Sunday, December 30, 2012

December in Montana (post 2 of 2)

ETA: I won the "spotlight feature" at Once Upon a Sketch with this layout.

I was not kidding when I said that the December Once Upon a...Sketch challenge really inspired me this month.  I used it again for "Snow Play," the layout you see below.  I also loved the Berry 71 Bleu challenge this month, so I combined the two.

Supplies: white cardstock, burlap tag, & twine by Canvas Corp; textured blue paper by My Mind's Eye; assorted blue paper scraps by various manufacturers (Canvas Corp, FabScraps, Bo Bunny, Lily Bee, Echo Park, & Authentique); kraft notebook paper by Cachet; seam binding, cloud die cut, & circle die cuts by October Afternoon; pennant die cuts by Fancy Pants Design; large alphabet stickers by Creative Imaginations; small alphabet stickers & sticker sheet negatives by Authentique; stamps & chalk by Stampin' Up; ink by Hero Arts; white paint by Deco Art; light blue paint by Crayola; dark blue paint & white pen by Ranger; blue & black pens by Zig; white & blue curling ribbons by Berwick Offray; household stapler.

Above is the inspiration image from Berry 71 Bleu.  I loved the snow white, sky blue, and bark brown, and I incorporated those colors into my layout.

My journaling, which you see above, says: "Since Scott and his brother always got winter gear for Christmas, outdoor play was a MUST for December!"

~stamping on patterned paper that I had painted~

~lots of layers, including the negative portions of some mini alphabet sticker sheets~

~layering fussy-cut pieces over paint-splattered cardstock~

~enhancing some layers with brown chalk and white pen work~

The theme at Berry 71 Bleu this month is "White Christmas/White Winter," and creating the project on a base of white cardstock is required.  I decorated my white base with a collage/mosaic look.  I also used various paints and lots of layering.  I had fun adding detail after detail, as you can tell from the close-ups above.

I had a lot of fun making the snowman embellishment by "whitewashing" paper circles with watered-down acrylic paint.  After the paint dried, I assembled the snowman and drew his face and buttons with a black pen.  It just goes to show, you are never too old to enjoy snow play.  :)

Enjoy the last few moments of 2012, and have a happy 2013!  See you next year.  ;)

December in Montana (post 1 of 2)

ETA: I won the "spotlight feature" at Once Upon a Sketch with this layout. 

Today I'm sharing two layouts in two posts.   Both layouts illustrate my husband's childhood Christmases in rural Montana.  The post you are reading now is about a layout called "New Winter Gear."  It was inspired by this month's Freckled Fawn color challenge and Once Upon a...Sketch sketch/journaling challenge.

Supplies: orange floral paper by Grant Studios; black/white patterned paper by Echo Park; kraft paper by Cachet; doilies by Royal Consumer Products; upcycled gold wrapping tissue; labels & all other papers by October Afternoon; large & small alphabet stickers & "berry" stickers by Bella Blvd; ribbon by Berwick Offray; stamp & chalk by Stampin' Up; ink by Hero Arts; orange paint by Plaid Enterprises; blue paint by Ranger; upcycled fabric scrap.

My journaling says: "Every year Scott and his brother got winter gear for Christmas gifts.  'Wasn't that too late?" I asked him.  'No,' he said, 'snow came later in Montana than it does here in Minnesota.'"

Above you see the inspiration image from Freckled Fawn.

And the image above is the sketch that I used.

I love that Freckled Fawn is so supportive of crafters who sell handmade goods.  I don't sell embellishments, but I do like to make my own.  So, I decided to make a few embellishments myself for this layout.  I made the flowers from gold tissue paper that I saved from a Christmas gift.  I lightly stamped on the paper, then I cut out circles of different sizes.  I highlighted the edges of the circles with chalk, then layered and shaped the circles to create flowers.  The flower centers are crumpled balls of the same tissue paper, also dabbed with chalk.  I completed my embellishment cluster with "leaves" and "stems" torn by hand from patterned paper, plus orange "berries" made from the circles that come inside Bella Blvd alphabet stickers like "g" and "p."

The little border beneath the photos (seen in the picture below) is made from extra collaged papers that I had left over from making an art journal page. 

Thanks for taking the time to look at my layout.  If you are interested in the other layout that I made about my husband's childhood Christmases, you will find it in the post above this one.  Have a happy 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Once Upon a December... (OUAS)

Supplies: white snowflake paper by Studio Calico; red patterned paper by Magnolia; flair badge, die cuts, label, large alphabet stickers, & all other patterned papers by October Afternoon; mini alphabet stickers by Authentique; white button by Blumenthal Lansing; thread by Singer; Liquid Pearls & Distress Stain by Ranger; snow texture paste by Deco Art; pens by Zig; upcycled wrapping paper, star wire, tabletop confetti, & calendar page.

