Let’s do some Punching!

If you have an electronic cutter with shapes similar to what I have in punches you can use them.  Or even if you have a selection of nested dies you can do this.  Paw through your assortment of tools to see what you come up with.

My punch collection is from my days as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.   Most all of them are no longer available (maybe on eBay).  I am using what I have on hand.

The inspiration for this current state of affairs is from watching quite a number of DIY Embellishment videos on YouTube.  You will find these at the end of this post.

As you can, plainly, see….I have one or two punches in my collection *eye roll*.

My collection of punches

My collection of punches

I have a plastic holder full of various shapes of craft paper….card stock and printed papers….that have been stashed out of sight until I was ready to tackle the task of cutting them into usable sizes for card fronts.  These papers are, instead, going to be mauled by my punches.

Collection of scrap paper

Collection of scrap paper

I have amassed quite a new collection of paper items that I have no storage space for.  Yay ME!  *groan*

Piles of punched items

Piles of punched items

Using some of the, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, 500 coin envelopes I bought several years ago because I could not purchase less than that.  I have put each type of punch item in its own coin envelope.  I have selected an assortment of four (4) punch elements and roughly layered them together.  Attempting to figure out color combinations that work together.

My attempt at color coordination

My attempt at color coordination

These four (4) punches from Stampin’ Up! were used for this endeavor.  And you can see how I layered them together to create an embellishment for a card front.

My assortment of DIY Embellishments

My assortment of DIY Embellishments

Here is a better view of my creations.  I have used Tim Holtz “Chit Chat” word stickers on most of these.  I’ve also used a stamped sentiment I recently purchased from a dear friend who sells for “A Stamper’s Journey”.

My creations

My creations

I will have a YouTube video up later today or possibly on Monday (July 4, 2016) showing what I have done to create these.  You can then do the same, or something similar, with your punches or electronic cutters.  Hey, give  yourself the chance to have the “Go To” pieces for  your mini albums, scrapbook layouts, greeting cards, and even your art journals.  You may even find your creations rival those of K&Co., Anna Griffith, or whomever you adore and spend precious money on.

As promised, here are the videos that inspired me to give this a try.

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Scrapbook Layout Mayhem

In this Friday episode for my YouTube channel I show you what it is like when I create.  Interruptions, changing my mind on photo placement, hating one element that I permanently glued down and know that taking it off would be disaster.  Getting an idea that seems, at first bloom, to be the best idea I ever had in my life then find out it was not such a good idea at all.

When I first started making scrapbook layouts I binge watched YouTube videos on how to do it.  It looked so easy!  Being a “semi” perfectionist I would beat myself up and get really frustrated with the results before me.  Why couldn’t I get things to look like I saw in the videos?!  What was wrong with me?

I almost gave up because most of the people I watched on YouTube had a college background in graphic arts or art theory.  I never went to college.  I told myself that I was a total loser and would never figure this out.

I may not have a college education but I make up for that by sheer persistence and always searching for answers.

At the present time, I am trying to become “friends” with lace.  I thought a top border of pretty lace would be a really good touch on the layout for my twin granddaughters.  As soon as I glued it all on I regretted that decision.  It was too late by that time.  The paper would roll backwards from the application of the wet glue if I took the lace off.  Also, some of the areas where the glue had a thin application would be dry and the paper would tear.  So each time I looked at that flaming “Fabulous” idea I would cringe.

Application of lace.  Hate it.

Application of lace. Hate it.

Just move on….pretend like nothing is wrong.

I knew the title of my two page layout would be “Mischief”.  I knew where I wanted it to go.  I used my Original Sizzix Machine and thin alpha dies to create the title.  That turned out good.  Just get it adjusted before I glue the letters down permanently.

Title for the layout

Title for the layout

My “brilliant” idea was to create word bubbles for the mischief the girls got into.  I have an old desk top publishing software that I used for this idea.  I printed this out on regular printer paper to see the size and test on my Stampin’ Up! Word Window Punch.  When I saw this working on the printer paper I put a piece of card stock in my printer to be used on the layouts.

Word bubble idea

Word bubble idea

Well….application of the word bubbles make the layout look like I had a couple of turkeys show up 😦

I had also fixed my problem with the bad lace at the top of the layout.  So now I have lace festooned turkeys.  :/

A couple of turkeys show up

A couple of turkeys show up

I then moved the word bubbles to the outer edges of the pages.  Crowding the title distracting it from the impact I was going for.

Crowding the title

Crowding the title

Take the word bubbles off and place them around the outer edges of the layouts in a better pattern.  Giving each page the balanced weight they deserved.    I just placed the words where they would fit and wasn’t paying much attention to how they would read.  Oh well, my daughter will have a good laugh as she thinks about the girls “hiding in toilet” that can be read at the bottom right of the left page.  You can click on the above photo, or the one below, to see the “hiding in toilet” bit.

