Monday, August 26, 2013

My New Design Team

I wanted to share with you all that I am part of Paper House Production's new design team! They carry a lot of products for scrapbooking, gifts and home decor.  I'll be working with their scrapbooking papers and stickers over the next several months, and I can't wait to show you all the projects I'll be creating. I'm so excited to be a part of this creative team. 
Come by and meet everyone on the team!

Thanks so much for stoppin' by,

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Fishy Wall Hanging

The Project
I made this framed wall hanging of my nephew, Fisher, eating fish for the first time. His reaction was a happy thumbs up. Since his name, the food and baby shower tag (orange fish) are all fish related, I chose an underwater theme. 

The Sketch
Today is my last day as a guest designer with Sketches in Thyme. I was given this 2 paged sketch to work with. A great way to design a horizontal wall hanging is to use a 2 paged sketch as the base. 

Variations on Sketch #121
  • I only had 3 photos of Fisher instead of the 6 photos in the sketch. Also for a wall hanging, I wanted larger photos. As a solution, I took the larger background patterned paper block and made that the photo block.
  • I took the row of photos and made that a strip of patterned papers. 
  • I used a tag from his baby shower as the journaling and moved that to one corner as an embellishment cluster. 

The Details
I had a picture frame meant for a collage of pictures. I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the central portion of the mat so I ended up with just one central rectangle. The rectangular space was much wider than 12 inches across so if I used two pieces of paper in the background, there would be an obvious vertical seam. My solution was to make my own background design. I sprayed some Dylusions Ink Sprays in blues and yellow on the cardboard backing that was already in the frame. I then painted on a wavy design with some blue craft paint. 

To build upon my background, I placed the photo block on top. Then on top of the photo block, I added a row of 1" squares. Like with tiling a floor, I found the middle of space and adhered the squares starting from the center. That way the squares would end up evenly spaced on both sides of the frame. 

Here is a look at the title section. 

Here is a look at the journaling cluster. I used some clear pearls for air bubbles along with adding some smaller dots with a Pearl Pen. This set of fish is from a different company than the ones by the title, so to unify them, I later added some goggly eyes to these too.

Frame: Columbia
Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants, Little Yellow Bicycle, My Mind’s Eye
Alphabet Stickers: Colorbok, Doodlebug Design
Felt Stickers: Sassafras, Just Brads & Eyelets
Brads: Just Brads & Eyelets
Jewels: Kaisercraft
Craft Paint: DecoArt
Ink Spray: Dylusions
Ink: Prima Marketing
Dimensional Ink: Pearl Pen by Viva Decor

I'm entering this in:
Simply Create Too: Challenge #44 For a Child
Crafts-Too Challenge You: Summer Days, Beach Colors

Thanks so much for swimmin' by,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An American in London Layout

The Layout
I wasn't sure how to scrap my photos from London as they all looked similar - selfies in front of various famous buildings. Instead of having to choose between the specific sites, I decided to make a fun general page. At least I now have a representative page for the whole trip.

The Sketch
When I saw the August sketch from Life.Paper.Scrapbook., I thought it looked like a camera with photos in the lens so I decided to run with that idea.

  • I rotated the sketch 90° counterclockwise.
  • I made the patterned paper square into a camera. 
  • Instead of the two photos, I made one circular photo to fit in the entire lens. 
  • Since the Instagram icon camera was square,  I replicated that look. 

The Details
I wanted a soft wash of color on my white background to anchor my camera. I stamped some blue ink onto a craft mat and sprayed that with water. I also sprayed water on my white cardstock. I used a sponge to dab the ink onto my paper. The water made the ink bleed and spread out like watercolors, which was the effect I wanted. It took me three tries experimenting with different products until I achieved the look I wanted.

Here is a closer look at the background with the title cluster. Since I used the Instagram icon, I wanted to use "Insta" in the title. 

I brought back some souvenirs for the purposed of scrapping them so I wanted to incorporate stickers I bought from the Tower of London gift shop, leftover coins and a keychain. 

Underneath my journaling ticket, I made a row of embellishments from the keychain charms and coin. 

In the camera viewfinder I placed a tiny picture of my husband in front of the Queen's Guard's sentry box. Of course next to him I had to use the Queen's Guard sticker. 

It is always fun to interpret a sketch in your own way.

