Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tough Guy, Gentle Heart....

   Hi, and hoping you are having a great day!

Posting two days in a row, I must be on a roll.... but I finished another lovely layout last night, and just had to share it!
My brother is the subject of this layout.... he is a rough and tough kinda guy, but has
a really gentle, loving side... I decided to try and show both sides by making a background paper that looks kind of graffiti or grungy, and then have the floral touches... of course, the photo itself sorta tells the story anyway, with my tough brother standing in a field of flowers!  I'll bet he was messing around and doing "catalog posing" for this pic! 
"My brother Billy and I live in different worlds- he is an audio engineer and music producer in the alternative music world, and has a totally different lifestyle than my "white bread" existence. He works hard, lives hard and plays hard. But beneath the many tattoos and body piercings lies a gentle soul that loves children, pets and his family more than anything. He will alsays play with his nieces and nephews, and they all LOVE their Uncle Billy! He is also very sentimental, and loves anything with historical or significant meaning to his own life or someone else's. Even though I have known him his whole life, he still manages to surprise me with his tough exterior, and gentler inner man."

I have been experimenting with a lot of different techniques lately, and my favorite new
medium is Faber-Castell's gelatos.  They are stick paints that look like a little Chapstick, and you color with them like a crayon.... spritz them with some color mist or water, and VOILA!  you have some really cool effects on your project...  I used white paper with purple, yellow, gold and two shades of green.  I just spritzed my paper lightly, because I wanted the crayon strokes to show instead of everything blending together.
I also used an emboss- resist technique... if you have never tried it, it is a lot of fun!
I used embossing ink and stamped my image BEFORE applying the gelatos, and embossed the image with UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel).  I stamped and embossed once, and after the image was cool, overstamped and embossed it again... the overstamping makes the image really thick and textured, so it will stand out well when you apply the gelatos.
I premarked on my paper where my picture was going to go, and then used the same
emboss-resist technique for the first part of my title.
Here is another neat use for UTEE...  I took a precut chipboard bracket, and inked it
with white ink (Clearsnap mixed media ink).  When it was dry, I stamped "gentle heart" on the bracket, and dried it with a heat gun.  Then I stamped the whole bracket with embossing ink, and covered it with UTEE... use your heat gun to melt it, and it makes another great textured element for your page!
The squares background paper I got from the Color, Stories, Inspiration site for their Case File
No.46 Challenge... this layout was my entry for this week, and I used the sketch from Once Upon a Sketch for the month of November.... I am also entering this layout in that challenge... Here is the sketch and the case file:
For the evidence in the CSI challenge, I did a grid design (the background squares paper), painting, textured element, and something that shimmers or glows (I used glimmer mist on the gelatos)... for the testimony, I did something that surprises me, and the inspiration word "surprise".

For some of the background flowers, I used the squares paper and punched out some
flower shapes, spritzed them with water, and crumpled them up... when they were dry, I smoothed them out a little... not totally, and lightly rubbed them with shimmery paint.  Then layer them, and you have another element to put on your layout!
I have really enjoyed playing along with CSI and OUAS this week.... I hope you visit their sites
also get inspired!


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Love Story.... new layout!

     So, I apologize for not posting sooner, but with our holiday of Thanksgiving, time just got away from me!  What a heck of a crazy week!
      I recently joined an awesome kit club at, which has the most BEAUTIFUL kits for someone like me who likes vintage/shabby/technique driven type scrapbooking... they also have a monthly challenge based on using their product kits and a sketch.  Luckily, the colors in this month's kit matched up to this week's CSI color challenge, so I made my layout and submitted it to both sites.  Two birds with one stone!
Here is the sketch provided by Swirlydoos.....
...and here is the case file for CSI....
And here is my layout!  I must say.... I love, love, LOVE how it turned out... one of my
faves of all time.... I want to first point out the large circle behind the photo... one
of the cool things about the Swirlydoo site is that they have a ton of tutorials...  flower making,
new techniques and many more.  There is also a technique add-on for the monthly kits that features
new items every month, and there are technique tutorials to show you how to use them... even
though I did not order the technique kit, I did check out the tutorials, and found one by Lynne Forsythe that was AAHHH-MAZZZ-ING!  She showed how to use gelato sticks on corrugated cardboard to create a really shabby, distressed look... I just purchased some gelatos and decided to give it a try.... I LOVE how it turned out- it really gave some cool texture to my layout!
Here is a link to her tutorial:
Check it out!  Thanks Lynne!
Anyway, I employed a lot of really cool techniques on this layout in addition to Lynne's
technique...  I started by writing the story of my grandparents romance that I wanted to tell... it reads:
"On a fine spring day in 1937 Ohio, a young man named Bill decided to skip out on his high school graduation and hop on a train bound for California. After arriving and settling in, he started frequenting a drive in, where he spotted a lovely red headed young lady by the name of Ruby.
At first Ruby denied his advances, since she was dating someone else. But in the end, Bill won out, and they were married after only 4 months.
Their life together was not all roses and romance... they had financial and emotional struggles... they were seperated by World War 2... they endured happiness and heartache. But in the end, their love for each other persevered, and they were married for 61 years before Bill died. His last words were to Ruby, declaring his love.
They were my grandparents, and I am truly touched by their true love story."
I wanted a handwritten look, so I chose a font that I liked, and printed the journaling onto
a transparency.  Then I distressed and inked all the edges of all the papers I was using as
 well as the photo...
See how pretty the journaling looks... almost like a book page!
I used the chipboard frame from Dusty Attic in my kit as the round element from the sketch,
and embossed it with Stampendous Shabby Embossing Enamel in Shabby Green...
these are my new favorite embossing powders!  Anyway, then I did some slight inking over the embossing, just to tie in the colors...
The hands of the clock are by Tim Holtz, and I used a small pearl bead in the center.
Here is another view of the corrugated cardboard "done up" with gelatos... I also used a white
paint dauber on it as well as on the edges of the papers, photo and flourishes... the flourishes are
a Tim Holtz Sizzix Bigz die...
Did you notice the little pearl stickpin? That also came in my Swirlydoos kit!
There is a lot of detail on this layout... I used a little metal plaque covered with cardstock
that I wrote the date the picture was taken on....
Here is another interesting detail... doilies! Yup... the paper kind used in bakers everywhere...
they are cheap, pretty, and you can spritz them in all sorts of colors... I used Tattered Angels mist in Taupe for this one...  the rub on (LOVE) is Kaisercraft, from their Periwinkle collection.  It is on a piece of shaped chipboard that I covered with patterned paper.
Some more subtle details... a wooden tag (Prima Craftsman collection), and vintage pearl
heart button, and a round button I made myself.... Martha Stewart makes some
really cool molds for clay (you can get them at Michael's), and polymer clay (found at most craft stores...) is super easy to use...  just soften it up a little in your hands, press it into the mold, pop it out, and bake it in a 275 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  It will seem soft when you pull it out, but it will harden up as it cools.  I have used this technique for other things (like jewelry making) and you can paint the polymer, use perfect pearls on it, ink, or whatever you like... it is very versatile stuff!
The flowers that came in my kit were a bit too blue for the rest of my layout, so I gave
them a little Tattered Angels mist bath (Taupe).  I also used plain white paper roses that I spritzed with TA mist as well, and added a little white paint dauber to.  The final touch was another wood piece from the Prima Craftsman collection.
Whew!  This is quite a layout! But ever so much fun....I am really proud of it!  I also
have some more flair.... it is on the "Watch List" for CSI this week... way cool!
     So for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope it was a good one, full of good food, family and fun.... we all should be so thankful for ALL the blessings in our lives EVERY day...
Bless you all, my crafty friends, and I will see you next week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Star Witness for CSI!

Hi everyone... Hope you are all having a very fine day!
     I just wanted to post that my latest layout, "Miles Fan Letter" was chosen as Star Witness for this week with Color... Stories... Inspiration (CSI)... It is their "top spot" and all the layouts submitted are voted on by their design team, and they choose the winner... This time, it was me! I am SO happy!

Now I have more flair.... Woo hoo!! Thank you CSI

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fan Letter Layout

Hello everyone!

     So it seems that winter has finally come to my little corner of California- not the bone chilling, snow laden, wind chill below zero weather we experienced while we were living in Ohio, but winter here nontheless...  with it has come mine and my son Miles annual cold and Miles' ear infection... it was for that reason that I missed the Color Stories Inspiration Challenge last week, but did get an entry in for this week...

          As always, the challenge was to use all the colors in the scheme, 2 evidence items, and 1 testimony item...  I used flowers, swirls, frames and a doily pattern for my "evidence", and for my "testimony"  I used the fan mail format, and inspiration words "sunny" and "cheerful".

I just love this picture!!
I started this layout with lots of distressing... mostly on the edges of the main patterned paper, and the photo.  After the edges were distressed, I applied embossing ink and Stampendous Shabby Embossing Enamel in aqua.. this is my new favorite embossing powder!  It comes in a bunch of colors (which I ordered last week!) and has nice chunks of stuff in it that gives it a totally shabby look... love it!

Color Stories Inspiration usually provides a wonderful sheet of digital printables
that coodinates with the current challenge... I took advantage of that this week and fussy cut
the big black and white flowers (which I watercolored... pretty, huh?), and used the
quotes that had to do with the subject I was writing about.

The journaling was extremely important in this challenge....
I had an idea of what I wanted this layout to look like, and was having a really hard time coming up with an idea to incorporate everything I wanted to write about the picture and still keep all the embellishments I had laid out for the layout.  The first 5 or 6 tries was very frustrating... the page looked very overwhelmingly busy to me, so I put it away for a couple of days  Sometimes that really helps!
Anyway, I finally decided to do my fan letter as individual words and sentences, which
added to the playfulness of the layout, and allowed for more freedom in spacing and laying out the journaling.
Here is what I wrote:
Dear Miles,
I am your biggest fan... you came into this world with so much against you- your first surgery when you were only four hours old.. a rare genetic syndrome, epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. You can't speak, have fine motor issues, and you are losing your ability to walk. But in spite of it all, you have the heart of a lion... you are always so happy... you light up everything around you. Miles, you have such a good attitude about your life and such a sunny dispostition that it is hard for anyone to believe you had such a rough start. I remember when you were still in the Neonatal Unit you would smile in your sleep... the nurses nicknamed you "Miles of Smiles", and the name stuck! We should all have as good an outlook in our lives as you do, my son!


Love, Mah-Mah-Mah

(Mah-Mah-Mah is the only word my boy can speak!)
This layout is colorful, just like my Miles is !!

I hope you have enjoyed this layout... I am having such a good time with my blog,
and also on the forums...
Have a great day!