PLEASE NOTE: I've moved! Feel free to continue following me via my new blog Embrace Serendipity.

**All tutorials & the majority of the posts from this blog have been moved over to my new blog**

Apr 26, 2011

It's No Fairy Tale Layout

Buenas tardes fellow scrappers! Today's page is a trip down memory lane for yours truly. Yep, that's me in the stroller some many moons ago. This page is actually a letter for my future child(ren). They say scrapbooking can be used to send letters to those that have passed & to those that are yet to come. So with this picture I've taken the opportunity to send a message to my 'to-be-child(ren)' regarding a very important lesson that I've already come to learn. Journaling reads as follows:

I know you don't currently exist & I'm not sure just when you'll arrive. What I do know is that I already have a message or you that I hope to pass onto you when the time comes. You'll refer to this piece of advice quite often in your journey called life.

Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale. I've discovered that life is more like a storm--you'll find yourself basking in the sun one moment & then be shattered on the rocks the next--but it's what you do in those moments that you're shattered that defines you & makes you stronger. You'll have your ups & your downs--your laughs & your sorrows--& your own mistakes will be your best lessons. Yes, life is no fairy tale--but every second of every minute of every day is so very much worth living.

So I got a bit philosophical or maybe Shakespearean--but I base my advice on my own experience! Before I go on any further--just some tid bits on the supplies used on this page.

Once again I used a sketch from Creative Scrappers to design this page. All papers are from the Bittersweet collection by Basic Grey. I've had these papers just about forever & finally found the right page to use them on.

As usual I stamped the entire background--this seems to have become my 'must' technique on my pages lately. I used a combination of stamps. Here is a closeup of some stamping. The clock & circular texture designs in pink are stamps by Stamp Enjoy. The small script stamp is by Prima.

Other stamps used on this page are by Stampers Anonymous.

On this closeup you can also see the hand stitching I did along the borders of the page.

A closeup of the chipboard flourish. This chippie is by Maxine's Melange. To get the texture you see here, I first painted the chipboard in black acrylic paint. Then I heat embossed it with clear Star Dust embossing powder. In person, this flourish is very 'blingy'!

I added the title along some of the scrolls of the chippie.

A closeup of the flowers. The large dark pink flower is by Prima. The two smaller flowers were handmade by me. I refer them as 'frosted flowers' because the glaze on the vellum give them a frosty look. They were made with hand punches, vellum, inking & some glaze. To see a brief tutorial on how these flowers were made, please go here.

I tucked small white twigs of baby's breath (also known as gyp) underneath the flowers.

Finally a closeup of the lacing. This fabulous lacing technique is by my scrap buddy Natasha. I've been wanting to use her 'twisted lace' technique for a while now & this page gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. If interested in learning this lacing technique, please go to Natasha's post here. She did a great tutorial on this lacing technique. Thank you girl!

Thanks to all of you who stop by--I appreciate your visit so very much! Hope you didn't mind taking this brief trip down memory lane with me.

Till my next post...

Frosted Flower Tutorial

Hello again fellow scrappers! This brief tutorial is on how to make the frosted flowers seen on my 'It's No Fairy Tale' page. The flower itself has most likely been done by several scrappers--I simply added a bit of glaze to the vellum. The glaze gives the vellum a 'frosty' look which is how these flowers got thier name.

Here's your basic list of supplies: flower punch, vellum, decorative scissors (optional), ink, paint brush, skewer or pencil for curling the petals, Triple Thick Glaze & glue.

Let's get started...

Step 1: Punch out three of the large petals & three of the smaller petals. I used the Retro punch by EK Success. Any flower punch or die will do for this technique.

Step 2: This step is optional. Use the decorative scissors to give the 3 large petals a more decorative design. If your punch or die already has a design on thier petals or if you like your flower with round petals--then you can skip this step.

Step 3: Ink the edges of all your flowers. I used a chalk ink block by S.E.I.

Step 4: Bend the petals of each flower upwards at the base as shown in the photo.

Step 5: For the three large petals only--take your pencil, skewer or paint brush & curl the edges of each petal down.

Step 6: Once you're done shaping your flower--glue each layer down by off-setting the petals.

Step 7: Now for the center. Take two of the flowers & fold thier petals down the middle. Take the remaining flower & curl the tip of it's petal down.

Step 8: Take one of the flowers with the petals folded in the middle--apply some glue to the insides of the petals & pinch the petals together in order to glue them. Insert this one flower inside the second flower with the folded petals & repeat the same step. Finally glue the 2 pinched petals to the center of the last flower. Your center should look like the photo.

Step 9: Now put your flower together as shown in the photo.

Step 10: Next step is the glaze. I use this triple thick glaze that I found at my local Michaels. They have smaller bottles than the one I used as well. I buy the family pack because I use glaze on several of my embellishments. :-) With a small paintbrush start applying the glaze all over your flower. Try not to glob it on--just spread it evenly all over with your brush.

