Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Pet Lizard (123)

Today I'm playing along for the first time with the 123 challenge blogUsing this month's criteria, I came up with a layout called "Happy Pet Lizard."
Supplies: cardstock by Wausau Paper; chipboard by Studio G; mini alphabet stickers by Doodlebug; graph paper & die cut banners by October Afternoon; foam flower sticker (used as stamp) by Darice; map paper & all other stickers by Basic Grey; ink by Hero Arts; pearlescent paint by Ranger; watercolor paint by Angora; pens by Zig; trim from my stash; recycled bubble wrap.

Here is a closer look at the lizard in question.  She is a girl, and her name is Camus.  No relation to Albert.  :)  In the photo she is riding on my husband's shoulder.

Red is my favorite color, so it was fun to use it on this layout.  I used little pops of red here and there, to create a cheerful feel for the page.  I fulfilled the other challenge requirements by using the chipboard word "Happy" and a sticker depicting a bunch of balloons.

I wrote a lot of journaling for this page.  We only have one picture of Camus (people took fewer photos in the days before digital cameras), so I wanted to write all my recollections of her on this one layout.  To break up my column of text, I divided it into four sections and sprinkled it with drops of watercolor paint.

The text reads: "In college Scott had a pet green iguana called Camus, and he attentively kept her fit and happy.  He held her every day and let her ride on his shoulder.  He gently rubbed the spines on her back.  (This is akin to rubbing a dog or cat behind the ears.)  He fed her lots of fruit and vegetables (because green iguanas are vegetarians).  When she expressed interest in his potted kalanchoe, he just let her eat it."  :)

The stamped red flowers on the layout represent the kalanchoe blossoms that Camus ate.

I spent a lot of time on pen work for this layout.  The borders and outlines help the individual elements to stand out, and they also add a bit of a hand-drawn/homespun effect to the page.

I recycled some old bubble wrap as a stamp, using red ink in some areas and black ink in others.  I like the way the plastic bubbles partially resisted the ink, adding more texture--almost like lizard scales!--to the stamped pattern!  I randomly outlined some of the bubbles with my pens.

I used a variety of farm/fruit/vegetable banner pieces, and I brushed them with watercolors, allowing the paints to flow together for a soft effect.

Camus was a good lizard, and Scott was sad to say good bye to her when he finished college.  However, he left her in good hands, with a friend who is skilled in lizard care.  I'm so glad that we have this one photo of her.  And now it's finally scrapbooked, preserving our memories of Camus!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Minnesota Trail (Playing in Paradise)

Supplies: background paper from Bo Bunny; kraft cardstock from Neenah Paper; floral paper & graph paper from Basic Grey; gingham & fairy papers from Graphic 45; woodgrain paper from KaiserCraft; camera paper from Lily Bee; newsprint paper from Bazzill; alphabet stickers from October Afternoon; jar stickers from Simple Stories; chalk from Stampin' Up; buttons from Olla Podrida; pen from Zig; vintage twine.

With May being a long month, I have extra time to participate in a couple more challenges.  I'm so glad that I got to make a page for the sketch challenge at Playing in Paradise.  Just look at that lovely sketch!

I interpreted the row of photos as a banner, to which I added lots of voluminous layers.

I also added one more photo, where the embellishment cluster is in the sketch.  I added lots of layers/embellishment to this area as well; thus, it stays true to the spirit of the sketch.

I substituted a block of journaling for one of the photos.  The journaling reads: "We don't have to go up north to appreciate Northwoods nature.  It's all right here on the Minnesota Trail at the MN Zoo!"

I cut out a sign from a photo to use in my banner.  Instead of throwing away the rest of the photo...

 ...I used it as a stencil with chalk!

My chalk arrows highlight the names of the different animals that can be seen on the Minnesota Trail, since I don't have photos of all of them.  As a finishing touch, I mixed and matched alphabet stickers to create my title.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  Enjoy these last few days of May!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Cat Page (B71B/OUAS)

Hi, everyone!  Earlier this month I wrote about a cat album that I've started.  Here is a new page that I've made for it.  It's called "2 Sisters."

