Friday, June 28, 2013

Cutesy with a Mixed Media Edge

Hello, everyone!  This week I made another page for my cat album, and I want to share it with you today.  It features my ginger cat, Maggie.

Supplies: cardstock by Pioneer (the insert from a refill page); lined paper by DCWV; Halloween stickers by American Greetings; alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; stamps by My Mind's Eye; light purple ink by Clearsnap; dark purple ink by Hero Arts; corner punch by Creative Memories; pen by Zig; thread by DMC; acrylic paints by Ranger & Deco Art; felt & paper clip from my stash; mesh upcycled from candy packaging.

I created my page using this week's Summer of Color combo (purple + lime green) and the current sketch from Playing in Paradise.

Below is a close-up of the photo I used on the layout.  I clipped an arrow to the photo to point out Maggie, and to distinguish her from my other cat, Shadow, who is also in the photo.

The journaling on this page says: "Mags loves to sit with her 'arms' outstretched, as if she were doing the 'Monster Mash.'"  :)

As I approach each week of the Summer of Color, I challenge myself to try something new.  This week I wanted to try for a "cutesy" look, yet still have that up-to-the-moment mixed media edge.  Here is how I went about that...

I cut out and stitched a flower and a border strip from fuzzy felt.  No patterns--I just eyeballed everything, for that homespun look.  I topped the flower with an adorable monster sticker, just to up the cuteness factor a bit more.

I used a spider sticker for the "O" in "Monster Mash," adding further to the cuteness fest.

The background is where the mixed media comes in--you'll spot collage, stamping, and assorted painting techniques, keeping the black cardstock from being too plain and boring.

That's it from me today.  It's Friday where I am, so I want to close by wishing everyone a great weekend!  I hope you don't have the song "Monster Mash" stuck in your head now!!!  (I do.)  :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Here is a fun page that owes its inspiration to three different challenge sites!

Supplies: background paper by Little Yellow Bicycle; ruler paper by Doodlebug Design; kraft notebook paper by Cachet; die cut circle paper (used as stencil) by Graphic 45; pink mini alphabet stickers & distressed orange "z" sticker by October Afternoon; all other alphabet stickers by Bella Blvd; canvas flags by Canvas Corp.; thread by DMC; doily by Royal Consumer Products; orange paint by Plaid; white paint by Ranger; pen by Zig; buttons upcycled from old clothing.

One of the current prompts at Child's Play Challenges is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse image shown below.

image source: CPC blog

This image inspired me to make a page with lots of animals on it.  This worked ideally with the June challenge at Berry 71 Bleu, which is to make a brightly colored layout about a favorite summertime activity.  Regular readers of my blog know that I love to visit the zoo.  So, I made a zoo page--no surprise there.  I'm excited that I managed to fit six photos on my page--hooray!

Every orangutan photo should be accented by doilies & delicate bits of thread, don't you agree, heeheehee?  :)

Hot pink + orange is the color combo of the week at Summer of Color, so I used that bright, sunny color scheme for my summery page.  It fits in perfectly with the journaling on the page, which reads: "We love summer trips to the zoo, even if the hot summer sun puts the animals to sleep.  They're cute when they're taking a siesta.  :)"

No particular shade of orange was specified, so I used a few different oranges.  Now, I confess that hot pink & orange is not the color combo that I voted for this time, and I found it a very challenging combination.  But that's good, because it helps me to grow as an artist and think about how I use color. 

I'm using the Summer of Color challenges to explore new techniques.  This week, I wanted to try using acrylic paints on all sorts of surfaces.  I painted on patterned paper, kraft paper, photos, canvas flags, and buttons.  The buttons were my favorite, and I'll definitely be painting on buttons again and again in the future--so glad I tried this!  I'll also be using "sticker sprinkles" (shown in the above photo) again.  These are the off-cuts that I trimmed from the mini alphas that I added to the animals' photos.  I love the extra texture that these "sprinkles" add.

As I did last week, I'll end this post with larger versions of the animal photos that you see on the layout.

We have two zoos in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.  The snow leopards, orangutan, and gorilla are from Como Zoo in St. Paul.

The tiger, komodo dragon, and wild boar are from the Minnesota Zoo in suburban Minneapolis.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

ETA: I am pleased to announced that this layout won second place at Child's Play Challenges.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Citron + Turquoise (Summer of Color)

I've joined a new challenge group that provides weekly color combos during the summer.  Each week we get to vote on a new combo, and the majority wins.  This first week, citron green & turquoise was the winning combo.  I'm stoked, because that's the combination that I voted for (though all the options were tempting).