ETA: I won the "spotlight feature" at Once Upon a Sketch with this layout.

Now that my 2010 album is complete, I can relax and have a bit of playtime.  I was inspired by the prompt this month at Once Upon a Sketch, which is "December means..."  I created a layout called "December Romance." 

Below you can see an image of the sketch for this challenge. Instead of using just one photo, I collaged together four little, cropped photos, plus some Christmas papers and die cuts.  I united the whole assembly with a distressed, hand-stitched paper heart.  I think that this collage, which is the centerpiece of the layout, sums up the sweetness of December "date nights." 

My journaling [which I hope you do not find cheesy] says: "Our 'date nights' in December are usually simple: we hold hands and cuddle while looking at the tree and listening to soft, instrumental music.  We de-stress after our busy December days.  To some people this might sound like a boring way to spend Date Nights.  But Scott and I love these 'dates!'"

I tried to incorporate lots of Christmas-related found objects into my layout. 

Stars--my favorite "outer space" symbol--are also a great symbol of Christmas (what with the Star of Bethlehem and all), so I used some shiny, star-sprinkled wrapping paper to create my page border.  This is used wrapping paper--I think that the wrinkles and unevenly-cut edges give it charm.  

I also upcycled star wire, tabletop snowflake confetti, and a December calendar page in my design.

I used snow texture paste (which reminds me of stucco) and an old box to make my snowflake embellishment. 

To represent the music that my husband and I listen to on our "date nights," I used an old disc (it's actually a dud DVD, doubling for a CD) as an embellishment.  It too got a coating of snow texture paste, embellished with tabletop confetti, Liquid Pearls, and Distress Stain.

In fact, Liquid Pearls and Distress Stain make a few different appearances around the page.  It's true--the mixed media bug has bitten me!  :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog to look at my layout.  It's almost 2013, so I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A "My Colors" Book--with a Twist!

Hello everyone, I've missed you!  I've been away from my blog for a couple weeks, having a lovely Advent and Christmastime.  For those of you who are also celebrating right now, I hope you're having a happy holiday season.

When we last spoke, I was looking for ideas to keep my 12x12" family albums from getting overly bulky.  From your comments (thank you!), I can see that I'm not the only person who has this problem.  In my last post, I mentioned one possible solution: putting some of my layouts into themed albums, instead of just packing them all into yearly family albums.  I've had another brainwave, too...I'm thinking of making more mini albums.

I already make minis once in why not make them more often?  I think they will be a great solution for those times when I have too many photos from a single event to make just one or two regular layouts, yet not enough for a full-sized album.

I recently made a tag album for my little nephew, and I really enjoyed the process.  I used a limited supply of materials: Crate Paper tags, Lily Bee Design mini alphas and die cuts, a metal ring clip, and colorful photos from the Minnesota and Como Park zoos.

This 1914 wooden carousel at Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul still works!  It has an interesting history--check out its website, if you are interested in such things.

We had unusually hot weather this past summer, and most ponds got a good coating of green duckweed.  My son said that these bathing camels at the Minnesota Zoo kind of look like sea monsters in this photo!  :)

This is the ceiling of the dhole (Asiatic wild dog) viewing pavilion at the Minnesota Zoo.  As you've probably guessed by now, this is not your typical "my colors" book for children.  I think my nephew already knows the names of the basic colors, like red, yellow, and green, so I decided to step things up for him.  :)

You know how sometimes we scrapbook at night, after everyone else has gone to bed and the house is finally quiet?  And you know how, when we're a bit tired, the silliest things seem completely hilarious?  Well, I got a good laugh out of describing the coral's color as "coral."  Maybe you had to be there.  :)

This landscape at the Minnesota Zoo (on the Northern Trail Loop, very close to the sea monster camels) looked like a painting!

Even wild boars need naps sometimes.  :)

This is the last page--and my personal favorite.  I ordered a collage of all seven of the mini photos for this album on a single 4x6" print (Very low-waste!), then cut the photos apart to make the album pages.  But I also ordered a regular 4x6" photo of this shot--it's definitely going to make an appearance in an upcoming layout.

These tags are all from a single sheet of Crate paper, so they all have the same neutral B-side.  I jazzed them up a bit with assorted cute Lily Bee die cuts.  

