Monday, March 25, 2013

Colorblocking with Scraps

Those of you that know me (and have scrapped with me) know that I hate to throw away paper!  I've even been known to take paper others are throwing out.  Why?  Well, it costs a lot and I might as well use what I buy.  More importantly though, even a little scrap of paper can make a great layout.  That is where today's layout comes from.  Scraps.  Creating a colorblocked layout with scraps is super easy and a great way to use up your scrap stash. 

All of my patterned paper pieces on this layout were leftovers from other projects!  This paper all happens to be from a paper stack.  When I have a scrap of paper left from a stack I just put it back in the stack by the other sheets of that pattern.  That way if I need to use a little piece I know where it is and I don't have to cut into another full sheet of paper!  This also makes it easy to see what scraps I have to use on layouts like this.   

To assemble this page I first cropped my photos and placed them on a coordinating sheet of cardstock.  Once I knew where I wanted my photos to go I got out my scraps, ruler, and paper trimmer.  It's as easy as measuring, cutting, and attaching the scraps to your page to fill in the empty spaces!  So simple!  I used the same paper at the top and bottom and rounded the edges to give a little unity to the page.  I also used a white gel pen to add some faux stitching and finish the layout. When creating a page like this I love to use striped paper for my journaling.     

Another fun thing about this layout is that all the products aren't from one company.  Don't be afraid to look through your stash for products from another company that coordinate with your project.  These chipboard letters were from the Target dollar spot and match this patterned paper perfectly!!  You have to love a happy accident!

I hope you enjoyed this super simple layout and easy way to use up those scraps.  So the next time you cut apart a piece of patterned paper before you throw the scraps out think about using them on a card or another layout.  Thanks for stopping!

  • cardstock- LaRayne Miller & Keeping Memories Alive, Inc. (Pear Yellow Flecks)
  • patterned paper- The Paper Studio (Little Boys and Their Toys)
  • pen- Uniball (Signo Broad White), Zig Writer (Chocolate)
  • tools- We R Memory Keepers (Corner Chomper 1/8")
  • misc- chipboard stickers (Target dollar spot)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Photo Friday- Randomness

I had no idea what to put up for today's Photo Friday so you are getting a little bit of everything.  First up are some more zoo pictures.  I know I post those all the time but I finally got some cute ones of the lions and their cubs!  Look at that eye contact!  It's like they knew I was taking their picture.  

Next up are some fun bokeh pictures.  No idea what bokeh is?  Check out this post where I talk about it in more detail.  Most of the pictures I take are going to end up in a scrapbook (someday) and I'm always looking for ways to make those pictures more creative.  These photos of my son and my niece are just perfect!
 And finally, some of my favorite Instagram photos over the last couple of weeks.

I told you that was going to be random!  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today's Photo Friday.  Thanks for stopping!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Washi Tape Balloons Birthday Card

I have a fun birthday card for you today using some of my new washi tape I purchased this week.  I have a friend celebrating a birthday on Thursday and just had to make her a card!  I know the colors of the card are a little masculine (sorry Katie) but most of my supplies are.  I just had to play with this washi tape and this is what I came up with.  I actually remembered to take some step by step photos so let me show you how I made this card!

I started out by cutting the balloon images on my Cricut.  You could use a punch or free hand cut your images as well.  
Once your images are cut, set them on your work surface and cover with washi tape.  The patterns on this tape line up perfectly so it makes a seamless image.  I used three pieces of tape for each balloon. 
Once you have your image covered with tape, cut or tear off the excess.  I'm sure you could cover cardstock with the tape and then use your Cricut or punch but I wasn't sure if that would ruin my blade.  The tape is also very delicate so I didn't know how it would handle in my Cricut.   
I loved how the balloons turned out!  So cute with the washi tape.  I decided to ink the edges though for a little more definition.  So glad I did.  Now they are even better!
Now that the balloons are done let's start on the card base.  Since this card will be going through the mail I wanted to keep it as close to a one layer card as I could.  I decided to use the same emboss resist technique that I used on this card.  To prepare for my stamping I used some post it notes to cover the back of my card and the spot where the balloons would go. 
I inked my background stamp with Versamark ink and after stamping it used some clear embossing powder to emboss the whole image.
I then took my Tim Holtz Distress Ink and blending tools and added the ink.  I used the dark color only on the edges to give just a little more definition.  I did end up adding ink over the area where the balloons would go.  There is just no stamping there to detract from the balloons.  Once you are happy with your inking use a cloth or tissue to wipe over the embossed areas and the ink will wipe off. 
Now you can assemble the rest of the card.  I used some tape to adhere the twine for the balloon strings and covered it up with the balloons. 
I used the same embossing technique for my sentiment.  This time though instead of using my blending tool I pushed the paper right into my ink pad.  After I covered most of the banner I then went over it with the blending tool to fill in those few spots without ink.  I love the result.
There you have it.  A super cute and easy to make card!  I love the way the washi tape balloons turned out and I can't wait to use this tape on a layout!  I hope you'll try using washi tape on your next card or layout.  Thanks for stopping!

