Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I love scraplift challenges - I see so many layouts that are full of inspiration, and the push to put my own spin on some of those great layouts is awesome.  But I never think about lifting myself.  So on Monday I was surprised and excited to see this layout of mine posted as the scraplift challenge at My Scraps and More.

It just so happened that I was sitting at my desk with three sheets of patterned paper and three rolls of washi trying to get started on a layout when I saw the post.  I wanted to do something for this week's washi challenge at Chic Tags.  And I immediately had an idea for this two page layout about a special breakfast I cook for my son on days when he has a big challenge - a big game, a big test, college boards. 

Here's what I came up with.

This layout is so different from the first layout.  I replaced the sequin cluster at the top of the page with a larger embellishment cluster.

The cluster is a combination of Amy Tangerine paper, Crate Paper die cuts (The Pier), sequins, ink splatters, enamel dots, wood veneer and basic grey die cuts.  And because I converted the layout into a two page layout, I wanted to balance this cluster with a cluster on the second page of the project.  I used this horizontal cluster.

This cluster included transparencies from Glitz and Basic Grey, the same Amy Tangerine paper, sequins, wood veneer and enamel dots.  The vellum heart is "vintage" Amy Tangerine.  I will be finishing this off with some journaling about making these special breakfasts for my son.

This layout was lots of fun - and I learned an important lesson.  When I'm stuck, I don't always have to go online or look at the work of others.  Just looking at layouts I've done in the past can be enough to give me that push. 

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Layouts Within a Layout

I'm working feverishly on my son's senior album (even if I probably won't get it done before graduation next week), and was seriously stuck on homecoming.  His high school has a week of events, and I had some seemingly unrelated pictures from those events.  And I had only a couple of pictures related to the dance (only from before they left).  I finally decided to treat each photo as its own mini layout.  Here's what I came up with.

It was a interesting chance to apply some of the lessons from Pop Off The Page 2 to a two page layout. 

The first page included two mini layouts.

 I used small alphas to label each picture and Martha Stewart tags from the office supply store to number the pictures.  The journaling block on that page used those numbers to link the journaling to the picture.  And it gave me the chance to document an event without a picture.  I simply added a piece labeled "Not Pictured."

The second page was about the dance - I had a few more pictures, so I treated that page as a full page layout.

 I added my layers along the border of the page at the top and in the block at the bottom of the page that included that round tag.  The journaling again referenced the number.

The embellishments on this layout were really simple - I had a small package of mixed stars from Jolee, cut a few more about scraps of POW paper with my cricut and mixed in the asterisks from my thickers pack.

Hope you enjoy your Memorial Day.  I'm looking forward to a quiet day at home with my family, but will certainly spend some time reflecting on the sacrifice the men and women in our armed forces make for us. Now that my children are older, I have watched many of them join our military with a sense of pride, and it has made it much more personal. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I've long admitted to loving buying and having scrapbooking supplies almost as much as I love using them.  But sequins may be my biggest weakness ever.  They are so pretty, so inexpensive and come in so many colors and patterns.  I have lots of solid colors, different sizes, some with stars on them, some with polka dots and some with other patterns.  I just can't seem to help myself.  What's a girl to do.

Well, first I tackled the issue of storage.  I wanted to be able to store each color separately, I wanted the storage to be easy to use, and I didn't want it to take a ton of space.  So I found these seed bead tubes.  The big ones are perfect for individual purchases and the short ones are great for smaller quantities. 


The short ones will even stand in my "poor scrapper's" version of the harbor freight spinner.  And the large ones stand in a basket.

And then I did what any commited scrapbooker would do - I put together a layout about my sequins - it may not be great art, but seeing all those pretty colors on one layout makes me smile.  And it does remind me to make something every day.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Making A Splash With Crate Paper

This week's challenge at Crate Paper was Summer Splash. And I couldn't resist giving it a shot.  The prize is the entire collection from "The Pier" and some American Crafts Basics.  And The Pier is one of my favorite collections ever from any manufacturer.  Your layout has to be mostly Crate Paper and has to use at least three Crate Paper products.

When I've played with The Pier in the past, I've focused on the bright and pastel shades in the line. But this time I was inspired by the B side of the Frozen Treats Paper.  It is a kraft base with a green ombre effect that gets deeper as you move toward the bottom of the page.  It really reminds me of water and sand meeting at the beach.

I wanted to do something that used only blues, green and neutrals to emphasize that feel of water and sand.  First I pulled all the paper I had from the Pier that focused on those colors.  Then I pulled other Crate Paper sheets that were in my color range - I couldn't believe how much paper that was.  I added a sheet of white handmade paper that had great texture and started to layer.

