Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Bit Shabby Chic: Berry 71 Bleu

Supplies: butterfly & doily stickers by Cosmo Cricket; chipboard button, button cards, & text print paper by October Afternoon; silver paisley patterned paper by Lily Bee; all other patterned paper by Echo Park; key charm by Zeus & Zoe; acrylic paint by Deco Art; Distress Stain & Distress Marker by Ranger; tulle ribbon by Wyla; upcycled items: vintage children's book illustration, postage stamp, French wire ribbon (from gift packaging), ribbon rosebud (from hand cream packaging).

I rarely venture into shabby chic territory, but it just felt right for this layout, which is for the January 2013 Berry 71 Bleu challenge.  Just below, you can see the inspiration image for the challenge.  It has a color palette of pastels, white, and silvery-grey; and it has a decadent French vibe, with images of clothing and home fashions, macaron cookies, and Marie Antoinette herself.  The thematic prompt for the challenge is to create a project about yourself.  That is, be the "queen of your page." 

image source:

Well, I don't have much in common with Marie Antoinette; instead, I'm calling myself the "Queen of Quiet."   My crown was fussy-cut from an Echo Park journaling card.

The painted-over journaling is symbolic--it represents my "quietness."  But I re-wrote the journaling in white pen on the pink background paper, so there is really no secret or hidden journaling on the page.

I was excited to use one of the Zeus and Zoe keys that I recently won via Once upon a...Sketch.  The "About Me" photo scrap is from a screen shot of my blog.  The chalky-looking title work and journaling were achieved with a "Picket Fence" Distress Marker.

This illustration has been a favorite of mine since childhood.  It comes from an old Bobbsey Twins book.  (If you are wondering why I would cut up an old book that I once loved, see this post from a 2011 entry in my blog.)

For a supposedly quiet person, I sure had a lot to say on this layout, LOL!  I journaled in the margins of the vintage book illustration, and I also filled up most of the "white space" on my page with additional journaling.  It reads:

"From my early years of coloring with Crayolas with neighborhood teenage years of making friendship bracelets with BFF' adulthood crop nights...I love joining my friends in 'companionable silence.'

"A lot of women love gossip and constant chatter, but I'm not like that.  It's not that I'm totally's just that I'm comfortable with pauses in conversation.  I call it 'companionable silence.'

"I think gossip is just plain cruel, and I strive to be drama-free.

"I've always been called 'quiet,' and I enjoy calm activities with my craft nights!"  

Now, I said before that I used a shabby chic style on this page, but it isn't 100% shabby chic.  The turned-up edges, the rough-cut border strips at the top of the page, and the triangle in the corner (see photo below) come from another style...I don't really know what you call this style, but it's popular right now...I think you know what I mean.  I kept it sweet, with pastel colors and a tiny tulle bow tied through the button, but I think that this messy-on-purpose style gives my layout a little bit of modern edginess.  Maybe it's shabby chic for the twenty-first century, LOL!

Below you can see a flower embellishment that I made myself.  My mother-in-law is just as into green living as I am, and she always uses real, reusable ribbon to wrap gifts.  This pink ribbon came from one such gift.  I cut a matching length from a spool of lavender tulle ribbon, then I twisted the two ribbons together.  Because the pink ribbon is French wire ribbon (that is, it has a thin wire hidden inside it), the twists held their shape.  I then coiled the twisted ribbons into the shape of a rose, and I attached the flower to my page with glue dots.  I hand-cut two leaf shapes from scraps of mint green paper, added some details and shading with Distress Stain, and tucked the leaves under the rose.  It was a simple embellishment to create, but it makes a big impact.

And, that's about it for this page.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  Now I'm off to visit lots of blogs and catch up on what everyone else has been making.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two-Page Summer Layout

In defiance of the freezing cold temperatures we've been experiencing in Minnesota, I'm sharing a two-pager from my vacation scrapbook today.  The layout is called "Rubber Duck Races."

Supplies: cardstock by Wausau Paper; hexagonal stickers by Jillibean Soup; label stickers, alphabet stickers, ticket paper, diamond paper, duck die cuts, flair badge, & buttons by October Afternoon; decorative stickers by Simple Stories; leafy paper by Magnolia; floral paper & yellow text paper by My Mind's Eye; striped paper & sign paper by Echo Park; blueprint paper by Jenni Bowlin; pens by Zig; thread by DMC.

It's always a bit difficult to see the detail on a two-page spread, so I've also posted photos of each individual page.

I used a simple grid design here, but I tried to keep it playful with duck die cuts, buttons, and hexagonal label stickers.  On each label I wrote a bit of information: "location=Pine river; cost=one dollar per duck; winner's prize=toy duck."

