Monday, February 28, 2011

February's Blog Hop!

How have you enjoyed the hop?  Our counterfeiters are just FULL of great ideas! If you have wandered in here unaware, head on over to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge to get a list of the blogs on our hop!  You will also see the sketch from Scraps of Darkness that my layout is based on.  Wasn't this sketch beautiful?  So elaborate!  A great opportunity to use up lots of goodies from my kit!  Here is my take on the sketch:

I have done a much better job since Christmas of getting myself on more of my pages.  I don't want my kids to grow up and think they didn't have a mom!  LOL  Mother's day is one time of year that I insist on getting in the pictures.  Documenting our relationships, as well as growth is so important. 

Thanks to the Scraps of Darkness inspiration kit, I had SO many goodies to play with.  I finally had to tell myself enough is enough and let it be.  LOL 

Although I was excited about making these pins, I was stumped about how to incorperate them on a layout or card...this was the perfect place for them and they add a special touch for me.

Thanks for participating in our hop!  In a few more days we will reveal our March inspiration kit!  I can't wait to get started!  But in the meantime, keep checking out the Counterfeit Challenge Blog...we update almost daily and have alot of fun things to share with you!

Don't forget to take a picture of your leftovers of your kit to share with us!  Let's see how much you used.  We want to know how many things you made as well!

Now on to the last blog on our hop Ruth and then off you go to create something!  LOL

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fun Mini Book!

I am loving these mini books!  I have quite a list of requests for them already!  LOL  Good thing they are easy to put together!

This one I am giving to my mom.  She still gets mixed up with the grandkids names since the incident in August (went into a coma after knee surgery), so I thought it might be fun for her to have a little book of pictures to jog her memory...and show off (which she loves to do!).

Everything but the lace is from my kit.  I have discovered that I really like the look of white ink on kraft cardstock, so I inked the edges of just about everything!

You really do HAVE to make one!  Even if you usually only do cards or layouts.  They are SO easy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Versamark Chalking "tutorial"

Did you ever just have one of those days?  I wanted to use the bits left of my kit to make some more things, so I was working on cards today.  The base came together quickly.  I have decided that I really love the green pattern with the black and white dots.  But what to put on the front of the card?   LOL  I tried paper piecing, stamping and coloring with markers, cricut cuts...I didn't like any of it.  Then, while putting away my markers, I spied .....

The last time I remember using them was over a year ago.  Shocking, isn't it?  LOL  Don't judge me...I bet you have stuff in YOUR stash that you have not used in at least that long.  LOL  Out of all of the chalks on the market, I really do love Pebbles Inc.  Why?  I'm glad you asked.  Okay, seriously, most chalks work pretty much the same, but with Pebbles Inc it is the packaging and delivery system that makes them better.  The chalks are in a sturdy tin case with a molded plastic cover that fits nicely over the tops of each chalk section.  That is important because chalk is notorius for breaking.  I have had this set for *cough* years and they have not even cracked (even with being tossed around in my scrapbook bag for crops).

The second part that I love (and, frankly, cannot do without), is the stick and the little puff balls.  Each color has 3 sizes of puff balls with it.  You use the stick to pick up the puff ball to apply the chalk.  Yes, you can use cotton balls, but they are too big and fluffy.  Q-Tips have been accuracy and control, but are too hard.  As Goldilocks would say, these little balls of fluff are just right.

You can use your chalk directly on your paper and it will work fine as a coloring, too, but if you want to have some fun, try some VersaMark.   I recently did a class that showed how to use differnt colors of embossing powder on one stamped image.  It was really cool, but I just could not get it to come out for me.  This is a similar concept, but with chalks.  Much easier and the results are great!

Pick a stamp (outline ones or solid ones, both will work fine) and stamp using your VersaMark Watermark/Embossing Ink.  If you get the tinted kind then it will be easier to see, but the regular kind will show up alright, too.

Use the stick (with the clip head) and pick up a cotton puff from the chalks.  Gently rub it across the chalk color of your choice and then pounce it up and down on the stamped area that you want that color.  Repeat as much as you need to with whatever colors you want.

It gives a very soft, almost watercolor type of effect.

Here is the infamous card that started the whole thing.  I used a very detailed flower stamp from Unity.  With the chalking method, I was able to "color" the image however I wanted.

Isn't it pretty?  I used my trusty OLD notch tool set to make slits on either side of the stems so I could tie a ribbon around the "flowers".

The butterfly was just stamped in black ink and colored in using only chalk.  It blends really well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet Girl Layout

I am trying so hard to use up my paper from my kit.  My stash is growing smaller!  I hate to call it quits, so let's see if I can make anything else from it before the new kit is revealed. 

I found yet another great sketch on Sketch Support (anyone else think that I just need to buy her sketch books?), but decided to just do one of the two pages of the layout.  I love this sketch because you can use alot of bits of papers from your kit.