Step 11: With the flower still wet--shape your flower. You'll notice that the vellum will curl once you start to put the glaze on. Try to uncurl the petals & shape your flower to meet your needs.

Step 12: Let the flower completely dry. Once dry, it'll have a frosty look & be very stiff. This is why it's better to shape it when wet. If you move the petals around when dry--they tend to crackle. However, if you like this effect--then shape away!

As you can see from this photo, you can also alter the center. The flower does not have to be entirely made out of vellum. You can make the center out of regular cardstock. The glaze gives the cardstock a nice sheen as well.

I hope some of you found this tutorial helpful. Happy creating!

Till my next post...

Apr 19, 2011

Bird Chaser Layout

Good evening once again fellow bloggers & scrappers. It's time for another Toby page! I saw the idea for this page in last months Creative Keepsakes magazine. I fail to remember by who it was--but the theme of the page dealt with her pup being a 'bird chaser'. That hit home run right away with my very own pup. Toby is a relentless bird chaser himself. Feathered friends? Not his apparently! No bird can invade his territory--he'll run after it like the wind!

Journaling reads as follows: Isn't this puppy cute? He's a little angel right? Well, photo 1 shows Toby's adorable & innocent face. Photo 2 is Toby after I've scolded him for chasing away the many birds that love hanging out in the backyard. It's not his fault really--he can't help himself! Thier endearing wings & that exhilirating chirping calls to him. He only wishes to play with that really such a sin? My sweet little Toby, will you & birds ever be able to live together in harmony?

The design is based on sketch #151 from Creative Scrappers. I flipped it around to work with my photos & embellies. Lately, thier sketches have really been inspiring me...

As always I did some stamping on this page. I used a combination of Inkadinkado (Dots & Flourishes), Clear Art Stamps (Birdies), Tim Holtz (Birds on a Wire), Hero Arts (Old French Writing) & Prima. I also did some masking & stitching. In this screen shot you can see the zig-zag stitching along the border of both sides of the page.

I printed the journaling on plain white vellum. I inked the edges to make it stand out a little bit on the page.

The large tree branch & bird chippie is by Maxines Melange. The chippie went through a few steps to get the final texture I wanted. It was first inked in Vintage Photo distress ink. Then with my finger I spread some Vintage Photo distress stickles & a bit of Paprika stickles on it. Finally I put a bit of Frosted Lace stickles on the tips of some of the tree branches. The bird was painted in white acrylic paint, inked in Rusty Hinge distress ink, coated in copper perfect pearls & then embossed with clear UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).

Finally this pretty transparent black flower is also a stamp. This is a unique hand crafted petal stamp made by the talented Jessica. She's a fellow Etsy-er & I find her handcrafted stamps just fabulous for making my very own unique flowers. Here's the link to her shop--Green Garden Stamps & her blog: Garden Green Stamps Blog.

I stamped the petal stamp with Staz-On ink on a transparency, cut it out & then with a white gel pen I added white dots along the inside flower design. I then cut the petals in a bit more & bent them upwards for added dimension. I finalized the flower by adding a black Sultan Gem by Prima in the center.

I also tucked a bit of dried copper baby's breath--also known as gyp underneath my flower embellies.

Thanks to all of you who stop by my blog for a visit. I appreciate your time!

Till my next post...

Brick Texture Chipboard Tutorial

I've gotten a couple of inquiries on how I go about achieving that 'brick' look on the brick wall Dusty Attic chippies that I've used on both my 'Frankie' & 'Brothers' pages.

I got this technique from Mr. Tim Holtz himself. I slightly altered his technique--but it's his idea that I used in order to achieve this particular texture.

Let's get started!

Basic list of supplies: distress ink, coordinating distress embossing powder, coordinating distress stickles, embossing ink & heat tool. This technique should work with all colors--for the brick texture I've been using Vintage Photo. For this example I'm going to use a frame by Dusty Attic instead of a brick wall chippie. I only had one set of brick wall chippies & I've already altered all of it. The steps are exactly the same though...

Step 1: Dip your chipboard into the embossing ink & heat emboss it with the distress embossing powder.

Step 2: Once you're done embossing your chippie--scrape off some of the embossing powder with your finger. This will reveal a bit of the raw chipboard & give the embossed powder a more rough texture.

Step 3: This step is optional. Sometimes I use a file to really rub off a good amount of the embossing powder. In this screen shot you can see in the background how much of the powder I have rubbed off. Be careful not to rub it all off--rub off just enough to give the chipboard a 'rustic' texture.

Step 4: Ink your chipboard with the coordinating distress ink.

Step 5: Once done inking--take the coordinating distress stickles & apply to your chipboard.

Step 6: As you can see from this screen shot--there's no better applicator than my own finger. I do not spread it out evenly...I tend to leave small clusters of distress stickles here & there to give it a natural rustic look.

Step 7: Here's the final outcome--this is the frame once dry.

I hope some of you found this tutorial helpful.

Till my next post...

