Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A little blog extra

Hi all

So did you get your copy of the latest issue of Scrap365 magazine?

Do you remember in my last post I mentioned a blog extra to sit along my Scrap Fusion article?

Well it’s live NOW! A step by step screen shot tutorial …..

…. Of how I created the digital base and elements for the 2 pages in my article. So pop on over to the blog (www.scrap365.blogspot.co.uk)  now and hopefully for those of you unsure about digi craft it will de mystify it a bit and for those of you into it, it will encourage you to do more hybrid crafting.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for popping by and I’ll be back soon so as ever, until soon, Happy crafting

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Hey all

Well here we are nearly at the end of the 2nd month of 2014 already …. Eek!!!! Time sure does fly especially when you’re having fun … and I HAVE been having fun ;) So I thought I would pop by and share some pics with you so you can see a little of what’s been going on in my little world!

As a lot of you will know the last two years we have been on a working holiday on a cruise ship to the Amazon and Caribbean (I taught craft classes and hubs made ‘em laugh!) but this year we decided it was time for some us time so we have been on our jollies to our beloved Mexico …

We went on some great trips (all by public bus, we try and avoid the tourist trap as we have visited so many times we know how to get around under our own steam ;)) Highlights were Playa Del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Xcaret and Chichen Itza as well as many visits to the locals beach we frequent in Cancun where we have so much fun with our Mexican friends especially the day we went (un knowingly) on their bank holiday … crazy times!

I am on inspiration overload from all the artwork, culture and colours we experienced, as ever, on our travels

And completely relaxed from such a lovely time. This picture shows the boat we travelled on to the Spa under that waterfall for a Mayan massage at Xcaret, bliss, although the stripping off of the clothes in the boat was an experience, I won’t go into details but let your imaginations fill in the blanks LOL

We had (lots of) good food, (lots of) good wine and lots and lots of laughs. I love my husband and I love our Mexico.

So I have returned recharged and raring to go …. Well now the shock of being back in the cold and the jet lag has worn off LOL.

Friday saw my return to Create and Craft TV after my break with some Serif shows with Craft Artist 2 professional and the Darling Buds digi kits

I had such a blast with everyone and it really is like visiting family going to the studios.
I’m also thinking about posting little tutorials from some of my Serif work so watch this space ;)

On my return this little beauty got packed and sent on its way to Scrap365 magazine HQ

It’s one of those pieces of work that I cannot wait for you to see, I love it but you’ll have to wait until the June/July issue to see it in all it’s the glory. In the meantime though did you get your copy of the Feb/March issue of the magazine available now?

It is a great issue, full of inspiration and has a little contribution from little old me looking at hybrid scrapping or as our clever Ed has called it ‘Scrap Fusion’

This is a sneak but of course you will need to buy the mag to see it in its full pictorial glory. There will also be a blog extra going live on Tuesday to sit alongside the article. I have created a step by step screen shot tutorial to address the digi side of the layouts so I hope you’ll join me then for some inspiration ;) so go and grab a copy of the mag in the meantime if you don’t already have it and be inspired!

Well that’s me for this post, I have lots cooking at Art Tart towers and intend to be here on a slightly more regular basis from now on to share bits of me with you …. Hmmmm that sounds a bit wrong but you know what I mean!

Thanks for popping by and I hope you are all well and happy
Until soon, as ever, Happy Crafting

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Scrap365 Blog Hop

Hi all

At Scrap365 we are getting your scrapping New Year off to a flying start!!!
This month we are teaming up with Finnabair and her amazing DT from Mixed Media Place :D

One of the things that we are very conscious of at Scrap365 HQ is that if you are new to scrapping it can be really overwhelming with the choice of products to use and the host of styles to emulate….the same could be said if you’re experienced!!

So we have decided that 2014 is the year to get BACK to BASICS!! It doesn’t matter if you have been scrapping for ten years or ten days...you will be sure to learn something new along the way!

