Monday, December 16, 2013

Stuck Sketches and Christmas: Disney Style

 The December 15th sketch at Stuck is up and I love the inspiration the designers have shared with you. The sketch is amazingly versatile:

 We were challenged to add a TREE to our design and I decided to think outside the box: I chose a favourite photo I'd been saving from my 2010 visit to Hollywood Studios at Disney World. I had not been back to Orlando during the Christmas season since I was 15 (so so long ago!) The addition of the Osbourne Family Christmas tree lights transformed an old favourite (Streets of America) to a magical wonderland. Did you know they blow "fake" snow in the air? So magical.
In addition to this fabulous sketch, I pulled out my DOODLEBUG  This & That. I am totally IN LOVE with this line. It is bright and colourful and SO versatile!

I began by painting watercolours on a large acrylic stamp and stamping along the top and in the lower left.
I also splattered paint in those matching shades. The title, cut with my Cameo, include the Aharoni and SNF Lolihop fonts.
I also layered the great stickers on the lower left with my journalling stamp. I also added some pops of washi tape.

Our wonderful sponsor for this month is:
 Creative Embellishments is a new family owned company that was created by Michael and Nicolle Kramer. We are a husband and wife team who design and manufacture unique, high quality chipboard and wood products. It is their mission to offer fun and inspiring products to bring out your inner creativity that you can add to any project. In the near future they will be expanding into other mediums such as rubber/acrylic stamps and acrylic embellishments. Please stop over to the Creative Embellishments store and have a look around.  

Also thanks to :
 We are grateful for their sponsorship too.

I love this sketch and I hope you will play along this month. Please link up your layouts over at the Stuck?! blog  the sidebar by December 29th, 2013 to be in the running for one of our prizes!   All prizes will be drawn randomly using to pick a number.

When linking your layouts, please make sure it is linked to the specific post your layout is in, not your blog as a whole as it can be hard later in the month to find your layout, especially if you blog often. You can also link from any gallery including Facebook and Flickr.

Feel free to combine this sketch challenge with no more than one other non-sketch challenge, such as a colour challenge.

Until next time, keep doing what you love to do!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Inspiration Elevator #19: Christmas Traditions

You may recall that the purpose of the Inspiration Elevator challenge group is to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to mature as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and grow. You can view all of the challenges at the Inspiration Elevator Blog. 

We are thrilled to welcome guest artist Christy Riopel to Inspiration Elevator this month. You may recognize her work as she is a regular contributor/write for Canadian Scrapbooker magazine.

December's challenge for us and for you comes from the uber prolific and very talented Laurel Seabrook. Here's the challenge she posed: "My challenge for December. I love Christmas, everything about it. Decorating my house, making gifts, baking - I love it all. My challenge to you is what is Christmas to you? What is one thing that evokes special memories and truly brings out the Christmas spirit for you. It could be a decoration, photo, song, recipe. Perhaps it is a tradition that you did as a child and now your children do. Maybe it is in the 'special' dinnerware that comes out only at Christmas. Scrap it and tell us all about it. Now for those who don't celebrate Christmas, let's hear about a tradition that makes your celebration special. "

Okay here goes, for those of you who know me well, you know that Laurel's love for Christmas is not something that happens here at the Uttley house. Oh, the kids love the gifts ad my Dolly loves all the trimmings, but the rest of us are a bit..Humbug usually.  The commercialism, the excess spending, the work and all the cooking and cleaning. I admit it..I'm more about loving up on my family and friends ALL year round. But this challenge of Laurel's really got me thinking about the things we do treasure about the season. Our little bits of joy that we carry on throughout the years; my favourite ornament from the very first Christmas Rich and I had in 1994 and the day my Dolly goes to Grandma's  to decorate her tree and bake cookies.

The design I created shows another tradition that Dolly and I have each year. We get Rich to drag the tree up from the basement and we spend a whole afternoon decorating the tree, just the two of us. We watch a  Christmas movie or listen to Carols and drink hot chocolate. I love this time when she is so happy ad the magic of Christmas makes her so happy; a little of that magic, somehow, flows on to me and I am happy.

