Sunday, September 30, 2012

Penny Rug Flower

October is just around the corner, and temperatures are getting colder.  In a way, it's cozy.  You can put on thick jeans and a woolly sweater, and go for a walk to look at the changing leaves.

Supplies: papers by Bo Bunny; stickers by Authentique; faux brads by Craftworks; ink by Tsukineko; punch by Creative Memories; thread by DMC; button by October Afternoon; burlap/hessian by Canvas Corp.; vintage twine; assorted fabric scraps.

Even though I made this card in the spring, I thought that now would be a good time to share it on my blog.  Its colors and textures have a fall vibe.

I got the inspiration for the flower from penny rugs.  Instead of using coins to trace the circles onto fabric scraps, I traced around an assortment of small, round containers.  I used two pieces of felt, a scrap of evenweave embroidery fabric, and a piece of old blue jeans.  Burlap, twine, and embroidery cotton add even more texture.

The papers are from Bo Bunny's "Snowfall" collection.  That means that I used wintery papers in fall colors to make a springtime anniversary card for my husband, LOL.  

I love the color combination of blues plus browns.  In my next post, I'll share a layout made with this color scheme.  Until then, take care!

Friday, September 28, 2012

25 Years...

Back in the day, I was a pretty typical teenager, tight-rolling my jeans, wearing penny loafers without socks, and communing daily with my hairspray and curling iron.  But there was one thing that was a bit unusual...I was also a big science fiction fan. 

On September 28, 1987, the "new" Star Trek show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, premiered, and I fell in love with it.  It's hard to believe that the "new" Star Trek turns twenty-five years old today!  Of course, I had to make a tribute layout. 

Supplies: papers, die cuts, & alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; border stickers by Bella Blvd; ink by Autumn Leaves/Stampology.  Star Trek promotional postcard (c) Paramount Pictures.

The journaling reads: "In 1987 I started junior high.  While my friends idolized Alyssa Milano and Janet Jackson, I had different heroines.  That year marked the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I looked up to the Star Trek character Dr. Beverly Crusher and to Gates McFadden, the actress who played her.  Even today they are still role models for me.  Like Dr. Crusher, I balance motherhood and career, and I stand up for what I believe in--though in my case that's environmentalism instead of health care issues.  Like Gates McFadden I'm creative and I speak a second language--though in my case that language is Russian, not French.  And to this day, I still love space stuff--including this cheesy astronaut photo op at the 2012 STA Mardi Gras carnival."

There, I said it: I'm kind of a geek.  :)  But hey, at least I'm a fashionable geek, since I used October Afternoon's new(ish) Cakewalk collection.  This line features a lot of star imagery.  Most papers featuring star imagery tend to have a masculine feel to them, but Cakewalk uses feminine pastel colors instead.

The star die cuts are actually from October Afternoon's 2011 Christmas Line, Holiday Style.  The little "space age" die cut words strip is from OA's Rocket Age line.

As usual, I've mixed a matched colors and styles of OA alphabet stickers.  But I've also mixed and matched OA papers.  The pink journaling card that grounds my title comes from the October Afternoon collection Cherry Hill.  The pattern on it coordinates well with the pattern on the pink die cut star from my previous photo.  October Afternoon makes it so easy to mix and match across collections.  On this page I've used papers from a birthday party collection (Cakewalk), a Christmas collection (Holiday Style), a space age collection (Rocket Age), and a summer collection (Cherry Hill)...and all these different papers work together perfectly for my "feminine geek chic" styled page.  (Hmm, has anyone ever described her style as "feminine geek chic" before?  Well, there's a first time for everything, LOL.)

Happy twenty-fifth birthday, ST:TNG!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello, Autumn!

