Monday, July 10, 2017

Rainbow blog hop

Dear Paper Lovers,

As the winter has snuggled in quite good in Pretoria and staying inside more makes it a natural choice to go into the studio to just enjoy being creative, I would like to share what I have created lately with you all today.  At Ivytree Studio we have been busy beez and without revealing too much of what we have been up to ;), I can share with you  that we just released our two birthday collections: Happy Day and the all new Hadeda Garden.  These two new collections are no. 5 and 6 and celebrate our paper brand's first birthday - (for those who don't know: our paper brand is called "Ivytree Elements" - you will see the logo on the bottom right of each of our collection items in the form of our signature flag). To view all the collections available in this brand, click here.

The Happy Day collection is actually designed in all the colours of our branding and I have been having so much fun playing with it.  The Hadeda Garden collection is actually our very first collection but we applied all we learned in our first year designing our pretty paper to update and streamline it so it reflects all the Elements that you have become accustom to. The blues and pinks and all the various basic patterns makes it a very versatile collection that can be used for almost any layout. I am married and so have loads of photos of hubby that I like to scrap and then I have loads of photos of us together so the combination of blue and pink just work so well. I created a couple of layouts and cards with the Hadeda Garden collection last year but can't wait to get into my brand new pack to use the new elements added to this collection. For all you card makers and planner girls out their, all the goodies in this one is such fun to play with.  

I make designer cards that take some time to make but lately my cardmaking has been so easy and much quicker as I can create the clusters I love to add to my cards with all the little bits included in our collections.  I find it easier than ever to make something beautiful with half the time and effort I used to put in.  That means more productivity. Here are just some examples of items that I used in my card that I will showcase in this post. 



I started out as a cardmaker, making cards for family and friends many moons ago when I was a little girl. My dad still holds on to those little treasures and from time to time we find them in books and places he hid them for safe keeping. So, for me, the love of cardmaking has always been so part of my DNA and that goes for my sister and partner in design, Surita, too. So when we design our paper collections, we design for the needs of the cardmaker and the memory keeper and above all the paper lover and artist.  It is a very personal journey. 

As part of a new venture over on the Cardmaking and Paper Crafting in SA group on Facebook, I volunteered together with other SA crafters to create a card for a blog hop that starts today.  Any excuse to use my new paper and make some art. The challenge: to create a "rainbow card". 

Visit Sharon Thomboo's blog for the full brief here


Before I get into my card and show you what I ended up creating for this blog hop, just a quick challenge for our readers: 
If you read this post, visited our blog here and enjoyed this blog hop, then please follow our blog in the sidebar of this blog (you will need to be on your PC to view the sidebar) and after following the blog, please leave a comment on this post. We will then choose a random winner for a special Ivytree Studio prize that will be chosen on the last day of the blog hop, 20 July 2017 and we will announce the winner here and on Facebook on the 21st of July 2017. 

Rainbows - a poem by Ansu Badenhorst
(I wrote this poem just for this occasion. Hope it encourages you to hope)

This is what I believe:
When God created rainbows, 
He meant it as a message to you and me.
When God created rainbows, 
He was showing His faithfulness and love to all mankind.

After every storm 
when the rain still hangs heavy in the sky,
you will find it there...
His colorful message to the world that says:
"I love you"

In the midst of life's storms,
when everything seems like there is no hope, 
when you feel empty and tired 
tossed about by the tempests of trouble and pain,
each and every time,
you can look UP
and in the clouds
between the rays of sun shining through,
you will find that colorful message
and if you listen closely 
you will here a very personal hello
from the King of Kings saying:
my child, I still love you. 

With His presence so near
and His voice so clear, 
nothing can ever separate us from the truth 
that God, the Creator of the Universe,
shows His heart for us in the sky..
so next time you look for that rainbow in hope 
remember what it means
a personal note
a card from God
He loves you!

 ...And here it is: 

A Patchwork Rainbow card - Handmade and hand stitched. 

Everything in this card was cut by hand. No dies or machines were used. 

The story of this card:

I love needlework and embroidery and still remember my gran telling us how she made hats for a living, my mom making dresses for me and always involving me in the process, my aunt doing  crochet work to the point of disfiguring her fingers. My gran taught her daughters how to sew, they taught us. I will probably always have a love for some sort of needlework. I remember my dream at school was to become a fashion designer so no surprise then that I changed direction from teaching and today I am a designer of pretty paper. I received my other gran's vintage Singer sewing machine as a young girl and later bought my own electric sewing machine that I used in costume design  for school events when I was still a mainstream school teacher and then pickled it all the way on an airplane as on-board luggage to Oman in the Middle East after my wedding nearly a decade great amusement of my family-in-law.  They didn't really know me well back then, but if they did they would have realised that I am a planner and I knew that I was going to live in the middle of the desert in a small town far away from amenities. If I needed to mend clothing, the machine would come in handy.  Or even if I just wanted to keep busy, it would be a great tool to have or to share with fellow expats. 

