Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Punches

The challenge this week at Practical Scrappers was to use punches. Since the purchase of my Cricut machines 2 years ago, my punches see more dust than action however my collection of circle Paper Shapers by EK Success are truly my "go-to" tools on a regular basis.

My "Hope Rocks The Beach" layout is a very simple page, with lots of photos from a fundraiser on Fort Myers Beach that I co-chaired a year and a half ago. I used a photo collage template from Scrapbooks Etc to include a bunch of pictures but still maintain a clean design.

My circle punch was used for the number labels that correspond with the numbered list on the right of the LO. I feel horrible when years after taking a picture, I forget the details, so by listing everyone in this manner, I can remember all the FABULOUS people who stepped up to help out a good cause (and had a lot of fun doing it!)

That's all for this week, but come back and visit next Wednesday to see what the DT has in store...

Happy crafting,

Monday, May 3, 2010

One of my fave LO's

On Practical Scrapper's message board, there is a Question of the Day thread asking to share/show your favorite scrapbooking page that you've done that shows a little bit of your style and tell us why it's your favorite. Sounds like a good excuse to post one of my favorite layouts that I have ever done.

Here it is:

I used the menu/mask from the photos as a template for the paper-pieced parrot on the left page. The title "my keets" is short for "parakeets" which is what the children of Parrot Heads are called, is just letters that I drew and cut by hand (this LO was done BmC... Before my Cricut). The beak is yellow card stock that I chalked to give it dimension. On the right edge near the tip of the beak, I wrote lift here... this will reveal my hidden journaling. Because the layout is about a trip to Orlando's Margaritaville, the story is written using Jimmy Buffett song titles (ALL GREEN CAPS) and is shaped like the beak! Here is the journaling:

MAGIC, the kids and I decided to
Christmas shopping. CHANGES IN
was something this family certainly
needed. A HOLIDAY in Orlando would
surely make us feel like BAREFOOT
to be INCOMMUNICADO, I left a
message on my answering machine:
message after the beep.”

We spent a SUNNY AFTERNOON having
a blast SPENDING MONEY (remember I
After an entire day of LIVIN’ IT UP we
realized we were hungry, so we headed
knew that COME MONDAY it would
be back to our CARNIVAL WORLD,
which made us WONDER WHY
it’s CLICHÉ but don’t we all
want to live HAPPILY EVER

Although it’s really a
end with THAT’S MY

On the right page, I used the Margaritaville logo behind my kids as inspiration for the sunset / palm trees paper-piecing. Again, lots of chalk was used for the sun. The title letters for "Margaritaville" was copied from my late husband's favorite t-shirt - a margarita spilling out forming the letters. I outlined each letter with a black glaze pen, added white glaze pen highlights and cut around the entire word. There are spots that I found too intricate to cut out, so I colored them in with black marker, but you really have to look closely to see it.

Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Buttons

This week at Practical Scrappers, the challenge was to use buttons... not one of my favorite things - in fact I have NEVER used a button on a layout and probably never will again, it's just not my thing. I have seen many BEAUTIFUL layouts that have included buttons, it's just not my style I guess.

On to my layout...

The papers are Reminisce's Stripestock Collection and is called "Denise". I felt the colors worked for the photos I chose.

The flowers are Mulberry Street by Petaloo and the buttons are from Hot off the Press. I tied embroidery floss in the buttons to give them a finished look. The ribbon "stems" is just from a spool that's been hanging out in my supplies stash for longer than I can recall.

The phrase was cut on my Cricut using the Alphalicious cartridge.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Glitter / Bling

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I had to skip last week's DT challenge, but this week's challenge at Practical Scrappers was to show your projects that feature glitter, bling, jewels, pearls...all that fun girly stuff! The winner will get their choice of five digi-stamps from Creations by Penny. The deadline to enter is 5 pm ET on SUNDAY.

I had the pleasure of going to the Upper Keys / Islamorada Florida with 2 very good friends of mine to celebrate our birthdays last week. We spent 3 days in the sun, so I decided to use that as the focus for my DT project this week!

We're kind of goofy, fun-loving, VERY friendly girls so we decided to buy a tacky pink plastic flamingo and ask everyone we met to sign it. We called the flamingo "Holiday" as we were on holiday AND we were at Holiday Isle Beach Resort & Marina when we got our first "autograph" (see how goofy we are?)

Okay, back to my project... The PP was from Flair Designs' Paradise Collection and is called "Jungle Fever" - LOVE IT!!!!! As in almost every LO I do, I mounted the PP to CS, but this time I dug deep into my stash and pulled out ancient "Paper Adventures 2-Tones" CS that I purchased WAY back in 2003! These papers were amazing and I wish these babies were still around today. It's sort of like Core'dinations where the front and back are coordinating hues, but with a felt-like texture. Have I mentioned I love paper??? The color was called "Bubble Gum" and it's as yummy as a big hunk of Bazooka!

The flamingo was cut from Core'dination cs (fuscia) using Life's a Beach "fit to page" mode on my Cricut Expression. I did the usual layering and decided it needed more. Way in the back of my "everything else" stash drawer, I had a bag of bright pink feathers (why???) and they were perfect for my flamingo. She's kinda cute, right?

The title letters (Alphalicious) were welded with the sun (Cricut Office Help cartridge) in Design Studio and then layered and adhered together with shadows. I applied Stickles to the letters (fruit punch) and the sun (yellow) for the glitter challenge requirement.

I added a Kaisercraft rhinestone word ("FUN") centered on the bottom of my photo, as well as a few pink rhinestones in 2 of the photo corners for some bling.