I had a lot of fun making this album, and I'm sure there are many more tag minis in my future.  There are so many possibilities for this type of project!  Crate includes a sheet of tags in every one of its collections, and many other manufacturers (Pretty Little Studio, Ormolu, and Whisker Graphics spring to mind) make cute tags as well.  Plus, you can easily create your own tags in any style you like.

Do you like to make mini albums?  I think we can all agree that tag albums have me pretty excited at the moment, but I'm curious to know what kind of mini albums you like to make.  Happy scrapping! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Album Decisions

I'm really excited, because I'm almost done with my 2010 family album.  Only five more layouts to scrap, hooray!  You can see the album below--it's in the background of the photo.  There is just one problem...the album is really full.  Bulging, in fact.  And that stack of layouts in the foreground of the photo?  That's what I have already completed for my 2011 album.

Now, having albums full of layouts is not a bad problem to have.  It just means that I'm succeeding in documenting my family's story.  But let me tell you, full 12x12" D-ring albums are heavy and unwieldy!  Something tells me that there has got to be a better solution.

Taking fewer photos or making fewer layouts is not the solution.  Uh-uh.  No way.  Not gonna happen.

So, what I'm thinking is this: I'm going to start making more themed albums.  That way, some of my layouts can go into the themed albums, while many will still go into the family albums.  The first themed album I want to try making is a nature-themed album.

Supplies: teal cardstock by Cosmo Cricket; die cut circle by My Mind's Eye; sunburst patterned paper & diamond patterned paper by Pink Paislee; floral paper, butterfly die cut, buttons, & large alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; banner stickers & border stickers by Doodlebug Design; mini alphabet stickers by Lily Bee; bird sticker by Creative Imaginations; label sticker by Jillibean Soup; chipboard circle by DCWV; thread by Singer.

My family loves visiting parks, nature centers, gardens, and zoos.  So, I think that a nature-themed album is very appropriate for us.  Above you can see "Springtime @ the Zoo," a layout that I've already earmarked for the nature album.  My first nature album will be 12x12", since I already have many nature-themed layouts in that size.  I may make future themed albums in a smaller size, though, just to make them more portable.

Do you make themed albums?  What kinds of themes to you like?  I'm interested in all ideas on this topic.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Rose

Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas Day!  Are you in search of a quick gift to tuck into a shoe?  How about a Christmas rose ornament?

In our home, Saint Nicholas is partial to gifting everyone with ornaments.  To make the ornament shown above, simply sew a running stitch along the edge of a long ribbon, then coil and gather the ribbon into a rosette.  Stitch the rose together securely, then add some loopy green "leaves" and a household twist tie.  The twist tie lets you attach the ornament to the Christmas tree, making it look as if the rose were magically growing on the tree branch.

If roses are not your thing, there are many other types of ornaments that are fun to make with materials that you probably have on hand.  I've previously blogged about the snowman ornament and the rub-on ornament that you see in the photo above.  Cross stitch supplies, felt, buttons, ribbons, and florist supplies also provide creative inspiration for ornament-making.

If Saint Nicholas is coming to your house, then I hope you find something exciting in your shoe tomorrow!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Team

There is a new badge on my blog's sidebar today!  I have joined my first ever design team!

I freely admit that I seldom apply to design teams.  Usually I prefer to concentrate on entering challenges and submitting to publications, not to mention simply scrapbooking for my own pleasure.  However, when I saw the design team call for Scrap for Help, I knew I had to apply.  It was like the mothership was calling me home!  :)  Scrap for Help combines two of my favorite things: 1. a focus on environmentalism and 2. an international community.  Each month Scrap for Help issues a new challenge revolving around papercrafting with recycled and/or household materials.  As a design team member, I'll create sample projects to inspire Scrap for Help readers.  Here is the international team that I am joining:

-Cynthia Llorens (Brazil)--Scrap for Help Co-Founder
-Marilia Lopes (Brazil)--Scrap for Help Co-Founder
-Cindy Adkins (United States)
-Naiara Cicilia (Brazil)
-Barbara Caitete (Brazil)
-Paula Castells (Brazil/Germany)
-Andrea Castro de Albuquerque (Brazil)
-Anupama Choudary (India)
-Fanny Delobel (France)

