Saturday, November 29, 2008

So Grateful

This month's kit came with this groovy quote bubble paper. Naturally, those little guys needed to be filled. But rather than focusing on one event, I decided to play with the grateful theme, gathering the visual evidence of the things for which I am grateful: Shopping with mom, Starbucks coffee, the ability to practice martial arts, trips with my husband, sales and family. The list goes on and on but this was a nice way to celebrate a few of those things. And it allows me to pair random photos together in one place.

First I gathered my photos, sized them in Photoshop, printed them out and matted them with white card stock. I added my captions next to each photo (the alien needs one, tho). Then I cut a piece of blue card stock and ran it along the side along with a piece of scalloped pattern paper. The American Crafts Thickers finished off the page along with the quote bubble from a previous DT kit.

More Sheer Delights!

Just like Leah, I was excited to find one of the new Sheer Delights from KI Memories in my kit this month. The translucent finish is really quite lovely and I think it's a little easier to work with than some of the clear products on the market.

I decided to use my Sheer Delight for a mini-album cover and simply cut it in half with my guillotine cutter - easy, peasy! The only moderately difficult part of the album was lining up the items from the cover page and the first page. I used my Xyron to adhere everything together... and you can't even see the glue through the back because of the finish. Between the extra-sticky Xyron glue and the flexible Sheer Delight sheet, I'm sure that this album will last for quite some time!

I filled the pages with notes and poems from my 5 year old daughter... she is always working on a project (I don't know where she got that from!) and I accumulate a lot of bits of paper that I can't bear to toss. Each page, after the title page is basically a strip of paper at the top and a mat for her "mail." The paper combinations vary, but since everything is from the same American Crafts line, the look is very cohesive.

I had a couple of piggie puppets mounted on popsicle sticks that I wanted to include... but they were too big for these pages. I decided to make a pocket page instead by cutting my cardstock to the correct width and then double the height of my other pages. I folded it in half and used dry adhesive for the top and red line tape for the left hand side. A little decoration and punching part of a circle in the end, help readers find the hidden puppets.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

iTune you out!

How many other parents have experienced this? I just had to do a layout!
I actually started with my son's iTunes gift was really cool, but also really pink! How to make a boy layout with such a vibrant pink and not have it overwhelm the layout? Easy answer! The "gidday" paper from the American Crafts everyday line includes several colors you can choose to coordinate with - green, blue, brown, light pink, yellow...and a bold pink! I loved the multi-colored dots and the brown background helped tone down the pink. It is a very busy pattern, though, so I brought in the solid blue to create a place for pictures, ephemera, embellishments and a title.
I wanted to keep it a little bit funky, so I went after another collage style layout. I added plenty of dimension with Thickers for the title, pop dots under the stars, and UTEE on the musical notes. This was my first experience with UTEE and I am happy with the results, although I did find it a bit more time consuming than I had hoped to add and melt all those layers. (The notes are die cuts I made at Scrapbooks Plus - there is a wide selection of dies in the classroom so be sure to check them out for an accent for your next layout.) The musical notes, in addition to fitting in with the theme, helped to tie in the color black, off of the gift card and from the background of the photos.

I really like the collage style because you can include all kinds of materials! I found the directions on how to operate the ipod laying around, and instead of just pitching it, I decided it would be a fun little piece to add to the collage. My son wrote down some of his favorite tunes on the tag, I added a "word bubble" for some journaling after it comes home, and I stretched some ribbon across both pages to unify the layout. The last thing I added was the index prints. I love finding ways to include my index prints...even tiny pictures shouldn't be thrown away!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hi Cupcake!

One reason I like the American Crafts paper so much is that it really is such a nice heavy weight and it is reversible! The reverse side of this pretty paper is a nice soft pink, which made it perfect for the inside of a card - no need to line it with additional paper. For some reason, the first time I saw the "Salut" paper from American Crafts this month, I thought of frosting. Maybe I just had frosting on the brain, because I was also planning my daughter's birthday party, which had a cupcake theme, and I was seeing cupcakes and frosting everywhere! Anyway, after the card was cut to size, I pulled out my Ikandee chalks and quickly filled in alternating rows with the appropriate color. I used a stamp to create the cupcake and the greeting on white cardstock. Once they were also decorated with chalk and edged with ink, I mounted them on pop dots and - voila - another simple card!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sheer Delights Make it So Simple!

