Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Potential is the name of this month's pretty stamp of the month from Close To My Heart. You can view all the images in this set in the right-hand column of my blog page. Over 50 consultants are participating in the Blog Hop this month, so you're sure to get plenty of inspiration.

If you're already hopping along, you've come here from Angel Sawyer's blog. To see where to go to next, check out my creation, leave a comment (pretty please) and then click on the link at the end of this post to keep following through the hop. If you get lost along the way, you can always go to Helen Onulak's blog where the full list of participants is located.

So here's what I came up with...

Inside the card it says "Anything is possible." I think this would make a great card for a friend, a family member or any gal pal who you are striving to achieve a goal with, get through a tough time with, or start a new adventure together. There's a lot going on in this card, so let's dissect it a bit.

For starters, the paper pack is Florentine. My all-time favorite in the current Idea Book. The main stamped image here is a decorative flourish medallion, for lack of a better description. I stamped it in Twilight ink onto Colonial White card stock, colored in certain areas with a Vanilla Cream marker, and then outlined those same areas with a fine-tip black pen. Then I cut around the image and curled it forward slightly. 

From a small flower punch, I made the tiny flower. I simply punched five out of some of the Florentine paper and layered them up, cutting away petals to achieve the dimensional look. Fellow consultant Connie MacFarlane provides an excellent tutorial video on these simple-to-make flowers here.

The ribbon is Close To My Heart's new Color Ready Seam Binding which comes in plain white and can be colored to match your projects. Connie also demonstrates some variations on coloring seam binding here. (Can you tell she inspired me this month? Thank you Connie!) My ribbon is colored using her technique of mixing eight parts of rubbing alcohol with one part Twilight re-inker in a spritz bottle and then spraying and wrinkling up the ribbon.

See the dark brown flourishes on the card? They are CTMH's new Tapestry Velvet Rub-ons, and until I used them, I didn't really know if I would like them, but WOW, I love these babies! So easy and so pretty.

The butterflies were cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge in two layers. The base from Florentine paper, then the layer from Cocoa cardstock. They measure 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches. I have to say, my Cricut machine did NOT like cutting out the layer for the 1-inch butterfly. All those intricate swirls were a challenge at that size, so I wouldn't recommend going any smaller than 1 1/2 inches. My small one tore up a little, but I just added a few Bitty Sparkles and no one has to know, right?

Okay, now it's time to hop along to Nancy Brown's blog and check out her creation. If I know Nancy, it's going to be fabulous.

Thanks and have a great day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Holtzian Patchwork

A few of my girlfriends were lucky enough to take a few classes with Tim Holtz this past summer at Whim So Doodle in St. Petersburg, Florida and came home with several projects, one of which was a wonderful patchwork filled with Tim's techniques. Like me, many of you have probably seen different variations of patchworks by Tim. I've always had it in the back of my mind to create one myself, and I finally got an opportunity so I'll be teaching this one at my All Things Tim class this month.

I got out my trusty Compendium of Curiosities book and started studying the techniques, picking and choosing which ones I wanted to use. Then I went to my local craft store and purchased a black 9 x 12 canvas on which to mount everything. Finally I got out all my Idea-Ology goodies and Stampers Anonymous stamps and spread them out before me. And let's not forget my Sizzix Alterations dies too.

Here are a few close-ups with the techniques I used from the book...

Dabber Resist, pg. 37

Scribble Stain Distress, pg. 34

Alcohol Ink Agate on Grunge, pg. 53

Rusted Enamel, pg. 41

This was just a Kraft Resist thing I did with Peeled Paint Distress Stain.

Rock Candy Distress Stickles, pg. 47

Weathered Wood Grunge, pg. 50

These are just a few I highlighted, but if you go back and click on the main photo you'll also see the following techniques from the book as well:

Shabby Chic
Inking Grunge
Double Distress
Distress Crackle
Altered Metal with Paint
Industrial Grunge
Altered Metal Alcohol Inks
Grungepaper Flowers

Thanks for stopping in today. I always appreciate it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Graphic 45 Design Team 2012 Audition

What fun I've been having the past few weeks, secretly creating projects for the fabulous opportunity to audition for the Graphic 45 Design Team! If you've never heard of Graphic 45 I must ask you "where have you been?!" They carry some of the coolest, vintage-inspired paper-crafting products you can find. Full of deep color and richness, it's just plain yummy is all I can say. You can check out their blog here, and their website here.

The requirement for the first round is to submit at least six projects showcasing any of the following: cards, layouts, videos, and home decor projects. Using Graphic 45 products is not required, although preferred.

So let's get on with it then. (I'll warn you: this is a LONG post with tons of pictures) I am submitting the following six projects.

1. Halloween Card

This card utilizes Graphic 45's The Magic of Oz paper line. I had some fun mixing a few other embellishments in to create a fun and whimsical feel.