Supplies: patterned papers & alphabet stickers by Basic Grey; chipboard (positive & negative) by October Afternoon; die cut by Archivers; acrylic paint by Plaid; watercolor paint by Angora; gliter by Ranger; corner punch by Creative Memories; cardstock by Pulp; twine by Crystal Palace; string by DMC; staples by Target; pen by Zig; colored pencils by assorted manufacturers.

This page was inspired by Berry71Bleu (and Once Upon a ... Sketch) where the challenge is to make a page using chipboard, a number (in either the title or journaling), and the sketch shown above.  You can see that I used a chipboard tag with the number 2 as part of my title.  But I also used chipboard in another way on my page...

The negative pieces from a partially-used chipboard sheet served as a guide for my watercolor painting.  As you see from the photo above I used empty circles to guide the placement of my painted dots.  I also created a row of charcoal-colored circles by filling in the chipboard negatives with paint, as you see from the photo below.

I added further interest to the background of my page by placing a used Basic Grey alphabet sticker sheet under my page and coloring with colored pencils.

Above you see my two cuddly cuties, Tina and Shadow.  Some of the background details are also visible here.  You can see the pencil work and the watercolor that I already wrote about, and you can also see that I did some string printing with acrylic paint.

After I was done printing with it, I coiled up the string and used it as a page embellishment.  Tina and Shadow both loved to play with string, so it seems especially appropriate for this layout.

I also cut some paint-covered shapes from the cardstock that I had used as a top sheet during the string printing process.  These shapes, along with some glittery Stickles, served as the finishing touches for my page.

Creating this page was a joyful process, and I'm happy I could share it with you.  Take care, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flowers and Poetry

After my successful round of de-stashing, I rewarded myself with some new Lily Bee and Bella Blvd supplies.  I used some of them to make the layout below, which is called "Anniversary Poem."

Supplies: background paper by Lily Bee; woodgrain paper by KaiserCraft; all stickers by Bella Blvd; pen by Zig.

I created this page for the challenge at Get Creative, where the task is to create a layout with lots of flowers.  I had fun using all the flower stickers that came on the Bella Blvd sheets.

Really, Bella had me at "red alphabet stickers."  I love almost anything red.  Actually, this Bella collection is supposed to be patriotic in theme, but most of the pieces are flexible enough to work for a variety of topics.

For the main photo, I used the same trick I mentioned in my last post: I combined a color photo (foreground) with a black and white photo (background).

The journaling reads: "While visiting the Saint Anthony Park branch of the Saint Paul library on our fifteenth wedding anniversary, we came across a community poetry board.  Here's the poem that we composed."

You can see the poem in the photo above.  It's not Shakespeare, but with the limited number of magnetic words available to us, I think Scott and I did pretty well.

I also printed a second photo of the poem--this time in black and white.  From this black and white photo, I cut out the individual magnet shapes.  Then I reassembled the poem on this giant speech bubble--decorated, of course, with a flower.

I hope that you have enjoyed my flowery layout and my little poem.  Take care and have a great weekend!  :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Closer Look: Catan Fan

Hi, everyone!  Thanks for all your nice comments on my recent beadwork post, as well as your comments on my "Ten on the Tenth" post.  My husband was tickled to know that so many of you agree with him about the Popsicle resembling a USB drive.  :)

Today I want to give you a closer look at "Catan Fan."  I have a few more tidbits of information to share about this layout, which I did not get a chance to mention in its "Ten on the Tenth" snapshot post.
Journaling: "Scott played Catan at a party and enjoyed it.  I bought him a game...and then he got another, and then a third.  He's become a real Catan fan!  We all like to play from time to time."

First, I want to tell you about the inspiration for this piece.  Would you believe that a purse is involved?!  

