Thursday 4 April 2013

Graphic 45 Design Team 2013 Audition

I am keeping everything crossed as I write this post (that is quite a feat I can tell you ;-)).  I am excited and nervous and definitely a little bit shaking in my shoes but here goes.........

This is my Graphic 45 Design Team 2013 Audition Blog Post!!!!

This is my longest post ever so you may want to get a cup of coffee and a cookie or two!  I will do my best to keep you entertained with all the projects I have been designing and making for my audition.  It was definitely hard work but a labour of love so I am not complaining one bit.

Project 1 - The Surprise Package Graphic 45 Style!

I am starting off my audition by showing a project I designed quite a while ago now and I never tire of making it.  I already had this example completed in Graphic 45's Little Darling Papers as I wanted to make a New Baby version that included a surprise pop out baby alphabet block.  I used the green and peachy pink papers in the collection and they make a lovely fresh combination that works well with the cream base card stock.

Keeping it simple with the embellishing I found some pretty flowers and buttons in just the right shades of peachy pink and green.  I distressed the edges of all my Graphic 45 papers as I wanted to add just a touch of shabby.

I really love the Peek a Boo paper that I have used here on the inside of the envelope.  Wouldn't it make the most perfect nursery paper?  One of the many things I love about designing and making projects with Graphic 45 papers is that when you look beyond the obvious uses for a particular collection there is always so much more than first meets the eye.  The photos above and below show what I mean perfectly.  Peek a Boo above is definitely a baby project paper but look at the delicate patterns below and you could make something pretty for your Mum on Mother's day or a cute Easter Card and soooo much more.....

I just couldn't resist making another version of the Surprise Package project especially for this audition (any excuse to play!) so I rummaged through my papers ;-) and made this yummy Bird Song Version.  The Cherry Blossom paper was my collection favourite and was it perfect to use as I could show off both sides and I love the delicate peachy tones which I used on the outside of the envelope and then that beautiful shot of turquoise when you open up the envelope to reveal the surprise within.  This is how the project is designed to be displayed once it has been opened.

I had the perfect die (recent treat to myself!) to compliment this gorgeous Graphic 45 Cherry Blossom paper!!  I really loved decorating the little pop out cube with branches of blossom.

I added micro beads to the centres of the cherry blossoms with a dot of glossy accents and I printed all the wording on my computer - I really hope they are correctly translated!!!

I used a few of the Bird Song Stickers for this project.  The pretty bird stamp makes a fab pocket on the inside of my envelope that is just perfect to pop in an extra surprise for some lucky birthday person!  I cut lots of strips of butterflies from the Endless Spring paper to use on the edges of my envelope and as pretty trim.  They were the perfect fit as you can see.

Another pretty sticker made a seal for the closure of the envelope and a border strip sticker added a pop of colour to embellish the outside of the envelope.

Photographs can't really do the surprise element of my project justice so I have included this video to show you just what the 'Surprise' actually is!!!!

Project 2 - Scrapbook Layout

I often wonder if I have a particular style that is recognisable as mine and I don't think I have.  I do know that when it comes to scrapbooking I have a hard time putting things on the page that are not straight.  I almost have to force myself!  My friends chuckle as elements I place down on the page at an angle gradually straighten themselves as I put the design together ;-)

This layout illustrates exactly what I mean.  Not an angle in sight!!!.........

..........Oh, except perhaps the one the camera appears to have taken on in this photo!  Something else which makes Graphic 45 paper a favourite is that one collection easily mixes with another.  For this layout I have used a relatively new paper Old Curiosity Shop - Exquisite Motif and mixed it with an older collection Transatlantique - Travelogue paper, a dash of golden yellow and voila!  Gorgeous (if I do say so myself ;-)  May I draw your attention to the pleated frame that took forever!!!!!

