Monday, May 28, 2012

H2O Baby!

Good Morning  friends! I wanted to share with a you a bright summer layout I made of my daughter in the pool.  The summery theme of this layout meant I wanted a colour palette that screamed summer!

I finally chose the Cuddle and Coo  Pyramid pack (PA-2385) and chose a yellow polka dot background. It wasn't a tough decision since both sides of this paper pack are so versatile. It's texture is so very cool too..linen!  The bright yellow contrasted nicely with the pool water blue. I think it's really important when using a string pattern as a background to give the viewer's eye "a break" so I added some finger painted smears of white acrylic plus some splatters.  (Thanks to my pal, Audrey Yeager for the idea to use my fingers!) I chose the position of the smears and the splatter after I laid out the other pieces of my design without adhereing them. I then removed the elements and painted. I used my heat tool to dry them and replaced the pieces back on the design!

After choosing a piece of red from the 5x7 Cardstock Pad (PA-2337), I layered several scraps from the Cuddle and Coo pack with a sticker border (ST-4074) for dimension. Also, I used few scalloped flower shapes to create white spots to highlight my title and the little photo in the lower right. The white shapes are more of that visual 'break' I spoke of earlier.

I added a few buttons in contrasting colours and stitched them directly to the layout with matching twine in the white and red. I chose the red becuase my focal photo is mounted on the red and it provides cohesion to the design. The red machine stitching and the white trim are a few other little additions.
This design came together easily with the help of these delightful Momenta products. I hope you are inspired to create some summer memories of your own! Until next time, keep doing what you love to do!

Additional Products Include:
Echo Park Diagonal Paper Strip
Letters from MAMBI and American Crafts
Buttons from Close to My Heart
White Scalloped Flowers from Jillybean Soup
Twine is Doodlebug
Trim, Paint and Thread are Unknown.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank You, Canadian Scrapbooker

Wanted to share my excitement! The new Summer Issue of Canadian Scrapbooker contains another design featuring my darling Bo-Bo.  Isn't he cute as a puppy? Look at those ears!

If you get the chance to check out the rest of this issue, you'll find some great designs by a few of my friends:
Joanne Burton, Laura Whitaker and Sharlene Nye-Petrone. Congratulations ladies!

Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Watercolour Musings (Part 2)

Good morning friends! Today I wanted to share with you more about a product that I use all the time on my scrapbooking pages : Watercolour Paints. As I mentioned in Part 1,  I am not an expert on watercolour paints in the traditional sense! But I can tell you what works for me and how I achieve the techniques you may have seen on my pages or cards. Ready?

To begin, let me share with you some of the products and tools I use for this technique:

1. I chose some good quality watercolours with lots of shade options. I recently purchase some new colours at Two Scrapbook Friends
2. I have a small selection of very reasonably priced paint brushes in different bristle type. For this project I like a square ended brush.
3. Paper towels for blotting and to act as an absorbent mat under my art work.
4. A basin of water (change this often as your light colours will show the taint of blackened paint water)
5. For this demonstration I have included some templates as well. Balzer designs creates them in many patterns and sizes. Two Scrapbook Friends had several options in stock.

Since my last tutorial, a few of my scrappy friends mentioned that they were not as pleased with the results they achieved..we finally discovered it comes down to the next topic (and the most important!): QUALITY of the paints. I cannot stress this enough. Don't look to your child's craft cupboard paints for a great watercolour experience! In fact, when acquiring paint and brushes I tend to look for quality like I do any other scrapbooking supply I am going to put into my scrapbooks. The colours from good paint are truer, allowing you to better blend colours to match a patterned paper or predict their shade with more accuracy. The brushes that are good quality will not shed their bristles in the middle of your design and will not separate while in use. Ask at Two Scrapbook Friends for information on good quality paints and brushes to order

Also, I would like to remind you that Watercolour can be made more or less intense by adding more or less water. I recommend experimenting before you begin; especially if you are concerned about the end result. If you are a go-with-the-watercolour-flow kinda gal, the have it and art will out! The latter is my path these days and sometimes you can be surprised.

All of my techniques require you to have a protected work surface or area away from items that could become ruined in the process. I cannot stress this enough. Watercolour paint does not come off photos even though it can be wiped off surfaces if you act quickly. Follow manufacturer instructions for care and safety.

Now! On to the fun part: let's talk about using watercolours with stencils!

In this layout,I created featuring my very handsome doggy, Bo-Bo, I laid out the page before I decided where to place my template. In fact the painting was one of the final stages of my design process.

Once I had decided where I needed the paint I removed all the elements to a safe location and set up my craft area for the watercolour paint.

Step 1:

Lay out your paper towel base and place your card stock on top. Then place the template in position.