There it is... a layout almost as fun as our 3 days in the sun!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Leave a comment if you like my layout and PLEASE become a follower if you are not one yet... I'll return the favor!

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Rub-ons

This week's challenge at Practical Scrappers is to use rub-ons - something that I, admittedly, am NOT a fan of. I bought some to use for the challenge and didn't end up having time to create a layout around the rub-ons - which is what I would have to do in this case. I had been working on scrapbook layouts with non-scrapping friends last week. We started on Monday and needed an entire book done before Friday - it was a moving away gift for a family that are dear friends of mine and Will (the husband) was leaving on Tuesday morning, so his surprise going away party was on Friday night.

On Friday while working on a "Friends" page and cooking up a huge batch of gumbo for the party, I decided to use some old rub-ons that I've had for a while on the layout, which I was able to submit as my project. Talk about getting it done on the 11th hour!

Here is my 2-page layout "You've got a friend in me".

Left page:

here's the right page:

The left page has an oversized tag cut from tags, bags, boxes and more. I printed the lyrics to the Randy Newman song "You've got a friend in me" (we all know it from Toy Story) and used that as the journaling tag. I knew this going away party was going to be emotional and our friend Will needed something to remind him of his friends here in Florida. I didn't want the journaling to be too personal - he's a tough guy, so I opted for this song. The photos on the layout were from various times we all spent together at a bar where Will's wife (and one of my best friends) Krissy works. My boyfriend plays guitar and sings there on Sundays so the music theme seemed appropriate. It went over well - and there were a lot of tears.

On the lower right corner of the left page, there is a mini album, which is held closed by sheer yellow/gold ribbon tied in a bow. It's folded accordian style and houses 7 photos between the 2 sides of the pages. Here's a close-up of it opened:

The right page also holds a bunch of photos, but this time I used a tag holder that I find quite handy, unique and fun! I've used both of these multiple photo LO techniques on a previous layout (Emily the Destroyer) but both LOs look so different - it's just a great way to get a lot of photos on a 2-page spread.

The tag holder was made from a #10 business size envelope that was folded, inked, & covered with coordinating paper. It holds 4 tags and each has a photo on both sides. I discovered this technique by visiting Following the PaperTrail. Laura has a lot of very cool things on her blog... check her out when you get a chance. You won't be disappointed! Here's a link for a YouTube video with directions on how to make the tag holder.

Here's a close-up of horizontal tags that slide into the tag holder:

and here is a close-up of the vertical tags that slide into the top of the tag holder:

Keep in mind, more tags can be added, I just chose to have 4 double-sided photo-tags for this layout. The final photo count on this 2-page layout: 18! Had I chosen to make the journaling tag a lot smaller I certainly would have been able to include at least 1 more photo on that page. In fact this layout had the potential to hold well over 20 photos without crowding them all in - gotta love that! I used Great Big Brads from Hot off the Press with quirky little HotP rub-ons on 2 of the photo tags and 1 on the journaling tag. The tags were all distressesd with Tim Holtz distress inks (spiced marmalade & dried marigold).

The striped paper was from Reminisce. It's double sided - the quilt-pattern you see under the vertical tags is on the reverse side.

Title letters were cut from Alphalicious, the music notes were from Hannah Montana and the tags were all TBB&M.

That's it for this week. I'll be celebrating my birthday this weekend so hopefully I'll have a few funny pictures to scrap in the coming weeks. My mom is doing her annual Easter Egg hunt on Sunday for the kids so there's another photo-op!

Thanks for visiting my blog and be sure to check out Practical Scrappers to see the great rub-on projects my DT sisters have created this week.

Til next Wednesday...

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use something that you've had in your stash for over a year

Spring is here so it's time to clean out your storage bins & drawers, dust off those packages of stickers that you HAD to have but never used and use up those patterned papers that you've been holding on to for that special page!

This week Practical Scrappers wants you to dig into that stash and use something that you have had for over a year. It can be a product or tool and you only need to use one item to qualify. The Grand Prize winner will receive two free digi stamps from The Stamping Boutique. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. on Saturday, so hop on over to Practical Scrappers and submit your project. My Design Team sisters and I would LOVE to see what's been hiding in your stash!

Here's my "Snow Much Fun" layout for this week:

I have had these papers from Hot Off The Press' "Mixing Christmas Papers" since 2002 and it's really great to use them! I wanted to bring in a little purple from the photos and the patterned paper so I matted the 2 photos in purple, then white, then a coordinating HotP paper from the same collection and finally another white mat. I felt that because the geometric pattern on the paper was so busy, the quadruple mats helped to tone it down, while still tying it together.

The glitzy snowflakes cascading down the layout are from Jolee's Boutique - another item that has been floating around in my stash since about 2003. I love how well the silver & pearl beads and clear rhinestones play with the cool blues and purples of the papers.

Because this month's sponsor is The Stamping Boutique, the DT members all were asked to use a digi stamp on a card or layout during the month. I chose an adorable Snowman Scrapbook Journal, which helped me do another snowy layout from our old home in New England. I colored the happy fellow with colored pencils, then applied Glossy Accents on him. While the Glossy Accents was still wet, I sprinkled a healthy dose of Martha Stewart Crafts "Snow" glitter all over to give him a frosty look. This glitter is a lot chunkier than normal glitter so it does look like ice crystals - take a closer look:

After the first coat of glossy accents dried, I applied more to his hat, scarf & mittens as well as along the exposed edges of the journaling block and the bottoms of his feet. I cut the entire digi stamp out and used 3d foam dots to affix him to the page.

