Welcome to my blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explore my development of scrapbooking techniques. I will also provide reviews of products when I find something great or something terrible, and will show off all the work I enter in challenges and contests. Please check out my Welcome note if this is your first visit.

Feel free to ask questions about any of the materials or techniques shown here!

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Happy Scrapping!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Challenge Me Happy #13 - Brothers

Challenge Me Happy is a fun challenge blog out of New Zealand... its a tricky one because you have to remember the time change!

Challenge 13 involved a cute sketch I would encourage you to try out yourself:

I really liked the cute clouds and was determined to use them somehow. Initially this felt rather child-oriented, but I managed to swing it for the wedding as I have been doing a lot of childhood and other layouts, and I need to get that wedding book done!

Because of the somewhat ugly background in the photos, and the smart look of the boys in their tuxes, I wanted this layout to focus on blacks, whites and greys, making the clouds perfect. The strip is Cosmo Cricket EverAfter, as is the chipboard. The letters are from Colorblok. I hand cut the clouds, and inked them with Black Soot Distress ink.

I really like how this turned out, and assembled the whole thing before adding the clouds because I just wasn't sure... but I really like them! Especially with the damask one!

Thanks for looking and all the best for 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paper Secrets Manu Challenge - Webster's Pages - Explore

If you pop on by the Paper Secrets forum, you will find a great collection of monthly challenges including sketches, manufacturer challenges, techniques, etc. Plus, the prize for each challenge is a random drawing for a $10 gift certificate. The ladies there are also sooo friendly... you really should check them out!

Last month I entered a few of their challenges which you can check out by clicking the "Paper Secrets" tag on the bottom of this entry, and it will bring them all up :)  I ended up winning one of the draws (hooray!).

When I found out this month's manu challenge was to use Webster's Pages, I was a little stressed. I had absolutely nothing from Webster's, and I didn't know where to find it either. Luckily, with that $10 GC I picked up one paper, three trims, and a bunch of other stuff from other manus (CC of course) that I had been wanting. Shipping was quick too to Canada, I wasn't sure it would make it with the Christmas rush.

So this is what I came up with....

I actually only ordered this one page from Webster's since Paper Secrets didn't have a ton when I ordered, which was a bit of a risk since I didn't have photos in mind. When I got it, I loved it, like really, really loved it. I wanted to find photos of flowers and me as a child if possible, and I totally scored, especially with the little pink coat!

This gorgeous Webster's trim inspired me right away to make a frame. It didn't turn out quite perfect, but I don't like my scrapping perfect.... what's the point of doing something homemade if it looks commercial?

So to do this, I just laid out some Elmer's tape runner tape (the orange one, not the dots, they aren't strong enough) along all four edges of the photo after it was glued on the page. Then I just laid down the trim, folding to get an angle in the corners. I cut it at the end, which you can see was a little short, but oh well!

I used my jazzy new Elmer's gel pens to do the journalling. I love the colors that came in the set and how I seem to always find the colors I want. Another big win for me is the fact that they can be used by lefties with ease. I have had a hard time with cheap gel pens in the past, and these are smooth and easy to use :)

I hope you enjoy this page, I think it might make it to my top 10 of 2011... but who knows... I will post those on Saturday!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Berry 71 Bleu December Sketch - My Heart Belongs to You

Berry71Bleu featured a great PageMaps sketch for their December Challenge.

I always immediately think of tropical and fun when I look at most PageMaps sketches, and so this time I decided I should get away from that and do something different... and of course that led to the wedding :)

This all got started when I remembered the Cosmo Cricket EverAfter chipboard had these little circles with flowers in them, just like on the sketch. Then I found a black tag... forcing me to use my last piece of black cardstock (luckily I got more for Christmas).

TIP: To make the top PP blend in more with the black, I inked the edges with Black Soot except for the one that is stitched to make it look more cohesive. That way there is a continuity in that all the edges of the LO are black. Likewise, I inked the two centre pieces with Black Soot to pair them with the background better, but left the edges where they met plain.

I used Anna Griffin background stamps and Versamark Champagne to stamp a pattern on the white behind the DCWV quote. Its really subtle, and you can't see it here, but it did make a difference.

For the tag, I used a Deja Views clear sticker, and stuck it onto a piece of the teal paper used on the left block. That gave the letters on the sticker some color and really helped the pattern pop. The ribbon is also from the Cosmo Cricket EverAfter collection, as is the fuzzy scalloped edge piece.

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Creative Scrappers #186 - Man & Wife

Sketch 186 over at Creative Scrappers was another great one that caught my eye. I always love their sketches, and then get stuck about where to use them (or procrastinate and then only have time to use one or two before the end of the month).

