Sketch #2:

sketch 2

Sketch #1:

challenge #1 sketch

Posting my interpretation(s) soon!

RW&B Creative challenge – Layout Design

article photo  Unbelievably, what I want to talk about in this article is layout DESIGN.  My you tube video covers the mechanics, colors, papers and tools.  I feel like I need to repeat my intro – Red, White and Blue, at least in America, is STARS and STRIPES – which is a GREAT segway to my June product picks which I have as quick links.

But, as far as layout design:  I’ve got a 2 page layout that is related (by time frame, and a Memorial Day theme), but the photos are TOTALLY unrelated.  Pretty typical in your scrapbooking.

First: Create some consistancy to make the 2 page layout have eye-appeal.  In this example I use several – color, first and foremost.  Secondly are the elements/tools: shapes: stars and stripes (note the stripes move in opposite directions), die cut letters, and inked twine/ribbons and hardware.

Secondly, since the photographs are closely related – just change up ONE element of your page design – in this case, it is the LAYOUT itself.   Left page – photos and borders and very blocked/positioned on the page at 90 degree angles, Right side companion page has a much more free form arrangement.  Lastly -

The surprise LINK for the two pages :  In this example I’m using the titles.  Notice the left side titles are not perpendicular (ON DECK) and the right page title (RED WHITE AND BLUE) follows the border from the left page.  Done and done.

Of course, while I was at it and had everything out, created a quick and easy STAR CARD (happy birthday) as well as decorating a RW&B craft gift box: (I do some nice things with neutral ribbons, twines, and specialty paper inking which is also intriguing):

star card standingend 2


teaser 3

Grunge II – Scrapbook Techniques

Mix up your media

Take a tour of your workshop and find all the nifty products you’ve purchased over the years that have been collecting dust – powders, pastes, templates….rub-on’s?  They all have a place in a grunge layout.

02 close up C perfect pearl borders project 3 finished

Begin by breaking up the background for your layout…  Split those 12 x 12′s; create bold borders and mats; use large background stamps for color and patterns to support your photographs.  Next – splash on the metallics.  In my video – grunge II, I’m using pearl powders, metallic pastes, embossing powders, metallic stickers and even staples!  Lastly position your ribbons and twines to fill in the gaps in your design.  In this second segment I take 3 layouts from conception to finished pages (linked on my video’s page – scrapbooking techniques).

Grunge I – Scrapbook Techniques

Titles and journaling

My favorite scrapbook layouts to create are in the “Grunge” style.   There are so many great products out there to do a mixed-media, metallic speckled, multi-layered project.  title photoI’ve found the most difficult part of the design is usually the Titles and the journaling – trying to stay consistent with the other elements on your page(s).   I demonstrate several of the techniques and look at a few of the other elements used to create 3 different grunge looks in the Grunge I video linked under scrapbooking->techniques.  In a nut shell, here are some of my favorite suggestions:

1) Mix upper and Lower cases in your titles.  Put the Capitals in unexpected places

2) Mix the style of letters/fonts

3) Use letter templates rather than die cut letters

4) Tiled lettering (letters on small scraps of paper)

5) Split apart words within the title, phrase and or journaling when adhering to your page.

6) Hand write vs. computer

and my favorite:  eye-ball everything – no measuring or guidelines when placing your letters, words, or writing…  sometimes your goof-ups look better than the plan.

Create Depth

much betterI’ve been wanting to create a video that was just about making your own patterned and specialty papers… I may still someday – but this Halloween layout – the borders specifically,  are layered to create an illusion of depth.   Masking is super for the images in the forefront to keep the base card stock ‘clean’.  Add several of the more solid images, daub around the masks before stamping the main images.  Add some smaller elements – in this case bats, ghosts and trees that are stamped over it all – and you have depth.  See videos – scrapbooking techniques videos.  All because my Halloween photographs were in Red, White and Blue – instead of traditional Orange, Black – even purple, ladies!

Quilt Look Designs and Techniques

Autumn has arrived (for many of us in the south – it never gets here soon enough)!  The cooler weather means changing out the wardrobe and pulling out the heavy blankets and quilts.  Hmmmm – got me to thinking and scrapbooking:

I have a few rules when it comes to the quilt look on your scrapbook pages:  First is 1) keep in mind what a sewing machine is capable of.  For instance – straight lines, stitching and BLOCKS.  2) clean patterns and solids for your card stock and paper choices; even piecing should be done using patterned papers as they are (no smudging),  3) embellishments, and papers for that matter, remain flat onto the page.  Quilts never have foam tape raising up elements.  Stick with buttons, ribbons and cloth/patterned images.  Lastly: 4) Stay away from metallics and hardware for ANYTHING.    I did produce a fun video discussing the layouts linked on my videos page – scrapbooking techniques.  Great layout for family life photos, pet photos, and/or anything having to do with home/warmth/comfort.

Paper Inlay

I’m super excited about this technique for your scrapbook pages.title shotHeart in progress  I pretty much ‘discovered’ it while designing another Christmas Card and was dis-enchanted with having to heat emboss again.  (Yup, I know, heat embossing is to die for – just a bad hair day) – but so glad.   The inlay elements can be simple or complex – have a different look than heat embossing when you check them out up close and personal AND keep a low profile for your scrapbook pages.  Not to mention it adds new life to your inventory of framelits.  This is definitely the beginning of a new and beautiful relationship.  I’m still testing adhesives and time saving techniques (you can be sure there will be a scrapbooking video)… but, if you’d like to give it a go:  Begin with a larger die cut/framelit and then find a smaller one to tuck inside.  Depending on the complexity – cut two or three of different colors and rather than layer each element – FIT THEM INSIDE the larger piece.finished pieces for article  I’ve played with the double sided adhesive rather than gluing each individual ‘innie’.  Also, if you can keep your smaller pieces together before moving into the finished piece – much easier.

