Sunday, 26 January 2014

Introducing our new creative team members ...

Introducing our new creative team ...

Rather than do the usual bio's I gave them all a series of scrappy related questions and asked them to answer a couple for me ...

Aubrie - USA

Do you have a must use tool you can't get by without? Other than the basics, my absolute favorite tool is my Zutter Distrezz it All.  It makes edge distressing so much quicker.  And, it is always a head-turner when I go to crops because it sounds a bit like a table saw!

If you could ask any scrapbooking personality to a crop day at your house who would it be and why? This is a no-brainer for me.  I want to scrap with Tim Holtz.  I have a million of his products, and would love his insight on different ways to use them.  The man could market toilet paper and I'd probably buy it! 

What got you started on your memory keeping journey? I've been scrapping since I was in junior high.  It started with albums where I'd include keepsakes. I worked on the school yearbook in both highschool and college, which is basically scrapping in a different format.   I switched to 12X12 album format in early college, some 15 or so years ago.  Since then I have amassed a stash of scrapbook goodies, and it just keeps growing.  Sometimes I think I have a serious hording problem! 

Do you have a distinct style or tend to go where your creativity takes you? I'd like to think I go where my creativity takes me, but I clearly tend toward distressed and inked pages these days.  A few years baack I made a deliberate effort to do more distressed, dimentional pages.  That seemed to open my creativity up so much, and now I have a hard time doing a page that does  NOT involve some kind of distressed element.  I've tried to emulate a more "clean" style, using negative space on the page, because I adore that look.  But, that style just isn't me and it never turns out well.  So, distressed and croweded with multiple elements seems to be my style...although the degree varies from page to page.  

Leanne - Australia

Do you work in long sessions or snatches of time?  I am unfortunately one of those people who get an idea in my head and it has to be finished before I go to bed, or else I can’t get to sleep.  Snatches of time....what’s that? I think I have been in my room scrapping away for about an hour and then realise it has been more like 3 hours...oops!

Do you prefer recording family memories or everyday life?  A bit of both I suppose. I love to scrap about the simple everyday things that we tend to forget as the years go by. They are usually stories about what my 5 Grand Children get up to and I must admit it is fun to look at my albums with them and have a laugh!

Do you have a distinct style or go where your creativity takes you?  I wished I did have a distinct might be easier! I just go with what pops into my head and go from there. I do prefer to do bright and colourful pages.

If you could ask any scrapbooking personality to a crop day at your house who would it be and why?  I think Lizzy Hill.....just love her sense of humour! I am in awe of her ability to scrap any style with ease. She has a knack of knowing just where to put what and I would love to see her in action! I just love her work.

Deb - Australia

What time of the day do you prefer to work? and why?  I almost always scrap during the day, particularly in the morning and very rarely do I scrap into the night.   Mostly I like to finish my project once I start (well that is always the plan) and as I’m an early riser and definitely not a night owl, I find scrapping at night doesn’t work for me.

Do you work in long sessions or snatches of time?   I normally choose to scrap on days when I don’t have much else planned so that I can sit and create for a couple of hours at a time.  Because I use paint, mists etc on the background quite a bit, the drying time is what stretches out the time I take to do a page as I normally let it dry in it’s own time.   Mostly once the wet bits are dry, I do the majority of a layout in one sitting  but do leave it on the desk to add maybe some little extras later if I think it needs it.   

What do you regard as your scrapbooking strength?  Scrapbooking strength ... hmmmm ... I think I have gained, over the years, the strength to be happy with the not-so-perfect page and the thing that helped me get to that stage quite a few years back now,  was taking the step to “doodle” on my layouts.  Until this time, I totally disliked even the small amount of hand journaling I did on my pages and the thought of doodling on the page – well that thought didn’t really enter my mind.  What if I messed it up!    Now-a-days, I rarely re-do a layout or start  again.  A lot of the pages that I am most happiest with are the ones that haven’t gone to plan and I’ve created something from the “mistake” if I can call it that.