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn officially began this past Saturday.  It arrived right on schedule.  Temperatures dipped, and we had to turn on our heater for the first time since spring.  Also on Saturday, while I was driving my son home from his kung fu class, traffic was stopped on a county road by my home, because a flock of wild turkeys was crossing the road!  They were so funny to see.  They strutted slowly across the street, with plenty of attitude, not caring in the slightest that traffic was backing up in both directions.  :)

Supplies: tags by Crate Paper; kraft cardstock by Jillibean Soup; snake paper and striped paper by Fab Scraps; green paper by Paper Loft; all other papers by Bo Bunny; circular stickers by Fab Scraps; green alphabet stickers by Basic Grey; orange & yellow alphabet stickers by Bella Blvd; mini alphabet stickers by Lily Bee Design; tape sticker by Simple Stories; pen by Zig; ink by Stewart Superior; natural vintage twine.

Now that fall is here, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the "Nature Center" layout that you see above.  The shades of gold and brown in it  just scream "autumn" to me.

The striped paper and snake paper that you see here are from the Rustic collection by the South African firm Fab Scraps.  Even though Fab Scraps does some of their manufacturing in the USA, I had not seen any of their products in stores here until recently.  I love the richness and depth of their paper designs, and I'm so happy that I finally get to work with these papers!  Just look at the detail in the snake illustration.  My little guy loves this paper.  As you can see, he's a big fan of snakes, and he even likes to impersonate them by sticking out his tongue.  :)

I also used some brown paper from the Weekend Market collection by Bo Bunny--including the dark brown torn strip that separates the two photos on my layout.  I made this layout at a crop, where my friend remarked that the torn strip looks like a snake's shed skin.  That wasn't my intention, but I'll go with it, since it fits my theme.  :)

The journaling reads: "One Saturday the nature center had a special "meet the animals" program.  The naturalist took the animals out of their tanks, one by one, and the kids got to touch them."  This was a very fun program, especially for my son, whose favorite animals are the creepy-crawly ones.  :)

Hope that your autumn (or your spring, depending on which side of the world you call home) is off to a good start!  Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Christmas Elf

Supplies: watercolor paper by Strathmore; watercolor paint by Angora; pearlescent paint by Ranger; doilies by Royal Consumer Products; dotted paper by Basic Grey; journaling spot, die cut pennant, & chevron paper by Fancy Pants Design; Christmas die cuts, snowflake rub ons, packaging, and flair badge by October Afternoon; tape & fence stickers by Simple Stories; large & small alphabet stickers by Authentique; notebook paper by Sanrio; ink by Stewart Superior; pen by Zig; ribbon by Berwick Offray.

Now that the school year is underway, life is slightly less busy.  It's great to have a little more time to participate in challenges again.  It's been soooo long since I've played along at CSI.  The layout you see above is for CSI case file 37.  And, since CSI is teaming up with Once Upon a...Sketch this month, I'm also entering this layout in OUAS's September Challenge #2.

This layout is called "Christmas Elf," and the journaling reads: "When December brought colder temps, A. wore hats indoors.  He looked like a Christmas elf."

The color palette for this CSI case file included a gorgeous, bright sky blue color that perfectly matched a cake of Angora watercolor paint that I own.  So, I decided to do a little mixed media work for this challenge.  I trimmed a piece of watercolor paper down to 8.5x11" and used the sky blue paint to create a watercolor wash.  I saved a strip of the watercolor paper that was left over from trimming down my page, and I used it in my layout.  The fluttery edge that I tore from the spiral binding of my watercolor paper pad added some fun texture to the layout.

Once the watercolor paint was dry, I blocked out my basic design.  Then, I used a French curve as a guide for adding swirls of Liquid Pearls. 

One of the product lines that I purchased last week was "Holiday Style" by October Afternoon.  The line came with a sheet of red snowflake rub ons, and many of these snowflakes made their way on to my layout.  Some of them adorn the spiral-edge strip of watercolor paper, and others adorn the painted areas of the layout.  I love the contrast between the bright blue and the deep red.

One of the technique suggestions for this CSI case file was to use product packaging on the layout.  I used a piece of Holiday Style packaging as part of the layered photo mat on my page.

