Saturday, December 29, 2007
First, I must give Sharon and Laurie big thanks for these ideas!!
We were all chatting about what to give for school teachers' gifts, and I ended up taking a few ideas and making these little tins and canisters.
I went to the local "dollar store" and found plain cookie tins. They only had 4, I needed 6, so the panic search began through the store for the last 2. I ended up finding cute little glass containers that were already 'decorated' in Christmas-y like fashion, so I thought I would make 2 of those. I used my handy-dandy Quickutz Snowman for the lettering (which, by the way, I said "Oh, I won't ever use that...now I am addicted to!). And then I used the Cricut to make the tags. The jars were quick and easy, I just put a title on the top and then wrapped a piece of ribbon that has cocoa cups on it - too cute. And those were done.
For the canisters, I just used patterned paper for the top, then wrapped ribbon around to hide the seams. Around the canister I used a winter-themed paper. Quick and easy.
I included in each little package some chocolates, hot cocoa packets, gloves, hand creme, chap-stick, tissues, and hand sanitizer. I was quite pleased with the results.
Thanks again to Sharon and Laurie for the wonderful ideas!!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Originally uploaded by soleclaw23.
Greetings from Thanksgiving Central, aka my mom's house!
How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Did you feast until you fainted? I did. Seems like I sleep more every day that passes. In my defense, I've been battling a sinus infection, which I finally just got over. I've seen my in-laws only once since I've been here, and I got here last Monday. I just haven't felt well at all.
Today I whipped out ye ol scrapbooking supplies (yes, I totally brought my stuff with me!) to work up a page for a sketch challenge site I found just last night. I love this little blog already and am adding it to my bookmarks. It's called Gettin' Sketchy. Every month or so, one of the founders of the blog create a sketch and challenge the readers to create something using that template.
This is my take on the current sketch, which can be viewed here. The prize this month is sponsored by none other than the gals at the Red Velvet Kit Club. If you haven't heard of them (this means you Sharon, Jenn, and Adri!) go check them out. They sell hip items in their kits, and also host tiny competitions once in a while.
And once again I used products that mostly came from my Scrapologie kit, this time October's. The things that weren't in the kit include the bits of lace and ribbon, the two square stickers, brads, the chipboard circle, and the pink scenic route paper (journaling circle and scalloped edge). Oh and the journal stamp is from my private collection as well.
Things are going to get busy soon, and I want to scrap as much as possible before Christmas creeps up on me. Plus, once Joe comes home I'm sure we'll be a little preoccupied.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
For this project, I decided to make a little vaca. memory book for my cousin who came back east for a week. The cover page says "Pack your Bags" (rub ons) and then "..." with robin's nest bling. "Zoe & Zach GO EAST". I used more rub ons on the first 2 pages...they say "Off we Go!" and "are we there yet" I left spots for her to put a few pictures from the airport. I also included a tag behind the matting on the second page for any journaling she may want to do.
The next page is for "Great Grandparents" I had a picture of my grandmother with my cousin's son - we call her GG, thus the title of the page. The next page is for her to fill in. I made a little fold-out booklet for her to add pictures from the other side of her family.
There really isn't anything special about the next couple of pages. Here they are for your 'viewing pleasure' Nothing special about this book at all. Was fun to make because I know that it's going to be great for the kids to have to look at and remember their trip to the east.
Friday, October 19, 2007
It has become almost a daily routine for me to take pictures both of Eleana and myself to send to Joe so he can have faces to put our kind words and thoughts to (Eleana's kind words and thoughts usually only consist of "da" and "ice cream" but she means well). Sometimes these photos are of us together, just doing day-to-day things, others are individual photos, more thought out.
I don't know how but I managed to snap a really sweet candid shot of myself and Eleana playing her new favorite game "pop the air out of Mommy's cheeks." This photo was Joe's favorite of all the ones I've sent him, and I quite love it too. I felt it was a special, tender moment that we haven't really captured of the two of us together yet...most of our photos appear so rehearsed.
I took the oppurtunity to showcase not only the moment between mother and daughter, but also use some fun new products from my Scrapologie subscription. Yes, I know I mention that a lot here. I can't help it! I love it so much. Best thing I've bought in years!
Everything I used in this layout besides the pen I wrote with and the glitter on the chipboard circles came from the September Scrapologie kit. Oh, and the two word stickers inside the metal rectangle at the top of the page, those were from my personal store (they say "happy experiment").
