Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Top Ten Scrapping Essentials

So this post is one I put some serious thought into. Occasionally, it will be asked on the message boards "what's the one scrapbooking tool you couldn't live without?" And as I ponder this question, I realize that it is extremely difficult to narrow it down to just one. So I decided to post what I consider to be my "Top Ten" list of essential scrapbooking tools. I am sure that I have given each of these items as the answer to the above question at least once.
  1. Zots by Thermoweb. I have these in small, medium, large and jumbo sizes. I have multiple packages of each size as backup. If I ever ran out of these in the middle of a layout, I'd cry. These little guys appear on about 95% of my layouts. And I know - some of you would say adhesive is a supply, not a tool. But I am calling it a tool because I need it to belong on this list. It is that essential.
  2. My Glue Glider Pro. I love this tape runner. It's easy to use, the refills are well priced (I did research refill prices before purchasing a tape runner), I love that it's smaller than the ATG gun and I love that I can order refills directly from Glue Arts and as long as I purchase over $50 worth of adhesive (that's 6+ refills) then I get free shipping.
  3. My Cutterpede. It's not a fancy, expensive trimmer like the Cutterpillar, the Making Memories one or the Purple Cows one. But I love this little guy. I like the rotary blade. I like how small and compact it is. I like that it has decorative blades that you can switch the straight blade out for to give yourself a decorative edge. Maybe one day, I will upgrade to one of the big, fancy trimmers, but for now, this one serves me well.
  4. Sakura black Micron pens. Yes, this is technically six tools, but I'm lumping them together as one. I actually just got these a few months ago (I was in dire need for some new journaling pens) and they have become a staple on my layouts. I use the 02 the most. Not to thick, not too thin. If you don't have these pens, I highly suggest picking up a set. I got mine at
  5. Paper piercer. Such a simple tool but so versitile. This one came in a set of Making Memories tools that I got when I first started seriously scrapbooking. I still use all the tools in this set but none (well maybe except one) more than this paper piercer. I use it to not only pierce paper, but to add tiny embellishments (like bling) to my layouts.
  6. My iPod Nano. Yeah, I know. It's not technically a scrapbooking tool, but I don't think I could scrap without this little green device playing my mega mix or my favorite NPR podcast.
  7. My 0.9 mm Pentel Quicker Clicker mechanical pencil. I remember when I got this pencil. It was one of the provided supplies when I took an SAT prep class my junior year in high school. Yep. I am that pathetic. I remember when I got a pencil. But this pencil is that good. I love that the lead is thick relative to other mechanical pencils. I press hard when I write so this lead doesn't break on me. It's got a clean eraser. It's so clean that many times I don't need to pull out my gum art eraser. It's very comfortable to hold too. You can buy refills for both the lead and erasers anywhere on the web and here is just one place you can buy your own pencil. It's not cheap but well worth it - trust me. I've had this same one since I was 16. I am 31 now.
  8. StazOn ink in black and brown. I only show the black ink pad in this photo but the brown (Timber Brown to be exact) is just as vital to me. See, I ink the edges of all my photos with either my black or brown StazOn depending on what the color scheme of my layout is. One of these ink pads is used on every layout I make.
  9. Close To My Heart microtip scissors. I love these little things. I have a pair of Cutterbees too, which I like but I like the CTMH ones better. They cut cleaner than the Cutterbees, although they aren't non-stick like the Cutterbees are, so I don't recommend them for cutting adhesive of any sort. But for fussy cutting, the Close To My Heart ones are the way to go.
  10. 6" metal non-skid ruler. This was the other tool I got with my paper piercer in that Making Memories tool set that I use on 99% of my layouts. This little ruler is awesome. And it's non-skid. Even better. This and my Pentel mechanical pencil are usually the first two tools on my desk when I start a layout.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2011 Baby

