Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Scrapbooking Week!

Or at least that's what I've officialy declared it at my house. I've been having all sorts of fun making cards, but this week I wanted to focus on scrapbooking. I started this layout last week and am just finishing it up.

This was a trip to Charlotte (pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllabal) Beach in August. I have a TON of pictures from this outing and have been wanting to scrap it for a while. This is the first of two layouts (plus) from our outing.

I had so much fun pulling this one together. That ledger paper that I used is from a retired CTMH kit called You & Me, but if you like the look of it, it's very similar to a print in the Typeset collection. I had thought about using the patterned paper for the background, but since I only have a few sheets of it, and I love it, I thought this was the better way to go.

The little penants are some old Creative Memories cardstock that I have (sorry I don't know the names of the colors, and I'm pretty sure they are retired). The CM cardstock is a little thinner than CTMH, so I thought they would work better since I knew I was going to do some sewing on this page, which I haven't done a ton of, so I didn't want to add any more complication than absolutely necessary.

To create the penants, I cut 5/8" strips of cardstock and then cut those down to 1 1/2", 1 3/4", and 2" pieces. Then I used the corner of my square punch to create the penant shape at the end....much quicker and easier than tracing/cutting or eyeballing. Once I had a bunch of those cut out, I laid them out on the paper to figure out approximate spacing/see how many I needed. I used a tiny, and I mean tiny, bit of bonding memories adhesive just on the edge of the patterned piece to tack each one in place. Again, in the hopes of avoiding unneeded complication I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to have to sew through much, if any, adhesive. Once they were all on, I just sewed across. Yes, it's a bit time consuming, but it's not HARD. I'm not a huge fan of hard things, monotonous is OK...you can always do that while you watch TV ;).

The little corner pieces were cut using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge, I only used them on the outside corners because to emphasize the whole of the two-page layout. The title was cut using the Wild Card cartridge (Thanks Nikki Sivlis!). Once I got the layout together, I decided I needed a little bit in the top corners between the two pages, so I added a few more of the penants there.

This layout makes me so happy. It was such a sweet trip to a special place with Ellie and Andrew, somewhere we're unlikely to go again for a while now that my parents have moved away from there. I'm so happy to have captured it on cardstock for Ellie.

Now I mentioned that I have a TON of pictures of this, right? Well it's true, I could have done a whole mini album with all the pictures I took, but instead, I'm cramming them into two two-page layouts. How? The answer is Flip Flaps. I just LOVE these, they are the indecisive, picture happy girl's answer to scrapbooking. **apologies that these next pictures aren't that great...it's hard to get good photos when the layouts are in the page protectors, not to mention complications in photographing flip flaps, but hopefully this gives you a good idea of how they work and how the layout looks**

Now there is a little bit of an art to using Flip Flaps. You do have to plan ahead. What you saw previously is the basic foundation page for my layouts. Flip Flap layouts are kind of like a sculpture. You need to be sure that it looks good from all angles/stages in the flipping process.

Above is what the layout looks like in the album, with the flaps all closed. It's still a great story, and here's what it looks like with the flaps open....story still intact, but even better, you can see a progression, there's action and movement in the flip/flap process. Like I said, you could easily take this layout and break it up into four or five individual layouts, but when you're pressed for time, and you have stacks and stacks of photos calling to you, this is an easy, economical way to include them.

I've started the second layout and hope to have that one done shortly. So stay tuned for Part 2.

Supplies Used
Paper: CMTH - Bamboo cardstock, You & Me Papers; CM - Maroon, Blue and Sand cardstock
Other: Cricut Art Philosophy and Wild Card cartridges; Sewing Machine; Flip Flaps

Monday, January 30, 2012

A couple cards with Stella and Just for You

Just a two more days until everyone can see, and order from, the new Close to My Heart catalog. I've really been enjoying the new papers and stamp sets. Here are a couple of cards using the Stella papers and Just for You stamp set.

