Thursday, January 15, 2015

my five faves - CHA 2015 releases

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

That's right! The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Winter 2015 Mega Show just finished up a few days ago. This is where papercrafting companies release a ton of wonderful must-have-right-now new products.

These are my favourites (so far):

1. New Distress colour
We got some very exciting new from Tim Holtz! He will be releasing a new distress colour every month in every distress product. The first, Cracked Pistachio, is divine. I predict a beautiful purplely red for February....
Photo credit: Simon Says Stamp Blog
2. Beautiful paper collections
I cannot lie, I have a weakness for scrapbooking paper. I don't know if there's a trend from CHA this year -- it seems that watercolour is strong, school themes are being released now instead of in the summer, and vintage typewriters are everywhere. What I do know, however, is that there are some glorious beautiful new paper collections coming to my craft room soon. I expecially like these two collections:

Summer Red Raspberry Soup by Jillibean Soup is full of soft summer colours -- perfect for my family's annual strawberry picking outing!
Photo credti: Jillibean Soup
I am absolutely smitten by Citrus Bliss from Pink Paislee. With that beautiful yellow, shiny gold letters and pineapples, how could this not be perfect for summer.
Photo credit: Pink Paislee
3. New sprays
I have two favourite sprays right now: Prima's Color Bloom and Heidi Swapp's Color Shine. So it's pretty exciting to see that both companies have released new colours!

Prima has five new Color Blooms: berrywine, boysenberry, empress gold, yellow mustard and deep teal. As someone who loves all things purple, it surprised me that the deep teal was my favourite. It's so gorgous!
Photo credit: Prima Marketing
Heidi Swapp's new colours include tea, patina, salmon, butter, raspberry (which is gorgeous) and ocean. The light blue in ocean is super nice and on my must-have list!
Photo credit: Heidi Swapp
4. New Art Ingredient
Finnabair has released some new products to her amazing line of Art Ingredients. I'm really curious about the Mica Powder. It's a loose powder made from shiny mineral that you can add to water to create a shiny spray, or apply to a dry canvas and seal, or mix with gel medium to create a shimmery glaze or mix with modelling paste to create shiny glimmery texture. Lots of possibilities for creative play!
Photo credit: Prima Marketing
5. Too cute
GASP! These little vintage bottles from Tim Holtz are amaaaazingly cute!!!
Photo credit: May Flaum
This is only the tip of the iceberg of amazing products coming out of CHA this year. There are great collections from Shimelle, We R Memory Keepers (who knew they had paper?), Heidi Swapp, Echo Park, Fancy Pants, Simple Stories and the list goes on and on. There are also some amazing stencils and stamps from a bunch of companies too.

As you can see, I'll be busy shopping in the next few days. :-)

I would love to hear all about your new favourites.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

my five faves - 2014 layouts

I've been organizing the layouts I completed in 2014 and adding journalling so I can put them in albums. Looking through them, I can't say this has been a banner year for my scrapbooking projects -- I didn't take enough classes; I didn't complete enough layouts; and I can't say I pushed myself enough creatively.

Some years are like that.

Before you think 2014 was a bad scrapbooking year for me, I should say that there have been many scrapbooking get togethers with so many laughs and inspirations and creativity. That's the stuff that makes me love scrapbooking.

And, of course, there were layouts. In 2013, I gave myself a challenge to only work on single page layouts to push me out of my comfort zone. I was very productive and completed a ton of outstanding pages. Last year, I returned to the double LOs I love so much and I was surprised to see how challenging it was to go back to my beloved two-page format. I also snuck in a few one-pagers from time to time. :-)

I love all of my completed layout and there are quite a few that stand out. I managed to pick five that I think reflect my scrapbooking year. These layouts have a simplicity to them but they allowed me to play with wonderful techniques and collections.

