Thursday, December 15, 2011
Hey Guys…SP here (and Kylie, too – just below my check-in, lol…BUSY week!) I’ll try to keep it short-and-sweet today…since Kylie and I are combining the check-in post with the DECEMBER TEMPLATES ‘share’! But, even with the holidays upon us and all of the busy-ness we are all dealing with…we still must keep scrapping and not get behind on our project SCRAP pages! We are ALMOST ALMOST there…so stick with it and before you know it, we’ll all be admiring our final, printed, 2011 albums - YAY!
I’ll admit…I did not have the ‘extra’ time (seriously, WHAT is THAT? lol) to work on my November layouts…but I went ahead and ‘made’ time because I really, really want to stay up-to-date…and I know that December will only get busier and busier, lol! So, I tried not to ‘fuss’ over my pages too much…and just got them done! Boy, did that feel good, too :o) Of course, being in the States…many of my pics for November were about Thanksgiving and the holiday season! I have a feeling many of yours will be, too! We also did a bunch of fun baking and candy-making…so I had to include pics of those, as the little man was a huge help with everything – and I hope he will one day enjoy looking back on the memories of time spent in the kitchen with mommy :o) So…without any more rambling…here are my pages…
And you know I have to share more inspiration with you! I won’t bombard you with toooooo many ‘spreads’…but must include a few faves from the project SCRAP gallery! Here goes…first up, we have jltanner’s GORGEOUS pages! She and I were on similar wavelengths with our kit choices and design, lol! I think what stood out to me most…was the large pic of the Thanksgiving tree – LOVE it! Of course, everything else is perfection, too – but that really caught my eye! Fabulous as usual…and THANK YOU for sharing :o)
Next, we have Kylie’s FUN and BRIGHT and CHEERY pages! I love the contrast from the rest of our ‘spreads’! Being in Australia…she is experiencing an entirely different climate and season…and it really shows on her November pages :o) ALMOST makes me wish for SUMMERtime, lolol…ALMOST! So many wonderful photos and memories on these pages…love it all – THANKS, Kylie!
And, finally – we have sweet Kim’s November pages! Lots of great photos and events and memories took place…and as-per-usual, she scrapped them beautifully! The large photo of all three kids is just TOOOOO CUTE, Kim – thank you bunches for sharing with us!
Well, that’s it for me…now going to pass the post on to Kylie…you are going to LOVE the new templates – can’t wait to see your layouts in the gallery! :o) ENJOY and as always – THANK YOU for joining in the FUN with us…HAPPY SCRAPPING! XOXO –SP
THANKS SP for the awesome check-in…as always!! :o) HELLO all – Kylie here and I thought I’d join in with today’s blog-fun too. And YES, I am getting in a little earlier than usual with the latest (and last - can you believe it!!) of our monthly 2011 projectSCRAP templates…we only have the cover to go! It is holiday time and the blog will be taking a short break (more on that at the end of the week!) so today is the perfect day to share the templates alongside SP’s update and some november inspiration!
Project SCRAP ~ bundle ONE is now available for purchase at the Shabby Shoppe…CLICKING HERE will take you straight there!
PLEASE NOTE: if you participated in project SCRAP 2011 right here at the Shabby Shoppe’s BLOG…you do not need to purchase this product. Be sure to check your hard drive before purchasing :o)
New to project SCRAP? …well then, if you are not familiar with our little scrap project (if you ARE familiar with it, skip this paragraph, as always, lol)… THIS POST is a great place to learn more! Also, if you click on the PROJECT SCRAP 2011 category (on the right side of the blog)…you can ALWAYS easily find ALL posts related to the subject! It’s your go-to place if you want to keep up with everything! But, as a quick little reminder… here is the project in a nutshell:::
Be sure to post your completed December pages (and any earlier months, if you haven’t already done so) in the project SCRAP GALLERY! As always, can’t wait to see how you work with these latest project SCRAP templates and all those gorgeous Shabby Shoppe products! :o) We’ll be back next month with a December check-in (don’t wanna miss that one!), the album cover to complete your wonderful project, and to announce projectSCRAP 2012!! YAY! Until then, have fun scrapping the new templates (and photographing, of course – lots of special moments to capture in December, no doubt)!
Tomorrow is going to be another choc-a-block day on the BLOG!! I (Kylie) will have a yummy food post, complete with a FREE recipe card download…and the lovely Kim has a very merry scrapbooking recipe challenge for you! Look forward to seeing you then! :o)
Free (not desktops), project Scrap 2011, Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hello everyone! Rosy here with a holiday food post for you!
