Saturday, August 29, 2009

Play Ball

A round layout! So much fun. It was a bit of a challenge working with the smaller canvas, but Pencil Lines supplied a fabulous sketch this week to help me work it all out.

I saw the round LO challenge, glanced down at my desk to see these two photos and immediately thought: what better way to use a round LO, than to make it into a ball? I traced my dinner plate (approx 11 1/4") onto a plain sheet of white cardstock and cut it out. I used the negative scraps to draw arcs on the circle. Then measured 1/2" tics along each arc and pierced with a needle. Eyeballed the stitches and alternately pierced to the left and right of each. A bit of red floss and the premade holes made it so easy my six year old could sew it!

The chipboard and PP is from Scenic Route; the PLAY letters are Heidi Swapp rub-ons, and the b-a-l-l letter buttons are some oldies from I think Joann's.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yum in the Sun {ETA: Deets}

Time for week #4's layout from Dixie Pieces. This week's challenge was to use a Raspberry, Apricot, Green Apple color scheme and painting on your page. I love the color scheme for this layout: so fun, refreshing, and summery:

I painted the chipboard letters and dry brushed the edges of the white BG paper.

Lately I've been looking at books on Softies--they have the cutest little expression. This trend inspired my little popsicle guy cut from a corner-rounded rectangle of PP, and accented with felt eyes, a drawn smile, a mini popsicle stick, and a little ribbon.
The DCWV word strip paper was the perfect colors to complete the journaling on the page: it's the SIMPLE THINGS that make us BLISS-fully HAPPY. The flower's center is accented with super tacky tape covered in seed beads. I've been wanting to do some beading on my layouts for a while now. This was a simplified way to get some beads on my page.
I love working with color schemes to jump start my layouts. I go through papers, and accents (this is where my color jars come in handy) and pull anything with the colors. Then grab a sketch (like Paper Crafts Planet sb082309 used here) and the page pretty much builds itself!

PP: Prima-Breathe Collection; DCWV Stack 6 and an older Stack (journaling words)
Cardstock: DCWV white; SU! Gable
GreenStickers: SEI ("in the sun"), SU! ("delight")
Chipboard: SU! ("yum")Paint:
Plaid (meadow green)
Ribbon: American Crafts
Punch: SU! flower trio
Flower: Making Memories
Other: buttons, seed beads, felt, mini pospicle stick, brads

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Merry and Bright

I know it sounds crazy, but it's time to start thinking about handmade Christmas cards. Cathy over at Moxie Fab issued a challenge for a "fun and cute" card creation. Here's what I came up with:
She describes "fun & cute" as closely related to "clean and graphic." Given that, I went with a simply designed tree inspired by the one in SU!'s Merry and Bright set. Accented with a doodled trunk and polka dot branches, the tree is complete with a popped up star on top. A simple and "cute" sentiment finishes off the card. This little assignment will hopefully jump start the juices for our family holiday card this year. If you need some inspiration for your holiday cards check out the holiday galleries here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to School

The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to "take stock" of your children, so to speak. Here are some ideas of ways to document the first day of school to help you remember them at this very moment in time:


  1. Record their first day: Have your child tell the story of their 1st day (who better to tell this story than them!). Use their words as the journaling for your page.

  2. Record their favorites: food, friend, book, movie, tv show, musician, song, color, pastime, sport, etc. Older children can record these in their own handwriting.

  3. Record their size: shoe size, clothing size, height weight, age

  4. Write a letter to them.

  5. Have them write about their hopes and dreams (for the year, or for their life)


  1. Trace their hand.

  2. Have them write their name.


  1. A full portrait of them standing in the same spot each year (we use our front door)

  2. Their backpack

  3. Their new school shoes

  4. All of the school supplies

  5. The front of their school (particularly if they are starting a new school)

  6. A stack of the books they read over summer

  7. Them with their siblings

  8. Them with each of you, the parents

  9. Standing at the bus stop

  10. Them getting on the bus

  11. The bus driving away

Do you have any back to school traditions you include on your pages? Please share them!

One of a Kind

A fifteen minute layout thanks to some coordinating product from My Mind's Eye Penny Lane papers and this sketch from YMBD. They paired perfectly with SU! marigold paper and a bit of trim I had picked up at Brimfield last month.

Marks Paper Co.

