Quote of the Week

"Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." ~ John C. Maxwell

Monday, February 22, 2010

My first Digital Layout

I swore I'd never go digi, mostly due to being completely and utterly intimidated by it all, but thanks to the incomparable Cathy Zielinski and her hand holding today I made my first digital LO.

I still have a way to go as I couldn't figure out how to change the greens to blues (even with Cathy's great tutorial but I am further ahead than I've ever been before.  I won't be go over completely but can see me doing some in the future. 

Also thanks to my fellow LOADster Barb for sharing the link to Cathy's download today and to Lain for hosting LOAD again.  If you want a peek at what I've been up to so far this month stop by my Flickr account.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mini Album

Before we get to today's project - MemoryWorks will be hosting a blog hop next week.  Check back here as I post details for you.  I am unable to participate due to previous commitments but will be ensuring you can get there from here :)

Today I will share a 30 minute project that is great for gift giving.  I had this adorable tin from Maya Road left after using the product inside which I couldn't bear to throw out.  So I started looking at it as a project in the making and discovered it held 4x6 photos very nicely and if you rounded the corners they fit even better.  I loved the sentiment 'for the journey of a lifetime' on the lower right side so used some alcohol ink (Latte & Caramel) and a Qtip to make it stand out.

We aren't dealing with a huge amount of depth to this box so choose your favorite photos only.  I managed to fit 11 - it must be an odd number whatever you come up with.  I then picked from scraps of paper I had around - 3 designs of at least 6 inchs for my project which I cut into 3x5 pieces.  I also kept the scraps to use together on the page or to help secure the end ribbon.  Two sheets of co-ordinating cardstock - one light and one dark were cut into 4x6 pieces and the corners rounded. I chose a ribbon that fit my theme and had enough for 2 pieces that were 10 inches longer than my total cardstock length (11x4 = 44 therefore I needed 2 pieces of 54 inch ribbon).  I selected on edge punch and only a handful of embellishments - keeping the numbers of techniques and embellishments down helped make things come together quickly.

I then wanted to 'finish' the edge of the ribbon and used two techniques to do that.  Below is what I had when I used a ribbon line adhesive - it did not allow the ribbon to lay as flat and neat as I wanted so I switched to my ATG gun and just ran some tape on the ribbon then did a double fold.  Glue dots would have worked but I didn't have any so made do...  You can finish all 4 ends or just the two what will be visible on the back of the first page.

If you have a large mat with a grid great.  Lay down one 4x6 cardstock piece to find where you want your ribbon to attach.  I used the inside of inside of the 2 inch mark and taped top and bottom tucking the excess under the mat until I needed it. 

I then laid the cards face down on the ribbon and ran adhevise on the card using the ribbon as my guide.  Flipped it over and attached the first page at the top of the ribbon.  I continued on alternating dark and light cardstock until the end.  I left 2 'hash' marks between each card so there was room for the folds to occurr without interfering with the one next to it.

When I got to the last one I put a several lines of adhesive running both ways as this is what will hold your album to the bottom of the case. 

To make a 'frame' around the central point of my cover image I took my exacto knife and scraped a rectangle on the window then went over it with the alcohol inks - Latte and Caramal again.  It's a bit hard to see in this shot but you can see it best in my lap...  I put 2 small rub-ons in the bottom corners and was done.

Here is the 11 pages fully extended. 

Here is a close up view of the first 3 pages.

Here is the finish album tied up with a bow using the same ribbon I used in the album.  The ribbon looks cute but also holds the album closed.  Easy peasy and a great way to use up left overs too good to toss out.  Look around to see what you have that can be repurposed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Once again I have received the nasty gram about being over my allowed usage limits...  The annoying thing is it is always on the download side and never the uploads.  Annoying due to the fact I never DOWNLOAD but one or two things a month - and they are small digital stamps which I collect as I can't ever get them to print for me {wink wink}  What is putting me over is all of the stupid updates that I never asked for - you know the ones that have been done while you are sleeping.

Anyway, while I wait for the ability to work online without being up at 4 am (which is not a peak time - go figure) please stop by and visit my amazing friend Alex's blog...  I want to be her when I grow up!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What I've been up to this week...

I have been busy participating in the LOAD (Lay Out A Day) challenge so will just share the link to those LOs that are on my flicker account.