So why this long story, well over the years I have seen loads of people incorporating wonderful stitching in their paper creations. I am very fussy when it comes to using techniques just for the sake of it. I want to WANT to use a technique because I love it, I am comfortable in using it or adding it for the sake of art and never just because someone else is doing it or it is a current trend of some sort.  It has to fit my personality. I won't buy product either just because people promote it through a "technique". It is mostly just a sales pitch anyway, so I do my research and I decide carefully if it will suit me, my temperament. If it doesn't or I am not sure or if I am on other things at that time, I won't move forward to use it in my art.  Sewing is another matter all together for me. It is personal. It is something that I grew up with. It is something I have in common with my gardener mom (I am not a gardener you see), so sharing this with my mom is special. I have made curtains, aprons, dresses, bags and many other things over the years and one thing that I love about sewing is the freedom I have in not following patterns but creating my own from scratch.  I am a bit of a rebel like that. 

Thus after a long long time, I have now moved forward in testing out my sewing skills on paper. A few years ago I started using my sewing machine on my cards, but I haven't done that for a while.  Too much effort to get out the machine just for a card. Sewing by hand is more of a challenge and lately I have had a craving to try new things with my needle and threads. I think I get the desire to hand stitch things, from my gran and it is something I can do when away from my studio desk. I can be anywhere and do it on my lap. You may just see more of my paper stitching in the future. 

In this card I decided to combine my love for mixed media, cards, stitching, paper and florals all in one patchwork like in a quilt. I kept the stitching simple and basically just traced the rainbows with my stitching to make it pop a bit and outline it as the rainbow is the main feature to this card. 

When I look at it, it tells me about life and the experience of all the different seasons and circumstances we have to face, but it brings me Joy to know that God created rainbows as a reminder of His love and presence and faithfulness to His creation. 

He will also never test us above what we can bare. The gold elements in this card symbolizes to me the testing we sometimes go through in life and how we are purified by our sufferings and challenges like fire purifies gold. I find hope in it that we are only kept in the fire long enough to purify us as the One who purifies knows that if we stay in the fire to long, it will destroy the gold in us and He wants us to shine just like the washi I used at the bottom of my card. What a happy day to look forward to. 

So in the end the rainbow in this card again reminds me to hope that whenever I go through the hard stuff in life, God will get me through because He loves me and is always faithful even when I am not. I am still learning but know that all struggle is meaningful and will come to an end at the right time. Painful experiences, loss or struggle is not nice or even a comfortable place to find yourself in and we all need to cling to some sort of hope and God is that Hope for me. It is a real thing for me and I have experienced it in a very personal way all through my life. If you have never opened the door to Him, I can just suggest you give it a go. He is a real Person and will come in and your life will never be the same again. 

You can read more about the products used and the Step-by-Step tutorial over on my personal blog here

Please hop along and catch more rainbow cards. 

Your next stop on the blog hop is Sharon Keanly's blog 

Sharon has been a guest desinger for Ivytree Studio a while back. We love her beautiful cards and we know you will too. 

Here is the complete hop list:
1.     The Girl with a Tape Runner
2.     Helen Duffett   
4.     Margaret Kieser 
5.     Ansu Badenhorst    
6.     Sharon Keanly
7.     Valerie Ann Thorpe
8.      Wilna Cremer
9.     Marie Smith 

Here at Ivytree Studio we believe in the strong message God sends us through the rainbows He puts in the sky for us, so we hope you find new hope being reminded of what rainbows stand for. May you be encouraged that hope lies in the fact that God is still God despite circumstances or feelings and that His love remains steadfast and personal to those who believe in Him.  He is just as real as the rainbows you see after every rain storm.  We hope that you are reminded of it each time you see a rainbow. 

We also hope that you try out this card.  Please share your creations with us either in a comment here or over on our Ivytree Studio Friends group on Facebook and in the Cardmaking & Papercraft SA group. 

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to:
Buy some of our pretty paper here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Precious Moments" five different ways!

Dear Paper Lovers,

Today we would like to share with you how uniquely we all are created. Each one of us born with a unique thumbprint. When we create, even when we use the same basic concepts or elements, the outcome will be as varied as our thumbprints. 

