Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to Make Simple DIY String Art Embellishments- Week #25

This summer, I keep seeing string art popping up everywhere. It's fun to make and gives your home an instant cozy, handmade with love feel. String art is also something that's easy to create in scrapbook embellishment form. More than likely, you have all of the supplies on hand which makes this a budget friendly way to join in on the trend. The basic supplies consist of a permanent marker, chipboard shape, adhesive and string.

Step One: Choose the chipboard shape for your string art.

I chose to use these chipboard cats from Totem Poppets, but any chipboard shape will do. You will need to decide a base color for the chipboard. I chose black and used a permanent marker to color the chipboard pieces. You could easily use ink or paint as well and choose any color you wish.

Step Two: Add a strip of adhesive to the back of the chipboard.

A tape runner seems to work best. Double sided tape would also be a good choice. Run a small line of the adhesive down the center of the chipboard piece. As you wind the string, it will stick to the adhesive and not slip off. 

Step Three: Wind the String around the Chipboard Piece.

You may need to add more adhesive as you work. Using 2-3 strands of string, wrap it around the shape at uneven intervals until you are happy with the way it looks. I chose three colors of string to make the piece a little more interesting. 

It does help to have a prior idea of where your string art piece is going to be placed on the finished layout. It isn't a heavy or bulky embellishment, but it may be large depending on the size of the chipboard piece you chose. I love that each piece is unique and that they are easy to make. It took me about 10-15 minutes from start to finish to create this cat embellishment. You can easily adapt this technique for any chipboard shape. Consider refreshing older chipboard letters in your supplies.

Have you tried string art? Share links to your string art creations in the comments for this blog post.

Supplies Used:
Xyron Adhesive
Embroidery Floss
Permanent Marker
Patterned Paper by LilyBee Designs
Flowers by Recollections
Stickers by Evalicious
Letters by Basic Grey and American Crafts

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fill Your White Space for a Great Layout - Week #23

Hello! It's Nancy back again with another fun and easy layout for week #23!  Today I'll be showing you how to fill your white space on your layout to make a fabulous layout, working with a template from the ebook Scrap Free Scrapbooking as my guide.
These templates take the headache out of creating the basic backbone of your layout, and help you save paper at the same time. I love them! Today I'm working with a design from cutting pattern #9 in the book.

The design is quite simple - it's two 5" x 7" blocks and a 4" x 12" strip. I substituted photos for the 5" x 7" blocks, in one case using two photos together to make a block.

But putting those basic elements in place left me with a lot of white space. Sometimes I don't mind white space - it is the easiest way to a clean and simple effect, after all! But on this layout it was bugging me. I wanted to fill it, but without making the layout too busy. How?

When we think of background stamps, we usually think of a large rectangular stamp with an all-over repeating pattern like dots, stripes, or similar design. But, despite its odd shape, this large Hero Arts map stamp is part of their background stamp line. 

Stamped in the upper left hand corner, the map stamp served two purposes. First, it somewhat filled the major area of white space on that quadrant of the layout. And then it also served as a grounding element so that the journaling ticket didn't look like it was floating in space. It also provided a visual frame for the phrase stickers. 

You might be wondering why I pushed the map and the ticket to the left, away from the large photo of the Lincoln memorial? Well, there's an open area between the Lincoln photo and the Washington Monument photo. That area was already contained on three sides by the photos and the patterned paper block. If I pushed the journaling ticket and map to the right, against the Lincoln photo, that area of space would be surrounded on all four sides. This is known as "trapped white space" and is visually disturbing to the eye. Laid out the way I made the design, there is a channel against the side of the Lincoln photo for that space to flow out of. 

At the bottom of the layout, I wanted to use these letter stickers but they barely fit in the available space. How did I space them to fit perfectly against the right edge of the page at the end of the word? Well, the ability to spell backwards helps! I started by laying my stickers from the end of the word, working right to left.

Even after the letter stickers were in place, there was too much white space on this part of the layout for my eye. So I used the map background stamp again to fill it in a bit, letting the stamp flow off of the bottom of the layout.

The stamps, phrase stickers, and alphabet create a nice diagonal line of black that leads the eye across the layout. I didn't notice this until after I was done, but it explains why this design of these elements felt "right" to me when I was creating and moving things around.
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Seasonal Paper Pad
  • American Crafts Thickers Alphabet Stickers - Marquis Black
  • Colorbox Pigment Ink Pad in Black
  • Hero Arts US Map Background stamp
  • Tim Holtz Small Talk "Occasions" Stickers
  • Tim Holtz Journaling Tickets
  • Sakura Pitt Artist Pen - S Black
  • Jennifer Priest's Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook

What creative ideas do you use to fill white space on your layouts?

Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 Summer Design Team Call for Layout-A-Week Blog

We are looking for scrapbookers who LOVE the craft and want to share that LOVE with others! Layout-A-Week’s goal is to inspire scrapbookers with easy-to-make layout ideas as a one stop resource for scrapbooking inspiration. Everyone can do just ONE layout a week, right?

New Term JULY 2016-FEB 2017

APPLY BY June 10, 2016!! Finalists will be notified via email after June 11, 2016.

Please apply if you:
  • Love traditional paper scrapbooking or pocket style scrapbooking
  • Have an active blog or social media presence!
  • Take great photos (and are willing to learn to improve your photos if you are not 100% there yet)
  • Love teaching others how to scrapbook!
  • Want to get FREE current scrapbooking products!
  • Enjoy writing and have a keen attention to detail
  • Want to break into the craft industry and start making your blog/craft into a business
  • Are eager to learn about SEO

  • Post 1 scrapbooking project per month to the Layout-A-Week blog in conjunction with challenge theme and color collage.
    • Project should be a scrapbook layout with multiple photos or a pocket style scrapbook page with multiple photos.
    • Hybrid projects are ok with at least 50% real product.
    • Must have at least 3 photos on the post. One must be a tall image 735x1100 for Pinterest and one square image 640x640 for Instagram. (we can help you with learning to make these if you don’t know how)
    • Must have a tutorial with stepped out photos (step by step) of how to make the page, start to finish. We’re looking for simple, easy to reproduce pages with 1-2 techniques that can be completed in under an hour.
    • May include your own YouTube video, embedded, with a tutorial instead of stepped out photos
    • Posts are all due on the first of the month.
    • You may use any product from any of your other teams on your posts to help promote your work with them (some limits apply - will disclose final details to team members).
    • We have a list of preferred partners we would like promoted, which we will furnish to finalists.
  • 5 of the 8 required projects during your term must use templates from the Scrap FREE Scrapbooking ebooks (or other partner products we are promoting. Details to follow).
  • Participate in 3 blog hops (with a blog post for each) during your term. This will be in addition to the 1 post per month.
  • Promote your posts with 1 link from your blog and 5 social media shares each month.

  • Will receive a box with product from partner companies valued at $100
  • Affiliate commissions on Hydrangea Hippo digital products
  • Gift Card bonuses for high-performance
  • Opportunity for paid campaigns through Rainmaker Media Works
  • Opportunity to participate in blog hops with partner companies
  • Free blogger training from Rainmaker Media Works
  • Promotion via social media (we’ll ask you for your handles)
  • Button to display in your side bar
  • Opportunity to promote your work via the Layout-A-Week Facebook Page using Facebook LIVE.

Other info:

  • US only due to high shipping costs and slowed shipping (stuck in customs). Wish we could accept international apps!
  • Please be sure you can commit to the 8 month term. We consider current team members in good standing FIRST for renewal and other opportunities so it pays to finish the term :)

Thank you so much for your interest in Layout-A-Week. We look forward to seeing your applications!!!

- Jennifer

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to Make a Fabulous Project Life Kit from Your Stash- Week #20

Every time there was a sale on Project Life Core Kits, I found myself buying one. I also picked up pocket page style cards from other resources including digital kits. It didn't take long for them to pile up. As beautiful as the cards were, I often found that many of the cards were repeated. Other times, I felt that the cards just didn't work to tell the stories I wanted to tell in my pocket pages. These frustrations led to the cards gathering dust on the shelf.

This year, I vowed to make use of the cards I already own. I have dusted them off and started giving myself freedom...freedom to create my own kits. If you find your cards are gathering dust as well, then perhaps you should join me as we make our own Project Life kits.

Step One: Pick the starting point for your kit

What every kit needs is a starting point.In some cases, the time of year or a set of photos may inspire the supplies you want to use. For example, if you are making pocket pages about summer activities, you would probably want warm, bright colors in your kit. Alternatively, a card pr piece of scrap paper may be your inspiration. Either way, choose a color scheme and stick to it! It's ok to go a shade up or down from the main palette but try to keep it all as close as possible. I also recommend trying to limit the palette to 5 colors or less. It will make it easier to keep a cohesive look. Let that color scheme drive your product choices.

