Thursday, February 23, 2006

Product Feature: Scrapping Doodles
By Beshka Kueser, Design Team Member
It is time to get in touch with your inner child, lay down those embellishments and pull out those pens. What am I going on about? Why doodling of course! Doodling is a great way to add an individual touch to a layout. A doodle is a imperfect rendering of the mind at play and always as individual as its’ creator. Doodling is a hot trend that is both fun to create on your own, or try out with doodle inspired lines.
Doodling can be as simple as creating imperfect circles on cardstock as a background, or doodle around a picture creating a one of a kind frame. You can doodle some flowers and cut them out as embellishments that no one else is likely to have. If you are a seasoned doodler, then it is possible to create more elaborate creations to add to your layouts. The best thing about doodling is that it is an imperfect art form. A doodle isn’t meant to be the perfect rendition of anything. A doodle is very much a freehand art form, a way to free yourself from trying to always get it perfect. What I mean is that a doodle is meant to be imperfect. Now here is a trend I can get on board with as a master of imperfection! J Doodling is about fun and putting a little more of yourself onto the page. And doodling is probably not as foreign to you as you might think. Perhaps you already do it…maybe while on the phone, or when you were in college you did it in the margin of your notes. Whatever the case may be, it seems to be showing up everywhere in scrapbooking.
Where do you begin? You will need some basic tools and because doodling is not an exact science, the tools needed are simple and inexpensive. All you need is some imagination, some paper, and a good pen. There are many choices as far as pens go, and preference may be as individual as the doodle. I can’t tell you which pen you will like best, but I am prepared to make some recommendations! A favorite choice is American Crafts Pens. For my own creations I use the Black Pigment Pro. The Pigment Pro .01 produces a fine line and is excellent for writing, but also for detailed doodles. This pen is 100% archival safe and acid free. Another pen I have become fond of is the Zig Ball 5mm, which writes very smoothly and is another excellent choice for both journaling and doodling. Just in at Lifetime Moments is Memory Markersfrom American Crafts. A smooth marker that comes in almost two dozen yummy colors and is sure to add some colorful doodle flair to your pages. These markers are double tipped with a fine and medium point. There is also the American Crafts Slick Writers and their name says a lot! These pens are designed to write on slick surfaces such as vellum or transparencies.
Now that you know what tools you will need you are ready to begin adding doodles to your pages! Feeling a little hesitant about creating your own doodles? Worried about messing up a layout? I cannot reiterate enough that you could not possibly mess up when it comes to doodling. However, if you are wanting to try out this latest trend, but still questioning your skills, LM has doodle inspired lines of paper and embellishments to help you get your doodle on. Rhonna Farrer along with Autumn Leaves has brought us a fantastically fun and doodle inspired line called Graffiti. This line boasts some doodle inspired papers along with coordinating epoxy shapes and tags, ribbons, and rub-ons. Love Rhonna’s doodle look? Be on the lookout for her amazingly fun new doodle inspired stamps from Autumn Leaves.
Junkitz delivered us a doodle inspired burst of laughter with their Flowerful and Delightful lines by Janna Wilson. These lines are sure to inspire with their bright colors and whimsical design. Have a sweet tooth? Then check out the doodle inspired Shabby Chic line by Teresa Collins. This line brings us sweet colors with doodled flowers, polka dots, and stripes. This line is softer in its’ coloring, offering a sweeter side to the bolder lines. These lines are a terrific alternative for those who want a doodle look, but without the risk.
Doodles can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. Try out some freehand circles or flowers, add them directly to your page or cut them out as your own one of a kind embellishment. Doodle a border around your layouts or better yet, doodle a border directly onto a photo. Of course, if you feel doodle-challenged then try out one of those aforementioned doodle inspired lines. Whichever way you decide to go, it is worth a try. Doodling is fun and adds a great deal of individual personality to a layout or project.

