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Reading Material


A little old, a little new, and a bit of Harry Potter for good measure

Harry Potter scrapbook page with process video // by Shimelle Laine

I should have planned this post for World Book Day last week if I’d thought ahead, but of course I didn’t. There’s never a bad day for Harry Potter scrapbooking, is there? I have an entire album of layouts from one day at the studio tour, so I better make a start on the photos from our trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

I will admit upfront that we visited Universal Studios entirely for the Harry Potter element. Universal doesn’t cater for the super young in the same way that Disney does. Their target audience is older and even the Dr Seuss and Minion rides have height requirements. We managed the Dr Seuss carousel, but the rides here are more fabulous if you love the twists and turns of serious roller coasters, and well… that is not my jam. But I wanted to see all the details of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, brought to life in a way you could just be fully immersed. And it is pretty amazing.

But the youngest member of the party was most excited by the train. Of course.

Some of the supplies on this page are far, far too old to be in stores (like that 2009 paper!) but you can find the newer stuff, I promise. Red camera paper and white foam Thickers by Amy Tangerine, train stamp from Go Now Go, stickers and patterned paper from Little by Little, star vellum from Christmas Magic, die cuts by Pink Paislee, enamel dots by Doodlebug, and Typecast journaling paper by WeR Memory Keepers. And seriously, someone needs to make those star-shaped rhinestones like Jenni Bowlin did back in the day. They are so lovely! The woodgrain Thickers were a Studio Calico exclusive about five years ago. I may have rationed them.

Harry Potter scrapbook page with process video // by Shimelle Laine

If anyone sees steam train washi tape, please let me know. For today I went with this grey Amy Tangerine tape from her first collection for its colour and cuteness. But I have a lot of steam train photos and I don’t see this obsession ending any time soon. So steam train washi: it needs to happen.

Harry Potter scrapbook page with process video // by Shimelle Laine

Thanks for taking a look! And not rolling your eyes too much at the sheer number of Harry Potter scrapbook pages I have made over the years.

Glitter Girl Adventure 149: A 6x6 Solution

Scrapbooking with 6x6 Papers on 12x12 Pages - with Glitter Girl video - by Shimelle Laine

I can’t be alone in loving to collect 6×6 paper pads. But they are piling up quicker than I can figure out how to use them on my scrapbook pages! I’d love some simple page formulas to work with this size. Glitter Girl, can you help?

Of course she can. This week Glitter Girl shares a page composition formula for four sheets of 6×6 paper plus a circle punch. With her embellishments, she’s taking inspiration from the March 30 Day Colouring Challenge at from Kathy at The Daily Marker.

Come along for the adventure!

The papers featured this week come from the Oh My Heart collection by Paige Evans for Pink Paislee. I love the beautifully bright and happy colours in this collection! The floral stamp is by Amy Tangerine, embossed with white embossing powder and Versamark ink, then coloured with Sharpies. The tile letter stickers are from Heidi Swapp but are several years old now I’m afraid. The silver Thickers are Fitzgerald from my True Stories collection.

Scrapbooking with 6x6 Papers on 12x12 Pages - with Glitter Girl video - by Shimelle Laine

This page turned out to be quite the example of embracing things as they go. The colouring was certainly an experiment and I didn’t expect to not be able to colour the centres of the flowers, but mixing the colours of the petals instead worked just fine. And I managed to get green ink on the layout not once but twice! Sigh. One spot is still there and I’m just going to leave it. The larger smudge bothered me more and I just chose to move the embellishment there to cover it rather than bring it down to the bottom edge like I first imagined. Actually, with a few days passed and going back to look, I like it there better, so yay for happy accidents!

A few posts from the archives might be useful if you’re looking for more to do with your 6×6 paper pads on 12×12 pages:
Glitter Girl’s take on minimal supplies
A rainbow-filled colour story

If you’re busy scrapping with your 6×6 paper stash, please share what you’re making! This link up will remain open until the end of the month, and you can choose to upload a picture or link to your blog, Facebook post, Instagram picture, or scrapbooking gallery.

Getting started with Little by Little

Getting started with Little by Little // scrapbook page by Kirsty Smith

I’m delighted to share a scrapbook page from Kirsty Smith to kick off a look at what other designers are making with Little by Little. I’d love to see what you’re making too! If you’re posting pictures on social media, add the hashtag #AClittlebylittle. And now over to Kirsty for a quick dive into the new collection!

