Saturday, July 30, 2011

Three Easy Summer Projects

In the course of chauffeuring my kiddo from one activity to the next this past week, I spoke with lots of moms.  And they were all saying the same thing: that they are feeling burnt out.  It's that point in the summer when having the kids home full-time is beginning to get a bit stressful.  I'm feeling the pressure, too.  So, I decided to treat my readers to three quick crafting ideas with this post.  These are easy projects that you can do with materials you have on hand.  In the few moments that you have available to relax during your busy summer schedule, try one of these projects.  You will reduce your scrapbooking backlog, while reducing your supply stash at the same time!

Timeline Layout

Graduation Card Set

Mini Album

The first project is a summer timeline layout (below).  It's made with just cardstock, pens, ink, and adhesive, and it offers a way to fit a lot of photos on a single page.  Your layout need not be about gardening.  Put on any sort of summer photos you want, arranged in chronological order.

Supplies: cardstock (all from Wausau Paper), pens (Zig), ink (Clearsnap), adhesive (3M).

To create the circular labels (below), I traced around the base of a 3M glue stick.  The other paper shapes are cut freehand.  Their imperfections only add to the organic feel of the page.  To help the labels and shapes stand out, give their edges a quick swipe of ink before adhering them to the page.

The next project is a set of graduation cards (below).  Maybe you still have a few grad parties to attend this summer, or maybe you just need to restock for next summer.  Either way, it's easy to whip up a set of these cards.

Supplies: card bases and envelopes (Yours Truly), cardstock (assorted scraps--manufacturer unknown), stamps (Northwoods Rubber Stamps--this is one of their Cube Stamps, with coordinating stamps mounted on four sides of the cube), ink (Memories by Stewart Superior), corner rounder (Creative Memories).

You can make these cards assembly-line style.  First, trim scraps of colored cardstock into the shapes shown in the photo.  Mix and match the scraps on each card.  Stamp your images, and adhere the scraps on to the cards.  You could use any combination of colors that you have on hand, but I think that you get a particularly striking look by placing bright scraps against a dark background.

The final project is a mini vacation album (below).  I used it to house postcards from my friends' vacations, but you could use it for your own vacay snaps if you prefer.

Supplies: patterned paper (Echo Park), solid cardstock (Echo Park), alphabet stickers (Echo Park), journaling cards (Echo Park), pens (Zig), dry adhesive (3M), wet adhesive (3M), stapler.

The secret to whipping this album up quickly is to use coordinating products from a single manufacturer.  On the inside of the album (below) I kept the format the same from page to page--one photo, with a journaling card tucked behind it.

To finish off the album, staple the pages together as close as possible to the left-hand edge.  Cover the staples with a folded piece of patterned paper.  Use liquid adhesive to attach this folded strip, since you need a strong bond.  This is how the back of your album will look (below).

Thanks for taking a look at the projects in this post.  And if you're feeling summer stress at the moment, remember to take some time for yourself and relax.  You deserve it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Embellishments from a Box of Tea: July Scrap for Help Project

Hello, friends!  The challenge this month over at the Scrap for Help blog is to create a project that in some way incorporates a cardboard box from any commercial product.  I love the way that the Scrap for Help team encourages this kind of recycling!  For this challenge, guest designer Nadia Cannizzo provided a beautiful sketch that participants were to use.  With these guidelines in mind, I created a layout called "Papa's Mountain" (below).

Supplies: blue cardstock (Echo Park), burgundy cardstock (Bazzill), blue/white floral patterned paper (Pink Paislee), white/green floral paper (Echo Park), fussy-cut clouds and butterfly (Echo Park), fussy-cut white/purple circle (Echo Park), faux postcard (October Afternoon), chipboard accents (DCWV), paper flowers (Petaloo), border stickers (Echo Park), blue alphabet stickers (BasicGrey), green alphabet stickers (October Afternoon), blue circular stickers (Heidi Grace Design), decorative scissors (Fiskars), black pen (Zig), blue pen (Sakura), corner rounder (Creative Memories), ribbon rose (Offray).