Supplies: background paper & grid paper from October Afternoon; vintage-style illustrations from Graphic 45; all other paper from Pink Paislee; alphabet stickers from Creative Imaginations; watercolor paint from Angora; ink from Clearsnap; colored pencil from Pedigree; faceted cabochons from Olla Podrida; wire from Artistic Wire; seed beads from my stash; photo collage printed by

My layout is called "AbcdEfg," and my journaling explains the reason for that unusual title: "A is for algae * B is for buds * C is for cattails * D is for dirt * E is for evergreen * F is for flower * G is for "gobble-gobble" (says the turkey)  ~ early spring photography scavenger hunt, alphabet theme, @ nature center ~"  This scavenger hunt was a program that I signed up for, and even with the help of trained naturalists, it proved to be challenging!  I didn't realize that it would be so hard to take photos for each letter of the alphabet.  I ended up with some unusual shots, but all in all they capture the very early stages of spring in Minnesota--when much of the landscape is still brown, but bits of green are beginning to show themselves.

I want to use the Summer of Color challenges to experiment with new ideas.  This week, I explored the idea of using watercolor paint on patterned paper.  I also did some work with inks and colored pencil.  Not all of my "experiments" made it onto the finished layout, but the successful ones did.  I also have a handful of painted scraps left over, and I think these will be useful for my art journal.

I'll close by showing you larger images from my alphabetical photo shoot.  Maybe next time I'm in the park, I'll try for photos H through N.  :)

A is for algae--a strange photo subject, 
but it was all I could find for the letter A.
B is for buds--some of the first buds of spring!
  C is for cattails--all dried out from a long winter.
D is for dirt--made more interesting by a fallen leaf.
E is for evergreen--strangely leaning.
F is for flower--the first one I saw this spring!
G is for "gobble-gobble"--and good bye for now!

Friday, June 14, 2013


ETA: I'm pleased to share with you the news that this layout won the For Scrappers, From Scrappers challenge.  Maggie would be proud.  :)

On very rare occasions the scrapbooking stars align, and I am able to create one layout sparked by three challenges.  Today is one of those lucky days!  I created a layout about my cat Maggie, inspired by the following challenges: Scrap Around the World, CSI #75, and From Scrappers-For Scrappers.

Supplies: woodgrain paper by KaiserCraft; pink/green paper strip by Basic Grey; pink plaid paper & fussy-cut rose by Graphic 45; all other patterned paper by Lawn Fawn; tulle by Wyla; all ribbon by Scrapbooking Fantasies; paper flower by Petallo; title stickers by October Afternoon; canvas stickers by AMM; mini envelope by DMD; doily by Royal Consumer Products; chevron stamp by My Mind's Eye; ink by Tsukineko; paint & Distress Stain by Ranger; tape by 3M/Scotch; sequins upcycled from old jewelry.

Here is how all three sites inspired me...

Above is the mood board & sketch for SATW.  I loved the cool pastel colors on the mood board, so I decided to use them on my layout.  I also liked the one big, pink flower on the green camera, so I decided to use one big, pink flower on my layout, too.  I followed the sketch pretty literally--it's a delightful, playful sketch.

CSI # 75 has similar pastel colors, so it was easy to combine it with the SATW challenge.  Additional inspiration I drew from the CSI menus includes: chevrons, hearts (on the white ribbon), pops of gold, and the "15+1" list journaling prompt.

The challenge at From Scrappers-For Scrappers is to include a handmade fabric/ribbon flower.  I handmade my flower by folding a strip of tulle fabric in half and sewing a running stitch in the pattern shown above.  I pulled the thread tight, and the flower sprang into being--it really is that easy!  When I sewed my flower to my layout, I added a gold-edged ribbon bow.  I learned this method of flower-making from a book called Elegant Ribbonwork, though the addition of the bow was my own idea. 

And now, here is a look at a few detail shots of the layout...

I added a spiral of the same gold-edged ribbon above the title.

The journaling is on a pull-out sheet, which resides in the mini envelope to the left of my cat's photo.  I typed up (on my typewriter) a list of fifteen of Maggie's characteristics/habits, and put a star by item 15, which says the she "is definitely NOT delicate!"

Below is a closer look at the flower.  While I was adding paint to some of the page elements, I swiped a bit of white paint onto the flower as well, for that added bit of interest.

The banner is made from cut-up and painted-over bits of leftover canvas alphabet stickers.  They don't spell anything; they just look cool.  Anybody been around long enough to remember the scrapbook supply manufacturer AMM (All My Memories)?  These are some old canvas stickers, but since canvas is "cool" again, I decided to breathe some new life into them.

I also used the negative piece from the canvas alphabet stickers as border.  Waste not, want not.  :)

I hope you've enjoyed looking at my layout.  I certainly had fun creating it.  It's Friday afternoon where I am, so I want to close by wishing everyone a nice weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Family Trait? (Scrap Africa)

It's been far too long since I took part in a Scrap Africa challenge.  Time to fix that.  With the layout below, entitled "A Family Trait?", I'm participating in Scrap Africa sketch challenge #18.
Supplies: bokeh paper & lattice paper by Lily Bee; woodgrain paper by Kaiser Craft; tree ring paper by Creative Imaginations; damask & star patterned papers by Bo Bunny; scalloped border stickers & brown/white circle patterned paper by Bella Blvd; mini alphabet stickers & die cut banners by October Afternoon; chipboard by Studio G; bird stamp by Hero Arts; chevron-arrow stamp by My Mind's Eye; ink by Tsukineko; blue pen by Zig; white pen by Ranger; assorted colored pencils; envelope by DMD; corner punch by Creative Memories; heart punch by All Night Media; thread by DMC; staples by Target.

