Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It's February 1st...which means a couple of things.  It's a new kit release and staff challenge at The Urban Scrapbook, where I teach classes...and it's time for a new Sketchy Challenge over at Canadian Scrapbooker magazine!

Today I'll post my Urban staff challenge layout and next week I'll show you my CS Sketchy challenge.

I promised myself to use some of my Mexico photos (WITHOUT the teenagers in them!)
HOLA!  and POW...how's that for colour???
Aren't those flowers gorgeous? I cannot believe they are real and growing outdoors there...amazing.

This month's Urban kit has the wonderful new Basic Grey "Kissing Booth" papers, alpha sticker sheet and die cuts package....plus a bunch of other lovely embellishments.  I'm usually not a big fan of large floral patterns, but this one I LOVED and knew right away I wanted it to be the background.

Here are some close ups....
Metal lock and key courtesy of Tim Holtz and Martha Stewart butterfly border punch.

Really cute tiny alpha stickers are on the Kissing Booth Alpha sticker sheet.

Banners are in the Kissing Booth die cut package and ANOTHER alpha from that sticker sheet!

The Prima "Say It In Crystals" have beautiful facets that catch the light. The green ruffle is ribbon tucked behind the paper layer.

I created a circle of yellow butterflies with another Martha Stewart punch.
I have a little tutorial on how I made the two pink flowers for the layout using 7Gypsies tape (a technique I saw Tim Holtz do).
I coloured the tulle flower below with alcohol ink and mist.
It is so easy to alter the colour of the tape to suit your project. I find that alcohol ink works best.

Here is what you need....
Tissue tape, Blending Tool and felt pad, Blending Solution, Snow Cap Mixative and Red Pepper Alcohol Ink
First you cut a circle roughly out of scrap paper...the size of the circle depending on how large you want you flower to be....
The Snow Cap Mixative (white) makes the alcohol ink more opaque. I also used it to change the Red Pepper to Pink Pepper!
You need very little Snow Cap on your felt to adjust the colour of the red.  The piece of tape should be MUCH longer because you will be pleating it (as shown below) but for the demo I used a short piece here.
Start anywhere on your scrap circle and just fold and pleat around the centre. 
For this flower, I put 2 layers of pleating, to make the flower fluffier (more dimensional).
The centre can be anything, a pearl, a gem....here I used a Prima light pink crystal.

So come on over to The Urban Scrapbook (or order online) and pick up your wonderful February kit! You'll also see all the layouts the Design Team has created....so many talented scrapbookers!

And remember....if you can't go to Mexico to see the beautiful flowers, then you can make some at home in your studio!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good Memories.....Bad Photos

Where are all my layouts of Mexico?  where oh where?

It is taking me awhile to sift through my photos to find the right ones to scrap.  There are lots of BabyOfTheFamily....and that's about it.  The teenagers are in the "take a picture of my hand" phase....aka. MOM! Don't take my picture!  or....DELETE THAT!  I look ugly!

Here is a sample of what I am dealing with....some photos of DramaQueen over the past few months of special occasions....

Introducing.....THE HAND
The Halloween Pumpkin Carving HAND
The Christmas Eve HAND
Opening Presents on Christmas Day HAND
Happy Birthday to you (Jan 5 2012) HAND
How about a photo with your Uncle who is visiting us from Nicaragua? HAND
But I'm an optimist, and I think, hey...when we get to Mexico, the teens will be so RELAXED and beg me to take photos of their tans, their beach bods....

And here's what I got....the SANDY HAND.....

After much perseverance, I managed these two lovely shots....
I consider myself lucky that I got 3 fingers....instead of one.
Hmmmm....like mother like daughter??
These photos frustrated me so much that I had to self-medicate....while lounging on the beach...
(not my photo....and sadly, not my drinks either)
And this is why I cannot do something like Project 365....a photo a day?  yeah....right.

