Archive for January, 2010

Brought to You by Google

Yesterday I was supposed to be working on a database…  Well, I did, for about an hour and a half.  Then if was off to Ramona’s for an impromptu “play day”.  (I’ve got my priorities, you know!)  I was armed with paper and an idea to sketch and paper-piece together a wheelbarrow.  But thanks to Ramona and her Cricut, she provided me with exactly what I had in mind!

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Once the layout was in place, I was still in need of a clever title.  We brainstormed…  “Free Wheelin'”…  “Free Loadin'”…  Possibilities, but not quite the punch this page deserved.  I put it aside and worked on some others.

When I arrived home, I showed the page to my husband and told him of my dilemna with the title.  Sometimes he is a complete master at coming up with captions and clever sayings, even to the point, that when we’ve been going through photos and and events and I’ve deemed something “non-scrapbook worthy”  (yes, it IS possible), he can come up with something so clever that it makes the most mundane pictures scream to be scrapbooked.  This time, however, he came up empty.

It was then I turned to the resource of all resources — Google.  I googled “wheelbarrow quotes”.  I found some tiny little poem by William Carlos Williams which didn’t fit.  Then as I scrolled down further, I found a hit that appeared to be an ad/request for a wheelbarrow.  It read “wheelbarrow, not for highway use”.  Amidst my giggles, I shared it with my husband who nodded in approval and reminded me how when our son was riding in the wheelbarrow, he was shouting, “Faster Daddy, Faster!”  It all fit, and it was just too funny not to use!

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Meet Up!

Through a friend, last summer I discovered www.meetup.com.  Meetup.com is a website that is host to many special interest groups throughout the country.  I joined a local hiking group and have gone on a number of hikes in our area.  It’s been a great way to meet people, get some exercise, and to learn more about the area in which I live. 

One evening a few months ago, I decided to take a look at what other groups might be in my area.  I discovered a new scrapbooking group that was forming right up the road from where I live!  Last night was our second “meet up”.  It was great fun with lots of laughter and conversation and we even got some work done! 

Here are the layouts I completed.  Remember, I’m still working in 2002! 

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My daughter’s 5th grade field trip to Shakertown.  I used the Shaker “Tree of Life” logo as my inspiration for the embellishments.  I also included a typed print-out of the essay she had to write for class upon her return to school. 

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My daughters 5th grade promotions and award breakfast.  My main focus on these pages was to include the pictures of her classmates.  All these kids graduated high school this past June so it was fun to see what they looked like so long ago.  Journaling of names will have to wait until the next time my daughter comes home from college to visit.

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Two pages of random pictures of my son being cute.  I have a terrible time limiting down pictures like this.  Each expression shows his personality and I love them all.  The layouts are very basic so that the focus is on him.

St. Louis or BUST!

I don’t know a scrapbooker who isn’t behind in their scrapbooking!  I’m no exception.  I’m proud to say that yesterday I completed my scrapbooks from our St. Louis trip — from 2002!  That brings me up to date through April of 2002.  I have scrapbooked more recent events but these later years aren’t complete.  So I still need to catch up a lot in between.

I have two kids so I scrapbook in “tandem”.  Each kid has his or her own events and then, even with the family events, there still is their individual “flavor” to incorporate.  So basically, I am always working on two scrapbooks at the same time.  Every once in a while, I will have identical layouts, but most times, they are different.  The St. Louis scrapbooks netted 31 pages for my daughter and 39 pages for my son.

Our St. Louis trip was much like many trips we take — researched for all the things we could do along the way as well as all those things our destination had to offer.  We did quite a number of things and the pages I share here are only some of our wanderings.  Even with all I scrapbooked, there were items that were left out.  Digital cameras are fabulous tools for scrapbookers and sometimes the hardest part is sifting through all those pictures to choose what really captures the essence of any event.

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Cover Page – The actual name has been masked on the title.  My AAA membership comes in handy as this page features a map of St. Louis.

