Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stippled Distress

Well...I am making progress on the studio...and decided to take another little break to share one of my all time favorite techniques...STIPPLE DISTRESS.

Check it out:




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Selective Embossing Video Tutorial

Here is the tutorial I promised. I just needed a bit of a break from my self-imposed "creative lockdown" until I get the studio cleaned out and reorganized...so I thought I would take a moment and do something fun to share with you. This is a very fun and easy technique that I think you will enjoy it too. Remember the giveaway I will be doing over the weekend. To be eligible go see my blog post here...and leave a comment telling me what you do to keep motivated when you have to get something done that is less than fun! I need some new ideas to keep me moving on this overwhelming project of cleaning, sorting, purging and reorganizing my studio!

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saving An Imperfect Picture


The two main reasons that I got into scrapbooking were my love of photography and my love for storytelling. Scrapbooking was the perfect marriage between the two. Some pictures tell the whole story...and some stories don't need anything added other than the listener's imagination. But most of the time - you don't get the PERFECT picture and there are details of a story that need the help of the picture for the whole story to be told.

So what do you do when your picture is less than perfect? Here are a few ideas.

1. Crop out unnecessary parts of the picture...if there are things that are distracting from the focal image - just cut them out.
2. Get in close...this is a suggestion that I actually believe helps you GET the perfect picture. We tend to stand back from our subject and take the picture from a distance. I find that I love my pictures more - even if they are a bit too over/under exposed or fuzzy if I have zoomed in close and just captured the emotion. This picture below is a great example of this principle. It is too light, and my focus wasn't good...but how precious is the interaction between these two...I LOVE it! So if you can...get as close as you possibly can or crop out everything but the part that you NEED to be seen.

The layout at the top of this post, is another example of me using these two picture saving ideas. I needed a strong image that would support the journaling that I wanted to share - a quote that I had fallen in love with - "Write it on your heart that every day will be the best day!" I felt that if I had used my whole face, it would have detracted from the quote - which I wanted to take center stage...and besides that, the background was TOO busy...so I just cut out the part of the picture that worked...my eyes and went with it. It was a little scary getting the exacto knife and ruler out and cutting major parts of the picture out. But I don't think it would have worked if I hadn't.

3. Turn it into a black and white. Sometimes changing a less than perfect picture and removing the color from it can make a big difference on the impact the picture has on your page. Before you lose the picture....lose the color and see if it helps. Here is an example...the top picture is super sweet...but it is ORANGE...and even my photo editing software didn't help much (this example is AFTER I tried to color correct it)....but I was able to salvage it by turning it into a black and white photo.


Now I love it - and on top of it all - a B/W Photo works with ANY paper that you might want to use....BONUS! *smile* Hope these ideas help you find a way to use those pictures that captured something important in a perhaps less than perfect way!

Hope you have a great second half of the week. I am making progress on cleaning the studio. I have been able to create some FANTABULOUS boxes of goodies to sell on Ebay or at the Garage sale I am participating in on August 6th - so if you want me to reserve one for you...let me know now...I am headed to the Post Office on Friday with a group of boxes for folks who have already purchased some and will be happy to add one for you as well!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sometimes More Isn't Better

Can you believe I actually said that?!?!?! LOL If you have followed my blog or watched my YouTube videos, you know that this page is unlike most of my designs. Where's the patterned paper? Where's the paint splatter? Where are the dimensional embellishments? Nowhere to be seen...and yet, this is still one of my FAVORITES.

I actually think the simplicity is what makes it work. The picture of Weston checking his phone for messages was the entire inspiration for the page. The simplicity of the Pepsi logo is what inspired the gentle flourishes that I hand stitched. And because the title needed to be simple too, I just used a very clean font in two sizes (American Craft rubons) to follow the stitched lines. The little bit of journaling that I did do - I simply handwrote it and followed the stitch lines once again.

When I decided to share this page with you, I was reminded that it is a REALLY good thing to sometimes to get outside our creative comfort zones, and try scrapping or crafting in a style TOTALLY different from our norm. I actually can't wait to get back in my studio and try another page that is unlike my regular multi-layered, multi-mediumed style. What style would be the total opposite of your norm? I would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Love Clarity!