This page has the focal photo, showing how proud my son was that his duck won the race.  He's holding his blue ribbon and his prize duckie.

I really enjoyed creating this title--these alphas just seem celebratory to me, and the blueprint paper provides an interesting backdrop.  The final bit of journaling reads: "This was such a fun activity!  It was the perfect ending for our vacation."

These races were delightfully simple--you just pay "a buck for a duck," then the judge dumps the barrel full of ducks into the river and lets them float downstream.  The ducks are numbered, so you can tell which duck is the one you paid for.  If your duck is one of the first three ducks to reach the finish line, which is only a few yards from the starting line, then you win!  All this takes place in a lovely park, and the money raised from the duck races goes toward improvements for the park.  There is really no skill or strategy involved in racing the ducks--it's just a fun, slightly silly way to have fun and enjoy the park.  Hope you had fun "sharing" this duck race experience with me!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Colors for Spring 2013

I don't know about you, but I am over the moon about the products introduced at CHA this time around.  I was planning to make a list of my top five picks, like I did for CHA Summer 2012, but...I cannot narrow it down this time.  Suffice it to say that I loved just about EVERYTHING.

image sources:

What is it about the new CHA releases that grabs me?  I think it's the color scheme.  The colors that are fashionable at the moment (Pantone spring 2013 colors, pictured above) are "my colors."  These are the colors of the clothes in my closet.  If I love to wear them, then it makes sense that I would also love to scrap with them.  They make me happy.

Supplies: all papers and stickers by Echo Park; pens by Zig.

I couldn't wait for the new CHA releases to hit the stores; I wanted to scrap with these colors (all of them--LOL!) right away.  So, I created the layout you see above, by pulling products from my Echo Park stash.  Even though these papers and stickers are older, they worked well for the color scheme.  And since I plan to buy some of the new Echo Park releases, I might as well use up some of my old stash first to make room.

I dug a little deeper for the journaling on this page, as I had an important message to share with my son.  "As you get older, you will start seeing your peers categorized as 'brains,' 'jocks,' etc.  You are very intelligent, and you are 'all boy,' but never let anyone stereotype you.  It's what's on the inside that counts.  I'm proud of your accomplishments, but I'm most proud of your character.  You rock, dude!  When I look at these photos, I see a boy who is kind, caring, helpful, polite, enthusiastic, imaginative, and loving."  <3

I finished the page with some typically "Denise-style" touches:  star embellishments and mix-n-match title alphas.  I loved every moment of making this page, and I hope it makes you happy, too.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today to take a look! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Scrap Africa Sketch #13: Bubblologist

I had so much fun playing with Sketch #13 from Scrap Africa!  I started with some cute photos of my son blowing bubbles, and I let the carefree feeling of the photos guide my design choices.  Did you know that blowing bubbles can be quite a science?  Well, to my son it is.  That's why I named this layout "Bubblology."  :)

Supplies: patterned paper by October Afternoon; alphabet stickers by Authentique; epoxy stickers by EK Success; bottle cap by Bottle Cap, Inc.; orange flower charm by Trinket Foundry; metal flowers from Olla Podrida; watercolor paint by Angora; acrylic paint by Plaid Enterprises; pen by Zig.

I recently received in the mail a package that was padded with oversized bubble wrap.  I used this bubble wrap to print a bubbly background with watercolor paints.  Not only did I reuse this bubble wrap as a scrapbooking tool, but I washed it after I was done painting, so that I can use it again another time.

I also used my watercolors to add freestyle borders and journaling lines to my page.  Then I used the string printing technique with acrylic paint to add some brighter orange lines (in the places on the sketch where the zigzag lines are).  I also used acrylic paint to define the edges of my photos.

Journaling: "Mixing just the right combination of bubble solution is lots of fun.  It's like chemistry, but safer, since it's just soapy water."  :)

When it came to embellishing the layout, I added playful bits and pieces in a variety of textures: epoxy stickers, a bottle cap, and metal flowers.  The flowers are eco-friendly: the orange one was made from recycled metal by a Minnesota artist at Trinket Foundry, and the other flowers are vintage pieces from an etsy seller called Olla Podrida.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today to view my layout.  I hope that the cute photos and playful energy in this scrapbook page brought a smile to your face.

ETA:  I just realized that I posted about Sketch #13 on the thirteenth day of 2013.  Ooh--cosmic!  :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Favorites (CHA S12)

CHA Winter 2013 is just around the corner!  I thought this would be a good time to review my list of favorites from last CHA (Summer 2012) and show you how I have been using them in projects.

