Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Spooks and Ghouls Day!

We have an interesting tradition here in AZ for handing out candy on Halloween....because the temps are not frigid, everyone sets themselves up on their driveways with candy bowls, little fire pits, bevvies and snacks, and makes a regular party of handing out candy to the little spooks!  It's really kind of fun!  Our choice of snacks and drinks are all apple related, thanks to my future DIL.  Apple crisp and hot apple cider!  And a box of Milk Duds or seven.  
We have a few special friends who come by before heading home and I wanted to have special treat bags set aside for them!  And once I got making them, well I thought my kids...and their friends all needed one too!  As Son#2 commented.... "anything worth doing....!"

The tree and birds stamps are vintage Tim Holtz and the die cuts are all made from cut files I got at Silhouette for 75¢ each!

As well, I have a layout to show you...
We revealed this color challenge yesterday at Challenge Me Happy, and you can join us in the fun and possible even win yourself a whole lotta butcher twine in a rainbow of colors!!

Here's what I did:

Once again, the Silhouette got a workout!

That's all for today, but check back soon for pics from our recent (but pre-Sandy) trip to NYC!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Card Crazy

So between a couple of design team assignments and World Card Making day last week, I have a few cards to show you!  I've been having fun playing on that size of canvas lately!!

First up. This Halloween challenge went up at Polka Doodles last week.  I had SOME fun with my limited photoshopping skills to create these images.  
 And then I machine stitched the cobweb cuz I need to get a life like that.  

Printing on vellum turns out to be a cinch!  I adhered it in a pop-up banner fashion.  

These next ones are cards I made on World Card Making day.  Had good intentions to do more, but whatever, I'm three cards richer than I was before!

This one was done for a sketch challenge at Studio Calico.

This card answers a challenge to use scraps.  The 2 stitched papers were test runs for tension adjustments on my sewing machine.  

 And this card was made in 15 mins or less.  Easy enough to do when you have a basket of layered bits and bobs all made up waiting to be used, right, which is what the jar tag was.

 Thanks for stopping by.  I'm heading off to the Big Apple this weekend for a girls trip with my daughter!  I'm sure there'll be a couple of pictures to show you when I get back, so stop by again soon!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Challenge Me Happy

We have a new challenge posted for you at the CMH blog and it's a fun one.  We want you to take inspiration from this photo of paper lanterns.

Here's the layout I made for the challenge.  I'm using mostly the October Roller Rink Studio Calico kit with a few bits added.

And yes, I had to play with my Cameo Silhouette again!  That thing makes cute like nobody's business!! 

We hope this will inspire you to do a layout based exclusively on this challenge, and there's a prize in it for you!  A Nikki Sivils paper pack!  Go to Challenge Me Happy to see what the rest of the DT did, and to get the deets and then upload your layout.

Check back tomorrow for the card craze I was on last week!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Now I'm not one to steal anyone's thunder, least of all the talented Amy Tan!  But I sure will take inspiration from her ever-so-cute DayBooks!  And I'm always happy to use up some scraps in a clever and useful way!  So, I tried my hand at making my own Daybook.  I was so pleased with the whole process that I made a second one.  I haven't decided what events or occasions I will use each for, but as soon as inspiration hits y'all will be the first to know!!

Here's how easy it is:

First, I pulled out a bunch of random papers and larger scraps. 

I knew I wanted something pretty varied as far as colors and patterns go....and this is what began to form...

I then started to pile them up in a way that each color or pattern complimented the one beside it.  As much as is possible for something that's supposed to be random anyway. 

 As you can see, not every piece is folded exactly in the middle, and some have different shapes, such as banners and scallops.  When I was satisfied with the order, I clipped everything together and ran it all through the sewing machine.  I used heavier thread, and a longer stitch length than usual.

I did have to help the machine pierce all the paper through the thickest layers, but it turned out just fine and no needles were broken in the experiment.  Nor were any animals harmed.

This is how it looks finished.  Well, assembled.  It will be finished once I decide what pictures I want to put in it.

Check out the fun photo frame transparency on the front.  Direct lift from Amy Tan.  Cute ideas like that just have to be re-run!

Well that was just too much fun, to not do all over again!!  Here are the papers that fell together for the 2nd book.

This time I had a few more in the stack so I decided to try something different for binding.  I pierced holes at 1/2" intervals and then with a blunt Cross Stitch needle and crewel thread, back stitched the length of the spine.

Here's how it looks from the back.

