Thursday, December 31, 2009

As we step into 2010...

The last day of 2009

I thought I could get this done yesterday, but I had some technical issues with my laptop- for some reason the card reader decided it didn't want to work right.

Today, I thought I would do something different! I was a inspired a little by necessity, but also by my sister, who got a Cricut Expression (lucky ducky!) for Christmas and has been crafting up a storm! I think I am to blame partially for creating this crafting monster because a couple months ago, she asked me to bring my Cricut to Mom's house so she could see how it worked. I have the personal-sized one, but it gave her an idea of how they work. I also have Sure Cuts A Lot and the Storybook cartridge, which I recommended, and she got those as well. Anyhow, she started off doing some cards, and I needed a Thank You card for my Grandma, so I decided to do a card sketch this time around!

For this card, I used papers from Die Cuts With a View & Marianne Richmond. I cut the shaped papers and the words out with my Storybook cartridge. The flowers I made by cutting out the flower shapes on the George cartridge in 2", 1 1/2" , and 1" sizes from each type of paper I was using. I inked each one on the edges with a coffee colored ink. For the flower on  the left, I glued down the big piece on the bottom and then curled the petals with a chop stick and glued each of them down with the smallest piece last. I did pretty much the same with the other flowers, but because the paper is only printed on one side, I actually rolled the petals inside out.

For my actual layout and sketch this week, I am still catching up on my fall pictures :)
I also decided to do a round sketch this time. I love how it worked with these photos & papers.

I stamped the paper behind the larger photo with a swirl stamp and brown ink and used an edging ruler to tear it, then I inked it around the outside with the same color ink as well. The other papers as well as the journal spot are Little Yellow Bicycle (which is a company I seem to be buying more & more stuff from). The Alpha stickers are from WeRMemoryKeepers. The gold mesh is actually some Christmas ribbon I bought a couple years ago & just love how it adds to my layouts! I'll be sad when I run out because I haven't found any more like that since I bought it. At first, I had issues getting it to stick to my pages, but I've found that if I spray the back of it with Helmar Vellum Adhesive & let it sit for a few minutes, it sticks really well!

Today is the last day of 2009! I don't make resolutions because then I don't feel bad for not keeping them, but I have promised the kids that I will not buy any more scrappy stuff until after our vacation at the end of May (Disneyland !!!), with the exception of photos, adhesives & page protectors (which I buy at the dollar store usually, anyways). That means as the weeks go by, you will see me using up more of my stash, some of which I have been hoarding a good 5+ years now! This could get interesting!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The gifts

Since it is after Christmas & everyone has their gifts, I can finally post the pictures of what I made :) I'll start with my mom's present, an altered canvas.

I used Daisy D's paper on this (though it's hard to see through the paint & the flash). I started by decoupaging the paper to the canvas. After that dried, I mixed some paints together to make the pretty lavender color and also mixed it with an opaque iridescent ceramic paint and painted around the edges of the paper and on the canvas (I used a foam brush for this). I then used just the ceramic paint to cover the paper. After all the paint had dried, I cut out the frames and the Title using my Storybook Cricut font and decoupaged them to the canvas.I adhered a quote sticker from Me & My Big Ideas inside the smaller frame after the glue was dry and then painted over that with the ceramic paint and just a touch of the lavender paint. After all that dried, I then used Helmar Craft Glue to create the pearl swirls and to adhere the lace and ribbon. I then used Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots to attach the silk flowers (found @ the dollar store) and the butterflies (also cut from the Storybook cartridge). Lastly, I used some glitter glue on the butterfly bodies & put the bling on the small frame.

These are the cookie jars I made for my sister & sister-in-law (and their significant others)- although I should have taken this photo after I filled them with cookies...

I decoupaged both of these. The jar on the left used papers from Collage Press (I love the little cupcakes!), Sassafras (the little duckies), and Die Cuts With a View (the pink & brown plaid... it's also on the lid). I used alpha stickers from American Crafts & the ribbon is from a swap. The jar on the right is 100% Sassafras papers & even a paper whimsy card. I used my Cricut Storybook cartridge to cut the "Sweets", and the ribbon is some old holiday ribbon I got at JoAnn's a couple years ago. The flowers on both are Prima.

