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.


Hello, friends! I’m Natalie, and I’m thrilled to be creating with the "Be Happy" Documenter Kit this month.

I live down the bottom of Australia with the Trophy Husband and our four kids: three girls and their lucky brother who range in age from 11 years to 9 months. I’ve been scrapbooking ever since my firstborn came along, and I don’t think I’ve ever lost the passion for documenting our memories. My style sure has changed over that time though!

Right now, my creative focus is very widespread. I enjoy creating pocket page spreads because of the freedom to mix and match various photos and stories all on the one page. But if I want to focus on just the one story, then I’ll add layouts to my albums, too. I don’t feel the need to stick to just one type of style. Lately, I’ve also begun documenting in a traveler's notebook for all those "leftover" stories. And lastly, when I just feel the need to create for creativeness sake, I focus on cardmaking!

Shiloh – 8 Months – I’ve got a 9" x 12” album dedicated purely to our youngest because, as babies, they just change ALL the time and I want to remember every single detail! I’ve been doing monthly spreads that record her usual daily routine and so I found the "this morning," "this afternoon," and "this evening" cards the perfect prompt. Because I’m always too scared to print directly onto my cards, I print to vellum instead and then attach it over the top with my sewing machine. I love the extra layers and texture this adds.

The Story of Today – The other album I’m attempting this year is a 12" x 12” one for the whole family. To be honest, this will be one of the first pages in it…I’m a little behind! But it turns out the colors in the "Be Happy" Kit matched my bright, summery January photos perfectly! I included a repetition of circular embellishments on this spread in different forms. The enamel dots became journaling dot points, I used the round stamp in the top corner, and the semi-circle die-cuts became a focal point on the right-hand side (I even turned one into a miniature shaker pocket with the addition of a couple of pearls from my stash!). So fun!

Be a Nice Human – If the pops of green in the kit matched my January photos perfectly, then the bold yellow and blue worked magically with my February photos! I love that you can get such a different look to a page from the same kit by focusing on different colors. Even though February is summer for me, I couldn’t resist using the cloud elements as a way of representing the less-than-happy stories I needed to tell. It doesn’t just have to be about rain!

Think Happy Tag – After three spreads, I still had a couple of cards and die-cuts left over, but thought I might do something a little bit different with them and create this shaker tag. Nothing says “Be Happy” more than sequins right?!!


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