It was such a wonderful treat to be able to work with Shimelle’s beautiful new collection, Little by Little. I was really struck by the versatility of this collection: the colours are wonderful and I was able to select a whole range of complimentary hues from a wide palette of options. To stay in keeping with my photo, I chose shades of blue, purple, pink and green; the range of shades and designs was just made for layering!

I used patterned paper to frame my photo in layers, opting for one of the boxes from the cut-apart sheet for my journaling. I love the paper with the large chevron as it has such a lovely textural mix of colours and patterns. I used the chevron to point towards the central design.

Getting started with Little by Little // scrapbook page by Kirsty Smith

I love the floral motif that moves through Little by Little, as it’s subtly present in lots of different elements of the collection, creating a delicate, whimsical feel. To complement my page I introduced the floral die cut word ‘happy’ (from the die-cut pack) and matched it with the scripted word ‘adventure’. I adore anything that involves a hand-written look and so I love this page of foam Thickers in a brush-lettered style.

There are so many lovely elements in this collection to add the final embellishment for a scrapbook layout. I punched hearts out of patterned paper to scatter over the page, and layered stickers in little clusters. I am a big fan of including cameras on pretty much every page I make, as I feel it’s so relevant to scrapbooking, and one of my favourite parts of the collection are the puffy camera stickers. They’re so cute and petite, but add a brilliant splash of detail. I love the enamel dots too!

Getting started with Little by Little // scrapbook page by Kirsty Smith

Overall this is such a beautiful collection to work with, and it has the potential to work for layouts of so many different themes. I hope you will enjoy using Little by Little as much as I am!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Special on Online Classes from Shimelle Laine

Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, I have a little something sweet for you. Sign up for any online class today, and you’ll receive a $5 credit to use toward a new class any time in 2017. There is one coming up very soon, actually! But you have all year to use the credit, and classes available are as low as $8.

Find all the available online scrapbooking classes right here!

I hope your day is lovely!

A Little by Little B-Side Paper

Scrapbooking with B-Sides // Scrapbook Page by Shimelle Laine

B-side papers are something I think about throughout a collection but they are actually the very last thing we finalise. Sometimes we have everything laid out, ready to go, and it can only then become obvious that there isn’t enough of this colour or a smaller version of that motif. But some of my favourites are the b-sides designed to be a super quick way to a beautiful layout.

Little by Little patterned paper by Shimelle for American Crafts

Okay, I love the multicoloured feathers but I admit it is perhaps not the most universal patterned paper ever designed in the history of the world. That’s okay. But the b-side to this paper (called Delightful Journey) is one of those pages made with speed and ease in mind. The pastel shades of the colour palette are included in a geometric pattern that all revolves around one quarter of the page. I love working with thirds and quarters on the 12×12 page because it works so beautifully no matter what you add to the composition. Just start on that line and build. It will work!

Scrapbooking with B-Sides // Scrapbook Page by Shimelle Laine

You can turn this paper in any direction and start adding somewhere on that line that separates the colourful section from the solid aqua background. I love a layered stack of papers, stickers, and die-cuts to surround the photo on that quarter line. And in this case, I used that old favourite – the loose diagonal line of embellishment – but included my journaling and title as part of the diagonal line. Completed page in such a short amount of time!

All the supplies here are from Little by Little, including both sets of Thickers, the sticker book, the 6×12 sticker sheet, 6×6 paper pad, wood buttons, embossed die-cuts, and puffy stickers. But of course the patterned paper works with the embellishments you love and have to hand as well.

I hope you enjoy using this paper too and would love to see what it inspires you to make!

Exploding Heart Scrapbook Pages with Little by Little

Exploding Heart Page Design :: Scrapbook Page by Shimelle Laine

We love a little heart explosion across a scrapbook page around here, and there’s literally a patterned paper made with that look in mind within the Little by Little collection. It’s called Evolving Love and has a pink background with dozens of colourfully patterned hearts ready and waiting to be cut out and scattered across your next scrapbook page.

Exploding Heart Page Design :: Scrapbook Page by Shimelle Laine

I used it with this collection’s bold floral, Cultivate Joy, framing the photos with some of the yellow b-side patterns for a bit of contrast against all those multi-coloured patterns. But of course, your heart explosion will look unique when you choose a different coloured or pattern for your background as well as which of the hearts you choose to scatter!