Here is the sketch:

I did complete this sketch just before Christmas, but with crazyness (and last minute hosting of Christmas eve dinner) I didn't get to post til now. As of today, haven't started the other 3 sketches for them this month... but I am off work til January... so who knows!!

This layout is the first time I have used the Cosmo Cricket Everafter collection papers on true white rather than off-whites browns, and blacks. I'm still not sure its something I love... It really adds a different feel from being all blendy matchy to now making the paper pop more. The background paper is the new Enchanted collection from Bo Bunny... lovin' it!  I'm looking forward to working more with the white in the Enchanted collection and the Everafter collection together. The key factor really was using my Black Soot Distress Inks to touch up the edges, it did pull it back together more.

Thought I'd give you a close-up of my clusters. I used the fabric flowers and the large paper flowers from Recollections. The plastic flowers and little gem things are Making Memories, and the bride and groom also Recollections. The buttons and gold flowers are stash items :)

As usual, I really used a lot of items to mimic the clusters in the images, and actually used a butterfly! I know, I was amazed too.... I really don't know what my problem with butterflies is, but I think of them only for little girls (kinda like my banner issue). Maybe I need a scrapbooking shrink??

OK.. well enough of me being crazy today (I clearly haven't blogged enough lately)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season whatever you celebrate or if you celebrate at all... And I hope you got a white Christmas if you wanted one! We did... towards the end of the day :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

HMITM #186 - Be a Star

OK... this week at HMITM they have really gone crazy lol. The consulted a calendar of strange "holidays", and compiled this list...

December is Bingo's Birthday Month.
It's also Rising Star Month.
And it's National Tie Month.
The first week of December is Cookie Cutter Week.
December 5 is Bathtub Party Day!
And then came up with this challenge:
So...I challenge you to use:
* A bingo card (if you don't have these in your stash, just google "bingo card" under Google Images, and you'll find a gazillion).
* Use something that you can tie--ribbons, twine, raffia, etc.
* Use at least 5 stars.
* Use punches or cutters or a shape templates.
* Use your imagination and whatever product you want to create "bubbles" on your page.

Crazy I tell you. 

I was stumped... I had no bingo cards, I don't use stars ever... The other 3 criteria were good though. 

So this is what I came up with: 

The photo here is not bad - the photos in the layout are bad but that's all I had to go with from our Weekend to End Women's Cancer 32 km walk.

Back to the criteria...

  • BINGO card - yes. Found a cute Maya Road rub-on set, and used the "Live" card on white cardstock to make it stand out. I really like this set as there are a bunch of little ones - this is the largest (Cuz I'm not so sure I'm into bingo cards)
  • Something you can tie - twine, tied around the rectangle photo (I had to tie it... they said you had to be able to so I did lol)
  • At least 5 stars - I used a star template I have to draw 5 stars beside each other for the border at the top of the rectangle photo. Then I added foam glittery stars to the middle of three of those stars (so that's 8 stars). Then I put the word "star" in stars for a grand total of 12, 13 if you count the word "star" as a star
  • Punches, cutters or shape templates - I used my Creative Memories ovals set to cut the angled photo and its mat
  • Bubbles - originally I planned to stamp using bubble wrap, but the wrap I had didn't have a side of exposed bubbles, so that didn't work. So instead I used my dabber and pink and white chalk ink to dot "bubbles" all over the left of the page... it really helped to add the details
Well... I hope you enjoyed... and join in next week for more craziness!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sketchy Thursdays 12.8 - Psyclone

Another great sketch this week over at Sketchy Thursdays:


Pretty cute! I liked the stitching down the centre but didn't include it because I don't have a tons of colors of thread unpacked and I couldn't decide on one that I liked lol!  I went to these photos from Canada's Wonderland in the summer right away for a few reasons - I had already used banners on other layouts from the theme park and I knew I would be able to trim these small enough.

In terms of variations, I omitted the stitching, moved the journalling to the circl, changed the size ratios of everything, and added the little swooshy tab thing on the bottom right corner. I just felt the page needed something down there to balance it out...

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sketchabilities #60 - Socks

Sketchabilities had a really cute challenge sketch this week:

I was pretty keen on this one, even though it was a bit of work finding small enough photos and, as usual, I had to enlarge them of course, and correspondingly enlarge the strips as well.

Here is a closeup of the journalling I used my new, blog candy, Elmer's gel pens... they are SNAZZY!

I actually used everything on this layout from my Deja Views Cat's Life pack, except for the cardstock matting the photos. Its amazing! All the papers, the background cardstock and the letters and die cuts, all from one kit. I have never done that before, but I love the cohesive look I got!

