Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas Cookies!

Our retail district's Christmas Open House is this weekend, so I've been helping the owner of the local scrapbook store prepare display pieces for the event. The stores usually have refreshments, drawings and sales on Saturday and Sunday to entice shoppers to come downtown and "shop local". The Chamber of Commerce provides entertainment such as the annual lighting of the big Christmas tree in the courthouse square, a bell ringer concert (from a local church) and wandering Madrigal singers from the high school.

The store has some fun new 3D stickers from Paper House Productions. They aren't something I normally would buy, but I've had fun using them in display projects. This card uses a little greeting sticker from the Merry Christmas set. I made my own white mist with acrylic paint, water and a drop or two of alcohol, then used a Tim Holtz seasonal mask:

My favorite of the sticker sets is the Christmas Cookies one. I paired several of the stickers with WR Memory Keepers paper (last year's collection, but still very festive and available in the store) and photos of my grandson Cameron in his holiday chef's hat and apron. I used the November 9 sketch from the new My Scraps & More sketch blog as my inspiration:

Brand new Christmas products are arriving in the store this week, just in time for the open house. Hoping to get my hands on those for some more holiday projects!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Great memories, not so great photos ....

I'm sure this has happened to all scrapbookers: You have wonderful memories of an event, a visit, a particular day ... but your photos are less than perfect. That's what happened with some photos from Disneyland.

Four-year-old Anna and Daddy spotted Goofy at Disneyland's Town Square and went to visit. While they were there, Pluto also showed up. The Photopass photographer caught some adorable photos, but the lighting (it was dusk) and colors (alas,  the characters' costumes and clothes clashed badly with Anna's Cinderella dress and pink sash) The result was some rather garish colors and lighting, but adorable pictures nonetheless. I was determined to scrap them. First I tried to fix the photos in Photoshop, even taking them to black and white, but that only created other unpleasant effects. Finally, I found my answer in the remains of my July Citrus Twist kit: a kraft background, with patterned papers in soft blues. I used just a few embellishments in muted yellow and orange. Here's the result:

The doily is hiding a stamping experiment gone horribly wrong. I loved the way the papers sort of toned down the photos' colors, and I was able to scrap Anna's encounter with Pluto. (She asked him to sign her autograph book. He did, then balanced it on his nose. She's taking the book off his nose in the top photo and he's giving her a sort of hug in the bottom one.) The photos of her and Goofy dancing are equally garish in color and lighting, but even more adorable; I'll be scrapping them soon also. After all, it's about the memories more than the technical quality of the photos.

I also turned to a July Citrus Twist kit for another Disney layout. This time, I used the July 4 bonus kit that I received for subbing to Citrus Twist. It had the cutest ticket stickers and some other cute embellishments. I added some star stickers that I bought for $1 at Walmart. This was my design for last week's Nuts About Sketches' sketch.

Anna was one of the first children to hop up there when Mickey invited his guests to dance with him at the Surf's Up character breakfast on our last morning in Disneyland. 

I actually made two Christmas cards this week! They're for display at our local scrapbook store, Scrap That Moment, using themed 3D stickers and patterned paper from Paper House Productions. I also used stamps from Our Daily Bread, Worldwin cardstock, Best Creation glittered paper, May Arts ribbon, and some Stickles and Liquid Pearls. I love the effect of the stickers!

The store where I work turned on its Christmas background music today. I guess it's time to get geared up for the holidays!

Thanks for looking. Have a fantastic week!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A sunny Friday!

Fall definitely has reached us here in central Illinois, with cooler weather and some cloudy days. Today, however, the sun is shining! That makes Ed, our cat, very happy. He likes to sit on the porch and watch the leaves fall from the tree, and occasionally pretend to menace one of the resident squirrels.

I have two recently completed layouts to show you this week. For the first one, I used the September "Life's Little Details" kit from Citrus Twist. I love how complete this kits are; all I added were some mini alphas and a brad. The photos were from the PhotoPass from Disneyland. Anna asked Jessie from "Toy Story" to sign her autograph book but was a little hesitant to get up close and pose for a photo. Jessie solved the dilemma by standing behind Anna and posing.

I took the photo for this layout at Disneyland while the kids and I waited for their parents to finish a "big person ride". Anna came up to give her brother a hug, much to his delight.  This was a lucky shot with the little camera I keep in my purse; no time to pull out and focus my Canon. This piece of Prima patterned paper (from the "Doodle Deux" collection) makes the perfect background for the photo! I used this and other papers from my August Citrus Twist kit and paper add-on, along with washi tape from another CT kit and title alphas from my stash.