I started with the patterned paper piece shown in the photo above. From there, I chose a Project Life kit with a similar color scheme. Not all of the colors from the core kit fit my palette, so I simply opted to discard the cards that didn't fit. I also chose a few cards from my kit club subscription.

It may be difficult to know how many cards you will need. Take a look at your photos and you will have a general idea. The great thing about making your own Project Life kit is that, should you need more supplies, you simply need to shop a bit more in your stash.

Step Two: Pick a selection of embellishments

Choose a variety of embellishments to complete your Project Life kit.Keep to the color palette, but also consider how those embellishments will contrast or compliment the cards and papers you picked. 

I chose a mix of ribbon, tape, wooden embellishments, jewels, enamel dots, rub-ons and stickers.I try to use flatter embellishments on my pocket pages since many of the pocket style page protectors are not as forgiving as a scrapbook layout page protector. This is also the opportunity for you to create some embellishments. I used my Westcott Brand craft knife to fussy cut some flowers from a scrap piece of patterned paper.

Now that your project life kit is ready, it's time for you to create with it!

Supplies Used:
Patterned Paper by Crate Paper
Pocket Page Cards from Cocoa Daisy, Becky Higgin's Project Life
Rub-Ons by Dear Lizzy
Wood Shapes by Shimelle, Dear Lizzy
Stickers by Heidi Swapp
Tape by Amy Tangerine
Craft knife by Westcott Brand

Friday, May 6, 2016

National Scrapbook Day 2016 BLOG HOP!

Happy National Scrapbook Day 2016!! Chances are, if you are reading this blog you love to scrapbook. Today, scrapbooking takes on many different forms from the traditional 12x12 layouts to smaller formats like 8.5 x 11, 6x6 and the ever growing popular pocket scrapbooking. Whichever form you prefer, we are all story tellers who love to preserve our favortie memories for generations to come. That is why I love that we take out the first Saturday each May to celebrate this wonderful hobby.

Today Nancy Nally is sharing a Star Wars inspired scrapbook page tutorial. You know, this past Wednesday was Star Wars Day - "May the 4th"! Be sure to go to the end of this blog post to see the hop list and get in on the giveaway too. 

It's Nancy, back for week #18! Wednesday was Star Wars Day - May the Fourth! - and I decided to start feeling the force here at the Layout-A-Week blog with a Star Wars layout celebrating the dark side!

This layout uses cutting pattern 6 from Jennifer Priest's fun eBook, Scrap Free Scrapbooking. These great templates let you get the most out of your paper while also fitting more photos on your layouts too! I can't stop using them!

The patterns are built on colorblocking. So the first step is to grab your trimmer (like my Westcott Titanium trimmer) and cut your paper to size for the layout's blocks. 

For this layout, black and white seemed to be the obvious color scheme to go with my Star Wars theme. I chose papers that were all black, white, or a soft gray. It is surprisingly difficult to match shades of gray. They can have very different undertones!

As I built my photo collage with my Xyron Mega Runner, I kept a couple of key things in mind to make the layout work better overall. 

First, with the characters moving left to right in the photos, it was important that the layout "read" that direction visually as well. This layout pattern was designed that direction, but if it hadn't been, I could have reversed it to be in harmony with my photos. 

Second I positioned my photos very deliberately. I knew that part of the photo in the bottom left of the collage would be covered up. So placing the Darth Vader photo there meant that I would lost part of his flowing cape, not a huge problem for the image. 

Leaving the upper right corner empty was also deliberate, as you'll see below! 

To fill that upper right corner, I cut a 3" circle from white cardstock, and stamped it with a graph stamp and gray ink. I purposely didn't worry about getting the impression perfect. 

Next, I used the Large Canvas Stripes stamp I only inked the very last stripe on the edge. First I stamped it twice side by side in light gray (Pewter) across the circle's center. Then I repeated it with the darker gray (Charcoal) pad, but with this color I stamped the stamp on scrap paper first and then used the 2nd impression to stamp on my embellishment.

The next step is to use the Tile Texture stencil and brush Charcoal ink through it with a Colorbox Stylus. After doing that in selected areas, move the stencil a fraction of an inch to the right or left and ink the same areas again. 

After the inking is done, punch a 1" hole in upper left quadrant of the circle. Back the circle with light gray cardstock, and stamp dark gray in the center of it. 