The kids and I also used some old photos of my Dad's cars through the years & made him a calendar, but I was in such a hurry to get everything dome, I neglected to document it and therefore am unable to share it. I will share what we used for it for anyone wanting to make their own. We used 13 page protectors and pretty much made 12 8 1/2 x 11 horizontal layouts featuring one car on each month, as well as a theme for each month. We then used 3 1" binder rings to attach the page protectors to  a large piece of cardboard that we had painted and we glued the first & last page of them to the cardboard itself. We then made the calendar part in Microsoft Word and printed them out and put them in the proper spots in the calendar and voile! A reusable calendar!

I'll get my scrap on tomorrow and share a couple new sketches :) Just in time for the New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

There's no new sketch today... I'll resume those next week :) If you're absolutely needing one, hop over to Spunky Scrappers for my monthly sketch there :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Altered Baby Frame

This frame was my baby shower present for my sister in law, who is due in January. I didn't get it done prior to the shower because I was looking for the perfect frame. I got this one at WalMart. It's an 11x14 frame with an 8x10 mat. I used some old papers from a Die Cuts With A View Stack that I have been looking for the perfect thing to use them with & I think I found it! I used some art glue to decoupage the paper to the existing mat and then used Helmar Acid Free Glue to glue down the ruler ribbon (I can't remember who made the ribbon... I got it at JoAnn's though).The little wood pieces & epoxy stickers are things I got in RAK's & I love how they look! I used Helmar Craft Glue to stick them to the mat The bingo card is from Jenni Bowlin, the Chipboard is Marcella by K & the banner journaling sticker at the bottom (so she can write down his birthday when he is actually born) is Sassafras. TFL!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pagemaps End of the Year Contest

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I figured that I should do one now... and there's a sweet prize involved :)
Here's the sketch & the prize up for grabs:

I rotated it and used one large photo with little squares... for some reason, the butterflies made me think of falling leaves, so that's why I did this one how I did. I used papers & chipboard from WeRMemory Keepers. The leaves are some that I bought at Walmart that came pre-glittered & the felt is Blu Eye Dezines.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Amplified :)

The sketch for today actually has a layout to go with it! Yay! I am over the moon with all of the giveaways they are having for Christmas on my favorite blogs... of course, my favorite is Sassafras.They want to see Amplify creations, so I had to do this, of course :)

Here's the sketch:

And my Layout:

This is all Sassafras Amplify, with the exception of the Bazzill Cardstock, some felt from Blu Eye Dezines and the leaf stamps that I have had for year & don't remember where they are from.

I have been busy making gifts for family, so I will share when I get them uploaded (which I think may be after Christmas for most of them...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Tis the Season

I don't have time today to do the layout for this sketch that I know of, but I at least have this week's sketch! I really like this one and I think it may be one of my favorites of my recent sketches. And it would be beautiful for the holidays! 

I am spending all day today making most of the presents we will be giving away for Christmas. I will post a couple of them so you can see them, but there's some I have to wait until after the holidays.

To get into the festive mood, I thought I would post some holiday pictures (ie- pictures of our tree). We went with a new tree this year, as our old one is about the same age as Chloe and starting to look a little sad. We bought this one and just love it because it looks like us! And yes, you could expect me to have a tree like this... bright and colorful.

Here's one of the kids & Zeke in front of it... (I know this one's a little dark)...

And finally (my favorite), Charlie's kitten, Smokey, playing with it (Can you believe this guy's only 8 months old?)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Guys & no dryer...

I did this layout for the first sketch challenge at Spunky Scrappers :) BTW, my sketch is the next one! Let me know how you like it :)

For this layout, I used Orbit papers from Crate. I layered on top of a journaling tag from Little Yellow Bicycle using a Paper Whimsy from Sassafras and used a BoBunny Rub-on for the actual area that I journaled in. I used Rub-ons from My Mind's Eye Magnolia collection (the brackets) and October Afternoon (the letters).

I intended to spend my day doing laundry and scrapping, but I arrived home from work last night to find that our dryer is down. Lovely. This necessitated an afternoon of trying to research what was wrong with it (I think it's a thermal fuse) and how to possibly fix it. Joe will be dealing with that this weekend. Anyhow, since we needed clothes for the week, Charlie and I hauled our laundry to the laundromat for  couple hours spent watching laundry spin and eating vending machine snacks. I really hope that our dryer is able to get fixed soon. I don't know if I can handle another exciting afternoon at the laundromat.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holy Cow this is Cool!

Hop on over to Urban Swank & win yourself some yummy-licious Urban Lily papers... You can find all the delightful details here:

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two for the price of one

I decided to try something a little different this week. I have one sketch and two different layouts from it.

This is a fairly simple sketch and I really wanted two different looks that were as different from each other as I could get them to be.

For my first layout, I used papers from Die Cuts With a View (These kitty papers were in a Fall Stack I got and have never had an occasion to use until now...) and also K & Co. The alphas & Journal Spot are from Sassafras and the tiles are Junkitz. I got the little kitty tags at Walmart on clearance a couple years ago.

For my second layout, I used a bunch of papers from Sassafras' Amplify Collection. I also have a Paper Whimsy in there. The alphas are from Miss Elizabeth's, the chipboard is from Heidi Swapp, the buckles are from Junkitz & the felt is from Blu Eye Dezines.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tis the Season

I know I was planning on posting some layouts and a sketch or two, but, seriously, my game got messed up! Between waiting for things to dry and then having to work some longer shifts at work to pull up the slack, I am one tired puppy! Here it is, not even 9 PM yet and I am just bushed! Could have something to do with the hot bath I just got out of, but it could also be that I have been working my patootie off! Anyhow, I am making it on here enough to post this week's sketch and an unrelated layout (or two).
Here's the sketch:
 I also want to mention that my first sketch for Spunky Scrappers will be debuting in a couple weeks! For the sketches over there, I am doing all different ones, so make sure you check us out! It's a great challenge site with lots of fun people & I am having so much fun being on the DT! Hopefully, I will have a blinkie to put on here from there, soon :)
For my unrelated layout, I wanted to share this one:


I used papers from K & Co. (The Stripes) and My Little Shoebox (The circle paper). The green felt behind the photos is from some coasters I bought at Dollar Tree a couple years ago & was finally able to use. I also used some Sassafras Felties bugs & jar, a journal sticker from Sassafras, and some flower stickers from Studio8.

This is another of my Sassafras explosions, but I just love how these all turned out!I knew that when I got these Paper Whimsies Cards and saw this little yellow fuzzy monster that I had to use him with this picture of Charlie talking & Chloe plugging her ears! We are now referring to him as the Charlie monster. The only things not Sassafras on here are the journaling card from Pebbles Inc., The Chipboard from Colorbok, and the felt from Blu Eye Dezines.

On a related note, I really want to say a huge "Thanks!" to the folks at Sassafras for picking my blog as one of their Friday winners! Seeing as how last Thursday was my birthday, I am considering it a sort of birthday gift :)  And wowee! I love all the stuff I got! I got a bunch of their Amplify line, some felties, some chipboard, and even some monograms and stickers! I was so happy to open that box and I know they will be well used... my only dilemma is which to use first!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and got really stuffed! (pun intended)

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's time to share!

Just thought I would pass on this awesome video that was on the BoBunny blog for making some absolutely fantastic paper roses!
You can find it on their blog, or at YouTube here:

Also, I have a day of rest & relaxation, so I think I may be posting a bonus sketch or two and some layouts today... Stay tuned to see.