So this layout was inspired by the fact that I still had some Bella Blvd Estate Sale to use up, this awesome sketch from Stuck?! sketches, this color challenge from Tami at Memorable Seasons and this Glitter Girl challenge over at Two Peas. The sketch was perfect for showcasing this single photo and allowing for a long, vertical journaling spot backed by several pennants (which helped me use up the Estate Sale scraps). I did move the title up to above the photo to allow for the larger photo while still keeping the top of the pennants, journaling spot and photo in line. Now, Tami's challenge called for the colors blue, yellow and pink. Estate Sale has blues and pinks, but no yellow. So I improvised by finding a scrap of solid yellow Prima paper to use and covering all the lime green in the Estate Sale papers with Stickles and Embellishments. Now, Shimelle's Glitter Girl challenge this past week was to rework a supply in your stash that you wouldn't necessarily use. I didn't complete the challenge before the deadline, but always love her Glitter Girl series so I watched the video anyways. And I am so glad I did because it really has helped me to look at those "iffy" supplies in a different way. So I applied what I learned from her video to this layout. Well, I covered up the lime green elements in the patterned paper with yellow. And I also did this by covering up the title "My prayer for you..." on the journaling spot (it didn't really fit with my journaling) with washi tape and a sentiment sticker. I love how this turned out and can use pink on baby boy pages too!
(Supplies: Bella Blvd and Prima papers; Bazzill cardstock; American Crafts Thicker alphas and slick writer; Bella Blvd journaling spot and sentiment stickers; Studio Calico wood veneer hearts; Love My Tapes washi tape; Miscellaneous buttons; Divine Twine; EK Success Zig Writer; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist; Ranger Stickles; StazOn ink; Cuttlebug embosser and folder; Glue Arts and Thermoweb adhesives.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A story from my real life.

To be honest, I really didn't want to create this layout. Nope. I have seriously neglected my "Book of Me" in the current months. As I was looking back at it, I saw the last layout I created for it was back in January 2011. And then their were only four more that were created a year prior to that and everything else is 2009 and earlier. Hmmmm...looks like I need to scrap about me a little more.

Well, thanks to Cathy Zielske's challenge over at Big Picture Classes' Big Idea Festival, I scrapped a long overdue layout about me. She challenged us to create a layout using her "real life" template about something "real" in our lives. So, I decided to document some of the not so fun parts of being a Stay-At-Home-Mom. It's not a glamorous topic by any means - but honest and true. And I am really happy with the way this turned out and really happy to have documented this. Thank you Cathy!

I also want to give credit to Creative Scrappers sketch #225 for the amazing design blueprint, to Scrapfit for Workout #75 - challenging us to use twine in a creative way and to Club CK's September issue challenge #2 to use camera embellishments on your page. All of these challenges came together to result in this page. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for looking!

(Supplies: Bazzill & DCWV cardstock; AdornIt papers; mt washi tape; Creating Keepsakes camera embellishment; Studio Calico wood veneer arrows; Bazzill brads; Jillibean Soup & Divine twine; Close To My Heart sentiment stamps; Close To My Heart, Studio G & StazOn ink; Inkadinkado chalks; EK Success corner rounder punch; Creative Memories circle cutters & punches; Glue Arts, Thermoweb, Helmar & 3M adhesives.)

Monday, September 17, 2012

'Neath the cover of October skies...

...And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush
Can I just have one a more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love...

I love Van Morrison. This was the bridal party dance at our wedding. Seeing as we were married in October (my favorite month of the year), I had to incorporate this song somewhere that day. Anyways, I am off on a tangent because, other than stealing a lyric from this song for my title, this layout has nothing to do with our wedding. This photo was taken four Octobers later!

The first October we were out here, we decided to spend a beautiful October Saturday with our friends Ashley & Justin taking a scenic drive around Mt. Hood. I have almost scrapped all the photos from that day, but this one was still lingering, begging for special attention. Our last stop on our scenic drive was up at Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood. As we were leaving the lodge, this was the view that greeted us - silhouetted trees against the clear sky, layers of the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Jefferson in the distance. It was absolutely breathtaking. 

So this photo was finally scrapped, almost four years after being taken, thanks to several inspiration points. First was Stephanie Baxter's challenge at Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival to use a large photo on a layout. Second, was the awesome September 1st sketch from Stuck?! Sketches which I rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise to accommodate my vertical photo. The color scheme is thanks to Lisa Truesdell's challenge over at Two Peas to scrap a Fall layout with nontraditional colors. Lucky for me, all the pinks and deep purples in Basic Grey's Indian Summer collection made this task fairly easy.
(Supplies: Basic Grey papers, alpha stickers, felt accents, chipboard accent and cardstock stickers; Bazzill cardstock & paper leaves; Sakura Micron pen; Glue Arts and Thermoweb adhesives.)

