Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tie-Dyed Background Paper Tutorial

Hello, everyone!  Whether or not you are participating in the Summer of Color (SOC) this year, you may be interested in this post, since it includes a step-by-step tutorial for creating fun background papers.  You see, one of my SOC goals is to create some DIY patterned paper.  Since I had so much fun with the "tie-dyed" paper that I used in a layout earlier this month, I decided to make more.  And, since I got such good feedback on that "tie-dyed" look, I decided to share a tutorial on how I created it.  It's a very easy process.  Let's get started!

Step 1--gather your supplies.  You'll need a plastic shopping bag, watercolor paints, a paintbrush, a small dish of water, and a sturdy sheet of white cardstock (not pictured). 

Step 2--flatten the plastic bag against your work surface and paint concentric rings on it.  This will look like a bullseye.  Keep the paint wet by adding more water as needed.  You can use any colors you like, but I used this week's SOC color pairing of lavender & grey.  (In a later step I'll add the SOC accent color, plum.)  The paint will look darker when it is wet; remember that the colors will be lighter when the paint dries on your paper.

Step 3--paint lines radiating outward from the center of the bullseye.  Continue to keep the paint nice and wet by adding more water as needed.

Step 4--scrunch up the bag to create wrinkles and blend colors.

Step 5--flatten the bag onto your work surface again, and press the cardstock, face down, onto the painted area.  Some paint may soak through to the reverse side of the cardstock, as you see in this photo.  Bonus points if your ring and bracelet match this week's SOC palette.  :)

Step 6--turn the cardstock over.  Voila--here is your tie-dyed pattern!  Rinse off the bag, hang it up to dry, and save it to use again in the future--either for more tie-dye painting or just as a regular bag. 

Step 7 (optional)--if desired, shake or tap a paint-filled brush over the cardstock to create drips and splatters.  When you are pleased with the look of your piece, allow it to dry completely.  If the cardstock curls up when it is dry, flatten it under heavy books for a few hours.

Step 8 (final step)--once your cardstock is dry, you can add any further embellishments you wish.  I added a few strips of plum-colored decorative tape, since plum is the accent color for this week's SOC palette.  Now I have a piece of background paper ready and waiting for me next time I want to make a scrapbook page.  The water color "tie-dye" effect creates a fun background, and the tape strips provide ready-made anchors for photos, a title, and any other page elements that I may choose to add.  This concludes the tutorial, but I have one more thing to show you...

As usual, my young son is also playing along with SOC.  This week, instead of making another Rainbow Loom bracelet, he did some watercolor painting too.  He also had fun with my stamps and ink pads, including some very bold direct ink-to-paper work. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog to see what my son and I created this week.  :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A-Z of Me: Kind of Domestic

Hi there!  I enjoy reading Lynette Jacobs's blog, and her recent "A-Z of Me" post inspired me to make one of my own.  I hope it will help you get to know me a bit better.  Here goes...

A is for apple crisp, which my my wonderful husband bakes every Friday night.  It's our special treat.

B is for baking, a hobby that our whole family enjoys.  Recently my son and I baked these chocolate mint cookies.

C is for cats.  I am a cat person.

D is for dyeing.  I went to a tie-dyeing party recently and decorated onesies to use in the future as baby gifts.

E is for England, the country I dream of visiting someday.

F is for fleece, which I recently used to make a fringed pillow cover.  I have been kind of domestic lately, what with the baking and the dyeing and the pillow covering.

G is for The Grapes of Wrath.  This is the last book I read.

H is for hair.  I like trying new ways to style my long hair.

I is for ice cream.  Lately I've been beating the heat by eating vanilla ice cream topped with honey, almonds, and shredded coconut.

J is for Jane Eyre, a book I could read over and over again.

K is for Kung Fu.  My husband is a second degree black belt and our son is a purple belt.  I just watch.  :)

L is for Libraries.  Visiting libraries is like heaven to me, because I love books so much!

M is for Moscow Stories by Loren Graham.  I'm reading this book right now.
N is for Novosibirsk, the Russian city where I was an exchange student in high school.
O is for the Ob' River, which flows through Novosibirsk.
P is for Poetry.  I used to write poetry and short fiction, and I'm thinking about taking up creative writing once more.
Q is for quiet.  I prefer peace and quiet over noise and zaniness. 
R is for red, my favorite color. 
S is for Saint Petersburg, the Russian city where I was an exchange student in college (university).