We gave the Design Team each the same printable kit to play with and we all came up with something different. 

The sketch:

Purchase it here

First up: Surita's version. She is the designer of this kit. 

Second version of this kit is by Ansu:

"I added some of the other little flags from the Wild&Free Collection to this kit. To tell the truth, I lost one of the stripy flags already cut out at our "Paper Play Date" @ the Botanical Gardens last Saturday.  You know those little bits can get away from you sometimes and you need a back-up plan. No big drama. Just replaced them with flags from the collection I had already cut out at home. 

I changed the layout a little to fit my photos. Kitty cat is my queenie-cat-princess-baby-extraordinaire!   She has a real lady fur coat but is her momma's tomboy GI-Jane. Roams the garden and the next door bush, comes back with fur all tangled sometimes with half the bush attached. Yesterday she came in with a big black soot stripe over her beautiful white face, like those stripes the boys have across their cheeks when they take of their American Football helmets. Feisty little miss!! Well, that is why she is center stage on this layout. She is about to turn a full two years. Love her so much. She is really a treat and soothes this childless gap in my momma-heart. My family complete with hubby and me on the left, Dad and Mom and Suki (pet name for Surita) on the right. 

I didn't use the green frames, but will use them on another layout later. I added some of the little flowers from the Wild&Free collection too. On the large layered flowers I added some glitzies an Vegas gold all purpose ink. I also added dots of Anita's 3D glue to flower centers and lined the sentiment with it as well as the little beez and the camera lenze. I only doubled the pink frame and added some gold diamante around Klouye's (my baby's name) photo. I moved the tag to the bottom left of the orange frame and still need to add my journaling. 

On the background before adding all the frames, I used a flower stencil and my pink "cotton candy" Artistry Distress Ink pad from Kcraft that I received as a gift at the Celebr8 event last year. Love those little ink pads cause they have a space to hide your blending foam in and the lids are attached so when you travel with them, your inks are safe. Need to get me more of those. Maybe I'll stock them in our store. 

I loved the eaze of this kit. No fuss and so quick."

Third version: Wilna's retro 60's layout for Mother's Day

A while ago we shared Wilna's version she did for Mother's Day. You can read more on her blog here

Fourth version: Lisa-Marie's lovely single layout

Let's change things totally and just use the elements. See, no rules! Just fun! Play with it! The printable version gives you loads of options as you can re-print it over and over again. Change up your background. Use the frames and other elements as background layers and play around with the flowers too. The sky is the limit. 

Finally we have Margie's version. 

She has done a wonderfully detailed post on the "How to" from downloading to using this! She even laminated the frames.  
You can read her full step by step post here.
We would like to add Margie's "Reasons to try this kit" here. Would love some comments to this post to here what the Paper Lovers out there think. 

So what do you think? Reasons to try this kit.
  • It is VERY reasonably priced - cheaper than if you had driven to the store and bought all the papers and elements
  • You have the benefit of being able to print another page if you make a mistake (like I did)
  • You have instant access to a product, especially if you cannot get to a local store
  • The images are perfectly sized in this kit and all fit together beautifully.

 Ivytree Studio Kit used
SKU ES/163/1

Additional materials used
2 x cardstock for base
glitter glue
double-sided tape
foam squares
foam strips
lamination sheet and laminator

This fabulous KIT is available from Ivytree Studio here


June Blog Follower Challenge:

We would also like to add a little challenge to you all. In the sidebar of our blog you will find a "follow our blog" section where you can just hit the blue button to follow us here. Your photo thumbnail will then show you as part of our little blog network. Just underneath that, you will also find our Google+ followers network gallery. You can also join in there. 

Once you have joined our blog following and your picture shows in the galleries, please comment that you have done so in a comment to this blog post.  We will choose random winners to receive the "Precious Moments" kit free of charge. The 100th comment will win a digital bundle with various printable goodies! Deadline for joining in is the end of June 2017

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what they are up to:
Buy some of their pretty paper here
Connect with the team on their Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Totally Amaizing Double Layout

Dear Paper Lover,

Let's "Seize the Day" with Lisa-Marie Watling today. We are into loads and loads of butterflies over at Ivytree Studio. We had little white butterflies all over our garden recently and it has just fluttered in our hearts how God has wonderfully made nature and us. The gentleness of a butterfly is sweet and endearing, but also reminds of the way God wants us to be in life. To celebrate life, no matter how fragile it may seem. What we have and the people He gives us, are precious. 

