Monday, May 30, 2011

Embellishments from Recycled Filing Cabinets

See the cute little flower charm in the above cluster of embellishments?  Would you believe that it is made from an old steel filing cabinet?  Well, it is!  There is an artist at Glass Garden Beads in Minnesota who makes beads and charms from all sorts of recycled materials.  She has invented a special apparatus to punch shapes from metal.  She then polishes and paints these shapes to make snazzy little goodies that are perfect additions to craft projects.

I think that metal adds a special sense of gravitas to projects.  However, it is a real struggle to find eco-friendly metal embellishments.  I was so happy when I discovered Glass Garden Beads at a local bead show.  Now I finally have a good source for metal charms and beads.  If you are interested, check out the Glass Garden web site.

Supplies: metal charm (Cathy Collison for Glass Garden Beads), background paper (October Afternoon), journaling boxes and fussy-cut crowns (Echo Park), two sizes of alphabet stickers (both from BasicGrey), scalloped border sticker (Doodlebug Design), ribbon (Berwick Offray) two red patterned papers (both from My Mind's Eye), pink cardstock (Creative Memories), white cardstock (American Crafts), light blue cardstock (Core'dinations).  This layout originally appeared on the Color Room.

I used my metal flower charm to add a regal (yet still fun) feel to my above layout, "If I Were a Princess."  The journaling reads: "If I were a princess...I'd choose to live here, in the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, on the bank of the Fontanka River.  Why?  Because it's my favorite color (red!), and it's right in the heart of Saint Petersburg--where the fun is!"

If you were a princess, where would you want to live?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Teacher Thank You Cards--Digi-Hybrid

It's hard to believe that summer is almost here!  If you are like me, at this time of year you may find yourself making a bunch of thank you cards for your child's teachers.  These days, most kids have more than one teacher.  In addition to the regular classroom teachers, there are specialists (like the music teacher and the art teacher) and perhaps also coaches, Sunday school teachers, scout leaders, etc, who all deserve our thanks for their hard work.  Using digital tools can really help streamline the process of making so many cards.  And digital crafting is by its very nature green, because it reduces waste: it leaves you with no scraps, no spent adhesive backing, etc.

Don't worry--going digital does not have to be difficult.  I created my thank you cards without any complicated software; I just used my regular photo-management program.  Here are some ideas to get you started on trying your own digi-hybrid cards.  Begin with a photo of your child's school.  It could be a photo of the building itself, a photo of the kids doing some group activity, or just a shot of an interesting feature of student life.  In this case, I chose a photo of the school flagpole with pretty spring blossoms, which you can see at the top of this post.

In your photo-editing program, add some text and a colorful border to your photo.  Print as many copies of the photo as you will need.  Adhere the photos to card bases, add handwritten sentiments below the photos, and have your child write a personal message for each teacher inside the cards.

Supplies:  Yours Truly card base, Zig pen, digiKam software, 3M adhesive

That's it!  Enjoy the last few days of spring, because summer will be here before you know it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shop Local--It's Fun!

Ah, Memorial weekend!  Across the United States, people are picnicking and barbecuing, children are getting excited for summer, and I...I am wearing a Santa hat and proudly showing off a pack of Christmas paper.  Why?  Because this weekend one of my LSS's is having a "Christmas in May" sale.  It's a bit goofy, but it's fun.  :)

There are so many things to love about local scrapbook stores and local retailers in general.  By shopping at these places (instead of traveling to farther-away stores or using mail-order services), you reduce your carbon footprint and you keep your money in your own community.  Not only that, but local retailers tend to have a more personal touch, which can include fun themed events like "Christmas in May."  

The "Christmas in May" event I attended actually involved two local retailers.  The store at which I shopped is an independently-owned scrapbook store called Scrapbooks Too.  This weekend they gave away October Afternoon "Good Cheer" paper packs to the first 75 customers who spent at least twenty dollars in the store.  Since October Afternoon is also based in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul area), the deal actually promoted two local businesses.

