Friday, November 30, 2012

Fall Flower Show Photos

This year I have developed a tradition on my blog of sharing photos from the seasonal shows at the Como Park Conservatory.  Today, I would like to share a few photos from their Fall 2012 show.

Naturally, any fall flower show is bound to feature lots of chrysanthemums.  My favorite "mum" from this show is the one that you see above.  To me it looks like a big, yellow sea anemone.  Just look at all those gorgeous, feathery, buttery-yellow petals!

Chrysanthemums are expected at a fall flower show, but Swiss chard is unexpected.  What a delightful surprise this row of Swiss chard, with its colorful stems, was!  In fact, I think the Swiss chard was my favorite part of the show.

Near the reflecting pool there were dark red chrysanthemums, with graceful stems of ornamental grass in the background.

I thought the Conservatory would be busy on a Saturday afternoon in October, but we practically had the place to ourselves!

It was very cold outside on the day that we visited the Conservatory, so we also made a point of soaking up the warmth in the tropical rooms in the greenhouse.  Ahhhh, it was like paradise!  The little dude even rolled up the cuffs of his jeans, as if it were summer.  :)

Como Park's Winter Holiday Flower Show opens this weekend.  Although I'm not planning to attend opening weekend, I do plan to get there at some point in December.  I'll be sure to share the photos with you.  For now, feel free to view my posts about Como's Spring Flower Show and Summer Flower Show, if you're in the mood for more botanical goodness.

I'll be back again tomorrow with another blog post.  See you then!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Masking with Leftovers

I don't participate in Project Life, but I do make a summary page for each month in my scrapbooks.  Below you see a page like this, where I summarized what my family did during the month of March.  As I was working on this page, I decided that, although I liked the colors of the layout, the design was a bit ho-hum, with all its rectangles and squares.  So, I decided to add some drama to the page with orange paint and a masking technique.  Suddenly, my page had zing!

Supplies: dotted paper by Bella Blvd; paper strips by American Crafts; floral & ledger papers by October Afternoon; title stickers by Authentique; round stickers used in masking by Mara Mi; border sticker used in masking by Doodlebug Design; square & tab stickers by Bo Bunny; flower & pennant stickers by Echo Park; wooden button by Blumenthal Lansing; plastic button by October Afternoon; ribbon rose by Berwick Offray; paper flower by Petaloo; thread by DMC; paint by Plaid; ink by Clearsnap; pen by Zig.

See the four blue alphabet stickers in the process photo below?  They were the last four stickers on a very old Mara Mi alpha sheet.  Obviously I was never going to be able to spell anything with the letters Q, L, V, and J.   So, I combined them with a Doodlebug border sticker and swept bright orange paint over the whole assembly.

After I removed the stickers and gave the paint time to dry, I had a fun little row of circles, which I filled with embellishments.

Since I already had the bottle of paint out, I added some brushstrokes to the flower sticker...

...and to the edge of the "March" tab sticker.

It was really fun to give new life to old supplies, using just a little acrylic paint.

Even though this layout is about the month of March, we are almost at the end of November now.  It's getting really cold here, and we have even had a little snow.  How is the weather where you are?  Send some sunshine to Minnesota, please!  :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Autumn Celebration

Hello, everyone!  Today is Thanksgiving, an important autumn holiday in the USA.  I'm looking forward to spending the day with my family and remembering all the things for which I am thankful.

Before I start celebrating today, I want to share with you an autumn layout that I had published in the October issue of Scrapstreet Magazine.  I was very honored by the fact that, besides being featured in an article, this layout also appeared on the issue's table of contents.

Supplies: ledger cardstock & striped paper by Bo Bunny; zigzag paper by Echo Park; floral paper, die cut, alphabet stickers, flag stickers, & button by October Afternoon; chipboard by Studio G; mini alphabet stickers & "a beautiful day" sticker by Bella Blvd; thread by DMC; corner punch by Creative Memories; ink by Tsukineko; photo editing software by digiKam; photo collage software by

Every once in a while, I make a "hybrid" page like this.  For the most part, it is a traditional paper layout.  The "hybrid" part is the computer-created text (on the cornfield photo) and the computer-created collage.  I could achieve the same effects with traditional scrapbooking supplies; it's just easier to get a neat look with the computer.  It also reduces waste, in that I don't have to throw away the scraps that would be created by hand-cropping the photos into a collage.

I have another autumn-themed layout in the current (November) issue of Scrapstreet as well--do check it out at this link, if you get the chance.  In fact, check out the whole issue--it's full of inspiration.  In particular, I'd like to draw your attention to layouts by Mary Jo Rhoda and Lisa Swift, who are frequent commenters here on Green Crafting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Playing "Dress Up"

If you could buy any "dream product" from a favorite manufacturer, what would you choose?  Would it be too boring to suggest a pack of graph paper and a pack of ledger paper?

Well, last month I had the opportunity to buy some OA products on clearance, and I jumped at the chance to load up on graph and ledger papers.  I bought a 25-count pack of each (this graph paper and this ledger paper), and I hope to show you in this post that these products are anything but boring.