I love to scrapbook and always try to journal as much as I can about the photos on my page.  I am always writing to my sons when I journal and I often hide the journalling as I have here on this large but surprisingly discrete tag.  I really enjoyed making the flower embellishment that also acts as a pull for the journaling tag.  It is amazing how the flat brass Graphic 45 flowers come to life with a few tweaks of the piers.

Is that an angled ribbon I see????

I love making videos, though I have learnt they are very, very time consuming to produce!  I thought you might like to see the design process I went through to make this layout.  I always aim to produce as professional a video as I can particularly when making a tutorial but now and again I like making fast forward videos as they are 'slightly' quicker to edit but I still think they are a great way to share inspiration and ideas.  I once made a video of a tag I made that had a xylophone on it and I decided to play it with full audience sound effects at the end of the video.  I was laughing so much at my idea that my husband came in to see what was going on!  It thrilled me that when after I had shared the video on my You Tube Channel I received a lovely comment from a viewer that had chuckled along too......result!  This video is a bit longer than the previous one so only watch it if you have time to spare.  Go on have another cup of coffee and a cookie!

Project 3 - Family Recipe Memory Box

I altered a Graphic 45 Matchbook box (a bit of a tongue twister to say out loud!) for my third project and it features the lovely ......and brand new to my stash.......French Country collection of papers.

This project started out life in my head as a memory box and mini that was somewhere you could put those items we treasure that don't fit in a scrapbook and that have a story we want to preserve.  Whilst I was working on it my friend Deb commented that it would make a lovely recipe book and I combined the two!  It is perfect for our family as we have so many memories attached to great food that we have shared with family and friends over the years.

Lots of fussy cutting to make these pretty sunflowers.  A bit more below to complete the Rooster.  I added the chicken wire to the aperture to capture the look of those lovely old kitchen dressers you see in country kitchens.

The A La Cart paper was perfect to use for my recipe cards.  Each of my pages have a pocket at the bottom so I can tuck in photos and my pretty recipe cards.  I have dedicated this page to our friends Andreas and Eleni who always treated us like family and taught us all we know about dining in Cypriot style.

I know I am going to enjoy recording more memories of friends, family and the happy times we shared eating the most delicious meals!

Tucked away underneath the mini album is a secret compartment to store all those items that defiantly won't stick on to a scrapbook page but we want to treasure them just the same.  My friend Deb lent me some precious items that her Grandmother gave her especially for my photo.  There is even a cute rooster cookie cutter - perfect!  I am going to store some of the herbs and spices that are in the recipes I am journalling about.

I made a little video tour to tell you a bit more about my Memory Box project.

Project 4 - Graphic 45 Clock

This clock sits on my dresser.  It is made from chipboard and an old tin that used to hold paper flowers! I have mixed and matched from my Graphic 45 paper stash and I think the papers tones bring a vintage elegance to my piece.  I originally made this in March last year for a D's Paper Studio Challenge that was sponsored by Graphic 45 (I do love a good challenge!)

I have two drawers in the base that I have earmarked for some family tree tags (one day!).  I think you can see the fun I had adding tiny jewels to the patterns on the papers.  Fiddly but worth the effort.

I needed to be able to remove the clock to change the batteries so I also have a secret compartment!.....or the perfect place for a mini album!

Project 5 - The Pyramid Mini

For my fifth audition piece I wanted to show you this Pyramid Mini that I designed for my youngest son's 14th Birthday.  I wanted to make something he could keep so this seemed to be perfect to give in celebration of his special day.  I just had to use some of my Graphic 45 papers and these seemed perfect for a teenage boy.

The little drawer in the base of the Pyramid is a cute mini album - I haven't managed to put photos in it yet!!!  I loved using the pattern of the harlequin paper to add interest to the spine of the mini.

I was originally thinking an exploding box would be a great way to make a keepsake card but as you can see as I designed it it became so much more.  I am in my element when I am constructing with paper!

