Friday, April 26, 2013

Scrapbooking Friends

My assignment from Get It Scrapped!: Make a page that's a tribute to one of your friends. This page is about my friend Shirley. The photos of us trying on silly hats served as the starting point for a whimsical page. Playful layering and organic shapes supports a free-spirited tone.

Collection Featured: Little Yellow Bicycle Just Because

I wrote the first sentence and decided to follow the same format for a brief but meaningful list, which also gave me an appropriate title. 

You can see how the rest of the Design Team recorded their treasured friendships using photos, words, color and motif to bring their stories to life. The rest of the article is right here. We can get so caught up in scrapping about our family, but how about paying tribute to a special friend? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Scrapbook Process: Merge Title & Journaling

My assignment from Get It Scrapped!: Make a page on which the journaling and title "merge." In other words, the title is a part of the journaling -- but emphasized. This page is about our trip to northern Michigan last fall. Here's how it came together.

Step 1: Gathering supplies - photos, journaling, white card stock and a mix of stamps and stickers. I also plan to use my trusty typewriter.

Step 2: I created my main title by stamping and heat embossing, then outlining the letters with a Sharpie pen.

Step 3: I like this as the basis for the layout. Still lots more to do...

Step 4: I decided to work out from my photos, choosing smaller letter stickers for key locations on our drive and filling in the rest of the journaling with typewritten journaling strips.

Step 5: Placing some of the journaling above the photos and some below creates a flow that takes your eye right through the pictures.

Step 6: I finished the page with patterned paper border strips at the top and bottom. For embellishments, I placed two leaves on the diagonal, added a visual triangle of buttons on patterned paper and another visual triangle of Twinkle Goosebumps in three groups of three.
Step 7: As a final tweak, the title needed some attention, so I matted it on gray card stock and pop dotted it.

You can see more ideas in the article here. It takes some thought, but merging the title and journaling is an effective design technique. Have you ever done this on a layout?

Friday, April 19, 2013

On the Home Front: Knitting

Here's my idea: a short post every now and then, with a few photos, of what's going on in my life besides scrapping. I'll call these On the Home Front, so you'll know what's coming. Seems a better title than "upcoming attractions of possible future scrapbook pages".

As if scrapping isn't enough of a hobby, I also have taken up my knitting needles again after many years. Sadly, my local yarn shop owners are retiring soon. But on the positive side, everything in the store is being marked down, so I recently stocked up on enough yarn for plenty of socks and dish cloths.
After many months of knitting, I finally finished this sweater for Phil. I can't help it, I'm pretty proud of how this turned out. Do you have other hobbies besides scrapbooking? I'm going to guess that many of us have more than one interest. I'd love to know about yours!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Colors of the Rainbow

My assignment from Get It Scrapped!: Make a page with at least 4 "rainbow colors" -- They should be bold and deeply saturated and they should sit next to each other on the color wheel. Well, it's no secret that I love color, so this challenge was right up my alley. 

The layout I created is a glimpse of me at 4 years old. The swiss dotted patterned paper is from Jillibean Soup's Soup Staples line. It appears as border strips at the edge of the black card stock and backing to my Silhouette chevron shape. I love how black makes colors pop!

These bold, bright colors support the theme of a happy little girl, all dressed up and ready to have her picture taken. My hair has always been very straight, so I'm guessing my mother went to lots of trouble to get that little bit of curl.

The little chevron heart is part of a Stampin' Up! set that I wrote about in this post. I've read that the rainbow color scheme is a popular choice for weddings in 2013. I'd like to see that! But in the meantime, there's plenty more ideas and inspiration in the rest of the article here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

About the Weather

My assignment for Get It Scrapped!: Make a page about the weather. This page is about my love of the changing seasons. One of the many reasons I enjoy living in the midwest is experiencing winter, spring, summer and fall year after year. The predictability of the seasons is familiar and comforting, sometimes frustrating, but never boring.

I associate colors with each season: blue for winter, green for spring, red for summer and light brown for fall. Each scalloped circle includes an appropriate motif: the snowflake, butterfly, flower and maple leaf all represent their respective season.

Have you ever scrapped about the weather? It could provide background for a story, or become the story itself. If the weather where you live affects your daily life, or your mood, maybe it deserves a page or two in your albums!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Go To Designs: The Band

When I decided on the band for my next Go To DesignI didn't realize how many times I turn to this design. I have seven layouts to share, and many more in my albums that didn't make the cut! So exactly what is a band? Unlike the shelf, a band spans the entire page, either horizontally or vertically. There are so many different ways to do this! Here are some of my favorites.
Band #1: Let the photos themselves form the band; perfect for three 4x6 vertical photos.

Band #2: Combine the photos with patterned paper for a blocked/band design

Band #3: Same idea as above, using squares and a vertical orientation

Band #4: Bands are a great way to show off a series of action shots

Band #5: Create the band with patterned paper and layer everything else on top

Band #6: Brand New Page! Same idea as above, horizontal orientation 

Band #7: Brand New Page! I put my Silhouette to work to create this open, airy band.

