Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Practical Scrappers - Two Posts in One Day!

Do you ever look at a layout as you are working on it and know it is going to be a favorite? Well, that's exactly how I felt about this one that I created for Practical Scrappers!

First, I love the picture. Yes, those are my legs and feet that I photographed with my iPhone last summer while I was being blissfully lazy on my back porch. Just looking at it brings back memories of that wonderful afternoon of doing nothing. Second, the colors on the papers (part of the MME Miss Caroline Collection)are so bright and vivid, and they compliment each other perfectly! Third, the banner that I downloaded and used from the Silhouette online STORE turned out so well - it was juuuussst the right thing for my title. Don't you agree?

Now, the object of the game over at Practical Scrappers today was to use one or more tags on our layouts. And, believe me, the other PS Gals did a fabulous job! To see their layouts and get wonderful inspiration, check out today's Practical Scrappers post HERE.

For my tag, I used a Silhouette file by Lori Whitlock (of course). I really liked how the tag was layered because it allowed me to add journaling while ensuring that the pretty patterned papers showed around the edges. I added some wonderful rub-ons, a couple of red buttons, and some chipboard butterflies to make a nice little cluster around my tag.

The inspiration for my layout came from this great MME sketch found over at their BLOG.

Lori Whitlock Shadow Box

Did you know that, in addition to Lori Whitlock's wonderful two-dimensional cutting files such as her Project Life cards and create a mini-album files, she also makes fantastic 3-D files such as this wonderful SHADOW BOX? And, just to make sure your crafty experience is fun and easy, Lori has an easy-to-follow tutorial posted HERE to help you put your shadow box together. Was it time consuming to make? A little. Was it easy to make? Yes (after watching the tutorial). Do I like the results? I absolutely love them!

I made my shadow box for my sweet nephew's parents, using a few of his first professional photographs and the Charming papers from Echo Park's This & That Collection. I also used the "Enjoy Every Moment" Phrase and Banner Set from Lori's STORE.

One thing I really enjoy about this shadow box is that the trays are nice and deep - allowing you the option of placing actual objects inside them. The Shadow Box is quite sturdy, too, after it is fully assembled so you can use objects that have some weight to them without fear of damaging it.

Look! I used the "wood" patterned paper for the outside frame of my shadow box.

And here is the top with a simple twine hanger. Don't worry, there is an extra cut of paper attached under the top of the frame to help "reinforce" your shadow box if you decide to hang it.

That's it for now, but be sure to check back next week for another fun-filled Blog Hop! Details to come!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I love to play with Authentique

This weekend, I had the opportunity to play along with Authentique's March Sketch Challenge, which can be found HERE. I LOVE Authentique's lines of papers, and I also love the simple sketches they have been posting each month on their blog as they give you the basic layout and allow your imagination to take over from there.

I used a picture taken of my sweet little nephew being held by his proud daddy, who just happens to be my baby brother. The name "Authentique" of course, means "authentic" and that made me think of my brother because that is exactly what he is! Plus, I really like the picture and would have found just about any excuse to use it. *smile*

I had left-over bits and pieces of blue from another layout that I decided to use on this one. I like the small pop of a cooler color.

For my banner, I hand cut circles out of my paper and mounted them on twine.

And I can't seem to get enough of layering these "rulers" ---

That's it for tonight, but be sure to stay tuned; I have both Lori Whitlock and Practical Scrappers projects coming up later this week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Working with my First Sketch

For those of you who have been following along, last weekend I created my first sketch. But what good is a sketch if you don't use it, right? Right! So, when I saw a challenge over at LCOM's Scrapping with the Stars Challenge that required me to create a layout using at least three pictures...and my sketch was designed for three pictures...I took it as a sign that it was TIME!!!

I also had to use only patterned papers, lots of embellies, and handwritten journaling. So, with those parameters in mind, I came up with this:

These pictures were taken last summer when we took my Uncle Johnny and Aunt Lucinda to Kemah for the day when they visited us. It was a really fun day-trip, despite the fact that it seemed to be a billion degrees outside. So to keep our fair skin from getting burned, we all made sure we wore our hats. (Actually, the Huntress and I were trying to keep our fair skin from getting burned; Hubby just wore a hat because he knew it looked good on him!)