The pyramids explode open to reveal a birthday celebration centre piece!  I find that when I am designing a project like this that now and then something happens by accident that turns out to be so fab that I wish I could lay claim to having come up with it on purpose ;-)  Those bottle top embellishments are what keep the centre pyramid from opening all the way out and doesn't it look like that is what I intended all along!!!?

I had such fab feedback from my Pyramid Mini design that I taught it in a workshop recently so there are now 8 other pyramid minis out there plus this next one!  I made this pretty version from the beautifully feminine Ladies Diary papers.  This one is all mine!!!!

It was a real treat to do something so totally girly!  The new Graphic 45 Ornate Metal Label holders make fab drawer (mini album) pulls.

I kept the decoration a little more minimal for this piece as I wanted to see the gorgeous Ladies Diary papers!

The centre pyramid pops open to reveal a pretty layered flower nestling in more pretty lace.

I don't know what I am going to put in the mini at the moment but I think it should be something romantic and dreamy just like these papers.

...And Last But Not Least!

Project 6 - Lucky Tag?

I couldn't finish my audition post without making a tag!  Anyone that knows me knows I love taking time out to make a tag or two......or three.  Last year I made so many I decided to put them on my wall for inspiration!  I find they are the perfect way to try out ideas and to try something new and of course to use up all the tiny pieces of paper I squirrel away!  I had plenty of Graphic 45 snippets to rummage through but I decided I really should use some more of the paper that began my passion for Graphic 45 designs the very first piece of paper I ever bought from a Graphic 45 collection.  Here it is before I started on my tag.  As you can see I have only used a small piece so far and carry it with me always!!  One thing that puzzles me though is how it got the name Bees Knees?

I started out with some Graphic 45 packaging and decided to try to make myself a lucky tag!!

I have used a bit more of my precious cherry paper which I have christened 'my Lucky Paper'.  I made a Wheel of Fortune to spin.....I did think about loading the spinner in my favour but I couldn't make the numbers work!

 So with my odds being even I gave myself a whole shaker full of stars to wish upon and then just in case........

.......... I delicately cut out a four leafed clover and captured it in a locket.

And here is, what I hope will prove to be, my lucky tag!

This was without doubt the most preparation I have ever done for an audition/interview and I have enjoyed every single moment.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and  I really hope I have managed today to show you the passion I have for designing, teaching and paper crafting.  I have done all I can do to make my dream of being picked for the Graphic 45 Design Team come true and all I can do now is hold on to my lucky tag, make a wish and press the button to post.



  1. Wow, wow, wow Helen! Fabulous projects and very good photos and explanations of how you have made them. The Graphic 45 papers look amazing too.
    Well done!
    Jane x

  2. Oh My Word how could they not pick you. All your hard work that has gone in to this is just fantastic. Your projects are works of art each piece is hours of work which you have done with the love of crafting showing clearly. STUNNING

  3. These are all amazing projects Helen. I would find it impossible to choose which one i like best! I was one of the lucky ones to attend your workshop making the Pyramid mini and I liked it so much that I am now making another one using some different Graphic 45 papers.
    You are one talented lady and thoroughly deserve to be chosen for this design team!!
    Barbara x

  4. Supercalifragilistic..........! I have been waiting aaalll day to get to read this and it was well worth the wait!. Now I want to go back & see the vids. How long do you have to wait for an answer Helen? :0) Mo x

  5. WOw Wow Wow! Helen this is all fantastic! Well done you. What hard work you have put into this - I'm sure your success is guaranteed. Such beautiful projects but have to say my favourite are the pyramids - do you want to come to France to show me how to make one?! Love the papers - now on my wish list. Best wishes and good luck - Carolyn xx

  6. Janine Mellors10:39

    What fantastic projects as always!! How could they not pick you?? I'm keeping eveything crossed for you and hoping you hear soon. Had a fabulous day at the workshop so I'm one of the lucky ones able to make a Pyramid. I'm hoping for other workshops as soon as poss for any and all other projects! They are always so different and such fun. Good Luck Helen, Janine x