The title letters ("Much Fun") are from the Tear Drop Cricut cartridge and were welded using my Gypsy and "Snow" is from Gypsy Wanderings. I applied Liquid Pearls White Opal (I've had since '08) to the tear drop letters and Distress Rock Candy Stickles to the "Snow" title. I also added some additional rhinestone bling on the snowflakes for a little extra sparkle.

I think I'm done with snowy layouts for a while. The sun is shining here in Southwest Florida and it looks like we're back to our normal 80 degree temperatures for a while... sounds like there may be a few beach days with my girlfriends along with some bright beachy layouts in the coming weeks!

I hope the sun is shining, the snow is melting, the rain has stopped and the crocuses are popping up where you are! Thanks for visiting my blog and...

happy crafting,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Practical Scrappers Sketch Friday (March 19)

This week's sketch at Practical Scrappers comes from the very talented Ann-Katrin. I LOVE her work!!! Here is her sketch:

And here is my "Rock Out' layout based upon her sketch:

I did take some artistic freedom with the sketch as you can tell... I omitted the horizontal and vertical paper strips because it just wouldn't work with my background paper (DCWV "Rockstar Stack") or my Cricut cuts.

The entire layout was designed and welded in Cricut DesignStudio, which made placement of the photo and all of the paper-pieced die cut layers SOOOOOO simple and precise! I used the Hannah Montana Cricut cartridge for the funky guitar and the word "ROCK", George and Basic shapes for the photo mat, Home Decor and Home Accents for the swirls. and Black Letter for the letters "OUT". You may not be able to see in the picture but I inked the edges of the "Rock Out" letters with "Tattered Rose" Distress Ink and the guitar with "Broken China" Distrss Ink. I love the contrast between the tattered rose and yellow CS (in real life).

The photo is my DD Alyssa when she was about 4-years-old... she's going to be 17 next month - Guess I'm a little behind on my scrapping, LOL!

Thanks Ann-Katrin for another AMAZING and INSPIRING sketch layout. I can't wait to see what you come up with next, and thank YOU for visiting my blog. Please leave a comment and become a follower, if you are not one yet!

Thanks and happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Chipboard

This week's challenge at Practical Scrappers is to use Chipboard. I had originally planned to submit my Cruise word book, but I didn't have the photos that I needed to complete the book in time. The layout below is my "Plan B":

I have a confession to make... I'm not a huge fan of manufactured shaped chipboard pieces. I own a lot of it, in fact, I have a lot of these Technique Tuesday full sheet sets, but I can't seem to take them out of the packing and use it. This wave has been floating around my craft room forever!

I used acrylic paint to cover the large wave from Technique Tuesday's "FUNdamentals of Water" Chipboard
in my layout above, then added Dimensional Magic to give it some shine. Before it was dry, I added some clear glass beads to replicate bubbles.

The chipboard piece in the upper left corner is also from Technique Tuesday. I inked the outside frame, stamped the "Life's a Beach" on the inside and then traced over the stamped words with Stickles.

The date tag was made from leftover chipboard using a template that I made from tags, bags, boxes and more and my Cricut. I inked the edges, used Stickles to write the date and then attached fibers to the ends to anchor the tag on my layout.

The paper is one of my favorites... it's from Flair Designs and it's called "Paradise Found" - fun, fun, fun!!!

Thanks for visiting and...

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cruise Word / Shape Book

I am submitting this Word / Shape book as an additional Practical Scrappers project for the Chipboard Challenge:

This is a book that I made for my Cricut DesignStudio 102 class that I will be teaching later this month at Scrapbooking Goodies in Cape Coral FL. In this 2-part class, I will be showing students how to create their own unique word / shape book. This is an example of one of the many different formats that they can use and I will have other types on display at the store so they can decide which type they would like to make.

The cardstock is all Core'dinations and I chose that because of it's thickness - something that I think is very important for these shape / word books. I used recycled cereal boxes and Pepsi can 12-pack boxes for each page, spraying each piece with Archival Mist to make it acid free. Each page was cut twice from CS and once from the recycled box "chipboard".

The first page is the welded title letters for the book - in this example "Cruise". I used George for the rectangle on the left side of the page, and Life is a Beach for the letters and wave. I used a new type of Core'dinations for the wave - "Gemstones"... be sure to look for these beauties at your LSS!

The second page is pockets that hold tags that I made from tags bags boxes and more and my ship credit card. You may not be able to tell from the photo but there are actually 2 rows of pockets. The back side of every page (not shown) also have "Gemstones" waves that act as a pocket for photos or tags.

Page 3 is a cruise ship from Life is a beach (LiaB). Simple page, no real plans for photos or journaling, but they could be added.

The next page is dolphins from LiaB - again, nothing special here except flipping an image, adding some welded circles & rectangles so there isn't so many cut-out areas and basic layering / paper-piecing. I wanted more uncut areas on the back to hold more pictures / journaling tags.

Here are the happy dolphins:

I decided to add a full page after the dolphin page with a beach and palm tree. The "beach" is another pocket. If you look closely you will see a new product that I just had to try - Mudd Puddles! You can get more information from their website, but it is pre-mixed glue and sand that you spread with a knife on your project, just like frosting a cake. Once it is dry, it will not crack, flake, or peel off and it's extremely flexible PLUS it's acid-free... very cool stuff!

I used 2 different colors on this page: Malibu (sand) and Marine (water).

