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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, April 30, 2012

Paper Piecing with the Silhouette

Making your own embellishments is not only fun, but can ensure you have something that really supports the theme of your card or scrapbook page.  These elements are ones I made for a scrapbook elements swap.  They were cut on my Silhouette using different colors of cardstock and then glued together for a quick and easy paper pieced effect.  HINT:  For putting glue on all the little pieces, nothing beats the little Xyron sitcker machine!

I'm not sure where I got the patterns.  Some might have come with the Silhouette machine, some might have come from the UKScrappers web site (the Craft Robo/Silhouette forum), and others might have come from a set of pattern books I got from Hot Off the Press.  And I easily could have adapted them from any of these places as well.  Once thing about it, the Silhouette certainly makes it easier for folks that would rather avoid the trace and cut aspect of most paper piecing! 

I really appreciate that the Silhouette software allows one to create cut lines from a jpeg file.  This makes it pretty easy to take a pattern and get it cut electronically.  I even have done "print and cut" with my Silhouette where I made some paper pieced daisies, but printed their "faces" before having the Silhouette cut them out.  NICE!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Journaling Tips 9 - Hidden Journaling

Today's page has journaling that was printed on plain paper, cut out, and glued to tags.  But it also contains HIDDEN journaling (note the "Pull" tab in the bottom left-hand corner of the page).  First, WHY would you put hidden journaling on a page?  There could be a couple of reasons.  There might be a rather private story that you don't want everyone to see (in which case you might not put a very visible "Pull" tab on it!).  Or, you could have a situation like I did here.  I didn't have enough room on the page to tell the story I wanted to tell. So, I HID it behind a picture!  This next picture shows what it looks like when the hidden journaling is revealed:
So, how did I do that?  First, I printed the journaling I wanted on a plain piece of paper, folded it up (fold is about half-way down the journaling) and then glued the top part of it to a piece of cardstock.  I cut a little tab with an exacto knife and wrote the word "Pull" with a white opaque pen.  I mounted the picture carefully with glue on 3 sides, leaving the top open so the journaling could be slipped in behind it.  (In the future, I would make a small envelope with an opening at the top.  Glue the photo to the front and glue the back of the envelope to the page.  This would make for a sturdier pocket.)

One more thing was needed.  Since I keep my pages in page protectors, I needed to cut a slit in the protector where the journaling would slide in and out.  To do this I slipped the page into the protector and used a dry-erase pen to mark the line that needed to be cut.  Then I pulled the page out and slipped a cutting mat inside in its place.  Using a craft knife I cut the slit carefully and then erased the remaining marks from the dry erase marker.  I slid the page back in place (minus the journaling) and then slipped the journaling in through the slit in the page and behind the picture.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Too Many Pictures

The challenge this layout presented was that I wanted it to be a memento of our entire trip.  I was just making an 8 x 8 page and we went 5 places that were all very different.  I wanted a picture of each, but there was no way to make that fit and still have room for title, journaling, etc.  What to do?

What I did was create a photo wheel that I placed behind the page, with a frame cut out of the page itself.  The wheel can be turned to allow a person to see each of the 5 photos.  Here's another view showing a different photo in the picture window:
Note that there's an arrow showing the direction to turn the wheel, and there's a second little window cut out to show the number of the photo that corresponds to the numbers in the journaling block.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Words with Brad Accents

Here's an interesting focal that combines purchased elements with pretty scalloped mats. 

The words were from a sentiments on vellum type of pack.  Obviously I cut around them with my Nestability die in my Big Shot machine. and then cut a couple of progressively larger mats. 

A scrap of patterned paper makes a great border - especially with the narrow brown borders added.

The shaped brads make nice replacements for the dots of the "i"s, as well as an easy way to attach the vellum to the mats.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Christmas Card with Pergamano Focal

It's the last Thursday of the month and time for another Christmas Card.

The stocking with candy canes and teddy bear was created with pergamano techniques and then colored with Smooch inks.  I wanted the red to be a lighter color, so I used a Dove blending pen with just a touch of smooch ink for the body of the stocking.

The stocking is attached to a purchased Christmas Tag.  The cream/red behind it was created from a Spellbinder's die.  The die was used for the red Smooch ink stenciling that was cut in four pieces and attached to the tag so it would show on all four edges.

The paper is from a cardmaker's Christmas pack from Hot Off the Press.  The border started with a printed border that came with the Christmas pack.  It's border was created with an EK Success punchout that was cut in half lengthwise so it showed as I wanted on each side of the printed border.  The red of the border was enhanced with smooch inks, and a red ribbon completes it.  A stamped greeting finishes the card.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pergamano Christmas

As I've mentioned before, I try to share a Christmas card on the last Thursday of each month in an attempt to encourage us to work on our Christmas cards all year long rather than having the stress of making all of them at the end of the year. Since it's near the end of the month, I decided to continue my pergamano cards with a Christmas card today. 

This pergamano example was made with a Christmas template.  I colored some of the embossing with Smooch inks, and added a seasonal ribbon border.  The greeting is an outline sticker.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Challenging Papers - Bhudda Thinking of You

Awhile back I did a short series of blogs on using up challenging paper.  Here's another example of doing that.

