Sep 16, 2008

August Kit - SEI Poppy

With all the excitement about the Design Team and my anniversary gift trip to the convention, my kit club has gotten second fiddle this month. The fact that I struggled a bit with the papers this go around also delayed things a bit. The papers were SEI Poppy. Simply gorgeous with metallic shimmery highlights. Overall, it was a smaller kit than the last one, which I expected as the metallic papers cost more. The shop owner made up for it with a great selection of embellishments. There were matching die cuts and buttons from SEI, paired with their duo toned cardstock. In addition we had cute pompom trim, Creative Cafe tags, mirrors and sand. Yep, sand. The sand challenged me and I had several ideas tucked away to make use of it, but I just couldn't make any of them gel with the rest of my layout ideas.

august kit

I added a few bits of my own after shopping at CKC. I do love these papers, so I'm sure I'll use them up somewhere. The blues and whites are definitely destined towards something altered for Christmas.

august addons

I printed four sets of pictures to use with these papers and ended up using just two. During a cleaning spurt last weekend, I sorted through a huge pile of pictures that had been stacking up on my desk. Most of them were Wal-mart muck ups, where they double printed or printed something in error and had to reprint, or their machine was broken all weekend and I decided I didn't need the pictures after all. In the midst of all of that, I did find a nice stack of photos perfect for upcoming layouts. I need a few to fill out the selection, but that's easy to remedy. One set of photos is from 3 years ago. Our last babyless vacation. I was actually preg at the time with Miss. We're not in these pictures. It's of the International Association Firefighter Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado Springs. It's a very poignant place for me and brings home the fact that what my guy does isn't the safest thing. I so never want to visit this place to see my DH's name inscribed on their wall!

iaff memorial

I do like how the layout turned out, even though I basically hacked a very pretty piece of red & white paper to bits before I finally settled on a design. :) You would think with girls that flower paper would be a piece of cake. Man! I could not believe how much I fought these! Next layout is a design I pulled from the August Page Maps. I reversed the design to work with my pictures. These are of Missy's very first culinary adventures. She got to make cookies with Daddy. She was so excited. They aren't anything fancy, just one of those refrigerated rolls of cookie dough you can buy, but to her, it was culinary greatness. I've been missing my Cricut lately, so I do a fancy welded title on this one. It's probably over the top flowery, but I had fun doing it.


Last layout is one on the boy child. I did one of these with Miss a couple of years ago and I knew I wanted to do one on him. One of the side benefits of having a C-Section is that I got to have a bit of say in my delivery day. Mister timed things just right so that he could be born on my Father-in-law's birthday. My DH is the only son of an only son, who now has an only son. The name carries on. Frank passed away nearly 8 years ago. I so wish he could have been here to see the next generation of Reed's being born. He would have loved that boy!

first days

Per request, I have done larger files. Current images are 500 pixels. If you want to see them bigger, click for a 1000 pixel version. Only the layouts are this way. The kit stuff was done beforehand and I didn't go back and resize them.

Sep 12, 2008

American Crafts Romance Paper, plus some

Dona called to tell me she had new DT stuff for me. I was quite excited to hear it was American Crafts products. They are another of my favorite manufacturers. I normally lean towards shabby chic and vintage/grunge look papers, so their clean bold patterns are a change of pace from some of the others I love so well. Turns out, this time around, they gave all three of the DT the same line of papers. Not the exact same papers, because if you know American Crafts, then you know that one of their lines can easily encompass 20+ different designs. They all coordinate, though, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what the other two girls put together.

The paper is all from the American Crafts Romance line; lots of reds, pinks, creams and browns. Our one stipulation was that we could not do anything Valentine's themed. Easy, peasy for me! I don't think I have a single valentine's day photo! Working nearby the shop made it easy for me to stop by and grab my packet. The owner let me choose between the three, only she wouldn't let me poke through them first! I had to chose based on the paper on top! ACK! I chose one with lots of circles and polka dots. Once I opened the package I was thrilled with my choice. Nearly the whole package was polka dots, with a sheet of stripes and a sheet of blocks thrown in for variety. They also gave us 2 12" lengths of ribbon and some AC Romance chipboard to use. To that, I added cardstock in bold dark pink, chocolate brown and cream. I browsed through the store trying to get some inspiration from the various products hanging out there and came across one of the new Bo Bunny word books. The word was "HAPPY". As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly which pictures I was doing.

