Monday, February 27, 2012

"I Heart Moscow" Shadow Box

ETA: My shadow box is being featured on the Scrap for Help blog for the month of March, 2012.  Thank you to all the lovely ladies who voted for me!

Wow, it's hard to believe that February is almost over!  This month has flown by quickly.  I got a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day, but the chocolates are already gone.  :)  I've been hanging on to the empty box, thinking that I could do something interesting with it...and I decided to use it for my latest project--a shadow box.

Supplies: box (Abdallah Candies), maps (Freytag & Berndt, Inc.), postmark patterned paper (Bo Bunny), "Moscow" word paper and Saint Basil's paper (October Afternoon), other travel-themed papers (Basic Grey), doily and butterfly stickers (Cosmo Cricket), circular frame stickers (Basic Grey), banner stickers and mini alphabet stickers (Lily Bee Design), paper flowers (Marianne Design), glitter (Stickles by Ranger), pen (Zig), black ink (Stewart Superior), purple and green inks (Color Box by Clearsnap), white thread (Singer), embroidery thread (DMC), adhesives (Scotch by 3M), computer font (Times New Roman Cyrillic), gauze bandage (Johnson & Johnson), souvenir doll handmade in Russia, hammer and nail (for hanging the shadow box on the wall).

I made this shadow box for two challenges, Once Upon a Sketch and Scrap for Help.  The challenge at Once Upon a Sketch this time around is to highlight a vacation memory.  The idea of vacations got me thinking about souvenirs, and I decided it would be fun to make a project incorporating memorabilia.  I have a lot of memorabilia from my two trips to Russia, so I decided to focus on Russia in my project.  I zeroed in specifically on Moscow, because it's the only place in Russia where I have truly vacationed.  I was an exchange student in Novosibirsk on my first trip and in Saint Petersburg on my second trip, and in both those cities I was more of a student than a tourist.  However, both of those visits to Russia also included a "spring break" week in Moscow.  It was in Moscow that I finally got a chance just to relax and be a tourist.  I visited parks, art museums, the Kremlin, Red Square...Red Square was my favorite, so I decided to use a photo from Red Square in my project.

For my photo, I chose a shot of Saint Basil's cathedral.  It's that special church on Red know, the one that newscasters  always stand in front of when they are reporting live from Russia.  Since Saint Basil's is so colorful and ornate, with lots of shiny metal on its domes, I decided that my project should also be colorful, ornate, and glittery.

My Stickles got a workout.  :)  I've been really into glitter lately.  Maybe it's a throwback to my younger days, when I loved glittery cosmetics and nail polish.  I think I'm too old for such cosmetics nowadays--they wouldn't really go with my grey-streaked hair, LOL--but hey, you're never too old to enjoy glittery scrapbooking products, right?  :)

I used three different maps in my project.  I backed the shadow box with a street map of central Moscow.

The circle in the upper right hand corner has a zoomed-out map of the Moscow region.

The circle on the left hand side has a map of the Moscow Metro (subway system).

Moscow was built in a series of concentric rings, and it is surrounded by a series of ring roads, so these maps of Moscow seemed like a good fit with Nadia's sketch, which features several circles.

Of course, I had to make the outside of the box look pretty, too.  I papered the outside rim of the box with an assortment of travel-themed papers from Basic Grey's oldy-but-goody travel-themed line, "Wander."  I love travel-themed scrapbooking supplies!

According to the rules of Once Upon a Sketch, off-the-page projects should include a quote.  I chose a quote (seen in the photo below) from the well-known song "Подмосковные вечера" ("Moscow Evenings").  The link I've supplied will take you to the song's Wikipedia page, where you can see an (unpoetic) English translation of the lyrics and hear a beautiful recording of the song, sung by the Red Army choir.   The lines of the song that I've used in my quote mean: "If only you knew how dear to me these Moscow evenings are!"

Of course, Scrap for Help had some requirements as well.  The use of gauze bandages was required.  Lots of the artists who participated in this challenge dyed strips of gauze and used them as swirly, ethereal page accents.  You should take a look at those--they're really cool!  I chose to go a different direction with my gauze bandages, though.  After I printed my quote and cut it into strips, I draped a piece of bandage over the strips and pressed down with purple and green ink pads.  In this way, I gave the paper the appearance of a texture similar to that of fabric (as you can see in the photo above).  I thought the color and texture coordinated well with the doll's dress.

Another requirement of the Scrap for Help challenge was to take inspiration from a sample project by Celine Navarro.  I loved her butterflies, so I made sure to include some happy little butterflies in my project, too.

