Monday, June 29, 2009

Wise Guy - Collaboration Album

Shameful. That is almost how I feel when I look at this album. Father's Day has come and gone and I have not yet given this album to my dad. My siblings helped with the contents - we reminisced on line about lines and phrases our father was famous for saying while we were growing up. It was a hoot to create, no pun intended!

Creating Keepsakes recently had a call for collaborative albums - of course I submitted. If it doesn't get picked up by dad's birthday in September I will wrap it up. (Dad, if you're reading my blog - act surprised!)

Here is a glimpse of the inside. The papers used are Piggy Tales. The album itself is Magistical Memories "Tab It Up" album.

This page in particular cracked me up with the story behind it. AND, hey, patting myself on the back here - I free hand drew that ox face!! There is something to be said for watching the old pioneer days shows like Little House - one gets to see an ox now and then. (LOL)

The album has a few small photos of my father, but the last page finishes with a nice, and recent picture.

I have to share a close up of the Magistical Memories wise owl - I think he just turned out the coolest. I know this little album has been featured on Piggy Tales web site and was on the ScrapSisTV catwalk...but I know I never shared it on my personal blog. My siblings probably wonder whatever became of that e-conversation.

Well, now you know. I have been hording it in hopes of a pub, but I will release it from my custody soon. (LOL)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Fruit

Do you have a favorite treat in the summer time? I especially love fresh fruit, namely, perfectly ripe strawberries. Anytime they go on sale in the off season I pick them up, so I especially love strawberry time, as in now.

Today's shared layout is clean and simple, and uses cardstock only. I simply picked up on the colors of strawberries themselves. Think of what you can do with cardstock to punch it up - literally. There are so many punches offered these days, they've become a staple in my "tool box" - especially border punches!

This morning Abby and I went to the local swim meet to watch some of her friends compete. It's a beautiful morning! It's not too hot yet, I need to get out and work in my flower beds. I have already worked on two layouts!

Later today we have an annual family get together on my husband's side. We have outdoor activities planned for evening - so rather hoping the rain holds off until quite late!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Friday and Happy News!

Do you like this layout? It was made with Cosmo Cricket Early Girl a few nights ago. My LSS just got in the Ready Set Chipboard for Early Girl...alas, now I am thinking I may need to edit and find a spot for the cute music note shapes. (LOL)

If you like Cosmo be sure to check out my newest blog here.

Happy news today - as if my e-mail from Creating Keepsakes wasn't exciting enough, a friend just pointed me to the BoBunny blog today. Check it out! (ok - I have to blurt out that I won the pet layout contest!!!) Woo hoo! I have no idea what I won - but I will love it!

Happy Friday for me, and I hope you are having a great one, too! I am missing my friends and former co-workers at the Scrapbook Superstore - if you stop by here please leave a comment and say "hi!" Love ya gals!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Made in Minutes!

Sometimes I wish we had 48 hours a day - I would love to spend 12 hrs. a day creating! I have had this layuot idea in my head since Scenic Route released the Grafton paper line - has it been a year? Or more?

I knew I wanted to use the Magistical Memories surfboard. I have had the photo and all the elements for a long time. Last night I finished a Cosmo Cricket layout at 11:30 pm. Instead of going to bed, I decided to take on the ACOT supply list challenge - which was to create a layout using NO cardstock, foam and epoxy embellishments (the latter of which are easy to make yourself using dimensional glaze).
It seemed for this layout the best treatment for the chipboard was to ink the edges only, leaving it primarily raw. Originally I thought I would cover it in patterned papers, but in this case, less is more. I inked the lightning bolt designs with teal and turquoise chalk inks. Using dimensional glaze on top, the colors blended nicely.

I used my craft knife to cut around designs in the patterned paper, and once done, this layout came together in a snap. Less than an hour - and for me, I call that "made in minutes!" Part of the ACOT challenge to use foam was challenging in that I had no scrappy supplies of a summer theme. I snagged a fish shape from Abby's craft stash and trimmed it down in size, so it was not overbearing. I inked the foam to change the color and match the layout tones...but if you have done this you already know the ink immediately comes off on your hands. My next solution was to paint over, and with ink still fresh it blended with the paint and I achieved a nice blended effect quite happily and unintentionally. (LOL)

If you would like to see a Cosmo Cricket layout, also created for a June ACOT challenge, you can check it out here. I also have happy news tonight - Creating Keepsakes requested a layout for the November issue - which will make two issues of Creating Keepsakes in a row!! I seriously figured, with Memory Makers no longer in print publication, that my pubs for printed media magazines would be far and few in between. I also received a contract in the mail today from Scrapbooking and Beyond - so far I am going to have a great fall in print - and it is very exciting!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dad Tribute 2 - Basic Grey Periphery

As a parent I have noted how much more my husband will stop the chores he may have had on his mind to do, to play with the kids. They laugh, wrestle, and the kids climb on top of their father. Dad's are great for spontaneous fun.