Marks Paper Co. is having a challenge over on their blog and they're giving away a free printable with which to make a project, any project at all. I came up with this mini album. It measures 4"x4". All the papers used in the mini come on the printable sheet (I printed it 4 times). I bound the pages with this technique I found on You Tube (loving You Tube lately for all the crafty tutorials).

front cover:

page one:
page two:
page three:

back cover:
Extra materials: SU! scallop circle punch, SU! scallop border punch, SU! round tab punch, Fiskars 1 1/2" circle punch SU! chocolate chip and ruby red cardstock (used to punch scallop circles), Dymo label maker, felt flowers, buttons, floss, SU! old olive ink, SU! Paint Prints and Springtime Stems stamp sets (for leaf and stem).
I am loving the whole concept of a downloadable, printable coordinated sheet(s) for projects. Jump on over to Marks Paper Co. and grab yours and see what you can come up with!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Feel of Summer

It's week three over at Dixie Pieces and we're scrapping the "feel" of summer. I went with textural after uploading the shell photos featured in the layout below. As soon as I saw them on my screen, I knew they would be perfect for a page about what summer feels like. The boys spent forever looking through this small shop in Kennebunkport, ME this past weekend, touching, holding, and feeling the shells. It was as if they were trying to hold a piece of summer in the palms of their hands.
The color scheme was pale blue, red, and grey. Since this layout was all about texture, it only made sense to include lots of texture on the page itself. The easiest way to do this is with Cuttlebug embossing folders (used on the piece of grey cardstock). I also pulled out some Grungeboard and dusted off my sea shell Sizzix dies and cut a sand dollar and starfish.
The other piece to this challenge was to doodle on the page--real doodling, like with a pen. This is a bit outside of my comfort zone. I love the look of hand-drawn doodles, but don't consider myself a very good artist. Susan posted a great tutorial which broke it down into some babysteps for me. The background of this layout was created by painting on bubble wrap (the large bubble kind) with acrylic paints. The wrinkles in the bubbles adds to the texture. I used three different shades of blue paint. The circle background created the perfect spot for more doodling--loosely outlining the circles with a white pen.
I knew I had done my job when I handed it to my six year old and he said, "Cool" and then proceeded to run his fingers over all the lumps and bumps. Texture? Yup, it's got that!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dream Girls Challenge

I found another challenge blog (look for a listing of challenge blogs at Remember Today). Dream Girls issues a challenge on the 1st and 15th of each month. August 1st's challenge was to create a layout that had paint, glitter, and wings. Here's my go of it:
And a close-up of the glittered birdie and his glittered flower.
I'll be honest, I struggled with the paint on this one. I've painted on many layouts, but for some reason, I was just not getting good results with this one. I was looking for a lightly speckled look, like the kind you would think you would get from the spattered toothbrush technique. Nope, didn't happen for me. I ended up putting the layout on the floor of my dry shower, and splattering the paint with a brush in the two corners. Clean up was easy: simply pick up the layout, and hose out the shower.
I had written the journaling three times over for each time I messed up the paint job. Note to self: create background art before adhering photos and elements and writing journaling. It just makes more sense, don't you think!
Here's what the journaling will say when I copy it over to this completed layout:
Title: and in a blink it can all change How is it that a baby can go from content to crying in just seconds? It must be the same way a toddler can go from tickled to tantrumming in just steps, or the way a school boy can go from 'I hate you' to 'I love you' in just moments.

Craftwell's eCraft

The buzz abounds for the crafting industry's latest personal electronic cutting machine by New York based company Craftwell. The eCraft is a sleek, low-profile and portable machine that cuts without the use of a cutting mat (woohoo! no mats to replace or sticky glue to apply). This little machine can cut images up to 10" high by. . . wait for it. . . ANY length. There's even a roller attachment accessory that will house a paper roll to create banners. Imagine a darling personalized Welcome Home Baby sign or a Go Team banner for the kiddos' sporting events. The machine also boasts a paper feed tray so that multiple quantities can be cut without having to key each one. This is a fantastic feature for those mass produced cards (picture holiday cards). Simply choose the image from the large LCD screen and key the quantity, load the paper tray and walk away to maybe cook dinner or some other mundane task that gets in the way of crafting time. Come back and, voila! a stack of neatly cut images ready to pop out and apply to your cards.

The eCraft can cut through regular weight paper, card stock, specialty papers (flocked, glitter, textured), magnet, vinyl, and even grunge paper. And it cuts all this using a sensor so you don't have to make any adjustments to the blade. There's also talk about a longer blade option that could handle chipboard. I'm wondering if it could even cut fabric that's been stabilized with a spray adhesive on cardstock (or maybe an iron on stabilizer, hmmm?).