The journaling says: "At first we thought this method of crawling (scooting along with one foot forward and the other tucked under the body) was unique.  But then my mom found her dad's baby book and discovered that he crawled the same way!"
Image source: Scrap Africa blog.

I think you can see why I was eager to play along with the sketch, right?  It's unique!  Besides the photo, this intriguing sketch has three main areas: the large V-shape in the center, the column of three circles, and the two prominent criss-cross accents. 

The large V-shape reminded me of the flap on the back of an envelope.  So, I used an envelope as the base for my title.  Those barely-there, sketchy chevron-arrows on the envelope were made by inking just the edges of a chevron stamp with the fine tip of a Zig Writer pen.

I interpreted the three circles as "wooden" rosettes.  I cut tree rings from patterned paper, moulded them into shallow dish shapes, and layered them.  The growth rings on the trees represent my son's growth and development as he learned to crawl.

For my own spin on the criss-cross accents, I stapled bundles of thread atop die-cut banners.  This makes for lots of fun texture!

I had fun playing with this sketch and adapting it to 8.5x11" format.  Thanks for stopping by my blog to check out my creation!

Monday, June 10, 2013

10 on the 10th: Basic Grey

It's the tenth of the month, so it's time for the latest installment of "10 on the 10th," my year-long destashing endeavor.  This time around I worked with my Basic Grey stash, and I mostly made cards.

Project 1: all paper and decorative stickers by Basic Grey; alphabet stickers by October Afternoon.

The first project, however, was a May Day basket.  Next up come four Mother's Day cards. 

Project 2: cardstock by Pulp; fussy cut papers by Basic Grey; newsprint by Bazzill; tape by Scotch/3M; stickers by Lily Bee; corner punch by Creative Memories.

The first Mother's Day card is one I made for my mom.

Project 3: cardstock by Pulp; fussy cut papers by Basic Grey; newsprint by Bazzill; tape by Scotch/3M; stickers by Lily Bee; corner punch by Creative Memories.

Next, I made a similar card for my husband's mom.

Project 4: cardstock by Pulp; all papers by Basic Grey; tape by Scotch/3M; orange stickers by Lily Bee; green stickers by October Afternoon; corner punch by Creative Memories.

I varied the design and color slightly to make a card for my husband's step-mother.

Project 5: cardstock by Pulp; all papers by Basic Grey; tape by Scotch/3M; black stickers by Lily Bee; other stickers by October Afternoon; corner punch by Creative Memories.

And I varied the design and color again to create a card for my son's god mother.

Project 6: cardstock by Pioneer; designer papers & kite sticker by Basic Grey; alphabet stickers by Doodlebug; faux brad by Candi; thread by DMC; beads from my stash; ink by Hero Arts; paint by Ranger.

After making all those Mother's Day cards, I turned my attention to making end-of-the-school-year cards for my son's teachers.

Project 7: patterned cardstock by Neenah Paper; ink by Ranger; all decorative stickers by Basic Grey; alphabet stickers by Lily Bee.

It was fun to use the summery icon stickers from Basic Grey's old PB&J collection.

Project 8: cardstock by Wausau Paper; patterned paper by Basic Grey; burlap by Canvas Corp.; tape by 3M/Scotch; stamps by My Mind's Eye; ink by Hero Arts; alphabet stickers by Lily Bee; thread by DMC; felt from my stash.

By this time I was ready to create something totally different, for an occasion not spring- or summer-related.  And different is definitely what I achieved with my neon-meets-grunge Christmas card!  At first I didn't like it, but it grew on me, and now I love it.  Sometimes, different is good.  :)

Project 9: previously blogged here.

My final two projects are layouts, both of which turned out to be pet-related.

Project 10: previously blogged here.

I did a lot of fun experimentation with both the cat page and the iguana page, and I'm pleased with how they both turned out.

I'm also pleased with the number of cards I was able to create.  Since starting this destashing project, I have made more cards than ever before.  And yet, I don't seem to be able to lay in a supply of cards.  As soon as I make a card, I send it out in the mail.   

So, I'm going to end this post with a question for all you card-makers out there.  Will I ever reach a point where I have extra cards made ahead of time, so that I'll just be able to grab one when I need one?  Or will I always be making cards as I need them?  I suspect that the latter scenario is my fate, but I want to hear what everyone has to say on this matter.  Thanks in advance for your input and advice!