Friday, January 29, 2010

Life is good, even when it's bad

Do me a favor - go and hug someone.  Yes, right now.  If there's no one else in the house, hug a pet.  No pets?  Hug a teddy bear.  No bears?  Hug yourself.  It's possible, give it a try.  Give a little moment of thanks for all the blessings you have in your life, be it your family or friends, your health or your job, your kids or even someone else's kids.  Take a walk.  Read a book.  I wouldn't suggest both at the same time, that could be dangerous.  But hey, if you like living on the edge, go for it!  There are so many things that make our world a wonderful place, and make life truly worth living.  If you forget or have a hard time seeing them, really open your eyes and look up.  You'll find them again.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Progress is a good thing!

I thought I'd share a few cards from the "early days" since I can't share what I've actually been working on! 

Aren't these just the cat's pajamas?!?  Look at my mad skillz!  Yes, I actually free-cut the hearts on these, using a template I made by folding a piece of paper in half - just like we did in kindergarten.  Although, maybe I was actually on to something.  I did use foam tape on the solid red hearts and on the blue patterned heart (hard to tell in the pic,) and surprisingly these sold like hotcakes!  Hard to believe this was only three years ago...


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sneak Peek!

Here's a sneak peek of one of the projects I'm doing for Scrap Our Stash.  I can't show you the whole thing until it's published over there, but here's a little glimpse!

I'm one of their guest designers for February, and this is one of the samples for the new challenge.  Stay Tuned!!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Formal Affair

This one came together very quickly.  The challenge was to use the cover of the Aerosmith album Toys in the Attic as inspiration for your layout.  You were to include two photos, have the Aerosmith logo at the top, a title and an embellishment below.

I made copies of these two photos ages ago and they have been sitting in my "Dupes for Scrapping" folder since then.  Back when I started papercrafting I thought I would do four copies of each layout, this way there would be one for my folks, one for each sibling, and one for me.... see how far that got me?  One of the reasons I loved doing the VSBN challenges was that it encouraged me to use photos I already have on hand, rather than going all the way out in the cold to print something off!  Thank you VSBN!!

I really love these two photos.  The one on the left is of my folks at Junior Prom, and the one on the right is 20 years later at a formal party they went to.  I didn't want to add too much embellishment since the paper has so much going on with it, but I thought the green flowers pulled out the colors of Mom's dresses pretty well without being overpowering.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, January 25, 2010

What I Love About Sundays

I finished this LO over the weekend, the inspiration was the song What I Love About Sundays and you were to scrap what your Sunday routine is.

I made this one to be a companion to my Saturday layout, so I carried over the paper and the center strip elements.  I was almost out of the turquoise paper, so the strip had to be a little skinnier than I would have liked, but it works!

The journaling reads: "Scrapping and listening to football, what could be better?  I usually watch it on TV, but since we're in the Playoffs, Mikey gets a little 'excited' about things and starts yelling at the Refs.  That's when I retreat to my scraproom and turn on the radio to listen to the play-by-play.  It's all in good fun!"

And just a little side note; see the lovely layout I was working on in the photo here?  That's this one, before I spilled the beer and glass of water that are also in the photo!  Proof that it was almost done!

*sigh*  I really need a cupholder that's bolted to the wall.

Thanks for looking!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Why I LOVE Road Trips!

Here is another of the VSBN Challenges I participated in.  This one was inspired by Stop in the Name of Love and included three requirements; use either a heart or the word Love on your layout, include a road sign, and use the cracked glass technique somewhere on your layout.

The journaling reads, "Since the majority of my Scrapping Sisters live at least three hours away, I spend a lot of time driving.  This means once every few months I pack up the car and hit the road.  I usually start early, stop through a few of my favorite shops, then meet up with the girls.  Views like this and friends like these are worth every mile!"

The paper is either from 29th Street Market or Bohemia, the label was cut off the scrap so I'm not sure which it was.  I made the road sign for Highway 53 using some blank clip art I found online somewhere.  I was in a hurry to get the LO done within the two hour time limit, so I didn't write down which site I found it on.  I did the cracked glass technique on the road sign by inking it with my Versamark pad and then embossing it.  There are 6 or 7 layers of embossing powder on there.  I then put it in the freezer overnight, so it cracked better than I thought it would!  The photo of us girls is from a weekend crop we did over the summer, and the sunrise photo is one I've been meaning to scrap for ages!  Unfortunately, there was one friend who was not able to attend that weekend, so she's not in the picture even though she's one of my main Scrappin Sisters!  (Hi Suze!)