And, inspired about the "10 things your___________" won't tell you" feature in Reader's Digest, here's some friendly advice (or they could be very helpful tips) from your favorite photographer:

-If you book an appointment on the weekend, please do not show up and expect three outfit changes on a two-year old unless you have previously discussed it with me. Not only will we be able to take the amount of time you want us to take to get the portraits you want, but it will stress out your toddler (same goes with infants, except they can't run away from us).

-If you are going to be more than 2 minutes late, please call us so we can reschedule you into the next open slot. When you show up any later than that, usually you have given up your appointment slot and then we have to "squeeze you in" between other appointments, which can make us run late for the guests that were on time for their sessions.

-Please schedule your appointments around your child's schedule, not yours. So many parents book their sessions right before nap time, which, if we are running even a little behind on our appointments, can make the difference between nice & smiley or grumpy & crying. If you want them to eat before their session, it's ok to feed them right before you come and then come a little earlier and get them ready at the studio. Also, if your child is starting to get sick, please reschedule. They will usually be in a better mood.

-If we are running behind on your appointment, it might not be our fault (see previous 3 entries). We are trying to please every customer that comes through our doors, and sometimes, it may take just a little longer.

-If something displeases you about your experience at our studio, please make sure you tell us! If we don't know that you weren't happy, we can't fix it. Yes, these photographs are a personal thing, but if you don't like something about them, we won't be offended. After all, they are for your walls, not ours.

-Even if you can't afford everything that was photographed for you or that we have to offer, please let us at least show you, chances are that anything you see will be available to order later as well, but we want to make sure you know we have it!
If you have something in mind that you want us to photograph for you, please let us know at the beginning of the session. Some of our favorite customers have lists of what they had in mind so we can capture their personal style! Likewise, if you have any prop ideas, ask us what we have in our studio so if you need to bring something with you, you know ahead of time.

-Don't expect to come to our studio and just get "School portraits". We will try to get what you are wanting first, but we are also artists, so we will also take some creative shots as well.
Please ask about bringing pets ahead of times. Some photographer have no problem with them, even set aside specific times to photograph them, but others are restricted by location or allergy issues. We know you love your little pooch, but we can't always accommodate them.

-And lastly, during your session, please listen to and trust your photographer. Some of the best portraits have been ruined by children getting distracted by their parents, or parents grabbing our props and throwing them into the portraits when they don't belong ("Here, little Suzi, hold this basketball while you're in your formal Christmas Dress!). If we need your help capturing what we want to get, we will direct you in the best way to get it. You are our #1 assistant when taking those portraits and you can be assured that we will try our best to get what you want out of them.

Does that sound like a rant? I hope not. Just a few observations from the front lines.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I hate it when that happens

I meant to get this sketch up last night, but my lovely computer decided that it didn't want to cooperate, so I am now rushing to do this now, before work. Oh yeah, it's also my birthday. No rest for the wicked I guess, right?
I also was meaning to put a tutorial on here for making the roses in the post below with actual paper, but none of my images would upload. So you only get to see the finished product. I ended up using tissue paper to start with because my patterned paper was just too stiff. I figure I need to play with the proportions more to get it to work. Anyhow, here's my rose (don't ask why this one uploaded but none of the others would...):

I got a little bit o' scrappin' done yesterday, not a whole lot, though. My ideal day would have been to spend the day scrapping, but my niece requested to spend the day with her, so I obliged by accompanying her & my mother-in-law to the mall.

The sketch for today was done specifically for this layout. I knew I wanted it round & that I wanted the photos round, and then I got stuck. For a week. I finally got myself out of that rut by sketching it out and adding to the sketch as the next few days progressed. I was finally able to get it to fruition yesterday when I got some time to play.

For my example, I used papers from Me & My Big Ideas and Sassafras (I got one of their mini stacks of Sweet Marmalade- love it for this sort of stuff!). The Monster Cards are also Sassafras. The stars are miscellaneous die cuts I had rolling around in my embellishment drawers forever & I cut the jagged felt borders from some of that pre-adhesived felt you can buy at the craft store.The stamps are ones I bought at Michael's forever ago, and the chipboard is from Heidi Swapp.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So Pretty!

