Welcome to my blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explore my development of scrapbooking techniques. I will also provide reviews of products when I find something great or something terrible, and will show off all the work I enter in challenges and contests. Please check out my Welcome note if this is your first visit.

Feel free to ask questions about any of the materials or techniques shown here!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, or follow my blog so you can keep updated!

Happy Scrapping!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Challenge Me Happy #13 - Brothers

Challenge Me Happy is a fun challenge blog out of New Zealand... its a tricky one because you have to remember the time change!

Challenge 13 involved a cute sketch I would encourage you to try out yourself:

I really liked the cute clouds and was determined to use them somehow. Initially this felt rather child-oriented, but I managed to swing it for the wedding as I have been doing a lot of childhood and other layouts, and I need to get that wedding book done!

Because of the somewhat ugly background in the photos, and the smart look of the boys in their tuxes, I wanted this layout to focus on blacks, whites and greys, making the clouds perfect. The strip is Cosmo Cricket EverAfter, as is the chipboard. The letters are from Colorblok. I hand cut the clouds, and inked them with Black Soot Distress ink.

I really like how this turned out, and assembled the whole thing before adding the clouds because I just wasn't sure... but I really like them! Especially with the damask one!

Thanks for looking and all the best for 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paper Secrets Manu Challenge - Webster's Pages - Explore

If you pop on by the Paper Secrets forum, you will find a great collection of monthly challenges including sketches, manufacturer challenges, techniques, etc. Plus, the prize for each challenge is a random drawing for a $10 gift certificate. The ladies there are also sooo friendly... you really should check them out!

Last month I entered a few of their challenges which you can check out by clicking the "Paper Secrets" tag on the bottom of this entry, and it will bring them all up :)  I ended up winning one of the draws (hooray!).

When I found out this month's manu challenge was to use Webster's Pages, I was a little stressed. I had absolutely nothing from Webster's, and I didn't know where to find it either. Luckily, with that $10 GC I picked up one paper, three trims, and a bunch of other stuff from other manus (CC of course) that I had been wanting. Shipping was quick too to Canada, I wasn't sure it would make it with the Christmas rush.

So this is what I came up with....

I actually only ordered this one page from Webster's since Paper Secrets didn't have a ton when I ordered, which was a bit of a risk since I didn't have photos in mind. When I got it, I loved it, like really, really loved it. I wanted to find photos of flowers and me as a child if possible, and I totally scored, especially with the little pink coat!

This gorgeous Webster's trim inspired me right away to make a frame. It didn't turn out quite perfect, but I don't like my scrapping perfect.... what's the point of doing something homemade if it looks commercial?

So to do this, I just laid out some Elmer's tape runner tape (the orange one, not the dots, they aren't strong enough) along all four edges of the photo after it was glued on the page. Then I just laid down the trim, folding to get an angle in the corners. I cut it at the end, which you can see was a little short, but oh well!

I used my jazzy new Elmer's gel pens to do the journalling. I love the colors that came in the set and how I seem to always find the colors I want. Another big win for me is the fact that they can be used by lefties with ease. I have had a hard time with cheap gel pens in the past, and these are smooth and easy to use :)

I hope you enjoy this page, I think it might make it to my top 10 of 2011... but who knows... I will post those on Saturday!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Berry 71 Bleu December Sketch - My Heart Belongs to You

Berry71Bleu featured a great PageMaps sketch for their December Challenge.

I always immediately think of tropical and fun when I look at most PageMaps sketches, and so this time I decided I should get away from that and do something different... and of course that led to the wedding :)

This all got started when I remembered the Cosmo Cricket EverAfter chipboard had these little circles with flowers in them, just like on the sketch. Then I found a black tag... forcing me to use my last piece of black cardstock (luckily I got more for Christmas).

TIP: To make the top PP blend in more with the black, I inked the edges with Black Soot except for the one that is stitched to make it look more cohesive. That way there is a continuity in that all the edges of the LO are black. Likewise, I inked the two centre pieces with Black Soot to pair them with the background better, but left the edges where they met plain.

I used Anna Griffin background stamps and Versamark Champagne to stamp a pattern on the white behind the DCWV quote. Its really subtle, and you can't see it here, but it did make a difference.

For the tag, I used a Deja Views clear sticker, and stuck it onto a piece of the teal paper used on the left block. That gave the letters on the sticker some color and really helped the pattern pop. The ribbon is also from the Cosmo Cricket EverAfter collection, as is the fuzzy scalloped edge piece.

