Monday, February 28, 2011

Digi-stamps and Old Embellies on Layouts - Real Cats Scrap!

Digi-stamps are often sent out early in the week to Friday Night Challenge participants over at Scraps of Color. I received one such digi-stamp of a kitty going after a goldfish. Normally, I take the digi-stamps, color them with Copics (I'm a Copic newbie) and try to use them on cards, but for this one I couldn't for the life of me decide what kind of card to put it on.

Then I thought about the fact that I have a cat, and some pretty cool pictures of that cat, and that just maybe I could use that digi-stamp on a layout about my cat. While I know that people often use sentiment and other kinds of image stamps on layouts, I don't know that I've seen too many Copic-colored image stamps on a layout. Not saying that they're not out there...I just haven't seen any. So I decided to treat that image as a third photo to go along with the two photos of Isis I had chosen.

Pulled out my trusty "Page Patterns - Just Plain Simplicity" book and found a simple sketch using three photos. Found some paper, ribbon, a chipboard tag, small journaling tag, and some old, old, old embellishments (now that they're all organized) and got to work. I purchased the stainless steel scrapbooking embellishments years and years ago at a LSS that was going out of business in L.A. (Yes, they are real stainless steel, and yes they are sharp! I know...because I cut myself with one of them!) I think I found the other embellies that they're sitting on at a Big Lots in L.A. years ago. I have no clue where the chipboard tag came from but once I covered it with the coordinating patterned paper and inked the edges, I was pleased with the results. The letters of the title came from the Don Juan Cricut cartridge. Once I got all of my supplies together, the layout came together fairly quickly.

Going Fishing is So Played Out! Real Cats Scrap!

So this is what I learned...
  1. It's okay to color a stamp (digi or rubber) to use on a layout.
  2. Having your scrap stuff organized (I feel another post coming!) really helps you to find the perfect embellishments to use on a project.
  3. Be careful...stainless steel embellishments are sharp!
  4. Get those old embellishments out and use them! You might be surprised at the results...

Thanks for checking me out!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Those Pesky Twisted Rhinestone Flourishes

So....I don't know about all of you, but whenever...and I mean WHENEVER....I try to adhere one of those rhinestone flourishes to a card or layout, they get all twisted on themselves and I usually end up accidentally tearing off pieces while trying to get them untangled (especially when I'm under the gun doing a 30 minute card challenge!). Do you know what I'm talking about? Witness some of those pesky flourishes below...

One night it occurred to me, if transfer tape (or painter's tape) can be used to transfer vinyl, why can't it be used to transfer these lovely embellishments that add "bling" to our projects?

So...I pulled out my wide roll of blue painter's tape, tore off a piece, stuck it on top of the flourish, smoothed it down to make sure it stuck well, and removed the plastic that the flourish was attached to. I placed the tape with the flourish on my project, rubbed it well, slowly removed the tape...and voila! The rhinestone flourish went onto my project without a twist or a turn! The only thing that would have made it easier would have been if I had used clear transfer I will be placing an order soon.'s lesson is this: when trying to put a rhinestone flourish (or other similar types of embellishment) on a project, try blue painter's tape or clear transfer tape, then embellies attach in a jiffy!

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Scrapbook Style - Mr. President

Last week I took part in another Friday Night Challenge over at Scraps of Color. Most of the time we do cards, however this particular Friday night included a 45-minute layout challenge. You got it...45 minutes to do a layout! Me...the slowest scrapper in the land... the scrapper who takes hours and sometimes days to design and create a two-page layout. Not only were we to do the layout it 45 minutes, but we also had to follow certain parameters: Create a two-page 24x12 LO of President Obama.  Your color scheme is Red, Black, ONE PAPER MUST BE PATTERNED and a color of your choice as an accent. Your design must use a "star". It must have a minimum of 4 photos. One photo must include show "Black Love."  There must be bling. There must be the words "OBAMA" and "44." There must be a space for journaling. Let me repeat...this had to be done in 45 minutes. I really didn't think I could do it, but I was determined to try. Thankfully we had been told earlier in the week that we needed to have several Obama photos so in that regard I was prepared.

I grabbed one of my trusty sketches books, "Page Patterns...Just Plain Simplicity," found a simple sketch that contained four photos and got to work. Pulled out some cardstock and found some OLD 4th of July patterned paper that contained stars and the word FREEDOM at the bottom (I cut that off)! In the middle of working my ATG ran out of adhesive...grrrrrrrrrrrr....!!! So I had to make do with some Zots and other things in the meantime. I didn't quite make the 45 minutes; I think it took me between 50 and 55 minutes and I wasn't quite thrilled with the layout that resulted. But I posted it to the gallery anyway.

