Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Featured Layout!

       Woo Hoo!

      I just opened up my email and found it that my "Sisters.... Found" layout has been chosen by Color... Stories... Inspiration (CSI) as a featured layout... in the "Most Wanted" category... I really excited and honored.... thanks CSI- you made my day!

I have "flair" now!!

How fun is this?


Life is Like a Camera Layout.... A Tribute to my Pop

Hello... hello!

I can't believe it.... two layouts in one week!  In addition to the CSI Challenge of the week, I also wanted to enter the Once Upon a Sketch Challenge for October... and I must say, I am super proud of this one!!  This month's theme was a little ironic for me... I have really been struggling to take better photos of my work, and I think I succeeded in getting a great picture of this layout!

To begin with, OUAS provided a... yes... sketch!!  Quite lovely, and it was really fun to see all the different incarnations the designers came up with...
Great job with the sketch, Nadia Cannizzo!  OUAS also provided another guidline... a quote that needed to be incorporated in some way into the layout:
great life quote.
When I saw this quote, I immediately thought of my Pop... he was my maternal grandfather, and he and my Nana (maternal grandmother) were largely responsible for raising myself and two of my siblings.  I remembered a picture from (I think...) around 1968 or so of my Pop with his new Poloroid camera taking a picture of himself taking a picture of himself in a mirror.  No, that's not a misprint!  He always thought it was funny, and so do I!
Here is my interpretation of the sketch and quote:

This layout is chock full of details and techniques, but I am really proud of the journaling... I love taking a simple picture and telling a story about it, and I really feel like I succeeded here:
       My maternal grandfather’s name was William Beatty, but to me, he was Paw-Paw when I was little, and Pop as I got older.  Whenever I think of good times, I always think about my Pop.  My Pop was all about good times… I will always remember his sense of humor-he was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.  He always had funny little sayings and songs, and would keep us entertained with the “Twin Oaks Shuffle”… a dance he made up when he and my Nana owned a small grocery store named Twin Oaks.  Sometimes he would get laughing so hard, his dentures would cause him to drool, which made all of us laugh even harder.  Even this picture was indicative of his sense of humor… he thought it would be funny to take a picture of himself taking a picture of himself.  Say that five times fast!
    Although I never saw it until the end of Pop’s life, I am sure there were many negatives in his life that helped to shape him and who he was.  His parents divorced when he was young, and his father died at an early age.  Pop was a paratrooper in WWII, and he saw terrible things during the war.  He also had many different careers in his life.  I don’t really know who he was before I met him, but I am certain that the positive experiences as well as the negative ones helped him gain insight and knowledge that shaped him into the person I knew… compassionate, funny and a totally awesome person.
  Pop’s life ended tragically, but I can’t say I ever thought he gave up.  Looking back on his very interesting life, it seem to me that he was sort of the “King” of “taking another shot.”  While he may not have been a rich man, he was always his own man… he and my Nana owned their own business and were their own bosses for much of their lives, and although I’m sure it wasn’t easy, he wouldn’t have achieved all he did by not taking another shot.
    Pop left me, my mom, my brother and sister a lasting legacy– He was a wonderful father and grandfather who kept us laughing and made us fell loved.  And no matter the circumstance, he always was, and always will be my hero.
      So, I began by choosing my photo, and then writing my journaling.  I always try to write honestly and from the heart... I think that is what makes journaling more meaningful.  I wanted to print my journaling directly onto my patterned paper, and I have now added this "how to" to my list of tutorials to post at a later date. Look for it soon!

The paper is used is by Bo Bunny... their Mama-Razzi collection.

   I took the quote from OUAS, and printed it on my computer... then I rubbed ink on it (Tim Holtz Distress Ink- Old Paper) to tone down the white lettering, and finally covered the whole quote with embossing ink and UTEE (Ultra thick embossing enamel).  Then I distressed the edges, inked them, and mounted it on one of the motifs from the paper.  I am particularly proud of the angel wings... I thought the were particularly important since my Pop is gone from this world, but I am sure he is watching over his family.  I went into the jewelry findings department of my local craft store, and found these cool metal angel wings.  I then used embossing ink and Stampendous's new Shabby Embossing Enamel (I LOVE this stuff.... just ordered a whole bunch more colors... very vintage looking) in Shabby Blue and just barely sprinkled it on the wings, then heated it.  I think it came out SO cool... then I glued a little Tim Holtz gear on it and Voila! a custom embellishment for this page!
    Another interesting thing I did was the large gears... I cut and embossed them from gold (not shiny though...) cardstock with the Spellbinders Gears die.  I lightly sprayed them with two different colors of Tattered Angels glimmer mist... can't remember the specific color names at the moment, but they were a dark brown, and teal green color... them I inked the edges with the new Mixed Media Ink (in Leather color) from Michael's.  I think they look pretty good!  The smaller ones at the top of the layout are layered and also have some of the small metal Tim Holtz gears on them as well... Did you spot the little gears also as the flower centers?  The enamel "46" plaque is also Tim Holtz...
Here's some more details... I love the little blue chip stamps... they remind me of my childhood!
    I did a lot of paper tearing and distressing on this layout... here is the big tear at the bottom of the page, and I filled the hole with a blue chip stamp and small gear...

    And lastly, another fun, subtle detail for adding texture to your layout can be something like this clear photo frame ribbon (Tim Holtz).  I have been looking for just the right project to use this on, and this fits in perfectly!

     I hope you have enjoyed this layout... it was so much fun to make, and really got my creative juices flowing!






Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sisters, Found Layout and some fun tips....

Hello and hope you are having a lovely Sunday....  I have a new layout to post today... this is for the weekly Color... Stories... Inspiration Challenge #42.  The topic I chose this week has to do with family.  I grew up without my Dad, and found out when I was a teenager that I had a whole family I had never met.  I took a picture of my two sisters I didn't grow up with, and my journaling is about them.
Here is the case file for this challenge:
And here is the layout I created:

Two of my beautiful sisters, Elizabeth and Shannon....

I didn't have exactly the right color rhinestone flourish, so I have a little tip for you....
I took a red permanent marker, and COLORED the rhinestones with it....
it takes a couple of coats, but you can't even tell they weren't red before... cool huh?

Here's another tip.... I used spray color mist on one of the doilies, and also on some
of the flowers to get just the right color I wanted.... I also used spray mist on the lace
that is on the layout... this works GREAT with embroidered laces, like Venice lace...

The "Sisters" title was cut with the Cricut Songbird Cartridge....
the "FOUND" is a little wooden plaque I found at Michael's and covered
with paper and inked... then I fussy cut a motif from another sheet of
patterned paper and glued it on.

I also did some in depth journaling... it reads:
                     "I grew up with my Mom, my Grandparents, and a brother and sister. I never        remembered my  Dad, who I had last seen when I was a toddler. I wasn't until I was a teenager that I found out that my Dad had remarried, and I had two more half-sisters. What a surprise!
My Dad and and his family came into my life again during a very dark time of my life... I had lost both of my grandparents, who had been largely responsible for raising me and my siblings, and my husband was going through a crises in his life. I reflect back now and thank God that my "other" family showed up in my life at this time. I may have lost my beloved Nana and Pop, but I gained a Dad, another Mom, and my two sisters, Elizabeth and Shannon, their husbands, and a new niece and nephew.
I have spent the years since then getting to know my new family... I may not have grown up with them, but my sisters and I are so much alike, it is kind of scary. We all have a similar sense of humor, are dedicated to our families, worry in the same way, and even look and sound alike. Genes do tell the story, after all! All four of my siblings are amazing people!
I may not have grown up with Shannon and Elizabeth, so we don't have all those childhood memories together, but we are working on getting to know each other and building our relationships in adulthood. I feel so fortunate to have such a big, loving family, and I look forward to growing old with all my siblings and their families!"
You hear the term "fussy cutting" a lot in scrapbooking lately... basically, it means
detailed cutting of a motif that is on patterned paper.  It can give you
embellishments if you don't have many for the project you are working on,
and it can give your page another layer of texture.  On this page, I combined
fussy cuts with flowers and flourishes to get the look I wanted.
Have a great week, and see you soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

CSI Challenge #41- My Secret

Hello, hello!

So, a new week is beginning, and with it comes cooler weather... thank goodness!  But, also with the cooler weather comes ear infections for my little guy, but even with that going on this week, I still managed to come up with a layout for the Color, Stories, Inspiration challenge for the week.  I really love these challenges because they always have such great color palattes and inspiration items to work with.

So for my "evidence", I did texture, layers and ombre... I will be doing a tutorial a little
later on on how to add texture to your page using the perfect pearls. I used some of the bits
and pieces of the lovely downloads that CSI offered for this week, as well as the background
paper that was also a download.  For the "testimony", I used the Journal of Secrets prompt as my
inspiration.  I am so used to doing layouts of my family and friends, I found it a real challenge
to do one of myself... AND, to journal a secret!! 

Another secret of this layout is the pull out tag...
the secret is that it is not really a tag, but a decoy for
the "real" secret....

The real secret is hidden below the flower cluster, which lifts up to
reveal it... fun, huh!

I am continuing to enter the weekly challenges, and am going to be entering another
Once Upon a Sketch Challenge that is due by the 31st.  I want to get a few more
challenges under my belt, and then I plan on starting to offer some
tutorials... I have had requests for my special album binding technique, and
flower making.
Oh, and BTW, I applied to the ZVA Creative design team this week... I should hear
by the 26th whether or not I have been chosen... wish me luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Poetry can tell a story....

Hello, and happy day!

     We have been enjoying simply lovely weather here in Northern California, and so when I saw the color palatte for this week's Color, Stories, Inspiration Challenge, I was really inspired.  As someone who really loves working with color, this set of colors made me really happy!

Here's the case file:

     See what I mean? Gorgeous!!
I thought a lot about what subject I wanted to do... since I don't celebrate birthdays anymore (since I've been 29 for a few years now....), and I only have a husband and a son (and these aren't exactly masculine colors...) I decided to do something that would incorporate myself and my son together in a non-birthday setting. After perusing the testimony column, I knew I would have to do "wishes"... for those of you that don't know, my son Miles was born with a rare genetic syndrome, and is permanently disabled.  He can't speak, has low muscle tone, and although he can walk, he is losing mobility as he grows.  He likes to play, but has fine motor issues, so we are constantly trying to find new things for him to do.

As his parents, my DH and I have always tried to keep a positive attitude for him as well as ourselves... but that doesn't mean that we don't wish things were different for our boy.  Although he can't speak, has trouble doing even simple tasks, and can't walk without pain, he is about the happiest child I know... nothing ever gets him down for long!

I have always been pretty good at making up rhymes... I used to do it as a child, and I still love to do it as an adult... it comes in handy too for making up songs for Miles, since he constantly wants someone to sing to him!  I love to use poetry on my layouts, because I feel it invokes a certain response in people- happy, sad, loving, melancholy... whatever the emotion, poetry tells a story.

For this challenge, I sat down and wrote a poem about my son, and some of the wishes I have for him in his life....
I wish I had the courage to face your every day...
the way you walk, the way you "talk",
The way you need to play.
I wish I could be better at understanding you,
I do my best, I cannot rest
until we can break through...
I wish that you could walk around without a lot of pain,
talk up a "blue streak", sing ME a song,
or play out in the rain.
I wish your fate were different,
that your life was not so hard.
If it were almost anyone else but you
they might be scarred.
You face each challenge bravely,
giving out big hugs and kisses...
my love for you will never end,
and neither will my WISHES...
So what do you think? Did my poetry tell a story?
So without further ado, here is my layout:

So for this layout, I used as my "evidence" scallops, circular things,
transparency (the poem is printed on transparency and then sewn onto
paper), dots, labels, numbers, banners and large flowers...

For my "testimony", I used the "wish" prompts...
I also took advantage of the lovely files that CSI provides for each of the
challenges, incorporating the banners, number labels, background paper
and tags into my design.
I wanted to create a very special layout for a very special boy, and I do think
I accomplished that...  writing my own poem put a very personal "stamp" on this
layout that my family will cherish for years to come...
I highly encourage one and all to try your hand at writing a poem or a saying to
add that personal touch to your layouts!

Friday, October 5, 2012

You at the Zoo....

Hi all!

     So I decided to to enter the last of the September challenges at Once Upon a Sketch and their collaboration with Color Stories Inspiration (CSI).... here is their last "case file" for the month...

    I absolutely LOVE this color palette, and knew I had just the right
         picture to use with it....
            Here is how I "solved" this case:

I used all the colors, and the sketch provided for inspiration, and in the evidence column I used leaves and chalk... from the testimony column I used a lesson plan format for my journaling, and all three of the inspiration words, which I highlighted..
This was the journaling I did in the form of a lesson plan... I used a publishing
 program to print the lesson, then wrote in the information by hand, using the
inspiration words from the challenge.

I die cut the "You" in the title using the Cricut Graphically Speaking cartridge...

I hand cut the little pennants, then used a white paint dauber on them...
 I stamped the "at the" on them and hung them  from a brown fiber string. 
The "Zoo" part of the title was cut from the Cricut Groovy Times cartridge...

I really love mixing colors, textures and patterns... sometimes I get asked how do you
all make it work and look composed and cohesive on a project...?  My answer is to lay
everything out on the page before tacking it down... don't be afraid to try putting something
on there you think may (or may not...) work... there have been so many times an
 embellishment I thought would work hasn't, and one that I didn't think would work, has. 
 And lastly, PLAY, PLAY, PLAY with your layout... in other words, try to get away
from a picture you might have in your head, and be open to other arrangements... I have
found that very often the project will tell YOU when it's done!

This cute little pennant string was cut using the Cricut Lite Carousel cartridge...
just one of the many little details on this layout. 
This project was SO much fun... the pictures are my son Miles' first trip to the
 Sacramento Zoo.. he was a little scared to put his face in the face hole, but
 eventually did and I got some great pics!
I hope you enjoy seeing this layout as much as I enjoyed creating it!