As you may recall, I had a bunch of this paper that I had bought for a very good price.  I figured it would work well for an India scrapbook, but I probably would only use ONE page in the whole India scrapbook!  What to do with the rest of it??????

So, here's a bit of a humorous take on it.  It's bound to be just perfect for the right "Thinking of You" occasion.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Embossing Folders - Card & Notepads

Today I'll take a quick look at using embossing folders.  I find they can REALLY add a nice touch to many projects.  I use several different brands of embossing folders with my Big Shot and they all work pretty well.  This first example is this card that used the "diamonds" embossing folder by Sizzix.  As you can see, I not only chose to cut my embossed piece in half to create borders on either side of the card, I also fussy cut around the diamonds.  I can't remember for sure where I got the die cuts that form the focal of this card, but I DO remember that I had to add the word "Cherish" using a white gel pen.

Here are more examples of embossing - this time featuring some more of my covered notepads (instructions here):
This uses a swirl embossing folder and a button border embossing folder - both by Cuttlebug

This one adds another Cuttlebug border embossing folder -- a wavy line

And this one drops the button folder, making room for the stamped word.
Nope, the swirl folder isn't the only one that works for these notepads.  I use a variety of them, but these examples all happened to use the same one - because it is my favorite.

So, here are some examples of how I've used embossing.  How do YOU like to use embossing?????

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Journaling Tips 8 - Print on Embellishments

This page takes last week's tip a step farther.  Instead of printing on a tag, I printed on an embellishment -- the spatula.  I did it the same way.  First printed the words on plain paper.  Taped the spatula over top with painter's tape, after holding it to the light to ensure the words lined up where I wanted them. Printed again.

One thing I should mention if you choose to do this.  Pay attention to the type of paper/cardstock your tag or embellishment is printed on.  In this case, the spatula had a bit of a glossy coating.  This meant careful choice of printing specifications as well as careful handling so it didn't get smeared before it dried.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Poster Too Big

The challenge for this page was that I wanted to scrap about a prayer poster I had made - but the poster was too big to fit on the page! 

I can't remember whether I took a photo of it or scanned it in in several pieces and then stitched them together, but one way or other I got a picture of the poster. Then I could print a copy of it any size I wanted!  I designed the page with the title overlapping the "poster" so I could make it as big as possible.

Ta-da!  Another challenge successfully met!

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Tags on Notepad Covers

Here are some more tags on notepad covers.  Once again, the techniques would work for cards as well. This first example uses tags and printed "ribbon" from an 8x8 paper pack from Hot Off the Press - I think it was the birthday one.  The embossing on the cover is once again embossing folders run through my Big Shot.  I really like the way the wavy border turned out.

The rest of these use tags I printed myself from the Tags CD from Paper Wishes (Hot Off the Press).

 This one uses mats created with my Nestabilities dies from Spellbinders.

 Adding mats for the tags is a nice touch.  The colored border is scraps from a Jewel Dazzles pack.

Here I layered a printed art piece on the tag, matted it a couple of times, and added the ribbon for a nice finished look.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I enjoy creating travel-themed scrapbook pages and I loved these pictures of the cute little koala bears.  These pages were pretty straight forward, with titles cut on my Silhouette.  I thought the brad buddies were great embellishments for these pages, but I used enamel paints to add shading.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pergamano Butterfly

Today we have another card with pergamano techniques.  In this case, it's a butterfly made from another pergamano template.  It is matted on a piece of green cardstock that was cut and embossed with a Spellbinder's die before being stenciled with white chalk.  The same technique was used for the greeting which was stamped with white ink.  A ribbon finishes off the card.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Double the Fun

Here are more notepads like the ones I showed last week.  On these ones I doubled up on the die cut mats.  Note that while dies from the same sets go nicely together, they don't always have to come from the same set or be designed to go together.  They can still be doubled up and creating an interesting effect.  This one combines the Fancy Tags II with the Fleur De Lis Squares.

 This one is a purchased die cut backed with another scrap of paper.

This one combines a Fancy Tags die with one of the Fleur De Lis Rectangles.
Here we have a Fleur De Lis Square with one of the Fleur De Lis Motifs
This is a Scalloped Oval with a Fleur De Lis Motif.
Obviously these are both from the same set - Labels 4 in this case.
This one combines Labels 4 with a scalloped rectangle.
Here are a couple more from the same set - this time Labels Eleven.
And this final one combines the Fleur De Lis Square with a tag from Fancy Tags II.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Marquee Card

The basics for making Marquee cards are shown here.  This card was a real challenge because I got the bright idea of using my Spellbinders Nestability dies to cut the marquee part of the card.  It took a LOT of trial and error to get the dimensions of all the pieces right so that the card would open correctly.  And unfortunately I must have forgotten to note the final dimensions because I sure can't find them anywhere! 

