Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

I'm usually a fairly clean and simple kind of scrapbooker.  I don't tend to use a ton of product clustered together on my pages, though I admire those who do this well.  I think those LOs look like works of art.  I do, however, LOVE learning new techniques, so when I saw that Mou Saha was teaching a class at Big Picture Classes that would show how to use multimedia products like modeling paste and India inks, I couldn't wait to sign up.

Boy is she taking me out of my box.

I've done 3 LOs so far, and only really like one.  Not because of the techniques, but because I don't feel successful with them yet.  It's like when I look back at my first scrapbook pages and just shake my head.  I've come a looooooooooong way since then.  And I know that with practice I will get better at this new style, too.

Until then, I'll just share the one I like.  :)

We used gesso and Faber-Castell gelatos to create the background.  The gesso primer allows you to do a reverse stenciling technique and lift the color off the page.  I'm really loving the gelatos -- there are a ton of ways to use them, and they blend so nicely.  This LO is pretty much a total scraplift of the one Mou did for class.

I challenge you to try a style completely different from your own.  And do it BADLY!  I mean, really make a stinker of a LO.  Because I believe that making mistakes is when learning really happens.  Then take that LO and cut off the parts that you like and throw the rest away.  Even if it's just a section of background that you could punch some butterflies out of.  That's what I did with my modeling paste LO. 

It was TERRIBLE.  But I liked the actual modeling paste parts.  So I cut them out and will try to use them on something else.  I still learned how to use the paste, and what colors of gelatos just shouldn't be on a page together.

In case you're interested, the class is Get Artsy at Big Picture Classes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Party Doesn't Stop Here

Wow, as the end of the school year approaches, things sure do get crazy busy!  I've been running all over the place getting kids to track practices, dance class, getting ready for recitals and school programs, volunteering for all kinds of classroom activities, and going to end-of-the-year teas, luncheons, and parties.  Whew!  Unfortunately, the blog is being a little neglected right now.  Sorry about that!

Here is another idea for upcycling some things you might have around the house to make easy and meaningful scrapbook pages:

I've had a lot of fun doing birthday parties for my kids, and a lot of that fun is in decorating for them.  But once the party's over, should the decorations just be relegated to the trash can?  Of course not!  Having two boys just 19 months apart means I've been able to use some of the decorations for both of them, but I also decided to use some for a scrapbook layout.  This LO is almost entirely made of upcycled party decorations!

The background stripes are made from the streamers that hung from the ceiling, the square Pokemon pictures were cut from the plastic table cloth, the "flags" are cupcake picks, the round Pokemon decoration on the right page is cut from one of the paper plates, and the spokes coming from it to the pictures are ribbons from the balloons and pinata.  The only scrapbook supplies I used were 3 pieces of 12x12 cardstock (I glued two together on the right to create a pocket for his birthday cards and a copy of the invitation), the letter stickers, and the "friends" punch and paper scraps I used to make the journal tag in the upper right corner.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mini Flip Album Tutorial

I don't know about you, but I take waaaaaay too many photos.  Especially at Christmas or one of my kid's birthdays.  I feel like I need to document the decorations, the people celebrating, and every present.  Thank goodness for the advent of digital cameras!  I used to go through A LOT of film.  :)

The problem comes when I go to scrap these events.  I have a hard time narrowing down which photos to use, which means I've had to get creative in order to fit them all in.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by using a flip element on my page.

Believe it or not, I fit 80 photos onto this 2-page layout!  36 are on the index card that came with my photo order from Shutterfly.  Two others are scrapped the usual way on the right page.  The other 42 are in the two flip albums I made.  Here's how you can make your own flip album:

photo mats

  • one 5x6.5" cardstock mat for every two photos in your album
  • one cardstock base (see directions for how to measure the size you'll need)
  • adhesive (I like using a strong adhesive like Beacon's 3-in-1 because the mats will have weight from the photos and will be handled a lot while flipping, so you want a good strong bond)
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Scoring surface and bone folder

   1.  Determine how many photos will go in your flip album, and cut one mat for every two photos.  In my example, I have 5 mats for 10 photos.  Each mat will measure 5x6.5".

   2.  Cut a base from cardstock.  The width will be 6.5".  You'll need to do a little Math to figure out the height.  The way you do this is to multiply the number of mats you have by 0.5, then add 4.5 to that answer to see how long your mat needs to be.  For my example I have 5 mats, so 5 * 0.5 = 2.5 and 2.5 + 4.5 = 7.  My cardstock base is 6.5x7".

Step 3

   3.  Score each mat 1/2" in along the 6.5" side.  This 1/2" strip will anchor the mat to the base.


Step 4

 4.  Place adhesive along the 1/2" anchor strip.  Attach the mat to the top of the base, lining up the anchor strip with the top edge of the base.

Step 5

  5.  Fold the first mat at the score line and lift up.  Attach the second mat underneath the first, lining the top up against the scored edge of the first mat.  Continue adding all mats in this way.
side view of 5 mats lined up together


ready for photos!

  6.  Your flip album is complete!  Add photos as desired.  Each side of a mat will fit one 4x6 or two 3x4 photos.  The album can also be placed vertically or horizontally on the page to accommodate vertical or horizontal photos.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not Your Traditional Wedding Layout

I've been working on scrapping some of the old photos I have stashed away and came across a box that I had sorted wedding photos into.  There were about 10 weddings in there.  That's a lot of white.