These are just a few ideas for the band design. Like all my other Go Do Designs, I created a Pinterest board with lots more examples. Is the band a design in your scrapping tool box?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Inspired By...Oomph and Polish

The current issue over at Masterful Scrapbook Design, Oomph and Polish, is all about the "pursuit of ideas and techniques for pushing your designs farther", according to owner Debbie Hodge. For instance, in the Designers Gallery each contributor displayed a before and after photo, with tips and ideas for adding those finishing touches that can take a layout from good to great. I was inspired to give this a try myself. 

Here's my before layout. I've got the photos, title, and journaling in place with some simple layering and banner embellishments. Now I want to finish the page with more texture and dimension, plus something that is eye catching.

Eye Catching: I framed the entire page with a diagonal striped patterned paper. This border provides contrast to the white card stock, adds energy and helps contain my layout. This is a favorite finishing technique of mine to pull a page together.

Texture and Dimension: Hand stitching not only provides additional interest, but also distributes color around the page.

More Texture and Dimension: Brads, wood veneer and pop-dotted stars form a visual triangle. I like to think in three's, so there are 3 clusters of 3 shapes.

Okay, maybe I fudged the 3 things at the top of the page a bit. Since it provides an entry point for the layout, I'm good with that. 

This was a fun exercise, challenging me to think about my process and preferences for polishing a page to completion. How do you like to add Oomph and Polish to your layouts?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Silhouette Sketch Pens

In a previous post, I mentioned that I'd purchased some Sketch Pens for my Silhouette Cameo. Several commenters wanted to know more about them, so last weekend I set aside some time to test them out, aka, play around.
First order of! I purchased a few basic sketch shapes in the Silhouette Store: an arrow flourish, circle background, circle flower accent, corner flourish and sketch note card. You can tell which shapes are sketch designs in the store by the little "S" in a square in the corner of the design description. You can also search specifically for sketch designs.
I decided to try out each color pen using a variety of the shapes. First, the black pen and the arrow flourish. Worked like a charm. The black sketches are very classy, in my opinion.
The red pen and the purple pen with the circle flower also worked great. I changed the size of this sketch just to see what difference it would make. They both looked good to me. Re-sizing a sketch seems easier than re-sizing a cut because drawing smaller is not as big of an issue as cutting smaller. You don't risk tearing the paper with a smaller sketch.
A few of the pens did not print super well at the very beginning. It's like they needed to get going, just like a regular ball point pen does sometimes. This was more of an issue with the lighter colors, like yellow and green, not so much the darker colors. I selected the Cut Again button to go over some of the sketches a second time, which worked well.
Here's what I ended up with on my sample page. Still not happy with that larger green tag, but the green pen sketched the corner flourish much more successfully. You'll notice with the arrow and the corner flourish I drew some with a border and some without. That is just a matter of ungrouping the shape and deleting that outside edge. I imagine that outside border is to help with cutting out the sketch if that's what you want to do. 
I really liked the results, so of course I headed right back to the store for more shopping! I added an abstract floral circles background, an abstract retro background, a sheet music sketch and some stars and notebook doodles. 

As far as using the sketch pens on an actual project, I think I will start with some cards first. I'm not very good at fussy cutting, so sketching on the background is a technique that appeals to me. I did a quick search on Pinterest and added some sketch pen projects to my Silhouette Ideas board.

It is super easy to use the sketch pens. You simply replace the blade with the pen you want to use in your machine and select Sketch Pens in the Silhouette Cut Settings window. Here's a quick video if you're a visual learner like me. Ready to give the sketch pens a try? Or, what have you already done with yours?

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Scrapbook Process: Quick & Easy

For this Peek At My Process, I started with a photo of our son with my parents that was taken at his high school graduation (gulp) ten years ago. This page came together rather quickly by my standards. Here's how I kept it simple.

Step #1: Pulled some kraft cardstock and patterned paper based on the colors in the photos. Decided on photo placement, jotted some journaling ideas.

Step #2: First layer includes patterned paper cut in basic shapes, one border punch and the photo matted on white card stock and vellum, given a slight tilt. (sorry for the dark photo; basement remodel is messing with my lighting)

Step #3: Placed a simple title below the photo. The small green letter stickers are from Dear Lizzy's release last year, still a good fit with her newest collection. The white Thickers provide a contrasting font and dimension. That was easy!

Step #4: Finished embellishing this block with addition patterned paper, chipboard and flair. Loving flair these days. Pre-made embellishments are a big time saver.

Step #5: Placed the journaling at the top LH corner of the page. My trusty typewriter is faster than computer journaling and printing. Sprinkled a few buttons, and that's it!

Collection Featured: American Crafts Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm

I added a little hand stitching for the finishing touch.  It takes extra time, but while I am sewing, I catch up on videos from Two Peas or this new self-paced class from Get It Scrapped!
Sometimes a fast and easy layout just does the trick. The key is to get the photo, title and journaling down without over-thinking, play with paper and pre-made embellishments just a bit and call it a day. How do you whip up a page and keep it simple?