Keep It Moving

It’s funny that this months Pixel Scrapper blog train theme is “Keep It Moving” because I’m certainly not doing much moving at the moment! I’m just over halfway through my pregnancy, still sick as a dog and still spending a lot of time on the sofa or napping in bed.

I wasn’t always this lazy though (honestly!) Once upon a time I was young, fit and a ballroom dancer. A very good one (one of the few things I can proudly say I was very good at.) I started when I was 6 or 7 years old and had passed my Oscar – first time around – at the age of 16. (The Oscar is the highest award achievable comprising a long complicated routine within a particular style – Modern, Latin or New Vogue. Not everyone passes it the first time round.)

I haven’t danced for years now and I don’t think I’ll ever start up again – it’s very much “use it or lose it” when it comes to the body and dancing. While I still have great movement in my feet (the way I can hold my toes still freaks out my partner who thinks my feet are unnatural), my knees are completely rooted. Dancing in 3 inch heels for most of your teen years will do that to you.

I had some great teachers over the years and was pretty good at all three styles, although I will admit that Tango and Paso Doble were my weakest dances – all those heel leads made me nervous and I often thought I’d slip in my stiletto heels and go sliding across the dance floor, snapping bones as I went. (I never had any major injuries while dancing, although did fall flat on my backside a few times.)

So for this month’s Pixel Scrapper blog train, I used the “Keep It Moving” theme to play around with some Ballroom bits and bobs. I’ve also done that thing where I experiment – I am a paper girl, I make papers, I use (mainly) papers in my own layouts. But I couldn’t resist doing some glittery dancing figurines and a smattering of word art this month. I hope you like them!

DSD_PSSept16_Cardstock_Preview

DSD_PSSept16_Figurines_Preview

DSD_PSSept16_WordArt_Preview

Download cardstock (Dropbox – 30mb)
Download figurines (Dropbox – 15mb)
Download word art (Dropbox – 6mb)

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in after you click the “Download” button and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

I hope you love the huge range of goodies over at Pixel Scrapper this month and don’t forget you can see all my non-blog-train digital papers in my Etsy store.

The Monday Special – 1st August

Happy Monday!!

Or perhaps it’s only “Happy Monday” if you work from home like I do. (I will admit that in my previous life as an employee of the state government, Monday’s certainly weren’t “happy”.)

Over here the weather is desperately cold (for Perth, which means it’s about 3 degrees celcius outside), Mr Sparkles – my wild rabbit – is still happily living in my garden, and my morning sickness is still kicking my backside. (I’m almost 17 weeks now and convinced the baby hates me.)

This week’s Monday Special is an entirely BRAND NEW paper pack! It is one of three 20-page paper packs that is currently in store and more will be added over the next week or so.

DSD Funky Bunches

This pack is called Funky Bunches and even contains NEW colours! That’s right, I’ve added eight new colours to my 2016-2020 paper palette. As usual, all 50 of my colours co-ordinate so no matter what paper packs you buy from my 2016-2020 collection, they will co-ordinate and open up so many possibilities for creating your own page palettes. 

ColourChart

Packed full of bright florals, this weeks Monday Special is normally priced at $7.00*, but is now $3.50* and only available in my Etsy store. This 50% offer will expire on the 8th of August.

Don’t forget that I’m in Western Australia so if you live on the other side of the globe, don’t leave your purchase until the last minute as the special could disappear Sunday night in your corner of the world.

*All prices in Australian dollars.

Freebie Friday – 23rd July

It’s a lovely sunshine-y Friday here – the air is chilly and refreshing, but the sun has a tinge of warmth to it. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week with my nose pressed to the window overlooking my back garden, keeping an eye on our new resident (a wild rabbit I’ve called Mr Sparkles).

This weeks Freebie Friday is a sheet of 12×12″ vintage grunge paper with a gorgeous brocade texture which has been taken from my paper pack called Aqua Vitae (you can find that pack and more vintage grunge packs in my Etsy store.)

DSD_AquaVitae_Paper_01

There’s no catch – no newsletter sign-up, I don’t want your email address, phone number, top secret cookie recipe. It’s free – you don’t have to do anything except click the link to download it. (And thanks to feedback, the link is now staying live for a WHOLE WEEK!)

Download Freebie Friday (Dropbox – 5.6mb)
Note: This link has now expired. 

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in after you click the “Download” button (top-right corner) and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

Enjoy your freebie and see you next week! For more paper goodness, don’t forget to check out my Etsy store. 

Happy Birthday

Don’t worry – it’s not my birthday. (It’s probably not yours either.) But “Happy Birthday” is the May Pixel Scrapper blog train them.

So….HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *insert streamers and party poppers and sparklers here*

*better insert cake too because I like cake*

I’m not really into celebrating my own birthday – being the centre of attention makes me feel like an elephant is standing on my chest. As a kid though, my main memories of birthdays are the cakes Mum would make my sister and I from the book every Aussie kids mum owned – The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book.

