Monday, August 27, 2012

Washi Winner!

OK, this was the first time I've had to do this, so I went searching the internet for "how to randomly choose a blog giveaway winner" and came upon the number generator. Cool! I set the high and low parameters and it spit out #9. That means the winner of the set of 6 washi tapes from Freckled Fawn is (drumroll please):

pam carr said...
your owl card is very cute, happy 2nd birthday to scraptastic
August 25, 2012 6:42 AM

Congratulations Pam! Please send your address to: madelinefox [at] and Jessica will get your prize out to your right away. Enjoy your tapes!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunset Sky

This was one of the first pages I began with Scraptastic's The Story Begins kit, and I started it without really knowing where I was going. I had pulled the picture, I had created the banner, and I had cut a strip of that awesome cloud paper, but I was without ideas of how to tie it all together. I tried a white background. I tried a blue background. I tried layering some of the other patterned papers. Nothing seemed to work, so I put it aside while I completed three more pages with the kit.

Meanwhile, I happened upon a little e-magazine, and there it was...just the idea I needed to give my "cloud" page a nudge! Robin Fung's "Creating A Cloudy Background" article in Crafting Ireland's Issue 11 sure looked cool, but could it be adapted for my sunset photos? I decided to try it on a piece of cardstock from the kit, using Studio Calico's Mr. Huey white mist in place of ink. I didn't have white ink and was anxious to try this out, so I forged ahead. In hindsight, I probably should have practiced a bit on a scrap sheet of paper, but after adding a tad of pink smudged ink for shading, it really began to resemble my clouds...if in an abstract sort of way!

The shading idea was carried over to my title letters, cut from white cardstock, and the printed strips which held my quote. Using a little distress ink with my Tim Holtz blending tool, I was able to do that "ombre" thing that is becoming so popular right now. Have you seen all the celebrities dying their hair to get this look? Well...I digress. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to try this with my hair, but I do like the look it gives to my lettering on this page. I am so happy that this page has finally come together.

What do you think? Was this technique successful? Can you see the clouds on my background?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Look Who's Two!

Thanks for stopping by! Many of you have landed here by way of the Scraptastic Club Birthday Blog Hop, but everyone who leaves a comment on this post today will have a chance to win a prize. A winner drawn at random will receive a fun little bundle of washi tape from Freckled Fawn, six tapes, one roll of each of the following designs:

If you have arrived by way of Lady Grace (LG), you know the drill. If you would like to join the hop and have a chance at winning a 3-month subscription to Scraptastic Club kit club, here's what you need to do. Beginning at the Scraptastic Club Blog, travel from place to place gathering letters of the alphabet from each of the lovely design team ladies. Once you have unscrambled the letters to form a word, email your guess to One winner will be picked at random from all correct entries.

For a second chance at winning, follow Scraptastic Club on Facebook and leave a comment on the page. Once we reach 1500 fans, one lucky winner will receive a 3-month subscription to the kit club.

Now let me tell you a little about this fabulous kit club! Scraptastic is non-committal, offering a choice of 2 kits each month. If you want to skip a month or cancel all future kits, no problem. There are also stamp options as well as extra paper and add-ons for those who can't get enough of a good thing.

Look Who's Two!

In honor of Scraptastic's Birthday, I created a card using scraps from July's Nostalgic Summer kit. It features a whimsical pieced owl, inspired by a mixed media print that had been pinned to my Pinterest board almost a year ago. Finally, I'm putting that inspiration to use! A "nerdy" owl with glasses would be great on a school theme scrapbook page, don't you think?!

Below is my contribution to the word scramble:

Image by Leo Reynolds

Now, off you go, on to Melanie's blog. In case you get lost, here's the full list of participating designers:

Cristal Hobbs
Danni Reid
Heather Landry
Jessica Carter
Juliann Marchant
Lady Grace "LG" Belarmino
Madeline Fox<---You are Here!
Melanie Stanczyk
Michelle Unruh
Nathalie Leonelli
Pamella Brown

Remember: Once you have collected all your letters, including one from the Scraptastic Club Blog, unscramble the word, and email your guess to for a chance to win 3 months of Scraptastic kits. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Swimmers

A little late to the party, Kevin, my youngest (12) finally decided to join the swim team. The summer league at Elmwood was very laid back and I thought it would be a great way for him to keep busy once school let out. He was a bit apprehensive and afraid he wouldn't "know" anyone, but gave it a try. He made friends, enjoyed practices and never missed! He loved coming home with a trio of colorful ribbons after every Tuesday night meet, and at the end-of-the-season team party and pot luck, all of the swimmers received trophies for participating. How cool!

Even cooler...notice the TWO trophies in his hands. When the coach gave out an award for the most improved swimmers, male and female, his name was called. With that little confidence boost, he is now joining the year round swim team and attended his first practice yesterday! It's a little different, and he questions why they are doing all those "drills" instead of just swimming the strokes. As I said, summer league was very laid back! Today they start dry land exercises as well. I'm hoping he has fun and doesn't find it too difficult. He could use a little strength training!