Pages deemed finished.

Pages deemed finished.

For the newcomers to creating scrapbook layouts I say to you….keep going.  Don’t stop just because you don’t think you are talented enough to do this art form.

If you want to watch the video I made showing the reality of creating scrapbook layouts I have added it below.

Leslie

 

The day you were Born.

Currently, I’m working on a 2-page layout of the day my grand-daughters were born.

Working on a 2-page layout

Working on a 2-page layout

This layout began life from this creation.

Layout style 3

Layout style 3

The second page is the “business page”.  After the girls were born and handed off to the delivery room nurses to be weighed, tested, and then tightly wrapped before being presented to the new Mom.  There are a couple shots of them from within the nursery.  They are so adorable I can barely stand it :D.

Page 2 of the layout

Page 2 of the layout

The page featuring the 8×10 photo of Mom with the babes had been sent to me, via text message, from the new Dad.  Joe and I were in a Village Inn restaurant in Grand Island, Nebraska that morning having breakfast.  The both of us had been worried about our daughter during the delivery.  Both Joe and I were in knots.  Oddly, both of us have been through the birth process several times before and we both lived through it.

Wait…that sounds really strange.

Joe had been IN the delivery room when most of his children were born.  Depending on the hospital rules at the time of the children’s birth whether the father could be present or left to exile in the waiting room far away. He had experienced both of these situations of his five children coming into this world.  His tales of being in the delivery room with his oldest daughter is one he loves to tell frequently.  Enough so that I think  I can quote (verbatim) :/.

I have also been in the delivery room as my children were born.  I know first hand the mix of emotions that run riot through the new mother’s head and heart.  Excitement to be a “Mother” and hold the tiny baby that had been kicking my bladder causing inopportune wet spots to appear on my clothing.  Or being punched in the lungs which lead to a period of gasping for air which seemed like eternity.

I was terrified.  Would I be a good mother?  Would my baby be healthy?  Frantically thinking back the nine months to find a point in time where I may have eaten or drank something that would forever damage this new life?  Hearing the baby was in good health as it was placed upon my chest brought more panic.  Will I break this little wriggling thing?

When the photo of the new Mom and brand new babies appeared on our phones, both Joe and I had tears running down our cheeks.  The wait staff at the restaurant were concerned, even a bit taken aback at seeing the sorry state we were in.  We both had to reassure all who came to check on us that we were fine.  Just brand new grandparents.

As it happens, the birth of our grand-daughters was on Father’s Day – June 12, 2014.  Joe, so overcome with gratitude of this wonderful event, stood and tapped his water glass and asked for everyone’s attention.  He loudly announced that we were new grandparents of twins just a few minutes old.  He went on to wish all the Fathers gathered in the restaurant with their families on this special day a very Happy Father’s Day.

These photos are special to me.  I was in the middle of Nebraska while my daughter was hundreds of miles away from me in central Arizona.  Having photos sent to me by my wonderful Son-In-Law and a few updates via text messaging were almost (not quite) as good as actually being there in person.

I’ll have the finished layout in a few days.  I’m trying my hand at some “Typography” to add to the layout.

In the meantime….get prepared for a video I have in the works about having “Dirty little secrets” in your crafting space you don’t want anyone to know about.

Leslie

 

Time to get some baby photos on layouts!

Poor sleep deprived new Mom and Dad

Poor sleep deprived new Mom and Dad

Get your seat belt tightened.  We’re taking a trip in the “Way Back Machine” to 2009.  That is how long this bare layout has been relegated to a dark hole.

The original layout design

The original layout design

I hope that wasn’t too bumpy of  a ride, and your hair didn’t end up standing on end 😀

My first attempts at making scrapbook layouts was pretty bad.  Mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing and I had no one but myself to teach me how to do it.  (You know the old adage about being your own lawyer – having a fool for a client?  Well this saying fits here as well).

I just remembered I have a video from 2009 showing my “skills” :/.  The lighting is bad because I didn’t know anything about taking videos for YouTube.  (Guess you can say that I don’t know much of anything).

Over the winter of 2009 I did some research, if you can call it that, about making scrapbook layouts that look good and have a design quality to them.  I found Club Scrap and their “Assembly Line Scrapbooking”. The term is Trade Marked.  There are pictures of layouts complete with PDF’s of the cutting directions for their paper in each kit they sell.  Check out the different layouts and directions.  You will find a listing of all the items you will need to make one of their layouts.  These include:  Card stock, text weight paper, design paper and/or card stock, along with detailed diagrams and cutting directions to put together a similar layout.

