PLEASE NOTE: I've moved! Feel free to continue following me via my new blog Embrace Serendipity.

**All tutorials & the majority of the posts from this blog have been moved over to my new blog**

Dec 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

Just taking a few moments to wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with much love, laughter, health & happiness alongside your loved ones.

Have a fabulous New Year as well filled with many blessings!

I'll be seeing you all in the New Year...

Dec 14, 2010

The Christmas Money Shot Layout

Happy Holidays fellow scrappers & bloggers! Tis the season right? Tis the season for stressing, Christmas pictures, Christmas cards, Christmas music, gift shopping & oh yes--stressing!

This layout is about one of my Christmas traditions which is the annual picture my husband, myself & Toby take in front of the Christmas tree for the holiday cards. As always it took about 24 tries in order to get that perfect shot. Basically the perfect shot is when all three of us are actually looking at the camera. Getting Toby to stare at the camera at the right moment is a task in itself. The three pictures in a row are just a few of the many 'no good' shots taken. The full colored picture is the Christmas Money Shot & it's the actual photo I used for this year's Christmas cards. The journaling tag is behind the title & the poinsettia embellishments. Journaling reads as follows: Every Christmas it's the same routine--two dozen or more pictures taken by the tree. An endless quest, a serach for the Holy Grail, hoping & dreaming that Toby will actually look at the camera at that exact moment the picture is taken. It's like winning the lotto when we finally get the perfect Christmas money shot!
I did a sort of 'staggered' lacing & once again have used eyelets on my page! Thank you Natasha for having me discover the wonderful world of eyelets *wink*. I distressed half of my page & then tucked a thin layer of multi-colored tinsel under the distressed border. This tinsel was from my own stash.

I mainly used the Swirlydoos December kit for this page. Only a few handmade embellishments are from my own stash.

An example of this are the transparent holiday ornaments seen on this page. For a tutorial on how these ornaments were made please go here.

Behind the ornaments I did some masking. I used a flourish mask from Layers of Color & used Forest Moss distress ink. The soft script print you see here was actually a stamp. I used gray ink instead of black because I wanted a subtle script displaying behind the masking & the ornaments.

The tinseled snowy frame seen in this closeup is also something new I tried in order to give my picture a unique holiday frame. If interested on a tutorial on this tinseled snowy frame please go here.

The Christmas butterflies are embellishments from my Etsy shop. If you like them, I made a few extra sets & are currently found in my shop. Feel free to drop by if interested!

Finally here's a closeup of the faux metal & acrylic poinsettia embellishment. I made a brief tutorial for this as well. If interested, please go here. I tucked both the journaling & my title behind this embellishment.

Thank you for stopping by & for visiting! I'm just so very happy that I was able to make a Christmas page in December & not in July which is how it usually works for me!

Stay warm...till my next post...

Faux Metal & Acrylic Poinsettia Tutorial

In this tutorial I'll be showing how I went about making the faux metal & acrylic poinsettia embellishment seen in 'The Christmas Money Shot' layout. I learned this technique from my local scrapbook store on a class I attended.

I completely improvised as I went along for this embellishment which is why I don't have a picture of my list of supplies. I kept adding & changing as I went. This is the list of supplies I finally ended up using: Sizzix die cut, aluminum foil, diamond dust, acrylic or transparency, sturdy scrap paper or grunge board, embossing folder, Big Shot or any other compatible die cut machine, brush, white acrylic paint, scissors, gold stamens or any other suitable item that you'd like to use for the center of the poinsettia, Staz-On black ink, foam pop up dots, glue stick & a partridge in a pear tree! Sorry, had to throw that in there--nix the partridge--whatever that is--I'm guessing it's some kind of bird? Let's get started before I get more sidetracked...

Cut out your layers of petals using the Sizzix die cut. I ended up using grunge board instead of sturdy cardstock for mine. I cut out 2 petals of each size--one from the grungeboard & one from the acrylic. I ended up using all layers except for the smallest petal cut out from acrylic.

Put your petals into an embossing folder with aluminum foil. NOTE: It's preferred that you use the heavy duty aluminum foil for this or else your foil will rip. If you do not have heavy duty aluminum foil, it's recommended that you fold your foil several times in order to thicken it. Technically with the pressure the Big Shot applies when embossing, the foil should simply stick to your die cuts. But I still added a bit of glue to my dies to be extra sure that the foil stays on my dies. Also make sure that when you place your dies in the folder that the foiled side will be the raised side of the embossed designs.

Run both the grungeboard & acrylic through your Big Shot & emboss them. You only need the foil on the grungeboard--not on the acrylic. This is what they'll look like afterwards.

Proceed to cut out the foiled petals with scissors.

Here's a picture of my petals after cutting them out.

Next you alcohol ink your petals. In this picture I have already done this. I used Currant & drops of Copper alcohol inks.

I wanted the embossed designs to show more on my petals so I took my StazOn Black ink & softly tapped on the raised embossed side of all my petals. Do not smear the ink on or you'll end up smearing your petals & then the embossed images will not stand out as much.