The journaling reads: "Located in rural Oregon, Scott's grandparents' house (called "Papa's Mountain") is a lovely wooden home surrounded by lush vegetation."  Sadly, my husband's grandparents both died of cancer in 2005.  I miss them--especially his grandma, who was a great friend to me.  Though I never met her in person, she and I wrote letters and e-mails to each other all the time.  I'm glad that I now have this scrapbook page to memorialize Scott's grandparents and their home.

The cardboard box (below) I used in this layout is from Choice brand tea.  The flavor is "Northwest Blackberry," and I love the stylized picture of a blackberry on the box.  Since Oregon is in the Northwest, the box also ties in with the theme of my layout.

Since I was already using the box, I also decided to incorporate into my layout a wrapper and a tag (below) from a bag of this tea.

The stylized blackberry image became a semi-circular embellishment on my page (below).

I formed the tea bag wrapper into a flower embellishment (below).  I think that the tag looks like a leaf for this flower.  :)

I used my trusty dinner plate as a template for the large circle in the background of the layout.  I created the scalloped blue borders with left-over alphabet stickers (below).  I got this great idea from a magazine.  Now I no longer have a load of "odd" letter stickers (X, Q, Z, etc.) cluttering up my scrapbook stash!

Thank you for looking at my layout.  When it comes to creating page embellishments, I hope I've inspired you to think outside the box.  Or should that actually be "think inside the box?"  :)  In any case, you should keep this kind of homemade embellishments away from the photos on your layouts, since you don't know whether commercial-grade packaging materials are acid-free and archival quality.  If you get a chance to make your own embellies, let me know--I'd love to see what you create!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Recycle" Bulk Mail

A couple weeks ago I was at a craft fair, and I saw some beautiful fine art collages created with old newspaper and bulk mail...something in this vein.  I don't know how the artist whose work I saw managed to create these beautiful pictures with throwaway materials--what an amazing talent!  But I do know one way that we can all "recycle" our bulk mail.  We can use it as a source of inspiration.  Though this is not physical recycling, it is still a recycling of sorts--a recycling of ideas.

A few days ago I got the July 19-20 advertising booklet from Archivers, a local scrapbooking chain store.  (Some people call this sort of thing "junk mail."  But I'm not going to call a booklet that's full of scrapbooking coupons and ideas "junk."  I'll just stick with the term "bulk mail.")  I was inspired by this photo (below), which was on page 14 of the booklet.

I decided to use this inspiration as the jumping-off point for my contribution to the Color Room this week.  I came up with this layout (below) called "Love."

Supplies: brown and white cardstock sheets (Wausau Paper), dark pink cardstock (Echo Park), patterned papers (all from My Mind's Eye), journaling boxes (Echo Park), large and small alphabet stickers (Echo Park), pen (Zig), heart punch (All Night Media), embroidery floss (DMC), dry adhesive (3M tabs), wet adhesive (3M Scrapbooker's Glue), oval template (Fiskars), misc. (mechanical pencil, dinner plate, postage stamp, emery board or distressing tool, sharp sewing needle, & blunt embroidery needle).

The journaling reads: "On Labor Day, Maggie died of old age.  She was a pampered princess, and I'll always remember her as she was in life--usually sleeping sweetly with one delicate paw extended, just waiting for a pat and a kiss.  Her sympathy cards are behind this page."  The small alphabet stickers spell out this subtitle: "You may now kiss the royal paw."

Here are a few detail photos and tips:

The set of large letter stickers I was using did not have a dark pink "V."  So, I carefully trimmed a "W" to make the "V" for my title (below).

My husband has seen me use many funny and unusual scrapbooking techniques recently.  A few weeks ago he watched me sew rocks (stone chip beads) to a different layout.  This week, he watched me sand the edges of my page components with a nail file!  :)  I love the distressed look that this gave me (two photos below).

