October 29, 2011

Amy Tangerine from American Crafts

Hey all, I recently had the chance to play with some really fun new papers from American Crafts-- their Amy Tangerine line!

It's fun, versatile and appeals to all kinds of hobbies and pleasures. Quirky and bright!

There were a few different layouts I created with the papers, and they're all very different.

The first was a feature of me-- a photo I took on my 37th birthday. Only thing missing: the letter I want to write to myself and tuck among the layers for posterity. My favorite part is the "banner" of pieces I cut from a pattern page and strung with bakers twine! I also used Martha Stewart fringe scissors to cut some fringe on the fabric paper.

My daughter dressed up for a rock and roll birthday party, and was a great model for me before she headed to the party. I think it will be fun for her to look back on the crazy outfit and hair she donned that day. I used little frames from a pattern page to create my visual triangle with the quirky objects in this line.

And lastly, my family layout. It's a recent photo of me with my siblings... and all our children. Wow. What a crazy fun crew! The matching dimensional stickers worked great for this layout.

Lastly, I used scraps to make simple cards. The bright colors made them fun to make for multiple occasions.

Have you used this line for any fun papercrafts?
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October 23, 2011

Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium - easy to use and love!

Graphic 45’s Christmas Emporium line was a perfect choice for one of my favorite old photos of my Mom and her sister as little girls. The photo itself is in need of more “correction” than I can manage, but nonetheless, I think it is complemented by this new line really well!

This layout is really quite simple. If you follow this blog and “know” me, you know that I comfortably use patterned paper. However, the piece with the Santa scene was a challenge for me when I initially thought I should use the piece in its entirety. How freeing is was dissect it and use the Naughty or Nice list and Santa as embellishments instead of as part of the background. Because the paper is double sided, I was able to use pieces and parts from both sides to create the horizontal stripes on the bottom of the layout and the tag from the paper that is full of tags and small embellishments. After inking nearly every piece and edge to bring out the rich brown undertones, the layout came together in a snap.

The cards came together in similar fashion. Using both sides of the patterned paper, and parts of the papers as embellishments and tags, these cards came together quickly. Of course I utilized Diamond Glaze and glitter to add a little extra pizzazz to the cards.

Finally, I just hated to see the really small “bits” got to waste and the decorative Christmas tree was born! I simply cut the paper to size, used Diamond Glaze to adhere each piece to a Tim Holtz acrylic tile, glued the jute twine to each ornament, and added some bling for the final touch! My circle punch came in handy to create a simple garland for the tree that perfectly complements the ornaments! Simply use a hole punch on each piece and thread them onto a long piece of jute (don’t forget to tie a knot behind each one to keep them more evenly spaced).

You can get many more ideas for using Christmas Emporium after a quick Google search!


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October 17, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - easy, peasy photo editting!

Maybe you have such a fabulous camera that 100% of your photos look absolutely flawless 100% of the time. Or maybe, you have a less than fabulous camera, that takes flawed photos, and because you're not a computer wizard, or a graphic designer, you think you have to just settle for this mediocrity!

Not true!

If you are taking the time to document your family's life through photos, then you really must give Picasa, a free download from Google, a try! This may be really old news to some of our blog readers. If so, you can quit reading and just head to the store to see what new goodies Karen and Kristi have to compliment your fabulous and flawless photos.

Or, take a look at this quick tutorial and testimonial, then head over to Picasa.com, then over to Paper Pals once you are really inspired by your awesome photos!

Once you are at Picasa.com (which looks like this), you can watch a couple of tutorials (which are not really necessary, this software is soooooooooo easy to use). Follow the steps to install Picasa. Be patient, this may take a few minutes while Picasa finds all the photos on your computer and sorts a copy of them into the program. Don't panic, it sorts by date, and is really easy to re-sort into other folders/groupings if you want to later.

In literally a few clicks, you can adjust almost everything in your photos!

Admit it, you're not happy with mediocre photos. You do your best, and still get average results, and sometimes even worse results when you hand your camera to someone with less experience behind the lens than you. Fear not...here are two examples of what you can do in Picasa in under 60 seconds per photo:

Edits: red eye corrected, color adjusted (from very "yellow" to a cooler shade).

Edits: cropped to a more flattering landscape view, soft focus (to blur the background distractions), retouch tool (used to remove the piano lamp that was coming out of my head in the first photo), fill light, and slight adjustment to color saturation.

You can do so much more than simple editing in Picasa. You can upload photos to web albums or to order them from print labs. You can create collages* and many other sizes of photos for printing or web posting purposes. Basically, you can enjoy your photos more than ever before!


*Visit my personal blog and you'll see how handy collages can be!
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October 13, 2011

ADORN it-Holly Jolly Collection

I can't get enough of Christmas paper.  This paper from ADORN it is called the Holly Jolly Collection.  The papers I got to work with were Christmas Potpourri, Mix and Mingle, and Star Jazz.  I also got a sticker sheet that worked perfectly with the paper.  I almost used up every sticker on that sheet.  Cards are easy to do with these stickers.  I am having an obsession with baker's twine.

 This page was a scrap lift from Creaking Keepsakes September 2010 issue, page 54.  It is hard for me to leave that blank space at the top. 
This is the Mix and Mingle paper.  The back side has a pretty green pattern.  I didn't want to cut this page up.  I thought it would work great as a page.  I just cut my photos to fit over some of the journal spots.  I really liked the doodle design in the top left corner.  I had to resist the urge to color it all in.  I am sure it would look great colored if I had some of those copic markers.  Hmmm. Thanks for looking. 
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October 12, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Hello everyone.  I am going to show you my green ribbon organizer.  I had 2 overflowing baskets of ribbon.  I hardly used the ribbon I had because I didn't feel like digging through the mess.  So I came up with this solution.  I saved some cereal type boxes and cut out some rectangles that would fit in a little wooden box I have.  I then used 2 of my circle punches to make half circle slots for the ribbon to sit in.  I used the smaller punch for the narrow ribbon and the larger punch for the wider ribbon. 

I used rubber bands to hold the ribbon onto the card.
 I used small clothes pins to hold the ribbon onto the card while I wrapped the other ribbon.  After my first card I decided to punch some half circles in the sides of the card to hold the elastic.
Here is my stash of ribbon now neatly organized in one little box.  I can now see all the ribbon I have.  I do get creases in my ribbon but it hasn't been that big of a problem.  This was a free super easy, green project.  Thanks for stopping in.
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