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Creative Scrappers #186 - Man & Wife

Sketch 186 over at Creative Scrappers was another great one that caught my eye. I always love their sketches, and then get stuck about where to use them (or procrastinate and then only have time to use one or two before the end of the month).

Here is the sketch:

I did complete this sketch just before Christmas, but with crazyness (and last minute hosting of Christmas eve dinner) I didn't get to post til now. As of today, haven't started the other 3 sketches for them this month... but I am off work til January... so who knows!!

This layout is the first time I have used the Cosmo Cricket Everafter collection papers on true white rather than off-whites browns, and blacks. I'm still not sure its something I love... It really adds a different feel from being all blendy matchy to now making the paper pop more. The background paper is the new Enchanted collection from Bo Bunny... lovin' it!  I'm looking forward to working more with the white in the Enchanted collection and the Everafter collection together. The key factor really was using my Black Soot Distress Inks to touch up the edges, it did pull it back together more.

Thought I'd give you a close-up of my clusters. I used the fabric flowers and the large paper flowers from Recollections. The plastic flowers and little gem things are Making Memories, and the bride and groom also Recollections. The buttons and gold flowers are stash items :)

As usual, I really used a lot of items to mimic the clusters in the images, and actually used a butterfly! I know, I was amazed too.... I really don't know what my problem with butterflies is, but I think of them only for little girls (kinda like my banner issue). Maybe I need a scrapbooking shrink??

OK.. well enough of me being crazy today (I clearly haven't blogged enough lately)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season whatever you celebrate or if you celebrate at all... And I hope you got a white Christmas if you wanted one! We did... towards the end of the day :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

HMITM #186 - Be a Star

OK... this week at HMITM they have really gone crazy lol. The consulted a calendar of strange "holidays", and compiled this list...

December is Bingo's Birthday Month.
It's also Rising Star Month.
And it's National Tie Month.
The first week of December is Cookie Cutter Week.
December 5 is Bathtub Party Day!
And then came up with this challenge:
So...I challenge you to use:
* A bingo card (if you don't have these in your stash, just google "bingo card" under Google Images, and you'll find a gazillion).
* Use something that you can tie--ribbons, twine, raffia, etc.
* Use at least 5 stars.
* Use punches or cutters or a shape templates.
* Use your imagination and whatever product you want to create "bubbles" on your page.

Crazy I tell you. 

I was stumped... I had no bingo cards, I don't use stars ever... The other 3 criteria were good though. 

So this is what I came up with: 

The photo here is not bad - the photos in the layout are bad but that's all I had to go with from our Weekend to End Women's Cancer 32 km walk.

Back to the criteria...

  • BINGO card - yes. Found a cute Maya Road rub-on set, and used the "Live" card on white cardstock to make it stand out. I really like this set as there are a bunch of little ones - this is the largest (Cuz I'm not so sure I'm into bingo cards)
  • Something you can tie - twine, tied around the rectangle photo (I had to tie it... they said you had to be able to so I did lol)
  • At least 5 stars - I used a star template I have to draw 5 stars beside each other for the border at the top of the rectangle photo. Then I added foam glittery stars to the middle of three of those stars (so that's 8 stars). Then I put the word "star" in stars for a grand total of 12, 13 if you count the word "star" as a star
  • Punches, cutters or shape templates - I used my Creative Memories ovals set to cut the angled photo and its mat
  • Bubbles - originally I planned to stamp using bubble wrap, but the wrap I had didn't have a side of exposed bubbles, so that didn't work. So instead I used my dabber and pink and white chalk ink to dot "bubbles" all over the left of the page... it really helped to add the details
Well... I hope you enjoyed... and join in next week for more craziness!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sketchy Thursdays 12.8 - Psyclone

Another great sketch this week over at Sketchy Thursdays:


Pretty cute! I liked the stitching down the centre but didn't include it because I don't have a tons of colors of thread unpacked and I couldn't decide on one that I liked lol!  I went to these photos from Canada's Wonderland in the summer right away for a few reasons - I had already used banners on other layouts from the theme park and I knew I would be able to trim these small enough.

In terms of variations, I omitted the stitching, moved the journalling to the circl, changed the size ratios of everything, and added the little swooshy tab thing on the bottom right corner. I just felt the page needed something down there to balance it out...

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sketchabilities #60 - Socks

Sketchabilities had a really cute challenge sketch this week:

I was pretty keen on this one, even though it was a bit of work finding small enough photos and, as usual, I had to enlarge them of course, and correspondingly enlarge the strips as well.