After adding some matching blue and brown splatters to my background ( I think they look a bit like snow!)I pulled from my stash and used CARTA BELLA Christmas line from last year. It's beiges and blues brought out the glitter and glimmer of our tree and Dolly's skin tone. I used my Cameo to cut a snowflake banner piece that I slid under the left side of my layered papers. I also used my Cameo to cut the fonts (Aharoni and Goudy Bold) for my title.

 I added gold RANGER stickles to the letters and as a light gloss over the STUDIO CALICO wood veneer snow flakes. The distressed edges in brown add depth and allow the papers to pop up from the background.

Once again, I was challenged beyond what techniques I am putting on my design. Inspiration Elevator made me put my heart and soul into the PROCESS and make this an amazingly enriching  growth experience. Thanks Laurel for challenging me to the next level.

I hope you will get around to see all the other designers and to see what y friends have been challenged to create.
Christa Uttley (so glad you are here)
 Guest designer: Christy Riopel 
I hope you feel inspired to play along with our challenge this month, and when you do, please share it using the linky tool on our Inspiration Elevator blog and/or our Inspiration Elevator Facebook page. We'd LOVE to see what you made!

Until next time, keep doing what YOU love.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Songs of Christmas Blog Hop

Welcome to the Songs of Christmas Blog Hop with Two Scrapbook Friends!  You should have arrived here from Amanda's blog.
 Our Blog Hop is all about the Songs of Christmas and the inspiration for my project comes from the song All I Want For Christmas Is You. I chose this song because it really represents how my daughter and her BFF feel about each other..not just at Christmas but all year round. They live in each others' back pocket 24/7! (Please forgive the quality of the photo, I couldn't help but scrap it in spite of it's poor quality.)

Here's the final result:

I really liked this photo even though it wrecked havoc with my editing and subsequent blog posting! Something about the light balance on the blog!! But alas here we are and while the final photo isn't all that I imagined it does capture a time in my daughter's life using some techniques I adore.

I began with a plain white sheet and decided to add paint as my foundation using a sea sponge and my watercolour paints:

The olive green in the WE R MEMORY KEEPERS North Pole line was easy to match and added depth and texture to the base. I added some pennant shapes in differing patterns and laid my photo on top. The title (directly from my song of choice) was cut using the Cameo in differing fonts. I am fond of the SNF Lolihop (cursive) and Aharoni for the smaller print letters.
I created an interested effect using my sewing machine by stitching over top of the title letters to anchor them and add contrast. The letters are first adhered using my XYRON sticker maker (LOVE!!) with little or no fuss!

I also distressed some chipboard STUDIO CALICO stars with my water colour paints, TIM HOLTZ distress ink and my MAKING MEMORIES sanding block. The smallest stars are from STUDIO CALICO too.

So remember, in order to be entered to win the special prize all you have to do is hop from Blog to Blog and leave a comment on each as you go.  Then simply check back at the Two Scrapbook Friends blog on December 10th to see if you are the lucky winner!
Here are the featured blogs in our Blog Hop:
Your next blog will be: Audrey's.  Have fun hopping and be inspired! 
Until next time, keep doing what you love,

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Craft Challenge

 Good morning!  I'm excited that December is here and Christmas is just around the corner. It's with that in mind that I want to challenge you to play along at TWO SCRAPBOOK FRIENDS and scrapbook a holiday tradition. At our house there are so many traditions that I want to be sure to immortalize on the page and this was just one that inspired me to create.

 I used We R Memory Keepers North Pole and layered lots of patterns, stitching and some paint. It captured perfectly Adriane and her Grandma making cookies and being together. Adriane is her only granddaughter so I think it's a special time for them both.
I also used my Cameo to create this cute gingerbread and added some odd googlie eyes for character. My hand written journalling covers the basics but I chose a chocolate brown pen for continuity of the colour scheme. Some colourful brads and a popped up snowflake from this connection finish the cluster.
Finally I added strip or two at the top,  and stitched them down after ruffling the edge. My small cluster creates flow and gave me a spot to add a little Christmas cheer stamp.

I do hope you'll get a chance to play along with this months's always fascinating to see an array of different projects, inspired by your Christmas or Holiday traditions! You could win $25 to use at the store or online!

Just remember a couple of rules:

1. Create as many NEW projects as you like for each challenge! Each creation will gain you an entry in the draw to win. (Please enter a double page layout as only one entry.)
2. Projects can either be uploaded to the forum and gallery or linked up using the tool at TWO SCRAPBOOK FRIENDS blog, to win.
3. Projects must be entered no later than December 31st at 11:59pm.

