Guest Designer | Natalie Elphinstone

We're thrilled to have the lovely and talented Natalie Elphinstone as one of our guest designers this month and are excited to get to know her better today! Be sure to follow Natalie here at Studio Calico to keep up with her and see more of her beautiful work.

I'm Natalie and I live down at the bottom of mainland Australia. I'm married to The Trophy Husband (who you might remember from his crazy kit unboxing videos a couple of years ago) and I'm the mother of four Elphie kids, ranging in age from 10 years down to 10 weeks! If that didn't keep me busy enough, I'm also a full-time doctor, although I'm totally enjoying my maternity leave right now! I've been paper crafting for about 10 years and an active SC member for eight. I've evolved over that time from only doing layouts, to lots of Bible journaling, to changing my albums over to pocket page style, and now I'm churning out cards by the dozen! I love that this craft allows you to move wherever you feel lead to go next. There's always something new to learn or something different to try.

I was so chuffed to be asked to contribute to this month's gallery and I especially loved working with the September stamp sets. I ended up making six cards on the fly (granted one of them was a flop so I didn't end up sharing it) because I just couldn't stop playing!

Growing Family: I was first drawn to the Fall Plants stamp set with its cute vegetables, but then I noticed the layered pansy and had this idea to stamp them repeatedly using a masking technique to get a whole field of them. That satisfied my rainbow-loving heart because it meant I could use #allthecolors, and it worked with the sentiment of a growing family which I loved because I'm always needing new baby cards!

Heart of Gold: I felt like I was spoilt for choice when it came to the Everyday Magic stamp set because I could think of a project for every single image and sentiment on there. But in the end, I chose to stick just with the "heart of gold" sentiment which inspired the design of this card. I used the heart stamp with gold embossing powder to make a grid of hearts and then created the splats behind them by inking up the heart with Color Theory Ink, spritzing it with water, and then slamming it down over the top of the gold heart. Make sure you're prepared for a little bit of mess if you're trying that technique!

Thank You: The Floral Thank You stamp set had such delicate and beautiful images that I knew I wouldn't need to add anything else to this card to make it look elegant apart from simply stamping them onto paper! That makes it a great set if you need to whip up a quick card! I wanted to keep the look of the card quite peaceful and uncluttered so I stuck with lots of smooth blues and just a bit of a pop of color with those yellow flowers.

Counting My Blessings: I didn't intend to make two cards of the same design with the Thanksgiving stamp set, but I did a practice card first to test out my design idea before making the "good copy" and then ended up liking them both! So now I have a set! I used the buttons and puffy asterisk from the Scrapbook Kit to add an extra detail and a bit of texture to my cards as a finishing touch.

Crazy and Chaotic: I feel like I'm a little rusty when it comes to making layouts so I stuck with a tried-and-true method of using a giant photo surrounded by little clusters of layered embellishments. Works every time! I love the font of the Blocked Alpha and Numbers stamp and it makes for a fun title. I also love that it allows me to customize the color of the letters to match my layout, and I chose to paint it in the same yellow/orange as the shirt my eldest daughter is wearing.

See more from Natalie: 






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  1. Kristi_ says…

    Wow! You've been busy. Love, love, love your cards; the pansies is my favorite. Thanks for sharing these great projects.

    1 Reply 1 Reply
    1. natalieelph says…

      It's my favourite too!! ?

  2. tpgirl says…

    @natalieelph I love Shiloh is just photobombing that photo with the help of a loved one. I loved this layout when you shared it on Instagram, the style and colors are perfect for the photo.

    1 Reply 1 Reply
    1. natalieelph says…

      Thanks! Yes, I couldn't believe my luck.. I already had this photo printed out in this large size, and then I realised the kit colours would work perfectly! It was meant to be ;-)