Thursday, July 25, 2013

For Disney Princess Fans!

Hello my Scrappy friends!
I hope you all have had a pleasant week...
As promised, I have today to share with you a really pretty, super fun custom purse album I created for one of my customers.  It turned out so pretty I wanted to share it with all my blogger friends too!
My customer specified which princesses she wanted for the album... Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Belle and Rapunzel... and let me know that it was for her 4 year old niece, and she wanted it personalized with the girl's name... other than those guidelines, she gave me carte blanche! No artist can ask for more than that!  Oh yeah, and she said she wanted "all the bells and whistles", meaning lots of sewing, embellishments and beaded handles... and I was happy to oblige!
So to begin with, I usually cut my shaped albums by hand.  But, I decided to try something
different, so I broke out my Cricut machine and my brand- spankin' new Elegant
Edges cartridge, and cut all of my pages by machine.  It made them so easy to line up when
glueing them together!  I don't know if I will do all my albums like that, but it worked well
for this one.
I left the tag white (but glittered the edges!) for the personalization my customer wanted. Some
handmade roses (Spellbinder's spiral rose dies) and some bling, and what a cute cover!
The first set of pages I put in was Cinderella.  I used premade chipboard for the characted, but
made all the embellishments myself, either by hand, or on my Cricut.  Notice the real Venice lace,
velvet ribbon, and the pull out tags!
Here is a close-up of the "window"... it is mounted with foam tape so a picture can slide behind it.
I also embellished it with Stickles... I can't live without Stickles!!
The next princess is Snow White (one of my personal faves!).  There is alot of pink in this album, so
I chose a paper for the left side page that had pink and red in it, to help the album flow.  I also sewed
the whole album with the same color pink to help tie all the pages together and not confuse the eye.
I also used red heart embroidered lace, and white Venice lace as well.  I decided to do oval frames
for these pages, because you don't see ovals very often anymore (and because I had some new dies
I wanted to play with!  All by Spellbinders...)  The branch and small flowers are Memory Box dies
as is the flourish die, which is cut out of blue glitter paper.

Please excuse my shadowy fingers!!
Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is my absolutely FAVORITE princess!  When I was born, my Mom wanted to name me Aurora, but my Dad wanted Michele...oh well!  You can't win them all!  I am a blonde, and I always imagined myself as Sleeping Beauty singing and dancing and being awakened by her Prince...but, I digress....  I found these papers in my stash, and thought I would try a non-traditional look for my Aurora.  I LOVE the way this turned out!!  Again, I used embroidered lace and handmade flowers, and a beautiful Heartfelt Creations corner die.
Pretty, huh!! I love this die!
Belle from Beauty and the Beast was a little more challenging for me... by the time I got to her, I was starting to stall a little bit on creativity.  But, as sometimes happens, I set the album aside for a couple of days, and when I came back to it, I came up with another non-traditional color scheme for this princess.  I wanted to use a chandalier on this page, so I cut one out of matte gold paper and embellished it with liquid pears and Stickles.  When I adhered it to the page, I didn't stick it down at the bottom, so a picture can slide underneath it.  To tie in the other page, I cut a small doily (Spellbinder's), and similarly embellished it.  I also used fancy ribbon on the page edges as well.
Love the chandelier!
More flourishes cut out of blue glitter paper....
So I have to say, out of all the pages in this album, I think this is my favorite. I love the colors, and the way it laid out.
There was no Rapunzel chipboard figure, so I got two sheets of Rapunzel character paper and fussy cut them. Then I layered them with foam tape and used it on the page.  The flower frame is by Memory Box, and is mounted on foam tape so a picture can slide underneath.  It was kinda pricey, but I find I am using it quite a bit lately.... worth every penny!  The dragonfly is an Elizabeth Crafts die, and the flourishes are a Marianne die.  I didn't make these flowers, but I think the ones I found were perfect for this page spread!
I used lavender glitter paper for her name and the flowers on the frame... 
More lace that a picture can slide under.... Lots of small details in this album!
Finally... the back cover!  Not too spectacular by itself, but it mirrors the front cover, and has a cute little rhinestone butterfly.  Also, you can see on of the two beaded handles close up... I made the handles with lobster claw clasps on each end, so each handle could be taken off and used as a bracelet... lots of fun for a little (or big...!) girl!
I hope you have enjoyed this album!  My customer received it a couple days ago, and was VERY happy with it!
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Beginnings.... Stop and Smell the Flowers!

