Using Stencil in Photo Diary

There are so many things that I can play with to fill my photo diary pages, using stencils is one of them.

I have a stuck of Tim Holtz stencils but I don’t always play mixed media, of course they are not only for mixed media projects, or maybe just because I am lazy to get them out to play.

On this spread page, I used the stencil in the middle, the pattern shows on both pages, although the photos are not on the same date.

About the photos, when I was still on my sick leave after an operation, I had nothing to do at home but found something I didn’t finish before – a drawing. I followed a photo I took to draw this, years ago, with a pencil, I wanted to paint it with watercolour, but I left it behind on the bookshelf. During this “long holiday”, I needed to take a rest, but I can’t sleep for a whole day, I take the sketchbook out and I thought at least draw the lines before colour. Ok then…….I drew the lines, and the sketchbook is now on the bookshelf again, LOL!

Another photo I took on next day, that’s raining cats and dogs outside. I like walking with heavy rain, this may be because I worked in the airport before, I needed to work outdoor and there was no choice if I need to work on rainy or windy days, it seems that I can have fresh air under the rain. Now, I still love walking with the rain, not under the rain of course, so I chose to go downstairs for lunch myself on that day, and taste the fresh air which I love.

If you love this layout, here is the sketch for you to save:

New Hobby – Encaustic, My First Ever Encaustic Painting

I fell in love with encaustic paintings when I first saw them on Pinterest, they are so sexy, so romantic and unique. I couldn’t stop myself to search for more information about encaustic online, I wanted to get some encaustic paints and tools but I couldn’t find anything in Hong Kong.

I was so upset, then I thought about candles and wax seals. It’s comparatively more easy to find candles and wax seals in Hong Kong, or I can even buy them from Taobao, and of course, relatively cheaper.

First, I bought a few different colours of wax seals from a local stationery store, red, gold and bronze. I couldn’t wait to try them on the night I bought them, and the first thing I tried is to paint a flower.

I’m not good at drawing or painting, and encaustic is even more difficult than that. I have to be careful with the hot wax, I have to paint fast because the wax seals become hard in short, but I love this challenge, I love the result, I love so much the uniqueness, and I’m falling in love with encaustic!

Photo Diary – Mid-Autumn Festival

Here is a double page about the day of Mid-Autumn Festival.

My mum didn’t buy Mooncake for many years already, because I and my hubby can get a few boxes for free every year, she just came and got one home and tasted it herself. This year, she didn’t ask me to give her one, but she came to my house for dinner and I cut her a piece to taste, I don’t know why she kept saying that the Mooncake was too sweet but she was putting the Mooncake into her mouth?

The other thing I’ve done during this Mid-Autumn Festival was to eat sweet soup, which is a must every year. I ordered online and just wait at home to be delivered, it is so easy now in Hong Kong to order meals online, I can order whatever I like, pizza, noodles, rice, Taiwan cuisine……

On this double page, I placed a piece of torn paper at the bottom of each page but in different colours, and I also mat the photos with white paper, they popped up the photos perfectly. To make the page simple, I didn’t add a lot of stickers but only a few washi tape and two flower stickers.

I love the colourful alpha stickers which make this double page lively.

Here is the sketch for today:

Perfume Bottle Scenery (Photo) Display #G45Expression

Welcome to this Perfume Bottle Scenery (Photo) Display tutorial made for Graphic 45 Brand Ambassador Blog Post June 2022, featuring Graphic 45 Alice’s Tea Party Collection. I am going to share with you a written tutorial for this project, together with a free template download and a video tutorial as well.

Photo Display is always my favourite technique, I can change the theme every time, challenge myself on how to make it, and of course, I can display them on a shelf like a home decoration or a photo frame. In this project, I used toothpicks to stand up the photos, so I can take them out, or change them from time to time.

Here for you first is the photo gallery of the Perfume Bottle Scenery (Photo) Display:

In this paper collection, I love so much the rabbit and the flower pattern, so they have the priority to be included in my photo display. I chose two photos of my kids for this project because the pink dress matched the flower pattern perfectly, and my boy’s playful face matched the teapot character.

Flower dies are always one of my favourite tools. Graphic 45 Tag, Pocket & Butterfly Dies come with four different sizes of flower, and also four different styles of leaves, I used the flower dies to make the roses in this project, it’s easy and you can check out the YouTube tutorial at the bottom of this post on how to make it (at 30:50).

Let’s get started with the Scenery (Photo) Display tutorial and have fun!