And I knew that I wanted to play with my favorite embellishment from The Pier - the slide frames. I chose pieces in blue, white and brown for my project and used gold spray ink to soften the white ones.  Then I layered them to frame my layout.  I let a couple of them run off the page or under my photo block and cut the ends off them.  Those ends ended up being incorporated into the photo block.

I layered lots of bits of paper for my photo block.  The base is from the Fourteen collection and you can find other papers from that collection and from The Pier in the layers.  A couple of scrap of glitter paper and some pieces of the white handmade paper finished the block.

To finish the layout, I focused on embellishments from The Pier.  You can see a strip of polka dot tape from the washi sheet peeking out here and there and I used a couple of labels and a geotag from the sheet of label stickers. A MME enamel dot accented the geotag.  A clothespin from The Pier clothespin set accents the photo.

I don't usually like clothespins, but have to admit to loving these.  And somewhere I read a tip about taking them apart to reduce bulk which really helped.

I wanted to use a pinwheel, but it seemed to overwhelm my layout.  But when I cut it in half (which turned into three pieces), the smaller pieces worked perfectly. 

Finally I added a title using the fun thickers Crate Paper showed with The Pier.  And, of course, no layout is done without a few sequins scattered around.

And all of it works with the photo of my daughter playing in the Lake Erie waves.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I'm hoping for lots of play time in my scrap room.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Documenting A Soccer Season

If you read these posts often, you know that I try to do a "year in the life" album for my kids for every year.  As I've worked on my boys' albums, sport seasons have become a huge challenge.

The sports seasons are a huge part of their lives and very important to them.  By the time we go to all those games, there are literally hundreds of pictures.  And I'm just not able to narrow the photos down to pages for one or two pages.  So I always end up with multiple 2 page layouts.  And in the various albums, I've tried to make them look alike, I've tried to use a common design element (e.g., stars) to connect them, and I've just ignored the connection.  All of the approaches have pluses and minuses.

But lately I've been working on Nicholas's senior year album and I tried something different.  I pulled together a kit of papers, cardstock and embellishments that I used for the layouts - there were 7 this year.  After that I didn't worry at all about the connection. The end result was cohesive layouts that were still visually interesting.

The papers were mostly Fancy Pants and Simple Stories, but the green was Echo Park and there is a red chevron from Jillibean. I had themed embellishments, wood, stars, sequins, vellum arrow die cuts and enamel dots in my embellishment stack. 

Here are the layouts (and some things I learned):

By using the same background paper on all the layouts, I created a feeling of "a mini album inside a larger album.

Washi tape was a great addition to the kit - a quick and easy way to add interest to pages and able to be used in a lot of ways.

The Martha Stewart chalkboard labels were a great way to add consistent journaling throughout the series of layouts.  And mixing themed and non themed embellishments created added lots of interest.

Using the same thickers throughout was a great unifying touch.  And use thickers from an coordinating set to add the uniform number to sports layouts as an embellishment.

Experiment with different shapes and title treatments for interest.  This circle layout ended up being one of my favorites.

Combine a frame with a themed embellishment to create an interesting embellishment. 

Think out of the box when your journaling.  I printed the bio he wrote for the senior night presentation on vellum here.

Hope this gave you some ideas for your sports season layouts.  I'd love to hear your ideas too. 

Have a fantastic Friday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I read lots of challenges - looking for inspiration - but don't have time to do many of them.  And I read lots of design team calls - looking for courage to apply, but always chicken out.  This week has been no exception.

In the last few days I saw a sketch using lots of  tags. I loved the sketch, but can't find it back.  (I know - I need a better system, but I will share it with you when I find it.)  Then I read the Chic Tags Sunday challenge - incorporate gold into your project.  And then, to top it off, I saw a DT call from Little Yellow Bicycle looking for team members for a new line.

Then I happened to be in my LSS and saw the new LYB line, Poppy.  The colors are so bright and fresh, but still have a softness about them.  They really were my perfect summer palette.  I bought almost every piece of the collection they had.  Then I came home and made this layout.

I used papers from the collection and almost the entire package of these journaling tags - they were so much fun to layer. I used gold ink on some of the edges to help make them pop.   And I used the cardstock stickers to embellish one of the cork tags from the LYB Naturals line.

But my LSS didn't have the full line and since I am have tons of fun with transparent elements lately, I especially missed the clear cuts.  Fortunately I was able to add pieces from the clear cuts for the Just Because and Hello Fall Collections.

The colors in the Hello Fall pack were really perfect.

