Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: "How Does Your Garden Grow" & Sketch Challenge Entry

A couple years ago, I was privileged to be on the The Memory Nest blog design team. Once we started homeschooling, I did not re-apply, but I miss designing for Leslie's sketch challenges.  Sketches are the hardest for me, but I appreciate how it forces me to think outside the box and try something new.

It was satisfying to finish a couple layouts to post in Leslie's "Make it Monday" summer challenge series using the Echo Park "Homegrown" Collection that was sitting in my stash.

HG87016 Homegrown Collection Kit F

I specifically purchased it to document my new backyard vegetable and flower gardens.


Not that my gardens are spectacular, but since I do not have a green thumb, 
anything that stays alive should be documented.

Ahem.

Here is the sketch from Make it Monday #69, along with my design.  



I originally finished the layout with photos without white borders. 
It just seemed as though something didn't work. Reprinting the photos with 
borders make the layout easier on the eye.  

In my opinion.  


Watch the process in the video below and I'll explain the reason for my strange contraptions over my plants. Also see a complete list of products used over in my gallery at Scrapbook.com.  


Tomorrow I will share another completed challenge from The Memory Nest.  
(I know you absolutely cannot wait, right?)  In the meantime, I hope you will check out Leslie's blog, give her some love, and complete this challenge for yourself. The deadline is September 4.

Scrapbook Layout Process: Documenting A "Favorite" Using Dear Lizzy for a Color Challenge

With a free day before our schedule turns into fall-crazy, I spent some time completing some online challenges.

This layout is for a challenge at "Lasting Memories" Layout Challenges.  I have not participated in their challenges before, but decided to give this one a go because it was not a sketch challenge, but a color challenge.  Those are my favorite.

This was the inspiration photo:


Aren't these colors lover-ly??  Here is my take:


This sunset photo was taken in my backyard. I love it when God shows off, don't you?  
We are fortunate to have undeveloped green space behind us, and with my garden 
coming in nicely, it was a lovely view.  


To complete this challenge, I pulled out some Dear Lizzy paper from "Documentary." 
The dimensional embellishments and tag are also Dear Lizzy products with die cuts 
from Pebbles and one lone button from Fancy Pants.   


A complete list of supplies will be over in my gallery at Scrapbook.com.  
Hope you will also stop by to give me a "thumbs up"!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: Old Techniques for a New Layout

Every time you turn around, there is a new trend in scrapbooking.  Which shows that really creative people are involved in this industry.

Obviously.

However, we scrapbookers can get so excited about the new trends, designs and techniques, that we can forget about we have done in "the past."

But that doesn't mean that those past trends, designs and techniques are not worth using again.

I am more of what you would probably call a traditional scrapbooker. I definitely follow the trends, but I normally don't do a lot of mixed media or time consuming artsy techniques.

But I really do like to play with paper. New paper. Old paper.

For this layout, I combine new with the old. There is some background stamping with an old stamp from Glitz Design and aging in the corners and sides of the card stock background paper with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I also brought out the flowers, gems and tickets you don't see too much on layouts lately.  Adding new to the layout was paper from the My Mind's Eye "Fancy That" 6 x 6 paper pad.

image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/15010809/2df60e80-beee-4e08-a360-e4bafafdd3e2.png

The collection is from 2015, but it was "new" to my local Michael's store and new to me too. I loved the soft colors and gold foiling, so I had to grab it. 

Because, 40% off coupon.

The trendy art deco design of the paper, plus the "old" items and techniques made a great combination for this heritage layout:


The photo is the bridal portrait of my beautiful grandmother, who was married in September 1926.  No longer with us, as this photo was taken 90 years ago.  Hard to imagine.  

The photo is a digital reprint of the original which I scanned and printed with my Canon Selphy.  I also have my grandparents' wedding portrait, which I plan use for a matching page.  

This is one of my new favorite layouts.  



Head over to your time capsule and find a great photo, something old and something new (even something borrowed and something blue if you want) and get another page completed for your family album, or display in a wall frame. (That's what I plan to do.)

There is a process video, which you can watch here.  At the end, I share more details of what was added to this layout.  


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: Banner Birthday (and some reminiscing)

Y'all.

I cried while making this video.

#Truth.

