Friday, March 18, 2011

Trouble Shooting #1 - Final layouts

This is the final double set of these pictures. As you can see, Carmela's little angel became just that as the photo session was completed.

There are some items from Close to My Heart on these pages, by the way. While the paper itself looks similar to some of the beautiful "My Reflections" paper sets, it isn't, but the paper leaves are from CTMH.
These pictures are all precious and the paper leaves on top of the leaf pattern on the paper itself looks very professional. Especially with the clothes the little boy is wearing! It all just works!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trouble Shooting #1 - Another complete set

Last night I printed off a little St. Patrick's day decoration. I printed it out in color, in a rich Kelly green and was really bummed when I couldn't match the color with any ribbon or cardstock that I found. What a pain. It turned out okay, but it made me grateful all over again for our coordinating sets of scrapbooking paper.

Here is a perfect example of the blessings of coordination. This isn't actually Close to My Heart paper, but our "My Reflections" paper sets with matching Stickease work the very same way. In this case, Carmela was able to pick and choose which pages would make the double layouts. Because all of the papers went together, there is no real right or wrong answers for it.

In Carmela's case, this black and white portrait page worked great to off-set the case of the sad-faces from yesterday.

Separated from the other pages is this one. I have to admit, it is my favorite. I'm not sure how Carmela is planning to use it, but if it were me, it would be the title page or ending page of my album!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trouble Shooting Lesson #1 - Complete

Here is the set that Carmela put together with this portrait photo. It is terribly simple with striped paper on the right and a 1 1/2 inch strip of cardstock verticle, 2 inches from the left side. The strip goes over her 2-inch cream cardstock journaling piece, but under the 1/2 inch brown cardstock border.
This page was the opposite of one of the ones I posted yesterday, one where her son wasn't smiling. When it is coupled with this great set of duplicate pictures where he's grinning from ear to ear, it offsets any sadness that might be associated with the picture.

I also love the idea of repeating a precious picture like this one! I've even seen them done in different colors, but having them in the neutral shades really makes this whole layout!
Another trouble shooting completion follows tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trouble Shooting Lesson 1 - No Smiles

My friend, Carmela, shared these pictures with me. She had quite a challenge the last time she took her son, then 3 years old, to a photo studio. I don't remember why she said he wouldn't smile, but he wasn't cooperating at all. But even uncooperative, is that not the cutest face??? Still, what is a mom to do when faced with paying for a whole round of photos without smiles? Well, I think in Carmela's case, it had to do with some type fun snack, but those first pictures surely weren't trash!

To be honest, I'm in awe of Carmela's ingenuity! She is an interior decorator, so it doesn't surprise me that she came up with such an awesome plan. First, she used the pictures, mostly in black and white, which really adds to the solemness of the facial expression. Because of that, her mounts had color, but not overwhelmingly so, and they had a natural distressed look to them.

Secondly, she mixed these photos in with others (post-snack?) that were full of smiles so there was a good balance to them. This pic of her son's back was priceless to me, but actually he refused to turn around. Love the sports theme to it, but the title tells a great story!

Again, she used muted, but colorful backgrounds and all from the same palette so she could exchange the single layouts until she found the double sets that she wanted. Sheer genius! Tomorrow I'll post the double layout sets that she made.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tracy's Full Album - Part II

Yesterday, I started sharing the album that our new scrapper, Tracy, made for her mother-in-law. This turned into a particularly special book of memories for their whole family. After she dedicated some pages to the whole family and then her mother and father-in-law, Tracy dedicated a section to each of the 3 sons that her parents-in-law had. This page started the section. The opposite side was laid out, but she didn't have the pics of the brothers that she wanted for that page with her. Doubtless, some childhood pics will adorn that page!

The first section was for Jeff and his kids.

The next section was for Chris and his family.

The final section was for Sean and his family.