T is for tea.  Happy T Day!  Today I tried another layered beverage.  With rose hip-hibiscus herbal tea on top and lemonade on the bottom, the layering in this iced drink is more subtle than my in my last one.  It's delicious, though!  I like it much better than the cranberry juice/Gatorade combo.  For more beverage related posts, click over to the Altered Book Lover blog.
U is for Ulnar Drift, an arthritic condition that affects my left hand.  I am right-handed, so it doesn't affect me too much, but it is starting to make beading and embroidery harder for me. 
V is for The Vicar of Dibley, the British comedy that can always cheer me up when I'm feeling down.
W is for Wilna Furstenberg.  I love watching her artsy scrapbooking videos on YouTube.  She has a great sense of humor, too.
X is for eXercise.  Almost every day I do 30 minutes of fast walking, plus assorted stretches. 
Y for Yellow.  My dream car is a convertible yellow Volkswagen Beetle.  Maybe someday...
Z is for zoo.  I love visiting zoos and photographing the animals.  These photos usually make for fun scrapbook pages.
I hope you found my A-Z list interesting.  Maybe you discovered something that you and I have in common.  If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Beverly Files

Hello to you all, whether you are a new or returning reader.  Today I'm going to let my geek flag fly and talk about Star Trek.  You see, the color combo this week at SOC is coral and teal, with a splash of white, and this made me think Dr. Beverly Crusher collectible action figure.  Not even kidding.  Here she is, in all her photo-edited glory.  :)

Truth be told, I might have had TV and movies on the brain, because that is theme over at Berry 71 Bleu this month.  So I'm entering my project over there as well.  What I did was decorate a pocket folder to hold all my Dr. Crusher-related photos, clippings, and souvenirs.  She has been my favorite Star Trek character since my junior high school days, so I really needed a place to corral all the memorabilia about her that I have collected over the years.

Supplies: pocket folder from Pendaflex; teal patterned paper from TPC Studio; coral patterned paper from Graphic 45; ticket from Jenni Bowlin True Vintage; fussy-cut paper cassette from Crate Paper; coral die cut from October Afternoon; flower from Petaloo; rhinestones from Dee's Place; ink from Autumn Leaves/Stampology; gel pen from Sakura; journaling pen from Foray; tissue paper & ribbon upcycled from old gift wrappings.

Since I plan to store this folder in an upright position on my bookshelf, I wanted to keep the embellishments fairly flat.  Tissue paper fringe made for a great embellishment in this case--it adds texture and movement without being too bulky.  Plus, it's just a lot of fun.  :)

Below is a close-up of the embellishment cluster.  This design proved to be a great way to use up some older scraps.  I find the arrangement of elements very pleasing, so maybe I'll use the design again someday--perhaps on a card or a scrapbook page. 

Inside the folder, I placed my collection of items in the two pockets.  Memorabilia, such as photos and convention programs, are in the left pocket.  In the right pocket are newspaper and magazine clippings.  The items I've collected over the years are too numerous to fit on a scrapbook spread, yet not numerous enough to warrant an album of their own.  So this folder is a nice compromise.  It only took about 90 minutes to put it together--45 minutes to organize the papers/memorabilia and add explanatory notes on Post-Its (where necessary), and another 45 minutes to decorate the cover.  It was a great summer project: easy yet fun.

Just like last week, my son is also playing along with the Summer of Color by making a rainbow loom bracelet this week.  He didn't have quite the right colors to match the coral and teal, but he got as close to those colors as he could.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  I hope you enjoyed seeing these two projects, which are kind of a fun change of pace for me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CPC July Crossover Event

Hi, everyone!  Happy Father's Day to those who are celebrating it today.  It's time for mid-month reveal at Child's Play Challenges, and this challenge is a special crossover event.

We have a sketch from our crossover partner, Scrap Our Stash.

And the Child's Play image prompt (above) is...tie-dye!  There are lots of ways to interpret this prompt, and here is what I came up with:

Supplies: red cardstock from Wausau Paper; all other cardstock from Bazzill; patterned paper from Bella Blvd; watercolor paints from Angora; ink from Autumn Leaves/Stampology; alphabet stickers, button, & rub ons from October Afternoon; rhinestones from Dee's Place; shimmer paint from Smooch; Candi dots from Craftwork; thread from DMC; black pen from Foray; purple pen from Zig; gifted tape.

I used a watercolor technique to mimic the look of tie-dyed rings on my page background.  I also used watercolor paint to interpret some parts of the sketch.  Let me show you a few detail shots.

You can see part of a watercolor "tie-dyed" ring in the corner of the page.

I added a whole rainbow of rhinestones.  :)

I think you can see that I had a lot of fun with this one.  If you feel inspired by this sketch and photo inspo, you can make a page and link it up to Child's Play.  And, if you follow the additional criteria from the Scrap Our Stash blog, you can link up there as well.  Happy crafting!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer of Color--Week One

Hi, all!  It has been a busy week of blogging and, more importantly, of summer fun.  I only had a little time to make a project for the first week of The Summer of Color 2014, so I made a simple one.  But simple can be good, and this scrapbook page is very meaningful to me.
Supplies: floral paper & alphabet stickers from October Afternoon; heart tag from Fancy Pants Design; Candi dot from Craftwork; cardstock from Bazzill; pen from Foray; upcycled children's book page.

