Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Just a quick post to wish you a Happy Halloween and to share two cards. I made both cards on Thursday (nothing like the last minute!) and rushed them to the post office. I hope they get to my friends in Maryland in time for the big day.

The mummy card is cased from a card I saw on another site. I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it but I'll keep looking so I can give proper credit for this great design.

For the second card, I inked up my Studio G stamps with charcoal instead of black and used the Stampin Up's retired Groovy Guava instead of a traditional orange. Also take a good look at those black gems. They were originally rhinestones; I just colored them with a black Sharpie. Thanks, Jennifer McGuire for that great tip!

Hope your day is filled with more treats than tricks!
Ingredients: Stampin Up! cardstock, Karen Foster Beastly Black patterned paper; Color Box Chalk (Charcoal) ink; Imaginisce Positively Pewter brads; Studio G stamp; gems from Michael's; Nestabilities.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do Over

Do you remember, as a child, shouting the words "Do over!" when something didn't go your way. Well every time I would thumb through my scrapbooks, I always wished that there was a way to "do over" a layout I had done using some of my favorite pictures of Melissa when she was a baby. I loved the pictures and I loved the paper, I just didn't like the finished layout. Then I found out about Undu and my "do over" became a reality.Using Undu, I was able to lift the pictures from the page without damaging either. Pretty amazing, huh?

Here's a picture of the original layout. You may want to get out your sunglasses for this one.
It was one of the first layouts that I ever completed. I remember being so excited about finding paper to match Melissa's outfit. What I didn't realize then was that the paper was competing with the picture. And what was I thinking when I used green mats!

Here's my "Do Over":

Journaling reads: My sweet little were all smiles at Mark's birthday party. You would never know from these pictures that we would rush you to the ER just hours later with a fever of 105 degrees.
As you can see, I still used that polka dot paper but I softened the look by only letting a little bit show and inking the edges with Stampin' Up! Whisper White. I roughed up the solid DVWV cardstock with sandpaper. I even sanded the Heidi Swapp chipboard letters. (I needed to get the vacuum out after completing this layout!) My Cuttlebug also got put to use to cut the circles with my Nestabilities and emboss them with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.

In the new layout, I'm happy that the newly cropped pictures take center stage, not the paper. What do you think?

I'm tempted to call "Do Over!" again on some of my other layouts. If I do, however, I may never catch up on my scrapbooking!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mosaic Moments

How can you maximize the number of pictures you include in a 12 x 12 layout while making your page a work of art? I found out at the Mosaic Moments class I took at CKC Hartford! I have to admit that the gorgeous mosaic layouts I had seen online both intrigued and intimidated me. Well, thanks to the fabulous Tami Potter, CKC instructor and author of Designing Photo Mosaics and More, I'm no longer intimidated.

In addition to being a talented designer, Tami is a gifted teacher. She made the mosaic process easy. So here's my layout. The only things I added were the embellishments and the oval title which I cut using my Nestabilities.

Melissa was thrilled that I chose her communion pictures for this page. Since I was using the mosaic as a background for pictures from 2005, I had to cut the 2008 out of the cornerstone and insert the oval title block (which I printed on scrap on my computer) on dimensionals. Here's a close-up:

I added a trio of pearls to each mat on the second page to make up for the fact that my pictures were not sized appropriately for these pre-cut mats. A pearl cross (which I bought months ago from Your Happy Place) and the Jolee's communion embellishment finished off the page.

For those of you contemplating the value of this class, let me tell you that it is well worth the cost. The price of the class included an easy-to-read self-healing mat plus all of the supplies to make this page. Tami even includes the pictures of the flowers so that everyone has the right photos to work with.
I was leaving CKC right after this class and had forgotten to stop by Tami's booth earlier in the day to buy supllies for future layouts. Well Tami and her husband, Kevin, thought of everything. They had a plentiful assortment of grid paper on hand to sell during the class. I can't wait to get started on a layout using my Grand Canyon pictures.

And now for some blog candy...check out Webster's Pages at for a chance to win some goodies from their beautiful new paper line!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Scheming Around

I took the Scheming Around class at CKC Hartford last week. The class, which is based on Donna Downey's book, A Photos-First Approach to Designing Layouts, required a lot of preparation to gather and cut pictures. It was also overcrowded, extremely fast paced (3 layouts in an hour!) and very noisy despite the fact that we were using "silent" setters to punch holes in out paper. I have to tell you that I left the class feeling a little disappointed and very stressed. However, once I got home and put Donna's approach to work with my own tools (a Big Bite!), paper and stamps (Technique Tuesday), I loved the results and am happy that I took the class.

