Monday, December 31, 2012

Paper Trail Blog Hop - Celebrating La Belle Vie!

Welcome to the paper trail blog hop. You probably arrived here from Vicki's blog. If this is your first stop, I hope you'll continue on with the hop.

I loved playing with this paper pack. I liked the classy colors that work well for my daughter and use pink without being babyish. To celebrate, I created two layouts about her birthday using patterns from the Make it From Your Heart book.

This pattern made me nervous at first because of the five small photos, but my friend Kerrie inspired me to use it. I am happy with the way it turned out. Cropping the photos smaller can help draw attention to certain elements and hide my sometimes flawed photos. (Check back Friday for some suggestions about cropping photos in this way.)

This paper seemed to call for bling and sparkle. I used the black sparkle flourishes some fussy cut flowers and Stardust Glitz.

I used a sentiment stamp intended for cards for the title and subtitle on this layout. Because I was able to include so many small photos to tell the story, my journaling could be very brief. I tucked the thoughts into the right hand flourish.

The second layout I created focuses on one gift my daughter received. This one also uses a pattern from the Make if From Your Heart book. I love using the patterns in this book because I can modify them to suit my layouts and style. Here I added two additional photos by using two 4X6 photos on the left page rather than a 5X7 and adding an additional photo cropped on the right page.

I used the same black sparkle flourishes (one pack was enough to create both layouts) and Startdust Glitz to embellish this layout. Once I find supplies that work well together I love to create multiple layouts using the same set. It saves me time making decisions!
For this layout I also used some word and definition stamps as embellishments. A variation on the rock and roll technique let me stamp the words in black and the definitions in grey so that the embellishment didn't overpower the layout.

 Thanks for stopping by! Remember to check Friday for some suggestions on cropping photos.

Your next stop is Karen's blog. I'm sure you'll love what she created.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Paper Trail - Avonlea

Welcome to the Paper Trail! I hope you are enjoying the hop, whether you arrived here from Field's Finery or if this is your first stop.
It has been a busy week here. Who am I kidding? It has been a busy few months. Sometimes I feel as if I barely have time to take photos, much less scrapbook them. What do you do when you are short on time but long on inspiration? One of my favorite tricks is to turn to a favorite paper packet and coordinated embellishments and accessories. Using three sets of coordinated embellishments along with the Avonlea papers and a sketch brought this layout together in no time.

The  large chocolate cardstock doily shape cut from the Artiste Cricut Cartridge helped to customize the sketch to work with my papers. In addition to the Avonlea papers, I used three sets of coordinating embellishments on this layout: the Avonlea Complements Canvas Shapes, the Brocade Assortment and the Mini-Medley Accents Slate Collection. Choosing these already coordinated embellishments and having each of these collections on the table in front of me made it very easy for me to finish the layout.

When adding embellishments, I try to work with a visual triangle that draws attention to the title, journaling and photos. For the title on this layout, I included a canvas flower to which I added a slate button tied with twine. Between the layers of the title block I included a Resin Pin.
Tip for using pins on layouts: stick the pin into a foam square or a glue dot between layers of your page.

The second point on my triangle was the journaling. The journaling spot itself is a Canvas Shape. In addition, I added two items from the Brocade Assortment to fill in the gaps and tie the layers together. Adding an element like the medallion to a place where multiple layers meet (here the photo, two B&T papers, cardstock and the journaling spot) helps to bring a feeling of cohesion to the layout.


The third point on my triangle is on the right hand side of the page near my two favorite photos. Here I used a shape cut from the same cardstock as the title block to continue that color, a small Canvas Shape and another medallion from the Brocade Assortment. (Notice the way the embellishments overlap the layers again.)

I love the finished look these embellishments bring to this layout. The best part is that I still have many elements from each collection that I will be able to use on more projects in the future - especially since I seem to be constantly short on time! 

Thanks for stopping by! Please, continue hopping on to Mary's blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Pear and Partridge Holiday Hop!

Welcome to the Paper Trail Blog Hop. This month we're getting into the holiday spirit with papers from the Pear and Partridge pack from Close to My Heart. If you've arrived here from Betsy's blog you're on the right track. (But don't worry, the hop is circular so you can start anywhere.)

Getting into the holiday spirit always gets me thinking about gifts. I've always loved giving handmade gifts. This year I created a couple of boxes that would make perfect gifts by themselves!

Both boxes are simple and inexpensive to create. For each one I used one sheet of B&T (patterned) paper and less than one sheet of cardstock. I embellished using the zip strips from the patterned paper, stamped images, dimensional adhesive and of course some sparkles.

This box is the perfect size for traditional sized note cards. Maybe the lucky recipient will get a few cards as well.

This box was designed to hold recipe cards or photos. Wouldn't it be a great place to store holiday recipes?

Thinking about the holidays also gets me thinking about lists - cookies to bake, cards to send, gifts to prepare, parties to attend. Maybe I'll keep the second box for myself. It could be a great place to store holiday records like which cookies, who received cards, who received which gifts. I may be on to something.