I used this week's color scheme from SOC: aqua & yellow with a dash of bright pink.

image source:

This page belongs to the scrapbook about the three cats that my family has owned.  All three of the cats have passed away now, but they had long, happy lives with us, and they still mean so much to us.  It's nice to get these old cat photos into the album, so that the whole family can look back on them fondly.

Our grey cat, Shadow, had a tough road during her "senior" years.  She had two operations to remove skin cancer lesions.  The photo above was taken after her second operation, and she's wearing a "cape" so that she won't lick her surgical wounds.  Shadow later had a stroke that left her voiceless (feline aphasia) and with mild paralysis (a stumbling, stiff-legged gait).  She also developed diabetes and had to be given insulin shots twice daily.  And yet, even with all these medical needs, our tough little Shadow soldiered on and lived longer than any of our other cats!  She was very brave, and also very sweet.  In the photo above, Shadow is cuddling with Tina, one of our other cats.

The journaling on this scrapbook page reads: "As the little sister, Tina can sometimes be a bit pesky.  After Shadow came home from her second surgery, she just wanted to be alone.  But Tina insisted on cuddling."  An illustration torn from an old book goes along with this journaling.  My young son was a bit shocked that I ripped up a book, even though I explained to him that I'd bought this book second hand for a cheap price, specifically to use in art.  Once I'd assured him that I was not going to rip up any of his books, he felt better.

Speaking of my son, he is going to play along with SOC this summer, too.  He used the color scheme to make this rainbow loom bracelet.  Thanks for stopping by today to see both our projects.  :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

10 on the 10th: Matchy-Matchy

I was going to begin today by saying that after three consecutive posts with vacation photos and a red/white/blue color scheme, I have something different for you today.  But then I realized, today's post is only sort of different!  The photos I scrapped for today's post are from a different vacation (South Dakota instead of Lake Superior), and the red/white/blue color scheme also has some gold, pink, and aqua/teal thrown in.  I guess it's a variation on a theme.  :)
Supplies: 10 on the 10th items (listed below); envelope from Canvas Corp.; corner punch from Creative Memories; stickers from Bella Blvd; Candi dots from Craftwork; pen from Foray; ink from Hero Arts; household stapler.

I made this page about the South Dakota Badlands as one of my "Ten on the Tenth" de-stashing projects.  This vacation was like an unofficial second honeymoon for my husband and me.  I made the layout using "matchy-matchy" supplies, mostly from the Pebbles "From Me to You" paper line.  Here are the ten types of supplies that I used for this "10 on the 10th" project.

~10 items~

items 1 & 2 (cardstock)--gold & teal cardstock from Bazzill

items 3 & 4 (paper)--floral & dotted patterns from Pebbles (flipsides are ledger & text prints)

items 5 & 6 (embellishments)--ribbon from ReStyle & cut-apart cards from Pebbles

items 7 & 8 (non-consumables)--smiley face stamp from All Night Media & flower stamp from Darice

items 9 & 10 (throwaway items)--earring card (tag) & canceled postage stamps

As always, I used the ten supplies for this month to create three projects--a scrapbook page, a card, and a use-up-the-scraps project.  You saw the scrapbook page at the top of this post, and in the photo above you see the card that I made.  It's a cheerful, all-purpose card.

For the final project, the one that uses up all the scraps, I made...more cards.  I made six in total, and you can see them all together in the photo shown above.

I decorated the insides of some of the cards as well.  These cards have served me well; I have already used a few of them.

That's all from me for today.  I wonder whether my next post will also include vacation photos in some form.  Time will tell.  See you next time.  :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

All-American Post :)

Hi, everyone!  It's time to celebrate teatime (and all things beverage-related) with Elizabeth and Bleubeard at the their blog, Altered Book Lover.

This week, instead of tea, I have a summer drink idea to share.  I actually made these red, white, and blue layered drinks for my family and friends on Memorial weekend back in May, but I thought I'd share the recipe now, since Flag Day is coming up soon.  Of course, many of my readers are not American, but you don't need to be American to enjoy this colorful treat.  Make it with the colors of your country's flag, or just with any colors that you like.  The recipe comes from the first two minutes of this video.
Supplies: background paper from Stamping Station; chalkboard paper from Simple Stories; ribbon from Berwick Offray; title stickers from Echo Park; all other stickers from Bella Blvd; pen from Foray; chipboard from Scrapmatts; rhinestones from Dee's Place; gifted washi tape.

I also have a red, white, and blue scrapbook page to share today.  While I had my vacation photos (from last summer!) out on the table yesterday, I decided to make one more page--just a quickie this time.

The background paper came with the words "Lake Superior" already printed on it, and I used stickers to add the word "Memories."