Here is a closeup of the journalling I used my new, blog candy, Elmer's gel pens... they are SNAZZY!

I actually used everything on this layout from my Deja Views Cat's Life pack, except for the cardstock matting the photos. Its amazing! All the papers, the background cardstock and the letters and die cuts, all from one kit. I have never done that before, but I love the cohesive look I got!

So the story... I woke up one morning to Casper sleeping quite comfortably in my sock drawer. My cats have two fetishes - drawers and socks. My socks are always missing now... I even have a photo of a sock that was dragged down the staircase by cats... so in my house, its not the dryer, its the cats that steal the socks.

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Scrap Sketch Challenge

Found another sketch challenge website last week - Let's Scrap.

I found the sketch I was looking for to adapt for my Engagement Party photos.

The party itself was an epic-fail... there was a HUGE snowstorm and no one but the dedicated (or completely insane) made it down, so there aren't a lot of people in the photos, and we did not get photos of a few guests :(

The party was held at the Stampede Ranch in Guelph. Its a dirty college-town country bar (the best one there is!) It was mostly everyone's first time out there so we had a lot of fun.

I used a bunch of different textured papers and stitching. I used my Distress Inks everywhere. Literally. I used black soot, walnut stain, wild honey and fired brick.

The "leather" fringe at the bottom is 100% handmade. I started with cardstock the same as the "Stampede" at the right. Then I used distress inks on a craft mat and water to give the mottled look. Finally for added texture I dabbed the walnut stain and black soot pads on to give some spotting. Did all of this after the fringe was cut (by hand! I need me some fringe scissors!). Then I double stitched and added the tarnished gold brads like studs (unfortunately my sewing kit was out of real jean studs).

Hope you enjoy...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frosted Designs Sketch Along Tuesdays #29 - Smile - the Little Things

Frosted Designs hosts a Sketch Along Tuesday challenge each week.

The sketch this week is below:

I really liked all the elements of the sketch, but didn't know what photos to use, as usual! I did finally find these cute photos of me as a child to add another page to my mom's scrapbook.

I mirrored the sketch to keep the focus on the right third of the page like the focus is in the photos. I used an old set from We R MK which included rub on glue and flock, foil and glitter. "The Little Things" is in pink flock and "Smile" in blue glitter.

For the strippy background, I used all ribbons and rick rack for more texture. The ribbons include a variety of textures - some have glitter and bling, and some are satin, some woven, etc. I then used some orange twine to anchor the banner.

Each photo I used some new edging scissors to edge up fancy like in the sketch.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CR84FN44 - Visiting Maman & Papa

So, the colors over at the CR84FN blog this week.... not so me.

So I flipped through my papers looking for inspiration, and found this gorgeous blue sky and cherry blossoms paper from DCWV. Decided I definitely wanted to use that paper (the point is to use up your stash), so then I went in search of photos to match.

What I found were these cute photos of me when I was little, posing for Mom with all the flowers at my grandparents home.

And so... a layout was born:

Now something weird happened when I took the photo - my coral (perfectly coral) paper magically turned more orange-y.... and I could not figure out how to fix it, although Picasa did a great job with their pure neutral match function. Could just be an issue with this monitor I use, who knows!

So I stitched on my cherry blossom paper using a tight zig zag on my machine, matted the photos in coral, and added some ancient Creative Memories light pink alphas. First time I used those alphas and I am addicted!! So cute and so easy to line up nicely with a ruler (too bad I didn't think of the ruler til half way through Visiting). I also added two glittered dots to the title. These are just glue dots dusted with Martha Stewart glitter. I am loving that idea, it is scraplifted off a Card/Stamp hop I did last week...

Other fun new product I tried on this was the Elmer's Adhesive Tape Runner. I really like it, better than the dot runner as it sticks even better.

Hope you enjoy!

The Color Room #87 - Untitled

I really love the fun palettes the Color Room provides, and I love that they add a sketch. I loved the sketch this week, but really didn't have the photos to make it happen... so that one is filed away for future use...

Anyways here is the fun palette:

The yellow and grey right away reminded me of some of my Cosmo Cricket EverAfter paper... but other than that, I was stuck. I picked out a blue paper and flipped through photos til I found the car my Best Man gave me for my wedding...