Step 2:

I like to use fairly DRY water colour combinations when working with templates since the we don't want the watercolour to flow UNDER the template and obscure the design. To do this I add a minimal amount of water and do a test on a scrap piece of paper the same shade as my background. For this template design, I began with my lightest shade (opposite to the splatter technique).

Step 3:

I prefer to hold down the template with my hand firmly. I have seen the use of painters tape if you are uncertain or want to be sure the design doesn't shift accidentally. Using your brush and the shade you have chosen, I began 'dabbing' or 'stippling' the paint in a round motion in the CENTRE of the template. I added a bit of water and paint to my brush and continued until it was the shade I desired.

Step 4:

When I have added all the shades I need for my design, I then lift the template up as VERTICALLY as I could without moving it. (if you have chosen to use painters tape, leave it adhered until the design is dry. DO NOT use your heat tool on your plastic template! It will melt.) You will notice the template is damp and covered with paint. I then use more paper towel to wipe off the excess from BOTH sides. You can use regular dish soap to wash your templates between uses.

Step 5:

If you dislike dry time ( and who doesn't?) then I use my heat tool to gently dry the design and complete my layout as planned.

Here's that layout I made of my darling BoBo showing this technique.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey of discovery and maybe learned something new. Until next time, keep doing what you love,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Lizzy by American Crafts

Thanks to Two Scrapbook Friends, I was gifted with this gorgeous line called Dear Lizzy Neapolitan by American Crafts. The soft palette reminded me of sherbet: soft peaches, aquas and yellows. Yummy!

My first design called Artsy Crafty, features my daughter Adriane and her very good friend making pottery ice cream cones. The light colours were a perfect fit for these goofy photos.

Don't you love that Ice Cream cone from my Silhouette?  I used my sewing machine to create the cross hatch pattern in a contrasting colour of thread. The Artsy and Crafty fonts are also cut with my fabulous machine.

This line inspired me to use lots of Kraft cardstock, in addition to the title and cone in Artsy Crafty, I used it as a background for my little beach bum. I splattered white acrylic paint and layered in a few doilies and some distressed edges and ink.

The butterfly border is comes from a sheet of garland all sewn together! You just snip what you need.
I also  used another doily, one of the tags on the kraft card to make this unique wedding card.

This line also has some great vellum..remember vellum? The cloud vellum in the this line was one of my favourite parts! I used my sewing machine to adhere it to the back ground after tearing the ling edge. The stitches replaced any adhesive I might have needed to use. I also loved splatering a rainbow of coloured watercolours on the white background. (I hope you come into Two Scrapbook Friends to see how this can be acheived on Wednesday, May 23th between 6 and 8 pm).
  I was inspired to make this birthday card too.
I love the stitching, ribbon and of course the little heart pin. Thanks again to my Silhouette I cut some custom clouds for both the layout and the card.

I hope you will enjoy using Dear Lizzy as much as I did!
Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hello Summer, I adore you.

Echo Park has done it again. Another wonderful collection of papers and stickers for every scrapbooker; from the beginner to the more advanced. Echo Park's Hello Summer line is filled with bright happy colours and it was a pleasure to get some of my own summer photos out and create for To Scrapbook Friends.

My friends always tell me that I never scrapbook my son Max  enough. Those of you who have pre-teen children (sons) can probably sympathize that getting a good shot without a silly face can be very (and I mean VERY) difficult. For this photo, I managed to catch him just relaxing and being himself at the cottage last summer.

 I began with white Mr. Huey mist and my Balzer template to create the masking pattern on the kraft background.  I then added some little bits and strips with tabs and a banner to tie it all together.

I love the bright flowers on this next background and couldn't wait to use it to highlight the red in my daughter's shirt and her happy Carefree expression.
I used several of the flower stickers and 'popped' up some of the images on the background to provide dimension. I also added a few of the brads and a long banner sticker across the width of the design. The title was cut using my Silhouette (have I mentioned how I love this versatile machine?)

My final layout is a simple design and the title is something my husband  always says about Adriane and me. We are so alike and these photos from a few years ago really brought it to mind. Of course it has lots of stitching, watercolours and three of my fave photos!

I also made two simple cards. This first features some wonderful stickers, a cute little bee and lots of messy machine stitching.
The second includes the Echo Park Hello Summer Chipboard, bright red ribbon and more contrasting stitches.
This kit had so many more bit and pieces, I could have created at least 10 more projects! I hope you'll pick up you copy of the Hello Summer kit and get creating!
Until next time, keep doing what you love,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Slide into a Happy Birthday with a tutorial and Momenta!

Good Morning!
Today, I want to share with you a slider card tutorial that I adapted from the talented scrapbooker and cardmaker, Kimber McGray. Slider cards have been around for ages but I saw these super cute cupcake layered stickers and thought they would make a great interactive card for a friend of my daughter.