The real worry is the difficulty we might face fitting swimming in with homework. I'm actually hoping that this will encourage a little better time management and less fiddle farting around when it's time to hit the books. We'll see. Go Sharks!

Check out "Ryan Lockte" below! It's my middle son, Chris (19) in a screen shot from an Elmwood Fitness Center commercial that aired most nights just before prime time coverage of the Olympics. One day when Chris was lifeguarding, he was asked if he'd like to participate in filming a spot for the fitness Center, which has both swimming and gymnastics competitive teams. They had him put on a swim cap and goggles, swim to the wall, come up and pump his fist, "Yeah!" Hahaha. I love it.

I cannot WAIT to scrap this picture:

I'm going to be on the lookout for some nice blue papers soon! I might have a lot of swim pictures to scrap in the upcoming months.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Away We Go (or TTA PeopleMover)

I'm back with another layout created with Scraptastic's August kit, The Story Begins. Here I used some of the more muted papers from Echo Park's Everyday Eclectic collection, focusing on the soft green and pink to compliment the colors in my photo. I love the hot air balloon stickers and direction arrow, as they fall in well with my theme, our family riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. This easy-going ride at Walt Disney World remains one of my favorites and I journaled my fondness for it on the kraft cardstock bordering my page. 
Check out the title! That overly wordy title was only made possible by a well-stocked Alphabean letter sticker sheet by Jillibean Soup. These are becoming some of my favorite letters (right behind Thickers) for the sheer number of letters on each sheet. How often can you pick up a pack of letter stickers and find that many T's or O's, etc? Upper and lower case letters are included all on one sheet. I loved finding a sheet of these in the kit!
Here's a closer look at a favorite page detail. The balloon and cloud stickers were backed with cardstock to give them dimension and enable easier layering on the page. A length of twine wrapped around one of the balloons is drawn through one of the kraft tags and tied into a pretty bow. Away we go! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

World Of Wheels

Recently, Kevin was invited to attend World of Wheels with his best friend, and he jumped at the chance. Not too long ago, whenever the two boys got together, they would pull out the bucket full of matchbox cars passed down from my older boys, and have the best time. Video games have taken the place of matchbox cars during playtime but it won't be long 'til their interest in cars peaks once they prepare to drive. Scary! 

In a photo taken at the World of Wheels, the boys pose with a mime who was decked out head to toe in silver...silver shirt, silver pants, silver hat, silver bugle, silver skin.

Don't look now, but I actually stamped AND stitched on my page! Uh-oh...I see the tension needs adjusting.

There are papers or bits of papers from at least six different manufacturers on here: 7-Gypsies, BasicGrey, Melissa Frances, My Mind's Eye, Echo Park, and KI Memories. It's a real mix of supplies!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Celebrate Good Times

Creating starbursts out of patterned paper is a popular trend right now, one that I wanted to try myself. I had the perfect opportunity with the layout below. It seemed like such a great way to use the long patterned paper scraps left over from previous pages created with the kit. At first I set the page up with the starburst design at the top,

but it seemed too orderly, and I didn't know where to put my title. The thin white lettering that I planned to use would be lost over the colorful patterned paper rays. Turning the page sideways would leave me with a better place to put the title as well as more room for embellishments along the bottom...

especially after adding a rectangle of patterned paper and large doily. 

Finally my photo would have somewhere to rest:

It comes together little by little:

And eventually ends up like this:

I added chipboard letters, flowers and an envelope from my stash to complete this page. All of the patterned papers, stickers, chipboard banners, tags, and baker's twine are from Scraptastic's August kit, The Story Begins.

This is one of my favorite parts of the page:

Two of the chipboard banner pieces, covered with patterned paper, layered for a very dimensional looking addition to my title. It's a small detail but I love how it appears as if the banner is wrapping itself around the two hearts. 

Next Sunday I'll have another page with these pretty papers from Echo Park's Everyday Eclectic, and it's a Disney layout! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo Friday: A Day in the Quarter

When my youngest sister is in town, my four sisters and I always seem to do something fun, and often delicious. A few days ago, we went to lunch in the French Quarter with my mom. Here we are, all six of us, (I'm the short one), at the Gumbo Pot restaurant. 

The three youngest cousins were with us. My son has obviously inherited my short genes. At 12 he's the oldest of the three. My niece will be passing her mom up in height very soon!

While in the Quarter, we did some shopping. Well...more like browsing. This shop had the most colorful dolls and art prints:

Kevin does some window shopping. I love Terrence Osborne's colorful depictions of New Orleans:

More walking brought us to this row of shotgun doubles:

And this house so full of "gingerbread" trim:

Of course, we had to check out this rather creepy VooDoo shop on Bourbon Street. Lots to see...hanging on the walls and standing behind the counter. I don't think I was supposed to take this picture. Ooops.