I had previously sneaked this stamp set in my Haircut layout post where I used one of the petal stamps to accent the corners of a photograph, but this is the way that stamp set was meant to be used. This is a great set that can be adapted to match any color scheme/set of papers.

The first card is very simple - one that I'll be using for a workshop in March. Since the flower shape is Cricut compatible, you can save yourself a lot of time, and also easily layer it. I cut the shape from Colonial White cardstock at 2 1/2" and stamped onto that piece. I cut another flower shape at 2 3/4" from the patterned paper as a mat, added two strips of the Tulip patterned paper and Lagoon cardstock, stamped the sentiment, done. Quick and easy!

The second card uses the negative image from my Cricut cut.

This one is a little more complicated because you need to do some measuring/figuring in terms of how it's going to come together and to make sure things are centered, but the concept is simple. I used Cocoa cardstock and the Tulip patterned paper as a backdrop, then cut a thin slice out of the middle of the negative image to create that stripe of the tulip paper. The sentiment was double stamped to make it stand out.

Hope you are having a good Monday!

Supplies Used (all CTMH)
Papers: Colonial White, Lagoon and Cocoa cardstock, Stella Level 2 Papers
Stamps: Just for You
Ink: Cocoa, Lagoon, Olive, Tulip
Other: Colonial White Bulk cards/envelopes, Cricut Art Philosphy Cartridge, Dimensional Foam Tape

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Card for Market Street Stamps Block Party

Just getting this card in under the wire. This card uses Market Street's Faith in You stamp set.

I used CTMH's new Stella paper pack for the pitcher and flowers. The fussy cutting on the flowers took FOR-EVER, but I think it was worth it. I stamped the flowers on three of the patterned papers and then cut out them out and layered them. It was a bit tricky and what I ended up doing was cutting the entire group of three out from one pattern, a set of two from another pattern, and then the single blue flower from the third pattern, so they are layered on top of one another which also adds a bit of dimension.

I added a little shading to the pitcher as well as the sentiment using my blending pen and cocoa ink.

To create the halo around the pitcher and flowers, I stamped the pitcher onto the white cardstock, and then used my finger daubers to slowly add ink. I used mostly Creme Brulee, but added just a hint of Chocolate at the end to add a little more depth. Here's what it looked like before I adhered the pieced elements:

I also swiped Cocoa ink around the edges of the Cocoa cardstock oval to really crisp up and define the edges and add some additional depth.

I have a couple more Stella cards to share with you, but it's too late tonight, so look for them tomorrow. Hope your week gets off to a good start!

Supplies Used:
Paper: CTMH - Lagoon, Cocoa and White Daisy cardstock, Stella Level 2 Papers
Stamps: Market Street Stamps - Faith in You
Ink: CTMH - Cocoa, Tulip, Creme Brulee, Chocolate
Other: CTMH - Blending Pen, Cutting Knife, scissors, Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon, Liquid Glass, Dimensional Foam Tape

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Card for Moxie Fab Cutting and Trimming Challenge

Just a short post today. I've been in a little bit of a frazzled state of mind lately. I've got about four projects half done....finally sat down and finished a couple tonight. This card is for the Moxie Fab Cutting and Trimming Challenge.

The papers are from a retired CTMH kit called You & Me which I've had for a while, but only recently pulled out. This pattern was perfect for what I wanted to do with the card. It's a pretty simple concept to execute, just takes patience. I used my CTMH cutting knife to cut almost all the way around those petal shapes in order to pop them out and create some dimension. I also cut in a little bit on the edges to mimic the pattern of the paper.

This photos shows the dimension on the card.

The sentiment is from a new CTMH set called Card Word Puzzle which has a ton of words/sentiments that you can combine to create all kinds of phrases.

Hope you are having a wonderful, and creative weekend!