Here is the story.  I saw a magazine picture of a purse that had a row of three fabric hexagons appliquéd on the shoulder strap.  There was also a cluster of three hexagons appliquéd on the main body of the purse.  "Great design!" I thought, and I filed the idea away in the back of my mind.  When I began working on this layout about Scott's enthusiasm for Catan, which has a game board made of interlocking hexagon shapes, I recalled the purse and decided to use its basic design on my layout.  You can see the vertical row of hexagon stickers in the upper right-hand portion of the layout, which was inspired by the design on the purse strap.  And in the lower left-hand portion of the layout, you see the cluster of three hexagon stickers that was inspired by the main part of the purse.  Who would ever have thought that I would use the design of a purse as inspiration for a layout about my husband!!!

The aspect of this layout that I wanted to touch on is the photo on the layout.  When I was ordering prints, which I do in batches each month, I could not decide whether I wanted this photo in color or in black & white (with a slightly green filter).  I decided just to order both.  As I was working on this layout, I decided that I preferred the color photo.  However, the objects on the shelves behind my husband were a bit distracting in full color.  So, I cut around the outline of my husband (and the table with the stack of games) on the color print, and I adhered the resulting silhouette onto the black and white print.  Problem solved!  Of course, this sort of thing can also be done in a photo-editing program, but I lack that level of skill.  This hands-on approach proved to be a quick fix, and it also adds subtle interest to the layout.
Before I sign off for the day, I also wanted to mention briefly, on an unrelated note, that submissions are indeed open for the current Scrap for Help challenge.  There has been a bit of confusion about this, since last month's entries still appear in the linky collection.  Don't worry, you can simply add your creation to the collection.  The design team members know that all entries numbered 31 and up are for the May challenge.  You have until the end of the month to link up!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Special Occasion Necklace

Many of the projects in my last post incorporated beads and beading components.  You see, I'm a bit bead-crazy at the moment.  Earlier this spring there were two big bead shows in the Twin Cities, and I attended both.  Paper crafting projects are not the only place where I'm using my new beads; today I want to share with you a recent jewelry project.

Here is a necklace featuring my favorite color--red.  I used glass beads in a variety of shapes and sizes.

This necklace is a bit fancier than other necklaces that I have made.  I've already had the chance to use it a few times as a "special occasion" necklace.

The focal bead has a unique internal structure with interesting highlights and lowlights.  

I always add a bit of decoration around the clasp.  Since I often wear my hair up, I like the clasp to be a sort of secondary focal area.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog today.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing a project that is a bit different.  In my next post I'll be back to paper crafting.  :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

10 on the 10th: Girl Names

It's the tenth of the month, so it's time for my regularly scheduled de-stashing post!  Last month I created ten projects with my "Girls Names" folder, which contains my scraps and stash from Bella Blvd, Jillibean Soup, and Lily Bee Design.  Each of these brands has a certain style.  Bella Blvd is known for its seasonal, "cartoony" icons, so I started my crafting with a summer card featuring a Popsicle icon cut from Bella Blvd paper. 

Project 1: Popsicle paper by Bella Blvd; all other papers from Jillibean soup; stickers from Lily Bee; flowers & button from Olla Podrida; pen from Zig; twine from Crystal palace; scrap of eyelet lace.

Upon seeing my card, my husband surprised me by asking why I put an image of a USB drive on a summer card.  You know, he was on to something.  That Popsicle image can double as a USB drive imageThus was born my next project, a layout called "Tech Guy."

Project 2: cardstock from Wausau Paper; hexagon, ledger, & chevron papers from Lily Bee; sticker tab & all other papers from Bella Blvd; alphabet stickers from Doodlebug; black ink from Hero Arts; burgundy ink from Clearsnap; background stamp from Paper Inspirations; small stamps from My Mind's Eye; pens from Zig; buttons from Blumenthal Lansing; thread from Singer; corner rounder from Creative Memories.

Next I moved on to some Jillibean projects.  Jillibean has a number of signature elements, one of which is their hexagon labels.  Those labels played a vital role in this next layout, "Catan Fan."

Project 3: cardstock from Wausau Paper; star paper, banners, & hexagon labels from Jillibean Soup; brown patterned paper & stamps from My Mind's Eye; tag from Crate; tickets & journaling paper from October Afternoon; alpha-numeric stickers & all other papers from Lily Bee; ink from Hero Arts; buttons from Olla Podrida; household twine; upcycled game cards.