So I used the blue to mat the two photos of the model car, and then I inked the mats with some Wild Honey Distress Ink to bring in some more yellow. I also inked the edges of the yellow circle of CC with Wild Honey (opted not to use the yellow and grey side). For the large blue circle, its the same paper as the mats but uninked and I used Champagne Versamark to add the pattern to it. To add the "silver bells" I used these shiny silver accents all over and two little Jolee's silver flowers. Finally, the "linen white" is in the background paper, and the yellow strip across the middle.

As yet, this layout is going un-titled. I am really unsure what to call it and want to watch the wedding video and maybe add a quote from Alex's speech all about how he ordered me a new car. I was thinking about 1/24th of a car or something like that (its a 1/24th model) but I don't know yet :)  I also think I want to get some shiny silver alphas to title in... but again, not sure either lol.

Thanks for looking, and if you have a title idea, please help me out lol!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Page Maps Sketch Challenge - Girlys

Page Maps has a great sketch challenge this month. I really love their sketches :)

This one intrigued me with those swirly things.... Originally I wanted to make them out of pipe cleaners but I didn't have any. Then I thought about wire and seed beads... none of that either.

This layout sat undone for a few days while I pondered over the swirlies... because I knew I wanted to use something similar and not replace with a different element....

And this is what I came up with!

Glitter glue makes everything better lol! Also the two left papers, plus the mat and the border are all from DCWV the Glitter Stack... so what should you add to a glitter page? MORE GLITTER!!!

Overall very cute I think for a bunch of cute little girls dancing around at my wedding.

Eventually I will make another page to go beside this one of myself holding one of the girls and my husband holding two of them :)

Thanks for looking!!

Sketchy Thursdays 11.17 - down the aisle

Right away, this sketch from Sketchy Thursdays inspired me to use my flower girls and ring bearer.

Since there were three kids it made perfect sense...

I really wanted to keep the warm feeling of the wood so I used a DCWV Photo Stack 2 wood grain background. I don't have mists yet so I instead inked flowers through stencils behind the photos with Studio G pink chalk ink. I added a butterfly paperclip and a big colorful title, matching the ribbon I used. Finally I added a Deja Views vellum quote, anchored with ribbon scraps.

Let me know what you think!!

Scrap the Girls November - Classic Girly

Scrap the Girls is a fun, no-boys-allowed blog all about scrapping girls. I tried their November challenge this month.

The criteria were:



and as always... NO BOYS!!

This is my take:

I used an ancient pink polkadot baby paper I had, a big fluffy flower, a Creative Memories journalling card, and two Deja Views photo mats from a wedding set. I also knotted the friendship bracelet mounted under the flower. Finally I added extra polka dots with some Jillibean Soup letters!

Photos are baby me at about 6 months of age. I asked my mom for a title and journalling on it - she said she was just playing with her camera photographing her favourite subject - MOI - le bebe aux yeux bleus :)  

Hope you enoy!!

Moxie Fab's 365 Cards Week - Celebrating Relationships Challenge - Grandparent's Day

The Moxie Fab World Celebrating Relationships Challenge was to make a card for National Girlfriends Day, Grandparents Day, or National Dog Day.

Right away I had ideas for Girlfriends Day and Grandparents Day. The first card I tackled was for Grandparents Day as I had a Sketch Support card sketch I wanted to use for their DT call (see my entry here).

This is the sketch:

Tres cute eh?

This is my take on it:

This was my first adventure into paper piecing. I don't have a digital cutter so the houses are all hand mad and pieced by hand. I really love how cute they turned out :)

Hope you enjoy!

Sketch Support Design Team Entry

Well.... I've been submitting some Design Team entries. My super-duper long-shot was for Sketch Support. Didn't make the team, but wanted to show you the projects I created anyways!

For all the sketches please visit Sketch Support where you can get gorgeous print outs

The first sketch was Add-On Sketch #9. This is my first time using an add-on sketch.

This layout is of our photographer, Melanie, and Richard taking photos of someone. When I saw the camera add-on I knew that I could use it for this page.

The camera was made with grey cardstock, gold DCWV textured cardstock, black cardstock and black DCWV textured cardstock. I also used acetate for the lens and the flash. I added Stickles to the flash to add some more shine, and used more Stickles to make the line down the strip on the camera. 

Then there was Two-Page Sketch #21:

As you can see, I played around a bit, changing the photo sizes. I really enjoyed making the background and it was sooo easy! If you use a 12x12 patterned paper, you just cut it in half, then cut one of the halves in thirds and repeat!

