Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Santa Ate Them" - Scrapbook Steals Mid Week Mojo Rose #6

Again, I'm cutting this down to the wire, so you probably won't have too much time to enter if you want to, but you can check out this week's Mid Week Mojo sketch here.  Tomorrow starts a new week, so even if you can't get this one done by tonight, you don't have to wait too too long for a new challenge to be posted!

 I haven't had a layout come together this quickly or this perfectly in who knows how long.  I am so very happy with it.  The only thing I wasn't happy with was an easy fix.  It seems my current 'thing' is to mat my background paper onto something.  Since my journaling was dark brown, there were dark brown polka dots in the paper behind the title and some other pops of dark brown, I matted the green paper on Early Espresso cardstock from Stampin Up.  My journaling was done in the same color pen and the American Crafts date stamp was done in the same color ink.  The title for this layout is probably one of the EASIEST to decide on and it ties in perfectly with my journaling.  Basically, on Christmas morning, I pointed to the bowl of cookies and asked him what happened to them and he told me that 'Santa ate them'.  It couldn't fit more perfectly.  Just about everything here is the Noel collection from Elle's Studio.  The items that are not are the products that I already mentioned as well as the enamel dots, American Crafts Thickers, October Afternoon alphas, the 'santa was here' stickers is from a filler card in the Merry & Bright mini PL kit, and the 'milk & cookies' tag.  That tag is from an older Elle's Studio collection and was actually the jumping off point for this layout.  I decided on these two photos and then remembered that tag from the layout I did the other night and went from there. 
 I tucked the scripty October Afternoon alphas behind the title and it looks adorable.  I originally didn't have the quotes but thought they would be a nice touch since it is a quote from my toddler.
 The tree card is from a 4x6 tabbed card that is part of the collection, and I thought it would add a nice touch of white to that area, plus the grid coordinates beautifully with the journaling card.
I used a Fiskars punch to cut this circle from a Project Life card and I think it was a 2 inch punch, but I'm not 100% sure.  I also added little pops of blue to all of the clusters to pull in the paper that is sort of matting the photos and I think it's a great non traditional pop of color that really adds a bit of extra interest to the layout.

I am incredibly pleased with how easily everything came together.  It's nice to have that happen every once in a while.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise

Monday, March 24, 2014

Visiting With Santa 2013 - A Cherry On Top Sketch Challenge

 I don't think I've delayed making a layout for a Becky Fleck Sketch Challenge at ACOT in a while, so there isn't much time left to enter, but if you are interested, the sketch is posted here.  It is due tomorrow by midnight EST.  This one gave me some interesting issues because I didn't want the 'happy holidays' part of the 'joy' paper on mine, so I had to flip the sketch horizontally to make it work.  The biggest problem was making the layers hold their own and after much hesitation, I decided to go for it and outline most of the elements.  I did not outline the photo mat, the Project Life Merry & Bright card or the two large background papers because they didn't need them to hold their own weight. 
 The idea to outline the papers came to me after deciding to outline 'santa' in the title.  The title floated a bit too much without the tag, but there was already so much green and red in this part of the layout, so grey was the obvious choice paper.  BUT, I didn't have any alphas in a green that coordinated with the layout (and red wasn't the route I wanted to take) so thanks to mercytiara (a youtuber) I decided to outline the letters.  It really did the trick.  That one decision ended up helping pull together the entire layout!!
 Again, I'm using one of my absolute favorite washi tapes (I'm glad I bought two...they are 5 meters instead of the usual 10 and I've used this tape more than any other single tape I own) and it was a fun touch.  Both of the flair on this layout are of my own design.
I kept this section super simple and added a punched circle from the background paper.  I cut out the center of it when I layered the joy paper over top just in case.  I deliberately moved the enamel dots away from the flair to keep the 13 visible.

