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!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

my five faves - tips for titles

Scrapbooking is my way of recording my family's outings, daily moments and other adventures using two things I love: photographs and words.

I add journaling on every page -- even if it's just the date. The words in a title are also an important part of telling the story in the layout. Here are five tips for adding great titles to your layouts.

1. The obvious
My titles are often just about what's happening or where we are e.g., "at the park", "5th birthday", or "Father's Day.". It's not original, but it does the job of saying what's going on. 

Sometimes, your title can be a place, an event or even a feeling. In one of the layouts below, I used the title "joyful" because this is how we were all feeling the day after my daughter's birthday. I used the title "map girl" because that's the nickname we gave my daughter at the Granby Zoo after she insisted on holding the map of the zoo all day.

These unoriginal titles allow me to use bigger and more interesting fonts. I used a mix of font sizes in the "investiture" layout below. I asked my son to write the title "la dictée" (French for "spelling") in one of the layouts below to get his penmanship and spelling skills on the page.

2. Inspiration is everywhere
When I do a layout that captures a moment instead of an event, finding the right title is not always so easy. This is when I resort to using the titles "together", "beauty" and "cuties."

Titles are everywhere. If I look quickly around me right now, I see "Big Ticket Summer" on my TV, "my girl" on a My Mind's Eye embellishment and "Perfect Partner" in a product catalogue. I've also turned to song titles for inspiration. There are a lot of titles online, including blogs -- I loved the title of a blog, Happy Like Yellow, which I used on a layout of my son wearing yellow on a happy family outing. I've also been inspired by commercials, like the Got Milk? slogan, and song lyrics.

I have used magazines to create a vision board and I want to turn to these which I'm sure will offer great titles which I can scraplift or that will inspire me.
3. Cheat a little
Searching for titles is not always the most productive way of completing your layout. Sometimes, I don't have to look too far -- the embellishments in a collection will often give me the title I need.

The "back 2 school" chipboard embellishment in Little Yellow Bicycle's Head of the Class collection was perfect for a back to school layout of my son below. The sticker sheet in Hallowe'en collections often include great words that can work as a title.

I'm a recent convert to the Simple Stories collection. Although some of the papers in their collections seem better suited to pocket scrapbooking, some are easy to fussy cut and use as embellishments. And some can be used as titles like "You are simply amazing" in one of the layouts below.
4. Words are fun 
There's no denying it -- when the inspiration hits you, playing with words is fun. In one the layouts below, my son loved the mazes at Saunders Farm. In fact, he told me they were amazing. So I combined both words to create the title "a-maze-ing." A play on words gives your page a bit of humour or help make your page stand out.

Writing is as much a craft as scrapbooking. The more you write, the better your writing. Keep at it. And have fun. Sooner than later your titles will be fun too.
5. Nothing at all
Although I love words and I firmly believe that they have to be a part of your scrapbooking layout, some layouts don't need a title at all. When there are a lot of design elements or interesting journaling, a title can take away from the page. Then, it's best to step away from the page.

I hope these tips were useful to you.

Have a crafty week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

my fives faves -- layouts from this summer

I had a great summer this year filled with trips and fun times with friends and family. We were busy -- in a good way -- which makes for a memorable summer. Of course, this means that I have lots to scrapbook in the next few months. It also means that I had less time to scrapbook.

I managed to finish 13 layouts, which I'm really happy about. Here are my five favourites, in no particular order.

1. Friends
I really admire how my friend Kiki Halbert distresses and layers papers on her layouts. She inspired me to do this layout of my son and his friend Gina.
Paper: My Family (Fancy Pants); Cardstock: Bo Bunny; Letters: American Crafts; Ink: Black Soot (Tim Holtz); Twine: Close to My Heart; Sprays: Black Marble Ink Spray (Dylusions), Black Magic Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels) & Bronzer Color Shine (Heidi Swapp); Medium: Liquid Glass (Close to My Heart)
2. Family Love
My daughter wore grey and black for her first communion. I found that The Story of Us collection from Simple Stories -- a wedding collection -- was perfect for the occasion. It had some black, grey, gold and lots of hearts.
Paper, title and sticker: The Story of Us (Simple Stories); Cardstock: Close to My Heart and Bo Bunny; Inspiration: Scrapbook Generation
3. At the Park
My friend Sylvie and I took our kids to the park during a long weekend. Her scrapbooking style is both simple & clean and playful. She knows how to combine patterns and colours like nobody else. Plus, she uses a lot of white space. In white no less! The Sweet Day collection form Echo Park gave me the opportunity to micmic her style a little. :-)
Paper: Sweet Day (Echo Park); Cardstock: American Crafts; Letters: Prima; Flower: Dear Lizzy Remarks (American Crafts); Enamel Dots: homemade; Inspiration: PageMaps
4. Friends in Art
The Beach Babe collection from Fancy Pants is one my all-time favourite collections. I love the combination of blues, pinks and oranges and got to use great embellishments here.
Paper and sticker: Beach Babe (Fancy Pants); Letters: Basic Grey; Ink: Ripe Persimmon (Tim Holtz); Spray: Squeezed Orange Ink Spray (Dylusions); Diamond Stickles; Buttons and dew drops: my stash; Inspiration: unknown
5. Apples!
My kids wanted to include this layout here because they loved the photos. I like the non-traditional blue for a fall layout -- it makes the orange pop, doesn't it?
Paper, title and stickers: Thankful (Bella Blvd.); Ink: Spiced Marmalade (Tim Holtz); Buttons and flowers: from my friends' stash; Inspiration: PageMaps
I have hundreds of layouts waiting to be scrapbooked. And, since some are predicted the Ottawa area will be hit with a long cold winter (again!), I know what will keep me busy.

Happy crafting!