  • cardstock- misc
  • stamps- Hero Arts, Inc. (Life of Party Words), Stampendous (Mini Happy Birthday)
  • ink- Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Crushed Olive, Faded Jeans), Versamark (Watermark)
  • embossing powder- Ranger (Superfine Clear)
  • Cricut cartridge- Celebrations
  • misc- washi tape: My Mind's Eye (Green and Navy), twine: American Crafts 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rock-a-Bye Baby

When I shared my paper saving technique two weeks ago, I promised you I would show you how I matted 9 photos with one sheet of 12x12 cardstock!  I'm finally get to that post.  I know there are only three photos on this layout but I made this page for three different albums!  That meant I had 9 photos to mat.  I am always running out of dark brown paper so I hate to 'waste' it on matting photos.  Here are the steps I took to get all 9 photos matted with just one sheet of cardstock.  

The reason this worked so well is that I was using 3x4 and 4x6 photos.  Don't be afraid to crop photos either before you print them or after.  These were actually 4x6 photos that I trimmed to be 3x4.  Removing parts of the photo really put them emphasis on my subject (just don't look at my lovely sweat pants).  I first took three of the 3x4 photos and placed them on my cardstock leaving enough room to fit a 4x6 photo over them. 

Using my Perfect Layers tool I cut out these photos.  You could also use a paper trimmer to do this.  The key though is to not cut all the way to the edges!  Only trim enough to mat your photo because you will be adding more photos soon.  Now you will have three of your photos matted and some holes in your cardstock.   
Cover the three holes with your 4x6 photos.  There should be just enough space around them to add adhesive and leave room to cut a mat.  Also place the three remaining 3x4 photos on the other remaining cardstock.  Cut out all photos with a Perfect Layers tool or your trimmer.  And there you have it.  9 photos matted with 1 sheet of cardstock!!  This does take some preplanning but if you really think and organize you can conserve that paper.  
Here is all the cardstock that I had left from that dark brown color.  There is enough that I could cut out some embellishments for the three pages if I wanted too!
If you've been following my blog you know that I LOVE the Tim Holtz Distress Ink!  I did a card using the inks last week and decided to use them on my title for this layout.  I first stamped the title on an ecru color of cardstock.  Not bad but it was lacking something. 
I got out my ink blending tools (you can see a photo of them here) that my dad made (thanks dad)!  Using the same color of ink that I stamped my title in I added ink to the edges of my cardstock.  To do this you need a craft mat as well.  Get ink on your foam blender and starting on the craft mat use a circular motion to add ink to the cardstock.  The result is a beautifully shaded title!!  You can add more or less color depending on the look you are going for.  I love how the same ink color looks together!!  You could also use different colors if you wished to. 
Here is a close up of my entire title.  I just love how it turned out!  So simple too.  Just ink, stamps, and some scraps of paper!  You could also emboss the title and then do your shading.  That would add some interest and dimension.  Why didn't I think of that sooner?! 
The large scalloped circle was cut on my Cricut and is a fun addition to the page.  
I hope you enjoyed this simple page with some fun tips.  I'd love to hear how you conserve paper on your layouts and I hope you give my photo matting trick a try!  Thanks for stopping!  

  • cardstock: kraft, Bazzill (Bitter Chocolate), misc
  • patterned paper: My Mind's Eye (Where the Heart Is)
  • stamps: Close to My Heart
  • ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Rusty Hinge)
  • Cricut cartridge: Mini Monograms
  • tools: Perfect Layers
  • pen: Zig Writer (Chocolate)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Photo Friday- Get Down and Move Around!

Just a quick tip to get some fun photos of your kids or grand kids.  Get down and move around!  You can get some amazing pictures if you just get down on their level.  Sometimes that means laying on the floor, kneeling, or even squatting but the results are wonderful.  I never would have gotten these shots of my son if I didn't get down and lay on the floor.  It's so fun to see things from their perspective too.  And once you are down on their level make sure you move around.  Get different viewpoints by moving to different sides of your subject.  So the next time you are taking pictures of a little one get down, move around, and see things from their point of view.  I bet you'll be glad you did!  Have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping!!

 Gear: Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G AF-S

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Use a Corner Punch to Make a Border

Did you know that you can use a corner punch to create a border?  That's exactly what I did to create the bubble looking border on this page.   Let me show you how I did it!  

 Start off with a punch like this and remove the plastic around the base.  It should just pull off.  Be careful not to break the plastic though if you want to use the punch again as a corner punch. 

Now your punch will look like this.  If this punch looks familiar it's because I used it on this card last month.  I thought it looked like bubbles and would be the perfect addition to my page. 
Insert your paper and make your first punch.  It is easiest to hold your punch upside down so you can see where you are punching.  Be sure to line up the ends before you make your next punch.  Do a couple of test punches before you work with the cardstock you plan on using.  I found that if I punched too hard with this punch I would break the chain of bubbles. 