Be sure to pop by again on Friday and heck out our Songs of Christmas Blog Hop at 11 am.
Until next time keep doing what you love.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stuck?! and My Dear Heart

Hello friends! I am late in posting this wonderful design for Stuck?! and sincerely apologize!  The sketch is amazing with it's layers and the large title.

 I created  this design featuring some pretty pictures of Adriane taken by Angela Smith Photography in Waterloo.

 I used Flea Market by AMERICAN CRAFTS and Maggie Holmes. I adore the artsy eclectic patterns here and the great colours. I chose to use the same photo but printed one in black and white to really highlight the colours in her skin and her hair. A friend said she looks like she has a secret in her eyes. How lovely, right?

I liked the inked edges and the shabby feel of the splatters.
I also loved the bold navy in the title and the fonts with the stitching really tied it all together.
Finally the little cluster and the pops of yellow wood are from STUDIO CALICO painted with my watercolours in bright yellow. A bit of Doodlebug Washi tape creates a horizontal flow across the photos. But it's the little tags and chipboard bits from the Flea Market chipboard sheet that put the final touches on this design. I love accessorizing and embellishing with the co-coordinating embellishments. Everything matches perfectly!

 This months sponsor is Whimsical Twist! We are also playing along with the gals at Scrap Your Stash Challenge blog: they challenges us to use wood on our designs! Be sure to check out what they have created without sketch this month!

Now it is your turn to play!  Please link up your entries over in the sidebar by November 29th at Midnight to be in the running for this prize!  If you use the sketch and a wood element you can link up your creation to both sites for a chance at both prizes!   All Stuck?! prizes will be drawn randomly using to pick a number. 
When linking your entry, please make sure it is linked to the specific post your layout is in, not your blog as a whole as it can be hard, later in the month, to find your layout especially if you blog often. You can also link from any gallery including Facebook (though we cannot usually comment) and Flickr.
Feel free to combine this sketch challenge with no more than one other non-sketch challenge, such as a colour challenge.

 One last note....

I have been so sad of late as we said good-bye to our wonderful furry "child" BoBo, who passed away suddenly and so young, last Sunday.
Many of you will have seen my many layouts featuring this handsome ad loving boy. He had such personality and added so much joy to my life and our home. He will be missed always.

Until next time, keep doing what you love.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Selfie

There is a funny little quote on Pinterest that says: "50 years from now little old ladies won't be able to sew or knit, but they will take one heck of a photo of themselves." We call it the SELFIE and I must admit to taking a few that I use to express my current emotion via text or email or Facebook to friends; like my very own EMOTICON.

Silly, I know. I try to show myself in a good light and in a fashion that I won't be ashamed to look at 20 years from now (It's good advice, Miss Cyrus.) It also means that I make it into SOME photos SOME of the time. It's a Mom's downfall that everyone else seems to live in my life but me! 

So here's a design I created celebrating The Selfie. Celebrating a day when I was BY MYSELF; alone off to get groceries or run some errands. BY MYSELF! Did I say I was alone? I was and look how happy I was for those few minutes of peace and solitude in the car!

I love this DOODLEBUG collection and truly find the brown pops those colours. The vintage cameras also rock!
I also hand traced a circle and stitched in green floss. The right side of the photo shows the arrows and the vintage cameras I love fro this line. The sticker sheets are to die for!
I computer journalled and popped them up for dimension and added my Cameo-cut title in the SNF Lolihop font.

So I challenge you to shoot a few selfies and document this time in your life; it's your chance to be in the photos and document this part of your story. Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stuck?! Sketch and it's My Cup Of Tea!

Good morning!
I'm so excited to to be part of this awesome sketch inspiration blog called Stuck?! Sketches are created by the very talented Laura Whitaker who really has a way of creating versatile current sketches that inspire you to create pages that reflect your own style. For those of you who don't know about Stuck?! (really!) they offer TWO great sketches a month and Stuck?!'s designers share their interpretations to inspire you to new heights. If you play along, you can link up and be entered to win two times a month!

