Thursday, January 31, 2013

Master Forgers Blog Hop February Kit Reveal

Our blog hop begins with our Guest Designer, Mandy.  It is an exciting opportunity to be showcased at Counterfeit Kit Challenge, so please be sure to start with her blog here and work your way around.  You won't want to miss any of the creative takes on this month's inspiration kit.  The complete list of Master Forgers is listed below.

Speaking of this month's inspiration kit, we're off to a new month with an interesting kit to counterfeit.  Scraptastic's Chasing Pavement, as shown below, is a graphic combination of blue and green.
January 2013 Chasing Pavements Kit
It took me a while to decide how I wanted to interpret it.  Since I've started counterfeiting, I've pretty much tried to match each element piece by piece, substituting as needed, but this month I thought it may be time to break that pattern.  

When I think of blue and green as a combination of colors, I often think of it as plaid.  And when I think of plaid, it makes me think of my "preppy" days in high school and college in the late 80's and early 90's.  Many of those fashion elements have stuck with me through the years (gee...I hope I'm not stuck in a rut!) like brown loafers, blackwatch plaid blazers, argyle sweaters and boat shoes as I consider them to be timeless wardrobe pieces.  Based on that color and fashion inspiration, let me present to you my February Kit entitled

Prep School
Over in the armoire, we have a collection of blue and green kit "wardrobe" pieces that give a nod to the preppy lifestyle.  Let's look at the paper choices more closely...

While I didn't set out to match papers from the kit, I did notice I had some similar ones in my stash.  The speech bubble sheet mimics the navy blue chalk doodles piece in the inspiration kit, while the peacock paper    is a natural substitute for the feather piece in the add-on kit.

Now on to the "accessories" or embellishments...
It wouldn't be preppy without some argyles!  And those ancient Scenic Route arrows were a must.

I just scored those green Varsity letter stickers by Thickers in a grab bag from one of the deal a day sites.  They immediately made the cut for this month's kit.  More of that Target washi tape...this month in solid green, solid blue and green polka dot.

Some grosgrain ribbon and daisies in my boat shoes round out the choices to give my layouts that preppy feel.

It looks like I'm all ready to flip my collar up and outfit some sweet, preppy layouts.  Be sure to check back throughout the month to see my creations.

How will you be inspired to counterfeit this kit?  Show us what you create by linking up your "knock-off" to the February Mr. Linky (found in the sidebar at the Counterfeit Kit blog.)  Check out all the Master Forgers' versions of "Chasing Pavements" by following the links below.  Your next stop will be Milissa.

Guest Designer: Mandysea
Lisa H.
Lisa J.

P.S.  I created an add-on kit as well, but I'll wait to share that with you later in the month.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ombre...Who Knew?

I bought this shirt at Target back in December.  
Isn't it cute?

  Coupled with a pair of tan pants and a little white t-shirt underneath...that's my kind of casual.   I love the classic style of it, but the color variation is what really caught my eye.  I didn't realize this shirt has a name.  Apparently, that color variation is called ombre and it seems to be all the rage around scrap tables everywhere.  It always seems to happen that I hear of or learn a new word or phrase and then all of a sudden I hear it everywhere.  Well, that's what is happening with my new friend, ombre.

This month over at Counterfeit Kit, we were challenged to utilize the ombre look on a page.  Ombre refers to the graduation of color.  The given color may be the deepest and darkest at one point and as the color progresses, the saturation lessens until it is just about white - much like you see here on my shirt.  It kind of reminds me of a civilized tie dye shirt!  LOL!

Anyway, I used some of the elements from my "Lingering Season" kit, along with the addition of a Crate Paper 6x6 paper pack (also from Target on clearance) to create this layout entitled, "Oh Christmas Tree".

I borrowed by daughter's Crayola watercolors and created an ombre strip.  Using just a little water, I swirled the brush round and round in green to load it up.  I stroked along the bottom to create the darkest band of color and then pretty much just used water from my cup to extend the color (without dipping back into the paint tray).  Luckily, I had a watercolor paper pad in my stash.  The thickness of this kind of paper cuts down on the wonkiness factor of the finished product.  I stuck to the green theme and even used my green glimmer mist to create a tag and some mistable Studio Calico trees.

