Friday, January 27, 2012

My Style: Colored Backgrounds + Scraps

I have been doing a lot of sketch challenges lately.  I enjoy them, because they force me to push my creativity and try new ideas.  But my favorite thing of all to do is to create my own sketches. So, after a month of mostly posting my entries into sketch challenges, I want to wind up January by posting some of my own designs. 

I love creating layouts with solid-colored backgrounds.  The bright background is eye-catching, and it also provides a fun backdrop against which bits and bobs of scraps and embellishments can really shine.  Since I love color and I love using up scraps, this technique is really "me."

Supplies: October Afternoon patterned papers, stickers, die cuts, and buttons; Wausau Paper cardstock; DMC floss.

The photo above shows a layout of this type that I made for a recent challenge in the Color Room.  The journaling reads: "No more cribs, no more board books.  Hello picture books, hello big boy bed (sort of)."  Putting the crib mattress on the floor was the first step for my son in the process of moving from the crib to a real bed.  :)

I looked through some of my past scrapbooks and found a couple "oldy but goody" layouts that also illustrate this style.  In the photo below you see the layout "May Projects," which documents some things my son made at school during one month.  The projects are: 1. a sprouted corn seed (which we later planted), 2. a flag for Cinco de Mayo, 3. a paper bird, 4. a May Day basket for my husband, and 5. Mother's Day presents. 

Supplies: Wausau Paper cardstock, Jenni Bowlin alphabet stickers, Bo Bunny apple sticker, Hambly rub-on journaling boxes, Jenni Bowlin rub-on birds, Delta stencil, Zig pen.

Supplies: American Crafts cardstock, Colorbok alphabet stickers, Bo Bunny decorative stickers, Sakura pens.

The final layout of this post, which you see above, is called "County Fair."  The is no real journaling on this one--the photos speak for themselves.  It was fun to match my cardstock to the color of the lawn tractor.  :)

For another look at what defines my style, feel free to take a look at my 2011 gallery.

Thanks for looking at my layouts.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

You've Got Kitty Mail

Supplies: patterned papers (Authentique), stickers (Authentique), kraft cardstock (Wausau Paper), white paint (Deco Art), glitter paint (Stickles by Ranger), pens (Zig), upcycled items (corrugated cardboard, shipping label with string).

Like I said in my previous post, I'm trying to focus on happy memories of my cats.  Here's a page (above) with a cute story about Shadow.  The journaling reads: "As soon as we unpack a parcel, Shadow jumps in the empty box.  :)"   Cats can be so silly!

I recycled some actual packing materials for this layout.  I had a used shipping tag with writing on only one side, so I flipped it over to the blank side and cut it in half.  One half houses my title, and the other half serves as a journaling box.  I removed the string from the tag and used it to accent my photos.  To create the backdrop for the page, I spread a torn piece from a corrugated cardboard box (seen in the photo below) with white paint, drizzled some Stickles over the paint, and used the piece of cardboard as a background stamp.  The contrast between the torn cardboard and the fancy glitter was fun to about shabby chic!  :)  I'm entering this LO in the current Scrap for Help challenge, since I incorporated so many upcycled materials.

I'm also entering the LO in the current Authentique challenge.  I've used their January Sketch, and all my patterned papers and stickers are from Authentique.  The dotted paper and the ruler paper are from the "Gathering" collection, and the remaining papers are from the "Free Bird" series.  The mini alphabet stickers and large alphabet stickers are both from the "Glowing" collection.  I love how Authentique products have a distressed look to them--they work perfectly on a page like this.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  It's Friday--yay!  Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughts for a New Year

Supplies: teal cardstock (Bazzill), raspberry cardstock (Echo Park), patterned paper (American Crafts), journaling cards & sentiment blocks (Echo Park), chipboard (DCWV), number stickers (Echo Park), epoxy stickers (EK Success), pens (Zig).

The challenge this time around at Once upon a ... Sketch is to reflect on either the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.  When I took this challenge, I came up with the layout you see above.  My journaling reads: "This will be our first year without cats.  Tina and Maggie died in 2010, and Shadow died in 2011.  We don't feel ready for a new pet yet.  The pain of losing the girls is still too fresh.  But when ever I start feeling sad, I try to follow this advice: Remember the good times.  Remember how Maggie hid behind the blinds.  Remember how cuddly Tina was.  Remember how Shadow slept on our bed.  Good memories.  :)"

I enjoyed collaging the journaling cards.  I like to write a lot on my pages, and sometimes one bitty journaling card just does not give me enough room for all I want to say.  It was nice to have a bigger journaling space for this layout.

Once again, I combined OUAS with the current CSI challenge.  Combining the elements of the two challenges really helped me convey all the emotions behind this layout.  The bright colors, flowers, and spirals are all elements that come from CSI.  They help convey the happy memories that I've journaled about on this page.  The OUAS sketch called for a big circle in the background, which I achieved by fussy-cutting along the lines of the yellow paper (seen in the photo above).  I feel that the jagged lines of this "circle" symbolize the pain of loss that I mention in my journaling.

