Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sketch Contest

Let's Scrap know how every other Wednesday I post a scrapbook layout based on a sketch?  Did you ever wonder where those sketches come from?  The very talented sketch artist is stepping down after many years and that leaves the door WIDE OPEN for new talent.
Would you like to design?
Do you like to design cards and/or layout sketches?
Have you always wanted to try to design a sketch?  
Do you feel confident enough to share your work with others?
Wanna get published?  
If any of those answers are yes, then maybe YOU are the one who can design one of November's sketches for Let’s Scrap as they are hosting the first annual sketch design contest!
Here's what they are looking for:
  • Either card or layout sketches
  • Card sketches can be any size
  • Layouts must be two-page 12" x 12" layouts (12”x24” total), and both sides should be able to be made into single page layouts as well
  • page, picture and embellishment sizes should be easy to figure out
  • use standard size photos (i.e., 2x2”, 3x3”, 4x4”, 4x6”, 5x7”)
  • designed with the newest, hottest trends and techniques in mind (such as hexagons, diecut papers, borders etc.)
  • flow from one side to the other
  • black and white
  • computer drawn (but they are willing to digitize your handdrawn sketches for you)
  • new, ORIGINAL designs for this contest (please be fair to other sketch designers. Do NOT just copy a sketch you’ve seen elsewhere!)
Can you stand the test? Well, go ahead and start designing. You have until the September 30 to submit your sketch (or sketches) to:
With your application, please include:
  • Name, address, and e-mail address
  • Link to your blog and/or online gallery
 What’s in it for you?
  • There will be four winners: three layout sketches and one card sketch. Each of these winners will receive a prize.
  • If you are a winner, your sketch will be posted on the main page and used as a weekly sketch challenge during the month of November, 2012, and more than 4,100 members will be able to play with it!
  • You will have everlasting fame (not fortune, sorry about that)
Some rules:
  • This call is open to all members of Let’s Scrap, including design team members. If you want to participate and you're not a member, you can join Let's Scrap here.
  • Four winners will be announced on October 8, 2012.
  • If you submit a sketch to Let’s Scrap, you may NOT reveal the sketch ANYWHERE, including on your blog, until after the winners are announced.
  • If your sketch is chosen as one of the four winners, do NOT reveal your sketch. Let’s Scrap will reveal the winning sketches on the main page during the month of November. You may post a winning sketch on your own blog only after it has been revealed by Let’s Scrap!
Will I be participating in the contest?  You betcha!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

8-22-12 Sketch

Yoo's Wednesday...time for a new sketch @ Let's Scrap!

Don't get trapped by the swimming trunks, little fishes, and beach sign!  Because this sketch calls for four uncut 4" x 6" photos and two square 4" x 4" photos, it can be just about anything you can dream up.  A sketch is really just a starting point.  Swimming trunks & bumble bees truly only mean "embellishments". 

Here's my take on the sketch:

See.  No beachy, summertime layout here.  Huh uh.  The swimming trunks become double flourishes, the waves become scrolls, and the bee turns into a curlicue.  What about the beach sign?  It's my opera ticket. 

This layout is from my very first time at a real Opera!  Got a last-minute invitation to see Carmen at the historic Central City Opera House.   Looking back, I remember thinking that I was not the "opera-type" and was a bit nervous about going.  I wasn't sure I would like it.  Heck, I didn't know if I would even understand it! I loved it!  So much so I borrowed a line from Julia Roberts for my journaling box.  It was a great Sunday afternoon!

Here are a few closeups so you can see the detail:

Products used:
  • Background paper, paper ribbon, textured frame, and journaling box:  Creative Memories Reminisce Power Palette
  • Cardstock:  Creative Memories
  • Bling:  KaiserCraft
  • Alphas:  Grey:  Fancy Pants Roadshow; Gold Glittered:  My Little Shoe Box
  • Flourishes & Scroll:  Cricut:  Reminisce cartridge
  • Carmen Frame & Journaling Box: mounted on pop dots
I challenge you to give this sketch a try.  Think outside the box sketch. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Take a Shortcut



There are so many tips, techniques, templates, and tools that make scrapbooking very easy these days.  No longer do you have to come up with an (original) idea.  I'm all about easy and I love shortcuts!  I like saving time, money and preventing headache(s) on each page and/or project.

Asking for and getting help with a page design is the fastest way to a finished layout. Sketches, templates and kits allow me to put more focus on my pictures and the stories, i.e., the bones.  A good layout, simply has good 'bones'.  Scraplifting (yes, it's legal and used heavily by all scrapbookers) always helps me when I don't feel creative or I'm stuck in a rut.

I use sketches and templates with almost every page.  I even sketch my own designs and include little post-it notes and include them with my power layouts as I pack for a crop.  Sometimes I scribble a magazine reference, or a page #, or some other tidbit to help jog my memory when I actually sit down to create the layout.

I also tend to buy matchy-matchy product (the manufacturer has already done the hard work for me).  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I will buy the whole line when it makes it debut (gasp! - I can't believe I just wrote that!).  Then, after gathering all of the patterned paper and the embellishments, I head over to the cardstock area and buy coordinating cardstock (before I leave the store!).  I package it all up together in my studio so that it's easy to find (by the way, I file by theme -- more on that later).  Sometimes not only will I buy an entire line, but I will also buy coordinating or similar lines from the same manufacturer.  Often they are interchangeable. 

