Friday, January 29, 2010

Variations on a Theme!

I totally failed to mention something important in the last post. The background and texture paper (also known as B&Ts and design paper) that Close to My Heart makes are 2-sided. The main side has full color artwork on it and the back side has the same design in a coordinating monochromatic color. It's hard to see in this picture, but the brown paper has dots of all sorts of colors in it. The back of that paper is cream-colored with light dots on it and is seen in the light flourish on the right hand page and the curvy strip on the left-hand page.

This is Sherry's design. She's added some green ribbon to make extra strips on her page.

Sherry's layout and Julie's - seen here - are the only ones that showed the circle cut in half. Julie even cut the ring and I love the effect it made! I also like how Julie's strips seem to flow across the whole layout.

Okay, Brandy's gonna get me for showing her closed eyes in this picture, and I truly plan to edit it if I get the chance, but I really wanted to show her take on this. Just like Julie, she let her strips flow and connect. She also distressed her base pages in the same colors as the Veranda paper pack. I love the way it brought unity to her page! Brandy is an embellishment queen - I can't wait to find out how she finished this layout up!

Alissa also kept the flow of the strips between the pages. She, like Sherry, made use of the two sides of the paper. I hadn't thought of that!

Below is Ashley's art. I love how she alternated her mattes between straight and crooked.
You know, if I used all the things I liked from everyone's designs, I'd probably end up hating the layout because it would be too much. But each one is so unique with its variations of the theme that they all stand out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Retreat Workshop

Yes! I do some type of workshop for every retreat. We've made clip boards, tag books, and layouts - lots of layouts! This one is my all-time favorites. I needed inspiration, just had no idea what I wanted to do for this page. So I started looking through websites. I mainly used scrapbook.com and scrapjazz.com. I found all sorts of layouts, and although none of them were like my final product, I used bits and pieces from several of them and inspiration from MANY of them! All that is to say, if you feel like you're running dry of ideas, review the layout posts here and visit some of the sites I mentioned. You're bound to be inspired in no time!

Above you'll see the layout that was closest to what I made originally. This is Chelsea's creation, but it is a lot like mine - which I DIDN'T take a picture of, go figure! When I taught this, I showed my layout and explained some of the techniques I used, then I simply passed out all of the elements. I had cut everything, both free-hand and using my Cricut. I used the Veranda paper and made a large ring with my Cricut. I used the ring on the left and cut the center of the ring in half (well, slightly off-center) and used it on the right page to sort of frame the photo at the top. I cut the 3 straight strips and the mattes on my personal trimmer and free-handed the curvy strips. The flourishes were also cut on my Cricut - yes, I had a blast!

The only real trick with this layout involved the ring and the picture beside it. Once I matted the picture, I adhered the whole thing to the ring and then trimmed what was hanging over on the inside. It wasn't very hard, and, since it was covered by the ring, it didn't have to look pretty. While Chelsea followed my design, she added the ribbon at the top of the right page (LOVE that idea!) and the elegant scripted words to it. She also used cocoa ink and an edge distresser (also known as scissor-distressing) on the edges of her mattes and strips.

I have to say, this was one of my most FAVORITE layouts! I will use it again! Watch for the next post, where I'll show you what some of my other retreaters did with the elements. It's amazing! No two layouts were alike.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Workshops on the GO!

This is an example from the Caboodle workshop set on Friday, February 5th beginning at 6PM. I have 2 seats left to this workshop, so give me a holler if you are interested in joining us. We'll make 3 double layouts and a 4th layout is in a full color brochure that comes with the kit.

Also in February, we're doing the Home Sweet Home workshop. That will be on Sunday night, February 21, at 5 PM. I have 4 open seats for that workshop. This is a sample from that workshop. Contact me for supply fees and further information!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Boom-di-ada Layout

Linda made this layout using the Boom-di-ada Level 1 Kit. The level 1 kits are available for ALL of the Close to My Heart "My Reflections" design themes. The beauty of these kits is that the pages are already laid out and ready for photos! When I used the Level 1 kits a few years ago, I created 112 pages in only 9 days. They make things so simple and fast! Each kit includes 4 pre-made pages, 2 extra card stocks, 2 extra background and texture (B&T) design pages, and 2 sheets of Stickease.

It's sort of hard to see how these pages started out, but you can see them at this link. Linda gave the left hand one a quarter turn from what you see at the link, but other than that, it's easy to see the additions she made to the pages.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anniversary - Carmela

Carmela shared another letters layout. This one is different as she celebrates seven years with her sweet hubby. Instead of the letters being made by her pictures, she let the letters have equal weight with her pictures, telling her story together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What and AWESOME Retreat!

This retreat was extraordinary. I think my favorite part was how the crop room just rippled with chatter and laughter. I know you all got a lot done, because I have the pictures to prove it, but you also had a LOT of fun! I'll be posting the artwork I collected in the next few weeks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letter Layouts

Carmela made this set of layouts. I made one like it years ago, so while I'm not sure how she did it, I can tell you how I did.

First I cut out my letters on white cardstock. I made sure they could fit on my pages the way I wanted them to before I attached any pictures to them.

