Friday, March 30, 2012

friday favorites | march 30, 2012

I'm back as promised with tonight's installment of Friday Favorites. If you missed my giveaway post earlier today for a copy of Card Maps Today 2, you can find that here. And, yes, I've changed back to the old format for these posts. There were some things about doing it the other way that were starting to drive me batty(er than usual), so I did this to save my own sanity.

Easter is just over a week away, and lots of spring themed projects are starting to pop up all over blogland. I've got a few of those to share with you today along with the usual dose of crafty goodness, so let's get started!


From the top left:

  • We've seen tons of examples of Project Life done in the standard weekly format, but Geralyn Sy has done something very cool with hers- not only is she doing the project in an 8.5x11 format with baseball card format protectors, but she's also taking a monthly approach to her album. It's simply gorgeous!
  • Lists have always been a favorite among scrapbookers, but lately I've seen a bigger emphasis on lists in general. The first of two projects in this week's roundup that focus on lists comes from Julie Jacobs (via the Teresa Collins Design Team Blog) and features a beautiful altered book.
  • I love the look of TTV photography, but I simply don't have the patience to take two cameras and the necessary attachment for them out and about with me while shooting. Luckily Elsie Larson posted a great way to "fake" TTV photos while still using the same the comfort of your own home.
  • Check out this cool stamping technique for decorating Easter eggs at Craftberry Bush.
  • Who doesn't love a good Pantone project? These Pantone "tarts" are so colorful and fun! Get a closer look at the Cake blog.
  • Lately I've been smitten by the scrapping style of Anna-Maria Wolniak (who is also now a fellow Lily Bee design team member!). I love the paper layers, the ink splatters, the organized randomness- it's all just beautiful!
  • Rhonna Farrer's design team recently cooked up some springtime goodness, including these spring scene globes in Mason jars.
  • These lovely paper flower cups are made with coffee filters! Learn how at Martha Stewart Crafts.
  • The second list-oriented pick this week comes from Monika Wright's blog. Her handmade 30 Days of Lists mini album is simply amazing, and a great way to round out this week's picks.
Have a scrappy weekend!

giveaway | cardmaps today 2 by scrapbook and cards today


I've got a fun little giveaway to share with you guys this morning! Scrapbook and Cards Today sent me an extra copy of their new Card Maps Today 2 book, and I want to share it with one of you!

You've probably heard (well, read) me raving about Scrapbook And Cards Today magazine before- they were one of the first magazines to make their regular issues available as PDF downloads (hello, happy iPad!), and the best part is that anyone can download those issues for free! The magazine itself is gorgeous and is edited by the super-talented Becky Fleck of PageMaps fame. Trivia time- did you know that my very, very first post on this blog was about PageMaps? It's true! Every once in a while SCT puts out a special issue that a) isn't available for download and b) is printed in a very limited run, and Card Maps Today 2 is one of those books!

Inside you'll find:

  • More than 40 new card sketches by Becky Fleck
  • 70 cards by fabulous designers
  • Step-by-step instructions for each card
  • 8 technique how-tos with step-by-step photos
Card Maps Today 2 sells for $11.95 (you can find it here if you'd like to order a copy), but if you leave a comment on this post you'll be entered to win a free copy (U.S. residents only please)! You have until next Thursday evening to enter (please make sure your email address is somewhere on the form so I can get in touch with you) and I'll select and contact the winner Friday morning and also announce them in that day's Friday Favorites post.

Good luck to everyone! I'll be back a little later this evening with today's Friday Favorites. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

pink paislee layout | roses at leu gardens


A couple of weeks ago the Pink Paislee blog took an entire week to focus on layering, so the majority of this post is a direct copy of what I wrote over there (no sense in reinventing the wheel, right?). I tend to mostly layer with paper, but there are a lot of other ways you can add layers to your layouts without adding a lot of bulk. (I tend to make a lot of pages, so bulky = takes up too much space in an album = not good.)


Take, for example, the page above, made using items from Pink Paislee’s new Spring Jubilee collection. Aside from a very few chipboard stickers that are raised up on dimensional adhesive, this page is almost completely flat- yet it still looks quite layered because of all the different textures in play! Let’s take a look at a few ways I achieved this.

I started by misting the background cardstock (using the Mistables mask). The design this step created gives the appearance of depth and dimension, when in reality it added no bulk whatsoever!
Heat embossing (as shown in the image below) is another great way to add subtle texture to your page. After the heat tool has been applied, the embossing powder takes on a slightly raised profile, but it doesn’t add much dimension. It adds a lot of punch, though!