Do you have a distinct style or tend to go where your creativity takes you?  I think I have found what I am most happiest with but always find it hard to describe.   I love “shabby” very much and I feel most of my pages end up that way.   I like getting messy mostly and just adding little bits that, to someone else, might not really fit but to me it is just what the page needs.  

Di - Australia

Do you have a favourite manufacturer?  papers / cardstock: Fabscraps, Graphic 45, Prima and Basic Grey. Quite often I choose to use the reverse side of these papers, because often they have very interesting designs/patterns.  Stamps; Darkroom Door and Chocolate Baroque  Ranger / Tim Holtz products (especially inks, stains and sprays)

Do you have a must use tool you can't get by without? Most used tool that I now couldn't do without is my Sizzix Big Shot (with the longer plates).

Do you work in long sessions or snatches of time? I prefer to scrapbook /craft in longer sessions, especially if things are going according to plan. If no one else is at home during the day I'll craft then, otherwise I'll do it a bit later in the evening. However, this varies depending on what I'm doing and if it needs drying time.

What do you regard as your scrapbooking strength? I feel that my strength is the ability to step outside the box, look for ways to incorporate different products and being willing to explore through experimentation and play. At the moment. I am exploring more mixed media creations, zentangle designs and canvases.

Kylie - Australia

Which trends (past or present) have you particularly liked or loathed?  I don't know whether I loath any trend, but I think its a shame when the prettiness of the page, and dumping of tonnes of embellies takes control over the storytelling of the page. I think every page and every photo has its own story and I like to record this story. Not just by writing a few notes on the back of the layout. I loved it when paint and particularly spraying came in. It opened a whole new world to me.

What time of the day do you prefer to work? and why?  I do my best work at night or on weekends. Depending on the weather, if I can start scrapping at 11am on a Saturday and go into the afternoon I would probably turn out my best work. That said, I have been able to turn out pages at night from 7pm onwards, but rarely on week days because my full time job leaves me too tired and because I sit in front of a computer all day at work, I don't want to when I get home!

What do you regard as your scrapbooking strength?  Colours, placement, and storytelling. It took me ages to train myself on the first two. Some time, I'll tell you how I did that. I always like to be a bit different too, so I am always looking outside the square. I am also lucky to have had training on graphics applications about 15 years ago, which I still draw on today.

What got you started on your memory keeping journey?   This is a good question. I think a combination of personal tragedy and epic realisation got me started. When I realised that I was probably never going to get married and have kids and have no one to pass onto who I was and what I was like, and what I was all about, then I took to scrapbooking like a duck to water.

Welcome to all our new ARTastic teamies -  we are going to have an awesome year.

You still have time to get your layouts in for January.  We would love to see our gallery overflowing with your creations.  We also have some awesome prizes to give away and one of them could very easily be winging it's way to you. You have until 11.55pm January 31 to get those entries in.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Welcome Doreen Vasquez ...

Our very first guest designer for 2014.

Hi, my name is Doreen!

Happy New Year to you!
I’m very excited to be a Guest Designer here at ARTastic!
I just discovered this blog in October of last year (2013) and so far it has been inspiring!

A little bit about me:
I reside in Southern CA and have lived her pratically all my life.
My husband and I bought a house just down the street from our high school!  Speaking of my husband, I have been married to the most handsome, caring, fabulous man (EVER), and the love of my life, David, since July 16, 2001.
I am the mother of 2 beautiful human babies: Joseph (18) and Madison (11) and 3 super adorable fur babies: Spotty (dog), Ivanna (dog) and Panini (cat). Actually, I am Panini’s “Grammy” as Panini belongs to my daughter…and believe me, she will not let me forget it! 

I started dabbling in scrapbooking 14 years ago, however, it turned into a serious hobby for me in 2005 when I discovered a scrapbook website that opened my eyes to new, fun techniques and allowed me to interact with other scrappers. Before then I knew nobody who scrapbooked! Can you imagine?!  About 4 years ago the hobby turned into an obsession when I discovered blogs, contests, and scrapbooking kit clubs!  I don't scrap chronologically, as I would rather scrap whatever subject I am "feeling" at the moment.  Luckily I have a variety of subjects to scrap!