Don't you? I remember a saying that my grandmother (I talk about her a LOT - I called her Jammy Jane and she is still who I want to be when I grow up) used to say..."That was as clear as mud!" When I was little, I never failed to say, "Jammy Jane...mud isn't clear!" And she would always laugh and say "I KNOW!" So much about life is "clear as mud" - perhaps that is why I love clarity. I love when I can see my way clear in a decision. I love when the answer is clear, the sky is clear, my mind is clear and my conscience is clear! I LOVE CLARITY!

So it probably comes as no surprise that I also love a little clarity in my scrapbooking! A few years ago acrylic elements were REALLY big....and I acquired quite a stash. This is a layout I created with some pictures of my dear friend's twin sons. It was one of those unbelievably good "photo moments!" I was standing on a chair and one of them just squatted down to grab an apple and looked up at me just as I snapped the picture....later they both worked together to pick up a big cast iron pan filled with apples...and perhaps the funniest thing was when we were all done with the photo shoot I looked down at the pan of apples and the twins had taken a single bite out of EVERY last one of those apples....it was PRICELESS!


I used a couple of acrylic elements on this layout....the flower that is tucked halfway behind the largest picture -- and the word "apples" down on the bottom were both Heidi Swapp "ghost" elements that I just put some black acrylic paint on the edges to make them stand out a bit more. I really do like the way you can see through them - and yet still have a real sense of the role they play on the page. Even though acrylic elements aren't necessarily the latest craze...I still reach for them often. I did a series of YouTube videos about techniques I like to use when working with clear elements. I thought I might share the first one here...and then if you want to see the rest of the series be sure and check out the remainder of the tutorials here.

So - try a little clarity in your scrapbooking! Or is that "clear as mud?!?!?" *smile*


Sunday, July 24, 2011

In The Meantime


So I told you yesterday that I am on "creative lockdown" until I get my studio cleaned, sorted and purged! But that doesn't mean that I can't share some creative ideas...right? So for the next few days, I am going to pull some of my favorite layouts - either for the story they tell, the technique I used, or just because! *smile*

This one I called Heaven's Canvas....and I still love it! Let me point out a couple of things about it. First, the picture at the top - that looks like a "canvas" was actually a picture that I printed onto a transparency and then transfered to the cloth with gel medium. It is a great distressing technique because the full image rarely transfers completely. This layout was created after Royce and I took a trip to New Mexico. It was my first trip there and I was absolutely overwhelmed with the beauty I saw. I loved all the rich warm colors....and took TONS of pictures. I did eventually create a mini to hold them all - but I wanted to have a layout for my scrapbook that captured the feeling of the culture, the scenery - the beauty.

I created the weathered edge with a piece of torn paper, a stipple brush and distress ink. Since I shared a project with you yesterday where I used distress ink and a stipple brush, I better put that on my list of technique videos to share with you since it is one of my "go to" techniques.

Two other quick things that I did that you might want to try....I printed out four wallet size pictures and then punched out part of each picture with a 2" square punch. I crimped a piece of kraft cardstock and placed all four pictures together in a group to make them function more as one element. I like the effect and have used it in several other layouts. Put that one in your bag of tricks next time you need to get a LOT of pictures on a page...here is another way I used pictures punched out with a 2 " square.

This layout was called "Favorite Things" and I used the 2" punch to get lots of pictures on the page...by lining them up they also form a block. It was a quick page - but still one of my favorites. I even doodled a bit around the edge...something that used to intimidate me! No telling what I might do when I get back to creating in my studio! Looking through these layouts has reminded me that I really need to do more pages to share with you all...so I will add that to my list as well.

Hope you all are ready for a great week...I am determined to put some time in every night after I get home from work on the studio. I have been finding some really yummy things - so the scrappy surprise boxes are getting filled with lots of goodness. I even am putting some kit club projects in - since I figured I have too much to get done and will not get back to working with them - that I will share them with you all....so let me know if you are interested. (see my previous blog to learn more about the scrappy surprise boxes!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Project Clean Studio


Well...this card is the last project I will complete until I have sorted, purged, cleaned and organized my studio! It was the birthday card I made for Weston's 21st birthday...seriously -- how can I have a son that is 21?!?!?!?! The large compass was made by using a Tattered Angels Glimmer Screen, Distress Ink and a stipple brush. I added some dimension to it with Copic Markers and my white Signo pen. I promise I will work on a tutorial once I get the studio straightened up. By the way - BlueMoon Scrapbooking has a sale going on a set of 12 Copic Sketch Markers...it is a really good way to get started with them, if you haven't already. Just click the link above and it will take you to the sale page.

