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Mystery creative workshop

I had a fantastic play date today with my long time friend, patchwork teacher and fellow CTMH consultant Sandra Boutlon. She had been planning this little treat for us ‘creative’ girls for some time and her effort stands out in the crowd for the personal touch. We arrived to find we each had a very large box and a glue stick. The box was gorgeous and  full of goodies. I was excited to see I now have my very own Paris Box!

My smashbox and clean workspace

My smashbox and clean workspace

Now I tend to tell the truth and here is no different. Sandra had told me about all the bits and pieces she was collecting and this phrase smashbooking first entered my lexicon at a market about 6 weeks ago when a customer sifted through my baggies and found a couple of scrap bags, a few card kits and some leftover  ST Pat’s dies cuts I had made with my Silhouette cutting machine. I asked if she was a cardmaker. ‘No’ she said. ‘I do smashbooks. They are like scrapbooks but also very different’.

I mulled this over, asked Sandra if that is what we were doing and got ‘kind of but don’t go looking’ or I would ‘spoil it’. Hmmmm…..Curiosity never killed my cat! So I had a poke around, joined a couple of facebook groups but avoided You Tube. There is a group for smashaholics on FB and now I know why!

If you have been following me you would also no I am now a Close To My Heart consultant eagerly awaiting the arrival of the precious first kit. In that kit is the My Crush™ Modville Book and My Crush™ Besties Assortment. This has all us Aussie consultants scratching our heads a bit. We are so used to our ‘normal’ scrapbook albums just for photos and photosafe embellishments that consist of CM brand pages, protectors and strap bound cover we have no idea about the lumpy bumpy stuff. As a consultant we all stood by the flat scrapping that was CM with only a slight third dimension from a foam square or a little bling with an epoxy gem or pearl here or there – a ‘smash’ book was foreign to many of us and many have wondered what they were. Some are even a little uneasy about all the new ‘creative’ stuff we are going to get. I am not…I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this!

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

I tried to help some sisters on discussion boards but words do fail to really describe these pieces of art in any kind of quick post in a discussion forum. Off I went to You Tube to find out more…(yes Sandra…I bowed to temptation and went to do some research!)

Smashbooks vary a lot. Variations are sometimes called art journals, or junk journals. They include much more than paper! I won’t define them here…but will direct you to my video list on you tube that has the videos I have liked (and will) and listed under smashbooking so far. Take a look from here.

Back to my fun day! My box of goodies contained:

Scrapbook paper, paper scraps, bits of exercise book paper, a sheet of postcodes, an empty box, some envelopes, some old CM workshop vouchers, my original invitation to Sandra to my birthday party, some punchies, tiles and phrases cut from nagazines

Fabric scraps in red, red hat print, ribbons and lace to coordinate, a red artificial rose, pipe cleaners, a bag of buttons, some lovely red silk….

Some really stiff board, an empty box, and empty pillow shaped chocolate box printed with red roses on a silver background…

A funny little tupperware ruler corner maker thingy from when Sandra was a Tupperware rep. (You learn something new every day. I didn’t know this about my friend!) This came in handy for spreading glue and flattening folds.

What is in the box?

What is in the box?

Red Hat!

Red Hat!

Can you see where this was all headed? I have just become a Red Hatter, and Sandra has given me a whole box of goodies to celebrate both that and my milestone 50th birthday.

So…I had a lot of….red and purple….junk!

Most of it was scrap something. The kind of stuff we often hoard and then in a moment of clean up and downsize frenzy turf out to the garbage, ready to be recycled. We all got similar things in our boxes but Sandra focussed on that personal theme- the end result being we had very different looking products at the end.

Just as well there were only 3

Just as well there were only 3

But, there was more, and it wasn’t steak knives. I secretly harbour just a little envy for Sandra’s Shed. It is a tin shed, fully lined, airconditioned and chocablock with goodies. Most of this is sewing related, but there were loads of ribbon and trim, scrapbook paper, bits cut from magazines, old notebooks, paper labels from haberdashery and a few wall paper sample books. These were my favourite of the day!  All of this ‘junk’ was made available to us along with old manilla folders (recycled from the days of needing to keep office for a patchwork shop many moons ago) that were the base of our smashbook pages.

On the initially very clean and tidy table were trays. One had some ink pads, one had some printed duct tape (a recent find), one had rulers, pencils and other tools. There was a sewing machine set up and several cutting boards. We were given a jar with some PVA glue in it and a brush with a recycled Jenny Craig food tray with a bit cut out for a brush rest…we had almost all we needed for our very first smashbooks!!! The final touch was baby wipes. Top tip of the day – these are great for wiping PVA glue off your hands!

So off I went deciding to do bigger pages. It was to be about red hat and turning 50 all at once. I knew I would need big pockets for my favourite cards. After showing us examples and illustrating possibilities and the ease with which we could throw together a little note book, make a funky tag, recycle something we never thought of recycling before, and being innovative with design and free to embellish as we pleased Sandra let us loose.

Creativity is messy

Creativity is messy

The room smelled deliciously of PVA glue, fresh apple cinnamon cake, and coffee. There was the sound of happy chatter, the sewing machine and a constant input of tips and ideas from Sandra. We were like little kids on craft day at school! The table became an unwieldy mess of junk as pieces of art were made. And after those few hours quickly went by I HAD to pull mine out when I got home and add  my from my own scrap stash – my red hat stickers, my bling (all good Queens need bling) my cards, and I was even tempted to break out the paint brushes! I had all these creative juices going I did not want to stop.

Clearly I have stopped now – my journal is all done bar the finishing touches. I would like to finish off some edges and for that I will need to go do a little shopping. Or I can just wait till my Washi Tape arrives in my kit! Then I need to put one final binding on it to hold it all together and it will be done.

There has never been a better time...

There has never been a better time…

Age doesn't matter; Be rewarded

Age doesn’t matter; Be rewarded

Mini Journal

Mini Journal

So…I have smashed today and had a ball. And yes I have journalled in it. There is some sentiment and record in it but not as much as I would like to do. For now it is big enough and I am pleased with my first efforts at this artform. All I need to do is open up an inserted notebook and do some more journalling for it to be just right and worthy of reading.

When my My Crush Book by CTMH arrives  (a premade, predesigned journal by Close To My Heart)  I am more likely to have less lumps and bumps and more artwork in the form of stamps, drawing and I may even dabble in some watercolour pieces to put into it. I can’t wait to see if it is all I imagine it will be! I am so excited to be moving beyond the scrapbook page and into other areas of creativity! Lot’s of people say they are not creative – I have news for you…You are! If you don’t have time that is different, but I believe it is important to let your inner child go get creative at least once a month to keep that bit of your brain nourished 🙂

If I leave my stuff right where it is right now all around my workspace I may just start another one! Tomorrow is Sunday…I think I will!

More decoration in the mini journal

More decoration in the mini journal

The Happiness graph

The Happiness graph

Be rewarded reflection

Be rewarded reflection

What happened to good old letters?

What happened to good old letters?

Play in the leaves

Play in the leaves

Bling it up

Bling it up

It is about Hattitude

It is about Hattitude

Birthday pockets

Birthday pockets

It's Fat!

It’s Fat!

PS I will learn how to get these photos better grouped one day!

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