Several pages at the end of the book were laid out and ready for pictures and would likely contain some candids of the family. I'm amazed at the quick learning that proved itself in this album and I'm so pleased to show it to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tracy's Full Album - Part I

Like I mentioned yesterday, we had a new scrapper with us during our retreat and she completed an entire album for her mother-in-law. She did an amazing job and I want to show you her work. Way to go, Tracy!

Tracy used this book to celebrate her hubby's whole family. She began with whole group pictures.
Then she set up a couple of pages for her mother and father-in-law. There is a sad note to this story. The day after Tracy returned home from this retreat, her father-in-law went to be with the Lord. This book surely ended up being a precious, precious gift!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Retreat fun!

This February retreat was a great time! We ended up with 16 people joining us for the weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn in Addison. You can see we thoroughly spread out and there is always a lot of laughter, and creativity floating around the crop room.

This retreat had people coming in from all over. Many were from here in the Dallas area, but we had some come up from South Texas (and I do mean SOUTH), the Austin area, and even as far as California.

At our last retreat, we started a new tradition to spend part of our first night at the Hawaiian Nail Bar getting well-deserved pedicures! Here are this groups toesies after the trip.

These pics were actually taken fairly early on Friday evening, just after the gals started arriving, but the filled room is always abuzz.
This retreat, we had a brand new scrapper, and she had a full album by the time she left on Sunday! Amazing! Every group is different! We have all ages and all cropping abilities. We have some that are focused on getting the pages done quickly and others who are embellishment queens, filling their pages with accents, bling and all types of techniques, and still others who create works of art that have little to do with scrapbooking, but everything to do with creativity!

Close friends meet up again at every chance they get and new friendships are built. We have about 4 retreats per year, roughly August, November, February, and June.
The next two scheduled retreats are June 3-5 and August 5-7. If you are interested in joining this talented group at one of the retreats, please contact me for further details!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Retreat Workshop - Sweetheart

This was the layout that I used for my retreat workshop. At my retreats, I always provide one short workshop where I cut out all of the paper ahead of time so it is just a matter of passing out the pieces and putting it all together. This idea just came to me and I LOVE how it turned out. (I wasn't sure it would!) The title will be, "Let Me Count the Ways." I'll probably have to make several of these layouts, one for each of my kids!

The floral B&T was cut the same for both sides of the layout. The bottom made up of a 6 x 12 cut corner to corner, but you have to do it twice to get them to lay point to point like they are. It is the same for the top outside floral pieces which are diagonal cuts of two 5 x 3 pieces. The good news is that you can use the 4 leftover pieces to make another double layout the very same way. You can even make it different by using the back printed side of the B&T. The final piece of the "heart" is a diagonally cut 3 x 3 square.

The mats are made with the pink polkadot paper. The left hand side has a 6 x 8 tucked into the bottom "pocket". I did make it a pocket to facilitate adding a picture, but the mat is actually set into the layout firmly. It looks like it can move, but I don't want it to be. The top mat is 4 x 5 and it is tucked under the inside of the heart. A 2 x 5 piece of polkadot is at the bottom of the page for journaling. The right hand side has some more off-set mats: a 5 x 7 portrait style and another 4 x 5. Like the first, all of the mats are adhered even though they look like they're just tucked into pockets. Also on the right hand side are 4 journaling strips, hanging down from the outside edge of the heart. I added some Mocha Opaques and Pink buttons throughout the layout. I also plan to add some chipboard hearts as well once I've added my pics and titles.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Piecing Together Sweethearts