I’ve always thought that making gingerbread houses at Christmas time was such a fun tradition, but it always looked like a big, and a bit complicated, process to me. Until I came across the idea to make little houses out of graham crackers! That seemed easy enough, even to me; so the other day we (Isaac, Audrey, and I) created some cute little Christmas houses.
First I gathered together my supplies:
Knowing that my 1 and 2 year old were not going to be able to help in the construction of the house itself, I put the houses together myself before they were up, to minimize the mess that would result :)
I cut all of the pieces out first, using a common butter knife. I found that it worked the best to score the cracker with the knife and then snap it apart.
Tip: If the edge isn’t clean enough, it works great to rub it against another cracker.
My house parts looked like this:
Now I was ready to put the pieces together using the frosting as glue. I had already made my frosting the day before, adding some extra powdered sugar to keep it stiff.
Some people use melted chocolate to put together their gingerbread houses and give it a more solid structure, but I opted for the easier cleanup of icing.
After the houses were put together, I stuck them in the refrigerator to let the frosting harden a bit before we decorated them. And I wanted to feed the children breakfast before they got their hands in the candy :)
Now we get to the fun part of actually decorating our houses!
I piped on the icing and then let the children stick on candy. Isaac had a great time putting candies on his house. Audrey didn’t think candy should go on houses, but all in your mouth!
Tip: We used pretzels as windows and added cracker pieces for shutters.
You could get really creative with the candies and decorations that you use! I kept it pretty simple with the age of my children, and in Audrey’s case, ended up doing most of the decorating on her house myself.
These are so cute and the perfect size for children!
I think it would be neat to do a miniature version like this and use them as placecards at your holiday table!
All in all, it was a fun project and we’ll probably do it again. Maybe by next year Audrey will be old enough to decorate her own house, too. And maybe someday I’ll even graduate to making “real” gingerbread houses.
Here is the page that I scrapped about our house decorating experience.
I’d like to hear from you! If you decorate gingerbread houses, do you eat them soon after, or are they a fun holiday decoration to you? (Just add a comment on this post.)
I couldn’t decide, and then I thought they’d probably be getting stale anyway, so we kept them as decoration! So maybe this isn’t a “food” post at all! hmmm….. Oh, yeah, Audrey definitely thinks that it is!
Thanks for stopping by! Don’t miss Beckie‘s AWESOME Focus on Photos post just below this one…it was also published today!
Food Stuff, Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hello everyone! Happy December! Beckie here.
I just LOVE this time of year. I love the cool (almost COLD!) weather, the scent of burning candles, and the glow of festive holiday lights :)
Last year, almost a year ago to the date in fact, I shared tips for taking photographs around the holidays. It’s a great “getting started” overview with ideas on how to make your photos from this time of year even more special. This year I decided to do something a bit different, and to try out a technique I’d seen a few times before but never actually tried…creating shaped bokeh!
We’ve probably mentioned it in the past, but bokeh is “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light“. It’s the blurry part of an image :) Turns out, by putting a template over the front of the lens and shaping the light that hits your sensor, you can create some really cool effects with your bokeh. Ready? It’s super simple, I promise!
What you need:
- portrait lens (you need something f2.0 or wider (a lower number) for this. When looking at a lens, you’ll see “50mm 1:1.8, or 30mm 1:1.4″ – we’re talking about the “1.8″ and the “1.4″ part. If you have those numbers, you’re good. If your lens has bigger numbers, this technique most likely won’t work very well :(
- black cardstock
- craft knife
Place your lens face-down on the black cardstock and trace around the inner most ring of your lens. It might take a small bit of “fiddling”, but you simply cut the circle down a bit until it fits within the ring of the lens. As you can see, I kind of pressed it in there snugly to make sure it stayed in place. Once you get one ring sized properly, just trace it out a few other times in case you get the fever and want to create a few different shapes.
Once you have your black circles, you need to use the craft knife to cut shapes from the center. I had a holiday stencil on-hand from years of holiday craft projects, and I used it to trace and cut out a starburst, a star, and a tree. You could also use a punch if you have one!
Unfortunately I got home every night this week after it was already dark, so please excuse these photos – they aren’t my best! But what I do love about them is that you can very clearly see how COOL and how amazing it is to actually change the shape of the light (the bokeh) in your photos:
shot at 1/50, f1.4 with my Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens (which rocks, btw!)
Here are a few tips:
- You want your lens to be as “wide open” as possible (the lowest f-stop number your lens supports).