 I included a fun envelope into this book.  Sure hope I have something special to save in it!  
Don't be intimidated to try this.  Anyone with a bunch of paper scraps and a trimmer, can do this.  You don't even have to have a sewing machine!

Check back for the FINISHED projects!!

This project was recently posted at Love is in the Details.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tim Holtz Distress markers are the BOMB!!

I recently saw a cool video tutorial by Jennifer McGuire that helped me understand how much I needed the Tim Holtz Distress markers!!  I got right down off the fence and clicked Add-to-cart as fast as I could.  When they came, I went ahead and tried this technique!

Stamp on 140lb cold-press water color paper with Versamark clear ink, emboss with white emboss powder and heat.
Color in the spaces in a random pattern with the color of your choice.
Mist fairly generously with water, dab randomly with a clean paper towel.  Heat dry with an air gun or just let it air dry. 
 With this kind of a stamp you get the most beautiful stained glass window effect and if you were to add some Perfect Pearls Pigment powder to your water mist, the ink will dry with a gorgeous sheen.  (I didn't have any Perfect Pearls, but we can take this tip on good authority from Jennifer!)  You can see how the color "shared" from one space to the next because of using lots of mist spray.  

Then I had to try another technique. I saw this over at SplitCoast Stampers and did a variation on the tutorial there.  They used Distress re-inkers, but I used my new markers!!

I ran more 140lb cold-press (sounds like and Olive Oil process, no?) water color paper through an embossing machine (Big Kick, Big Shot, Cuttlebug, anything like that), several times to get a sharply raised design. 

Then adhere the paper with re-positionable adhesive to a craft mat, and using  brayer loaded up with Versamark, run it very carefully over the raised design.  The idea is to get the raised part sticky enough for white embossing powder to stick to.  (If you don't have a brayer, you could draw over the the raised design with an adhesive pen.)  Before heat embossing the powder, use a dry, fine tipped paint brush, to remove the excess powder from the "recessed" part of the design.  No matter how careful you are, there will be some Versamark overflow.  (As you can see, I could have been much more thorough with brushing off excess emboss powder but I was too excited about what I could do with the Distress markers to spend the necessary time, lol.)   

Now take your choice of Distress markers and color patches on your craft mat, or any other smooth non-porous surface, such as an acrylic stamp block.  Use one paint brush to wet one area of your design, then with another paint brush that is wet (but not dripping), load up one color of Distress marker color.  Paint that color into an area.  You'll notice, if you have a nicely soaked area of paper, that you can just touch down the brush and the color will spread in a cool painterly way that makes you look way more talented than you actually are.  Unless you're an accomplished water color painter.  Then don't listen to me at all!
The ridges in the embossed design will act as a barrier to keep the colors localized.  I like to start with the lightest color of ink and then go back and blend in a darker color on the edges or in the folds where they would naturally be darker. 
Once dry, you can stamp on a sentiment, or use your design in any way you like.

I've decided that the only drawback to these markers is that there aren't more colors.... T!m, we NEED MORE COLORS!!

Recently posted for Love is in the Details.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One sketch, two ways...

I love sketches.  

They provide a jumping off point that makes it much easier to get into the fun creative part of scrapbooking without the agony of where and how!  You can stick as closely to the sketch design as you want or interpret it very loosely.  It's all up to you.  The scrapbook police have all retired to an island off Greenland and won't be bothering us anymore!

So I thought I'd show you two layouts I did using the same sketch.

As you can see, this one sticks pretty close to the diagram with only minor deviations.  It uses 4 photos, and keeps the embellishments and journaling in approximately the same places.

Whereas this layout, is turned to the right 90ยบ and things go west from there, lol!!  I used only one photo and left off the large photo mat, and I really like the relaxed result.

Recently posted at Love is in the Details.
Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, October 1, 2012


Been slacking blog-wise again, but I have been playing with paper and here's what's new! 

We have a fresh challenge posted at Challenge Me Happy and it's a free-for-all!!  No restrictions or guidelines....just show us your best work!!  Anything goes!!

I finally got to play with my new Silhouette die cut machine.  I love that thing like crazy!!  
This is the layout I did for the challenge.
 The Maple leaves cut out of the background paper, and the title "Not Just and Ordinary day" are done with the Silhouette and the rest of the supplies are from the Studio Calico Central High September kit.

 The occasion was Canada Day this summer, and I used my fun Instax mini-roids!

Thanks for stopping by; be sure to check back tomorrow for more pretty paper projects!