Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Can't Use That For Boys! Can I?

One thing I hear frequently is how hard it is to find good products for "boy" scrapbook pages. Having a boy myself, I understand the difficulty, but I'm here to tell you that you can use all kinds of things that might seem "girly" on your boy pages.

Now I don't think this looks girly at all, but you might be surprised at the products I used to make it.

This Hopscotch paper pack may seem a bit girly, with it's pastel colors, flowery looking circles, and even a sewing pattern design on one of the papers. To make things "worse", I added this stamp set:

You might be saying, "Really? Flowers?! Can you get any more girly?" The answer, my friends, is to ignore the fact that this is a "flower" stamp set. A Happy Hello, the current stamp of the month, definitely has a flower vibe, but when you look at the pieces separately there are all kinds of possibilities. (Go take a look at your other "flower" stamps - you might find more!)

So, here's what I did:

First of all, I stuck to the paper patterns with a geometric look to them. Then I focused on the more boyish or neutral colors. Using the Ponderosa Pine cardstock for the page bases really grounds things, and the blue and orange are the main colors in my son's shirt here. I just laid my pictures on the different colors to decide which color would look best as the photo mats. I also think the orange really draws your eyes to the photos, which is just what we want!

For the stamps, I used the designs that were more geometric looking. I reinforced the look by using darker colors for the images that might be read as flowers. It also helped to only use half of the largest scalloped image so it seems even less like a flower.

Here, I used two of the stamps to create a "sun" to go with my title.  This also visually reinforces that these are not flowers. (The title is cut using the Artbooking Cricut cartridge.)

Here's a closeup of my not-flowers on the other page. Design placement is another key to making the eye see what you want. Notice that on both pages, I treated these as geometric designs and completely avoided any grouping that might make them feel like flowers. I also avoided using any additional embellishments.

Now, in case you think this layout design looks a little familiar, you're right! The newest challenge over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges is to use you favorite CTMH product. Mine is definitely our sketches in our How-To Programs, and this sketch from Make It From Your Heart volume 2 is my absolute favorite of them all! I have used this exact sketch at least 4 times, and it always looks different.

I hope today's tips were helpful to you! I'd love to know what you think, so be sure to leave me a little comment before you go.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Happy Hello - February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! If you have arrived here from the fabulous Michelle Jones' blog, or if you are just starting out, you are in the right place! In case you get lost along the way, you can open this list of all of our particpants right here. This month, our stamp set is A Happy Hello, a set of 15 stamps sure to have you dreaming of Spring blossoms.

I decided to get another scrapbook layout under my belt for this year, and I love how it turned out!

I stuck with Smoothie, Crystal Blue, and Sweet Leaf as my color combo, adding White Daisy for my neutral.  I used Smoothie and Sweet Leaf patterns from the Paper Fundamentals Whimsy paper pack. (I used the tone-on-tone side of the Smoothie, so it may be a bit hard to see here.) I used a sketch pattern from the Magic how-to book to design my layout. I also used regular cardstock in Crystal Blue, Sweet Leaf, and White Daisy.  I stamped everything with stamp pads in Smoothie, Crystal Blue, and Sweet Leaf.

The photo mat called for in the sketch was 7x7, but I don't generally care for using odd photo sizes like 6x6. Instead I used the leftover area to create a little floral accent with several of the stamps in the set. I used 3-D Foam Tape to pop the flowers up off of the stems.

The flower designs were a perfect fit for the circle elements called for in the pattern.  I hand cut the Smoothie and Sweet Leaf flowers, and used a circle punch for the Crystal Blue ones. I used Flamingo Dots for the flower centers on the blue ones. (The middle shade is a close enough match to Smoothie for this use and adds a little punch of interest to the flowers.) I used more 3-D Foam Tape to pop up alternating flowers all the way around.  The Cricut title is cut at 7" using the Artbooking cartridge.

I'd love to hear what you think of my layout before you go! If you'd like to shop, all of the links above open in a new window so you can stay here to continue the hop. When you're ready, let's go visit the talented Lucy Kelleher and see what she has for us this time.


Today is your last chance to be "Smitten" with the National Papercrafting Month special from Close To My Heart. As promised, here is my second two-page layout made from this $5 kit (and I still have plenty of leftovers for a card or two).