Supplies Used (all CTMH):
Paper: Colonial white Cardstock, You & Me kit
Ink: Chocolate
Stamps: Card Word Puzzle
Other: Cutting Knife

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Card for CASE Study and Moxie Fab World Die Cutting Challenge

This is one of those cards where I started out with a particular idea in mind and ended up with something totally different.

I was really inspired by this week's CASE Study card, love the simplicity of it, and I just love that petal shape.

Originally, I had planned to create kind of the reverse of the card - use the negative image from my die cuts, but still incorporate some fun, colorful, patterned prints.

I started playing with my Expression, cutting out some rows of that petal shape using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge. I first cut 3/4" shapes and at some point accidentally turned the dial and ended up with a row of 1/2" shapes. I went back and cut another row of 3/4" ones and then when I went to take them off the mat, decided I really liked the way it looked.

I tried playing with some patterned paper, but decided that solid colors were the way to go here, so I added a strip of cranberry cardstock, and then incorporated the smaller die cut images into the pattern.

For the sentiment piece, I cut a small strip of white cardstock at 3/4" and then traced the curve of the petal shape on two corners using one of the petal die cuts as a guide. I cut one more small petal shape in cranberry using it to accent the sentiment piece.

I love how graphic the card turned out, and I really enjoyed the creative process. Too often, I'm tied to a particular vision for something and it blinds me to all the different possibilities that are out there. Sometimes it's fun to start with an idea and just see where it takes you.

Supplies Used:
Paper: CTMH - White Daisy cardstock; Creative Memoreis - Black and Cranberry cardstock
Stamps: CTMH - Say it in Style
Ink: CTMH - Cranberry
Other: CTMH - Cricut Art Philosphy Cartridge, Bonding Memories Glue

Monday, January 23, 2012

Card for Market Street Paint the Town Color and Skipping Stones Design Challenges

We had a crazy busy weekend that involved a lot of running around, and not a whole lot of sleep. Add to that the fact that Ellie's been a bit of a pill lately. I'm pretty sure she's going through a growth spurt, which tends to just make her ornery and not that much fun to be around if you aren't doing things her way. Anyway, imagine my delight to find that the federal government had a delayed start this morning. I really needed a little quiet crafty time at home, so I dropped the girls off a little late, and headed home to work on some cards.

Here is the first one. The stamps are from the Faith in You set from Market Street Stamps which I was lucky enough to win last month. It's a great little set with some very sweet sentiments.

This was a bit of a technique card for me, i.e., I got to try some new things:

1) To create the top portion of the card, I cut a piece of white cardstock 2" wide, and then the patterned papers and Vineyard Berry cardstock at 2 1/2". Then I cut those 2 1/2" strips into smaller strips at random widths. I adhered those to the 2" piece and then trimmed the whole thing to 2". It's a little easier to do it this way since you don't have to worry about lining up the top and bottom edges of the little strips you are adding....just need to get that one edge butted up to the piece next to it.

2) Basketweave paper ribbon. I wanted to try Teri Anderson's basketweave technique seen here , which involves running your cardstock through a paper crimper twice. You run it through once, turn 90 degrees and send it through again. I sponged a little bit of ink over the entire piece to give it some more depth. I created a little bow as well, and used my brand spanking new Tiny Attacher (I think we are going to become good friends) to secure the bow.

For the bottom of the card, I accented the edges by swiping my stamp pad directly on the paper. The sentiment came out a bit faint for my liking, so it's double stamped.

All in all a fun way to spend some found time this morning. Hope your weeks are off to a creative start, and Happy Chinese New Year!

Supplies Used:
Cardstock/Paper: CTMH - Mayberry Level 2 Paper Packet, Believe Level 2 Paper Packet, Vineyard Berry, Creme Brulee, and White Daisy cardstock
Ink: CTMH - Garnet, Heavenly Blue, Creme Brulee, Smoothie
Stamps: Market street Stamps - Faith in You
Other: Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher; CTMH - Liquid Glass, Dimensional Foam Tape; Creative Memories - Circle Punch

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love My Tapes Sketch Challenge

Thought I would try out a new sketch challenge this week - at Love My Tapes. I love simple sketches because they are so open to interpretation, but for this one I went really simple. This card also presented the perfect opportunity to work with some of my new goodies.