Design Team Examples
To view all layout ideas and products used, please be sure to visit the Design Team Gallery: Scrapping Doodles. Don’t miss the fabulous work of our talented Guest Designer – Toni/FoxyCropper. We admired her work in our gallery and when planning for the doodling feature, we just knew we had to invite her to work with us! Thanks Toni! We hope these awesome examples will inspire more doodling at LM!
Beshka Sonya
Franny   Madeline
Wendy        Vickie
 Nancy  Toni/FoxyCropper (Guest Designer)   

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Love Letters and More

From the LM Newsletter Archives

Product Feature: Love Letters and More
By Madeline Fox, Design Team Member
How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways! 
I love you thick.  I love you thin.  I love your versatility.  I love your strength.  I love you in all your colors, shapes and sizes.  But I especially love you naked!  AND…I love that there are so many ways to dress you up!
Yes, I’m going delirious over chipboard again.  Naked chipboard!  Much like a blank canvas, bare chipboard, without color or texture has endless possibilities.  Products that can be altered and embellished are always a hit with scrapbookers who are forever seeking ways to customize their projects.  Naked chipboard is just the answer for those wishing to create unique accents that coordinate with any color scheme.
Dressing up chipboard alphas or shapes can be as easy as brushing on a coat of paint.  Acrylic paint can be applied directly out of the bottle or mixed for a completely custom color.  There are numerous ways to take these painted pieces and further alter their look.  Sanding to scruff up and remove some of the paint followed by a dilute coat of walnut ink will give a nice patina.  Inking to define the edges is another favorite method.  To add pizzazz, brush on distress marks in a contrasting color, stamp designs or apply decorative rub-ons.  Dearest to my heart is the crackle finish, remarkably simple and easy to achieve, adding instant age and charm!  (For best results, remember to use contrasting colors, one light and one dark, so the cracks will be easily visible.)
Don’t want to pick up a paintbrush?  Another way to quickly put a finish on bare chipboard is to cover it with paper.  Adhere paper, applying adhesive directly to the chipboard, careful to insure that the edges are coated sufficiently.  Let dry and cut around the chipboard piece with scissors or an exacto knife.  You don’t have to be too precise at this stage, because a light sanding on the edges will remove any excess paper.  Just as with paint, you can sand, ink, distress, stamp, or apply rub-ons to the paper-topped chipboard for an embellishment uniquely yours.
You don’t have to stop there.  Now’s the time to accessorize!  Tie with fibers or ribbons.  Attach brads or eyelets.  Embellish with flowers, charms, or anything your heart desires.  The large F monogram on the layout, Finn (and Friends), is first covered with coordinating patterned paper, sanded and inked, then accented with Prima flowers with embossed brad centers.
Ultimately, whether it’s dressed to the nines or pleasantly plain, chipboard can assume the personality of the page or project at hand.  Celebrated chipboard offerings guaranteed to steal your heart:
  • Basic Grey Undressed Chipboard-The recipient of much love and attention, Basic Grey’s printed monogram alphabet has been dressed down and made into a quality diecut chipboard collection of 26 alphas and one symbol, measuring almost 3 inches each.  A single letter R from this pack adorns my pink and black puzzle piece, making quite a statement with its crackle finish, ribbon and flower embellishments!  Other BG chipboard offerings include Undressed Tags and Undressed Hardware
  • Making Memories Jigsaw Alphabets-One of the first chipboard offerings on the market, Jigsaw Alphas continue to be a favorite with their unique design.  Double your fun by using both the positive and negative components of these letters and numbers.  Several of these alphas in different fonts are an integral part to my page, Chopsy and Lindsey’s Most Excellent Adventure.  A mixture of uppercase, lowercase, thick and thin, these alphabets add a sense of fun to the title. Gameboard alphasshapes, and tags are additional Making Memories chipboard products.  Susan’s used some of the heart shapes to decorate her adorable Valentine Lunchpails, along with an assortment of Maya Road clips (see below). 
  • Maya Road Chipboard Sets-Packaged in their signature storage tin, there are five sets of 24-36 pieces (depending on the set).  Packages available include basic shapes, clips, bookplates, and chipboard blossoms.  A large heart clip, painted and splattered to match the Doodlebug papers, can be seen on the layout, Pampered Pooch
  • Bazzill Really Big Letters-These letters are actually “half-way” dressed!  The large chipboard letters, with positive and negative elements, are covered in a white Bazzill cardstock, just waiting for a little finesse from you.  
  • Zsiage Alphastructure-when you want to make a BIG statement, these 10-inch chipboard letters are the ones to do it.  There is lots of room to play on them, too!  So break out your stamps or doodle to your hearts content.  You’re sure to fall in love all over again!

Design Team Examples
To view all layout ideas and products used, please be sure to visit the Design Team Gallery: Love Letters and More

Gayle         Franny
 Susan       Sonya  
  Nancy            Madeline