One of my favorite parts of getting the DT kit each month, is digging through to see what suprise element has been included. This month I was tickled to find a piece of sheer delights from KI Memories. In the past, I have made cards that have a window or a piece of vellum in the middle, but this month I decided to try the reverse. I cut a 10"x5" rectangle and scored and folded it in the middle. I rounded the corners with a corner punch. Using a Scalloped Nestability, I cut (2) squares out of blue (front and back) and (2) squares out of white (insides). It was easy to line them up and cover up the adhesive.

"It's a Boy!" is a rub on from my stash, but it would be easy enough to print up the "new baby" details on a computer and then die cut them later.

The last detail was to punch holes through the card along the folded edge, 1/2" from the top and the bottom. Using a needle, I ran the floss through the holes and then added the beads, creating a little tassle at the end as I tied it off. It was really very simple, and I think this would also make very distinctive wedding, graduation, or birthday cards!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What to do with those 8x10's?

This is my daughter's first year in school... so this was our first year to have the difficult time of trying to decide what school portrait package to buy. It seemed like the choices were limited to a few wallets that came with some of those teeny, tiny half-wallet sized photos... or else a better number of wallets that came with bigger pics and an 8x10. I don't really have a space to display an 8x10 so I thought I would create a layout that I can duplicate easily each year to showcase it instead. I "interviewed" my daughter the first week of school and the questions and answers will go in the white block I left for journaling. I hope to ask the same questions... perhaps with a few variations... each year!

The American Crafts papers with their bright colors and clean lines are perfect for a school-themed page. I used some of the stars as my accent pieces. To give them a "puffy" look first I cut out the stars loosely and glued them to several extra layers of cardstock. Then I carefully trimmed all the layers at once and used temporary adhesive to hold them onto my craft mat. I added a layer of Glossy Accents and let it dry. Then I added 2 more coats of the Glossy Accents and mounted them on Pop Dots.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS. Whenever I have a 2 page spread, I like to have something "cross the ditch" to connect the two pages. Getting things perfectly lined up can be a pain sometimes, so I use blue painter's tape to hold the cardstock down and in place while I line up the crossing pieces. Just be sure not to press too hard and peel it off carefully, especially with delicate or white core papers.

Another option is to run a couple of lines of repositionable adhesive across your worktop and stick the base of your layout right on top. When you're done, the pages will peel right off and you can use an eraser to remove the adhesive from the desk or table.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Color Blocking

A very simple but effective technique to use in page design is color blocking. This works especially well with very graphic papers, like the papers in the everyday line from American Crafts this month. The colors in all the papers in this line coordinate perfectly, so it would be impossible to make a bad choice for this kind of layout.I cut the pieces of paper to "puzzle fit" around the center rectangle. This method uses the least amount of paper. An easier way to accomplish the same look would have been to mat the center color block with the background solid (in this case, brown) and laid it on top of the surrounding color blocks - much less measuring involved and you also have the option of adding dimension by placing it on pop dots!
Before I taped the color blocks down, I inked the edges to add the illusion of dimension. I also included buttons and a cute felt flower - I love 3D elements - I think they are "2 cute", just like the title says. The funky numbers in the title and the year were cut from "Long Time No See". The flowered paper is "Bonjour".
The last choice I made in this layout was the size of the picture. I had a 4x6 and 5x7 copy of the same print, and I kept going back and forth. The center block was sized to accomodate the 5x7, but I decided that I liked showing the extra orange polka dot print in the center and I liked the title placement with the 4x6 print (with a 5x7 I would have had to move the title to another place on the layout). Bigger is not always better!
I plan on adding journaling on the pink and blue blocks when I bring the layout home and I will include one of my daughter's favorite quotes -
"Autumn is a second Spring, where every leaf becomes a flower." Albert Camus

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the Clouds

This month's American Crafts kit is chock-full of fun color and patterns. And with all that color in the paper, you may find that black and white photos work best.

And this cloud paper? Too cute! I traced a few clouds onto a piece of Clear Scraps craft plastic, then painted the edges with white paint. They're adhered to the layout with popdots.

With such bright colors

Sunday, November 16, 2008

October RAK Winner!

Congratulations to GiftsbyHeidi! Your name was selected (by my son picking your name from a hat) from the posts for the RAK. Your mini book is at the store for you to pick up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I LOVE SHADOW BOXES!!!!  I love these papers and when I found this shadow box with the holes in the top I knew exactly what I wanted to do!  