I made the book first and used the scrap for the layout. I tend to do the essentials on my mini books and then plan a layout after I have that worked out. I knew I'd have enough paper for both, so it was just a matter of figure out which prints I wanted where. I ended up not using the stripes for the book surface since I knew I wanted it for the layout and then used the brown dots paper on the shorter pages so I'd have enough of it left as well. It's all a matter of thinking out your projects before you slice into your paper! :)

Miss is a total hat fanatic. She just loves them in all sorts and shapes. It's been this way since birth. I just love these pictures. I've been meaning to do a layout with them forever and even tried an 8x8 once with them. It didn't work with the papers I had, so I tucked the photos away for another day. That day finally arrived. I knew the colors of the AC Romance papers were going to be perfect, so I printed an 8x10 of my favorite and several others. Isn't that just an adorable smile?


Fun fact - the flower is a Bazzill blossom paper flower. It started life white and I tinted it to match the paper I was using. I love white paper flowers for this reason. They're easy to color into something that coordinates perfectly. You can use reinkers for dye inkpads, actual clothing dye (be super careful!), watercolors and Glimmer Mists. I prefer the last two options. Watercolors is one of the easiest as I have a nice collection of then. Just put a bit of the paint in a mister bottle with water and shake. Test on scrap paper first before spraying the flower. Spritz and dry!

The HAPPY is probably my favorite project I've done lately. Miss is a huge Backyardigans nut and one of their recent releases was "Front Page News", which turned out to be a super hero themed show. Miss loved it and has been playing super hero off and on ever since. I had a big collection of shots of her zooming about the house in her cap, saving us from toe lint to giant robots and just about everything in between. We laughed that night that she was "Super Happy Girl", so the HAPPY word book was just perfect for these pictures.

With the last book, I talked about unifying pictures across a 4 month period by using a sepia tone. The shots for this book were primarily from one night, with one shot from the next day. Since her outfit was pretty consistent, I didn't have the broad timeline need that prompted me to tint last weeks photos. However, since her "costume" consisted of a dark red American Flag shirt, dark shorts and a bright aqua puppy dog blanket/cape, they didn't exactly go with the paper I was using. In this case, tinting helped unify the overall look of the book. I went with a pink tint that would coordinate with the papers I was using. It gave my happy girl and nice rosy glow.

The pictures don't show the final assembly. I intended to use book rings from the Creative Cafe. They've got them in a great selection of colors that perfectly matched this paper. But my holes were not perfectly lined up (my bad!), so the eyelets I used put the bottom ring into a bind. I opted to use a bright pink organza ribbon with white polka dots I found on the shop's ribbon rack. It looks so cute! If they don't have an updated shot for the design team blog, I'll try to take another myself on Tuesday when I'm in for kit club. Oh, and page 2 shot totally sucks! I didn't realize I had awful photo glare until AFTER I pulled the pictures off the camera. I'll see about updating that shot for you as well.








I used up every little snippit of the AC Romance papers. I had just enough left over to make a quick, simple birthday card -

Cupcake card

As I was browsing, I got a tour of all the new products from the shop owner. I totally love doing this as I get the inside track as to why she picked the papers she did. She showed me some fabulous new cowboy/cowgirl papers from Creative Imaginations that I just adore. I stumbled across the perfect pictures to go with them the other day. While we were looking at those, she showed me some gorgeous new Marah Johnson papers. I have a love/hate relationship with MJ designs. Either I totally love them or I totally hate them. I don't seem to have a middle ground with her stuff. This one, though, I totally loved. The paper is green with brown swirls and metallic pink "grunge" effects and the caption "I'm Kind of a Big Deal". That is so Missy! Shanel scooped the paper up and handed it to me and told me to consider it part of my DT assignment. Yay me! Check it out! I must say I adore this layout. Funny thing, the main picture here is almost exactly 2 years after the layout pic above. Can you believe she is just 2??? She looks so much older in that picture, although, that smile is still the same.

Kind of a big deal

The flower on this page was altered in the same way as the one above, only this time after it dried, I painted it with a clear liquid glue and dumped pink glitter on it. The jumbo brad is a Heidi Swap, again painted with glue and glittered, this time in clear. Glitter is Doodlebug. Their Sugar Coating Glitter is fabulous!

