Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Frugal Scrapper

 Blame it on the fact that there are no LSSs in my area, and ordering supplies online could mean a week or more before that precious box hits my doorstep. Whatever the reason, I'm a frugal scrapper. And when designing with kits, I seem to be especially frugal. I cut out middles when I only need a border. I carefully save the perimeter and use the middle when I only need a small rectangle for layering. When working on my first layout with Scraptastic Club's April kit, I needed to punch a red circle. This is what I did:

I estimated the area of cardstock that would be covered by other papers and/or embellishments and punched the circle where it wouldn't show later. And yes, you can also see that the dark grey cardstock forming the bottom "layer" of my page has the middle cut out! Another frugal way to eliminate waste and bulk from my page. The grey center was then used for my title and to mat the photo. And in the end, you'll never know that there are holes underneath.

Anything to stretch those supplies!

Friday, March 30, 2012


I'd like to share a page about two little cowpokes, my youngest son and one of his cousins. They are close in age, in the same grade at school, but live hundreds of miles apart. Yet, they are such good friends. Every summer, when we go to the beach with our big extended family, all of the cousins get to spend time with each other. It's non-stop fun: in the water and out, riding the waves, digging in the sand, playing video games, watching movies, taking long walks on the beach with Uncle Chris, etc. I love that we can do that. It's great when the kids are close to their cousins, making happy memories together.

The western theme of October Afternoon's Sasparilla collection inspired my title, Like Roy & Dale. The CardMaker's Hand-Lettering Book inspired my title lettering!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pretty in Pink, Peach, Aqua, etc.

Although I rarely scrap with pastel, girly colors, I was immediately enamoured with the Dear Lizzy paper collection. You could say that it was love at first sight. Those mason jars had me, and I could only imagine the possibilities! After debating with myself for a couple of weeks, I gave in and ordered some of the pretty pastel papers and a booklet of stickers. Digging through my photos, I found a few that I thought might work.

A picture of my son, his friends, and their dates on the night of their Senior Prom had a multitude of pretty colors like those in the paper collection. Then I spotted the "Sweeter Together" sticker, and a page was born.

To continue with the celebratory theme, I cut out one of those mason jars and filled it with colorful confetti punched by hand from several of the other papers. Ouch.

Jenni Bowlin chipboard buttons were covered with patterned paper, sanded, coated with gloss medium, and tied with floss.

Hmmm...I could get used to this. Pretty and girly is not a bad thing, except maybe if you're scrapping a 12 year old boy. ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Process

I love to hear about various scrapbookers' creativity process. It's intriguing. Some scrapbookers actually take you through their page development step by step. It's fun to see the progression from blank page to finished product. However, once I get rolling on a layout, I don't think to stop and take pics! But I did think to take a photo before I began this time.

Step One:

This is how I get started. I usually choose my photo first, but, in this case, I chose the Dear Lizzy collection (which arrived in a recent order) and found a photo that worked with it. I cut out some bingo cards from another paper line, added a couple of papers that coordinated with Dear Lizzy, then gathered letter stickers, borders strips, buttons, ric-rac, trim and more, laying it all out in front of me. Of course, not everything makes it onto the finished page.

Next, I shuffle the papers around to determine which look best abutting my photo, near my photo, further from my photo, or as a background and began to formulate a layering plan. Sometimes I'll dig around and find additional papers that coordinate.

Finally, I make that first cut, and then there's no stopping. I'm committed. I cut and layer, layer and cut, and set up the entire page on my desk, title and all, without adhering a thing. Before I get out the adhesive, I need to see how it all will come together! Sometimes I'll even have to take a picture so that I can remember how to reassemble all the layers as I work on adhering them to the page. Crazy, most certainly, but it works for me.

What's your process like?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Transition...

I was faithful to my journal for about a month last year, and then I let it slide...for 6 months! After that hiatus, I started the journal back up again, but felt like I needed to account for those lost months somehow. Otherwise there would be this weird, unaccounted for, gap of time. In order to transition from September 2011 to March 2012, I created a spread of pages that gives a very concise summary of those six months. On one side, I listed a few events corresponding to each. On the other side, I chose three unique events and highlighted them with fun papers and lettering.

I have to give a shout out to my good friend, Nancy Burke, who co-authored a lettering book that inspired the writing on these pages. Her book, CardMaker's Handlettering Workbook, with its many  examples gave way to the variations shown in the close-ups below.

It was so much fun trying out the decorative handwriting styles on these journal pages, without worrying about messing up something REAL important, like a layout that I had just spent hours creating! This is one of my favorite things about this type of journaling...the freedom it gives to drag out my creativity and simply play with papers and supplies.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Washi Enabler Warning!

