can't decide whether I love rub-ons or brads/eyelets the most - they are both great in their own way and can make that ordinary looking page absolutely pop!

This year I hope to spend more time on my crafting and maybe try new techniques/products such as glitters and washi tape.... and be more adventurous.

For anyone starting out I would highly recommend Midnight Madness (I knew them as crop nights in Christchurch) as a way of meeting people, learning techniques, but most of all, just have fun....you can't go wrong because it is your layout! Thanks everyone for reading!

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