For more on that five-point palm exploding heart technique in a scrapbook sense, check out these two posts from the archives:
Exploding Heart Page Design :: Scrapbook Page by Zinia Amoiridou
Exploding Heart Page Design :: Scrapbook Page by Heather Leopard

And please share if you use Little by Little to create your own heart explosion or another heart-filled look! Leave a link in the comments any time or share on social media with the hashtag #AClittlebylittle.

CHA 2017: On the show floor with Little by Little

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

Here we are at my little corner of the American Crafts booth, with Little by Little ready to welcome the buyers who attend the CHA Creativation 2017 Trade Show.

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

We’ve wrapped books in patterned paper and framed some of the motifs from the collection, and there’s a big wreath backdrop behind me ready for plenty of selfie fun throughout the show.

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

When we’re not chatting or taking said selfies (shame), I usually scrapbook right there so I can show how the products come together to create a range of looks. This time I’m also painting a few little animals for store special events, so look for a chance to win something like this little bear from your favourite scrapbook shop, perhaps!

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

So much of Little by Little is filled with tiny nods to children’s literature, so I stole that chance to make a Peter Pan page while I was here!

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

But this was probably my favourite way to display the samples: that butterfly frame. Of course, when in America, one must do a Target run just to see what last-minute items are absolutely required for the booth. I think this one was required, and it’s from the Dollar Spot, so always a win!

CHA Creativation 2017: Little by Little by Shimelle for American Crafts

And of course Amy has a camera drone! So here’s the AC designer crew at the end of the show from the sky!

Thanks for taking a look: up next, scrapbook pages with Little by Little!

Counting Down to CHA 2017: and sometimes I get a bit emotional about stickers

scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

Sometimes something completely trivial, most likely flippant, and certainly not intended to have a bigger meaning sits in our heads for years. That’s normal, right? Maybe it’s not normal and I have some sort of diagnosable issue here that you can spot from your armchair, but if that’s the case let’s just leave it because it is what makes me tick. When I say Go Now Go was inspired by a mix of backpacking around the world and taking in autumn in our local park, that’s a summary. A polite summary. There are some completely trivial, most likely flippant, and certainly not intended moments in both those places, on both those adventures, that became part of my development process as we worked on this collection.

I tell you this at risk of you laughing and realising that I take some things far too seriously. Please know I laugh at myself a lot for that very thing. I promise this will circle back to scrapbooking. In Go Now Go, there is a stamp set that is part journaling, part passport. It has this spot on the journaling block with a space for the smaller stamps to fit and you can choose from a train, plane, boat, or arrow. It’s something I like in my own passport, that many countries use a little symbol like that to indicate the means in which you arrived and when I have to stand in a line to show my passport, which I do less recently but had to do this morning, I flip through and those little symbols remind me of that journey. It makes my mind race and link memories together. There is part of me that still feels very much like it is still 1983 and travel was 100% glamorous even though airplanes were filled with smoke and every flight served the same cold and soggy croissant and there was always someone who drank tomato juice on its own so I thought it must be fabulous and I ordered it once and realised I was basically drinking ketchup on ice but I had no way to empty the cup but drink it. All those memories of my earliest flights and yet still, I remember it with this gloss of glamour over the top. But when we developed that stamp set, it was important to me because it had that link to flipping through my passport and having my head flood with stories, but also because taking it apart and using just those little pieces on their own is where my head is when I scrapbook these days. Arrows for go, go, going. That’s what we do. We are go, go, going all the time and yet it takes three times longer to get anywhere because it’s at the pace the legs of a two year old can manage. Planes because we live under a flight path and the novelty of pointing out every plane to pass over our heads shows no sign of losing its appeal so far. One of said two year old’s very first jokes of his own invention: Where do you think that plane is going, Mummy? I don’t know. Where is it going? To the airport, he says in a fit of giggles. It is, right? Yes. Yes, that is indeed right, now that you mention it. (There is a second answer sometimes, when he feels more daydreamy than jokey, I suppose, in which he says to visit Mickey Mouse.) A boat for the earliest science lessons of what sinks and what floats when you throw it in the bathtub. And perhaps as an ongoing metaphor for myself and my day by day judgement of am I sinking or floating. (That’s normal too, right?) And a train because it’s part of our everyday – it’s how we commute, it’s how we see friends, it’s an obsession that results in opening the front door to find a wooden track that leads through the entire floor plan of our flat, and somewhere a tiny battery-driven train is trying to chug, chug, chug all the way around with an unfairly huge number of mismatched magnetic freight cars trailing behind.