1. Fussy cutting
When I saw this layout with hexagon shapes, I immediately thought of the flowers in Bo Bunny's Alora collection. They needed to be fussy cut. Now, it's no secret that fussy cutting and I are not the best of friends. When I feel the urge, I take a deep breath and cut until I'm done. But the fussy cutting is always worth it. The flowers in this layout are no exception!
Paper: Alora (Bo Bunny); Cardstock: Close to My Heart; Washi Tape: unknown; Letters: unknown; Inspiration: Ann Costen (Basic Grey)
2. The unexpected 
The Story of Us by Simple Stories is a wedding collection. The colours in this collection, especially the gold, worked beautifully for pictures of my daughter's first communion. I love finding paper that matches my theme and pictures, especially when the collection is intended for something completely different. Love the circles in this one.
Paper & Stickers: The Story of Us (Simple Stories); Cardstock: Close to My Heart; Letters: unknown; Inspiration: Scrapbook Generation
3. A new favourite 
Sometimes a collection comes along that's just perfect. Simple Stories DIY Boutique with its bold colours and touches of black is fast becoming my all-time favourite collection. It's perfect for my 8-year old daughter who still loves to dress in bright pink and purple, but also loves wearing black from time to time. I took some great pictures of daddy's breakfast in bed on Father's Day. The resulting layout has clean lines, pennants and a bit of spray and is one of my all-time favourites.
Paper, Bling, Brads, Buttons and Die Cuts: DIY Boutique (Simple Stories); Cardstock: Close to My Heart; Letters: unknown;  Spray: Party Pink Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels); Inspiration: Susan Stringfellow (Basic Grey)
4. The unscrappable photos
My daughter came back from a Beavers meeting with amazing face painting. All the boys got super heroes, but when it came to Ellie, the artist got a little creative. I took a few snaps, printed the photos and never scrapbooked them. I couldn't find the right paper so I kept putting these photos aside. I picked up Prima's Stationer's Desk because I loved the deep red in that collection and it was perfect for these (almost) unscrappable photos. I added modelling paste, which was coloured with sprays, to add some interest. I also thought the paper need some shine and the silver Tinsel Color Shine spray added a whitish coat to the paper. I'm really happy with the result and the fact that I got a chance to finally scrapbook these photos!
Paper and flowers: Stationer's Desk (Prima); Sprays: Tinsel Color Shine (Heidi Swapp), Black Marble (Dylusions) & Black Magic Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels); Stencil: Tattered Angels; Modelling Paste: Golden; Inspiration: unknown
5. Embracing white space  
I have many talented scrapbooking friends whose styles vary wildly. One of them, scrapbooks with fresh colours and clean lines which highlights her photos. She also uses lots of white space -- which is often white. Eek! She manages to combine patterned papers in the most brilliant way. These photos of our kids at the park inspired me to scraplift her techniques. I also made my own enamel dots out of pearler beads :-)
Paper: American Crafts; Sticker: Sunny Spot (Dear Lizzy + American Crafts); Cardstock: Close to My Heart; Letters: Prima; Enamel Dots: homemade; Inspiration: PageMaps
I must apologize for the lack of layouts of my son. So here's a bonus LO using the same sketch as above. Love!
Paper, letters, sticker: Ad Lib (Bo Bunny); Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass (Tim Holtz); Enamel Dots: homemade; Inspiration: PageMaps
I hope you enjoyed these layouts as much as I enjoyed creating them. I would like to wish you all the very best for 2015. Here's to many creative moments!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas cards (or how I learned to love cardmaking)

I love making Christmas cards for my friends, family and co-workers even though cardmaking really does not come naturally to me. I find the small canvas a little challenging to work with -- my crooked paper & ribbon, the glue shining all over the card, the awful stamping and the ink stains & smudges become much too evident on my cards. I cringe when I see all of these little boo boos, but I know no one notices (except for my scrapbooking & cardmaking friends!).

This year, I wanted to make 35 cards. I usually find a few sketches that are easy to reproduce in large quantities. It's not always always easy to come up with a great sketch that uses the supplies I have. I did come up with a few ideas this year, which turned out great.

1. Cari Fennell's cards
I took a cardmaking class with the amazing Cari Fennell from Prima a few weeks ago. She showed us how to use a non-holiday paper collection to make beautiful Christmas cards. She also mentioned that one of them could be easily mass produced. I was totally inspired and, after making a few modifications so I could use my scraps and avoid making bows, I made about 15 of these beauties. Loved working with Prima's wonderful Tea Stain Color Bloom too.
The middle card is from Cari Fennell's class. Thank you Cari!
2. Buttons buttons buttons
Maile Belles from Simply Stamped created a wonderful Christmas tree motif made out of buttons. I really loved this design and adapted it so I could use the supplies I have on hand. I made 7 cards based on Maile Belles' design. So cute!
I may not have any buttons left in my stash....
3. Abandoning the model
I found a great card by an unknown artist with a simple vertical band design. It also included a large snowflake and lots of twine. Unfortunately, I didn't have the die cut for the snowflake so I improvised and added a few snowflakes, buttons instead of ribbon and different papers from my stash. Really easy to make and customize a bit. I made about 10 cards like this one.
For the middle card I mixed two different sprays -- Tea Stain Color Bloom and Tinsel Color Shine -- to create a pewter colour. I like how masculine it looks.
3. Artsy cards
I was amazed by all of the cards by Scrapperia, but I was drawn to one card because of the drips, dew drops, twine, stitching and pop of red. I made three cards for three people that I *hope* will appreciate the artistic touches to this card.
Faux stitching and I are not friends (obviously).
4. My favourite
Kelly over at Kelly's Craftin Corner made these super cute shopping bags for her card. It looked so cool so I thought I'd try my hand at it. Surprisingly easy to make! I made two cards like this one.
The stamping isn't perfect. The glue is weeping on my tissue paper. The twine doesn't look great. But sooooo cute!
Glue covered fingers and papers, ink stains everywhere, more than a few brow wipes, and a messy dining room table just added to the experience of creating 35 cards that I'm very happy with. My kids got super excited about these cards because they get that I love to create and that I love to give something I've made. I hope these cards are loved as much I loved making them!

Happy holiday crafting!