Here I’ve layered several hand-trimmed designs from some of the Spring Jubilee papers, tucking bits of them under the photo mats to create layers. The addition of the chipboard sticker on dimensional adhesive adds a final “pop” to the whole section.


You can achieve that same look with rub-ons, which you can see here layered with more popped up chipboard and also a bit more heat embossing.


Regular layouts aren’t the only place you can employ these layering techniques- I even put them to use in a divided page protector layout I made as a companion to my traditional page.


Nobody said that divided page protector layouts had to be completely flat!! Here I used a rub-on right on top of the page protector, allowing it to span several photos in the pockets below. The addition of another chipboard sticker on dimensional adhesive finished off this simple addition for a simple page, and the two layouts now live side-by-side in my scrapbook album.


I know ::gasp:: no journaling on this one! Thing is, I've scrapped several layouts already about this trip to Leu Gardens in Orlando, and there's only so much you can say about an afternoon spent wandering around looking at flowers. So, yeah, I gave myself permission to just play with photos and paper and pretty products on this one. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

scrapbook circle | layout | angry birds


Before all the Angry Birds: Space hoopla erupted last week, I found myself enthralled by a quiet little update to Angry Birds: Seasons.

They added...get this...a cherry blossom level! Okay, so you know I was positively absolutely over the top overjoyed and excited to see that, right? And it couldn't have come at a better time, because I was having a bit of a rough time with an assignment at work (I love my company (it totally rocks), I was just in a bit over my head with what they gave me to work on) and was having a serious self-doubt crisis. Now, a few new levels of Angry Birds can't exactly fix that, but it certainly can at least make me smile. Especially the cherry blossoms part.

Silly as it may sound, at that very moment I kinda loved Angry Birds.

And so I scrapped it.


I used my March Scrapbook Circle kit, Best.Day.Ever. (how appropriate is that name?) for this layout, which is actually for my lift assignment of one of our awesome subscriber's pages (you can check out Brianna's layout here). I cut the title on my Silhouette Cameo using a font called "Feast of Flesh" (creepy name, no?) that looks a lot like the Angry Birds title font.


The pictures themselves are actually screenshots taken on my iPad, where the HD version of the game has a high enough resolution to be printable. One of them actually made its way into my Project Life album for that week, too, so you'll be seeing it again in the not-so-distant future.


So, how about you guys? Anyone into Angry Birds? Seasons? Space (those physics are kinda rockin', I gotta admit!)? And has anyone scrapped it? If so, let me know where I can find it- I'd love to see!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

spotlight on dcwv | project life 2011 | november 20-26

Congrats to Sharis for winning the Serenity patterned paper and cardstock stacks from last week's giveaway from DCWV! I've already emailed the winner- thanks so much to everyone who entered!


For my last post in my Spotlight series on Die Cuts with a View, I wanted to take the papers in the Serenity stack for a spin in my Project Life album (you can check out the layout that I made with these papers last week here if you missed it). As I did with the Coral Couture stacks in PL, I made heavy use of the Serenity stack's coordinating mat stack for this project. at 4.5x6.5, these little mini-stacks are perfect for use in divided page protectors!


I chose to go back to my 2011 Project Life album (which still contains many unfinished layouts) and work on the spread from Thanksgiving week. The browns and earthy tones in the Serenity stack coordinated well with photos of our Thanksgiving dinner...and also with the abundant cat photos I found in my Lightroom catalog for that week!


Here's a closer look at the left-hand page:


I thought that the white space in this photo could use a little embellishment, so I hand-cut a couple of flowers from one of the full-size sheets from the stack, then added an asterisk in a coordinating light aqua color from a pack of foam Thickers I had in my stash. I credit Shimelle Laine with the asterisk-as-an-embellishment idea, as I had never even thought to do it before. She's a genius, that girl!


I used little strips of paper from the mat stack to spruce up some plain grid patterned journaling cards from the Project Life product line. I love how these are so easy to customize- you may recall in the Coral Couture Project Life feature that I did something very similar with papers from that mat stack and a border punch.


This floral paper (also from the mat stack) made an excellent backdrop for this week's title block.


And moving on to the right side:


When I narrowed my Lightroom catalog down to just the photos from this week (what I often do when catching up on my old album), I found lots and lots of photos of the cats. I guess they were just really photogenic that week!


Here a piece of one of the mat stack papers serves as a backdrop for a smaller photo- a great way to incorporate little bits of pattern here and there.