At this point, I’m still teasing and testing.   In addition to being a low profile piece or border for your scrapbook layout (finished inlayed piece is a single layer of card stock) – you have pieces remaining to create at least another in alternating colors and/or use elsewhere in your layout.  The Card Kit to recreate the card pictured in the first photo is available at my etsy shop – to re-create using your own tools and materials watch the video (linked on my video page under Christmas Cards).

Spot lights

A neat technique to scrapbook your kiddoe’s doing what they luv – BUT highlighting your child on your pages, isn’t that what it’s all about?!?

So – sports, school, dance, pretty much any activity that they become part of a group.  If you simply zoom in on your photographs the picture is out of context.  Keep your image in context, but still highlight the important stuff:

finished page

title photograph close upTo create a “spotlight” – choose a section from the original and have it extend from the action or group photo.  I’ve used vellum to overlay a small circle over that portion in 2 of the 3 main photographs (see thru, but not so much so) and extended out the zoomed in image.  On this scrapbook page I’ve chosen to use circles – but thinking other shapes could add additional interest.

The video on youtube demo’s the process – find it linked on the video’s page – scrapbooking techniques:  Spotlight Layout Scrapbook Technique.

Paper Twine Cording

One of my all time favorite materials to work with in my scrapbook layouts  (If it came in black, it would be the favorite – although you can ink it!…hmmmm).  As the name suggests it’s a twine and it’s a paper and it’s a cord. Why’s it so great:  Use it as it comes to make knots, bows, coils, weaves, braids and outlines.  Every color is natural (no gloss, no shine).  There is a ‘soft’ memory to it for easy shaping, but if you make a mistake and want a re-do, just start over = SUPER forgiving (I think I use the same couple of pieces in all the demonstrations in the video).  Then of course, you can unfold it – stamp it, twist it, manipulate it and smash it.  Keep reading:

end sample 5Quick and Easy Embellishments for your pages- PART Iend sample 4

In this case it is definitely easier to show you than to tell you.  Just a few of the techniques I demonstrate in this Part I video:  Scrapbooking Techniques – Embellishments Using Paper Twine Cording…   it’s a mouthful, but you can create such variety simply and quickly with just one material.

OK – so, like it so much that it is the only “supply” that I offer at my Etsy shop, only because I’d like everyone to try it without having so spend oodles of dollars to get oodles of one color.  I call them Paper Twine Cording Samplers at the shop and offer 5 configurations:  All white (8 yards), all red (8 yards), naturals (2 ea of 4 colors), pastels (2 ea of 4 colors) and an all 7 (1 yd ea of all 7 colors).  Quick link to the shop on the “shop” page – imagine that?


Ink Blot your pages

Hmmm, what do you need?  Well, Ink pads, wax paper, a water spritzer and some cardstock.  Really?  Really!  So, lets take a peek……

first photomaterials

I’m working on a companion page in my scrapbook – so I already know that I need 1) riding hood red for my 12×12, and then introduce some black and gold.  For this – since I will also need a journaling panel (I’m hoping to dry it and computer journal) – I’ve chosen a few inks that are all compatible together:  Cranberry Crisp, Basic Black and Basic Gray….   BUT FIRST:  ink your wax paper with the lighter colors to create your panel – you can ALWAYS add more color, more water… more all kinds of things.   Turn your panel face down on the wax paper and SMEAR, and touch down again, and smudge (with your finger).  Add the deeper colors and take your 12 x 12 page and place face down onto the, by now, drenched wax paper.  It’s all good.  I’ve dusted some gold perfect pearls to add my gold color (as the panels and pages tend to curl a bit due to the water).doctoring needed

plop it down

You really have to give it a go… wax paper your work surface and ink, and add: spritz with water, ink and add..spritz with water, add more ink and spritz with water until you have something you really love!


Try some fun color combinations – For my ‘spring thing’ note card kit on etsy – I’m using more subtle colors, but formula is pretty much the same, light color, darker color (same shade) and then a contrasting color.

money shot let em dry


Graduation Layout – Photo Pyramage technique

Graduations are incredibly “scrap-a-ble” – yes, they have to be in your scrapbook and often there are so many photos!   Let’s talk turkey – the star of the show AND of your scrapbook page really needs to be the GRADUATE.  Doing something a little bit different as I am going to begin with the 2 page layout and then pull it apart:

title photograph

So, here it is.  Besides photos there are tons of memorabilia – tickets, programs, the invites that need to get incorporated onto your page (and provide a lot of really great embellishments once you begin to separate it all out.  closerPyramaging the focal photo really makes it rise out of the page – literally:  To do this you will need 3 print outs of your focal photo (they don’t need to be complete, but they do need to be consistant – every element needs to be the same size as the base photo – duplicate and then crop or erase portions using your photo editing software (to save on ink).  For this, I had the base photo of my daughter in front of one of the many Pittsburgh bridges, the 2nd layer if and entire duplicated photo of her without the background – and the top layer is just of her cap.  I did manipulate the colors a bit before printing depending upon what I was highlighting in each photo.  The tassel is just the top off.