Not while actually creating the layout, but while I was doing the narration.

I started reminiscing.  Bad move on my part.

My oldest is 19 and this is the latest page for his birthday album. THE album which is the record of all his birthdays from age 2.

(Let me go on the record, in case you think I'm a crazy parent for not taking photos of my first born child's first birthday. Said birthday photos are currently in his official baby book. Hope I'm off the hook now!)

As I narrate, I begin sharing that after adding this latest layout to his album, I realized how this kid has grown and that this could be his last birthday at home.

I'm keepin' it real.

Anyway -- you don't hear me blubbering in the video, but it still may be a cry for therapy.

However, I do talk about the layout process.  From beginning the layout one way, I end up changing it two more times until I come up with this final creation:


The stamp sets shown in the video are: "Stylized Birthday" (#141828) and "Number of Years"   (#140653).  The coordinating dies for the stamp set are the Large Numbers Framelits Dies (#140622).  New in this year's catalog is a matching alpha set, "Letters for You" (#141968) and coordinating Framelits (#141712) which is on my wish list.  

I forget to mention in the video, but even though the Stylized Birthday stamp is only available as a wood mounted stamp, I use it unmounted. Instead of mounting it on the wood block, I just put the provided sticker on the back of the rubber stamp and it sticks to an acrylic block. 

Voila.

To see the whole process, you can watch the video:


Meanwhile, I'm off to call a good therapist.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

9 Ideas to Help You Design a Vacation Themed Scrapbook Album


From my YouTube channel, I had someone ask me if I would video one of my son's school albums so she could get some ideas on how to carry a theme through an entire album.

While that is in the works, here are my 9 ideas for designing a themed album. While some may not work for every type album, these are the steps I used for my recently completed Galveston vacation album.  Watch this video where I share examples of some of these steps.


1.  First, select a color theme. This may be an entire kit or brand, but in the video, I show the "summer color kit" I assembled from my stash that included different brands.  All the cardstock was in the botanical greens and ocean blues; the patterned paper included the same color palette with simple designs.  Overall, it provided a cohesive look while not being too busy. For this type of album, I wanted to show off the photos more than the "art."

2.  Choose an "icon" to appear on every page.  In the vacation album, you will see that most of my layouts have one of these cute camera stickers:


It's just a little something that brings the reader back to the theme.  Anything can be used for an icon.  For my oldest son's school album, I incorporated stars, which are represented in the patterned paper, diecuts and other embellishments.  

Get your FREE layout sketches to do similar layouts!  Scroll down for the link!

3.  Do not journal on the layouts. This sounds contradictory, but sometimes, journaling can take away room for the many photos that can tell the story much better than words. Instead, think about creating a diary of the entire trip and highlight it -- as I did for an ending album page.
   
4.  Use simple titles.  I didn't use several different alphas for my page titles. I used one package of Thickers, and then added alphas for large titles.  


5.  Incorporate ephemra. This would include postcards, tickets, tokens, or other small items that can be included on a layout.  It can act as another photo to explain a particular activity.  In this layout, I used our hotel key, since it had a great photo of the resort where we stayed.


6.  Add fewer embellishments.  Again, since this themed album is to show off vacation photos, I felt that adding several embellishments on a page would detract from the story I was telling. Besides ephemera, a few choice embellishments kept me on pace. 


7.  Do a recap page with "odd" photos.  Some of my extra photos which didn't pertain to a specific activity were grouped together on a storyboard type layout which included short captions.  I didn't even use a title on this page. Instead of captions, a title explaining the photo series would be enough.


8.  Incorporate titles across two pages.  Sometimes different attractions or activities may not require a double page spread.  Even if two pages don't mirror each other, using the same color scheme plus titles that work separately and together, will help pages flow together.  For example, look at these two pages:  


The title on the left - "Our Trip" - is on the page with the brochures about what we did on the trip.  On the right, "Away to the Gulf" gives the location of the vacation.  On a whole, "Our Trip Away to the Gulf" brings both pages together, even though the pages have different goals. (I noticed later that on the second page, the Snap card that says "I {heart} to travel" also flows right into the title on that page!)  