1st Father's Day

I had so much fun scrapping this layout. I mean, it is of the men in my life after all, right? I finally broke into my Jillibean Soup Macho Nacho collection after staring at it for several weeks. Those papers just seemed to cute to cut into! But based on a challenge from Amy Sorensen at Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival to use a hoarded supply that you've been saving for that perfect layout, I decided it was time to bust out the Macho Nacho for this super special page. I also used this awesome sketches from Sketches With A Twist and the "twist" this month was to use dry or heat embossing on a layout. So I broke out some new Inkadinkado embossing powders and added the argyle criss-cross background design. The colors were also inspired by Nik's color challenge over at My Sketch World and the topic was inspired by Sherri's manly layout challenge at Inspired to Scrap.
(Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Jillibean Soup papers, stickers, die-cuts & alphas; Studio Calico wood veneer stars; Hero Arts argyle stamps; Inkadinkado embossing powders; Sakura white gel pen; Glue Arts, Thermoweb & 3M adhesives.)


Here's a quick card I created to get you all in the mood for Halloween! I used this sketch by Susan Stringfellow for Basic Grey and also used some Basic Grey Eerie. Why did I decide to pull out some Halloween supplies and make a Halloween card for this Basic Grey sketch challenge? Well, because Kandis Smith, Garden Girl at Two Peas, asked us to for this week's Finally Friday card challenge.
(Supplies: Basic Grey papers, chipboard & stickers; Bazzill cardstock; miscellaneous ribbon; Zig Photo signature & Sakura Micron pens; Glue Arts, Thermoweb & 3M adhesives.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

View from the Top

Another day, another layout! I am on a roll this week. And I honestly have to attribute that to the Big Idea Festival over at Big Picture Classes. This FREE class has been providing me with so much inspiration! This layout was done for the Day challenge presented by Karen Grunberg. Her big idea is to "savor life." And to do that, you need to live in the moment, enjoy the moment. So her challenge was for us to scrap a moment that brought you joy within the last two weeks.

These photos were taken a couple weeks ago from my window seat on the plane as I flew from Portland, OR to Columbus, OH for my cousin's wedding. It was my first trip away alone since my son's birth, and although I missed him and my husband terribly on the short weekend trip, I savored the alone time I got. Enjoying the view on my early morning flight - watching the sunrise with Mt Hood in the foreground was one of these solitary moments I savored on the trip.
(Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Bella Blvd & Jillibean Soup papers; Hambly transparency; American Crafts Thickers; Pink Paislee wood alphas; My Little Shoebox tiny alphas; Creating Keepsakes airplane charm; unknown epoxy sentiment stickers; Heidi Swapp & Close To My Heart stamps; Close To My Heart, Superior, Studio G & StazOn inks; Studio Calico Mister Huey's mist; EK Success Zig Writer pen; Glue Arts, Thermoweb, Helmar & 3M adhesives.)

I also used Sketch #28 over at Let's Get Sketchy. And, I am still trying to finish all the amazing challenges from Memorable Seasons Members Challenge Us crop last month. Laura had challenged us to use stamps on our page - both on the background and to embellish. I pulled out my old school Heidi Swapp sentiment stamps for the background and then my Close To My Heart set with circles, stars and arrows and stamped a bunch of shapes on cardstock, cut them out and adhered them with foam adhesive for my embellishments.

Friday, September 14, 2012

First Smile

I was really scared to scrap this photo. Why? Because this is a big moment! Your baby's first smile? Absolutely a big moment. Now, out of full disclosure, this was not his first, FIRST smile. I wasn't fast enough with the iPhone to capture that. But, this shot was taken the same day, just a few hours later.
 (Supplies: Fancy Pants Designs paper, ribbon & tag; Bazzill & DCWV cardstock; felt flower embellishment handmade by Michelle McCord; Miscellaneous buttons & date stamp; DMC embroidery floss; Sakura pen; StazOn & Close To My Heart ink; EK Success punches; Cuttlebug embosser & templates; Cricut die-cutting machine; Glue Arts, Thermoweb & Helmar adhesives; font downloaded from the Internet.)

I am so happy with the way this layout came out. Again, it was born from several different inspiration points. First, Memorable Seasons and Club CK both issued challenges to use a sunburst/sunbeams on a layout - a very hot trend right now! I love this look and did use the technique on a couple layouts years ago, and am happy to see it's all the rage right now. I think it's a great way to use up scraps too and I had been hoarding these scraps of Fancy Pants On A Whimsy Collection. 

