Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/26 Sketch @ Let's Scrap

Happy Day After!!!!!!!!!!

I hope your Christmas was fabulous.  I hope you were able to focus on your family.  I hope you ate so much you are stuffed.  I hope you smiled so much your cheeks hurt.  I hope you took way too many pictures (like I did)!  I hope Santa was good to you, and I hope the mess is not TOO big!  (Santa was EXTRA good to me this year.  He always is, but I am really liking my BIG gift...more to come!)

I am so proud to announce that the weekly Wednesday sketch @ Let's Scrap is mine!  Do you remember the sketch contest?  My very first attempts at scrapbook layout design not only produced a winner, but I also had lots of runners-up; and this is the first of many more to come over the next few months.

I love, LOVE, all of the chalkboard designs and fonts that I have been seeing.  I really wanted to use that premise for a layout (LO).  The stark white fonts against the black or very center paper would be perfect for a back-to-school LO, Christmas program, or any school-age theme.  Only trouble on my end is that I don't have school-aged children any more, but I do have a furry toddler named Gracie Lou.  So here's my take on the sketch:

Gracie was such a good student!
She even Graduated and got her very own diploma!
And some close-up detail:

Technical notes:
  • Patterned paper:  Echo Park Woof! collection.
  • Large white Puppy title:  Doodlebug Design Sew Simple Cardstock Stickers
  • Woof & Bark are fussy cut from the pattterned paper and mounted on pop dots
  • Kindergarten title:  Cut on my Silhouette
  • Yellow washi tape:  Queen & Co.
  • Computer journaling:  Font KG Makes You Stronger (white type on black banners) and fussy cut
  • Cardstock:  Creative Memories White & Black
So happy to be back with a layout for Let's Scrap...this will surely be my last LO for 2012.  I will be participating in the January LOAD challenge.  Join me!

I have completed a whopping 235 LO's in 2012!!  Oh my gosh, the photos, the stories, and the memories are all documented.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to all of my "virtual" friends.  I feel very fortunate to have you drop in now and again and visit my blog, leave a comment, share a craft or two, a recipe or three, and general life craziness.  I hope you gather an ounce of inspirateion after a visit here...I really do love to share! 

If you've been here before, you know I love to share the "technical" notes:
  • This is not an original photo idea.  I stole it.  If you've ever seen the opening segment of the Modern Family TV show you will know where this comes from. 
  • I bought a white 11" x 14" open back frame from Hobby Lobby.
  • Bill and I each posed in front of the Christmas tree holding the frame.
  • Getting a good photo of Gracie was the hardest part.  She HATED her Christmas hat and would NOT close her mouth!
  • I then worked some Photoshop Elements magic with the three photos.
    • I first opened the photo of me, "magic erased" the part of my shirt inside the frame.  Once you erase part a photo, it acts just like a picture frame.
    • Then, I "placed" the photo of Gracie under the "erased" part just so and then flattened and saved a new image of the two of us.
    • I  then opened the photo of Bill and did the same "magic erasing" inside the frame area.  I then "placed" the picture of me and Gracie underneath Bill's photo. 
    • Once again, I flattened the image and saved it as a new .jpg.
  • The finished card is a 6" x 7 1/2" Costco card, the entire "chalkboard" sentiment is theirs.  I just uploaded my finished "altered" photo of the three of us and added our Christmas message.
  • Here's a commercial for Costco and a personal testiment:  Costco's cards are awesome!  They are extra large and 50 cards is only $14.99 with silved lined envelopes.  What a deal!
I do hope you enjoy the card and a mini Photoshop lesson.

May your Christmas holiday be blessed with friends and family.  Here's hoping that you take as many photos as I do and that we have lots to scrap in 2013!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blowing my own horn!

Woot!  Woot!

My gift for the recent handmade gift exchange was highlighted today over @ Craftaholic's Anonymous! 

Check it out:

I'm feelin a bit "celebrity-ish."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Some exciting news...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Just call me...


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Card Swap

Got your Holiday cards made yet?  If not, read on for some inspiration.