And, as is always the case at Scrap for Help, the use of recycled items was required.  I've already mentioned that I reused real maps in my project.  I also used a souvenir doll from Russia (seen in the photo below).  Isn't she cute?  She's obviously handmade, and I just love her homespun look.  I got a bit whimsical and gave her a paper flower to hold.  :)

Well, now that I've told you all the details about my project, I hope you feel as though you've had a little taste of Moscow.  Thanks for coming to my blog and checking out my project.  Have a great day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine Recap

It's been a fun and busy week.  Here is a little sample of what's been going on here recently...

Supplies: card base (Yours Truly), papers (Authentique), chipboard (DCWV), alphabet stickers (Authentique), flowers (Marianne Designs), inks (Color Box), book page (vintage Bobbsey Twins book).

My husband and I had a nice lunch date on Valentine's Day.  I gave him his card, so I can finally show it here on my blog.  You see it in the photos above. 

In addition to the Valentine card and gift I received from my husband, I also got a nice Valentine surprise when I checked Blogger on February 14...I discovered that my layout "Simplicity" (pictured above) was one of the winners in the first Scrap Africa challenge.  I am honored and delighted!

My son had a nice Valentine party with his classmates on February 14.  I helped him make a Valentine mailbox from an old plastic container (first photo above), and he decorated it with pictures of dinosaurs...because nothing says "Valentines Day" like fierce beasts, right?  :)  He brought home cards and trinkets from all his classmates.  I was particularly delighted with a heart-shaped recycled rainbow crayon that one of his buddies gave him--you can see it in the photo above.  Also pictured above are some wool hearts that our neighbors gave us.  I liked them so much that my neighbor taught me how to make my own today.

The one I made is in the photo above.  It was fun to make...much easier than I expected, and actually rather addicting.  :)  I have not yet decided what to make with it.  A hanging ornament?  A page accent?  A coaster?  What do you think?

Supplies: card base (Yours Truly), pink cardstock (Cosmo Cricket), glitter paint (Stickles by Ranger), sticker backing--used as stencils (Cosmo Cricket), pen (Creative Memories).

I've been busy making other projects lately as well.  Above you see a card that I made recently.  It's a friendship card, not a Valentine, but clearly I was influenced by the season.  :)  Ever since I made my glittery office decoration, I've been wanting to try more stenciling with Stickles, so that's what I did when I made this card.  I really love this technique..I'm sure I'll be using it again soon.

Supplies: Graphic 45 paper (both green patterns), Jillibean Soup paper (dark brown woodgrain), Creative Imaginations paper (light brown woodgrain), American Crafts papers (all orange and yellow prints), Graphic 45 die-cut circles--used as banner pieces, October Afternoon buttons, Reminisce brown alphabet stickers, Bella Blvd orange alpha stickers and mini alphas, Petaloo flower and rhinestones, vintage twine.

The last project I want to share with you today is a layout called "The Wall*E Dance" that I entered in the current CSI challenge.  You see it in the photo above.  "Put on you Sunday clothes, there's lots of world out there!"...can't you just hear the music that my son is dancing to in those photos?  :)

That's it for this week.  Hope that you've had a great week too!  Thanks for stopping by.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Guys: Post 2 of 2

This is my second post of the day.  It is my second entry for the current Once Upon a ... Sketch challenge.  To see my other entry, please look at the post below this one.

Supplies: weathered green patterned paper (Cosmo Cricket), graph and ledger papers (October Afternoon), border sticker (Bella Blvd), heart sticker (Basic Grey), flower sticker (Bella Blvd), alphabet stickers (October Afternoon), journaling spots (Bella Blvd), pen (Creative Memories).

Once again, I've reduced the sketch to its basic elements, in order to create a CAS layout.  Below are a couple close-up photos.

Can you see the copy of John Lennon's signature embroidered on my son's shirt?  The rhinoceros artwork is also by John Lennon.  When my son was small, the company called Carter's produced a line of baby clothes featuring John Lennon's whimsical artwork.  The line was called "Real Love," after the song by John.  I also used "Real Love" as the title for this layout...not just because of the Beatles connection, but because what I feel for my son is 100% REAL LOVE.

In this little journaling spot, I wrote "born a Beatles fan."  LOL

The journaling in the larger journaling box on this layout reads: "I loved dressing A. in the John Lennon-inspired 'Real Love' clothes from Carters."

Thanks for checking out this layout about my beloved son.  To see the layout about my husband that I also entered in Once Upon a ... Sketch, please see the post below this one.  Thanks!

