Monday, 15 December 2014

Love is in the Details

Lately, I've been moving away from simple, sleek pages towards pages with a lot more detail. I won't lie: they take A LOT longer to make, but for those extra-special pages--the ones where you want to commemorate something of deep significance--it's well worth the effort.

The layout above celebrates my son's First Communion, a spiritual milestone and something I hope he remembers all his life.

When I looked at my stash for just the right papers, I was a little vexed. Lately, CTMH has been offering a beautiful array of shabby chic and quirky papers--not quite right for these photos. The solution? Cardstock! It's easy to alter the tone of patterned papers with cardstock.

I decided on a monochromatic blue colour scheme (because of the dark blue vest and lighter blue shirt, of course) and used CTMH cardstock and ink colours Outdoor Denim, Indian Corn Blue and Lagoon. The pops of colour come from Ruby ink and Skylark Yellow (from the Skylark Paper Packet). There are only two patterned papers on this layout: Skylark (the one with the bird) and Wanderful (blue dots). This is a great example of how well CTMH papers from different paper packets co-ordinate.

Once the page was assembled, I opened the flood gates on my embellishment stash. Even though this is a "boy page", I turned to shiny gems to bring sparkle to the page. (Yes, "This Little Light of Mine" was stuck in my head as I made this page.) From the current Annual Inspirations Idea Book, I used Bling Gems Gold Assortment, Sparkles Clear Assortment and Bitty Sparkles. All the other gems are no longer available, but if you've got them in your stash, use them!!

To add a bit of a masculine touch, I stamped some of the banners in  the Houndstooth pattern from the Distress Backgrounds stamp set. I also used pewter badge buttons and embellishments--metals go a long way to relieving the softness of the patterned papers.

I added in a die cut title and some bling flourishes to finish off the page. I'm really happy how this page turned out. The little details, like the letter for his name, the die cuts and twine give the page a lot of texture and interest. This is one of my all-time favourite pages!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Simplicity is Beautiful

More often than not the pages I like most are very simple. Lots of white space, lots of colour and an eye-catching design. Of course I love elaborate layouts too--lots of layering, bling, intricate die-cuts and lots of stamping--but I began as a simple scrapbooker and I keep going back to that style.

Simple layouts have important advantages too. Aside from being quick and easy, they tend not to have a lot of ephemera to bulk up a scrapbook. I find they also give me a sense of accomplishment ("Ah! Another page done!") when more elaborate pages sometimes leave me frustrated.

Can you believe this page was pulled together, start to finish in 15 minutes?! Here's how I did it:

  1. Start with coordinated products. Here I used Snowhaven paper and Complements.
  2. Keep embellishments simple. Just a length of twine and Glitz Glitter Gel added all the necessary sparkle.
  3. Trim and mat your photos on a single piece of paper. Keeping all your photos together on one mat creates a tidy visual space for them.
  4. Instead of creating a journaling spot, write directly on the white space in your photos.

One of the tricks I used to keep it simple was to use a single piece of patterned paper. The diagonal stripes along the bottom are actually the Zip Strip from the B&T Duos paper! Instead of trimming off the strip, I trimmed off a half-inch from the patterned paper.

For your next scrapbook page, look for the beauty in simplicity.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Free To Be Me

This month, CTMH celebrates National Scrapbooking Month with a brand-new paper packet! Free To Be Me is a beautiful collection of 6 sheets of 12" x 12" double-sided patterned papers, 6 sheets of cardstock with a glossy resist pattern on one side and 2 sheets of patterned vellum. It's gorgeous!

Best of all, Free To Be Me is only $5 with qualifying purchase!

Check out this layout I made with Free To Be Me patterned papers and cardstock as well as the stamp sets from Ivy Lane Workshop on the Go Kit and Designed Decor Frame Kit.

This layout was inspired by one I saw on Pinterest by Sherri Funk for My Mind's Eye.I loved the circles and the white space really lets the papers pop!

With a little help from my Cricut and a couple of fun stamps, this page came together quickly and easily.