- blurry is better! In other photos not shown here, I focused on the tree – and the photos had no shaped bokeh because well, there was no bokeh! The idea is to create blurry light to allow the little lens cover thingy do its work :) So just manually adjust the focus and watch the beautiful bokeh emerge :)
- The more blur, the bigger the bokeh. So play around to find out what looks best!
- Use a tripod. Or, if you do what I did – which is to temporarily misplace that little thing that screws into the bottom of the camera to allow your camera to snap into the tripod, you can pile up books on the coffee table and very carefully press the shutter button. LOL! (I need to find that thing! hubby will not be happy if I tell him I need another tripod, LOL. But the pile of books worked OK)
I was SUPER curious to see how the left image would come out, which was created with the starburst cut-out. I love the effect it created – but it also created a bit “messier” image. I think it’s pretty cool! I know my daughter would love it if I created one with her initials in the bokeh – something I might try over vacation :)
I have better examples of holiday bokeh (and tips on how to create it) in the post from last year, so be sure to check that out also! And remember that you can just use the bokeh as a background element. Believe it or not, you can still focus on a person (or a gift, an ornament, etc) in the foreground of your image and it will look perfectly normal – and still have that cool bokeh in the background.
Well, that wraps it up for me today! I hope you enjoyed this simple little experiment. And for even more inspiration – check out the shaped bokeh images on flickr! And stop by the Blog tomorrow for some more festive food fun with Casharina. SP and Kylie will also be stopping by with all the latest on projectSCRAP!
Happy holidays to you all, and best wishes for a healthy and happy new year :)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Hey everyone…Kylie here again!! Do I have a treat for you today?!…a fun AND huge HOLIDAY PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT! Joy, Joy, Joy!! This year we decided it was far too hard to pick our favourite holiday-inspired kit to spotlight, so we are featuring ALL of them, yes…ALL OF THEM!! First, let me say THANK YOU for waiting for the entire post to load…with all the amazing kits and inspiration I have for you my post just got bigger and bigger as I went along! So, I guess I won’t ramble on any longer…and instead will just get right to the FESTIVITIES!
The Shabby Shoppe is currently having a site-wide SALE through to December 16…25% off almost everything! So that means all of our holiday goodies are on sale too! – you can CLICK HERE to see all of them…there is something for everyone! :o) Take it from me, the digital kits are all soooo versatile that you’ll be using them in some way or another the whole year through. And, because we are spotlighting our HOLIDAY PRODUCTS they will continue to be ON SALE until our next featured product spotlight (not until January!!)…so enjoy the savings while you can! :o)
Here is a short preview of each kit so that you can see what’s on offer in a little more detail. (Of course there is even more information, inspiration and preview details over at the Shabby Shoppe) I’d also like to share the layouts I scrapped, especially for this product spotlight, using each one of the kits (I sure did have a lot of FUN…and I love how differently they turned out!). And finally, a product spotlight is not a product spotlight without some AWESOME inspiration from the girls!
SP’s most recent holiday kit is the magical Sugarplum dreams! The name along fills me with the spirit of the season! It is a delight to scrap with…a little bit of sparkle, shine and SHABBY-ness! And if that wasn’t enough, the sugarplum additions will extend your scrapping options even more and add the perfect amount of sweetness and whimsy to your holiday and winter pages!
I combined both the full digi-kit and the additions for my Christmas Angel layout. It’s like being a kid in a candy store…so many pretty things to look at and make use of – I just kept layering and layering!
I do believe it is time for Believe! ;o) Festive blue, red and green…bright and cheery and wonderfully whimsical – perfect for all of your unforgettable holiday memories! I love the fabulous papers and the digi-stickers…and the ever-popular alpha! This kit is a must for all of your holiday projects!
Oh, did I have fun with this one!! I made use of one of the Nostalgic Easy-As-Pie templates (also available at the Shoppe) and to the Believe kit I added a little sparkle with some glitter, a couple of stars and finishing touches from other Shabby Shoppe kits!
Ahhhh, Joyful Tidings…this sweet little collection is a winner! Subtle, pretty, eclectic - a truly fun holiday kit. It has a refreshing colour palette and a classic feel…especially with the beautiful holly/bird paper (my fave!). And if you missed it, the latest template challenge (no.19) has a free piece-a-cake quick page as a bonus download that makes full use of what Joyful Tidings has on offer – check out the freebie HERE! But I know you’ll be wanting more so stop by the Shoppe for a full preview!
