Monday, 31 March 2014

"Happy Love"Layout - March 2Crafty Share {Prima Product Pick}





Hello everyone!  HAPPY Monday!!  Today was an extraordinarily 
productive day for me - yay!  It was my birthday on Saturday so
 I spent the day with my family "relaxing"{actually working on a
 DIY home improvement project!}which was really tiring but also
 a very healthy way to spend the day as it was quite strenuous.

  I love making our house more homely so for me it was a great way
 to spend the afternoon, followed by a movie in front of the TV
 in the evening & my favourite dinner cooked by hubby!!  So
I had a really nice weekend & that translated into me being 
ready to start the week well!  I don't know about you but I
go through energy highs & energy dips & right now I'm on a
high again after a couple of weeks of feeling fluey...

I went up on the 2Crafty blog today HERE with a couple of
new layouts, one of them which I am entering into the Prima
Product Pick competition HERE so I need to get linked up
quick as it ends today!  Here is my 2Crafty post below :)
 

"Happy  Love"

2014 March ppp

I used the 2Crafty words "happy" {loopy font} 
 & "love" {loopy font} to make up my title -
 Happy Love.


I used a few different colours of embossing powder 
for a more interesting effect when I embossed each word.


The great thing about chipboard is it's versatility. You buy 
 it in it's raw state then customise it to suit your project.


These hearts {Squiggly Heart Cluster} are definitely 
MY FAVOURITE CHIPBOARD  ITEM EVER -
 I really want to use them repeatedly - on everything!!  


I used Tombo mono glue to adhere them lightly in just a few places,
 {that glue is incredibly strong & dries clear} & I used the same
 embossing effect on the hearts as I did on the words.


If you find embossing on intricate chipboard shapes tricky with an embossing pad
 you need to buy yourself one of these.  They last an incredibly long time
 & make the job waaaaaaaaay easier...


You just roll it over your piece & the effect can be made to look
 "chunky" if you squeeze out a thicker or uneven layer.


Photo overload so you can study things from every angle!


This chipboard piece in person is way more awesome than you realise
 when you look at it in it's raw state.  There's no way you won't love this!


Using your punches to "mirror" the design on your chipboard 
pieces, if possible, is an easy trick to help create a cohesive layout.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY TODAY!


Thursday, 27 March 2014

CSI Q & A {March Special Agent/Guest Designer}






Hello there!  I have a new CSI creation to share soon but not today, 
so I am sharing my interview with CSI, which you can find HERE.

As I hate posts with no images here is a sneak peek of what I was working on last night :)


“Hi there!

My name is Helen Tilbury & I live in Durban, South Africa, together with one lovely man, 4 kids & 3 cats.

I have a day job to pay some of the bills but the real fun starts after 8pm once the chores are done! I spend 4 hours most evenings in my studio, either creating, editing & printing my own photographs or blogging about my creations, writing up tutorials or articles, etc. Then of course parts of my weekends turn into “scrap marathons” when I often create for many hours at a time.

I’ve been scrapbooking for 10 years now & love it from a creative viewpoint ~I have long given up on the idea of recording every moment & scrapping every photo so I pick & chose the stories to tell & try my best to scrapbook each of my 4 children equally so they all have plenty of albums.

My style is artistic, layered up & mixed media orientated ~ I love building up my page with different elements & thoroughly enjoy the process even though each page takes me a few hours to complete.

Currently I design for Lindy’s Stamp Gang, Scrap 365 Magazine, Inkido {Swedish Manufacturer}, 2Crafty Chipboard & Scrap Around The World {my own challenge blog}.

Thanks very much for having me with you at CSI this month ~ let the fun begin!””

Interrogation

What is your favorite color(s) to work with?

I love pale bases so often work with white, together with splashes of brighter colours & black accents.

What would you say is your "fingerprint" on your scrapbook pages? (i.e., what do most of your pages have that make it yoursignature style?) 

Almost every layout of mine has some mixed media work on it. I am gesso crazy, love to stencil with modelling pastes & am obsessed with mists!

What do you find most challenging when working on a layout? 

Starting! I find it difficult to begin creating without something to get me started so I love taking part in challenges & following mood boards or being given assignments to follow by the Design Teams I’m on.