I used two different types of spritzs/mists on this card.

First, was some Clearsnap Smooch Spritz in grape (which was in my stocking this year). Love the pretty sheen that this gives. I used the Smooch spritz on the white background as well as the purple frame.

Next up, some Tsukineko Fireworks Danube Blue shimmer spray that I won a while back form i heart papers. The sprayer part of it seems to have gotten stuck, and I can't figure out how to unstick it (if any of you have suggestions, I will gladly take them), so I improvised. I just unscrewed the top and kind of flicked/dotted it onto my little strip of Lagoon cardstock. I actually really like the effect, it almost looks like water droplets, so cool.

The faux water kind of goes along with the sentiment "Blue Skies are coming your way" from Verve's Blue Skies stamp set. I cut the frame and the piece for the stamp set using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge. I sponged the edges of the white piece lightly with Lagoon ink and then offset the two pieces just the tiniest bit so that you get a little bit of that blue peeking up.

Finally, I added some adhesive sparkles...I'm not great at the random look. Some might call me a bit uptight and I tend to like order/symmetry so 'sprinkling' things is a bit of a challenge for me. I definitely tend to overthink it, but I like how this turned out.

Supplies Used:
Paper: CTMH - White Daisy, Lagoon, Gypsy cardstock
Stamps: Verve - Blue Skies
Ink: Lagoon
Other: Clearsnap - Grape Smooch Spritz; Tsukineko Danube Blue Fireworks; CTMH - Sparkles, Cricut Art Philosphy Cartridge, Dimensional Foam tape, Sponge Tool.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweet Sayings Notepad

I don't know about you, but my kids say some hilarious stuff. I was pretty good about keeping a journal for each of the girls through their first year of life (to go along with their first year scrapbook), but journal entries are few and far between these days. It's something that I definitely want to do a better job of, but I recognize that it's just not happening right now.

This is my attempt to at least keep track of some of those little gems. It's a cute little notepad where I can record things like this conversation:

E - Mama, Carina can't go in my room.
M - Why not?
E - Because my room is guilty.
M - ?! Why is your room guilty?
E - Because my room is all slickery slick, slickery slick.

I still have NO idea what that means, but I think it's hilarious.

This little notepad is super simple to make. You'll need a 3"x7" piece of cardstock and a 3x5 piece of cardstock for the front and back covers. Score the first piece of cardstock at 5", 5 1/2", and 6" and fold to create a sigma fold (a Z with an extra fold at the top so it looks like a zig-zaggy E). Cut patterned paper (I used a cute print from Bella Blvd) at 1"x3" and 3"x5" to cover the back of the notepad and for the top fold.

The other 3"x5" piece of cardstock is for the front of the card. You can decorate this however you wish. I cut a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of white cardstock to do the stamping on and rounded the corners. I used a little piece of the patterned paper and stamped and cut out some pieces of candy from Sweet Stamp Shop's Sweet Tooth set. The candy pieces were covered with Liquid Glass to give it the glossy sheen/dimension.

Use a piercing tool to mark where you want to punch holes at around 1/2" in from top and bottom. Use a regular hole punch to punch holes through the Z-fold piece, then insert the cover piece into the top fold of the Z, line up the hole punch with the holes you already punched and punch through the cover.

For the sheets of paper on the inside, I just used everyday printer paper at 2 1/2" x 4 1/2". I added a little interest to these by stamping the smaller candy pieces from the Sweet Tooth set along the outside edge, but you could certainly leave them plain. These will sit in the bottom fold. Line a few sheets up inside the notepad and punch them, then use those as guides to hole punch the rest of the sheets.

Put the whole notepad together and thread ribbon/twine through the holes to secure them. The nice thing about this notepad is that you can add more sheets as you fill it up, or even take pages out and add them to your scrapbook, project life album, etc.