In that case, I may need to make another box. Luckily, they were easy to create, and I know where to get more supplies. Let me share one tip with you that made my life easier while I was creating. I planned the boxes carefully and then wrote directly on each surface what I planned to do. I knew the writing would be covered with paper in the final product, and these notes helped me keep my plan in mind no matter what interrupted me.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've been inspired by something you've seen, and I hope to see you back soon. Now, head on over to Amy's blog to see what holiday spirit she has in store for you! You might be surprised, but I think you'll like it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Check it out!

I'm so excited! I'm one of the guest bloggers at writeclickscrapbook today!

I've been following this blog from the start. I discovered some of my favorite scrappers among the ladies there. I love to take the challenges that they set out. I am constantly inspired to try new things, take new photos, create new projects and look at things in new ways by the ladies in this group.

Today, I am a guest among them. I am so honored. I hope you'll stop over there to check it out. Once you're over there, take your time, look around. You may find some inspiration, too!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Feeling Filrty - Paper Trail Hop and Project #9

Welcome to the Paper Trail Blog Hop. This month we're feeling Flirty with fun papers from Close to My Heart. If you've arrived here from Mary's blog, you're on the right track. (But don't worry, the hop is circular so you can start anywhere.)

I combined the the Flirty papers with another fun new product from the Autumn/Winter Idea Book - the new Dimensional Elements Album pages. The pages come six to a sheet and for just $4.95 they were quite a bargain. I added two binder rings and quickly created a 10 page album.

The fall colors of this paper packet and the word elements in the Flirty workshop stamp set got me thinking about being thankful, so I created a gratitude book for my family.

Here is my book:

I know that I like mini albums best if I keep them simple, so I went with a simple scheme.
I covered facing pages with the same paper.

I included an oval with a number for the title and a Cricut cut frame for journaling.

I stamped on each page using one of the images from the Flirty workshop stamp set.

You may have noticed that so far my book is blank. This is because I am planning to enlist my family's help in completing it. There are four of us so each will choose one page to record something that makes her (or him) feel thankful. (My daughter has already claimed the pinkish-purple (her word) page).

Number five I completed on behalf of all of us:

After we have added the photos and journaling on the remaining four pages I will finish with a few more Sparkles.

I think this book will be a nice remembrance for us this fall and in the future. The best part is, I still have papers left to complete the workshop layout and even more! (Check back for those later...)

Would you like a kit to make your own mini-book? Check out the classes tab for more information!

Now, hop on along to Linda's blog to see what she has in store.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Get a Job!

If you know anything about my scrapbooking life, you know that I often scrapbook about myself. A conversation with my two kiddos last month made me realize they only know me as a teacher and a mom. That perspective inspired this layout about the jobs that I have had:

I've loved the rose paper since I bought it, but hadn't found the perfect place for it. I liked the combination of the more casual chevrons and polka dots with the more formal roses. It fit with the journaling that lists the many different jobs.

 Incidentally, after I finished the layout, I realized that I had left out two jobs I had while in college (between #3 and 4). I'm not sure how I'll remedy that, but at least for now my kids will have a record of some the things that I have done in addition to being a mom.

As with many layouts about myself, this look back made me reflect on where I have been as well as where I am. I never would have guessed that I would have this many different paying jobs. This layout ended up be a pep talk for myself as well as a story about me for my kids.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Project #8 - Giant Clip

This project was so easy I wonder if I can even count it, but I love the way it turned out!

I found a giant clothes pin at the craft store, so of course I decided to bling it up.

I used Avonlea paper, along with grey baker's twine and some Mocha Opaques (all from CTMH).

This side has three Parlor Velvet rub-ons which add a cool texture. I liked that feature since this a project people are likely to touch.

I plan to use this fun project to hold incentives at my gatherings and workshops. Want to see it in person? Why not host one?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When a layout doesn't feel done

Sometimes I get to a point on a layout where I just don't know what to do next. I've included photos, papers, embellishments. I have a title, the story, the date. Still, something just feels unfinished. There is usually a point with most layouts and projects when I think, "Ah, that's it. Now I have it!" When I have a layout that hasn't yet reached that point, it feels unfinished.

What is there to do if something just feels unfinished? Here are a couple of tricks that work for me.
  1. Take a break from staring at the page. I usually have to get up out of my seat. I go to the bathroom, check on the kids, anything that gets my eyes off of the layout. When I return to the page (sometimes even a day or more later) I have a new perspective. Often I see the perfect way to tie the layout up at first glance.
  2. Change perspective. I am mostly a sitting scrapper, but when I'm stuck, sometimes I stand up. I also have a display easel across the room from my creative desk. Looking at a layout from further above or from across the room is often just the change I need. The different perspective helps me to see the layout as a whole and find the elements which lead to that "finished" feeling. 
  3. Ask a crafty friend. When I scrap with friends we often ask each other, "Is this done? What does it need?" Another crafter's perspective can help to fill in any gaps as well as give me the confidence that a layout is really is finished.
But sometimes I craft alone. And sometimes that unfinished feeling lingers. This layout is one of those times.

I've misted, cut, adhered. I've trimmed, stamped and journaled. I've included letter stickers, flowers and pearls. Still, I'm just not sure it's done.