Hello Blog Friends!

     Oh my goodness, it's been awhile, but I promise you I have a good reason!

     My beloved son, Miles, who was born with a rare genetic syndrome which have resulted in a whole host of problems has, after 3 years of trying to see an orthopedic specialist who will be willing to work on his orthopedic defects, FINALLY had surgery on his legs!! When Miles was born, both of his hips were completely out of the sockets, and he had corrective surgery at 6 months to fix it.  Over the years, he has developed scoliosis, and his left hip has not seated well in his pelvis.  Plus, in addition to his genetic syndrome, he has CP which has contributed to him losing mobility.  Long story short, if untreated, he would lose his ability to walk within a few short months or years.  With surgery, he "stands" (LOL!) a good chance of continuing to be ambulatory for many more years.  It was a real struggle to find a doctor who was willing to take him on, since most doctors we saw would not operate on him unless they could make him "perfect".  We found a wonderful surgeon at Stanford University (a world renowned medical community) whose main goal was to give our sweet boy a better quality of life.  So... Miles had endured the first two of three, possibly four, surgeries to correct his knees, hips and feet.  Pretty major stuff, major rehab, and ALOT of work for his Mama! But, I have managed to get some projects done that I would like to share with you... So here's to new beginnings for my baby boy!

Before surgery with his favorite toy, Daddy Dog!

Never let a full leg cast get you down!! I covered Miles cast with lots of artwork!
He LOVES Wall-E, Eve and Fans!  Plus, I got all his friends to sign his cast too...

I drew the fan on the top of his foot so he could see it well... hee, hee!
See, I told you I had a good excuse!
On to the layout!
I found this wonderful paper line by Authentique called, "Seasons: Spring".
Even though it is not in my usual style, I fell in love with it, and knew I had the perfect
picture to use with it.

Isn't it adorable?! The pic is of my sister, Erika, when she was about 4 years old... our
great grandmother was a huge part of our lives growing up, and she always wore a
sunbonnet when she was outside.  She was born in 1890, and told us she never went
outside without one when she was a girl.  She made sunbonnets for all of us girls and we
happily wore them!  She also was a great gardener... even though we grew up in the Mojave
Desert, she managed to have a beautiful garden.  She loved periwinkles and marigolds, and I
always think of her when I see them somewhere. In this picture, my sister is eating a cookie
in front of Baw-Baw's house, where one of the gardens was.

I used some of the cut outs from the Authentique line as embellishments.  I distressed all the
edges, and inked them with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Victorian Velvet.  I used a Spellbinder's
rolled flower die to cut out crinoline fabric (very inexpensive at any fabric store), and spritzed it
with Tattered Angels... then I crumpled it up and let it dry, and then rolled it and glued it with
a glue gun.  I found flower stamens in the baking department at Michael's, and glued them on afterwards.  I LOVE using crinoline to make my own fabric flowers!

The lace die is from Heartfelt Creations... it is pricey, but I find I am using it all the time!
Here, I cut it, crinkled it, and inked it... it adds an interesting distressed texture to the layout.
The flower frame is by Memory Box, and is another of my new "go to" dies.  The gate in the background is kinda interesting... I cut it with my Cricut using the Ornamental Iron cartridge and Tim Holtz grungeboard.... awhile back I discovered this really cool paint treatment from Ten Second Studio that uses metallic paint, and then a spray over it to get different patinas... verdigris, copper or aged iron.... I LOVE these paints, so I decided to use them on the gate to give it a verdigris patina.  It is fast and easy to do... just paint, dry and spritz!  Within a few minutes, the paint starts to age!