The matting paper is black scraps I had, and the blue is the back side to a paper that coordinates with the stripes.  Everything is inked with Grey Wool from CTMH, and the title was printed off my computer.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to have the Perfect Saturday

This is a layout I've been mentally playing with for the VSBN.  The theme for this challenge was the song How To Save A Life by The Fray.  The challenge was to create a layout with "how-to" steps telling the story shown in the photos:

Living in the Northland, we are a good two hours away from most of the Big Name stores.  We have a few of them up here, but sometimes a girl's gotta get outta town!  I must admit though, it's probably a good thing that these places are so far away or I could get myself into some serious trouble!  The patterned paper and the teal paper are both Basic Gray half-sheets I had in my stash.  I had a bit of trouble printing out the text for this one, for some reason I couldn't get it to print straight on the page!  This is the "least crooked" of the lot, and I still had to trim it once it was on the background paper.  I had seen a layout similar to this in a CK magazine, but for the life of me I couldn't find the example when I went looking for it.  :)

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Sweet Daisy Mae

Here is another sample page I did for the VSBN Challenges:

The song for this one was How Much is That Doggie in the Window; the challenge was to use photos of your dog (or someone else's dog) and a pooch-related quote on your page.  This photo is of the baby of the family, my Daisy Mae.  She is surprisingly photogenic, and will actually "put on the cute" when I pull out the camera!  She was sitting in the recliner with Hubs when I shot this.

The green cardstock is from SU!, the blue paper is Bazzil, and the cream is CTMH.  I don't have the label for the patterned paper, so I'm not sure who the maker was.  The flowers are by Prima and the brads are from OTC.  I inked all the edges in CTMH Chocolate, and I think it really did a lot to make it all come together!

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More VSBN Samples

Here a couple more samples from this weekends scrappy fun!

The challenge for this one was inspired by the Eminem song My Name Is.  The goal was to make a layout about one person or thing and tell a humorous story about them.  I chose my dear Hubs to be the star of this layout.  I'm not sure if he was touched or embarrassed! ;)

The patterned paper was Tres Jolie by My Minds Eye, and all the brown is from Bazzil.  The phrase card is also part of the Tres Jolie collection, and the letters are part of the Color Ready Alphabet from CTMH.  I used the direct to paper technique to get these a dark enough brown to match the cardstock.  I double matted the photo first with cream, then with brown to make it really stand out.

This one was inspired by the John Lennon song Imagine, and the challenge was to use the lyrics to celebrate the goodness of the world around you.  I've always loved this photo, it reminds me to keep my sense of wonder and curiosity at the world around me.  Some days it seems so easy to forget that, and to get discouraged.

I managed to get this one done within two hours, but only because I had all the butterflies already punched out.  I try to punch out as many shapes as I can before tossing even the smallest of scraps, so I have a TON of these little "punchies" floating around.  The butterflies are all that pink fabric paper or velvet paper.  The most time consuming part was adhering all the butterflies using ScorTape, and getting the skittles arranged just so!  These were definately fun to do!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, January 18, 2010

VSBN Samples

Here are a couple of pages I did for the challenges at this weekends VSBN:

The this one is for a challenge inspired by the Dead or Alive song You Spin Me Round (Like a Record.)  The requirements were to use a spinner, a large circle, and at least three photos.  The compass in the center of the layout is a spinner that has different phrases beginning with N, S, E, and W.  The one it's set on is Next to Paradise. 

All of the challenges have to be completed within two hours of starting them; the only reason I got this one done in two hours was that I already had the title stamped and cut out!  The photos are from a camping trip to Scenic National Park, so I've been playing with "Scenic Route" for a title idea for quite a while.  The large blue scalloped circle is a Dimensional Element from CTMH.  They start out as white chipboard, and they are so easy to ink up!