I started with the pieces for the box.  I cut out a bunch of shapes to layer in and play with.  I always cut out more then I actually need!  That lets you be picky when layering.  The kick to getting such deep shadows was the 1" thick pop dots that I found!  These dots are like the normal ones that we all use, but about 5 times the normal size!  By using those and normal pop dots I created 5 different layers.  It's always fun to cut things up and change their sizes so that they are perfect for your piece. 

At the top, there were two rows of holes all along the top.  I first put my laugh dowels in where I wanted them and then played with the blue swirls from inside, by adding pipe cleaners!  I love that they add whimsy to the top!  I then covered the rest of the wholes with gems!!  Everything has to have a little bling!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting a Little "Misty"

Using Glimmer Mist, that is...

I found this fun Cosmo Cricket chipboard book at Scrapbooks Plus and just knew it would be perfect for the October kit. I made a minibook of our traditions for the month -- apple picking, pumpkin patches, etc.
I had a little fun using masks and Glimmer Mist with this book. I first used a Creative Imaginations die cut paper shaped like a spiderweb. I turned the paper upside down and placed it on top of my page, then sprayed lightly. Since I sprayed over the back side of the paper, I still can still use it on another project! On the second page I used a new Tim Holtz mask - I snatched it up as soon as it came in the store! I used the Silver Bells color right over the chipboard - and it gave this page a really cool look.

Here's the entire album:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

October RAK

Just a quick reminder that we will be drawing a name for the October RAK on November 15th! Leave a comment on the original post letting us know what your favorite holiday/activity is to scrapbook.

Tutorial - No Sew Pleated Ribbon

I’ve seen layouts in the magazines that included ribbon that was sewn down and scrunched together into pleats and loved the look. I wanted to get a similar look for one of my layouts this month, but the ribbon I wanted to use already had a stitching detail on it... so stitching it down wasn’t an option. I thought about trying it with Glue Dots, but they can be a little bumpy and I didn’t think that it would stay “stuck” while hanging on the wall for a month. I decided to try this technique with Zip Dry. It worked great... no bumps and everything stayed on. The only downside is that it’s a little slower, but you can always stick the next section during every commercial while you watch TV!

First, get together your supplies: Zip Dry or other wet glue, ribbon – about double the length of the space you are covering, and a weight – I used an acrylic stamp block.

Next, layout your ribbon approximately where you want it to be. I scooted the ribbon down a smidge and ran a bead of Zip Dry along the paper from the end of the ribbon up to the first pleat and placed the ribbon carefully on top. Now I store my ribbon on plastic floss bobbins... so my ribbon had bumps in it. Rather than iron it flat, I used those “bumps” as the placement for my pleats... why iron if you don’t have to is my motto!!!

Once the end is in place, I started to make the pleats. First I put a drop of glue on the top of the ribbon just to the left of the pleat fold. If you will be folding your pleats to the other side, place your glue on the right of the fold (or turn it upside-down and keep going left). Then I folded the ribbon onto the glue and held it in place for about a minute or long enough for the glue to take hold.

Then I lifted up the tail of the ribbon and placed a line of glue on the paper between the first pleat and the next pleat fold. Once this first pleat was dry and holding well, I made the next pleat, placing a dot of glue on the top of the ribbon to the left of the pleat fold, folded it over, and ran glue under the next section.

At this point I placed the acrylic block over my completed pleats to speed up the process. I could glue 2 or 3 pleats in place, sliding the acrylic block over top of them to make sure they were staying put until the glue had a chance to dry. If a section of ribbon inbetween pleats didn’t look as though it was firmly down, I just used a paper piercer to reach under the block and push it back into place.

And here is the finished layout...

... and a closeup of the pleated ribbon.

This technique comes in handy for non-sewers (or those of who don’t want to drag the machine out) as well as for layouts where the stitching just isn’t the look you are going for.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good evening all!!!  I loved that paper this month, but I just couldn't find any halloween pictures!  I took basic patterns of the papers I really loved and created accents with them.   I think by mixing the color and the black and white photos it pulls all the patterns together.  It also brings attention to the most important things, even if they are small

The way the crow flies

This was the month of the X-acto. Not to mention glitter.

For my project, I wanted to create a hanging Halloween goody, and when I saw the crow template in Creating Keepsakes magazine, I was hooked. I went to the web site, downloaded the template and sized it up in Photoshop. Once it was printed out, I cut it out and traced it onto a piece of cardstock and used my X-acto to cut that out. I wasn't too concerned about rough edges because I knew I'd be smoothing them out with my Basic Grey Precision tool kit.