I'm entering this in these challenges:
Life.Paper.Scrapbook.: August Sketch
MilkCoffee: Bon Voyage/Vacation
Paper Crafting Journey: Anything Goes
By Lori Designs: #53 Aqua and Red

Thanks so much for  visitin'

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stamping Your Own Background

The Layout
I have to admit that sometimes I'm not entirely satisfied with a layout, but I just have to let it go as it did its primary job of preserving a memory. But then there are other times, when I'm really happy with how things all come together on a page. With today's layout, I thought, "This is so me" when it was all said and done.

The Challenges
I am guest designer with Life.Paper.Scrapbook. for their color challenge which begins today. Aren't the autumnal colors simply gorgeous?

I'm also a guest designer for Sketches in Thyme and used their sketch #120.

It seemed like a perfect pairing to combine the fall color palette with the sketch. 

I'm also entering this layout in these challenges:
The Artistic Stamper: Postcards, Travel, Holiday
Five Simple Things: Inspire Me Fridays #116 Anything Goes 
Just for Fun: Anything Goes
Yumi & Fumi Handmade: #21 Anything Goes

The Process
I searched through my stash hoping to find a collection that had all the colors in it already. I guess that would have been too easy. I couldn't find anything with just the challenge colors without adding new colors into the mix. I decided to make my own background paper.

I have a rainbow collection of used Stampin' Up inks that I acquired through Craigslist. I obtained many colors at a fraction of the cost. I wanted to spend less money on specialized colors that only occasionally come into play. From my collection, I chose inks in the color combo. I didn't end up using all of these colors.

I drew lines across my page where I wanted my designs to go. Since it was an archery theme layout, I chose arrows for the design. I stamped across the page leaving a space for the photo area. The Fiskars Stamp Press made it easy to line up my arrows. Since two of my stamps were thinner, I had to stamp them separately from the other arrows.

Here are the finished arrows which perfectly match the color challenge. 

To further my archery theme, I made my own target embellishments. I had some round chipboard stickers that I altered with Copics and gems. 

I also colored in some plain wood veneers with Copics. You don't always need to purchase supplies in your exact color scheme or exact theme, just alter and use what you have. 

This is a look at my title block where I mixed and matched alpha stickers, chipboard letters and wood veneers.  

Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Papers: Basic Grey
Chipboard Die Cuts: We R Memory Keepers, SEI, Basic Grey
Alphabet Stickers: Doodlebug Designs, Authentique
Chipboard Alphabet: Basic Grey
Ink: Stampin’ Up
Stamps: Studio Calico, Sandylion, Lil’ Davis Designs
Stamp Press: Fiskars
Wood Veneer Shapes: Studio Calico
Glitter Glue: Ranger Ink
Gems: Doodlebug Design
Markers: Copic

If you also love this color combination and want to join the color challenge, please see Life.Paper.Scrapbook.'s blog post. If you love this layout sketch, please see Sketches in Thyme's post

I learned that I don't need to purchase specific themed embellishments or papers, I can probably make my own from my existing stash. 

Thanks so much for stoppin' by,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sketches in Thyme: Laugharne Castle Layout

The Layout
Last month, my Chicago Bean layout was a top 3 winner on a sketch contest at Sketches in Thyme. I was asked to be a guest designer this month on their blog. I always love working with sketches and was thrill with this opportunity. I chose to make my first layout about my trip to Wales using my favorite photo spot as the focal point. 

The Sketch
I started by using sketch #119 from Sketches in Thyme.

The Details
When I looked at the sketch, I thought that the long yellow rectangle would be a good place to put a large background photo and then I'd place a smaller photo on top. I printed out different background and foreground photos on regular paper to play around with the arrangement. 

I liked the landscape view better than the portrait view so I rotated the sketch 90 degrees. I placed a digital frame along with digital images on top of the main photo and printed that as one photo and the background as a separate photo. 


That way I could double mat the photo to add some dimension and make that the focal point of the layout. I blended the date and journaling into the layered elements at the bottom of the photo.

I'm a multi-photo gal at heart and thought it looked sparse at this point. The Bo Bunny Mama-razzi 2 papers I was using had a filmstrip pattern on one of the corners so I cut that piece out and printed some photos to fit in the 1 x .5" spaces. I could even fit one of the tiny pictures into the lens of the Studio Calico wood veneers camera. I this manner, I managed to place to place 6 photos onto the single paged layout while maintaing the look of a single photo sketch. 