-Lean de Ruiter (Netherlands)
Dani de (Brazil)
-Bente Fagerberg (Sweden)
-Juraci Falcucci (Brazil)
-Aline Fonseca (Brazil)
-Patti Hamil (USA)
-Chantelle Huizenga (Australia)
-Shona Keehn (Canada)
-Maiko Kosugi (Japan)
-Solange Marques (Brazil)
-Leonie Neal-Dawson (Australia)
-Elena Olinevich (Belarus)
-Denise Price (United States)
-Lydell Quin (Australia)
-Rita Ribeiro (Brazil)
-Marilyn Rivera (Puerto Rico)
-Sarah Routledge (Canada)
-Elisabeth Sarkis (Brazil)
-Meg Stoco (Brazil)
-Kylie Symons (Australia)
-Keren Tamir (Canada)
-Yuko Tanaka (Japan)
-Marcela Valadares (Brazil)
-Gerry Van Gent (Netherlands)

-Margreet Westerling (Netherlands)

You can read more about the team in this post on the Scrap for Help blog, and you can find the team members' biographies here

Last month an altered journal cover that I made was featured on the Scrap for Help blog.  In celebration of joining the team, I thought I would share with you today a few pages that I have created in the journal.

This is an art journal with an autumn theme.  Art journals tend to be places for serious introspection, but I've gone in a different direction and created a very light-hearted journal.

Supplies: patterned paper by Lily Bee Design; arrow stickers by Bo Bunny; flair badge and sunburst label by October Afternoon; pen by Zig.

The journaling on the above page reads: "The squirrels are very busy!"  It's so funny to watch squirrels in the fall--they are running about, collecting nuts, burying nuts, etc.  They are always on the move.

Supplies: damask paper and label sticker by October Afternoon; orange papers by My Mind's Eye; green paper & newsprint paper by Basic Grey; black-and-white patterned papers by Echo Park; foam sticker & backing by Darice; star sticker by Lily Bee; tulle by Wyla; thread by DMC; ink by Tsukineko; pen by Zig.

This page is called "My Halloween MRI," and the journaling reads: "My innards were imaged on October 31, 2012.  During the MRI I listened to the "oldies" radio station--the first song that played was 'Werewolves of London.'  :)"  Having an MRI--that sounds so serious!  Don't worry, though, I'm okay.  I have a genetic disorder that sometimes causes back problems.  My doctor ordered the MRI just to make sure that the disease was not impacting the soft tissues surrounding my spine.  And it turned out fine--no tissue damage at all.  That's probably why I can laugh and be silly about the whole thing.  I had fun hand-cutting the letters "MRI" from scraps of patterned paper, which saved on alphabet stickers.  I also had fun creating a whimsical paper version of an MRI machine.  I may be the first person ever to use the "loops of string" trend to represent the magnetic field of an MRI tube!  :)

Supplies: striped paper scrap by My Mind's Eye; all other patterned paper scraps by October Afternoon; solid paper scraps by Paper Loft; matte paint by Plaid; metallic paint by DecoArt; pearlescent paint by Ranger; advertising postcard from the Ramsey County Historical Society; gift bag and ribbon upcycled from old gift wrapping.

I created the page above to hold memorabilia from various fall events.  I started by adhering some scraps of solid-colored, distressed, paint-splattered paper to the page; these scraps were left over from when I decorated the cover of my album.  Next, I adhered a mini gift bag to the center of the page.  I covered the bag with the pumpkin postcard and slid two other pieces of memorabilia (the schedule from the Old-Time Halloween party and a printed copy of the Irish legend of Jack O'Lantern) into the bag.  As a final touch, I selected a few tiny, interesting scraps of patterned paper and added them to my design--I slid the longest scraps into the gift bag, along with the memorabilia, and I adhered the smaller scraps around the edges of the postcard.  I plan for this page to be a work-in-progress: I can continue to add new memorabilia to the bag as time passes.  And, whenever my scrapbooking projects generate tiny scraps that are too cute to toss in the recycling bin, I can add those scraps to the edges of the pumpkin postcard.

Many of the scraps that I adhered to my memorabilia page extend beyond the edges of the journal.  As you can see from the photo above, this gives the journal an ever-changing profile.  I love the interest that this asymmetrical profile lends the book.  It's my hope that people will think, "What is all this stuff that's sticking out of this notebook?" and thereby be tempted to pick up the journal and look inside.

Now, to get back to telling you more about the new Scrap for Help team--we are a very big team, so the Scrap for Help founders, Cynthia and Marilia, divided the team into two groups.  One group will provide sample projects for the blog during odd-numbered months, starting in January.  The other group will provide samples during even-numbered months, starting in February.  I'm in the even-numbered group, so you can expect to see my samples (on both the Scrap for Help blog and my personal blog) in February, April, June, August, October, and December.  During the other six months of 2013, I'll show you more pages from this art journal.  I think 2013 is going to be a great year!