A beginner crafter….I begin projects but don’t seem to finish them!

I came across this meme on Facebook and it really resonated with me, unfinished projects are most certainly something I’ve been known to collect!  Hopefully this year I’ll be able to finish a heap of them off!

I decided to tackle one area of the house that was unfinished.  I started brightening up this wall around the middle of last year.  Our lounge room is really dark as it doesn’t have any windows, it has also been painted quite a dark colour so I thought a lighter wall would help.

I was doing pretty well, I got the wall painted, put up some picture shelves from IKEA, found this awesome clock (also at IKEA) and recovered some cushions.  I got started on selecting the pictures and then BAM my external hard disc drive (holding all my photos) crashed.  The photo issue has now been rectified (thanks to Zero Alpha, located at Boondall Qld, absolute legends).

So here it is all done, some of my all time favourite photos are featured here;



A tutorial! Sponge brayer on vellum with a stencil!

This card has been my most popular one on Pinterest and a tutorial was well overdue!

Here’s a slightly updated version of the card…

For this card I have used inks in colours Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie (you could also use Peekaboo Peach) and Flirty Flamingo.  I’ve cut a stencil with the Detailed Floral Thinlit and some Window Sheets.  My step by step tutorial explains it all in a lot more detail, I have a full product list and some other colour combinations are shown afterwards.  Enjoy!

Your Tutorial

Using the Precision Base Plate and your Big Shot cut your stencil using the thinlit of your choice (I think the Detailed Floral one is perfect for this technique).  To get the stencil how I wanted it I offset the two thinlits from each other, this reduced the space between the two of them.  I’ve used a piece of Window Sheet for my stencil, depending on the tension of your Big Shot you may even need a shim to get nice deep cuts in the window sheet as it is thicker and harder to cut than cardstock).

Once the stencil has been cut brush out the cut pieces with your roller brush.  Be sure that all the pieces have been removed.

Cut a piece of vellum approximately 13cm x 10 cm.  You will trim it down afterwards so it doesn’t have to be precise now. Lay the stencil over the top of the vellum.

Start with your lightest colour, in my case Daffodil Delight.  Ink up your Sponge Brayer and roll it over one end of the stencil.


  1. Make sure that you roll the brayer all the way through the ink pad, don’t just go back and forth as you will not ink up the brayer evenly.
  2. Don’t push too hard with the brayer as the edge of the handle will dig into your foam ink pad and damage the surface (sadly I did do this to one of mine, I was pressing too hard on an ink pad that needed reinking).
  3. Make sure your ink pad is well inked and use your refills to top them up if need be (a great tip is to buy the refills when you buy your pads, they can be used for so many other techniques, if you do buy our InColor range the refills are always the first thing to sell out once they go into retiring status).

Continue with your second colour (mine was Pumpkin Pie or a well inked Peekaboo Peach will work well too), overlap and blend the two colours slightly.  Remember that when working on vellum it may seem that you are not achieving a good depth of colour however once you place the Whisper White underneath it will pop more.  I used a different sponge brayer for each different colour.

You’ll see that this stencil has too much blank space in the top third, offsetting your thinlits when you cut your stencil will prevent this.

Finish with your final colour (Flirty Flamingo for me, I changed the sponge brayer again).  Do not remove the stencil.

Sponge Brayers come in a packet of four sponges and two handles so they’re fantastic value and have plenty of sponges to easily make this project.

The sponges can be washed under the tap, I add a little dishwashing liquid to mine and squeeze and rinse them under warm water until the water runs clear (the sponge may remain stained, this does not affect their use).  Remember these sponge brayers are a consumable product, they have not been designed to last forever.  In saying that these ones have been extensively used in my classes and they’re holding up beautifully.

The next step is to keep the stencil in place and use your Versamark pad directly on the vellum.  If you don’t want to do this you could put some Versamark reinker on the lid and pick it up with a sponge dauber and then dab it over the inked sections.  Work from light to dark.

Remove the stencil and dump some Clear Embossing Powder over the top, flick off the excess and heat set with your heat tool.  This helps set the ink and give the ink a beautifully glossy finish.  Be careful with the heat on the vellum, only heat the powder until it melts, no longer.

