Friday, July 25, 2014

So Long, Farewell...a Card!

Popping on with a quick card share today. My son's karate instructor is leaving tomorrow... headed out of state to start a new life with his soon-to-be wife. Although we are really happy for him, saying goodbye will be hard. There is a going away party tomorrow, so I pulled together this quick card to wish him well in his new life. 

I think it came out pretty cute considering I haven't made a card in a very long time.

Stamps: Paper Smooches Smarty Pants. Die cuts from Heidi Swapp. Paper from K&Company.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to craft more this weekend! See you soon.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Picking Paints for the Gelli Plate

With the summer here and the kiddos out of school, I am finding it very hard to carve out crafting time. But I am managing to sneak up to the craft room a little bit each week. And thanks to some motivation from some new scrappy friends, I am revisiting some of my neglected crafting tools.

My latest craze is the gelli plate. I had the 8 x 10 one already, but I recently bought the cute little 3 x 5 plate, which is perfect for creating page embellishments or project life pocket cards. But despite loving the idea of gelli printing, many of my prints weren't coming out that great. So I took to YouTube in search of some instructions to help me get a better print.

Gelli printing is really quite simple. All you need is a gelli plate, stencils or other items to make patterns, and some paint. Although the folks at Gelli Arts say that you can use any kind of acrylic paint, I wondered if different paints would give me better results. And so I set up a little experiment and thought I'd share the results. I decided to compare regular craft paint with both the fluid and open acrylic paints from Golden.

To keep things consistent, I followed the steps demonstrated in the Gelli Arts video tutorial here. Like in the video, I used three colors for each print (yellow, magenta and blue) from each of the paints (I didn't have a blue in the fluid acrylic paint so I used the blue from the "open" acrylics).

And here's what the prints look like:

Acrylic Craft Paints
3 layers of craft paint. You can see a lot of texture showing through each layer and there is good blending
of the colors in the first print, but there wasn't a lot of paint left over for the ghost prints.

Golden Fluid Acrylic Paints
The colors in the first set of prints are much more vibrant than those made with craft paints, but like
the craft paint there was not a lot of color left on the plate for the ghost pulls.
Note: an open paint was used for the blue layer , which is why you see predominately blue in the ghost print.

Golden Open Acrylic Paints
Like the fluid acrylics, there is great coloration in the prints, but the most noticeable difference
is seen in the ghost print.

My Verdict

Although using regular craft paint is perfectly fine for gelli printing, I like the colors that you get using the Golden paints. They are a little richer and they seem to blend a lot better giving the illusion of multiple layers. So for me, its a tie between fluid versus the open acrylics for the first pull prints.

The Golden open paints are slow drying, which means you can take your time working with them because they are going to stay wet a lot longer and for gelli printing, that means great color blending and better ghost (or second prints) because a little paint goes a long way. That being said, I am actually pleasantly surprised to see the results of the fluid paints. Although the ghost prints aren't as showy...the color in the first layered print is pretty similar to the print made with the open paints (and I actually like the softer purple color in the fluid print versus the bold indigo color that resulted in the open print). That's good news for me since AC Moore sells the fluid acrylics and I can use a coupon to cut the price down to $4.50 a bottle versus the $8.00 average price of a 2 oz tube of the open acrylics (which can only be bought at an art store). And the fluid acrylics dry much faster which means the prints will be available to play with sooner than the ones made with the open acryli

In my next post, I am going to look at a few different iridescent paints to see how they stack up again each other. Hope you'll stop by to find out.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Over LOAD ed-ition

Wow! Has it really been almost two months since I blogged last? I guess I've really been out of it for awhile. Crafting a bit more than usual, but not posting anything here. That tends to happen when I am involved in a month of LOAD (Layout a Day with Lain Ehmann). We just wrapped up another intense month of scrapbooking, with May's theme being Past Perfect 2. It was a great time to scrap some of my childhood photos and start putting some of my memories of growing up to paper before I forget. I ended up creating 34 pages (+2 for National Scrapbook Day) it was a great month.

Here are a few of my favorite May layouts:

One of many layouts that relied on images I found online...a trend this month.
Loved using the hidden journaling to keep the page clean.

Layout created for a sketch challenge for National Scrapbook Day.
Ended up using the wrong sketch for the challenge, but loved the page anyway.

Trying to get used to leaving more "white space" on my layouts.
This is one of my favorite photos from my childhood.

Had to include at least one layout of my kitties.
This is of Zoey who is getting more loving as she adjusts to her new home.

A fun phrase and story from childhood...brings back so many memories and
couldn't resist pairing it with this photo of my brother at age 3. Hysterical!

Talking about TV shows that we watch...and some of the overlap of shows
that are still on that my kids watch today. More internet photos.

Love this one for the artful mess that I made with it. Used stencils, stamps, and handwritten journaling
along with photos from the internet to tell the story of how we used to play as kids. 
Adapted from a layout I found on Pinterest. Just love that I could make a pretty page using some very
old and not very good photos from our vacations as a kid on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a chance to create something today. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

True Stamp 2014 was AMAZING!

So it's been very quiet on the blog lately but I've been busy behind the scenes taking classes, playing around with some new techniques and getting my scrapbook pages done...slowly but surely.

This weekend I "attended" Lain Ehmann's True Stamp 2014 and it was amazing. This full-day on-line event brought together some of the industry's biggest and brightest stampers. Just look at this lineup:

  • Bobbi Lemansky & Kim Ziehr from Raisin Boat
  • Shari Carroll from Simon Says Stamp
  • Kim Hughes from Paper Smooches
  • Bev Grey from Technique Tuesday
  • Kelly Marie Alvarez & Chari Moss from Lawn Fawn
  • Nichol Magourik and Kryssi Ng from Mama Elephant
The stamping, the techniques the shared, and the cards that they made were unique, beautiful, and so inspiring. I have so many ideas brewing in my little brain that I can't quite contain myself. Now just to the find the time to get crafting.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this adorable idea that I "borrowed" from fellow ScrapHappy members Connie and Donna(aka OrangeGearle) to make your own enamel dots from Perler beads (those little hollow plastic beads). Head over to Donna's blog to get the directions...but in the meantime here's a sneak peak of the end result.

I tried the Elmer's brand of beads (seen at the very bottom of the page and unfortunately they produced tiny to medium sized holes in the dots). I won't throw them away though...with a dab of Ranger White Enamel or Liquid Pearls you can fill up the hole, or simply insert a brad like I did in the flower for an adorable (and handmade) embellishment to your cards or scrapbook layouts.

Well I'm off to make some more dots. Be sure to check back in the next week or two for some more peeks at the new techniques that I'll be trying out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Muse (and my mojo) is gone...

Despite being right in the middle of LOAD 214 (Layout a Day's scrapbook challenge) mojo has come to a screeching halt. 

On February 5th, we said goodbye to our little furry girl, Bailey. She was 19 and although that is a great, long life for a kitty, it didn't make it any easier to say goodbye. Fortunately, we were all home that day and were able to be with her in her last minutes. She always kept me company when I crafted and I often had to move her out of my chair so I could get to the computer. It seems weird being in here without her today.

Two days before she died, I created this layout for one of the LOAD challenges. I am so glad that I did. Although the picture of her reminds me of how fast she was declining (food all over her face)'s a wonderful close up and still makes me smile.

One of the last layouts that I created was a two-page spread with old photos of Bailey and her brother Huck (who we lost 2 years ago). The prompt was to use something old, and the photos were the perfect way to memorialize the little ones.

I've gotten so far behind the LOAD prompts that I probably won't do any more this month...but I have few cards to make today so I better get going. It's hard to craft when you are sad...but I'm hoping that my mojo returns soon. I miss crafting almost as much as I miss my little Bailey.

Here's to hoping...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's Time to Bust Some Scrapbooking Myths

So it's the second of February and that means we are on
day 2 of Layout A Day (LOAD 214). This round's theme is Scrapbook Mythbusters (where does Lain come up with these prompts?) and it's all about breaking down the myths and mysteries about scrapbooking.

I've decided not to post every layout this month, but rather highlight some of my favorites since I have a lot of other crafty projects in the wings. But I am particularly happy with how today's layout came out so thought I'd share.

The prompt today was to dispel the myth that you should only scrapbook big events or stories. So we were challenged today to scrap about a little story that was important for us to record. I knew right away which photo I was going to use...I've been saving it for just the right layout. (Layout design was inspired by another fellow LOADster, Orange Everything...ironic huh?)

When my oldest son was little, he loved to eat carrots...but they ended up turning his nose orange (hard to see in the photo). We actually were slightly worried about him and made an appointment to see his pediatrician. After taking one look at Matthew, the doctor said, "He must love carrots!" and assured us that his nose was just responding to the extra doses of beta carotene. We were relieved that it was nothing serious...but we did end up limiting his carrot intake.

Well that's it for now. The big game is underway and my craft space is being invaded by cheering fans.

Have a great night. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year in Review

At the beginning of the year, I posted 7 crafting goals that I hoped to accomplish in 2013. At the time I thought they were pretty realistic goals...nothing too crazy. But alas, here we are on the last day of 2013 and I have to admit that I've fallen short on most of them.

