Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Theme and Un-Theme with October Afternoon

Last week, October Afternoon posted a challenge on its blog to use one of its lines two ways: make a project that follows the theme of that line and make another project with the same line that does not follow the theme. OA dubbed this challenge: theme/un-theme and I decided to play along.
I was so excited this past Christmas when October Afternoon surprised us and came out with a holiday line. Yay! I bought it right up! I love Christmas and I love OA, so it worked out perfectly.

One of my favorite things about October Afternoon is that the B sides of the paper are so versatile. As much as I love the A sides, I confess that I use the B sides a lot. And the un-themed B sides of Holiday Style were perfect for this challenge.

For the theme/un-theme challenge, I used the A sides of Holiday Style to make a Christmas card and the B sides of the same line to make a Valentine card, repeating the stripe paper on both cards.

To make the Santa card, I layered 2 sheets of patterned paper together to make a card front, then added a strip of Holiday Style trim and a chipboard button along the bottom. I used a journaling card in the upper right to add a pop of color, then added the Santa icon from the Miscellany pack on top.

To make the Valentine, I hand-drew a dragonfly shape on cardstock, then covered it with patterned paper. To make the antennae, I stiffened twine with a glue gel medium and wrapped the twine around a pencil to get the curlicue shape.

Want to play along?  You can find out more about October Afternoon's theme/un-theme challenge on its blog here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Goodnight Moon

All parents know: there’s a universal joy in photos of sleeping children. Sure, the kids look sweet and peaceful, but part of that appeal, I suspect, is relief that they are asleep! Or at least this mom confesses to feeling that way.

My son is almost three now and we’re smack dab in never-ending “why” questions, occasional potty training accidents and a constant barrage of go go go go and me me me. He’s wonderful, he really is, and I love him so, but, oh, there is a certain calmness that descends upon the house when he’s asleep. Sigh.

Like many families, we read a story or two (or three) at bedtime. We have many favorites that we circulate, but Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon often seems to muscle its way into the lineup. The book's quiet, rhythmic poetry is the perfect way to end the day.

To scrapbook this photo of my sleeping child, I wanted to incorporate a big crescent moon as the focal point. I hand-drew a moon on a cereal box, then painted the cardboard a pale yellow, adding a little face, a button cheek and a patterned paper nightcap.

I used Webster's Pages Winter Fairy Tales collection for this page. It's the perfect theme and the yellows and greens in this line matched my son's blanket. I arranged the paper so that the script, "Once Upon A Time," would show in the upper corner, then layered a few bits and pieces together.

I added a bit of stitching and a journaling spot to complete the page. The alphas are Cosmo Cricket and the chipboard house is Maya Road.

And now for our winner from Tuesday's giveaway from Graphic45 and 7Gypsies.  I used random.org and #4 was the lucky number:

The fourth comment was from Julie Tucker-Wolek.  Congratulations, Julie.  Please email me your addy and I'll get your prize in the mail to you right away.   Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Card, A Trifecta and A Giveaway

Even though my Guest Designer gig with Little Yellow Bicycle has ended, I can't seem to put away the Paradise collection LYB sent me.  In particular, these 6x6 decorative edge papers were calling my name:

I thought the scallop circle would make a perfect card front, so I got out my Martha Stewart Circle Cutter and made a card base from white cardstock.

I attached the LYB scallop circle to the card base, then added a doily, a phrase sticker, a chipboard bird, a leaf and flower to make the card.   All but the doily were part of the Paradise collection. The quote is from Audrey Hepburn.  I thought this would make a fun birthday card with the inside sentiment,"Happy Birthday, pretty girl."  Little Yellow Bicycle has been so good to me and featured this card on its blog here.

Next, I hope you will indulge me as I squeee just a little.  I made it a goal last year to get published and on stands now, I have a scrapbooking trifecta: layouts in three major scrapbooking magazines all at once.  I have baby layouts in Scrapbooks Etc, Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbook Trends.  Plus, I also have an additional layout in Creating Keepsakes, a heritage page about my mom as a young girl.