A fun stamping technique used on this page is over-stamping. To create the canvas texture on the stamped ribbons, first I stamped the ribbons (or pennants or banners--whatever you like to call them) from the Ivy Lane WOTG stamp set in Whisper Ink. I stamped all three close together on a single scrap of Colonial White Cardstock. Then I stamped directly over all three ribbons with Slate Ink using the canvass stamp from the Distressed Backgrounds stamp set. From there, I just trimmed out the ribbons and added them to the page. Over-stamping is a quick and easy way to add a little extra interest to solid stamped images.

I also used the same canvas stamp to create the large photo mat. I simply cut a piece of Colonial White cardstock to size and stamped around the edges of the cardstock in Whisper Ink. The little bit of distressed texture it adds to the page is a great contrast to the sleek design.

Love this layout? I'll be offering it as a free make-and-take at the upcoming Saturday Scrappers, or if you would like to host your own Gathering, I can show you and your guests how to make this layout. Contact me today to book your Gathering before May 31st!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Be Inspired!

I love flipping through the Idea Book because it is full of beautiful pictures with ideas to take inspiration from. (Because it's an Idea Book, right!)

CTMH artwork pg. 126 of
Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book
The layout on page 126 is one of my favourites and I'd been day-dreaming for a while as to what I could do along similar lines. There's lots to take inspiration from! The bright colours against a black background. The stitching. The shapes. The different uses of washi tape. The trims and dots. It's a simple page, but so crafty!

This page uses what I see as the best-kept secret in the Idea Book: the Paper Fundamentals Basics Assortments. This collection of 20 double-sided 12" x 12" sheets (2 each of 10 designs) have the same design on both sides, but one side has a glossy, resist pattern. It's great to use in smaller pieces as patterned paper, or a whole sheet as a background piece. The patterns are great too! Chevrons, hearts, houndstooth, stripes, quatrefoil--they're all right on trend.

The page I made uses the same black chevron background and bright colours (from the Dotty For You paper packet). I also stitched circles using the very handy Stitch Guide and brightly coloured embroidery floss. The banners are Dimensional Elements Banners dressed up with Lagoon Houndstooth and Gold Polka-Dot Washi Tape. Some Teal and Silver Shimmer Trim add sparkle to the page along with Durables Triangle Studs. The title picks up the bright colours. I used Lagoon and Hollyhock inks, stamping the title with Marquee Uppercase as well as a smaller alphabet.

I'm so pleased with the results! The colour contrasts really make the page pop!

Have you been inspired by something you saw in an Idea Book? Share it! Just head over to my Facebook page and post it on the time line. Remember to mention which Idea Book the inspiration came from and what you liked about it.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Happy Valentines!

Create a class set of Valentines in 30 minutes! Really! It will take you less time to create these Valentines than to run out to the store and purchase a box of ordinary ones. All you need is cardstock, a stamp set, paper scraps and your tools. (And this is a great way to use up your stash!)

For these Valentines, I started with the Centre Focus pattern (from Originals, pg. 111) as the basic layout. However, I made it my own, by adding a patterned paper background and changing the size of the centre piece to accommodate the sentiment.

Here's my recipe:

* Start with a 3" x 3" card with the fold at the top. (To make the card, cut a 3" x 6" piece from cardstock and fold in half.)
* Trim a 2 1/2" square from patterned paper and adhere to card face.
* Tear a 2" piece of washi tape or trim a 1/2" x 2" piece of paper or trim a 2" zip strip and adhere to middle of card, flush on the left side.
* Trim a 1" x 1 1/2" piece from cardstock and stamp sentiment. Adhere sentiment to right side of card, in the middle, overlapping washi tape.
* Stamp or write sentiment, Happy Valentine's Day, on inside.

For these cards, I used the sentiment from the Live Out Loud stamp set and the sentiment "Happy Valentine's Day" from the Whoo's Your Valentine stamp set on the inside. (Not shown.) I used the scraps from my Dotty For You papers.

It's easy to create multiple Valentine's quickly with this pattern. Get your little Valentine involved too! Assembling and stamping are easy and fun tasks for little hands.

