Sunday, 22 March 2015

We welcome our March guest designer ...

Karen McLaughlin, from the beautiful Central Coast.  I love the page she has done for us, incorporating a dog theme and a lovely quote to which we can probably all relate, no matter what our pet of choice.

My name is Karen McLaughlin and I live on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia which is a 90 minute drive North of Sydney. I am a wife to a wonderful husband who is very supportive of my scrapbooking and a mother of two - a 22 year old girl and a 17 year old boy. I began my scrapbook journey around 11 years ago and I mainly scrapbook about my family. I love to create and experiment with many different mediums and techniques. I also love using lots of flowers. One of the main reasons I started scrapbooking was to preserve memories and photos for my children. My style is always evolving and that is one of the things I love about scrapbooking. 

To see more of my art please visit my blog at:

Here are some more examples of my work ...


Thank you so much for guesting with us on ARTastic this month Karen.  We have loved seeing your lovely work.

Remember ....

You still have time until the end of the month to upload your own take on this challenge.  All details are on the blog sidebar. We'd love to see what you can do with our inspiration this month.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Our second March reveal ...

And yet again mid month rolls on through and it is time once again to reveal more wonderful inspiration from our design team using this quirky artwork by by Barbara Hanrahan called The Dog, the Cat.  The criteria is to add a quote or saying to your work.

I was inspired by the colours in the artwork and the amusing character of the animals and used a cute photo of my son from younger years.  I've used a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt "Happiness isn't a goal, it's a by product", which I thought appropriate for photographs of little children being silly.


This month I chose to do two tags with some quotes on. Perfect to have in stock whenever you need it. I decorated with some chipboards and flowers.


I took my inspiration from the colours and patterns. I created my background with paints and also used a stencil here and there for the pattern.

The quote I used "You make me Happy when skies are grey " seemed appropriate for this photo. It was my birthday and it was also the day my Mum had to go into a nursing home. It was a very hard and sad period of my life. When I was looking for a photo for the challenge and came across the photo's of my birthday I hated them all of me. They say the eyes are the windows to our soul and in every photo my eyes look tired, hollow and sad. But then I saw this one of me looking at my Grandson and smiling. My Grand children are my comfort and sunshine when skies are grey.

I love this super cool inspiration picture in March and it was the colours and patterns that inspired me. I used a photo of the kids, taken at Lizard Point (as far south as you can get in England( GB) in Spring  holiday and it was pouring down with rain that day and that's why I chose this saying. 

"At sunset nature is painting for us... day after day... infinite beauty." John Ruskin, is the quote I have chosen to use for this challenge. The sunset photos I've chosen have some of the colours from our inspirational artwork as well as unusual stripes and striations. This  feature, also picked up from our image, has been extended onto the black background with the addition of stencilling and swipes of colour using texture pastes, sprays and dimensional pearls. Additionally, I have used sprayed and torn tissue paper, again using the colours shown on the artwork.
I was inspired by the quote idea and used my favourite quote. Not having to pair it with a photo was a little different for me and I enjoyed using just the elements with the focus being the quote.

I was inspired by the quote idea and used my favourite quote. Not having to pair it with a photo was a little different for me and I enjoyed using just the elements with the focus being the quote.

Now it is your turn, we'd love to see what you can do ...

 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 a new entry for our challenge and you are most welcome to combine with a maximum of two additional challenges.  We offer two prizes determined by team vote and one other prize purely chosen by random draw - so anyone can be a winner regardless of style or level of experience.  You have until 11.55pm on the last day of the month to submit your entry.

      Please pop back on the 22nd for our lovely guest designer this month, Karen McLaughlin

Sunday, 8 March 2015

March 3T's and some February winners ...

I will be announcing our February winners shortly but first I would like to introduce you to the third edition of Tips, Tricks and Techniques for 2015 presented by our ever delightful team member, Mary Bennetts.

Hello, Mary here and it is my turn to share some tips with you. I admire anyone that does a tutorial - me I freeze at the thought. I think I was hoping if I kept really, really quiet Jane would forget me. But it was not meant to be, so be gentle with me and I hope you find some of my tips useful.

 If you are anything like me you probably have more ribbon than you know what to do with. So my tutorial is on different ways to use ribbon on your layouts

On this layout I have made my banner from ribbon. I have used a wider ribbon and cut a mitre at the end. I have added some ribbon below my photo and twirled it.

More samples of twirling ribbon above. I tend to anchored each end with a flower and button or brad.

Here I have used the ribbon as I would layering with paper strips and used ribbon as my top strip

Make a bow for your tags by tying two different ribbons together

Satin Seam binding would have to be my favourite ribbon . It is so soft and easy to work with. It falls beautifully and you can spritz it with water and scrunch  it to give it an old look. Here I have used it to make a flower and then to frame my photo.

This is how I make my flowers.

