WOYWW 109 – still loving 4x6s

If you read back you will see I am scrapping to Shimelle’s 4×6 PhotoLove self-led class.  Good it is self-led, as I am only now getting started, with the layout yesterday for June, and now, what is on my W today, the class from May.

It doesn’t look like much, but it will soon be a lovely 2-page layout! Trust me.

Today is DDs transition meeting at her school, planning for her future.  So I am a little distracted.  I’ll get to my desk visiting sometime later or tomorrow if I don’t manage it.  If you came here looking for inspiration, sorry there isn’t much – just a seemingly random pile of stuff.  But if you check out Shim’s video you will see where I am going, and if you pop over to the lovely Julia’s space and hop around blogs across the world, you will surely find something that WILL inspire you! Trust me on that too!


Shimelle & Me – and my personal scrapbooking history

Bear with me.  The crafty bit will come.

We moved to the UK in 1994.  DS was 14 months old (he’s now 18!) and I wasn’t really doing much crafting other that kids crafts, knitting and crochet.  We lived in The Barbican and my time was occupied with DS, the Mums and Toddlers group, going to West End plays and not a lot else.

We moved back to the USA after DD was born, and DH went from banking to an internet start-up.  In the first year, I found scrapbooking was ALL over the place – TV, craft stores, chat at the bus stop.  DS’s best friends mom was having a Creative Memories party and asked me if I would come to help make up the numbers.  I did, and got hooked.   I converted the spare room into a scrapping space (giving up on scrapping on the kitchen counter, snatched moments here and there and tidying up after every session, even if that was after only 15 minutes), ditched the PC for a Mac,  and the next couple of years were spent happily scrapping. I spent a lot of time on 2Peas, and a lot of time in Michaels (humm – at the time I think it was more MJDesigns and Total Crafts, but you get the idea) and built my stash.

We missed living in the UK (and they elected, and I use the term very liberally,  GWB)  so when the bank called and asked DH back, we jumped at the chance.  The problem?  How was I going to scrap when it just wasn’t as popular there as in the USA? How was I going to feed my stash habit??

Off to the net I went and had a long search session.  I found there WAS a scrapbooking site in the UK!  Yay! Scraptastic was run by Mark and Shimelle.  I was beyond relieved.  We exchanged a couple of emails and I promised to get in touch when we were back across the pond and my scrapping goods arrived. I swear I still have a paper piecing pattern I downloaded from her site, a snowman,  in my stash still!

Fast forward a few months and I got in touch to find there was a CROP that weekend.  Oh bliss.  A 2+ hour drive and I rocked up to the Youth Center and walked in to a small room with just 3 scrappers – Shimelle,  CJ (Feel-Good photographer extraordinaire) and Jane (and you aren’t likely to scrap in the UK and not know who I am talking about!) I kept pulling stuff out of my bag, stuff that had been brand new when I packed up, and to every item Shim said Yep, we sell that. or Oh yes, we have that on order.  Far from the dark ages of scrapping, it seemed I had hooked in to the group that was “in the know”! The crops were the highlight of my scrapping life.

Flash forward a few  years – during which time Bev moved UKS from a Yahoo group to a proper website, Shim won both the Hall of Fame and the PaperKuts Power Team, scrapping took off in a big way in the UK, we judged the Best of British contest with Joanna Slan , I took on UKS when Bev couldn’t carry on due to work conflicts – and still I scrapped.

Meanwhile Shim found her niche as a teacher of online classes, got married to The Boy (and yes, her wedding was every bit as glorious as you would expect from her obvious sense of fun and style) became a Garden Girl on 2Peas, and did many classes for UKS, as well as through her site, some of which I started, with the very best on intentions, but life always got in the way.

We worked on Scrapbook Inspirations together until it folded.  Without the monthly deadlines, scrapping seemed to be the last thing I thought of when I was sat at my desk.  The kids moved in to their teens.  All of a sudden getting photos was a near impossible task.  And scrapping took a bit of a back seat for me.   I thought about scrapping a lot, had lots of ideas, but made maybe a page a month for at least a year. I just needed something to get me motivated.  That is something Shimelle is good at, even when she isn’t directing her super-scrapbooking mojo-booster at you, specifically.

I subscribe to Shim’s YouTube videos. I  watch when I find the time and the kids aren’t hammering the home internet. I kept thinking I should play along, but no new photos meant little impetus to actually do so. Recently, looking back at the piles of unscrapped photos I had, I remembered seeing her 4×6 Photo Love classes on her blog.  Most of mine were 4×6.  I had no other project on the go. Serendipity.  I went to her blog and thought Right.  Pull your finger out and SCRAP! So I did.