Here are three reasons why I don't "recreate the wheel" when I scrapbook:

1. Good Design - Sometimes my creative mojo just isn't happening. Relying on a great sketch or template helps me create an attractive page without a lot of brain damage.  In my busy life and because I take waaaayy too many pictures, having a design shortcut makes all the difference.  If you love something you've seen somewhere, what is the harm in personally recreating it?  I print mine and keep them handy in "My Inspiration" notebook.

       Here are my top two places for printable sketches:
2. Less Clutter - When I start with a sketch or template, I know what supplies I need up front. I can quickly shop my stash like I would the grocery store using a shopping list. There is less mess and clean up is easier. I find that a sketch or template helps me limit the choices too -- there are way too many "really cute" papers or "fabulous" embellishments in my stash tempting me.

3. Out of the Box - Like most scrapbookers, I tend to navigate towards the same types of page designs again and again. Using a sketch or template helps me move out of my comfort zone and try a new design approach on for size. I definitely have my go-to sketches.  I've used some over and over.  Simply rotating the sketch 90 degrees, or the flipping the photo orientation, or swapping the right side with the left keeps a sketch fresh.

Believe me, in the 13 years I've been scrapbooking, I have used every template ever invented and read every magazine or design/idea book ever written.  Ever.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8-8-12 Sketch

The A-Team over @ Let's Scrap is off and running with our first layouts for the new term.  (Yay...I always wanted to be on someone's anyone's A-Team!)  Here's the new sketch:

Before we get into the details of the layout, I want to reassure you, that Take Your Dog to Work Day is real...first celebrated in 1999. 

I just don't think there are too many employers who encourage employee participation.  Gotta give props to my pet-loving boss!  In hindsight, I don't think he really "lets" me participate...I just do!

Without further's my layout:

This was Gracie's first "official" work day (she's now been to the office twice!).  She does not behave any better at the office than she does at home.  People and unfamiliar places make our already-misbehaved pet even worse (the aforementioned "pet-loving" boss isn't too crazy about her barking either).  This day is just plain fun (not a whole lotta work gets done)!  Afterall, how many fun work days does one really have?  Not very many.  It's just plain nonsense for Gracie's mom..and quite honestly, a good excuse reason to take photos!

Here are "technical" notes for the layout:  as is usual for me, I followed the sketch almost -- I did substitute a photo for the embellishment on the rh side.  You may notice that the photos on the rh side do not line up quite right.  Truth is, I had a hard time with correct sizing & placement, and I just couldn't bring myself to crop them any smaller.  The top & bottom hexagon borders were "fussy cut" from a sheet of paper as were the striped accents.  I cut off the bracket from a kitty "never-gonna-use-it" journal box and backed it with clear stamped lines onto cardstock.  All photos are mounted with white cardstock and "inked" with brown ink. The title words were cut using my Silhouette. The TYDTW logo was downloaded from the internet; it and the "what's up" embellie are mounted with pop dots.

The products I used:
  • Bazill Cardstock:  Pineapple Bliss
  • Creative Memories Cardstock:  Espresso Brown, White & Cement
  • Color Box Fluid InkPad:  Dark Brown
  • Patterned Paper, rub-ons & embellies:
    • Basic Grey Max & Whiskers (pet line)
You can bet Gracie will be at work with mom next year on Take Your Dog to Work Day!  It'll be her 3rd annual.  We're gonna start on her be-better-at-work skills.  Tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Design Team - Repeat

I think I mentioned that I've been selected for another four-month term for the design team @ Let's Scrap?  Hooray!  That first four months flew by.  I can remember how stressed I was over the honor of being chosen.  Now...I'm an old hat.  Hopefully, I can mentor the new gals, and ya'all know I'll never run out of photos!  I just hope the creativity fairy stops by now and again and sprinkles some geniuos-ness on me to get me through the next four months!

The "application" sketch was as follows:

As is always customary at Let's Scrap, you can choose to do one side (left or right) or the double-page spread.  For this particular application, I chose to only use the left side of the sketch.  Thus, the following was born:

Easter 2011
Aren't we matchy-matchy!

I am normally a two-page-layout kinda girl.  I very rarely (if ever) create a single page.  However, this was a favorite photo of the two of us and coupled with the sketch, I thought it would be a fantastic title page for my 2011 album (yes, still a tad bit behind!).

All products are from the Creative Memories Enchanted Power Palette.  The journaling is actually from a Michael Bublé song entitled, You and I.  Enough said.

Here are a few more close-up photos so you can see the lovely details of the products as well as the dimension of the layout:

Aren't you dying to run your fingers over the texture of the layout?  Alas, I hope you do see the great detail of these products:  embossed inks on the patterned papers...the bling is faceted...the flowers are full of dimension...and the lace ribbon is laser cut and adhesive backed.  The black paper is embossed with a leaf pattern.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Since the flowers are paper, I cut the black polka dot and the green one in half to frame the photo.

Come visit the main page @ Let's Scrap on accounta I got a new mug shot and all.  I am so darn proud of myself...I am practically busting my buttons!