These papers make wonderful backgrounds--they match everything, and they can be "dressed up" as much as you like.  Below you'll find a layout I made for palette #136 from the Color Room.

Supplies: graph paper & alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; dove & lattice papers by Lawn  Fawn; kraft notebook paper by Cachet; damask paper by Basic Grey; all other papers by Echo Park; penguin & snowflake stickers by Reminisce; doily & butterfly stickers by Cosmo Cricket; envelope by DMD; bow, ribbon roses, & curling ribbon by Berwick-Offray; metallic paint by Deco Art; pearlescent paints by Ranger; sewing thread by Singer; embroidery floss by DMC; buttons upcycled from old clothing.

Title/journaling: "The best gift under the tree is the gift of FAMILY."

I used lots of layering, doily images, and giftwrapping ribbon.

About all that ribbon...I know what you're thinking.  Once I put this layout in an album, all the ribbons will get smooshed.  I think, though, that the smooshed ribbons will have their own kind of charm...the same way that pressed flowers have charm, you know.

And the pièce de résistance is this Christmas tree.  I created it using all my favorite techniques of the moment.  I made the body of the tree via string printing, then added brush stroke branches for definition.  I added more string printing to create the feeling of garlands on the tree, then I made ornaments using the ghost stamping technique.  Buttons and ribbons roses further decorate the tree.

Graph and ledger papers need not be used solely as backgrounds.  Because of their lined surfaces, they are easy to make into customized journaling spots.  That's what I did for the layout below, which is called "Thru His Lens."

Supplies: ledger paper, die cuts, stickers, & badge by October Afternoon; dotted, striped & circle-patterned papers by American Crafts; dove paper by Lawn Fawn; doily paper by Studio Calico; red "cross stitch" paper by Magnolia; pearlescent paint & white pen by Ranger; red & green pens by Zig; embroidery floss by DMC; buttons by Blumenthal Lansing.

Journaling: "It may be out of focus, it may be blurry, but this photo is a treasure to us, because it was taken by our sweet son.  Christmas Eve."

These days I just cannot finish a project without adding some Liquid Pearls.  Here, I used Liquid Pearls to create a "flash" on the camera badge.

So, do you agree with me that ledger and graph papers are anything but boring?  I had a lot of fun "dressing up" my papers with these layouts, and I hope you've enjoyed looking at my creations.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Star of the Star Wars Party

The logical part of my brain knows that Halloween is over for the year.  But the creative part of my brain just wants to keep on making more Halloween-type layouts.  I'm giving in to the creative part of my brain on this one.  :)

Supplies: cardstock by American Crafts; patterned papers, die cuts, & mini alphabet stickers by Lily Bee Design; ribbon & large alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; ink by Clearsnap; pen by Zig; paint by Ranger.

This layout is called "Stormtroopers Are Cool," and the photos on it are from a Star Wars masquerade party that my son and I attended last year.  Check out the stormtrooper--isn't his costume great!  He was kind enough to pose for a photo.

I used a lot of Lily Bee products on this layout.  The papers are all from the new "Persnickety" line, and the die cuts are from a mix of lines from early 2012.  I love how the chevron papers from "Persnickety" make great journaling surfaces.  My journaling reads: "At first A. was most interested in R2D2, but then he buddied up with a stormtrooper.  A. even made a finger puppet of his new buddy."  If you look carefully at the photos, you can see the little finger puppet.

I had fun mixing and matching October Afternoon "Woodland Park" and "Sasparilla" alphabet stickers to spell "Stormtroopers."

I layered some die cuts and ribbon with adhesive foam to make a medallion-like embellishment.

I'm very much in love with Ranger's Liquid Pearls paints.  They have been showing up on almost all my layouts recently--have you noticed?  :)  Here I used them sparingly to embellish the white space around the die cut stars on my layout.

That's it for today--just a quickie post while I have a bit of spare time.  Hope you have a nice weekend!  I'll be around to visit everyone's blogs when I have a longer stretch of time on Saturday and/or Sunday.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dostoevsky & Me

Hello!  Remember the string printing technique that I showed you last month?  I wanted to try it on a layout, and Color Rooms palette #135 provided the perfect opportunity.  This palette called for combining fuchsia, golden green, and eggplant purple with a floral pattern.  To me, that combination seems beautifully macabre.  I know, I know, that's a strange description.  It just seems to fit.  And it called to mind these photos, from my 1995 visit to Dostoevksy's grave in Russia.  (As the author of works like Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky would, I believe, approve of the concept of the "beautiful macabre.")

Supplies: journaling spot & small floral paper by My Mind's Eye; script paper & large floral paper by Echo Park; remaining papers by American crafts; title stickers by Lily Bee; butterfly die cuts by Dufex; roses by Marianne Design; badge by October Afternoon; tulle ribbon by Wyla; paints by Deco Art and Ranger; stamps and ink by Hero Arts; sewing thread by Singer; embroidery floss by DMC; pen by Zig; book papers xeroxed from Russian Stories: A Duel Language Book, ed. Gleb Struve (Dover Publications, 1990); upcycled postage stamps and spool.