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En Route – My daughter’s pages illustrate our stops along the way.  Again, thanx to AAA for the road map!

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En Route – My son’s pages.  This is an example of the different “flavors” in their individual scrapbooks.  My son had a really fabulous time at the hotel pool and he was much more the focus there than his sister was.  (Sorry Girlie Girl!)

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The Arch – My daughter’s pages.  I used a soft wispy blue back ground and then used silver foil wrapping paper to recreate an arch that spans both pages.

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A View from the Top – My son’s pages, hence some duplication of photos.

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The Butterfly House – My daughter’s pages.  She was completely mesmerized.  My son, not so much, so this time she was the focus of the camera.

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St. Louis Sights – My daughter’s pages.  I got a bit brave with this one, and actually cut the photos across the two page layout.  I say “a bit” because I only sliced them just a little.  This layout was the result of not having enough pictures  for 4 pages yet wanting to keep to even numbers so as not to throw the rest of the book off.

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St. Louis Brewery – My son’s pages.  I used the star from the Anheiser Busch logo as my inspiration for the stars that embellish these pages.

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Cahokia Mounds – Here I took two photos and matted them together to create a panoramic view from the top of Monk’s Mound.

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Indianapolis – My daughter’s pages.  On the way back, we stopped to visit family friends.  I incorporated the school pictures of her friends into these pages.

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Children’s Museum – My son’s pages.  My son was quite a bit younger than the other 4 kids so while they were off doing their thing, we accompanied him — with camera, of course!

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Children’s Museum – My son’s pages.  I needed some filler and what better than boxes since he was playing in a box!

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Children’s Museum – My son’s pages.

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Children’s Museum – My daughter’s pages.  Another example of the different “flavors” between their books when capturing the same event.

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Goin’ for a Ride – All too often, we get caught up in capturing the beginnings of a trip.  Here we captured the final events including check out from the hotel.

Colored Pencil Blending with Gamsol

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Yes, it’s another “Gorgeous Guinea” card! 

A few weeks ago one of my son’s friends adopted Crunch Berry one of our guinea pigs.  His birthday party was today, so I created this card especially for him and colored the Guinea Pig to look like Crunch Berry.  I love the softness and shading that can be done using artist quality colored pencils with gamsol.  This, by far, has become my favorite coloring technique to use with stamping!

Gamsol is a “magical liquid” (actually odorless artist grade mineral spirits) that can be used to creat a soft, almost watercolor look with colored pencils.  Because it is a solvent, it dissolves or melts the wax of artist or professional grade colored pencils.  It even works with some of the plain old school supply variety of pencils, but you get a better effect if you invest in a professional grade.  It does not work with watercolor or chalk pencils.  It can be used with embossed images but not metallic powders.  If in doubt, test first before using it on a project.

Materials:
Smooth paper (not glossy or coated)
Stamps
Dye-based ink pads
Colored pencils
Gamsol in a sponge applicator style bottle
Blending stumps
Sandpaper or emery boards
White eraser

Instructions:
1.  Stamp image with dye-based ink pad and allow a few seconds to dry.
2.  Choose the colored pencil(s) you’d like to use.  For a richer appearance try at least 2 shades within the same color family.
3.  With the lighter shade of pencil, place a line of color along the inner edge of the image.  Add lines of color where shadows should occur as well as on any stippled or cross-hatched parts of the stamped image.
4.  Place the tip of the blending stump against the sponge applicator of the Gamsol bottle.  Dampen the stump but don’t get it too wet.  You can always add more Gamsol as you work.
5.  With light pressure, push the stump over the lines of colored pencil using a small circular motion to blend and drag/push the color toward the center.  The color should appear darker along the edges and light near the inside, creating a shaded appearance.  Add more Gamsol to the stump as needed.
6.  If you are using 2 or more shades of color, repeat the process with each shade allowing the shades to blend together.
7.  When you are ready to change colors, clean the stump with an emery board or sanding pad.  Hold the stump at an angle to keep a pointed shape.