Then I got out all of my pictures. I chose the ones I wanted to highlight and put them on the top and in the middle of the layout. I filled in the pictures on the cardstock letters, making sure the parts of the pictures that were the most important were completely ON the cardstock letters. Once I filled up the letters with my pictures, completely covering all the cardstock, I cut off all of the excess photo pieces. (That's why it's important to make sure the the parts of the pictures you want the most are COMPLETELY on the cardstock.) After cutting out the letters just the way I wanted them, I matted the letters on another piece of cardstock, a LITTLE bigger than the photo letters. To do this, I adhered the photo letters to a piece of cardstock, then trimmed around the letters about an 8th of an inch from the photo letters, to make a border.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

3-Picture Layout

Ahhhh! The More to Adore package! I can't say I've used it a lot in my photo album, but I've used it almost every year since it came out to make Valentines for my girls.

Linda has used the striped B&T (stands for Background and Texture paper, but is also known as design paper) and the brown paisley-patterned paper to create this double, along with blush cardstock that she sponged with chocolate ink. She also used Chocolate cardstock as her title band and blush cardstock as her photo mats. Both of these she distressed with an edge distresser from Close to My Heart. If you don't have an edge distresser, I highly recommend one; it is so simple to use. But you can achieve the same appearance by scraping the edge of white-core cardstock with the inside corner of an open pair of scissors.

I plan to upload some of my Valentine cards in the next several days. We'll be using the same paper pack.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Document layouts

This is easily one of my favorite paper sets. I used it a couple of years ago when I scrap-booked the anniversary trip I enjoyed with my dear hubby.

Floral Tapestry is the perfect set for SO MANY situations. In this case, Linda used it to highlight the invitation and award that her daughter received through her drill team. While it is a little "girly" it is country enough to work for picnics, but would be as perfect for a little girls tea party as it would for anyone's (even a young man's) prom pictures. (Yes, I did that, too!)
One of the coolest things about the My Reflections packages at Close to My Heart is that they are so versatile.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Worth the Wait

I absolutely love this layout. Lisa used the Paper Garden print to finish it out. It is a perfect example of how just one leftover B&T (background and texture paper, also known as design paper) can pull a double layout together.

She only had one piece of the floral print to use, but it perfectly matched the amethyst and buttercup cardstock that she used for the layouts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It Takes 2

Highschool pictures can be a little tricky. While the designer papers can be so easy to use, they will seldom run in school colors, or should I say ONLY school colors.

I like the way Linda got around that problem with these school pictures of her twins. She found some card stock that was perfect for the color match (in this case, Holiday Red and Moonstruck) and used a gray and white distressed papper as the bases for this double.

You can achieve the same end using the "Game On" paper pack from Close to My Heart. The color scheme for it is gray wool, black, bamboo, and desert sand. It works perfectly with an accent color or two to bring in the school colors. In fact I did that very thing in the layout that I did for a retreat last year. You can see it HERE.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I've been doing some major surfing today. I particularly was looking for some inspiration for the scrapping workshop that I'll be doing during my retreat next weekend. I definitely found some GREAT ideas a several different sites, but I was really shocked by what I found.

Most of the layouts submitted to these sites were nice, some were amazing. What was lacking for the most part were pictures! Of all things! Seriously, 9 out of every 10 layouts I saw had only 1 picture on them. The rest of the page was either blank (huh?) or was an art project.

I don't have anything against artistic pages - boy, these definitely were, with all sorts of junk draped all over them - and I appreciate the way they help me look at my pages from a different viewpoint, but so many? Don't people take more than 1 picture for an event? Shoot, with my family
alone, I would need at least 3 pics and that's with doubling up and no friends included.

So I particularly LOVE this layout from Carmela! She used all sorts of little pics, mostly silhouettes, to create a first year double-page for her daughter. I included some close-ups so you could see the detail.

I particularly liked the sentiment at the "Go" box!

When last I saw Carmela's work, she was working on a version of Candyland for her son - can't wait to check out the finished project on that one! What a CLEVER idea!

Retreat Workshop Art

At all of my retreats, I do a workshop of one type or other. In November, Christmas was my theme and we created a double layout using the Jingle paper. Here is my basic layout. Most of the paper was a regular cut, but since I was using the curvey lined paper, I cut it along the curve and used it that way. I used cranberry polka dot paper and juniper snowflake paper to accent the rest of the page.

The 4 x 12 pieces went on the inside, aligned with the top and bottom and the inside edge of the pages. The left curvey page was roughly 9 inches wide and was fully 12 inches across. Another 2-inch accent paper covered the left side of the curvey paper. The final accent is a 4 x 4 square of cranberry cardstock when I tore in a curve from one corner to the other.

The right-hand curvey pages was also 9 inches wide and this time 8 inches across. The red cardstock in the bottom right corner was a 6 x 6 torn from 1 corner to the other. I also mounted all of the pictures on red cardstock. Each piece was only a tiny bit bigger than the picture I used with it. I edge-distressed all the pictures and the mats.

Also, for one of the pictures, I cut it into 3 pieces, avoiding faces, and edge-distressed those as well. I liked the effect. I had seen it on one of the doubles in the Imagine book and was just waiting for the right time to try it. I was pleased with the effect.

Below are some of the layouts made by my retreaters.