Cut a circle out of cardboard. The size of your circle will determine the size of your flower

Then cover your circle with double sided tape and starting from the outside work your ribbon , pleating it as you go, around working to the centre . Once you get to the centre you can either secure with a brad or add a bit of glue and add a gem stone

So there are many , many uses for ribbon ...
Below I have pleated the ribbon and secured with staples for a bit of interest

I find I nearly always add satin seam binding to my clusters, it just adds a nice softness. I hope you use some of these ways to jazz up your layouts with ribbon,  Thanks, Mary.      

Fantastic Mary!  I hope you can use some of Mary's ideas to help reduce your extensive ribbon stashes (you all know you have them :))

and now onto some February winners .....

Some absolutely stunning creations we submitted last month - thank you everyone for playing along with us, you made finding our voted upon winners extremely difficult.

In February we were working from this stunning painting by Josh Miels for our colour challenge.

Susan Says is our winner of the prize pack from Mystical Scrapbooks but I am happy to change this prize to a voucher to a digital store of your choice.

 AnnaU is our winner of the prize pack from Flourish with a Bling.

Our random draw winner of a lovely prize donated by Lizzy Hill is #18 - Karen McLaughlin.

Congratulations ladies.

Could the winners please contact me  with their postal details.  Don't forget to grab our winners badge from the sidebar. 

Our Creative Team highlight from last month is Jo with this amazing page.  She will receive a little surprise something from me.

Don't forget to enter this month's ARTastic challenge.  All the details are in the left sidebar. Remember you have until the end of the month to submit your entry.

Please pop back on the 15th when we will have more delightful team inspiration to show you.


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Welcome to March ...

And suddenly it was March, Summer is over and we welcome to cooler weather of Autumn - well in theory anyway :)  It is supposed to be 37 deg C where I live today.

This month we feature a delightful work by Barbara Hanrahan called The Dog, the Cat.
CRITERIA is to use a quote or saying on your submission

A little about Barbara Hanrahan

Barbara Janice Hanrahan was born in Adelaide, South Australia, 6 September 1939. She lost her father to tuberculosis when she was one and was brought up a lone child by her mother, a commercial artist. They lived with her grandmother and great-aunt in her grandmotherʼs house in Thebarton. In 1955 she moved to Oaklands Park with her mother and new stepfather. She studied at the South Australian School of Art from 1957-1962. She began printmaking in 1960 and until 1963 worked part-time with Udo Sellbach and Karen Schepers. From 1963- 1964 she continued her studies at the Central School of Art in London, gaining a Diploma in Etching with distinction.  1973 saw the publication of her book, ʻThe Scent of Eucalyptusʼ a memoir of childhood, followed in 1974 by ʻSea Greenʼ, a novel.  Hanrahan was a prolific artist, producing more than 400 prints over the years, as well as a number of paintings, and her work was exhibited in Australia, London and France. 

This year we will have two main prize packs, one from Mystical Scrapbooks and the other from Flourish with a Bling - these winners will be selected by Creative Team vote and by myself.  Each month we will also have another prize pack donated by one of our team where the winner is selected purely by random draw - so anyone could be a winner, no matter your style or your level of experience.  All these prizes will be available to anyone, no matter your country of residence.
And now how the first of our team was inspired ...

I've used a quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery (a Canadian Author), which is perfect for my photo.

I’ve used the quote ‘We are marked by our experiences in life’, and made lots of marks on my page….mimicking the marks on the animals in the inspiration picture! This makes it a sort of visual pun on the quote! I’ve also used those lovely, bright, fun colours – I think they look fabulous against the black, so I couldn’t go past that!

There is so much to take inspiration from in this artwork.  My first thought was to try a photo transfer of my kitty kat.  Then taking inspiration from the colours, the stripes and spots, I created my page around it.  

My background was inspired by the bold colours and also the stripes from the cat. I also love the fun feeling the inspiration painting creates and used that for the theme for my page. My quote is centred around the fact that this little girl is a Daddy’s girl through and through.

I used a quote by Einstein. I thought it was perfect with this photo of two dirty girls who definitely have been playing. I splashed paint on the background to accentuate my mud theme.

Barbara Hanrahan’s artwork is so quirky that it immediately inspired me to scrap my pets. In keeping with the fun, quirky approach, I decided to create a bright coloured comic book style page. I did my journaling in speech/dream bubbles so it looks like the animals are talking or dreaming about themselves. And, while I love all my fur babies, the quote does really reflect the difference between cats and dogs.

And now it is your turn ......

Please upload the DIRECT link to your actual entry with the link tool on the LEFT by 11.55pm on March 31st, 2015.  We'd love to see your new paper, digital, mixed media or off the page entries.  Please no back-dated submissions.  

 You may combine our challenge with a sketch and a product/technique challenge (so two additional challenges).  Please include our inspirational picture and challenge details on your blog post as well as provide a link back to us at ARTastic  ... and don't forget to tell us how you were inspired by our challenge.  

You may enter more than once in any month as long as each submission is with a different creation.  International entries are very welcome. 

Please pop back on the 8th for The ARTastic 3T's - Tips, Tricks and Techniques brought to you this month by our truly delightful team member, Mary Bennetts

Our February winners will also be announced at this time and with so many totally gorgeous layouts and cards in the link-up it is going to be very difficult to select our winners - thank goodness for random draw :)