I found a blog with this awesome tutorial on how to make roses from maple leaves & in my scrap-addled mind thought, "Wow, I could totally do that with patterned paper!" Here's the link for the blog and their finished product:

I'll post my version after I've had some time to play, but isn't that just the coolest idea?

I actually found that site through my latest addiction of using "StumbleUpon." If you've never used it before, you basically sign up (you don't have to, but if you do, you can bookmark the sites that you find & like), tell it what topics you are interested in, and then hit the "Stumble" button. It will bring you to random websites that fit within the topics you set. You can either thumbs-up a site (which saves it for you), or thumbs-down it (which makes sure you never go there again). I could stumble all day if you let me. And if I actually had the time.

I'll be posting today's sketch later on today. I got a call earlier that my niece was requesting to "visit Aunt Jill", so we are off to the mall and to redeem my Lasting Memories Gift Certificates. I don't know what I want to get yet, but I hope they have some fun stuff! (Like they wouldn't... who am I kidding!)

Oh yeah, in case you didn't notice the new addition to the top right-hand side of my blog bar, I am now on the Design Team for Spunky Scrappers, both as a designer & a sketch artist :) My first sketch for them, with their interpretations, will be posted mid-December. But, I have tons & tons of ideas in my head, so I will still be posting my weekly sketch here as well. Feel free to play along & post your interpretations of my sketches to the comments so I can see too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

BoBunny Love

BoBunny has a rockin' sketch challenge going on over at their blog, so I thought I would give it a go with some of the Delilah papers I picked up.
Here's their sketch:

And here's my interpretation:

In addition to the Delilah papers, I also used a small piece of their Love Shack cut-outs, a BoBunny rub-on, and lace & bling from Michaels.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scrappy goodness

I am in the middle of watching TV, but thought I would share a couple layouts and a couple of sketches. Up first,  a sketch that I did for a double page layout, but one that would translate well to 6x12, too :)

On the layout example for this, I used papers from Die Cuts With A View & a journal spot from Sassafras. The flowers & title were all cut with my Cricut. I also used some chipboard from American Crafts and some bare chipboard that I painted.
Unfortunately, the page was too large to photograph or scan together, so I had to split it...

This second sketch doesn't have an example... yet.

And finally, another treat of goodness using all my favorite products! I used the new Gypsy line shaped paper over a piece of Die Cuts With a View damask . I used a Teresa Collins overlay under the photo as well as a couple of Teresa Collins journal spots. The photo corners are Sassafras and the frames I used in the title are also Sassafras. I cut the flowers & title with my Cricut "Storybook" Cartridge and the Font "Vivaldi."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Adhesive is good for something else besides scrapbooking...

My wall has a sticky spot now because as I was scrapping, this big, ugly, hairy spider came crawling out of a bird house that I have hanging that I use to put post-its in and as it started going up the wall, I killed it with the first thing I found, which happened to be a can of Helmar Vellum Adhesive that I was using. Yes, I did get it off the wall... I used the end of a yard stick to scrape it off and carry its carcass outside. Yuck!

Lots of scrappy goodness

I finally got my font uploaded to a site where it can be available... you an find it HERE. Here's a small sampling of what is on it.

Keep in mind that this is meant more as a font to be used with SCAL, so the shapes aren't super-duper detailed. I tried to create things that I knew I could use, so there's shapes for shaped papers, photo corners, flourishes and even things that would work as journal spots.Most of this is clip art I found and these are meant for PERSONAL USE ONLY. This will be available for download for 30 days, unless there's a lot of downloads, then it may stay on there longer.

I have been really inspired as of late, possibly because I went paper shopping :) and got some yumminess. First off, here's today's sketch & example. For the layout of this, I used papers from Sassafras (I know, big surprise there, right?) and K & Co. The journal spot and flowers are from Making Memories.