I actually published two videos to demonstrate the mechanics and both are linked on my videos page – scrapbooking techniques.  Have a blast!

Matted Pennants and Banners for your scrapbook pages

100 more snow 200 Oahu center point sample 1 center point sample 3b I05

Basic shapes, like the three banner shapes in this article are quick and easy to reproduce for your scrapbook titles and keepsakes.  The video of the same name is linked under videos – scrapbooking techniques, and runs about 20 minutes - so, let’s just look at some of the basic ideas here.  The first is that you design the shape to meet your layout needs – so manipulate proportions and size to accommodate whatever it is that you’ll be putting on each banner.  I assume that you’ll be needing more than one and so create a template to reproduce multiples quickly.  Secondly, strips are prepared (regardless of which shaped banner) and decorated before cutting into individual pieces.  For the center point and notch shapes – producing rectangles and using the template to cut the corners or notches.  Mat size is determined by how much edge you’ll be needing as well as taking into consideration how the banners are to be tied together.  The standard pennant shape is easier still – same strip methodology and then edge to point slicing on the paper trimmer.  All-in-all, hopefully you can get comfortable with these basic shapes and save your crafting budget for more intricate punches, framelits and dies.

Splitting Fractions

As I’m getting ready to add an article and video on matted pennants and borders, it occurs to me that now would be a good time to add an article on the mathematics useful to scrapbookers.  My background is incredibly mathematical – I have an Electrical Engineering degree with a Mathematics minor – BUT I’ve also raised two children and have been a consultant for several years – dealing with all shape and size AND learning abilities of adults.  So – terminology will be very non-mathematical, and I think you’ll find that even if you have no math background at all, you’ll be halving fractions in no time:

So TERMS:  1 5/8    1 is the whole number,  5 is the top number and 8 is the bottom number.

Let’s split some fractions:

Half of 5/8:  top number stays the same (5), double the bottom number (2×8) 16.   Half of 5/8 is 5/16.      another one – Half of 3/4:  top number stays the same (3), double the bottom number (2×4) 8.  Half of 3/4 is 3/8.  So, no matter what the fraction – top stays the same and double the bottom and you have your center point.

Mixed numbers (that actually is the mathematical term… hahaha)  But lets talk an EVEN whole number with a fraction next:

So 2 3/8!  Split the whole number (half of 2) is 1.   Next split the fraction:  top number stays the same (3), double the bottom number (2 x 8) 16.    The center point of 2 3/8 is 1 3/16.    One more example: 4 1/8!  Split the whole number (half of 4) is 2.  Next split the fraction: top number stays the same (1), double the bottom number (2×8) 16.  The center point of 4 1/8 is 2 1/16.

NOW, READY?  ODD whole numbers with a fraction.

1 7/8:   Begin with the fraction:  top number the same (7), double the bottom number (2×8) 16.   Half of the fraction is 7/16.  Now, we use the bottom number (16) to make our whole number a fraction: 1 becomes 16/16.  Split the top (16/2) 8 and keep the bottom the same.  so, half of your whole number becomes 8/16.   Add these two together by adding the top numbers  (7/16 + 8/16) is 15/16. So the center point of 1 7/8 is 15/16.   One more example:  3 3/4! begin with the fraction: top number the same (3), double the bottom number (2×4) 8.  Half of the fraction is 3/8. Use the bottom number (8) to make our whole number a fraction: 3 becomes (3×8)  24/8.  Split the top (24/2) 12 and keep the bottom the same.  so, half of your whole number becomes 12/8.  Add these two together by adding the top numbers (3/8 + 12/8) is 15/8.  So the center point of 3 3/4 is 15/8.  Simplified, yes a mathematical term, 1 7/8 which you will figure out the first time you take your ruler and click out 15/8ths.   Hope this helps.



Make textured panels that look like linen

It’s so fast and easy that you have to try it to believe the look you can achieve …. using….. TOILET PAPER!  I want to say you’re making homemade paper, but the result is cooler than that.  Take a look at some of these photos: title shot and end 1

end 2 end 3

Instructions are pretty simple.  Layer single ply toilet paper (if you’re tp is double ply, separate them before layering).  Don’t worry about the seams, they will disappear.  I’ve been using 5 to 6 layers in all the samples you see here.   Spray with water using a spritzer or something similar to moisten the stack.  Flip over and spray again.    Next use either an embossing folder, or a texture plate to run it through your big shot.

Remove and allow to dry flat.  Anything you’d do with an embossing folder and cardstock, you can do with your layered tp as well – like inking.   I’ve linked my 7 minute video on the videos page, scrapbooking techniques.


 Paste Background Layout

center point sample 3b It did not take long before I brought my Embossing Pastes back.. check back on my previous article regarding this product.  Card making is interesting for sure, but I like the easy way this material can cover large areas – adding pattern, color and texture.

title photograph

I’ve used a version of my supersize your punches technique to enlarge and reverse the leaf die cut from the ‘Secret Garden’ framelits collection (129372) and made single use templates out of computer card stock to apply the White Embossing paste.  Added some ink to the a few of the dried images (worked) and some Fun flock to others (not so much).  Not to worry, some last minute blooms from the same framelit collection and stamped/embossed coordinating images: Secret Garden Clear Stamp Set (129144) saved the layout and my faux pas!    The banner you see on the completed layout is from my upcoming video “Banners and Pennants” – Keep and eye out for that one.