Here is the sketch for November 1st sketch:
I was challenged to create this design featuring my daughter at Walt Disney World in 2009.
I added multi-coloured threads swirling around to imitate the tea cup ride's famous (infamous?) spin! I also added tea cups and a tea pot to add meaningful embellishments to the whole design. I adore this sketch! Please play along and link up here, no later than 11:59 p on November 29th.  I'd love to see you win!

The prize for one randomly chosen winner is from:
Check out their great product line here. Their product line is so versatile and whimsical.

Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Love To See You Smile

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a Scrapbooking Retreat in Grand Bend, Ontario with my favourite LSS Two Scrapbook Friends. They run such a wonderful event and I was invited for the third time to host their second room. Sixty wonderful ladies joined me for an adventure filled weekend. We played Trashketball and Blindfolded Make Up Artist, and needless to say, hilarity ensued.

In addition the fun and games, I found some time to play along with the MY MIND'S EYE October sketch. It's great dual photo style and some frilly layers really inspired. I chose some favorite Lime Twist to highlight the colours in my new family photos by Angela Smith of Waterloo. Here's where this sketch took me:
I didn't include the second photo as it threw my proportions off a bit but added this large die and mounted it as the title.
I also wanted to make it a bit more masculine so ripped and rolled the edges of my three papers below. The effect of using three differing patterns had more impact for my design than the three matching papers in the MME sample. A cute banner also adds focus to the photo.
But what really caught my interest was the journalling around the outside of the photo. I am not a huge handwritten journaller but this really encourage me to get out my favorite black SMASH pen and add my feelings for Max.

I hope you'll head over and play along with My Mind's Eye, they have a new sketch every month! Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Up?

Just a little something to make you smile! I am still loving Simple Stories Say Cheese. I created this little card to brighten someones day!
The balloon stickers matched the  What's up 'card' cut from a 12x12 sheet of paper. Some washi from Queen & Co. and voila!

What's up in your scrappy room?
Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Scrapbooking the hard times and a Sketch at Two Scrapbook Friends

Good Morning! Today I wanted to share with you a sketch and layout I created at Two Scrapbook Friends blog.
As scrapbookers, we often create our pages to tell the happy stories; the memories on pages that share birthdays, or weddings or first days of school. With fall all around us, and feelings of nostalgia strong like the scent of good pumpkin pie, I decided to scrapbook some of life's more difficult moments. Especially for my daughter who feels things so strongly. I want her to remember how she has grown and how she has overcome all the changes in her life.
I designed this sketch as my jumping off point.

I used this selfie Adriane took and then edited it using a iPad app. She did a great job, eh?

The sewn circle really represents all the times in our life when we face challenges (some of them over and over).

I liked the visual impact of the title in cork too.

I hope you'll be inspired by this sketch and layout. Perhaps you will be inspired by the idea of scrapbooking the hard stuff?
Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bo Nose..he really does.

Hello friends! For those of you have been readers here since the beginning this will be nothing new; for those of you are just finding Do What You Love, this will be an exciting surprise: I adore my dog. Yep! There it is. Not any mild adoration for me and the Bo-Bo. No way. This is a true love situation!

Of course when my Dolly took this really cute pic of Bo-Bo i knew I had to share my "Bo's Nose" love! Look at his big black nose! I love it!

SIMPLE STORIES Say Cheese line worked perfectly and brought the colouring in the photo. Thanks again to Two Scrapbook Friends for another inspiring line!
I layered a 'faux' dog tag over the circle to anchor my cluster.
My QUEEN & Co. washi tape anchors the photo/title combination too.  The large NOSE text is balanced and made more a focal point my the differing, finer text of "Bo".

I used a black pen and a journalling stamp to add a bit of text. Finally the cluster in the upper right balances out what could potentially, be a bottom heavy design. (there is a lot of black down there!)

Don't you love him? Isn't he the cutest dog ever (Joanne, I'm talking to you, ya know!) I hope you inspired to create something about your pet that you love.
Until next time, keep doing what you love.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inspiration Elevator #18: Feeling Nostalgic

Inspiration Elevator

You may recall that the purpose of this challenge group is to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to grow as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and grow. You can view all of the challenges our new Inspiration Elevator Blog, here.

