Friday, March 28, 2008

Unity Stamp Company Weekly GiveAway...

Hey everyone! We are still in Texas for Spring Break having fun with the family. I will be back to my regular schedule and blogging next week. But in the meantime, I wanted to make sure that you didn't forget to go comment on the Unity Stamp Co. blog to be eligible for this week's giveaway.

To be eligible this week, you need to go to the Unity Stamp Co. website and find your favorite stamp kit. There are so many gorgeous is fun to go over there and drool and get inspired. I am so excited about so many of these...I should have a box of them sitting on my front porch when I get home so be watching this spot for some new Unity artwork soon!! :)

And I just had to share this photo with you. My SIL Kara is a professional photographer and yesterday she took the kids out for a photo shoot. She sent me this one last night of Little Bit. Now remember this is totally is one of those photos that is just so sweet. Kat isn't too sure about strangers and has been very leery of my family the whole week. Within the last couple of days she has finally started to warm up to them, but this photo yesterday was one of the very last one's taken. The look on her face just seems to symbolize how kind of unsure and not quite happy about it that she has been all week. I love this photo!!! BTW, she had her first tooth break through on Saturday too!!!
I just got an email from Cookie Sunshine and she was asking me what we are having today for Shake Friday and I realized that I forgot to remind you to go get your shake today. We haven't decided where we are going yet. Jacob is voting for Starbucks for frappuccinos (don't caffeine for him...he likes the strawberries and cream...the caffeine ones are saved for Kat! LOL!), but I think that others in the family are voting for real ice cream shakes so we will see.
And speaking of Cookie Sunshine, you need to go visit her blog! She was so nice to feature my book that I made for DH earlier in the week. She has all kinds of fun eye-candy on need to go check it out!!! I can promise you that you will be inspired!!!
I'll be back Sunday or Monday!

Monday, March 24, 2008

One of my Favorite Cards...

I do some work with a couple of UK magazines every other month or so. My latest article was in the Issue 27 of Papercraft Essentials. I really loved the cards that I created for the article and was somewhat disappointed when I received the magazine to see that they were really washed out in the photos. Because these are some of my favorite cards ever, I had to share a little glimpse with you...

This is, I think, my favorite card that I have ever made (although I just finished some more magazine artwork this week that runs a REALLY close second.) I love it!

The article is about using office supplies in your crafts. The good news is that the magazine is filled with some awesome artwork (although I did notice a couple of the other articles that seemed to be a bit over-exposed also, but they still looked beautiful.) And if you have never bought a British craft mag, you will like them, because they offer detailed step-by-step instructions for all the artwork in them. If you are in the States, you can usually pick up these mags at Barnes & Noble (back shelves of the magazine rack in plastic covers.)

I hope that everyone had a nice Easter. We are in Texas enjoying some time with family while Jacob is on Spring Break so it will probably be a bit quiet around here this week...


Friday, March 21, 2008

A Gift for DH...

It's Shake Friday!!! I think that we are headed out to Burger King for shakes this week....mmmm! I think that it is just as much fun to plan where we are having our shakes each week, as it is to drink them and think of DH having his shake in Iraq.

As most of you know, DH is deployed to Iraq. His birthday was coming up and I really had a delimna as to what to do for him. He is trying to eat really healthy so fun foods from home were out. He works a ton of hours so doesn't have much free time and whatever I send him has to fit in his luggage (that was full when he left) to come home. So that's where this little book comes in. I made it for him for his birthday.

He's 45 this year, so it is filled with the 45 reasons why I love him. It is a remix of Tammy Tutterow's Live With Joy Mini Book Class over at Heart in Hands Scrapping.

I used the new Scenic Route Grafton line as well as a mix of stamps, ribbons, Bazzill scalloped cardstock, and shipping tags to construct it.

This cover was made using one of those gorgeous Creative Imaginations rub-ons (the Because.) The letter stickers are black glitter and just gorgeous!!! They are from the K&Company line, Fresh Paint, available at Target. The flowers on this are Making Memories.

Don't forget to head over to the Unity Stamp Company blog and comment to be eligible for this week's stamp give-away. You can see the image of it (fun cupcakes and ice cream with some fantastic sentiment stamps!!) in the post previous to this one.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unity Stamp Company Give-away!!!

It's that day of the week again...USC is giving away another stamp set this week!! Be sure to comment on the Unity blog to qualify for the random drawing for this stamp set.
There are samples up on Brooke and AJ's blogs using this fun set! I'll be back tomorrow with a new project to share...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Playing with ATC's....