I know this is old news for most, but I've just discovered Washi Tape! Yes, I had seen it before. A sweet RAK arrived in the mail several weeks ago from a scrappy friend...and she used some pretty Parisienne themed Washi tape on some of the items inside. I've also noticed it used more frequently in scrapbook galleries, on layouts and in Smash books.  Yes, my attention was already piqued, but it wasn't until I shopped around and came across this brightly colored pack of mini rolls that I succumbed. Colorful gets me every time.

Etsy Listing: japanese-washi-tape-mini-starter-kit

And gosh...there's actually quite a bit of tape on each of those rolls. Now I hope I can find a lot of pretty ways to use this new-to-me product! I didn't just buy it to look good on my shelf. ;)

If you're familiar with this product, what is YOUR favorite way to use it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bella Citta

Bella Citta...Beautiful City. Florence was such a place. I took so many photos on our half day whirlwind tour in that city. Everywhere you turned there were ornate buildings, churches, sculptures, fountains, and bridges. I scrapped many of my photos back in 2004, right after my trip, but still had an envelope full of ones I hadn't touched. I took out a few to scrap.

I had several October Afternoon Boardwalk papers from an order placed months ago. At the time the store was out of some of the patterns but had enough to interest me anyway. Recently I ordered some more of the collection, because I especially wanted one of the patterns I missed previously, one being a yellow print. I started the page with what I had, hoping my order would come in while working on it, (because I really needed that yellow!) Finally, I got antsy with my half thought-out, cut-out, and laid-out layout sitting around, and finished the page with some yellow paper scraps from another line.

Of course, my order arrived just an hour or so later. It figures.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Go N-eírí An Bóthar Leat

May the road rise with you!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I'd like to share with you another favorite Irish blessing and a very old layout (2005), Irish Eyes. I remember this layout well, for it was the first one I completed when we returned home after Hurricane Katrina. While out of town, I had received a wonderful present from a scrappy friend, the brand-new Heidi Swapp handwriting book. Of course I read it cover to cover over and over during our 3 week evacuation and couldn't wait to try some of her tips on my own pages (see below). It was so nice to scrap again!

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Have a great and green day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life's Like That

Back in August, I began working on a journal. Not exactly an art journal, nor a true smash book, it did however include bits and pieces of my days, embellished with words and scrap supplies. Memories were compiled in a simple way, albeit without photos. I didn't record something every single day, just the days that had something fun to record! For an entire month, I kept it up. Here are the first six spreads:

And then life got busy. Life's like that. The last entry in my journal was completed just before my birthday. Evidently I intended to record what we did to celebrate. But it's my recollection of the day. 

I kind of wish I had written it all down, but I was busy living my life...and that's a good thing. Now six months have passed, I've dusted off the journal and will give it another go. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wanna Scrap?

Lately I've been all over challenges, starting points, and anything else that can get my scrapping mojo to shift into high gear. And I've been happy with the results. While the pages aren't stellar, there is such a great feeling of achievement when a photo that was printed a year or two ago makes its way onto a layout. An even greater feeling of achievement...when I find a use for papers that have been in my stash since the beginnings of time. Whittling down said stash also gives me just cause to order some new papers. And I'll be expecting a box in a few days. ;)

Today I have two new Halloween layouts to share. Challenged to use a transparency on a page, I created "Wanna Ride?" combining papers from two Halloween lines.

An old Hambly transparency forms the ring around the moon.

My second Halloween page is a little atypical. We all dressed as hippies for Mardi Gras that year, so my son decided to recycle his costume for Halloween. The usual Halloween paper collections just wouldn't do. Instead, I dug through my stash and found papers with tie-dye looking prints that complimented the photo and his costume theme perfectly.

Now that Halloween is caught up, maybe I should focus on Christmas. Meanwhile I'll be keeping an eye out for any challenges that pop up. ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What's The Problem?

One of the pages from my last post just wasn't doing it for me. Something was off. It took 2 days sitting on my easel for me to figure out what it was. That heart. The dots on that heart. The tilt of that heart. SOMETHING was wrong with that heart! Maybe I shouldn't have added that heart. But when I tried to remove it, turn it, or reposition the jeweled word, the paper began to rip. Ooops. Cant have that. So I thought maybe I could take some of the attention away from that oddly positioned adding another tilted at opposite angles. I do like it better now... I think. What do you think?

Now I'd better put it away in an album before I find something else to fix! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

4 Squares, 3 Lines

I visited the website of a 2 Peas Garden Girl, Shimelle, for the first time a couple of days ago, and found this really simple page starter in her post, Scrapbook Starting Points. "Hmmm...cute concept," I thought and filed it in the back of my brain. Later that day, with nothing in particular to scrapbook and no particular products in mind to use, I retrieved the thought and said, "Why not?!"