Tips:
1.  Less is better.  You can always add more color or more Gamsol.
2.  You can use one color and feather it out OR you can apply a light base coat and then shade or blend with a darker color.
3.  Let the image guide you as to where to shade.
4.  Let the image guide you as to the type of stroke — circular, straight or combo.
5.  Tip the applicator to moisten the sponge top.
6.  Touch the stump to the sponge top to load Gamsol to the stump.
7.  If it appears that it is not blending well, it is usually because there is not enough color pigment to work with.  Apply more color and blend again.
8.  Clean the stump between colors or when you are trying to lighten a color.
9.  Always start with the lightest color.
10.  Stumps are inexpensive enough so consider dedicating a stump to each color.
11.  Prismacolor pencils are frequently recommended.  Select regular thickness rather than the verithin variety.  I’ve also found Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth brand to work well.
12.  Erase mistakes immediately.
13.  Dotting gently over the top of a mistake with a white gel pen often can correct the mistake.
14.  Use a soft brush to sweep away pencil “crumbs” rather than your hand.
15.  Stumps tend to work better thant tortillions.  Stumps are solid where tortillions are hollow.  You can also use tightly wound cotton swaps or cosmetic wands.
16.  Let the stump dry before sanding.
17.  Use dye based or waterproof inks.  Pigment inks will smear.
18.  You can also use this method to color in laser printed or photo copied images.  Test with ink jet print outs as the ink may smear.
19.  For flowers and foliage, used at least 3 shades for a more natural look.

Sources:
Inky Antics (www.inkyantics.com)
Judy Kubicki

Memory Lane

Most Saturday mornings from 9 AM to noon, I like to listen to a radio program out of Toledo.  It’s Ragtime Rick and The Saturday Morning Extravaganza on www.wcwa.com.  I’m pretty much “tied” to my computer during that time.  The music is upbeat and lively and the dialog is fun.  I like to try to get something done during that time but it really can’t be anything that requires a huge amount of concentration because my main attention is to listening.  This morning (especially so I would easily be able to find things for blogging) I decided to organize all the photos of sample cards, scrapbooking layouts, and other items that I’d saved on my hard drive.

In the process, I found these treasures:

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These pictures were taken in 2006.  We had stopped in at my friend Ramona’s house while she was having a Christmas Card workshop for her son and his friends.  (Yes that’s right, her SON — the one who is working so intently.)  You just gotta love crafty boys!  😀

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My son was with me and at the time he was 5 years old.  As you can see in the pictures, he joined right in and was THOROUGHLY engrossed in his project.  One of the older boys had created an origami-style pop-up card and my son was completely fascinated it and set right to work to create one of his own. 

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These pictures certainly brought a smile to my face this morning and I just couldn’t resist sharing this little trip down memory lane!

Change It Up!

When I make cards, I seldom make just one card.  I usually do them in groups of 4 or sometimes 8.  It really has to do more with how many mats I can get out of a piece of cardstock rather than any strange obsession.  It actually doesn’t take much longer to make 4 cards of similar design than it does to make one.  I’ve also found it’s nice to have extras on hand for when I need them as well as to accumulate stock for craft shows.

I am always amazed how with just a simple change of color or pattern you can take the same basic card and give it entirely different looks!

Stamped/Matted Sympathy Card

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Artist Quality Colored Pencil & Gamsol Technique “Gorgeous Guinea” Card

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Quilt Look Paper

I learned this technique at a local stamp store about 2 years ago.  I absolutely love it and it is one of my favorite techniques!  It is also a great way to make use of all those 1/2 inch strips of paper you end up with when making layered backgrounds.

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Secure strips of 3 different coordinating papers with removable tape onto scrap paper and stamp randomly over the top. 

Remove the strips and alternate them vertically and horizontally on sticky back paper. 

Use another stamp and metallic ink to stamp a few images over the top. 

This looks hard but it is SO easy and you can whip out some really nice cards in no time at all!

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