Pictures are Copyright Apartment C Photography, Springfield, IL

I simply pulled out two more sheets of White Daisy cardstock to use as bases for the rest of the papers left in my kit.  I chose this sketch from Scrapbook Generation because it works so well with the CTMH sketch I used for the earlier layout.  I chose not to include a journaling area on this layout because I have a large area on the earlier layout.  I also still have plenty of candid shots that I took myself, so if I need to write more I can include it on those layouts too. I inked the edges on everything in this layout as well, using coordinating ink colors.

The Cricut cuts for my title area are all from the Artbooking cartridge. I resized them to fit my space and design.  The hearts were cut at 6" to work well with my focal 4x6 photo. I added foil heart stickers to accent. "Smitten" was cut from a scrap of Desert Sand cardstock, not included in the kit.

The banners are all cut by hand. I again used some discontinued gold polka dot washi tape, and I added a gold banner from the foil stickers included in the kit. I just trimmed it to the right length.  I also added some paper flowers from my stash, and used some of the gold foil circles for their centers. I used a foil heart to cover the seam in the striped paper, since it was only 6" wide.

The bottom border is made up of easy to trim rectangles.  I added pen stitching with a gold Signo Uniball pen to tie in with the foil stickers used in the flower centers.  I added more hearts as an accent, and to cover up the seam in the striped paper.

Remember today is the last day to purchase this beautiful kit! All of the details are in my previous post, and you can also see them on my website here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Always & Forever

I finally broke out my Year Noted kit this week - it's the National Papercrafting Month special from Close To My Heart - and I had a lot of fun for only $5! Rather than order the mini album, I chose to use my kit for traditional scrapbooking.

Portraits copyright Apartment C Photography, Springfield, IL - see end of post for details

I still have plenty of paper left for a second two-page layout, but I'm a bit under the weather so I haven't gotten to it yet.  For this layout I also used This Moment, the January Stamp of the Month, some scraps of White Daisy and Desert Sand cardstock, and some discontinued gold polka dot washi tape. I based the layout on a pattern from the Magic how-to book, changing things up a little bit.

For this large plaque, I cut this shape from the Art Phiolosophy Cricut cartridge at 4" and the title from Artbooking at 15". I stamped one of the little "gumdrop" banner shapes from the Year Noted stamp set at each end. I sponged the edges with Desert Sand ink.

Here's a closeup of one of my banner sections.  In the original pattern, they called for stacked rectangles here. I turned them into banners for a fun updated look, and popped up my washi tape-covered cardstock with some 3-D Foam Tape. I added a stamped banner using the This Moment stamp of the month set and Smoothie ink. I sponged the edges of the banners with coordinating inks.

These are all stamped using the This Moment set, and I added a gold foil heart from the Year Noted kit. I used stamp pads in Smoothie, Glacier, and Desert Sand.

For the journaling area, I used stamps from the Year Noted kit to add a bordered edge and date stamp. More ink sponged edges on all of my papers.

Finally, I added a string of gold foil hearts that were in the Year Noted kit. I could not be happier with how this layout turned out, and I'm really looking forward to making the second one!

There are only a few days left to get this kit, so if you haven't ordered yours yet (or if you need another one!), be sure to do it before the end of the month.  Here are all the details:

During the month of January, with a qualifying purchase of $50, you are eligible to purchase the exclusive Year >> Noted paper kit (which has a retail value of over $24 USD / $27 CAD) for only $5—that’s over 80% off retail! Or, for an additional $5, you can order the Year >> Noted paper kit with an accompanying My Creations™ kraft mini book. The paper kit for both options includes a C-size stamp set, stickers, cardstocks, and B&T Duos™ papers, all specially designed to coordinate with the My Creations™ kraft mini book so you can have a yearlong scrapbooking experience. This means you will receive over $34 USD / $37 CAD worth of product for only $10 if you purchase the kit with the accompanying mini book! But the fun doesn’t end there—included on the sticker sheet, you will find a large golden seal. Once the year is done and all the pages are filled, seal up your book and create a mini time capsule that you can open years from now. Remember, this deal is only available for January, so make sure to get your own Year >> Noted paper kit today for the perfect start to a crafty year!

Photography details: Portraits used my layout were taken by Apartment C Photography in Springfield, IL. You can find their website here, and their Facebook page here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Use Up the Old and Add In the New!

The first challenge of the year over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges is Old is New. We can play along any time during the month, so I'm finally jumping in with the layout I created for the challenge.

I had "snow" much fun mixing up old things with new things for this layout!  The two snowflake and word patterned papers are some old designs from Scenic Route, and I matched them up with old Spring Iris cardstock and a new Paper Fundamentals pattern from the Adventure Assortment plus some new Glacier cardstock.  I also tossed on some older glitter brads and American Crafts glitter ribbon. I used a sketch from one of the Make It From Your Heart volumes.

I made this great Cricut cut title with the Winter Frolic cartridge, and I added several snowflakes using my old favorite Snowflakes stamp set and coordinating Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. Ink colors are Glacier, Lagoon, and Pacifica.

I had a great time with this challenge, and loved using up a bunch of older products I had. I love how adding just one or two newer items updates the look of older stuff. I think this is one challenge I'm going to try to continue with throughout the year!

Have a little time, and some old stuff taking up room in your stash? Head over to H2H and play along too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Family Celebrations - Magnetic Event Calendar

I searched for months for an easy and attractive way to keep track of special events. My family is rather large, and my mom sends cards for everyone's birthdays and anniversaries. I saw several examples on Pinterest, Facebook, and around the web, but none of them was quite right. I wanted something where I could easily add (or subtract) when babies and weddings (or divorces) come along, and I finally decided that magnets were the way to go.

After much thought, and trial & error, I ended up with this:

This was pretty easily put together using a Magnetic Chalkboard from Close To My Heart and some white vinyl cut with my Silhouette Cameo.  The magnets are assembled from Base & Bling Circle Glass Covers from Close To My Heart, Magnetic Sheets from Silhouette, and images printed and cut with the Silhouette Cameo.

The dividing lines for the calendar were created as part of the cut file, but to save vinyl, and probably be easier to place on the chalkboard, you could use graphic tape. Graphic tape is easily found in the art supply section of most craft stores and even office supply stores.

Here are some examples of the birthday magnets. The domed shape of the glass cover distorts the type just a bit, so I was sure to choose a simple font that would still be readable.  The glass covers are easily attached using Base & Bling Adhesive Dots, or Liquid Glass adhesive.  I chose the Adhesive Dots because I had so many magnets to make, and it is faster and less messy. The Liquid Glass adhesive is more time  intensive, and needs a little cleanup, but produces a slightly clearer result.

Here are a couple of examples of the anniversary magnets.  I put all of the magnets for each month in date order down the line, making it easy to have cards ready to go out in the right order. And I can easily rearrange them when the next new addition comes along this Summer!

Want to make one of your own?  Order your Magnetic Chalkboard from me, and I will provide you the cutting/printing files for free (for personal use only) for use with the Silhouette.  If you're interested in a commercial license, or a cutting file for the Cricut, please contact me.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This Moment - Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the January stamp of the month blog hop! If you've arrived here from the talented Vicki Price's blog, or if you're just starting out, you are in the right place. Just hop along until you come back to where you started. There is a complete list of hoppers right here that you can open in a new window in case you get lost along the way.

This month's stamp set is In This Moment, a set of 12 stamps that I will be using over and over again!  The overall theme of the stamp set is love, and I plan to use them for layouts, cards, little gifts, and more.  The trendy arrows and general phrases are useful for tons of other things too.

For today, I chose to scrapbook a two-page layout:

I combined the stamp set with the Heartstrings line from our Seasonal Expressions catalog to highlight these sweet pictures of my girls playing in our backyard when they were little. I also added an extra sheet of Hollyhock cardstock for the second page base.

Combining the stamped element with some sticker elements from the Heartstrings Complements pack makes a nice addition to the title area.

I used the target image on multiple size circles that I cut with the Artbooking Cricut cartridge. A 2.25" circle holds the entire image, as shown, while a 1.75" and 1.25" circles will frame a partial image.  I used a badge button from the Heartstrings Assortment in the center of the full sized circle, and a light pink heart from the Stuck on You Puffies in the smaller target.

I balanced the layout using another target image on the other side. In addition, I added the "XOXO" sentiment to the corner, and used several stamped arrows in my journaling area.

If you are ready to shop, the links below open in a new window. When you are ready to hop along, we'll head to Judy Burger's blog and see what inspiration she has for us this month.

Stamp of the Month
Heartstrings Paper Packet
Heartstrings Complements
Heartstrings Assortment
Hollyhock Cardstock
Stamp Pads in Lagoon, Hollyhock, and Cranberry
Stuck On You Puffies
3-D Foam Tape
Non-Stick Micro-Tip Scissors
MyAcrylix Blocks
Artbooking Cricut Collection
Surecut Deluxe Paper Trimmer

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