All that, but I know it’s basically a passport stamp that you can journal on. It is what it is. But along the way, it is a lot more, if only inside my head.

scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

That’s basically how I work out if things are right for a collection. Can I find stories behind it or is it just something that looks pretty? Sometimes things that look pretty are just lovely and I buy them too. But they don’t stay my favourites. I want to make things that will be my favourites. The stories make them my favourites, and that feels like the best thing I can do.

There are puffy heart stickers in Go Now Go. On one hand, they are certainly not the first puffy stickers to grace the scrapbooking world. I did not invent this product. And yet, there’s a convoluted inner monologue to them too. Puffy stickers remind me of a time in my life when I was young enough to be carefree but old enough to be stubborn and independent and believe things like ‘if there are three of us going out together and our ages add up to total a perfectly normal adult age, we must certainly be just as safe and responsible as adults’. Actual responsible adults in my life at that time may have disagreed with my logic somewhat, by the way. So puffy stickers remind me of childhood but not toddler days. Days when we could ride our bikes for miles on a summer afternoon and still make it home in time for dinner and reruns of Three’s Company. When we went backpacking, it was just two of us, and we heard the same line from so many people: It’s so good you can do this now, when you’re not tied down by children. It was the sort of thing people say to just carry on the conversation. Trivial, flippant, not at all intended to sit in my head for years. And yet there it sat, the whole time we went around the world. And yet somehow I knew that didn’t need to be true: I think my husband had more stamps in his passport before he turned ten than I do to this day, and while I didn’t leave my home country until I was an adult, I visited the vast majority of the US states by the time I could drive. We could do this again. We could do this with children. We could do this with a child. Somehow. It was and is a complicated chain of thoughts in my head, but here’s the thing I kept remembering on that trip when those words got to me: think of those days of puffy stickers. The days when I had a basket on my bicycle and I acted like that was really uncool but actually I quite liked the practicality because I could use it to take my sticker book with me for those mile long bike rides and we would find somewhere to sit and eat peanut butter sandwiches, Ziploc bags of potato chips, and Nutty Bars. We’d drink a Thermos full of Kool-aid in which we’d secretly added double the sugar and we’d read the latest update in The Babysitter’s Club aloud and we’d trade stickers. Puffy stickers were worth three plain flat ones. Sometimes four. They were currency of early independence, some point in the eighties, I guess. There we were in 2010, on the road somewhere we’d never been, meeting people we’d never met, and the same old trivial, flippant comment would come up and puffy stickers were my mental way to shrug it off. So in 2016: let’s make puffy stickers and make them feel travel-inspired and autumnal and let them be heart shaped because I never think it’s wrong to scrapbook with hearts and let them be small so you get a lot in the pack and you don’t feel like you have to save them for something so special that will be worthy of those puffy stickers. And that’s what my voice says when we have these online meetings between the office in Utah and my studio in London and inside my head I’m thinking all the thoughts I can’t bring myself to say aloud because I know there is very little logical reason why a comment led me to the same memory time and time again. Just yes, let’s make tiny, colourful, heart-shaped puffy stickers please and thank you.

scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

Okay. I’ll breathe now And you can laugh. And I can laugh. Yes, I take things like puffy stickers too seriously and I’m probably a little daft for telling you. Yes, when we work on products, my thoughts go into overdrive and I sometimes feel like I’m hyperventilating inside my head, but it seems to be what works so I go with it. Yes, I realise it’s really just paper and stickers and stamps and it’s not going to save the world or anything. Yes, I realise there is only a very, very small number of people who would be interested in this sort of bonkers description of what I do at work. But if you are one of those amazing people, it might help you know why scrapbooking is my thing. That I am driven by memories, they are my inspiration, my coping mechanism, and my perspective. I found this craft nineteen years ago and never would have believed you then if you’d told me I’d be designing puffy stickers and passport stamps. But I’d have believed you that I would still be making scrapbooks and finding something to write down.

scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

And on a much less rambly note, I’ve arrived in Phoenix! Tomorrow we build the booth and Saturday the show opens. Yay! I can’t wait to show you.