Over the course of creating projects for What You Make It, I have accumulated duplicates of many things and have lots of partial paper packs and embellishments...and while I LOVE all the products, I need to get ready for all the projects I will be doing this fall. So, I am seriously doing a MAJOR purge - I am being ruthless so that I don't have to do this again for awhile...and will be creating some "Scrappy Surprise Boxes" to post on Ebay....but I thought I would make them available here first. Each box will be unique...so I won't be able to show you what is in them...but I promise I will fill a flat rate USPS box to the brim with paper, stamps, ribbons, ink, trim, embellies, alterable items....who knows what all. Let me know if you might be interested...They will be $35 and $50 with shipping included. I can send you a PayPal invoice.

Ok...I am headed to bed....am looking forward to church in the morning...and then I will be back in the studio to once again plow through the sorting and purging. This is my least favorite thing to do...but I will put some really "happy" music on and keep thinking about how much fun these goodies are going to have being used by another artist!

I may even do some give aways on my YouTube channel...so please check it out next week as well.

Ok...I tell you what...let's do a give away here to start out! I have a 7 Gypsies ATC and Photo Display that I will send to the lucky winner.



I love mine - I change it out with the changing of the seasons - just a fun way to display pictures, cards and items from swaps. To enter, leave me a comment and tell me what you do to keep yourself motivated when you have to do something you don't enjoy! I will probably need ALL of your suggestions to get through this week! *smile* I will do a drawing next Sunday night July 31, 2011.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Selective Embossing

Happy Thursday! How is everyone doing? Hope all is well, wherever you may be...we are surviving the heat wave here in Nashville, Tennessee! I have given up working on "outside" projects...and that has given me a bit more time in the studio -- no complaints there! *smile*

Wanted to share a new technique with you that I used to create this Cheeky Nurse card. As most of you know, Dad has been in the hospital since the end of February battling Leukemia. He is finished with Chemo and doing well...in fact, he is now at a Rehab Center working on regaining his strength. We are so blessed that he was not only able to withstand the chemo - but is doing so well. He had great care from all the nursing staff...and many of them have become like family in the process....so before he left the hospital to go to rehab, I wanted to send them a Thank You for all the care they had given him....and this Cheeky Nurse seemed to be just perfect.

I wanted the nurse to be the focal point of the card...so I decided on doing just a simple medallion or label of some sort as her background. I cut out the label with a Spellbinder Die from 120 lb white cardstock. And then I had a little idea....and decided to see if it would work. I knew that I could run the whole diecut piece through an embossing folder - but I really only wanted to emboss the INSIDE part of the die....and then ink it. So I opened up the embossing folder....and put the diecut - still inside the die - face down (meaning the cutting edge of the die was pointed UP...this is REALLY IMPORTANT). I put a tan embossing mat on top of the cutting edge and DID NOT close the embossing folder. You don't want to put the cutting edge down against your embossing folder or plate as it will cut a groove in your folder and you won't be able to use it again....so just be certain that your cutting edge is UP! Use your regular sandwich for embossing and run it through your machine. Viola! Your die will be embossed on the inside but have that nice smooth unembossed edge framing it! To make it stand out even more, I used some distress inks and inked up the the embossed part....and OF COURSE, added some Rock Candy Stickles to give just a bit more SHINE! (yeah I know - I am ALL about the SHINE!).

I think she not only looks Cheeky.....she looks a bit Sassy!

I will work on a Tutorial Video for this technique if you are interested...just let me know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Copic Coloring Tutorial



Hi friends....hope you are surviving the heat wave! I am trying to move as quickly as possible from my car to whatever building I am going into...since being "a woman of a certain age" means that I have my own personal summer going on - and the heat wave is NOT helping! I so would not have made a good "prairie woman!"LOL

I am blessed to have plenty of cool air (and extra fans going) in my house - so it is a joy to get to spend some time in my studio! Life has been so crazy of late - that time in my studio is even more precious!

I actually created this card (and taped the process) quite a few weeks ago for my sister's birthday...but I have just gotten the editing done....trust me - you didn't want to watch the un-edited version! Working with Copics is a lot of fun for me...but the blending process is a bit time consuming....so I edited it down to the major steps...and sped up the coloring process so you could see it - without being bored with the "real time" version of it.

Hope you enjoy it - and please leave me a comment letting me know what you think...since this is really the first time I have shown what my Copic coloring process is like, I would love your feedback on what I could do to make this type of tutorial more useful for you.

Have a great rest of the week...and STAY COOL!