I used a couple of new techniques I've wanted to try for some time. First of all, the metal rectangle at the top, with the orange filling, actually has a paperclip attached to it. I tucked it behind the journalling block because it made the page bubble if I tried to put it on like a regular clip. the rectangle came as plain silver. I painted the center using the same paint I used on the chipboard circles (poppy paint by making memories) then attached the two word stickers.
Then, using UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) I made it look like a glass charm. You simply sprinkle the UTEE powder where you want it, heat it with a heat gun, then sprinkle some more for thickness. It melts to form a glass-like surface. Pretty spiffy. I've tried this technique before, but messed up royally last time.
I originally planned on keeping the two chipboard half hoops as a whole ring, but it wouldn't quite fit anywhere on the page, so I cut it in half to make two half hoops. This was after I painted it with the poppy paint. Then I sprayed adhesive onto the hoop and sprinkled glitter over top to make it shiny and magical.
Nothing else is really special, just your standard scrapbook stuff. I added some dots with the paint onto the smaller chipboard disc that reads "fun" (you can click the image for a bigger view I think). The black flourishes are Basic Gray rub-ons. Some of them were really big but I just cut them into smaller pieces so they'd fit where I wanted them. The title is stickers by Scenic Route, the round chipboard discs are also Scenic Route.
Hope you like it as much as I do! I can't wait for the next challenge, gals! I am SO ready!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The first project is for my BIL and his wife.
They had an Ice-Cream themed wedding with hot pink and chocolate brown as the 'flavors'.
We agreed that for Christmas, we weren't going to do anything for each other, but I need to give them something from my tiny man...so, here it is.
The frame is from Creative Imaginations. I found some vellum that had hot pink hearts and another vellum that says "simply beautiful". I wanted to use both papers, thus the color blocks. On top of the vellum, I used stickers that say "a Love to last A LIFETIME". I outlined the stickers with a hot pink marker. You can't really tell in the picture, but they really do stand out more.
In the upper left corner, I used a tag that they had tied to the bird seed. It says "Happily Ever After..." I accented the tag with a hot pink flower. I need to find something to put under the date...tomorrow I will go shopping.
The lower right hand corner says "Holy Crap! It was a wedding" I said that because that was what was on their invitation. The "S" signifies the first letter of their last name, and the Ice Cream is there because that is what they love.
This next project is one that will be a work-in-progress for years to come. I found this Creative Imaginations album with just plain old white paper inside, and thought about how I would love to keep track of the fun and silly things that Curtis says and does. What better way than to have a journal right on hand. My thought is that I can have this book handy and can write in it when something fun happens. Then later, I can go back and create a page to go with that moment.
The letters on the cover are wooden. I inked them up, then added hand-written words or doodles on each letter....I just realized though that the 'I' lost it's bling :(.
Open the book, and you'll find a letter to my son, along with his picture. I need to embellish this page a bit, but need to find that perfect embellishment.
The following 2 pages are just lined. It's where I can write his mispronunciations and cute phrases.
This is what a page may look like when it's done.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Evidently there are a lot of independent scrapbooking sites out there, each providing their own kit services. I had no idea about any of this until a short while ago. These sites take products from all sorts of popular scrapbooking companies and compile monthly kits containing elements that complement one another. So the kit you end up with is coordinated but not matchy-matchy from the same line/company. We all do this at home, right? Some of us are better at it than others obviously or these kit services wouldn't exist. Of course, for me the kit service is an oppurtunity to own products which I preivously had no access to other than the internet. Hambly, for instance, is hot and new, but none of my local stores carries it. The same goes for Love, Elsie products. I am in LOVE with Love, Elsie, especially after having the chance to touch and use the products. The beautiful thing about Scrapologie is that you can purchase a monthly kit without the obligation to the subscription! (I have Celine to thank for introducing me to Scrapologie, by the way!)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I'm taking baby E (toddler E now) to a thing called Fall Festival at the park this weekend. Haven't decided if we'll go on Saturday or Sunday yet. There will be crafters, fall activities, food booths. It should be fun and very festive. And cheap, we love cheap!
The fall/Halloween decor is out here at Chez Nichole. I always have so much fun spooking up the place. I added a few new things to our collection, including a black faux owl and a spooktacular banner. I intended to hang this on my book shelf, but it didn't work well there.