So, armed with this knowledge and being totally stoked and excited…..I went crazy.  I have about 30, 2-Page, layouts just waiting in a few plastic sleeves.  I didn’t have any of the Club Scrap paper at the time so I used what I had on hand.  I’ll show you just a few of them.

Layout style 1

Layout style 1

Layout style 2

Layout style 2

Layout style 3

Layout style 3

Layout style 4

Layout style 4

The papers are all wrong, as far as weight goes.  I have very thin card stock as the base of some of these and others is only text weight design paper.  Everything was attached using a glue stick.  When the pages bend I hear popping and snapping of the old dried glue.  No matter.  These layout pages will be tucked in album sleeves and their contents will be safely stored.

I journaled next to each photo.  and added some rubber stamp images at the bottom.  I filled the images in with Twinkling H2O’s water color paint.

Left of the 2-page layout

Left of the 2-page layout

I used Versa Mark with black embossing powder on that monster of a Letter Press Plate from Stampin’ Up!.  Cut the word “Love” out a few times and attached it to the layout.

Right side of 2-page layout

Right side of 2-page layout

One of the old layouts down and a few more to go!

What are  your embarrassing secrets shoved into the dark holes of your craft space?  Do you have items lurking around from your beginning days of creating?  Take a look at them with your experienced eyes and see if you can make those old embarrassments into beautiful art pieces 😀

Leslie

Imagination Challenge

Now for something totally different. An “Imagination Challenge”.

Create a card, journal page, scrapbook layout, or an altered object. For inspiration consider the barns I took photos of while traveling through Illinois today with Joe delivering his trucks.

Your inspiration can come from a feeling you get upon seeing the photos.

A bit sad – How about an “I miss you” card?

A memory.

Did you grow up on a farm and have fond memories of the smell of hay stored away. Did you play in the loft using the hay bales as your fort or a stage with an adoring audience at your feet?

Do any of the photos spark a memory of long forgotten rubber stamps you had bought because you thought they would be good for your markers or Copics?

Do any of the barns make you think of a Christmas or winter scene? Even though spring is here and summer is close behind you can still do a winter scene.

There is no time limit on this challenge. The only requirement is a write up on your blog about what inspired you and how you created your masterpiece. Leave a link to your blog entry here.

Now for the photos.

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One other thing. Have FUN creating your masterpiece.

A Writing Contest about yourself.

Hmmmm, do I show the PRIZES first?  Do I set out the Contest Rules?

I’ll do the Prizes first.  DISCLAIMER:  These Prizes are (sort of) new and unopened, never used.  They are from my stash.  Because some of you live out of the US and all items being posted have to clear customs I am keeping the prizes small so they will travel well through the postal system.

FIRST PRIZE:  A “Believe” chipboard word and a wooden block.  The wooden block is to be attached to the chipboard word so it will stand upright in your craft room.  There may be some sanding involved on the wooden block….to get the Jeff Foxworthy thing off before you attach the chipboard piece.

"Believe" chipboard with wooden block.  First Prize

"Believe" chipboard with wooden block. First Prize

SECOND PRIZE:  A Stampin’ Up! Hostess Stamp Set titled “Silhouette Sentiments”.  It is an unmounted set.

Silhouette Sentiments Hostess Stamp Set - Second Prize

Silhouette Sentiments Hostess Stamp Set - Second Prize

THIRD PRIZE:  A 6″x6″ canvas covered frame to alter.

6"x6" Canvas covered frame - Third Prize

6"x6" Canvas covered frame - Third Prize

CONTEST AND RULES:

This is a “Writing Contest”.  I’m a “Nosy Parker” and I love to find out why and how people get started doing the things they do.  You will write a Blog Post, on your blog, and answer these 10 questions.  Leave a link to your Blog Post in the COMMENTS section of this Contest Post.

  1. How long have you been crafting?  Not just card making, scrapbook layouts, or altering items.  Crafting in general.
  2. What was the first item you created, on your own, and personally purchased all of the products?
  3. Who inspired you to begin your first project?
  4. When you got serious about your craft who benefited from your creativity?
  5. Over the years, how many craft things have you tried?
  6. What brought you to paper crafting?
  7. What is your most favorite tool to use?
  8. What is your most favorite product to use?
  9. Do you listen to music or watch television when you craft?
  10. What have you created that you loved so much you just can’t seem to part with it?