The sketch is the Oct. 28 sketch from the Citrus Twist blog. I popped the photo up on foam tape to make it stand out, and added little seed pearls from the kit to a fussy cut flower and buttons. Finally, I used a little Stickles and Liquid Pearls on the border motifs and added Glossy Accents to the tiny punched paper circles. I think this is my new favorite layout!

I did this page a while back for a "Telephone Scraplift" but couldn't share it until the scraplift was done. I used Simple Stories' Summer Fresh line and photos of two of my grandkids at a fun fair.

All of these layouts also fit various challenges at Cookin' Up Creations. Beginning in November, we're changing the way participants can become eligible for the prize drawing. More chances to win -- come on over and check it out!

Thanks for looking; have a great weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Visits with grandkids

I traveled last week first to Wisconsin to visit my younger daughter and her family, then on to Minnesota and the older daughter's home. Visits with the kids are always great for snapping a few photos, which almost always end up in layouts.

Our littlest grandson, 6-month-old Hamish, had a great time playing in the jungle mat that first belonged to his older sister. I love his sweet little face and his smile, which is even cuter now that his first two teeth are (just barely) visible. I used my September kit from Citrus Twist and some Thickers from my stash for this quick layout:

My older daughter and I took her boys to a local pumpkin farm, a family-owned place with lots of fun things for kids. I paired my September Scraptastic kit with a Nuts About Sketches sketch for this layout:

Both layouts also qualified for Blue Plate Special challenges on Cookin' Up Creations, where there's a new challenge every day.

Thanks for looking; have a great week!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I've got Attitude!

I am loving Kaisercraft's "Attitude!" collection! It's especially great for masculine layouts and looks great with distressing techniques. The local scrapbook store owner asked me to create a couple of layouts for display; I actually made three.  

The first one features a photo of my younger son participating in the Warrior Dash 5K. 

The pirates in this one are two of my grandsons and my son-in-law after a makeover at Disney World's Pirates' League. 

And this one is our totally laid-back cat, Ed, enjoying the first day of fall. I used a sketch from the Citrus Twist blog as my inspiration. The orange and white floral print is from a past Little Yellow Bicycle collection.

This photo of our terrier,  Coco, was taken the same day as the photo of Ed. She was a bit confused by all the leaves swirling around her in the breeze. The design is last week's Nuts about Sketches sketch. The papers are from the October Blue Skies kit at Scraptastic Kit Club.

Another Nuts About Sketches layout, this time featuring baby Hamish (who is six months old already!) and Bella Blvd's Baby Boy Collection

And one more with baby Hamish and the Bella Blvd papers and embellishments:

All of these layouts fit challenges on the Cookin' Up Creations forum. I was fortunate to win a generous gift certificate from Flying Unicorn in the September prize drawing; they have some lovely kits and lots of other products, so I'm thoroughly enjoying the dilemma of deciding what to order.  This week's scrapping plans include finishing Halloween cards for the grandkids and diving into kits from both Scraptastic and Citrus Twist. I still have lots of photos from Disneyland, the local Homestead Festival weekend, and from this week's visit to a pumpkin farm with my older daughter and two grandsons. Now all I need is some free time! 

Thanks for looking; have a great week! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

How's the weather?

Here in north-central Illinois, we're enjoying some early autumn days of 70 degrees, with leaves just beginning to turn color. There have been a few leaves falling but so far, we haven't had to rake. The two apple orchards in our area have honey crisp, Jonagold and other apple varieties for sale, along with hand dipped caramel apples and fresh cider.

I haven't gotten any orchard pictures yet, but I did get some zoo shots last week when my Mom and I went to the Peoria (IL) Zoo. The zoo was blessed with a litter of four Amur (Siberian) tigers in late June, and the babies are able to be viewed in their outdoor enclosure on nice days. Two of the cubs are shy, staying close to their mother or inside the tiger house. The other two, however, are more adventurous and will come up to the fence and glass to study their guests. One little one "stalked" us, sneaking along the fence and then hiding in the tall grass. I was lucky enough to get a good photo through the glass, and of course I scrapped it:

I started with the Sept. 23 sketch on the Citrus Twist blog, created by design team member Carole. Everything on the layout, except the orange ribbon, a large shipping tag and some bits of washi tape, came from the August Citrus Twist kit, "Tropical Heat". Even the paper bag came from the kit -- it held kit embellishments and was perfect for holding the journaling tag. I used gesso to paint the background before adhering the paper and bag. The stars, "SMILE" and "Love This" were all CT exclusive stamps that came in the kit. How cool is that? I used a black pen to outline the title alphas after I adhered them so they would show up more against the gray cardstock.

I used a kit from Scraptastic Kit Club featuring Simple Stories; "Summer Fresh" line, for this layout. The photo was taken at a recent fun fair here in town; the two cuties are my grandson Cameron, 7, and granddaughter Anna, 4. (They're cousins. Since they live in separate states, they see each other only a couple of times a year but always pick right up where they left off, having fun together. Cam likes to be the "big kid" and Anna adores him.) I created the layout for a Scraplift challenge at Cookin' Up Creations

I love the muted yet vibrant color schemes of Simple Stories, and I loved this paper with its cute printed motifs. The only thing is that the notebook paper portion of the background sheet is printed on a slant, so the layout looks crooked in my photo! (It's not) It does give the whole layout an offbeat, fun feeling. 

The owner of Scrap That Moment, the local scrapbooking store, asked me to make a few more cards for display in the store. During a Friday night crop, I challenged myself to make as many cards as possible from this double-sided sheet of embossed paper by Best Creation, along with some scraps of Best Creation glittered paper, Worldwin cardstock and Ma Arts ribbon:

Here's what I came up with:

I also fussy cut some Graphic 45 Bird Song scraps and used them with cardstock, as well as two frame stamps from Our Daily Bread, to make these:

I'm hoping for a little continued scrapping mojo this weekend to work on a couple of layouts. I still have so many photos from Disneyland, the local Homestead Festival with my girls and their families, and a few others; not to mention a couple of gorgeous kits to play with. Doesn't get much better than that!

Thanks for looking; have a fantastic weekend! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A new favorite!

What's your favorite layout? Mine often is the one that I've most recently completed. Right now, I'd have to choose this one as my current fave! I used the September 16 sketch on the Citrus Twist blog, along with the August Tropical Heat kit. I added my own ribbon, doilies and tiny type.  For the little circle accents, I used various sized punches and foam dots. The photos are granddaughter Anna meeting Goofy's son, Max (how many of you knew Goofy had a son? I didn't!) at the Surf's Up character breakfast at our Disneyland hotel.

My daughter's mother-in-law took this photo of our 5 month old grandson eyeballing a Cabbage Patch doll -- which bears a remarkable resemblance to baby Hamish, right down to the expression. I used the September 9 sketch from the Citrus Twist blog, along with papers from the July Beach Cruiser kit.

I used one of my favorite Scraptastic Club kits (featuring Amy Tangerine Sketchbook by American Crafts) combined with Monday's  Nuts About Sketches sketch for this layout of  Anna sampling the dessert tray at her Princess character dinner. You really can hear the ocean in the white chocolate molded shell! (At least, you could until Anna ate the tip of the shell)

I used the July 4 mini kit (a bonus for subscribing to the monthly kits) from Citrus Twist for a quick layout. The lighting in this photo wasn't the best quality, and at a larger size the photo may have looked grainy; but it works at a small size. The sketch is from the September PageMaps as part of a challenge at Cookin' Up Creations.

I made several cards for display at Scrap That Moment, our local scrapbooking store. This one includes papers from Graphic 45's Bird Song and a stamped frame from Our Daily Bread:

I used Prima's Fairy Belle collection and another frame stamp from Our Daily Bread:

These cards use the Tim Holtz Ideology Seasons Masks and also are on display at the store.  I used paper from Basic Grey's Max and Whiskers and Bella Blvd's Too Cute to Spook, as well as May Arts ribbon:

Thanks for stopping by -- have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Friday!

After a couple of rainy days, we have a gloriously sunny day here in Central Illinois. Unfortunately, I have to go to work in just a couple of hours; but meanwhile, I plan to get outside and putter around in the yard a bit.

Whatever would I do without kit clubs and sketches????? I love kits because the designers already have done all the work of coordinating papers, embellishments and other extras so I can just pick up my kit and get to work. And sketches save SO much time in deciding placement, design, and so on.

This was my layout for sketch #230 at Nuts About Sketches. Everything except the buttons and title alphas were part of the July Summer Picnic kit from Scraptastic Kit Club. I cut the title with the Baby Face font dies from Cuttlebug. These are photos of the Pixar Parade at Disneyland:

I used a Pagemaps sketch for this layout, as part of a Blue Plate Special challenge at Cookin' Up Scrapbooking Creations. (There's a new challenge every day, with a monthly drawing for a great prize. This month it's a gift certificate to Flying Unicorn) When I subbed to Citrus Twist Kits back in July, I received a wonderful little Fourth of July kit. The top photo shows my son-in-law, with Anna on his shoulder, heading into California Adventure Park and Cars Land.

Everything is from the kit except the stars (from Walmart) and the title alphas. I splattered some white paint, thinned a bit with water, onto the Heidi Swapp background paper and then sprayed with a bit of Shimmer Spray. Loved the way the shimmer looked on the dark paper! I cut out two compass motifs from the paper (hidden by the photos) for future use.

With the Disneyland trip and last weekend's Homestead Festival (with visits from both daughters and their families), I have loads of photos. That's just fine, because I have several kits from Scraptastic and Citrus Twist (including the August Tropical Heat, which arrived earlier this week) just calling my name. Hoping for a little scrapping time and mojo this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by -- have a great weekend!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Double pagers!

I used to scrap double page layouts almost exclusively, so I could get all the photos from one event onto a single layout; but then moved away to doing multiple single pagers for each event, etc. However, Shawn at Nuts About Sketches does some awesome two page sketches! Here are my takes on the last two weeks of sketches:

For sketch #228, I used a mitered strip technique borrowed from Nathalie . The papers and most embellishments are from Citrus Twist's July "Beach Cruiser" kit.

I was fortunate enough to accompany my youngest daughter and her family on a trip to Disneyland in late August. We spent 3 1/2 days in the Magic Kingdom and Disney Adventure (wishing we had had more time so we could take our time and hit ALL the attractions). My camera decided to have a "lens error" issue the entire time, but I still managed to get some cute photos; and I'll be snagging more from my daughter's PhotoPass CD when it arrives. There will be many more layouts, but here's the first one, using Nuts About Sketches' #229 and the What's Up collection from Basic Grey:

The photos were from a visit my 4 year old granddaughter and I made to Minnie Mouse's house in Toon Town. A fantasy face painter, who had no business during the early entry hour, offered to give her that "princess mask" paint for free as a demo to drum up business. When I asked Anna if she wanted to go inside Minnie's house, she asked "Will she mind?" I told her that's why Minnie left the door open. She loved the house, but the "dishwasher" held a special fascination.

Although August was a "slow" month for me, in terms of scrapping, I did complete a few others but had to hold them until after various reveals, etc. This one was part of a "Telephone Scraplift" at Cookin' Up Creations. I used My Mind's Eye "Be Amazing" for these photos of my 11 year old grandson at the lake:

The owner of our local scrapbook store, Scrap That Moment, gave me some Graphic 45 "Bird Song" samples from CHA and asked me to make two layouts for display at the store. Now that Bird Song is arriving in stores, I can post the layouts:

I've scrapped this photo of my mom feeding the birds in a zoo aviary, but I thought it fit with the paper so I scrapped it again. I love the colors and motifs of this collection!

 I had a lot of trouble photographing this one, for some reason; but the red border goes all the way around the layout. Graphic 45 is just made for fussy cutting, and I had a blast cutting and layering a variety of motifs. I crackle painted the fussy-cut birds to hide a couple of small tears that occurred when I cut them out:

The store also recently stocked Best Creation's glitter cardstock, and it's a dream to work with! Had to add some to this layout:

I also used a hydrangea stamp from Our Daily Bread, which the local store also recently placed in stock.

Thanks for looking -- have a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

About face!

Do photos always have to be  "face shots" to be scrappable? Not necessarily!

I was fortunate to be able to visit my older daughter and her family in Minnesota for three days at the end of July. I loved hanging out with her, her husband and my two grandsons at a local park pond. The 7 year old had a little snorkeling kit from Shopko and had great fun "diving" into the shallow water. The charm of the photos was not the expression on his face, but the way in which he enthusiastically "snorkeled" into the pond.

Everything in the layout came from the Scraptastic Kit Club's "Be Amazing" March kit. Love the subdued yet sunny shades!

And sometimes the expression on someone's face is the whole point of the photo. I also visited my younger daughter's family; baby Hamish is nearly 4 months old already! He is such a delightful little guy. His face sometimes has this serious, "studying you" look; but his older sister, Anna, loves to make him laugh. I used Bella Blvd's "Baby Boy" collection, paired with some big alphas from my stash, for this page:

Thanks for stopping by -- have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I submitted

for the Clear Scraps Design Team Call!

It's the first time I've submitted for a manufacturer's call. Here's what I sent:

 Layout using the Birds and Cage Embellishments. I stamped on the birds with Staz-on Ink, then backed with paper; the cage was glittered:

 A card using one of the Dress Form Embellishments. I stamped with Staz-On, colored with alcohol ink and added a lace skirt and adhesive backed "pearls":

I used the Sassy Mixable acrylic and chipboard album for this fun book, paired with Fancy Pants Off to School patterened papers, stickers and banners and photos:

And now the waiting begins ....