Finally on the last shape page I used more Mudd Puddles on a sandcastle cut from Everyday Paper Dolls. This time I chose "Bahama Beach" sand and after it dried, I inked the edges with some walnut stain distress ink applied to a fantastix, as well as adding a few faux shadows on the turrets and towers.

To finish the book off, I ended with a blue full page that I can adhere photos to.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about my book.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use a white pen

This week Practical Scrappers wants you to get out your white pens/markers and use them. They will have a Grand Prize Winner again that will get two digi stamps from The Stamping Boutique.

My personal favorite white pen is Inkssentials Opaque Pen (I use them quite often) and this week I had a lot of fun doodling with it.

Here's my DT submission for this week - "Snow Day"

I have to thank my boyfriend Tom's Aunt Ann for sending him some spectacular winter photos from her home in New Jersey. As soon as I saw this photo, I knew I had to scrap it. Growing up in southeast New Hampshire and moving to northeast Massachusetts as an adult, I remember storms like this well and to be honest, I was never a big fan of snow. I remember always thinking as a child that my parents were living in the wrong part of the country. Watching Rex Trailer's "Boomtown" every weekend and hearing all about the wonderful February Vacation trips to Florida with Rex that our family could never afford (one of the show's sponsors was a travel / tour company) convinced me that I should have been born in Florida. 30 years later I finally made it "home" to Florida where we never have to shovel snow. I've often said scenes like this photo are perfect - in a postcard or a calendar, but now I think they're best in a scrapbook layout!

Back to my layout... The cardstock I chose to use is Core'dinations Black Magic Amulet, Whitewash Cellar Door, and Core Essentials Marine Blue.

Starting with the black magic, I sanded the edges to reveal the "Amulet" blue core color. I matted the photo on white CS which I then placed on a larger piece of Marine Blue that I had added torn and layered peices of whitewash cellar door. I love how the blue torn edges give the effect of piles of snow! I decided to overlap a torn piece of the whitewash on top of the photo to tie it all together.

After adhering the oversized photo mat on to the black magic CS, I doodled icicles on the top edge of the mat. When I was happy with their appearance, I added some Ranger Glossy Accents (LOVE THIS STUFF!) to give them more of an icy look. Because I didn't want the icicles just dangling there by themselves, I anchored them by applying Ranger Liquid Pearls in White Opal above them, replicating the snow on the roof. Below is a closeup of how that looks. Notice that the Liquid Pearls is on both the mat and the background CS because I wanted a bumpy edge - just like snow drifts:

I used the white Inkssentials pen for my journaling on the right of the photo. I'm not thrilled with the way it came out, but because of the texture in the CS, it really couldn't have been much better. To add to the winter scene, I doodled random snow flakes on the black magic CS and added some doodled white dots to create the illusion of falling snow in the distance.

The large snow flakes were cut using the "When it's cold outside" seasonal Cricut cartridge and the title was cut from Winter Woodland cartridge. I added Distress Stickles in "Rock Candy" to the snowflakes, including the small one in the title, to further the glistening snow effect. I like the way Distress Stickles aren't as glitzy as regular Stickles...they have a subtle appearance yet offer a dramatic impact - well done Tim Holtz / Ranger! I added the large snowflakes to the layout using 3d foam dots for dimension:

Make sure you share your white pen / marker projects with us at Practical Scrappers. We'd love to see how you use these tools! And leave a comment here on my blog to let me know what you think of my icicles - it's been a while since I've seen real ones :)

Thanks for visiting my blog and...

Happy crafting,

Friday, March 5, 2010

02/10 Scrapbooking Goodies' DT Challenge: Black Magic, Whitewash & Core Essentials Core'dinations

For February 2010 the Scrapbooking Goodies Design Team challenge was to use Core'dinations Black Magic, Whitewash and Core Essentials cardstock on a layout or card, but the REAL challenge was to use as many different techniques as possible with the cardstock: antique it, sand it, tear it, emboss it - don't JUST use it as CS.

With all that in mind, here is my layout using all those techniques, with one additional trick "sanding using a template" added in that I will explain a little further in this post:

The CS colors I chose for this layout are Whitewash Window Pane, Whitewash Cellar Door, and Core Essentials Marine Blue. I did another non-related layout using Black Magic that I am submitting for next week's Practical Scrappers' DT challenge but I can't go into the techniques I used on that page until Wednesday...

To create the background image, I cut a road sign from my "Street Sign" cricut cartridge at fit to page. I used a repositionable adhesive to keep the shape in place on the Whitewash Window Pane CS and sanded around the outside edge of the paper, leaving just the sign shape as white and revealing the black core along the outer edge (additional technique: sanding using a template). To give the shape of the road sign more definition, I traced the outline with a Zig Millinnium black marker. I felt that it made it stand out better.

To give the photo mats a little variety, I ran Whitewash Cellar Door CS through my Cuttlebug using a D'vine Swirls embossing folder, then I sanded the embossed areas to reveal the blue core (technique: embossing).

The subtitle letters (headin' down) were cut on my cricut using the Sans Serif cartridge and the title letters (US1) were cut using Street Sign. "Wish you were here" is a phrase from the Going Places cartridge.

The oversized mat was done by tearing and layering whitewash Cellar Door and core essentials Marine Blue CS. The tag was created by adhering scraps of the embossed, and torn CS as well as a small scrap that I crumpled up, smoothed out and then sanded (technique: antiquing) to a store bought tag. A scrap of sheer ribbon was looped through and the tag was 3d Foam dotted onto the layout.