So the story... I woke up one morning to Casper sleeping quite comfortably in my sock drawer. My cats have two fetishes - drawers and socks. My socks are always missing now... I even have a photo of a sock that was dragged down the staircase by cats... so in my house, its not the dryer, its the cats that steal the socks.

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Scrap Sketch Challenge

Found another sketch challenge website last week - Let's Scrap.

I found the sketch I was looking for to adapt for my Engagement Party photos.

The party itself was an epic-fail... there was a HUGE snowstorm and no one but the dedicated (or completely insane) made it down, so there aren't a lot of people in the photos, and we did not get photos of a few guests :(

The party was held at the Stampede Ranch in Guelph. Its a dirty college-town country bar (the best one there is!) It was mostly everyone's first time out there so we had a lot of fun.

I used a bunch of different textured papers and stitching. I used my Distress Inks everywhere. Literally. I used black soot, walnut stain, wild honey and fired brick.

The "leather" fringe at the bottom is 100% handmade. I started with cardstock the same as the "Stampede" at the right. Then I used distress inks on a craft mat and water to give the mottled look. Finally for added texture I dabbed the walnut stain and black soot pads on to give some spotting. Did all of this after the fringe was cut (by hand! I need me some fringe scissors!). Then I double stitched and added the tarnished gold brads like studs (unfortunately my sewing kit was out of real jean studs).

Hope you enjoy...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frosted Designs Sketch Along Tuesdays #29 - Smile - the Little Things

Frosted Designs hosts a Sketch Along Tuesday challenge each week.

The sketch this week is below:

I really liked all the elements of the sketch, but didn't know what photos to use, as usual! I did finally find these cute photos of me as a child to add another page to my mom's scrapbook.

I mirrored the sketch to keep the focus on the right third of the page like the focus is in the photos. I used an old set from We R MK which included rub on glue and flock, foil and glitter. "The Little Things" is in pink flock and "Smile" in blue glitter.

For the strippy background, I used all ribbons and rick rack for more texture. The ribbons include a variety of textures - some have glitter and bling, and some are satin, some woven, etc. I then used some orange twine to anchor the banner.

Each photo I used some new edging scissors to edge up fancy like in the sketch.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CR84FN44 - Visiting Maman & Papa

So, the colors over at the CR84FN blog this week.... not so me.

So I flipped through my papers looking for inspiration, and found this gorgeous blue sky and cherry blossoms paper from DCWV. Decided I definitely wanted to use that paper (the point is to use up your stash), so then I went in search of photos to match.

What I found were these cute photos of me when I was little, posing for Mom with all the flowers at my grandparents home.

And so... a layout was born:

Now something weird happened when I took the photo - my coral (perfectly coral) paper magically turned more orange-y.... and I could not figure out how to fix it, although Picasa did a great job with their pure neutral match function. Could just be an issue with this monitor I use, who knows!

So I stitched on my cherry blossom paper using a tight zig zag on my machine, matted the photos in coral, and added some ancient Creative Memories light pink alphas. First time I used those alphas and I am addicted!! So cute and so easy to line up nicely with a ruler (too bad I didn't think of the ruler til half way through Visiting). I also added two glittered dots to the title. These are just glue dots dusted with Martha Stewart glitter. I am loving that idea, it is scraplifted off a Card/Stamp hop I did last week...

Other fun new product I tried on this was the Elmer's Adhesive Tape Runner. I really like it, better than the dot runner as it sticks even better.

Hope you enjoy!

The Color Room #87 - Untitled

I really love the fun palettes the Color Room provides, and I love that they add a sketch. I loved the sketch this week, but really didn't have the photos to make it happen... so that one is filed away for future use...

Anyways here is the fun palette:

The yellow and grey right away reminded me of some of my Cosmo Cricket EverAfter paper... but other than that, I was stuck. I picked out a blue paper and flipped through photos til I found the car my Best Man gave me for my wedding...

So I used the blue to mat the two photos of the model car, and then I inked the mats with some Wild Honey Distress Ink to bring in some more yellow. I also inked the edges of the yellow circle of CC with Wild Honey (opted not to use the yellow and grey side). For the large blue circle, its the same paper as the mats but uninked and I used Champagne Versamark to add the pattern to it. To add the "silver bells" I used these shiny silver accents all over and two little Jolee's silver flowers. Finally, the "linen white" is in the background paper, and the yellow strip across the middle.

As yet, this layout is going un-titled. I am really unsure what to call it and want to watch the wedding video and maybe add a quote from Alex's speech all about how he ordered me a new car. I was thinking about 1/24th of a car or something like that (its a 1/24th model) but I don't know yet :)  I also think I want to get some shiny silver alphas to title in... but again, not sure either lol.

Thanks for looking, and if you have a title idea, please help me out lol!