I'm quite pleased with the way this turned out and enjoyed creating a monochromatic page.  Hmmm....I wonder how many other places I'll spot my new friend, Ombre now?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stretching out the Season - 2 More Layouts

If you saw my post detailing my Counterfeit Kit "Lingering Season" earlier this month, you know how much I dread letting go of the holidays.  While my Christmas oriented kit is still out, I did manage to take down almost all of my Christmas decorations.  I did leave the little white candlestick lights in the windows - they just add a warm glow to the cold, dark winter and I also kept the wreath and topiaries on my mantle.  They seem more wintery with snowy owls, skates and snowflakes than just exclusively Christmas.

Here's how I'm extending the holidays in my scraproom:

First we have the Cookie Cutter Challenge.  Since I host a Christmas Cookie Exchange each year, I knew right away that I would want to feature the abundance of cookies that entered into our home that day (and ultimately, our bellies!)

This year I made a cookie called, "Angel Face" cookies.  Since the theme for this cookie exchange was highlighting your signature style, I thought this was perfect since I'm pretty much a "by the book" sort of gal and (little known fact) I was voted "Class Angel" in high school.  Yes, go me goodie two shoes or basically a geek, but it's just who I am and I was ok with it then and now!    So when I saw the angel cookie cutter in my bin, I knew I had an idea cooking (or baking, in this case).  I'm not a master of misting, by any means, but I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out.  I made my own mist using those little misting bottles and some acrylic paint diluted with water.  I would have preferred a more misted look rather than those larger dots, but I especially like the white space or glow that was left around the angel.  I finished it off with some glimmer mist, which really can only be seen in person, but does add that angelic, heavenly feel.  I won't even get into how wonky this page is...even after sitting under several heavy books all week!

The second page I created used this sketch from Page Maps provided over at CKC.  Here's my interpretation:

 (sorry about the flash...forgot to turn it off!)

It was fun to add those little speech bubbles (made from my Cricut...something I hardly ever use!)  And even though I have a variety of very busy patterns going on, it all seems to work.  I'm not sure how, but I think it does!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to say hello in the comments below.  Even better, click the "Follow" button to the right to keep on top of all my scrappy endeavors.

Until next time...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Yeah, I'm a Believer - LOAD 213 Blog Hop

Welcome to the LOAD 213 "Scrap Happier" Blog Hop!    If you've arrived here from Christy's blog, then you are on the right track.  If you've just stumbled in, be sure to check out the complete list of bloggers below so that you can make the rounds.  We're having a LOAD pep rally of sorts to gear up for a month-long journey to scrapbooking happiness.  So grab a cuppa of whatever makes you happiest and read on.

By now most of you know that I am a LOAD believer.

 What other fool...I mean enthusiastic scrapbooker would
 pose for pictures with her LOAD branded gear?

LOAD, Lain Ehmann's Layout A Day scrapbook challenge, is sort of like a pilgrimage to completed pages.  It is an opportunity to push aside the housework and other chores, guilt, perfectionism, and indecision and keep holy the scrap table.  It can loosely be compared to the waiting, preparing, and sacrificing that sometimes comes before some major religious holidays.  While not a religious experience, LOAD does provide some great opportunities for introspection, gratitude and praise.  And just like any challenge or sacrifice, if you put in the time and effort, the reward will be yours in the end.  Here are some basic beliefs I have about the Layout A Day Challenge.