The June 4×6 sketch/class was a good one.  I managed to make the layout and am happy with the results (mostly – it’s a bit busy, but that was my choice of papers that made it so) and 8 (yes, 8!)  photos are on a layout and the moment captured.

The basic idea is fab, it is a 2-pager, and the original has 6 photos.  I had to cobble together a 4 x 6 portrait block from cropped landscape photos, but that’s the thing – you can do what you like and there is never any tutting from Shim.  She loves the creative process and embraces your alterations – she’s never precious about her designs.

I also saw  one of her sketch-to-scrapbook page videos with some little banners that gave me the idea to curl the edges of the gears to add some extra dimension.

I actually like one page as an option – I think it works equally as well as the double does.

So you would have thought that I would have been following this class from the start.  Why ever didn’t I?  As a self-led class, one you can dip in to and out of, there is no pressure.  History has told me I love Shimelle’s style and can usually pick one of her layouts out of a line-up with ease – it’s the one I love.  Well, that is all water under the bridge now.  I have jumped the first hurdle, made a layout that I quite like, and I have January – May to go back and catch up on.  And the Sketch-to-Scrapbook page bits.  And there will be a new class every month, and a new sketch every Wednesday.

I’m off to sort some photos (crop this weekend so the timing is perfect!) and as soon as I get through those DVDs from the stamp show, that is what I will focus on.

To be honest, looking at those old photos gives me such a wave of emotion – seeing my toddler boy, so chubby cheeked and sweet, and my wee free-spirited girl, small enough to sit on Dad’s lap, when now he is a long-haired game-playing drummer and she is nearly as tall as I am and such a teen, blind-sides me like I never expected.

And it makes me remember why I loved scrapping in those early days of sticker-sneeze, cardstock triangles, fugly paper doll die cuts, and cut-out figures from photos.  And it makes me all that much more determined to not lose sight of that again.


Bi fold frame PDF and video

Here is the video:

and I’ve added the PDF in the sidebar! The file, which opens in a new page, is actually called Juliacropclass (the underlined one not the title – sorry, I need to sort out why it is not just automatically downloading like the earlier ones I did!)


Hope you have fun making one.  The ladies at the crop were SO funny – at the folding-around-the-frame point there was a lot of OMG!  It works!  It really works!  and as everyone used different paper and different embellishments they all looked totally different in the end, but all of them were lovely.  I think I have made the PDF as clear as I can so if you try it and have trouble, do let me know.



Retreat Class

I am feeling pretty happy about the ScrapFever teaching this past weekend. The layout class went swimmingly, both times. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and many said they would use their design tool again. Funnily enough Layle and I both used curves and it seems some of MY class used their curvy tool in Layle’s class. That we would both, with out prior consultation, her from the US and me from the UK, fix on the same idea, was very interesting. Must be a trend LOL!

The other class was both a success and a failure! We had everything go wrong, from the unavailability of my chosen papers, to miscommunication by Amy’s freight forwarders (resulting in 2 lots of a paper we needed absolutely when we thought we had none, a total no-show on all the other papers and the appearance of a box of little tins, unordered and unwanted) to my brain fade sending the wrong PDF to be printed (which wasted a bit of cardstock in the first class till we realized and corrected) to runaway brads and vellum thought to be a mistake or scrap paper. The papers not arriving made for a happy accident, however, when each class got to go to the shop and PICK THEIR PAPERS to make the project. Fab results – they loved it. And the second class, reaping the benefits of the issues in the first class went well – virtually everyone completed the basic frame in class, or certainly by lunch anyway. I am most pleased that so far as I know everyone got both the layout and the project near to finished AT THE EVENT. Walking around the crop room on Sunday afternoon I saw so many completed (or completed save a photo or very nearly completed) frames on desks, all in different papers, all looking fabulous, I was over the moon. We had some fun variations I wish I had grabbed a photo of – one with a beach hut and lighthouse, one with palm trees, one with the cutest stamped owl and a few bird variations, all of them just FAB.

Whether or not I will ever feel truly comfortable as a teacher, I don’t know, but I do know I have had some of the best, most fun classmates every time I’ve taught that it has made the knotted tummy, dry mouth and sweaty palms worth enduring.

Here is a photo of my version of the class but some of the class samples put it to shame!


And a big THANKS to Dan99 for letting me use the lovely little WONKY HOUSE – love those, and so did the class!