Monday, August 30, 2010

I Love A Good Collage

Ah....collages. What a wonderful way to cram a ton of photos onto one layout without trimming and cutting and resizing.
But, if you are like me....grrrrr....collages.
Photoshop Elements and I are not friends. At all. All of the online tutorials make it seem so easy. "Just click this layer and drag this here and blah blah blah...."  I was able to do one collage in PSE for this layout of Glenwood Gardens:
Supplies: Bazzill cardstock, Basic Grey paper, AC flair, AC Thickers alpha stickers
That little collage on the 2nd page there? Took me 2 hours to do. Oh my heck. I was so burnt out after doing it that I can't even look at this layout without thinking of the stress. (Thus the lone embellishment.)
Poor little lonely embellie...
I thought collages were too much work and that we'd have to break up. ("It's not you, Collage, it's me...")
And then I found this website: Big Huge Labs. The Mosiac Maker is a life saver. Completely idiot proof. Love it so much.
Created this layout:
Supplies:Bazzill cardstock, Basic Grey paper (again? I must have a BG addiction), AC Thickers alpha stickers
Makes me so happy to be able to add all of these pics without stressing out.
Literally, took me 5 minutes to create that collage. Ah....sweet, sweet simplicity. Yup, I love a good collage.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scrapbook Crop Night

I am super excited. I am going to a scrapbook crop night tomorrow night. Cropping for 6 hours with my girlfriends! Woo-hoo! If you've never been to a scrapbook crop, I highly recommend it. Crops are usually held at local scrapbook stores, libraries, churches, or hotels. (Somewhere that has enough space to accomodate large tables where you can spread out your gear.) Generally, the location you are at allows you to use their dies, trimmers, punches and other non-consumable items. However, you need to bring your own paper, photos, pens/markers, adhesive, etc.
You can get a lot accomplished at a crop night, if you go in with a plan. I typically start preparing for a crop night about a week prior. Here are my steps:
  • Look at my list of scrapbook layouts to do and decide which ones I'll work on that night.
  • Gather all of the photos for layouts and organize (or have them printed in the correct sizes if that is not already done-I'll share my easy photo organization system in another post). 
  • Begin selecting cardstock and patterned paper to go with the layouts.
  • Find the embellishments, stickers and ribbon that will add finishing touches (I do not include small embellies-buttons, brads, etc-that's a different step).
  • Organize each layout's items behind dividers in my Crop in Style paper taker.
  • Look at my button and brad organizer and make sure it is stocked with colors to compliment my layouts.
  • Pack it all up in my Crop In Style tote.
  • Check my crop tote and make sure it is restocked with adhesive and writing tools.
  • Ready to go!

My crop tote is always stocked with my basic scrapbook tool kit:
-12" Trimmer, I use this one:
-Adhesive, I like Duck adhesive and I just discovered this American Crafts adhesive-which I am loving:


-My file set:
-Scissors, I really like Cutterbee Scissors, they are super sharp and non-stick:
-A zero centering  see through ruler, these are great for lining up letter stickers and placing titles:
-Pens/Markers-I use Zig writers, but any acid-free writing tool will do.

-Self healing Cutting Mat, this is optional, but I'm a messy scrapper-I use a Martha Stewart Mat:
Optional: I also bring my Creative Memories cutting tools, adhesive pop dots, twine, corner rounder, paper piercer, and Crop-a-dile. Some might say that I overpack. :)

Last but not least, don't forget your cup with a lid! Nothing is worse than working hard on a layout and then ruining it when you knock over that can of Coke!
This was my favorite mug (Chatterbox Scrapaholic), sadly it is no longer available. I am desprately searching for a new one-let me know if you see one.
Have fun!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MemoryWorks Express Kit-September Sneak Peek

One of the really cool things about being a MemoryWorks consultant is that we get to see of sneak peek of the upcoming month's Express Kit!
What's an Express Kit, you ask? Express Kits are the monthly kits the MemoryWorks puts together. They are have tons of great products. You'll get patterned paper, cardstock, embellies and more. Everything coordinates, so you don't have to spend the time trying to pick the right colors to match you patterned paper-the work is done for you! And you get a ton of stuff!
MW also gives you layout ideas and a sketch for each month's kit. So much fun!
The kits are only $29.95 (plus $6.50 s&h) per month.
And because I love my blog readers, I'll share a little sneak of the September kit:
Super cute, right? Perfect for back to school photos! Contact me if you are interested in ordering.
Join me tomorrow for my tips for crop night-what to bring, what not to bring, and how to get as much as possible done!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Howdy

Not sure why, but I seem to use this word in relation to any horse-related paper craft.

Exhibit A:
The invitation to my son's 4th birthday party (held at a local attraction called "Parky's Farm"). The horse was die cut using my Cuttlebug machine and colored in with markers.

Exhibit B:
My mom has given me a ton of old photos lately of my brother and I growing up. I think she might be hinting that she'd like a scrapbook of these photos. So far I haven't taken the bait. (Sorry mom!)
This photo I just had to scrap. For so many reasons. Because I remember that day like it was yesterday. Because I was wearing purple sweatpants. Because every kid who grew up in the 70's and 80's has a picture like this. (Although maybe not with your brother-my parents were frugal.) But mainly because I want my sons to know the story.