This is a rather bittersweet layout, but I don't want to end this blog post on a sad note.  Like I said in my journaling, I'm trying to focus on the happy memories, not the sad ones.  So, I'll leave you with a closeup of my cat Maggie's photo (below).  Maggie liked to sit in windows, mostly hidden behind the blinds or shades.  But she always left at least one leg sticking out, which was cute to see.  Peek a boo, Maggie!  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Supplies: yellow/green patterned paper (7 Gypsies), all other papers (Cosmo Cricket), alphabet stickers (Echo Park), all other stickers (Cosmo Cricket), lace (Jeanette Crews Designs), adhesives (3M), pen (Zig).

Well, the warm weather that I wrote about in my last post is already gone.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.  Yesterday the temperatures hovered around freezing, and we had a messy mix of rain and snow.  Today the temps are below freezing--BRRR!  But that's okay; the colder temps got me in the mood to complete a New Year's Eve layout, which you see in the photo above.

The title of my layout is "Road Trip."  This time for Once Upon a ... Sketch, we were to write about New Year's Eve.  My journaling reads: "When I was in college, my friends and I always celebrated the end of the year with a road trip.  Our journey took us to Freeport (to eat at Charlie's Cafe), Morris (to visit friends), and Alexandria.  In Alex we'd visit Big Ole (the Viking statue), then kick back at our friend Rick's annual New Year's Eve party."  In the photos you can see the smiley faced Freeport water tower and the Alexandria Viking statue.  We like our silly, whimsical landmarks in Minnesota.  :)  You can also see me at the wheel.  I think I'm nineteen years old in that snap.

I've combined the Once Upon a ... Sketch challenge with the brand new  Colors, Stories, Inspiration (C. S. I.) challenge.  In addition to drawing my color scheme from CSI, I also had to incorporate some items from the CSI Case File that you see below.  From "Testimony" I chose "journal on tags."  Since my layout is about travel, I journaled on stickers shaped like luggage tags.  From "Evidence" I chose "distressing" and "lace."

The lace is from a cross stitch bookmark project (see photo below).  I started the project back in the late 1990's, and I think it's safe to say that I am never going to finish it.  So, I cut off some of the lace to use on my layout.

My poor, neglected cross stitch project...  I've breathed new life into it by using some of the lace on my layout.  I'm sure that the rest of the lace, and perhaps some of the canvas as well, will eventually make it onto other papercraft projects.

Since I've included repurposed lace on this layout, I'm also entering the layout in the current Scrap for Help challenge.  Wow--one project for three challenges!  For me, that's a lot.  But it was really fun creating this layout, taking a walk down memory lane back to my college days.  I hope that you've had fun seeing the layout and some of our quirky Minnesota landmarks.  TFL!

ETA: My layout is being featured at Scrap for Help for the month of February, 2012.  A big thank you to all the ladies who voted for it.  Hope that lots of people will play along with the February challenge at Scrap for Help...see you there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Glimpse of Warmer Weather

We've been having unseasonably warm weather here in Minnesota for the last few days.  It does not feel like January at all.  The temperature right now is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)!!!  I should probably be worried about global warming, but to be honest, for the moment I'm just glad that I don't have to freeze every time I step outside.  And it's also nice not to have to worry about slippery roads, winter parking restrictions, ice dams on the roof, etc.  I'm sure that snow and cold temperatures will return soon, so I'll just enjoy the warmth and sunshine while it lasts.

Supplies: striped paper (Graphic 45), flower petal papers (October Afternoon), photo mat papers (Crate), all other patterned papers (American Crafts), journaling boxes and ticket (Echo Park), dark blue alphabet stickers (Basic Grey), light blue alphabet stickers (Creative Imaginations), mini alpha-numeric stickers (Echo Park), metal accent (October Afternoon), glittered flowers (Petaloo), decorative stickers (October Afternoon), pen (Zig).

Since the weather is crazy-warm, I thought I'd go a little crazy today and post a summer page (seen in the photo above) in the middle of winter.  These photos were taken last July in the Hosta Glade at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

I actually used intact Petaloo flowers!  (I had been going through a phase where I detached the rhinestones from the flower centers and used them separately.)

I made my own flower by fussy cutting this paper, and adding an October Afternoon "tin pin" in the center.

I did a lot of fussy-cutting for this page.  The process was pretty relaxing.

Hope that your days will be filled with sunshine and blue skies!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bo Bunny Snowfall

Supplies: All papers and stickers by Bo Bunny.  Gel pen by Sakura.

I've posted lots of Christmas projects lately, but no general winter projects.  It's time to fix that!  Today I bring you the above layout, which I created for the current  Bo Bunny layout challenge.  I used Bo Bunny's gorgeous Snowfall collection to create this layout, which is called "Enter Here: Novgorod."