Even when I met Himself at the age of 21, we bonded over this iconic cookbook.

AWW

He and his brothers always had their cakes made by their dad. They had cricket pitches, swimming pools and the upright piano. I also had the upright piano, along with the butterfly, teddy bear, Miss Piggy and one rather freaky looking clown (sorry Ma, that wasn’t your best work.)

That's totally me on the left, grinning at the mountain of chocolate before me. Not much has changed if I'm honest.
That’s totally me on the left, grinning at the mountain of chocolate before me. Not much has changed if I’m honest.

Even these days, cake always seems to be the centre of any family celebration. (I could talk about cake for a really long time, but you’re here for digital goods, not cake so I’ll stop now.)

I really struggled this month – both with time (read more about that here) and with inspiration. But I’ve come up with one patterned pack, one solids/texture pack and one bonus pack full of splatter papers which I created to comprise all the colours from this months extensive colour palette at least once. Each splatter paper contains three colours which I hope will help tie some layouts together as I noticed people were a little concerned that the large palette would mean everyone’s contributions wouldn’t quite work together.

DSD_PSMay2016_Papers_Preview

DSD_PSMay2016_Cardstock_Preview

DSD_PSMay2016_SplatterPaper_Preview

Download cardstock (Dropbox – 21mb)
Download papers (Dropbox – 29mb)
Download bonus splatter papers (Dropbox – 70mb)

UPDATE 2nd May: DropBox is telling me that I’m too popular and I’m exceeding bandwidth limits. If you have trouble downloading then I’m really sorry but you may have to try again tomorrow!

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

Enjoy your BIRTHDAY theme and see you next month! And if you can’t wait that long then don’t forget you can see all my digital papers in my Etsy store.

Life In Full Bloom

It’s (almost) April and spring is in the air!

Except it’s not. Because I’m in the southern hemisphere. And it’s autumn…..

We’ll just have to ignore that awkwardness and pretend that everything is flourishing and flowering and looking pretty instead of the post-summer shade of brown we’re currently experiencing here.

So as you know, the April Pixel Scrapper blog train theme is Life In Full Bloom. And I have taken the opportunity to embrace my girlishness! Not being a particularly feminine or girly person, I have gone full floral this month. (Just between you and me, it was quite fun – I can see why women like florals and shabby chic cuteness.)

DSD_PSApr2016_Paper_Preview

DSD_PSApr2016_Cardstock_Preview

Download cardstock (Dropbox – 21mb)
Download papers (Dropbox – 34mb)

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

I hope you enjoy this months goodies from Pixel Scrapper and that if the weather is warming up that you get to spend some time in sunshine. Me, I absolutely love the cooler weather so I’m pretty chuffed that the temperature is finally heading south.

Don’t forget that if you like my blog train contributions, I have a whole store full of papers looking for new homes!

New Collection – Vintage and Grunge

I sent out a little teaser via my Facebook page over the weekend about my brand new vintage collection. The good news is that it is now IN STORE!

My motivation behind creating this collection was entirely selfish – I was making papers for me to use in my family history scrapbook and I thought other people might like them as well. So here they are – my first ten vintage and grunge paper packs in all their rustic, aged, dirty, faded glory.

DSD Aqua VitaeDSD Colonial StateDSD Huckleberry SunshineDSD Paris PurpleDSD Renaissance SpringDSD Shades Of PaleDSD Sherlocks LibraryDSD The Frozen NorthDSD The Golden AgeDSD The Last TsarinaSo that was the good news. The great news? I have a freebie for you!!

I have packaged up five of the papers from the pack I have called Sherlock’s Library and it is all yours completely free – no obligation to purchase, no newsletter signup, none of that hassle. Just click the link below the preview pic and enjoy!

DSD Sherlocks Library Freebie

Download Sherlock’s Library (Dropbox – 19mb)
Note – This link has now expired. 

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

Happy crafting!

Layout – Gertrude of Nivelles

My last layout wasn’t one of my favourites – it was just… meh.

This one, however, turned out fabulously!

The first thing I do when I begin a layout is search for an image to use. Obviously pickings can be quite slim when it comes to people who lived a thousand years ago and some of the images I find online are….well, crap. Poor quality and really tiny are generally what I find. When it came to Gertrude however, I found a simply stunning image. A photograph of a stained glass window and it is truly beautiful!

The colours of the stained glass are vivid and intense so instead of sticking to my usual neutrals, I went bright! To make the paper I used one of my most popular patterns – Tudor Damask – and coloured it the same shade of red as used in the stained glass and added in some grunge overlays. And lo and behold – it looks almost EXACTLY like the stained glass!