What is your favorite part about CSI--the colors, the stories, or the inspiration? 

Definitely the colours! I love all colours & the challenge of making them work together effectively.

Confession time. Okay, fess up! What secret do you not want to admit but are willing to confess here? 

I am a great procrastinator. As I said earlier, getting started is always a challenge. I am really into organisation at home & am always working on some or other DIY/home storage project so often delay getting into my studio ~ once in though I hardly come up for air & can stay in there the whole day & even the whole night at times too!!

I love Q & A's!  They're such fun I think!!
See you again tomorrow - with my Inkido project!
Still time to play along with our blinged up challenge there.
{A lovely challenge full of beautiful jewel colours}



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"True Love in 2014"- CSI March "Special Agent"" {Prima/Lindy's Stamp Gang/Pink Paislee}






Hello again!  I am so happy to have semi-sorted my bloggy problems out!!
♥ Thanks for visiting & please remember to RESUBSCRIBE TO MY NEW BLOG FEED
 if you read my blog through any reader other than Google Dashboard, Blog Lovin'or email. ♥


I'm here today to share my next case file with you from CSI
where I am their Guest Designer {Special Agent}
 this month HERE.  This is Case File 115.  
I found it really difficult to get my colours showing up nicely this time unfortunately.  
In person they have a reddish brown tinge but whether I photographed
 by natural or artificial light they came out brown :(


I used all the colours but focused mostly on the 
brown & white with touches of the pinks.


For my EVIDENCE - where one is required to use TWO PIECES I used :- 
1) Hearts {the Heart design that underpins my entire page}
2)  Lace - The scalloped lace underneath my photo cluster
3)  Grid - the dry-wall tape
4)  Flowers - my Prima background paper
5)  Pen work - My hand-journalling
6)  Mixed - Media Background - my gesso & misting
 & my gel medium collage work underneath it all for texture.


Yeah so my colours didn't show up so great but I got 6 pieces
 of evidence in instead of the minimum 2 - so I'm forgiven right?


Now for the TESTIMONY, of which one is required to use just ONE clue.
1)  Freewrite - did that.  Often do it.  LOVE to do it.


I stacked up my photo on foam tape as usual with a lot of random elements
 & torn papers & off-cuts underneath.  I hang on to lots of little off-cuts for this 
purpose & to be honest it's my favourite look right now & darn economical too :)


I took some background photos before I 
got started with the rest of my layout.


You can see I had a blast with this one!


Gel medium/decoupage style is one of my new fave tricks!


Thanks for stopping by today!  

Why not join Debbi & the CSI ladies this week?




Tuesday, 25 March 2014

"Miss You"Layout {CSI Guest Designer} Special Agent - Prima/2Crafty/Lindy's Stamp Gang





♥ Thanks for visiting & please remember to RESUBSCRIBE TO MY NEW BLOG FEED if you read my blog through any reader other than Google Dashboard, Blog Lovin'or email. ♥

This month I have been the Guest Designer {Special Agent} at CSI.  Debbi Tehrani's Ning Challenge site HERE.   For those of you who don't know, Debbi & I have a long history together when we were both very involved at a very beautiful & sadly terribly mismanaged Colour Challenge Site called Color Combos Galore, that used to be THE place to play in it's heyday, until it was eventually abandoned by it's owner for months leaving the Design Team not knowing what to do.  Aaaaah the memories!  It's all quite funny now but at the time it was quite something.  When it was good it was  GREAT & we all LOVED it!!


Well I was very flattered & honoured to be invited as CSI's Special Agent for March & the first case file I was sent to crack was one of their most beautiful to date I think!  Case File no. 113 HERE.  I have a Q & A HERE which I am also going to share in a separate post soon, just in case one day the Ning site is no longer.  It is fun to read & see "the stage"I am at in my crafting journey now.

How you play is you use ALL THE COLOURS, 2 pieces of Evidence & 1 Testimony, as a minimum.  What I've learnt about colour is that it's not necessary, or actually a good idea, to use them in equal amounts.  It actually looks a lot more effective to have one main colour & touches of another couple of colours.   So I used the white & the blue as my main colours & added a tiny smidgeon of pink to the bottom of my layout. The paler pink features in my Prima Sugar Dots & light misting & the grey in the chipboard, tinsel, alphas, photo & background design of the paper.


