Thursday, March 29, 2012

Calvinball update- March

Well...I sure did not get to play along as much as I would have liked to. I have made a few things since my last calvinball post. I just can not share them all since they are projects fro Scrapbook News and Review Magazine. You will have to watch the magazine. The pages will be in some of the upcoming issues over the next few months. I still enjoyed playing Calvinball, immensely. I hope to play along more in the future. I am sure I will get in a routine with my work for SNR mag and then can make some extra pages, just for fun during each month. Here are my points so far for March:

Calvinball recap:
1st time player- 1 point
late to the party- 1 point
1st time sub- 1point
layouts-6 points
layout in a challenge: 3 points
spreading the word-1 point
daily blogging- 5.5 points
Handicap- 1 point

total:19.5 points 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

12 tags of 2012

  I must admit, that I did not do one for February. There was just too much going on. I decided that I MUST try the one for March. Quite honestly, tags are not my thing. I like making them. I just don't remember to use them on my pages. So, I decided to make a 4x6 card for my March Project life pages. I know it will get used!
Kraft cardstock base, American crafts stamp
Stazon ink, chipboard, stickles
various stickers, glossy accents
Making Memories Alphas
I ended up making four leaf clovers out of chipboard. I hand drew them, then cut up a few stickers. Since I did not have the same embossing powder Tim used, I substituted stickles. I think it will be a nice addition to my March Project life page. Now, I just need to finish the February PL pages so I can start March.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recycled Box Top Lids

  Since discovering mists and gesso, I have been watching household items, looking for the chance to re-use them. It occurred to me that box top lids are a wonderful shape to incorporate onto a page. I could have misted with them. Instead, I chose to lay them out onto the page, then use gesso.
I spread the gesso over the box tops. The picture above shows two 12x12 sheets of paper with the box tops on them. While the gesso was still wet, I peeled the box tops away.
I then allowed the pages to dry. At this point, I was a bit unsure of how I would use these pages.The box top lids made wonderful "windows" in the gesso. I contemplated putting patterned paper in the open spaces. perhaps I would even cut the cardstock out and layer paper underneath. I finally decided to put the pages aside until I knew what I wanted to do. Fast forward a few weeks. I was listening to the Doodling webinar at Inspiration struck and I began doodling inside the blank spaces left by the box tops.
   It took me a little while to finish the doodling. I drew on the pages off and on while homeschooling my son. Once done, I had 2 blank pages with black and white designs on them. My next stroke of inspiration were a set of photos I had taken of my son at the arcade. I drew my colour palette from the photos. Using markers, chalks and water colour crayons to accent the doodles. From there, the pages took shape. I ended up with a fun piece which was very me and told my story just as I had hoped.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Exciting Announcement

 I had to share this...though I must admit I am a little stunned by it. I am now a Member of Scrapbook News and Review Magazine's staff. I am very excited by this opportunity. I think it will be a wonderful way for me to grow as a scrapbooker and to share what I learn with others. I really hope some familiar faces will pop by to check it out. There are some wonderful daily tips on their forums. Plus, it's always nice to meet fellow scrapbookers who have a welcoming attitude.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Paper Pusher's mess

In the game of calvinball, you get points for cleaning your scrap space if you are a paper scrapbooker. You must of course include proof. Here is my proof for this week:

It's not as messy as it can get, but it's not great either. So, afterwards I cleaned up...a bit.

Only a little though. I plan to mess it up all over again. Now I can take a point for the handicap.

Calvinball recap:
1st time player- 1 point
late to the party- 1 point
1st time sub- 1point
layouts-4 points
layout in a challenge: 2 points
spreading the word-1 point
daily blogging- 3 points
Handicap- 1 point

total:13 points 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Project Life, January 2012, finished