Speaking of hoarding, that leads me to the next inspiration point - Challenge #9 at Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival. Wendy Smedley challenged us to create a layout showcasing something we have learned from the festival. So this layout encompasses two different things I have learned from other big ideas during the festival. 
  1. Use those hoarded supplies. You know, that one thing you wer holding onto for that perfect layout. Well, on this layout, besides using up my hoarded On A Whimsy collection, I used one of five felt embellishments that was handmade by fellow scrapper, Michelle McCord. (Unfortunately, Michelle's #1 job as a Mom has caused her to have to put scrapbooking on the back burner.) I cannot believe how perfectly these two hoarded supplies went together! 
  2. Happy Crafting. Create a layout for you and do what you love. Don't just do something on a layout because it's trendy and you think you have to. Do what feels right to you and makes you happy. Period. Yes, sunbursts are trendy, but remember I said I've used the technique before? Every moment creating this layout was a happy one.
Then, there was this awesome sketch from Boys Rule. Great sketch, huh? Well, as I studied it I started seeing it as a sunburst, since I obviously had sunbursts running through my brain. I think my sunburst interpretation if the sketch turned out well. 

Finally, there was the issue of embellishing. I didn't want to do too much because I already had lots of busy patterned paper and that adorable handmade felt flower to use. Well, there's a member challenge over at Two Peas to use your punches and die-cutting machines. Perfect! I used this prompt to die-cut my title using my Cricut and a cute kiddie font. (Sorry! Can't remember the exact name of the font now.) Then I used my old EK Success funky heart and star punches (and my Cuttlebug embosser) to create simple cardstock embellies. But, I still needed a little more. So I turned to the School House Bingo challenge at My Sketch World and chose a line on the bingo card that required I use buttons, a tag and a number in my title. Great! Done!

Whew! Okay, I think I'm done rambling. But, I love this layout so much and wanted to let you all know how I went through the creative process to come to the final result and also give credit to the awesome web sites who provided me with fantastic inspiration points.

Playmat Fun!

So this layout was born from several inspiration points. First, I wanted to use up some Basic Grey Lime Rickey scraps I had lying around. And then there was this awesome sketch from Boys Rule I wanted to use. Then my wheels started spinning with a challenge on the Club CK to try a new endeavor. I decided to try hexagons for the first time. Yep. The FIRST time. And that was also spurred on by Sherri's hexagon challenge at Inspired to Scrap. Finally, Wendy Sue Anderson at TwoPeas challenged you to journal in list form. So, from all those creative starting points came this layout...
 (Supplies: DCWV & Bazzill cardstock; Basic Grey papers; American Crafts Thickers; Imagination Project journaling spot; unknown insect brads; Darice sequins; DMC embroidery floss; Zig Photo Signature & Sakura pens; StazOn & Close To My Heart ink; EK Success border punch; Glue Arts & Thermoweb adhesives.)

...and I love it. It is so bright, fun and happy. Just like Liam is when he's playing on his playmat. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Go, Pack, Go!

This layout was born out of a combination of inspiration from Let's Capture These Sketches #148 sketch and Scrapfit's Step Class #8 challenge. LCTS sketch allowed for several photos with one focal photo which is exactly the type of design I was looking for with these photos. Then Scrapfit challenged me to use mists and masks to create a masked, misted background. I really need to get my hands on more Mr. Huey's because the Glimmer Mists just weren't dark enough for the look I was going for. The brown dots along the right show up well, but those dots also are each shadowed with a silver dot. I also masked an acrylic star shape in a couple spots with gold, but they are hard to see too. Oh well, no page is perfect and I am definitely not a master mister! But, practice makes perfect and I definitely plan to spend some birthday cash on some Mr. Huey's! But don't get me wrong - I still love my Glimmer Mists!
(Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Close To My Heart papers, alpha stickers & star/circle sticker; American Crafts Thicker chipboard alphas; Creative Imaginations epoxy sentiments; Studio Calico Wood veneers; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist; Heidi Swapp mask; Colorbox chalk ink; StazOn ink; Sakura & Signo pens; Glue Arts, Thermoweb & 3M adhesives)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'Tis the Election Season.

So, I will be the first to admit I don't like politics. I hate the divisiveness of them and I hate that if you aren't far left or far right in this country, you kind of get looked over. But, I appreciate living in a democracy and I appreciate living in a country where you are free to express your opinion. There. I've said my peace. Anyways, I have had the photos for this layout saved on my computer now for almost four years. I collected them from various Internet sources with the plan to scrap about the historical significance of the 2008 election of President Obama.