During my Scrappin' Happy Classes and all of my Monthly Layout Workshops, I try to be really efficient with my paper. My goal is to have little leftover once I'm all done. However, with a couple of extra base pages (white), Angie made these pages with all the leftovers from the Sweetheart workshop. It looks like she started with a 4 x 12 of the stripe B&T at the top of the left hand page and matched that at the bottom right hand corner with a 2 x 5 piece of the stripe B&T. Above the stripe sits a floral B&T that measured 3 x 12 on the right hand side. The left hand page matches it with a 3 x 10 floral. Over this she laid a 1 x 10 of black cardstock on both sides. On the left hand one, though she covered the edges with some random squares: the pink side of a 3-inch square and another of a 2-inch square, where she mounted some other random squares in a checkerboard fashion. Under the largest one is a 2 x 6 black cardstock that abuts the stripe at the top of the page. Last but not least, are some black cardstock mats at the top of the right hand page and some other random squares added to a pink 1-inch strip for decoration. I just love the way this turned out and am so impressed with Angie's creativity! I may have to stop giving away my scraps to my little girls!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sweetheart Workshop - Layout #5

The pattern for this double actually calls for black cardstock bases and two 11 x 11 B&T papers centered on them both. However, I hate wasting paper like that. Part of the reason my workshops can make 5 and sometimes 6 doubles out of a paper pack is because I take shortcuts to save paper. So instead of the original, I used eight 1/2 inch strips of black cardstock to frame the B&T and I let the B&T's be the bases for these layouts.
The "frames" were unique because I mitered the corners. It was really very simple. I lined up two strips to make a 90 degree angle exactly then I snipped through both layers from the inside corner to the point to make two matching mitered edges. Then I lightly sanded the strips, especially the edges, so that the mitering would pop a little.

To accent this page - ultra simple! - I added a 2 1/2 inch strip, torn down 1 side, of the stripe paper and over that I layered a 1 inch strip, torn down both sides, of the floral. Aside from that I added a little cut-out, stamped butterfly with a curly trail stamped under it. Finally, once I put the pictures down, I added some stamped hearts and some of the epoxy sticker hearts and dots to and around the picture of my boy and his puppy. The stickers and all the stamps come with this workshop kit. And don't forget that even though I've already done the workshop, you can still have these pages using my instructions and photos.

Both B&T paper strips overlay across the whole page on the left hand side, but on the right hand page, the striped paper isn't torn and only fits inside the frame so it measures 4 x 11. Overlaying it is a 1 x 12 that is torn on both sides. *****When tearing paper, to get the pretty white edge, always tear what you're going to throw away toward you.***** As a last accent on this page, I added a full butterfly, stamped and cut out, along with a stamped curly trail that actually goes over the picture. Our inks are water-based, so once I stamped this picture, I set it aside for a couple of hours to make sure it dried completely. I've never had trouble with smearing on our B&T or cardstock because they will absorb the ink, but the pictures and other glossy surfaces won't absorb so I always give them plenty of drying time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweetheart Workshop - Layout #4

I think this is another layout from Magic, but I can't find it anywhere! I used white cardstock for the bases - very easy to stamp on - and stamps were my primary accent on the layout. I look forward to putting my pictures on this page. I expect to not only fill the mats, but also have a square picture on the bottom left corner of the left hand page and another one of some sort over the hearts on the right hand page. Although I might use the hearts section (4 x 12 piece) as my title section and put a picture or two in the 4 x 12 section of the stripe up at the top of the page. A 2 x 12 piece of Cotton Candy cardstock separates the two 4 x 12 sections and at the bottom of the heart paper is a 1 1/2 x 12 piece of floral B&T.

The left hand page was accented with a couple of cut-out, stamped butterflies and the curly trails that go with them. The curly trail for the big butterfly also crosses the 2-inch heart strip that draws the heart paper from the right hand page across to the left hand side.

Above that strip, at the top-right corner is a 6 x 4 piece of Cotton Candy cardstock. Under the heart B&T is a 2 x 7 piece of the striped B&T with a 1 1/2 x 7 piece under that. The floral must be 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the base page to allow for the stamping that goes across the bottom of both pages. The 3 words are part of the stamp set that goes with the Sweetheart workshop and I spaced them evenly on a 6 inch block for easy stamping!