I used wonderful Authentique papers that came with my BIRDS OF A FEATHER March Kit. I am really loving the weight, texture and, most of all, patterns on Authentique's paper. To think, this time last year, I didn't even know who they were and now they are quickly becoming one of my favorite paper lines!

Of course, what's a layout without layers and clusters...

Another small cluster at the top and a pretty butterfly layered over one printed on my paper for a shadowed effect.

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but Spring had definitely arrived here in Texas. I plan to be outside as much as possible with my camera in tow - taking as many pictures as I can of whatever I can before I get the stink-eye from my kid or a random neighbor. And when I absolutely must come in, I am sure I will be getting as crafty as possible this weekend!

Here's hoping a sunny, crafty weekend is in store for you, too!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let's Capture These Sketches and a First for Me!

Guess what? It's that time again - a new sketch over at LCOM!!! It's a great one by Natalie Roy and can be found HERE, along with wonderful layout ideas by the other LCOM sketch design team members!

I used some fabulous October Afternoon papers from the Farmhouse Collection on my layout that I recently purchased from the LCOM STORE.

I love the pack of ephemera included with the Farmhouse collection!

I also loved the banner paper. I HAD to fussy cut the images and sew them onto my layout, using two different types of stitches (straight and zig zag).

And now....onto the first for me. Last night, I was supposed to be working on a layout, but I couldn't find the right pictures to use. So, instead I ended up playing on my computer and on Photoshop. And...I very first....

SKETCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!! Here it is.

What do you think? Is it okay, considering it's a first attempt (and my knowledge of Photoshop is rudimentary at best)? I would love your feedback! And, if you decide to use it to make your own layout, it would make my week if you shared a link!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Playing with LCOM - my Favorite Sketch Site

I love hanging out over at the Let's Capture Our Memories SITE SO MUCH. Part of the reason is because they have fantastic sketches, including the newest one created by JJ Sobey, found HERE. And with the rainy weather this past weekend, it was the perfect time to create my own layout using JJ's sketch.

I used Echo Park's Charming papers from the This & That Collection (designed by Lori Whitlock, of course!

A couple of close-ups - the first with the layering and clusters I love:

...and the second close-up, just because it is a close-up of my son - with his eyes closed - because he has NEVER been able to keep his eyes open when he has his picture taken outside. I love it, and I love him. And it makes me smile every time I see one of these pictures! So, a close-up to the wonderful, real-life imperfection that is my sweet boy!

One last thing - did you know that LCOM has expanded its forum? It's still got the same wonderful women chatting and sharing their creative work and stories, but there are lots of fun new challenges! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up! Log on! And have fun!!!

Until next time...

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Lori Whitlock Mini-Album

I seriously have this crazy obsession with mini-albums. I cannot get enough of them! So, when I saw Lori Whitlock's Build an Album Set in her STORE, I started doing a happy dance. I LOVE all the different shapes that are included; in fact, I loved them so much that my mini-album ended up being HUGE. Why? Because I just had to had to had to use each of the different shapes. That's right, I HAD to. Combine that "need" with all of the adorable professional photos my youngest daughter recently had taken, and I had twelve pages done before common sense took over and forced me to stop!

Lori also has these wonderful 3x4 NUMBER CARDS, which inspired the theme of my mini-album. I decided to list twelve attributes, or things, about my baby girl that I love. I used Echo Park's Graceful papers from the This and That Collection (designed by Lori, of course), which is full of wonderful phrases (among other things). I also used some fantastic PHRASES from Lori's Store, including the "For the Record" phrase on my album's cover.

Here's how the pages turned out:

I love how the different shaped pages look mixed together in my album, don't you?

A little close-up - I had a lot of fun cutting out the flash cards included with the EP Graceful papers and using them in my album:

Journaling cards in pockets are a must for me!