I would categorize my style as clean and simple with a few twists thrown in!  For the most part I like to stick to my general style, but I do get bored with it at times and that’s when I try to add new techniques or products.  My latest obsessions are: washi tape, misting, and my hexagon punch, size=XL thank you very much! Hahaha!  My signature? I like outlining, or doodling as some call it,  each layer of items on my layouts to help them stand out. I don’t consider a page complete if there isn’t at least some kind of outlining on it!  I have even tried to let a page go without it and it caused me great anxiety! No joke!!

I will never be caught up since as much as I like to scrap I also love to take pictures!
For every new layout I create there's probably a dozen new pictures I have just taken!
But for me it’s not about being caught up, it’s about capturing as many memories for my family as I can and enjoying the process while doing it!

Thanks for having me!

If you get a chance, please come visit me over at my blog, "A Day In Doreena's Life":

oh and a little about the layout I have done for January ARTastic ...

I love the inspiration piece so much; so unique and beautiful! The moment I saw it I knew 2 things: 1) I would use a black BG for my layout and 2) I would scrap a "selfie"; having been inspired by the fact that a woman's face was the main focal point of the picture.  The only thing that stumped me was how to incorporate the triangle/diamond shapes? Then I realized, in my selfie I am wearing an argyle sweater. How perfect is that! So using a stencil (you remember those, right?) I traced and cut out diamond and triangle shapes from PP that matched the colors of my sweater. I then glued each shape down in a complimentary pattern... and of course I outlined everything! ;0)  I think the picture I scrapped was completely meant for this challenge!

Here are some more layouts I have done recently ...

Thank you Doreen for being part of the team this month - so lovely to have you join us.

You still have time to upload your own take on this challenge.  We'd love to see what you can do with diamonds or triangles.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

December winners and new team inspiration ...

Despite it being such a busy time of the year we had some lovely Christmas entries in December so thank you everyone for taking the time to play along with us.

Congratulations go to ...

Chris Sexton who has won the Director's prize.

Random draw prize goes to  Wendy O'Keefe.

Congratulations - please email me at with your postal details and I will see your prize gets out to you.

Now onto the gorgeous work of our remaining team ...

When I thought about triangles I decided a banner. I chose this paper line due to it's cheerful colour, which matched my girls photos. A nice clean layout to go with the clean lines of the photos.

I really liked the diamonds and almost tree like shapes on the inspiration photo and got inspired to make a Christmas LO. The photo is of my niece and nephew on Christmas eve. I used a Basic G. triangle pattern paper and cut out the shapes. A Red core paper was embossed and rubbed to show the brick pattern and covered with stencils and white acrylics before gluing everything on the page. 

Whilst sitting here eating my breakfast after an early morning walk, I did this page for January.  Inspired by the colours of the wall.

I've called this  Diamonds in the Sky... image has been taken from an old decoupage book,  (Title is The Star Lighters) poem from an old poetry book.

For the background layer I used some Distress Inks with a stencil and spritzed with a little Lindy's Stamp Gang color.  I was particularly inspired by the puzzle-like use of the triangles and diamonds and used that idea for the triangle cut-outs in the rays of the star burst.  Since the street art had a great deal of blue, I chose that for my predominant background color.

We'd love to see your interpretations of our inspiration this month.

 Remember we happily accept all forms of paper crafting for your entry including digital and encourage international submissions.  All we ask is that you create an original entry for our challenge although you are most welcome to combine with a sketch and/or colour challenge if you wish.  You have until 11.55pm on the last day of the month to submit your entry.

Next week we will be introducing you to our very first guest designer of the year,  the lovely Doreen Vasquez and we will also be getting to know our new creative team members a little better.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

ARTastic 3T's in January ...