I did do some traditional LOs:

But I also decided to do some non-traditional ones as well.  I've been trying to use up some of my stash and had come across some K & Company Edamame collection papers, flowers, and chipboard letters.  It just seemed right for the personalities of two of my friends:

They are both really fun people (as evidenced by the renaissance theme of their wedding), and I actually knew them separately first.  Then I moved away from town for a few years, and when I came back I ran into them together.  It turns out that they met when one (a nursing student when I met him) volunteered to help out in an aquatic therapy class at the town pool.  The other was in the class as part of her physical therapy for MS.  Let me tell you, there was not a dry eye in the place when he carried her back up the aisle as husband and wife!  It has to be the sweetest, most romantic real-life story I know.

I like how the LO turned out.  I just don't think traditional black and white, or even white and a pastel color, would have felt right for this couple.  The same can be said for the next LO:

This was an outdoor wedding in a backyard, and it was so casual that the wedding guests were instructed not to wear anything dressy -- just dress for a BBQ.  I've had this piece of paper from Melody Ross for awhile, unsure of how to use it with that large, flocked butterfly.  I think it worked pretty well here.  A non-traditional LO for a non-traditional wedding.  All I had to add was the photos, title, and journaling.

Sometimes traditional styles just don't fit the personality of the people or the atmosphere of the event you're scrapping about.  Have you done a LO that used colors that aren't normally associated with the event you were scrapping?  Tell me about it in the comments, and don't forget to add a link to it.  I'd love see how you changed things up!

And check back soon -- I'll be posting a tutorial on how to make a mini flip album to go on your scrapbook page (like the one on the first LO in this post).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tutorial: Upcycled CD Mini Album

Do you get those random CD's or DVD's in the mail -- you know, from the stamps website or from that company trying to sell you a course on how to use a camera you don't even own?  Do you have young kids who have apparently taken a stack of DVD's and rubbed them over a pile of sharp gravel mixed with sandpaper?  Maybe that old Milli Vanilli CD that you don't want anyone to know you own?  Don't toss them -- upcycle them!

When I was growing up my dad owned a recycling center, so it's pretty much ingrained in me to try to find ways to reuse something rather than throwing it away.  I also wanted an easy way for my daughter to let me know what hairstyle she wanted next.  Thus, the CD Mini Album was born!


  • 4 unwanted CD's and DVD's
  • 2 12x12 sheets of patterned paper
  • 1 binding ring
  • chipboard elements (I used 4 flowers)
  • sticker embellishments
  • rub-on or sticker letters
  • photos cropped into circles

  • circle cutter
  • Crop-a-dile or other heavy duty hole punch
  • adhesive
  • foam dots
  1. Cut 8 45/8" circles from patterned paper (you should be able to get 4 circles from each sheet)
  2. Punch a hole about 1/4" in from the edge of a CD
  3. Place punched CD on top of an unpunched CD and line up the edges.  Use a marker to mark the placement of the hole on the unpunched CD.  Repeat for all CD's and patterned paper circles, then punch a hole in each of them.
  4. Glue paper to CD's being sure to line up the holes.
  5. For the cover CD:
  • Use letters to spell out title around edges of the circle
  • embellish with chipboard flowers.*  
  • Place a small photo in the center of the largest flower and raise this element with foam dots.
     6.  Embellish inside pages with photos and stickers.  I did my journaling by hand, but you could use mini alpha stickers.

     7.  Stack cover and pages with punched holes aligned and secure with a binding ring.

*Tip: When you have chipboard elements that overlap (as the orange and red flowers do on my cover page), use foam dots to bridge the gap between the background page and the part of the flower that hangs off the element below it.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  If you try it out, please post a link to your creation in the comments.  I'd love to see it!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Old Photos, New Life

Do you remember those old photo albums that had a plastic sheet that peeled up off a page covered with adhesive?  You just peeled up the plastic, stuck your photos on the page, and then laid the plastic back down over them?  Seemed pretty darn cool back in the 70's & 80's, but now we know all about acid and lignon and all those other things that wreak havoc on our mementos.  Not to mention the fact that after a few years the glue dried out and your photos started to fall out of the albums.

Well, I have a whole stack of those puppies, ranging from ones my mom put together when I was a wee one all the way through my college "scrapbooks."  ("Scrapbooks" as in the old fashioned meaning -- just some photos and ticket stubs with a note of explanation.  Not the current meaning which involves oodles of specialized product that I can't seem to get enough of.)  So I'm slowly working to transfer those memories to archival safe albums, and of course I can't just stick them in a new-and-improved plastic sleeve and be done with it.  Oh no.  I must create!

So here is one of those creations, which I made in response to a sketch challenge from the new scrapbooking challenge blog, Paper Lovers Studio.

The photos and journaling are just as they were in the old album.  They're just on a cuter and safer background now.  I wanted to keep my original journaling for a couple of reasons.  One is that it's a little insight into the Me that existed 20 years ago, and the other is because it preserves what my handwriting used to look like.  I have Essential Tremers, so as the years have progressed, so have my shakes, and my handwriting isn't so nice anymore.

I'm also doing the Dash Your Stash challenge from the Club Creating Keepsakes forum and have been on a spending freeze since December (in anticipation of going crazy at the upcoming Creating Keepsakes Convention vendor fair), so everything used here is from my stash.  The cardstock and Dear Lizzy badge are from American Crafts, patterned paper and crocheted flowers from Recollections, journaling spot from K & Company, felt flowers and buttons from Michael's, paper flowers from Studio 18, and letter stickers and metal clip from Making Memories.

Ready... Set... Go!

Hello there!  I'm Christine, and I've been creating jewelry and mixed media art for over 25 years now (say it isn't so!  I can't possibly be that old yet!).  I have an etsy shop and now have my work in two local gift shops, so I figured it's time to start blogging about my craft, as well.  I hope to share some of my favorite creations, post a few tutorials, and hopefully inspire others to get creating, too.  Thanks for stopping by!