  7. Goodness me Helen! I'm blown away - these are just amazing and you deserve a place on the G45 team. just WOW! I love all the projects (I've had a go at the Surprise Package myself with G45 papers, they sit each other perfectly) - but if I had to choose one favourite, it would be that beautiful keepsake box. Very best of luck to you. :o)

  8. Anonymous17:49

    WOW! You are so talented and imaginative with all of these 3D projects! I think your style and G45's products are a perfect match -- I sure hope they feel the same way. I think you sold yourself short by saying you don't think you have your own style -- even the layout, which you felt was your least unique piece shows a gift for using pattern and "engineering" skill (i.e. the brads and ribbon pieces). ~ Laura

  9. This is all just so fantastic - well done Helen and really good luck x

  10. Hi Helen, you have worked so hard to make these absolutely fabulous makes! If I had a vote it would be given to you most definitely, you are a truly amazing crafter - I am a bit stuck for words....... Anne x

  11. wow helen ,more fantastic projects and i want to do every single one of them , i love and have lots of these papers and then never know what to do with them so this sure must help me get some used up. graphics 45 team , you must pick helen she does the most gorgeous work on every single project she ever does and is so inspiring to all around her .

  12. Helen: I had a great time looking at all our marvelous pieces, and watching your videos (even hubby watched with me!) Your attention to detail is amazing. I discovered Graphic 45 when I discovered Jim the Gentleman crafter a bit ago. He made me fall in love with their papers etc. I have not tried any 3D work, but you inspired me to want to try. I have the french country stamps my husband bought me as a gift, now I have to dig them out. All the best in your audition, you really knocked it out of the park! Your videos are so nice to watch and so easily to follow along with. Fingers and toes crossed for you!!

  13. I'm in total awe! Graphic 45 would be lucky to have you! Thank you so much for taking time to leave me a comment--made me smile!

  14. Helen, you held my attention from your first project, through your last tag! Beautiful, creative, fresh. I'm trying to pick a favorite, and I can't pick just one. I love your memory box, your clock and your pyramids...OMG! Good luck! I love Graphic45 and they will love you!

  15. Cor!! What fabulous projects Helen! I am amazed at your versatility, my favourite of all were the pyramids but it was close, all are just lovely. Good luck with your submission :D Gay x

  16. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for your lovely comments and feedback on my audition post. I was really nervous when I pressed the publish button as this audition means a lot to me and you have all made me feel a whole lot better. Thank you again for all your good wishes - can I hold it together until the 4th of April!!!!? Better get crafting to take my mind off it! Sending you all a huge blog hug. Helen x

  17. brilliant variety, best of luck xx JennyP

  18. Hi Helen wow what a huge lot of work you have put into all these lovely things for your audition, I'm glad I finally managed to squeeze in a visit :) so much to see! and all lovely! sending you best wishes and good luck x

  19. deborah17:18

    hi helen your workshops are just great and each project i've done with you are amazing i just can't wait for my next class... i love my pyramid and i would like to do the recipe box please i wish you lots of luck..... but graphic 45 need you on the team look what you've already done with there papers well done helen debxx

  20. Stunning work Helen, Your work is AmAzing...Graphic 45 would be mad not to have you on their team you clearly love their products & your talent is outstanding... Hugs May x x x

  21. Absolutely fabulous projects - you've really done full justice to those gorgeous papers. I wish you good luck with your application and if it was up to me you'd have the job :) Elizabeth xx

  22. Good for you!!!! All of these pieces are wonderful!!! Good luck!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I always love to read them and if you have a question for me I will reply. Thanks again, Helen x
PS have had stop Anonymous comments as I am getting a lot of spam. I am so sorry to any real commenters that this affects. Feel free to email me if you want to and I will get back to you that way instead x

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