  February was busy. I was participating in LOAD. Then people got sick and stuff happened. You So I put PL aside to deal with that and to make sure my DT stuff was done. Priorities. So finally, I was able to sit down and work on my Project Life pages over the past few days. I am happy to say that January is done!
   I know PL has had a lot of flack from people. I admit, I was skeptical about it at first. I have discovered that PL is really what you make it to be. For me, it's sort of become a creative jumpstart. I am not saying my little 4x6 cards are awesome. In fact, I discovered that I actually struggled with the design for these cards. I keep seeing so many cute cards and pages on various blogs. For whatever reason, I just can't seem to get my head around these tiny layouts. So for this reason, I think it's a good challenge for me. After spending some time tired and stressed out this past month, the little PL cards were also a nice way to get my creative juices flowing. So I would work on a PL card or two, then be inspired to make a whole 12x12 layout. Challenging myself plus creative jumpstart equals a win win. I am suddenly again, very inspired and right back on my game.
   If you recall from my first post introducing my first few January pages, I had planned to have everything coordinated from a kit I had made.Halfway through making this months pages, that sort of went out the window. I began choosing papers that fit the theme and story of the photos. The little cards became a bit easier to make. I also found that I was making use of themed papers that were sometimes harder for me to use on my 12x12 pages. So another plus for PL. I am using up stash.
sassafrass paper, MME papers
Studio calico tissue tape, Ruby rock it photo corners
MME chipboard journal spot, paperclips
LYB tiny type alphas
  One more plus for PL...memorabilia. I have always struggled with storing it. Then, I often forget to use it on a page. With PL, I find I am using it right away. On the page above, I used packaging from a toy my son recieved. It helped me document how my son was given these action figures for his reading endeavors. It also documents the game my DH has been playing recently. PL also helps me add in little factual tidbits. In this case, I documented the price of gas right now using a clipping from our local paper. I never would have made a full 12x12 page about that.
Sassafrass papers and alphas
MME papers, Ocotber afternoon papers and stickers
DCWV papers, My Little shoebox papers and alphas
American Crafts ribbon, Paper trunk Alphas
Imaginesce paper and stickers
  In January, we lost our cat, Sweetpea. I was not ready for a full memorial page. I did find I could document how we felt, as a family, on my PL pages. Project life is a good way to include the hard stuff. It's also a good way to include everyday photos that might not otherwise get scrapped. Like the photo of the bird we saw on our walk or the ladybug my son found. I have done pages about our weekly walks before. So I find that PL is a nice way to still include those without making yet one more 12x12 layout of the same subject.
October Afternoon papers and die cut
My Little Shoebox paper and alphas
DCWV paper, K and Co. chipboard title
We R Memrory Keepers papers
Sassafrass border, Basic Grey gelli sticker and brad
Maya Road flowers, Scenic route sticker border
  I will say that I planned where each little set of cards went. This final page has all cat stuff because it sort of introduces the 12x12 cat pages I have made about our new Kitten. I like how project life includes little stories that add to the larger ones told along with it in the album. It seems as though each section of PL will serve as a month in summary and will divide my album into chapters.
  So now, I am sort of finding my footing with Project life. I am making it work for me in my album. I need to go print off my February photos and begin working on those. We will see how this adventure goes, but i am pretty sure I am now hooked on PL.

Calvinball recap:
1st time player- 1 point
late to the party- 1 point
1st time sub- 1point
layouts-4 points
layout in a challenge: 1 point
spreading the word-1 point
daily blogging- 2 points

total:11 points 

*Paula pointed out that yesterday's page counts as 1 point for her challenge. So I added that in today. As far as PL, Some of the above pages were made last month. So I am only counting 1 point for the cards made this month. The cards  made this month equal 1 12x12 page.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Princess of Purr

   She is very happy here. The evidence is the frequent, almost non-stop purring. Sometimes I swear she purrs for hours on end, just happy to play and share some time cuddling. So, I decided to dub her the Princess of Purr.
Inspiration Challenge #41 from Paula Gilarde
Artsylicious Chipboard Alphas
Maya road stick pins
Prima Stamp in Colorbox Ruby Satin ink
Basic Grey Rub ons, black magic glimmer mist
Making memories button
Crochet flower- found in a thrift store, antique button
leftover packaging- photo matte, chipboard border
   At first glance, one might not notice that there is absolutely no pattern paper on this page. I used the package backing from an embossing folder for the matte. I covered the text using some ribbon scraps and the crochet flower. The chipboard alphas were chosen, in part because they cover the price tag. I noticed the alphas had this awesome border on the bottom, so I cut it off and used it here on the page. A very thrifty page that does not look thrifty at all!

Calvinball update:
1st time player- 1 point
late to the party- 1 point
1st time sub- 1point
layouts-3 points
spreading the word-1 point
daily blogging- 1point

total: 8 points

Monday, March 12, 2012

Calvinball anyone!?!?

I heard a little about calvinball here and there on the web. I have to admit, my curiosity was piqued. So off I went to check things our over at JBS mercantile and the next thing I knew, I was a member at JBS and playing along with the whole crazy thing. So what is calvinball, exactly? Well, it's exactly not anything exact. The rules get made up as everyone plays along. The goal is to be creative and make a ton of projects, layouts and cards. Points are awarded for various things you make. The game evolves as it goes along.

So, if you are a bit nervous about being late to the game, no worries. You get one point for a late start. If you are a first time Calvin ball player, one point there too. You can even get points for cleaning up the mess you made while you created. It's silly. It's all in come on and play some calvinball with us!!!

P.S. I stole this blinkie from Doris' blog. Game on!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What's Your Trend?