I also played with the vellum tape strips (a new product for me) and added some gold sequins and some MME Boy Crazy enamel dots (because who can do a layout without sequins and enamel dots).

Now I'm off to find that sketch and to read that DT call again.  Maybe this will be the time I enter?

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Non Traditional Pages About Places I Want To Visit

A while back, I did two non traditional pages for my This Is Me project, and last week I realized that I never shared them.  They were both simple and could be adapted for a lot of themes.  Today I'm sharing my page about travel dreams. 

The first was for a class challenge.  I chose to do a page about all the places I wanted to visit.  But I wanted to do more than a list - I wanted to document why I wanted to go visit those places.  I started with a glassine bag, printed a world map on blue handmade paper to put in the bag, and added pockets on the front and back to create the base of my page.  And then I added embellishments to make a bright, fun page.

The front
The back
To finish I used individual Project Life cards to document the places I wanted to go and the reasons why I wanted to visit those place.

Now the truth is, there are more than 10 places I would like to see, but this is a great start.  And I ended up loving this approach because it's so flexible.I can easily add other cards in the future for different places.

  • If (hopefully when) I visit some of these places, I can create a similar page for places I have visit and I can use the back of the same cards as a brief documentation of taking the trip (at least when and a brief summary.)
  •  I can easily add more cards to the page as other places make my priority list of places to visit.
Hope you're having a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Going Pink with Atlantic and Lily Bee

I've never been a big fan of pink - it was just too over the top girly.  And my daughter was never very into pink either.  So the color pink rarely found its way into my stash or on to my layouts.  But then I got the papers in Studio Calico's new collection, Atlantic.

I love all of the papers - the kraft and gold is amazing and the vellum is my all time favorite vellum.  But I can't get enough of the pink and yellow papers in the collection.  They remind me of a sunrise on the beach. 
New Haven
South Hampton - I love the B side
Rockport - again I love the B side

And this piece of Lily Bee paper could have been made to coordinate,

Sweet Shoppe - Marshmellow

I've dug out lots of old beach pictures of my daughter when she was young to scrap with them - the soft colors in the photos and papers seem to be made for each other.

This is one of my favorites - I actually used the Heidi Swapp gold lame color shine like a pint to add the gold glimmer to the base sheet.  And I combined cameo Mister Huey's with the Color Shine to color the arrows to match.  And of course, no layout is complete without sequins and enamel dots (from Theresa Collins Summer Stories Line).

I'd love to know what papers are inspiring you lately.  Have a marvelous Monday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Layering with Pop Off The Page

This month's class at Studio Calico is Pop Off The Page 2 - I missed the first class, so was thrilled to have a chance to take this one.  I am always trying to add dimension and texture to my pages and am excited to try new things.

This week's challenge was about layering with patterned papers. I love to add layers, but struggle with keeping a clean feel to the layout.  I tried layering in a horizontal pattern across the page for this layout.  It ends up adding lots of dimensions without getting too busy.

I started with this picture of my daughter - I love the vintage feel of the photo (even though it is only a few years old).

 I thought I'd share some lessons learned (even thought they may be obvious to you.)

1.  When you don't like an effect you create, don't give up.  I started this page by using gold lame color shine with a mask to create a background texture on white cardstock.  I hated the effect.  But when I wiped the mist of with a paper towel, I love the soft, beigey-gold color I ended up with.

2.  If your picture is dark, add some darker papers to balance the feel.

3.  Repeat patterns and colors.  I used some of the patterned papers more than once and repeated the gold color shine on the doily.

4.  Not everything has to glued down  - loose edges and pieces of trim add lots of interest and texture.  For instance, this gold ribbon is much prettier loose than fastened flat to the page.

5.  Add embellishments after you finish your layering.  Cluster small embellishments for bigger impact.  And mix up your embellishments - variety is way more interesting to the eye that a single style of embellishment.

6.  Repeat elements to tie the layout together.  I added a new piece of trim to the top of this layout, but layered with the resin flowers and the gold ribbon to tie it together.

I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for layering and making your layouts pop.  Hope you have a great Sunday.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This Is Me (Still)

Last month I took a great class at Studio Calico - This is Me.  The class was intended to help you put together an album about yourself.  I loved the idea, loved the class -- and got almost nothing done during the month. But I found even thinking about what to include a really rewarding way to think about where I am and where I want to go in the future.

I decided to use a SNAP binder for my album, but turned it on its side so it had a landscape orientation.  I shared the cover and my title page here.  I also did a couple of non-traditional pages about places I want to visit and how things change last month.  But mostly I didn't get past the cover.