Wearing Christmas gear was NOT a requirement for getting the free paper pack.  But I was so excited about this event that I decided to dress the part.  See, I have been searching high and low for the "Good Cheer" paper pack all year, but until this weekend I could not find it in stock at any retailer.  So, getting it for free absolutely made my day.

And you know what else made my day recently?  October Afternoon "liked" my "How to Feed a Baby" layout from this post on their public Facebook page!  (I can't link to the exact post on Facebook, but if you feel inclined to scroll down until you find it, the post is dated May 22.  I do realize, though, that I may be the only person who is excited enough about this to actually go through all the work of scrolling to find it, tee-hee!)  I know that this is only a small honor, but since I just started my blog this month, it's a big deal to me.  :)
Thanks for letting me share my good news with you.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chalk to the Rescue! (part 1)

What do you do when your supply stash is lacking a particular item that you *need*?  You could go shopping...that's always fun.  :)  But if you are trying to go easy on Mother Earth and not buy so many products, there are ways to stretch the supplies you already have.  One great way to extend your supplies is to re-color items.  Spray inks and distressing media are very popular for re-coloring at the moment, but my personal favorite is chalk.  Simple, lovely chalk.

Recoloring items can help you in several ways.  Depending on how you use a re-coloring agent, you can correct mistakes, create unity, or make a big statement.  Wow--that is quite the list of things that a simple change in color can accomplish.  It's too much to talk about in one blog post, so I'm going to create a series of posts on this topic.  This first post is going to be about using recoloring to correcting mistakes.  Stay tuned, because over the next couple weeks I'll be posting about how to create unity and make a big statement.  The chalk techniques I'll be discussing can be adapted for spray-ink, distress media, or any other re-coloring agent you prefer.

Journaling: "This is how my dorm room looked when I was a *wise old* senior in  Centennial Hall"

The above layout is one that I created for the latest Color Room Palette.  I succeeded in using all the colors in the palette, but when I was done creating I thought the layout looked washed out.  I considered taking the whole layout apart and rebuilding it on a darker sheet of cardstock.  But then I got the idea to try chalking my background instead (below).

Supplies: cardstock (white--Pulp, tan and blue--The Paper Company), patterned paper (owls & flowers--Kaiser Craft, pastel--Bo-Bunny Press), chalk (Stampin' Up), embroidery floss (DMC), die-cutting apparatus for making tags (Ellison), heart punch (All Night Media), pen (Zig), clear photo corners (3M).

What do you think?  I like the way that the chalk not only changed the color of the background, but also added a bit of soft, swirling texture.  You can get a similar look with spray ink or distress media, but you can't use those items easily on an already-created layout.  This time, chalk wins.  :)

Next time you need to "fix" a scrapbook page, consider turning to chalk.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Use Product Packaging on Layouts

Supplies: October Afternoon (all patterned paper, all alpha-numeric stickers, journaling card [I used the decorative B-side], wild card ["Happy" bingo card], and chipboard hand), Ellison (diecuts), Bazzill (both shades of blue cardstock), Wausau Paper (white and peach cardstock), TPC Studio (green cardstock), Autumn Leaves/Stampology (ink), Zig (pen), Fiskars (decorative scissors), and misc. (adhesive by 3M and Glue Dots International, ballpoint pen for journaling on slick paper, and mechanical pencil for drawing journaling lines and outlining some elements).  This layout was created in response to the May 16, 2011 challenge on the October Afternoon blog.

I used quite a bit of paper and other supplies on this detailed, two-page layout.  Yet I was still able to take a green approach by including product packaging on my layout.  Can you spot the packaging?  Believe it or not, it's the ledger paper (journaling)!  It is part of the backing card in the packaging for the October Afternoon Board Walk/Sea Mist stickers that I used in the title of the layout!  Keep your eyes open for fun ways to use product packaging--you will be surprised at how useful these "throwaway" items can actually be.  The designers of craft supplies want their products to look beautiful and appealing on store shelves, so the product packaging they use is often quite pretty.

Here are a few detail photos from the above layout.  First, let's look at the journaling (below):

I journaled in list format.  My list of steps for how to feed a baby is:  "Step 1: If weather permits, remove all of Baby's clothes (except for the diaper).  Step 2: Give Baby a spoon to play with.  Step 3:  Place bib on Baby and use a second spoon to begin feeding.  Step 4: Continue feeding until all of the food is either in or on the baby.  Expect clean-up to take quite some time."

Now, here is a look at the title (below).  The grid in the yellow patterned paper helped me position my letter stickers in a straight line. 

Next, take a look at a closeup of one of my number embellishments (below).  To help the individual elements stand out in this layered accent, I used a simple outlining technique.  I ran a black ink pad along the edges of the circle and the rectangle before I attached them to each other.  The number sticker was too intricate and delicate to run along an ink pad, so I outlined it with a mechanical pencil instead.

When I created this layout, I knew I wanted the first three photos to be in a row, since they show the steps in a process.  I wanted the fourth photo to be set a bit apart from the first three, since it is like the punch-line to a joke--humorous and a bit unexpected.  To accomplish all of this, I knew I would need to create a two-page spread in my album.  (In a 12x12" album this could probably all fit on one page, but these photos belong to an album that I have already begun in the 8.5x11" format.)  I knew that my chosen layout would, therefore, include a large, photoless area in the upper area of the right hand page.  Not wanting that area to look blank and distracting, I filled it with a cluster of embellishments (shown below) that support my theme.  

The cluster includes a heart (to symbolize my love for my baby), a cute diecut paper baby, a card with a number print that echoes the numbers elsewhere on the layout, and a "Happy" bingo card (to emphasize the happy, light-hearted nature of the layout).  All these embellishments are clustered on a vertical mat of striped paper that matches the striped paper in the four circular mats under the number stickers, thus tying the whole layout together.  It takes a little extra time to coordinate page elements like this, but I think it is worth it, in order to add that extra bit of meaning to the layout.

Last, let's look at the chipboard pointing hand (below).  It came as part of the ephemera pack in the October Afternoon Five and Dime collection.  To make it match my layout, I placed it upside down on the back of the yellow paper (the same paper in my title bar), traced around it with a pencil, and cut it out.  I adhered the cutout, yellow side up, to the chipboard.  Then, I carefully filed the edges of the paper with a nail file, to get rid of any excess paper.  To finish it off, I inked the edges with my black ink pad.

Thanks for looking at my layout!  I hope it made you smile.



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Create Jewelry with Recycled Beads

I'm completely in love with the focal beads on this necklace.  They come from Bead for Life, an organization that provides jobs for women in Uganda.  Be sure to check out Bead for Life's web site to read about the good work that they do.  The beads are made of recycled paper, and you can choose from many different styles and colors.  You can order beads from the web site, but many bead shops carry Bead for Life products as well.

Here (above) is a closeup of the focal beads.  Gotta love the textures and colors!  I bought my Bead for Life focals at Beadniks, a shop at the Mall of America.  (Crafters take note--last year during Scrap Fest Beadniks offered free beading make-n-takes at their store.  I hope they will do it again for Scrap Fest 2011 this autumn!).  The other beads in my necklace are vintage African trade beads, also from Beadniks.  I strung the beads on nylon-coated steel wire (Beadalon) and finished the necklace with a simple crimp tube.  The three beads on either side of the crimp tube are some extras that I got from a neighbor who is also into beading...sorry, but I don't know where she got them.

I've seen many great uses for these Bead for Life beads.  I used a simple one-strand necklace design, but these beads would look great on multi-strand necklaces, whether multi-colored or monochromatic.  If you are looking for a simpler project, you could make a bracelet or a pair of earrings.

Here I am (above) wearing my necklace.  It goes with so many outfits, due to its rainbow color scheme.  I like to wear it as a statement piece, so in the warmer months I usually wear it with a bright yellow tee shirt, and in the colder months I usually wear it with a black sweater, in order to make the colors of the beads really "pop."  I have to giggle a bit at this can tell that I took it myself; I've got "Mister Roboto" arms, because I'm holding the camera away from myself at arm's length.  *smile*

Before I go, here is one more photo (below).  This is a versatile piece of jewelry, and sometimes I loop it around my wrist and wear it as a bracelet.  I hope you will check out Bead for Life.  Their products help the earth, help women in Uganda, and are vibrant and versatile.  Thanks for looking... domo arigato!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Use Old Postage Stamps on Layouts

Supplies: Glitz Design (background cardstock), Bazzill (blue cardstock), American Crafts (white cardstock), My Mind's Eye (diecuts), Petaloo (flowers), EK Success (border punch), BasicGrey (alphabet stickers), Clearsnap (ink), Zig (pen), and misc. (mechanical pencil and ruler for drawing journaling lines, Russian postage stamps for embellishments).

The journaling says: "One of our first group excursions in Saint Petersburg was a visit to this cathedral, on foot.  We climbed up many, many steps to the viewing deck around the cupola, where we had a great panoramic view of the city." 

I had so much fun making this layout!  The lovely thing about the background paper is that it has been printed in such a way that it looks like it has been distressed and treated with spray ink, but I didn't have to do a thing.  (Don't get me wrong--I love to play with tools and inks!  But it is nice when paper manufacturers can save me time by printing paper with special effects.)

When possible, I love incorporating postage stamps into my layouts.  I found a religious stamp to enhance this layout about a Russian cathedral, and I also found two stamps that show the actual cathedral!  (Note--if you ever visit Russia, a trip to this cathedral is a must.  The panoramic view of the city from the deck around the cupola is stunning.)  Since I cannot be sure that the stamps I used are acid-free, I matted them on bits of cardstock before adhering them to my layout.  These cardstock mats act as buffers, protecting the layout from any chemicals that may leach out of the stamps over time.

I got my stamps on actual letters from Russian friends, but you can buy postage stamps from collectors and hobby shops.  If you are interested, check your local phone book for a philatelic club or shop, or do an Internet search.

If you want to use a stamp that is currently adhered to an envelope, don't just tear the stamp off the paper, as you are likely to damage the stamp that way.  Instead, soak the envelope in warm water for fifteen minutes or so, and the stamp will just detach itself cleanly from the paper.  (This works better with the old "lick-'em-and-stick-'em" stamps; the newfangled self-adhesive ones can also be soaked, but they sometimes need a little extra gentle coaxing on your part before they will part with their envelopes.)  Let the stamps dry, press them flat under a heavy book (if necessary), and then they will be ready to be added to your craft projects.

Here are a few close-ups, showing the stamps and the title treatment.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ants in the House

It's that wonderful time of year--spring!  The sun is shining, trees are greening up, and tulips are blooming.  But something less wonderful is also going on...ants are invading houses.  It happened to us yesterday, but it was no biggie, because we've dealt with it before, so we know what to do.  I thought I'd share my green ant-deterrent tips with you, just in case the little dudes are invading your house, too.

First, if possible, plant peppermint, spearmint, and/or catnip around your house.  For some reason, ants avoid these plants.  The plants are easy to find at nurseries, they grow quickly without any special care, and if they get too tall, you can just go over them with the lawnmower (which, incidentally, makes your yard smell minty fresh!).

If you still get ants in the house, DON'T go buy chemical poisons like Terro and Raid.  These products are very dangerous to pets and children, and they can't be thrown in your regular garbage--they have to go to hazardous waste drop-off facilities.  Instead, run to the store and buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar.  It's cheap (about a dollar or two for a big bottle), it's not dangerous to pets and kids, and it smells pretty good.

Pour a liberal amount of apple cider vinegar on any floors and countertops where you see ants.  In my experience, this will not damage the finish on floors.  We have real hardwood floors, and they stand up just fine to being doused with vinegar.  You can wipe up any excess with a rag or paper towel.  You may have to do this a few times (three seems to be the magic number in my experience), but soon the smell of the vinegar will have replaced the ants' scent trails, which tells other ants, "Don't go here!"

If you try this, let me know how it works for you.  I hope it helps!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Turn Adhesive Backing and Other Small Scraps into Stuffing

My past two blog posts have dealt with scrapbooking, but I also love needle arts.  In fact, I think that most crafters have some cross-over in their crafting interests.  In this post, I'm going to show you a way to use scrapbooking supplies in sewing projects.

As a scrapbooker, I go through a TON of adhesive.  The recycling service in my town does not accept the slick paper that backs the adhesive tabs that I use, so I used to have to throw away all my backing.  As a green girl, I was totally bummed out about that level of waste.

Finally, I got the idea that I could use the backing (as well as other tiny scraps) as stuffing in sewing projects.  So, I started saving all my backing in my favorite storage containers--Russian nesting dolls!  Here's a photo (below).

Once I had a few dolls filled up, I made a little ornament and tried stuffing it with the backing.  It worked like a charm!  My ornament--in the shape of a Russian doll (Do you sense a theme?)--is also made of fabric scraps, so I felt very Earth-friendly the day I made it.  Here she is (below)!

The doll's body is made of two different pieces of denim (left over from turning old jeans into cutoffs), her hair is made of a felt scrap, and her face is made from a piece of an old (but clean) cloth diaper.  The doll's face is drawn with Sharpie pens, and I used Neutrogena powdered blush to give her rosy cheeks.  (Her cheek color matches mine--ha-ha!).  The flower embellishment on her tummy is made of ribbon scraps and a button left over from other craft projects.

The doll is my own design, but you can find patterns for little "stuffies" and other stuffed toys and ornaments all over.  Some good sources are _Sew Simple_ magazine, _Crafts 'n Things_ magazine, and the book _Felties_ by Nellie Pailloux.  I think that the best stuffies for this technique are ones with simple lines.  The backing is not as flexible and fluffy as polyester fiberfill, so it can't reach into tiny nooks and crannies. 

Before I go, here is one more picture of my new dolly with her friends (below).  :)  Happy crafting!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reduce Your Scrap Stash with October Afternoon Challenges

I'm a huge fan of October Afternoon's fun, colorful products, and I'll bet you are, too!  Did you know that they post a challenge on their blog each week?  For the latest challenge, check out  The challenge for this past week was to create a layout using scraps.  That is right up my alley!

When I pulled my October Afternoon supplies from my stash, I discovered that most of the scraps I had were small.  At first I wondered whether I could really complete an entire layout with such small scraps (below).  But I knew I could do it...if I thought creatively.

I saw that my scraps were mostly primary colors.  That made me think of kids' toys, which are also often primary colors.  I remembered some old photos of my child with a "bead track" toy.  And, voila, I had my idea for my page--I would use my scraps to make a paper representation of the bead track!

I used my husband's draftsman template to trace assorted shapes onto the scraps.  I cut these scraps out, and I arranged them on wavy lines to represent the beads on their tracks.  Here is how it turned out (below).  Thanks for looking!

Supplies: October Afternoon (all patterned paper and both labels), Bazzill (blue and yellow cardstock), American Crafts (white cardstock), Fiskars (circle template), Creative Memories (wavy line template and corner rounder), and Zig by EK Success (all pens).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eco-Friendly Manufacturers

I like to buy craft products from many different manufacturers, but I do have certain favorites.  Of course, my favorite companies are all eco-friendly in one way or another.  :)  In this post I've written a short blurb about each of my favorite manufacturers.  Below each blurb you will find an index of links to all the projects I've made with that particular company's supplies.

1.  Buying locally-made products is of the utmost importance to me, so I adore October Afternoon, a Minnesota-based company.  To me, buying local means buying products made in the USA or Canada.  Almost everything in the  OA pantheon of products is made in the USA.  Many brands print their paper and stickers in the States, but OA is the only one I know that also creates most of its dimensional products (buttons, chipboard, tin pins, rubber charms, ribbons, mini albums, etc.) here.  What is more, OA's products are colorful, cute, and versatile.  OA earns a huge thumbs-up from me!

My OA projects on this blog:

* 12x12" layout "Star Wars Stars"
* 12x12" layout "Medicine Garden"
* 50th Anniversary Album Cover
* 12x12" layout "Carnival"
* 12x12" layout "I Love You"
* spring card
* 12x12" layout "In Sickness and in Health"
* 12x12" layout "Turkey Bingo"
* 12x12" layout "Food Fun"
* 12x12" layout "Queen of Quiet"
* 2-page layout "Rubber Duck Races"
* 12x12" layout "Grow"
* 12x12" layout Meet & Greet
* 12x12" layout "December Romance"
* 12x12" layout "N is for..." (mostly OA embellishments)
* 12x12" layout "Victory Parade"
* 12x12" layout "25 Years of Fandom"
* 8.5x11" layout "Christmas Elf"
* 12x12" layout "Winter Market"
* 8.5x11" layout (landscape orientation) "Ice Cream Soda..."
* 12x12" layout "Chillaxin' at Home" (uses OA buttons & alphas)
* rocket ship mini album
* strawberry-themed friendship card
* 12x12" layout "Bridal Shower"
* Russian doll card
* 12x12" layout "Spring Break Staycation"
* card "Best Teacher"
* 12x12" layout "Country School"
* 12x12" layout "Dr. Seuss"
* 11x8.5" layout "Family Traits"
* 8.5x11" layout "Fave Song"
* 12x12" layout "Harvest Time"
* 12x12" layout "Lovely"
* altered project: shadow box
* 11x8.5" layout "All the World is a Toy"
* 12x12" layout "Backyard Guest"
* 8.5x11" layout "Big Boy"
* 12x12" layout "He Loves the Hosta Glade"
* "stocking stuffer" photo pockets
* 11x8.5" layout "First Christmas"
* 12x12" layout "Time Together"
* 12x12" layout "Old-Fashioned Romance"
* card  "All I Want for Christmas is You"
* 12x12" layout "Urban Beauty"--features OA rub-ons
* 12x12" layout "October Wanderings"
* 12x12" layout "Vows"
* 12x12" layout "October on the Farm"
* 12x12" layout "Pond Life"
* 8.5x11" layout "Lil' Boy Blue"
* 12x12" layout "Apple Days"
* framed wall art "Owl Always Love You"
* 12x12" layout "Russia's Grizzly Coast"
* 12x12" layout "Hamms Grotto"
* 12x12" layout "Cute as a Button"
* 12x12" layout "Bookworms"
* 8.5x11" layout "Fall Walk"
* 12x12" layout "Happy"
* 12x12" layout "It's in the Details"
* altered jar "From Russia with Love"
* 12x12" layout "Our Cafe"
* 12x12" layout "One Big Lumberjack"
* 12x12" layout "Western Influence"
* 12x12" layout "Papa's Mountain"
* 12x12" layout "Treehouse"
* 12x12" layout "Our Tina"
* 12x12" layout "Sci-Fi Family"
* 12x12" layout "Red Roses"
* 12x12" layout "If I Were a Princess"
* 17x11" layout "How to Feed a Baby"
* 11x8.5 layout "Bead Track"
* I also give OA a shout-out in this  post

2.  Echo Park is another fabulous brand that seems to manufacture almost all of its products in the USA.  And the great thing about EP is that they also offer their collections in digital format.  So, even if you do not live in the States, you can still obtain EP supplies without the environmental cost of international shipping.  I think that offering both traditional and digi supplies is the way of the future, and EP is leading the pack!