You know, it's not very often that I play with Altered Trading Cards, but when I do, I love these little cards. Over the weekend at the HHS cybercrop, Catherine Scanlon hosted an ATC challenge. As part of the challenge, she posted some save-able clipart to use in your ATC's and one was a vintage image of a little girl holding an egg and chick. Well, that image inspired my Easter theme for this trio of cards.

If you have never seen ATC's before, they measure 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". They were created as a way for artist's to trade art pieces. They are super-fun to make once you get your brain wrapped around working in that small of a size. They are always to be traded, never sold.

For this series, I worked mainly with the Scenic Route Easter line (that I can't remember what it's called and am too lazy to go look it up right now.) I used one of Catherine's images and then a couple of mine that I had saved. {A great site for free vintage photos is can right-click on the images and save them there to print later.}
I hope that you all are doing well this week. I am crazy-busy trying to get ready to go to Texas for Spring Break. So many little things to get done and take care of and I am already going through withdrawals thinking about not creating for a week. I may have to figure out a little travel-studio to take with me. :)
BTW, Amy (caffinated cropper) is hosting an ATC swap if you would like to join in on one...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Watch...

The was a layout that I created over the weekend from one of the cybercrop challenges. It was a recipe challenge which meant that it had to follow very specific guidelines: one piece of polka dot paper, one piece of striped paper, one sheet of cardstock, one rub-on, one title using stickers or chipboard, one ribbon or rickrack, three buttons, and one optional other (which for my layout, was th journaling block.)

Well, this turned out to be a rather plain layout, but it tells an important story.
The journaling says,
"February, 2008
One of Katherine's favorite toys has always been Ben's watch. She will spend hours chewing on it happily. As he prepared to leave for Iraq for 4 months, we talked about how much she was going to miss his watch. Well I should have known that Daddy was going to take care of his little girl. When it came time to pack, he bought a new watch so he could leave the other one for her. A quiet link to her daddy."
The two photos...the one on the left is her with him with the old watch and then the one on the right is her trying to take off his new watch the day that he left for Iraq.
My added embellishment was the journaling block from Creative Imaginations. Papers are SEI, Bazzill cardstock, Making Memories buttons, trim from Hancock fabrics, rub-ons (the row of watches) from 7gypsies, alpha stickers are Scenic Route.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Finally...the Journal Tutorial...

I created this tutorial several years ago. I have since discovered that a xyron works really well for adhesive also.

Covering your Journal:

All measurements are based on the books that I purchased which measure 5x8. If your book is a different size, you may have to adjust the measurements accordingly.

***There are basically 4 steps to the cover. The first is the actual cover. For my books I use 2 pieces that are 6x10 which leaves an inch overlap on the top, side and bottom to tuck into the book. When you look at a book there is a groove on the binding...for this first piece, it is adhered on just to that groove, not over it

Once this piece is attached to the cover and before you tuck in the edges, you need to miter the corners. To do this, you need to cut almost a triangle out of each corner to almost the edge of the book.

Now fold in and adhere your 3 sides to the inside of the book.

To attach the spine strip, I use 3 pieces of Magic Scraps tape. This is super sticky so it will hold really well.

For the spine, I use a piece that is 10 x 2 ½. This leaves me about 1" overlap for the front and back. This actually overlays the first layer on the front by a bit to seal it in.

Make sure you press the tape and this layer of b&t into the groove on the spine.There is a section cut out at the top and bottom for the actual spine and then the tabs are tucked into the cover and adhered down.

The final step is ribbon. Again I use the magic scraps tape on this. The ribbon is about 2" longer than the length of the book so that again it can be adhered inside. I place a piece of magic scraps tape down the full length of the ribbon.

This is then attached to the covers making sure to catch both the cover layer and the spine under the adhesive. This is also a great place to hide those mistakes if you placed your spine on slightly crooked. It basically seals all of the paper in place.

For the inside of the book, I cut a piece of white cardstock 1/4" smaller than the cover and adhere it inside last thing. That way it covers in all of my work and rough edges and also seals in all of the layers to give the whole book extra durability.

It looks like there are a lot of steps here, but it is really so easy. This part, you can easily do in 15 minutes and then you can decorate it however you want. I have found that this is a great project to use your favorite papers on, because it really shows them off.
To see other journals that I have made, look at these posts: here, here, and here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yikes! Bad Weather....