Neat-o, huh? Yeah, that's me trying to act scared. Joe says this picture reminded him of the movie The Ring. I like the banner on this mirror a LOT.
Halloween always revs me up, and in the spirit of the season I joined a new ATC swap at the Faerie Zine (which is a Flickr group I belong to). The theme is magic, of course, and the cards are due by Oct. 21. Mine are done, and going in the mail asap!
This is one of 5 identical ATCs, almost finished. I added a black glitter border tonight, and they are all drying right now.
The little girl's dress was originally blue, the same shade as her socks, but I decided to change it to orange with the magic of technology.
I added some details to her with pen: darkened her shoes, gave her socks stripes, outlined her dress for definition, put a little rouge on her cheeks, and gave her curls.
I cut the hats out of black cardstock, then hand drew a silver moon on each one with a silver leaf pen.
The papers are meant to represent wallpaper. The green polka is from Brenda Walton's Dollhouse collection, the Halloweeny pattern I have no idea...all I know is I saw it and had to have a piece, and it ended up working perfectly for this project.
The rubber stamp alphabet I used to spell "time for magic" is actually from the $1 bin at Target. Yeah, so Sharon you might want to go over there and see if your Target has them, too! I love them!
So, until Halloween this is really all the fall stuff I'll have to show. Eleana is dressing up as Lumpy this year, so I have some Halloween papers that incorporate purple for just that purpose.
Hope to see more fall projects here, y'all!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This weekend at work I was presented with this item.
My directive - To alter it and use a Halloween line (the "underdog" as it was called) in order to promote it.
Immediately I thought of tombstones. But when I returned back to my crop table, my hands and arms went to work - much like Edward Scissorhands - and the end result was quite different, below:
Ooooh. Notice how scaaary it appears when upshot like that. I think Jon D. and Nichole will stand up and applaud this. Feel free to comment on that below (cough, cough, hint, hint)
Up close and personal:
Right now there is a lot of ribbon and yarn throughout the store. I wanted customers to start thinking outside the box and go beyond the paper and the brads for embellishments. So I created a sort of "message board". I used paper from the different lines to mat and frame the pictures. I loved the "hairy" yarn on the top and mat of the picures.
Notice also how I tore the edges (perfect for my sloppy technique) of the background paper and rolled it back to reveal pictures peeking out.
The pictures by the way are from over 2 years ago. My older digital camera had a screen that could flip around - so the subject could see themself through the photographer's point of view. This explains why Shayna is looking off-center at times. She's actually "posing". I must have taken several dozen of these. I was psyched to find them because they fit perfect into the theme. On my printer setting, I discovered "Contact Sheet" which printed them into thumbnail size. Perfect!
Yes, that's a meat cleaver. Someone at my crop table that night happened to have this left over from a receipe card of all things! I thought it went perfectly with the pictures.
Other embellishments include my Cat's Eye inks - purple, white and black. I don't leave home without 'em! Black buttons, yellow scrap floss, and other little goodies throughout. Click on pics to enlarge.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I actually rose to the challenge and completed my page! Can you believe it? I can't!
You will need to view it on my Picasa page because I am Mac illiterate and can't figure out how to change the file type to import the pictures here.
My challenge color is pink. I don't get to use pink very often because I am usually making pages about my son (he doesn't look so good in pink). I happened to find this paper that had all these wonderful words that described ME. I printed a picture that I actually like of myself in color, then resized and made that same picture a sepia tone and blurred the edges to add a little artsy flavor (thought about Sharon as I was working on that). I formed the pictures into a sort of corner frame to frame the larger color picture.
I circled a number of the words that were already on the paper, that I really felt described ME.
Then I added "MOM" which was a premade sticker, "wife" I cut out using the Cricut, cutting each letter 5 times and stuck them all together to make the word pop. The last thing I did was write additional words to describe ME on my title letters. One of my favorites is "perfectly imperfect"...Why? Because I don't care about perfection...and if you really look closely at my page you would see that I didn't try to cover up the mishaps that happened when cutting out letters.
Hope you like it. It's perfectly imperfect and I love it!
Oh, and I had to add a blue flower just because blue is my favorite color! :)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I used this goofy picture of me 3 times. I was going to go for 4 in a photo strip style, but my printer wouldn't print these any smaller without pixelating them for some reason. I think if you click the image it'll open bigger in a new page. The color I barely use was the teal in the background!
For details on this layout go here.