I think I'm going to plot my revenge....and for DramaQueen's next birthday, I will give her a mini album, titled..."A Year in the Life of Your Hand."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Sweet Blog Award

How nice to start the day with an award...thank you so much Lynn (aka happyscrappymom) who gave me the Liebster blog award today!

"Liebster” is a German word meaning dearest, beloved or favorite, and the Liebster Award is sort of a chain letter among bloggers that’s intended to showcase exceptional up-and-coming blogs (typically, those with 200 or fewer followers). There’s no evaluation committee or formal award process for the Liebster, but in a way it’s even nicer – it’s recognition that a peer has noticed and appreciated your hard work.

Here are the rules:

Choose 5 up and coming blogs of fewer than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

Post the award on your blog. Link back to the blogs you have given the Liebster to so everyone else can pay them a visit.

And, now I am sharing and passing on the award to five wonderful blogs that I'm sure you will want to stop by for a visit...
Michelle www.michellesscrapbits.blogspot.com
Doreen  www.scrapbookertink.blogspot.com
Izzy  www.writesnapscrap.blogspot.com
Patty  www.asassyscrapper.blogspot.com
Lee-Anne  www.lee-annelovethejourney.blogspot.com/

There are many many more fantastic scrapbooking blogs I follow that deserve an award, but alas, I must follow the rules!

And now I shall go shopping for a sparkly gown and tiara....to wear at the Liebster Award Ceremony :)  Look out red carpet...here I COME!

Friday, January 20, 2012

BoBunny Snowfall

When it's -40 degrees outside, I can't help but create and post more winter pages.  But I promise, my Mexico layouts are coming soon :)

I created this 2-pager for a class at The Urban Scrapbook where I teach and design.  And let me tell you, when BoBunny released this "Snowfall" collection, it was SOLD OUT all across the city.  No kidding...when you have 6 months of snow a year...(only a slight exaggeration).

Ironically, while I was designing this layout, I was panicking....because this year we have had very little snow and very mild temperatures! Finally, the big snowfall came, so I rushed BabyOfTheFamily outside for some cute photos.
Gosh, it's hard to take photos of double page layouts!
Here are some close ups....
The left page...
....and the right page.
The title is fussy cut from the "Words" patterned paper...and matted on white Bazzill cardstock.

I used 3 Tim Holtz Sizzix dies...
Love these!
The snowflake borders are cut from Best Creations Glitter paper and tucked behind the photos' edges.
These snowflakes are fussy cut from the patterned paper, with BoBunny Metal Trinkets in the centers.
Those half doily die cut pieces are backed onto brown Bazzill cardstock.

The special technique I taught was making this winter window element...
The frame is made from strips of Creative Imaginations brown corrugated paper, which is sanded for a more distressed appearance.
Close up of window frame and "snow".
Today I'm going to share a tutorial on how to make this window.

The window base or background is a 4" x 3 1/2" piece of dark blue paper cut from the reverse side of the Bobunny "Snowfall-Words" paper.  I also die cut 3 snowflakes and adhered them to this background layer.

On top of that is an embossed piece of plastic....simply cut from some packaging I saved from Christmas! (from a package of Christmas crackers I believe) A BIG thank you to my bestie Sandra who inspired this embossed window pane :)
I traced the size onto the plastic packaging with a Sharpie (I cut 12 for my class).
Here is the wonderful Tim Holtz Sizzix Snowflakes embossing folder.
The plastic piece after it runs throught my....VAGABOND! yay!
As for the snow....I started with clear chunky glitter called "Diamond Dust" in a baggie....
BEFORE  the Snow Cap
....and added Ranger Snow Cap Mixative to color the glitter an opaque white.
AFTER  the Snow Cap
It's a little less glittery and a little more snowy.
I used Glossy Accents to adhere the snow to the window frame, and I also made a snowy ledge on the right page too....
The fabric you see tucked behind this photo and the window and the journaling strips is cheesecloth (that I bought at Safeway!)  I colored it lightly by spraying it with Turquoise Perfect Pearls Mist....
LOVED working with cheesecloth...and love the texture it brings to the design.
Funny story........while I was prepping for my class, I had 12 little baggies filled with clear glitter on my kitchen table.  My 80-year-old German father-in-law walks in, sees it, and says, "What are you doing? Selling opium???" 