Jesse is particularly good at being a dad, he has a great nurturing personality. I wanted this layout to document many of the fatherly tributes and qualities he has. I dug into my stash to find Basic Grey Periphery as the perfect compliment of papers to go with a photo of my family hiking a trail at Festge Park. The design is based loosely on a sketch at Create My Keepsake.

I have noticed that the clusters I love in digital scrapping are carrying over into my traditional layouts. It's fun to play and layer, and see what can be tucked in here and coerced into position there...I am not sure how I ever scrapped without 3D foam adhesive squares - I use them all the time now for multi-levels of layers.

The Magistical Memories Potty People guy shape is a perfect accent piece as you can see. Really, they are great with any guy layout - and you can get a package of both girl and guy shapes in various sizes. I especially love the smallest ones for use on greeting cards to that special friend.

I ordered these great new journaling cards (Jenni Bowlin? packaging is unmarked) from ACOT - they allow so much room for journaling - and I especially like that for those times when I have a lot to "say"!

I ended up making a Father's Day card that utilized the same photo. On the inside it reads: "Thanks Dad, for keeping us on the straight and narrow path!"
Products used are an older line of MME Kaleidescope papers.

Do you have an activity that you remember doing with your dad? Or perhaps you have developed some characteristics in which people, or even yourself, can see your father in you. I know I have many qualities that come from my father, and that is subject for another layout. Don't let those "dad memories" slip by - be sure to create layouts about the dads in your life, as well as the kids and pets.

For those of you who subscribe to this blog, I want to give a heads up that the URL may be changing. When I created this blog the original names I had in mind were taken, so I came up with something in needed moment, but I wish it were shorter and easier to remember. With that in mind, I am going to play around and see if I can come up with something similar, shorter, and available.

I am also working on setting up another blog - a gallery, if you will, dedicated to my projects created with Cosmo Cricket. I have been wanting to do this for some time. I actually want to create 3 new blogs total, dedicated to my three top manufacturers - my "dream team" list. "Cosmo Cricket Creations" is still in the works. I finished a new collage style banner this evening - let me know what you think! I still have links, etc. to add to the side bar, and then I will get rolling on loading my Cosmo creations.

Honoring a Special Dad (MME Penny Lane)

It's Monday and yesterday we honored the fathers in our lives. It's becoming tradition for my husband to receive a layout about him on occassions such as Valentine's Day, birthday, and of course... Father's Day. Afterall, it's the gift that keeps on giving...memories year after year, preserved for future generations.

The Faithbooking Challenge at A Cherry On Top this month centered around HONOR. Scripture from Phillipians, teaching us how to live an honorable life, was an easy choice to use in this layout, as it is a biblical lesson Jesse repeats to the kids often.

I pulled out old WR Memory Keepers chipboard alpha - with the stripes and paisley. I sanded and painted 2 coats of red over - not enough to totally mask the underlying designs, but it gives the letters a mottled effect and nice texture, especially with a little ink rubbed on top.

I just love the texture in these particular MME papers. They lend themselves so well to distressing. I find using my craft knife blade along the raw edge quickly softens the paper and allows it to be easily torn, rolled and crimped.

I have noted that in my laziness to trim off thread ends when I sew on layouts, that I have actually embraced the look of dangling threads. I think they add interest. I remember the days when I trimmed so carefully, but with less creative time, clean precision is NOT a priority. (LOL)

I created another layout and a few Father's Day cards as well, and will show you the other Dad layout shortly. I am just glad to have found creative time - I was going through withdrawal! On Friday evening I decided to get out the RoundUp and spray as many weeds as I could, rather than sweat and pull them on Saturday. This gave me the excuse to stay indoors to wash clothes and create - because the weed killer had to do its work. Kyle and Jesse went to a Civil Way reenactment in Sauk, and Abby had a birthday party in the afternoon - so I had two hours of interupted creative time!