I can't wait to see the other layouts!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
So the girls and I have been tossing around ideas about how we're going to keep our creative jazz up in spite of my moving away. (I know, girls. I'm the totally inspiring one. you don't have to say it!) I truly miss having face time with my friends from the north, and find it very chore-ish to scrap now as opposed to fun.
Before I moved, in preparation for the impending doom, we thought perhaps a round robin of some sort would be cool. As far as I know, a 6x6 round robin "book of friends" is still a valid and possible idea. At any rate, I think it would be awesome to do.
Well, I found this AWESOME site called How Much is Too Much. This little blog poses a new challenge every week, allowing a week for completion. The purpose of HMITM is to get scrappers to use the supplies they've been saving up. I think anybody can participate, all they require is that you post your image on a link at two peas (another site I wish I had a limitless amount of money to spend at!).
While I want to participate in at least one HMITM challenge, just to do it, I think a challenge group of our own is in need. So, after talking and talking with the girls but not really doing anything (summer is SO busy, I think now we're starting to see some time free up for us) I implemented a new challenge for us! Yay!
Of course, we can each make up our own challenges as we go, but I made the first one to get the ball rolling.
The challenge for this month is this:
Create a layout of any size using the same photo multiple times AND
Use a color you don't normally use/favor as your main color element!
I give the girls a month or so to do this, as I know they have other things to work on and commit themselves to.
So gals, if you're reading this, GET MOVING on that layout! And start turning your brain wheels about a challenge idea you may have!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
For now, here is the latest thing I crafted. A thank you card for my mom, in the form of art that she can hang/display as a reminder of my everlasting debt to her for everything she's done for me and mine.
It looks a little gray on the left because it was raised a bit from the scanning surface. The metal/enamel heart is thick enough alone, and I fixed it to the page with a foam dot, just for added thickness. ;)
supplies: velvet ribbon, lace, enamel heart, fabric "mom" tag, "mom" brad, sticky gemstones, acrylic stamps, inks, large eyelet (green bullseye looking one), hat pin, rub-ons (bird, white heart near "rock"), patterned papers.
Sharon gave me this card with a lovely matching envelope when I first met her. love!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
So, if it isn't obvious to those who read my other blog, I've moved. Yes, so long MA, hello VA! I miss Massachusetts already, and I can't say enough great things about the people I met and fell in love with while there.
Before I left, my bestest closest gal pals (Sharon and Adrienne included) threw a birthday/going away dinner party for me. There was tons of good food (at the Melting Pot! yum!), good drinks, good laughs, and presents!
The best present of all was a big shocker, something I really didn't expect. Yes, I sort of expected scrapbooking supplies from a group of girls who identify themselves as scrappers. But the album they made me was gorgeous, and by far my favorite gift ever.
Each gal made a page (or pages) about us and our friendship. Adrienne included pictures of the kids and DJ. Sharon included pics of Shay, and each girl included pics of themselves, and pics of us together up to no good. They each wrote a message on the front page, and each page glows with the personality of my friends.
Being here in this new place is exciting and daunting at the same time. I'm in unfamiliar territory except for the few times I visited Joe when he was in A school here. But the album my friends made me is a quick and lovely way to remember I'm not alone, not truly.
Thanks girls. It means so much to me. (and I'm still waiting for pages from a couple of you!)
Monday, April 9, 2007
I loved looking through all the different possibilities. As well as the finished works inspired by them.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I always feel more creative when working with the HBIC. She has the tunes, the memorized words to go with it, the heart-shaped scones. And I don't go anywhere without the promise of coffee and some sort of flavored cream served upside it.
I schlepped my eclectic assortment 'o goodies with me in the drizzle. No plans in mind. Just a bunch of photos shoved in a page-holder awaiting a new destiny. I dove right in while Nichole calculated her every move with a piece she had in mind. I can't be that focused. Not at that hour. And not with that much caffiene.
Below is part of page-one for my Fall 2006 album. There's a lot to look at so I'm posting this in segments .
Well, I'm not quite as disciplined. Not even as organized. Which is why I'm just now going back to FALL of last year. Husband turned me onto photography as a hobby and I wanted to showcase some of the pictures I took with my new digi cam. I look forward to Fall each year. Last fall held some special memories for me, so I want to ensure I preserve them.
The series above was taken in a nearby field where sunflowers grow for a short period of time each year. I always wanted to photograph them. But never got my act together in time. Finally one day, without warning, I make my husband pull the car over and I force everyone into family portrait mode.