Today, I ask you, my crafty friend, is it done? What does it need? (any suggestions are greatly appreciated!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Project #7 - A book cover

Thirty six projects in 52 weeks seemed like a good goal in April. It is looking more daunting now. I am still working on creating projects. I vow I will get to 36; I'm just not sure when.

When I set this goal for myself, I hoped that the idea of projects would move me a bit out of my paper crafting comfort zone. I wanted to explore more and create some other types of projects. This project stretches those muscles a bit since I created a fabric book cover.

I'm teaching a new course at school this fall and it comes with a text book (unlike most of the courses I teach.) I knew I would ask my students to cover their books, so I thought I would set a good example. While I was at it I decided to make it a pretty example, too!

I found this idea in a tutorial on the Books and Crafts show at I measured the book, marked the fabric (I used my iron), and then used Stitch Witchery (a no-sew fabric adhesive.)

It was very easy, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I added canvas letters from the craft store clearance bin to the cover to identify the book as mine (just in case any others in the class had the same idea.)
The cover is staying on well. This style seems to work best as a fairly permanent fixture on a book. (I don't think it would be easily moved to another book) Thanks for the idea, Books and Crafts!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tutorial: Using Stamps to Make Your Own Pattern Paper Part 2

Earlier this week I shared one way to create your own pattern paper using stamps and inks. If you want a more intricate design, you can also use multiple stamps and multiple inks as you create.

I used four images from the Simple Memories set from Close to My Heart. I chose to use three ink colors: Creme Brulee, Twilight and Sorbet all from CTMH, but you could also use this technique with two or even one ink color.

Start with the largest image and the color you want to be most predominant first. I chose to use this round doily and the Sorbet ink.
Stamp near the center of the page and then near the corners. Think of a pattern similar to the dots on the 5 side of a die. Remember,  to make your patterns look more realistic, continue the pattern off of the page.

Work with the mid-sized image next. (You may recognize the flower shaped doily.) Fill in some of the spaces between the largest images. Be sure to leave some space for the smallest image.

Finally, fill in  more of the spaces with the smallest images. I used two similar round images, but only one ink color.

One tip to make your patterns look more like printed papers is to use odd numbers. I used three colors. Although I used four different images, the two smallest images are similar and stamped in the same ink.

This technique would easily work with images from multiple stamp sets. You could even use words or letters (if you don't mind them being upside down.)

Have you tried creating your own paper yet? I would love to see it! I can't wait to see what you create!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tutorial: Using Stamps to Make Your Own Pattern Paper Part 1

Using stamps to create your own pattern paper allows you to choose the images and colors that are perfect for your layout, card or project. This can also be a very cost effective way to create projects using beautiful papers since you can use your stamps again and again to create new and different papers.

The simplest papers to create use one stamp and one ink color. Here I am using Ruby Ink and a stamp from the Simple Memories set both from Close to My Heart. I inked up my stamp and started somewhere near the middle of  the page.

This flower shaped doily stamp works well in a repeating pattern. I re-inked the stamp and turned it slightly to continue the pattern across the page. Repeating a pattern across the page is easiest if your stamp doesn't have an obvious top or bottom. Stamps that can look "upside down" don't work as well for this technique. 

You could easily fill a whole page with this technique. I added another element to my paper by keeping the same stamp but use Champagne ink. I continued the same process of inking the stamp and then turning it so that the flower petals fit together. 

One tip to make your patterns look more realistic is to continue the pattern off of the page. On this paper I stamped off the page on each side. (Just be sure you have covered your work surface!)

When I stamp my own background paper I don't worry about it looking perfect. Sometime the images are closer together than others. Sometimes the images don't stamp perfectly. This mimics many of the distressed papers that are available to purchase and just adds to the homemade feel of the paper.

Check back on Wednesday for another way to use stamps to create your own pattern paper!

Have you ever created your own paper? Why not try now! Share your examples here. I can't wait to see what you create!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Projects #5 and #6 (and an offer)

Many of my 36 projects so far have been gifts. Lately, however, I've made a couple of things to decorate my own space. When I saw the Autumn/Winter idea book from CTMH I fell in love with some of their new off the page projects and supplies. The My Creations Bracket Frame and the My Creations Star in particular caught my eye. I ordered them immediately and set to work figuring out what to do with them.

I used the same supplies on each: paper from the Avonlea pack, Opaques flourishes and stamped words. Here is what I came up with:

The paper rosettes fit with the style of the frame and the paper. They also paired very nicely with the Opaques Flourishes. The frame can  be used as a shadow box so I was even able to include flourishes and paper rosettes on the inside of the frame near the photo.

The star:

This was even easier to put together than the frame - a one evening project with time to spare.

One tip (that I learned the hard way) do all of your stamping as well as inking of the edges before you attach the paper!

Are you interested in making these projects yourself? My September class will provide you with a kit to create either of these projects for just $20. Buy both kits (or two of either one) for just $35. Check the Classes page for more information. Not local to me? Can't make the class? No problem! I would be happy to ship your kit (anywhere in the US) for $5 extra.