Sorry that I disappeared on you all last night. We had bad thunderstorms move in with tornado warnings all around us (although I don't think that any of them ever touched down, but I could be wrong about that) so I shut down the computer and it never calmed down enough to turn it back on. But everything is fine this morning and I think that we are supposed to have a gorgeous day here.
If you are here to see the Butterfly Beauty artwork for Unity Stamp Company, you can find that post here. And don't forget, you have until 5:00 on Tuesday to go and comment on the USC blog to be eligible for the weekly drawing for that yummy set.

My last challenge last night over at the HHS cybercrop was my favorite so I am a bit sad that I didn't get to share it here last night. This was a Fashion Challenge...

5:00 pm Fashion Challenge
This challenge is based upon a fashion piece that I found while surfing around one of my favorite online places for inspiration, If you need a design jolt to get your creative muse going, I highly recommend a good surf around their site.

But this is the piece that I want you to use as inspiration for this challenge. You can use the actual fashions, the layout of the ad, the colors, the shapes...whatever it is about this that inspires you and remember that will probably be different for everyone.

Use it in whatever way it inspires you to create a layout, card, or altered item. Upload it into the 5 pm Fashion Challenge Gallery...

This will be the prize for this challenge that will be awarded to a randomly drawn winner from all the participants that upload to the HHS gallery. You all that read my blog can come over and join us. There aren't too many people playing so the odds of winning are pretty good. The deadline for uploads is 7:00 pm CST today so there is still tons of time to be inspired and create and there are tons of other fun challenges besides mine. Just because you are my friends, it doesn't mean that you have to do my challenges. I have been having a blast with the other challenges!

And here is how I interpretted the inspiration piece. I changed the juxtaposition of the elements of the fashion a bit, but if you look, it is all there. Turn the layout to the left and you can see the little pink sleeves are the corners. The bottom layers of the shirts are those borders and then I changed where the embroidery was placed on the piece. I really love how this layout turned out.

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten that I promised you a journal tutorial. It should be posted late tonight...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good Saturday Morning!!!

It's cybercrop day over at Heart In Hands Scrapping!!! I think that you guys know that I love a good cybercrop and that is because I am all about the challenges that get your creative juices flowing. I am in charge of 4 hours of the challenges (there is a new challenge every hour from 7:00 am CST to 7:00 pm CST) so I will be updating the blog throughout the day as the challenges go up over in the HHS forum.
If you are visiting my blog today to see the Unity Stamp Company Butterfly Beauty artwork that is being given away this week over on the Unity blog (you need to comment there to be eligible to win it), it is on the post below this or you can click here for a direct link to it as this post is liable to get a little long today.
2:00 pm CST Three Product Challenge
For this challenge, you need to create a project that uses these three items:
*text paper

You are not limited to only these products, but your project has to include all THREE of these products on it.
If you are sitting there thinking that you can't do this challenge because you don't have one of these items, then that is where you need to get creative.
...text paper...
copy a page out of a dictionary or other book; create your own text paper using rubberstamp words; doodle your own text paper (but journaling does NOT count as text paper)
carve a potato; use a pencil eraser as a polkadot; create coffee rings with your coffee mug
I know that you have buttons somewhere in your house... :p
This is the prize that will be awarded randomly to one of the participants from this challenge.
Just make sure to upload your project into the Three Product Challenge gallery by 7:00 pm Sunday night to be eligible to win...

10:00 am CST Scrapper's Cards Challenge
One day I was sitting in my scrapbooking room and had an epiphany about the perfect scrapper’s card to make while looking at some coin envelopes that are sized 3 ½” x 6”. I have since discovered that the old small letter envelopes which everyone used to use for correspondence are sized 3 5/8” x 6 ½” which also makes them perfect for mailing this sized card.

These cards are made literally from scraps and because of the size of the finished product, they are perfect for scrapbookers. The finished size of all these cards is 3" gallery http: div>

For this challenge, you need to make 2- 3”x6” cards to qualify for the random prize drawing. Feel free to copy any of my designs here or make up your own. I think that you will find that these go together super-fast & easy and are a lot of fun to make! Have fun!!!

This is the prize that will be awarded randomly to one of the participants from this challenge. Just make sure to upload your cards into the 10:00 Scrapper's Card Gallery by 7:00 pm Sunday night to be eligible to win...