Finn has very kindly donated a marvellous prize to either add to your stash or to get you started.

All you need to do to be in with a shot of the prize is follow the Scrap365 and Mixed Media Place blogs. Like both on Facebook and leave a message on the Scrap365 blog telling us which layout principle you are going to try! We would love to see your take on the Principles so be sure to upload them to our Facebook page :)

Our January Blog Hop is all about layout principles. This fabulous prompt was found on Pinterest, courtesy of SuzyQ Scraps. It really sums up the beginnings of every layout.

So continue your blog hop journey with us and see how this turns into some glorious pieces of art :)
And here is my little offering
I chose to work with the 6th principle on the sketch ... Texture. I love making my work 'touchy feely' and I like people to have not only a visual experience but also a tactile experience when I share my work.
Texture can be added to your work in so many different ways. It can be done with embellishments, material, paint and even the paper itself. I'm going to break down my layout for you to give you a few ideas on how you could add texture to your layouts and hopefully prompt you to explore other ways for yourself. 
There are so many gorgeous papers on the market now that already look textured and they are a great place to start from as with my base 12 x 12 from 7 dots studios, I then set to work with some distressing....
I do this by holding my scissor blade at a 90 degree angle to the edge of my paper and scratching it backwards and forwards. Start gently and add more and more pressure as you get the feel of the paper to create as much or as little distressing as you desire.
Ripping the edges also gives a different paper texture, rip towards you to reveal the core of the paper.
I created a 'scrunched' frame for my small photo which added a different paper texture and even more dimension to my layout. Distress the edges of a mat which is cut a bit larger than the photo and then curl up the edges, ripping into the frame as you go.
Once all my paper and photos were distressed I moved onto some fabric texture with ribbons and lace. All sorts of fabrics make for great textural additions to your work from net to hessian, ric rac braid to felt, velvet to denim.

I like to attach my lace and ribbon with staples by pleating them roughly as I go to add some movement to the strips I use. Also the metal of the staple plays really nicely against the texture of the lace.


And then I raided my embellishment boxes and added even more texture with metal, wood, resin, cork and wire. Pick textures that not only feel different next to each other but also textures that the eyes can see which creates a visually textural feast even if the viewer can't touch your work physically.

The last thing to add was my journaling (which is a quote from Bruce Lee) You can add texture with your alphas too, some are 'touchy feely' with so many great choices on the market and I also find by mixing up the styles of alphas I use I can create visual texture too.

The following close ups show the mix of textures I have used in a little more detail.
Layering up the elements creates texture in itself by adding dimension.

and doodling some of the title adds my own personal texture to my work
I hope this will inspire you to add some extra texture to your work and have a play about with different materials and embellishments.
That's it from me for this little installment of our blog hop, I hope you've enjoyed your visit and will pop back soon to *see me* Now it's time to hop off to the next lovely in our list, the uber talented Pascale and one of the lovely Mixed Media Place girls, you're in for a treat ... enjoy! (just click on her name to get there)
Don't forget to leave your comments on the Scrap365 Blog when you get back to the beginning and follow the instructions to be in for a chance to win that gorgeous prize! And maybe you could leave some blog love on the DT blogs along the way ;)
Thanks for your visit and until soon, as ever,
Happy Crafting
Materials used; Paper = 7 dots studio - Messy Head & Glitz designs - Wild and Free Arrows, Drip. Embellishments = Prima decorative wooden embellishments, Tim Holtz idea-ology cogs, Metal charms from PaperArts, Websters pages - Alison Kreft recorded stickers, Freckled Fawn cork arrows,
Alphas = American Crafts Thickers - Sentiment foil letter stickers, Cosmo Cricket tiny type


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Happy New Year!!

Just a quickie to say a Happy New Year to you all and I hope you had a fine festive season!