Let's begin! Here's what you need:

1. Patterned paper of your choice. I used a baby themed Scrapbook pad (PK-2146 BAS)
2. Matching Border Stickers. I used a puffy scalloped border sticker from the "Let's Party" package. (ST-5160)
3. Matching Sentiment Sticker. I used the words Happy Birthday from the "Celebrate" package. (ST-1765)
4. Matching single sticker for the slider embellishment. I chose a cupcake. This sparkly gem came from the "Let's Party" ST-4879 package.
5. Trimmer.
6. Several foam squares or dots.
7. White card stock.
8.Corner rounder.
9. Tape runner.
10. Optional: Ribbon or floss trim.(decided against using min even though it shows in the photo).

Step 1: Cut one piece of white card stock to 4.25 inches by 11 inches. Fold in half to form a card 4.25 by 5.5 inches. Cut a second into a 4.25 by 5.5 inch piece. This second piece will form the base for the top portion of the card.

Step 2 : Cut two pieces of pattern papers into 3.25 by 4 inch pieces.

Step 3: Adhere one to the card base in the lower right. Adhere the other matching piece to the single piece of white (4.25x5.5).

Step 4: Cut the slider using your paper trimmer. The slot should be 0.5 inches from the right side of the slider and from the bottom. It will be 1 inch from the top of this patterned piece. Add the remaining pieces paper of your card to cover the remaining white base.

Step 4: Add several pop dots to the bottom of the decorate white base.

Step 5: Add a pop dot to one penny and then place it under the slot and add the second penny on top. This creates the slider.
Step 6: Add your choice of sticker to the top penny.  After this add the top layer of the card over the base of your card.
Step 7: Round the corners using a corner rounding punch.

Another look at the final card!

The final card allows the receiver to move the cupcake up and down. What could be more fun? This technique can be sue with butterflies, birds, spiders or even are only limited by your imagination!

Until next time, keep doing what you love.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspiration Elevator

What a thrilling day! Today is the launch of Inspiration Elevator (IE), a challenge blog created by me and my dear friend Ann Jobes. We chose the name Inspiration Elevator (thanks Ann!), because it is our intention to raise our creativity to heights through challenges issued every month. We want to raise our designs from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

In a nutshell, IE is a group of like minded scrappy friends who want to raise the bar in their own creative process through unique challenges that we issue to each other once a month. These won't be run of the mill challenges and we hope you will join us each month and be inspired by the innovative designs we create.
This is not a blog hop, and there are no prizes, but we would love it if you would take a few minutes to see what the rest of the Inspiration Elevator team created.
We are sure you will feel inspired to get creative.
The first challenge, issued by yours truly, is two-fold: to create a new design that reflects your style, and to use a new product or technique that you find inspiring right now. I wanted to give our IE members a chanceto get know each other a bit better and get comfortable before things get really interesting!
This design actually came together quickly, for me and it does contain all those scrappy items that are quintessentially me.

1. A white background is usually my preference. It acts like a canvas for my photo and all the artistic touches I love to add.

2. I love bright colours and geometric patterns like stripes, polka dots and chevrons. I can often been seen applying these patterns via strips over, under and around my photo in varying ways.

3. I like odd sizes of photos and will often choose a 5x7 or several small 2x3's instead of 4x6.

4. I enjoy different fonts with my title and it is the last thing I usually have in mind before call the layout finished.

5. I am not a huge journall-er. Surprising, I know, that a person with so much to say out loud doesn't have more to say on her designs!

6. I love to machine stitch. I like straight and zigzag primarily and I like it messy, especially in a contrasting thread colour. In this design I used red to compliment the kissy lips and contrast with the green glasses.

The technique I chose that is inspiring me RIGHT NOW, is my watercolour paints.
Since I discovered the bright translucent colours of water colour paint I use them often and many ways.

I hope you will pop by my fellow passengers on the Inspiration Elevator. There is tons of serious talent on this journey and you will be amazed and inspired. Our next challenge will appear on the 15th of June! Stay tuned.

Until next time, keep doing what you love.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Challenging Challenge with the Lipstick Chicks!

Good Morning! This month the Lipstick Chicks were challenged to work with colours they don't normally choose. It truly was difficult! Mostly because there aren't many colours I wouldn't choose if the photo's called for it! I love colour and I try to use it as a tool to ad meaning to my designs. So I looked a my stash of patterned papers and wondered what was sitting in my "TO DO" pile. I loved Authentique's  Gathering line but had a terrible time pulling it out to use it. It was settled; I would use the Orange, Aqua and Brown, even if it killed me!

This design features a large chipboard circle from Harmonie that is covered in mist and inks to make it look like suede. I fussy cut dozens of poppies and layered them and popped some up. This photo from Angela Smith of Waterloo is special to me and I wanted to give it the extra special treatment.

It wasn't so challenging after all once I got started! I hope you'll pop over to the XOXO blog and see what all the Lipstick Chicks have created this month and be inspired to use some challenging colours yourself.
Keep doing what you love,