 I recently realized that I have certain techniques that have become trends. I am not necessarily talking about industry trends. I am talking about the trends you may see in the way that you work. I have tried a lot of new things over the past year. Some of those things have become staples in the making of my scrapbook pages. Misting and paint are one of those. I hardly make a page on which one or both are not present. So much so, that many of my friends now identify a page as truly me when they see the mist and paint. Last year, I really felt the need to hand stitch on quite a lot of the pages I produced. I now find that I am not hand stitching quite so much these days. My latest love is to use pen to outline the letters on my titles. I saw it done during a Masterful Scrapbook Design Seminar. Now I hardly feel a page is complete without it.
Let's Scrap sketch 1-4-12 ribbon-jillibean soup, glimmer mist-fairway,sapphire and tiger lily,SEI ink blue ink, Fancy pants to the moon papers,Amer. Crafts thickers-orange alphas,My little Shoebox tiny type alphas, Sassafrass green alphas, K and co. star chipboard sticker. superhero bands- from our egg dying kit, tags made with toilet paper which was embossed, inked and cut to fit the tag.
Who knows which techniques will become a regular part of your design style or which ones may become your scrapbook trends. The important thing is to observe your process. As you do so, you will learn more about who you are and the things that work for you. This will be a big help in developing your confidence and in making your scrapbook budget go farther. You will know which supplies to buy, because you will know the supplies you use most. So now, take a look at your work and ask yourself what your scrapbook trends are.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Metal Enamel embellies

  In December, I participated in Tim Holtz' twelve tags of Christmas.While I did make many of the projects, I really never got around to sharing all of them. One of my favourite projects were these little metal tags he made using sheets of craft metal. I don't have any craft metal. What I did have were some soda cans. So, since march is about green things over at Scrap Our Stash, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally share how I recycled the cans to make some very cool metal embellishments. How do soda cans relate to green things? Well, I am being green by recycling.See how one can twist a challenge around!!! are going to need an old pair of kitchen shears. I keep a pair around just for the purpose of cutting thick cardboard and metal. Soda cans are your next item. Be sure to wash them out. I recommend letting them dry a bit too, or you may spill water all over your work space. Take a dry can and carefully cut a slit into it.

Now for the next part, you need to be VERY careful. The edge is a bit jagged you don't want to cut yourself. Also, as you cut, try to make slow, even cuts. This way, you reduce the chance of having metal shavings fall off.  Insert your scissors into the slit and carefully cut the top off the can. You can use one hand to depress part of the can as you go, allowing the scissors to fit in the slit and cut more evenly.

Now that the top is off, cut a slit down one side toward the bottom. This will allow you to more easily cut and remove the bottom of the can.
You will then have a somewhat curled sheet of metal.If one side it jagged, you may wish to trim the ends to leave a nice even cut. If it's damp, dry it a bit with a cloth.  You can now die cut it or emboss it as desired. I chose to use my scissors and I hand cut a few tag shapes.
Once your metal piece has been embossed, you can begin to paint it. I used acrylic craft paint. Some paints cover better than others. Experiment with different types to find the look you wish to achieve. I did find that some of the paint began to peel. This is ok. It will add to the grunge look you are going for. You also need not worry if your paint job is perfect. As you can see, mine is not totally even.
Your next step is to sand down the tag. This will reveal some of the metal beneath it while leaving other areas covered. I used a nail file.
Now, carefully wipe any dust off, then stamp over the metal tag with a distress ink pad. Then cover with clear embossing powder and heat. The result is a wonderful metal enamel embellishment. The clear embossing powder seals the paint in and prevents it from any further peeling.
You can then choose to add additional embellishments to the tag.

Don't forget...if you have something green to share, pop over to Scrap Our Stash.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A pair of Boy's Shorts, part 1

  The shorts were ripped. Worn thin from frequent use, they were, at this point, beyond repair. Maybe some moms would be sad, but I saw an opportunity. Here in my hand was some of the coveted fabric appearing on scrapbook pages everywhere. Now, despite being on a limited budget, I had some fabric to use on my own pages. It might not be brightly patterned...but perhaps, I could change that with a little creativity. Perhaps, I thought, this one pair of boys shorts could go a long way. So here they are in their wrinkled glory, ready to use:
one very wrinkled, beat up pair of my son's shorts
I felt kind of lucky that they were khakis. I think it will make them easier to find uses for. I can envision myself cutting away the pockets, stamping on some of the spaces with paints, or using strips to make masculine looking flowers. There are a ton of possibilities.  Possibility number one was a simple one indeed. I noticed the drawstrings on the shorts were the right colour to be used as trim on a page that I was working on.
         Cathy Z sketch and journal spot, October Afternoon papers,
                              salvaged trim, Jillibean soup flowers-red with BG brads and misc. buttons,
            Maya road flowers- check, October afternoon checked alphas,
Cosmo cricket tiny type alphas
This was not an easy page for me to make. First of all, I had challenged myself to use up more of the patterened paper in my stash. I also endeavored to use up some cardstock scraps. That was not the hard part though. This is a page from the Cathy Zielske design your life series at BPC. The idea being to step into Cathy's simple style so that you learn more about page composition and design. Once upon a time, I was a more simple scrapper. Now I find myself reaching for paint, and though I do like how this page turned out, I am still thinking I should have splattered it up somewhere or somehow.
  Regardless of how hard page one might have been for me to complete, I still had page two to work with. I also had just one piece left of the drawstring trim. So I sort of replicated page one's design. The  drawstring
made for the perfect trim for both pages. Now, I still have quite a lot left of the shorts to use up. I can not promise you that will happen right away. I scrap where creativity takes me. I do promise to share the pages I do when I do use up those stay tuned.