Please let me hear from you!

This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Evoke the Emotion

Today I'm going to talk about a couple of ways to evoke emotion in our layouts.  This first layout is about a father who broke up a family when he started seeing a "lady friend."  I thought the somewhat "fractured" background paper embodied the sadness of broken hearts and dreams.
This next layout discusses a frightening situation we found ourselves in.  How do you see the emotion being conveyed here?
For me the stark black and white and the font used for the title both help convey the fear we felt as we drove over roads that were little more than tracks with steep drop-offs on the sides as we tried to find our way to our destination.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

By the Numbers - Two Photos

Today I thought I'd share a few layouts that have two photos on them:
This one uses fairly typical sizes of photos. The border paper helps set the Australian theme, and the kangaroo brad reinforces the theme of one of the pictures.

I have found, especially for pages with two photos on them, I love having one photo oversized.  Here's an example of a layout using a panorama photo with a regular one.
Perhaps my very favorite of all, are pages where one photo is used as the background with another photo superimposed on it.  I can do this easily even for 12" x 12" pages since I have a wide-body printer, but even without that it's a technique that can be used for 8 1/2" x 11" or 8" x 8" pages to great effect.  Here's a 12" x 12" that I did this way.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Make it Focal - Part 2 - Color

If you look back at the scrapbook page I shared, in Make it Focal - Part 1, you can see that, in addition to looking at the composition of the picture itself, another thing I did was use COLOR to help the photo stand out.  Bright colors are GREAT for drawing the eye to a focal photo!  In that case I used yellow to mat the photo for several reasons.  For instance, the bright yellow formed a nice complementary accent to the blue of the page. Also, the yellow in the mat reflected the yellow in the blanket in the photo itself.  However, the most important reason was that the contrast of the bright yellow against the blues of the rest of the page, helped draw the eye to that focal picture. 

Here's another page where color was an important component in creating the focal point:
Notice how the red bird really stands out compared to the other photos.  I helped ensure that it did by using a red background paper.  I used several other tricks to help the focal stand out.  I'll talk about them in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, what ones do you spot?

Here's another simple layout where color was used to draw attention to the focal picture - this time by contrast with the black and white photos - as well as the maroon in the mat that surrounds it.

Do you spot other things that were done to bring attention to the focal picture?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More Thanksgiving Cards

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!  Here are a few more Thanksgiving cards.
Another Wallpaper Card
A wallpaper card

Matstacks and sentiments CD card
Another wallpaper card

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mat Stack Thanksgiving Cards

I'm focusing this season on making quick and easy Thanksgiving cards.  I have a lot of folks I want to express my gratitude to, and I've decided it is more important that I express gratitude to many in my life, rather than spending time making just a few cards that are more elaborate. With that in mind, today's cards are made using Paper Wishes "Card Greetings and Sentiments CD" - which I notice is listed as their current top seller - and DCWV 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" matstacks for the backgrounds.  Here are the cards.
The matstacks have nice coordinating papers and they are just the right size -- not a lot of waste.  The sentiments and turkey are from the Paper Wishes CD. For the "Happy Turkey Day" card, I printed them out, colored them with chalks, and then cut around them.  For the "Thanksgiving Blessings" card, I used a gel pen to go over the words so they were more the color I wanted.  Then I tore around the sentiment and chalked the edge.  This gave me a couple more quick and easy Thanksgiving cards.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Organization? What's that?????

This week I face the daunting prospect of tearing my craft room apart so new flooring can be put in there.  Since my craft room is also my office and contains my computer set-up as well as all crafting/sewing/painting supplies, the idea is rather overwhelming!  I DO hope that in addition to the new flooring, when all is said and done I'll have more great ideas for organizing things in here that I can share with you.  For now, however, I'm going to deviate from my normal schedule and post about Thanksgiving cards -- in fact, I'll showcase Thanksgiving cards for the next 3 days. 

Several of my Thanksgiving cards have been made the same way -- from a WALLPAPER BOOK!  I told a few days ago about how I was given these books of discontinued wallpaper samples when I was out running some errands.  One of them had a lot of border papers in it - and a couple of them were all about turkeys!  They make GREAT focals for the front of Thanksgiving cards.  Here are a couple of examples:

Aren't those great pictures?  Add a simple greeting and you've got a quick card!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dry Embossed Card Focals

Today I'll show a couple more cards done with dry embossing - this time where embossing is the card focal.  I love the embossed look and it is so easy with machines like the Big Shot and embossing folders!  The first card is a simple Thank You card.  As Thanksgiving draws near, I want lots of thank you cards on hand to express my appreciation to those who mean so much to me.
This card simply uses a Cuttlebug embossing folder with Color Core card stock (from Core'dinations).  After embossing, I sanded it lightly to make the greetings pop.  Then I glued it to a coordinating light blue card for a quick and easy card.