This is my second time doing LOAD and I love how much I get accomplished even tho some LOs are rather simple, even by my standards, it's nice to have those memories perserved.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blossom and Grow

Today I'm going to share how to make a flower with 6 - 3 inch pieces of double sided ribbon (meaning different pattern on each side), 1 inch circle, flower center - acrylic, felt, paper or all 3, brad and glue dots. Optional items - stapler, cotton ball and alcohol ink.  I learned this at a local store that has since closed down but I am thankful for the many projects inspired by them and the fun that was always had at crops there. 

I will apologize now for the quality of the photos - it's hard to work the camera and demo what you are meaning...well at least for me.

To start find some double sided ribbon you like - this has a lovely blue/brown argyle pattern on one side and is solid brown on the other.  You will need 6 pieces that measure 3 inches each.

You will now need to detemine what color you want the center of the flower.  I have shown you both ways but I went with having the solid as my center.  Place a glue dot on one end of the color you want to in the center (brown in my case) and fold the other end over making sure that the same color is facing you when done.  Then simple crease the top of the loop to have the opposite color showing.  There won't be much... 

I should have taken this picture prior to making my petals but better late than never right?  Below are all the products you will need.  Please note my flower base is a 1 inch circle I punched out of packaging I had in my recycle box.  I didn't show the glue dots here but you can also use staples to form the loops of the petals and to attach them to the base.  I found glue dots easier by far.

I now put 3 glue dots on my 1 inch circle which covered almost all of it as I used the large.  You could also put one glue dot on the back of each petal (in my case that would have been the patterned side).  You then will place them around the circle - I don't take too much care getting them perfect as I rather like a bit of variation between flowers.

You can leave the arcylic flower clear or you can give it a bit of color with alcohol ink in a complimentary color (stream worked well for me).  There are other options that would work but I just like playing with alcohol ink.  Because it was a small area I just used a drop on a cotton ball and dabbed it in a random pattern until it was what I wanted.  No needed to set aside until it dries as it was ready to go by the time I had taken the picture and put away my ink.

I placed the largest flower first and used it as a guide to make a small hole in the center of the main flower base for the brad.  I had my exacto knife handy but anything with a sharp point would do and if you preplan you could use your Crop-a-dile to punch a small hole.

You then simply layer largest to smallest to finish your flower then place a brad in the center and your flower is complete.  The best part of this is you can make custom embellishments using ribbon found elsewhere on your project and punch paper flowers out of paper you used and layer them.  If you use paper flowers all the same size I would curl some of the petals slightly to give dimension.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday Showcase

Welcome to the first post of my new schedule :)  I thought long and hard about who or what to showcase today...  Do I showcase some of my favorite products?  A favorite blog?...  So many to choose from and so I didn't.

I am a MemoryWorks Independent Consultant and they just launched Simple Stories  Can I just say WOW!  You really need to see this paper in person as it is just the best quality I have seen in a long time.  And the way it works with the We R Memory Keepers page protectors - phenomenal.  I know about now you are thinking - of course she'd say that - au contraire.  I do have one small complaint about it - I LOVE the flourish paper that comes in the pack and want to keep it whole to use as the opening page to the album but alas it has some of the elements that need to be cut down on the back.  So I either need to find another opening page so I can use the elements, not use the elements or get a second kit so I can do both.  I'll be ordering a second kit but I do wish all manufacturers would keep in mind that some designs lend themselves to being cut down (like the striped paper in this kit) better than others and place elements that need to be cut to use on the back of paper that lends itself to it.   I'm just saying...

Now on to one of my favorite sites.  I've mentioned Operation Write Home before so this should be no surprise to anyone.  They just do great work!  I mean who doesn't love getting a cute card from someone they love in the mail...  And when I think of all the happy mailboxes around the US due to the dedication of those behind OWH I smile.  When I think of all the talented people making cards to send to our troops I get all warm and fuzzy.  If you think - I don't do cards so I can't help nothing could be further from the truth.  Stop by the site and get is touch with OWH to ask about helping to stuff boxes, stamp the OWH info on the back of cards being send or if a small monetary donation could help offset shipping costs.  Maybe you or your group could sponsor a Unit and cover postage to them for 6 months or a year?  Whatever you do please just know it will result in smiles on the faces of those left behind while our troops do their duty.

Tune in on Thursday to see how I turn 6 scraps of ribbon into a flower...