.....come enjoy some handmade creations and heartfelt experiences. I'm glad you're here & hope you'll come back often.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

National Scrapbooking Month

Whew!!  I can't believe another month is slipping by - how DOES that always happen SO fast?!?  It's been as busy as always around here.  Lots and lots of end of the year activities for the kids - field trips, picnics, you name it.  Plus, over Memorial Day weekend; we just had our annual Saddle Up for St. Jude.  Many of you know that we're a couple of the main organizers for this big event; so that takes up a lot of time in May.  The ride was a great success again this year and we were able to raise a lot of funds for the kids and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  More about that in another post.  But with all the prep for that & the kids activities - well, the month has flown by!

But before this month is completely over, I wanted to recognize that this month was in fact National Scrapbooking Month.  Most of you know, I'm not a big scrapbooker - more of a "photo album embellisher"....if there is such a thing lol!  But recently our design team for Sparkle N Sprinkle was asked to design a couple pages so everyone can see how well all the great SNS products work for scrapbooks.  So in honor of the last day of Scrapbooking month; I thought I'd share one of those designs with you.

This was a bit of challenge for me since I don't do this too often.  But as is often the case, you end up being quite pleased with the results when you challenge yourself!  This layout was for an annual trip to Lake Erie (in PA) that we started taking a few years back with my parents, sister & her kids, and us.  It's a bit of a drive to get there, but it's always so much fun!

The hardest part of the layout (in a way) was trying to pick only a couple pictures for the layout.  I think that's one of the big reasons I don't scrap too much.....I take tons of pics & I love them all!  Hard to put them all on a layout though.  But I was really pleased with how well I did narrowing this down - I think I was really able to capture some of the best parts of the day in just these few pics. 

This layout is so much more pretty in person (isn't everything!) - it's sooo sparkly.  And sparkly & my camera just don't seem to get a long very well recently.  But I took a bunch if closeups so you can see some of the details a little better.
Most of the page was done using Set 403 - By the Seashore.  This set has so many great pieces for anything beachy  - scrapbook pages, cards, you name it!  A definite must have set!

The title was done with super sparkly Hit the Beach & Poolside embossing powders - our go to powders for beachy things!  And I did the title with a fun SNS technique where you make layers using EP & sticker paper that are then torn to resemble waves crashing on the beach. Very fun for a page title!

My subtitle was made extra fun by stamping it over top of the bright & firey sun (which is from Set 431 - Summer Swirl).  The whole piece was then embossed with Sparkle embossing powder to make it super shiny & sparkly.  Then it was popped up above the birds.

If you look really close at the top photo (the close ups didn't come out quite right for this part), you can kind of see that I also accented the larger pics.  A little Waterscape glitter on the waves & some Celestial glitter on the sand adds that extra spark that really makes the main pictures stand out.

The cute little frames for the mini pics were made by using two of the circle scenes from Set 403 and then cutting out the pics with a Spellbinders circle & layering it over the original picture in the design. A little Waterscape glitter around each pic for extra shine & what a cute little frames they make.  Great accent touches for the whole page!  I really like the sayings on these circles & thought this made such a neat way to use these!  (Don't you love the pics in them too....I love the waves crashing around him and the sea gull with it's reflection - just perfect!)

Well, it's a little late, but Happy National Scrapbooking Month everyone!  Hope you enjoyed this layout!

Until next time, 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sparkle N Sprinkle Endless Summer Blog Hop

Ah, Summer’s here (almost!) and the stampin’ is easy.... and fun!  Hopefully you’ve hopped here from Shona's Blog.  If not, you’ll probably want to hop back to the Sparkle N Sprinkle Home Blog because the Sparkle Team has a bunch of great summery projects for you.  All the details for this hop & the PRIZES will be listed there too!

For this hop, I’ve created a project that’s colorful, fun and super versatile, but still easy enough to save you lots of time for the pool, the beach, havin’ a picnic, or just kickin’ back in the hammock.  It’s so easy to get your stamping in & still have lots of time for all your summer fun!