So, here's the first layout. It's based on a sketch that uses eight pictures that were cut into 2.5" squares. Now anyone who knows how I obsess over picking the "right" paper to go with my photos will know how out-of-the-box it was for me to cut pictures ahead of time not knowing what my paper even looked like. I got lucky since some of the sunset pictures picked up the coral from the paper.

So, I finished the first layout in class (adding the letters was a personal touch I put on it at home) and began the second layout. Here's where my frustration set in. The design of the second layout centered around using the Dot All Around template from Crafter's Workshop. You can find it here Everyone had to share the few templates that circulated the room and, to make matters worse, they were not available for sale at the Vendor Fair. (If anyone from CKC is reading this, take note: I would rather pay a few extra dollars for the class and walk out with the template.) Okay, so once I drew the circles, I had to wait for one of the silent setters to become available. At my table, there were six people using two setters because the third setter was missing a mat. Many people turned to their Fiskars Eyelet setters which is what made this the noisiest class ever! (I started to use my Fiskars Eyelet setter but it always jams and there were so many holes to punch so I waited for the setter.) While we waited, we stamped the circle pattern on the paper using a Stampin' Up! stamp. However, the stamps were in desperate need of a cleaning so I wasn't happy with the result. To make a long story short, when I came home, I took my own cardstock and, using the class project as my template, I punched out the holes using my Big Bite, stamped the circles using stamps from Technique Tuesday's Back Rounds Medium set and added Thickers which I distressed with sandpaper. The result is one of my favorite layouts.

Journaling reads: Watkins Glen 2005...Watkins Glen 1966
If it wasn't for this class, I don't think I would have ever combined pictures from a childhood vacation with a recent one.
There was no time for the last layout in class which was not surprising. When I got home, I took the Bazzill watermelon cardstock (which was supposed to be the background for the second layout) and paired it with Around the Block's Maple Leaf patterned paper. I distressed the patterned paper with Cat's Eye charcoal ink and used the edge of my scissor to distress the cardstock.

Journaling reads: Instead of going to the CN Tower, we surprised the kids with tickets to a Yankees/Blue Jays game and went to the CN Tower the next day!

For this layout I used Technique Tuesday's Endless Summer stamps. The word "BALL" is not included in this set so I used the "B" from Barbeque, masked it and added the word "ALL." I just love my Technique Tuesday stamps!

I know this is a long post but I have one final tip to share. Since I was using such a big block of cardstock on this layout, I cut a 6"x6" square from the center of the patterned paper so that I could use it to embellish my layout. Here's how the layout looks from the back.

Ingredients: All supplies, except those noted, from CKC Scheming Around class kit.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Latest and Greatest -- Part 2

The Fall weather is finally here and with it, thoughts of Halloween. So here's the Halloween layout I started at the Latest and Greatest workshop at CKC Valley Forge and finally completed over the weekend.

Journaling reads: Halloween Checklist: *Costumes *Friends to Trick-or-Treat with * Candy *Smiles all around!

One tip I picked up at the workshop was to tear my two pieces of patterned paper at the same time that way they would line up when I layered them.

Anyone who knows me knows that Halloween is far from my favorite holiday. Halloween of 1998 was, however, without a doubt, one of the best! Mark was very into firetrucks that year so I decided to make him a fireman's costume complete with his own firetruck to "drive." He played with that costume for weeks after until I passed it along to a friend for her sons to use. And, of course, where would a fireman be without his dalmation? Doesn't Melissa look cute!

All supplies from this layout, with the exception of the flocked Making Memories Halloween words, are Imaginisce. I kept my layout close to the page map given out in class. I did, however, add the 4 X 6 picture on the first page along with those two pieces of orange scrap card stock to anchor it. I also put my ghost medallion on pop dots to give it more of a 3-D effect.

With less than 16! hours to go until CKC Hartford, I doubt I will get my other two Latest and Greatest layouts finished. So stay tune next week. I'll be cropping this weekend to complete my Valley Forge and Hartford projects!