This one was for the Turn the Beat Around challenge, where you "remake" someone elses layout.  Much like Vicki Sue Robinson and Gloria Estefan, both did the same song but out their own unique touch on it.  I used a layout from one of the hostesses, Fresshe, and tried to do it justice using my own photos and paper.  Her layout was digital, and I'm not quite that savvy yet. ;) 

I think the most time consuming part was figuring out the measurements for all the photos... oh, and the fact that I actually had to do this LO twice!  Yes, TWICE!!  I was less than 5 minutes from being completely finished with it, and managed to spill a drink all over the whole thing!  I managed to peel off all the photos without damaging them, and adhered them to a new sheet of paper.  The papers are from Basic Grey's Wisteria collection, as well as the letter stickers and bug sticker on the title block.  These were a lot of fun, and I think I've broken past that wall that has kept me from scrapping for so long!

Thanks for looking!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Mr. Slicey Tin

This project was is featured over at Scrap Our Stash for the Frugal Friday tip!  It started out as this snazzy little package of cookies I picked up on clearance from Wally World:

The cookies were horrid, so they went into the trash after one bite.  Not a big loss, since I picked this up for a dollar!  (I actually bought several, I think the cashier thought I was nuts!)  I cut some strips from a half sheet of patterned paper I had in my scrap box, and cut strips slightly wider in solid brown Bazzil for under the striped paper.  I punched the edge of each brown strip with one of my border punches from EK Success and used Red Line tape to make sure they stuck to the tin.  Don't bother with an adhesive runner, it won't stick; found that out the hard way.

Then I cut two label sized pieces for the top of the box, one slightly smaller than the other.  The blue paper is actually the back side of the stripes!  I punched two more small strips of the brown and adhered them to the top and bottom edges of the striped paper, then added the solid blue to the top of that.  I cut the letters out with my new Slice cartridge - Fonts: Essentials.  The flowers are from Prima, and the little metal dot in the center is a self adhesive embellishment from JoAnn.  Bonus Frugal Friday Tip: Prima flowers are usually two layers thick, so if you don't need them to be particularly stiff, peel them apart!  Twice the bang for the buck!

This turned out to be the perfect solution for my Slice accessories.  I took my cartridges and adhered them to the Design Cards with large glue dots, this way they're easy to find!

I used these items:

Tin o'Yucky Cookies - WalMart
Patterned paper - Tres Jolie/My Minds Eye
Fonts: Essentials design cartridge - Making Memories Slice
Brown cardstock - Bazzil
Border Punch - EK Success
Prima Flowers
Metal embellishments - JoAnn
Red Line Tape & Glue Dots

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

VSBN is almost here!

I'm so excited!  Splitcoast Stampers is hosting a Virtual Scrapbooking Night starting tomorrow at noon!  I don't typically do scrapbook pages, since I find a 12x12 page a little daunting.  And to date I've never actually finished a scrapbook page for myself!  I normally do blank books as gifts for other people; for some reason adding a photo to a layout just stops my creativity in its tracks.  I'm definately stepping out of my comfort zone tomorrow, but I'm pretty excited about that!

I think it has to do with my One Little Word.  I think I've been more productive since I decided on Do than I've been in quite some time!  It's almost like it has made all my decisions easier by blowing my excuses out of the water!  Maybe I should rename my blog to "The Procrastination Queen..."


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scrap Goals for 2010

I've been giving a lot of thought to what my scrappy-related goals should be for this year.  I'm hesitant to put an actual number on the Scrapbook Pages, since I have no idea how many I can accomplish.  I see there's a Virtual Scrapbooking Night coming up this weekend at SCS, so maybe I'll use that as a test drive!

Anywhoo, here's what I've come up with so far:

Swap cards - 8/month
Christmas Cards - 8/month for a total of 80.  I figured I'd get them done before November, that way I can have them mailed before December 24th this year!
Other Cards - 1/week at least
Challenges - 1/week at least
Use at least 90% stash for each project - limiting my purchases to only solid cardstock to match paper I already have.

Now the sticky part is this: what do I do about CTMH product?  I will definately need to buy new product to make samples, so I will need to budget that seperately.  So I guess this brings me back to Do; I think it's time to finally put up the flyers I printed out several months ago!  :)  We'll see how I do, here we go!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fortune Cookie Wall Art

I've had these frames hanging on my wall for I can't even tell you how long, and I've been trying to decide how to handle putting the words on them. I had planned on printing them on vellum and finding a way to attach them without hiding too much of the paper, but then my FABULOUS Mom sent me goodies for Christmas! I'm loving my new Slice cartridges!