And what says summer more than anything?..... flip flops!  Since I love shaped projects, I decided to do a fun flip flop shaped design.  And I thought it would be neat to cover my flip flops with flip flops – too fun, lol.  The flip flop stamp is from Set 456 - Surfin' Woody (on sale this month!)  And the assembly for this is pretty straightforward.....stamp, color with Copics, add the saying (from Set 431 - Summer Swirl) with embossing powder, and then add the ribbon & flowers.  But what's really fun about this design is what you can do with it! 

*Obviously you can use it as a card - it would make a great birthday, thinking of you, note card, or even a get well card depending on the saying you use (more about that below)!
*How about attaching this to the front of a gift bag for a really pretty present
*Or tie it to the gift bag handle and use it as a tag
*Make it the focal point on a scrapbook page 
So many great uses for this fun design!

Now about changing out the saying....
One of the hardest parts of this card was deciding what saying to use.  Not only were there soooo many great choices; but many of the choices are what make the design so versatile!  Switch the saying & there's no end to what you can use this for!  Here's just a sampling of some of the many great ideas I considered - there's lots more you might like too!

(click on the set names to link to any of these great sayings / sets on the SNS website)
For a birthday - cards, tags, or gift bags:
 "A Gift for You" - Set 449 - Wine Tableau
"Just for You" - Set 444S - Just for You
"Treat Yourself" or " You're a Sweetie" - both on Set 374 - Sweet Treats
"For My Friend", "A Gift for You", "Just for You", etc - Set 423 - Fill the Jar
Lots of great birthday sayings on - Set 416 - Happy Birthday

How about a get well card:
"The Cure for Everything is Salt Water" - Set 404 - Ocean Treasures
"Hope you're back on your feet soon" - Set 325 - Rodney Sea Critters  (this will work best on the inside of the card, but what a great saying for a summer get well card that's shoe shaped!)

For a scrapbook page:
"A Day at the Beach", "Beach Bum", "Endless Summer", etc - Set 403 - By the Sea Shore
"Life is Sweet", "Cherish Each Day" - Set 392 - Dani's Umbrella
Don't forget all the beachy sayings on Set 455 - Surf's Up 
(the sample on the right wasn't my favorite, but it gives you the basic idea of making it as a main accent for a scrapbook page)

For any use:
"Kick Back & Relax" - Set 373 - Cocktails
"It's 5 O'clock Somewhere" - Set 417 - Cocktails II 
"If the Shoe Fits...Buy One in Every Color" - Set 242 - Shoes
There's many, many more sayings for a Thinking of You or general Note card too!

Can you believe all the great choices and that's just a handful of them.  Do I have your creative juices flowing - so many great possibilities!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this project today.  With so many different ways you can use it; I sure hope you'll make one up yourself soon!! Full instructions for this design can be found on the SNS Gallery here.  Now hop on over Shanna's Blog to continue on your way and see lots more great designs! Don't forget to leave a comment on each stop to qualify for the great prizes and thanks so much for spending a little time with us today!

Until next time,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We're Having a Heat Wave......

....A tropical heat wave. (come on, sing along!)  Ok, really, you don't have to; but whew was it HOT here today!  Before lunch we had already passed 80 degrees.  And by the afternoon; we were peaking around 87 -88 degrees!  Now for my crafty friends from the south; I'm sure that's nothing!  But for us northerners (is that even the proper term?), well anyway this is HOT - particularly for early May!  That's the kind of weather we expect in July & Aug!

So this all got me thinking about the summer.  And summer got me thinking about the next blog hop coming up for Sparkle N Sprinkle because we'll be celebrating the summer this time.  The Endless Summer blog hop is in two weeks.  So be sure to catch that one!

And to put you in the mood, I thought I'd share this simple but creative fun summer card I did a little while back for Sparkle N Sprinkle.  