I recently participated in my very first (homemade/handmade/unique/custom-designed) Holiday card swap.  Let me just tell you...I was a nervous wreck!  I tend to be a bit OCD over things like this.  My cards have to be perfect! 

I made 10 of these babies for the swap.  They are not my Holiday card this year as I want to send out photo cards, but I will use these for thank you's and other holiday-related gift giving.

So I labored and labored over my design and came up with this card:

I am in love with the white-on-white layering seen all over Pinterest and decided to throw in a bit of Kraft-colored accents.  The white card base is layered with Kraft cardstock and then another white music-note embossed layer, two jingle bells, glitter, twine and a sentiment. 

Another look:

Technical notes:
  • The white embossed layer was made using a Cuttlebug embossing folder and my Epic Six.
  • The jingle bells were cut using my Silhouette.  They are cut in two layers and jazzed up a bit with Stickles Crystal.
  • "JINGLE" sentiments are computer generated (x 10), cut with Stampin Up's (SU) Framelits Bitty Banners and the Revolution machine, enhanced with Gelly Roll pens (Red Star & Lime Star) and mounted on pop dots.
  • Brown twine (Doodlebug) was strung up and glued under the sentiment.
  • The inside "Jingle All The Way" is an older SU rubber mounted stamp and stamped with SU's Soft Suede ink
Here are the cards I received in the swap.  I hope that they spark some ideas!  Enjoy.


Aren't they fabulous?

Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY Scrapbook Coasters

Once again I participated in the Handmade Gift Exchange. This is my second one and they are lots of fun.

My "secret" recipient loves snowmen.  So, I wanted to design a project around that fat, happy, round white guy.  I also knew I wanted to make coasters, so I designed a 8" x 12" scrapbook page!  I adhered the title and the stickers just like I would for my scrapbook (I might mention that an 8" x 8" scrapbook page would fit perfectly over four coasters).

Here's what you need for the coasters:
  1. Mod Podge
  2. Paper/design/scrapbook page (your stash is waiting to be busted)
  3. 4" x 4" square tiles (any will do...look for the ones on clearance...I got grey slate tiles @ Home Depot for $.30/ea)
  4. Felt bumpers (optional, but you will want to protect the furniture!)
  5. Clear Acrylic spray (added protection for sweaty, drippy drink glasses)
Cut the paper design of your choice (it doesn't have to be a scrapbook page) to fit your tiles. I cut mine a little shy of 4" because I did not want the paper to hang over the edge of the tile.

Paper & Stickers:  Echo Park Winter Wishes
Title: Cut with my Silhouette
The first coat of Mod Podge goes directly on the tile.

Isn't that a nice crafting dish for Mod Podge?
Red Solo Cup...I fill you up.
Then, Mod Podge the paper onto the tile, making sure to get it nice and smooth. Let dry. Give it a second coating if you wish. I did two coats.  I brushed each coat on in opposite directions.

When the Mod Podge was dry, I distressed the edges with a sanding block just a bit.

I chose to "seal" mine with a clear spray sealer.

Finally, I added felt "bumper" pads to the bottom of the tiles -- no scratched furniture here. 

There you have it.  The coasters turned out adorable.  These are perfect for a holiday party, kinda like a puzzle - interactive and functional!  What d'ya think?  Will my "secret" recipient like 'em?

Imagine how cute these would be with a full-size, family portrait!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

11-28-12 Sketch

This will be my last "professional" sketch for this Design Team @ Let's Scrap

My term is officially ending; and next Wednesday, you will see a whole new crop of designers @ Let's Scrap.  I have enjoyed my two back-to-back terms there immensely.  I can't wait to see new, fresh ideas.  I have loads of new cyber friends.  We have supported each other through many of life's blessings and tragedies these past eight months.  I will miss our daily dialog...but I will be lurking!  I just might be back sometime next year hopefully in a renewed DT capacity...but, in the meantime, look for several new sketches I designed for Let's Scrap to appear in the coming months. Jus' sayin. is today's sketch:

And here is my take on it:

Candlelight Dinner
Some close up detail:

Here are the technical notes for the layout:
  • This entire LO evolved from the beautifully embellished blue menu that was on our table. 
  • The sketch calls for a large vertical photo on the lh side.  Hmmm...I think that is the perfect place to include the menu!
  • The LO also calls for three, 2" x 3" vertical photos.  I replaced two of those with a 3" x 4" horizontal photo.  All other photos are cropped as depicted in the sketch.
  • The title is a custom design (from yours truly) and cut from white cardstock using my Silhouette machine.
  • The LO called for several embellishments around the title.  I cut a 12" x 12" patterned paper just off center and used the snowflake/ornaments printed on the paper in place of the embellies.
  • The two snowflakes on the lh side are punches.  They are "strung" with mini pearls, embellished with a jelly roll star pen with large center pearls.  They match the paper fabulously...if I do say so myself!
  • All other paper, die cut ribbon, and layered embellies are from the new Creative Memories "Be Merry" collection.  "Pssst...there is a beautiful red album that matches the paper!"
  • The journaling on the rh side is computer generated in coordinating colors...of course.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear Santa

I know it's early, but I wanted to make darn sure Santa gets my letter.  Pronto!

I realize that it's hard to read.  I'm gonna devote some time to blog design come January.  Just click on it to read it full size.  I know Santa had absolutely zero trouble reading it ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

11-14-12 WINNING Sketch!

Remember the sketch contest over @ Let's Scrap

I'm so very proud to finally be able to announce my winning sketch!  It is featured this week for 4,200+ Let's Scrap members!  Woo hoo!
I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to get an original design recognized and published.  I am over the moon about it.  I cannot wait to see the layouts coming in this week!  P.S.  I've got more news to share about sketch design over @ Let's Scrap.  Stay tuned!

This was an entirely different excercise for me.  I have NEVER designed a sketch first.  I always start with some piece of a layout that I want to use, be it the photos, patterned paper or a really cute embellishment. 

So, after looking through oodles of photos, I settled on a layout about Gracie (no surprise there.  Are you tired of her yet?).

Gracie is part Golden Retriever; and boy,
does she like to retrieve and retrieve and retrieve!

Close-up detail:
I did deviate a bit from the sketch.  Instead of two title octagons and two journaling octagons, I added a few more photos 'cuz I don't ever get tired of looking at her!

Here are the technical notes:
  • All of the octagons were hand cut @ 3"
  • The octagons were distressed (inked) with brown ink
  • The pawprint heart was cut on my Silhouette
  • Additional journaling was added to the pawprint
  • The title box and journal boxes are word "clouds" generated on, printed on white cardstock, hand cut, and mounted on pop dots.  I cannot tell you how much I love this web based word generator!  I have used it for cards, holidays, blog art, etc.  Try will love it!  DISCLAIMER: you may get hooked.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange: Holiday 2012

Remember the Handmade Gift Exchange I participated in this past summer?  Click here to refresh your memory.  It was so much fun!

Here's what I got in the exchange.

My gift was perfect for me 'cause I DON'T SEW!  Can't wait to put my new pillow covers out with my holiday decorations!

The Holiday version of the gift exchange is now open for registration.  It's so much fun!  Please join me.  Here's a few of the particulars:

This is the 7th Handmade Gift Exchange
Registration closes on November 7, 2012 at midnight. On November 8, 2012, you will get an email from Elfster informing you of your assignment. You will only be able to view your partner info during the exchange. Once the exchange is over on November 30, your partner will not have access to your information on Elfster.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • There is no skill level required. A handmade gift is always wonderful, no matter how technical it is!
  • There is no price minimum on the handmade gift. If shipping costs are an issue, you can make a gift that is light weight and fits inside an envelope.
  • You do not need a blog to participate!
  • How will I know who my partner is? You will get an email on November 8, 2012 with your assigned person’s name and information.
  • There is no official theme for this Gift Exchange. If you feel so inclined to do a Christmas theme, go for it!
  • Can I make a gift from a kit/pattern? YES!! If you made any part of the gift, that’s perfect!
  • Can the gift be in digital form? No. You can create a printable or graphic for your partner, but please PRINT it off and send a physical copy to your partner. Part of the fun is actually physically receiving a gift in the mail.
For my international friends, please note that there are five different exchanges: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and All Countries. Use the drop down box to make your selection!