Watch the step by step construction video for this tehnique – “Paste Backgrounds for your scrapbook page


Weave a border, weave a page

Paper weaving has been around a long time, and I’m not sure that I’ve broken any new ground with this technique – maybe just a reminder at how easy it is, inexpensive it is, and what great low profile and interesting looks you can achieve in your scrapbook layouts and paper projects.  What you will need is a grid to work against…  I’ve used my stampin’ up grid paper and my Olfa cutting mat (or you can draw your own) in the video that takes you start to finish “Paper Weave Scrapbook Technique” (videos page -> scrapbooking techniques).  But here it is in a nut shell.

Paper and or Card stock strips/solids or patterns, in whatever width you want, while I’m recommending that you stick between 1/4 and 3/4 inches.   Yup, that wishy washy – that versatile.  Strip lengths depend upon the size you want your finished weave.  Begin by securing your grid paper to the work surface.   Position all the strips going in a single direction FACE DOWN (if you are working with textured/double sided paper or card stk).  It does not matter whether you begin vertically or horizontally.  The gap between the strips is tiny (1/32 if I had to guess) – just so that they are not overlapping and you can see a sliver of a gap between.  Focus on keeping each strip straight across end to end using your grid paper as the guide.  As you work the weave there will be ‘wiggle room’, so don’t get too anal about perfection.   Once these strips are in place use either an artist mask or sticky note(s) to secure one end.   Here are the photographs for several set-ups:

splice scrapbook page set up spud set up strip set upWeaving the perpendicular strips is a simple up/down, up/down across the set-up strips.  I think it is much easier and quicker to guide a knitting needle through first and slide it close to where you are weaving.  As each perpendicular strip is set into place (shimmy as close to the previous strip as possible, staying consistent across your project)  Make sure your strips are FACE DOWN and ALL strips are (both directions) perpendicular and keeping parallel to the grid lines.  Your set up strips will wander if you don’t continually adjust them back in place.  When I’m able, I use longer strips than needed that extend beyond the piece on either end – these will be clipped at the end.  The first strips are always the most challenging – once the weave gets larger, it holds together on its own and you’ll be moving much faster.  When you’ve reached the far end (it’s best to shimmy strips so that your last strip is as flush as possible to the edge of your project.  You don’t want to have to trim the length of a strip, worst case, it’s better to leave it short.  Remove the masking tape/sticky note to finish the front side initial edge – same considerations apply as on the far end.

weave horizontally as well spiced strip prepSPLICING: You may need to splice or you may choose to splice your strips (this is a great technique to make use of your paper scraps if you don’t mind a little splicing!).   Remember you are working on the back of your project – so, any splicing needs to be visible only from the back.  I like using scotch tape - matching the ends that are coming together (not overlapping), AND keeping the tape only on the spliced strip – this allows you to continue to shimmy strips as you weave.  If you cannot see the connection while you are working – it will show on the front (bad).    Having said all that, we’re ready to do the backing.   The key is to secure the outside edges of your project.  I LUV strips of double sided adhesive sheets for this purpose (scotch tape would also work, as would glue along the outside against a mat/piece of cardstock).  The edging adhesive needs to be wide enough to catch  2 end strips of your project.   It may be necessary, depending upon the width of your strips or where you will be using your weave to also glue down the strip ends on the FRONT side of your weavebacking.finished weaves



layout from hell

I ended up covering more of the weave than I had intended – but banners are very “IN” right now and I’ve got three!  The largest banners are using the Perfect Pennants Bigz L Die and the smaller bottom banner gets put together quickly with the sale-a-bration freebie pennant punch.

When I designed the layout I’d intended to try to make all the lettering and the tiny candles “peel and stick” and hoping to be able to give you a great “tip and trick” for adding small elements to your pages… but neither of the two techniques I tried worked out.  First was using the double sided adhesive but the sizzlits and the punch was unable to cut through the cardstock/paper and the adhesive sheet.  My second approach was to glue stick Avery label paper (leaving the peel off portion visible) – but was unable to punch, or sizzlit through that combination either.

Had to give up on Peel and Stick for now (took out my TomBow glue and tweezers:)).  But you can bet I will keep searching from time to time.  Also, check out the Spuddie keepsake completed project on the Paper Crafts page.


A Product that you can not live without: Embossing Pastes

Let’s see….  metallic shine that does not rub off – check!  Flexible even after drying- check!, customizable to your color choice – check!, adds texture/interest – check!, stamp-able, emboss-able and oh, yes – you control the opacity.  Done and done with this Embossing paste.  I have done some searching and believe the best way to go is via (have seen a few on amazon).  The metallic are like cream make-up and the white/black has a bit of a grit to it, but they are so fun to play with, it’s really a matter of forcing yourself to stop.  Depending on the thickness of the paste (textured or flat) after you’ve applied it will drive the drying time.   Your cardstock will curl a bit – but does not distort (always nice to know if you are applying directly to a scrapbook page.  Would luv to see a tool set made just for this – and some texturing templates (fly swatter didn’t do too badly, along with my sweet n low teaspoon and pampered chef straight edge).  haha – you do what you need to!  I’ve featured this product (and demo’d) in my Say Thanks card kit and in the process of showing it again in my 4 page scrapbook layout + techniques.  I think you will not be disappointed if you give it a shot:

its like oil paintingmy tool kitcustom colormetallic

ADDITIONALLY (I did more playing!): Two more words Blendable and Layerable (Mix the silver or gold with the white or black to add a bit of sparkle)…. I created some additional, more finished looks with my metallics, took my templates out for a spin with the white paste inked with color and used the black paste for the best looking chalk board effect I’ve seen in papercrafting.  A few panels were stamped, daubed, watercolored, scratched, colored in…  endless possibilities.