While this layout is simple and basic, it does show a lot of different uses for Core'dinations cardstock. Check back on Wednesday to see another layout using Black Magic, Whitewash and core essentials CS.

With the DT submissions all in at Scrapbooking Goodies, it is now time for the store customers to take the challenge. We're challenging the customers to bring in their Core'dinations project using as many techniques possible with these 3 types of CS. One lucky customer will win a package of Core'dinations CS from the store. No email or online submissions accepted - in-store only.

Next month's SG DT challenge is Embossing - dry, heat, Cuttlebug, whatever...

Thanks for stopping by and...

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Inks or Chalk

Arrgggg me hearties and welcome t' me blog!

No I haven't been watching too much SpongeBob and I'm not practicing for "International Talk like a Pirate day". I'm just setting the mood for my Practical Scrappers Design Team Project: "Pirate Girls".

This week the challenge at Practical Scrappers is for you is use either chalks or inks (any kind of inks: alcohol, dye, pigment etc), and this month their sponsor is Stamping Boutique! One Grand Prize winner will receive 2 digital stamps of their choice. Check out Stamping Boutique to see what they offer and we look forward to seeing what you create!

Last week I mentioned how excited I was about this week's project - inks! If you had asked me a couple of years ago what I thought about inks I wouldn't have had much to say... I wasn't a huge fan. Well now I use ink on almost every project I create, especially Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I love how they can turn a piece of blah paper into something amazing. If you have never tried distress inks, I highly recommend checking out Tim's website and watching his demo videos. I bet you'll be running to your nearest LSS or craft store to pick up a few. But watch out... the colors are amazing, the look you'll get from these inks is fabulous and soon you'll be back buying every color available. I know... I'm now an "inkaholic", which brings me to my DT submission for this week:

The brown background paper is from HotP's "Leather" Papers. The name is deceiving because these papers just look like tanned and branded leather. I added to the leather-look by inking the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink. The burlap looking paper is from AdornIt Carolee's Creations "Western Collection" and is called "Heroes and Cowboys". I love looking for paper in unexpected sections of my LSS... I found this paper with farm/4H/horse papers, but I knew I wanted to use it for my pirate layout. The paper has words down the right side and some very light scroll designs in 2 corners, which the distress ink covers a bit. I tore the paper on two sides removing the words, then I made little slits along some of the edges to give the paper a frayed look. After I was happy with the shape, I used Tim Holtz Distress ink in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain to give the edges a burned and aged appearance. The close-up below shows the details and how the inks really add character to the papers:

The title letters were cut with my Cricut using the Black Letter cartridge. If you like the look of that font, you better snag that cartridge quickly - Provo Craft recently announced it is retiring that Solutions Cartridge (and a few more!). I rubbed a little black ink on the letters to tone down the red cardstock just a little. While I'm talking about the red CS, if you notice the little scull and crossbones welded next to the "s" in "girls" you may see a hint of pink in the color. Being the silly girl that I am, I mistakenly cut it out of red when I was cutting the letters (d'oh!). Not wanting to waste paper (save the trees) I decided to cover it up with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in "Picket Fence". As it dried, the red from the paper bled into the paint, giving it a pink tone. Ok so what's a girl to do (still trying to use that cut!) with a pink skull??? Walnut Stain distress to the rescue. The ink covered enough of the color to make me happy while bringing out more of the cracks in the crackle paint. Problem solved.

That skull was cut from my Indie Art cartridge and there is also another skull on the lower right corner that was cut from Life is a Beach, coated with distress crackle paint and inked with Walnut stain, only I popped it onto 3D foam dots to make it stand out a bit.

My absolute FAVORITE part of this page is the tags...

Don't they look like aged leather with funky piratical words and images branded into them? Want that look? Grab some brown Bazzill Basics paper, the kind with just a tiny bit of texture yet still on the smooth side. I wish I knew what it's called but here's a close-up of what this texture looks like:

This is NOT the color that I used, which was actually a little lighter and I can't find more of it. If you know the name of this CS can you leave me a comment and let me know so I can run out a buy a stack of it? (hehehe!)

So back to my tags... the key to getting this look is to start with a non-stick craft sheet. Working with an ink blending tool, dab onto a walnut stain distress ink pad several times until you can see the ink on the foam, then gently rub in a circular motion beginning on the craft sheet and up onto the edge of the paper. You want to have a darker edge on the tag. Then as the amount of ink decreases on the blending tool, start to move a little further onto the tag to blend the ink with the paper. The subtle texture of this Bazzill CS allows the ink to kiss the bumps leaving just a trace of color. I added a lot of walnut stain to the edges to really age them. I used the same ink technique with the photo mat and small journal tags. The stamped images were from Inque Boutique Savoir Faire "Savvy" (Adventure, Treasure and the pirate ship on the large tag) and Stampendous (palm tree island, compass and treasure map). I used black Stazon to stamp the images and words on my tags. The tags were all cut from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More Cricut cartridge. The key and fibers were all from a HotP fiber pack.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have a question about these inks.

Thanks for visiting my blog and...

Happy crafting,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moriarty Girls

I've been procrastinating doing this layout - not knowing exactly where to begin. I feared not being able to do it justice in a classy vintage style. After taking the "heritage" plunge with Dad's sisters, I jumped into "Moriarty Girls" without looking back (no pun intended)!