Two days later, I decided to change up some things. I found some old chipboard letters (with a design on them) and numbers and covered them with glitter using the technique you can find here. Since I used red glitter I changed the color of the background they were on from the red patterned paper to blue. I added some more rhinestone flourishes (stay tuned for my next post about a great way to adhere them without having them tangle) using them to cover some of the punching mistakes on the blue frame. I added a star made from the red patterned paper and a couple of blue stars with some added bling. Finally, I added some typed journaling.  I tried to write on the American Crafts transparent journaling box but none of the pens I had would write well on it, so I ended up printing it on cardstock and adhering it over the journaling box. What you see below is the result.

So, today's lessons are these:
  1. If you aren't pleased with a layout that you did, let it sit and "marinate" for a bit, and then come back to it. Taking a break from it and coming back to it with fresh eyes, may help you see where you can add some improvements.
  2. If nothing about the layout pleases you, don't be afraid to go back to the drawing board and start over.
  3. This one bears repeating yet again...try sketches!
  4. Find a way to fix or cover little "boo boos." You really don't have to start over or re-cut something just because it has a flaw in it.
  5. Setting a time limit for creating a layout will force you to think quickly and you may be surprised by the results.
Hope you enjoyed my musings for today. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Making Progress When Challenged - Some Cards

I've recently begun taking part in Friday Night Chat Challenges over at Scraps of Color. A different member hosts each week. A digital image is sent out at the beginning of the week and we use it to make a project of our choice that has to be posted on Friday evening. During the chat on Friday evenings, we are presented with challenges that almost always involve making a card (according to certain parameters) AND posting it within 30 minutes. And...we usually do that THREE times during the course of the evening. That is part of what has gotten me in organization mode here in my scrap space...simply so that I can put my hands on tools and supplies quickly. Since I'm also still fairly new to cardmaking, the entire process forces me to think and move quickly...and if you've been following me for awhile, you know that I am very slow when it comes to papercrafting. It takes me an hour just to choose paper sometimes.

So I'd like to share a few of the cards I've completed and share what I've learned through the process of creating them.

This card was created with the image that was sent to us at the beginning of the week. I'm very new to the world of Copics though I've acquired quite a collection. My coloring leaves a lot to be desired but that's okay because I am a work in progress and have long ago given up on being perfect.

For this card, the instructions were to make a two-layer all-white card with just one small pop of color. I had a great idea in mind and intended to put a layout on there using one of my Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page punches. Only problem was, since acquiring all seven or eight of them (I bought them when Oprah gave out the 50% coupon) I had never used one. I chose to test it out during a 30-minute challenge. Not too smart. I should have tried them out AND learned how to use them as soon as I brought them home. As you can see, I had some issues with the corner punch. (Which reminds me; my Cinch and Creatopia arrived last week. Better take them out of the box and try them out!)

For this card...we were given a sketch to follow and instructed to make it monochromatic (shades of one color). You know me...I love sketches! Not quite monochromatic, but almost!....

For my last card, we were supposed to create a card using stamp of our choice, rhinestones or pearls, fringe and a sentiment. I kind of misread the directions and used the stamp as my sentiment. I also didn't have any fringe in my stash. I suppose I could of made some fringe out of paper but I didn't want to since I was in a time crunch. I found some fiber stuff in my stash that I had forgotten I had. Decided to use that instead.

So here is what I've learned going through this process...
  1. Progress, not perfection, is the name of the game.
  2. When you go out and spend your hard-earned money on new scrapping tools, get them out and learn how to use them as soon as possible. You've spent the money; no use having them just sit there. You might just be surprised at what you can create with your new toys.
  3. This one bears repeating...when you've lost your mojo or are in a creative rut, use a sketch!
  4. Don't be afraid to substitute one product for another.

Thanks for stopping by....

Sketches and Boo-Boos! - Route 66

I'm here watching the Superbowl (just for the commercials and Black-Eyed Peas at halftime) and have been working diligently to update my blog. I've actually gotten several things done in the last few weeks but have been too busy to work on my blog. I've been inundated at work and busy [re]organizing my scrap space. So, since my DS is at his friend's house watching the game and I'm here in peace and solitude I figured I'd take the time to add some new things. Starting with this layout:

This layout was done for a challenge over at the Library of Memories Community at BigPictureClasses.comWe were supposed to create a Storage Binder layout of an event with more than 10 photos. Use only four on your page. Triage the remaining six photos behind at least three different tabs in your category drawers. I cheated a little and used seven photos. I figured it was okay since I was doing a two-page spread. I began with this sketch from Page Patterns: Just Plain Simplicity.

Sketches are a great starting point for me and my final product usually looks very little like the original sketch. Remember that when starting as a sketch, you don't have to use it as is. You can rotate one or both pages four different ways. I turned the entire sketch upside down to accommodate the orientation of my pictures and the sequential order in which I wanted them to appear.  