At some point along the way I decided not to cut a hole in the front panel, but added a decorative element in the same shape instead so I could have the added dimensionality.  This is one of those cards that looks much better in person than in the pictures.  The front and part of the inside are sprayed with a gold spray that really adds a nice sparkle.  And the contrast between the gold decorative elements and the yellow card is much greater than it appears here, giving a really nice look if I DO say so myself.

Anyway, I really DID like the idea of using the Nestabilities for this and some day I'll find the time to make another and make note of the necessary dimensions.  Although most examples of this type of card that I've seen have hidden scenes inside the marquee, I DID like the idea of using a sentiment that becomes visible only when the card is opened.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Journaling Tips 7 - Print on Tags or Print Your Own Tags

This page shows 2 different techniques.  For the first tag on the page I printed directly onto it with my printer.  How did I do that? First I printed the words I wanted onto a sheet of paper.  Then I took my tag and placed it directly over the printed words, holding it up to the light so I could line it up the way I wanted it on my tag.   Then I took painter's tape (that blue stuff that comes off easily) and taped the tag in place along all the edges before running the page through the printer again.

For the other two tags, dark printing would not have shown up at all, so I had to come up with something else.  I could have hand-written them with a white opaque pen, but I had too many words to fit on to make that an effective choice.  So, I scanned in the tag, and opened the picture in my photo editing software.  Then I just added the words in white and printed it up!  I found a very nice matt photo paper that is like cardstock rather than the standard glossy or semi-glossy photo paper. This works very nicely for printing things like these tags.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

All Landscape 4 - Make a splash

To finish our look at landscape photos, I'm showing this page.  It doesn't have a title on it because it's actually the second page of a 2-page spread, but this is the page with the horizontal photos.

This page is a plain background filled with 5 landscape photos. It could have been VERY boring indeed. This demonstrates how much can be achieved with the careful use of shapes.  Clearly the main thing bringing energy to this page is the sunburst shape of the central photo.  The little sea lion brads certainly add a nice touch, but it is the shape in the center that commands attention and brings energy to the page with the feel of exploding fireworks, a pulsing sun -- or a big splash of water.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Purchased Focal with Extras

Today's thinking of you card starts with the word & letter tags.  These are layered with flowers that were cut with my Big Shot & layered with other purchased flowers.  Matting the whole thing several times gives a nice look and a bow finishes it off nicely.  Even though the tags were purchased, the whole thing has more of a "hand made" feel because of the way all the elements are brought together.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Both cards and scrapbook pages can be wedding themed.  Here's an example of its use for scrapbook pages.  This dual-page layout is from a heritage album.  The left side page holds the wedding certificate, and the right side holds the wedding photo. 

The decorative touches mostly come from the scrapbook paper I chose for the background.  The gold and flowers on these papers support the wedding theme.  For embellishments, I cut around the flowers on the page backgrounds and popped them forward over the page elements.  The title was cut with my Silhouette out of the same golden cardstock used for the mats of the pictures and certificate.  The journaling was done with a gold gel pen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

25 Patterns Flower Border

Today's card continues the look at pergamano techniques.  This time, two different templates were combined to create the pattern.  A bit of embossing on the pink mat, and some outline sticker borders and sentiment complete this thank you card.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Note Pads using Die Cut Scraps

Last week we talked about cutting shapes from our scraps using die cutting machines like the Big Shot and various dies.  Today I'll show a few covered notepads that made use of these die cuts. (Check my blog post for March 19 to see the how-to on these.) And remember, that anything that can be done on a notepad could also be done on a card!

This first die cut is from Spellbinders Fancy Tags II set.  Doesn't it serve as a lovely decorative mat for this focal?  The focal itself (and on the other notepads shown today) is a 3-D sticker purchased from the Dollar Store.  The pens, pencils, and the notepads themselves also came in sets from the Dollar Store.

Here are some more covered notepads using die-cut scraps as mats:

I DO love the way these decorative die cuts dress up a project!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stenciled Embellishments and a trick for Vintage Photos

Today I have a scrapbook page I did as a part of a Heritage Album.  Note the use of a stencil and pen for decorative embellishments.  Without them, the page had looked rather plain.  I used my Silhouette to cut the matted title, and corner punches to create the decorative corners on the mat for the focal photo.

The other thing I want to point out is the way the little pictures are framed at the top.  As always with vintage photos, I don't like to cut them or put adhesive on them.  These 3 pictures, however, really needed to be cropped!  So -- I created the frames and then mounted the pictures from the back with photo corners, adjusting their alignment to achieve the cropping effect that I wanted.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Journaling Tips 6 - Print on a faded picture

This takes last week's tip one step farther.  Take a photo of your subject and lighten it considerably in your photo editing software.  Then add your journaling and print it out.  This allows the journaling to be read easily despite the picture in the background, but ties it all to your page nicely.

Here's another example.  In this dual-page spread, the second page has a printed sheet of journaling -- over a faded picture of the writer's house! 

You can also see a journaling block that was printed on regular paper and cut out in a shape before adding it to the first page of the dual page spread. In this case I drew a pen line around it, but it could just as easily have been inked before gluing it to the page.