So, with the 2012 presidential election fast approaching and President Obama running for a second term, a ton of Pink Paislee Declaration that I got from their warehouse sale sitting in my scraproom, motivation from this challenge over at Scrapfit, and lifting this layout from my friend Kathy at Memorable Seasons, I created the following layout...
(Supplies: Pink Paislee papers, alpha stickers & border sticker; Pebbles pleated embellishment; Bella Blvd flag & washi tape; Divine Twine twine; Studio Calico wood veneer stars; Queen & Co felt stars; Bazzill cardstock; unknown tag & brads; Sakura pen; StazOn ink; EK Success border punch; Glue Arts & Thermoweb adhesives.)

No matter what your political viewpoint is, I hope you like my layout!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Page Maps card sketch just in time for a newly important holiday for me!

I received an email from my wonderful husband Andrew on Tuesday that simply said "Grandparents Day is 9/9." Yikes! That's this Sunday and as newly minted grandparents, I wanted to make sure we recognized my parents and in-laws. Now, I know they wouldn't want a gift or anything (I can hardly give them anything for Father's or Mother's Day) but I knew I had to send each couple a handmade card. 

Then, Becky posted this contest on the Page Maps blog for a chance to win the inaugural (and sold out) Studio Calico card kit. Um, yes please? So, I used her fabulous sketch to create this Grandparents Day card to send to my in-laws...
 Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Dream Street papers; Jillibean Soup tiny alphas; Studio Calico wood veneers; DCWV rub-on border; StazOn ink; Cuttlebug embossing system; Glue Arts, 3M & Thermoweb adhesives.

And I followed the sketch pretty much to the letter, adjusting a bit for a longer sentiment and smaller embellishments...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Liam's NICU Room Layout

So I have been "pinning" many of the layout & card sketches from Let's Capture These Sketches. I just never seem to get them completed before the weekly deadline but this time, I did! So here is my take on Sketch #147...
Supplies: DCWV cardstock; Bo Bunny papers & stickers; Making Memories rub-on alphas; Jillibean Soup tiny alphas; Studio Calico wood veneers; Bazzill mini brads; Sakura & Zig pens; Tsukineko walnut ink; StazOn ink; Colorbox chalk ink; Creative Memories circle cutting system; Glue Arts, 3M & Thermoweb adhesives.

And here is the original sketch from Natalie...

The first thing you'll notice is that I rotated the sketch 90 degrees counterclockwise. I followed the basic placement of photos and title but revised the photo grid to accommodate only five photos instead of six and also to allow for a focal photo. I added some circles and rings behind the photos to help ground them but I did take a cue from the splatter in the sketch and decided to mist my background with a few spritzes of walnut ink. I also added a little bit of paper and embellishing in the negative space.

I guess I should also explain the title. The full title, tiny alphas and all, reads "Our Super Expensive Studio Apartment for 6 Weeks". See, at some point when Liam was in the hospital, we were discussing how wonderful the brand-new NICU was with their private rooms complete with a special living area for family - a pullout couch/bed, desk, chair and flat screen TV. We said it was like our own little studio apartment, but then realized that would be a very expensive apartment!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Page Maps sketch using Fancy Pants Childish Things.

So, PageMaps had a recent contest that asked you to use the following sketch for an opportunity to win the Fancy Pants Little Sport collection. I sadly did not get my page done by the contest deadline (one of the joys of having an infant) but I still wanted to use this sketch because I had the perfect photos and papers in mind for it.
Coincidentally, I used Fancy Pants Childish Things for this page. I modified the sketch a bit to accommodate three horizontal photos and my super long title/journaling. I am soooo happy with the way this page turned out. Also, the button heart was inspired by a challenge posed over at Memorable Seasons. Thanks so much for looking!
Supplies: Fancy Pants papers & rub-on hearts; Webster's Pages, My Little Shoebox, Fancy Pants & American Crafts alpha stickers; Fancy Pants, Basic Grey & misc buttons; Bazzill cardstock; The Paper Co vellum; Fancy Pants journaling spot sticker; DMC embroidery floss; EK Success circle punch; Sakura pen; StazOn ink; miscellaneous papers for confetti; Glue Arts, Thermoweb & Helmar adhesives.