More little tags from the die cut sheet... there are so many cute items on the sheet to choose from!

I used a Spellbinder's nested die to cut my picture and mat, more of my crinoline flowers, and some stickers from the Authentique line.  I am very detail oriented, so on my smaller flowers, I used small pearls in the centers to tie colors together.
I have really missed sharing with you all, and have some more interesting projects to share with you in the coming weeks...  More layouts, and two mini albums that I was commissioned to do for one of my customers...
Hope you enjoyed my layout, and hope you have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some Vintage Style.... The Girl in Me Layout for CSI #63

Hi bloggers!

     Hope you all are having a great week...  I have been very busy with not only everyday life, but getting ready for my sweet little guy Miles to have surgery on his legs.  It is a surgery that has been three years in the making, and finally he is able to get it done!  We have had to do a lot of room switching, furniture buying, bathroom remodeling, and doctor appointments, but I think we are finally ready.  Miles has a genetic syndrome, and has been losing mobility steadily for the last several years.  His team of doctors feel he will do well with this series of surgeries, but there is a long recovery time, so we all have to mentally prepare as well.  Thank goodness I have my mental escape in the form of crafting!!
     I have still been entering challenges.  As you may have figured out by now, one of my faves is CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration...  I am a little behind on my blog here, but here is the case file for the week ending March 24th:

     Vintage is really my thing, so I was ever so excited to get this file.  As it happens, making dolls is one of my hobbies, and I had made a mannequin doll not too long ago, so I decided to document my doll hobby featuring that doll.
     I absolute LOVE this layout!!  I converted my pictures from color to sepia, cut them into oval shapes to further emphasize the vintage feel, distressed the edges, painted the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Paint and then misted them.  The result is old, distressted, tattered and messy- just the way I like it!


     I want to share these lovely flowers with you... I made them myself, and they are so easy, and look so beautiful!  Anyway, they are made out of a fabric called crinoline... it is a stiff white fabric you can get at your local fabric store.  If you don't know what it is, just ask someone at the store.  It can be die cut or punched.  For the big flowers I used the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die- cut at least 4 layers for each flower, plus one lace layer.  Ink each layer lightly, or spray with mist and let dry.  Stack the flowers and punch a hole in the center... you can use a brad in the center, or stamens, which is what I used (you can find them in the wedding section or cake making section of your craft store).  Once they are glued in and dry, spritz the flower lightly with water, and crinkle tightly in your hand.  Lay aside to dry.  When dry, spread out to desired shape and voila! you have a lovely distressed flower!  For the smaller flower, I used the Spellbinders bitty blossoms rolled flowers die... cut them, ink or spray them, roll them, glue them, and insert tiny pearls in the middle... easy peasy!  Great vintage look for very little cash.... crinoline is about $5.00/yard, and that makes tones of flowers!

More handmade flowers, and a Cherry Lynn Victorian Flourish Corner Die...l.

     So here is another really cool thing... I love, love, love the look of metal, but don't like the expense, or the weight of it on my pages....  I discovered this amazing paint and patina kit from
Ten Second Studio that can make anything look like metal... you can make surfaces look like rusted iron, patinaed bronze, copper or brass... it works on paper, wood, plastic, all sorts of stuff!  Here I cut out chicken wire with a Cherry Lynn die, and used the bronze metallic paint and patina spray... it came out so good!