Participating in LOAD will...
  • strengthen you as a scrapbooker.  Remember practice makes per...oh yeah, we don't use that word around here!  Whether it's your design skills, storytelling, or even your overall confidence, you WILL improve!  
  • help you appreciate the little things in life.  The prompts will help you take inventory of what is really important.  Now, don't worry...Lain has a way of mixing in the veggies with the mashed potatoes so you won't even know you are digging deep.  I've ended up with some pages I never thought I would ever create and I'm absolutely thrilled with them.
  • force you to act fast, make decisions and trust your instincts.  It is the perfect elixir for procrastination.
  • put a huge dent in your stash.  And you know what that means?  That's right!  The chance to pick up some brand new CHA stuff!
  • give you the opportunity for fellowship with other people passionate about scrapbooking.  The gallery is a perfect place to employ the "Do Unto Others" motto.  Leave feedback for others and it will come back to you.  It's wonderfully encouraging and fun!  It is sooo worth the time.
  • ultimately make you a happier person.  How, you ask?  Well, the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the month, the stack of completed pages with images and stories documented, the friends you will make (and yes, I can't believe how many wonderful online friends I have made!) will all contribute to a stronger sense of self and a greater appreciation of life.  Wow...those are powerful words, but I have to tell you, it's that good.  
It's hard to not be a believer when you consider these facts.  If you are currently signed up for LOAD, I look forward to taking this pilgrimage with you.  If you're not signed up yet, take a leap of faith and trust me on this one.   Click the LOAD213 icon in the sidebar to see if you can snag one of the last few spots available.  It has truly been a life changing experience and one which has contributed to my happiness.  I'm quite certain in the end that you'll be a believer, too.

Be sure to check out the rest of our pep rally.  Your next stop is Julie.

Heather Dubarry:
Alison Day:
Danielle Taylor:
Alison Charlton:
Christy Strickler:
Lynnette Nagle:    YOU ARE HERE!
Julie Shepler:
Joy McHargue:
Kelli Panique:
Cathy Holiday:
Leslie Smith:
Lori Martin:
Connie Hanks:
Betsye Erazo:
Marcia Fortunato:
Regina Huminski:
Beth Soler:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wow...A Published Scrapbooker - with wheels!

Welcome to the Your Story Matters e-book blog hop.  You should have arrived her via Paivi.  If not, check the list below to be sure you catch all of our participants.  Looking for inspiration?  Looking for ways to document the little things in life?  Look no further!  Read on and find out how you can get your hands on this fantastic e-book resource with contributions by the Scrap Happy community under the direction of Lain Ehmann and Dani Taylor.

Over the summer, an exciting scrappy opportunity came my way.  Lain Ehmann, of the renowned LOAD challenge and Scrap Happy membership site, with help from Dani Taylor, solicited layout contributions from the talented and super supportive scrappy sisterhood.   The challenge was to create layouts about our own personal stories.  Not the big life events, but little everyday things that still very much matter.  Things like your first car, what's in your purse, the view from your front porch, your morning routine, to name a few.  I'm always game for a little inspiration and motivation to complete another layout, so I signed up.  I never thought  the end result would yield a PUBLISHED layout in the e-book entitled Your Story Matters!  ME...a published scrapbooker!  How cool is that?   Here is my contribution to this inspiring resource:

 My assignment was to complete a layout about my first car.  My Big Brown Buick.  It wasn't a cool or sporty car, as you can see, not even back in 1984!   It had belonged to my sister-in-law's retired aunt, but this 7 year old sedan was generously given to me gratis...provided I pay for the insurance.  It was my ticket to freedom, and sporty or not, I gratefully accepted the gift.

As for creating the layout, I decided I wanted to keep a monochromatic look.  Cars aren't really brown these days and emphasizing that does help to drive home the outdated "first car" feel (either that or it horribly dates me!)  I found the papers in Echo Park's, "Note to Self" paper pack perfect.  The arrows and spirograph looking paper seemed to fit the car theme.  And as a side note, this car had horrible brakes and terrible traction.  It would spin out with even the slightest amount of rain and forget about ice!  So, that spirograph paper has even MORE significance!  As for the tire track paper, I just broke out one of my son's matchbox cars, rolled it around in my ink pad and did some "donuts" on some kraft paper!  The finishing touches included a Studio Calico wood veneer car, a Cosmo Cricket wood tone arrow and a sticker from the "Note to Self" pack that I fashioned with a red arrow to look like a speedometer.  A pretty well-appointed layout, don't you think?

And while Your Story Matters was originally available exclusively to Scrap Happy members, it is now available to the general public for an introductory price of $7 via instant download.  Use the coupon code HOP and receive $2 off the purchase price.  Offer valid until midnight on 1/21/13. Just follow the link below to purchase a resource that is fully loaded with inspiration!