We snapped photos everywhere, trying to capture the iconic:

The boys didn't even complain when we asked them to stand in front of this door... or that wall. They just hammed it up and complied!

This might be my favorite picture of the day, treated to look like a postcard:

But  there were a few pretty odd sights as well. Walking down the street with her dainty little umbrella, like nothing was out of the norm, was a bronzed lady with not a whole lot on. Where she was heading from or to is indeed a mystery.

You can't say New Orleans isn't a scenic city!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Give It A Whirl!

When creating scrapbook layouts, are you ever stumped for a title? I am...quite often. Sometimes I just end up restating the obvious. Other times I take a clue or a phrase from a sticker set, journaling block or other scrappy embellishment. They often have good ideas just waiting to be borrowed. And then there are those times that I am completely lost. The photos on this page (Kevin riding a spinning contraption at a local amusement park) had me completely stumped. Then I found a website called The Perfect Title. A menu on the left side of the main page lists oodles of categories with each opening up onto a list of titles and quotes appropriate for the chosen theme. That is where I found my title for this page:

Everything on the page is from Scraptastic's August kit, The Story Begins. The wonderful colors of Echo Park's Everyday Eclectic papers seem to be taken right from the design on front of the "Scrambler" car. 

To embellish this page I made my own repeating diamond cut file and used it to create a border near the top and bottom of the white cardstock. The negative spaces were backed with strips of patterned paper, creating a pretty striped design in each of the diamond shapes. First, the colorful strips were cut and adhered to a larger piece of cardstock. Then the two strips were placed behind the main page, with the top cardstock layer popped up a bit for a more dimensional look. Pop dots were placed at the top and bottom of each diamond. Additional dots were cut in half to fit between the diamonds, keeping that top layer suspended.

Have a great day, and the next time you are stumped for a title, remember to check out the ideas posted on  The Perfect Title

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Subway Art

Subway Art is all the rage and this Pinterest Board has a boatload of examples. The art on this board is so colorful! If you look around, you can even find a few tutorials for creating your own versions to print and frame for your home. It's a cool trend. Recently, a friend of mine used this premise to create a subway art inspired title for her scrapbook page and it looked fabulous. I wanted to try this myself.

First, I needed a title for my page. Two or three words just weren't going to do, so I googled quotes about "play" and came across one with enough words to work. You generally want a few lines, with more than one word on some. The quote "It is a happy talent to know how to play" was perfect for my photos of Kevin and his scooter!

Next, I sorted through my letter stickers. I had tons of colors from which to choose, but finding packs with two Ts or two Ps or several Os made for an intensive search. It also looks best to vary the fonts and/or letter sizes, so the hunt was on.

Finally, success as evidenced below:

And here's my full page:

I think the colorful title is a nice compliment to these Simple Stories papers, all of which can be found in Scraptastic's July Summer Picnic kit. Every Thursday a new challenge is posted on the Scraptastic blog. At the end of the month, everyone who has completed each of the challenges is put into a drawing for a free kit! This week's challenge is to create a scrapbook page, using a subway art title. Try it; it's fun!

One of these days I'd love to create a huge subway art canvas or print for my home. But first I need to choose a quote. Off to search...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello Summer!

School let out at the end of May, but the hot and humid temperatures of the area were signaling summer even earlier. Still, it wasn't until our week at the beach that it really felt like summer was here. And hello summer! This little boy can't get enough of the water. Boogie boarding in the gulf or goofing off at the pool; it's all good. Back home we had a few more weeks of swim team, but things are beginning to wind down...too quickly. I just wish it didn't have to end. School starts back up in the middle of August. Boo. Hiss. He will not be a happy camper.

I simply love these Paradise Beach papers by Echo Park...the perfect papers to scrap Kevin's perfect day at the beach. The surfboard silhouette on the fussy cut paper and "postcard" remind me so much of the boy and HIS board...inseparable.

Did you know that you can change the color of foam Thickers with ink? The letters that spell "summer" were originally a brighter blue. By using a bit of distress ink on my blending tool (with most of the ink rubbed off on a scrap sheet of paper), they were dulled sufficiently to match my papers.

I love the tropical feel these hibiscus flowers add to my page. I used my die-cutting machine with Susan Stringfellow's cut file found on her SketchSavvy Blog HERE. After cutting out the flowers, I inked the edges and rolled the petals slightly up and under. Their centers were handcut, inked and pop-dotted for even more dimension. Leaves were also cut randomly and folded with ink applied to the edges and to define the center vein. 

It would be nice to scrap more of my beach vacation photos, but I've had them printed TWICE at Sam's Photo Center and every single one that has a bit of blue sky has vertical streaks from the machine. Seriously? I'm going to try one more time and hope they get it right. The photo department manager asked me to call her before I send my pictures and she'll make sure the machine is cleaned just prior to my order. Shouldn't it always be cleaned sufficiently for streak-free pictures?!