Supplies Used
Paper: CTMH - White Daisy and Cranberry Cardstock, Bella Blvd - Winter Wonder Icy paper
Stamps: Sweet Stamp Shop - Sweet Tooth, CTMH - Playful Caps
Ink: CTMH - Cocoa, Cranberry
Other: CTMH - Cocoa grosgrain ribbon, dimensional foam tape, Liquid Glass

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Other card submitted to Paper Crafts

So here is the other card that didn't make it into Paper Crafts, but since they really are quite speedy over there at letting us know (which I so appreciate!), I can enter it into the Moxie Fab Map to Your Heart challenge.

I used an old New York State map (which I don't need anymore now that my parents live down here) for the background as well as for piecing onto the cassette image which is from Sweet Stamp Shop's Old School Rock set.

Although I still have a few mix tapes that I haven't been able to part with, most of us use CDs now, so I thought it would be a great idea to create a CD sleeve/card. I also pulled the sewing machine out for this project....still not quite comfortable with sewing on my projects, but I want to be, so I'm going to keep working at it.

Supplies Used (CTMH Unless Specified)
Paper: NYS Map, White Daisy, Crystal Blue, Brown Bag
Ink: Black, Chocolate
Stamps: Sweet Stamp Shop Old School Rock
Other: Sewing Machine, Pewter Brads, Piercing Tool, Black and Red Zig markers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stellaaaa!!!!!! The Haircut Layout

This is one of those layouts that I've been anxiously waiting to scrap. It's the self-cut that Ellie gave herself last June. Here's what the journaling says:

"No, I'm not doing an activity, I'm cutting my hair." At first I thought I heard you wrong, but one look and I knew my ears hadn't deceived me. Boy did you do a number on your hair! You seemed so oblivious to the fact that this is not acceptable behavior, you were so matter of fact about it. Since there aren't any hairdressers open at 8 in the morning, this is how you went to school. Thankfully, your hair had already been put up, so the fix was pretty easy--the long layers on top covered up your hack job. I picked you up early and took you to the Haircuttery where you got a short summer bob...and the scissors were put away...far away! 6/20/11

I mentioned previously that one of my goals for this year is to not be afraid of patterns, something I tackled in this layout. I used the new Stella papers from CTMH which will be available to customers February 1st. They are GORGEOUS, and made it almost easy to break out of my solid cardstock ways.

When I first started the layout, I picked the pink allover pattern since it went well with my photos. The flower shape is from the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and is cut at 9". I really liked the bolder paper, but I wasn't sure about putting it right up against the photos; however, as I was working on the layout I kept gravitating toward that pattern. I decided to use it as an anchor at the bottom of the pages. The smaller pattern strip at the top is actually the zip strip from the paper.

There's also a little sneak peek at one of the new stamp sets called Just for You. The little corner pieces behind the journaling and photo on the second page are a petal stamp from this set. It's another one of the new B sets, and the second one that I just HAD to have in my first order.

Supplies Used
Paper: Stella Level 2 Paper Pack, Colonial White, Lagoon
Stamps: Just for You, Friendship Alpha (large and small)
Ink: Cocoa
Other: Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, Pigma Micron Pen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sneek Peep!

Thought I would give you a little sneak peek at one of CTMH's new stamp sets. As soon as I saw this set, I knew that I wanted to get it. My first batch of new goodies arrived in the mail today and this was the first set I went for.

Just a little 4x4 card. I created the frame using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge. Then I cut out the negative image to create the border for the card. Super simple, but a really neat look.