I'd like to take a minute to thank DCWV for providing the giveaways for this month's spotlights on their products- their support is greatly appreciated! And I also appreciate all of my readers who took the time to enter- love all you guys!

Monday, March 26, 2012

lawn fawn | bright side layout

Quick note: due to Lawn Fawn's posting schedule for Inspiration Week this month, I'll be delaying my usual Project Life Monday post until tomorrow. The winner of the Serenity stacks from DCWV has been selected and will receive an email from me shortly. I'll announce the name in tomorrow's post!


It's layout day over at the Lawn Fawn blog, where we're smack in the middle of Inspiration Week with the new stamps and papers.

When I visited the Lawn Fawn CHA booth and first met Kelly earlier this year, she gave me a tour and pointed out all the new sets, including Critters Ever After. I may or may not have squeaked with utter joy upon finding out that there's a gryphon stamp in the set.

A gryphon, people!

You see, I have a cat named Griffin- a big 21 lb. baby of a cat, at that. (Yes, he sees a vet. Yes, he's on weight control food. Honestly nobody can tell me why he's so big- we also have two other cats of a much more normal size, and they all eat the same food. It's a big mystery...especially since the fluffball was only about half a pound when I first adopted him from the shelter.)

Anyway, I digress. Griffin, the behemoth of a feline, has so many nicknames that it's not even funny. Griffly Bear. The Griff. Hippogriff. Griffyndor (my Dad came up with that one). And despite the Harry Potter-esque origins of those last two, he was in fact named after one of the main characters in Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine books.


So, when it came time to make my very first Lawn Fawn layout, of course I had to scrap about Griffin! I started by opening up my Silhouette software and typing out all his nicknames (actually, I ran out of room and had to leave off "King Agriffa"), and then I arranged them such that I could cut them out of small strips of Bright Side paper from Lawn Fawn's 6x6 paper pad.


Have I mentioned how much I love my Cameo lately?


I finished the layout off with a couple of stamps- nothing fancy, just a super simple addition of the little gryphon character (because how could I not?).


Be sure to check out all the other awesome layouts from the rest of the design team over at the Lawn Fawn blog!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

geek girl | march 18, 2012

Good evening, geeklings!

It's been a busy day here on ye' olde blog with lots of scrappiness going on over the weekend, but not to fear! I certainly do not intend to go another week without a sufficient dose of all things geeky.

Let's get started with this awesome Chebacca bento box. The mere sight of soba and rice is making me hungry- and reminding me that it's been far too long since I last had sushi!

Wow- it's been a really, really long time since I've seen or made anything with plastic canvas (I used to do tons of it when I was a kid). This real "transforming" Optimus Prime is making me go all nostalgic on soooo many levels!

If I had kids, they would totally be wearing these cool Star Wars inspired shoes from Stride Rite. (I lie- they'd actually be wearing toe shoes, and I'd be lobbying hard for some GFFA licensed ones for sure!)

Keep your money safe (well, as safe as the TARDIS ever is) in this blue police call box bank.

Computer case mods seem to be on the rise lately. How very retro-cool is this 8-bit Legend of Zelda specimen?!?! Love!

Nope, you're not seeing things. That is indeed a Lego church, though the Legos are only temporary. Click through the link to find out more about this cool church mod in the Netherlands.

Speaking of cool Legos, this working Lego printer (yes, printer) is the work of a 14 year old (yes 14).

How about more 8 bit? This time we have it in the form of Star Wars characters. Be sure to click through the link to see the whole gang!

I find the idea of carving Jar-Jar binks out of a vegetable to be very...appealing. Especially if I get to dice him up afterward!

Until next time, geek out, peeps!

lawn fawn inspiration week | critters ever after

Kelly asked me to join Lawn Fawn to make layouts, but as soon as my box of stamps arrived I couldn't help getting them out just to play and make something small. I'll be sharing my Lawn Fawn layout tomorrow, but today I wanted to show you all these tiny little (3x4, of course!) journaling cards that I made for my Project Life album!


Amy Tan posted a really cool watercolor technique a couple of months ago using Studio Calico's Mister Huey's mists and a straw, and I really, really wanted to try it. Because, come on- painting with a straw!?!? Not only is it fun, but it's something that I, with nearly zero artistic ability with a paintbrush, can do!