The EVIDENCE {where you choose 2}- 

1.  Ledger Paper - My paper is not ledger paper but this prompt did inspire me to use a very old sheet of 2009 Fancy Pants paper with a lovely geometric graphical design.

2.  Camera/Typewriter - these actually didn't end up featuring either but the thought of them prompted me to use this awesome stamp set from Jodie Lee Patterson for Prima "Delight".


Completely adorable I'm sure you will agree & Jodie Lee herself actually spotted my layout & shared it on her own Jodie Lee Patterson Designs page HERE - woot!
Evidence 3 -  Hearts, Stars - okay THOSE I ACTUALLY DID USE!!  The heart is a silver pvc one with a pink edging up above my photo on the top left.  I dabbed some gesso on it to mute it.  I cut it from my daughter's old pencil case :-p  The stars are some  VERY BEAUTIFUL Tim Holtz Idea-ology ones available HERE & more beautiful than you will have any idea of until you see them in person.  I am never without them & never will be.  The reflection on these is AMAZING!


Evidence 4 - Birds, Eyes, Butterflies - NOPE
5 - Scallops YES {the braid beneath my photo}
6 - envelope - NOPE
7 - Doodling/Pen Work - kind of - my journaling & the stamping & rub-ons to give the effect.
8 - Beads - NOPE
9.  Title Banner - not exactly although I did use a banner design repeatedly by way of a stamp.
10.  Stripes - I used some zig zag washi tape that, when the design is broken down, consists of stripes!


For my TESTIMONY I went with an appreciation letter & wrote to my son Jack about the fantastic time we had together recently & how it was even more awesome because we were together.


To get my journaling to blend in with my background I first sponged down the side with white, dried it off completely then added my lettering in with a black fineliner, using some stickers for some of the words, which I ended up going over with a black pen as they weren't standing out strongly enough.


I started by stamping all over my background using the Prima Delight Stamps by Jodie Lee.  Because I used black archival ink this meant that when I colour washed over them with mists & watered down gesso none of the designs bled or ran.


To keep the grey colour visible I left my chipboard raw, just with a touch of white acrylic sponging.  Attaching it using staples added a manly industrial touch which is what I was after with this page.  Proving that cute colours can be used on a masculine page too & work.
My chipboard comes from 2Crafty in Australia of course.


I used an older Lily Bee paper to back my photo, as it mimicked a doodle design.  Underneath my photo I used a bit of Christmas tinsel {a finer variety from Webster's Pages} as well as some lovely grey lacy braid underneath that too.


I created more layers with crocheted flowers, 
a doily & some fussy cutting. I will be sharing my
 next layout for CSI Case File 15 here very shortly.
Good to see you again :-D




Monday, 24 March 2014

Good News Folks!! {How to avoid your Blog Feed breaking, How to Fix it if it does Break & How to check it regularly so if it does break you'll be the first to know!}





***If it's all gobbledygook to you just scroll down to 
the last 3 points & MAKE SURE YOU DO THEM!***

Looks like I managed to fix all my techy problems! {in a sense!!} by creating my new feed. 
PLEASE RESUBSCRIBE IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY - ALL DETAILS IN MY SIDEBAR. 
{no need to resubscribe to BLog Lovin', Google Dashboard or Email - only other readers}.  Any suspected problems in future DO LET ME KNOW WON'T YA?!? I feel like the world  has been lifted off my shoulders as it sure was a worry to me. 

Now WHO CARES about all this stuff?!  Well none of us do but it's important that you know a few basic things because otherwise you could be producing beautiful work, even blogging it all, but you MAY NOT BE AWARE that it is not reaching some or even your entire audience.

It all depends HOW people follow your blog.  Of course if they click in manually to your blog you know your posts are there so no problem, but how many people do that?  Not many...

HOW TO AVOID YOUR BLOG FEED BREAKING

1)  Why would your feed break in the first place?
2 reasons.  a)  It gets too big.  Yup, that actually happens...
How to avoid it.  Go to Feedburner HERE.