Simple. Clean. Totally focused on the story.

Howdy, indeed.

What about you? Do you have a word that seems to be appearing on a lot of layouts? Tell me I'm not the only one. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...

I have a few confessions to make.
1) I am so far behind with scrapbooking my family's memories sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed. I have 12 years (YEARS!) worth of photos, all neatly organized and labeled by date in photo boxes on shelves in my scrapbook room. Just looking at them freaks me out. I need to scrapbook them all but between raising my family, working full time and being a half way decent wife I've only gotten to about 15% of them. And let me tell you that other 85%? They mock me! Every. time. I look at them!

2) Sometimes I don't feel creative. Sometimes I don't want to do a sketch. Sometimes I don't want to choose paper, sticker, embellishments or anything. Sometimes I just want to crank out layouts as fast as I can and get through some of those 12 years of photos.

3) Here's the big dirty secret...sometimes I use kits. Not a kit club where you still have to be creative. But those predesigned Creating Keepsakes Hall Of Fame/KOTM kits. Where all you do is follow the instructions and glue pictures where they tell you too. I know! I can't believe I'm even admitting that. But you know what? Those pictures on those layouts created from the kits? They aren't in boxes anymore. They are in an album or in a frame where my family can enjoy them.
Created from a CK Hall of Fame kit-those pictures are from 2002!

Whew. I feel better having shared that.
Of course, I still love creating my OWN layouts too.
Supplies: Bazzill Cardstock, Jolee's sticker, AC rub-ons, Silhouette die-cut machine

Check back later this week when I'll share more of those...and I'll share my process for creating page kits for a crop night.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Days Are Getting Shorter...

and that can only mean one thing....fall is on it's way. I love fall. Back to school. Playing in the leaves. Football. Cooler temperatures. All of that makes me so happy.
When I saw this line of paper from Basic Grey (Indian Summer) and this line of paper from BoBunny (Delilah), I knew it was a match made in heaven. For our Christmas card photo last year we went to a local park just as the leaves were at their peak of red color. The boys (being boys) were horsing around in the leaves and generally having a great time. Perfect paper for this series of pictures. I love all of the reds and deep purples. I wish I had stocked up on this line when I got it on clearance at Archiver's-it's probably the prettiest Basic Grey paper I've ever worked with.

Supplies: Bazzill cardstock, Basic Grey and BoBunny patterned papers, Basic Grey alpha stickers

That same afternoon we captured a couple of priceless shots of the cousins looking out at the Great Miami River. Totally made me remember a promise my brother and I made to each other growing up.
See that stitching on the right side of the layout? Hello Bazzill In Stitchz! Love that tool!
Sew easy to do! (Couldn't resist that pun, sorry!)
I'm also loving the little bit of bling on the left side of the layout.

Supplies: Bazzill cardstock, BoBunny Abbey Road patterned papers and alpha stickers, Bazzill embroidery thread, Prima bling, American Crafts Thickers stickers

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Christmas in August

I make no secret of my love for Christmas. I love everything about it, I probably create at least 10 Christmas layouts a year. I should probably organize them all into one album that holds all of my layouts through the years. (Maybe that will be this weekend's project!)
Despite all of the adorable Christmas themed papers, stickers, and embellishments out there, sometimes I just can't find what I am looking for. That little element that will make my page complete. And when that happens-I have to get resourceful. More often than not,  I just make them myself! :)
I created this little tree embellishment using a bunch of tiny epoxy Christmas trees and red buttons from my stash-I think it turned out pretty cute.

Supplies:  Cloud 9 Design patterned paper and stickers, Recollections epoxy Christmas tree stickers, buttons

I created this fun layout in about 30 minutes at my friend Christie's house this week. Christie is fairly new to scrapbooking so I wanted to show her my process for designing layouts. I used the Making Memories Mistletoe line for this layout about Jackson's Christmas party at school.
It still needs a little journaling but I'm really happy with how it turned out.
 I used Bazzill Dotted Swiss cardstock as my base and the MM dotted letters really popped against it.
The clear star stickers had a little bit of shimmer that added a nice finished touch.
Supplies: Making Memories Mistletoe paper, stickers and die-cuts, Bazzill dotted swiss cardstock 

I still have a ton of the Mistletoe line left-the only thing I didn't like about it was that the alphabet die cuts weren't self-adhesive as I had expected them to be. I just used my trusty Martha Stewart glue pen to get them adhered but the project was a little messier than I had planned. (Am I the only one that ends up a sticky mess each time I use a glue pen?)

Check back later this week when I'll share a finished layout using the Bazzill In Stitchz tool and a layout with some of the prettiest Basic Grey paper I've ever worked with!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Layout Drive-by

I had an insanely busy week last week, and didn't get to post as much as I wanted to. I have lots planned for this week though. In the meantime, I have a quick summer layout drive-by.
I made this layout using a Creating Keepsakes kit I got from QVC. Love those kits for quick everyday pic layouts. I rarely use the given instructions, I like to mix it up and make it my own:

MMMMMM...popsicles!