In her layout, Lisa-Marie enables you tee experience this visually.  We love her use of grey as background and tones of red, green and turquoise. 

See her original post here

The papers I used for this piece are:
171/1 Seize The Day
171/3 Both sides – Turquoise Flutter & Fly High Script
171/5 Wordy Delights
171/12 Both sides – Schoolfrock Speckles & Pretty Washi
171/13 Blackboard Speckles
171/15 Flora Accents
171/19 Blackboard Charcoal
171/21 Apple Red

Additional materials – various adhesives, glitter glue, chippie title

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to:
Buy some of our pretty paper here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Journal Pages by Wilna

Dear Paper Lovers,

A lovely little post by Wilna Cremer: Journal Pages

Journalling has finally hit South Africa in a big way and I am happy to say you can buy journals just about everywhere.  Ivytree Studio is launching Honey Planners very soon and I am sure this is going to be a winner.  Their paper range has already been designed for use in Project Life and Pocket Pals so this is a welcome addition to the range. I have used a combination of all the ranges to date and I had so much fun putting this together.

This particular journal is just a cheapy from PNA.

I am a bullet "journalizer" 😇 and this journal encompasses everything in my life, notes, diary, lists etc. 

I have to admit I am much happier making notes in the sections that I have decorated.

Read my full blog post with more images, here

The papers I used for this project

Hadeda Garden Collection (2016 version of this collection)

Friendship begins in the heart Collection

Seize the day Collection

  • various adhesives
  • chalks
  • washi tape
  • paper clips
  • journal

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what they are up to:
Buy some of their pretty paper here
Connect with the team on their Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here

'til next time.....enjoy being organized

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Collections: Happy Day & all new Hadeda Garden

Dear Paper Lovers,

We are happy to announce that our TWO brand new collections are available to be ordered. Hurry up an place your order today so you don't miss out on this print run.

This is also your opportunity to print any items from our previous collections: #162, #163, #171 and @172. We have opened up all items and listed it to "unlimited" stock levels and it includes all previously "out of stock items".

Remember that if your local scrapbook store does not stock our paper, you can place your order in our store and we deliver anywhere in South Africa. 

Individual items in these collections can be viewed in the gallery of the store item. 

 Our Happy Day collection:

In celebration of our birthday we created this little collections to help you celebrate any little occasion. It can be great for boy or girl layouts, for baby showers, kids birthdays, any girly layout, sweet sixteen. Once again something for everyone from planner girls, art journallers, cardmakers and any paper crafter. Oh, and we so love our little bouquets and cuppycakes. 

Click here to view & order this collection.


To celebrate our paper brand's first birthday, we decided to apply all we have learned over the past year and bring you an all new Hadeda Garden collection. This collection matches all the elements you have come accustomed to in our other collections from Pretty Pocket Cards and Cute cut pages, a flower cut page and card squares and a lovely base element too. 

A little background on this collection:
The inspiration for this collection is very much local. As we grew up in Pretoria and have lived here all our lives, the painfully loud noise of the Hadeda bird frequented our garden and has been a prominent feature throughout. We have joked about them, chased them off as their sound polluted exam times, we have seen them constantly graze our lawn like sheep and we have even rescued them when they needed it. So very fitting that they would play a main character in our first Proudly South African and locally designed collection. 

Also a very constant feature in our lives is the Agapanthus flower that have graced our family garden over the years. A firm favorite of our gardener/landscaper mom, it would just not be the same if we did not place it at the top of our design list. 

Another inspiration to this collection would be our mother and so you would find that center stage there are polka-dots, florals as well as the garden theme. 

The REVAMPED & IMPROVED Collection is available in store now!  

14 Double Sided Sheets with 28 Designs. We reduced, reshuffled and added new designs to make this a Collection a dream to use in your Arts&Crafts and Scrapbooking projects. 

Click here to view & order this collection 

Also new to Ivytree Studio: Bible Journaling

We are not shy to say that we are Christians and we love God. Everything we do, comes from Him anyway so we also love bringing our art and creativity into our study of God's Word an our worship to Him and we would like to share our experience. 

Ansu has something special happening as she has a special story to tell of God's promises to her, His journey with her in her prayer life. She is starting a unique workshop series and product line called "GraceLilly Expressive Bible & Prayer Journaling - Making God's Word your Home"

The first workshop will be held this Saturday, 27 May 2017 in Pretoria at the Botanical Gardens.

Click here to book your seat.

In our next posts: Read about Wilna's journaling and cardmaking experiences. 

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to:
Buy some of our pretty paper here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here