Add your sentiment on the bottom of your base card (I love the Thick Whisper White Cardstock that we now have for my card bases.  If you want it to have the same glossy appearance stamp your sentiment in Versamark before your colour, quickly add clear embossing powder and then heat set.

(The other option is to stamp your colour, clean your stamp and stamp over the top with versa mark then add powder and set (it can be harder to line up your stamps doing it this way)).

You’ll now want to assemble your card.  You will need to trim your vellum piece down.  Yours may be slightly different to mine depending on how you lined up your thinlints to make your stencil.  Trim around your image to get a nice solid image, for me it is pretty much always around 8.3cm x 11.2 cm.  You will need to cut a piece of Whisper White to exactly the same size.  (You may prefer to adhere your Vellum to your Whisper White and cut them both at the same time – I have a guillotine style trimmer that works well for this).  I suggest using Fast Fuse to adhere the two layers together, I find that it doesn’t show through.

You will need to cut a mat in a coordinating colour, I used Flirty Flamingo.  My mat is 8.6cm x  11.5cm (so I’ve only made my mat 0.3cm bigger, you could make yours bigger if you wanted).    The mat is mounted onto the card base with dimensionals.

I’ve added a Dragonfly cut in Whisper White and then a solid Dragon Fly cut in Vellum.  I’ve put some metallic thread behind the dragonfly and scattered some rhinestones.  More samples are featured after this product list.

Product List

Big Shot


Heat Tool


Additional Samples

I’ve made a few more cards with similar supplies and simply changed up the colour combinations.

This one uses Island Indigo, Bermuda Bay and Pool Party Inks, the coordinating cardstock is Island Indigo.

This card has been made with Melon Mambo and Cherry Cobbler Inks.  The coordinating cardstock is Cherry Cobbler as the mat and Melon Mambo (for the Butterfly thinlits).  I added some Wink of Stella over the butterfly for that shimmery sparkle.  I hand cut a sold vellum butterfly to adhere under the thinlit (and attached it with the fine tip glue pen).

This card is also Melon Mambo and Cherry Cobbler.

This card features blue hues in the colours of Night of Navy, Island Indigo and Marina Mist.  The coordinating cardstock is Island Indigo, the sentiment has been stamped with Night of Navy ink (plus versamark and clear embossing powder).  Some pearls have been added for some extra interest.

This following card is so much prettier in real life.  I’ve used Bermuda Bay and Pool Party.  The Butterfly is three layers of cardstock (Bermuda Bay, Vellum and Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper).  The cordinating cardstock is Bermuda Bay.

Finally another card hard to photograph well.  This Dragonfly was cut with our Stampin’ Up! Silver Foil.  The colours are Soft Sky and Pool Party, the coordinating cardstock is Pool Party.

Additional Product List

Bitty Banners Big Shot Die Framelits

Bitty Banners Big Shot Die Framelits


With Sympathy.

Unfortunately sympathy cards are needed every now and again.  I don’t enjoy knowing they are necessary but I’m grateful for the opportunity to show my respects.

Sadly I’ve had the need to make one and here is what I’ve come up with.  I think it will be lovely in other colour combinations and I’ll make some time to have a play around with others and will share my progress.

Points to note:

  1. I’ve used the Stitched Shapes Framelits (they’re available again!!!!) I love these.  I didn’t quite have the right oval framelit to mount the stamped image on so I cut the next size oval Stitched Shape Framelit and distressed the edge to bring it down to the right size.  To match in I distressed the edges of the other black mats too.
  2. The new Hexagon Dynamic Embossing Folder is absolutely divine, you will need to follow some tips to get a great result, I have attached a video but the main points are to spritz your paper with water prior to embossing and to only use one cutting pad (not the usual sandwich of two).  The video is for the “Cable Knit” embossing folder however the tips are all the same.
  3. I’ve embossed with black embossing powder (which is currently retired, I’m really hoping that Stampin’ Up! will bring it back), be sure to always use your Stampin’ Buddy prior to stamping with Versamark and then adding your embossing powder.  The Embossing Buddy will reduce the static on your cardstock and ensure the powder only sticks to where the versamark is.  The Embossing Buddy is well worth buying.
  4. The Black Satin Ribbon is retired, I suggest keeping some fabric scissors on hand for ribbon only, Stampin’ Up! used to sell some absolutely superb fabric scissors but I’ve checked and they’re retired, another sad realisation.
  5. When I coloured the image in with the Watercolour Pencils I also added a very fine line of gray around the outside of the image, this works as a bit of a shadow and really makes the image pop (thank you to Stephanie Pike for this awesome tip).
  6. On Watercolour Paper I would usually use an Aqua Painter however as the image is so fine I used a Blender Pen.
  7. This floral stamp is from “Avant Garden”, a sale-a-bration stamp set that you can choose for free with any order of $90.

