Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A few of my favorite tips!!!

There are so many things about scrapbooking that make this hobby so much fun. I have a million ideas and tips floating around in my head, but I think a lot of them have been talked to death. So these three are tips I haven't seen posted elsewhere and they are how I add unique touches to my scrapbooks!

The first photo is a fun way to use those photos that aren't quite right for some reason, or they don't have a person in the photo and don't need to be the center spotlight. I first though of doing this technique, gosh, 5 years ago or so because I had a picture I took of a piece of driftwood that I had fallen in love with. I had taken this picture while I was still majoring in photography and found when I went to scrap my pictures that I had all these cool shots- but they didn't have people in them or tell a big part of the story. So I threw a velum quote over it and figured out an artistic way to keep the picture as part of the layout. I have been doing this with my "off" shots ever since.
First Photo- vellum tape is a MUST for this technique

The second photo is a manifestation of the first idea. I used a sheet of vellum to hand sketch a teddy bear to add to the layout. This idea came to me as I was looking through my pages and realized my only personal touches were the pages I  used my handwriting on. Now, I hate my handwriting, and I don't think I am a great artist either, but I figure at some point my son will like to have something I created, not bought. If you REALLY can't draw- it is vellum so you can put it over an image and trace it if needed. Either way, the hand done touch give the layout the special personal touch.
Second Photo- drawing on vellum

The third and fourth photos are another way to add a personal touch. I drew a babies foot and used clear embossing power to set the charcoal sketch, edging it with gold. I also make a wire foot using some really thin gauge silver wire. My finger tips were used to create the little toes, and using (the right) glue I added it to the layout as another little personal touch.

Third photo- Charcoal drawing of a babies foot
Fourth photo- added a handmade silver wire foot

Mixing matching and Scrapping cont...

 So when I came home from the expo I had a few "blank canvases" to play with from one of the workshops I attended. I used Gelato and mists to add to these two pieces! I still have no idea what project they will end up on, but I will add them to my stash of fun stuff to get inspired by.
This brick pattern negative got the addition of a purple mist to better blend the red and blue. I think it looks better now:)
I not only used Gelatos to create the stripes, but them I misted over it with purple to add another dimension.

I am a glue snob

My mom laughed at me when I posted I was a glue snob. But I really am, I collected most of my glues and took a picture to prove it (turns out I missed 3 of my glues). It's only in recent years that I have become such a fanatic about using the right glue for each application. I started scrapping with my mom when I was a young teenager, this was back when we used 8 1/2" x 11" paper because stores weren't carrying 12x12's yet and the internet wasn't as popular as it is now. Yeech I'm feeling a bit old at the moment. Anyway, the first scrapbooks that I created have needed to have things re-glued to them and I hate having to spend maintenance time on my books, I would rather be creating something new than fixing something old. So I started to pay very close attention to my glues. Of course I had started using acid free when that first came out, then I got super excited about vellum glue when that came on the market several years ago too. Today the glue companies have made it so easy for us, they have developed glues for every type of project we can come up with! I have found that by paying attention to my glue, not only do i save myself time, but I am saving myself money too. I can't even count the times I have seen women going to town with their expensive acid free glue runners just to paste two pieces of paper together at crops!!! Use a glue stick, save yourself a bundle, it isn't going to touch a photo, and guess what?! They make acid free glue sticks too!!! Though it may not be as much fun as picking out ribbons or brads, or in my case PAPER- but picking out the right glue is essential to a well constructed project.

Monday, May 7, 2012


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gelato Mists

My newest toy from the expo is my box of Ooooo containing all the Gelato colors from Faber-Castell. I purchased this from The Rubber Cafe for $60 after experimenting with Gelato in a workshop and falling in love with it. As most scrapbookers know mists have been all the rage for the past 2-3 years (that I am aware of) but they can be pretty pricey ranging from $3-6 per bottle depending on their ink base. But the Gelato makes purchasing those expensive sprays obsolete! I bought inexpensive travel bottles from the dollar store and mixed my own. Using a pallet knife I scraped about 1/4inch of the Gelato into my little paint mixer, added a couple squirts of water and mushed until thoroughly blended. I added the runny Gelato paste to the bottle of water and shook until well mixed. The great thing about this product is that I have control over how strong the color mist is, which is great because I have often wanted a slight fade of color and have had to water down mists in the past. Tips: When spraying on card stock have blow dryer handy, I used my heat gun. I do recommend using on watercolor paper as it blends better and doesn't take as long to dry!!!
Everything I used to make my own mists!

This was a leftover project, I decided to see how the mist would take and how it would blend.

You can see how the modeling paste resisted the color, and I love how the two colors blended together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mixing, Matching & Scrapping Expo Workshop 2012

This relaxed atmosphere class was my favorite by far! Diana showed us tips and tricks with Faber-Castell's awesome color line of mix and matching watercolor media. The class size was small allowing us to really get Diana's input/inspiration on each of our creations, which I found helpful. Each person in the class used the same materials and created totally different projects; it was very cool to see such a large spectrum of creativity that can be done with this line. Though this line of gelatos, markers, and pencils seem a bit intimidating to many I found them VERY forgiving and enjoyed getting my fingers dirty doing all the blending that is possible with them! Immediately after helping clean up the class I ran down to the show floor to The Rubber Cafe and purchased my own set of the Gelatos. I love knowing that now I will be able to tint anything I have to match the project I am working on, which has been a constant problem for me (I am secretly a scrapbook supply hoarder-shhhh don't tell my hubby!). This $35, 1 1/2 hour class was well worth both my time and money, I love the products I went home with and loved having the freedom to "play" with the materials in class and learn how to use them with Diana's suggestions handy.
Materials from the class

One of the mixed media pages from the pack we were working on. Used gel medium to write Boyz Rock! on it but didn't have the time to finish coloring the canvas. I used a thick layer of gel medium and it took 2 hours to dry.

Another canvas page, this look was created with a stencil, a Big brush pen, and Gelatos. The stamped image was even done with Gelatos. I plan to edge this with ribbon (once I get my sewing machine out).

This cool project was done on a chipboard sheet using the brick template again, modeling paste, and Gelatos.

We were experimenting with a drippy look on this project with the Gelatos, the book page was put down with a coat of gel medium both under and over the page. The stamped image was also created with Gelato.

This is watercolor paper, ran through a Cuttlebug embossing folder. I used 3 Gelato techniques to lay down the color; first, I dry rubbed the teal all over. Next, I watered my finger and rubbed the areas where color didn't get into the crevices. Lastly, I used a dry paint brush and swept some leftover purple Gelato "paste" I had created to make some of the design pop.

This is a reverse image of the stencil we were using. I created it with the leftover modeling paste I was trying to get off the stencil to clean it, but thought I would hang onto it and see what I can make with it later.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Made in Minutes Workshop 2012 expo

This class by SimpliCraft was a fast paced workshop to learn time-saving techniques to speed up the scrapbooking process. I was inspired by this class to do some more simplistic layouts, but felt this workshop was geared more toward beginners. I was happy to walk away with three two page spreads that I didn't have to think of or create on my own, and loved the way that the instructor Vicki had things well prepared and organized for the workshop. The class was not long enough to finish all three spreads, but she went over the important parts of the layouts and had a printed handout with detailed instructions and pictures to finish them at home. I learned a very valuable lesson about workshop kits with this class that I will share for any other expo newbies out there; the list is not complete. If you have some specific tools/things you are used to using as your own "basic supplies" bring those too. For example, this class said to bring tape, glue dots, and foam dots it did not mention you need fabric glue for ribbon. I am a bit of a glue snob and really like using the proper glue for each item so that it stays on my page 
permanently...and I left many things undone because I hadn't brought all my adhesives. So bring/create your own personal basic kit and add those items to the suggested tools for the class!

Layout #1 after class
Layout #1 ready for pictures

Layout #2 after class
Layout #2 ready for Pictures
Layout #2, I didn't like the button I was given so I made it pop:)
Layout #3 after class
Layout #3 now ready for pictures

Product Review Workshop 2012 expo

My first class of the day was the CHA2012 Product Review which ran from 8am-9am preceding the expo opening. This was a great lecture style class taught by Diana Opiela. She ran through some of the coolest products and gave some nice insider tips about what booths to find these at and how to use them. A large portion of the class was spent on the hottest colors and patterns of the year which I personally found uninteresting because I choose my style of paper and colors based on my photos-but that's just me. 

The new 2012 products I found interesting were mists (which you will see made in an upcoming blog post), easy page set up templates Kiwi Lane has a nice system, "skirts" made from crepe paper, washi tape (queen&co. has a great price they call it trendy tape), transparency pages, natural materials like burlap, mini envelopes have made a comeback, i-top tool which makes your own brads and buttons, and scrap happy glue which is a sheer tacky glue that you can make your own glue dots from (sold by The Rubber Cafe).

We did walk away with $35 in product samples from companies like Canvas Corp, Faber-Castell, Fancy Pants Designs, Pebbles, Crate Paper, Cosmo Cricket, Lawn Fawn and more. Overall I found the class very worthwhile and liked hitting the expo floor to shop with all the new tips in the back of my mind!
Samples of products from Product Review (2 of the Gelato's were from another class)

Reverse side of the paper from Product review

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Expo on a budget

All my loot...

...and goodies!
I was thrilled that this year's biggest expo was the day after my birthday. So I went to the show with cash in my pocket, $150 to spend on the expo floor on whatever tools, products, stickers and paper I couldn't live without. The deals were great especially if you shopped in the first four hours. One tip I was given by an insider was that the exhibitors like to give surprise sales on the last day so they can move extra stuff- so save some for the last minute deals! I am thrilled with what I came home with; everything I purchased I had a project in mind for and I am looking forward to putting it to good use in the coming months. After I got home I spread everything out on the floor, yes a every bit like a kid with their Halloween candy, and I marveled over all my deals and finds! I think the best budget saving tip I can give is to talk; talk to the owner or person in charge at each booth. These are creative people, who know their products and most of them are happy to demonstrate the unique things they can do in order to show you their product is worth purchasing. I found more and more as the day drew to a close the manager/owner/marketing director of the different exhibits would engage in conversations and want to take the time to connect with the customers who were still sticking around to browse and shop. So take your time and learn all you can from them, essentially it's a free mini class!

Random pics from Milwaukee Scrapbook Expo 2012

Milwaukee Scrapbook Expo 2012

This year Scrapbook Expo came to Milwaukee for the first time. I was super excited to have the opportunity to go to my first expo, especially since it was practically in my backyard! With 41 different exhibitors and 22 different classes offered I knew I would be able to come away with a brain stuffed full of ideas and inspiration. Boy did I ever, I only planned to spend one day at the show and I will never make that mistake again! Even though I only spent 12 hours at the show I left with a spinning head and am excited to share all I learned and saw there. The Scrapbook Expo company has a great system and some really great programs that made this a great expo to attend. First off the staff was well organized, friendly, and very helpful. They had lots of prizes to give away and special deals on classes and crops making it possible to learn more about scrapbooking no matter your experience level or budget. My favorite game they played was a number square game; there were numbers randomly placed on square floor patches and throughout the day they would announce the game and ladies would make a mad dash to the nearest square hoping their number would get called to win the prize. The door prize drawing sign up was just one of the many ways this company make the customer's experience easy and fun. Instead of filling out the traditional paper slip and stuffing it in a box, we were able to type in our information directly into the computer (which they had plenty available). There was only one down fall about the venue; four of the classrooms were located very far away from the show floor. They had great signs directing everyone to the correct location, and a good thing because I would have wondered if I had walked to a different zip code without them! Make sure to check out their website Scrapbook Expo for more expo's in your area, I definitely think this company's show is worth attending!

Happy Earth Day!!!

Before I got crafty
After I got crafty
Happy Earth Day, I hope like me today you and your family are getting their hands dirty. I love days like this when "teachable" moments are so easy. We re-potted all our indoor plants, and talked with our son about photosynthesis and how plants make our world better (he of course surprised us as usual with all the facts he has learned in school about plants).  As I got to the final pot to replant I was struck again by how much I HATED the "love my garden" quote on this pot I purchased in a bind from the dollar store one day (over a year ago). So I decided to get out my acrylic paints and do something about it! Using a number 4 stiff brush, I pounced two different pain colors over the bands that contained the saying. I am much happier with the pot now, and have even given it a place of honor on an end table in the living room instead of the back of my plant shelf where I have been hiding it for a year. This project took less than 10 minutes, and is another example of why procrastination is a crafter's worst enemy! I hope you can take 10 minutes today and turn one of your own ugly pots into a new favorite!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The beginning

I have been inspired. After many month of observing my messy craft table and never sitting down to it, I have found my passion again. Where did I find this miraculous passion that has me creating a blog at midnight?! A scrapbook expo in Milwaukee, WI where I discovered many things about not only my own talents, but about the power of creative people in general. What they have shared with me re-ignited the spark deep inside me driving me to share with the world my two cents and creative process on all the scrapping and crafting products and techniques I can get my hands on, or mind wrapped around. My personal goal and challenge is to once a week create something crafty and share with the world how I did it; and I challenge you to join me. I know, most of you are saying "I don't have the time" but let's face it- not many of us do. I am a full time student, mom, and wife living in a city I am still trying to fit into. I don't really have the time either, but let's try...carpe diem! We are crafters people! Let's let our passions and talents free!!!