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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Friday, January 20, 2012

Stamp a Focal

This card makes use of a stamp set from Paper Wishes called "Matching Borders and Focals.  Though they have a larger flower that I could have used where I used the flower pots, I chose to use the flower pots from their "Tiny Words and Images" set.  The paper is also from them.  I find that sometimes a simple card made with neutral colors just fits the bill!  The main thing that I used to dress this card up a bit is my Fiskars rotary paper cuter with the Victorian blade -- one I tend to use A LOT!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Themes - What NOT to do!

For today's Theme Thursday, I decided to show another page from the scrapbook I made for the dance teacher, and talk about it's theme.  This page would have been better if I had taken the time to really think through the theme - though in all honesty, I didn't know the story behind the main photo until after the book had been presented.  Had I known, I would NOT have made that mistake.

Anyway, the focal picture shows a dancer dressed as a penguin.  The story is that someone told her that when she danced, she looked like a penguin, so she decided to go with that for a fun dance.  Whether I knew that or not, this page would have been better had I focused in on the penguin theme. Instead of some or all of the flower embellishments - which have no relationship to the theme, I could have used little penguins for my embellishments, making a cute theme cuter. 

Of course, I didn't HAVE any penguins, but I could have found some to print and cut out, and/or I could have used my penguin stamp (shown below on a Christmas Card), stamped in black with a red scarf.  If I used the stamp and wanted different sizes, I could have created a stamped image, colored as I wanted it, and then scanned it in and printed it in different sizes. I could even have changed its facing direction before printing it. When one is up against the type of deadline I had for this book, there are bound to be ideas that come too late to implement, but it's helpful to note them anyway as doing so might help them come sooner the next time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mosaic Memories

Today's card was inspired by a challenge by Nancy on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  It makes use of several supplies and tools.  It starts with a "Brad Buddy" from Hot Off the Press.  This is the fish and fish bowl.  It was personalized with enamel paints.

A frame was created for the fishbowl with "mosaic" pieces cut from adhesive-backed card stock attached to a sheet of glimmer paper that was cut to shape with a Spellbinder's die in my Big Shot machine.  The mosaic pieces were cut into strips with a fancy-edged paper cutter - then cut into little bits.  A stamped sentiment and a ribbon border completes this quick and easy card.

After I took the picture, I decided I would prefer the card with rounded corners - repeating the curves of the focal, so I used my corner rounder punch to finish the look - but didn't take another picture.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scrapping in a Hurry

I've been sharing about the Memory Scrapbook I made recently.  In making it I was up against a VERY tough deadline.  I had barely 3 weeks from the time the message first went out requesting pictures and messages to the day the scrapbook was to be completed -- and Christmas/New Years celebrations fell between these dates.  This meant that it took some time for the entries to trickle in, and I had other things on my "to do list" (like presents, Christmas dinner for 21 people at my house - fortunately several people helped with the cooking, and new years eve party).  Even though the pages were only 8 x 8, there were 42 in all, so this was no minor challenge.

Today I thought I'd share some of my tips for organizing yourself to make a scrapbook in a hurry:
  1. Use a spread sheet to organize your pages.  I described this technique in an earlier blog here. Without doing this as entries came in, it would have been a disaster!  While I asked for entries to be given to me by January 1st, quite a few came in after that -- two of them the night before the presentation!  I could NEVER have tracked everything if I hadn't already been used to organizing things this way.  This also pointed out challenges -- like what I described in last Saturday's blog where there was too much journaling -- and enabled me to plan how to meet the challenges without a lot of trial and error.
  2. Use coordinating paper packs.  This can really speed up the time it takes to find papers that look good together.  In this case, I utilized several 8 x 8 packs I had with pretty coordinating pastel papers in them. I had picked up quite a few of these Wedding paper packs from Hot Off the Press when they were on sale, and they came in really handy for this album.  In the past I've used them for anniversary pages and wedding/anniversary cards.  However, I realized that most of the papers are not really wedding specific and would make great pastel backgrounds for this book - I even found myself using some of the wedding-specific papers, because some of the entries specifically spoke to weddings and anniversaries! 
  3. Use Spellbinders dies (or similar products) to create quick and easy mats and frames that really dress up a page.  Edge and border punches also make for great mats as well as page border treatments.
  4. Use outline stickers and jewel stickers for quick embellishments.  Hot Off the Press makes a line they call Dazzles, some of which are specifically for scrapbooking.  I also use a fair amount of the "Peel-Offs" brand.
  5. Layered purchased flowers with brads for centers also make for quick embellishments - as do ribbons.
  6. Use scrapbook layout software for a quick arrangement of elements and to enable you to easily see what size to print your pictures.  I use Fotofusion and really like it.  I scan in the papers I intend to use, so I can really see what it will look like.  When I have the layout the way I want it, I eliminate anything I don't need to print (like the background paper and various embellishments) and am left with the pictures that need to be printed.  I save this as a *.jpg at 300 dpi. I can then cut and paste from this into a standard 8.5 x 11 page in my photo software so I can get as many pictures as possible onto one page for printing.  Saves money & keeps me from wasting money printing pictures that aren't the right size for my layout.
So, there are a few tips for speedy scrapping.  Hope you find them useful!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make Your Own - Easter Egg Embellishments