I had three sheets of the swirly paper and fussy cut out the four flowers and two leaves from the third sheet. I attached these to the front of the glass on each of the two phrase pieces.

The phrase itself came from a Fortune Cookie fortune I've been carrying around for a few years. Since I've decided my One Little Word this year is Do, I thought this works as a great reminder! It's amazing how much I've already accomplished just since the beginning of the year, I think there's hope for me yet!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Shabby Chic Baby Book

I've been working on this book for a friend that recently had a baby. I fell in love with the Bohemia papers and thought they'd do well in a chipboard book, so off I went!

I intended this to be a "baby's first year" type of book, so each page has a journaling spot stamped with the month as well as three other stamped journaling spots to make things quick and easy for Mom. Heaven knows she won't have a lot of time to scrap with a newborn! I thought the 6x6 size would be a good idea for at her work desk, easy to tuck away when busy but small enough to pull out for visitors who want an update on the little princess!

I used these items:

BoBunny 6x6 chipboard binder & refill pages
Bohemia papers - My Minds Eye
Petite circles dies - Spellbinders
Fonts: Essentials cartridge - Making Memories Slice
Today's Date stamp set - CTMH
Journaling Spot stamp - Making Memories
Chocolate ink - CTMH
Chocolate grosgrain ribbon - CTMH
Flowers - Prima
Buttons - stash

Thanks for looking!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Mom's Christmas Cards

Remember Resolution #1? Here's another example of it:

I just finished these up for my mom, and they were supposed to be a Christmas present! Sheesh! You might have noticed my repeated use of this pink fabric paper over the last couple of weeks, I thought Mom would appreciate it since she has sewn since she was a teenager! I wanted to keep the colors soft and a little out of the Christmas norm, so I paired the pink with Basic Gray and Going Gray from SU!

I used these items:

Willow with Hot Chocolate - Whiff of Joy
Basic Gray cardstock - SU!
Going Gray cardstock - SU!
Pink fabric paper - stash
Mauve cardstock - stash
Snowflake embossing folder - Sizzix
Page Pebbles
VersaFine Ink - black
Grey Flannel Ink (sponging) - CTMH
Prismacolor Pencils
Glitter pen - flowers on pants
Crystal Lacquer - mug
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DIY Walmart Hack

In a quest to make a light box that will handle a two-page 12x12 scrapbook layout, I came across this tutorial. Since I had to go to Walmart anyway, I figured I'd look at lamps and pick up a flat sheet while I was there. When I was looking for the sheets section, I happened to walk through the laundry aisle and spotted this handy little contraption! Looky there, pre cut PVC pipe, no hubby needed! This helps with my tendancy to "have it now" as my husband is so fond of reminding me.
Here are the items I started out with:

Instead of putting it together per the directions, I started out with the two longest sets of tubes and the corner brackets.

I put the longest set of tubes together to make the top of the light tent.

I took the hacksaw to the other four tubes and cut them to about 18 inches. The cut ends aren't pretty, but they'll be in the corner brackets so it doesn't matter.

I placed the new lamps on either side of the tent, taped a piece of posterboard to the back edge for a nice seamless look, and started snapping away!

Here's my result using the light tent:

To be fair, I went back and tried the box again but with the new lamps, and this is what I got:

Not much difference if you ask me, so it comes down to which is more practical. Since I can use all of the PVC tubes to make different sized boxes, and the whole thing collapses down to store it, I think I'll stick with the light tent. It seems like the cardboard box will be harder to store without risking a "crushing incident" with my oafish dogs. I really like the results I got with the box, and if cards and other small things were all I would be photographing, the box would do quite nicely. However, I really like the flexability of the tent, and since I got the same results it only makes sense to keep one of them.

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One Little Word

I came across Ali Edwards' blog this week and this post really got me thinking. To go hand in hand with my Resolution #1, here is my One Little Word for 2010:

I have so many ideas running through my head at all times, and I have countless lists of projects that I want to start. My problem is that I spend so much time thinking and planning out my projects, that when it comes time to start them I am exhausted! I also tend to plan out every aspect of the project and end up over-thinking the whole thing. Here's an example: doing SOMEthing with my family photos. I would like to scrap all of my mom's family photos, and I have had them in my posession for at least 6 years. How many of them have I scrapped, you ask? Exactly zero. Yes, that's right. Zero.