I hope you've enjoyed meeting my little Christmas elf!  Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

PS--I just realized that although I listed my evidence & testimony on the CSI site, I neglected to list them on my blog post.  Here they are:

For EVIDENCE I chose: 
*  stripes & dots (diagonal stripes on the banner piece; dots on the photo mat, tape, and fence)
*  use product packaging (the Flower Sack packaging, as mentioned above)

For TESTIMONY I chose:
*handwritten journaling

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From Drab to Fab

Supplies: teal & sky blue dotted cardstock by Bo Bunny; number grid paper by Pink Paislee; tag by Crate Paper; die cuts and all other patterned papers by Lily Bee Design; alphabet banner stickers by Doodlebug Design; button & rectangular mini alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; round mini alphabet stickers by Authentique; all other mini alphabet stickers by Lily Bee Design; ribbon by October Afternoon; Distress Stain by Ranger.

Hello, all!  Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my previous post.

Over this past weekend Scrap Fest took place at Archivers in the Mall of America, located in the Twin Cities' largest suburb.  I was not able to attend this year, due to prior commitments.  However, I did squeeze in a little shopping time at both Archivers and the nearby independent shop Scrapbooks Too.  It's fun to pick out supplies from all the new lines that are appearing in both shops.

It's amazing how many people come to the Twin Cities for Scrap Fest.  We are usually considered "flyover land," so it's mindblowing (in a good way!) to see so many people visiting our state during Scrap Fest.  It's also a bit mindblowing to walk into Mall of America, a place I visit several times per year, and see Tim Holtz teaching a class in the middle of the mall.  It's like two separate parts of my life have suddenly collided.  :)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Scrap Fest.  As part of the celebrations, the Archivers chain of stores sponsored a page contest.  The challenge was to create a page that somehow involved the number ten.  I entered the contest, but my layout was not among the winners.  I don't mind though.  Had I won, Archivers would have gained the copyright to my layout.  Since I did not win, I retain the copyright and am free to post the layout on my blog.  Did you see it at the top of this post?

My layout began with the photo that you see above.  My cat Tina (RIP) was super cute, but she was a difficult subject to photograph.  She always closed her eyes, even when I was not using a flash.  I swear, she did it on purpose.  :)  This photo was from 2010, and it was one of the rare photos I managed to capture with Tina's eyes open.  However, in my hurry to snap the photo before Tina closed her eyes, I did not have time to compose my shot.  So Tina's left eye is obscured by a shadow, and the colors in the photo are off.  I still wanted to scrapbook this photo, though, so I got creative.  After converting the photo to black and white, cropping the photo in an unusual way, and making a few more tweaks, I came up with the centerpiece to a fun and eye catching layout.  Well, that's what I think, even if the Scrap Fest judges did not agree.  :)

The journaling reads: Her real name is Valentina, but she has lots of nicknames: Tina, Niffler, Squeak, Teeny, Tio, Teeny-Bean, Beaner, Tee-tee, & Baby.

And that's the story of how I rescued a drab photo and turned it into a special page in my album.  Thanks for reading my story.  I've had a little time to use some of the new supplies I bought over the weekend, and I look forward to sharing some of these layouts with you in a future post.  Until then, take care!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where There's a Will, There's a Chevron

ETA:  Holy cow!  I can't believe it.  The "Winter Market" layout from this post is being featured on the Color Room site.  This is a real honor, and it's very exciting for me.

I have a confession.  Working with black and white chevron so much over these last several days made me think about the icing on top of napoleons (mille-feuilles/cream slices).  A lot.  Today, I gave in to my craving and bought myself the treat that you see pictured above.  Talk about a yummy chevron!  :)

And now, back to the original post...

I promised another layout with a friendship bracelet, and here it is!  I created this layout for palette #127 in the Color Room.  This palette is a bit different...instead of four colors, it contains three colors plus a pattern.  The pattern is black and white chevron.  I don't currently own any black and white chevron paper, but I didn't let that stop my from participating in the challenge.  I made a friendship bracelet page element to supply this chevron pattern.   