I photocopied some pages from a quirky short story that Dostoevsky wrote about a man who begins to hear voices from beyond the grave while he is sitting in a cemetery.  (I assure you that I heard no such voices when I visited Dostoevsky's grave!)  The Russian page and the English page are from different parts of the story--I was going for variety.  Next, I mixed some green and white metallic paints and used the mixture to create a string print on the xeroxed pages.  I thought the effect was a bit ethereal, especially with the addition of purple stamped butterflies.  Near the base of the photo I adhered a kooky October Afternoon badge, which I had edged with tulle ribbon and painted lightly with the same mixture of green and white paint.

The journaling on the page reads: "It meant a lot to this book-loving, English-speaking girl to visit Dostoevky's grave at Alexander Nevsky Monastery."  (You may remember that I created a page about this monastery earlier this year.)

The Queen Elizabeth stamps represent me, as an English speaker.  I've been collecting British stamps for a long time, and I think it's interesting that I have Queen Elizabeth stamps in almost every color.  I certainly had the right colors for this palette!

The postage stamps are one of three instances of recycling in this layout.  The second bit of recycling I did was to take an old spool with a raised lip and turn it into a circular stamp.  This is how I created the row of overlapping circles that you see in the photo below.

The final recycled element on this layout is the negative portion from a sheet of Dufex metallic butterfly die cuts.  Along with the roses, tulle, and Liquid Pearls that I used on this layout, the butterflies impart a sense of softness and beauty, which (I hope) prevent the layout from becoming too spooky.

This was a different sort of layout for me, but it's fun to do something different every once in a while.  I hope you enjoyed it!  TFL.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ghost Flowers

It's a ghostly time of year in many cultures, with Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and All Souls Day occurring within the last few days.  But don't worry, there is nothing frightening about this layout, even though it does include "ghost flowers."  :)

Supplies: woodgrain frame paper by Fancy Pants; birdcage paper by Lily Bee Design; pink paper by Authentique; tag by My Mind's Eye; alphabet stickers by Lawn Fawn; foam stickers by Darice; ink by Stewart Superior; Distress Stain and Liquid Pearls paint by Ranger; household sandpaper.

The title of the page is "Love & Patience," and the photo is from my husband's childhood.  He is holding his grandmother's cat.  Scott is demonstrating the "love" part of the title, while the cat is demonstrating the "patience" part of the title.  :)

I'm entering this layout in the November Berry71Bleu challenge, where the theme is "Forget about moderation and go crazy."  So, how did I go crazy?  Several ways:
  1. I cut the big heart freehand, instead of using a template.  I also used Distress Stain freehand to create the lattice pattern on the heart.
  2. I combined many techniques, including sanding, staining, and inking.
  3. While the paper was still damp from the ink and stain, I rubbed some white foam flowers over it.  The flowers picked up some black and purple from the ink and stain, and some teal from the wet paper.  I used these grunged-up flower stickers as embellishments.
  4. I used a smaller foam flower sticker as a stamp to add lots of "ghost flowers" to the layout.  I achieved this "ghostly" look by coating the foam flower with Liquid Pearls paint in "white opal," wiping away excess paint, and then stamping repeatedly.

This was a fun layout to create, and I will definitely use these techniques, especially that of the "ghost flowers," again in the future...not just during "ghostly" times of the year.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Remember September

Hello, everyone!  Do you ever feel like time is moving super-fast?  To me, it seems like just yesterday that the new school year started.  But in reality school has actually been in session for a couple months now in Minnesota!

Today I have the opportunity to share with you a layout that I had published in the September 2012 issue of Scrap n' Art magazine.  That issue had a back-to-school theme, and I created a page about a certain month in my son's education.  

Supplies: border stickers & cross-hatched yellow paper by Bella Blvd; red patterned paper, flag, die cuts, chipboard, rub ons, and "N" sticker by October Afternoon; number-grid patterned paper by Pink Paislee; manuscript paper by My Mind's Eye; yellow brickwork patterned paper by Bo Bunny; mini alphabet stickers by Lily Bee Design; corner punch by Creative Memories; ink by Stewart Superior; thread by DMC; pen by Zig.

With a nod to ABC books, I titled my page "N is for Numbers and Neighborhoods."  I filled the page with school-related memorabilia (including the reproduction library record card seen in the photo below) from various October Afternoon collections.

The flag tucked behind the library record card is also from October Afternoon.  It is one of their "Little Flyers" flags.  These flags come with natural wood-colored flagpoles, but I altered this one with a black Zig pen, so that it would better coordinate with the other colors on my page.

The journaling reads: "There were two special events at school this month: a family Bingo night (to learn about numbers) and a mural project (to learn about neighborhoods)."  I have to say, though, that the neighbordhood depicted in the kids' mural is nothing like our actual neighborhood.  We only have one McDonald's restaurant (instead of the three depicted), and we don't have any saguaro cacti--they would not survive the snow, LOL.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today to check out my work for Scrap n' Art.  Their November issue just came out today, so be sure to check it out if you have not already done so!