Product List

Big Shot


Blender Pens


Black Stampin' Emboss Powder

Black Stampin’ Emboss Powder

Heat Tool


A change of pace, a bit of beading!

My eldest daughter finished high school last year and ended the year with the Formal on the last day.  We were so fortunate to be surrounded by awesome business woman who collectively helped to make my daughter’s evening such a success.

We adore our makeup artist Lauren (fun fact – I was there when she was born),  her skills are incredible and to make it even better she is lovely and very efficient.

You’ll find Lauren’s Facebook page here, her website here and you’ll find her on instagram (laurendelucamakeup) where you will see Tegan’s makeup before and after.

Our hairdresser is also awesome.  We love Stacy and she is also so lovely and quick. She works from her own home salon, we all love going there. You’ll find Stacy on Facebook here, if you don’t have Facebook send me a message and I’ll give you all her contact details.

One of my dearest friend’s found a brilliant local business Mirror Mirror who have blown the idea of a corsage right out of the water.  Her work is divine and the corsage stayed gorgeous all night (it was a typical revolving hot Brisbane day).  The corsage gets delivered to your door so that’s one less thing to worry about on a busy day.  This was the photo my friend took, the colours are really stunning!

Tegan’s was beautiful too.

Once the night is over you still have a beautiful keepsake bracelet. You need to remove the wires (this is very easy to do) and you have extra beads that have been wired through the flowers (you may be able to see them in the photos above).

I added one extra bead and the little padlock from my own beading stash and with the extra beads that were threaded through the flowers I was able to add a little extra section in the bracelet and a set of earrings.

It was a nice change to do something different again, and it has reminded me I have a big pile of broken costume jewellery that I really should fix someday!

Birthday Wishes

Today I’m sharing another card made with a 30th birthday in mind.  I think this card is special enough for any milestone birthday.  The gold dots are actually an foil on acetate overlay, if you use it showing the other side they look silver.  I’ve used adhesive underneath the Bermuda bay section and under the black circle and that seems to be enough to hold it down well (it can be tricky as often the adhesive will show through the clear acetate sheets.)  The embossing folder I’ve used on the Bermuda Bay is just from my supplies (not SU).

Product List


What does scrapbooking mean to you?

(Warning, long post to follow, I’m really passionate about this topic – I think you’ll quickly find that’s obvious)

What does scrapbooking mean to you?

15 years ago it pretty much meant a day with some of the finest humans I know while cutting paper and placing photos on another piece of paper 30 centimetres square.  We would pay $20 to cover room hire and refreshments and get busy solving all the problems in our worlds. Many times we would be also caring for babies and these babies did not always cooperate (one of my friends got covered in poop when I asked her to hold a twin “just for a sec”, to make matters worse she was on her first outing away from her own baby who is only a few months older).  Sometimes the conversations were so important that the paper crafting needed to put to the side.  No matter if the completed scrapbooking pages were a work of art or simply a few squares to be packed away and attempted again next time these days were always valued and our money was handed over without question.  In fact if an “outsider” was at our table and would question our “value for money” due to how little paper crafting we may have achieved that session those of us within the inner sanctum would look at this person with horror – absolutely mortified that she didn’t appreciate the depth of therapy gained in that day.