9.  Create one page for vacation brochures. Just illustrated on the previous photo, I used one page and made a pocket to put all the brochures from Galveston.  Postcards and tickets can be added to a pocket like this if not included on other pages. I went with this route because I liked being able to pull out the brochure and read specific information that may not be seen when the brochure is affixed to a layout. 
  

Those are some of my tips for pulling together an entire theme into an album. From the page design to the flow of the story, a finished album like this is another family treasure.

Now that the kids are back in school, grab the free sketches I designed just for you, and get started on your vacation layouts while they are fresh in your mind. Don't wait four years.  Like I did.  


Monday, August 22, 2016

The Tale of the 48-Hour Layout

A couple weekends ago, I had a 48-hour malady.  Maybe you have experienced something like this.

Symptoms included: adhesive apprehension, paper perplexity, and layout lamentations.

Over a scrapbook page.

Good thing I didn't do a process video on this one, or you would be watching it clean through next weekend.  Probably not the entertainment you would get excited about.

So here is the story.  I was cleaning out my scraps and found some birthday paper scraps from three different kits, (Basic Grey "RSVP", Crate Paper "Party Day" and Carta Bella "It's a Celebration") along with a few coordinating embellishments.  Enough to finish two last pages for the Oldest's birthday album.

I found some matching paper for a base, and got to work.  This is a quick iPhone photo of the layout before I glued everything down:


Then as I started putting it back together, I hated it. So I restarted and made some adjustments, again trying to use up this paper kit.  (I was determined to work through this!)

Attempt #2:


I started gluing, and again I very much disliked it.  Just not feeling it. 

Eventually you have to go to bed.  

Day Two.

After taking everything off and thus ruining the base paper, I realized that I needed to have a rethink.

And so . . . I began again.  

During several (and I mean several) episodes of Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix, I made a few more attempts.

By the way, the Murdoch Mysteries is a great TV show.  Canadian based, it tells the story of a detective working for the Toronto Constabulary (fancy Canadian for the police force - since they have constables you know) at the turn of the century.  This detective uses his uncanny deduction, plus science before its time, to solve murders. Which happened a lot in Toronto. 

Allegedly.  

There are 7 seasons on Netflix, but I won't tell you how many I watched while trying to complete this one layout. 

But I digress.

It took a change of paper, a lot of ice tea, tortilla chips and guac to finally arrive to this:


Huge difference! This is a combination of scraps from the Basic Grey and Crate Paper collections. Carta Bella got a pass on this one. 

Still couldn't decide if I liked it -- but before I changed my mind, it went into the teen's album.  

And in case you are wondering, I do make a mean guac. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Clean & Simple Winter Thank You Card Making Tutorial using the Thoughtful Branches Limited Time Bundle

Today I'm sharing another tutorial for making a second seasonal card with this exclusive stamp set and Thinlits die bundle:


It's exclusive and only available until August 31, 2016 or while supplies last.

If you haven't yet, you need to go order it right now.  

Ready for the card?




The cardinal makes the card, don't you think?  So cute. In the video, I used the Wink of Stella pen to add some shine to the middle tree and the cardinal.  

Don't birds like bling?

Supplies for this card, in addition to the bundle

Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake and Soft Suede inks, Old Olive and Crumb Cake card stock, the Wood Grain embossing folder and Whisper White organza ribbon (18" approx).  

Sizes to cut your card stock:

Crumb case base:  4-1'8" x 5-3/8"
Old Olive mats:  3-3/8" x 3-5/8" and 1-1/4" x 2-5/8"
Whisper White:  3-1/4" x 3-1/2" and 1-18"x 2-1/2" 

Here is the step by step video tutorial on this card. A little longer than yesterday's video, but you will see me move at supergirl speed in some parts:  https://youtu.be/d6h7wdzaGxo




Thursday, August 18, 2016

Clean & Simple Fall Thank You Card Making Tutorial using the Thoughtful Branches Limited Time Bundle

If you like being a part of an exclusive club, then you need to get the new Thoughtful Branches Bundle with stamp set and matching Thinlit dies right now from Stampin' Up.


It's exclusive and only available until August 31, 2016 or while supplies last.

I will certainly excuse you while you go order it right now.  

But come back for a tutorial.

I'll wait.