blendable flexible layered lots of looks template tech texture

I do hope to have a techniques video created soon to demonstrate this product and these different effects, including a variety of finished projects (both scrapbook pages and greeting cards).  However, if you’re jumping out on your own and using a stamping technique on wet paste  - versamark the stamp to prevent it from sticking into the wet pastes and wash pretty quickly with hot water and gentle scrubber.  The tools can be washed with hot water (wet or dry), but I find it easier to clean up before letting the pastes set.  I’ve actually got it on dishes/plastic that I had in the sink during clean up time, and had no problem getting it off of everything, even after drying.

Multi-page, Multi-photo, Super Versatile Layout

I’m always looking for new and creative ways to scrapbook the Christmas Season.  I think I’ve stumbled upon a SUPER layout design that not only works for Christmas, but anytime you have 1) lots of photos and 2) presents involved (they do seem to go hand and hand)!  Change up the color scheme and your choice of stamped images, and these 4 pages can work for Birthday themes, Bridal or Baby Showers, even Retirement parties.

title photographembellishment 1 embellishment 2embellishment 3 complete embellishment4 page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4

The video is 30 minutes crammed with tips and techniques.  I had a thought about listing the Stampin’ UP products used, which I frequently do – just use the contact tab if you’re having trouble finding something you liked.  To watch this, I’m hoping, super inspiring video click here ”4 page scrapbook design and techniques“.  It’s also been added to my video library under scrapbooking techniques.

Greeting Card Inspired Layouts

chicken or the eggGetting started with a layout can be the toughest step in the process of scrapbooking.  I’ve previously written about using a patterned paper collection to inspire 1,2 even multipage layouts.   Expanding the ‘elements’ of a card front that you particularly like is another great way to begin.  I created my ‘filigree hearts’ card kit for my etsy shop – focusing on the ‘in-color’ collection (video is linked under all-occasion cards within the video tab and covers the materials, tools and assembly process).  Once finished, I could so see the front panel being expanded as a border for a 12×12 layout – and that’s where the process began.  I kept the base cardstock for the layout the same as that of the card.  The greatly enlarged ‘canvas’ enabled me to use the larger die cut hearts from the same collection to further emphasize the focus heart within the border panel.  From this point, the remaining elements and techniques were all about creating BALANCE with the bold border.back in the old days balance    dauber the photo mats  angled shotIn my video I eluded to the fact that it was possible to create an embossed patterned look, similar to the one that comes already done for you on the natural composition specialty paper used for the background of the focal heart… In fact, back in the day – embossing with versamark and clear embossing powder was the ONLY way to get that look.  finished layoutKilling two birds (balancing my stamped panel image and the “sheen” of the focal heart) I clear embossed the bottom right corner of my scrapbook page.  Using daubers, similarly to the panel pattern, the ink colors were added, as well as some of the smaller hearts to introduce more of the solid cardstock colors.  Lastly to matt the photographs, I opted to dauber again – this time to carry across the softer ink colors on my page.  My favorite part of this single 12×12 is that I’ve already decided on the starting point for the companion page – and that goes full circle back to the beginning with the IN-COLOR collection.  I’ve got the three colors ready to go to compliment the left and those are the other 2 colors in the collection: Pistachio pudding and Crisp Cantelope along with the Baked Brown sugar base!

Scrapbook friendly scoring tools

Not often that you come across tools that are sensitive to the needs of a 12x 12 scrapbooker, but the Simply scored products (Scoring tool, Borders Plate and Diagonal Plate) work for me.  Piecing together dry embossed panels is all too familiar.  In my video “Scoring a Dry Embossed Look” – videos tab->scrapbooking->Tools,  I demonstrate creating a custom panel for my two page layout, the 6×6 piece pictured here.  While not as defined as what can be achieved with embossing folders, I see a lot of upside using this technique/tool set.  Most obviously is size-ability: plates are 12×12.  Then there is the customizability – score to create a dry embossed look ANYWHERE on your 12×12 cardstock.  The small panels pictured here are just 4 small scale samples of “spot” scoring (unlike the original full patterned score design).   Lastly, you no longer have to own a die cut platform to create a dry embossed look for your pages.

title photographother variations2 page layout










Flip Scrapbook

title shot



A clever scrapbook design that folds to 6×6, but opens to reveal plenty of scrapbooking area (excluding the cover): 3 – 5 1/2″ sq, 5- 6″ sq and 8-3×6″ panels.basic album construction  how it opens That means lots of room for you add nice size photographs and embellishments.   All the layout designs covered in the mini scrapbook videos part 2 and 3 can be adjusted to work in this scrapbook as well.   Best thing is that the basic construction uses 3 12×12 pieces of cardstock and comes together in minutes.    The step by step construction video can be found within scrapbook layout video page – MIY Stocking Stuffer – Flip Scrapbook .