My EP projects on this blog:

* mini album "Discover Africa"
* thank you card (border strip heart)
* 12x12" layout "Quoted"
* thank you card (candy colors)
* baby card (boy)
* 12x12" layout "H2O Boy"
* cupcake-motif birthday card
* all-occasion boy card
* New Year's card for 2013
* 12x12" layout "Great Season, Orioles!"
* 12x12" layout "Mardi Gras Morning"
* 12x12" layout "Queen of Quiet"
* 12x12" layout "Portrait"
* 2-page layout "Pink Plus Purple"
* 12x12" layout "Last Day of School..."
* 12x12" layout "2012"
* 12x12" layout "He Loves the Hosta Glade"
* 12x12" layout "Dorothy from Kansas"
* 12x12" layout "Vows"
* 12x12" layout "Pond Life"
* lady bug card
* altered pocket planner "Busy as a Bee"
* 12x12" layout "Garden Guys"
* 12x12" layout "Colorful Leaves"
* 11x8.5" layout "Care Bear"
* altered trinket box
* 12x12" layout "Happy"
* 12x12" layout "It's in the Details"
* 12x12" layout "Our Colorful Day of Fun"
* card "Rainbow"
* altered mini-album cover "Our Summer 2011"
* mini album "Vacay Views"
* 12x12" layout "Papa's Mountain"
* 12x12" layout "Love"
* 11x8.5" layout "First Beach Trip"
* 12x12" layout "Summer Reunion"
* 11x8.5" layout "Beach Baby"
* framed gift "Love You"
* 12x12" layout "His Soundtrack"
* set of summer bookmarks
* 12x12" layout "B-Day Cards"
* 12x12" layout "Bloom"
* 12x12" layout "If I Were a Princess"

3.  Newcomer Authentique Paper has stolen my heart with its affordable, eco-conscious products.  I love Authentique's luxuriously textured papers, and I love their adorable, bitty stickers as well.

* "You Are Cherished" card
* 4th of July card
* 11x8.5" layout "The Birthday Boy"
Valentine card
* 8.5x11" layout "You've Got Mail"
* 12x12" layout "Spring Monastery Visit"
* 12x12" layout "Urban Beauty
* 12x12" layout "October on the Farm"
* blue altered trinket box
* 12x12" layout "Yuriev Monastery"

4.  Bottle Cap Inc. is a new company, but I already love them.  They are one of the very few manufacturers I've found that makes metal scrapbook embellishments in the USA.

My BCI projects on this blog:

* 12x12" layout "Lovely"
* 12x12" layout "Old-Fashioned Romance"
* 12x12" layout "Urban Beauty"
* 12x12" layout "Apple Days"
* 12x12" layout "Hamms Grotto"
* 12x12" layout "2010"
* 12x12" layout "Our Cafe"
* card "13th Anniversary"
* 12x12" layout "Restoration"

5.  Lily Bee Design makes the sweetest products, right here in the good ol' USA.  I love their delicate, versatile designs.

* 12x12" layout "Magic Moment"
* "My Happy Place" card
* 12x12" layout "Catan Fan"
* 12x12" layout "Love"
* love card
* CAS card
* 12x12" layout "P.J.'s with Gump"
* mini album "Colors at the Zoo"
* 12x12" layout "Stormtroopers Are Cool"
* 12x12" layout "Ten Names"
* 12x12" layout "Making a Splash"
* 12x12" layout "Father & Son"
* 12x12" layout "Kung Fu"
* 12x12" layout "Dino School"
* "Party Animal" birthday card
* "Hello" friendship card
* 12x12" layout "Free Cake"
* 12x12" layout "Just One Tulip"
* altered project: shadow box
* 12x12" layout "Dorothy from Kansas"
* 12x12" layout "October on the Farm"
* 8.5x11" layout "Lil' Boy Blue"
* 12x12" layout "Apple Days"
* 12x12" layout "Yuriev Monastery"

6.-8.  My Mind's Eye, Basic Grey, and Bo-Bunny Press all manufacture at least some of their products in the United States.  I use a lot of paper and stickers from these three companies.