These days I do my best recreate this atmosphere within my classes.  I know that you can buy craft supplies anywhere and the internet is bursting with amazing ideas and tutorials.  What I can offer is a day that is designed to bring you joy, a day that puts you in the company of other women who love crafting and want an escape from the pressures of daily life.  If the need be I also want you to be able to find your therapy in the wisdom of everyone else sharing the space with you that day.

Today my scrapbooking is varied.  So many different styles and systems have evolved since I started scrapbooking.  I am so grateful for the scrapbook pages I have, they keep my memories and my photos together, reading back through them I am astonished about how much I had already forgotten!  Here is a list of the projects I have ongoing and then I’ll discuss them in further detail..

  1. Project Life year in review (using the app)
  2. Project Life style simple scrapbooking pages to fill gaps in my traditional albums (using the physical product (journalling cards sold through Stampin’ Up! in the Project Life kits)
  3. Traditional 12×12 scrapbooks in Creative Memory Albums
  4. Traditional 8×8 scrapbook albums for my kids on their 21st birthdays
  5. Special 6×8 Project Life albums for milestone birthdays.
  6. Physical Project Life year in review albums (not using the app)
  7. Project Life albums with physical product for each of the kid’s school work.
  8. Project Life albums with physical product for each of the kid’s school photos.

Ok here we go…

1.Project Life year in review (using the app).

Becky Higgins is absolutely my bestie, she just doesn’t know it yet, imagine how excited she will be when she finds out!!!  Look at us together, it is meant to be…  I was unbelievably excited when I heard that Stampin’ Up! were going to carry Becky Higgin’s products – two of my favourite things have come together!

The Project Life App is available for both android and iOS.  It has been designed to be very simple to use on either your phone or tablet/iPad.  You can print directly from the App (and make photo books if you live in the US).  I’ve exported my pages and then printed them through http://www.scrapbookprinting.com.au I’ve asked around and everyone who has printed digital scrapbook pages recommends these guys, they seem to be the best economical solution for 12×12 inch photo printing.

Once you get your photo pages back you slip them into page protectors and pop them into your album, done!


Another awesome integration is the PicTapGo App that works in beautifully with the Project Life App, it is quick and easy to add filters to your photos that can fix common light issues and the like.

So this system works well for me for my year in review as each Sunday night I can go through my photos on my phone and add them to the pages for that week (usually a double page spread for each normal week.  If the week includes a birthday or a holiday it may be more, it the week has been very dull it may have to be a single page).  The App includes a lot of collections of journalling cards and cute images that add to the appeal of your pages, there are plenty of different themes and you can purchase more if you choose.

Another tip when using the App is to set up something like iCloud photo sharing so that you can access photos from your family members or your other devices, my phone struggles with storage space so this has been invaluable for me.  This style of scrapbooking will be my solution for year 2013 onwards.

Here’s an example of a typical week in our album…


Want more information, check it out here….

2. Project Life style simple scrapbooking pages to fill gaps in my traditional albums (using the physical product (journalling cards sold through Stampin’ Up! in the Project Life kits)

I have a lot of physical product, I think hoarder is a very strong word and I’d like to think it doesn’t apply to me.  For every year prior to 2009 I will be organising my photos into layouts similar to this simple ones done above and then stuck into the Creative Memories Pages and put into the Creative Memories Albums. These pages will fill the gaps in my traditional albums.

These albums can be a little easier if you already have a stack of photos printed out and you just need to cut them to size and stick them down.  The journalling blocks can be a little easier to either hand-write or print onto cardstock.

An example of these kits are here…


3.Traditional 12×12 scrapbooks in Creative Memory Albums

My first love, not unknown for it to take days to produce just one page. Sometimes the embellishments take over the photo itself. Not something that anyone who didn’t love craft would consider.  These pages are mostly before 2009 and each year is not complete, hence why I am having to fill the gaps with my system above in number 2.

You’d better believe that’s real stitching on that page, we take this craft very seriously!

Hand cut letters mean you really care…

Nothing says attention to detail like ribbon that coordinates with your photos (and too many stickers are never enough)…

4.Traditional 8×8 scrapbook albums for my kids on their 21st birthdays

These albums were started so that the kids would have a snapshot of their childhoods on their milestone birthday.  These albums will be given to the kids along with a collection of letters written to them each year around their birthday.  The letters talk about what they are like at that age and what is going on in our lives at that time.  The albums feature a photo of them about every 6 months as well as pages that highlight various family moments (these include births of siblings or particularly special family photos). The 8×8 size is a bit easier to work on, each album is becoming quite large and may in fact end up being two or three albums per child.