Ever since I bought a multipack of rhinestones at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar back in March, I've been adding the "bling" to almost every project that I make.  I am not much of a "bling-y" person (is that even a word?) as far as my personal style goes, and yet...I appear to be turning into a bling-y scrapbooker.  Who knew?  :)

Hope you enjoyed this "bling-y" visit to Lake Superior.  For more beverage-related posts, I invite you to stop by Elizabeth and Bleubeard's blog to read all the T-Day posts in their linkup.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Nautical Page

Hi, guys!  Today I have a layout called "Tall Ships" to show you.
Supplies: background paper from McRice; woodgrain paper from KaiserCraft; all other paper from Bazzill; alphabet stickers from Bella Blvd; label stickers & button from October Afternoon; Candi dots from Craftwork; gifted baker's twine & anchor charm; red twine from Canvas Corp.; ribbon from ReStyle; enamel gear from C-Koop Beads of Duluth; rhinestone cabochons from Olla Podrida; black pen from Foray; red & blue pens from Zig; household mini stapler; upcycled tag.

I'm playing along with the City Crafter challenge blog, where the current theme is "nautical."  Although my home state, Minnesota, does not have any ocean shoreline, we do still get visits from oceangoing ships.  Duluth Harbor, on the tip of Lake Superior, is the endpoint of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  The layout that I'm sharing today has photos of historical oceangoing sailing ships, which were visiting Duluth Harbor last summer.

 Here are a few detail shots...
~a metal anchor charm dangles playfully next to my title~

~journaling about historical ships in Duluth Harbor~

~a nautical cluster~ :)

The two navy blue half circles with little stars are actually two halves of the tag from an umbrella that I recently bought.  Since sailors use stars to steer, I upcycled the tag for this page.  There is usually some little upcycled element on my pages--it's like my trademark.  :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  I hope that you have enjoyed this visit to the historical ship exhibit in Duluth Harbor!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fly Away, See the World! (CPC)

Did I pique your curiosity with yesterday's teaser photo?  Here it is again, but this time you can read on to see the full layout and hear the full story behind it.  Though I created this project with a design team prompt in mind, you'll see that the finished layout is full-on Denise style, with lots of upcycling and images from my life.

Now, I have a very ordinary life.  But sometimes magical moments pop up in even the most ordinary of lives.  Kind of like when Wendy flies off with Peter Pan...which just happens to be our prompt for Child's Play Challenges in June.  Are you up for creating a Peter Pan-inspired scrapbook page this month?  Here is our inspiration image...
image source:

Okay, unlike Wendy Darling I have never flown off to Neverland.  But I did have an exciting mini-adventure when my family visited the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Minnesota.  We discovered that a whole section of the zoo was dedicated to Australian animals.  For the first time in our lives, we saw real, live kangaroos.  It was exciting for the whole family, and we enjoyed snapping photos of the animals.  It was like taking a surprise journey to a land that we have only dreamt about visiting.

Supplies: background paper from Lily Bee; alphabet & label stickers from October Afternoon; decorative stickers from Bella Blvd; pens from Zig; Candi dots from Craftwork; thread from Singer; ribbon from ReStyle; button from JKD Studio; cardstock from Colorbok; gifted washi tape; upcycled items--produce netting, canceled postage stamps, customer loyalty punch card.

In addition to the overall "adventure" theme of Peter Pan, I also drew inspiration from the midnight blue background color of the prompt image.  I chose a bold sheet of dark blue dotted paper as my page background.

I let my enthusiasm for the Australian animals show by keeping the focus of the page on their photos.  They are clustered together in a triptych, and the embellishments on and around this triptych really make the photos pop against the dark background.

One of the unique embellishments on this page is the red plastic mesh.  I tucked bits of this mesh (which I upcycled from a bag of oranges) behind all the important parts of the scrapbook page.

Another unique page embellishment is the strip of koala stamps.  When I got a parcel from Australia in the mail recently, I knew that I had to cut off and save those adorable stamps.  I can't think of any page more perfect for them than this one.  I added some zing to the stamps by stenciling red stars onto them.  To do this, I used an old customer loyalty punch card (previously shown in this post) as the stencil.

This month's prize!  image source:

Now it's your turn.  Can you think up a way to make a Peter Pan-inspired scrapbook page?  Share your layout with us on the Child's Play blog; we would love to see what you come up with.  And just to sweeten the deal, one person who uploads a layout to CPC this month will win the lovely prize pictured above.  I'm not kidding when I say that it's lovely; I think that Kaitlin Sheaffer designs gorgeous papers, and I know that whoever wins the "Hello Again" paper pad is going to enjoy it.

That's it for me today.  After a streak of posting three days in a row, I'm going to lay off the blogging until next week.  But, as always, I love your comments, and I'll pay a return visit to all commenters' blogs.  See you again soon!  :)