The dividers I did broke my album up into a section on the basics (sort of just the facts), The Good (things I feel good about), Needs Work (things I want to improve on in the short run) and Goals and Dreams (big wishes, bucket list, and long term goals).   I don't think I shared these when I did them.

I used gesso, spray inks, washi tape, wood veneer and my favorite Amy Tangerine alphas on these.  And let me admit now that I love picking colors and patterns that appeal to me without considering the personality of people I'm scrapping about.  It is so fun!

Since I didn't get very far in April, I did promise myself that I would work on doing a few pages each month til I felt like I had a finished project.  Because the pages are small (6x8) they really go together quickly.  So yesterday I did two pages about things I feel good about - baking and my nook.

Dear Lizzie, Heidi Swapp, Studio Calico, Freckled Fawn, Simple Stories, Elles Studio - and inspired by the color challenge at Life Paper Scrapbook

Simple Stories, Heidi Swapp, American Crafts, Dear Lizzy, Elle's Studio, Basic Grey, Studio Calico.

Both of these projects started with Planetarium kits and add-ons which I supplemented to finish my pages.  And I have to admit that I am currently addicted to those Heidi Swapp arrows that resist spray inks. 

I have lots more to do in this album and will share as I get pages done.  I'm working hard to keep it fun and not become a task, so you never know when I'll have more to share.

Hope you had a chance to play today.  Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Using Project Life Cards on Traditional Layouts

I was excited to start Project Life this year.  I wanted to like it.  I had a hard to get subscription to the Studio Calico kit.  I bought an album, page protectors and grid cards with my Christmas money.  I bought little calendars to document what happens each day. 

But sorry - I know its not fashionable - but I hated it.  We don't do interesting things everyday- with teenagers, kids in college and 3 jobs between parents we don't even see each other every day.  And figuring out PL cards in pocket pages didn't give me the creative outlet I use scrapbooking for.  So I quit.

But I love the Studio Calico Project Life Cards.  The colors, patterns, and text are so fun!  And I like Elle's Studio cards and find other patterned paper intended to be cut into cards that I really love.  So I started thinking - grid design layouts are some of my favorite.  They tend to come together easily for me, they provide lots of opportunities for layering and using bits and pieces and always seem to look unique.  And wouldn't project life cards make those grid layouts even faster?  They would cut out lots of cutting.

As an experiment, I picked a piece of background paper, a photo and picked a theme - the end of my son's senior year.  Then I got out my PL cards and went to work.  This grid layout came together in about an hour, is visually appealing and says exactly what I want to say.

Here are some tips that seemed to make the process work for me.

1) Pick a base sheet and a color scheme before you pull out your cards. 

2) Make sure you use 1 card that can hold journaling.  (This is a great way to push yourself to add journaling to your pages.

3)  Pull some possible embellishments and scraps for layering before you start.  Don't forget vellum - your best friend when adding layers.

4) Don't be afraid to overlap your cards, embellishments and pictures - it adds depth and lots of visual interest.

5) Plan for your title - it should be part of the grid design, not an afterthought.

So try playing with those PL cards - I'd love to see your projects where you used PL cards in unexpected ways.  Have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Simple Thank You Cards

I don't make cards very often - I just have a hard time getting the proportions right.  But I needed a couple of thank you cards and didn't have time to go to the store.  And I have a room full of supplies.  So I dug in and got to work.

The first card was for one of my daughter's friends. Elisabeth had some health problems this year and she brought her the homework on every one of the 30+ days she missed this year.  We wanted to give her an ITunes card to show our appreciation.  And the card needed to appeal to a  year old girl. 

So I dug out a kraft card base and an assortment of washi. I covered the card base with strips of washi to create a bright fun base.  Then I decided to use a shipping tag to add the sentiment.  I attached it with some bright color twine that was secured inside the card. 

I used a glassine bag on the inside of the card to cover the place where the twine was attached.  The gift card fit in there perfectly and created a finished look.

I also needed a card for her mother who drove her daughter to our house to drop off the homework all those days.  I wanted to make something pretty and sophisticated.  I started with a card base with a decorative edge on the front.  I added a strip of that beautiful ombre washi from Studio Calico to the insided of the card so the edge really stood out when the card was closed.  Then I went for these Amy Tangerine stitched vellum embellishments (some of my favorites and created a simple border design.  I added a layered sticker from Simple Stories and used Heidi Swapp alphas for the sentiment.

The end result was pretty and feminine.

And I had so much fun making these cards that I asked for a score board for Mothers Day.  I think I'll be making more cards in the future.

Hope you have a tremendous Thursday.