Thursday, June 28, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange

So about a month ago, I signed up to be a participant of a gift exchange without even as much as a second thought!  It is where you are paired up with someone anonymously, find out what they like, make a gift, and send it to them in the mail. You also receive a gift from another person.  It is hosted by the coolest gifting elf ever...elfster!  The website magically hosts, gathers information, lets you put items on your wishlist, and shop!  But, the coolest feature is that you get to send secret questions to your recipient so you can learn all about them and their life.

When I came across this idea...I thought it was genius.  Here is a perfect opportunity to meet other cyber crafters!  Almost like a pen pal, but instead a craft pal!  I had a pen pal when I was in the third grade.  I loved, LOVED, getting letters from a mysterious, exotic friend.  (At least that's how I made her up in my mind.)  It's probably no secret, but I loved the writing part as well.  I got to pour my eight-year-old heart & soul into those letters...and then had to beg my mom for a postage stamp! Ah...the lost art of writing & receiving letters in the mail, eh?

Anyway, I digress.  I drew Amber Creel from Orange Park, Florida.  Here's what she's getting from me (hopefully it's there already and I'm not ruining the surprise!).  Granted it is made on the computer, but it is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of art. 

Seems I've got a talent for customized Subway Art.  So far, everyone that has received this gift from me is elated and some have even shed a few tears.  Cross your fingers that it is well received!

Here are the questions I asked Amber:
  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. What's in your cup?  Coffee, tea or cocoa
  3. Do you collect anything?  (most people do)
  4. Name three activities your family loves to do
  5. What is your wedding anniversary date?
  6. Tell me about the makeup of your family.
From her answers, I was able to create an 8" x 10" masterpiece.  I printed it on white index weight cardstock.  I knew I needed it to be in a red frame (representing her love for "all things 'bama").  That was the hardest part of this little creation (eh, not really); I just altered a wood frame -- spraypainted it with Cherry Red Gloss paint.  Simple and effective.

The shipping deadline for all participants is June 30.  Mine went out in yesterday's mail.  Meanwhile I am I anxiously waiting for the mailman to arrive every day.  I sometimes see him sitting somewhere in our neighborhood taking a break and wish he'd hurry up -- I am waiting for my secret handmade gift to arrive!  I will keep you posted on what I receive.  (Truth is...I'm more excited about getting news that Amber's gift has arrived!)

You can see all of the handmade goodness here.  If you'd like to participate in the next gift exchange, click here.  These exchanges are done twice a year and the next one will be in November.  Ooh...Christmas crafts!  Oh my!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6-27-12 Sketch

Here is the sketch today over @ Let's Scrap:

And, here is my take on it:

St. Patrick's Day
First...and foremost...don't judge me!  Seems I may have had one too many green beers that evening to even have thought that a giant, green, sequined, clown hat looked cute.  What was I thinking?  Oh well, it was a fun girls night out and the corned beef & cabbage is to die for.

Anyway, as is usual for me, I followed the sketch exactly.  Here are the technical notes for the layout:
  1. The pennant shaped banner was a Lifestyle Crafts cutting die.  Simply ran it through my Epic.  Easy peasy.
  2. The scalloped banner is made by punching scallops and then cutting them in half. 
  3. I downloaded a St. Patrick's Day themed set from the internet ($free.99).  It included the (word) banner on the rh side, the title, the circle embellishments and all of the green patterned paper and so much more!  
  4. The polka-dot paper and the journaling box are from my Creative Memories "CM" stash. 
There you have it.  If I were caught up and current, I would have posted a beautiful summertime layout. not the case.  But, happily here's another two-page layout done and in the books!

A big shout out to Club SEI for sponsoring this week.  They are a new sponsor to Let's Scrap.  Please support them.  I subscribe to their very fabulous Scrapbooking club with bi-monthly deliveries.  Trust will want to get your layout in (and on time) to get a chance to win the Club SEI prize. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6-13-12 Sketch

Here is the sketch for today over at Let's Scrap (come check it out):

Notice that red "fold here" to add more pictures. is my take on it:

Sunflower Field
Mead, Colorado
August 14, 2010
I pretty much followed the sketch as depicted.  I even made the fold out on the right page to include another six photos!  I did this by using a CTMH 6" x 12" flip flap memory protector.  It is adhered on the backside of the 12" x 12" page protector.  I love these.  They come with a full peel-n-stick clear adhesive strip that is not noticeable.  They come in various other sizes too.

Looking back, I think I may have been a bit "sunflower obsessed" on that particular day.  I can't believe how many photos I took!  And (allow me to brag just a bit), I loved every single one of them.  Confession; I have a really hard time editing photos for layouts - I think I must use them all, and this particular sketch allowed me to use many (not all).  I might plan another shoot at this same farm this summer.