Supplies: patterned papers by My Mind's Eye; kraft notebook paper by Earthbound--Cachet; journaling sticker by Lily Bee Design; buttons & alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; burlap/hessian tag by Canvas Corp.; ink by Tsukineko; punch by E. K. Success; pens by Zig; thread by DMC; natural twine; assorted glass beads; household safety pins.

Since I was already using a friendship bracelet, I thought, why not use friendship pins, too?  So I've added two.  One is held on by a paper strip, and the other is sewn on, as you see in the two photos below.

And if I'm already adding friendship pins, I might as well glue on some more seed beads, right?  :)  Swirls of beads...

...and also lines and clumps of beads to the right of my title.

Last but not least, here is the journaling, which explains that this play area is called the "Main Street Playland."

But wait!  That's not all!  I felt so inspired by this color palette that I made a second layout.  It's completely different, and it uses photos from my 1995 study abroad experience in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Supplies: background paper by Glitz; plain & patterned kraft papers by My Mind's Eye; alphabet stickers by Basic Grey; snowflake sticker by Cosmo Cricket; chipboard frame, die cut word bubble, & lollipop stick by October Afternoon; envelope by Colorbok; beading wire by Artistic Wire; stamp by Stampendous; ink by Stewart Superior; paints by Ranger; pen by Pilot; vintage Czech sequins; ribbon & shipping tag upcycled from gift packaging.

This time, I added the chevrons by stamping with corrugated cardboard.  It was immensely satisfying on some kind of visceral artistic level.  I tore the top sheet off the cardboard to expose the ribs, cut two pieces to fit my envelope, and got good & inky during the grungy stamping process.  :)  After that, most of my embellishing was winter/snow-related...starting with the "snowflake on a stick" that is tucked into the envelope.

I painted faux snow onto the tops of my photos...

...and onto the chipboard frame, creating some drippy "icicles."  By the way, I added texture to the red part of the frame by pressing a piece of burlap/hessian into the paint while it was still wet.

I stamped wintery Russian dolls onto kraft paper, then cut them out.  I also sprinkled on sequin "snowflakes."

I inked the strings of the shipping tag, so that they would coordinate with the chevron envelope.  Then I twisted beading wire around the strings, so that I could position them as if they were blowing in a cold gust of wind.

The journaling reads: "A little snow never discouraged Russians (or Minnesotans)!  This artisan market ran daily.  I bought cool souvenirs there."  Ugh, reading it over again, I realize that the last sentence sounds like a corny pun.  :)  Didn't mean it that way.

And here's one of the photos of the market. 

Whew!  Are you still with me?  Thanks for sticking around through this extra-long post.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

In the words of my son, the first week of school has been "awesome."  I'm glad to hear it!  It makes me excited to share another learning-related layout with you.

Supplies: background paper by Lily Bee Design; airmail paper by Bo Bunny; all other papers by Jenni Bowlin; buttons by October Afternoon; stickers by Bo Bunny; thread by DMC; blue twine by Crystal Palace; vintage brown twine; stain by Ranger; pens by Zig; assorted brands of colored pencils; household stapler.

The title of this blog post is "Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic."  Each of these subject areas is connected with my layout.  The reading connection is probably the most obvious, since "Reading" is the title of the page.  For my journaling, I wrote about the types of books that my son liked to read, at the time when this photo was taken.

As far as the connection to writing goes...I used alphabet stickers in an interesting way on this layout.  Perhaps you noticed that this post has an "infinite*alphabets" label?  Over the last few months I've used this label to showcase projects in which I've mixed and matched alphabet stickers from various manufacturers and lines.  From now on, I'm going to be doing something different with the "infinite*alphabets" label, though.  I'm going to show different ways to use up leftover alphabet stickers.  You know, those letters that don't spell anything (all the X's, Q's, H's, etc.) but are still too cute to throw away.