I'm going to be using this set to create some cards, and a 3-D item for my March workshop. Can't wait until everyone can see the new Idea Book. You're going to LOVE it! There are lots of choices for the budget conscious folks (like myself), lots of A and B size stamps....this one is only $9.95, and some really beautiful and fun papers.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

P.S. Disturbing, but true. That first picture is from some peeps that I recently discovered in the pantry....from last Easter. And yet, kind of convenient that I had it to photograph. :)

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: Garden Green, Hollyhock, Blush
Stamps: My Peeps
Ink: Garden Green, Creme Brulee, Cocoa
Other: Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, Dimensional Foam Tape

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not this time

So I'm a little disappointed, OK, maybe a lot disappointed that neither of my cards was accepted by Paper Crafts this time around, but the silver lining is that I have a blog so I still get to share them. Here is the first one. This is actually Andrew's concept based on the below sketch, and it literally took FOREVER to put together.

The little yellow lane dividers were so time consuming, and made me wish that I owned tweezers....must buy tweezers....but I think they came out really well. The hearts were cut with the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge, and the clouds were drawn free hand and then cut out. The little banner was a free graphic I downloaded from the internet, put into powerpoint, and added text to.

There's almost no actual stamping/ink on the card. The exception is that I sponged color onto the top portion of the card for the sky, and around the edges of the clouds.

I really like the clean look of the card, and hope that you enjoy it too. Congrats to those of you who were lucky enough to get acceptance emails yesterday. I'm starting to work on some submission for some other calls. If at first you don't succeed....

Have a great weekend! My sister/parents have the girls ALL WEEKEND, so we're footloose and fancy free! Looking forward to sleeping in, a couple dates with the hubby, some shopping with giftcards, and of course a little crafting.

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: Black, White Daisy, Sweet Leaf Sunflower, Cranberry, Tulip, Smoothie
Ink: Heavenly Blue
Other: Cricut Art Philosphy Cartridge, Dimensional Foam Tape, Sponge tool

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Craft's Meow January Sketch

Here's my card for this month's Craft's Meow sketch. If you're a follower of my blog, you know that I like to stretch my stamp sets, use stamps in ways they might not normally be used, and highlight some of the smaller stamps in the sets.

This is another one of those cards. I'm in a Valentine's Day frame of mind these days, but I don't have a Valentine's Day Craft's Meow stamp set. This card uses All the Merry Best. I used the small snowflake set and White Daisy pigment ink on the die cut heart to create a doily effect.

Then I used the star stamp around the edge of the circle piece to create a border.

On the the base piece of cardstock, I scored the bottom half every 1/4", and then lightly swiped my ink pad over it to create pattern/texture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies Used
Stamps: The Craft's Meow - All the Merry Best
Cardstock: CTMH - White Daisy, Cranberry
Ink: CTMH - White Daisy, Cranberry
Other: Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, CM Custom Cutting System, Michael's Gingham ribbon, CTMH kraft buttons, Twinery maraschino twine

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Card for SPARKS Challenge

This idea has been percolating in my brain for a week or so now, but of course I waited until the last minute to get it down on paper (literally).

Here's the inspiration from PS:

Super simple card to make, just a lot of cutting tiny little sugar cubes (that's what the blocks are, the sugar cube from the Hot Concoctions set), and then getting them in the right configuration....a good card to make while you're catching up on some TV shows.

The other great thing about this card was that I got to use scraps. I opted for some of my old Creative Memories cardstock, great bright colors, and a little thinner which makes cutting tiny pieces out a little easier.

Originally I wanted the sentiment to say Practice Joy, but I was reading about choices last night, and choose seemed so much more appropriate, I mean, if you're choosing then you're practicing too, right?

For that piece on top that says 'choose' I wanted to use vellum, but I don't actually have any vellum. What I do have is parchment paper. Parchment paper is a bit slick, so I sanded it down to get the ink to stick. I also didn't have a stamp that said choose, so I printed the word in a font that I liked (just from Microsoft Word), then put the parchment paper on top and traced it using a zig marker.

I punched a couple holes in the vellum using my soft set eyelet setter and threaded through a rainbow of Twinery twine colors to complete the look.

This was fun, and I'm thinking it would be easy to make a whole set of cards spelling things out this way. This card is also a great reminder that even the smallest stamp in your set can be the star. Love those little stamps!