My "top five" favorite releases were:
  1.  "Persnickety" by Lily Bee Design
  2.  autumn collections in general
  3. "Midway" by October Afternoon
  4. "Grandma's Lima Bean Soup" by Jillibean Soup
  5. "Everyday Eclectic" by Echo Park Paper
And here are some of my favorite layouts, using those products...

Supplies: mini zigzag papers by Lily Bee Design; floral paper & casette die cut by October Afternoon; yellow and blue papers by American Crafts; teal paper by Fab Scraps; bull's eye paper by Basic Grey; bingo card and flower sticker by Simple Stories; alphabet stickers, photo corners,  & woodgrain paper by Bella Blvd; striped paper by Fancy Pants Design; rub-on frames by Hambly; stamp by Northwoods Stamps; black in by Hero Arts; yellow ink by Clearsnap; chalk by Stampin' Up; pen by Zig; household staples.

The layout above is one that I did for CSI Case File #39.  Somehow, I never got around to posting it on my blog until now.  I used products by lots of different manufacturers on this page, but what made me happiest was getting to combine four different zigzag papers from Lily Bee's "Persnickety" line.

One of the best things about "Persnickety" is all the zigzag papers in a myriad of colors.  On this layout I used them to write about the different things that my family did on our "Staycation."  I jazzed up these notes with Hambly rub-ons and yellow the combination of bright, summery colors!

Next on my list of faves is "autumn" collections.  Now, if you go back to my original post, you will see that I listed a specific collection as my favorite.  However, once autumn collections started hitting store shelves, I realized that there were many that I loved.  It's too hard to chose just one favorite!  Instead, I decided just to choose my favorite "autumny" layout to show you.

Supplies: floral paper by Jillibean Soup; woodgrain paper by October Afternoon; lattice paper by Crate; alphabet stickers by Bella Blvd; decorative stickers & journaling box by Simple Stories; pen by Zig.

I fell head-over-heels in love with the Harvest Lane collection from Simple Stories.  I used it on a couple of autumnal layouts that I had published (which, unfortunately, I can't show you quite yet), and also on the layout above.

Supplies: diamond paper, tickets, label stickers, & alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; word stickers & sunflower stickers by Bella Blvd; orange paint by Plaid; blue paint by Ranger; pens by Zig; yarn scrap from my friend's knitting business.

Another autumn line that I loved was the Thankful collection by Bella Blvd.  On the layout above, I combined Thankful with my third favorite summer CHA release: October Afternoon's Midway collection!  Both Thankful and Midway included lots of yellow and orange elements, so they worked together beautifully.

Supplies: blue cardstock by Wausau Paper; green patterned paper, button squares, & hexagon stickers by Jillibean Soup; fabric-inspired patterned paper squares by Lily Bee; woodgrain paper squares by My Mind's Eye; patterned paper strips & red cardstock square by Cosmo Cricket; alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; household stapler.

Jillibean Soup is next on my list of favorites!  This company names all of their product lines after different kinds of soup.  The adorable button paper (along with its green patterned B-side) from the Grandma's Lima Bean Soup line plays a starring role on this layout.  It's funny...I hate lima beans, but I love Grandma's Lima Bean Soup!  :)

Last but not least is Everyday Eclectic from Echo Park paper.  True to its name, Everyday Eclectic is versatile enough to work on all sorts of everyday layouts.  You'll see below that I used it on a two-page layout about my visit to the spring flower show at Como Park.  (You've seen these photos before, in this post.)

Supplies: both colors of cardstock by Wausau Paper; journaling cards & aqua alphabet stickers by October Afternoon; all other alphabet stickers & all patterned paper by Echo Park; chipboard by DCWV; Liquid Pearls by Ranger; flowers by Petaloo; pens by Zig.

The soft-yet-vibrant colors of Everyday Eclectic are great for combining.  They also seem to coordinate well with a lot of other collections. For example, they complement these Echo Park alphabet stickers, which are from the old Little Girl line. 

I found a lot of favorites among the CHA Summer 2012 releases, and had so much fun creating with them.  Okay, CHA Winter, let's see what you've got for me now!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter Beauty

Today many people are celebrating Epiphany, a day to say good bye to the Christmas season and move back into "ordinary time."  It also happens to be the last day of the Winter Holiday Flower Show at Como Park.  My family and I attended the show today, so I have some pictures to share with you.

The keynote colors in this show were red and pink.

Coleus provided a lot of the pink.

Poinsettias provided even more pink, and of course they also provided plenty of red.