The finished product is a Death Star to hover ominously over your Dark Side characters! Paired with some journaling strips created with a labelmaker, it fills the top corner of the layout nicely. The journaling strips bring some of the black from the bottom title up to the top of the layout, as well as adding some of the retro feel of the Star Wars aesthetic. 

The final touch is to add a title cut on my Cricut machine using a Star Wars styled font that I downloaded from the internet. A well styled title can add a lot of theme to a layout. The Star Wars font style is so distinctive! 

  • Scrap FREE Scrapbooking ebook
  • Pink Paislee "Memorandum" Patterned Paper Pad
  • Pink Paislee "C'est La Vie" collection - Paper 10
  • Black textured cardstock
  • White smooth cardstock
  • Grey textured cardstock
  • Cricut Explore Machine
  • Font: Star Jedi (downloaded from internet)
  • EK Success Circle Punch - 1"
  • Colorbox Mix'd Media Inx in Pewter
  • Colorbox Chalk Ink pad - Charcoal
  • Colorbox Stylus
  • Dymo Organizer Xpress Labelmaker
  • Xyron 150 sticker maker
  • Hero Arts Clearly Kelly stamps - Kelly's Outline Alphabet
  • Hero Arts background stamps - Graph Background & Large Canvas Stripes
  • The Crafter's Workshop stencil - Mini Tile Texture
Have you created Star Wars or other sci-fi themed icons yourself for your layouts? Let us know in the comments!!

Now it's time to continue on our hop AND enter our amazing National Scrapbook Day giveaway!!!

 I'm giving away over $100 worth of scrapbooking supplies!!
  • Sizzix Dies!
  • NEW Sizzix Paper Pad
  • Sizzix Stamps!
  • Amy Tangerine Notebook
  • Ali Edwards Notecards from CHA
  • Sticker Masks from STICKO
  • Neutrogena GO bag!
  • Premiere Yarns Downtown Abbey Sampler
  • Pentart Pearl Pens x 3
  • Coloring Book Book Marks
  • Coloring Book Notebook
  • Elizabeth Craft Designs Coffee Mug with tiny spoon
  • RUKristin Papercrafts Stamps and Journaling Cards
  • Adornit Tote
  • Adornit Coloring Planner Binder with Pages
  • Adornit Washi Tape - 3 rolls!
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Adhesive PACKS
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens SET
  • ThermOWeb DecoFoils and Accessories
  • Clearsnap Glue Gloss
  • Richard Garay Tote
  • and more!
Use the links at the end of this post to enter to win and be sure to visit all of the blogs on the hop.


AND be sure to check out the Scrap FREE Scrapbooking ebook that has templates and sketches to create over 50 scrapbook pages with NO SCRAPS leftover. NO SCRAPS!!  CLICK HERE for more info...

Continue on the hop:

Hydrangea Hippo 
They Call Me Tatar Salad 
Layout-A-Week YOU ARE HERE
My Time To Play   GO HERE NEXT
My Scrapbook Evolution 
Just JP 
Smiling Colors 
My Creative Life 
Pink Zebra Paper Creations 
Scraps of Reflection 
Lynda Creates 

GIVEAWAY - enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to Create a Vellum Frame to Highlight your Focal Point-Week #16

 I can remember when sheets of simple white vellum were the rage. I would buy them in packs or small booklets, eager to use the sheets as journal strips or to embellish a scrapbook layout.  Now I see it appearing as die cuts, tags, or gold foiled sheets.I am tempted to buy some of the new things but I still have a full book of that white vellum hanging out in my supplies. Since vellum is making a reappearance on the trend scene, I think it's time we put it to use. You can easily use it to highlight your focal photo, creating what is essentially a simple vellum frame.

First, you will need to choose the right photo. Look for one that has your subject in the center but might not be the very best picture you have. A lot of empty space in the picture works well. You might be asking why you wouldn't just crop the empty space out of the picture. Sometimes that empty space provides context for the story. For example,I chose photos of my son at a co-workers wedding. He was one of just a few kids( the youngest there) and when it was time for the kids dance, he was pretty much alone on the dance floor. I wanted to show that he was all by himself, but I also didn't want him to get lost within the photo. It's not a great picture of him either. The lighting was horrible. I did play around with cropping the photo, but I found it made it blurry. I printed the photo at an almost 5x7 size.It was the largest I could go with the original picture without losing picture quality. Using the vellum frame allows me to make him the focal point of the picture. The background is still there, but just not as noticeable. Print any support photos in a smaller size.