This next card is more of a Christmas theme.  Many of us are busy making Christmas cards so we'll have plenty to meet our needs as December rolls around.
For this card, as you can see, after I embossed my green cardstock, I colored the raised bits.  The embossing folder was another one from Cuttlebug.  I mounted the embossed rectangle to the front of my card, used outline stickers to create a thin border, and finished it off with a ribbon and tag. I think it looks a bit like a Christmas gift.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

By The Numbers - One Photo Layout

Usually when I create my scrapbook pages, one of the first things I look at is how many pictures I'll be putting on the page.  We all have days when we're feeling more creative than others.  Here's a single photo page I did on one of those days of LESS inspiration.

It's not bad, but several like this would get rather boring.  As I mentioned in another post (organizing your ideas), I have folders on my computer with pictures of layouts organized by how many photos they have on them.   Here I store pictures of layouts I really like, based on how many pictures they have on them.  Then when I'm not feeling particularly inspired, I can look at through these pictures to help spark those creative juices.  Here's an example of a single photo layout I designed with a bit more "pizzaz" that I've saved for inspiration.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Running Errands Helps with Cardmaking!

I've been planning a series of posts for upcoming Saturdays that talk about finding inspiration in the things around us. As a part of that, as I do my chores and errands, I've been looking for ways those activities can inspire my paper crafting.  Yesterday's errands, however, resulted in more concrete inspiration than usual!  I was looking for wallpaper to brighten up one of the rooms in my home, and was offered several wallpaper books that had discontinued papers in them.  What a gold mine!

Many of the pages make great backgrounds and some of the border papers offer possibilities for great focals or embellishments.  Here's a real quick card I threw together from the first couple of pages in one of the books.  The black and tan borders were cut from the edges of the border paper, and the flower focal was also cut from it.  The "ribbons," obviously, are also from the edges of the border paper.  And since they were all designed to go together, they mix with the background beautifully.  The only thing on this card that was not from those two wallpaper sheets is the sentiment.  It was something I had already cut on my Silhouette out of sticky-back cardstock (see Greetings for Cards post).

While this card is certainly not the best card I have ever made, I love that it only took 5 or 10 minutes to make!  I have a feeling I'll be making great use of these wallpaper books in the future. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Make it Focal - Part 1 - The Photo Itself

What makes a great layout?  Sometimes it seems easiest to just play around with pictures and papers and embellishments until we get something that we find we like.  I've found, however, that it often helps my layouts and increases the speed with which I can create them when I think about layouts in a more structured way.

When it comes to creating a great scrapbook layout, I would say that the most important thing I've learned is to make sure that I have a photo that is clearly the focal point of my page.  Your eye needs to know where to rest! I've learned that when I have trouble with a layout, I need to ask myself, "What's your focal point?"  Often I discover that my layout isn't working because two photos are vying for supremacy and I need to help one clearly stand out.  Because this is so important, I'll take the next several weeks to talk about different ways to help make a particular photo stand out as the focal point on a page. The the focus is on scrapbook focals, but you'll see that the concepts can easily be adapted to cards as well.

Today I'll talk about the photo itself.  Consider this layout:
I had real trouble with this layout to start with, and one of the biggest problems was the photo I was using.  Here is the original photo:
There were a couple of problems with this picture as focal.  For one thing, the size of the subject's face was smaller than that in at least one of the other pictures on the page, causing a bit of conflict between the two pictures for most important status.  Also, there is quite a bit of background showing in the picture.  You'll notice that in the final layout, I zoomed in quite a bit on the subject, cropping out some of the distracting background.  Sometimes it works to just crop the picture.  In this particular case, that would have added to the problem by making the picture itself smaller than the other pictures, creating more focal confusion.  So, in this case, I chose to digitally crop the picture and then re-print it. This allowed me to have a picture that was as large as the other photos with the person's face clearly larger than the faces in the other photos.

There are several other things that I did to help the focal photo stand out better, but those are discussions for another time.  What ones do you see?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dual Page Layouts

I often do dual page layouts.  I especially like the ones where I treat them visually as one page.  Here's an example. Note that one page has the title, the other has the focal photo and the journaling. Note also the way the two pages are tied together visually with some elements appearing to continue from one page to the other - like the dark green block and the strips of paper near the top:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fun with Mosaics

It's fun playing with photos and creating different looks with them. 

Here I did a mosaic-like border by cutting the outer edge of the photo into pieces.  You can see that it would be pretty easy to cut a photo to achieve this look.  It can be fun to experiment, however, to see how different things look before actually cutting into your photo.  For that, I've found that the program FotoFusion from lumapix software is a great help!  It also is great for helping to create a layout with many photos.  You can check it out for free and only purchase it if you decide you like it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scrapbook Organization

