Three posts on one blogday…that’s my personal record! But the upcoming week will be so busy and I don’t know when I have spare time to blog. So…sorry. Now or never!

In January I visited a trade show in Frankfurt and met Ken Oliver from the company Spellbinders. This incident had a deep impact on me. Many others will approve that he has an outstanding personality in the creative world. But I don’t want to praise Ken too much, I don’t know if he can take it. 😉

He made me take a deeper look into the world of die cut machines and their possibilities. And I met some other extraordinary creative persons I already have spoken about and will refer to as my new friends even now and then. I have to admit that they all are „virtual“ friends so far, but I hope and believe that people who have to meet in their life will meet. No matter how or when.

Based on the contact to all those talented people I felt myself to be a bit boring, old fashioned and outdated. But my „real“ friends know me better. I can be creative, and that’s what I try to proove every day.

One thing I struggle with (beside shabby, layering and CAS) is scrapbooking. Scrap friends better stop reading now… I still don’t know why on earth someone needs more than maybe 2 or 3 photoalbums. My grandmother used to collect her lifetime memories in a tin box. I loved to open that box from time to time and grab some of the old pictures.

Nowadays scrapbooking has become BIG, and – let’s face it- a whole industry makes it’s living with it. But I refuse to buy tons of ready made stuff to glue it around a photography.

Nevertheless I regard myself as a crafter and designer. And professional or not… I WANT to be able to make a scrapbook layout. Now that you know my background I want to show my first attempt. And because I adore Mr. Ken so much I choosed his actual facebook profile picture for scrapping. In case you wonder: I have asked for his permission. He said YES! YAY!

Did I mentioned I never understood why the layouts have to be 12×12 inch? Does anyone know? Enlighten me please. But because I have to start somewhere, I bought some 12 inch cardboard squares. Take a look:

Because my usual photo setting is for cards and small stuff I had to go outside. How do you scrap people photograph your stuff? Indoors won’t work for me.

First I went to the local drugstore and made some Ken pictures at their photo machine. I distressed them with some folds and sandpaper. I used the sanding process on other stuff too. I didn’t have the patience to wait until everything aged the natural way.

Then I covered the cardboard with a paste called „Strukturpaste“ for a three dimensional base. (Edit: Seems this paste is called „molding paste“ or „texture paste“) I rolled additional structure in with a massage tool. Fun! After it dried I added some vintage Ranger inks (Adirondacks) with an old toothbrush. I refuse to buy all that art stuff if I can do it with old tools from my household.

The structure of the paste popped after I rubbed it with crayons. Love my crayons. They love me too and still stick to my fingers.

All paper elements have gone through my Grand Calibur machine by Spellbinders with various dies.

Now you will need some briefing about the other stuff in that layout. I made another picture for you (click for larger version)

1) During a trip to Scotland for his company Spellbinders Ken recently discovered his relations to a clan named „Mitchell“. That‘ s what he told us on facebook. Everyone knows I admire this country. Each clan has its own motto. The Mitchell clan’s motto is „Favente Deo Supero„, what means something like „by god’s favour I conquer“. Jep, that’s Ken. Must be. He conquers the crafting world.

2) The family crest shows a writing hand! When I bought a patterned paper (3) to match the fabric of his shirt on top of that paper I found this when I got home from the shop. I swear, it was a coincidence. You see the small image on the right? The Mitchell crest! Holy Moly! The crest is also an element of my layout, in case you didn’t notice.

I had to use this part of the paper in my layout. Then I saw what is written there, on the left of the writing hand. And yes! Ken again! Really coincidence? Frightening!

3) The paper I bought to match his shirt.

4) Some accidents I had with glue and paint.

5) The small fir trees and the tiny deers are from a german souvenir I kept since I was 5. Finally I could use it! And got rid of it. Did everybody knew that Ken can speak German? So I added some old german postcards snippets of Worms (german town) too.

6) Money talks: Ken collects vintage and rusty stuff. Like I do. The vintage coins from England and Germany stand for his roots, his ancestores came from pretty UK and our land of fairytales and castles. I guess.

7) The sheriff’s star was my sons pride during german mardigras 10 years ago. I glued a money shaped button on top to cover the ugly center. Coloured it with Marabu glas paint because I needed something blue in there. Because Ken lives in Arizona I thought that might fit in.

I could go on and on and on… but I think I have talked more about that page than I actually worked on it, hehe. I hope you had some fun time here and come back for another episode of „Baerbel’s layout lament“. I am never satisfied. I think its overdone. Don’t try to contradict, no one can change my mind on such matters.