(I’m aware at this point that I’m using a lot of exclamation marks – in my defence I’m very enthusiastic about this layout.)

Because of the intense colours of the background paper and the image of Gertrude, I kept the elements to a bare minimum.

GertrudeOfNivelles_UL1000

Products used:

Papers I created myself
Metal decorative border by Sheila Reid at Pixel Scrapper
Fonts are Blackadder Regular, Castellar and VTC Switchblade Romance

This is what the text says:

When her father, Pepin of Landen, became Mayor of the Palace to Dagobert I, King of Austrasia, Gertrude and her family moved to Neustria to be with the court.

After Pepin’s death, and despite pronouncing that she would take no earthly husband, there were constant requests by what her mother, Itta, called “violators of souls” who wished to gain wealth and power by marrying Gertrude. Despite Christianity not being common in the 7th century, Itta founded a monastery at Nivelles in modern-day Belgium and Gertrude was installed as Abbess.

After her mother’s death in 652, Gertrude took the whole burden of running the monastery upon herself. She has been described by contemporary scholars as intelligent, scholarly and charitable, devoting herself to the sick, elderly and poor, including orphans, widows, captives and pilgrims, especially Irish monks who travelled to evangelize.

The first miracle attributed of Gertrude in the Vita Sanctae Geretrudis takes place at the altar of St. Sixtus the martyr as Gertrude was standing in prayer. “She saw descending above her a flaming pellucid sphere such that the whole basilica was illuminated by its brightness.” The vision persisted for about half an hour and later was revealed to some of the sisters at the monastery. The second miracle attributed to Gertrude took place as the anonymous author of the Vita Sanctae Geretrudis was peacefully sailing across the sea on monastic business. An incredible storm and a sea monster appeared, causing great distress to the sailors aboard the ship. The sailors turned to their pagan idols but the author’s friend cried out to Gertrude to save himself and his companions. Immediately, the storm subsided and the monster dived back into the deep.

Gertrude led a devout life and eventually had to resign as abbess due to chronic exhaustion from continuous abstinence of food and sleep which she said brought her closer to God. In 659 she sent a monk to a nearby monastery to ask the superior, a living saint, whether God had made known to him the hour of her death. The superior answered that she would die the following day during Holy Mass. The prophecy came true and Gertrude was proclaimed a saint immediately after her death at the age of thirty-three.

She is the patron saint of travelers and gardeners and may be called upon against mice, rats and mental illness. She is frequently depicted in artwork as bearing a staff with mice or rats at her feet.

Unwind

Unwind. It’s a lovely thought. Sadly, it’s something I’m not very good at.

Some people take a long walk through the woods (I don’t, too many snakes – thanks Australia!) Some people love nothing more than to spend some time at a day spa (I tried that once – the massage was nice but the fragrance of “Dead possum in roof cavity” kinda ruined the experience.) Other people meditate (I’m WAY too fidgety for that.)

These days I spend most of my time either working on my stores or working to figure out our selections of just about everything for house we’re building – Honestly it feels like the worlds most difficult jigsaw – does the colour of the gutters compliment the colours of the bricks and the gutters and the garage door and the paving and the…. You get my drift.

I do get to unwind a little but I always need to be doing something with my hands so I tend to sew (I love cross-stitch), go fishing down by the river (I catch heaps of blowfish), research family history or bake (my ANZAC biscuits are somewhat incredible.)

This month’s Pixel Scrapper blog train had the theme of Unwind. Remember in my last post I said that this blog train was going to be experimental? Well, here it is – my experiment! White on white.

I was originally going to do a 100% white-on-white paper pack but I got cold feet. So I added in some other relaxing-type papers – a meadow of flowers, ocean waves, incantations to chant while in a meditative state. (Or things to write in your diary and mutter “I’ll get to that tomorrow” like most people.)

DSD_PSMar16_Papers_Preview

DSD_PSMar16_Cardstock_Preview

Download cardstock (Dropbox – 25mb)
Download papers (Dropbox – 15mb)

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

As I mentioned above, the white-on-white is completely experimental – I have test printed them on two different printers (my crappy old $40 Fuji Xerox printer and I made Himself test print it at his office on a very expensive cost-five-figures professional whizz-bang machine that does everything except make coffee.) They both printed out great results (otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing) but I would recommend you test print a 1×1 inch square on any home printer you use for printing craft paper or digiscrap layouts.

So, now that I’ve added my “Shit I hope it works” disclaimer, I can say that I hope you have a great weekend and I hope you enjoy the Pixel Scrapper offerings this month.

Now, it’s Friday night which means it’s time for me to go make pizza and binge watch old NCIS episodes.

 

A4 Has Arrived!

Yes, you read that correctly – my store is now stocked with US sized A4 digital scrapbooking paper!