 Mini Scrapbook

A collection of Designer Series papers with coordinating solid cardstock and a scrapbook you can finish in a snap!  Take those vacation and/or event photos and create a keepsake for someone special… AND with Christmas just around the corner, this album makes a perfect stocking stuffer.   I’m using the “Epic Day This and That” collection from Stampin’ UP and have over 60 minutes of video – starting with project materials and finishing with 10 pages of completed layouts:  see MIY Stocking Stuffer – Mini Scrapbook videos (PART 1,2 and 3).

fanned album  For the album you’ll need a single piece of 9 1/4x 4 3/4 (score at 1″ (front) and 2″ (spine) from one end) and a  front panel measuring 6 1/4 x 4 3/4.    The page protectors are Stampin’ UPs clear envelopes – just peel and stick to the back of the album, lining them up against the spine score line.   Each of the pages of this scrapbook is completed on a 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 piece of solid card stock:  5 in all, using the front and back.  From that point on -it’s all about choosing layout designs and embellishments based upon the photographs you’ll be including in your album and the patterned papers you’re working with.  In the video I cover front and back page layouts and (4) 2 page layouts with suggestions for photo size and placement as well as embellishments.   PART 1 of the video series includes the dimensions for creating a gift box to fit your album.    My Etsy shop carries a kit that includes everything needed to recreate the album shown here (and in the video series) – except the glue.layout set A   layout set B

I’d be hard pressed to list all the Stampin’ UP tools and materials used to put together this scrapbook, but here are the highlights: Epic Day This and That DSP (130814), Medium Envelopes – Clear (102619).   Hmmm, Solid Card stock colors: Basic Gray, Natural Vanilla, Natural White, Craft, Pool Party, Calypso Coral, Gumball Green and Daffodil Delight…  and if you don’t already have these colors, I think an economical alternative would be a pack of Neutrals 8.5×11 cardstock (131191) giving you plenty of coordinating colors for this DSP.   With these 3 products you could probably put together 6 or more mini scrapbooks.  omg.   Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755), Stampin’ Trimmer (126889), Hexagon Punch (130919), Scallop Trim Border Punch (118402), 1 3/4 Scallop Circle Punch (119854).

Super scrapbook to get your feet wet in scrapbooking because it’s so compact.  You don’t use up much material and it comes together quickly.

Happy scrappn’

BigZ dies and Big Shot techniques: Part 1

Way back when I always wondered why a scrapbooker like myself would make much use out of a BIG Shot die cutting machine.  Seems like they were made for the card making side of papercrafting – and only if you were to make a LOT of the same card!    Hmmm, several years later and a gazillion die cuts later and I could not be without it!   For me it started with letters.  Scrapbookers always need titles and I was tired of stamping everything – very time consuming and aligning the letters was always a bear.  Computer generated titles for a 12 x 12 page only worked if you were going to print them onto a border that went on your page (my printer and most printers don’t handle 12×12 at all).  Anyhoot, I’m rambling – let’s look at a few basic ways to use BIGZ dies:

13 center embellishments gazoodles of die cuts and templates

Create elements for your clusters and borders super fast.  3 to 4 sheets at a time and in this case 4 stars at a time.  That is 12-16 stars to arrange as a grouping on your page or for a border.  By trimming around the vacated star(s) you can create cardstock outlines as well (top of left hand photo).   OK – pretty obvious stuff.       BIGZ dies cut through just about anything cleanly.  Don’t often use chipboard/cork in your layouts?  OK, me neither.  hahaha.  But I’ll use chipboard/cardboard to be able to dry emboss a panel!  Place them where I want, how many I want and what sizes I want.   A little different than an embossing folder, eh?  Plus control the depth of your embossed/debossed impressions by using layered cardstock, thin cardboard, or thick cardboard.   How about using fabric elements – yup, the die cuts a clean edge through material as well.  (I back fabric with an adhesive sheet before cutting and then it is simply a matter of peel and stick)…  cool.dry embossed only Dry embossed stars after masking title page photograph

Thus far we’ve only used the star diecuts themselves – but you’ve still got some “outies” left (assuming you didn’t trim around all of them)…  They make really nice templates.  So, I’ll typically cut one sheet of printer cardstock at the same time that I run the colored cardstock, patterned paper and metallic card stock  so I have some innies and outies to use, just in case.  You can ink, smudge, chalk…spritz – you get the picture - inside and/or outside of these ‘templates.finished interiorinnie templateoutie template


So – I did create a video demonstrating all these techniques I’ve talked about here:  BigZ dies and Big Shot Techniques PART 1 but also wanted to list the Stampin’ UP items used in these videos and some current BigZ dies that these techniques would work excellently well with (sorry, stars #2 isn’t available anymore, but stars in some shape or fashion go in and out).   Big Shot (113439); Crease pad (113476), Smooch Spritz (118772), – they no longer carry the spritzer I used in the video that works with their markers, but they have a new stampin spritzer that works with the ink refills, 2 per order (126185).   Suggested BigZ dies:  Circles #2 (114526); Blossom Party (115971), Autumn Accents (127812), Beautiful Butterflies (114507), Fun Flower BigZ L (121812), Typeset Alphabet (127553) and Perfect Penants (123126).