Welcome to our first round of ARTastic 3T's - Tips, Tricks and Techniques where each month one of our creative team will show you are few quick tips and/or techniques to use on your layouts.

I'm starting things off and showing you how I put together the background for my layout this month.  Santa was very kind this Christmas and brought me a couple of packets of Faber and Castell Gelato's which have been on my wish list for quite a while and I have been playing around with them trying a few different methods to create different looks on my pages.

For this layout I started off with a 12x12 Kaisercraft stencil.  I used some repositionable tape runner in a couple of spots on the back of the stencil to hold it in place on the white cardstock while I used the gelatos.

I started off using the blue down the left side - lightly running the stick into a few of the holes.  I then took my blending tool (you could also use a sponge or even a tissue) and in a circular motion blended the gelato.  Moving in a circle helps spread the crayon evenly and it does not then leave obvious lines. 

Once I was happy with the blue I moved onto using the purple and went over a few of the blue slots as well as continuing down and across the page and then blended this in the same way as I had done the blue.

I next used the pink, again covering a few of the purple slots but also extending the design further down the page and to the right.

My finished background.  TIP - it is easy to remove the stencil for a quick look at the result of each stage and then replace over the design to continue your work.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hello to a brand new year ...

Welcome to 2014 and a new year of inspiration and creativity on ARTastic.

Along with a brand new inspiration piece for you, we also have some new team members. Please welcome Deb Kupfer, Kylie gW, Aubrie Wancata, Leanne Kroschel and Di Hasthorpe.

We will get to know each lady a little better through the course of the month.  

We also welcome back continuing team members, Elaine Schoof, Helene Bogren, Julie Short, Debi Clark, Lesley French, Maja Stokk, Tone-Lill Angelskar and myself.  Team member Shazza Bishop will rejoin the group mid year.

This year sees us doing things a little differently.  On the 8th of each month one team member will host a new segment called The ARTastic 3T's - Tips, Tricks and Techniques where hopefully we can both inspire and perhaps educate you with a few different tutorials and techniques to try.  

We also welcome back Alacraft as a valued sponsor for our blog.  Alacraft have a lovely online store filled with all manner of wonderful craft supplies. 

We also welcome Time to Create who comes on board with us for this year. I think it would be fair to say that Time to Create specialises in products for the mixed media artist although lots of other scrappy goodness can be found lurking around every corner.

We also have a third sponsorship spot which will be taken up with a new sponsor each month. January welcomes The Scrappers Garden with the most delightful flower range.  Who couldn't love beauties like these?

Linda has even generously offered a 10% discount to ARTastic followers this month (please add code ARTastic at checkout) so if you would like to own some of these little dainties for yourself there is no better time to purchase than now.

On the 22nd of each month we will host some wonderful guest designers who will share their layouts and special talents with all of us.

So without further delay let me present our first inspiration piece for 2014.  A glorious wall of art by Vexta.

Added criteria - the use of triangles or diamonds

And our delightful creative team take on this ...


I have done a Christmas layout as that is where my head is at the moment.  I have a textured background and any number of triangle and pyramid shapes. 

Bright and colourful and inspired by all those triangles and diamonds.

I've done my background with texture paint, gesso and mist using a chicken wire template to create diamonds.

I stamped "tilted" triangles that form arrows and diamond shapes on my background.

Inspiration strikes when you least expect it sometimes. "Shine" has done just that - taking my art making in yet another direction.

I've used softer versions of the grungy street colours of the
inspiration photo with a textured background of diamond shapes.

Please upload the DIRECT link to your actual entry with the link tool on the LEFT by 11.55pm on January 31st, 2014. We'd love to see your paper, digital, or off the page submissions.  Please no back-dated submissions.  You may combine with a sketch and/or colour/technique challenge.  

Please pop back on the 8th for the first run of The ARTastic 3T's - Tips, Tricks and Techniques.

and don't forget ... our December inspiration is still open for entries until the 6th of January so there is time yet to get those Christmas layouts done!