Before I get into the details of the layout, I have to describe the telephone conversation I had two days ago with my 84-year-old mom Dorothy (pictured in the back row far right in the photo above). I had told her about the layout I did for the photo of my dad's sisters and told her that the next page I was working on was using a photo of her and her sisters. Without me going into much detail about the photo with her, she began to tell me this story:

"It was Easter Sunday and my sisters and I were at the (Lawrence) Common. Anna was wearing a large hat because Lance had accidentally closed a door on her hand and she had been crying so she wanted to hide her eyes. Mary was wearing a brown checkered suit that she had for a while, but the rest of us all were wearing brand new outfits. It was before your father and I got married so I was able to afford an expensive outfit. I really loved that one... the jacket came to a point in the back, almost like tails. Grace had her hair up in a rat's nest - that's what they called it back then, you know. It was like a roll with cotton batting in it that we would wrap our hair around. Joan was standing in front of her mother, Rosemarie was sitting next to Mary and Annemarie was sitting on Mary's lap. Lance took the picture and it had to be around 1946 because your father and I got married in '47."

WOW... all these details without having the photo in front of her. She actually went into more detail describing the colors of each of their outfits but I was blown away by her recollection of a brief moment nearly 64 years ago and didn't write it all down as I sat looking at the black and white photo.

These sisters were the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They endured hardship, suffering, health issues, as well as enjoyed good times all while remaining to be best friends throughout the years. My Mom is the only one left to tell these stories and I hope to document as many of them as I possibly can on layouts such as this to share with my family and relatives.

Here are the materials used in the layout:

Patterned papers: Hot Off The Press "Busy Scrapper's Solution Vintage Papers"

Inks: Tim Holtz Distress Ink: Walnut Stain, Pine Needles & Aged Mahogany
VersaMagic: Pink Petunia

Paper Roses: MyMoments (Pink)

Sheer ribbon: unknown

I used an Anna Griffin technique for the pleated border as well as the photo corner treatment.

The journaling was placed on top of more paper pleats and I used 3D foam dots to adhere it to the layout. The journaling was done on my computer using "American Typewriter" font. I also added additional 3D foam dots inside some of the pleats to give it more definition.

I hope that I did these remarkable ladies proud with this layout.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Stamps

It's Wednesday so that means it's time for me to post another project for Practical Scrappers!

This week's challenge is Stamps! You can use any kind of stamp - digi, rubber, acrylic, foam - we want to see all of them! This week there will be a top three and a Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize winner will receive bonding powder and a Stampee foil of their choice. What's Stampee foil you ask? Go to Practical Scrappers and check it out - they are a brand new sponsor of ours and we are delighted to have them! PS will be featuring projects with Stampee Foil every day this week!

For my project, I decided to get my green on in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day and here is what I came up with:

The polka dot paper was from Hot off the Press. All the little Irish themed stamps were from Studio G. I stamped the images onto green CS with black Stazon, then heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. After I had enough of the little images stamped and embossed, I pulled out my trusty craft sheet, tapped a tiny bit of green Perfect Pearls onto it, then misted my craft sheet with water. I mixed the pearls and water, then painted inside the embossed areas - the embossing acts as a resist so it rolls right off the stamped image plus it also contains the pearly paint mixture inside the embossed lines... cool! I continued the process with white and gold Perfect Pearls until I had all the images painted. At this point I chose to hit the painted images with a heat gun just to speed up the drying but you can just let them dry on their own.

Here is a close-up of how shimery and fun the Perfect Pearls look:

I cut the images out in 1 1/4" squares then matted them onto 1 1/2" black squares. Now what would a St. Patrick's page be without a wee litte bit o' the gold??? I had some leftover gold coin confetti and matted 4 pieces onto green then black squares of cs, then alternated them with the stamped images onto a white strip of cs, which was also matted on black leaving just enough room above the blocks for a little journaling. Three of the stamped squares were adhered to the border with 3D pop dots and the gold coin blocks were just glued straight onto the border, adding a little variety.

I used 3d foam dots on the remaining 8 stamped images and put 4 on each side of the page giving the layout a very symmetrical look - very different for me!

The title letters were cut using my Cricut and San Serif cartridge, the shamrock was from Paper Doll Dress Up. To get the shading and shadows just right on the shamrock I went over the edges of the cut BEFORE removing it or the leftover paper from the mat with a fantastix loaded with black ink. This is such a simple way to achieve an inked edge look to any cut without having to try to run an inkpad over the edges. All you do is simply trace the cut with the fantastix until you get the desired look. I remove the image, check it to see if the ink covers the edges enough and if not, replace it on my mat where it was cut and add more ink. As the ink is removed from the fantistix, I like to blend the inked edges up onto the cut very subtly to give the cut a more realistic 3D look. I also use this technique to add shadows to my cuts, which you may be able to see on the right side and bottom of the shamrock's stem.

I'm very excited about next week's challenge at PS... but I can't tell you what it is yet! Make sure you come back and visit my blog next Wednesday and check out my DT challenge layout... I really LOVE it and am looking forward to sharing how you can get a very cool look using just a few supplies and some Bazzill CS.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SOUS 2/19 Sketch

This week's Stuck on U Sketch is another by Liz Qualman. Here is the sketch:

and here is my rendition of her sketch:

The photo is a great shot of 2 of my dad's sisters that my cousin uploaded to Facebook several months ago. I knew I wanted to do a layout using that photo and even picked out what I felt was the perfect paper for it - I just didn't know what I wanted the layout to look like. I have never done a vintage layout before but I have so many pictures that I want to scrap so I'm glad I got my feet wet with this photo and Liz' sketch.

I used Cosmo Cricket "Everafter: Something Old" paper, distressing the edges a bit with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo and Spiced Marmalade distress inks. I used the same colors of distress inks on the plain cream cardstock oversized mat to tone it down, then using walnut stain distress, I inked the edges to give it more definition. I double matted the photo with cream and butterscotch CS and inked the edge of the cream with weathered wood.