I am in love with this main picture of my daughter.  It is hard to get her to look at the camera sometimes, but this shot was just perfect.  We had been geocashing in a wooded area and she decided to make me an offering of wildflowers.  She is such a sweetie.

The last of my large flowers from my kit made it on the page along with a chipboard piece that I painted with a mixture of pearl paint and green pearl-ex. Isabel loves this beaded safety pin and asked me to include it, too.

I have gotten so much scrapping done in the last 2 months!  Next on my list...make a spring banner for our fireplace mantle.  I have the perfect paper in mind for it, but will (cough) need to stop at Hobby Lobby to pick it up.  LOL  Anyone else need anything?

Just a quick layout: El Yunque

Billy and I met in Puerto Rico....we lived there for almost 5 years together....our son was born there.  Puerto Rico holds a special place in my heart.  The first place I fell in love with on my first visit there was the rain forest: El Yunque.  Such a beautiful and peaceful place.  I would love to be back there right now.

I based this layout on a sketch from Sketch Support.  Love them!  I struggled with the embellishments, but decided to go with the hearts from the sketch in my different patterned papers.  Then I dumped out all of my small embellisments from my kit and just started adding them randomly.  I did throw in a few red buttons for a little pop of color and to make my triangle for my focal point.  Not half bad.  I am working on not raking my brain forever and stressing.  Instead I am trying to just go for it.  Look at how mellow I am becoming!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cards for Mini Challenge: Paper Piecing

I was enjoying the paper piecing challenge so much that I decided to do a few cards for it as well!  This first one I made from my kit:

A while ago I saw an adorabe card with an out of doors scene (tree with a swing in it) and a fantastic blue sky with clouds background.  I LOVE that type of paper, but don't have any of it, so I e-mailed the blogger and guess what?  She MADE it!  It is so easy and I use it all the time now.

I cut some clouds out with my Cricut and put some adhesive on the back. Then I arrange them on my project and gently lay them down. The adhesive keeps them there, but not pushing too hard makes them easy to pull back up. Then I take some blue inks and a sponge and pounce the ink up and down on the paper. The clouds act as masks and when I get the color saturation I want, I just remove them. Easy Peasy.

For the balloon, I just cut out 2 circles out of patterned paper.  One of the circles I left as is, the other circle I trimed into an ovalish sort of shape.

Then I inked them with black ink and attatched the oval to the circle with some foam squares.

For the basket, I cut out a small square out of tan cardstock.  I then cut out some thin strips, put adhesive on them and wove them on top of the small square.  I glued down the basket and drew some lines to look like string.

Here is my next card:

For this one, I cut out some curved shapes for hills and stamped and cut out a castle and frog.  I did a similar background for the clouds, but instead of leaving them plain (since it is on kraft cardstock), I put glue in the negative space and added some sparkle fluff (by our craft lounge).  The princess took a bit more time.  She was stamped on several pieces of paper: peach (for skin), brown (for the hair), pink dots (for dress), darker pink (for trim on dress) and yellow (crown).  I cut out pieces of each of the princesses and glued them all on the peach princess.  More work than coloring, but I love the look of it!

Thanks for looking!  Off to create some more!  Oh, and check out Moxie Fab...they are having a paper piecing challenge as your creations Here and you can win a prize from them!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Easel Card

I have not made one of these in a while, but wanted to try some different things with my kit.  I will admit that I am getting a bit bored of layouts and regular cards.  I just can't help it!  LOL

Easel cards are not hard at all to make, but the key is decorating the inside, which I usually don't bother to do even though I like the look of it.  Just lazy, I guess.  And eager to get onto the next project!

Everything used is from my kit!  I did add a stamp set: Basic Grey Pretty Bird stamp set and threw in a new color: cranberry

If you would like a tutorial to learn how to make this card, go to Split Coast Stampers .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Layout for Mini Challenge: Putting Pen to Paper (a close up)

This was an incredibly hard challenge for me.  See...these challenges are just as much for us as they are for YOU!  LOL  If you want to see my entire layout, please go to Counterfeit Kit Challenge

Tags...that design feature just got stuck in my head.  First of all, tags do not give much writing space.  That is a plus if you are struggeling with what to say, right?  And they can be embellished...I wanted to use bits of just about everything from my kit.

All of the colors I picked popped well with the black paper, so I made that my background.  I didn't want to just use white for the journaling tags, so I pulled the tan paper (I have ink to match) and stamped some journaling lines on them.  I wrote out what I wanted to say (and number the tags so I wouln't forget) so I would know how many decorated tags I would need to make to fill out the page. I did attatch the journaling tags with foam squares so they would be more prominant.