Makes me want to go looking for an ice cream truck!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Altered Pink ATG Gun

The scrapbooking universe has been all atwitter over sightings of the pink ATG gun. If you are wondering what an ATG gun is, it stands for Advanced Tape Glider (or Adhesive Tape Gun-I've heard it both ways). It is a tool that was initially used by picture framers to mat photos and prints for framing. But as scrapbookers tend to do, we adapted it for use in scrapbooking.
Why do we love it? A roll of adhesive for the ATG is relatively inexpensive, acid free, and lasts FOREVER. No joke, it's like the never ending supply of glue.
So what's the big deal about the pink ATG gun? Well, for starters it's the first time they've been broadly available in retail stores, prior to Michael's stocking them, we've had to source them from frame shops and online retailers. And because it's being offered at Michael's, you can use a 40% off coupon and suddenly it is a very affordable tool. Oh and did I mention that it's PINK? The old guns were red and yellow and not at all attractive!
So after reading about the pink guns, I decided to stop in and at my local Michael's just to see if they had them. And lo and behold, there they were piled up in a cart ready to be shelved! (I think I heard heavenly choirs of angels singing and a bright light shining down from above on them). I, of course, had to get one.
As soon as I got it home and opened the box, I realized it was pink. I mean, really, REALLY pink. Like almost neon pink. Not my favorite pink at all-I immediately thought, "this just needs some toning down". So I got out some pink themed Making Memories paper tape, because let's face it with 4 boys it will never see a layout, and got to work "toning it down".

I think it looks fabulous! Now, I just have to talk my dad into making a stand for it! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Inspiration Binder

There is so much scrapbooking inspiration out there these days-websites like Two Peas, blogs (like those in my sidebar-talented ladies!!), and magazines. It's hard to keep track of all of that goodness. Well, for me it was.
Until I put together my inspiration binder.
I got a basic 3 ring binder (mine is from russell & hazel) and prettied it up with some Stampin' Up! patterned paper and American Crafts letter stickers.

Then, I added some dividers (again, russell & hazel) and started going to town with the hole punch. I added layouts I had torn from magazines, and print outs of things from blogs for the layout section.
For my color section, I added ads from magazines that inspired me and color combos taken from this very cool tool on Bazzill's website-easy way to figure out which cardstock matches your patterned paper. I printed out the combos for the paper lines I have in my stash-makes my trips to Michaels for the Bazzill sale go much faster!
Finally, in the front I added my list of on-going scrapbook layouts to do. This is an excel list that I downloaded from Becky Higgins' blog, (although it doesn't appear to be available any more-so if you want it-feel free to email me at christinalakes at gmail dot com and put "layout list" in the subject line.) I feel funny about posting it as a share on my blog since I didn't create it! It's such a great way to keep track of layouts I need to do and layouts I've half finished.

I hope this "inspires" you to make a binder of your own. If you do, I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Free Journaling Class



Elle's Studio will be hosting a free journaling class this month. I don't know about you, but I could always use some help with my journaling. Hop on over to the Elle's Studio blog (click on the blinkie) to check it out. While you are there check out her super cute store, love those baby album journal cards! And I have two baby gift albums to work on the next couple of months. Hmnnnn.....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bo Bunny Summertime Mini Album Share

Yup, I'm on a mini album kick and this weekend, I just had to finish this album. I got this Bo Bunny Summertime kit at Archiver's at the end of the season last year for less than $8! Total steal! If you have an Archivers, you should spend some time in their clearance section, you just never know what you might find!

My sons wanted to play some Club Penguin online Saturday night, and our house rule is that an adult has to be in the room when they are playing, so I decided to work on some layouts. Which led me to get out this mini album kit. It took me bout 2 hours to put it together but I'm really happy with the results and I'll probably use it for next year's photos. (I already have a plan sketched out for this year.)
The album is 9x9 and came with everything you see. The only thing I had to use from my stash was adhesive, ink, and marker.


When I was done putting the album together, I had a lot of little pieces left over-alpha stickers, patterned paper, etc. Rather than throw them all away or put them into the black hole I call my "scrap" basket, I decided to use them right away to create cards and custom embellishments.

So glad I did! It took me another 20 minutes or so but was worth it. I made 4 everyday cards and bunch of cute embellies to use on future layouts. Best of all I used 98% of what came with the kit-no waste! Love that!


Supplies: Bo Bunny Summertime Calypso kit, CTMH Chocolate ink pad and marker, white BBP cardstock

Cosmo Cricket Giveaway on The Scrapbooking Cottage Blog

I love Cosmo Cricket and eagerly look forward to their releases each year. Head on over the Scrapbooking Cottage blog for a sneak peek at the newest collections and for a chance to win one of the Mini-decks! I love using mini-decks for cards-perfect size!
My favorite? The Matilda line. I'm a sucker for cutesy Halloween paper.