I call this one "Bold Boards" which pretty much says it all.

(You're going to have to excuse the photo a little...couldn't seem to get the colors true to life without messing up the white or the whites to be just right without messing up the blacks.  It was giving me a little bit of grief, but you get the idea!)

So,the simple part of this comes from the fact that it's a relatively straight forward card.  The creative part comes from three different places.

First, not only did I want my boards to be bright & bold, but I also wanted them to resemble the shiny surface of real surf boards.  So I chose a material to stamp on that reflected that.  I decided to stamp my boards on crafters/sign vinyl to get the slightly shiny, painted wood look of real surf boards.  Pretty cool huh?!  You can buy some colors of this stuff in your local craft stores.  But I got these great bright colors off of ebay.  They worked perfect!  Actually, you can see a little bit of the shine/glare that you get on them at the top of the picture on the blue board.  But you'll have to take my word that they actually shine quite a bit more, but I purposely worked to keep some of the glare off the pic because it made it too hard to see!  So that was my big creative touch!

Second creative touch was my perfectly matched accent dots.  (If I should say so myself!)  I wanted some accents, but needed something that coordinated with the boards, but didn't take away from them.  So after I cut out the boards, I took the leftover scraps, attached them to leftover cardstock, and then punched out my accents.  Viola, perfect accent pieces!  (FYI, I attached the vinyl to paper first this time so they would be thicker, punch out easier, and also glue down better.)  With such bright boards, I thought these simple accents were perfect!

Last creative touch - a perfectly matched background.  I use a lot of light colors for my card bases because SNS displays their cards on a dark background.  But when I started putting this together, my first choice, white, just wasn't going to cut it.  So, I pulled out Copics that matched each board and made myself a perfectly matched colorful & crazy card base.  I think it's so fun!

And for a little extra creativity - nothing major here; but I went for a non-typical card size and did this card to fit a standard business #10 envelope.  It's a really fun size to play with every once in a while!  (I even did a second one with the same boards, same background, but a slightly different layout.  Just never quite finished the assembly.  But it was a neat look too!)

So there it is - simple, but creative!  I just love the look of those bright, bold colors alone.  But I had a lot of fun with the creative touches on this one too!  Sure hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!  And don't forget to mark your calendar for some more great summer fun with SNS's Endless Summer Blog Hop in two weeks! 

Until next time,
Supplies Used:
Stamp - Sparkle N Sprinkle
Ink  - Staz On Jet Black
Vinyl - Unknown
Markers - Copic

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stamping 101 - Crafting with the Ladies Part 2

So I told you I'd be back with details about the second crafty gathering I ran recently and here I am.  My other recent gathering was for my mother in law.  Through my years in the family, I have gotten her into stamping & card making.  She's always been very crafty, but I really got her hooked with stamping & card making.  It's a really fun thing we share (I got my sister in law into it too).  So holidays, birthdays, etc. are always lots of fun to see what cards each other has made.

Well, my mother in law shares her cards (and ours) with her friends as well.  And her garden club enjoyed them so much; they asked if I'd be willing to teach a beginners class for them.  I've taught stamping everywhere from my house, to craft stores, to community college classes; so I was more than happy to do it!  And boy are those beginning stampers/card makers so much fun to work with!  They get so excited with their creations and are always amazed with how much you can do!  Actually, that's the only hard part about teaching beginners these days.....there's so many different things you can show them; it's really hard to pick only a few to start with!!

Well, here's the card the ladies were working on for this class
My MIL picked this stamp set from Inky Antics last year at our local stamp show and decided this would be a great stamp set for the ladies to do since it was a garden club group that wanted to do the class.  They really enjoyed it and had a great time learning a little about stamping & card making.

Here's the ladies going to town with their new skills!

I had such a great time working with them!  And I think I may have even created a couple new enthusiasts!!  Hope you get the pleasure to share this wonderful craft with someone new too!

Until next time,