The challenge was to use 4 squares of patterned paper, and 3 lines of ribbon or trim. I pulled out a photo that didn't mean a whole, whole lot (it wasn't one of my kids or a particularly memorable vacation) and dug out the only 6x6 paper pad I owned (a prize from a few months ago) and went to work. And it WORKED! Of course I had to change things up a bit: I did lay out the four squares of paper, but made a little three piece banner hung vertically to satisfy the three lines concept. Yes, banners are still an obsession of mine...sigh.

I liked the finished page so much that I transferred the concept to a photo that actually DID mean something, found four papers, old and new, cut them into 6x6 squares, and did it all over again. This time I used the original idea of three horizontal lines, but also included a 3-piece vertical banner to hide some of the very busy paper in the upper right quadrant. The equation for this page is 4+3+3=done!

What is really amazing is that both of these pages were completely in less than 24 hours. And for a slow scrapper like myself, that's quite an accomplishment. The most time-consuming task was shirring the ribbon! Shimelle's starting point certainly shaved off a significant portion of time for me. Getting started IS the hardest part. :)

Updated layout #2:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Right Now...

No new layouts for today. I've been working on a very different "Halloween" page and it has me stumped. It might be finished or it might not. Maybe if I look at it for a couple more days, I'll figure out what to do. I also started putting together a page for Shimelle's 4 Square Challenge...a fun way to use those 6x6 paper pads! Meanwhile, I have a little "Right Now" list for you (courtesy of a fellow blogger). Tell me what YOU are listening to, eating, drinking, thinking or wanting!

listening: to the upstairs A/C compressor humming. Yes, it's going to be hot again today.
eating: cinnamon toast for breakfast.
drinking: orange/pineapple/banana juice
wearing: blue jeans, white T, orange sweatshirt (It was a bit chillier when I brought carpool at 7 am.)
weather: sun's out and it's already 74 degrees.
wanting: a big fat check from the IRS (not going to happen, but it's what I want)
needing: (see above)
thinking: I'd better get busy with those income taxes in case we get something back!
enjoying: having time to create today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Picture Perfect Day

Ahhh...the beautiful blue waters of Bermuda! Did you know that there's actually a scientific reason that the that these waters are such a pretty deep shade of blue? They appear bluer than the water in many other locales due to the low levels of phytoplankton in the waters surrounding the island. Whatever the reason, it looks so inviting and I really wanted to get those delightful colors onto my page. I tried to do just that in a couple of different ways. First, I lightly sprayed my kraft cardstock background with Glimmer Mist (Lake), a beautiful blue-green color that approximated the ocean hues. Next, I chose various papers in shades of blue or blue print. I cut, inked and layered them on the page, adding a cluster of embellishments and my title. The ocean's colors were picked up perfectly in the paper that is placed directly behind my photo!

What is also amazing and unusual about this day, is that Tommy and I are in the photo together, thanks to whoever took the camera from me and snapped this pic! And that thought brought about the idea of placing a camera embellishment on my page. I found this camera clip art image in the public domain and free for personal use, cut it out with my die-cutting machine, matted it on white paper, cut again by hand and added a little heart. Fun!

Aside from the tiny letter stickers, everything on this page came from the beautiful Be Amazing Kit, one of two March selections from Scraptastic Club!

Supplies: Patterned paper-My Mind's Eye, October Afternoon. Kraft cardstock-Bazzill. Layered stickers-My Mind's Eye. Twine-My Mind's Eye. Chipboard clouds-Studio Calico. Chipboard letter stickers-Jellibean Soup. Tiny letter stickers-Making Memories. Large butterfly- Small butterfly stickers-Studio Calico.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sand & Sun

The Be Amazing Kit from Scraptastic Club has the most beautiful blue hues, that immediately brought to my mind the clear water of the Florida panhandle and our vacations to the beach. I was thus inspired to pull out this picture of my youngest and his cousin from one such joyous week of relaxation. The two boys are such good buddies now. Their backs are to the camera, but you can see that one is leaning over to talk to the other, probably saying something like "Did you see that wave I caught!" or "Let's go inside and get a snack!" They always have so much to say to each other, and my journaling expresses the desire of mine to be that "fly on the wall" or "crab in the sand", listening in on their conversation.

Two of the white tags from the kit highlight a horizon scene. Don't you just love those chipboard clouds?! The long over-sized banner on the left side of the page holds the title and gives me more room to play. A simply pieced sailboat fills up the spot.

Whenever I scrap pictures of our days at the beach, I begin to dream about our next vacation. Can't wait for those lazy days to be here!

Supplies: Patterned paper-My Mind's Eye, Studio Calico. Cardstock-Bazzill, Chipboard clouds-Studio Calico. Chipboard Letters-Jillibean Soup. Shipping tags-Ranger. Pigment ink-Tsukineko. Twine-My Mind's Eye. Border punch-Martha Stewart.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Be Amazing

Yesterday I wrote about the DIY chevron stamp made from priority box corrugated cardboard. Today, I'm showing off the page created with it, probably my favorite thus far with the Be Amazing Kit from Scraptastic Club.

