{Collection Pack Crazy}

I love paper.
Of all the many scrapbooking supplies available, paper is my favourite.
Those who have been to one of the Sarah’s Cards retreats can atest to the fact that I am usually found clutching a stack of beautiful papers!
Because paper is my favourite supply, I love collection packs and paper pads, but I’m embarrassed to admit that there are a few unopened packets in my stash.
In the olympic spirit I set myself a personal challenge this month – start with a collection pack and keep scrapping until it’s gone! Stash busting at it’s finest.
I started with the Sunnyside collection from Pebbles Inc. 
At first glance you might think that a lot of these papers are very busy or themed, but take a look at the B sides – full of wonderful and very useable grids, chevrons, polka dots and stripes. My favourite sheet? That wonderful cut apart paper with lots of banners and sentiments, and hot pink ledger on the back! The beauty of the collection packs from Pebbles is that you get 2 of each paper – no more choosing which side to use yay!

I picked out a few more items from my stash to make up a kit to work from – some alphas, mists, stickers, ribbons, tapes, bards, gems and a selection of small embellishments. Don’t forget the strips at the bottom of each paper – one side has the collection details and barcode, but you get a cute pattern on the other side. I also added a couple of sheets of cardstock, and a Hambly transparency as I went along.
Working like this allowed me to just keep going, rather than always having to search through my stash for things to match the papers – I’d done it all already. I also cut all the bottom strips off, and cut apart a whole sheet of the sentiments to speed things up! So a little time invested before you start can help you scrap speedily! 
I created seven layouts to share with you today, starting with this one of Benjamin at 18 months. My first impression of the papers was that they were quite pink, so my first mini-challenge to myself was to create a layout using no pink! I stuck to the blues, greens and yellows in the collection. I found the Mr Happy badge in a music shop, and removed the pin at the back to that I could add it to my page using foam pads.
Next up, quite the opposite – a page using only pink! These photos are from our trip to the Harry Potter studio tour. The information sign next to these outfits and sets of the character Dolores Umbridge was entitled “Shades of Pink”, so I stole that caption for my title!
The third page I created features photos from Benjamin’s first birthday. He really enjoyed opening his presents, and got the hang of ripping the paper open quite quickly! By the time Christmas came around 10 weeks later he was a total pro!

Those of you who came along to the Sarah’s Cards retreat in March this year might recognise this photo of the team taken in the grounds of the hotel. I added a little bit of interest to the pink spotty background paper by just adding some white pen randomly to some of the dots.

I went with a strong pink theme again for this silouette photo of my mum and her three sisters which was taken at a wedding last year during a beach photo call! Behind the photo I created a quilted effect sunburst photo mat with faux stitching. This photo makes me smile, so the fun, happy colours of the papers were perfect, and plenty of the sentiments coordinated really well with the feel of the page too.

A couple of my favourite pages came from using up paper scraps when I’d run out of full sheets! This next page is made up of nine 3.5″ squares, to which I layered smaller squares of paper, journalling, photos and a title. The photos are from my trip to Kenya in 2006 – we visited Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, and were able to feed the giraffes – quite an experience!

The final page I have to share with you today also uses scraps, but this time punched circles rather than squares, and a photostrip from my sister’s wedding last month. The title – just a little bit crazy – refers to both the photos (wedding finery plus silly wigs!) but also the mish mash of patterns and colours on the page! With all those designs close together, not much embellishment is required. I added mist splatters, and layered the kraft sheet on top of a transparency (I gutted it first). 

So, one kit, seven full pages. I have some bits left – just scraps – nothing bigger than about 6×4″, but definitely enough for another page if I add more cardstock and maybe a couple of cards could come out of what is left on my desk too.
My top tips for working in bulk with a collection:
1. Add a few sheets of cardstock
2. Cut out any elements sheets before you start
3. Add a selection of embellishments and alphas so you don’t have to dig through everything every time you want to ad a detail to your page
4. Work with a variety of photos. I don’t scrap chronologically but I do store my albums chronologically. I wouldn’t want these pages to all sit next to each other in an album. I have photos here from 2006 right through to a couple of weeks ago so the pages will be separated in my albums. 

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