Click the widget below to get started.  Can't wait to see all of the handmade creations!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10-31-12 Sketch

Here is today's sketch @ Let's Scrap.

And, here is my take on the sketch.

I know...I know...this shoulda been a Halloween layout. It's not like I don't LOVE Halloween, I just don't have any little vampires, witches, or goblins to use in a layout.  I do, however, have a really cute dog...maybe next time...

It's the Great Pumpkin!
what time do the trick-or-treaters get here?
Anywho (pun intended), football is a great fall activity and a Denver Broncos game makes a great layout!  Bill has season tickets and absolutely loves the Broncos.  I tease him that he has orange coursing through his veins.  I only get to go to the game on a rare occasion...(and I only like the "warm" ones).

Here are the technical notes for the layout:
  • Instead of pockets on the lh side, I chose to include our tickets from the game.  They are anchored with photo corners and ribbon.
  • I used MS Publisher to include 8 additional photos of the game and printed one large 8" x 11" photo (no fancy or high priced software needed!).  Truth is...I love this format for including a lot of pictures on a still have lots of room for artistic/creative embellishments!  There are 11 photos on this two-page layout!
Products used:
  • Football paper, stickers & chipboard accents:  Creative Memories
  • Football photo corners:  Jolee's
  • Washi tape:  Queen & Co.
  • Orange striped paper: Colorbok
  • Cardstock:  orange & white
  • Title (downloaded from the internet) was printed on white cardstock and "fussy cut" by hand
  • Ribbon:  American Crafts
Thanks for stopping by...don't each too much candy...just the chocolate. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Let's Scrap

Several things happening at Let's Scrap that I'd like to share with you:

1.  Card sketch for today:

And, here's the card I made:

The sketch just says "hello...I'm a camera" to me so that's what I made!  I was thinking that the sentiment could be just about anything using a camera as the main embellishment.  'Cause let's face it, we use a camera for just about everything these days...good or bad.

The chevron background paper is from My Mind's Eye.  The rest of the card is simply "paper piecing" of a camera design loosely based on the instagram logo.  I added a round brad (hugz) and a printed sentiment to the center.  I also glued some twine around the hugz.  Easy peasy.

2.  I've just come home from a three-day retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  Finished 44 pages, a furbaby book for Gracie, and almost finished a digital book.  Very productive.  Love, love retreats.  I feel like I really can get away and get absorbed into this hobby I love so much.  I have such a sense of accomplishment after a retreat.  Fourty-four finished layouts means I've met the LOAD challenge...see that icon to the right?  Up to 48!  Wonder how many more I can get in before the 31st?

3.  Remember the sketch contest I won?  My sketch will be featured on Wednesday, November 14.  Can't wait for the big reveal.  Can't wait to see what 4,100+ members can do with my design.  Stoked!
Wait!  There's more news!  Even bigger news.  I submitted five sketch designs for that contest -- loved designing so much that the ideas just kept coming.  Turns out...the fine ladies @ Let's Scrap want them ALL!!  You will see the rest of my designs appearing over the next term @ Let's Scrap!  The new term (and a new Design Team...for which I am very sad) starts in December and will run through the end of March.  Of course, all of my sketches will also be featured concurrently here on the blog.  Whew!!  Who knew that my very first attempts at sketch design would be so fruitful! 

I may just keep on going and going and going... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Fabulous PINK Weekend

This past Sunday I walked with 40,000 other men, women, and children @ the 20th Anniversary of the Denver Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure...four thousand of which are women dressed in pink t-shirts.  Women who've been diagnosed, in or through treatment.  Women who fight.  Survivors.

Yay Denver!
I celebrated my sixth year as a survivor.

Notice the pink hair extensions?  Fun!
I celebrated with a very special team of friends and family.  Their love & support touches me deeply.

My "team" gets a bit bigger each year.
Love 'em dearly.
I celebrated hope.

I celebrated mammograms and for "catching it early."
I celebrate LIFE!
Although I walk in PINK, I: