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Kellie Stamps | March Release

It's my first month on the Kellie Stamps Creative Team and I'm so excited to finally share what I've been creating! This month I'm working with the digital version of the March Releases AM to PM and Go.See.Do. They're such versatile sets, perfect for documenting everyday adventures - which are my favourite kind! You can find all the stamps featured in this post here at the Kellie Stamps online store.

I used a variety of techniques with this month's digi stamps. I like to mix up layering stamps on top of photographs before I print (for all you hybrid/digi newbies, you just drag and drop - it's really easy!) with printing them on matte card and cutting them out. This month I also tried creating my own journalling cards using Kellie's digi stamps and I'm really pleased with the result! 

That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Project Life 2016 - January

Hi all. Today I'm sharing all of my layouts for January. It's been a rather dreary and uneventful month (much like all Januaries) which makes me glad I made the switch to topic based layouts, rather than strict weekly spreads. I was excited to start documenting my 'ordinary' photographs (rather than holiday/vacation snapshots) in 6x8 as I'd only ever used the 6x8 size for mini albums before. So far it's working for me! I'm sticking to my plan of fitting Jan - March in my Ashley Goldberg album - It looks like I should have enough space. If all goes to plan, I'll use four 6x8 albums over the year. But Project Life (much like real life) never seems to go to plan - so we'll see! If I don't fall behind this year, it will be the first year I've managed to keep up to date :) I've learnt not to beat myself up about it and not to be too precious about my album. Simple and imperfect layouts are beautiful, too. 

I haven't completed my front page yet. I want some photos of me and hubby (and maybe Baxter, our dog) to fill those two spaces but we're both actually quite camera shy. Or rather, Mr Challis is camera shy and I'm usually the person behind the camera. So this will have to wait for now.

This was my first finished layout. At the start of the year, I spent quite a lot of time reflecting on my life choices so far. I felt restless and run down over the holidays and hubby was in hospital (getting a new knee) and I realised that something had to change. I thought a lot about how you measure success and what being successful meant to me. Did it mean expensive possessions and holidays? Or achievements and qualifications? I decided that happiness is the greatest measure of success and that in the new year I'd start taking big, huge, positive steps towards being happier. It seemed so obvious, once I realised it. A few years ago I was content with being miserable, so long as I was working towards the 'end goal' of having a well paid job. As it turns out, money doesn't make me happy. Sure, I like money enough, but it doesn't beat spending quality time with my friends and family or quiet mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book. I miss those things when I'm working long hours and sleeping through half the weekend. Out of all of these thoughts I took three words to focus on: brave, simplify and prepare. They're kind of the theme of this album now - and my life Jan - March. 

The quote in the flower-girl picture says: 
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
                                                            - EE Cummings

"If it's both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it"

"Let yourself move to the next chapter in life when the time comes. Don't remain stuck on the same page."

I've still got to finish the last page which I'm filling with 2x2 Instagram pictures (just because). So far 2016 has been more blah than rah, but I'm staying positive. My photography is improving, my mood is improving (slowly) and it even looks a little brighter outside. How is your year shaping up so far? 

Scrap targets for February:

  • Take more photos of 'us' and other people we like
  • Include the song lyrics I can't get out of my head
  • Document my favourite things 
Nearly forgot to mention - I'm joined the Kellie Stamps team! I'm really looking forward to incorporating more of Kellie's designs into my pages because, let's face it, they're AWESOME. 


 Hi there! Today I'm sharing with you the first few pages of my New York mini album. As you can see, I went for a 6x8 from Studio Calico for the album itself. I've seen loads of people use this album! It's super cool! It's from on older range called Brighton Pier which made getting page protectors tricky (the prongs are different from the newer SC 6x8s) but the script on the cover is badass.

So this is my title page at the moment. I'm thinking of putting an overlay in front (or a photo montage?) but I'll probably come back to that right at the end of the project when I do all of the finishing touches. 