Multi photo layouts

Gail Booth, a designer with paperwishes has created some truly inspiring layouts.  What I like most about them as that they work when you have a number of photos that you need to fit onto your two page scrapbook layouts.  I added a blog posting when I saw the first set, and opted to write an article when this second layout was available.  Luv them both equally.omg 1omg 2  I believe that you could very possibly create an entire scrapbook using this first ”panel” layout design in different variations with different patterned papers.  It would work whenever you need to scrapbook a sequence of photos that represent a ‘start to finish’ layout – or a layout where you are trying to scrapbook a lot of similar photographs – like my collection of day lilies ;) .  Luv it, Luv it.

omg 3 omg 4

I have to begin by saying the bottom border is a work of art.  It was created by tracing the house images seen on the left of the 2nd page of the layout (these were diecuts) and repeating to create a ‘skyline of sorts.  I’m also intrigued by the title being on the left side page of the scrapbook layout and the sheer piece of ribbon that carries your eye through all of the title letters.  Of course, the left side with the single focal, larger photo and then 5 smaller photographs of the same size but scattered and overlapping is beautiful.  I have to say it again: “wow and wow”.


Wax Paper technique

The companion page for the “Trip to Pitt” expandsintermediate image 2 using the brayer to create a layered ink effect.  But this time I use wax paper on my card stock first.  It gives a softer, more subtle patterned look than heat or dry embossing.   It’s probably a good idea to glance back at the “Brayer Techniques” article below.

To create this first effect, cut a piece of wax paper as large as the card stock you plan to cover.   Crunch it up into a ball and then open it back up.  The wax paper should be very “crinkly”.  Next you’re going to iron the wax onto your cardstock:  I use a stiff piece of cardboard to protect my work surface, next a layer of scrap paper, then your cardstock.  In the photograph I used a whisper white cardstock, but believe you could create equally interesting effects using a light colored card stock as well.  Cover the card stock with your crinkly piece of wax paper and another sheet of scrap paper to protect the wax from getting on the iron.   Set your iron to the highest setting and iron your “sandwich”.  You’ll see the wax begin to bleed onto the top scrap piece of paper.  Let cool for just a few minutes and your card stock is ready for inking (the patterned wax is nearly impossible to see until inked).  This second photo is a panel 10 closing photo of embossed panelcreated by embossing the wax paper (instead of crunching it) using an embossing folder.  The pattern will transfer onto the card stock making an interesting background panel for your scrapbook layout – the only drawback is that each panel will be limited to the size of your embossing folder.   Check out the Beginning to End Video: Scrapbooking Layout: Wax Paper Technique to watch a step by step.  Products and materials are the same as those listed below in my Brayer Techniques article.




Brayer techniques for your scrapbooking

Finished creating a scrapbook page that uses my brayer almost exclusively to add color and interest to my layout.  My materials are basically ”Whisper white” and “Not quite Navy” Cardstock and a selection of inks!  Instead of working with a lot of solid and patterned papers, the brayer achieves the same effect in a softer look and is a LOT more forgiving.  Just about any layering looks good.  border and panelThe border I create starts of by masking only the portion I want inked – in this case a 2″ wide strip (at the same time I create the panel for the journaling, only so I don’t have to repeat the process of the 4 inks I used in the border).  I’ve also created two embellishments and photo corners to coordinate with my border look.  The scroll embellishment is more mustard ink brayed on torn sketch paper to give it a parchment look and then stamped with my sentiments “miss you” and “thinking of you”.  For the book embellishment I first dry emboss the image using a stylus and then apply the ink using a brayer (leaving the embossed portions white) – similar to the way you would ink the flat portion of an embossing folder.   Adding some brayed ink corner treatments to my photographs finishes the look.

after border 3 finished page  Click here to link to my beginning to end video demonstrating the process: Scrapbooking Layout – Day trip to Pitt: B2E.  Of course, all my standard tools are from Stampin’UP as well as the inks and card stock.  Other materials and tools used to create this layout: Brayer (102395 – product pick with a quick link from my home page);  Stylus (125624 – used for dry embossing); Versa Mark ink (102283); White embossing powder (109132); Heating Tool (129053); and Natural Linen Thread (104199).  As always, all these items may be ordered through my Stampin’ UP site, as well as any other Stampin’ UP products, linked on my shop tab.



Make the most out of your scrapbook kits!

We’ve all succumbed to buying the great value, hundreds of papers, tons of embellishments, stickers and die cuts all totally coordinated for you: scrapbook kits.  But if you are like me, there are so many elements that are uninspiring and you are left with, after your 2 page layout a BUNCH of product that will probably be laying around for your grandchildren.  I took a fresh look at one such kit that I’ve had in my inventory for the last 5 years, created a layout using only the kit materials, and then with just a few add on’s in the form of metallic took it to the next level.   The B2E video: Using your scrapbook kits, is the way to go on this one as I introduce some non-traditional ways to use your coordinating ribbon and make double duty of those sticky letter alphabets that always come with kits, but RUN OUT of key letters! – and then what do you do with the rest of what is left.

eeks completed layout outies 1closing photo


Product recommendations on this: Metallics – whether they be the “Dazzles” as I talk about here, or the brushed gold card stock, eyelets, shiny gold specialty papers.  Bling is a great thing, and the problem will be not making use of them, but ensuring that you don’t use them too much.  Great problem to have!


Card treatments can be inspiring!