Once I had all three crows, I decided to cover one side with paper. I selected a grid paper for one and a pumpkin pattern paper for the other and used PVA to cover one side of chipboard. I flipped that over onto the backside of the paper and brayered, making sure to get out all the bubbles. I set it aside for a few minutes and then trimmed off the excess. (The final crow would be covered in glitter.)

From here, it was a matter of decorating. I used the American Crafts Thicker shapes to create my frames for my letters. But first I covered them in Doodlebug orange glitter. I started with the sticky side up, added glitter, let that dry. Then I added a coat of Tombo followed by a second coat of glitter. After that was dry, I added my striped pattern paper to the back along with my black glitter letter from American Crafts.

For the middle crow, I created a pinwheel by folding three strips of patterned paper into an accordion fold. Each section was attached using Terrifically Tacky tape while the middle was held together with a nice dollop of PVA. (The pinwheel was placed between two heavy objects so it wouldn't come apart during the drying process. PVA sets up fairly quickly, but I was a bit nervous so I let sit for a good hour or so. If you want to be completely nervous, let it dry over night.) The framed "O" was also attached using PVA. This time I set one of my small candle holders on top. (It's all so scientific around here.) This crow was also covered in Doodlebug black glitter.

I thought I was done but realized that if this guy turned, I'd be in a heap of trouble when it came to the backside, which was just plain chipboard. So I quickly covered everything with black cardstock and used black glitter all along the edges. I highly recommend covering BOTH sides of your hanging project at the same time.

A leaf, crown and some orange bling finished off the process. Everything was attached to a black ribbon. I wound a piece of waxed linen thread through one of the holes in the ribbon and tied it off so I could hang it where I wanted.

Friday, November 7, 2008


We have covered many fun things this past year here on the Scrapbooks Plus Design Team (it is hard to believe it has been almost a year)!

This month it was my month to chose what papers/embellishments, etc. the DT would be using. Before I get too carried away I have to say that being responsible for the kit is WAY more pressure than one may think. I wanted to make sure everybody had enough stuff, enjoyed the colors, was inspired – you know all that fun stuff.

It being November and all, I am sure folks were probably expecting a fall like theme. I just wasn’t feeling that for some reason. I wanted something bright, fun and outside the box so to speak.

With no further ado here is a little tease of what will be up on display November 15, 2008.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I love altered projects!!!  I found these wood letters for under $1 at Michaels last month.  I knew they were perfect.

When altering projects, I like to start by tracing and cutting out the backgrounds, making sure to layer colors and textures.  I then inked all of the wood edges.  I think next time I'll paint though.  You need to be careful with inkpads that you don't ruin the fibers when applying ink.  When the fibers are runined the ink can't get to the top and gets trapped!  

Good luck with your own projects!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

October Sketch

When I saw the papers for this month, I knew I had some great shots from Cox’s Farm that would work with the paper. As I started pulling them out, I remembered that we had taken pictures years before in the exact same spots. My husband took the pictures on his SLR camera on black and white film, but they weren’t great. The lighting was harsh, causing a lot of squinting, and the details were lost without color. Despite that, I wanted to include them with our newer and better shots so we could see how much our daughter has grown and changed. I had to search through my cold storage boxes (from Stacy Julian’s organizational system), but I found them! Even though they aren’t great shots, it’s fine to use them or even showcase them. Perfect pictures are ideal, but whatever you have to support the memory is most important!

Here is my layout. The die-cut paper can easily be cut down so that you can use the hidden portion in another layout.

And here is my sketch:

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More Fall Cards

The October kit had a lot of fun things in it - including these fabric leaves and a chipboard pumpkin. I used these goodies to make a few cards:

For this card I layered several pieces of paper then attached the fabric leaves to the card with paper taggers.

I started with plain cardstock and then added a section out of the Creative Imaginations scalloped paper to make my background. In addition to a fabric leaf, I added a chipboard pumpkin, some ric rac and a chipboard Thicker from American Crafts.

For the pumpkin: I first swiped it with marmalade Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Before the ink could dry I added some orange Tim Holtz Distress Embossing powder on top. It didn't stick everywhere which gave the pumpkin realistic shading. After the embossing powder was dry I added one coat of UTEE which added a bumpy texture and shine.