Finally there was Card Sketch #11:

This one I wasn't sure what to do with, since I don't make too many cards, but I wanted to force myself. To see what I came up with, go here and see my blog post on that card as I am now entering it in a challenge :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giveaway time!!!

Well... its time for my very first giveaway.

This comes from My Memories Suite, a digital scrapbooking software. I was given a free copy to evaluate and another copy to give away! The brand new Version 3 has just been released!

Here is my first complete album. It is going to be a pocket album for my Mother-in-Law to keep in her purse. The cool thing about My Memories Suite is that you can also make videos, interactive albums, etc. I could have added music to this, but I was unsure about privacy issues so left it off.

This is my draft version of the book. I would love you to give me suggestions or let me know about pages that aren't quite right...

In total I spent $12 downloading things for this album as well as using the $10 free downloads I had. I found in making it that I really didn't need everything I had downloaded, so I would suggest you start with the essentials you really want, and then buy as you find you need something else. Primarily I used the Neutrals pack and Scrap Basics - Orange, with a bit of Vows and White Weddings thrown in. Everything else was freebies!

Review of the Software
Please note I was given a free copy of the software to evaluate. I am in no way required to give a favourable review, and all opinions are mine and mine alone.

Overall, I loved this software. It was so easy and fast to use. It does take a while to figure out where everything is, and in that respect I think the software could be improved by having a "View All" button for each category of add-on. That being said, I also found the division of all the elements very useful at times, and was OK with it once I figured out where things were (i.e. funky black flower is a Neutrals flower).
I love the quick crop options for the photos. I really can't say enough about how awesome it is to pick your photo layout and have the photos all jump right in, custom cropped for you. All you have to do is adjust the crop location on the photo if your subject is not dead-centred.
I also love all the ribbon and button options available. In general there is a wide variety of embellishments with anything you can think of... and if not, you can probably download the pack that you want.
The freebies online are awesome. Believe it or not, I did use some winter/Christmas accents in this album - its all in context. I would suggest that you download all the freebies so you have them available as there are hidden treasures in all.

My pet peeves - it is hard to see what-all you receive in the purchased downloads. I would prefer it if they had it all laid out element by element so you can look for something specific you want. I ended up buying one set that I barely used because the embellishments didn't have the feel I was looking for. I did use and love the papers in that set though.

All in all, this is a great, quick, easy to use software. You don't have to be "good" at computers to use it, and its easy to get going. I read nothing online and just jumped right in. I would suggest it for anyone who is interested in printing hardcover or softcover custom albums, making videos, or just digital scrapping. As an added bonus, what a great way to make an interactive album friends and family far away can experience!  This gets a two thumbs up from me!

Now get your own copy....
How to win:
  1. Follow my blog
  2. Visit the My Memories site. Check out the different kits available around the site.
  3. Comment back here with two things: which kit or add-on you like best, and what your first project would be with the suite!
  4. Bonus entry for any ideas or tips on how to improve my album. These need to be specific i.e. on the page about the cake, I think you should add an orange flower.
  5. Bonus entry for sharing on Facebook or Twitter. Just comment letting me know you did!
The contest closes December 6th at midnight. Winner will be selected randomly from all entries.
Now if you don't win the giveaway, don't despair! I have a coupon code for you as well which gives you $10 off the software and $10 in free downloads! Simply visit here and enter STMMMS51336 in the promo code box and away you go!

Congrats to Chrissie who won the software!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Creative Scrappers 182 - We Did It

I was pretty excited when I saw the Creative Scrappers sketch #182 this month.

I was drawn to it right away with the circle and the flowers and of course, the bling. It looked so fun!

Unfortunately, I didn't have much in the way of things to execute the sketch with... but I gave it a try nonetheless....

The photo is from the Weekend to End Women's Cancers in Toronto Ontario that was held in September. My sister and I participated in a one-day 32 km walk. We only made it 20 km, but that was still a great accomplishment. I knew I wanted to use this photo for the sketch right away. The blue jerseys we are wearing are our completion jerseys. 

Here is a close-up of the journalling. It also shows the subtle glitteryness of the background paper which is from the Creative Memories Wish collection.

Here is a close-up of the edging on the circle. I don't have many punches at all, and I had nothing to make the intricate edge shown (I don't even have a digital cutter). So I decided to use a Tim Holtz stamp and some Fired Brick distress ink and give the edges some "texture" that way. I really like how it turned out.

Hope you enjoy... please comment and follow :)