So, yes you are a scrapbooker, and making cards is not your thing – BUT… I think that there are many more card makers than scrapbookers.  TIP of the day: Card designs and techniques can inspire your scrapbook layouts.  I watch several videos each week and do not limit it to scrapbooking ideas/techniques.  So many greeting card elements are 1) by themselves useful in a 12×12 scrapbook layout 2) Pieces of a card front – especially when it comes to techniques to create an impression/mood can be duplicated – sometimes once and sometimes multiple times to bring your scrapbook pages to another level.   The advantage of scrapbooking over card making(yes, sometimes a curse) is that you have a larger canvas – I say, take advantage of it. For instance - (you knew I would have a for instance ;) ):  My July 2013 Christmas Card design (see the article in papercrafting):

Straight on Card Front close up   How  beautiful this corner treatment would be on a Christmas Layout of your scrapbook?  If it’s a 2 page layout – then the mirror corner could be recreated on the right, top side page.   Even the interior of the card (borders) could be translated and run 90 degrees from the textured panel, additional ornaments could hang into the center of the scrapbook page to border photos and the dimension of all of the elements replicated – as well as the shimmer and texture.  Just something to consider as you’re surfing the internet!


Layout featuring DSP (designer series paper)

Had to use my demonstration materials else folks would start thinking that all is well and good, but how do you incorporate those techniques in your scrapbooking?  “Busy in July” uses my scrap paper borders and my timing is good, finally, since SU has DSP packs on special!  So, inspired by the borders, I created my “button” embellishments with the crystal effects (see below) and took my layout from there.

mattingcreating embellishments first photoclosing photographBold borders and bold embellishments with a mirror layout.  I used coordinating scraps for a focal area around the journaling and just a few added to the blank areas in the center of the page.  I chose Basic Black to tie the two pages together (it’s always handy to have a selection of neutral colors to work with ;) ).  Since the left side was costumes, buttons and ribbon, I balanced that on the right with large tool embellishments (Stayz-On and Crystal Effects) and thin craft wire wrapped into springs.   The two totally different color palettes tied together by black and balanced with similar type embellishments is a Busy Look – which works well with the Title!  See the Video “Scrapbooking Layout: Busy in June” for a beginning to end demonstration.


 Custom Embellishments using Crystal Effects

Create the look of heat embossing without the heat!  Perfect for scrapbooking, since you don’t have to mess with powders, and you can create a “brad” look in the coordinating colors and/or patterns you’re using in your layout.  And the finished item is FLEXIBLE!  Big Plus for large embellishments on your pages.

more brads title photograph

If you can punch it out, or if you can cut it out, you can create a “brad” for your layout.  Crystal Effects goes on like glue and dries to a clear lacquer finish.  Depending on the thickness, it could take a while, but for a custom embellishment it’s worth waiting for.  So pick a shape, pick a color and pick a pattern!

Super for creating larger pieces, because after it’s dried it remains flexible.  You also have control of the thickness/dimension by starting with paper, cardstock, layered cardstock or chipboard.specialty paper 1 ink resist photo collage

Just as if you were heat embossing, crystal effects, when dry, will resist ink – so use it to preserve the paper color and pattern as you blend the other sections of your embellishment.   Texture, shine and flexibility – makes you think of a specialty paper!  Absolutely do-able with your crystal effects.  And as you layer the papers and patterns in your scrapbook layout, only highlight the areas of the paper that are exposed or to frame a focal point.

ink resist and embossed effect together always oval embellishmentI’ve published a step by step video including how I created the mountain range and ocean borders (left photograph): Do More with Crystal Effects.   I would luv to see what yo’all come up with in my gallery – send me your pics of the finished product.


“Visit” Scrapbook layout

… I have to begin by saying I LUV this paper twine and I can see many uses and a whole bunch of versatility in your scrapbooking!  Thumbs UP!

for the movie finale

This product (Maya Road: Paper twine cording) was a lot of fun to work with and I believe I only used a yard of each of the three colors I had purchased (each roll is about 54 yards) for this layout. I bought mine through paperwishes website…. but if you pay attention to shipping & handling, has less expensive vendors.  I’ve posted the Beginning to End demonstration video, explaining each of the techniques I used, to my Scrapbooking Layout videos.

A Day at the Zoo

100 finished pages B flocked animals

“Fun Flock” from Stampendous (still available from paired up with Stampin’UP’s Heat and Stick Powder creates a blanket of fuzzy that won’t rub away on your scrapbook pages.  I’ve “Spot Flocked” the zoo animals in this layout – “Wild about You” stamp set – using an embossing pen, there are several on the market, but large areas could also be flocked using a Versamark ink pad.  I’ve published a B2E (beginning to end) video for these pages that starts from “I have a bunch of photos” and ends with this finished layout, and added another techniques video that specifically demonstrates the flocking technique.  Enjoy!

Scrapbooking – Scrap paper borders

scrapbooking scrap borders  custom colorscrapbooking scrap borders left overs

Using my scrap paper borders I created this “Empty Nest” 12×12 page.  The extra border portion I used to mat the photograph with  Label framelits.  DSP=Beau Chateau.  Journaling is using the Soft Suede Stampin Write Marker.

Leaving the right side page undone when I have 2 pages like this is something I don’t typically do – but when I get to it, I’ve got a few pieces of my scrap border as well as another photo mat (I cut this from the center of the one I used to mat the first photo) to coordinate back.