There are currently 45 packs available (that’s 450 individual papers!) with more being added every week. Whether you want basic polka dots or stripes, chevron, florals, dinosaurs, owls or something a little more masculine then there’s a pack to suit your craft project – whether that’s digital scrapbooking or printing the papers for use in card-making (or something else equally messy and fun.)

I’ve been feeling experimental lately (perhaps the hot weather has finally addled my brain?) so I’ve experimented with different colours, different colour combinations and introduced some new patterns for my A4 collection.

(And speaking of experimental, my March Pixel Scrapper blog train – not yet released – is DEFINITELY experimental. So experimental I’m actually a little afraid of releasing it!)

Want to see some of my favourite brand new A4 packs? Here they are:

EtsyPreviewA4_SunshineRomance    EtsyPreviewA4_CoralCrush

EtsyPreviewA4_MyGuyValentine    EtsyPreviewA4_OwlCalledSunny

EtsyPreviewA4_ScandinavianWonder    EtsyPreviewA4_VintageBoudoir

I think Scandinavian Wonder is my current favourite (even though it’s wrong to have favourites when referring to children.) 😉

To celebrate my new collection, I’m giving away this gorgeous pack called Dreamland. This freebie will be available only until March 25th.

EtsyPreviewA4_Dreamland

Download Dreamland (Dropbox – 20mb)

If DropBox asks you to create an account or sign in and you don’t want to, then just click “No thanks, continue to download” at the bottom of the pop-up.

Terms of Use: PU/S4H/S4O/CU. You may use this content personally or commercially as long as you are a small business owner (ie: sole trader working from home). Credit is required for commercial use.

Please note that this freebie is available for a limited time only and the link will expire on March 25th.

So A4 paper lovers – I hope you enjoy my new collection plus the freebie. And if there’s any pattern or colour combo you’d love to see, then let me know!

Layout – Rollo of Normandy

I have to start by saying that this isn’t my favourite layout. But I can’t tell you why. Something about it just doesn’t feel right – I don’t know if it’s my font choice, paper choice or simply a photo which doesn’t really inspire much (but it’s the best pic I could find of dear old Rollo.)

The research was also problematic. Lately, due to the popularity of the TV show Vikings (where Rollo is portrayed), there has been a flood of “facts” erupting from the show that aren’t actually facts. The TV show isn’t a documentary – it’s fiction. Very Game of Thrones but with less dragons and more Vikings. However people seem to be confused and are believing it to be 100% true so sorting through the glut of “information” online proved more difficult than it has been for previous ancestors.

Nevertheless, it was still fun to create this page. I layered some paper I made myself and made a string of coins based on the silver denier of Charles the Simple (who was the ruler at the time). A last minute addition to the layout was a frame I picked up from Arlene’s Scrapbits February Pixel Scrapper blog train contribution.

RolloOfNormandy_UL1000

 

Products Used

Papers I created myself
String of coins I created from the denier (which is in the public domain)
Frame by Arlene’s Scrapbits
Paper tag I created using a basic Photoshop shape template
Decorative button by Laitha’s Designs (Attic Treasures kit)
Fonts are Old English Text and Bamberg Antique

This is what the text says:

Rollo is the son of Rognvald Eysteinsson, founder of the Earldon of Orkney, and grandson of Eystein Glumra “The Noisy”. Rollo himself was a powerful Viking leader, born in 846 somewhere on the Atlantic side of Scandinavia, probably Norway.

In 876, Rollo was one of a number of Vikings to seize Rouen and in 885 he and his fleet invaded Paris. The following year, the Vikings retreated but Rollo and a band of Norsemen stayed behind, invading then settling in an area in northern France – Normandy. There is some scepticism as to these dates, with some historians suggesting these events took place much later, in 911 when the Treaty of Saint Clair-sur-Epte was signed between Rollo and Charles III, King of Western Francia.

The treaty was negotiated after Rollo launched a failed attack on Paris before laying seige to Chartres. The Bishop of Chartres appealed to the local nobles for help and in July of 911, the nobles defeated Rollo at the Battle of Chartres. Rollo and his soldiers were granted all the land between the river Epte and the sea, plus Brittany. In return, Rollo gave King Charles III his loyalty, including military assistance for the protection of the kingdom.

Sometime soon after the signing of the treaty, Rollo converted from Norse paganism to Christianity, being baptized “Robert”. Rollo married Poppa of Bayeux. Little is known about Poppa other than she was the mother of William I, Duke of Normandy. There is some speculation that she is the daughter of a Count who was captured by Rollo when he invaded Bayeux in 885, but nothing can be proven. It is, however, agreed by historians that she was almost certainly a member of the Frankish aristocracy.

***************************************************************************

Edit: 7th March 2016

FINALLY we’ll be getting an answer as to whether Rollo was Danish or Norwegian. The history nut in me is very excited by this news article.