Mr C and I travelled to NY back in October (for our honeymoon!) and it was our first visit to the big apple. We thought it was a 'once in a lifetime' trip, but already we're talking about going back! We're city people at heart so we really felt at home walking around the streets of Manhattan. It was a lot like London, in some ways, but a lot friendlier - and a lot taller! We managed to ram a lot into 7 days (due to a lot of research/planning before we flew) but there are still things we didn't have time to do. 

I used vellum here between the two boarding passes as I didn't want to punch the tickets themselves. Vellum is surprisingly sturdy! I thought I'd have to reinforce it but actually I didn't need to. 

We stayed at a trendy little hotel called The Moderne. I'd really recommend it - the staff were amazing and it's really close to Times Square and Central Park. They also have a lounge where you can help yourself to unlimited filter coffee (big plus for a coffee addict like myself!). 

On our first morning we wandered down to Times Square for breakfast. Mr C had found a restaurant on Trip Advisor (I think it was called Ellen's Stardust Diner) which had fantastic reviews and we were looking forward to some proper american pancakes and bacon. What we weren't expecting was for all the waiters and waitresses to burst into song! Turns out all the staff are singers waiting for their big break on Broadway. The streets outside were busy, even on a Sunday. The atmosphere though - electric. 

We spent a fair amount of time in the Disney Store in Times Square, then Toys R Us (because we're super grown up). Then we wandered about some more. I'm really not sure where I am in some of the pictures, I hadn't gotten my bearings yet at this point. (In all honesty, I have no sense of direction anyway. I let Mr C lead my around all week as husband/Sat Nav.) 

That's all I've completed for now, the rest is still a work in progress. I should have another chunk of pages finished by next weekend - hopefully! Thanks for stopping by. I'll update this post tomorrow with a series of links to the products I've used (but right now I need to get some shut eye!). 

Project Life 2016

I love this time of year when it comes to scrapbooking. A fresh album, fresh approach and a fresh start. This year I've decided to go and do something radical: I've quit my monthly subscriptions. Sounds crazy and scary, right? I'm used to a kit (or three) arriving on my door step each month and nothing brings me more join than delving into new supplies - so why am I quitting? Let me explain.  

This year I'm planning to make some big changes to my lifestyle. In order to manage these big changes, I'm going to need big funds. So I've decided to cut my spending back to the bones and live frugally for a while - which I'm actually really excited about! Frugal living (and minimalist living, too) has interested me for a long time and whilst I usually try to live sensibly, and well within my means, I do have the occasional splurge (or four) every once in a while. Do these splurges bring me happiness? Sometimes. Would a big change in lifestyle bring me a great deal more happiness? Definitely! So I'm jumping on the frugal bandwagon and challenging myself to live on minimal funds. I do enjoy a challenge and finding creative ways to spend and live on less will be just that. 

So how will I be documenting 2016 with no new products? I'll be shopping my stash, of course! I'm a terrible hoarder and I can safely say I stash about 50% of my favourite scrapbooking items for 'best.' I don't know exactly when I intend to use these 'best' items - who knows! All I know is that I have a terrible habit of stashing away a number of my favourite items, only occasionally removing them from the drawer to swoon over them, then tuck them neatly back inside. Sound familiar? I know I'm not alone! So the other day I decided to do the unthinkable: I emptied my drawer (and a couple of baskets). I got everything out and sorted it into four boxes: album 1 (Jan-March), album 2 (April - June), things to give away and everything else. Boy did it feel good to sort everything out! I put all of my cutesy, pastel cards and embellishments into my April-June box and most of my bolder colours in the 'everything else' box (for use later in the year). Items I know I will never use, those which aren't my style, I put into a spare box (which I'll give away). It's amazing how many supplies a person can accumulate over a year! With new scrapping goodies arriving at my doorstep (and via digital download) every month, there was no way I would ever get around to using all of my older (but still gorgeous, shiny, new and on trend) items. I just don't have enough to document! So using what I already have makes sense for 2016 and I get to enjoy putting together my own 'kits' (for free!).