Now, that it is Monday, I look at the weeds and have to say I expected more...according to the commercial - 5 minutes! Oh well, my dad is happy with the results he gets from RoundUp, so I have to assume that sooner or later, those weeds are going to die. Since many were attacking my good plants - I sure hope so! I am typically an anti-chemical kind of gal, but the situation was getting hopeless now that I am working full time.

Join me again for a layout that uses awesome paper from my you ever wonder what in the world you were saving such beautiful product for? Those were my thoughts this weekend. See you soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cosmo Cricket Mini Album Class - FREE!

I am not sure how many openings are left, but last night I realized that my mini album class at the Middleton Public Library is only weeks away - I have LOTS of prep work to do!! We are gearing up for 20 class participants, which translates into 20 kits that I need to put together! That, and I am doing a guest design team spot next month - so I guess I have to get busy with my creative projects! If you live in the Middleton, Wisconsin area - you may want to see if there are any openings if you are interested. The class is being held Tuesday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.

The 6x6 album, called "Summer Fun", is perfect for a variety of 4x6 photos to document your summer activities. It features the bright colors of Cosmo Cricket's Snorkel line. Because we have only one hour for the class, my goal is to have everyone create their covers. I will have everything pre-cut and packaged for the inside pages, which could easily be finished at home after class.

What I really hope to convey in my class is the fun of playing with chipboard. The Seahorse shape by Magsitical Memories is covered with several paints and sparkle. It, and many other fun shapes by Magistical Memories, such as the Starfish, Octopus, and Fish are great for summer pages and projects. In fact, right now there is a 25% sale happening at MM - visit today to get a deal on fun summer shapes!

We are going to be painting and having some fun in my class, so don't "dress to the nines"!

I woke up this morning with a nice surprise message in my inbox. My recent BoBunny layout is featured in the ACOT designer picks! Check out this article for great, scrappin', eye candy. It really surprised me, perhaps because I am the one who knows the mistakes made in that layout.(LOL)

See those CUTE fishies? Great chipboard shapes by Magistical Memories covered with paper from the Love Shack line. Well, that top fish was not in my original design plan...but I tried stamping on the photo with Staz-on ink, you see. And, well, it smeared. :-( Now, it shouldn't have - I know people do it. I suspect, however, that one has to have a bit more patience to allow it to dry. I stamped a swirl, bleeding it off into the background paper. It would have, could have looked cool. But I kept on creating instead of walking away from the project. OOPS! When I am in the creative mood, or have creative time - maybe that's a better phrase these days - I just like to keep on scrapping!

Hope today's journey is a good one. Remember to pray for our country and everyone who have experienced job loss and are in transition. This hit a couple of my family members these past few weeks. I hope they can find jobs soon - like so many others. Remember to F.R.O.G.!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dream Street Heartsong - Perfect for Teacher Cards

Inspired by this.

In April we visited a greenhouse on campus that had an exotic butterfly exhibit. I took my new Nikon, and I gave Kyle my "old" Olympus. Good thing...I was still learning my new camera and didn't get that many great photos, but Kyle took the photo above! Pretty good for an 11 yr old, don't ya think?

The photo reminded me of a quote I used on a teacher's card a few years ago, "Encourage a child in all they do, and give them wings to fly!" I framed a 5x7 print of the above photo for Kyle's teacher, and had him sign the photo mat. I wanted to make a butterfly-themed card, and it just so happens that I had a new, never used Quickutz double butterfly die. Last night Abby and I were churning the butterflies out of the Cuttlebug (to use QK dies, use the C plate on the bottom instead of a B plate). Punching out all the holes in the black cardstock took a bit of effort, as quite a few required extra help from a craft knife. I then found putting the black outline on the orange base shape was an adhesive challenge. After doing it once, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to cover the orange shape with mod podge, and position the black on top. Because I used sparkle mod podge, it did not matter if my adhesive showed through to the top. In fact, I decided to put a 2nd coat on most of the butterflies so that the entire embellishment sparkles.

Dream Street's Heartsong happened to be sitting on my craft table (I have had this for a while, but never put it away - yikes!). The line, I realized, is perfect for the sentiment on the card, not to mention perfect colors.

In this post I would like to show you three different cards using the same idea, paper line, and embellishment. Seriously, if you are hand-making an embellishment and all the supplies are out, you may as well make a number of them. I ended up with 5 butterflies total, and have some other projects in mind. I printed the same sentiment out 3 times on cardstock from a photo mat pack, and I was set to create!