Now that you've ordered your bundle, I'll show you some of the many ways you can use it! Check out the clean and simple Fall card made with just two stamps from the set: 



Cute, huh?  And if you are a beginning cardmaker, this will be a breeze. 

Inks I used for leaves on this card were Tangerine Tango, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede and Delightful Dijon. (I used Early Expresso for the sentiment.) You could also substitute Pumpkin Pie for the Tangerine Tango, and Crushed Curry for the Delightful Dijon.  Or only use three colors instead of four.

Your choice. 

For a step by step tutorial on this card, watch the quick video below.  I used a different card stock base for the tutorial, 'cause I'm just rebellious that way.

I apologize for the lighting -- not the best -- but when you are excited about a stamp set, you want to film at any hour of the day.  Or night. 



Now go forth and be your own creative self!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What is Paper Pumpkin Anyway? Let me tell you and share a special offer!

Wanna know what the fuss is all about?

Paper Pumpkin is the new rage for papercrafters: a monthly kit with all the supplies you need to spend some fun, creative time.

BARGAIN ALERT!

Until October 10, 2016, when you order your first month of Paper Pumpkin, you get the second month FREE!

Who doesn't like free?

Visit the Paper Pumpkin website and use promo code "BOGO" to get your free month.

Really.  Just go.  Right now.  Don't miss this.

After you visit the Paper Pumpkin website, watch the video below which shows the July 2016 kit and some of the other projects I made.  You can also visit the video from June 2016 for more examples.  Photos to pin to your Pinterest page are at the bottom.

Don't miss the new trend of monthly papercrafting kits.  I love getting my little orange box of goodness each and every month.



Photos of the finished projects for you to PIN:




Monday, August 15, 2016

6 Steps to Get Your Vacation Album Finished (Plus Free Sketches and Album Share Video!)

Don't you love that feeling of accomplishment?

Right now I am patting myself on the back for completing our Galveston vacation album in two weeks.

The vacation that was four years ago.

Don't worry, my marriage is still intact.

The video below shows the entire album: pages with process videos and other finished layouts that you will see for the first time.

If you cannot sit down and work on one album like this for a block of time, do not despair.  Here are some steps you can start today that will help you get that album completed in your own time frame:  

Find all the photos.  This seems obvious, but sometimes we have photos on our computer from a DSLR camera used on vacation, plus photos on our smartphone. It's time to download those photos off your phone, copy and put them all in one folder and put a shortcut on your desktop for easy access (and as a reminder).  If you only print photos from your phone, copy and put those photos in a new album in your photo app for easier accessibility.

Select the album.  Again, this seems obvious, but if a vacation album is something that you want to complete, then have an end in mind.  Chose to go with a post-bound album with 10 page protectors instead of a 3-ring binder album. With a post-bound album, you know that you need to plan 20 pages, (or 9 double page layouts plus 2 single layouts) to have the project finished.  A 3-ring binder is discouraging for me because I can add and add layouts and never see a finish line.

Make a kit.  I use one of these clear storage boxes to pull together everything together from my stash that I could use on my layouts. I also grab coordinating "bits and pieces" from my little drawer system. You can see more about this system in my Craft Room Tour video on YouTube.  These clear boxes are great because you can have your paper, embellishments, photos and adhesive all in one place so it's easy to grab (or take on the go) when you are ready to scrap.

Choose classic layouts.  Classic layouts, as I show from my album, may be a good choice over the heavily artistic layouts if you have several photos you want to scrap. There is nothing wrong with using this more "formal" or traditional style - it is not as outdated as you may think. These layouts are fast, still look fabulous, carry a theme well and focus the attention on the photos rather than embellishments. However, if you are a determined mixed media junkie, a title page may be the perfect spot for doing something that is more time and labor intensive.

If you need some ideas for classic layouts, scroll below the video 
to download a FREE packet of sketches!

Make journaling easier.  While scrapping vacation photos from a couple years ago or more, you may not remember all the details of the visit that you want to record. Skip doing a journaling tag or creating a place for journaling on each layout.  Instead, use the last page of your album to record a diary of your time away. I explain more in my video of how to get this done with your family's help.

Include ephemera.  Don't forget to include brochures, postcards, tickets or other small items that you can include in your layouts.  In the video, I show you an idea for displaying your vacation brochures, along with other little souvenirs you may pick up on your trip.

