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!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

7 tips for Magnificent Monochromatic Scrapbook Layouts- week #7

Valentine's day is over and the focus seems to be shifting from love to luck. The pinks and reds often associated with the holiday will soon be giving way to shades of spring color. Most notably, March seems to be filled with lots of green. St, Patrick's day is associated with both green and gold, so it always seems appropriate to choose it as the main color when I scrapbook March photos. This time around, I decided to challenge myself to create a monochromatic layout using green.

A monochromatic layout can definitely have a lot of impact. Color is a unique tool that can set tone for the page.Creating a layout with one predominant color can help you put the focus on your photos and story. It can also become a muddled mess. I have a few tips for how you can successfully pull off a magnificent monochromatic scrapbook layout.

Tips for Creating a Monochromatic Scrapbook Layout

1.Outline patterned papers or matte them to help keep the page from becoming too busy. Use ink or a marker to edge the papers. Or, as in the layout above, matte them with a piece of cardstock. I chose a cardstock matte in a shade of green just a bit darker than the base cardstock and the color in the patterned papers. You may also wish to matte your photos. The mattes or inked edges will help provide a subtle delineation between each layer of color.

2. Sometimes it is best to use a grid style design. If you find that you are losing the photos in a layer of patterned paper or if the design becomes to busy, fall back to using a grid design. The grid can be a little loose with the embellishments flowing outside of the boundaries.

3. Try to vary your patterns a bit or choose just one patterned paper print. I used a stripe, polka dot, geometric and hounds tooth print on my page. I could have also chosen just one print and filled a grid with it. Essentially, I am recommending you choose a set number of prints and stick with it. Pay attention the weight or scale of each patterned paper. If you are choosing 2 or more prints, you don't want them all to be the same size design.

4.Use texture. Texture adds support for your story. Felt is soft and gives a sense of warmth. Lace is soft. Choose the right textures to set the mood for the page and to add visual interest.

5. Clearly define your focal point. I want to make sure my pictures don't get lost in a sea of green. I strategically placed 3 doilies to create a visual triangle around my photos.

6. It's ok to add a neutral color. Green is the predominant color on my scrapbook layout. I also used white and gold on the page to give the eyes a little break from all of that green.

7. Don't use just one shade of your chosen color. It is a lot more visually interesting to see all of the colors of green on the layout. Additionally, it would be difficult for me to find all of the same colors of green in my supplies. Don't stress about keeping things exact. Look more for motif, texture or pattern that might better contribute to the story.

Creating a monochromatic layout is a great way to use up supplies. You can easily make a kit by just choosing that single color from your stash of supplies. If you were to make a monochromatic scrapbook layout, what color would you choose?

Supplies Used:
Xyron Adhesive
Bazzill Cardstock
Sutdio Calico and Basic Grey Papers
Felt by Bella Blvd.
German Foil
Letters by American Crafts, Sassafrass and Basic Grey
Tag by PinkFresh Studio

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Up in the Air - Week #5

For February at Layout-A-Week, the team decided to talk about something we love. For my layout I decided to share a passion of mine that not too many people know about: aerial photography.

I love to take photos out the window when I fly. I will take pictures of the landscape, clouds, sunsets...anything that catches my eye. I've taken pictures of landmarks (like the Manhattan skyline and the Hoover Dam) and even my own home when the plane's route took me over it!

I decided to pull a few photos from my 2015 travels for this layout. I printed one at 5" x 7" as a focal point, and the rest are printed at 3" x 4". This is easy to do with several of the online photo printing companies. Several of them allow this photo size to be created direct from your phone.

This arrangement left two major areas to use for my title and journaling and embellishment, so next I started layering in collage elements to be used for these areas. Some of the elements that I used were pre-printed, and some I created myself with stamping. 

The blue and red shades in this Aurora Petal Point ink pad by Colorbox were a great match for my project's red and blue color scheme. The pigment ink in those pads is the best type of ink to work with my clear stamps to give a good clear impression, especially on a stamp like this with really fine detail.

Once the image was stamped, it was easy to cut it out with Westcott's Titanium Non Stick scissors. 
I chose to leave a border around the edge because it gave me a bit of room for error with my hand tremor from my lupus. 

At the top of the page, I created a simple layered title. The background element is one of the small patterned paper blocks from my Tim Holtz idea-ology paper pad. I used a notebook punch to embellish it. Then letter stickers and a stamped block were added on top of it. The final element is an "air mail" arrow cut from another piece of patterned paper in the same pad, to enhance the aviation theme. 
I followed the same process at the bottom, using one of the small patterned paper blocks with a notebook punch, and layering it with several other elements. The "air mail" element is another piece cut from a patterned paper, and "the view from here" is stamped on another patterned block from the same sheet. 

If you look closely at the tag element, you'll see it has numbers 1-4 on it, with locations. These correspond to Heidi Swapp Memory Planner numbers that I placed on the photos, to help locate as best as possible where the photos were taken. Planner supplies are good for more than planners if you think outside the box - or planner! 

Altogether, the result is a simple layout that gives the impression of being busier and more complex than it really was to construct! 

  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Correspondence" patterned paper pad 
  • Kelly Purkey "Take Flight" stamps
  • Kelly Purkey "Ready, Jet Set" stamps
  • Hero Arts Clearly Kelly "Kelly's Outline Alphabet" stamps
  • Colorbox Petal Point Pigment ink pad in Aurora
  • Colorbox Archival Chalk ink pad in Charcoal
  • Colorbox Donna Salazar Mix'd Media ink pad in Denim
  • Colorbox Pigment ink pad in Chianti
  • Bazzill Smooth Cardstock in Walnut Cream
  • Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Clear Date Stickers
  • American Crafts "Everywhere" Thickers 
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Small Talk" stickers
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Flashcards
  • EK Success Notebook border punch
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen in Black-S
What do you love that you haven't scrapbooked?