The layout uses photos from one of my trips to Russia.  The journaling (seen in the photo below) reads: "Cross the river and enter the ancient, walled town.  Admire its enchanting gold and silver domes."  I visited charming Novgorod, a city located between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, on a day in late winter.  Much of the snow had melted, so the landscape was largely brown grass and earth with the occasional pile of white snow.  With its gorgeous brown/blue/white color combination, the Snowfall collection provided the perfect way to jazz up my slightly blah-looking, late-winter photos.  The glitter on the papers echoed the glittering domes of Novgorod's churches.

I was lucky enough to find a piece of base paper whose design already had the basic elements of the challenge sketch.  Lest you think I took the "easy way out," though, let me show you how I used Bo Bunny products to round out the design.

First, I created my own custom-made journaling box.  The 3 photos below show you the steps of the process.

Since the Snowfall sticker sheet did not include curly braces, I used the curly braces from Bo Bunny's Blitzen collection.  I adhered the stickers to the back of a mini sheet of Snowfall paper, then cut out the braces.

I dabbed adhesive on the striped side of the curly braces, then adhered them to a brown mini sheet of Snowfall paper.  I carefully cut out my newly-formed journaling box.

The final step was to add handwriting and place the journaling block on the layout.

Next, I made my own capital letters, using pieces of the numbers, punctuation, and lowercase letters that came on the Snowfall sticker sheet.  The two photos below explain the process.

I made a capital E by turning the number 3 upside down.
I built the capital N with two lowercase L's joined by a comma.

The last step in embellishing my layout was to pile on the snowflakes.  I used every single snowflake from the Snowfall sticker sheet, plus a couple from the Blitzen sticker sheet.  What can I say...I'm a Minnesotan who loves Russia; snowflakes are a big part of my life, LOL.  :)

I had an awesome time playing with the Snowfall collection from Bo Bunny.  Thanks for stopping by to check out my layout.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Authentique Sketch Challenge

How is 2012 treating you so far?  Things are going well for me.  I'm excited about the new Pantone Color of the Year.  It's called Tangerine Tango, and it's a lovely bright orange, with just a hint of coral.  As soon as I saw it, it put me in mind of the Gathering collection from Authentique Paper.  I felt inspired to pull out my Gathering papers, and I created the layout that you see above.  Since I was already using Authentique products, I also used the sketch from the current sketch challenge on the Authentique blog.

This is another layout with photos from my trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia.  The title is "Spring Monastery Visit," and the journaling reads: "Hard to believe that Alexander Nevsky Monastery is only one metro stop away from the city center!  It's so quiet and peaceful there."

The papers I used for the title block and photo mats are from Authentique's Free Bird series, and the rest of the papers on the layout are all from Gathering.  The orange letter stickers are also from Gathering, and the small blue letter stickers are from Journey.

Authentique papers have such a rich texture and such detailed designs, I didn't feel like I needed to add much else to the layout.  I just added a scant few drips of ink and drabs of paint (see detail photos above).  I also inked the edges of all my paper pieces--I think you can see this particularly well in the flowers in the photo below.

It's been a cold and snowy couple of days here in Minnesota, but just looking at these bright, cheerful Authentique papers has warmed me right up.  Hope you've enjoyed looking at my layout as much as I enjoyed creating it.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Year for the Books

Happy 2012, everyone!!!  I hope that this year will bring you joy, peace, and lots of good luck.

Let's talk albums.  Do you make a new album for each year?  Do you have a favorite type/brand of album?

My current favorite album is the 12x12" D-ring album from Pulp.  It is so sturdy, yet also cute.  It's handmade in the USA, and you know how I love that.  :)  Since I scrap out of order, the D-ring style is really convenient for me, allowing me to add new pages anywhere in the book and change the page order any time.  The album you see above is my in-progress 2010 album.  I try to make my scrapbooking as relaxed as possible, so I give myself up to three years to complete an album.  I'd estimate that I'm about 2/3 of the way done scrapping 2010, so I'm right on schedule to complete this album by the end of 2012.

I also like to create mini-albums for special events and gifts.  This year, I also tried something new.  I wanted to give my relatives photos from a previous Christmas.  But instead of making mini-albums, I made decorative sleeves to house the photos.  It was a quick and easy way to make a little "stocking-stuffer" type of gift.  You can see these sleeves in the photo above.  This was a good way to make use of sheets of 12x12" paper that were partially cut into but mostly still intact.  (The sleeve on the left is made with paper left over from my owl wall art project, and the sleeve on the right was made with paper left over from my October Wanderings layout.  Yay for using up papers from the stash!)  And it was fun to use the October Afternoon flags to add the year to the photo sleeves.

How are your scrapbooking projects going?  Did you create any fun end-of-the year projects?  Have you got any exciting scrapping goals for 2012?  I look forward to hearing what you're working on in the new year.