Monday, June 28, 2010

The Problem with Patterned Paper

For as long as I have been scrapbooking, I have always loved looking at layouts with patterned paper. As long as I have been scrapbooking, I have been stockpiling patterned paper. And, as long as I have been scrapbooking, I have been intimidated by patterned paper. So you know what? On my last day of SDU when our instructor asked us what else we would have liked to learn, I said "I need help combining two or three different patterns on a layout."

So...our instructor went to a drawer full of paper, pulled out several sheets, turned them face down on the table and then told my classmate and I each to pick one. Just by chance, we ended up with the same pattern. Then she took some other patterns, cut them into smaller pieces and gave them to us. We discussed why, even though the patterns were vastly different and seemingly unrelated, they worked together...looking for commonalities like colors and shapes (swirls, circles, stripes, etc.).

She had us move the paper around and use solids to help separate the patterns and give the eyes a resting place. As class ended, she challenged us to take that same paper home, and make a layout with it. So I did.

As I was working on it, my original design changed drastically. I couldn't quite remember the layout I had come up with in class, and I don't think I came home with the exact same pieces of paper, because a couple of my patterned pieces were much smaller than I remembered and one even had folds in it! I swear they weren't there in class.

The title was intended to be vertical on the left and horizontal on the top. But when I put it that way, the word "Cousins" was lost on the patterned paper. I refused to cut it again and so decided to try turning the photo mat instead. My dear son loved it that way and told me to leave it like that. I then decided to hand cut two birds from the patterned paper. Those tails were hard to cut! Then I decided the birds needed a shadow! More hand cutting. Why not add some Stickles to the tail? Oh Stickles aren't enough? Let's put some old Prima flowers on there. They looked too plain. But wait! I had two bottles of Glimmer Mist that I had never tried! Mist the flowers...and while we're at it, let's add some to the birds too! Finish it off with a piece of ribbon and a quote from Alex Haley, and voila! So here is what I came up with....

A Sketch Challenge and Scrapping in Four Colors

The following layout came about as a result of a sketch from Everything About Scrapbooking that was actually posted as a challenge last week over at Sistas Scrap Too on the Cricut MB. Here's the sketch:

I decided to also use it as my third assignment for SDU, an assignment we never began in class, but one for which I had already selected paper and photos and so figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? Work smarter, not harder, right? This one was based on a Tetrad color combination, which means using a combination of four colors on the color wheel that are two sets of complements. My colors came from the following families: Blue-Green, Red-Violet, Red-Orange, and Yellow-Green.

One of the things that I love about using sketches is that you can follow them as is, or as your creative juices start to flow, rotate it, flip it, switch elements or whatever your heart desires. They are a great starting point when you're staring at photos and paper and can't quite figure out where to begin. While I didn't follow the sketch exactly, I did try to keep the various elements as close to intact as possible. This time, I managed to remember to do some inking and also experimented with chalking my die-cuts: Here is what I came up with:

 And here is a closer look at the left and right pages:

Thanks so much for looking! Now repeat after me..."sketches are my friend, sketches are my friend!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

52 Card Pick-Up = More Cool Techniques

I fell a little behind in class and so took the time during the last two days to finally get caught up. I've done all the assignments so far, except for one. I had trouble with it, became frustrated, and decided to try again at a later date.

I'm not going to post everything; rather just some of my favorites from the last two weeks' worth of assignments. Get this, bleach is involved with one of them! So here we go...!

 A mosaic border using scraps of patterned paper and some twine.

 Embossing ink and chalk....

 Acrylic paint mixed with sparkle glaze. I think had I used a little less paint and a little more glaze, the wash would have appeared more sheer and allowed the patterned paper to show through, as was the intent.

 Image stamped on photo paper using solvent ink, followed by dabbing it with alcohol ink.

 Stamped images on paper using solvent ink, and then colored them in with a wet paintbrush dipped in chalk.

 And finally...This technique involved using embossing ink, a heating tool, and of all things a Clorox bleaching pen. The white portions were created by using the bleaching pen. It was suggested that if you are worried about whether this process is safe from an archival standpoint, use it only with cards or layouts that do not contain photos. There does appear to be a question as to whether the paper will break down [from the bleach] at some point.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Card

This card was made using another sketch from the Sistas Scrap Too message board over at The ladies over there inspire me so much and they are truly forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and step up my game. I happened to come across this old piece of patterned paper and thought it would be perfect for this card. I used Fun Flock for the sand and Smooch Ink for the golfer's shoes, hat, belt and golf club. I am attempting to use more ribbon in my projects as well as embossing to add texture.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thinking of You Ladybug Cards

I'm trying to post things in so many places I can hardly keep up sometimes. I thought that I had posted this project, but apparently not. This was my first attempt at square cards and making my own envelopes. I used a sketch from the Sistas Scrap Too message board over at where weekly layout and card sketches are posted. This was also the first time I used the Martha Stewart scoring board to make my own envelopes. I need a little practice on making the inside liners although [note to self] I suppose it would much easier to use double-sided patterned paper.Thanks for looking.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scrapping Using Monochromatic Colors

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I am taking Scrapbook Design and You. I just finished my third class a couple of days ago. One of the reasons I decided to sign up was because I freeze when it comes to choosing colors and tend to use the same ones over and over again. Choosing paper alone can pretty much squash my motivation to create. So, in my never-ending quest to get better at this craft that I love, I signed up for SDU at my local JoAnn's.

Our first assignment was to choose our favorite color. Once we did, our favorite color was given to someone else. I ended up with the red/pink family and I almost NEVER scrap in those colors. We were to choose three hues in that color family and THEN choose our pictures. The instructor also encouraged me to use two different colors for the background pages, something I NEVER do. Both pages always have to be the same. The other thing I learned was a more conscious way to mat my photos...I have never consciously chosen black and/or white to mat, usually choosing to just use one of the colors I am working with...but after this lesson, I see what an impact black and/or white photo mats make. I'm pretty pleased with the way this turned out and had to stop myself from adding too much. I had already spent a lot of time putting Stickles on all of the flowers and leaves. In the process of cutting the layers for all the hibiscus flowers, I gave the "Hide Contour" feature on my Gypsy a good workout. Thanks for looking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweet Sixteen Card

I made this card for my dear cousin who turned 16 last month. I actually cut and layered the image a couple of months ago, but after looking at it in broad daylight, realized the colors were orange and green, and not pink and green like I had originally intended for the card I made for my soror. (Old eyes...what can I say? But I'm still young and croppin'!). So I abandoned her and put her aside to use for another project. As I was thinking about a card for my cousin, who already has a portfolio from photo shoots, I decided this one would be perfect for her. The font is from Gypsy Wanderings. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

52 Card Pick-Up

I am taking this wonderful class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking called 52 Card Pick-Up, taught by Tena Sprenger. Five days of the week, we receive instructions by e-mail that allow us to try out a technique that we may never have tried before (For yours truly, that would probably be most of them!). The idea is, that by the time class is over, we will have a nifty little book of cards that we can turn to when we have a creative block or are searching for an idea to add a little 'oomph' to a project. Each card will contain our sample of the tip or technique, and complete instructions on the back (with a supply list) for implementing the technique.

At first I was a little skeptical about signing up and wondered whether it would be worth the money. But I have to say, with only two weeks under my belt and many more to go, I feel like I have gotten my money's worth and then some. So far, most of the techniques have been very simple but they are things that provide enough detail to add all kinds of punch and pizazz to paper crafting projects. Here are some of my favorites so far:

This is what the book looks like. At this point all of the pages are blank. Pay no attention to the meowing guardian of the book.

This technique involved using a molding paste mixed in with acrylic paint, and using the mixture over a template.
For this technique, we used acrylic paint over clear embossing ink and clear embossing powder to form a resist. Is that the correct way to say that?

Clear buttons all dressed up with lots of places to go!

Flowers cut from patterned paper, curled using a bone folder and then layered on top of each other. I added Stickles to mine.
Scanning (or copying) journaling from the backs of photos to use as the actual journaling on a project. This is my grandmother's handwriting from the backs of the pictures of my mother on her wedding day, and my great-uncle who was my grandfather's twin.

Photo printed on a transparency and layered over patterned paper. Embellishments were added on top.

And finally, what a great way to use up leftover scraps of paper!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Exciting Thing Happened to Me!!

An exciting thing happened to me yesterday. It was a little after twelve noon. I had just finished my breakfast and was sipping my coffee when the phone rang. The special ring tone let me know that the call was from out of the area and so I automatically looked at the Caller ID to see who it was. The caller ID said "Stacy Julian." She's the founder of Big Picture Scrapbooking and Simple Scrapbooks Magazine (oh do I miss this magazine). I'm thinking "nahhhhhhhh" couldn't be and was even hesitant about answering the phone! But I did anyway. The caller asked to speak to me and I said "this is she speaking." The caller said, "this is Stacy Julian." And still unbelieving me said "THE Stacy Julian?" She chuckled and said something to the effect of she didn't know if there were any others. To make a long story short...she thanked me for being a big part of the Big Picture Scrapbooking community and said that she wanted to use a layout I had done when I was a student in Library of Memories last year, as the button/link for getting into the Library of Memories community. I was almost speechless. Me, who never thinks my work is good enough, was being asked to be a part of something so special. Words cannot express how jazzed I am (even though I have one picture on there that I never intended to have it see the light of day!!! One guess which one!

Here is the layout that is being used:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Challenge Times Two!

It has been more than minute since I've posted something new, but school is out now so hopefully my production will increase! Two challenges were posted on the Sisters Scrap Too thread on the Cricut messageboard. The first was to make a layout using blue, brads and buttons. The second challenge came in the form of a sketch for a two-page layout. I was able to make one layout that combined both challenges AND helped me to complete a LO that I had pulled pictures and paper for about two years ago but for some reason never started.'s my layout. Thanks for looking!

This layout is of a dear friend and soror of mine who sadly passed away
in July 2008, just after her 47th birthday.