And that does it!  A pretty simple layout but as usual with all of the Christmas stuff that I've been buying over the past 6 or 7 months, the hardest part was choosing a paper collection to go with.  I really need to pull myself in when it comes to holiday product because it makes me want to avoid scrapping holiday activities.  I literally pull out every Christmas paper collection and kit that I own and spend 30 minutes or more just trying to pick a paper collection.  Never again.  Or at least, not until later this year, right?! ;)

Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Christmas Morning 2013 Layout Share - PL Style

 I haven't been scrapbooking much with my Project Life supplies lately, but since I was supposed to have a friend come over so I could teach her the principles of this type of scrapbooking, I decided to start one of my own to show her rather than just flipping through layouts I had already done.  I used a couple of pieces from the December Project Life Blue Note kit from Studio Calico, but most of the pieces that I used were cards from the Merry & Bright Project Life Mini kit and older tags that I got during a big sale that Elle's Studio was having on their site sometime last summer.  There are a few Chic Tags items, HSN Project Life overlays, enamel dots, paperclips and washi thrown in for good measure.  This layout is pretty much 'what you see is what you get' but I did take close ups of most of the photos so you can see the embellishing in greater detail.
 My American Crafts precision pens are pretty hit or miss.  They either work great or they suck, but even if they work great and I write on a scratch piece of paper just before writing where I want, they are dry for the first letter, hence the extra dark G in 'Grandma'.  I decided to live with it.
 There is no particular reason for the paperclip here other than to add a bit more interest.  I lined the top and bottom of the card with my favorite washi tape ever, then added a banner from Elle's Studio and called it done.
I used one of the overlays here just to balance out the one that I used on the lower left side of the page (not photographed separately since that photo has no embellishing other than the overlay).  I stapled the banners into place and added some enamel dots for fun.
 I realized when I was almost done that this side didn't have any black embellishments, so I added a strip of the postmark washi to the bottom of this card as an after thought.
 No major embellishing here, but I wanted to illustrate how awesome washi tape is.  I finished my journaling before the end of the card and that narrow washi (bought on clearance at Michaels) was the perfect space filler.  Plus, you get to enjoy a close up of my two little guys. ;)
 This is just another simple cluster.  To keep the journaling banner from getting lonely, I snipped a piece of the 'be merry' branding strip from Lawn Fawn's most recent Christmas collection.
This was a fun card to make and it ended up being quite a bit different than the others.  I cropped the photo a tad too small (it was just a hair taller than the 4x6 card that I wanted the photo to share this pocket with) so I had to get creative.  I am very happy with the result.  Again, my journaling ended before the card's space did, so I grabbed another Elle's Studio tag and layered it over the journaling grid and the photo and popped on a couple of enamel dots.

I don't know who said that Project Life is supposed to be quick and easy, but if you are a traditional scrapper who uses this type of scrapping in any way, embellishing is a must and is actually the time consuming part.  While I have tons of cards, I don't have too many cute tags or other small embellishments that work well for this type of scrapbooking.  I am so grateful to have a little bit of Elle's Studio holiday product hiding in my stash that I can turn to when I need a little bit of extra detail and you can never go wrong with enamel dots as a finishing touch!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Through Your Eyes - Scrapbook Steals Sketch Rose #5



To join in on this challenge, check out the Scrapbook Steals blog here.  Before I even started, I knew this sketch was going to be a true challenge.  I don't really do 'white space' and I am not the greatest at visualizing layers, either.  BUT, I still tackled it.


Supplies for this layout are listed at the bottom of the post.  I felt like listing them in paragraph form was a bit too messy.  Have you ever had an idea for something, liked how it was going and then did something completely stupid to completely destroy your vision?  Welcome to my day, today!!  The sketch called for the title to be below the photo but I couldn't make it work and moved it.  I had the brilliant idea to journal below the photo instead.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a bold black or a marker that matched the ink I used for the stamping so I doodled a bit underneath all of the layers to see how it would look.  I decided the black looked fine and the moment I finished my journaling I wanted to cry because it looked absolutely awful...and this was the only sheet of that Elle's Studio paper that I have.  I tried the various cardstocks that came in the kit and none of them worked without competing with the grey paper that I was using in the upper left hand cluster.  I remembered that I had just recently ordered some of the Stampin' Up neutral cardstock about 10 minutes into panicking I went looking.  I carefully removed the layered pieces from this background and tested it directly onto Smoky Slate (a very pretty light grey) and it looked okay but completely lost the impact that this Elle's Studio gave everything.  So I grabbed the Basic Grey colored piece (a much darker grey) and put it up to the Elle's Studio paper and it looked nice.  I trimmed off the journaling, which ended up being an inch and then matched that cut on the sides.  I would have preferred to get away with a smaller mat, but remember the doodling I said I tested?  Well, that was in the corners so I couldn't move it away from the position it was originally in, so I was unable to move the photo cluster anywhere.  Ultimately, I am very happy with how the layout turned out given the disaster and using two new to me techniques.  I ended up omitting the journaling altogether, but will write it on a label or part of a tag if I decide to add it back in later.


I loved how my title looked, but it needed a little something, so I dug out my Heidi Swapp Color Shine in teal and dabbed ink onto these two stars from Studio Calico to fill in the dead space.  It looks great and pulls in the star flair that is in the upper left cluster.

 I used two different stamps here because the date alone looked a little too small for the scale of the paper.  One thing about this Smoky Slate color is that it doesn't do second generation stamping very well.  It's great for not having to wash my stamps (even though I don't clean off my roller stamps, I just stamp off the ink as much as I can) but not when you want that lighter second and third stamping.  I like the look of these two stamps partnered together.

This cluster really caused me some trouble.  I had the ribbon, paper and flair here when I was working on this layout last night but had no idea how to give it more interest.  I also felt the layout itself was a bit flat and just kept the layout in the back of my mind today while we were out running errands.  At one point, while browsing facebook on my phone, I saw some doilies and thought that would be perfect for the layout.  I didn't expect it to also solve the problems in this cluster, but it ended up being the perfect final touch to the cluster.  One thing that I also did here was fold part of the ribbon and staple it to the grey paper and while there is no other stapling on the layout, the silver/metal repeats the camera paperclip from the photo cluster.

Supplies:

Stampin' Up Basic Grey Cardstock
Elle's Studio Everyday Moments Patterned Paper
Basic Grey Captured Patterned Paper
Cocoa Daisy Exclusive Paper
Project Life Midnight Filler Card
Studio Calico Mistable Stars
Studio Calico Wanderlust Acetate Sheet
Cocoa Daisy Kit Doily (from summer of last year)
Camera Paperclip (I'm not sure who makes this)
A {flair} For Buttons Flair
Amy Tangerine Thickers
My Little Shoebox Mini Alphabets
Doodlebug White Sprinkles
My Mine's Eye Oxford Lane Enamel Dots
Stampin Up' Smoky Slate Ink
Maggie Holmes Flea Market Bokeh Vellum
Bazzill Pacific Cardstock
May Arts Wrinkle Ribbon
Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
October Afternoon Date Roller
Amy Tangerine Phrase Roller
Heidi Swapp Color Shine - Teal

Thanks for stopping by!!

Denise

Monday, March 10, 2014

Scrapbook Steals Rose #4 Sketch Challenge - Monkey See, Monkey Does A Headstand

Here is this week's Scrapbook Steals sketch.  To see this sketch and many others, please click here.  I really loved the look of this one and was excited to try my hand at it.  Here is my take:
 I will apologize in advance for the color distortion.  My camera and I were not friends tonight.  Overall, I'm pleased with the layout, but this definitely doesn't make my list of favorite layouts.  It is another memory documented and that's what counts!  I used mostly Echo Park's 'A Boy's Life' for this layout with some pops of other brands as well.  Some of those 'pops' include October Afternoon alpha stickers, Heidi Swapp resist alphas, an Amy Tangerine date roller, A {flair} For Buttons flair, Sn@p flair, Freckled Fawn epoxy stickers and washi, and a Studio Calico frame.  I also used Stampin' Up's Night Of Navy Ink, the coordinating Stampin' Write marker and some Stampin' Dimensionals.
 I decided to try my hand (or machine, rather) at sewing.  I originally had planned on turning the squares opposite the photos into pockets but once I realized that it was quite a complex task for having never done any sewing on a layout before, I tried to sew the squares down.  I tried twice on the top red one and decided that that wasn't going to work.  From there, I tried sewing directly onto the squares and let's just say that I have more of the red alpha paper in the trash than I do on my layout or left in the form of scraps.  I ended up getting a decent stitch around the journaling block and because I didn't want there to only be a singular bit of sewing on the layout, I decided to sew over top this sticker and in the banner you'll see a couple of photos down.
 My biggest struggle was working with these little squares.  I didn't want them to be left plain, but WHAT I wanted to fill them up with was really throwing me.  I eventually settled for a variety of items and in addition to what you see in this photo, I also included a sticker from the A Boy's Life sticker sheet.
 I'm not so sure I love the Freckled Fawn epoxy sticker here, but I wanted to have one in each cluster and this was the best I could find to balance and fit the layout (other options would have left words upside down or repeating the star which I didn't want to do).  This is actually my very first time using a frame on a layout.  I've been using so many photos in 4x6 form that it's really difficult to find a home for these types of frames.  It was a challenge to myself to use one here and I am quite happy with the look.  Since the overall design of the page is quite linear and the frame itself was the same height as the square beneath it, I decided to slant it a tiny bit and add some dimensionals behind to separate it from that square even more.  I tried to have some non linear elements in several locations to offset the boxes that make up most of the layout.
 Here is the other banner with stitching and another instance of trying to add something that wasn't square or linear.  The triangles were a last second addition that I think helped the layout a lot.
 I think one of my favorite elements has to be the title...but it also owns the title for the biggest problem on the layout as well.  The scale doesn't work with the space as well as I'd like, but there were no other title options that I felt would fit.  Either the alphas were too small or too large to work with this layout.  I think the sketch would work better if you have a shorter title in mind.

Thanks for stopping by!

Denise


ACOT/Page Maps Sketch Challenge #62 - 10 Years

 To check out the sketch for this layout, please click here.  This layout was quite the treat for me as it is the very first time I've scrapped about my husband and I.  January 3rd, 2014 was our 10 year anniversary of when we first started dating.  We married on our 5 year anniversary, so this also marks our 5 year wedding anniversary.  It was a struggle to come up with something that I loved, but I am very pleased with the final result.  Most of this layout was created using MME's Cupid's Arrow collection, but there are a few other things thrown in the mix.  The misting is Heidi Swapp's Tinsel Color Shine, the alphas are a color resist also from Heidi Swapp, the date stamp is the same AT one that I used on the last layout I completed, the rounded corners were punched using my WRMK corner chomper (either 1/4 or 1/2 side, I don't recall which), the tag was punched using the Tag Topper punch from Stampin' Up, the vellum was also Stampin' Up and the black cardstock is just stuff that I had layout around.  Oh, and that darling flair?  That's one of my creations and it just so happened to fit perfectly on this layout.  I designed an entire love set and this was one of the samples that I had on my desk.  I keep my samples in a screw top container that some floral rocks (or whatever you want to call the colorful/shiny rocks that you are supposed to use with fake flowers) come in and I reach for it whenever I can.  I have another storage place for most of my flair, but I have to get some more magnet sheets for it.  As a matter of fact, we're going to a hardware store tonight, I might pick up more and do a blog post on my flair storage in the near future.

 I wanted to keep everything simple, so I just used a few stickers and some enamel shapes from the collection.  I bought just about everything that came with this collection because it was the first lovey dovey line released that didn't have pink thrown up on it.  It was not easy using so many of the same color heart because I struggle not to hoard those suckers!