RULES:

  1. Contest begins January 14, 2012 and runs through January 31, 2012.
  2. All entries must be posted on your blog and all 10 questions must be noted, in some fashion, on your blog entry.
  3. Leave a link to your blog post in the COMMENT section of THIS post.
  4. I will NOT be replying to any of the comments you post in this COMMENT section.  I will go directly to your blog post and leave a comment there.
  5. Length of your answers to the questions is up to you.  However, I do hope you can elaborate a bit more than just using one or two words to answer each question 😀
  6. You can add photos to your blog entry if you choose to do so.
  7. The deadline to enter this contest is at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time in the US on January 31, 2012.
  8. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2012.

Have fun with this.  You can be as private as you wish to be or as open as you are comfortable with.

Since I am automatically disqualified to win this contest 😀 I will begin to give you an idea of what to think about when telling your story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I began crafting at the age of 15.  Sewing was my introduction to creativity.  I have been crafting for about 41 years now.

The first item I made was a bright orange floral jump suit with Elephant style legs.  I had saved up my $3 weekly allowance for a month to purchase the fabric which displayed dinner plate sized white flowers on an intense orange background.  This was in 1969 and the Elephant style leg in pants was the “In Thing”.  I purchased the pattern, a pair of very sharp scissors, the straight pins necessary to pin the pattern to the fabric, and the spools of thread to complete the outfit.

My Home Economics class had a fashion show set up with the local 4-H Club and we each were going for the trophy.  We all had walking lessons to walk the runway in our fabulous garments.  I was so excited to do this I could not be brought down from the ozone 😀

Now, mind you, I have always been large.  At 15 years old I weighed in at 190 pounds.  The bright orange jumpsuit I made with the huge flowing legs I was sure was going to be the winner of the entire show.  A journalist was at the fashion show along with a newspaper photographer.  When I got a look at myself from a photo placed along with the article you probably can imagine my shock at seeing what everyone else saw!  Ginormous is all I can say.  After a few tears I put the jump suit away and never wore it again.  My love of sewing did not get put away.

The person who influenced my interest in sewing was one of my Foster Sisters.  Frances Taylor-Fry.  That girl could take a piece of fabric and create the most wonderful items without the aid of a pattern.  She was amazing and I wanted to be just like her.

After I got out of the Foster Home and began living my own life I continued to sew.  My children were the first I sewed for.  I made their onesies, the plastic protectors that went over the cloth diapers.  Later, as they grew, I made all of their clothes.  It was cheaper to make their clothing than to purchase it at that time and I loved going through the fabric shops to pick just the right patterned fabrics.

Later in my years of sewing I made Joe’s shirts.  He likes to have two pockets on the front of his shirts, something that is not easy to find, and he likes to have short sleeves.  Nearly everything in his size has long sleeves and don’t fit him well.  I made all his shirts for about 8 years.

I made Joe's shirts

I made Joe's shirts

And my daughter's Prom Dress

And my daughter's Prom Dress

I started out sewing which later lead to crocheting, then knitting.  I began embroidery at 22 years of age, then that changed to Counted Cross Stitch, Candle Wicking, Lace Net Darning, Needlepoint, and finally Plastic Canvas work.  My interests changed and I took up acrylic painting of plaster objects, which only lasted for a little while.   I have delved into so many crafts and had not found anything that held my interest for long.

My introduction to Paper Crafting came while I was out doing my “Day Job”.  I rode with Joe for almost 2 years before I began driving myself.  During the time I rode with him I took tons and tons of photos.  I found a book on making scrapbook pages in 2001 at a home improvement store and I became interested in this craft.

I have one Favorite Tool and it is a clear grid marked quilting ruler.  That thing gets used constantly in my paper crafting.  I’ve had the metal 17″ rulers and the wood 12″ rulers but I really like my clear grid ruler.

My Grid Ruler

My Grid Ruler

My most Favorite Product to use is a Scotch ATG Gun.  I love that thing.  Seemingly endless supply of adhesive and it is really easy to reload when I run out.  I balked at the initial price of it but after I considered how much money I spent in purchasing refills for the smaller adhesive tape runners I had the cost of the ATG Gun and then some.  Yes, it would be considered a tool but I love the adhesive products that are used in this gun.

My ATG Gun

My ATG Gun

I listen to a local radio station sometimes.  Mostly I listen to Native American music.  Navajo and Cherokee.  The drums and flutes of their music help get me in a meditative place.  The heartbeat of the drums calm me.  This music has the opposite effect on Joe.  It grates on his nerves and unsettles him.

The thing I am most delighted with are the plaster houses I painted many years ago and have them displayed at Christmas time under our tree.  The many hours I spent making each house cause me to wonder at my sanity.  I have no desire to do that again but I do so enjoy looking at them.

Painted plaster houses

Painted plaster houses

Okay, now it is your turn 😀