Talk about a Generation Gap.....I was just thinking that it looked like I was selling cocaine....but I suppose my teens would think I was selling crystal meth :)

All for the love of scrapbooking!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Colors of My World

Hola Amigos!

I have returned from a warm and sunny Mexico after a much needed Christmas break!

Spending 8 days on a tropical vacation has made me reflect on the powerful impact of color in my life. So I've decided to share a few thoughts... and a number of photos... about the dramatic contrast of living with and without color.

And I also have a simple but colorful layout to change things up from all the wintry pages I've been creating.

Here's the view outside my front door today....
Just love those glamorous birch trees in the winter...along with some brown grass peeking through snow.
And a look behind my home today....
Thank heavens we landscaped with mostly spruce trees.....so in winter they don't look NAKED.
Here is the view outside my hotel room in Mexico....

Palm trees, blue sky, swimming pool...aaaaahhhh
 Check out the difference in paint colors...
The exterior stucco and stone wall of my home
Honestly....this is the OUTSIDE wall of our hotel room!!
Our front window
Our Mexican hotel window

 Walking through town, we saw even more colorful windows...

Don't you love the gold ceramic doves perched in the wrought iron?
And a comparison of doors....
My Canadian front door...
such lovely Mexican doors...

Upon seeing this next doorway, the scrapbooker inside of me was thinking, "I wish my daughters were wearing white flowing dresses....instead of cut offs and tank tops."  sigh.

Hmmm...maybe I could photoshop some white flowing dresses onto my daughters....
 At the marketplace, I found even more colorful inspiration...
A random wall mural on a rather dingy and dirty street

I'm thinking scrapbook storage...for embellishments ??

Wish I had bought this colorful fellow for my kitchen window

Time to preserve those memories today...because according to this Mayan calendar, we don't have much time left!

Even the wrestling masks are small works of art

These decorative plates would brighten any kitchen wall..and make you smile everyday :)
 Even the food and drinks are colorful....
No explanation necessary

Blue margherita anyone?
 Here's the salad I made for my lunch today....
Two wilted cucumbers and some ICEBERG lettuce.  ICE  BERG.
 Honestly, after Mexico I had to brighten up my salad...so I added yellow peppers.  Not bad.
That's better.
 But it doesn't compare to my lunch in Mexico....everyday I enjoyed fresh tortilla chips and salsa...
I miss you SOOOO much :(
 And our final day ended perfectly with the most beautiful sunset over the ocean....

I haven't had time to scrapbook any photos from this vacation, but I decided to celebrate color today with a bright and happy layout of BabyOfTheFamily.  This is her back-to-school photo from September and it's also the first photo where she looks a little grown up...sniff sniff.  
I used the Three Bugs in a Rug collection "Ashtyn"
 I designed this page for the Winter 2011 issue of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine, for the Dymo Tape challenge.  Nothing fancy in terms of techniques....this Three Bugs collection practically designs by itself with all the wonderful die cut elements that match the papers beautifully.  

I also used Harmonie tiles bordering the yellow quotation strip and painted the Twiddleybitz chipboard fence with Silver Fox Smooch by ClearSnap.

The "Bloom" title is created with rub-on alpha letters.

Flowers are simply fussy cut from 3 Bugs Ashtyn patterned paper. I printed the journaling on the computer and cut into strips, adding several Dymo tape words.

This border is created with a Martha Stewart edge punch, then accented with Kaisercraft pink bling.
 Do you see those blue and orange stripes in BOF's hair?  Those are really sweet feather extensions...something to make her feel special and pretty going into Grade 6. 

I have to say that this is a much simpler layout than I usually make...but I'm in love with the colors in the design...and hope it has brightened your day too :)