I used raised dots to give dimension and flow to the grouping. Chipboard, stickers, and metal embellishments weave throughout.
Below is another page for the fall album.
Who doesn't love Halloween? A friend of mine in Georgia sent me tons of her cast-off scrap ware. When I came across the diamond pattern, I knew I'd be using it for Halloween.
Now, although Shayna's passion is Pirates of the Caribbean, she took a sharp right turn at the last minute and decided on a witch costume. Never mind that she'd had the Pirate's costume since her birthday in July. By October, it was all about the witch.
On purpose, I put the main picture off-center. It's more interesting to look at than a dead-centered picture. Or at least that's how I was feeling at the time. The small squares are actually origami picture frames that I made with opposing paper squares.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Originally uploaded by soleclaw23.
(as always, you can click the photo to see it larger, and more details/product info)
Sharon and I were lucky enough to get together Monday for a crafty/scrapbook session at my apartment. I love our times together. We usually hook up my iPod to the portable speakers at the dining room table, have coffee, and make a lot of obscene jokes.
Monday, Sharon scrapped circles around me, turning out two beautiful pages to my one page. My problem is that I'm too slow when it comes down to decision making. I feel like I can do anything as long as I have some sort of blueprint or reference point to start from, but Monday I challeneged myself to start from square one, start to finish. I "designed" the page myself, and picked a wonderfully colored patterned paper that I drew my color scheme from. I recently purchased a few cat-themed items and was feeling a non-baby vibe. I have probably 20 pages about E, and 4 about other stuff. That's life when you have a child, and I love every page I have made for my girl, but I just wanted to go somewhere a little more light-hearted. I feel more pressure when making pages for E, because I want her to have something really special to look back on as she grows up.
So, I made a page featuring the lovely Sable instead. Sable has been my kitty since the summer of 2000. We've been through 2 moves together, going on 3. I've saved her life a couple times, and she's made mine warmer. (I should have wrote this in my journalling! LOL)
About the page:
the circle journaling stamp in the top left corner was a new purchase, part of a set by autumn leaves...and I love it! The set came with 6 stamps, and I think I'll challenge myself by using each one for the next 5 projects I do. Does anyone else do that? Have to use a new product as soon as they get it? Sometimes I just stamp my new stamps on scrap paper to see what it looks like.
Also, the two charms on the striped ribbon piece are from one of Sable's old collars. I saved them, knowing I would make a scrapbook page for her eventually.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Originally uploaded by soleclaw23.
Sharon and I were able to get together last night, finally. Rick cooked up some fabulous food on the grill. Pork and chicken...GOD it was delicious. We had so much fun, it was like old times except now I have a slightly-older more agile young daugher running around.
We managed to make some decent progress. Sharon in a mini album for a friend of hers, and I made this page for Eleana's first year scrapbook, which is officially finished! Yay!
For details on the products and stuff, go to my flickr page. I'm too lazy to retype everything here. <3
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
real earth angel, in progress
Originally uploaded by soleclaw23.
So, I tried my hand at using my new caran d'ache crayons a couple months ago, and never got around to blogging it. I suppose I was nervous about it, because I am so new at the technique.
However, now, the more I look at the finished result, the more I love it. The above image is a simple collage. The photo in the frame happened to be the perfect size for an ATC, and I figured starting small would be easy and more forgivable. I collaged all my magazine clipped elements, then added a thin layer of gesso to give it that white foggy look.
And this is what it looks like now, after I added the caran d'ache, rubber stamps, a rub-on, and some minimal penwork:
I'm scared to part with it I love it so much. I mentioned on flickr that I want to try making copies of this and trade those so I can keep the original. I still haven't done that, but I will I promise.
Friday, March 2, 2007
Then, recently, Sharon and her husband redecorated Shay's bedroom to be a pirate theme, and it is so delicious! She's going to post pictures of it here soon, so you'll see what I'm talking about. The color of the walls (a nice oceanic blue) inspired me, and this is what I came up with:
I left the top left portion of the canvas empty so that, if desired, a photo can be added with photo corners. It's an 8x10 canvas, that can rest on a shelf easily. The pirate stamp is a new addition to my collection. I colored him in with markers and jelly roll souffle pens. More of the details can be seen at my Flickr page here, as well as the step-by-step process.
I can't wait to give this to Shayna...I hope she loves it!!