Monday, December 20, 2010

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch #77 and #78

It's time for not one, but two sketches! These sketches are brought to you by Little Shop of Sketches guest designer, Danielle Young!

I love these sketches! They are also available as templates for all you digi designers out there ...
Here are my layouts:

I tried to stick with the holiday theme ...
I hope you like them!
Now head on over to Little Shop of Sketches to see the other ladies fabulous layouts and be sure to show us your wonderful creations!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful for the Little Things In Life

The kids and I go to the park quite often. I take pictures some of the time ... and come up with some great ones ... and never scrap them! So, this time, I did! We had an unseasonably warm day and we really enjoyed one of our last trips to the park this year ...

I'm thankful for these opportunities. These little things mean so much to the kids and I'm so happy to be able to do this with them.

I used two 52 Inspirations kits from Oscraps - Week 45 Template from Biografitti and Week 47 kit from Vicki Stegall (paper, wordart, button).

I hope you like it!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Time of Wonder

This is such a wonderful time of year. I love the holidays :) I love sweaters and snow ... it's such a time of wonder ...

You may have noticed this layout on the top of the stack of layouts in my recent post about printing. I finished it the day I ordered them and it was wonderful to get it printed so quickly!

I used the new Time of Wonder kit from A+ Designs.

I hope you like it!


P.S. This layout also made two Layout of the Days and is being featured in Scrappity-Doo-Dah's scraplift challenge for the beginning of January!

Monday, December 6, 2010

He's Back! Speed Scrap Layout

I participated in the Sugar Hill Co. Speed Scrap this past weekend. I love the fact that I have a completed layout in just a few hours!

Here it is:
This is the official Freedom Salute for the CT 1-169th Aviation Army National Guard unit that my husband deployed with. They've been back for a couple of months but this was the official welcome back ceremony with the governor and all ... love my hubby and so glad he's back!!!

I used Danielle Young's new kit, Holiday Twinkle. I love the non-traditional colors ... you can scrap anything with it!

I hope you like it!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Printing Digital Layouts

I have a different kind of post for today. As you have probably noticed, I do a lot of digital scrapbook layouts. They sit on my computer for a while and then every few months I get them all printed. I've tried out quite a few photo printing sites in my day. No, I haven't tried them all, but sometimes it feels like it.

Anyway, it was time for another round of printing. I've been waiting for a while and I finally got a coupon in my email for a discount and I placed an order! I've also been hearing so many wonderful things about Persnickity Prints that I decided to try them out.

And I was blown away! I mean really speechless and almost breathless. They were wonderful! So well printed. So beautiful. Worth every extra penny!

The things that bother me about printing out my photos (printing out darker than the original and cutting off the border) are the things that they said they were better at. They were a bit more expensive, but I still tried them out for about half of my layouts. So, I got my package of 36 prints in the mail yesterday ...

And just for comparison, I pulled out some layouts from my last printing:
And maybe you can't tell, but they are noticably darker. The tell-tale sign is in the shadows - especially around people's hair and faces. It gets very dark and loses any definition. It's always bugged me so much. And now it's fixed! Like I said, worth every penny!


So, taking advantage of my excitement, I spent a few hours last night putting my layouts in page protectors and inserting them in the right places in my albums. I don't scrap my photos chronologically, but I do put them in my album that way. I also insert my normal, paper scrapbook pages along with my digital ones. Every time I go through my photos, I'm always surprised at what I've actually scrapped and which ones are great and should be scrapped, but haven't, yet. Someday ... hopefully soon :)

I had these two black embossed-leather albums from Making Memories already. However, I decided it was time to actually put a label in the label holders and front windows. I'm so happy that I was feeling energized and inspired. I just whipped up a quick label on my computer (kind of like a mini-digi-layout - with A+ Designs Sweet Serenity products) and printed it off on photo paper.

Cut them out, insert them and I was done! I had a printed rose on one and chose to put some Prima flowers on the 2010 album. Love it! And it's done! Oh, the sense of accomplishment is wonderful!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for You

These next two layouts aren't necessarily designed to be a two page layout, but they are designed to coordinate and go next to each other. They have photos from a wedding my husband and I were at a couple of months ago. My dress and his tie were this gorgeous shade of teal.

I used Sue Cummings (Oscraps) and EHStudios (MScraps) collab kit, Gratitude, available here.