I looked at the poinsettia varieties as only a papercrafter could.  When I saw the plant above, I thought, "It looks like someone brushed some pink paint on it."

And this one looks misted!

This one looks embossed!

I'm happy that I was able to share the beauty of this flower show with you.

It may be time for Como's holiday flower show to end, and it may be the end of the Christmas season, but it's still a pretty special time of year for us papercrafters...because CHA is coming up in just a few days!  Some of the CHA sneak peeks that have me swooning are: Webster's Composition & Color, Jillibean's Chilled Cucumber Soup, and Lily Bee's Sweet Shoppe.  And I'm sure there are lots more great sneaks that I have not seen yet.  What products lines are you most excited about these days?

Have a good week, and keep on crafting!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Something Old/Something New

If you look through my last few blog posts, you'll see a lot of "artsy" projects.  I recently realized that the Mixed Media style is very green, since it incorporates found objects and all manner of materials, so I've been trying my hand at mixed media. It has been a new and exciting part of my creative journey.

But don't worry, the Denise who loves the Clean and Simple (CAS) style still lives here.  :)  Even though I am dabbling in mixed media now, I'll still be making a lot of pages in my beloved "classic" style.  Here are two examples of CAS pages that I recently created..

This one is from my family album...

Supplies: cardstock by Wausau Paper; splatter paper by FabScraps; chipboard ampersand, label stickers, woodgrain paper, & retro patterned paper by October Afternoon; border & banner stickers by Doodlebug Design; thread by DMC; pen by Zig; ink by Tsukineko.

My favorite detail from this page is the oversized chipboard ampersand.  I love the "oomph" that it give to the title, "Meet & Greet."

And this one is from my new nature-themed album...

Supplies: cardstock by Wausau Paper; tag by Crate Paper; cloud paper by Echo Park; label sticker & wooden flagpoles by October Afternoon; all other papers & stickers by Bo Bunny; pen by Zig.

My favorite details on this layout are the woodland flags popping up behind the title tag.

Both mixed media and CAS are fun, and I embrace both styles.  You can expect to see both types of layout from me in 2013.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Scrap for Help Challenge, Plus An Art Journal Share

The January Scrap for Help challenge is live!  Want to join the fun?  Your task is to use upcycled string or yarn in your project.  Any kind of project--layout, card, off-the-page--is welcome.  Our design team (group 1) has lots of inspiration pieces on display to jump-start your creativity.  For all the details, please see the challenge post on the Scrap for Help blog.

I'm in group 2, so I do not have a sample project on the blog this month.  (Group 2 posts in even-numbered months.)  But I do have a few ideas for you about using string/yarn.  It's a versatile material... can paint/print/stamp with it...

Blogged here: can coil it...

Sneak peek!  I'll be blogging about this project later this month...
ETA: It's posted now! can tie it...

Blogged here:

How will you use string?  I can't wait to see how everyone interprets this challenge.

As I promised earlier, I'm sharing art journal pages on my blog during the months when I don't have DT work posted on Scrap for Help.  My art journal has an autumn theme, and lately I've been really focusing on making art with "throwaway" materials.  Here are the pages I want to share with you today:

Supplies: papers by Cosmo Cricket (blue/green) & October Afternoon (all others); pens by Zig; Distress Stain by Ranger; negative sticker by Simple Stories; thread by DMC; wire by Artistic Wire; punch by EK Success.

I created the base for the page above by using "throwaway" pieces from cropped photos as masks.  The photo scraps had a last hurrah before they got chucked in the bin.  ;)

Supplies: rose paper by Authentique; hexagon & herringbone papers by Lily Bee, mini alphabet stickers & negative frame sticker by Echo Park; pink cardstock by Cosmo Cricket; notebook paper by Cachet; all other papers & label sticker by October Afternoon; distress stain by Ranger; pen by Zig.

On the page above, the "selvage edge" from a block of Echo Park mini alphas serves as a frame.

Supplies: green & pink brushstroke papers by Basic Grey; scalloped paper by Crate; banner paper, damask paper, & label stickers by October Afternoon; negative dot stickers by Authentique; pens by Zig; Distress Stain by Ranger.

The green block of paper on the journal page above was originally supposed to be a photo mat on a layout.  However, the photo mat just didn't work on the layout...and I did not realize that until I had already put some non-removable adhesive on its corners.  What to do?  I simply tore off the corners and stuck them face-down on the page.  I think it makes for a far more interesting photo mat this way.  :)

I hope that I have inspired you with some new ideas for using recycled materials in your artwork.  If you are feeling really inspired, why not head over to Scrap for Help right now to give their challenge a whirl!