Another page with a different shape:

And more pockets with cards and pictures tucked inside...

Last page...the library card folder is also created by Lori. It's just right for a little love note I included to my daughter.

Have you made a mini-album? If not, I highly encourage you to give it a try. They are perfect gifts - either for someone you love or just for yourself!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Sketch at the End of the Blog Hop

If you made it all the way through the Practical Scrappers Blog Hop this past weekend, you saw Liz Qualman's fantastic sketch featured on her BLOG! Of course, there was no way I could NOT create a layout made from it - even if I didn't follow the sketch exactly.

I had some wonderful papers from Echo Park's This & That Collection - designed by the amazingly talented LORI WHITLOCK (who also happens to design many of the Silhouette cutting files I often use)!

I love these EP papers because they are filled with wonderful shapes, images, and phrases that I can add to my layouts - layered and pop-dotted, of course - just the way I like them!

I distressed my papers to my heart's content, and I decided to give my sewing a "messy" look. My grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave at my complete disregard for straight, neat stitches; but I quite like the way it turned out.

Now, you didn't think I had forgotten about my little RAK that I was giving away, did you? I went to Random.Org since my daughter, who is my official pull-the-random-number-out-of-a-brown-paper-bag person, is at dance class. Random.Org generated the number 16, and the 16th person who left a comment was....RACHELLE, who said, "Now following your blog. Love your LO! Love the design and bellies. All your projects are beautiful. Time to hop along." Rachelle, if you will email me your home address (at, I will get my RAK in the mail to you this week.

I want to thank each and every one of you who left such sweet, inspiring comments. They meant more to me than you will ever know. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Link with Love Blog Hop

Welcome to the Practical Scrappers "Linking with Love" Blog Hop! What is this Blog Hop about, you ask? Well, we believe it is important to always give credit when it is due to another crafter. So, for our Linking with Love Hop, we have all used the same inspiration piece to create a project, giving it our own touch. Then, we are showing you how we "Link with Love" and credit our inspiration. We'll be running the hop thru Noon EST on Sunday - so you have plenty of time to Hop through everyone's blog - from beginning to end!

LIZ QUALMAN created this beautiful layout, which we have all used for inspiration.

Each of us will tell what part we took our inspiration from, and the whole hop will culminate at Liz's blog where she'll provide us with a new sketch for even more inspiration. If you have seen my Pinterest CRAFTY IDEAS BOARD, you know that Liz Qualman's Sketches (and layouts) are a favorite of mine when I need some inspiration, so you can see why I was so eager to "hop" on board (sorry - I couldn't resist)this particular endeavor!

Many of the designers (including me!) are providing prizes at their stop and Practical Scrappers is providing a prize for one person who becomes a follower at each stop (for all the details head over to Practical Scrappers).

Now you should have arrived here from DONNA BRYANT'S BLOG

If you are just checking in, I would love for you to play along. It's easy, simply start at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS!

Ready to see how Liz Qualman inspired my layout? Here you go...

I used the latest SKETCH from Let's Capture These Sketches as a starting point. I loved the way Liz used circles as a border, and I also really liked her butterfly "trail" that she created. However, instead of circles, I decided to use the hexagonal shapes on my EP Follow Your Heart patterned paper. And instead of a butterfly with a trail, I used a kite with a twine kite string. My hexagons and kite are certainly different than Liz's circles and butterfly - but they directly INSPIRED my design, so I'm giving credit!

Now, it just so happens that as I was looking through my stash, I realized I had TWO 8x8 pads of October's Afternoon's 5 & Dime Collection as well as TWO 6x6 pads of Jillibean Soup's Homemade 6 Bean Soup. I would love to share one of each with you.

What do you need to do? Become a follower and leave a comment. It's as simple as that! I will randomly choose a winner on Monday evening so be sure to check back!

Your next stop on this Blog Hop is my good friend LIZ CHIDESTER. I just love her work, and I know you are going to, too!

Happy Blog Hopping!