I hope you like it!!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful day :) I have had a very full day and it's not even over yet!
I once again participated in the Manchester Road Race. Record attendance this year and it was a mad house. It was cold and a good hard run, but it still feels great to have done it. Lots of food and family afterward and lots of good times :)

This is us last Thanksgiving in 2009. This year we have two more because hubbie is home from his deployment and Johnny has married now.

I used the Sketch from the October Sketch Challenge at Sugar Hill Co., Danielle Young's collab kit, A New Day, from Oscraps and Danielle Young's Giving Thanks CU Vectors from Sugar Hill Co.

I hope you like it!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch #75

Time for another round of inspiration from Little Shop of Sketches!

Sketch #75 was provided by yours truly. I based it off of a layout that I had seen months ago ... I saved the link in my favorites, but the link is now broken, so I can't properly credit the original. However, it is still a wonderful layout!

Here is my take on it:
I used a retired kit, Freckles and Giggles, from Kim DeSmet (formerly of Oscraps)

So head on over to Little Shop of Sketches to see the other girls' layouts (which are just lovely) and enter for our prize!!!

I hope you like it!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lego Man

My son, Justin, goes through phases. When he was a baby, he liked blocks. When he was a toddler, he liked trucks. When he was a little older, he graduated to Cars movie items. A little older than that and his thing was Hot Wheels cars. These phases were long and persistent. When he likes something ... he really likes it. Now, it's legos. It's been legos for the past six months. I don't know why I was surprised ...

I used Sue Cummings and Taylor Made Designs collab This and That as well as an add-on from TMD's Composure kit and the paper and label from a Sue Cummings collab.

I hope you like it!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back to School

School started again a few months ago and the kids were very excited. The good news ... they still are :)

I used Danielle Young's School Chips (owl, ruler, apple, pencil), Danielle Young's A New Day collab with Aja Abney (papers, swirls) and Danielle Young's Creative Chick kit (stars)
Kate Teague freebie from 2 Peas in a Bucket (title element and school days background patterned paper)

I hope you like it!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Speed Scrap - November

Another Speed Scrap over at Sugar Hill Co. It's amazing how frustrating they are. You have no idea if you've picked a good photo or the right kit. I've actually switched in the middle of it. What if the kit you picked doesn't have the elements they call for? What if the photo just doesn't fit the theme? And the time? What if the kids need you? Or your husband needs you? Or you're just tired? Well ... it may be frustrating, but it's also a lot of fun. You end up with a layout! Yay! A layout is done!!! And it's usually not bad. You take the instructions and inspiration and make them you're own. I've been very pleased with the results so far ... so I did it again last Saturday!

Here's my layout:
Made using the Sweet Memories collab from SHCo. I've found it's helpful to use a HUGE kit when doing these things ...

I hope you like it!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch #74

Time for another wonderful sketch from Little Shop of Sketches!

What a fun sketch for those multiple photo layouts! I was very excited to see it!

Here's mine:
This is my sister and brother-in-law weeks away from their two-year wedding anniversary. The goofballs are very much in love!

I used a mish-mash of products - Danielle Young (background paper, always word strip and sequin heart from Game of Love, metal swirl from SHCo collab, staple)
Paislee Press (today word art, moments word art and sequin camera)
Sue Cummings and EHStudios gratitude collab (text matte)
Kitty Designs (trail of hearts)
Ashalee Wall (forever word art)
Oscraps O Boy collab (frames)

The girls did an excellent job - go over to the Little Shop of Sketches blog to check out their layouts!

And ... be sure to check back in a couple weeks. We're going to have a monochromatic challenge! Woohoo!

I hope you like it!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

52 Inspirations - Delightful!

I've been really enjoying the 52 Inspirations subscription from Oscraps ... a little treat every week that inspires you to create beautiful things!

Samantha and I went to a bridal shower and I got this beautiful shot of her lounging in the special 'bridal' chair. She was a very good girl (even though being in a small room with 80 women made her nervous) and I loved being able to share this 'girl' time with her :)

I used mostly Week 38 from the 52 Inspirations kit (paper, butterfly, word art, swirl and paint). Also using Week 32 (very bottom paper, recolored), Week 30 (small frames), Week 28 (pink paint spray) and Week 5 (photo mask with flowers).

I let my husband give me some input on this layout ... he preferred the busier grungy paper, so I went with it. He doesn't like white space at all ...

I hope you like it!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sisterly Love ...

My sisters are the best ... and they're not afraid to pose for pictures :)
Here they are on a road trip ... goofing around as usual :)

I used a limited edition kit from Danielle Young that was sold to support Breast Cancer.