My Guys: Post 1 of 2

The current challenge at Once Upon a ... Sketch is to create a layout about a beloved male.  Since there are two important guys in my life, I've created two layouts.  In this post you will find a layout about my husband, Scott.  I'll also be creating a separate post with a layout about my son.

Supplies: patterned paper (Cosmo Cricket), journaling card (Bella Blvd), stickers (Basic Grey), pen (Creative Memories).

I pared Nadia's sketch down to its main components to create this CAS layout about my husband, who is an embedded systems engineer.  What that means, basically, is that he programs microchips that are components of larger electrical devices.  The photo on this page shows a power meter with a circuit board (the green bit at the bottom of the meter face) that Scott helped design.  But the centerpiece of the layout is a poem that I wrote about Scott.

I could have simply written that Scott is supportive, a great father, a breadwinner, a martial arts teacher, and a romantic guy.  But instead, I wrote this poem:

My Embedded Systems Engineer

He supports me,
by sanitizing my HTML
when my blog formatting 
gets wonky.

He amuses our son,
by showing him that circuit boards
are miniature metropolises
with skyscrapers of 
capacitors and heat sinks.

He earns money,
by designing sensors
that turn temperature readings
into on-screen
kaleidoscopic pie charts.

He earns a little more on the side,
by teaching martial arts students
to let their chi flow
like electrons through
copper wire.

On movie nights,
if the DVD player breaks down,
he fixes it with ease,
keeping one arm around my shoulders
the whole time.

I hope the poem is just the right combination of sweetness and silliness.  :)

Thanks for checking out my layout about Scott.  Please also check out the post above this one, as it will have the layout about my son.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scrap Africa: Simplicity

After a number of posts showcasing my own designs, I'm back to doing a sketch challenge.  This is the first sketch challenge at the new Scrap Africa blog.  It looks like a great international papercrafting community, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of new people there.

Supplies: patterned paper (Bo Bunny), kraft notebook pages (Earthbound), stickers (Bella Blvd), flowers, (Petaloo), pen (Zig), misc. household items (vintage twine, buttons from old clothing, two dried stalks of wheat, emery board for distressing paper).

I flipped the sketch and created the 12x12" layout that you see in the photo above.  It's called "Simplicity," and the journaling reads: "From straw bales to scarecrows, autumn is full of simple pleasures."  You'll find a few detail photos below.

Thanks stopping by to take a look at my layout.  I encourage you to check out the Scrap Africa site as may be interested in entering this sketch challenge, or their themed challenge, which is also running right now.

ETA:  Eek!  Looking at these photos, I just realized that I spelled "autumn" wrong in my journaling.  How embarrassing!  I've fixed the error on the actual layout, but I'm going to leave these photos as they are on my blog.  I don't want to appear to be fiddling with my entry after the challenge deadline has already passed.  :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Using up Rub-ons

Two sneak-peeks...

It's fun to buy rub-ons...but sometimes it's hard to use up the whole package.  I like a challenge, so I challenged myself to use up some rub-on sets.  I succeeded, and I have two projects to share today.

First up is a Christmas ornament, which you see above.  I know, it's totally out of season, LOL.  But then again, it's fun to make Christmas items any time of year.

I have a set of winter rub-ons that I bought second hand at a garage sale.  I don't even know the name of the manufacturer, as I didn't save the packaging.  I had already used up the larger rub-ons from the set, so I just had a few small ones--mostly words and phrases--to use up.  To make the ornament, I painted a wooden circle white, and when the paint was dry, I layered the rub-ons onto the circle, to form a little scene.  I fancied it up with some Stickles around the edges of the wooden circle (see photo below), and I glued a ribbon scrap to the back of the circle (Thank you, Elmer's Glue-All!), for a hanger.

Ooh--shiny!  I mixed together turquoise and gold Stickles to get this effect.

Supplies: patterned paper (Glitz Design), rub-ons (October Afternoon), flowers (Petaloo), alphabet stickers (October Afternoon), stamp (Northwoods Rubber Stamps), ink (Stewart Superior), pen (Zig).

My second project is a layout, which you see above.  It's called "All the World is a Toy."  The journaling reads: "You have lots of toys, little dude, but you love to play with household items like paper plates, empty buckets, and Tupperware containers.  You are easy to please."  Below are a few detail shots...

I embellished the page with a repeated globe stamp and assorted rub-ons from the October Afternoon "Five and Dime" line.  Technically, I did not use up the whole set.  I still have two number rub-ons left, plus the word "for," but I'm confident that those last few rub-ons will be easy to use up.
You might think that I actually used Petaloo flowers as-is.  But no, as is typical for me, I took out the original rhinestone centers (which were magenta) from the flowers, and replaced them with lolly-pink rhinestones from other flowers.
My color scheme for this layout comes from Color Room palette #96.
My little sweetie was only a year old when these photos were taken!