Once in Feedburner (part of Blogger & Google) it will open straight on your page.
  CLICK ON THE NAME OF YOUR BLOG & it will take you
 to a page full of details, CLICK UP AT THE TOP LEFT
 where it says EDIT FEED DETAILS.  You'll get to this:-

To stop any possibility of your feed becoming too big over the course of your years of blogging, you need to add an easy peasy little extension to your ORIGINAL FEED.  This should NOT change your Feed Address.  My problem began when I added this code & somehow DID change my original feed.  NO IDEA still how I managed that but if you watch carefully when you are making the change to the original feed you can ENSURE THAT THE FEED ADDRESS DOES NOT CHANGE.  If it does just click "cancel and do not make these changes.

HOW TO FIX YOUR FEED IF IT DOES BREAK

To get the little extension you need to add click on the TROUBLESHOOTIZE tab (see it above?), scroll to the bottom where it talks about how to MAKE YOUR FEED SHORTER so that people get to see the last (anything from 1 - 500) posts.  Depending on how often you blog set the number to be between 8 and 16 for example (as many posts as you would typically make in one month)

This page HERE is the link that opens from the Troubleshootize page which explains how to make your feed shorter.  The code is just ?max-results=8 for example. I did this for Scrap Around The World last night & it worked fine so now I'm a pro :0)

SOMETIMES YOUR FEED BREAKS BECAUSE OF OTHER PROBLEMS.
Mostly because of "bad code"that gets into it from COPYING & PASTING FROM WORD!  Well I never!!  I don't do it myself but sometimes am given text for blog hops, etc, that may quite likely have been written out in Word by others...OOPS!! REMEMBER NO WORD!!!  {As in Microsoft Word}  and if you are copying & pasting into your blog from something you've been given & you don't know where it originated HIGHLIGHT ALL THE TEXT then click this little icon at the top right of your open blog page when in "Compose" {where you change your font, add images, etc...
That will mess things up & you will have to get them looking good again (line spacing etc) but it's the only way to get rid of the offending code that COULD BREAK YOUR BLOG FEED!

------------------------------------

If this happens you need to go through your latest post & unformat them all!!  Yup it would take FOREVER so you end up burning a NEW FEED altogether like me that loses you half your following SO the moral of the story!  Don't let it break in the first place!! {although for me it was unavoidable as I didn't have this information} THAT'S WHY I'M SHARING IT!!  So you can avoid the same thing happening to you!!!

How do you know if your feed is broken?

NO-ONE {Blogger/Feedburner/ Blog Lovin' tells you when your feed is broken.  You have to work it out for yourself.  Mine was broken for 5 weeks before I became aware of it being broken.  I suspected a problem but was not sure what it was or how to fix it.  

BUT I have worked out that there are SOME SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE SURE YOUR FEED IS ALWAYS WORKING.  Nowhere else is this written & I have read through half of Google & Blogger Help on this issue so you can thank me later if your feed breaks & you pick up the problem immediately!!

---------------------------------------

HOW TO CHECK THAT YOUR BLOG FEED IS ALWAYS WORKING!!

1.  ADD YOUR OWN BLOG TO YOUR SIDEBAR in a standard "Blog List"gadget.  This will ENSURE that if it stops updating YOU WILL SEE IT IMMEDIATELY so have it somewhere really visible, close to the top of your sidebar.

2.  Subscribe to YOUR OWN BLOG via Blog Lovin' or whatever Reader you use.  Yes you can easily subscribe to your own blog through your own profile that is linked to that very blog.

3.  Sign up for E MAIL UPDATES to ensure that you receive your blog updates via email.

These 3 updating methods are all affected by your FEED & IF IT BREAKS THEY WON'T UPDATE & you will know right away!  Problem solved before it happens :)

If it DOES happen go into Feedburner & fix it like I told you!  Scroll up!!




Sunday, 23 March 2014

My Blog Lovin' Feed is FIXED!! Wahoo!!!





Anyone reading my blog through BLOG LOVIN' will last have seen
 a post from me on February 2nd.  That's because my feed was 
BROKEN & I was not aware of it.  Blog Lovin' have been SUPER 
HELPFUL in helping me get it fixed, which is more than
 I can say for Blogger, where it is still broken. 
{My blog is not updating for anyone
 that has it in their sidebar "Blog List"}

Blog Lovin' has jumped the last 8 posts though so
 if you want to see what I have been up to lately please
 scroll down & back track the last couple of months.