I hope you like it!


Chipboard Album

I made this album for my sister and her husband for their one-year anniversary. I used a chipboard album and kit from K&Co. and can't remember the line of papers and embellishments ... Gypsy or something like that.

The front cover with lots of layers and a wonderful peek-a-boo center to the chipboard flowers. It's a great way to open the book :)

The first two pages. Another layered, dimensional chipboard flower (with 3-D glue dots giving it even more pop) and several dimensional stickers. I distressed the edges to the second page and drew on the stitched look. A little bit of lace, some buttons and it a journaling tag make it look fabulous!I love this page because it has a two page pocket. I only attached the outer sides and the bottom so the the whole pocket can be opened if you want to. However, it is creased and folded so that it fits nicely. Journaling tags, awesome chipboard pieces, and some 3-D glue dots make it really pop!This one was challenging be because of the size of my photos. I wanted to create interest by angling them, but not too far off the page. Journaling tags, some letter stickers and more dimensional stickers are lovely!The back ... I used lots of fibers and lace to make it special. I really loved this chipboard album. It's nice and sturdy and I made my job a lot easier! I hope my sister loves it too :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tweet! Makin' a Mess!

Oscraps came out with a new collab kit when they joined Twitter. It had a very 'twitterish' theme. Here's the layout I did with it (and yes, I did post this message on FB)
All products used are from the collab kit. It was free for those who 'followed' Oscraps on Twitter :)

I hope you like it!

I was recently going through my giles and found several layouts that I haven't shared with you guys. So ... prepare for a bombardment!

I did this one in April. My two kids enjoying their time together and doing funny poses for me. They're so cute!

I used several 52 Inspirations kits (Week 16 - paper, frames, staple, Week 15 - metal swirl and ribbon, Week 12 - butterfly) and some Sue Cummings word art.
I hope you like it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch #72

This time we have a sketch from the lovely Kim. Tanya should be back next time ...

Here is Sketch # 72:

And here is my take on it:
This is my sisters and I at a rehearsal dinner for our good friend. Three of us were in the wedding and the last one was the special pianist ... good times :)
I used a retired kit from Kim DeSmet, word art from Sue Cummings and the title is from Danielle Young.
I hope you like it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Templates Repurposed

In my last post, I showed you the album that I had made using Danielle Young's Bloom and Grow Layered Album Templates. I made very few changes and basically used the templates as they were. However, there are so many ways to use templates.

One way is to use the template for a single layout as I did here:
This is from a wedding I went to recently. I was in the bridal party, so I didn't get any pictures of the ceremony ... but I really liked this picture I took from my reception table while they cut the cupcake. The flowers above are the centerpiece and the flowers below were my bouquet.

This layout used page 14 from the templates. I added a few elements to complete the layout - word strips and a date tab from Danielle Young's Blessed Blooms (the same kit that the templates were made with) and the title is from Danielle Young's 'I Do' kit.


You also don't have to be limited by the original templates. Yes, the album came with beautiful papers and some embellishments, but you could completely make them your own.

I'm so proud of my daughter and her desire to learn to read and write. She's only 4 and has quite a ways to go, but she really tries very hard. I also chose the title because it's a semi-inside joke with my husband (he says 'brilliant' quite a bit).

For this layout, I used page 8, but changed the background paper, recolored the circle mat (included in the template) and added new elements (everything is from Danielle Young's Creative Chick kit).

As you can see, there are several ways to use templates. I hope that you have found some inspiration to go out and create something beautiful for yourself!


Bloom and Grow Template Album

Danielle Young has created a new template album called Bloom and Grow. It features her Blessed Blooms kit. It's also on sale now for 33% off!

I used it to create an anniversary album for my Aunt and Uncle. They are celebrating 25 wonderful years of marital bliss. I love them and I'm so excited to be able to create this for them:

Click here to view this photo book larger

The wonderful thing about this template album is that you can customize it! I duplicated a few of the pages and moved a few around ... and created exactly what I needed.

You too can create something special ... head on over to Oscraps to get it!

Also, you should head on over to Danielle Young's blog. She's having a giveaway for a FREE printed album! You can enter before October 15th.

I hope you like it!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Too Cute! Speed Scrap layout

This past Saturday was another Speed Scrap at Sugar Hill Co.

It featured an awesome FREE template from Miss Tiina (available on her blog)

Here's my layout:

I used Danielle Young's Blessed Blooms kit (paper, flowers, paint splat, swirls, labels, words, staples and circle mat), Danielle Young's Freestlye Alpha set ...