This page told a cute story that just DEMANDED Easter egg embellishments.   I figured I'd just look through my collection of pictures and print some out. However, I didn't have any with the colors I wanted.  This is easy enough to fix if you have good photo editing software.  I simply pulled the pictures into my photo editor and tweaked the color -- increasing the blues, decreasing the reds, until I had the colors I wanted. 

While I think it would have been nicest to print each egg individually and then cut them out and layer them, I really didn't have the time for that.  So, I used my photo software to arrange them all on a blue border and printed them that way.  This made it much faster to cut them all out as they were all one piece a large part of them didn't actually have to be cut.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

7 pictures on an 8x8 page???!!!

Personally, I find it easiest to make a scrapbook page with only one picture on it.  This usually makes it pretty easy to create a page focal, and allows plenty of room for title, journaling & embellishing.  Often however, I don't want to take that many pages in my book (and frankly, one picture per page can get a bit boring).  This page shows what can be done -- even with a small 8 x8 page -- to fit several pictures on a page.  By cropping my photos and printing some of them smaller, I was able to get 7 pictures on this page, and still have room for the poem! 

In this case, I at first thought I'd print the pictures a bit larger and go with VERY narrow margins between pictures.  I found, however, that it looked best to go with wider margins between pictures so more of the page showed between pictures.  This helps pull the page together and helps keep it from looking too busy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Overcoming Challenges - Too much journaling!

Yesterday I showed a couple of pictures of a scrapbook pages from the memory book I just finished.  Today I'll show you how I handled a specific challenge I faced with it. (This picture is actually more of a light pink than it looks.) Most of the pages were entries that other people supplied -- I had asked for a picture of them & a message to their teachers.  In this case, the person wrote a BOOK!  Even using fairly small type, there was no room for their photo!  I solved this problem by printing their photo on a little card like this: (personal contact information has been blurred)
I then took an A2 envelope that I had that coordinated with the paper (all in shades of light pink - though the pictures don't show the pink as well as they should).  I sealed the envelope and cut off one side to form a pocket.  I used a circle punch to punch a half circle in the scrapbook page and the front edge of the envelope pocket, then created a pull tab with a little tag - all attached with eyelets & ribbon.  Voila - picture can be pulled out to be seen, but the message is intact.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Memory Book

You may have noticed that I haven't updated my blog for over a week.  I was working on a scrapbook with a very tight timeline, and once the blogs I had set up ahead were posted, there were no more until my project was finished and I could get back to this.  My project was a Memory Book for a dance teacher couple who were retiring, and it needed to be done in time to be presented to them at their retirement party. 

Today I'll show a couple of pages from that book.  Both utilize Spellbinder's dies run through my Big Shot to help accent the focal photo.

This first page (above) uses the largest die from the "Fleur De Lis Rectangles" to serve as the top layer of a double mat for the photo. I LOVE this die, even though it tends to take a bit of work to get the paper/cardstock out of the die after cutting/embossing.  It is SO worth it to have the lovely design on my page. The next page used a die from the "Labels One" set to create a frame for the photo. 
Both pages also feature titles cut with my Silhouette - which also cut the swirly embellishments on the second page.  Ribbon and jewel stickers (Dazzles from Hot Off the Press) helped to finish it off.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Personalizing Purchased Focals for Christmas Cards

These cards show purchased focals that have been decorated with Stickles glitter glue and/or fun flock. This first one uses Stickles over the word "Peace".  Stickles also decorate the ribbon around the lamb's neck.
This one uses Stickles over the word "Joy" and over the holly.  Fun flock creates a furry look on the white parts of the hat.
Here, a light coating of fun flock over the background, simulates a light dusting of snow.
And here Stickles are used for the beard and fun flock for the white parts of the hat.