If you thought all of that was enough to make you run out and buy one, there's more. It also draws. So if your design has a bit of detail (ie. petals on a rose), the eCraft will draw the detail first and then cut out the image, and you don't have to swap the pen for the blade. As for the artwork, Craftwell has designed images in a variety of themes, including fonts. These will be sold on SD cards (called Fun Cards). Because the machine uses SD cards, you can run it independently of your computer, but as an added feature you can use Craftwell's software component to create your own designs in Adobe (and the like) or use any True Type font.

There are a few price points ranging from $259-$399 for B&W vs color screen, and even a heavy duty commercial grade cutter for the professional (or very serious) crafter. The eCraft is anticipated to arrive in time for the holidays. I know a few people who will have it at the top of their wish list, myself included.

Check out this video from YouTube showing the eCraft in action:

Thursday, August 13, 2009


So here's what you get when you only complete half of a challenge:
I have been scouring so many blogs lately, and have found so many wonderful challenge blogs that I am having trouble keeping track of who is what. I made a mental note of a sketch when I found it, and a few days later made a layout of my son and the hat fetish he used to have (kinda still does have it now that I think of it). Anyway, when I rechecked the post, I forgot that there was a second part to the challenge that I did not complete. Oh well, it's still a fun page and another story documented from our lives.

The title letters are stamped, cut with an Xacto, and colored with watercolored pencils. I tacked them lightly leaving some spots unadhered. A little tip I picked up from my friend Sasha Farina

Summer Looks Like Reading

It's week # 2 at Dixie Pieces and this week's challenge involved a blue, green, white color scheme and handcutting (aka fussy cutting).
I used a digital template to create my photo collage, but had to print them on 4x6 paper because I have yet to order more toner for the wide format printer. It actually worked out quite well, and the individual photos allowed me to pop dot a couple off the page for added dimension. I also improvised when it came to printing the journaling and part of the title (summer looks like). I cut the green BG at a place where the seam would be covered by the turquoise paper and ran it through the manual feed of a regular 8 1/2 x 11 printer. Worked like a charm!

Here's how I created the handcut title. Type text (reading) in word with a block style font. Flip it horizontally to create a mirror image. Change font color to a light color. Print onto cardstock. Type a bunch of text (I used some quotes about books and reading that I found online). Run a test print to be sure it will cover all areas of your word from first step. Run cardstock back through the printer to add text to the back side of your word (this will actually become the front). Use an Xacto knife to cut out the letters. Voila! Custom made letters for very little cost!

Now, to be perfectly honest here, I did let my layout get a little out of hand. There are secret items associated with each week of this contest. Items that no one knows about, but if you include them on your page you get extra points. So in the back of my head I kept thinking that each thing I add to my layout could be a secret item (ie. chipboard, the paint on the roof, the glittery accents, ribbon, metal staples, jumbo eyelet). I got a bit carried away in the embellishment department, ending up with a layout that's a bit busier than I am used to . I like a bit of a breather when I look at a layout--a little spot to rest your eye and take a break. This page doesn't have that, but it sure was fun to glob it on thick!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blue Jean Baby

Used the Pencil Lines sketch for this layout; simply turned it a quarter to the left.

The sketch, coordinating papers from MME, a few passes through the sewing machine, and some premade denim letters pull this page together in a snap. Oh, yeah, I also used the scallop punch and Top Note Sizzix die.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SENSE-ational Summer Week #1

It's been so much fun over at Dixie Pieces this weekend. If you haven't already checked it out, please do. Here is my layout for the first week's challenge: The Scent of Summer. I feel like a bit of a scrapbooking over-achiever completing the one-week asssignment on the first day, but I was feeling inspired by the summer colors of the challenge (and hubby was around to take over on the kid-front). You've got to grab the mojo when you can get it!

This page incorporates some things that I've wanted to try for a while. I used a trading card page protector (stolen from my son's Pokemon card book--ssshh, don't tell!) to hold the elements of the page. Each of the patterned papers has a stitched border (part of the challenge). And I stitched the protector to the cardstock base. I didn't, but could have, included nine other elements on the flip side of the protector--fun, fun! Next time. I also handwrote the journaling and accented key words with Stampin' Up! Pastels.

The only thing missing from this page is some scratch-and-sniff! You still have 5 more days to complete week one's challenge. In the words of Ferris Bueller: "You're still here? It's over. Go!" Get over there and check it out!