Green/white tag:  good backdrop for the black letter stickers from the kit for my title
White/Black tag: Large white glittered flower that I made
Black floral tag: metal embossed chipboard frame with a chipboard butterfly
   embossed with cuttlebug-embossed with teal embossing powder-painted with crackle medium-painted with white paint
Striped tag: three large glittered buttons in a cluster
White tage: bird from stamp set...added leaves...brad for eye
Circle tag: metal trim along bottom
Green/black tag: covered with one of the bingo cards (and trimmed) date of blog opening marked

Hope you enjoyed this close up!  Don't forget to link up your challenge creation on our blog for a chance to win a kit from the Scraps of Darkness!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Goodies

The flu has invaded our house.  Not a good thing for a time of year when I usually make a lot of crafty goodness for my kids teachers/friends.  I had to simplify it this year.

The cute card is to go with a bag of Dove Chocolates for each Specials Teacher (Gym/Art/Music/Library) and the mailboxes are stuffed with Lindt Truffles for the main teachers.  I usually decorate them pretty elaborately, but this year they got stickers.  Yep.  I'm hanging my head.  But I am SO tired and achey.  I'm sure they won't care.  They have LINDT in them for Pete's sake.  LOL  That should gloss over my uncraftiness.  LOL

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Organizing the rest of my stuff

You have now had a indepth look at my room and most of my stuff.  :)  Hope it was helpful.  There are a few other important categories in my room, but the storage for these is a snap:  Jetmax cubes and clear box with lid!


Blank Cards

Finished cards:

Mini albums

For me, the begining of creating is having a place for everything.  I hope you find something that works for YOUR process!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Organizing: Embellishments

Emebllishments!  Love them!  Use them!  Sometimes don't know what to do with them!  LOL  Some are big...some are you keep them in the packaging?  Sort them by color?  Product type?

I don't have a fix all that will keep your embellishments (of all sizes and types) in one place, but I do have some tips for how I keep mine.

First, I sort all of my embellishments by type and find the best storage for each type of embellishment.  You will be seeing the storage for these in just a minute.

After they are categorized, I sort them by the same color order that I do my paper. I like having that consistent theme in my room.

So, here we go:

Small Embellishments (brads/seed beads/eyelets/small gems):
I have 2 CTMH embellishment organizers.  LOVE THEM!  Been using them for
years and wouldn't change a thing!  They travel well...I even put some embossing powder/glitter in some of the containers for going to crops.  These are in color order.

I couldn't resist this green case with the clear divided boxes.  I use these for
embellishments that go with paper brands I like to buy like Basic Grey and Sassa Frass.  That
way all of those embellishments are easy to grab and go well with those papers. 

Buttons and flowers:  Also in color order and in these cute Ikea jars.  There are similar
jars at Hobby Lobby/Michaels, but they aren't as cheap.

I glued a sample embellishment on the top of the jar for looks and to help sort.

My ribbon is stored in jewlery bags on clips on my clip it up.  Color order of course.

I put them on clothespins to keep them neat and organized.


Sheets of chipboard on my Clip it up

Bling on my clip it up


Alpha's on my clip it up


Chipboard and grungeboard pieces: sorted by type (alphas, basic shapes,
flowers...) and stored in these great kitchen silverware "buckets" from Ikea!

More organizing tips tomorrow!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Organizing: Stamps and such

I think the only other scrapbook supply that could rival my paper is my stamps.  I just can't seem to stop.  In fact, I bought 4 more sets yesterday.  Yikes!  LOL  They were a great deal, though!  Wanna see them?

$15 for all of them, baby!  I love CHA time...everyone makes way for new products!  Anyway...I have alot of stamp sets.  I have a mix of stamp storage options at this point...It is working so I don't feel the need to fix it.  Yet.  LOL

At this point, it is important for me to keep my stamps together in their original sets.  I know some people take each stamp and put it in a category, but I can't do that.  It feels wrong.  LOL  I go with a general theme for each stamp set and don't worry about the tiny stamps.  Eventually I plan on using a roladex to keep track of each stamp, but that is a project only in my head right now.  LOL

Stamp Categories:
Journaling (stamps that can have journaling written in them)
Sentiments (whole phrases/words)
Unity (yes, they deserve their own category)

I store these in Photo Storage Boxes...that way my clear stamps and rubber stamps can live together.

Apparently you want to see this picture sideways, since it won't let me change it. 

On my Clip it Up Floor Model, I keep these categories:
Holidays (broken into Winter-Christmas/Valentinesday, Spring-Easter, Summer, Fall)

Finally...all of those stinking $1 stamps.  For the rubber ones, I keep them in the categories in the photo storage boxes.  For the small clear stamp sets I use baseball card page protectors in notebooks or on my clip it up depending on the category.

Other Stamping Goodies:
My inks are in color order again:

My stickles/sprays are stored in a cute planter tray so they are visible:
I have a Jetmax drawer for my dry glitter/embossing powders/flocking:

Another drawer of distressing tools:

And another drawer of coloring options:

Pretty basic.  I know where everything is, so that is important.

Tomorrow:  How I organize my small embellishments