 I really like how this title cluster turned out.  I used Stampin Up' Real Red to color the alphas and they just look darling on this paper from the 6x6 pad.  I actually opened the collection pack a little confused as to why there were only 6 papers in it.  I guess it's because of the red foiling on everything, but there are several fun designs in the 6x6 paper pad that do not come in 12x12 form, so for once, it was a good purchase decision to get it.  I typically buy them, put them away, and forget about them, but this one has gotten quite a bit of use.
Most of the vellum is covered up (much to my dismay the hearts are spread further apart than I would like, but the black was too stark on it's own) but I placed this heart veneer strategically so I could see a couple of them, even if it was just in parts.  I colored the wood piece with Hero Arts silver (beware, that silver comes off on everything, even after you've let it sit and dry for a while) and because the bottom layers were a bit too competing, I backed it with a paper from the 6x6 paper pad.  A word of caution about the silver ink, though:  I originally considered using it for my date and stamped it onto a test piece of the blue paper I ended up using and it wasn't dark enough...so I stamped it off at least a dozen times and went to try my Stampin' Up Basic Black ink and even after all of the stamping off, there was silver reside left on my ink pad.  Because I noticed right away, I was able to wipe away the shine that transferred with a paper towel, but I would definitely have thoroughly washed the stamp ahead of time if I had known it was going to do that.  That ink pad is BRAND NEW and I was not happy that the shimmer transferred like that!  In case you are wondering, that wood heart is from Michael's.  It was part of the Valentine's display, so you probably won't be able to find it now but they come out with new fun shapes (including some awesome doilies for the spring right now) every few months.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you are enjoying the content, please take a moment and follow me.  It really means a lot to me! :)

Denise

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Wishes Card - Stampin' Up


First off, I have to say...it is SO MUCH EASIER uploading cell phone pictures than it is to upload DSLR ones.  It's also nice that the picture came out well enough.  I'm mostly taking the time to show off this project because I finally stitched on something that wasn't just for practice!!!  I also figured out how to thread my machine.  That was my biggest delay in actually using it.  Typically, I think about using my sewing machine when I'm in the midst of a 12x12 layout and without ever having figured out how to thread it myself, there's just no space to put it.  Add to that, that I don't want to interrupt my 'flow' and the sewing machine idea just goes to the back of my mind and ends up forgotten.  Unless of course, there is stitching on the sketch I'm using, but I digress.

The DSP is both sides of the same sheet and as far as I recall, it's something I picked up on the clearance rack and is a retired product.  Same with the ribbon.  I can't believe how much is on the spool of that ribbon and how big it is.  It's no wonder that they downsized from 15 yards to just 10.  I say 'just' as if 10 yards isn't a lot or something.  I've had this roll for at least a year and this is my first time using it, so even if it were 'just' 10 yards, it would still last me a very, very long time.  The sentiment is from the 'Petite Pairs' stamp and the corresponding stamp is used on the inside of the card.  The only parts of the card that are not SU product are the adhesive, the sewing (duh!), and the oval that the sentiment is on...but shhh, let's pretend it it really is Whisper White.  I originally thought I used all SU product and that little oval is the only thing making me out to be a liar!

If you ARE considering a sewing machine but aren't sure if you'll use it, let me tell you that I am NOT a seamstress.  Before Black Friday last year, I've never even touched a sewing machine.  Sure, I look at them at Joann's when I'm in there, but I'd never actually taken the plunge to sign up for any classes or to buy a machine.  So, if I can figure it out, SO CAN YOU!  I picked mine up for about $50 at Walmart last year and figured it was a low enough price point that I wouldn't hate myself if I didn't end up liking it.  $50 really isn't all that much for all the benefits of even a small machine.  The first thing my Mom and I did with it when she was trying to teach me how to use it was fix a belt loop that broke when I got caught on the baby gate at the top of the stairs the month before.  That fix alone would have been worth half the cost of the machine because I probably would have stopped wearing the jeans due to the annoyance the flailing around belt loop would have caused.


My biggest concern was where I was going to put it when it wasn't in use and it kind of just sat wherever I felt like putting it for a while.  Since it's such a small footprint, it fits easily just about everywhere.  In fact, when I decided to get a Raskog from Ikea in January, I had hoped it would fit inside the top basket.  It is indeed a perfect fit.  It only takes up about half of the basket and I just toss the pedal and power cord attachment beside it.

Thanks for stopping by and if you are enjoying the content, please let me know by following me.

Denise

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Scrapbook Steals Rose #3 - Put It In My Pocket




 Here is the current week's sketch challenge from Scrapbook Steals.  Click here to be directed to the blog post so you can enter, too.  Submissions are due by tomorrow night (11:59 pm central).  Other rules for entering can be found on their blog.  They used the new MME Now & Then Milo collection for their example and boy are they making me want it.  I loved the colors initially, but then it looked too cream for me (I'm not a big fan of cream, it isn't vibrant enough for me and can often look dirty, in my opinion).  The sample images are really making me think that it might be a more tolerable cream base, but I'm going to hold out and hope that some pieces end up in my future Cocoa Daisy kits so I can see bits and pieces before committing to an entire collection.
 This is what I came up with and I must say, the photos DO NOT do it justice.  Once I assembled the papers, I literally sat and stared at it for a while just taking it all in.  The colors look AMAZING together and while it was hard to use that paper for the background (because it was my only sheet) it really does make the colors in the layout pop.  I'll have a list of supplies (paper collections will be listed, but I won't be listing individual paper names) used at the bottom of the post if you are interested.  Most of the layout was made using my December Cocoa Daisy scrapbook kit.  I honestly forgot about this kit until I went looking for paper options.  I got two Christmas kits from them that month and they were my primary focus.  The pictures of this kit on their site do no justice to it.  It is far more beautiful in person!!
 I finished the layout last night and realized when I laid down that I completely forgot to put a title on the layout!!  I started thinking about supplies and knew EXACTLY what I wanted to use if they were the right shades and they worked perfectly.  I've been hoarding those Thickers for a while and am so glad that I finally got to use them.  This was also a first instance of putting those circle alphas to use.  I have several sets, but I've never really known how to use them.  The flair was a piece that I made by color picking the green from the Lily Bee paper in photoshop.  For a bit of interest, I decided to use a Studio Calico 'R' (my son's first initial) on top.  I chose the olive color to have a visual triangle of that color between that piece, the olive chevron paper and the lines from the grid paper that I used for my journaling (see next photo).  The wood veneer hearts used in all of the embellishment clusters were custom from the kit.
 This cluster gave me a ton of trouble.  I had to attach the heart clip over and over again to get it to stick ...it didn't want to stay.  I finally got it to stick okay enough and the blue ink from the veneers started to smudge all over the paper when I used to my adhesive remover to try and remove some extra glue.  The cluster itself was already looking plain because the clip had no grounding element.  I added a bit the teal chevron paper that I had a scrap of and viola, solved two problems with one stone.
Since 'love' sort of turned into an inadvertent theme on this layout, it was only natural to use this phrase from an Amy Tangerine date roller.  The script in it is very similar to the script in the Maya Road clip which was just an added bonus.  All of the wood veneer hearts were inked up using Night of Navy from Stampin' Up.  The date was stamped in the same ink and I used the same color Stampin' Write Marker for my journaling.  Between that and the sticky keys, it gave me just enough navy to make the navy and aqua star paper fit into the whole layout.  I also used Stampin' Up dimensionals behind both photos.  The paperclip would have made the corner of the bottom photo uneven with the rest of the photo without them.  The dimensionals are also behind the date sticker so it would sit flush with the photo.

Supplies used:

Teresa Collins - Family Stories
Lily Bee - We R Family
My Mind's Eye - Cut & Paste: Charm
My Mind's Eye - Cut & Paste: Flair (the date sticker)
October Afternoon Sticky Keys in Peacock Blue
Thickers in the aqua Sketchbook font
Maya Road 'Love' paperclip
Freckled Fawn 'Love' paperclip
Stampin' Up Night Of Navy Ink
Stampin' Up Night Of Navy Stampin' Write Marker
Stampin' Up Dimensions
Amy Tangerine Date/Phrase Roller Stamp
Cocoa Daisy exclusive paper (blue/aqua star paper)
Cocoa Daisy exclusive heart veneer
Custom made flair (my own design)

Thanks for stopping by and for following me!

Denise