Echo Park – Halloween Cookies (Oh my goodness – a double layout)

A few weeks ago I did some work for Tracy with a wonderful Halloween range from Echo Park and I promised her blog readers I would be back with some more boy layouts using it – but I just HAD to do this one for Madame (I do still have the partially finished boy layouts here and will put them up at some point). It’s all her fault really, you see, as she desperately wanted some Halloween cookies she spotted in Woolies. They did look very clever and yummy – so I relented and got some for her and her brothers.  She also decided we needed to take photos of them before they got eaten – and the rest is history, as they say. I soon found myself in possession of a $2 bag of spiderwebs (and spiders mind you) and a ghoul (well really – as if I don’t have enough of them already – with 3 teenage boys at home???).

 So one day during the school holidays, Madame and I had a wonderful time in the back yard with our little photo-shoot. We made the fence look like part of a haunted movie set – I promise we tidy up more than it suggests. She found one of her Gymboree tops that had an appropriate theme and colour (and the requisite matching hairbow) and we were off. She even hammed it up for me with the ghoul (have to wonder about that kiss – she needs to learn there are just some things we DON’T kiss, no matter what). He was a real gentleman though and I did get  a giggle or two pointing out to her that HE managed to look directly at the camera AND smile (ok – so it’s more of a fixed grimace than a smile – but it still counts) for the photo at the SAME time – unlike her.  

I don’t do doubles much anymore, but there were so many photos to use that I just couldn’t scrap anything less. There are still a couple of lovely photos left to use – but I did manage an incredible 6 here – even if 4 of them are small ones of the cookies (shortbreads actually).

The colours in the Echo Park Apothecary Emporium range are a perfect match for those in the photos – it’s as if they were made for it. Using a plain black Bazzill cardstock (Raven) for my base, I layered various papers together until I got something I vaguely liked. The left half was the first page I worked on and it used left-overs from my other projects or things I had liked and cut out, but not yet found a way to use. The strip of Under Your Spell was something I was dying to use – so that was my starting point. Over that I laid a left-over block of Levitation and Zodiac. From a bit of Striped Toad (oos) I cut a strip which I then edge punched using a wide decorative pattern. Using my paper trimmer I then cut through the punched strip so that the punch pattern was cut into half, giving me a thin strip with a patterned edge and a main piece which had a sort of deep scallop pattern left on it.  The thin patterned strip went along the bottom of the layout and the main strip went horizontally across the page. That was pretty much the basis of the layout, although I knew that I would be adding some of the Vanished and Liquid Smoke (oos) somewhere (eventually it was used as a photo mat on the larger photo).

Playing with my photos I worked out a position that looked good to me – and then went hunting for bits to fill in the gaps. Luckily for me there are a heap of pretties to play with on the Cardstock Stickers sheet. I made sure to fit the most appropriate (the Deadly Morsels label) first and then just placed others (like these cute tabs and that gorgeous little bat) to suit. Some are up on pop-dots and others are flat to the page. I have to confess that putting this thing together was a bit of a nightmare and fiddly with it – but a lot of fun too.

I’d been playing with some chipboard chicken mesh (Twiddleybitz) for another layout and had some still lying on my desk – a quick coat of silver ink and some Crystalina Kindygliz and ta da – girly chicken mesh – what more could you wish for?? I cut it up into bits and pieces and used that as the base for several embellishment clusters. There was also a great spot for my bottle-top (last month’s purchase gift) – and the perfect sticker to put into it.

Seeing as it is a girly layout, a few flowers were appropriate. I’ve used Tracy’s lovely black roses from her Black, White, Grey pack together with her Black Petite Rosebuds and some smaller orange roses from Kaiser that were in my stash. The stems of the orange roses I twisted around one of my small paint brushes to make those cute little curly bits.

The black barbed-wire flourish is special. I have a series of DT layouts I’ve yet to share that I needed some feminine barbed-wire for (yeah – like you really NEED girly barbed wire lol) and although I had organised for several very nice designs to be made – production constraints meant that none of them were ‘quite’ what I wanted.  THIS is what I really wanted – it is based on one of my favorite Scrapware flourish designs, but altered to match what I wanted in the barbed-wire. Sadly – for various reasons – I am not sure it is going to be commercially available (though there are a few pieces of it floating about) – but it was perfect for this layout and after inking it black I added some Black Kindyglitz to make it all sparkly. 

What is a layout for Tracy without some of her gorgeous charms? I bought her Black Spider as soon as I saw it and popped one on the barbed-wire flourish. How cute is he?

My poor old Adage Tickets – I’ve had them in my stash for ages and this is only the second time I have remembered to include one.  I’ve left way more open space on this double than I usually do and the adage ticket cluster up here in the corner helped me to stop panicking too much about it all.