That's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by to check out my rub-on projects.  Hope that your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lessology: Metallic Flower Décor

Supplies: upcycled items (vintage book page & advertising magnet), cardstock base (October Afternoon), shimmer mist (Tsukineko), gold paint (Stickles by Ranger), alphabet stickers (Creative Imaginations), flower and heart stickers (Cosmo Cricket), gold pen (Sakura), black pen (Zig).

I'm playing along with the latest challenge at Lessology.  This time around, it's all about having fun with flowers.  I decided to make some floral art to decorate a plain, boring file cabinet in my home office.  Since the file cabinet is black, I thought that metallics would stand out nicely against it.  So, I made the silver-and-gold artwork that you see in the photo above.  Let me walk you through my creative process.

First, I tore a page from an old book, then adhered stickers to it.  The stickers are masks.  I made the "lollipop flowers" with a sticker set from Cosmo Cricket that included blossoms and hearts.  I cut the stems and leaves freehand from the blank parts of the sticker sheet.  I sprayed both the torn book page and a miscellany card from October Afternoon with pewter-colored Shimmer Mist.  (Since the book paper is old and thin, I needed the miscellany card to use as a a base for my project.  During the course of the project, the cute picture of parading kids got covered up.  It's a shame to lose such a cute picture from my supply stash, but it was worth it, since the miscellany card is exactly the right size to use as a base for my art project.)

Here is a closeup of the lollipop flowers, before I misted them.

After the mist was dry, I removed the masks.  I traced around the outlines of the letters and flowers, first with a gold pen, then with a black pen.  I used Stickles to add a gold edge to the torn book page.  To create the gold heart in the center of the focal flower, I used the negative piece of a heart sticker (from the same Cosmo Cricket sticker sheet) as a stencil.  I applied Stickles (using a paint brush, not squirting straight from the bottle) inside the stencil, then carefully removed the stencil).  After the Stickles had a chance to dry thoroughly, I adhered the torn book page to the miscellany card base.

The fun thing about the book page I used is that it's about gardening.  Can you see the words "lettuce patch" and "clear of weeds" in the closeup photo above?  It coordinated well with my flower garden theme.  I can't wait for spring, when I'll have flowers and plants growing in my garden!

I cut an old advertising magnet into four pieces and adhered the pieces to the back of my artwork.  The magnet pieces allow the artwork to stick to my file cabinet.
It was easy to cut the magnet with my photo trimmer.
Here is the finished artwork, in place on my file cabinet.  I love the way it sparkles against the plain black cabinet--it definitely dresses up the room.

Thanks for stopping by my blog to look at my Lessology entry.  I hope you will have a chance to check out the rest of the challenge entries as well.  Have a great week!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Backyard Guest & SFH Feature

I have a bit of catch-up blogging to do.  A couple weeks ago I played along with the October Afternoon blog challenge.  The challenge was to create a layout using a not-so-great photo.  It's unfortunate, but we all have photos that fall into that category.  But sometimes it's worth it to use not-so-great photos on layouts anyway, especially if they are the only documentation you have of an important memory.

Supplies: all papers, die-cuts, buttons, and stickers are from October Afternoon.  The twine is vintage.

I combined the OA challenge with a pretty, springtime Color Room palette to create the layout that you see above.  The journaling reads: "A pair of robins built a nest in our back yard.  We loved seeing them every day.  Spring 2011."  The birds were camera-shy, but I did manage to get one blurry shot of the father robin, which you see on my layout.  I'm not satisfied with the quality of the snapshot, but a few Color Room members who commented on my layout said it was a good photo, so maybe it's better than I think.  Anyway, I'm just happy to have this layout.  The robins moved in around the same time that our last cat, Shadow, passed away, and it was nice to have new animals around--it softened the blow of losing Shadow.

The robins abandoned the nest after their last baby learned to fly, but the nest is still intact in our yard.  I wonder, will new birds take over the nest this spring?  If they do, I'll be sure to let you know!

In other exciting news...when I logged on to Blogger this morning, I was delighted to discover that I'm once again being featured at Scrap for Help!  This is a challenge site that is near and dear to my heart, since it's all about international friendships and creating with recycled materials.  I just want to say thanks so much to the people who voted for my layout, "Road Trip."  You can see a photo of the layout below.  For more information, please see the original post.