I love using kraft cardstock as a background, but wanted to liven it up a bit. First it was splattered with a little yellow and black paint, but it needed more. After an unsuccessful search around the house for bubble wrap, I came upon the idea for a chevron design and made my own stamp. Here are the results:

My love for banners continues! Circles cut from the patterned paper were folded in half over the twine and strung across the page twice.

The chipboard letters were sanded down in preparation for an application of paint, but once sanded, I LOVED the look and left them alone. Scanning and printing the boarding pass/tickets accomplished two things. I was able to fiddle with the color and turn the bright Christmas green tickets into ones that better matched the colors of my layout. And now that they are printed on acid-free paper, they are archival and safe for my scrapbook.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY Chevron Stamp

Chevrons are everywhere these days! Did you know you can make your very own chevron stamp to use with acrylic paint? When I needed a little something to add interest to my kraft background paper, I originally went looking for bubble wrap, but when I couldn't find it, the chevron stamp idea was born.

A recent Scraptastic kit came in the priority box that was sitting right beside my workspace. I tore off one flap and peeled back the inside layer of paper to reveal the corrugated surface underneath. Oh yeah...that would be perfect!

Using a trimmer, I cut two pieces from the flap at opposite angles and trimmed them to the same length with my scissors. Placed together, glued to a separate sheet of cardboard, they would form my "stamp". A loop of paper adhered to the top would make lifting the painted stamp off the paper that I was stamping a bit easier...with less mess to my fingers...and less likely to be dropped back onto my page in an unwanted position!

To use, brush a generous amount of acrylic paint onto the stamp and press onto your background paper. Repeat as desired. Here's how it looks on my practice piece of cardstock:

Obviously, these "stamps" can't be washed off. When finished, dab excess onto a paper towel and let the remaining paint dry on the cardboard. It might be good for a couple of uses, but we know where to find more of the raw materials used to make another. Stay tuned for a look at my finished page in tomorrow's post!

Friday, March 2, 2012

School Dance Photos

Why don't I scrap these dance pics more often? I usually send the kids off with money for the picture package taken AT the dance...and I ALWAYS try to get a photo BEFORE the dance, but then they sit in envelopes. This photo of Brendan with his date is a favorite of mine and yet it's been drifting around my scrap desk for a couple of years! I came across it again this week and was determined to get it in an album. I picked up some of my favorite things to add to the page, and hoped I did it justice.

Thanks to Denise for the gorgeous lace and pretty buttons. They were perfect accents for my page!

Supplies: Patterned paper-BasicGrey (Picadilly and Out of Print), Collage Press, and October Afternoon. Tag-Daisy D. Chipboard letter stickers-American Crafts, Ephemera pieces-7 gypsies, My Mind's Eye. Other-lace, buttons, envelope, corner rounder and border punch.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Dad

Hi everyone! Today I’d like to share my first project with Scraptastic Club's Be Amazing Kit, along with a couple of techniques that I used in its creation. The photo was taken a few months ago at my niece's wedding. It's a sweet picture, my dad with his spiffy suspenders and boutonniere, so I wanted to do something special.

First off, I was thrilled to see 2 sheets of Kraft cardstock included with this kit. A favorite product of mine, it makes a great background paper, combining easily with just about any color scheme. BUT, I thought I’d do something different with one of the sheets, and cut a few shapes...birds and leaves, elements that would work well for the page(s) I was planning.

The swallow image is a free printable from the Graphics Fairy. The birds on a line are a free download from Michelle. Free Honeycomb svg file can be found on Heather's blog, Miracles Momma Designs. (Source info for the leaf cluster is unavailable.)

NOTE: You don’t have to own a die-cutting machine to make use of these images. Simply print in draft mode (or using a light color of ink) in reverse on the kraft cardstock, cut out with scissors, then flip for use on your project.

After cutting out my images I inked them all over with Nick Bantock Van Dyke Brown and a Tim Holtz blending pad. This helped them contrast with the My Mind’s Eye Kraft Unique patterned paper. Here’s my before, after, and how they look with the patterned paper. Sweet!

You will notice on the finished page that I rethought the swallows, deciding to print them on the grey/white houndstooth pattern, ink, and pop-dot them on top of the kraft for added dimension… like the layered stickers that came with the kit! Yep…I like that much better.

Fiber Flowers: Here’s a fun little technique for making flowers out of baker's twine. Cut out small circles from adhesive backed paper. (I recycled the leftover packaging from the kit’s Follow Your Heart layered stickers.) Wind twine from the center out, until the entire circle is filled. Add a little additional liquid adhesive to secure the end and voila!

Check back later for more Be Amazing kit layouts. TFL!