I want to scan them before I start using them in layouts, this way I can keep all the details if I end up cropping the physical photo. I can also send a copy of the scanned pics to my siblings instead of worrying about making four copies of any layouts I make! I have an awesome scanner and all the hard drive space I could need, so what's the issue? Most of the photos have my mom's handwriting on the back. How do I preserve that bit of history when I scan the photos? Some people would probably roll their eyes at me for letting something so small hold me back, but I'm a geneology buff and can't explain how exciting it was for me to stumble across my great-grandfather's signature in my research. Seeing that small bit of ink on paper really brought to life a man that passed away decades before I was born. See why a bit of handwriting is so important to me?

Anywhoo, when I scan in the photos, I plan on also scanning the backs so I can preserve the handwriting. The question is, how do I handle that? What is the easiest and most "permanent" way of preserving both the photo and the handwriting? Do I use my photo editing software to cut and paste the photo and the handwriting together, and if so what's the best format to save something like that in? I know, I know, just scan the photos and the handwriting and worry about the "archiving" part later so Mom can have her photos back!!!

See what I'm saying about over-thinking things?

This is why I chose Do for my One Little Word. I need a reminder to stop planning and start doing, since all the planning in the world is pointless if I never take the first step. I figure this really applies not only to my papercrafting, but to everything else in my life as well. (ahem... housework!) I considered other words, like Create and Preserve and even Simplify, but it seems like Do just sums them all up neatly. Obviously creating and preserving and simplifying are all important goals in my life, but without a little action those goals will not be accomplished. So here's to 2010. Here's to getting somewhere on my goals. Here's to Do.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DIY Light Box

As you may know, I have been looking for ways to improve my lighting situation for photographing cards. I came across this site that had instructions on how to make a light box for free! I scrounged one of my CTMH boxes and some tissue paper to come up with the supplies and set to work. The good news is, I managed to only poke myself twice with the razor blade I was using to cut the cardboard! Woohoo!!

First, locate a box of sufficient size and make sure it passes the "cat scan."

Then cut out three sides of the box, leaving a border at each corner for stability. Also remove two of the flaps on the top of the box. Leave the other two since they can work as a shield for any external light you don't want affecting your photo.

Tape a layer of tissue inside each of the three sides you cut out. This serves to diffuse and reflect the light.

Place your lamp so it shines in one of the papered sides, turn off your flash, and snap away! This is how my photo turned out:
Not too bad! I'll have to keep my eye out for a box that will be big enough to hold a two-page 12x12 layout, but for now this definately improves things!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Masculine Birthday Card

I got some fantastic news over the weekend: I'm going to be a guest designer for the Scrap Our Stash Challenge blog for February! WOOHOO!! I submitted the trees card I made for the auction at work for the December challenge and won one of two guest designer spots!

Here is card I whipped together this evening for my niece. This one went pretty quickly, since I tried to keep it simple. Her one stipulation on the cards she asked for was that they were "simple," and my idea of simple is probably pretty different than hers! ;)

I used these items:

The Great Outdoors - Inkadinkado
Back Country paper pack - Close To My Heart
Outdoor Denim Ink - Close To My Heart
Outdoor Denim snaps - Close To My Heart
Cream card base & stamped panel - stash
Foam Tape

Thanks for looking!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Todays Limited Supply Challenge over at SCS is "Happy New Year!" Happy is to create a card in 15 minutes or less (being happy that you have time to create another if you want!) New is to use at least one item you received "new" for the holidays, and Year is to limit the card to some sort of an annual event. Here is what I came up with:

We have a family friend who is a dog lover and had a birthday this week. I had a scrap of paper with these fun dots on it, and I thought they would make great embellishments! I also used my new Nestabilities Dies that I received "for Christmas." I stamped the dog in CTMH Chocolate, and distressed the edges of the stamped panel and the green mat. Then I stamped Woof in Olive and layered it all together! Simple, but cute I think!

I used these items:

Dogs - Inkadinkado
CTMH Inks - Chocolate and Olive
Petite Ovals - Spellbinders
Dots paper - stash
Cream with flecks paper - stash
Solid Green cardstock - stash
Clove card base

Thanks for looking!