The alphas are my old favs – Scrapware Antique Lowercase – both the minis and the original size. To get the awesome finish on them takes only a few easy steps.

1 – Start with painting them white – it helps make the later colours stand out more. Either leave to dry or use your heat gun to get it done quickly. You can see I have done it pretty roughly and drying it with the heat gun has added some bubbles – this is all good, as it adds some texture to the letter.

2- Ink with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and again dry with a heat gun. (You could probably also use the Stain for this too.)

3 – Liberally spread Black Kindyglitz over the surface and then leave to dry. The different mediums will all mix together a bit and you will see some of the white paint show up and some of the Distress Ink will fade to yellow. You can again use your heat gun to dry it – just be careful and don’t let it all bubble up too much.

4. When dry – press down onto the Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink pad again to reapply some of the bright orange colour. Again leave to dry. Then put on layout for a really cool and funky halloween title.

The journalling actually helped solve an irritating problem for me. The top section of the orange patterned paper – the bit over the main photos – was very plain, without any of the distress pattern. This is a result of it being the middle bit of the patterned paper. It annoyed me that it was so plain and I could not work out how to tizz it up – but then I realised I needed to journal about how this photoshoot came about. Those plain strips were now priceless – they let me include a fair bit of writing, without having to hide it on a tag somewhere. I like to print out journalling like this rather than hand write, as it makes it easier to control how much you can fit into the limited space. You can print it out directly onto the paper, but I prefer using acetate sheets.

And that’s pretty much that – for the first page anyway.

It didn’t take too long for me to realise that I had way too many photos for a single layout – so I started planning a double about half way through the first page (and obviously before I had the title sorted out). I prefer not to make my doubles duplicates of each other – but I do like to keep to the same elements – so it meant for a little reshuffling of the bits and pieces. – even though the basic design is the same.

I had this left over bit of Under Your Spell that I had earmarked for use – the lovely black flourishes were a bit too girly for my boy layouts – but it fitted here perfectly.  I kept this piece and the orange block of Levitation and Zodiac in the same position as the left page, but moved the strip of Striped Toad (oos) into a vertical position on the left. Since I was intending on using a larger photo on this page, it would have hidden the striped piece too much  if I had left it in the original horizontal position.  Once some of the black flourishes were cut out it was an easy enough process to slip the striped piece under them.

The embellishment cluster in the bottom left corner has more flowers, chicken wire, stickers and my chippy barbed wire flourish.  I also managed to pop in a cute little black skeleton charm that is one of my favs. If anyone is ‘doing’ Halloween this year, this little cutie makes a wonderful earring decoration added to a sleeper.

The other cookie photos went up the top on the left with more of those wonderful little stickers . I think I managed to use most of them somewhere on this project.

The final embellishment cluster with the usual ingredients. It was cool to find so many stickers that were ‘appropriate’ to the photo theme – since the cookies really were ‘dreadful treats’ and ‘deadly morsels’.

So that’s my epic post for Tracy this month. I still have a few layouts left to finish with this range and there are still more photos from this session – so you might see me back some time in the near future with more Apothecory Emporium. I have promised Tracy a girly layout with the stunning new Beautiful Dreamer range from Glitz Designs though – so decisions, decisions…


Eiffel Tower Cabochon

I showed you this gorgeous little cabaohon earlier in the week on the finished layout. I thought I would pop in a mention here that it comes from Tracy at my2angels. She has a range of clear and patterned glass cabochons and you really should check them out here.

Kaiser Bonjour Cards

To finish off the newsletter, I want to share one of two birthday cards I made for friends with the Bonjour collection.

I had this gorgeous little piece of Provence (reverse side) left over from making one of the layouts and it was too lovely to waste. Teaming it up with some of the striped paper from the Paper Pad, I matted them both onto some black cardstock. A flourish and butterfly sticker (12 x 12 Icon Sticker sheet) some Kaiser Sage Blooms and a Kaiser Black Pearl Flourish (oos) were the perfect accompaniments. The postal marks are actually cut out from the pattern on one of the papers in the Paper Pad. They look great here don’t they? The alphas are from my stash.

Luckily for me this one was hand delivered – so I didn’t have to worry about getting it into an envelope and paying an arm and leg for postage.

Hopefully I will have my replacement papers shortly and I can finish off the last 2 layouts I started during the school holidays. If I don’t get stuck into them soon the next lot of holidays will be here.

Kaiser Bonjour Newsletter Layout – 3

The final newsletter layout – Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life) is my favourite and another of those straight-edge designs that I find so easy to do with this range, despite the femininity of the patterns.

The base for the layout is the green, reverse side of Notre-Dame. I’ve matched it with a block of Madeleine – which has this cute little pattern of crowns on a charcoal black background. To keep the papers to just the green and black colour scheme, I had to raid the Paper Pad – both the stripe paper (which is just stunning – I wish they had done this in a 12 x 12 version) and the large flourish paper are from there.

In the bottom left corner of the layout I clustered some Kaiser Olive Blooms over a flourish piece by Dusty Attic. The tag is from the Paper Pad and the small butterfly is a sticker from the 12 x 12 Icon Sticker sheet. Both the butterfly on the tag and the phrase under the flowers are part of the Brown Rubon Collection (now only in the Collection Pack) – as are the two large flourishes you see on either side of the layout. The Paris word is plastic and is from my own stash.

A word to the unawary about the word/phrase rubons in this collection – check them out carefully to make sure they say something appropriate before you use them. It might have been a loooooog time since I did French at school – but my teacher would be pleased to know that I spotted a spelling mistake (voire not viore) and then when I checked (because I was sus about them now) one phrase – as pretty as it looks in french – simply does not translate into anything meaningful in english (‘or even that you like’). So caveat emptor with them ladies.

The alphas (Scrapware Lowercase Antique) (oos) have a new finish for me – I finally got to play with some of my Glimmer Glaze and I am very happy with the results. Again – the method for achieving this finish will be up in the forum.

The top right-hand corner gets another embellishment cluster using the same chippy flourish and olive blooms as before, with the addition of a silver Fleur de Lys charm and an Eiffel Tower cabochon (both from my stash). The cluster is centred over a tag from the Paper Pad. Mary has in some lovely silver Eiffel Tower charms – which I have used on the (as yet) unfinished double layout – so check them out in the store. too

The journalling for this layout is on a hidden tag, which comes from the Journal Tags booklet. I’ve popped a Kaiser Mini Bloom (Olive) and another silver Fleur de Lys charm on it to make pulling it out from under the photo easier. If I am going to put the journalling tag under the photo like this I will tend to pop one edge of the photo up onto a pop dot – just to make sliding it under easier.

The final corner of the layout is a mix of stickers, together with a rubon and a Black Kaiser Pearl Flourish (oos). The Eiffel Tower and word tag are from the 12 x 12 Icon Sticker sheet, but the flourish (and also the one at the top) are part of the flourish border from the 12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet (only in the Collection Pack). Although the rubon comes from the Brown Pack, there is a similar one in the Coloured Rubons Pack.

All things French are trendy at the moment and Kaiser is not afraid to jump on that band-wagon. They have done a wonderful job with Bonjour though (spelling and translations aside) and it has been a pleasure to work with it. I think you will find it suitable for a much wider range of styles and layout themes than it might initially appear suited to – after all – what layout couldn’t do with a little joie de vivre??

Kaiser Bonjour Newsletter Layout – 2

More Bonjour newsletter today. Sometimes you have just the ‘perfect’ photo for a range when it lobs onto your desk to use. This photo was it for me and Bonjour. I’d only taken it that week  – during the school holidays – and I knew straight away that it would look lovely with this particular patterned paper. We had been out for a girly day together (the brothers were reffing at a soccer carnival, so we were home alone) and had just come home from enjoying ‘Fluff’ at QPAC (fastastic live theatre performance for children – thoroughly recommend it if you ever get a chance to see it). Whilst I was bemoaning the need for the dreaded ‘mowing of the yard’, she was busy swanning around in the clover enjoying the feel of her new flower covered Mary-janes (the flowers of which – apparently – look like clover flowers). Sensing the chance at some photos – I ran for my camera and something to keep the afternoon sun off her head. This is one of the photos I managed to snaffle that afternoon.

Sadly – Ooh la la – uses a patterned paper that Mary has not been able to get into stock (as of yet). The Die Cut paper Nancy is gorgeous – the feature paper of the range. I’ve trimmed the middle out of it and then mounted the frame onto pop-dots over a piece of the reverse side of Paris. The matt for the photo is a patterned paper from the Paper Pad and it matches the colours of the other two papers very nicely. Once that was done there was very little left to do to finish off the layout. The Eiffel Tower pattern on the right-hand side needs nothing to enhance it. I added a token pink rose to the bottom and a few small roses cut from the patterned paper that were leftovers from other layouts – but other than that I have left it alone to speak for itself.

In two of the corners of the frame I have added some chipboard chicken-wire by Twiddleybitz. No logic to it – it just felt right with the photo and the frame. I’ve not even altered it – just left it as bare chipboard (a rarity for me). I love the rustic, vintage look it gives the layout – perfectly in keeping with the photo and the frame. I have ‘girly-fied’ it (if there is such a word) with a butterfly sticker (12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet) and rose (Kaiser Mini BloomFairy Floss) – but left it at that.

The alphas are my favs (Scrapware Lowercase Antique) (oos) and they have been girly-fied to the nth degree – just as a contrast to the rest of the rustic look. Well actually – the pink paint/black ink (2nd try) over  crackle paint (1st try) looked yucky and Kindyglitz hides a multitude of sins (believe me). Love how little bits of each layer come through though.

Down in the bottom right corner I added another flower cluster and my journalling tag. I found this one in the Paper Pad and it was just the perfect match. More of the Kaiser Fairy Floss Blooms and pink Posy flowers – and I managed to squeeze in some chippy leaves, which I inked black to offset the roses.

Many thanks to the lovely Miss Maggie – whose gorgeous lace parasol we had the loan of for our little photo-shoot in the backyard. Madame is very covetous – and can’t wait until she is a ‘grown-up lady’ and can have such pretty things. Mwah Maggie – we had a wonderful time with it.

Kaiser Bonjour Newsletter Layout – 1

Our recent newsletter showcased the new Kaiser range for October – the french inspired Bonjour.

Belle Petite Un (beautiful little one) is my replacement for a layout that turned into a double I was unable to finish in time for the newsletter (lol – I ran out of the paper I needed and had to order in more). Having done (by this stage) 3 very dark and contrasting layouts, I wanted something pretty, girly and light. For that reason I focussed on the pink, blue and greens in the range and matched them with white cardstock (Bazzill White).  Doing this also allowed me to include more distressing – with the edges of the base paper (Moriesse) both distressed and stitched onto the cardstock. To help make the (mostly pink) paper layers distinct from one another, I used some more (white) cardstock as a matt behind a piece of Provence. The cardstock was edge punched with a lacy-hole pattern to complement the dot pattern on the base paper. The photo was cut into and tucked under the flower pattern on the Provence sheet – with a couple of the flowers Kindyglitzed for added sparkle.

At the bottom of the layout I made a floral posy tied up with a ribbon bow and pearl strand. Here you can see the full ribbon bow – it’s a bit sad to have to scrunch it up into a plastic page protector – but better than letting it gather dust I guess.

The floral posy is overlaid on the clock/flower design I cut out for the previous layout. The roses are a mix of Fairy Floss and Sage Kaiser Blooms, with some white and pink Posies from the old Chanteuse collection thrown in for good measure.  Don’t they all look stunning below?


I must confess to not having been that impressed with the Posies at the time, but they have really come into their own with this collection and I am very happy with the way they match in with the blooms. The little bird on a twig is a sticker from the 12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet (now only available in the Collection Pack) – as are the additional hydrangea blooms behind the clock.

Across the top of the clock (actually I have no idea what this thing is – it looks like it might be a grandfather clock pattern with the cameo where the clock face should be – so for lack of a better term, clock it is) I added in one small segment of a flourish pattern from the 12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet and a few rhinestones from the Jewels pack.

The alphas are some old Basic Grey ones that are white – but have a plastic coating on them that make them VERY difficult to alter. White was a little boring, so I had a bit of a play and came up with this. My technique this week in the forum (which will be up sometime over the weekend) is on altering chipboard – each of the various finishes I’ve done in the newsletter layouts will be explained there and the products I have used listed. I love playing with different mediums to get unique finishes to my chippy and I have to confess there are an amazing number of different products out there you can use – probably in ways their makers never intended them to be. 😉

Along the right-hand side of the photo I added in some more hydrangea flower stickers (the large one is from the 12 x 12 Icon Sticker sheet and the smaller ones from the 12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet). I also tucked in the Eiffel tower I had trimmed off the clock/flower pattern on the other side of the layout. I had needed to remove it to show more of the photo –but there was a nice empty spot on this side that it slotted into very neatly.

Across the bottom of the layout went the last part of the title and some pretty butterflies that came from the 12 x 12 Alpha Sticker sheet. This sticker sheet has some gorgeous borders on it – and I have used bits of all of them (birds, hydrangeas, butterflies and flourishes) on this layout.


A close-up of the cool butterfly border stickers and the stitched border.

Back tomorrow with more of the newsletter…

Week 1 Card Challenge

Simple, cards and me – sort of like connecting dots in a straight line. I like my cards to be quick and easy, no-fuss affairs – and I prefer to make them out of left-overs where I can.

So for my challenge this week – to get the ball rolling – I have something pretty easy going in mind. My three criteria are as follows:

1. Pick a theme, some element that is repeated on your card – either in the paper or the embellishments or both.

2. Use any combination of the following traditional colours – red, green, cream (or white) and gold.

3. Dig out something you have had in your stash for a while and use that.


For my card I have used this years Xmas release from Kaiser – December 25th – to create a simple card (using all 4 colours) that has a holly theme (the patterned paper; wooden flourish and the postage stamp design) and features an old Kaiser wooden holly flourish from my stash.

Upload your Card to the Gallery by the end of Thursday 20th October.