Once you have punched the length of your paper you will have something that looks like this border!  So fun and a great way to use supplies in a different way.  I love that!  It's not perfect but it adds just a little extra touch to my layout.  I also used another supply in a different way than it was intended.  The navy blue paper strip is a piece of quilling paper!!  It adds to the layout and I didn't have to cut it from a larger piece of paper! 
I cut my title out on my Cricut and adhered it to a giant vellum 'bubble' (the 'bubbles' were also cut out on my Cricut).  My font had circles in the open spaces to add to my 'bubble' theme. 
Putting my title 'bubble' on dimensional adhesive gives a little depth and really makes that 'bubble' 'pop' (no pun intended).  Just be sure to put the dimensional adhesive under the letters in your title so it doesn't show through the vellum.  
I used two different kinds of vellum and three different sized circles to make my 'bubbles'.  I love that they look transparent like real bubbles and the little shimmer adds to the effect.  I also traced around all of my 'bubbles' with a sparkle pen to define them just a little more.  Another fun thing about this layout is that one of my sons helped me choose my supplies!  I have a jar with different supplies written on strips of paper (stickers, chip board, ink, decorative scissors, etc) and when I'm stumped or just want a challenge I let one of the boys pick out 3-5 supplies for me to use on my layout.  For this layout he picked punches, glitter (sparkle pen), and eyelets!  I challenge you to try this the next time you need some inspiration.
I hope you enjoyed this punch technique and will give it a try on your next layout!  Don't be afraid to look at your supplies and use them in a different way.  Also write down your supplies on strips of paper and randomly pick 3-5.  This will really get you thinking of your supplies in new ways.  Thanks for stopping! 

  • cardstock- The Paper Studio (Textured Cardstock Brights), misc
  • patterned paper- ?
  • stamp- Autumn Leaves (Journaling)
  • ink- Tsukineko (StazOn-Jet Black)
  • tools- EK Success (corner punch), Perfect Layers, We R Memory Keepers (Crop-a-Dile)
  • adhesive- Scotch (Quick-Dry Adhesive, ATG), Tombo (Mono Adhesive Vellum), pop dots, Xyron
  • pen- Gelly Roll (Clear Star), Zig (Writer- Pure Black)
  • Cricut cartridge- Cuttin' Up, George and Basic Shapes
  • misc- vellum, quilling paper, We R Memory Keepers (wide eyelets- Buttercream)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Emboss Resist Rainbow Birthday Card

We are having a snow day today!  My boys are pretty excited and I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere today.  But if we are having a snow day that means there is snow outside.  Snow means it's not spring yet.  Oh, well.  I thought I'd brighten up the day with a fun card I made over the weekend!  This is something I've been wanting to try and it turned out super fun!  It's another one layer card that uses an emboss resist technique. 

I started off this card by stamping my sentiment with some white pigment ink and then embossing with clear embossing powder.  I made a mask to cover my sentiment and then stamped random stars all over my card front using Versamark ink.  I then heat embossed the stars with clear embossing powder.  (Sorry that I didn't take pictures of this process.  What was I thinking?!)  At this point I had a white sheet of cardstock (cut to fit the front of my card) with the embossed sentiment and stars that couldn't really be seen (they will be shiny but will blend into the cardstock).  I will be doing this technique again and I'll be sure to take pictures next time.  

I then got out my craft mat and pressed some Distress ink onto the mat in reverse rainbow order.  If you put the colors down on the mat in rainbow order the colors will be backwards on your card (I learned this the hard way).  Once all the colors were on my mat I spritzed it with a little water and laid my embossed cardstock in the ink embossed side down.  I then picked up my image and voila!  The ink covers the paper but not the embossed images!     
I used my embossing gun to help speed up the drying process (or you could let the paper air dry).  You have to be careful not to go too crazy if using an embossing gun or you might burn your embossed images.  Once the image was dry I used my ink and sponges to go over each color to add more shading.  This doesn't cover up the drips and drops of ink, which was what I wanted to show, it just helps brighten the colors (and cover any spots that might not have gotten ink on them).  Then you can wipe off any excess ink that might be on your embossed images.  It's so fun to see the images show through all that color!  
I love the way this card turned out!  If I do a card like this again I might do the sentiment in black or another dark color to help set it apart from the rest of the background.  I was hoping the white ink would look different from the Versamark stars but it didn't work out that way.  I love the splotches of ink here and there and the fun rainbow colors!  I hope this card brightens your day and you'll give this technique a try.  Thanks for stopping!

  • cardstock- misc
  • stamps- Advantus Corp. (Heidi Swapp Happy Birthday), Gel-a-tins (Super Star)
  • ink- Close to My Heart (White Daisy), Versamark (Watermark), Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, Faded Jeans, Dusty Concord)
  • embossing powder- Ranger (Superfine Clear)
  • tools- We R Memory Keepers (Corner Chomper 1/8"