Apr 12, 2011

My Core’dinations Creative Frenzy

I recently discovered Core'dinations & thier wonderful products. Thier cardstock is unique in the sense that they all have a core color which 'core'dinates' with the surface color--it isn't white like typical cardstock. With this in mind--the possibilities of this cardstock are many! You can sand it, emboss it, tear it, ink it, wrinkle it etc. In addition some of thier cardstock is already embossed--so you just sand away for an instant design.

Here I am highlighting three projects where I've used thier products.

The first one titled 'Frankie' uses the Core'dinations Grid cardstock from the Core Essentials collection. I used it both as the circular background & for the large flower embellishment. For the circle, I distressed the edge, inked it in dark brown ink & then sanded down the embossed grid design.

For the flower, I ran it through a Big Shot to die cut the flower petals & layered the petals together with a red brad. I then slightly bent the petals upwards for a bit more dimension.

My second project is a card I made with the Core'dinations Small Dot cardstock from the Whitewash collection. I inked the edges of the entire card & then sanded down the embossed dotted cardstock to reveal the light brown core color underneath.

A closeup of the embellies decorating the card. I also stamped on the Core'dinations cardstock with a flourish stamp. I used a Martha Stewart punch-around-the-page punch (Cherish) & punched along the top edge of the card--I then hand sewed along the design made by the punch.

Behind all those embellies is a corrugated cardboard that has been inked & misted with bronze Shimmerz.

Finally, this is a layout I made titled 'Brothers'. It's my husband with his two older brothers. On this page I used the Core'dinations Core Impressions from the Graphic 45 Timeless Collection. It was perfect in representing the passage of time & it's impact on the three brothers.

Hope you enjoyed these three projects & check out the Core'dinations site for more products. Thanks to all who stop by.

Till my next post...

Apr 11, 2011

Frankie Layout

Hello once again fellow scrappers! Today's page is one that I've been meaning to do for quite some time. It's simply titled 'Frankie'. Frankie happens to be my best friend. Sure, it may seem odd that my best friend happens to be a man--but I guess that's what life had in store for me. Sometimes, you don't pick your friends--they pick you! That's exactly how it was w/me & Frankie. I have journaling on the back of this page--it tells how our friendship began: “Why are you eating lunch in your cube like a dork?” Believe it or not, this one question asked by Frankie on my first day of work, started a friendship that is going onto 12 years now.

Meet Frankie—my best friend. I met him in my first real job out of college back in 2000; good ol’ UPS. We’ve shared more laughs than I can even begin to remember & we’ve had our share of arguments as well. Through the years he’s become my ‘unofficial brother’. He brought me out of my shell at UPS, was there on my wedding day & nobody else has taught me so many useless phrases & terminology as he has!

He’s a great guy with a big heart though he doesn’t like to admit it. He can’t stand mustard or pickles & he can’t mix too many toppings on pizza or hotdogs—he’s a simple ‘meat & potatoes’ guy. He eats his candy bars with a fork & knife & is probably THE neatest guy I’ve ever met!?

He’s the Iceman (a nickname he gave himself), he’s Frank the Tank (his drinking nickname), he’s Frankie G. & don’t you forget it…

But to me, he’s simply Frankie—my brotha’ from another motha’ as he would say—my best friend as I would say…

The small quote in the metal trinket reads: "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out". He's single by the way--so if you knows of anybody that's into George Lopez look-a-likes--give me a shout! :-)

I based my page on Creative Scrappers sketch #150 shown here. As usual, I did a lot of inking & stamping in the background. I used several stamps on the background by two manufacturers--Stamp Enjoy & Stampers Anonymous.

A close-up of the tree chipboard. This chipboard is by Dusty Attic. I inked it in Aged Mahagony distress ink & then spread a combination of distress Stickles & regular Stickles to give it a variety of effects based on the lighting. It has Frosted Lace, Vintage Photo, Paprika & Diamond Stickles.

A close-up of some of the stamping in the background & of the net stitching that makes up the circle. I first saw this net stitching on one of Irene Tan's pages (Scrapperlicous). For this page, I did what I consider half of a net stitch since I only went one way & didn't come back the other way to create a criss cross pattern. To see the full net stitch technique, please feel free to refer to my 'Doe Eyes' page.

I've used some leftover brick chippies from my 'Brothers' page here. This chipboard is also by Dusty Attic. Here, the chipboard has been inked & embossed in Vintage Photo. I further decorated the bricks by adding Vintage Photo Distressed stickles with my finger.

Finally, a close-up of the large flower. The sanded cardstock is by Core'dinations.

Thanks to all who take the time to stop by--I appreciate your stopping by. I also hope this page inspires some of you to scrap your friends along with your family. Sometimes we concentrate so much on family--that we oversee our friends. I believe true friends come in very small numbers--if you're lucky enough to find one, make sure you make the time to pay them a small tribute. It'll be just one more memory to smile about in the years to come.

Till my next post...