Once you have chosen the picture, cut the vellum down to a size that covers it completely. DON"T adhere is to the photo just yet. Determine what shape you want the frame to be. I chose a circle, but you could easily use a square, hexagon or other shape. Use a template or draw the shape free hand. Make sure not to bear down heavily on the pencil. Lighter lines are easier to erase.

Use a craft knife to cut the shape out of the vellum. Erase any stray pencil lines, then adhere the vellum to the picture. I used a xyron tape runner, but only placed small sections of adhesive in the corners. I did not press down heavily. My goal was for the adhesive not to show, but if it did,I could cover those spots with the title and embellishments.

You can leave the frame as is, or embellish a little. I chose to add some hand stitching around the circle. You could also outline the frame with a pen. Finish the layout by adding your title, embellishments and journaling.

Do you have a big stash of vellum hidden somewhere? Or have you come up with some unique ways to use it up? Share your vellum tips in the comments.

Supplies Used:
Xyron Adhesive
Craft Knife by Westcott Brand
Paper by Cocoa Daisy
Letters by Jillibean Soup and American Crafts
Die Cuts by Pink Paislee and Fancy Pants

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Make a Collage of Mini Photos - Week #14

Anytime that I play tourist, I have a tendency to take literally hundreds of pictures in a single day. So being able to fit a lot of them on a single layout helps a lot towards getting them scrapped. That's why, for this layout, I chose to do a collage of mini photos.

The background layout of this design is from Design 6 of Jennifer Priest's Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook. This design creates a huge open block that holds my collage perfectly, and a title strip down the right side.

The photos for my collage are all horizontal 3x4 photos. These are easy to print at home from my Adobe Lightroom software but several online photo printers will also print this size as well. Printing them from home, I just print them on a 4x6 sheet of photo paper and then they can be trimmed down with a trimmer, like my Westcott Titanium. 

At the bottom of my photo collage, I added in a few ephemera pieces. One of them is this hand with a finger pointing. The piece is large enough to use a tape runner on the main area of, but if I did that, the tiny point of the finger would not have adhesive and would be at risk of sticking up and getting damaged. By putting it through my Xyron Create-A-Sticker 150, it has adhesive over the entire back and sticks down securely. 

Stamping is a great way to add a custom touch to a pre-made embellishment. In this case, I used Colorbox's Archival Chalk ink to add a travel themed stamp to a piece of non-themed ephemera. I especially love chalk ink for applications like this because the matte finish looks more like it is part of the original printed piece. It also has a more vintage appearance that works well for this layout's style.
The original pattern called for cutting a 2" strip of paper from the edge of a piece of patterned paper, leaving the tear strip attached so you end up with a strip about 2.5" wide. I wanted to use cardstock for this strip, which doesn't have a tear strip, so I cut it at 2.5" and then used washi tape to mimic the look of a tear strip. 

You may have heard that you can't use gray and brown together. It's true that they are difficult to match, but not impossible. You just have to make sure that they both have the same undertones. 
The collage under the title holds more stamping that I used to customized the journaling tickets. The top ticket (the one with the date) is also a stamp. For the ticket, I used a charcoal Chalk Ink to get a softer, more matte effect than using black. On the journaling tickets, I used Colorbox Archival Black because it matched the look of the numbers on the tickets. 

There's an interesting piece of trivia related to this layout, too: the journaling pen that I used is also a souvenir from my trip! It's part of a Faber-Castell set of pens that I purchased in Frankfurt airport on the day after my Heidelberg excursion. 

While these photos may seem like a random assortment, they were very carefully chosen to cover the breadth of my Heidelberg experience. Shots represent the castle, a church, the shopping street I browsed on, the university's presence in the town, and the juxtaposition of old and new present everywhere. The photo overlooking the city is a great scenic overview, and the selfie it includes of me shows how cold it was too! There's a lot packed into these six photos! 

  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Dapper" collection
  • Bazzill cardstock
  • Recollections by Michaels washi tape
  • American Crafts "Remarks" alphabet stickers
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Journaling Tickets
  • Kelly Purkey "Ready, Jet, Set" stamps
  • Colorbox Pigment Archival Ink in black
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Flash Cards
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (Dark Sepia - S)
  • Crate Paper "Notes & Things" ephemera pack
  • Colorbox Archival Chalk Ink in Charcoal & Chestnut Roan
  • Tim Holtz for Stamper's Anonymous "Odds & Ends" stamps
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Typed Tokens
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Expedition" ephemera pack
  • Brad (unknown)
How many photos have you gotten onto a single layout?