We will be giving away THREE copies of the book from comments made on ALL blogs participating in this hop.  Leave a comment telling me what story is critical for every scrapbooker to document by 1/19/13 for a chance to win.  Winners will be announced on the Layout A Day blog on Monday, 1/21/13.  Prizes must be claimed by Wednesday, 1/23/13.

Interested in seeing some other samples of what's included in this amazing resource?  Just follow the list below.  Your next stop will be Kelli     

Lain Ehmann:
Paivi Eerola:
Lynnette Nagle:    YOU ARE HERE!

And see...I didn't even try to sell you the undercoating!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Icy, Snowy Shrinky Dink Flair

Do you remember coloring on Shrinky Dinks as a child and making little plastic charms?  How about we use the same material in crafting some flair-ish type buttons with an icy, snowy feel.  Come on...I'll show you how.

I had some shrink plastic from long ago in my stash, but also noticed it is sold in the stamping supply aisle as the Shrinky Dink brand in my local Michael's, in case you don't have any on hand.

I used a 3 inch punch to cut out a circle.  Remember, your image will shrink by about 50% once heat set, so consider how large you'd like your finished piece to be.   Using a fine grit sandpaper, I sanded the side where I wanted to put the image.

I thought I may have had a snowflake stamp in my stash, but no such luck.  I also knew I would need a special kind of ink (like Stayz On) if I wanted to stamp on the shrink plastic, and I knew I didn't have anything other than black.  In the spirit of using what you have on hand, I experimented using my Uni Ball white gel pen and drew the snowflakes free hand.  Since doodling and drawing  aren't my forte, I used Google images and searched for "hand drawn snowflakes" and used that as my guide.  There, that wasn't too hard.

 If you'd like to thread your flair with twine (or in my case, tinsel), you'll want to hole punch before shrinking.

  As I child, I recall putting my Shrinky Dinks in the oven, but I discovered online that your heat tool (like the kind used for embossing) will also do that job and give you greater control during the plastic transformation.  You'll want to be sure to have something to keep the "dink" in place while you are shrinking.  I used a metal skewer.  I also used a non-stick frying pan since the heat gun does make the surface hot.

Now for the transformation...

 I had to stop mid-way to take a picture as I was doing this solo, but you'll want to keep the skewer lightly on your piece or it WILL become a hot flying piece of plastic!  It will bend and curl and almost seem like a lost cause, but just keep applying the heat and use your skewer to help it become flat again.  Total shrinking time is less than a minute.
I used something hard and flat (like this canister cover) to flatten out my flair as soon as I turned off the heat.

Next, let's add a little bling to our icy flakes.  Some silver and diamond Stickles should do the job.

A little tinsel from my January Counterfeit Kit, "Lingering Season" and I'm ready to add my flair to a scrapbook page.

Here's another up-close look...

Had enough of snow and ice?  No problem.  Get out your shrink plastic and make your flair suit your fancy.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013's the magic number

Isn't it great to have the reveal on the first of the month?  Now by the 3rd, you can get down to business with your kit.  Speaking of the 3rd, the first challenge over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is to use:

3 pieces of patterned paper
3 embellishments
3 word title's the magic number!  (If any of you out there grew up with Schoolhouse Rock, then you'll know the song and it will probably be stuck in your head the rest of the day...sorry!)  It is sometimes helpful to limit our choices and hone in on just a few elements, especially when you have a kit brimming with so many goodies. Anything to prevent the dreaded Scrapbook Overwhelm Syndrome (aka SOS!).  Since I've been on scrappy hiatus due to the holidays, this was the perfect formula to help me get back up to speed.  Here's what I came up with using my "Lingering Season" January Kit:

So, let's see how I did following the rules here.  
Three pieces of patterned paper - 2 pieces from October Afternoon and I'm going to call that journaling card (also October Afternoon) a piece of patterned paper.  That works, right?

Three embellishments - 1 strip of washi (Recollections), 2 chipboard pieces (k & co.)

Three word title - better watch out (Webster's Pages)
(Don't count that stray artificial wreath needle I see on this bottom picture...oops!)

It looks like I accomplished my first challenge as a Design Team Member!  Whew!

Now go ahead and you's easy because 3 is the magic number!