To create the banner on the page, I first used a pencil to trace a portion of the curved edge of a standard-sized dinner plate.  Next, I adhered the banner flags along this guideline.  I then used a sharp needle to poke holes to guide my sewing.  I used a blunt embroidery needle to backstitch along the poked holes, adhering my loose ends to the back of my page with adhesive tabs.  When you use this sewing technique, this is how the back of your page should look (below):

I miss my dear kitty, Maggie, but this scrapbook page will keep her alive in my heart forever.  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Make a Splash with Echo Park!

Whether your summer photos are new or old...
Whether you create 12x12" or 8.5x11" layouts...
Whether you prefer a day at the beach or just backyard summer fun...
this post has something for everyone!

In this post I'll give you directions for making three pages (above), using 100% Echo Park papers and embellishments.  It's a great way to celebrate summer and reduce your Echo Park stash at the same time.

For the first layout...

* papers from the Splash collection: Diagonal Stripes, Big Waves, Mini Stripes, Solid Blues, Solid Orange/Red
* paper from the Summer Days collection: Borders
* stickers from the Everybody Loves Christmas collection: Alpha Stickers

1.  Trim the B-side (wave images) of the Diagonal Stripes paper into a 8.5x11" rectangle (landscape orientation).
2.  Mat a vertical photo on the Solid Orange cardstock.  Use the red mini alphabet stickers from the Everybody Loves Christmas sheet to spell part of your title at the bottom of the photo.
3.  From the B-side (bubble images) of the Mini Stripes paper, cut a rectangle that is 2.5" high and 7" long.  Adhere it near the bottom of your page, leaving about a 1" margin on the left and bottom sides of the paper.
4.  From the B-side (orange/white wave image) of the Big Waves paper, cut out a rectangle that is 7" high and 4" long.  Adhere this rectangle flush with the right side of your layout, leaving a top margin of 1" and a bottom margin of half an inch.  Let this rectangle overlap the one you adhered in step 3.
5.  Trim a 5" square from the darker side of the Solid Blue cardstock.  Adhere this square in the center of your layout, with a 1.5" margin above and a 2" margin below the square.  Tuck about half an inch of the right-hand side of this square beneath the Big Waves paper. 
6.  Adhere the matted photo from step 2 atop the blue square.  Now only the left-hand side of the blue square will be visible--the rest will be covered by the matted photo.
7.  Trim a small sunshine image from the Borders paper.  Place it on the blue square, and use the blue mini stickers from the Everybody Loves Christmas sheet to place title words above and below the sunshine image.
8.  Trim the pink-and-red border sticker from the Everybody Loves Christmas sheet into smaller pieces, and position these pieces on the layout as shown in the above photo.
9.  From the Solid Red cardstock, trim a rectangle that is 1/2 inch high and 2" long.  (You can use the brand identification strip at the bottom of the sheet for this.)  Trim a dovetail notch on the left hand side of this rectangle.  Adhere this rectangle at the top of the Big Waves rectangle, flush with the right hand side of the layout.  Trim a little "Splash" logo from the brand identification strip at the bottom of one of the pieces of paper, and adhere this logo atop the dovetailed red rectangle.  Voila, your layout is complete!

Up next is the 12x12" layout...

* papers from the Splash collection: Diagonal Stripes, Solid Teal, Journaling Cards
* papers from the Summer Days collection: Solid Green, Rainbow
* stickers from the Little Girl collection: Alpha Stickers