Don't wait four years (like I did!) to get vacation photos on paper! Make time today to plan your vacation album project. Soon the kids will be back in school and you need to take some time out for yourself anyway.

Now watch the video below, download the free sketches, then go forth and scrap.  You have my blessing.



Click here to download your FREE sketches! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: Visit to Blue Bell

Happy Saturday!

This layout will probably have you craving ice cream.  If you're from Texas, then go right ahead and indulge in your favorite flavor of Blue Bell while you read this post.

I'm a mint chocolate chip gal myself.

This stop at the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham was the last adventure on our way home from Galveston.  We took the tour of the facility, but for the Youngest, the best part was having a treat at their ice cream parlor.

Of course.

This is another clean and classic layout with two sizes of photos, and is the last double page in the vacation album.

The next and last video in this series will be an album share.  I will share all the other pages in my album and give you some tips and ideas for including memorabilia and creating a cohesive theme for your project.

Watch the video to see how easy it was to put this layout together. (Although I say it's the 2nd video of this series, it's really the fourth.  I'm going to blame bad memory on my perimenopause brain.)

Sorry, TMI.  But - truth.


Don't forget to link your vacation layouts (blog post, photo or video) in the comments of the first video of this series.  Get those photos in your album!

Click image to enlarge

Friday, August 12, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: At the Pyramids

The best way to get those vacation photos in your album is definitely by way of double-page layouts.

I was able to do another 10 photos on this spread, which shares our day at the Moody Gardens Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids.  

If you have younger kids, you really need to plan a visit to this place.  So much to do, all in one spot.  The Youngest (nine years old at the time) enjoyed himself immensely.

Keeping this layout clean and classic allowed me to tell my story with more photos; I also didn't spend as much time trying to embellish or fill blank space.

The fussy cutting was a little intense though -- definitely not my strength in papercrafting.

Watch how I quickly put this layout together, and share a little more about our Pyramid visit.  Don't forget to link your vacation layouts (blog post, photo or video) in the comments of the first video of this series.  Get those photos in your album!




Click on photo to enlarge

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: Gulf Coast - a Double Page Layout

Behold the next layout for the Galveston vacation album.

It's a double page spread -- fairly simple -- but the storyboard process (using the strips of small photos) with minimal embellishments and a large title make it album worthy.

I did go buy that Craft Smith paper pad you see in the video  -- even though I originally said that I would only use cardstock from my stash. I just didn't have two sheets of each color to make nice two page layouts.

Don't judge.  You've been there.

Who doesn't want an excuse to go to Michael's anyway.

Because, sale.  70% off.  Worth it.

Watch my quick video below that shows the process.  I continue to be your tour guide by telling you more Galveston.  Anything to entice you to come to Texas.



All the supplies are listed on my gallery on Scrapbook.com. Be sure to Pin the layout on Pinterest, and take part in the challenge.

What challenge?  Take a look at the first video in the series.

Click on photo to enlarge

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Scrapbook Layout Process: Road Trip! (and a Challenge!)

This past week, I played in my scrapbook paper to bring about some mojo.  Do you do that too?  Nothing works better for deciding what layout I want to work on next than to discover paper I forgot I had.  During my playtime, I discovered was some fun, bright, summer papers that I originally purchased to scrap our Galveston vacation photos.

That trip was 4 years ago.

It's time to get those photos in an album I would think.

So I grabbed those papers, some embellishments, an empty album I also found, and spent my free time for a week to finish the album.

Seven double page spreads and 6 single pages later, I'm finished.  

Once I decide on a project, I can become a little obsessed. (Or so my Hubs sweetly reminded me. Ahem.) 

Not every Galveston vacation photo is in this album, but the photos which tell this vacation story in the best way are included. ("Because Hubs, scrapping ALL the photos would be obsessive.")

Watch the first in a short series of videos that show the kit that I put together, plus the title page that I completed for the album.  There is a challenge included in the video for you as well!


A list of brand name products used at my Scrapbook.com gallery.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to post your vacation layout or summer paper kit link in the comment section of this video so others can see your work and get ideas too!  (There is no deadline for posting your link - we will keep it open indefinitely.)

Now go forth --  and play in your paper!