Graphic 45 Supply List:
Alice’s Tea Party 8×8 Paper Pad
Alice’s Tea Party 12×12 Paper Pad
Alice’s Tea Party 12×12 Patterns & Solids Paper Pad
Alice’s Tea Party Ephemera Assortment
Large Tag, ATC Tag, and Flower Dies
Tag, Pocket & Butterfly Dies
Classic Ivory & Natural Linen Trim
Ink Pads

Other Materials I Used:
Template (download here)
Toilet Tissue Roll
Glass/Plastic Diamond Decoration (Optional, can make an origami one instead)
Metal, Wood and Glass Decoration (Optional)

Click here to download the Perfume Bottle Scenery (Photo) Display template, they are in actual size on A4 paper.

Step by step tutorial:

Forming the perfume bottle body:

  1. Ready your template and essential materials. Download the free template here.

2. Cut a piece of chipboard and a piece of acetate with the Front/Back template.

3. Cut one piece of chipboard, each, for the Base and the Cover.

4. Cut two pieces of acetate with the Side template.

5. Connect them together, as shown, using connecting strips. If you are the first time in my tutorial, please check my previous post on how to make connecting strips, Step 4.

6. Prepare 4pc of connecting strips with dogteeth on one side.

7. Adhere all four pieces on the two acetate sides. Connect the base with the two sides.

8. Wrap up the cover with paper, and connect it with the base with a connecting strip.

9. Cover the inside of the base and the cover with paper.

10. Finish the bottle shape by adhering the last two connecting strips with the front acetate.

11. Cut 3pc of cardboard with the base template and adhere them together.

12. Wrap the cardboard stuck with paper and adhere it to the base inside the bottle.

Adding the top

13. Cut 1in from a toilet tissue roll.

14. Wrap the toilet tissue roll section with paper with half-inch margin on each side.

15. Cut both the margins like dogteeth.

16. Adhere on the top as shown.

17. Add a bit of strong glue on the top dogteeth and adhere the glass/plastic diamond decoration on, better leave it overnight to dry. If you don’t have such kind of decoration, can use an origami one instead.

Finishing the perfume bottle

18. Cover the back of the bottle with paper.

19. Cover the base with paper.

20. Start to decorate the perfume bottle with your favourite assortment pieces and/or fussy cuts. If you would like to learn how to use make the roses with Graphic 45 Large Tag, ATC Tag, and Flower Dies, please check out my video tutorial below (at 30:50).

Here is the YouTube video tutorial, enjoy!

How do I plan my project?

Starting a project is not easy, last time I talked about I got inspiration on Pinterest and my favourite magazine Daphne’s Diary, but how about then? Today I am going to show you my notes on how I plan for my Gas Lamp Scenery (Photo) Display.

This was my first draft, I saw some photos with a gas lamp on Pinterest, so I draft one or two in my notebook to catch the idea. As I wanted to include an electric candle in the project too, I roughly planned where to put it on the draft as well.

After a day of thinking about the technical issue in making the gas lamp, I thought that the first idea couldn’t be done, so I draft another more practical idea and start thinking about the details. On the right-hand side, you can see that I was trying the actual size in my notebook, I need this for making my template.

More details had been written on the next page after I confirmed the idea and that is practical, like how to put the electric candle and how to assemble it, I need to make it clear before I start making it.

Ok then, more practical issues had been solved and you can see the last page, this showed exactly the shape of the gas lamp and here I go start making it!

If you missed my tutorial on making this Gas Lamp Scenery (Photo) Display, click here and enjoy!

Photo Diary – Sweaty

It’s a super hot day!

The idea to go for a walk during the summer makes me in a muddle. When you are sitting in the air-conditioned living room, the hot weather outside would stop me to move, but on the other side, I know that it’s super cool to get sweaty after a walk, it feels like I lose a few pounds afterwards, LOL!

This was my first time taking a selfie after a walk, I like it because it seems that I am so energetic.

On this page, I made my first sticker by using the Tayasui Sketches app on my iPhone, I drew the cartoon and print it out on a sticker sheet. Of course, some of you may think that you can draw directly on the page, but that’s so easy to draw on the phone wherever you are, just use your finger and don’t need to place all the drawing tools on the table.

You can make a smaller one than mine, or even save it for the future, reprint again in different sizes, it’s satisfying, why don’t you try one today?

Here is the sketch for today:

Photo Diary – My First Korean Drama

I don’t like Korean dramas before, I thought they are all old-school in content and style until a watched a Korean Movie, More Than Blue. It shocked me and I started to pay more attention to the Korean movies and dramas, I scrolled through Facebook Watch one day, it showed me a trailer of this Korean drama – I’m not a Robot, I had been attracted and this was then my first ever watched Korean Drama.

I screenshotted the Google search as I wanted to memorize this like other people who like to write film reports, but I just want to keep it in mind.