I love it ... I hope you do, too!


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Daily Digi

Have you heard the news? The Daily Digi is starting a subscription program.
If you haven't heard of The Daily Digi ... you should really take a look. Every month they put a package together with several different, wonderful kits from wonderful designers and bundle it together for only $5! That's right ... $5.00!!!
This huge collab kit was offered during Ali Edwards 'A Week in the Life' back in April. It is now available as the first exclusive collab kit available to the monthly subscribers and beyond. Danielle Young let us CT members use her part of the kit back then and I've been waiting to show you this:

The kids are so cute :) They're helping Grandma water the flowers ...

So, if you're interested in subscribing, or just checking it out, head on over HERE!

I hope you like it!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just Me - Speed Scrap

Last weekend I participated in another Speed Scrap at Sugar Hill Co. and complete another layout! Woohoo! Once again, I would like it to be a bit different and had some challenges, but once again, I'm happy that it's done :)

I had been at a Bridal Shower up until a few hours before the Speed Scrap. I'm one of the bridesmaids, so I was very involved and it was very intense, but it was marvelous :) My sister-in-law took these pictures of me (with my camera) at the shower. It was actually kind of nice to have pictures of me from an event and especially nice to have pictures that I didn't have to ask to have taken. It feels even more special and more natural ... and even though I don't love the way I look in the photos, the fact that I need a haircut or that I look tired, they are still who I am and represent me at this time.

For this layout, I used the Sugar Hill Blog Train collaboration kit that I got for free about a week ago. It is no longer available, but pieces of it will start showing up in their store soon. I also used Danielle Young's Pink Striped alpha available at Oscraps :)

I hope you like it!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch #71 & New Danielle Young kit!

Forgive me - I forgot to tell you about our latest Little Shop of Sketches post ... only three days late :)

Since Tanya is still out of her house due to earthquakes in New Zealand. Keep her and her family in your prayers.

The wonderful Mieke drew Sketch #71 by hand:

Here is my layout ...These are my kids 'helping' me rake leaves last autumn. The change of weather here in the Northeast, USA, has brought out that Fall feeling ... I'm loving the colors of Danielle Young's new collab kit with Aja Abney, New Day:
It was just released today and is currently on sale! Woohoo!

I hope you like it!

Oh! And be sure to check out the other girls' layouts at Little Shop of Sketches. They're marvelous!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coffee House Paintings

Let's take a break from digital scrapbooking and talk about PAINTING!!!

That's right - I am now a painter! A true artiste! I have impressed even myself :)

Backstory: We were throwing a 'coffee house' themed bridal shower for our coffee loving friend. The location already had a relatively mod feel with pumpkin and eggplant colored walls and black trim. We were throwing around decoration ideas for how to create the coffee house ambiance ... and I very quickly thought of artwork. A local shop has very cheap canvasses and I had enough experience with using paint in various projects that I knew I could pull off some simple pieces. My original plan was to paint the background to match the accent wall and then do a coffee cup and other objects in black silhouette. Very simple. Very graphic. Very nice :)

Execution: As usual, the end result was not the same as the original vision. We couldn't find the left-over wall color paint, so I had to create my own by blending orange, peach, reddish, yellow and white paint (use what you have). Because I was blending, it created these awesome streaks and swirly patterns. I chose to go with it instead of trying to make it one uniform color.

I had a coffee cup image in my mind that was a very graphic black and white. That was one image.
I thought of the tall coffee mug (love those), but I needed three.
So, I did an online search for some inspiration and saw this colorblocked idea. That became my centerpiece.

By using the two colors in that center painting, I opened the door up to use purple and it became an accent for the graphics ... I just kind of winged it. The brushes were out, the paint was wet, and I just did what seemed right - adding color and flourishes here and there.

I really like the way it turned out. Sure, there are several things that I wish were better. I wish I had planned and thought out my highlights and shadow a bit more instead of just winging it. Some of them are completely wrong. The proportions, perspective and symmetry are off in several places. The cheap canvases still need frames. I could go on ... but I'm still happy.

You know what the biggest surprise of all is for me? Everybody loved them. They didn't just like them, they were impressed. I don't know whether to be happy or sad that people seem to be so surprised that I pulled it off. I'll choose to take it in a good way. The shower was a complete success (thanks to a HUGE collaborative effort and a brilliant florist :) ) and the church is very happy to have the new decorations.

I hope you like them too!