I will confess that I had a great big goofy smile plastered on my face at Hobby Lobby the other day as I stared at the covers of all three of these magazines on the spinning rack, knowing I had something inside each one.

So, what do you say? Let's do a little giveaway!  How about an 8x8 Graphic45 pad, G45 metal buttons and some 7Gypsies hardware and rub-ons.  To enter, follow my blog and leave a comment.  Comments will remain open until 9 pm EST on Thursday (2/23/2012) and I'll post the winner on my blog on Friday using random.org.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winter Cards

Although it's sunny today and near 70 here in North Carolina, the calendar tells me it's winter.  I'm not sure if we'll have snow this year or even weather cold enough to lend itself to winter layouts.  So I thought I'd make some cold weather themed cards instead.

I am crazy about the Pink Paislee Snow Day line. It's the cutest collection and looks even better in person.  I recently used some of the Snow Day paper on a beach-themed layout and it worked perfectly.  I considered using this paper for a Valentine with the sentiment, "you warm my heart," but then decided to use it as intended - for winter.

The sentiment, "warmth and winter wishes" is from a Unity Stamp Itty Bitty co-branded with My Little Shoebox.  I love the Itty Bitty stamps. They're just right for card-making. The journaling block is Jillibean Soup and the chipboard mittens are Cosmo Cricket.

To shape the twine into a heart, I rubbed a bit of gel glue on a length of twine and while the twine was still wet, I shaped it into a heart.  It dried stiffly in just a few minutes.

For my next card, I used Crate Paper's Peppermint collection. I love all the cards I've seen popping up that use the negative from a punch or die cut and I wanted to try my hand at that. 

I used large and small snowflake punches on teal cardstock, then cut the cardstock to make a card front, affixing it on top of cream patterned paper, and stitching in white around the edges. It's a fun and easy way to make a card.    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I don’t know what it is about Valentines but I find them ridiculously appealing. They just make me smile. Their sentiments may be short and sweet, corny and silly, or mushy and romantic. I love them all. I like to make all kinds and receive all kinds. Especially when they come with chocolate!

For my first card, I made a traditional Valentine.

I used Echo Park Paper, the new Yours Truly with a mix of some older lines. I love the way that it's so easy to mix and match the colors of EP's collections. The little tag at the bottom is a printable from 2Peas that I inked to match the card.

For my second card, I went playful.

I used the B sides of October Afternoon's Holiday Style collection.  I love B sides!  They're so versatile.  To make the card, I hand-cut the dragonfly shape, stitched the edges and added a journaling spot for the sentiment.  To make the antennae, I put gel glue (Claudine Hellmuth's multi medium matte) on a length of twine and while the glue was still wet, I wrapped the twine around a pencil until it dried.  When I peeled the twine off the pencil, the twine retained its curly shape.

A very happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Home Décor Project with Little Yellow Bicycle

I've had the best time these last four weeks as a guest designer for Little Yellow Bicycle.  The Paradise collection has been right up my alley. I love the neutrals of this line. They just go with everything and really pop against a contrast color.

As I was looking at the patterns in the collection this week, it occurred to me that this line would look great framed in my house.  So that's exactly what I did: made a Paradise project and framed it.

To make this project, I gathered my favorite Paradise papers (um, all of them) and used a 2-inch square punch to punch out 30 squares. I laid them on an 8x10 piece of cream cardstock to form a grid: 5 down and 6 across.
I lightly tacked them down, then sewed across each row and down each column with a hot pink thread to pick up the magenta in the patterns and to add a pop of color.

The Paradise embellishments have so many fun quips and meaningful quotes. I decided to use this quote from the Tear-Out Tickets as the focal point of my home décor project: “Each day holds the possibilities for great opportunities and hidden joy.”