For the start of the year, I've stuck to mostly cards from the last few Studio Calico Project Life/Documenter kits which I've hardly touched and embellishments from SC and a few other places (see below). I already had my album sorted: I invested in (read: impulse bought) an Ashley Goldberg 'Goldie' 6x8 album a while back from Studio Calico which is all ready to go on my shelf. I've chosen 6x8 this time as my theory is: smaller pages = less time scrapping. I struggled keeping up with my weekly 9x12 pages when I started my new job, so hopefully 6x8 and a more relaxed approach will help me keep up to date. I also have 2015 to finish (it's patchy towards the end of the year), December Daily (lost my mojo for this), my 12x12 wedding album and my 6x8 New York album (part of which I'll be sharing over the weekend) among other projects. 

So here is my drawer all set up for the new year! As you can see, I've divided it using some old patterned gift boxes and separated all of the different items so that I can see everything. Generally, if I can't see it, I won't think to use it. 

As I said already, most of my cards are from the Studio Calico Project Life/Documenter kits from Oct-Dec. I'll also have January's Studio Calico cards to add to this, as It's too late to cancel January's kit now. I'll just have to let that one go. On top of those, I also purchased (impulse-bought) the Goldie pocket cards when I bought the album. The bright colours all mash together pretty nicely with the SC colours. I realise this is way too many cards for three months but I like options. The leftovers will just get fed back into a 'kit' later on in the year. 

Stickers! I'm changing it up a little bit this year as I'm going to try to include some planner stickers (the tiny coffee cups and shopping bags pictured are from Obsessed with Cute) as embellishments. I want my layouts to be a bit more fun and a little less sensible. I'm also hoping to include more bits and pieces this year: receipts, tickets, doodles, that sort of thing. 'Real life' stuff. 

I'll still be a fair few wood and cork pieces in 2016, they're always a favourite as they add texture and a natural element. That emoji tape - I can't wait to use it! I snagged it in the Black Friday sales from Studio Calico - win! As per usual, I'll be pairing small embellishments with tiny stamps. I've not included them in my drawer as I'm giving myself free rein with stamps at the moment, though I've got a few prioritised in a box on top of my desk. Stamping is still my no.1 way to embellish pocket cards. 

New to this year: I'm going to be using a planner to help with my memory keeping. The idea is that I jot down in it things that happen in the day so I can include them in my Project Life (and not forget them!). So I won't be using it to plan but more as a diary. This one is from Hema UK and has lots of pockets in it, too, for storing bits and pieces. Hopefully, should I fall behind with my PL, I can use my notes to catch up and not have any awkward spaces in my album where I'm trying to figure out exactly what I did with that week ("I must have done more than take selfies with my dog and photograph my lunch, surely?"). Also, writing before bed time might be relaxing. I'll let you know. 

Photographs... I'll still be printing at home so the Truprint packet is a little misleading. I recently got a deal from Truprint, however, for 50 4x6 prints for £10 including postage, so if you do get your photos printed it's worth being on the mailing list for Amazon Local or Groupon and keeping an eye out. I usually get mine printed if I'm doing a mini album as I like the quality and I always worry that my home printed pictures will fade over time (those in the packet above are my wedding pictures). Perhaps someone can alleviate my fear of this? I like to document my weekly layouts straight away (that's when I'm most excited to scrap them!) so I have to print at home. I use an ordinary printer and moderately priced photo paper. I do my resizing in Serif Craft Artist, an old program but a goodie. 

That's everything for now. The only thing I haven't decided on is journalling. I'll be typing again (my handwriting is blah!) but I'm not sure what I'll be typing on to or what font I'll be using. Your guess is as good as mine. Well, anyway, have a happy New Year! See you all in 2016.

Gossamer Blue November Blog Hop

Hi everyone! I'm so pleased to be joining the DT for this month's blog hop. November's kits have simply blown me away and made documenting this month an absolute breeze. My pocket layouts practically fell together, thankfully, as it's been a crazy busy couple of months over here with a wedding and honeymoon going on!

I'm going to talk to you today about my pocket layouts - these are always my favourite! Both of the layouts I created this month document special moments from the morning before my wedding; one shows me and the girls getting ready and the other documents a very special surprise for my husband.