Two more days til the weekend!

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: CTMH White Daisy, Creative Memories, colors (sorry don't know the names)
Ink: CTMH Black
Other: CTMH Dimensional Foam Tape, CTMH Softset Eyelet tool, Twinery Twine (Maraschino, Mandarin, Lemon Drop, Peapod, Denim, Lilac).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here I Am! And a card for Play Date Cafe #113

Been so, so, busy lately, but in a good way. I've been trying to focus on family a little more in the new year. That means a little more snuggling, cuddling, reading, and playing with the girls, and more hanging out with Andrew. We have some new board games at the house. He's a HUGE trivia fan, and one of the games is called Logo, all sorts of random facts about companies (slogans, products, spokespeople, etc.), so we've been playing some of that, I've been trying to help with grading, etc., etc.

Not to say that I haven't been working on all sorts of crafty goodness, because I have, but I can't quite share all that just yet. I have a some goals for this year in the area of cardmaking (just like in scrapbooking). Much of it is similar - learn some new techniques, use things like my sewing machine more often, etc. The one big thing I'd love to be able to achieve this year is to get published. Yesterday night I fired off a couple submissions to Paper Crafts, and hopefully I'll hear some good news back. Either way, I promise to share what I created with you when I'm allowed.

I did, however, squeeze in some time the last couple days to play along with this week's Play Date Cafe challenge. Sweet Stamp Shop is the sponsor this week, and I had a set I hadn't inked up yet, AND it was the perfect opportunity to take the Vagabond for a test drive...

I used the Divine Swirls Cuttlebug folder with a piece of Juniper cardstock then sanded the embossed paper to get the white core to show through. Then I sanded another piece of Juniper cardstock and stamped the gumball machine on it. I used that image to piece onto the gumball machine that I stamped on white cardstock. The gumballs themselves are little circles I punched with a regular hole punch out of Juniper and Mint cardstock. I glued those on the machine and then went over them with Liquid Glass to get that shiny effect.

The twine is buttercream that I used in a semi random fashion, adding some swirls that followed the lines of the embossing. It was fun to be able to get out some of my new stamps/toys and just have some fun trying new things.

My blogging challenge for this year is to post at least 3 times a week. I so admire those folks who have days assigned to different kinds of posts (and who post every day, I'm not quite ready to be that regimented about things, but I'm hoping to be on track to meet this year's goal. Hope you all have a great day!

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: CTMH - White Daisy, Juniper; CM - Vanilla, Mint (not sure actual names)
Ink: CTMH 0 Black
Stamps: SSS - Sweet Tooth
Other: Cuttlebug Divine Swirls folder, Sizzix Vagabond, Hole Punch, Twinery Buttercream Twine

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thank You Card

Just a quick little Thank You card to share with you today. This is for a fellow consultant who gifted me with a huge random act of kindness.

I used one of our bulk cards as the base, and random stamped the card using two stamp sets Adorable (for the paisley and flowers, this set is retired), and Enjoy Life (for the two little circle shapes). I like mixing sets that you wouldn't necessarily think go together. I think the play between the more traditional shapes (paisley/flower) and modern shapes (circles) creates a really fun, whimsical effect.

I only used two colors of ink on the card, Cranberry and Cocoa, but the flowers were double stamped in cocoa, one set of circles was stamped normally, and the other set was second generation stamped. I love the gradation in color you can achieve by doing this, and if you're on a budget, it's a great way to essentially increase the colors you have on hand.

So here's the dirty little secret...I actually made this card three times because I wasn't happy with the background the first two times.

I find that when I haven't random stamped in a while, it takes me a few tries to get back into it, but basically the problem is usually that I am stamping things too far apart. The general rule with random stamping is that you start with the largest stamp, and work your way down to the smallest. If you stamp those big shapes too far apart, there's too much space to fill in and it just doesn't look right. Turns out the papers I create that I end up being most pleased with are the ones where I originally thought I hadn't left enough space....something to keep in mind the next time you sit down create your own patterned paper.