I changed up her technique a bit to add a little resist, which is where the Lawn Fawn Critters Ever After stamps come into play. I stamped them on a few of Becky Higgins' grid journaling cards for Project Life using VersaMark watermark ink, then heat embossed them with clear embossing powder (I use Zing by American Crafts). After the embossing powder was set, I then added the watercolors to make the stamped images pop out.


I think the effect is kinda dreamy, and I love it! The clear embossing powder will resist pretty much any colorant, not just stamp inks, so you can try it will all kinds of mediums!


Be sure to check out the Lawn Fawn blog today (and all this week!) for more inspiration with all the new stamps. Today's highlight is Critters Ever After, but each day brings a new focus on a different stamp set or even the new Bright Side papers!

scrapbook circle | april 2012 kit peeks

The upcoming April kit from Scrapbook Circle is so full of the latest and greatest goodies that even the design team is just now receiving their sets to play with! Mine arrived yesterday, and I'm anxious to dig in to all the Amy Tan Sketchbook goodness. There's also a lot of Lily Bee and Heidi Swapp included- two companies you know I love!

Here are just a couple of sneak peeks of the kit- it goes live tomorrow on the site! There will be a coordinating add-on and a cardstock add-on as well, so be sure to check it out!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

officially one of the fawnies!


Imagine my absolute surprise and delight when the adorable Kelly Marie Alvarez, owner of Lawn Fawn (and designer of super awesome stamps), emailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I would like to join their design team.

After I picked myself up off the floor and recovered from my shock, I was all, like, "Kelly, I'd love to, but I need to warn you that I make super, super simple cards."

And Kelly was all, like, "That's totally great, Melissa, but what I really want you to do is make layouts!"

And then I was, like, "Cool, I'd love to!" Because honestly I was still in shock and couldn't come up with anything more eloquent than that...but I think Kelly got my meaning. :)

And so now I'm a Fawny girl! And I'm so excited to be there- all the girls are super talented, and I'm also joined by fellow Lily Bee design team members Linda Barber and Melissa Mann, along with the rest of the cooler than cool Fawnies. It's such a great group, and I'm honored that Kelly asked me to join them.

My first project is actually going up tomorrow. It's super tiny and not my layout for the month (that goes up on Monday), but I wanted to do a little something fun and extra this month. You can check out the Lawn Fawn blog today to see the DT intros for both Cristinia Nunez (who is also a Computer Engineer- how cool is that?) and myself, and then starting tomorrow there will be a full week of inspiration with bunches of Lawn Fawn's new stamps that were released at CHA.

So excited to be joining this company- their stamps are top-notch in both quality and design, and I can't wait to play with them more!

Friday, March 23, 2012

friday favorites | march 23, 2012

Happy Friday night, scrappy peeps! I'm popping in to share this evening's favorites now that I've had my requisite post-work weightlifting and running session at the gym along with my pre-bed dinner out to eat some really good Indian food. Is anyone else as addicted to naan as I am? 

Really quickly before I jump in- the design team intros have been going up at the Lily Bee blog over the past few days, and mine was posted here, crazy new profile photo and all. Okay, so I really mostly link these things up to my blog so I can find them later when I need to- please tell me I'm not the only one who does that!

Okay, on with the picks!

May Flaum starts us off tonight with her new blog series entitled "Operation Clean Studio." I'm sure she's the only scrapbooker who's ever had a messy workspace- right? Right. :) She plans to post weekly- the first entry is linked with the photo below, and you can find the second one from earlier this week here.

Visit Finding Nana to learn how to turn your photos into fake Polaroid style images with Picasa- I had no idea it could do that, and I actually used it for years before switching to Lightroom. So very, very cool!

Every once in a while a layout simply takes my breath away with its beauty, and this lovely page by Gaelle Fauglas did just that as soon as I spotted it- sooooo gorgeous!

Basic Grey posted a super fun layout using all kinds of punched hearts as a page background. I can't wait to try this out for myself.

Check out a cool tip for using up lots of washi tape at Hambly's blog.

Davinie Fiero shares a confetti technique that I'm dying to try now! Maybe this weekend- I've got lots of scrapping on the schedule!

Speaking of confetti, you can find this lovely confetti-filled mini album by Lilith Eeckels at the Crate Paper blog.

Chelsea's stunning layout definitely gets my vote for most creative (and eye-catching) use of a Silhouette Cameo to create a title- this is another idea I'm definitely going to use somewhere.

Rounding out the group this week is another project by Basic Grey. I love the look of this button-and-brad-filled monogram- what a great way to use up some supplies and make a gorgeous piece of decor at the same time.

Have a scrappy weekend!