We are also pleased to welcome Denise Morrison and her stunning artistic style back to Inspiration Elevator. Our challenge this month comes from the very talented Lisa Spiegel . Here's what she had to say in her very own words: "October is my favorite month of the year. Hands down. The temperatures here in Southern California finally start to drop, we wear a light sweater, maybe even a little boot. We pull out the scarves and the jeggings and put away the capris and tank tops. Leaves begin to change and we prepare for Halloween! My whole house is decorated, from top to bottom, and it is no small feat. I even swap out my dishes and serving ware in preparation for Fall and Halloween and I love to just keep the festivities going all the way through the Thanksgiving and then holiday season. My house will not return to "normal" until January. So, Lisa, tell us, how does this relate to a scrapbooking challenge? Well, what I've found over the years is my scrapping even changes over the holidays. I layer more. Reach for the bling and really dig deep to embellish with meaningful objects. Journal my thoughts and stories and feelings. Fall just make me nostalgic. So here is the challenge. Create a layout that is nostalgic...the feeling should be evident from the title, the visible journaling and the embellishments you choose. Choose deliberately and with purpose to tell your nostalgic story. I can't wait to see how you interpret this challenge!"

Have I said how much I love this group? How the challenges really make me think and connect with my mojo? How much time I spend thinking about these challenges? It's an incredible process whose pressure really adds depth to my understanding of my own process and my capacity to create.

This challenge from Lisa began no differently. I thought I had an idea and as usual with IE challenges I like to let the concept percolate. This time I let it percolate while I basked in the sunshine of warm Florida. Then suddenly at Thanksgiving dinner my mojo took me in a whole new direction and here's the final result:
I used my iPhone to snap some photos during out fabulous dinner out at my Mom's trailer. The outside smells, fall leaves, the cooking turkey and being with my family at the close of the Camping season; all bring me back to my teen years when my parents owned Silver Birch Park, Bass Lake in the late 1980's. I met my husband there, and lived my most memorable teen moments there. It's so interesting that this family oriented event really brought out my feelings of those days long ago. Although we don't camp at all anymore, those memories of being out of doors for so much of my day remains some of my strongest ones.

I began with a Studio Calico template and a paint brush wash of Mr. Huey mists. I also added watercolour paints in matching colours.

I also added a colourful title cut with the Cameo. I like how the bright green brings out the green in the Harvest Lane by Simple Stories. While I certainly embraced the challenge an it's nostalgic feelings, I felt that any writing I wanted to add would only detract from the design. I did add the above text on the reverse of the layout to preserve the sentiments.

 I hope you will stop by and see what the  rest of the incredible Inspiration Elevator designers have created:

I am so grateful to Lisa for this thought provoking challenge. It really is about growth through process. If you feel inspired to play along with our challenge this month, please share it using the linky tool on our Inspiration Elevator blog and/or our Inspiration Elevator Facebook page. We'd LOVE to see what you made!

Unitl next time, keep doing what you love.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sharing the Magic with You.

My final design using Say Cheese by Simple Stories (thank you Two Scrapbook Friends for this great Design Team assignment), features Dolly and her second BFF Lauren at EPCOT in Disney World Florida in 2012.
How little they look! I printed the photos in Black and White so the colours blended better and layered and adhered strips and shapes as I picked them up. Can you believe it? I didn't lay it all out first and fiddle with it for hours like usual!
This circle provides a 'visual calm' for my title work and y little Mickey's (cut using the Cameo). I liked the idea of using the two different sticker fonts from the matching sticker sheets.
The little stickers add a sub text to the design and a visual barrier between the photos. I love it as much now as when I created it in under and hour! Do you do that? What's your process?

Until next time, keep doing what you love!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I am Stuck?! on this Exciting News!

I am so excited to share with you exciting news! Stuck?! Sketches has invited me to be a part of their design team! This is an amazing sketch blog with two great inspiring sketches every month. Not only are these sketches a great place to jump start your creativity, they offer an INTERNATIONAL design team and amazing prizes every month. Check out the October 1 sketch!

You may recall that I played along with this cute little design last week.
The prize for this month is three packages of flair from A Piece of Cake Designs in Australia!
I hope you will join us at Stuck Sketches on the 1st and the 15th of every month! Stop by and say hello! (P.S. Please stop by my BFF Ann Jobes blog and congratulate her too!)

Until next time keep doing what you love!