The butterscotch flourishes were cut on my Cricut with the Home Decor cartridge, then I painted a light wash of water and gold Perfect Pearls to make them sparkle ever-so-slightly. The scalloped border below the photo was cut using Accent Essentials cartridge and I placed some Best Occasions by Colorbok self adhesive ribbon between the photo and scallop edge as well as 3 self adhesive pearls (Target) for a little sophisticated vintage bling.

The tag was printed from my computer using "American Typewriter" font but I decided to format a few letters throughout the journaling to mimic the stuck keys and different keystroke pressure of an old typewriter. I crumpled then distressed the tag with more spiced marmalade and vintage photo, then gave it a misting of water & gold perfect pearls. After drying it with my heat gun, I added a little walnut stain distress to the edges and a bit on the surface to accentuate the wrinkles. The sheer ribbon added a soft and feminine look to it.

My favorite page element has to be the flowers. They are handmade out of paper. I used a fantistix and traced the outlines of the petals with vintage photo distress ink and after they were assembled I went back and painted some of the edges with a little water and gold Perfect Pearls. After I had the page together I decided to add just a dot of "Frayed Burlap" distress Stickles to the centers of the flowers.

Here's a close-up of one of the flowers so you can see the subtle shine of the Perfect Pearls and the Distress Stickles:

Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SOUS 2/12 Sketch - my first submission

So, I think I'm getting a little more confident with my work. I mean I LOVE my layouts and other people seem to like them too. I just have been hesitant in submitting anything other than my design team work... until today.

I recently saw this sketch on Stuck On U Sketches:

This is a direct quote from SOUS:
"This week we have chosen one created by Liz Qualman. You can visit Liz and see more of her work at We hope you will come back next week for a VERY special treat from Liz to us for you! You won't want to miss it! But this week we have a little TWIST on the challenge. You must use the sketch AND you must use RED or PINK on your layout! It doesn't have to be valentine-ish... just use one of those colors somewhere on your project..."

As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! I had this amazing photo of my youngest daughter and it was perfect for this sketch challenge!

Here is my take on Liz Qualman's sketch:

The patterned papers were from HotP (striped and polka dot), Doodlebug Design (checked) and the speckled is unknown :(

I used my favorite Cricut font cartridge Alphalicious for the title letters - it just adds to the playfulness of the layout, don't you think?

Practical Scrapper's challenge for this week is flowers so I thought I would keep the theme going by using some homemade sunflowers for the embellishment.

After cutting the flower centers and stacking them, I used "pine needles" and "walnut stain" distress ink applied to a Fantastix to tap ink on the jagged edges, softening them a bit and giving them a more realistic look. Here's a close-up of the flowers:

I'm really thrilled to finally have this photo in my scrapbook where it belongs instead of in a box full of photos where nobody can see it.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by and...

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Flowers

Greetings from Southwest Florida!

Normally I would post my PS DT submission first thing on Wednesday morning (or late Tuesday night) but I've been up since 4:45am, it's relatively quiet in my house at the moment (so I can think), and I plan on plopping on the couch to watch TV tonight until I can't keep my eyes open, (although MY favorite show "The Biggest Loser" isn't on this week) so I decided to post this now.

Here's this week's Design Challenge From Practical Scrappers:

"It's cold and there's snow in 49 states (not here in SW Florida though!) but it's definitely time for a break from winter. This week we want you to use up flower supplies - you can make your own, use some primas, put a creative twist on a different supply to make flowers - whatever you'd like!"

All that said, here's my Design Team submission for Wednesday, February 17th:

In keeping with my goal of scrapping a lot of my older photos as well as my current ones, I decided to design a layout for another photo from our Disney World Summer 2004 trip. The kids and I went to the "Spirit of Aloha" dinner show at the Polynesian Resort and it was so much fun! Alyssa even got into the "Aloha Spirit" by joining other kids to learn how to hula!

The paper I used in this layout was "Aloha Chic" by STARfish Dreams, Inc. I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Dusty Concord to tone down the background just a tad. In all honesty, I was having trimmer issues and couldn't get a straight cut to save myself! When I finally managed to cut way too much more off the edge than I originally wanted I noticed the blade had mangled the paper's edge (urggg!) so distress to the rescue! I'm very pleased with the result.

The hibiscus flowers were cut using my Story Book Cricut cartridge as was the accent frame surrounding the photo. I accented the stamins with yellow stickles to make them pop. To embellish the white paper to the left and right of the photo, I turned to my Cuttlebug and a "Frills" embossing folder. I also used the embossing folder on the little journaling tag. The title letters were cut using Don Juan Cricut cartridge.

Don't forget to submit your own project at Practical Scrappers. This week we will have a winner for the project that uses the most flowers, a winner for the most creative use of flowers, and a winner for the favorite project. The design team is looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Even if you don't have a flower project to submit, take a few minnutes to check out all the projects that have been submitted by the design team as well as all the submissions by papercrafters just like you. I'm sure you'll find a lot of great ideas and tons of flowery inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by and...

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Brads

This week's challenge at Practical Scrappers was to use brads, something we paper crafters all have and use often. Because my projects are posted on Wednesdays, I also have to use my Cricut when designing my projects - a bonus for me as I love to use my Cricut!

Here is my completed layout:

I chose to use some paper that I have had for years in order to get a masculine look for this layout marking my son's 10th birthday. The paper is from Hot Off The Press' Busy Scrapper's "Boys to Men" collection. The cool thing about these collections are that they are arranged in the book so that papers coordinate nicely and also include tags, letters and other embellishments that make creating layouts quick and easy.

The tiled paper on the left side was torn and inked, then I placed 14 black mini brads along the left top and bottom corners to accentuate the lines in the paper. I attached the pre-made tag to the layout with a Great Big Brad that I altered by adding a "Snap Shot" rub-on to the top. The letter tiles used on the tag were also from the HotP collection.

The "Happy Birthday" title came from the Beyond Birthday's Cricut cartridge and the very cool "10" border was from Graphically Speaking, a cart that I have to admit I have never used before but will use often now that I have explored all it has to offer.

Don't forget to submit your own project at Practical Scrappers. This week we will have a winner for the project that uses the most brads, a winner for the most creative use of brads, and a winner for the favorite project. The design team is looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Thanks for stopping by and...

Happy crafting,

Friday, February 5, 2010

This weekend's sketch at Practical Scrappers

Here is the sketch by Ann-Katrin for this weekend on Practical Scrappers:

And here is my layout based upon the sketch:

I used Nikki Sivils paper for the background, adhered to plain ol' black cardstock. The stickers are from Reminisce (diploma and stars), and the title was cut using Base Camp.

Easy-peasy layout but I really like how it came out!

Thanks for looking and we'll see you on Wednesday for next week's challenge on Practical Scrappers. Until then...

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This week's challenge at Practical Scrappers was to use a die cut machine (any type) so I chose to use my Cricut Expression. I love all the choices I have at my fingertips with my Cricut machines and cartridges.

Here's my layout for this week's challenge:

The photo has been sitting in a box begging to be scrapped since 2004 - yep, I'm a little behind. My son Zack, the little guy in the front, turns 10 today so I guess I better get that entire trip scrapped soon!

I used
Animal Kingdom for the animal blackouts and just adhered them to the page. The funky palms were cut from my Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge (cave girl) inked, cut apart and 3d dotted on for dimension. The title letters were welded in Design Studio and cut using Don Juan.

The tag was crumpled and distressed with Tim Holtz Distress inks then spritzed with a perfect pearls mixture. You can't tell in the picture but there is a little shine on the tag when light hits it - fun!

Be sure to stop by Practical Scrappers and check out all the projects that the talented ladies on the Design Team have created and submit your die cut project before Saturday at 5pm ET.

See you next Wednesday on Practical Scrappers, but I have a lot more to share in the meantime here on my blog so be sure to become a follower and visit often.

Happy crafting,

Monday, February 1, 2010

01/10 Scrapbooking Goodies' DT Challenge: Theme of your choice!

The DT challenge for January was to pick any theme and do a card or layout using products from the store... SIMPLE! Well, seeing that I am at the store quite frequently and I am the store owner Teresa's go-to girl for opinions, thoughts, suggestions and assistance she often times tells me what she would like me to do for the challenge - or even selects the materials she wants me to use. January was no exception :) Her sample layouts using "dog" themed products were very basic and limited (I think there is 1 in the store) so she asked me to do a dog layout. I think she wanted me to do a layout for our new puppy Treble, but that will have to wait.

Here is my layout for January 2010:

Left page

Right Page:

The patterned papers and stickers are from Reminisce's "Good Boy" collection - a very cool line with double-sided papers that can be used for many type of layouts - not just dogs. The masculine stripes and the rich warm colors make this collection a real winner for me.

Title letters were cut using All Mixed Up (Emily) and Plantin Schoolbook (The Destroyer) and the paw prints were cut from Mickey and Friends. Tags were cut from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More.

I think the journaling is super funny! I did it from Emily's perspective, as if she dictated her story to me and I just typed it up for her. Here's a couple of close-ups...

Left page:
Right Page:

The tags all pull out and have "evidence" photos of a few of the things Emily has destroyed. I will be changing the ribbon pulls when I bring this into the store. The sheer ribbon keeps sliding off the tags and I'm not 100% happy with the way it looks. The tags were distressed with Tim Holtz distress inks (spiced marmalade, aged mahogany, brushed corduroy, vintage photo and walnut stain - yep ALL 5 of them)

The tag holder was made by using a #10 business size envelope. I have seen this done a couple of times on a couple of blogs and directions can be found by watching this YouTube Video from Following the Papertrail. She's got a lot of very cool things on her blog... check her out when you get a chance. You won't be disappointed!

This last photo is an accordian fold mini-album that holds 7 additional photos, all tied together with a beautiful satin maroon and tan ribbon.

This 2-page spread holds 16, yes SIXTEEN photos! It was a lot of fun to make and it may be one of my favorites.

Next month's SG Design Team Challenge: "Ebony and Ivory" use Core'dinations Black Magic and Whitewash cardstock for a layout or card.

Happy crafting,

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Practical Scrappers Friday sketch 1/29/10 (an update)

Yikes! In my rush to post my sketch layout this morning, I completely forgot about the title letters that I had stickled last night and needed to wait to dry before I added them to the shadow letters already adhered on the LO (oops!). Being the dork-head that I am and the late hour, I had attempted to help the drying process for the stickles along by using my heat gun - only I overlooked the fact that the heat gun would melt my cricut mat... d'oh!

Here is what the completed layout looks:

And here is a closeup of the stickled title letters:

I also took a closeup photo of the border I created using the bubbles corner adorner by EK Success:

I really DO like the way it came out :)

Thanks for looking and...

Happy crafting,