Latest layout that was completed in record time...yes literally done in one night. Even I couldn't believe it. Quick and simple. I had 3 pictures to scrap and it did take me a couple of days of sitting and staring to try and figure out what to do but after deciding to only use 2 pictures (yes, credit for that decision must go to the Hubby) the layout came together pretty quickly.
I gotta admit, Ty did not get as messy as his cousins. Mainly cos we arrived late and he seemed more interested in playing with the satay sticks and bowls of ice water rather than actually eating the chocolate covered fruit. But at least his mouth got a litte dirty. Hee. The fountain was delicious though (hint hint to BF to try that other pack of dark chocolate that I know you have - Haha).
Non-scrapbooking tip to anyone who owns a chocolate fountain: DO NOT pour cold milk to try and dilute the chocolate while it is in the fountain. We managed to clog up the entire thing and had to dig out all the chocolate. The texture of the chocolate dip had also changed and the whole thing went downhill from there. :-(
Materials: Textured Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper; Patterned Paper: DCWV (Retro Stack); Vellum Phrase: DCWV Vellum Quote Stack; Alphabet Stickers: S.E.I; Alphabet Rub-ons: Scrapworks, Alphabet Die-Cut: Quickutz (Ginger Mini Font); Staples: Making Memories; Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot); Pen: ZIG Millenium (black) and ZIG Opaque Writer (white); Circle Punch: EK Success Whale of a Punch.
This Layout was inspired by an article in the January edition of Creating Keepsakes ("CK") magazine and also a bit of a scraplift. It was an article about not spending too much money on scrapbook supplies and how one can go on a "diet" from the spending. One of the tips was to save on paper by punching shapes out of them instead of using whole blocks of paper. The layout looked neat and simple and the emphasis was on using smaller portions. I had chosen the pattern papers I wanted for the layout but was having difficulty trying to arrange the elements. Punching circles was a fab idea and voila.
I got the circle "Whale of a Punch" (as pictured below) from Laine's Papeterie in Singapore. It costs a bomb ($32.90) but I think it's completely worth it. I also have the square, flower, swirl, and several tag shapes for this range. Oh let's not forget my Mickey Mouse one (no idea why I bought it but thought it'd be good for a Disney layout when I do get around to going).
I like punches and invest a lot of money in them (have a whole box full of big ones plus a plastic drawer full of regular sized ones). The EK Success punches are the best as they have levers which makes punching a breeze. You can get them in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Pictured below are the 1" circle punch (orange one) and a corner adorner puncher (yellow one - for punching designs on the corners of your pages).
I also have the standard McGill punches for squares and circles but they are more fiddly to use as it uses the standard "push button" mechanism that can make it hard to set or measure accurately if you want to save paper (I have to set mine on the table and stand up to push down hard on the buttons).
Marvy Uchida is another brand that does lever style punches and I have two huge ones (circle and tag) bought from Scrapping Gals. Also a great buy. So far, Laine's is the best place for punches as they bring in a pretty good variety of the EK Success brand.
You can get punches for alphabets, all sorts of shapes and in all sorts of sizes. Pictured below is another type of punch for borders by Fiskars. Haha as you can tell, I have not even used mine yet as it remains in its original packaging. The Fiskars border punch is long (about 6") and is really good for 12x12 pages. You can also get mini border punches by Carl but these would be the normal shaped punches with the "push button" mechanism.
Tips for caring for your punches: Periodically punch waxed paper (or grease paper) to keep your punches "oiled" and aluminium foil to keep them "sharp". Remember, punches are a good investment as they can be used over and over again so long as good care is taken of them.