Kraft paper is another staple in the Jillibean lineup, and I let kraft paper play a starring role in this card.

Project 4: previously blogged here

But Jillibean is not known only for its kraft paper; it's also known for its bright, colorful patterns, like the watermelon pattern in this next card. 

Project 5: seed packet tag from Imaginisce; all other paper from Jillibean Soup; stickers from Lily Bee; beads & beading twine from Beadniks; thread from DMC; doily from Royal Consumer Products; aida cloth from Charles Crafts; ink from Tsukineko; vintage Czech sequin from Beads by Dee.

For my next card, I combined Jilibean Kraft with Jillibean color.  I also recycled the string that the beads from the previous card were sold on.  (This string is not strong enough for use in jewelry projects, but it makes a nice addition to paper projects.)

Project 6: kraft, floral, & star papers from Jillibean Soup; alphabet stickers, scalloped die cut, & red paper strip from Lily Bee; butterfly chipboard (used as template) from DCWV; ink from Hero Arts; upcycled twine.

Moving on to Lily Bee projects, we first have this love card, which I blogged about last month.  I'm so excited, because this card won Lily Bee's April challenge!!!  Thanks for featuring me, Lily Bee.

Project 7: previously blogged here

One often reads in craft magazines that, after making a layout, it is a good idea to use the scraps to make a card.  Well, I did the opposite here.  I used the scraps from my card above (plus some scraps from other recently-created projects) to make a layout!

Project 8: cardstock from Wausau Paper; stickers, solid navy paper; chevron papers, doily patterned paper, & blue ledger paper from Lily Bee; star paper & tab outline from Jillibean Soup; small paper strips from My Mind's Eye; heart punch from All Night Media; flower from Petaloo; doily from Royal Consumer Products; stamp from Paper Inspirations; ink from Clearsnap; pen from Zig; tulle from Wyla; netting upcycled from candy packaging; corner rounder from Creative Memories.

I noticed that I had a lot of yellow scraps among my Lily Bee supplies, so I combined them all on one layout, called "My Honey Bee."

Project 9: cardstock from Wausau Paper; tag from Crate; green patterned paper, large (negative) alphabet stickers, & paper buttons from Jillibean; cream paper from Fancy Pants; black-and-white patterned paper from My Mind's Eye; all other papers & stickers from Lily Bee; green jute twine from Canvas Corp.; pen from Zig.

This was such a successful de-stash that by the end of it I barely had any paper left in my "Girl Names" file.  However, I did have plenty of Lily Bee alphas left, so I used those in my final project, a tag mini book.

Project 10: previously blogged here

And that's it for today--ten projects, done and dusted!  This month I'm working with my Basic Grey file, and the results of that de-stashing will appear on my blog on the tenth of June.  Thanks for visiting my blog today!  Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Simple Spring Page

I've been doing lots of complicated projects lately, and I wanted to do something simple for a change.  Here is a layout done in my beloved graphic style.
Supplies: cardstock by Bazzill; die cuts, corner rounder, & journaling template by Creative Memories; all alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; border sticker by Doodlebug; talk bubble by Bella Blvd; tree sticker by Simple Stories; pen by Ranger; household mechanical pencil; used postage stamps.

With this layout, which is entitled "Easter Sunday," I'm playing along with the springtime challenge at Playing in Paradise.  I've used palette #149 from the Color Room.

Now, at first glance this  might not seem like a spring palette.   But it is to me.  You see, there is a charming, cottage-style brown house in my neighborhood with a big flowering tree in the yard.  Every spring, the tree gets beautiful yellow blossoms.  It's so eye-catching, and so different from the pink and purple trees that one usually sees in the spring.  This palette put me in mind of that house and its tree right away, and I used that mental image as the basis for my layout.

I love to play with different lettering styles, mixing and matching for that eclectic look.