Supplies used (all CTMH):
White Daisy Bulk Card, Cocoa and White Daisy cardstock, Cranberry and Cocoa ink, Adorable, Enjoy Life, and For Every Occation stamp sets, Sponge.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Done with Carina's First Year Album and What's Next in Scrapbooking

Well, it's done, and I'm so glad! There's a great sense of accomplishment, particularly since I pretty much stayed on track with this and got her album done in just over a year whereas it took me three years and three months to finally finish up Ellie's album.

Here are the last two 1/2 layouts that I made, the cover and end pages.

The cover page is super simple. It echos what I did with Ellie's album. No journaling, just a few pictures of Carina's first day of life. I toyed around with making it fancier, but since I didn't get into stamping until about half way through the album, I didn't want to mess with the flow of the album.

The last page also mirrors the last page in Ellie's album. Just two photos, at one day and one year. I also added some scripture, a few verses from Phillippians 1, vs 6, 9-10. This is a passage that I love and pray for both the girls and Andrew: "...being CONFIDENT of this, that He who began a GOOD WORK in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of CHRIST JESUS...And this is my prayer: that your love may abound MORE and MORE in KNOWLEDGE and DEPTH of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be PURE and BLAMELESS until the day of CHRIST.

In addition, to being happy to have finished the album, I also feel a great deal of relief. I feel like I've grown a lot/expanded my repertoire during this year, and I'm itching to try new things. I feel relief because towards the end of this project I was starting to feel tied back by the format, and it felt more like a chore. I'm glad that I've completed this project, it really is a gift for Carina, but I'm not ready to jump into another year of very structured scrapbooking. I actually think that that last page is a good indication of where I'm heading....PATTERNS, backgrounds that aren't white, possibly even fewer pictures on a page (although I'm not quite ready to commit to that yet).

So this is my scrapbooking goal for this year: I want to be free from the feeling that I need to scrap certain events, or that I need to do it in a particular order. I've always been very chronologically/project oriented. I'm ready to let go of that. I want to focus this year on scrapping the things and events I want when I want. I want to find joy, fulfillment, and relaxation in my craft. It may be that after I do this for a year I decide that I really do need some structure, or that part way through the year I decide to instill some structure into my scrapbooking, but I want to at least start out the year with a blank slate and see where it leads me.

There are a whole bunch of events that I've been anxiously waiting to scrap, but have kept myself from so that I could get Carina's album done. Now that it is, I'm excited! You'll probably notice that many of my layouts in the next few months will focus on Ellie since my focus has been Carina the last year.

I also want to continue to grow and try new things/techniques. I'm planning to switch from the old Creative Memories style pages to drop in pages, which I think provides a lot more flexibility. Here are just a few of the things I want to try this year:
1) Stitching on my pages
2) Misting/painting
3) More interactive elements
4) Using embellishments (this one is going to be hard for me, I describe myself as a Flat Stanley scrapbooker, I like my pages to lie flat, so I'll be looking for embellishments that aren't going to add a lot of bulk to my pages)
5) Digital/hybrid scrapbooking (I'm not quite sure about this one. I'm very traditional, I like to be physically part of the creative process, but I want to at least try it)
6) Not being afraid of patterns, mixing them, and even using bolder prints.

Have you come up with any creative goals for the year? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Hope that your year has been relaxing so far.....it's back to work tomorrow for me... :(

P.S. If you just love the papers on the second layout, they are from the Dreamin' Level 2 Paper Pack which CTMH is retiring at the end of this month...

Supplies Used:
First page: Tulip, Blush, Lagoon, and White Daisy Cardstock, Lagoon ink, Playful Caps stamp set.
Last page: Dreamin Level 2 Paper Pack and Creme Brulee Cardstock, Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, Cocoa Ink (for edges), Zig blue marker.