Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Precious Memories Baby Album

Recently I had the lovely job of creating a baby album (for hire) for a friend. And even though I don't know the person who will actually be receiving it, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating it and imagining the sweet Mom who will enjoy putting her baby boy's photos inside.

Due to time constraints, I didn't make notes of measurements so there will be no tutorial for this one. I apologize. It was simply made with love. I used Graphic 45's newest baby collection "Precious Memories" with a bit of their older collection "Little Darlings" to fill things out. It's great how well these two collections worked together!

Here's a look at all the pages...lots of photos.

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Oh, and I failed to mention earlier: my friend actually asked for two albums. It was easy work making the second one. I simply designed a page for the first one, then repeated all the paper cuts and placed them in orderly piles on a side table. Once the first album was completed, all I had to do was assemble the second one. Piece-o-cake!

I love that I can easily pull together Graphic 45 papers, ephemera cards, pockets & tags, and chipboard to create a gift like this. And I am a thrifty crafter, so for the embellishments I shopped the discount aisle of my local Michael's store and found the most perfectly-matched ribbon assortment as well as the gems & pearls. Everything else is dies, punches, buttons and twine that I already had. Oh, and the kraft album itself? Would you believe I found these at Tuesday Morning for 20¢ a piece? They're Zutter's Bamboo Spine Album. I bought a dozen of them! I had some 3/4" Cinch coils in my stash that worked perfectly with the albums.

Remember, you can always find all your favorite Graphic 45 products at They carry all the Precious Memories collection, including the stamp sets.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Graphic 45 Mon Amour Multi-Tag Mini Album

Hello everyone! There's a beautiful new Graphic 45 paper collection that you're sure to love. (No pun intended.) It's called "Mon Amour" and I've got a unique tag album to share with you over on the Graphic 45 blog today. I've used all three packs of the Graphic 45 black tag staples and lots of pretty May Arts ribbon. Mon Amour will be available soon, but wouldn't it be fun to WIN some of it?

Here's a peek below at a few pages, but be sure to hop over to their blog to watch my YouTube tutorial and to see all the gorgeous papers and accessories in this collection. Leave them a comment and let them know what you think and you could "win it before you buy it." Good luck!

If you're headed to the Paper Arts Show in the Chicago area, stop by the Graphic 45 booth and check out my album in person. It's always prettier in real life. If you do, make sure to come back and let me know what you thought of it. I'd love to hear.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Compendium of Curiosities #33 - Altered Surfaces

Happy Saturday! Welcome to another Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge. We're on #33, and if you're keeping track you've figured out we have one more to go and we've worked our way through the entire book! 

The Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge is hosted by our lovely hostess Linda Ledbetter on her blog. Each challenge comes from the wonderful book "A Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III" featuring amazing products and techniques by non-other than Tim Holtz. This week's challenge can be found on page 45 in the book and is called "Altered Surfaces."

Join us with your creation based on the featured technique and your project could win you an awesome prize pack from Tim and Mario and you also have a chance to win the random draw from our generous sponsor this time: Inspiration Emporium. All the details, rules and links are at the end of my post so be sure to keep reading all the way through.

I've been staring at a spot on my living room wall for some time now, thinking it needed something and decided it was more art! At the moment, there's one small burlap canvas (from the 6th Compendium of Curiosities Challenge) and the rest is blank. So I dug through my alterable pieces and found an 8" x 8" flat burlap panel. Perfect! Now to create. Let me take you through my process...

I began by mixing a few different Distress paints with texture paste and applying them to my canvas. First I spread a mixture with Scattered Straw then another with Broken China. I used the Latticework stencil on the topmost layer with Evergreen Bough. 

When the paint and texture paste dried, it was bit too pastel for my taste, so I spritzed the outer edges with Vintage Photo Distress Stain and the inner area with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls spray. This is more my style!

Then for my altered surfaces, I chose lots of different metal Idea-ology pieces and applied several layers of paints, following the technique steps in the book. Fun-fun technique!

I've had these Letterpress Letters forever, waiting for the right project. The time is now! I love using words that speak to me in my art. 

I was inspired by this beautiful canvas by Richele Christenson. I loved how she used the "&" symbol for her "E" in Life.

For some contrast to my burlap panel colors, I colorized a Clipboard Clip and another metal foliage piece with Distress Paints like Wild Honey, Ripe Persimmon, Fired Brick and Antiqued Bronze.

Creativity, to me, feels like taking flight and soaring. So many places to explore and experiment. I die-cut and embossed a Layered Dragonfly and two Butterfly Duos. After inking the edges and surfaces with Vintage Photo, I spritzed with Perfect Pearls sprays. (Perfect Copper and Blue Patina).

I selected some Flashcards and started placing my elements on my canvas.

Then filled in the open spaces with some Elegant Flourishes die cuts and some leaves from the Autumn Gatherings die. These die cuts were cut from Kraft Core and sanded for a distressed look.