For my pocket cards, I used the 4x6 and 3x4 cards from the Life Pages kit and some paper from the main kit that I cut down. There were so many great designs this month that I personalised using puffy stickers, enamel hearts and other little bits and bobs from the kits. Some cards I left quite simple and on others I grouped quite a few small embellishments together. Cork is a firm favourite of mine, so the cork pieces and number stickers this month were a big hit with me! 

I love how I was able to catch the mood of the morning through the photographs I chose and the pastel colours. On the right page, in the photograph in the top left hand corner, my friend snapped me reading a sweet note from my then hubby-to-be. I'm so glad that she caught this moment - I'm equally glad that another friend popped in and lent us his selfie stick! As we took a group selfie, he took a photo of us taking a selfie! 

For my next layout, I used cards from the Life Pages kit and some papers from Amy Tangerine's Fingers Keepers 6x6 pad (which you can find in the bits and pieces add on). I found that there were quite a few cards and papers with a red/blue/baby pink combination so I stuck with that and introduced a little yellow and some natural embellishments to complement those colours. Again, I stamped and layered until I was happy with the look. On the top left card, I stamped a word at a time so that I could change the way the phrase was laid out (which was horizontally). All I did was bend the part of the stamp I didn't want inked over the back of the acrylic block whilst I stamped the word I wanted. Easy peasy! 

 This double spread documents the moment when my husband was called outside, on the morning of our wedding day, because his uncle had turned up unexpectedly in a very special vehicle! The last time this car ran was about 25 years ago and it's the car that drove Mr C's parents to their wedding, so he was really surprised and really touched. We were told the car wouldn't make it, so It was an amazing surprise! 

That's all from me for today. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out what all of the Gossamer Blue DT ladies have been up to this month! 


http://amymakesthingsblog.blogspot.com Amy Challis
https://retrohipmama.wordpress.com Andrea Gray
http://sweetpapertreats.wordpress.com Brenda Weaver
http://www.dianepayne.typepad.com Diane Payne
http://justem.typepad.com Emily Spahn
http://www.eyoung-craft.blogspot.com Eunyoung Lee
http://www.bananafishstudio.com France Wisniewski
http://www.jillkeller.blogspot.com/ Jill Keller
http://antilight-craft.blogspot.it/ Kasia Przybyt
http://kelliewinnell.typepad.com/blog/ Kellie Winnell
http://kellyxenos.typepad.com Kelly Xenos
http://michellewedertz.blogspot.com/ Michelle Wedertz
http://playground4life.blogspot.it/ Olatz Garaiyurrebaso
http://mojosanti.blogspot.it/ Sandra Dietrich
http://mybitsofsunshine.blogspot.com Stephanie Buice

New York Travel Mini - Gossamer Blue November kits

It's been so long since I've updated the blog, I half expected it to have disappeared! Between a wedding, a honeymoon and trying find that ever elusive work/life balance, I haven't had a great deal of time for sharing online except for a few pics here and there on Instagram (find me @amychallisuk - new name now that I'm a Mrs!). I've also been guest designing for Gossamer Blue this month which has been such a pleasure. November's GB blog hop goes live tomorrow at 8am EST so make sure you check out what the DT have been up to this month! Before then, I thought I'd get in with a sneaky post and show you the first two pages of my New York mini. 

For these pages, I used papers and embellishments from the Gossamer Blue November kits. I love the candy colours of this month's main kits! They shouldn't work for autumn/winter but somehow they just do. The stripy paper on the right is a 4x6 pocket card and the spotty paper on the left was cut down from a sheet of 12x12 card. I was going to save the paperclip for my planner, but it does a great job of holding these business cards in place. 

I'm not too sure yet how this layout will fit in with the rest of my album, which I've chosen a much darker colour scheme for, but we'll see how it goes! FYI, if you are ever in Manhattan make sure you visit Momofuku's Milk bar (especially if you are a big kid, like me!). The milkshakes are out of this world and I fell in love with the compost cookies (filled with chocolate chips, crisps and a mish-mash of other crumbs!).