1.  Use the Solid Green cardstock as the base of the layout.
2.  From the B-side (image of white dots on a yellow ground) of the Rainbow paper, cut a rectangle that is 4.5" high and 12" long.  Adhere two horizontal photos to this rectangle, one on either side.
3.  Fill the remaining space between the two photos with a piece of the Solid Teal cardstock.  The length of this piece will be the distance between your photos, and the height will be the same as the height of your photos.  Use a ruler for accuracy.
4.  Trim the beach ball image from the Journaling Cards paper.  The grid printed on this paper will help you make straight and even cuts.  Adhere the beach ball between the two photos, atop the teal cardstock.  Use the dark pink mini stickers from the Alpha Stickers sheet to spell out your journaling above and below the beach ball.  For a fun look, place the letters at jaunty angles.
5.  Adhere the rectangle that you have been working on to the green background cardstock, leaving a 2" margin at the top and a 5.5" margin at the bottom.  Trim stripes of your choice (I chose blue clouds and a green-and-white grid) from the Rainbow paper and adhere them just above and below the rectangle.
6.  Cut three cards of your choice from the Journaling Cards paper.  (I used the cards that say "I Wish I Was a Fish", "Wet & Wild", and "I Love the Sun".)  Adhere them in a zigzag pattern below your rectangle (see photo above).
7.  From the B-side (wave images) of the Diagonal Stripes paper, cut a rectangle that is 3/4 of an inch high and 12" long.  Adhere this strip at the bottom of the layout.  Trim a strip of your choice (I chose hot pink) from the Rainbow paper and adhere it along the top of the wave-image paper.
8.  Trim one last strip (I chose yellow) from the Rainbow paper, and adhere it along the top of your layout.
9.  Fussy-cut the oval-shaped "Staying Cool" phrase from the Journaling Cards paper.  Tuck it beneath the photo rectangle and adhere it in place, letting the top of the oval stick out past the top of the layout.
10. Use the large alpha stickers to spell out your title, placing half of the title to the left of the fussy-cut oval, and the other half of the title to the right of the oval.  Now the second layout is finished!

And for the final layout...

* papers from the Splash collection: Diagonal Stripes, Solid Orange/Red, Solid Yellow
* stickers from the Playground collection: Alpha Stickers

1.  Crop three photos into square shapes.  Mat your focal photo on Solid Red cardstock, leaving a few extra inches at the bottom of the mat.  Mat your two supporting photos on Solid Orange cardstock, again leaving a few extra inches at the bottoms of both mats.
2.  Trim a piece of Diagonal Stripes paper so that it is 8.5" tall and 11" long.  This will be the background for your layout (landscape orientation).
3.  From the Solid Yellow cardstock, cut a rectangle that is 2" high and 11" long.  Adhere this rectangle to the bottom of your layout.  Use the Alpha stickers to spell your title on this yellow rectangle.
4.  Tuck the three matted photos beneath the yellow rectangle.  Refer to the picture of this layout (above) to guide your photo placement.
5.  Remove the border sticker from the sheet of Alpha stickers.  Carefully place it along the top of the yellow rectangle.  For the final touch on the layout, decorate the red photo mat with a yellow star sticker from the Alpha sheet.

Here are a few extra hints for completing these layouts:
* If you like to make back-to-back layouts, the two 8.5x11" pages in this post will work perfectly--you can make one on the back of the other.
* Echo Park collections mix and match well.  If you are missing some of the components in these layouts, try substituting similar components that you do have in your Echo Park stash.
* I hope you've enjoyed these layouts!  Feel free to comment with any feedback.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Use Your Own Handwriting

Last week, for the first time since I joined the Color Room, I failed to post a project.  It could not be helped; I was gone on vacation for the first part of the week, and I was sick in bed for the second part of the week. (Not a great way to spend the first few days after a vacation!).  

Now that I'm better, I've gone back and made a project (below) for the palette that I missed.  It's palette #66, and it's an interesting color combination, involving bright blue, olive green, orange, and white.  

Supplies: white cardstock (American Crafts), retro botanical patterned papers (Graphic 45), orange/black/white dot paper (BasicGrey), green/white dot paper (My Mind's Eye), teal die-cuts (My Mind's Eye), butterfly die-cuts (Ellison), oval template (Fiskars), decorative scissors (Fiskars), shiny butterflies (Dufex), teal flower (Petaloo), ribbon rose (Offray), pen (Gelly Roll by Sakura), adhesive (3M tabs and liquid).

With such bright colors, I wanted to use a sparkly gel pen on my layout.  I decided to use it for my title lettering (above).  Not only is this a fun way to add interest to the page, it's also environmentally-friendly.  After all, you can get a lot more words out of a pen than you can from a more rapidly consumable product (like alphabet stickers or rub-ons).  And, unlike computers and die-cutting tools, which are also popular means for creating titles, a pen requires no electricity.  My hero--the gel pen.  :)

Here are a few more detail shots from the layout:

I've been crazy about butterflies lately, and I've been sprinkling them all over my layouts.  The realistic ones on this layout come from a British company called Dufex.  They tend to curl up a bit in the heat/humidity that we've been having here.  Luckily, that just makes them look more realistic--like they are about to take flight!