I'm really tired of this problem & considering starting a new blog
 altogether & linking it back at the top of the sidebar to this old
 thing :) Maybe that's the best idea...to admit defeat & start again!!

*** EDITED TO ADD - My Blog IS NOW UPDATING in the sidebar -
it just took hours due to our extremely slow internet speed in South Africa***




Where Have I Been?!? {& Please Resubscribe to my New Feed!}







Hi Blog Friends!  My huge apologies for not updating
 here for a couple of weeks.  I have had a MAJOR SETBACK 
here in that my blog feed{RSS} broke, meaning that none
 of my subscribers who read my blog through ANY READER have
 been able to see my blog posts for the past couple of MONTHS!  

As Feedburner DID NOT inform me about this {I have since found 
out that they DON'T unless you sign up to some type of a newsletter 
from them that comes via your reader - there is no email option).
It was 2 months before I was even aware of the problem!

My blog hits were dwindling dramatically & eventually
 a bloggy friend asked why I hadn't posted for so long.
   That's when I took a look & saw that MY LAST EIGHT POSTS 
HADN'T PUBLISHED through my RSS to any readers :(  

I have done everything possible to fix it & failed. 


Needless to say I have wasted many precious hours on it!
 I now have a NEW RSS FEED ADDRESS that you can see
 in my sidebar & have added it to my RSS ICON
 at the top of my blog, so if you click into that you 
can see my new feed address & resubscribe to it.


I wish there was a way to fix this but it seems there is not.  

What it means for me is that I lose all my old
 RSS subscribers,of which I had hundreds, unless
 they each manually resubscribe to my new feed address.  

One of those awful techy things that sets you back & to
which there is no ideal outcome.  It has been very demotivating
for me after the last 5 years of building up my following. 

 It also seems that the problem may re-occur as the reason
 my last feed broke was apparently due to some faulty html
coding that appears, usually, when you write up blog posts
 in Word then copy & paste them over to Blogger.  

The very strange thing there is that I DON'T DO THAT! 

 So why I am getting the strange html coding showing up
 I DO NOT KNOW & I can already see that it is
 showing up again in my new rss feed too.
So  WHO KNOWS?!? 
 All I can tell you is that IF YOU SEE NOTHING FROM ME
 {& you don't forget about me!} CLICK IN & see if there is
 an update.  IF YES PLEASE INFORM ME {if it is not showing
 in your reader but is showing on my blog!}so I can look into it!


My blog is working perfectly.
It is my rss feed that broke & now I have a new one.
As I haven't been able to fix it & wanted to try to fix
my old feed rather than advertise to subscribe to my
new feed, there didn't seem any point in updating my
blog until such time as I was certain what to advise
my followers.  Now I have given up trying to fix my
old feed & accepted that there is nothing I can do to
repair it & I must just accept it & MOVE ON!!  

Meanwhile of course I have been keeping myself very busy
 behind the scenes :)  Firstly I got TERRIBLE FLU, as did
we all, so that was dreadful & lasted a good 10 days between
the lot of us.  Now I am busy organising my new Design Team
{starting in May 2014} at Scrap Around The World, my
challenge blog, as well as working on a big surprise for you all,
that I have in store for you, coming up quite soon, in MAY!

And I also have another piece of very interesting & exciting news
to share, a completely new development for me, that I will be
 sharing here VERY SOON so I may not have been blogging but
I have still been very involved in all things scrapbooking related
& I will be sharing with you all again as per usual starting NOW!






Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lindy's Stamp Gang News!





Hi everyone!  

As you all know I was successful in my application to join  Lindy's Stamp Gang 
in August of last year. I was really happy to make the team of a company 
whose products I had used & admired for many years, in fact it was a dream
 come true for me! 

Unfortunately my time with Lindy's has come to an end already.
You can read the official announcement here

 Lindy's has reduced the size of their team in keeping with their new
vision to showcase more of their customer's work on their blog.

 Here's a  quick look at all my projects using Lindy's during
 my 6 month term - September 2013 - end Feb 2014.  


















It's been a ride ;-p