I even found a sticker of a tree to use!  The journaling on the layout reads: "Since we had already celebrated with my family the week before, Easter itself was very quiet and peaceful this year.  We did puzzles and ate candy.  :)"

We actually had pretty bad weather during Easter weekend, but it is finally warming up now.  At last we're able to enjoy spring weather here.  Hope that you are enjoying your days, too.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Scrap Around the World

Happy International Scrapbooking Day (ISD)!!!  Hope you get some time to play with paper today!!!

ISD seems like the perfect time to share my entry for the first challenge of the new Scrap Around the World blog.  I am so excited about this new challenge blog.  It has everything I like--international fellowship, a design team I admire, and challenge guidelines that leave room for personal interpretation.

Supplies: blue/brown woodgrain paper by Kaisercraft; orange woodgrain paper by My Mind's Eye; alphabet stickers & grid/latice paper by October Afternoon; Bingo cards & house sticker by Simple Stories; rust-orange paper by Bo Bunny; dotted paper by Fancy Pants; aqua paper by FabScraps; floral paper by Echo Park; journaling card by Doodlebug; decorative scissors by Fiskars; corner punch by Creative Memories; key by Zeus & Zoe; button by Blumenthal Lansing; metal finding by Olla Podrida; decorative tape by 3M; orange paint by Plaid; white pen, white paint, & glitter by Ranger; ink by Clearsnap; stamp by Paper Inspirations; upcycled items: wheat penny, corrugated cardboard,bubble wrap, & book page.

Here is my layout, entitled "Home."  It's part of a new project that I started recently, an 8x8" album with cute photos of and stories about my three cats (RIP).  It's a nice way to remember them.

Above is the sketch for the challenge.  In translating the design to the 8x8" page, I adjusted the proportions of the elements.  It was fun, and I'm enjoying working on this smaller scale.  Most of the photos of my cats are old ones, from before I had a digital camera, and I think this kind of photo works well on this smaller page size.

The little clipboard is a pull-out tab with hidden journaling.  It explains why a simple cardboard box came to symbolize the idea of "home" for my cat, Shadow

Shadow felt a bit confused when she and Scott moved to the Twin Cities.  A few days later, Scott and I got married.  We received a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle, and Shadow immediately jumped in the empty box.  Since she liked it so much, we kept it for her.  It became her special place to sit and rest.  If the other cats were feeling feisty, all they had to do to annoy Shadow was to sit in her box  We brought it with us both times we moved.  For Shadow, the box symbolized home.

The mood board above provided the inspiration for this challenge.  As you'll see from the detail photos below, I was inspired by the colors (turquoise/rusty orange), the wood (the door); the repeated circles (the chandelier), the swirly pattern (the tablecloth); and the overall aged/vintage look.

Let's take a look at a few detail images from my layout: 

Here is Shadow, sitting in her box.  My goodness, you can certainly tell that Scott and I were still students at this time.  Our apartment is furnished in the "early attic style," with cinder block bookshelves and a camp stool as a TV stand.  No DVDs at this time, but you can see our VCR and extensive collection of VHS movies.  :)

I got artsy for this part of the page.  The base is an old book page, covered in acrylic paint mixed with a dash of turquoise glitter.  After this mixture dried, I stamped over it in gold ink.  Then I used a thin strip of bubble wrap to stamp the row of circles.  I purposely chose a book page with the word "box" printed on it, and you can see that I penciled lines around the word "box."  I never miss an opportunity to reinforce a theme.  :)

In this part of the page, I explored the idea of "home," with the house sticker, the Bingo cards, and the antique-looking house key.

Layers, layers, layers.  I even layered multiple pieces of the tape.  This is actually the first decorative tape I've ever purchased--true story!  Up until this point, I had resisted jumping on the washi tape bandwagon.  But then I saw this high-quality tape, made by my favorite adhesive manufacturer, 3M/Scotch.  So, now I own my first roll of decorative tape, and I love it.  :) 

Layers, layers, and even more layers!  The 8x8" album I'm using doesn't have page protectors, so I don't have to limit the height of my pages.  I'm enjoying that.  :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog to take a look at my layout.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!