As always, my journaling is a very important component of my layouts... for this project I wrote:
One of the things that most people don’t know about me is that I love to sew. My mother liked to sew, and in fact made a lot of our clothes when we were growing up.  I wanted to learn how to sew too, so for my 9th birthday, my Nana got me the sweetest little sewing machine. I found I loved to make dolls.  I was especially influenced by the Little House on the Prairie books series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I wanted to make rag dolls just like Laura did.  My mom got me a book of doll patterns and I blissfully spent my days creating my new “friends”.  .I recently thought I would make a doll just for fun.  I love everything Victorian and Steampunk, so I decided to make a mannequin doll.  Having had so much fun making this one, I have a feeling I will be making many more new friends in the very near future.
Have a great week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

When I Was Two.... (Layout)


     So the weather is starting to turn really nice here in Northern California, and I have been busy with trying to "spring clean" my scraproom.... quite a daunting task, considering how much STUFF I have!  But I am really trying to streamline my scrapping style, and get rid of the papers, embellies and tools that are just taking up space.  Maybe I'll finish by this time next year!
     After taking some time away from Color, Stories, Inspiration to work on the Swirlydoos Ultimate Designer Challenge, I am back at CSI, working on their challenges.  And I am happy to say, I was chosen Star Witness for the week of March 10th!
     So here is the case file criteria I was working with:

     Although I usually like brighter colors, this palette really spoke to me.  I immediately got an idea based on a picture of me when I was two years old.

I sort of did a reverse "spin" on the dream/aspiration prompt in the testimony requirement...
instead of documenting future dreams and aspirations, I sort of went backwards and documented the dreams and trials I never even knew I had.  The journaling reads:
When I Was Two
...I never knew love existed anywhere but in my family's arms.
...I never though about the drama of my first love.
...I never knew where my future talents would lie.
...I never knew about all the trials of life.
...I never knew I would meet and marry a wonderful man.
...I never knew I would feel so alone sometimes.
...I never knew I would suffer medically and psychologically.
...I never knew I would know tragedy as well as triumph, and the meaning of "one step forward and two steps back."
....I never knew I would have a child with special needs.
... I never knew my special child could cause so much angst, fear, frustration, sadness and yet be so loving, happy, joyful, sweet and beautiful all at the same time.
... I never knew I would have a second family come into my life when I needed them the most.
... I never knew I would have such loyal, loving friends as I have now.
...I never knew I would feel so loved.
... How could I have known all of this and more... When I was only two.
I printed my journaling directly onto the printed paper, and the title is rub on letters,
fulfilling one of the "evidence" requirements.

I did a lot of cutting and layering, and used gold liquid pearls for the flower centers.

I cut out lots of butterflies from my printed paper, and layered them all over the page.
Butterflies were another "evidence" item.

I die cut a flourish (Sizzix) and used gold liquid pearls to give it some dimension. 
I love lots of layers, don't you?

This little cluster detail is along the left side of the page.  Sometimes you just need a little
touch somewhere else on the page to tie everything together.
I hope you have enjoyed this layout!
CSI has put out a design team call, and I will be entering to try a grab a spot.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Color, Stories, Inspiration Case File #60 and Once Upon a Sketch Latest Entry


Now I am reasonably caught up with my blog, I decided to enter this month for Once Upon a Sketch and CSI... I did one layout for both sites using the color criteria from CSI....

and the sketch provided by OUAS....
The theme for OUAS was... love....!
So, based on both of those guidelines, here is what I came up with:

    This is a picture I took at Christmas of my beautiful sister Shannon,
 and her awesome hubby, Diego.
           I used all of the colors for the CSI challenge, plus as my Evidence, I did the big flowers, hearts, layering, "icing" (modeling paste), and white background.  For the Testimony, I used some words from the Valentine's Day word list, and in my journaling, I used an inspiration word "admire". For both challenges, my journaling is hidden under the "happy" pennant.
I loved this sketch, and for my interpretation, I used a shape frame instead of a circle, and used hidden journaling.. I made the red roses myself, and squeezed a bunch of beautiful techniques and embellishments onto this page... I am not really a Valentine's kind of girl, but I really love the way this layout turned out... not to Valentine-y, but still fulfilling the challenges.
Here are some more details:
I wanted to give my plain white background some "oomph", so I decided to
use modeling paste and a stencil to give it some texture...

Like the little white heart? So easy to do with a silicone mold (Martha Stewart) and polymer clay.

Here is where my journaling is located, and a small picture of the actual journaling...
I really enjoyed making this layout, and I hope you enjoy it as well!