My MME projects on this blog:

* 12x12" layout "Meet Babe"
* 12x12" layout "Just Cute"
* 12x12" layout "Weekends Fly By!"
* 12x12" layout "Luv Notes"
* "Hello" card
* "You Are Nice" card
* chalkboard-look love card
* "So Charming" card
* robot card set
* 12x12" layout "If I Could Turn Back Time"
* 12x12" layout "Believe"
* "Bonjour" card
* 12x12" layout "Down on Main Street"
* 12x12" layout "2 of a Kind"
* 12x12" layout "Easter Treats"
* 12x12" layout "Chillaxin' at Home"
* 12x12" layout "Bloom"
* 12x12" layout "Have Dinosaurs, Will Travel"
* 12x12" layout "Vows"
* 12x12" layout "October on the Farm"
* 12x12" layout "Bag Art"
* altered trinket box
* 12x12" layout "2010"
* 12x12" layout "Happy"
* 12x12" layout "It's in the Details"
* altered jar "From Russia with Love"
* card "Best Dad"
* 12x12" layout "Love"
* 11x8.5" layout "Garden Enchantments"
* 12x12" layout "Treehouse"
* 12x12" layout "Restoration"
* 12x12" layout "Bloom"
* 12x12" layout "If I Were a Princess"
* 12x12 layout "Cathedral"

My Basic Grey projects on this blog:

* 12x12" layout "Apple Games"
* 12x12" layout "Every Year"
* 12x12" layout "Happy Pet Lizard"
* 8x8" layout "2 Sisters"
* altered project: shadow box
* 8.5x11" layout "Love Poem"
* 8.5x11" layout "The Joy of Cookies"
* 12x12" layout "Happy"
* 12x12" layout "It's in the Details"
* altered jar "From Russia with Love"
* 12x12" layout "Papa's Mountain"
* 11x8.5" layout "Garden Enchantments"
* 12x12" layout "Treehouse"
* 12x12" layout "Sci-Fi Family"
* 12x12" layout "If I Were a Princess"
* 12x12" layout "Cathedral"
* 11x8.5" layouts "We Will" & "Baptized" (both in same post)

My Bo-Bunny projects on this blog:

* 12x12" layout "Skills of Observation"
* 12x12" layout "Nature"
* 12x12" layout "The Corn Maze"
* masculine anniversary card
* card "Welcome, Baby"
* 12x12" layout "Got My Spaceship..."
* 12x12" layout "Party Dudes"
* 12x12" layout "Our Love Took Flight"
* 12x12" layout "Simplicity"
* 12x12" layout "County Fair"
* 12x12" layout "Enter Here: Novgorod"
* 12x12" layout "Our Tree"
* 12x12" layout "Urban Beauty"
* 12x12" layout "Scott's School Pix"
* 12x12" layout "2010"
* 12x12" layout "Happy"
* 12x12" layout "It's in the Details"
* card "Celebrate Life"
* 12x12" layout "Restoration"
* 12x12" layout "Sci-Fi Family"
* 12x12" layout "Home Sweet Home"

Thanks for looking at my projects!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Reduce Your Scrap Stash with the Color Room

Have you heard of the online scrapbooking community known as the Color Room?  Each week they post a palette of four colors.  Participants create and post projects using that palette.  It's a fun, welcoming community, and creating a project each week is a great way to use up items from your stash.  And using what you already have (instead of buying new) is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint (every little bit helps!).

There are many ways to approach the Color Room challenges.  Here is how I usually do it, but you can find a method that works for you.  First, I gather any supplies I have that fit the color scheme for the week.  Last week the Color Room palette called for dark red and three shades of brown.  I pulled out all my scraps and embellies in those colors, and this is what my table looked like (below).

Once I have pulled the items from my stash, I find that my pages for the Color Room come together pretty quickly.  Having a limited number of items to use really helps speed up the creative process.  In fact, I was able to generate not one but two layouts using these items (plus some white cardstock for the backgrounds).  Here they are (below).

Resources: religious papers: Flair Designs, brown grid paper: BasicGrey, corrugated brown paper: Colorbok, cream paper with white heart: Fancy Pants Designs, white cardstock: Pulp, tan cardstock: Wausau Paper, brown alphabet stickers: Jillibean Soup, both sizes of red alphabet stickers: BasicGrey, chipboard flower: DCWV, thread: DMC, button: vintage.

Are you feeling ready to have a go at a Color Room challenge?  Check out the web site at  Each week a new palette is posted on Friday.

Happy crafting!