I also have a bunch of layouts without sketches that I want to share, so, here they are in no particular order:

For this layout, I used papers from Sassafras & Die Cuts With a View. The chipboard photo corners are from Scenic Route, the die cuts are from October Afternoon, and the alphas are from Sassafras & Miss Elizabeth's.
 This is from our getaway to Westport. Joe let Zeke off his leash and he ran towards this huge flock of seagulls and pigeons  on the beach. Hence, the tile.

This page is one I struggled with. Partially because I chose to print the photo as an 8x10, and partially because I couldn't find anything that seemed to have anything to do with gargoyles, even during Halloween. I ended up using the Sassafras Monstrosity paper as an inspiration for this one.The felt is from Blu Eye Dezines. I cut the "Gargoyle" title from a font called "A Charming Font". I like how it looks, but this was one of those fonts that is really detailed and just doesn't translate well to the Cricut. I ended up using the negative image of it because the letters all got messed up.

Aren't all these princesses cute? This is the page of the infamous brother-in-law picture lol! I totally couldn't resist using it on here. Manda, I have a wallet for you of these if you want them :) On this page, I used paper from Die Cuts With a View "Once Upon a Time" Stack.The purple is cardstock I stamped & inked. The journal card is from Pink Paislee and the flowers are all Prima.

I saved this one as last because this one is one of my favorites... I also took this photo just to use this paper. This is from BoBunny's Kitchen Spice collection. The flowers are Prima. I used pastel pencils to color in and smudge the white ones so they went a little better. The leaves are ones I bought at Michael's that came pre-glittered. The chipboard is from the dollar store. I love how the big butterfly worked on this one. I have a few of these that I saved from some Christmas ornaments we had that fell apart. I liked how they looked and figured I would eventually use them.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Let's eat lots of candy to celebrate the New Year!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A day late & a dollar short?

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday because it was, in a word, crazy! I ended up cleaning the house. Mostly. So, here I am, on a very wet and windy Thursday, posting the sketch I should have posted yesterday, but didn't get done until this morning.

I sometimes have people ask me where the inspiration for my sketches comes from, and , honestly, they are mostly created out of necessity. Since I am a photographer, it is usually my goal to jam as many photos relating to the event on one layout as possible, without cropping them down too much. I do have a couple double-pagers I should post on here so you can see what I mean :)

For this layout, I used papers from Die Cuts With a View Far East Stack and K & Co. The journal card is from Bo Bunny and the smaller card behind it is from Provo Craft. The Flowers are from Darcie (I need to find more of them... these were my last 3!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I may have to have a Prima buying binge...

Check out all the major yumminess they are coming out with!  I think the butterflies are my absolute favorite!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's still Wednesday where I'm at...

So that means, there's still time to post a couple of the promised sketches. I also have an altered item and a mini book that I am working on that I will post when I am done.

Again, I have been trying to sketch things differently than I have before, pushing the limits and I am so loving how these are all turning out. I have no examples yet, so if you have a layout you have tried using my sketches, please post a link in my comments so I can see :)

I had the day off today and there was so much that I ended up having to do. I ended up dealing with 2 loads of Charlie's incredibly stinky laundry this morning that needed immediate attention. Normally, I make the kids do their own laundry. This was an exception. You know that when the smell wafts down the hallway and into the living room, there's some stinky stuff going on. These offending loads required bleach just to help rid them of the smell (at least they were socks and undies, right?)

Well, I then had my own laundry to wash, so I plopped in my one load of laundry, which is mostly all black due to work clothes dress code. Apparently, my wonderful washing machine decided to save some of the bleach for my load as well... thereby rendering half of my laundry black with yellow splotches. As Murphy's Law would have it, the half that was attacked was also the newer and most comfortable half. Needless to say, I am now waiting on my washing machine (at 10:30 at night) to finish the soak cycle so I can run it on the wash cycle with a nice vat full of black dye. Don't you just love surprises?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

To tide you over...

I couldn't resist posting this sketch this morning & I can't wait to try it out (alas, I can only do that later because I have to get ready for work now...). Also, I am almost done with my font, so as soon as I am finished, I will post it!