To balance out the title and embellishment cluster in the upper right hand corner of the layout, I placed a banner in the lower left hand corner. That was the finishing touch to complete my layout. 

You can also use this sketch and link your creation to their blog anytime during the month of August for a chance to be a guest designer too. 

I'm entering this in the following challenges:
The Memory Nest Whimsical Wednesday #8: Summertime Share
Five Simple Things: Inspire Me Fridays #115: Anything Goes
Totally Paper Crafts: Challenge #179: Summer Fun

Thanks so much for stoppin' by,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

So Cal Shop Hop

The Photo Ops
My first scrappy activity upon returning home was to attend the 7th annual So Cal Shop Hop. It is a time to visit some of the scrapbooking stores in Southern California and support small businesses. This year's theme is "What's Cookin'? Each store had a different recipe and decorated accordingly. Some went all out and had huge photo ops with props for the visitors. Scrapbooking Forever in Thousand Oaks which had a pumpkin bread theme.

I went to Custom Impressions in Bellflower for the first time, and that was the largest store I visited with a private crop building you could rent. They featured a funnel cake recipe so they decorated with a carnival theme. 

The Mini-Album
Each store also had 6 x 6" make and takes which matched their theme. You could get one free with a $10 purchase or just purchase them directly.  This is the strawberry salad make and take with matching photo op from Scrap 'n Yap in Monrovia. 

The make and takes can be collected and turned into a recipe book or mini-album. I took a picture in every store to make the mini-album which would look like this red and white one from Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont. There are also matching pins you can qualify for or purchase, like the cute milk bottle with the red heart on it. 

The Hop
The Shop Hop runs for two weeks and will end this Sunday. I went to a few stores at a time with different friends and family members and ended up visiting 13 stores over 5 separate days. There are 41 stores total and I know some scrappers who visited them all! The range is pretty huge, running from Bakersfield to San Diego. At the end of the hop, there will be numerous drawings with different levels of prizes depending on the number of stores you visited. There are also various contests you can enter, so the hop is quite elaborate. 

I ended up at my home store, Pages from the Heart,where the customers are nicknamed Peeps, so they had a Peeps theme. The photo op was a giant woven Easter basket with a baby chick costume. 


One of my favorite stores to visit is Scrapbooking Made Simple in Santa Clarita even though they aren't part of Shop Hop. The owner and employees all dress up to match their theme which is a Snow White inspired poisoned apple. They even made a talking magic mirror. 

All in all, it is a great way to see what's out there and a fun way to spend time together with friends and family. 

Thank so much for hoppin' by,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Wale of a Time

Sorry for the long absence on my blog. I was cruising around the UK with my family over the summer so I've been out of commission with my scrapbooking. But I did garner a lot of photo inspiration for future projects. Here is one of my favorite photos from my trip.

We took a self timed shot with the camera on the ground as we leaned forward. This is for a "Welcome to Wales" cover shot for the digital album I'm making for my family, so they'll have a record of the trip. 

For part of our trip, we stayed in a little town in SW Wales called Laugharne (rhymes with yarn). You've got to love that a town of fewer than 3,000 people has their own castle.

Along with a castle, Laugharne also housed poet, Dylan Thomas, during the last four years of his life. Our resort was really close to his former house and we walked by a few times. Near his house is a little shed that he used for writing purposes. My dad is peeking in the window.

Here is the interior view of Dylan Thomas' writing shed, set up as he would have had it set up. 

His house and shed overlook the Taf estuary and the views are just gorgeous. 

Our resort afforded the same views and I really felt like I was in Hawaii and not in Wales. The locals were ecstatic about the weather as they hadn't had a sunny summer for the past four years. I didn't have a chance to use the umbrellas and rain gear that I packed. 

Right outside our cabin was a red British phone booth. My hubby and I couldn't resist taking some photos there. 

I really enjoyed my time in Laugharne and traveling to some of the other towns in southern Wales.  It was a peaceful contrast to the second part of my trip which was spent in London. If you are considering a trip to the UK, I'd highly recommend Wales. Scrappy posts will soon be forthcoming. 

Thanks so much for stoppin' by,