I have found that sometimes it can be really helpful to create the basic organization of my scrapbooks before starting them. For example, for a travel scrapbook I want to make sure I tell the story of the trip.  Creating the basic structure first:
  • helps me pare down the pictures that I will use and to choose what photos will best support the story
  • gives me a chance to see approximately how many pages I will have so I can decide whether it will reasonably fit into one scrapbook, whether I want to split it into two or more scrapbooks, or whether I want to leave out more pictures to keep it to a manageable number of pages
  • and it helps to make sure I know how much space I will need to reserve on the page for the journaling.
  • In addition, it helps me be more efficient when it comes to actually printing the pictures and creating the album pages.  It can go quite quickly when I already know everything I want to have on the page.
Here is the format I've found useful.  
I create a table with 3 columns.  Each row is a double page spread (or two single pages - except for the lone first and last pages, of course).  I will sometimes use color to distinguish between what I want on the first of the two pages, and what goes on the 2nd. 
  • The first column describes the basic content of the pages. 
  • The 2nd column lists the titles for the pages and any special papers, embellishments, or moods I want to use on the pages. 
  • The last column has the journaling or story that goes with the pictures on those pages.  
For the journaling:
  • When it is a trip I have taken, I try to remember to keep a bit of a diary - perhaps in the form of e-mails that I send to family and friends (and keep a copy for myself).  This helps ensure I remember the story I wish to tell.  
  • When it is someone else's story, I like to sit at my computer, ask them questions, and type as fast as I can to get their story down.  Of course, one could always use a tape recorder and then transcribe it if you aren't a fast typist.  
I feel the story is VERY important. Without it, the pictures lose their value.  With it, you have a fascinating album that all enjoy looking through.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paper Piecing with Special Papers

Paper pieced embellishments can be fun to make. Simply pick your favorite picture, trace the outlines of the various shapes and cut them out of different papers, glue it all together to create your embellishment.  Try to pick papers that will enhance your picture.  For instance, the paper used to form the tire and the foot-pads in this picture was taken from a vinyl & leather type paper that really helps them look more real.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Make Your Own - Embellishments

As much as possible, I like my embellishments to have meaning in my layouts that go beyond simply filling space and adding beauty.  Here are a couple of pages that show that.  


In the first page, the basket is a picture of a souvenir I picked up.  I printed it, cut it out and used it as an embellishment.  The second page shows something similar.  I took a picture of a baobab fruit, printed it twice and cut it out for use as embellishments.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What's in a Word?

I've been thinking about the season we are in right now.  We call it by two different names: Fall, and Autumn.  It strikes me that what we call it might have an affect on how we experience it. 

To me, the term Fall, speaks about plants losing their leaves and the work involved in raking them, and annuals dying as the weather gets colder.

The word Autumn, on the other hand, engenders thoughts of brilliantly colored leaves and a crisp breeze that wakes me up to the world. It brings thoughts of gratitude and wonder. 

While there may be times when I need to focus on Fall in my papercrafting - such as when I remember someone who has died - I find I want to have most of my papercrafting (scrapbook pages AND cards) focused on the glory of Autumn, and my gratitude for God's care and for the many blessings in my life.

Friday, November 5, 2010


With Thanksgiving is just around the corner, here are a couple of Thanksgiving cards I've made. I especially like the suede paper with them -- adds a nice texture to the card.

I don't always get it done, but as a part of my Thanksgiving celebration, I like to make and give Thanksgiving cards.  On the inside I mention at least one specific thing that I appreciate about the recipient. This puts me in the "thankful" space I want to be in as I celebrate this holiday. It reminds me of the importance of friends, family, and others I come in contact with throughout the year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Now that it is November, it feels like Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  This time of year I like to focus on gratitude in a special way, making cards to say to friends and family, "I appreciate you and am thankful you are in my life."  Here are a couple of Thank You cards that made up pretty quickly from scraps left over from scrapbook pages.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Corrugation Fascination

Have you played with the variety of corrugators on the market? I have a Marvy/Uchida wavy one that I got from Paper Wishes. At the time, I purchased it because I thought it would make a neat textured background for a card focal, and because it would be helpful for making "envelope cards". I have used it for both of these things, as you can see in these pictures. 

However, I had not considered using it on a scrapbook layout until recently.  Here's a fun one where the small corrugated strip reinforces the stripes in the background paper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bookmark Card

I can't take credit for this idea - I saw a bookmark card on-line somewhere - but I figured out how to make this on my own.

Bookmark card - card is closed but with bookmark opened out so you can see the front of it

Bookmark Card - Card is open, with the bookmark folded in - this shows you the back of the bookmark.
You can make it any size, but here are some quick instructions for making a card with a finished size of four and a half inches by six and a quarter inches.
  1. Cut a piece of cardstock to 6 1/4 inches by 10 1/2 inches.
  2. You will be measuring along the long edge of this cardstock and scoring perpendicular to it.
  3. Score the card at 4 1/2 inches and perforate it at 9 inches (so the bookmark can be removed).  Then fold along both of those lines to the INSIDE. This gives you a normal looking card until you open it up and see the attached bookmark.  Note: I have a perforating blade for my cutter which makes the perforation easy.  If you don't have that, you can score along this line as well, fold it, and then pierce along the fold with a paper piercer to make the bookmark easier to remove.
  4. Decorate your card and bookmark as you wish! As you can see, I chose to punch a hole in my bookmark and attach a tassle.