One thing I will admit to really disliking about the MJ paper. It's not true 12x12!!! What the heck?? I didn't even notice until I was tucking everything in my bag to take back to the shop. When I laid it on top of the other layout, I noticed it was 1/2" short. Sharon and I got to looking at it at the shop and sure enough, the paper is only 12x12 with that stupid "cut me off" strip. Cut that sucker off and the paper goes to 12x11 1/2. So super annoying. I managed to gently disassemble the layout and layer it on the bold pink I had used for matting the photo. I still love the layout, but I'll be paying closer attention to MJ papers in the future. We checked the others in the shop and it appeared to be just the papers with the metallic accents. So stupid. I'll update when I get a chance to do a new photo.

Oh, here's a card I did a week or so ago for one of the guys on the DH's shift that just found out he's going to be a daddy. Okay, I did it for him and his wife, but you get the point. :)

baby card

Next week is kit layouts. I've horribly neglected my kit this time around. I love the papers, but for some reason I'm really struggling with inspiration. Here's a shot of the only layout I've got going on it. I'm still trying to decide how I want to deal with the bazillion wallets I printed for this.

first days

Sep 8, 2008

Adventures with Fancy Pants Papa Papers

This is actually last week's post. It's a bit disjointed and rather rambling. It was just one of those weeks. Stick with me. The pictures at the end are worth it. Another post on this weekends scrapping activities is coming shortly.

My very first Design Team assignment was challenging. It was Fancy Pants Designs, which I usually totally love, but this was one of those lines I looked at and just didn't care for. I knew as part of my DT assignments that I was likely to get papers I would never pick up for myself, so I was prepared. The paper is very masculine and one sheet has titles and quotes about Hero and Brave. Not my choice for fire fighter layouts, but I was sure I had at least one picture to use on it. One layout out of a handful of papers and a sheet of rub-ons just wasn't going to cut it! I've seen several takes on file folder mini albums lately and I vaguely recalled seeing an Accu-Cut die at the shop for one. I went rummaging through the stacks of dies and found two in different sizes. I knew at that point I was onto something. I cut two of the smaller folders and three of the larger. It made a very respectable sized mini album. Approximately 5x7 when folded. A mini album is an open invitation to embellishing my little heart out and I knew rub-ons just would not be enough. I snagged a set of BOY stamps from Creative Imaginations and then proceeded to raid the Creative Cafe wall.

I have to admit, I have a total weakness for the Creative Cafe. I can buy exactly what I need to embellishments without having to pick up a whole package of something. If I only need 3 olive toned felt flowers, I just get 3 olive toned felt flowers, in my choice of shapes and sizes. In the long run, I probably pay a bit more per piece for my embellishments, but as I USE everything I buy, I totally feel like I get my money's worth. Check out this layout I did of just Creative Cafe products -

daddys hat leftdaddys hat right

Before I go off on my mini book ramble, I should show you the layout I did with the leftovers of the mini book, plus the one sheet of paper I didn't cut for it. My husband is a fire fighter to the core. I could not imagine him doing anything else for a living, but he's so much more than that. I really wanted to show the side I see all the time, verses the side everyone else sees. I think I pulled it off.

my hero

I know a lot of people struggle with mini albums or just avoid them completely. For me, mini's are a freedom from scrappy rules and restrictions I sometimes feel when I'm doing layouts. It's an opportunity to use a bunch of photos that wouldn't normally be related. To be honest, until very recently, mini books intimidated me. It's just been within the last year that I've really exploded with them. Now I'm completely addicted.

I poured through the last 4 months of photos and specifically pulled out photos of the new little man in the house and my totally rockin' DH. I have tons of photos of him and our girl and I knew I could have added some girly flair to the book, but what I really wanted was a book of my men. When printing photos for a mini album, I print a selection of photos in standard 4x6 and in wallets. I get two wallets, so if I muck something up, I've got a spare. If not, then I have extra photos for a project on down the road. For minis, I always print more photos than I think I'm going to need. You'd be surprised at how many photos I can put in a mini album. For this book, I printed 30 and to be honest, I really should have printed at least 32 - 35. I could have used a few extras. For the book, I ended up using 29. One of the 30 was a picture I had printed in box 4x6 and wallet. Since the book was covering four months, I wanted to unify the pictures, so I modified them all to sepia tone. This is one of my favorite color options and I do a ton of it. I have a stack of spare wallets in those colors that will someday very soon be a project of their own.

Click for larger -

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