The journaling reads:
This photo shoot was certainly not
impromptu!  No sir!  I planned
every single hour of my day.  I had
seen this sunflower farm on one of
our many trips along I-25.
I wanted to photograph these giant
blooms and I planned to stop here
on my way home from a shopping
trip to my favorite scrapbook store
in Fort Collins.

Here is the layout fully extended:

16 photos!
Here are a couple of close up shots so you can see the dimension and the bling I added:

If you've yet to participate in the weekly sketch challenge, what's preventing you from joining the fun?  My challenge to you...let's see what you can do with this sketch! It is posted on the main page at Let's Scrap right now and you have until midnight (site time) next Tuesday to post your layout in the gallery to get your name in for the prize draw...come on and join us.  You know you want too!

Friday, June 8, 2012

3-D Heart Punch Flowers

Another one of my "duties" as a Design Team member @ Let's Scrap is to provide a tutorial for the members.  Something I may know how to do and can teach others.  My first tutorial is up on the site today.  Click here to view.

Here is it for my followers:

What? Another tutorial for flower making? Yep. They are wildly popular right now.

This is inspired from a pin on pinterest. I decided...oh, I can make those!

Just get out your heart punches. Any size, any shape and start punching. Cardstock works best, but any paper that is two-sided will work and cardstock that is two-toned would be fabulous.

The first punch I used is from Creative Memories. It has two different sized hearts on one punch. This one turned out to be my favorite.

Keep punching. Each flower needs seven hearts.

Using my Stampin Up punch, I was able to get three different sized hearts in with one punch.

Next, you will want to score the hearts down the middle. I tried this two different ways. One with my Martha Stewart Scoring Pad and the other was just a stylus and a metal ruler. I preferred the latter.

After you've scored the hearts (exactly down the middle), fold each of them in half. The score simply gives you a nice clean fold. You could easily skip this part.

Next, comes the assembly. I tried this two ways. One, you put your adhesive on the backside of one-half of the heart. The second way I tried, was a removable adhesive applied to directly to the background paper. I preferred the latter.

When assembling your flower, make sure that they are all going the same way, i.e., all folds to the left or all folds to the right. You want to make sure you line up the points as best as you can.

Once you have them all lined up, if you push down (and flatten them) on the center point, you can see that they are properly in place.

Now comes the fun part. You can add them everywhere you like to your layout, You can use two petals, three petals, a half-flower or a full flower.

They add so much dimension to your layout. Notice that I even used those little tiny heart punches from the Stampin Up punch...great for filler.

I'm so darn happy with the layout. I may choose to frame it instead of smashing it in my scrapbook.

These flowers are showing up everywhere. They are not just for scrapbooking or card making. I've seen them on lampshades, clustered and framed on the wall, and made into other shapes (a big heart). Think about monochromatic. Or white on white would be so elegant and an awesome gift for a wedding.

                 Drum roll, is the finished product:

Pink roses from my 5-year celebration of
being cancer free.
Date:  January 20, 2011
I encourage you to try out this flower tutorial any time you might need a flower for a layout. No sense buying them anymore when you can make them!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will use it!

For printed instructions, click here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Question of the Week

One of my design team duties over at Let's Scrap is to pose a Question of the Week (QOTW).  If you'd like to participate and check it out, you can find it here.

QOTW 6-4-12

This first Monday of June, I'd like to do something a bit different. This is a Show-and-Tell week, (I'll show you mine if you show me yours). Should be lots of fun and pretty funny to see how far we've come in the hobby/craft that we all love.

Since the premise behind Let's Scrap is two-page layouts, I thought it would be fun to share our very first two-page layouts with each other. Yes, I know. No laughing, please!

Here's what you need to do: snap a picture of pages 2 & 3 of your very first scrapbook and post them here. You can then say a little about how the memory makes you feel, how you got started scrapbooking, or any trends that were big "in the day", or in general any emotion or reflection you'd like to share about looking back. (While you are at it, sit down with your favorite beverage and take 15 minutes and peruse that very old scrapbook you so lovingly created. Chances are it's been awhile since you've pulled it from the shelf and re-lived your precious memories. I will make you smile, lift your spirits, and remind you of "why" we do it in the first place.) Please include your first name and where you are from.

This is the very first two-page layout I created:

Title: Trip to Jamaica

Date: 1999

Details: I attended a Creative Memories class taught by my sister. She had been after me and after me to get started scrapbooking, but I just couldn't imagine cutting any of my precious photos. I succumbed and started scrapbooking with this vacation trip (I told her I would only do this ONE trip!). Well, I was hooked. Little did she know then what a fanatic I would become!

Design: Make sure you notice that big green airplane and the border on the left side. And, notice that I sprinkled in dollars bills among the travel paraphernalia (to indicate how $$ the trip was!) Whew...isn't that special?