The first card is simple in design - and once the butterfly is made, about as quick to make as can be. Fiskars border punches are my replacement to ribbon on cards. I love the designs, and paper is so much easier to adhere (not to mention less bulk if it is to be mailed). Apron Lace is used for these cards.

The second card steps up in size to a 5.5x5.5 square. I found some Bazzill card packs in my stash, and I could not resist an orange, square envelope. I used patterned paper throughout, and tore the edges around the quote for additional interest.

The third card really takes it up a notch - inspired by scraps remaining from the first two cards. This card fits in a standard #10 envelope. If your child writes their teacher a thank you letter, this size is perfect to fold up the letter and include it with the card. I punched the sentiment with a Fiskars circle squeeze punch, and matted it with orange cardstock - using my craft knife to distress the edges. I then cut about 3/8" off the bottom edge of the card front, and secured a border punch shape using BoBunny's dotted cardstock, which I especially love for this purpose. I went light on the adhesive, and doubly secured the border by sewing around the edges, taking in the border strip from underneath. A tip for finishing off your stitches - I started the outer border at the seam line of the two patterned papers on the bottom. Sewing all around, once I returned to my starting point, I pivoted the card front and zig zag stitched up the seam edge - eliminating any obvious back stitches.

This butterfly encompasses a bit involvement. I decided to use a Sakura black glaze pen on the Quickutz black outline shape. It took a bit of work, and certainly depleted the ink supply in the barrel - but it was worth it! I love the look! I finished it off by adding Prima flourishes (recently arrived from ACOT!), using a portion of the flourishes on the butterfly's body.

It's getting late. The teacher cards are set to go, with gift cards inside. I had to whip up a birthday card for a party Kyle is going to tomorrow evening, and I managed to write something in a few of the graduation cards I had made this past weekend. I also finished the cards for our own children, letting them know how proud we are of them. It's especially a major milestone for Kyle - hard to believe our not so little boy is going into middle school. He has become quite a wonderful young man. I held back the tears as I wrote him a message. There is so much I wanted to say, but space was limited. I assured him it was fodder for a new layout. (LOL)

I hope seeing the same product used to make a simple, moderate and more advanced card will inspire you to make multiples next time you have card making supplies out. It's a great way to get ahead in the card making process. Enjoy the journey, and the milestones in your lives.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Last Week of School - Summer and Calypso!

BoBunny's Calypso collection screams summer at me. I love the bright colors, and fun designs. I used Janelle Richmond's sketch at Magistical Memories to scrap some older photos, taken 5 years ago- Abby's first time setting toes into a body of water other than a pool or tub. She was not too sure about it, but at least she got her feet wet!

To create the title I used BoBunny chipboard letters - with imperfect strokes of blue paint added, leaving the edges brown to ensure the title pops off the page. If a layout title includes the word "wet", I cannot help myself but to use Diamond Glaze on top for a wet look, as seen here.

Sticker letters from Doodlebug and October Afternoon help to round out the title thought.

BoBunny acrylic swirls are PERFECT for any layout that features water. I used a mixture of Rangers "Stream" blue alcohol ink mixed with white Perfect Pearls powder to add a splattering of shimmering blue, although the photo does not show it off so well.

On Friday we released the Peeper frog that had resided with us through this past winter. Due to the cooler than norm temps his reintroduction into the wild was delayed.

He sure was happy to crawl into the crevice of a tree trunk, however!

And Kyle was happy to splash in the creek. He found little creatures of the insect? world under rocks - had no idea what they were, baby leeches? (ugggh - they just looked gross to me!) At any rate, I am glad I still have more "U Bug Me" papers left as he was happy to show me a number of creatures, and of course I took photos.

We had a busy weekend of graduation and birthday parties (Kyle's fifth grade graduation party was Thursday night - wow!), continued work on the bedroom makeover project, and new dishwasher installation. If you need one, I am HIGHLY recommending our new Kitchenaid model (KUDC03)- we can bareley hear the machine running and believe me, we have tested some pretty encrusted pans in there, which come out flawlessly clean! After 6 mo. without I am hoping this will now give me a little more scrapping time. It's the last week of school - hopefully more photo opps and I took off Thursday to help out with games on the last day. Hard to believe summer vacation starts on Friday - maybe because we are still wearing pants and jackets in June! (LOL)