The actual album itself will no doubt change before I give them to the kids….as you can see one of them was within reach of a toddler at some stage…

This is an example of a shot of the kids together that I just couldn’t resist adding.

I wanted to honour the relationship between their Dad and I so that they strive for someone who is worthy of them in their adult years.

I wanted to capture family moments and I will occasionally include a page where we are all together, we don’t get photos of the six of us often enough.  Pages like these are made identically for all four albums.

These individual pages are really what the album was initially all about.  In flicking through the albums I have noticed that I really need to add more dates onto pages like this.  Remember that a letter for each age is to be given at the same time so a lot of journalling is not included on these pages.

5.Special 6×8 Project Life albums for milestone birthdays.

An example of this is the albums I made for each of my twins when they turned 13.  These albums are hybid, meaning that they are a combination of some elements completed in the app and some physical product and embellishments.  These albums are meant to be a bit of a “cheer you up” after a challenging day, a little something to look at and know that you are loved.

In preparation for making this album I created a Pinterest board that anyone can join and add to, you can check it out here.

Sorry for the quick snaps, I’ve actually put these albums away and can’t find them, when I do locate them I’ll update the photos.

6.Physical Project Life year in review albums (not using the app)

These albums will be for the years 2009-2013.  I have a lot of printed photos and I have a lot of divided page protectors as well as a lot of kits.  This will help to use all of these up but still get my pages done quickly.  I got a whole year done one weekend.

Products required are the same as below in number 7,

7.Project Life albums with physical product for each of the kid’s school work.

In our previous home we had a massive shed that I could store multiple plastic crates full of the kid’s school work and other memorabilia.  Since we have moved I have found that we simply don’t have that storage space anymore.  I have also realised that paintings don’t last well, they disintegrate and get quite smelly.  Big plastic crates full of bulky art work and scrunched up certificates are not appealing when reminiscing either.

To collate all of these special memories I have been scanning or photographing the art work. I  then print it out as a photo on my Epson PictureMate (They are not available anymore but the link will tell you about it so maybe you can find something like it.  I know that the Selphy is popular).  I find that being able to print the photo instantly keeps me in place with my project and I get more done.  Once the artwork is photographed and in the album the original artwork is thrown out *gasp* shocking I know!

So this…

Gets turned into this…

Much more appealing to look at and more likely to last the test of time…

For this project you need divided page protectors and an album (I needed two albums to fit all of this school work and craft into for Tegan). You could add embellishments with a kit if you wanted to.

8.Project Life albums with physical product for each of the kid’s school photos

The professional school photos that are done through the Primary School are large and difficult to display.  This year I purchased a Fuse Tool (I have a love/hate relationship with it, mostly user error, if you don’t touch the red-hot metal end you’ll be fine.)  The Fuse Tool means that you can convert a 12×12 page protector into a divided page to your own custom specifications.

Here’s a bit of a look at how it works….

For these albums I added printed title cards (that I made in the Project Life App) and just printed as a photo on my PictureMate.

I also added any school related photos I had for that year.  All of these photos fit into one album. Do not even get me started about how much my matchy heart loved how these backdrops coordinated with each other in each line.  This is the first page in the school photos album.

Each double page has the class photo, the individual photo, a title card and assorted photos from the year

The next double page spread is the mirror image of the one before due to the way the page pockets were fused

As we got into high school I needed to change the layout as instead of full class photos you get a book full of every student’s individual photo.  I now have a single page for the year and then a pouch for the book.

This album and the school memory one, along with folders full of school reports and certificates were given to Tegan on her second last day of school (the actual last day was going to be super busy with the formal).

I found these lovely folders (for school reports and other important certificates, I needed two for Tegan) at Officeworks…

Thanks for reading.  Contact me if you have any questions.  I’d love to show you more whenever you are here so don’t hesitate to let me know what you would like to see.

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