 My list (and my actual results) included:

  • Participate in at least two challenges (card or page layout) per month. This will help keep the mojo going throughout the year. Although I completed a number of challenges this year, I certainly did not do 2 a month...but the Layout A Day accounted for 28 daily challenges in February, 30 challenges in May and 31 in October, so my average is well over 2 a month.
  • Write at least one blog post per week. I failed to do this in April, June, July, August, September and November...and know exactly why each of those months fell short, but I digress.
  • Join a blog hop (not just to follow....but to be a blog on the hop). This is one I accomplished, I actually joined two this yeah for me.
  • Practice, practice, practice coloring with my Copics in the hopes that I learn to stay within the lines. I am getting better with my coloring, but still could use some more practice.
  • Learn how to use (and not break) my sewing machine. I want to produce one card with machine stitching on it...just one, that shouldn't be THAT hard.  The sewing machine has sat untouched for the last 11 months...but there's always 2014.
  • Catch up on my scrapbook layouts so I am never more than 1 month behind the calendar (right now I am scrapping photos from it's not an unrealistic goal). I've started scrapbooking differently and don't worry about staying in order as much as telling the stories that need to be told. I am currently working on my December daily pages (for this year) I am going to call this goal accomplished.
  • Double the number of cards I sent to OWH (Operation Write Home) in 2012. I have sent that means at least 292 for 2013. Ugh, failed miserably on this one. I had a huge stack of holiday cards to mail this year and missed the deadline. So my total of cards shipped to OWH was a measly 75. But I did participate in 2 OWH blog hops and had cards featured as a Mid-week throwdown challenges twice this year! 

It may not show in the numbers, but 2013 was by far the most fun and the craftiest (is that even a word?) year that I've had so far and I am looking forward to making more cards, scrapbook layouts, and crafty friends in the year ahead.

What are your crafty plans for the New Year?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Countdown to Christmas...or my "Not-So-Daily" December Pages

I had great ideas for how I hoped this holiday season would go and I planned to take a lot of pictures and write down all the fun memories that we were supposed to be creating.  I even signed up for an online photography class to help me learn how to take better photos to creatively document the holidays.

But by December 15th, my shopping was done, the presents had been wrapped, but I hadn't done a thing in my scrapbook....and now there were only 10 days until Christmas. The countdown had begun. And that's when it hit me...I could still salvage my plan. Rather than do an entire month of December in a daily/pocket page style, I could still capture the countdown to Christmas.

So here it not so daily December countdown to Christmas. (Sorry for the image's nighttime and the glare off the page protectors is horrible, but you get the idea).

This turned out to be a much easier way to capture the essence of the holidays without adding one more thing to my to do list. 

How did you document the holidays? If you have a link to your holiday pages, I'd love to check them out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Minute Gift Card Holder

Popping in quickly on this sunny Christmas Eve day with a little gift card holder "tutorial." Really I am just posting this on the blog today so that I know where to find the measurements when I inevitably lose them the next time I need to make one.

We bought book store giftcards for the boys' teachers this year, which wasn't very original, but hopefully useful for them. Since the gift itself lacked any creativity, I wanted the packaging to be special. Rather than go out and buy a gift card holder die (which was my first inclination), I realized that I could make my own (and once I had a template, could replicate them again and again and get the picture).

I found this adorable sample over at Lisa Johnson's blog Poppy Paperie. She used My Favorite Thing's gift card pocket die, but since I couldn't get a hold of one quickly I decided to make my own...and actually it was pretty easy, so I figured I'd share the "recipe" so that you can make gift card holders whenever you want (you could even use this for journaling pockets on your layouts).

Basically, you are going to cut two pieces of paper for your holder (one for the taller back piece and a shorter piece to wrap around. I based this design on your typical credit-card sized gift card.

Cut a piece of card stock 3 3/4 inches tall by 2 9/16 wide. You could use patterned cardstock or decorate your own with stamps or embossing, whatever you'd like. I rounded the corners at the top, which is completely optional. Set this piece aside.

Next up, cut another piece of card stock that is 3 1/2 wide by 3 3/4 inches tall. Score this piece 1/2 inch in from the left and right sides and the bottom and cut out the little squares that are formed in the bottom left and right corners. I used a circle punch to cut the semi circle into the top, which makes removing the gift card easier.

Finally, glue the inside flaps from the piece above and adhere to the the back panel piece to create your gift card holder. (note, the back panel on this card was cut at 4 1/2 inches tall, which I decided to fix on later versions).

I decorated my kraft card stock with the Paper Smooches sentiment stamp
and some other miscellaneous stamps from my collection (Recollections maybe?)

Once your gift card holder is complete, you can adhere it to the inside of a card or even the front panel, like I did in these samples here (again cut the back panel too tall and don't love how it came out so the measurements I gave above are a better fit).

Sentiment stamp from Paper Smooches, stripe and tree stamps from
Recollections maybe?, paper by DCWV

Sentiment stamp from Paper Smooches, paper by Recollections

Thanks for stopping by. I've really appreciated your sweet comments throughout the year. I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and fantastic New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

OWH Sunday Sketch Challenge

I haven't participated in an OWH sketch challenge in far too long. But I loved this week's sketch (#203) and I was dying to use my Doodle Pantry fundraiser stamps for OWH that I picked up a few weeks ago. This is one of those sketches that help you use up the scraps of paper that we all have lying around our craft space. For this card, I used up some scraps from two older K&Company paper pads.

The Doodle Pantry images come in black and white and pre-colored and by using the colored version, it allowed me to create a really adorable card in under 15 minutes. This would be perfect to mass produce and what little kid wouldn't love receiving this card from their deployed parent?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you find some time to craft today.