Big hugs and thanks to Ken Oliver from Spellbinders, Arizona. Your funny and kind facebook talk made me smile so often, I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

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  1. What an amazing layout, and how well you found and displayed the essence of Ken! I am proud to call him ‚friend‘ as well … he is such a special and caring person, and you brought that forward in your layout. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • You know him? When I first met him I didnt know who he is. How could I? After we met I added him on facebook. You can say about facebook whatever you like, but after I started reading his daily status messages… I learned so much about him and his funny ways… its heartwarming, encouraging and often brightens ny day. I look for you there, hope to find another fan 🙂

  2. Now, are you psychic or something?
    How did you get all these personal details right on? Everything! every icon, every color, the paper, even the words you used are an exact reflection of me…more than you could possibly know!

    In fact, it’s taken me most of the day to „process“ all the personal meaning in each of the symbols you used to create this layout. Today was the first time I’d seen the Mitchell’s Scottish crest…it’s a pen, I write and I draw…and my grandmother,a Mitchell, first taught me to draw, when I was a little child…she was quite a talented sketcher…she taught me 2 point perspective and to look at things as shapes when I draw…really important tools for an artist.

    And, then to see that crest on the Authentique Paper? There are too many coincidences…I love Authentique Paper too…the damask pattern and color you chose…exactly my style.

    The Mitchell clan credo also has very personal meaning for me too…although today was the first time I’d ever seen it, in English or in Scots/celt….it resonates with me…when we live in the „light“ we have the strength, courage, confidence, everything we need to conquer any obstacle and meet any challenge…how did you get this? it’s so RIGHT ON!

    You used post cards from Worms…when i was a child,I had a pen pal in Worms…I struggled weekly writing notes and letters in German to someone I’ve never met…yet it was my connection to world bigger than myself and I’d daydream, all the time about going to Germany…you could have never known that.

    You used coins…all my life I have saved coins from my travels…I give them to my nieces and nephews, and to other kids whose paths cross mine…and now, when I teach Spellbinders Media Mixage classes, most often I have a bowl of coins on the table…the bowl usually contains money from China, Hong Kong, Belgium, Canada, the EU, the UK, and Germany…a funny thing has happened this year, when students use coins in their projects, they’ve started replacing them with coins from their countries…my coin collection grows with every class, and gets more interesting and diverse every time I teach…you didn’t know that!

    There’s more, but i will end up writing all night if i belaboured you with every detail…every single symbol and icon have a deep and personal meanings to me…personal things that you wouldn’t know…how ever you did it? You hit this layout spot on! In fact you have captured exactly what a scrapbook layout is supposed to do…a layout should convey a personal story using symbols, icons and objects to tell a personal story…I often had rather call „scrapbooking,“ „story telling.“ Scrapbooks let us tell our stories, visually, with written words and orally, in a way that no other medium, by itself can communicate, and you know you will always tell someone part of your story when they see your book or layout, it’s part of sharing and part of our greater human tradition.
    Baerbel, you have really blown me away with the care, skill and personal insight you have included in this piece of art…thank you so much. I cannot describe how it felt today to look at your images and see how well you’d captured the essence of who I am…I’ll look forward til the next time we meet, and I can’t wait to give you a big ol hug…you really touched me today.

    • Now you made me cry. There are no (or niot that much) coincidences, but what you told me here…. it blew my away. I don’t have words for that.

  3. Dear Baerbel, I have looked at your layout so many times today just trying to find all the right words to say…I absolutely love your layout! Don’t ever worry about staying within the 12×12 format! I love making mini albums more than anything…a beautiful layout can be any size! And everything you are doing is perfect…you are an amazing artist and I really honored that you used a pic of me in your first layout. Thank you! It was a real treat to meet you, and it’s so exciting that you’re now part of Spellbinders community…and our chance meeting at a trade show has bloomed into a wonderful creative journey for both of us!

  4. Sehr hübsch, gefällt mir ♥
    LG Sabine

  5. Angelina

    Dear Bärbel,

    I agree with you concerning „classic“ scrapbooking. Neither do I know, why photos have to be covered and framed with tons of embellishments. For me, a good photo does not need any glitter. It only draws off the attention from mood and theme of the picture. Therefore my photoalbums (indeed, there are just quite few) are more CAS than most of my selfmade cards… 😉 It might be due to the fact that photography is my passion.

    Nevertheless, everyone to his taste and my respect for so much work and inspiration. I’m not sure, if I could be so wild creative as you always are!

    Big hugs

    • Ich wünschte wir könnten Deine Sachen sehen. Oder bin ich so schusselig dass ich vergessen habe wo? Sag!

    • Angelina

      Hallo liebe Bärbel,

      nein, du bist nicht schusselig! Ich habe keinen blog und auch sonst keine Bilder online. Ich bin ja auch nicht so fleißig wie du. Bei deinem output muß ja dein Bastel-Büro langsam aus allen Nähten platzen, oder? 😉


  6. I am blown away by your talent Baerbel, this is incredible and I am sure Ken will be amazed that you put so much research and thought into this project, even if we did have a good giggle when we set you the challenge!

    • Yeah, that was fun! And the reasearch was the daily input on his facebook page, I love to read every tiny little bit of it! We all do 🙂

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