2. Christmas Accordion Album

This 6 x 6 table-top display accordion album utilizes Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium paper line and coordinating card stock die-cuts. When I say "yummy" I really mean it. I knew when I saw this paper in the local scrapbook store I immediately had to have it.

Inside view

Outside view.

Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Close-up 3

Close-up 4

Close-up 5

Close-up 6

Close-up 7

3. Altered Purse Tin

This project started with this fairly unattractive tin I found in the clearance section of my local craft store.

Using Graphic 45's Fashionista paper line and a variety of embellishments I had on hand, the tin was transformed into a pretty home decor piece. I just love the vintage images of the ladies. I swear I was supposed to be born in this era. It's me all the way.

Add some flowers and the tin has a whole new look!

Close-up 1

Close-up 2. Why the 48? Why not 45 for Graphic 45? 
(I promise to explain after I find out if I made the first round. So stay tuned.)

4. Altered Dress Form

My 4th project started with this papier-mâché dress form and unfinished wooden candle stick from my local craft store. I was already dreaming up what I was going to do...

Using Graphic 45's Tropical Travelogue papers and a few extra embellishments, I had fun creating this whimsical decor piece. A seamstress I am not, so I just gave the main piece of tropical paper a rough cut, spritzed it with water and started decoupaging it to the bodice. It took two pieces; one for the front and one for the back, and with enough patience and massaging, I was able to get it to conform pretty well.

The flower accents are cut from the paper and sparkled up with some Stickles. Artificial ferns help to accent the paper strips shooting up from the bodice, along with a single feather spritzed with color to match the theme.

This was the part I had in my head when I first purchased the dress form. I knew the Tropical Travelogue pack had a sheet full of these beautiful tropical leaves. So I sat down, put on the Food Channel and started cutting each and every one of those babies out and layered them onto the bottom of the dress. Adhesive pearls in shades of gray cover the seam and add some glitz.

5. Cruise Scrapbook Layout

(Be sure to click on this photo to get a good look at all the details)
I couldn't wait to start scrapbooking the cruise I took with friends back in the fall, and I knew that Graphic 45's Tropical Travelogue paper was the perfect choice for my experience in the Eastern Caribbean. Not only is the paper beautiful, but the coordinating chipboard die-cuts are (I know I keep saying it but...) super yummy! I mean, what is it about scrapbook paper that makes us feel this way? And I know I'm not the only one. Right?

Close-up 1 shows off some of those pretty chipboard die-cuts which I adored with some twine.

The chipboard die-cut tropical tickets are connected on the sheet, but here I simply cut them apart, pierced a hole and reconnected them with twine for a border between my two photos.

These pretty vintage botanical-style postage stamps are on a full sheet of the 12 x 12 paper in this pack in various sizes. A little inking of the edges and some foam tape to pop them up and they become great little page embellishments.

I pulled in some of Graphic 45's Core-dinations card stock into the layout to create the page background, the photo mats and this fun fringe accent.

6. Altered Lunch Box & Grade School Mini Album

My final project started with this unfinished wooden lunch box from my local craft and hobby store.

Using Graphic 45's An ABC Primer paper line, I transformed it into a vintage style lunch box...

...which contains a coordinating School Days grade school album that is spiraled at the top to make a vertical style mini which measures 4 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches. 

The mini begins with a simple page to start off the "story" using a pocket pull-out for journaling.

Then continues through each grade level in elementary school. (In Florida our kids go K - 6). 

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

One final look how the two projects look together.

If you made it this far into this post, I owe you a HUGE thank you for hanging in there. I would love to have your feedback and hope you enjoyed looking at the projects as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stella Workshop on the Go enhancements

Close To My Heart's Workshops on the Go (WOTG) are a great option for scrapbookers. Especially those feeling a little challenged with creating scrapbook pages from scratch. In every WOTG you receive a full level 2 paper pack, coordinating embellishments, an exclusive stamp set, and instructional brochure. You can make up to four scrapbook pages plus bonus projects are offered for a few more dollars.

The Workshops on the Go are simple and fast to complete, but sometimes I find myself wanting to enhance the pages just a little further. On Wednesday I promised to share the enhancements I made to the Stella WOTG.

First you'll need to check out the workshop pages as they are intended...

Pretty, right? 

Now check out what you can do using a few different papers in the pack but still following the cutting guides in the kit...

 As you can see, just a switch of the background card stock to the colorful and beautiful pattern paper gives the pages a whole different feel. And since I knew I was only making the first two pages in the kit, I didn't have to be stingy with my paper. This also allows me to utilize more of the colorful patterns in the paper pack.

Now let's see how it all came together with my photos and title...

My colors look a bit different in this photo (more true) since I took it outside this morning. Be sure to click on the image to get a closer look at all the details. The pages came together in a snap by following the WOTG brochure and it was fun putting my own twist on the use of paper and embellishments.

Thanks for stopping in today. I'll be posting my entries tomorrow for the Graphic 45 Design Team Audition, so stay tuned for that. I've been having a great time with their products and I'm excited to share!!

Have a great day!