As I was attempting to adhere one of the 6's onto the Route 66 embellishment, it fell onto the white portion adhesive side down. I picked it up quickly and swiped at the glue with my finger. It left a a very visible black smudge. I thought about re-cutting it and decided I didn't feel like being bothered and would use it as is. As I was finishing up, inspiration struck and I decided to cover the entire embellishment with Distress Stickles in Rock Candy. So I just squirted some on and smeared it all over with my finger. Not only did it diminish the look of the smearing, but it kind of gave the sign that old dirty road sign look. It added that certain somethin' somethin' to the page. I love how it turned out!'s lessons are:
  1. Begin with a sketch but feel free to manipulate it so that it works for you, your photos and your design process.
  2. Also, don't despair if you make a mistake or drip glue or something else on your layout. Look around your scrap space and find a little-used product that you have and use it to help you fix the problem.
Thanks for stopping by!

My Blog's Got Attitude!

My dear friend Helen was sweet enough to bless me with the "My Blog's Got Attitude Award!" I feel so honored...this is my third award and three is my lucky number! But before I forget, I must tell you, Helen's work is out of this world, and she is what I strive to be in my crafting endeavors. If I can create just one-fourth of what she does with her flair for creativity, I will have done a good job. So please, when you are finished browsing here, take a peek at her blog A Taste of DC and leave her some love.

This award requires me to tell three things that make me different from other people.

1.  I was a late bloomer in the motherhood department. I had my only child, "Skootch!", when 
I was 41. He is now in the 4th grade, so you do the math!

2.  I can organize the heck out of anything, hence the reason I don't create as much as I'd like to. I come in my craft space to make something and then see something that I would have better access to if it were in a different place. This usually leads to a complete overhaul in one or more sections of my craft space and crafting during that set aside time.

3.  I was once photographed by Annie Leibovitz. At the time, I didn't realize what a celebrity she was. Her sister, Barbara Leibovitz, was making a documentary movie called "Salvaged Lives." I was there with one of the people who was being profiled for the movie and Annie was doing the photo stills for the promotional posters and what-not, and took several pictures of the two of us together.

Now I have to pay it forward and nominate five bloggers for the award who have A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E. So, here are the five bloggers who I am nominating for this blog award.

  1. Trell is fairly new to the Sistas Scrap Too! message board over at His work is phenomenal and is going to probably necessitate our changing the name to Sistas AND Brothas Scrap Too! Please check him out at Polka Dots, Paint and Cake Batter. Even the name of his blog denotes fun and creativity!
  2. BDMommy is another one of my sisters over at the SST message board. She is all kinds of creative and posts something new almost everyday. I can't imagine with her job and her little one when she finds time to create, but somehow she does and everything she makes is stunning! Go visit her at Riley's Custom Creations.
  3. YayaPhilly is also on SST. She creates some AMAZING dimensional projects and is the master at handmade flowers. You can see her beautiful work over at YaYaPhilly Scrap Spot.
  4. Michelle is on SST as well and is all kinds of talented. Plus she has the cutest blog. You must go see it at Now Stamp This!
  5. Sanura is another one of my friends over at SST and SOC. This sister has cardmaking on lockdown! She said that one of her New Year's Resolutions is to keep her blog updated. Maybe if she knows people are coming to see her over at SanuraScraps she will. Frankly, I don't know how she has time to create the beautiful cards that she does considering she's a mom with three children AND a teacher, just like I am!
Please enjoy your blog awards. With this award, you are now entitled to enjoy a $5 gift certificate from the  Digi's With Attitude store.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I know...long time, no post. I've been much too busy organizing my craft space (yet again!) so that I can put my hands on something and make the time spent in my craft space more productive. Just in time too!!! 

Over at Scraps of Color, folks LOVE to issue challenges! A "No Craft Spending" challenge was issued as a result of many members viewing this video.

The rules are: 

*No shopping in any store-Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, Archivers, etc. 
*No online shopping
*No window shopping
*No HSN shopping
Remind yourself with a note on your page, ask a family member to help you to not to shop, check in with your SOC friends by saying "NO SHOPPING TODAY!"

The "no window shopping" part is fairly easy since my nearest M's is starting to bore me and my nearest J's is over twelve miles away. The online shopping part...not so easy since I am on so many mailing lists and message boards that are full of enablers. My dear son was THRILLED to hear that we would not be going to any craft stores in February since he would much rather play outside than ride with mom on yet another browsing expedition in a craft store. 

I confess that I placed quite a few online orders towards the end of January, so withdrawal hasn't set in yet because yesterday my Cinch arrived in the mail, and the day before my Creatopia (both from HSN) came a knockin'.

So...we'll see how this plays out. It's Day Four and so far I'm not tempted! Since this blog is about what I learn through my crafting experiences, I hope there is a lesson here! Stay tuned....