Country Boy Layout | Doodlebug Design

Monday, May 21, 2018

Do you struggle with the perfect amount of embellishments to add to your layout without making it look too busy and completely distract from your pictures? It's definitely a balancing act and with a few simple tricks you can certainly add some fun and interest to your page without being too heavy handed.
For a start, it's always an idea to keep the background paper relatively plain if you are going to add allot of embellishments to your layout. I've chosen the soft chicken wire paper as it's relatively plain without being stark white. However, I did add three more sheets of patterned paper behind the chicken wire as I wanted a bordered effect to my layout that acted as a frame.
Apart from your photographs, journaling is the next most important thing on your layout as in years to come you won't remember the important details and dates of the photo. So, although it's important it doesn't need to be the first thing you see, which is why I printed my story on white card stock and used blue text to blend subtly into the background and allow the photo and heading to stand out with just a hint of added embellishments in the clouds, sun and little flies.
 I've always loved creating scenes on my layouts and the Chit Chat Embellishment pack from the Down On The Farm collection had every single piece and more to make the cutest little farm scape across the bottom of my layout. Now, there's no way you would normally be able to use this many single embellishments on your layouts, however, by overlapping every piece and giving it dimension I was able to blend it into one single panel that ran across the bottom of the layout without looking too busy.

So from a glance the first thing your eye is drawn to is the photo and then it moves across to the journaling and then straight down to the farm scene at the bottom of the page which is the most aesthetic way to design your layouts. I usually draw a rough design before I begin and then work with my colors so that everything blends harmoniously. I hope I've given you some small tips to help you with your embellishing so you can add some fun to your next project in a way that's still pleasing to the eye and practical.

Scrapping Our Fur-Babies Too! | Jillibean Soup

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Preserving memories is important for looking back on what life was like through each stage of our lives and pets for most people are an important part of that journey. Especially now that I have my very own little dog. I've always been a cat person until this little guy came to live with us and now he is my little shadow and friend that fills the void with having the kids at school and work.

When my very first design team box arrived from Jillibean Soup it didn't take me long to find the adorable pooch icon in amongst the 2 Cool For School collection so it got me thinking that it was time I did another layout for Dusty!
I drew a rough sketch of how I wanted the design to look and at first I was going to use Jillibean's paw cut file with patterned paper and adhere to the page to make the paw. However, I wasn't happy with how it was looking so I ended up using the paw as a template to create stitching holes around the layout and grabbed my new ombre thread that just happened to be the perfect color combination. Speaking of stitching, I also added some faux stitching using a white pen along patterned paper strips which is a much quicker way of adding that stitched look without having to thread a needle. Let's just say, after doing the paw I was all stitched out!
I love to add lots of layers on my projects to add that feeling of depth and dimension plus the extra embellishments of sequins, wood pieces and puffy stickers add even more lift. Shaped paper clips are also an excellent way to focus on important words like the word 'bone' in my journaling!
Tip: Journaling doesn't always have to be handwritten or even on white cardstock. I decided I really wanted to match the teal color from the patterned paper to also be the background color for my journaling. So I went to the Jillibean Soup website and saved a picture of the patterned paper I was using and then used that to select the color for my journaling.

Jillibean Soup
Patterned Paper:  2 Cool For School/Too Legit, Wild Child, Boys Rule
Coordinating Cardstock Stickers:  Bohemain Brew, 2 Cool For School
Adhesive Sequins:  Green Apple, Gray Melon
Wood Veneer:  Flower, Words
Puffy Stickers:  2 Cool For School
Day2Day Shaped Paper Clips:  
Washi Tape:  Note This

Other:  white cardstock, ombre embroidery thread, white gel pen.

Family Photos With a Difference | JILLIBEAN SOUP

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I really wanted to give my Mum something meaningful and hand-made for Mother's Day. She has been asking for photos of us for quite some time and I kept forgetting so I thought a decor mobile with photos hung randomly would be something different and fun for her to place on her gallery wall. The wooden script word 'family' couldn't have been any more perfect for this occasion.
Recently I was lucky to be part of a wonderful product swap with Jillibean Soup and Thermo-Web. I was instantly drawn to the gold foil from Thermo-Web as I thought it would compliment the rustic white paintwork on the wooden script word from Jillibean Soup that I had chosen to use.
As the wooden word 'family' was already painted with white in a rustic style, I thought using a feathering approach to the gold foil would be the most cohesive look. I used a bristle fan paint brush and some of the iCraft Mixed Media Adhesive and made wispy strokes from the bottom up. 
After allowing the glue to dry to a tacky consistency I placed the foil over the wood piece and using my finger pressed gently but firmly for the best coverage before pealing off the sheet.
I'd decided to add a felt flower but wanted to add gold leaves to it instead of the felt leaves that came in the pack. So using some of the  iCraft Decofoil Foam Adhesive I punched both leave and hearts then again placed the foil over the top and rubbed gently. The foil pealed off beautifully from the foam adhesive with very little pressure needed.
Next step was to fill the heart shaped shakers with the sequins and beads before pealing back the adhesive strip protector. I then placed cotton thread over the entire heart from top to bottom and then joined it with another heart shaker to lock the thread in place. 
I laid all the cotton threads out on my table and added the shakers, along with the punched hearts and also the larger punched hearts that I used as the backdrop for my photos. 
It was then a matter of working out how long I wanted each thread and also the placement of the photos for an overall balanced look to the project.

Family Wall Art by Melinda Spinks

Jillibean Soup
Mix the media: Word Script/Family
Embellishments: Felt Flowers/Nosey Navy
Shape Shakers: Shaker Tag Insert/Small Hearts; Shaker Small Heart
Shape Sequin Fillers: Jewels & Sequins/Watercolor; Sequins/NeutralBlues

Thermoweb: Mixed Media Transfer Foil/Old Gold, iCraft Foam Adhesive, iCraft Mixed Media Multi-Purpose Adhesive

Other: Thread, Leaf and Heart Punches, Paint Brush

Bacon & Eggs Shadow Box | DOODLEBUG DESIGN

Monday, April 16, 2018

To get the most from our products we quite often need to 'think outside the box' when it comes to themes and holidays. You don't always need to have elves for Christmas, hearts for Valentine's Day or bunnies at Easter. Sometimes you can get away with using cute icons that don't depict the holiday you are working on but they have the perfect color scheme.  

My recent Easter project doesn't have a single bunny or chicken in sight, however, it is covered in eggs... along with bacon, waffles, pop tarts and a few hearts thrown in for good measure and made the perfect Easter gift for my youngest son who loves nothing better than a cooked breakfast. Don't get me wrong... he also loves chocolate so Easter Bunny dropped quite a few chocolates on his way past.

To create the shadow box I started off with a base of Swiss Dots vellum and placed a heart shape underneath to use as a template. I then adhered the largest of the icons evenly across the heart before filling in all the gaps with smaller embellishments.

Using Doodle-Pops and Sprinkles along with stickers gives a wonderful dimension to the project from all the different thicknesses in the layers. And how cute are those egg Doodle-Pops from the 'So Punny' collection?

Doodlebug have both 12 x 12 and 8 x 8 shadow box frames in white, black and brown. For this project I used the smaller size frame in white. Shadows boxes are a perfect way to create a gift for someone that has a little bit of dimension and a whole lot of fun.

Melinda Spinks


Thursday, April 5, 2018

I was recently given the opportunity to guest design for Jillibean Soup and instantly fell in love with the earthy and rustic products. Guest designing is a wonderful opportunity to work with items you don't often get to use and Mixed Media just happens to be one of those products. 

My daughter found this wall art piece in my design box and instantly laid claim to it so I decided to decorate it for her to use on her bedroom door.

To create the letter 'G' I used an electronic cutting machine to create the initial on plain paper and simply placed it over the wood piece before adhering the embellishments to fill the cut-out.

TIP: I wanted the wood accent butterflies to stand out against the wood background so I coloured them using an opaque white pen.

Initial 'G' Wood Plank

Jillibean Soup
Mix The Media: Surfaces 10"x10" Wood White Wash Plank
Embellishments: Shaker Wood Veneers - Butterflies, Farm House Pea Pod/Die Cuts, Felt Flowers - Nosey Navy
Shape Shakers: Sequin Shaker Fillers - Green
Stickers: Farm House Stew Puffy Stickers, Farm House Stew Co-ordinating Stickers, Farm House Stew Soup Labels

Other: Fiskars hand held flower and heart punch, Foam Pop Dots, Opaque White Pen.

Melinda Spinks

Remote Hog Layout | DOODLEBUG DESIGN

Historically February 14 is the most romantic day of the year so I thought it was fitting to scrap about my husband who very rarely allows his face to be in front of a camera. However, because I was using the 'So Punny' collection I thought it would be more fun to do a lighthearted page with the same sentiment behind it.

The entire layout design was based directly from the little television icon which I loved from the moment I found it inside the Odds & Ends packet. I really wanted to replicate the test pattern stripes but I also couldn't shake the idea of having a heart background. So after a few sketches I settled on a striped heart that I could stitch with matching color thread to the test pattern.

And how fun to find a matching remote... which gave me the idea to have 'Remote Hog' as the title to my layout. Although I seriously think my husband would disagree! I also used the little pink 'love' arrow sentiment from the brand new 'Chit Chat' pack.

Speaking of new products, the teenie tiny hearts are the latest Sprinkles and I have used almost two packets already. I cannot get enough of these little pieces because they make the perfect embellishment without being too heavy on the overall design.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day whether they celebrate Valentine's Day or not. It's nice to simply do something for someone you love regardless of the date.

