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? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Create Budget Friendly Layers with One Sheet of Patterned Paper - week #11

As a scrapbooker, I strive to use every inch of each sheet of patterned paper possible.If you are budget conscious and/or trying to be environmentally friendly, I am sure you do the same. Patterned paper prints with large designs are often the most difficult to use. In some cases, I just can't figure out which part of the design I want to work with. I hate covering designs I like. I even feel that some papers lose their impact on the layout design if I cover a portion of the paper's design with photos or embellishments.Then there is the opposite instance in which I feel the patterned paper print may overpower my focal point.If you have the same issues, I have a scrapbooking quick tip which will help you create budget friendly layers with a single sheet of patterned paper. All you need is a  craft knife.

 Essentially, all you have to do is to cut a portion of the large design so that you can slide your photos, embellishments or other papers underneath a section of the patterned paper.I adore my Westcott Craft knife because of the soft grip and light weight.The key to doing this technique well is to leave portion of the paper attached. Don't cut the design completely out. Cut small sections first, enlarging the slit just a bit as you go so that the papers or photos can slide under the slit with ease. You don't want to force anything in as the paper might buckle and become lumpy or bent.

Sometimes a photo just can't do a technique justice. Take a look at this video in which I explain the technique in further detail.

How do you feel about larger print patterned papers? Do you use them or are they collecting dust in your stash?

Supplies Used
Craft Knife by Westcott
Xyron Adhesive
Patterned Paper,Letters and Stickers by Simple Stories
Wood Veneer by Pinkfresh Studio

 Christy Strickler for Layout a Week

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Wander Downtown Disney - Week #9

Regular readers of this site know that I love to work with collections as a shortcut to creating easy coordinated layouts. Paper pads are one of my go to methods of doing this. For this week I chose a paper pad from Pink Paislee, the Memorandum collection.

I combined that paper pad with another of my favorite tools for fast, fun layouts: the Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook by Jennifer Priest. I chose a design from the first pattern set for today's layout.
Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook by Jennifer Priest
The pattern sets use color blocking to create a set of layouts from just a few sheets of paper, with no waste. This technique means that to create the basic elements of these layouts, you need nothing more than a simple paper trimmer, such as the Westcott Titanium. 
Westcott Titanium paper trimmer

After creating the basis of the layout with the patterned paper, I added the focus photo on the 4"x6" mat included in the layout. I had taken several dozen photos that evening at Downtown Disney but in the twilight and dark not many came out so they really aren't good for a series of layouts. So I decided to add more photos to this layout, in a small 3"x4" size that largely disguises the problems from the low light photography.
scrapbook layout under construction
The next step was to layer embellishments to the layout on top of the photos and base layer of paper. I don't have any of the embellishments that coordinate with the Memorandum collection, but I do have a sheet of patterned paper from the collection that looks like a sheet of labels. I cut out a red one and ran it through my little Xyron sticker maker and turned it into a label sticker!
Xyron Mini adhesive dispenser
I love creating visual triangles in my layouts. This one actually ended up with multiple triangles on it, driven by color. The red label, stamp, and splash of red on Tami's shirt make one. The silver twine, blue pearls and glitter sticker make a triangle of bling that layers on the red one. The three black embellishments make another, tighter triangle inside the first set of them. 

While that makes it sound like I planned the layout in minute detail, I really didn't. It developed as I added first one, then another embellishment. You start to see patterns as you add, so you fill in the pattern.

It's hard to tell in the photograph below, but the "wander" title was stamped and then heat embossed in dark blue using Colorbox's Mix'd Media embossing powder. The dark blue (which I also used for the button and pearls) is a softer alternative to black, and goes great with the soft green shade in the patterned paper.  

  • Pink Paislee Memorandum collection paper pad
  • Kelly Purkey "Ready, Jet, Set" stamps from KellyPurkey.com
  • Hero Arts Clearly Kelly "Kelly's Food Coma" stamps
  • Heidi Swapp Date Stamp
  • Colorbox Petal Point ink pad in Aurora
  • Colorbox Cat's Eye ink pad (red)
  • Colorbox Mix'd Media Embossing Powder in Denim
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen
  • Xyron Mini Sticker Maker
  • Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Sheer Stickers
  • Heidi Swapp glitter stickers
  • Heidi Swapp Puffy Chat Bubbles stickers
  • Crate Paper Notes & Things Ephemera Pack
  • Buttons Galore 28 Lilac Lane embellishment kit in Let It Snow

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BIG Photos? - Week #8

Hi Ladies... This month my Layout is all about BIG photos.. Some times for any reason we have those big photos and they are so difficult to put it in a Layout.. so what we can do is cut our photo in pieces or some times in different shapes add a frame and you make the photo more interesting.

Another thing I like to do is my embellishments.. I love to stamp in vellum.. Have you do that technique? it is so easy and the results are amazing!
Once I stamped my images I fussy cut with my Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors and I keep it in a book.. Some times vellum curl and keeping it in a book help!

I have those Pentart Pearl pens and I decided to experiment.. I did some doodles.. I think we can do more than pearls.... 

Supplies used:
Xyron Mega Runner
Westcott - Cutting Mat
Westcott - Titanium Non Stick Scissors
Bazzil Cardstock
Duck Tape - Adhesive Borders
Color Box - Surfacez Multi-Surface Ink
Pentart - Pearl Pen

YouTube - Video Tutorial

Thanks for stopping by!! Hope this inspires you to think of your BIG photos in a different way!