Don't forget teacher! Use your school-themed papers and stamps to whip up cute Valentines for your child's teacher.

For these Valentines I followed the Sunset pattern (Originals, pg. 66).

* Use a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" card with the fold on the tops as your base. (To make the card, cut a 3 1/2" x 5" piece from cardstock and fold in half.)
* Trim a 1 3/4" x 3 1/2" piece from patterned paper and adhere it to the card front, placing it 1/4" from the top, keeping the edges flush.
* Trim a 1 1/4" x 1 1/2" piece from cardstock and adhere it 1/4" from the right and top edges of the patterned paper.
* Stamp embellishments and adhere to card face.

For these cards, I used the ticket stamps from Blue Ribbon and Victory Workshop stamp sets and the large heart from Whoo's Your Valentine stamp set. I used the scraps from my Scholastic paper packet.

You've got 2 days left! Take a few minutes to show your love by creating your own special Valentines!

Monday, 10 February 2014

You and Me, Me and You

Even though there's a fresh, new Idea Book (check it out on my website), I have been on a mission to use my stash. I love Workshop on the Go kits because they contain coordinated products that make putting pages together, and using your stash, a snap. Once I've made the two layouts in the kit, I store all the supplies together until they're used up. That way I don't have to go searching for the little bits that match.

For this layout, I used the extra supplies from my Sarita Workshops on the Go kit. Note: Sarita is also one of the paper lines that has been carried over to the new Idea Book. You can get Sarita Paper Packet, Sarita Assortment, (both seen on my layout) and Sarita My Stickease Assortment right now!

I created a large title with my Silhouette--also using my stash as this was a cut file that had been in my collection for a whle--and added some Dimensional Elements Hearts as accents.

Turning to my stamp stash, I added a chicken wire background with the Distressed Backgrounds stamp set and the subtitle with the Framework Alphabet stamp set. (If you get one alphabet stamp this month, get this one! It includes an upper case and lower case alphabet with numbers all in one 6"x6" package. It will quickly become your go-to alphabet stamp.)

You know how much I love sketches, and so often when I'm planning a page, I spend time surfing Pagemaps or Pinterest looking for interesting sketches. But for this layout, I turned to my stash again and found this perfect sketch in Imagine. The sketch for Three-Part Harmony is found on page 44. It's a versatile sketch that accomodates lots of photos in different sizes. To make it my own, I used an extra large focal photo and flipped the right side of the sketch on its side. I also used fewer papers than was called for, letting the Goldrush cardstock set off the busy paper.

Here's a tip: When you have a layout that calls for a 1/2" x 12" piece, use a Zip Strip (that extra strip of pattern you trim off the patterned papers) or washi tape. A quick and easy way to use up scraps!

I love this layout and now I've got some room in my stash for new product!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A New Challenge!

To get my scrapping mojo in gear, I decided to try this month's scrapping challenge from Purple Pumpkin.
This page is an example of how you can scrap a special moment even if the photos aren't that great...or if they're really terrible, like these ones.

Remember to focus on the story: The title and journaling are important to tell the story when the photos don't.

Look for the other story: When I was taking these pictures, I just wanted a "cheek-to-cheek" photo with my son, but what I ended up capturing was the trouble it actually is to get a good photo of a 4-year-old. That funny story is actually more interesting than what I was originally after.

Photoshop: Be creative with your photo editing software to turn "bad" photos into precious ones. The large focal photo was actually very dark and blurry in the original, but putting it through a few filters and sharpening led to a photo could be used on a page and has really become one of my favourites.

If you're looking for a sketch challenge, be sure to check out Purple Pumpkin. This challenge runs until the end of the month and there's a prize of fun products--like the flower button on the doily.

CTMH supplies used: Dream Pop patterned paper, Colonial White and Slate cardstock, Slate and Goldrush inks, Illuminate (November 2013 Stamp of the Month), Just Blooms paper flowers, Bitty Sparkles, Sparkles Black Flourishes.
Other supplies: Purple Pumpkin wooden flower, Silhouette die cut heart, Scotch adhesive, unknown doily.