Melinda Spinks


Pizza anyone? I must admit, I probably should have eaten before creating this layout because the more food icons I used the hungrier I became. Luckily our little Pug 'Dusty' doesn't think the same about his pizza toy or we could be in all sorts of trouble. To be honest, he quite often falls asleep on his slice of pizza so I thought it would be fun to use 'So Punny' with all the little pizzas to record this sweet photo of our Pug and his pizza pillow.
The brand new Chit Chat pieces work perfectly to co-ordinate with the icons so I used the 'you've stolen a PIZZA my heart' speech bubble as my page title.
When putting together a collage style layout I always use a variety of flat and dimensional stickers to create small shadows which adds to the interest of the page. That's why Doodle-Pop dimensional stickers work perfectly and I can't go past their cuteness.

Although 'So Punny' is a Valentine's Collection, it's design is broad enough to be used for so much more. So, have a hunt around your photo library and find some fun photos of pizza nights, or take-out with friends, or even camping pics where you are cooking bacon and eggs on a BBQ. All these events make up the 'every day' moments in our lives which are so important to record.
Melinda Spinks

'Zoo Poo' Treat Bags | DOODLEBUG DESIGN

My youngest son has his class 'Show 'n' Tell' roster pinned to my desk calendar so I don't forget when it's his turn. This week the theme is 'Favourite food to make in the kitchen' so he let me know in advance that he wanted to make 'rumballs aka truffles'. The next step was to work out a fun way to package the rumballs and we thought about doing Reindeer noses but one thing led to another and we decided on 'Zoo Poo', much to my son's delight.

Fortunately I still had two full sheets of icon stickers from the 'At the Zoo' collection to use on the front of this sweet little Treat Bag Topper SVG cut file from Lori Whitlock. I made the topper 6" in width which was perfect for snack size zip-lock bags to hold four rumballs for each student.

I also used three different leaf SVG cut files from the Doodlebug 'At The Zoo' collection to create more layers to the front embellishments and give that jungle feel behind each zoo animal.

Just loving the brand new 'Abigail' font stickers that come in all the Doodlebug colours including a gorgeous silver metallic foil.

So, I have made seven bags so far and have seven to go... half way there! I must admit they are fairly quick to make once I worked out the first design and cut out all my leaves and base plates. And believe me, I have one very excited little boy who cannot wait to have his 'Show 'n' Tell'.

Melinda Spinks

Scrapping Influential People In Our Lives | DOODLEBUG DESIGN

So often we find ourselves creating layouts of our children and/or pets yet our lives are full of many influential people that we can also be thankful for. In all the years I have been crafting I think I have created a layout of my Mum once prior to this, yet we talk every couple of days so she is a big part of my life.

We recently celebrated her 80th birthday and she looked so lovely in her outfit that I wanted to create this page for her as a keepsake of the day. And because I wanted to frame the layout I decided to 'go all out' and do a punched flower background in all the fall colours of the 'Flea Market' collection.

Row upon row upon row of teeny retro flowers and a back ache from leaning over for too long...

Once the bed of flowers was complete for the background I started adding layers behind my photograph using patterned paper from the Flea Market collection and added a couple of border trim pieces around the edges from the Flea Market This & That sticker sheet.

I then built up clusters of flowers to create focal points around the photo giving the layout a look of balance and tying the colours and textures together. I think I used up every last flower from the Flea Market Icons Sticker Sheet.  My title 'Mumsy' was created using the Stone Grey Swiss Dot Petite Print and my Silhouette Cameo.

I hope I've given you some inspiration to think about creating pages of people you don't normally scrap. Especially those that have such an important role in shaping who we are today.

Melinda Spinks

Putting Washi Tape To Work | DOODLEBUG DESIGN

Washi tape is one of those particular products we seem to hoard because we can't bare to part with it. However, you will be amazed at just how little you need to use from your stash to add a touch of fun to your projects. Today I'm going to show you how to apply a little bit of dimension using a very small amount of washi leaving plenty of leftovers in your collection for future projects... or just to look at and admire.

I simply used multiple strips of washi tape in layers and gently curled at the ends to create a feathered look to the wing of the flamingo. It produced a soft effect that gave the layout a lift without going overboard on using too much of my tape.

First step was to place small lengths of tape to plain vellum before cutting each individual strip and then punching one end with a rounded corner punch. Next step was to overlap and adhere each strip to the wing of the flamingo before gently bending each tip around a pen to create the dimension.

This gorgeous flamingo is from the Doodlebug - Fun In the Sun cut file collection which you can find at the links below. However I did alter the file a little as I wanted to put the title of my layout 'Flamingo' down the shape of the neck.

Flamingo - Fun in the Sun (Lori Whitlock)
Flamingo - Fun in the Sun (Silhouette)

And just look at that pink eye, it almost looks real - well it's actually from the Shaped Sprinkles (eye candy) in this year's Booville collection. I kid you not!

I didn't hold back in mixing and matching collections on this layout with a combination of Spring ThingsBoovilleFun In the SunMilk & Cookies plus a touch of Petite Prints card stock. I will always find room on my layouts for anything transparent like these sweet clouds and sun from the Spring Things Odds & Ends pack.

Melinda Spinks