I love the meaning behind this expression: that each day is a fresh start, brimming with the possibility of good things.  It makes me happy just to think of that!   I also like the end of the quote about the “hidden joy.”  I don’t normally think of joy as hidden and I like this reminder that sometimes you have to look to find the joy.  That is true about life.  Sometimes we have to look and it’s good to be reminded.
So armed with this terrific quote, I set out to spotlight it. I stitched around the edges with teal thread, then embellished it with chipboard and cardstock stickers, and placed it on my grid. 

I had a nice brown frame with a thick 8x10 mat on our bookshelf, so I hijacked it for this project. By removing the thick mat, I had plenty of room under the glass for the chipboard embellies. I popped the quilted mat into the frame and added a sweet little birdie to the lower right corner.

I want to close this post by sending out a big, heartfelt thank you to Liz Qualman and the Little Yellow Bicycle crew. You were so generous to me and supportive of me and I thoroughly enjoyed my stint as the Guest Designer. I also want to send a big thank you to my blog readers, followers and commenters. You warm my heart.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cards from Color Combinations

Two sites that I love and often visit for challenges and inspiration are Two Peas in a Bucket and Birds of a Feather Kit Co.  Both had color challenges this past weekend and I played along.

Birds of a Feather posted this photo for its color challenge:

I love yellow, orange and pink together, but this isn't a combination I often use on layouts.  One of the perils of being a mom to a boy.....But I thought I could easily work this combination into a card.

I added a bit of blue to ground the card a bit.  Papers are Echo Park. Chipboard is October Afternoon.  Twine is from The Twinery.

The challege at Two Peas this weekend was to pull together these colors into a project:

I thought this was a really fun color combination:  sherbert-y brights and a deep black. For a challenge with this many colors, I decided simple would be best. I modeled my design from several projects I've seen with butterflies sewn down a column. Love that look. Laura Bassen, in particular, made a sweet card similar to this that I saw on Pinterest.

I posted my take on this color combo on Sunday, using a Martha Stewart butterfly punch, papers from various Cosmo Cricket collections and a bit of stitching:

A happy surprise awaited me yesterday at Two Peas.  Of the 658 projects uploaded to Two Peas in the last 24 hours, the butterfly card was the voted as the most liked.

The card also made the top three most bookmarked projects:
 Sometimes, it really pays to go simple!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentines with the LYB Paradise Collection

I love finding versatile paper lines and I'm having the best time guest designing with Little Yellow Bicycle's Paradise collection.  This line is perfect for almost anything.  Paradise is mainly blues and greens and browns, but it also has a fun pop of hot pink.  Since Valentine's Day is right upon us, I thought it would be fun to make love-themed cards with this collection.

Plaid About You:

I’m just mad for plaid, especially for the warm colors in this line. It’s the perfect backdrop for a card for any occasion. Since I was making a Valentine, I paired the plaid with the line's pretty Magenta Morning patterned paper. I stitched the two together and attached the front panel to a dark chocolate cardstock base.

I used a tear-out ticket as the spot for my sentiment, adding a decorative chipboard element above and below. To finish the card, I added alphas then a little fabric bird and heart from the collection.  Isn't that birdie sweet?

You Are The One:

For my second card, I used a teal and olive patterned paper that's aptly named, Splendid Stripe. Splendid, indeed. It's is one of my favorites of this collection. I just love the way it pops against the hot pink.

For the sentiment, I again used alphas on a  tear-out ticket. Those tickets are so fun and easy to use!  I hand-cut a heart from the Magenta Morning patterned paper then used one of the 5 Things Envelopes to complete the sentiment. These envelopes are so cute. They each have a tiny ledger inside to write a little love note, if desired. The perfect touch for a Valentine, don’t you think?

Now for the winner from last Friday:  Thanks so much for your comments on Paradise medley album last Friday.  Little Yellow Bicycle sent me an extra album for me to give away on my blog.  I had 67 comments and used random.org to select the winner.

Congratulations, Sharon.  You were lucky #13!  Please email me your name and address. My contact information is on the sidebar and I'll get the medley album right out to you.

The Little Yellow Bicycle blog has lots of terrific projects using the Paradise line and the other new collections they debuted this week at CHA.  Be sure to check them out here.
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