Graphic 45 creates such richly detailed papers.  I'm in love with this vintage postcard--especially the butterfly postmark!

The teal curlicues on this page actually all come from a single, frame-shaped die-cut from My Mind's Eye.  I cut it into pieces and positioned those pieces strategically throughout my page.

Aren't those Graphic 45 fairies sweet?  I've been hoarding them for awhile, and I'm pleased that I finally got a chance to use them on a layout.  That's all for today!  As always, thanks for looking at my post!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Treehouse and Tea Bag

This week in the Color Room, the palette (#67) is a yummy combination of mint green, milk chocolate brown, and two gentle greys.  These colors seem good for  page about nature, so I decided to scrapbook some photos from my family's July 4 trip to our local arboretum (public gardens).

Supplies: background paper (October Afternoon), green cardstock (TPC Studio), brown cardstock (Wausau Paper), light and dark grey cardstocks (Creative Memories), alphabet stickers (BasicGrey), tree/owl patterned paper (Kaiser Craft), fussy-cut birds (My Mind's Eye), label sticker (October Afternoon), Zen label (Tazo Tea), rectangular stickers (Creative Memories), stamps (Hero Arts), ink (Clearsnap), corner rounder (Creative Memories).

The journaling on my page (above) reads: "The peaceful, storybook style treehouse at the Arboretum enchanted the whole family!"  I let the design of the treehouse guide the design of my page, making it both whimsical and detailed.

One of my favorite embellishments on the page is the pale green "Zen" tag.  It came from a tea bag!  It matched the color scheme perfectly, and it adds to the peaceful nature of the page.  Since I don't know whether the "Zen" tag is made of archival-quality materials, I used mats to keep the tag away from my photos.

Here are a few detail shots of the layout (below).

I designed my page so that the Jimmie Acorn character and the words "Old Oak" would be within the grey cardstock frame, thus making them a part of my embellishment cluster.

Love that peeping owl!
Every tree needs a squirrel, don't you agree?  :)

This page is full of oak-related motifs!

I created a patterned paper effect on this green strip by repeatedly stamping the leaf, letting the images overlap and fade.  Thanks for looking at my layout and photos!  I'll be back tomorrow with another Color Room layout.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Use Leftover Beading Supplies on Scrapbook Pages

It's another crafting crossover!!!  In yesterday's post, I mentioned that all the beads I had bought recently were fairly flat.  That's because I've hit upon the idea of using beads as scrapbooking embellishments.  I'm quite excited about this idea!  Take a look at what I've done with it so far...

Supplies: patterned paper (map and blue grid--TPC Studio; fussy-cut butterfly--7 Gypsies), green cardstock (DCWV), letter stickers (Basic Grey), shiny butterfly decal (Dufex), chipboard accent (DCWV), flowers (Petaloo), thread (DMC), wooden beads, assorted turquoise chip beads, 3M adhesive tabs, 3M liquid adhesive.

It all started last week, when I created the layout "Explore--Play" (above) for the latest Color Room challenge.  The color palette was very natural, with shades of blue, green, and brown.  I decided that I wanted to add some natural items to my page, to play up the natural beauty of the color scheme.  So, I carefully removed the rhinestone centers from some Petaloo flowers and glued wooden beads in the flower centers.  The wooden beads are left over from a necklace I created (see photo below) with beads from a few mixes from the Bead Box.  (I mentioned their great bead mixes in yesterday's post.)  To increase the beady goodness of the page, I also sewed a line of turquoise chip beads along the top of my photo strip.

the necklace
I really enjoyed creating this layout, and I plan to incorporate more beads into future layouts very soon.  Of course, I'll be sure to share the results with you on my blog.  For now, I'll leave you with a few detail shots from my "Explore--Play."  Thanks for looking!