I think this is my favourite new layout! To match my photo I added a little blue and some sparkles to the gorgeous Joyful Tidings papers and elements…I was quite surprised with the end result! And, boy have my nephews grown since this pic was taken!
Traditional Christmas colours with a Shabby flair! – that says it all really! ‘Twas the Night a timeless kit and a Shabby Shoppe favourite! Special holiday pages and everyday fun is what this kit is made for. I use it all the time!! :o)
As I was browsing through all my photos I’ve come to realise that I really don’t have many holiday snaps…things get so busy, especially in the kitchen, and I forget to capture the day and days leading up to the main event. I must take more this year! But in the meantime, I decided to scrap a page with this gorgeous vintage postcard, all the while dreaming of a White Christmas. (“white” from snow and not “white” from hot sand and heat glare here in Australia! LOL!) ‘Twas the Night was perfect to capture the vintage feel I was looking for!
Our final kit to spotlight! I must admit this kit is very new to me, even though it is the oldest holiday kit in the Shabby Shoppe. And I’m absolutely loving getting to know Holiday Joy - you will too!! Holiday memories, family traditions, warm hearts and many smiles will go perfectly with this boldly textured collection! Oh and I do love me some puffy felt elements!
I really wanted to play with the gold tones of Holiday Joy and bring out the fun in my reindeer page. Bright, bold and quintessentially joyful! Love it!
Now, that’s quite enough from me here a some layouts from our beautiful Shabby Artists – these are all so fun, festive and seriously inspiring… And, for more info about these layouts/projects (including mine), please visit the SHABBY ARTIST GALLERY . These layouts combine one or more of our Holiday kits (along with other Shoppe products) – and you’ll be able to find out more on the individual layout pages in the gallery!
To round out the gorgeous inspiration we have a little hybrid project from Jenelle. These are beyond pretty and even though they look fairly quick and easy to put together they look AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING and as though they were bought from a shop!! Well done Jenelle! And using the Sugarplum dreams along with the Holiday Gift Tags Vol 1 was genius! You’ll notice that I also used these awesome little gift tags to label most of the graphics in today’s blog post!
THANKS for all the wonderful inspiration girls!! As always – BEAUTIFUL WORK! :o)
And, while you are visiting the Shabby Shoppe be sure to check out all the other seasonal goodies that are sure to make your holidays both merry and bright! There are lots of products to help you scrap your holiday memories! And when it comes to creating fabulous and fun hybrid projects…for gifts, for crafting with the kids, for decorations, for anything creative…well, I’m sure you’ll find just what you are looking for! There are Piece-A-Cake pages and albums aplenty, the Joy Confection Collection (a personal fave!!) for all your sweets & treats, there are cards and gift tags, and why not decorate your own blog with a little holiday cheer – your visitors will love the new look!
THANKS so much for checking out today’s mega-spotlight…I really enjoyed bringing it to you! We will be back again tomorrow with more holiday happiness! Bye for now…:o)
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, December 12, 2011
Hello & Happy MONDAY! – Kylie here. I hope everyone had a very enjoyable weekend and you’re all looking forward to the week ahead! I don’t know about you, but things are already getting a little too chaotic for my liking…’tis the season, afterall! I keep telling myself: pause, breathe and remember not to miss all those special festive moments despite being in the midst of all kinds of busy! (Is talking to myself working?! Probably not! LOL!!) Well, one of those special (and forever ‘festive’) moments that I have thankfully paused for is hosting Layout of the Week! Ahhhh, Gallery browsing really is the best therapy!
This week I chose Budding Artist by Lily_of_the_Valley!
Bright and cheerful were the first words that came to mind when I caught sight of this beauty…it was seriously too gorgeous and creative to pass by without taking a closer look!! A happy, happy colour scheme. a fun mix of kits, artistic brushwork and gorgeous, gorgeous clustering…perfect combination to help tell the story behind the photo of this budding little artist. And it is such a lovely photo – all smiles!! So much talent! Your layout has certainly brightened up my day, Lily_of_the_Valley…I hope a little Shabby Shoppe shopping will add a little ray of sunshine to yours!
Congratulations Lily_of_the_Valley, and thanks for sharing your sweet page! Enjoy the $10 Shabby Shoppe gift card that has just been emailed to you (and be sure to check your spam folders if you don’t see it right away)!
Well, it’s goodbye from me today…but not for long! I’ll be back again tomorrow with some seasonal favourites to spotlight just for you! See you then!! :o)
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized