Sunday, 20 August 2017

Oh Yeah! | Lisa-Jane Johnson | Clustering

Oooh I do love a good cluster!  It's Lisa-Jane from Pretty My Page here with you today with my take on how I go about creating my clusters.

I like to work in groups of three with my little collections of prettiness so once I've estimated where I think I will put my photos then I can work out where my clusters will go.  For this layout I wanted to use four 3x4 photos in a rough line down the page at about a third of the way in.  This meant that ideally my clusters would be spaced in a visual triangle around the line which helps to draw the eye to the main event - the photos.

Once I've chosen my 3 points I start the layering.  I'm basically building a pile of bits and pieces so I need to think about using something flat and large first as a base.  I recently took delivery of some mixed media stock for my new website and I couldn't wait to play with some stencils and embossing paste.  I chose my yellow background paper from the Simple Stories Summer Vibes collection that I am using for this holiday album and experimented with 2 different stencils.  I thought the tiny stars would be absolutely perfect for this layout of my boy learning to spin a lasso (I always thought it was lasOO!)  The stencil that looks like water splashing will be great for all of the pool photos I still have to scrap...

I used the stencil on the 3 places areas and then added a little bit to a dark space in one of the photos just to see what it looked like.  Then I felt like I needed a border (as I frequently do at the moment) so I trimmed an inch off one side and the bottom of the yellow sheet and layered it up on white and then a dark woodgrain.  I mounted my photos on the white card that I gutted behind the yellow which helped to separate them a bit more.  Then I sprinkled on some aqua coloured mist for another layer in my little gathering.

Once the main structure of the layout was stuck down I could start to embellish - my favourite part of the process!  I use my Crate Paper muffin tray to hold all my embellishments for my current project so it's ideal to help me choose little bits and bobs for each of the three clusters.  I always put down more than I need - this is just a first sort through to start piecing things together.  I look for some flat things and some things that will add dimension and I try to use similar items and colours in each little grouping.  I really wanted to use a couple of the flair badges that I've been hoarding so I chose my other embellishments to go with those.  As you can see, I am one of the many who have discovered that flair badges can rust but I actually like the effect it has made and it doesn't seem to be coming through the back or through the plastic at the front.

I like to have the three groupings as 3 slightly different sizes if possible with the larger one towards the bottom as this helps to balance the layout but I don't really have any hard and fast rules about anything - I just go with the flow!  As you can see I haven't stuck to my first sprinkling of embellishments - I've started with the flairs and then added in some orange to echo my son's te-shirt and then worked around those, tucking things in and around and trying not to create trapped space.  Each layer gets smaller and more dimensional as I go - a bit like building a pyramid!

And here is the finished layout!  Even though some of the layers are mostly hidden, I think they are still well worth including because it adds so much interest to the groupings.  The stenciling and misting on the bottom creates a really subtle extra layer and you could use stamping or a bit of stitching here too.  Then I've used some die cuts or stickers next, some with pop dots on to add another dimension.  I've tucked in some cork cameras and added enamel dots and a couple of different sized resin stars and called it done.

Getting your clusters to look the way you want them to is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle - you start with a piece you are sure of and then try out lots of others before you are definite, even sometimes moving things that you THOUGHT you were sure of!  They are well worth the effort though as they bring so much interest and dimension to your projects.  You can have many little clusters all over your page and you can have them spread out rather than overlapping the layers, it's totally up to you to use the things you like in a way that pleases your own eyes.

I hope we've been inspiring you to try some clusters or to think about adding something new to your groupings, even if you are struggling to get some time to actually scrap during August (which I know can be quite a challenge for some of us!)  As always, don't forget to share your projects with us either here in the comments or on our Facebook page or our Instagram and please do use #ukscrapaddicts so we can find your projects.  There's a great prize up for grabs from this month's sponsor and we are always looking for amazing UK scrapbookers to feature on our pages too.

Now, go forth and make pretty pages!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Hey, Hello, Hiya │Roxy Cousins │Clustering

Hello, Roxy here! Today i'm here with my layout on this months theme, clustering.

I love clustering, I have clusters of embellishments on almost every layout I create. I like to use clusters of different embellishments. For example wood veneer, ephemra, tiny word stickers and gold glittery hearts. Clusters help your eye to travel around the layout, it usually draws attention to the photo.

 I chose to use three pictures of my bunny, who is trying to help me fussy cut some flowers out. I used two different sizes for my photos, 4x4 and 2x2. This enabled me to create at least three clusters around my layout.

My photos are quite colourful, so I decided to use this months free cut file (which you can find on a few posts down). I used a colourful mambi paper and attached it to white cardstock. This allows my three vocal points to stand out.

Clusters also allow you to use a variety of collections on your layout. For example on my layout I have used items from Cute Girl by Crate Paper, Gather by Maggie Holmes and Indigo Hills by Pinkfresh Studio.

For more details on how I created my layout, please check out the process here

Seeyou nex time! Happy Crafting :) 

Friday, 18 August 2017

St Tropez Summer | Sheena Rowlands | Clustering

Hi there x Sheena here again x
The focus for us this month is to use clustering on our pages.
This was perfect for me as I love using clusters on my pages as I tend to hoard embellishments so need to get them stuck on a page.

St Tropez Summer.

For this page I've actually created a line of clustered embellishments running above & below my photo which also includes my title.

 Some of the embellishments are from the same range as the paper, Prima St Tropez but by clustering embellishments in this way also gives you a chance to use up odd bits & pieces, from old & new collections by tucking them in.

Also adding in different textures adds to the overall interest too. Here I've used stickers, wood veneer, chipboard shapes, epoxy shapes, flair...

I hope you get a chance over the summer months to getting some scrapping time for yourself x

Thursday, 17 August 2017

YOLO | Sarah Costain | Clustering

Sarah here today with my layout based on this months theme of clustering.

This time my layout was inspired by the photo I had chosen. I created a mixed media background with water and Dylusions ink to complement the image.
I added layers of tissue paper and patterned paper behind my photo and some torn washi for a messy photo cluster.
To balance the page I added a scene to the top left of my page using die cut clouds, a rainbow and other embellishments from the kit I used by Mind the Scrap based here in the UK.
I added a couple of tags to the bottom right of my photo and layered a few embellishments on top which mirrored the top cluster.
A scattering of sequins hearts and some teal sequin ribbon from my stash added a little bling along with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in teal and gold as a finishing touch.
And here's the finished layout. 
You can check out the process video here. 
Don't forget to join in this month's challenge. 

Have a scrappy day :)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Free Cut File for August

This month's free cut file is a corker!  This grid, which you saw in action on Pol's fantastic layout here, is brilliant for making a real statement on your page.  It was designed by our Creative Team member Niki Rowland.

You can find instructions for downloading and using the cut file in Silhouette here.  And don't worry if you don't have an electronic die-cutter, we've got some ideas for using them without one here.

As always, we'd love to see what you create with the cut file so please do link us in the comments below and if you're on social media then please don't forget to use the hashtags #ukscrapaddicts and #uksacutfiles

We'll have another example of this die cut in use coming a little bit later in the month and we'll have another free cut file for you in September.  September??!!  Crikey, this year is marching right on by isn't it?  

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Hi lovely Scrappers! Today the team are having a chat about fussy cutting...

Maria: Fussy cutting is awesome! I love love love it, despite not being the best at it. I love how you can get so much out of a 12x12 sheet of pattern paper by just fussy cutting the shapes out of it. Some people use huge scissors, and some others use small scissors. I am in the second group. I normally try to leave a small border around the shape that I am cutting, although it is not always possible.

Emma C: Ahh fussy cutting, labour intensive but oh-so-worth-it! Some papers just cry out to be fussy cut and one particular designer that springs to mind is ... you guessed it! ... Paige Evans. Her designs are perfect for cutting out images and layering them for something spectacular - especially the florals! Here is a prime example, created when I attended a workshop last November. Top Tip: when cutting try to move the paper around rather than the scissors, saves your hand aching a bit! Also, a good pair of small sharp scissors that cut right to the tip are a must. Happy cutting!

Jess Claire: Fussy cutting can be kind of time consuming but I love the look of it. I am a bit of a budget scrapbooker at times and I always feel like fussy cutting gets a lot of value from the paper. My tips are to start by roughly cutting out the shape; that way it's easier to move as you cut it. Depending on the look you want, you can cut leaving a border; I like to do this if the image has a white border behind it, because it then looks a bit like a die cut you might buy. Alternatively, you can cut right up close to the image; I tend to do this more just because its less obvious if you cut something off so you don't have to be as precise. I really like to adhere fussy cut pieces with adhesive foam tape, which pops the piece up and makes it look more like a true embellishment. Finally, don't be scared to use a large fussy cut piece - it can be the focal point of the layout.

Terri-Ann: I absolutely love fussy cutting! My GoGo Getaway nickname is 'scissor ninja' because I love to cut shapes from patterned paper. I find it relaxing to sit in front of the TV with a crazy busy pattern and cut out all the images. If it's super intricate I will leave a slight border but prefer not to. I also like to get my craft knife out to cut out the inner pieces from designs such as between flower stems and leaves.

Lisa-Jane: I'm quite partial to a bit of fussy cutting - like stitching, it can be a lovely way to pass the time while chatting with friends or watching your favourite programmes, etc. Like many others, I like to cut things out of my patterned papers to use in place of die cuts or to layer up on top of each other to add some dimension. Despite having a Silhouette and quite a few sets of Thickers, I do sometimes fussy cut a title, like I've done here. We have a few sets of alphabet templates between our local groups and I used them to trace the letters onto a coordinating design for this layout, then stitched around it to add some texture.

You don't have to stop at titles or flowers though, try things like ticket stubs, etc. I've also been known to cut out images from Project Life style cards such as cameras, hearts, and frames. The layout below is quite an old one now but I wanted to show an example of another different kind of fussy cutting. I've used chipboard shapes as templates to trace onto thick card stock, cut them out, then applied Mod Podge to some old jeans to make it stiff enough to adhere the card stock shape onto and trace and cut out. They make really unique embellishments and are worth the effort I think.

Pol: Fussy cutting is one of my Favourite Things Ever! I used to hate it because I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, but it turns out that makes me ideal for fussy cutting! LOL!
I like to leave a border around whatever I'm cutting out, and I love to make little scenes for my pages. I will purposely choose papers that can be fussy cut, and I enjoy fussy cutting while I'm watching TV in the evening. I'm really rubbish at sitting doing nothing so I'm often doing several things at once! Fussy cutting is a great way to make your papers go further if you're on a budget.

Susan: I too am a fussy cutting fan. I especially like to do it at crops when I can sit and chat and keep my fingers busy at the same time - it helps to keep them out of the chocolate, too! Any papers with large images are fair game; I sometimes wonder if I cut out just for the sake of it as I seem to be sticking the pieces back into the same place as they were originally! LOL! Seriously though, if you put the pieces back with dimensional sticky dots under some of them it gives your page some nice height and texture. I always cut close to the edges of an image not being too keen on white borders. I will even cut off the border from a ready made sticker. Occasionally I will fussy cut a photo if there is too much distracting background. I don’t like the white edge you get when cutting into photographic paper; a good tip is to gently edge the cut image with a dark ink.

Gemma: I agree with the others in that I love fussy cutting! I love doing it to create extra embellishments for a page. My favourite would be a fussy cut floral, and I love to fussy cut a whole 12x12 paper leaving a small border around the shapes. By leaving a border you get some of the background colour come through, in this layout I liked how the green broke up all the pink.

I like to fussy cut my own free-hand shapes as well, like I did in the moodboard challenge layout, where I used coloured raindrops. Also in this layout you can see that, like Susan, I will even fussy cut a photo to help create the scene on my page.

Laura: My tip for fussy cutting is to keep the scissors still, only moving the paper and to experiment with different scissors. Personally I fussy cut best with my largest pair as they are more comfortable to hold.

Michelle: It looks like l might be the only one on the team who doesn't love to fussy cut. I love the end look of it but I’m just not very good at it, although I have been incorporating it into more layouts, especially in my Traveller's Notebook. I now have some super sharp scissors to make the job easier. I may even get round to using some of the many cut-apart sheets that I have collected and stashed over the years. I agree with what others have said in that it is much easier to move the paper and not the scissors.

I do hope we've inspired you to crack out your sharpest scissors and get snipping!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Happy Here & Now │Gemma Summers │Clustering

Hello, Gemma here with my layout based on our theme for this month, which is Clustering.

I love clustering because I like to use a lot of embellishments on a page as you will see from my layout this month! Having clusters of embellishments helps your eye travel round the page, and I have used them to surround my photo, with one cluster on each side. I chose to base my layout on a selfie of me at my craft desk, which I printed in black and white so I could chose any colour palette for my layout.

I started with a lined paper (I used a lot of the Pebbles 'girl squad' collection for this layout). I went with my photo central and decided to ground the clusters with some mixed media first.

I went with pinks, peaches and coral made using some distress inks and the packaging technique. I then added some splatters and crayon marks. I knew most of this would be covered up but some would still peak through for colour.

Next I could focus on my clusters.

I started by fussy cutting the speech bubbles, trees and raindrops. These elements were all from pattern paper, individually cut and arranged. I backed the speech bubbles onto craft foam to raise them and give the cluster different dimensions. I always start with the bigger elements, then move onto details like the puffy stickers, buttons and roller stamping.

I worked on both clusters at the same time, so they looked balanced and both had all the same elements in them. I stuck to coral, turquoise, black and white.
As the layout is about me, I chose stickers that match me like the backpack, headphones
and the girl puffy sticker even has my hair cut :)

The title was made from turquoise glitter words from Paige Evans, as I like the script font and the colour fits perfectly. It's a recent photo of me so really is 'here and now'. I used stamping in diagonal corners and added a doodle border round the entire page, with black pen.

Don't forget we would love to see your layouts using clustering this month
on our Facebook page and Instagram using #ukscrapaddicts

I hope you enjoyed this layout.
Is your craft desk your happy place too?

See you next month!