Normal service is slowly resuming at Mogford towers so I will be back in full swing shortly and my 2014 blogging adventures will start in ernest this coming Saturday (11th January) at 8am with a blog hop from Scrap365 .... it's gonna be a great hop and we have some amazing guests who are bringing amazing goodies to win so don't miss out! Put it in your cyber diary and I will see you there!

Until soon, as ever
Happy Crafting

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree .....

How lovely are your suprises!

Hi folks
Well it's been a busy few days with life and putting together one of my DIY projects so you can create this ....

A Christmas tree surprise ..... what's the surprise?

it opens up to reveal a decorated Christmas tree complete with fairy lights and space to add your own special Christmas memories.

The project is available on line in my website shop at www.mjm-thearttart.com

But what is a DIY project I hear you cry. I created the idea of DIY projects a few years ago as a way of sharing a kind of workshop with you, I provide all the templates you need and full step by step instructions with oodles of photographs on the way and you use your own stash, that way you make the project in the colours and patterns you want without me inflicting my choices on you, after all we all have different tastes and what a dull world it would be if we didn't! And this DIY project goes a step further as I have added a new digi craft set of instructions for those of you that would like to create the project digitally with Serif Craft Artist 2 professional like this one

and again this set of instructions has a full step by step tutorial with lots of screen shots of me working on the programme.

Then you complete the project with the relevant steps from the paper craft instructions.

So fancy having a go and creating a very unique Christmas decoration full of memories that will take pride of place and return year after year? It would make a great Christmas present especially for a first Christmas for a baby or even a newly married couple, the beauty is you can make it however you want for whoever you want and as you have the templates you can make it again and again (and for those of you wondering if you can sell what you make then yes you can ;))

The project will be emailed to you in a zipped file so no postage, it will contain 3 PDF's a set of templates, a set of paper craft instructions (21 pages of instruction and full colour photo step by steps) and a set of digi craft instructions (42 pages of instruction and full colour screen shot photo step by steps) and it costs just £5.00. Whether you're a new crafter or a seasoned crafter you will love this project, it's easy and it's unique! Find it in my shop www.mjm-thearttart.com

Right folks I have to dash, hubs is home for a couple of days from panto and is waiting for a Sunday roast!!! I will be back soon, I hope you're well and happy.
as ever Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

And the winner is ......

Hi folks

WOW! I have been blown away by all your lovely comments and messages on here and on face book, you have made me laugh and cry and given this crafter a lovely warm fuzzy feeling of crafty love so a HUGE thank you to all of you that took the time to comment! so I better announce a winner then hadn't I? It's Cazzy/Carol

Hello Michelle, I would love to win some of your inspiration on a CD. I have so many of your shows recorded on my Sky planner that I won`t let my husband delete, I have about 2% memory left lol! If I have one of your CD`s I might let my husband delete JUST ONE program ha ha ha x
Thanking You, So Much,
Carol x x
Please contact me Carol so I can get my disc on it's way to you and maybe you can clear some of that planner LOL
Sorry to all those that were unsuccessful this time
I'll be back soon to share some more life and craftiness, I have a story about a horse to share but that can wait til next time LOL
Off now to finish putting my Christmas tree project together and hopefully get it on line for the weekend.
I hope you're all well and happy, thanks for visiting and once again thanks for all your crafty support
until soon, as ever, Happy Crafting

Friday, 15 November 2013

A Little bit of Christmas Inspiration

Hi all

How are you? Well and happy I hope! Well so far so good on the blogging front from me LOL!

Just a quickie to pop in and drop this off ...

The December/January issue of Scrap365 is on sale today so why not grab a copy and indulge in some crafty Christmas and winter inspiration!
There's an article in there from little old me too ;) A little inspiration for last minute Christmas gifts or just a different way to capture your memories using box frames. I'll give you a couple of sneak peek pictures if you promise not to tell but you'll just have to get your mitts on the mag to see the full project ;)

Told you they would be sneak peeks ;)
Enjoy the magazine and I'll see you soon, until then as ever Happy Crafting
Love MJM x