7:00 am CST Art Inspiration Challenge:
Good morning! I hope that you are ready to go for a day full of inspiration and creating. This first challenge this morning is based upon an art inspiration piece. Art is totally subjective, as is inspiration, so that means that there is absolutely no right or wrong for this challenge. Look at this art piece and try to find some sort of creative inspiration from it. The part that inspires you will probably be different for everyone. You may create any kind of paper project for this challenge.
Spa Dreams by Don Li-Leger

This is the prize involved with this challenge. It will be awarded by random drawing from everyone who uploads a project from this challenge by 7:00 CST Sunday evening. Upload your project into the 7:00 am Art Inspiration Gallery.

Here is my layout that was inspired by the art piece. As you can see, I was inspired by the lay-out design of the original piece.

I'll be back at 5:00 pm CST with the next challenge...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Unity Stamp Co. Weekly Giveaway!!!

Yay!!! I finally get to share this with you. I got to play with the Unity Stamp Company set, Butterfly Beauty which is going to be this week's giveaway set over on the USC blog. I have only had this set since Monday which is part of the reason that you all haven't seen me around here much this week. I have been playing with these awesome stamps. They are so much fun and I could create so much more with them...the ideas are flowing. There just aren't enough hours in the day for creating!!


I think that this is my favorite project out of the bunch, and the awesome thing about this project is that this is just straight, simple stamping...That's it! Incredibly easy. This is a covered journal. I used to make these all the time and then ended up with a surplus of them so I haven't done one in a while.

They are super easy to make using a cheap hardbound journal/sketch book (if anyone is interested in a tutorial on this, I could post one next week sometime...maybe Sunday. Just let me know. These make great gifts and done up like this are awesome gifts for girl's birthdays...this is one of my 13 yo DS's favorite gifts when he is going to a girl's party.

supplies used:
*Unity Stamp Company Butterfly Beauty kit
*Anna Griffin papers
*Chatterbox ribbon
*7gypsies handles
*Bazzill cardstock

This card is another straight-forward stamping example. I stamped the butterfly in brown (did you notice the detail in this one's wings? flowers! I love it!) and then colored in the details in orange. All these words are part of this stamp set too. I love the font and classic style of them.

supplies used:
*Unity Stamp Co. Butterfly Beauty set
*Basic Grey Romani papers
*Rhonna Farrer paper
*Making Memories ribbon
*Jenni Bowlin label sticker
*Autumn Leaves buttons


A Vision of Beauty from Him
By adding just a few words in between the words of the set, I was able to create this perfect title for this layout. Most of you know that Kat wasn't planned...she is absolutely our perfect little gift from God. I haven't had time to do it yet, but soon I will add some journaling about that on this layout around the bottom photo.

There's a lot of dimension to this layout and for a while, I wasn't sure that it was going to work, but I really like the overall effect.

supplies used:
*Unity Stamp Co. Butterfly Beauty kit
*Basic Grey LilyKate papers
*K&Co Amy Butler papers
*Foofala paper
*Prima flowers
*Zig writer


This is a 12x12 wall art piece for Kat's room. Her room is done in butterflies so this set was perfect to use in there. I simply decorated 3 large shipping tags and then mounted them onto some patterned papers and framed them into the shadow box.

supplies used:
*Unity Stamp Co. Butterfly Beauty stamp set
*Anna Griffin papers
*Stacy Claire Boyd paper
*Heidi Swapp bling
*Autumn Leaves buttons
*7gypsies paper (music)
*dictionary paper
*shipping tags
*Making Memories and Prima flowers
*lace trim


Somehow this card ended up with a collage look, but I am not sure how it progressed to this point. This is one of those projects that simply evolved. I started with a white card base and stamped the edge of one of the butterfly wings all around the outside of it. I then inked up one of the butterflies in blue and rolled the edges into black. After I trimmed the paper, I applied a thin strip of adhesive around the edge and dipped it into well as adding it to the body of the butterfly. I like the mix of words on here to create "inspired possibilities"...a fun way of saying, hope.
supplies used:
*Unity Stamp Co. Butterfly Beauty kit
*7gypsies paper (music)
*Making Memories paper and flowers
*Autumn Leaves buttons
*Heidi Swapp bling
I hope that you have enjoyed these projects. I sure had fun creating them! Don't forget to go comment on the Unity Stamp Co. blog starting tonight at 5:00 and running through Tuesday for the weekly drawing for this stamp set.
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