Friday, February 26, 2010

Take two... or maybe 3?

Every once in awhile a layout just doesn't pop quite like you intended. For some, this is an "oh well, moving on," but those of you who know me are well aware that perfectionism is one of my problems. So when I "completed" the layout below, I just wasn't quite satisfied. (Note: the letters were painted orange before I decided to change out the background paper and add the pink embellishments.)

The pops of pink were disjointed and there wasn't a strong line for the eye to follow across. So I decided that the letters needed to be pink. Thus, I created version 2.0 - it had light pink letters, but I didn't like it well enough to photograph so then came version 3.0. Here's what I learned in the creations of versions 1.0 and 2.0
-You can paint foam letter stickers.
-EK Success chalk ink pens work best, but take awhile to dry.
-You can paint foam letter stickers with Making Memories paint, but it gets goopy and doesn't look very good.

To create version 3.0, I removed the already attached and painted (for the 3rd time) letters and replaced them with already dark pink letters. See the finished product below. Don't you think it was worth it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who loves paint dabbers? I do!

I am a huge fan of painting chipboard, but I loathe having to wait for the paint to dry. That is until I came across paint dabbers from Ranger. These handy little painters come with an applicator built in which means you don't have to worry about whether or not you have a foam brush. Plus, and here's my favorite part, you can speed up the dry time using your embossing gun. Whoo hoo! Paint, dry, stick to page. That's my kind of paint.
Felt snowflakes - American Crafts; Chipboard snowflakes - Maya Road; Paint - Dabbers by Ranger; Silver dots - Distress Stickles by Ranger/Tim Holtz

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I love happy accidents...

I put together this layout and wanted my letters to have a little more texture than just a die cut out of cardstock, so I set off to find a technique to add the sought after texture.

1. Cut letters from cardstock. Then run through a Xyron to turn them into stickers.
2. After burnishing around the letters, peel off the clear backing and apply black ink to the letters.
3. Sprinkle embossing powder (you can also you embossing flock) over the letters, shook off the excess, and heated the letters. Do this step twice, allowing powder to cool between coats.
3. Peel the letters off the backing. There should be some embossing "chunks" that come up off the backing with the letters. Pluck the "chunks" away, leaving a little along the edges.
4. Adhere to your layout.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Finding my style ...workstyle that is.

Everyone talks about having a style when it comes to scrapbooking. While I haven't quite found my style yet, (unless it's eclectic), I do think I have found my workstyle.

Last summer when I worked on my entries for the state fair I had mocked up my layouts in design software so I knew exactly what size to print my photos and cut my patterned paper pieces. This certainly made it quicker to assemble my layouts, all while relieving the pressure of a mis-cut that would waste my coveted October Afternoon paper. :)

This past weekend I was scrapping with my mom and only got three pages completed in three days. Not exactly a pace that will help me get through the loads of photos I have waiting to be scrapbooked. The second and third pages I was working on were a challenge -I needed to get 9 photos on the layout. I agonized over how to do it, looked at a sketch book and two magazines -all in search of inspiration. To add more pressure to my scrapbooking predictament, I was planning to use some more coveted October Afternoon paper!

At this point I turned to my design software. I pulled in the photos I wanted and mocked up a layout in about 15 mins. Here's what it looked like on screen:

The nice thing about this approach is that I can quickly generate a sketch of my layout. I can click on any part of the layout and quickly determine what size the image, pattern paper, or embellishments need to be.

Then, if I have certain product that I want to use I can adjust that element in the layout to make it work. For example, the letters I planned to use were 1.25" each, so I could adjust the title mockup to be sized based on that. I had snowflake chipboards that I wanted to use as well, but once I clicked on the representative snowflakes on the mockup, I knew they were too big to work.

So out of this three-part process a layout was born...

As I'm noodling the viability of this method, I am getting more and more excited! One of my personal challenges is getting my scrapbooking organized. At my house I like to be in the same room as my husband even if it's just when we're surfing online or watching TV. This is something that I can do at night without being down in my scrapbooking room away from my family. At the same time, I always take my laptop with me when I travel and this way I can promptly record our memories before forgetting any of the important details.

If you try this technique, post a comment and let me know how you like it!

If you scraplift this layout, please link us to your project!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

At last, a day of creativity!

I have been in great need of a day of creativity for at least a month now and Saturday I actually got to have one! Whoo hoo! I'd been surfing for scrapbooking ideas when a Facebook message popped up and a dear scrap friend invited me over... and get this -this time we actually made progress instead of just chatting!

So, without further delay, here's my project for the day. It's a little mini using Maya Road and Basic Grey Lime Ricky. I was trying to pack light, so I stuck to using some Maya Road chipboard goodies and whatever came with the Lime Rickey Paper Pack, Chipboards, and Rub-ons.

Still trying to take more pictures...

I am still on my quest to take more pictures. I have to say, that I am fairly good at actually stopping to take note of the beauty in the every day. Sometimes that's horses grazing in a pasture as I drive to work, or a little patch of sunny yellow flowers spilling over the curb as I drive to the grocery store. On this particular day, it was a weather phenomenon that produced frost like I'd never seen before. Living in Iowa has become quite the meterological adventure these days!

Trying to get better at taking pictures

So I have to confess a scrapbooking sin... I don't like to take photos. There, I've said it! That's right, I just don't seem to have that shutterbug gene. So what's a scrapbooker to do? The very essence of the hobby is to capture memories, and well, it's just a little hard to scrapbook without photos.

Lately I've been surfing blogs and taking note of some of their great photography skills. (Here are is a link to one of my favorite local photographers: Captured by Sarah). This past Christmas my brother and his wife received an "Our First Christmas" ornament that had a place to display a photo. In Illinois on Christmas Day we had a beautiful snowfall all day long. So, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I decided to take advantage of the weather and take their photo for their Christmas ornament that very day. It took us a couple of attempts, but I think we captured some pretty good photos... especially given that I was using a Nikon Coolpix and we were standing on covered deck! *Note: These photos have not been retouched.*

Of course one major problem is that my brother is nearly a foot taller than his wife, so although we had some good shots from our first try, none of them allowed both of their heads to be in the frame at the same time. So we had to try again, and finally landed with this one: