Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New layouts to share!

Hello there crafty friends!  I was surfing through my blog today and I realized that I haven't shared any of my new scrapbook layouts with you lately...more like, since before Christmas! So I am going to start sharing these layouts over the next few days...hopefully it will inspire someone to keep scrapping and get creative!

I love this layout for so many reasons! It chronicles my first reading of my favorite Harry Potter book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Love it! If you haven't read it, go do so (after reading all the other books in the series of course!).  But I also love this layout artistically because it uses the fabulous Eerie line from Basic Grey (one of my fave companies ever!).

I also was able to play with crackle paint on here which is another one of my favorite new techniques to play with. The title letters and all the stars were first painted with acryllic paint and then once they were dry I added a fairly thick layer of the Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint over the top and let it dry overnight. A word of caution: DO NOT use a heat gun on Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint - it will bubble and look yucky. Trust me on this one...I personally experienced it with this layout. Then rub over the top of each of the letters and stars with Black Soot Distress ink and work it into the cracks to give it a  more grungy look.  I also used Black Soot Distress Crackle Paint on the chipboard circle and dried it with a heat gun after letting it set for 5 minutes. All this works together to make this one fabulously fun and goulish page!

This page showcases one of my absolute most favorite pictures of my sister and her husband that photographer Kris Gay captured during their engagement photo shoot. I never would have paired brown and pink with this layout but this paper from SEI's Chocolat line just jumped out at me and I love the result. I created the journaling list box in Adobe Photoshop Elements and I have left it blank to let my sister write in the box. :)

This layout is based on a sketch from Janna Wilson and her challenge 52 Weeks of Stress-Free Scrapping. Every week Janna puts up a new layout/sketch and a challenge to get other scrappers motivated to scrap and have fun and not stress about scrapping. I haven't completed all the weeks yet but I am hoping to get caught up with some of them this weekend! Check out Janna's challenge here.

A few years ago I discovered the beauty of Celtic Woman. I absolutely love their music and it is beautiful to listen to. When I found out that they were coming to our city for a concert the day before my birthday, I knew I had to go. So my mom and I headed out to the concert and it was one of the most beautiful and breath-taking things I have ever seen.  I bought a program at the concert and found this beautiful paper by BoBunny called Delilah that perfectly matched the photo of my mom and I. To tell my story, I added pages from the program that I got at the concert to my layout. The small photos on the left, the list of songs that were played, and the large group photo all came from the program and really added to the page.

This is a sweet simple layout that I made with some leftover pieces from my December Scarlet Lime kit. I also added a lot of doggie themed embellies from my stash to help tell my story about my sweet puppy Bailey and her rope.

And finally I want to share a simple sweet page I did about our adventures one day in the fall of 2007. I used this fabulous paper by KI Memories and diecuts from my Cricut to help me tell my story of this beautiful November day. The leaves were cut out using my Cricut and Doodlecharms cartridge. I inked the edges of each of the leaves and used 1/16 and 1/8 inch pop dots to attache the leaves and acorns to the page in various layers to give the page some dimension.

Well I am off to finish up another layout, but I will be back tomorrow to share more of my favorite layouts from 2010 so far. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stumped on 2-Page Layouts? Read this.

This weekend, one of my friends posted in the forum on the site asking about tips and tricks to making 2 page layouts work.  I posted a reply to her question and thought it might be fun to share it with all my online friends. This post is just my thoughts and musings on what makes 2-page layouts work for me and some of my favorite design tips. So sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and be ready to learn a thing or two about 2-page layouts.

"I love to do 2 page layouts and I actually find them easier to do than a single page because I have more room to let the layout flow and feel more balanced.

My number one rule is treat your 2-page layout as a single 12 inch by 24 inch canvas. Don't treat each side of the layout as its own layout or the pages won't look like they belong together.

 My favorite way to make a layout balanced and flow together is to use sketches. There are a ton of 2-page sketches on the net…my favorite is PageMaps. These are great because all of the design and balance issues are usually already taken care of and you just plug in your pictures, patterned papers and embellishments to create a great layout. aOther great sources for inspiration are  layouts in the gallery and scrapbook magazines like Creating Keepsakes or Scrapbooks Etc. whenever I come across a double page layout that I really like , I bookmark it and use it for inspiration. Remember to look at the shapes and the flow of the layout instead of just looking at a layout as a holiday theme or a travel layout. You can draw out the elements of the layout on paper if that helps and save these sketches for inspiration.

 The easiest way I have found to achieve balance on a layout is the “visual triangle” rule. What it is is simply placing your embellishments or accents in 3 spots on your layout, so that if you were to draw a line between the embellishments, you would form a triangle. One key to this working on a two page layout is making sure you have at least one point of the triangle on each page. This helps your viewer’s eye move around the pages and gives you the sense of balance. Let me illustrate this point with a few examples.

On this layout, I formed a visual triangle with the flower clusters. If you were to draw a line from one cluster of flowers to another you would form the triangle shape.

Another way to form a visual triangle is with shapes. On this layout my visual triangle is formed with the small square shapes. Your eye first sees the two square photos on the top left of the layout and then it moves to the grid of squares on the other page, then finally back to the patterned paper squares on the bottom of the left side of the layout. You can also form visual triangles with photos or even words (my favorite is to make a triangle out of my title, journaling, and date spot. So you could end up with multiple visual triangles on your layout and each one helps balance out and tie your layout together.

Use strips to tie your layout together and help your pages flow together. This is also a good way to use patterned paper on your layout when you only have one piece of a patterned paper. I find myself using this technique a lot.

On this layout there are a lot of strips going across my layout covering both pages. This helps tie the pages together and gives you the look of one long page instead of 2 distinct pages.

Although this layout just has one small strip at the top connecting the two pages, the layout flows and has a cohesive look.

This layout has vertical strips and by repeating the same strips on each side of the layout it really draws your eye to the center of the layout and the photos.

Overlap page elements (especially photos or titles) across 2 pages. This really helps give the illusion that your layout is actually one big canvas stretching from side to side.
The title on this layout stretches across the two pages, which helps tie the two pages together. \
If you look closely the center of the page is where I marked it with the arrow. As you notice, I cut the large photo in half so that it would fit on both pages. Just make sure when you use this technique you are not cropping down the middle of someone's face or cutting the subject in a weird way. On this photo it worked well because the part I cut off on the right is just the background scenery.

Make a statement on your page with a large photo. You have the space, so go ahead and make your favorite photo larger than life.

On this layout, I enlarged the focal point photo to 16 by 9.5 inches. It really draws your attention to the photo and gives you an immediate focus and focal point.

This photo of my parents walking on the pier was one of my favorite shots from our vacation. To highlight this special photo, I enlarged it to fill almost one whole side of my layout.  Notice though I used strips of patterned paper to combine the two sides so they would flow together."

Well, that's my take on designing 2-page layouts. I hope you learned something and this inspires you to scrap more 2-page layouts or even design your very first one. I would love to see what this post inspires you to create.  Send me a link to your layout and I will pick a random winner next Tuesday, February 16th to send a little RAK to. :)


Friday, February 5, 2010

A Wintery Technique

Well it is Friday and much of the midwest and east coast are headed into a wintery blast. Here in northern Indiana we are expecting 3-5 inches, so in honor of the wintery weather that is headed our way I thought I would share one of my design team projects over on If It's Groovy from January.

I took these pictures in 2008 during the ice storm that we had a few days before Christmas. I was able to play with these beautiful papers and accents from Bo Bunny's gorgeous Snowy Serenade collection and I also was able to play with my new crackle paint to give the snowflakes their wintery look.

 Want to create this look on your next page? You're in luck because I am going to share this technique today.

Gather the following supplies: chipboard snowflakes, Tim Holtz Crackle Paint in the color Picket Fence, a heat gun, Ranger non-stick craft mat, cardstock, temporary adhesive, paper towels, makeup sponges, various colors of acryllic paint, a mini mister filled with water, and paper towels.

1. Cut a 1 inch strip of cardstock and adhere the snowflakes to it using the temporary adhesive. This will give you a way to hold onto the pieces as you paint them.

2. Shake up the crackle paint before using. Apply a medium to thick layer of the distress crackle paint to the snowflakes using the applicator in the bottle. Make sure you are working on the non-stick craft sheet to make clean-up a breeze later.

3. Allow snowflakes to dry on their own for about 5 minutes, or until you start to see it cracking on its own.
You can either let it dry completely naturally to get fine cracks in the paint, or you can get large cracks with a heat gun.

4. Zap the snowflakes with a heat gun until dry. Make sure not to hold the heat gun in one area for too long or it will burn the snowflake.

5. Use a makeup sponge to dab paint on top of the crackled surface. Make sure to work the paint down into the cracks.  Adirondack paint daubers work well also.

6. Spray the painted snowflake with a mini mister a few times just to moisten the paint and use a paper towel to gently wipe away the paint from the surface of the snowflake. The paint should remain in the cracks giving the snowflake a muted color.

7. To finish off the snowflakes, use a Fantastix and some Distress ink to go around the edges of the snowflakes. Attach to your project with glue dots or pop dots.

I also made this cute card with some of my leftovers from the project. The inside reads "Thanks 'snow' much!"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Angela's Project...too cool! :)

Hello bloggers! Angela has given me permisssion to share her fabulous project with you all. It is absolutely beautiful and I am amazed at her talent in putting together this very yummy looking project.

All I can say! Angela you totally blew my socks off! :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Winner!!!!!

Well, it is officiallly February and that means that it is time for me to pick a winner of the Cupcake Challenge. 

And here we go....

Thanks to my helper Heather for choosing our winner.

And our winner is...

Angela H!

Congratulations to Angela. She submitted a fabulous mini album that was truly a 3-D is awesome! I will definately post pictures if she allows me to. :)
Thanks to everyone who entered the challenge...I totally loved everyone's projects and all the hard work you put into them. :)

Quick Update

Hey there fellow scrappers! Just wanted to let you all know that the cupcake challenge is officially closed.  A huge thank you to everyone who participated...there were a ton of fabulous entries and you all made such sweet cupcake-themed projects.

I will be back tomorrow afternoon to draw the winner of the prize package. I will post the winner on here, but I will also contact you  if you win. Good luck everyone and have a happy Monday!