On this layout, I used left over alphabet stickers from the Bo Bunny "Ad Lib" collection as masks, to create a fun borders along the top and bottom edges of my layout.  For added interest, I used colored pencils to outline and add doodled patterns to a few random letters.

Besides using Ranger Distress Stain to create my alphabet borders, I also used it to ink the edges of my page elements, to create "shadows" beneath clusters, and to create assorted "splashes" around the page.

How does "arithmetic" come into play on this layout?  In the use of a pie chart.  I've seen pie chart tutorials that simply say to guestimate the sizes of the pie pieces.  However, I'm a dab hand with a protractor, so I actually made accurately sized pieces.  You can too--it's not hard!  First, decide the percentages of the pieces you want to cut.  Remember that the percentages should add up to one hundred percent.  Then convert each percentage into a decimal (25 percent = .25, 10 percent = .10, etc.).  Since a circle has 360 degrees, you will need to multiple each decimal by 360.  For example, .25x360=90, so the pie piece that represents 25% should measure 90 degrees.  .10x360=36, so the pie piece that represents 10% should measure 36 degrees.  Make mock-ups of each pie piece from scratch paper first, to check that the pieces all fit together properly.  Then, place the mock-ups over your chosen patterned papers, trace lightly with a pencil, and cut the pieces out.  Voila!

Yes, those are friendship bracelets that I used as embellishments.  I adore pages with hand-knitted or -crocheted embellishments...but I can't knit, and I can't crochet much more than a chain stitch.  However, I loved making friendship bracelets in the 1980's, and I have retained my mad skills in that craft.  So, I decided to make some mini friendship bracelets to add to the youthful feel of this page.  I stapled the bracelets onto the page and twisted some twine around them in a free-form manner, further enhancing the feeling of carefree youthfulness.

This is the last school/learning-related page that I have to post for the time being...but if you want to see more school-related papercrafting projects, do check out the current issue of Scrap n' Art e-zine.  I have a school-related layout there, and so does my blogosphere pal Helen's an honor to have my layout displayed right by hers!

Although this is my last school-related layout for awhile, stay tuned, because I have another friendship bracelet layout to blog about soon!  Take care. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Motivated by the Color Room

Supplies: confetti cardstock by Wausau Paper; die cuts and mini alpha-numeric stickers by Lily Bee; chipboard by Studio G; foam stickers by Darice; pen by Zig; ink by Hero Arts; ribbon upcycled from old giftwrap.

Hello!  Today is the first day of school for most children in my state.  So, I decided to write a school-related post today.  The layout you see above has photos of the art projects that my son created during the 2010 school year.  Taking photos of the projects was a great way to reduce their size (all were larger than 12x12") and fit them in my scrapbook.  However, the photos lack the dimension and texture that the original pieces of art had.  I tried to make up for this by choosing dimensional, textured embellishments for my layout...

The foam stickers give a playful, youthful feel to the page.  They also add lots of dimension.

The chipboard title adds further dimension.

The grosgrain ribbon, die-cuts, and mini alphas in the subtitle bring in different types of textures.

I labeled each of the works of art, noting both subject matter and medium.  I am so impressed with the level of art education available in schools today.  When I was in elementary school, most of the art projects I did revolved around cutting and pasting construction paper.  But my son is already creating portraits, still lifes, and imaginary landscapes.  And he is using chalk pastels (aka soft pastels), oil pastels (aka cray pas), and watercolors!  I'm kind of jealous!  Why couldn't I make these types of art projects when I was his age???  :)

All the colors I used in this layout were inspired by this week's palette (#126) at the Color Room.  Although I love bright colors, the specific bright colors featured this week are not my go-to colors (I prefer warmer colors like red and orange, and neutral colors like denim and coffee.)  But seeing this palette on the Color Room site reminded me that I do have some supplies in these colors, and I felt motivated to use them.  That is one of the things I love about the Color Room--it helps me use up my stash!

I hope that your week is off to a good start.  Happy scrapping!