Here are a few close ups...

I haven't yet decided if I want to add some Glossy Accents to the letters or not. I will wait and see how I feel in a few days. 

Will you be joining us in the second-to-last challenge? I hope you will. It's a fun one that I'm sure you'll enjoy exploring. Thanks for stopping by today. Now go get painty!

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Do you have the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III book by Tim Holtz? (the master of all things vintage and distressed.) If not, you can find one at your local craft store, scrapbook store, or you can get a signed copy by Tim himself by going here. 

You can find all the CC3 Challenge details and FAQs here.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is our hostess of this fun series of challenges, and all you have to do to participate is create your project, and upload to her site. Be sure, though, to read through all the FAQs so you're eligible to win...

We're working our way through this fantastic book of techniques and tips, and challenging you to join in the fun. This round's challenge is sponsored by the great folks at Inspiration Emporium who have a fabulous gift voucher to give away to one lucky random winner. Also, the Curiosity Crew's Choice scores a giant prize pack of goodies straight from Tim and Mario!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gilded Lily Configurations Book Box

Have you been checking out the sneak peeks of Graphic 45's new Fall collections on their blog? They started yesterday with "World's Fair" and will continue through next week, so be sure to check them out along with creations by the fabulous design team.

"Gilded Lily" was released early this Summer and is now available in stores. You have, no doubt, seen some of the beautiful projects made with this wonderful collection. If not, all you have to do is search "Gilded Lily" on Pinterest and prepare to be blown away.

I decided to create a configurations book box with Gilded Lily. Configurations boxes are great options when you want to use lots of papers in a collection because there are so many spaces to work in! Other options are display trays, and mixed media boxes, which can be easily transformed into something like a configurations box. I used Tim Holtz's Large Configurations Book Box (from his Idea-ology line) for my project.

Here's the cover. Lots going on here. Washi Tape, die cuts, metal embellishments, and flowers. The shadow box on the front comes from the inside of the book box, as you'll see. But first, let's take a closer look at the details for my box cover.

I cut apart this section to adhere into the shadow box for the cover, but first I die-cut the center area using this Spellbinders die. (supply links at the bottom of the post.)  

I adhered the large cut-apart piece into the box first. Then cut the center oval portion of the label piece with scissors and then die-cut another of the label shapes from the pink side of the 6 x 6 Gilded Lily Patterns & Solids pack. I attached sheer gold ribbon to a strip from the 6 x 6 paper then weaved these through the label and wrapped it around the box. 

I fussy cut a few flowers and adhered them in place, then added some miniature flowers, a gold bow, and a metal crown.

Cream lace trim on the outside edges of the shadow box.

More flowers in the corners, then I created some lifelike lilies using Susan Tierney-Cockburn's Lily die set.

Here's how the lily comes together. I've taken the time to shape and colorize the die-cut pieces already. Hard to believe these were plain cardstock cuts before.

This was my first of two lilies I made for this project, and I learned that I should've put the petals a lot closer together. Here they are too far apart, but I managed to squish it together a little on the cover of my box. So keep that in mind if you make this lily. Start with them overlapping a lot more than this.

After getting all six petals in place, I set it down into an egg carton to dry in this cupped shape.

Before adhering the lilies, I die cut these pieces of greenery from light pink textured cardstock. 

This cluster in the upper left corner lines up with the adhesive pearls and the washi tape edge.

The inside cover of the configurations book box. I cut apart the two sides of the Gilded Lily Signature sheet, adhered the middle piece in the center, then overlapped the two sides to give it a seamless look.

To fix the cut-off words "Gilded Lily" at the top, I simply fussy-cut a few pieces and adhered them over the words, then added a punched butterfly in the center.

Here's another look.

Did you know on the back of the packaging of the configurations boxes there are several diagrams of suggested configurations you can try? I selected one of them and changed the position of the two in the upper left corner. Otherwise, the same. See where the large box was removed from the lower left corner? That's the one on my cover. Most of these boxes were lined with the 6 x 6 papers. Before adhering any papers, I painted a coat of white gesso and then a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint. Once the papers were adhered, I gave the whole thing several spritzes of Perfect Pearls spray.

The inside sections of the configurations box. This is the fun part! Filling all those spaces. I used the Gilded Lily Decorative Chipboard, more metal pieces, flowers, punches, ribbon, and cut-apart. I should also mention that I used metallic gold cardstock for some flourish die-cuts. 

Here are some close-ups...

Here's another look at the finished exterior and interior...

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love to know what you think. Have you ever made a configurations book box before? What paper and theme did you use? 

FYI, the metal crowns, fleur-de-lis, keyholes and miniature white frame were all from Michael's in the seasonal bin. I touched them up with gold gilder's paste. The ribbons, lace trims, buttons and adhesive pearls are from my local craft store. All punches are from Martha Steward Crafts.