This tiny sticker are made in Korea, they are cute and very easy to be used on a diary, notebook, schedule, or like me, on my photo diary page, you can find them on Amazon. They are mostly themed, like dishes, coffee, city……many many, they are really such too cute and I highly recommend you to have some in stash.

Here is the sketch for today:

First Graphic 45 Brand Ambassador Box

After waiting for over a week, I finally got my box from Graphic 45, this is my first box as a brand ambassador 2022-23, I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to open it, I even didn’t want to set up my place to make a video, so I can only have this post for you to see what I have in this box.

Don’t like years ago, they sent me a box of goodies when I was in their design team during 2015-16, some of those are not Graphic 45 products, we need them for the crossover blog hop. They asked me to choose what I want from their shop this time, it’s super cool, too.

The first thing I’d thought of is papers, of course, they are the heart of paper crafting, you can see what I have from the pics above, and this is the ever first time I get 8×8 paper pads, I have chosen packs of Ephemera Assortment to match them, can’t wait to see what I can make from them.

The first paper collection that I put into the basket is Alice’s Tea Party, this is my favourite, I take both the 8×8 and 12×12, including the 12×12 Patterns & Solids, and of course the Ephemera Assortment too. Another favourite collection is Nutcracker Sweet, this is an old collection and now I can have their Deluxe Collection’s Edition, so cool.

Other than papers, I have also the beautiful dies, stamps, and the trims, that’s not a lot, but I love them. The set of flower and tag dies is a must-have, it will be super fun if I make my own flowers with Graphic 45 dies.

For the stamp, I chose the two sets with the trendy hand-writing sentiments and calendar, they may not fit for my Graphic 45 creations, but they would be perfect for my Photo Diary, the calendar stamp is what I’d dreamed of.

The last thing I got in my box is two packs of Grphiac 45 trim, the colours are so beautiful, and the pattern of the middle chevron ribbon is gorgeous, I never had such kind of ribbon before.

One sad thing is that I can’t have their ink pads due to customs restrictions, those colours are super cool to be matched with all the Graphic 45 papers, I may see if I can have them from the local stores.

Okay, these are what I’ve got in my first brand ambassador box, and I’m going to stop writing now because I want to start playing with them, LOL!

If you want to see what I have made for the Graphic 45 Brand Ambassador Audition, click here for the full tutorial as well as a video tutorial here.


Photo Diary – Mum Classes

A simple page today for my mum’s photos, she attended elderly classes especially for those who suffer from dementia, including sections of DIY.

I chose plain draft paper to backdrop the top right photo, and matched a grid paper to backdrop the lower left photo where my mum was holding her DIY mosaic photo frame.

I used pre-stamped cut-out for writing the title, it’s very useful to stamp before hand, cut and save for future use, the stamp I used here is the Stampers Anonymous – Simple Sayings CMS155.

I bought ten of these emoji self-inked stamps from Taobao, they are just too cute to play on my page, if you are not nearby Taobao cities, you can also find something like these on Amazon.

Here is the sketch for today:

Daphne’s Diary – My Favourite Magazine for Inspiration

Every time when I want to start a new project, I would normally go to Pinterest and search for something.

It is easy if I plan to make a project about a festival, just searching for like “Chinese New Year”, “Christmas” or something like that. But If I just want to start a new project without any idea, that would be a tough search, I may look for “vintage”, and there they come out millions of results about vintage, then I would just scroll and scroll and look for anything which attracts me.

The other place that I would search for an idea is reading my favourite magazines – Daphne’s Diary.

Daphne’s Diary – my favourite magazine for inspiration

This is a Dutch magazine but coming in few languages, I read the English one of course. I first one I have (a copy of 2014) is from a Hong Kong bookstore, it is so beautiful and inspirational, it is all about DIY, vintage, interior, trip and some other topics, I fall in love with this magazine.

They issue 8 copies a year, but it is not easy for me to buy one in Hong Kong because the bookstore only imports a few copies and I can’t have one if I didn’t go for it on time, it’s sad.

Years before, one of my friends said she can ask her brother who lives in London to help me to buy the magazines, and bring them to her when he come to Hong Kong, what a piece of great news for me, and finally he brought me four copies.

During these two years of the epidemic, he can’t come to Hong Kong, so I can only go and take a look on the website to see how much they charge for sending the magazine to Hong Kong. I found that they have a value offer of a bunch of last year’s copies, and charging about only twenty pounds for mail, the deal is super cool and so I placed the order. The photo above is the eight copies of last year’s magazine which came together with some gifts, so lovely!

My 25 copies of Daphne’s Diary

I only have 25 copies so far, but they are all beautiful and I love love love them so much! When I have nothing to do in the evening, I would definitely get one and read, sitting on the sofa, tasting my coffee and get some inspiration, wow, that’s life, LOL!