After inking my petals I felt that the acrylic petals didn't stand out enough against the foiled petals. So I decided to add some white acrylic paint all along the edges of my acrylic petals. With a brush I tapped or stippled on the white acrylic paint as shown in this picture.

Since I made this poinsettia for a holiday themed page--I decided to add some Diamond Dust to my acrylica petals as well to give it a snow effect. With a glue stick I ran a fine line along the edges of the acrylic petals & then dipped them into the Diamond Dust.

Now I was happy & felt that my acrylic petals will stand out against the foiled petals.

Next you shape & mold your petals. I bent all the acrylic petals up at the base. I bent the foiled petals both up at the base of each petal & then curled the tip of the petals down.

Once the petals are shaped, it's time to start putting your flower together. Pardon my messy painted & inked fingers--as you can see I get down & dirty when I scrap!

I put two to three foam pop up dots between each layer of my poinsettia to give it more dimension. I alternated each layer as I went between foiled petals & acrylic. I also made sure that each petal on my top layer fell in between two petals from the bottom layer.

Finally, I took my top two smallest layers, punched a hole in the center of each one & slid my gold stamens into the center of the flower.

Adhere your top layer & you're done! Just 'fluff up' your flower when done because you tend to flatten your flower as you adhere your layers.

My scrap buddy Natasha who attended this class with me has a very good tutorial on her blog on how to use this faux metal technique with letters in order to make some very attractive & unique titles--feel free to visit her tutorial here.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial & as always thank you for your visit!

Till my next post...

Snowy Tinseled Frame Tutorial

Hello again fellow scrappers! In this tutorial I'll be showing how I went about making the snowy tinseled frame seen in 'The Christmas Money Shot' page.

My goal was to make the effect of an 'icy' snowed in frame. I'm just glad I finally got to use one of those Martha Stewart tinsels that I've had in my stash since about forever!

Here are your basic list of supplies: Two sided tape (I use the Sookwang brand tape that came with my Scor-Pal, it is 1/4" of an inch wide), Diamond Dust, tinsel, brush & snow texture (if you don't have snow texture, white acrylic paint will work as well).
Start by adhering the two sided tape along the border of your picture. Do not flush the tape against the edge--leave a very fine border. This is so that the tinsel will peek out from behind the diamond dust & snow giving the frame a more defined look.

As you can see, I left a very fine border around the entire frame.

Start peeling the paper off the tape & dipping each sticky side into the tinsel. Thoroughly rub each side into the tinsel in order to ensure that the entire sticky tape is covered in tinsel.

Here's the first layer of the frame. Next we apply the Diamond Dust. If you prefer you don't have to proceed further! If you like a simple tinseled border--then you can stop here.

You will re-apply the two-sided sticky tape ontop of the tinsel. This time, the tape will be flush against the edges.

Peel off the paper & start dipping your frame into the Diamond Dust. Just like the tinsel, make sure you completely cover the sticky tape with the Diamond Dust. I used my fingers to 'rub' the Diamond Dust into the sticky tape.

This is what your frame will look like after the second layer is applied. Now for the third layer which is the snow. Once again--if you like the frame this way--then you're done!

A close-up of the snowy-tinsel border. Notice how the tinsel peeks just right from underneath the 'snow'.

With a brush, 'tap' or stipple the snow or the white acrylic paint all along the edge of your frame.

Now you're done! You can apply this technique to any picture, journaling block etc...your only limit is your imagination!

Till my next post...

Holiday Ornaments Tutorial

This tutorial shows how I went about making the holiday ornaments seen in 'The Christmas Money Shot' layout.

The Bo Bunny Noel Christmas line has a few patterned papers with Christmas ornaments printed on them. I didn't want to ruin the patterned paper & I also wanted the ornaments to be transparent so that the flourish I had masked underneath would show through the ornaments. So cutting the ornaments from the paper wouldn't have worked for me. So I decided to attempt to make my own ornaments with transparencies & alcohol inks. This is the result!

Basic supplies needed for the ornaments are: transparencies or acrylic, gold, silver, bronze etc...embossing powder (color all depends on how you want the ornaments to look) embossing ink, alcohol inks (I used Currant & Copper alcohol inks for my ornaments), circle template, die or punch & your choice of stamps.

I cut the acrylic into circles. I inked my alcohol ink applicator with primarily Currant ink & just a few dabs of Copper. I then proceeded to 'tap' the alcohol ink onto my transparency circles. I kept the inking light because I wanted the designs behind the ornaments to show through. If by some reason you make the ornaments too dark just remember to add a few drops of the Blending Solution to lighten the ink.

Notice how in this picture I had Gold Stickles as well on my list of supplies. I didn't end up using them. This happens to me all the time. I improvise as I go.

Here are my ornaments all inked up & ready to be embossed.

I have a flourish stamp set by See D's that were perfect to create the flourishes on my ornaments. I inked the stamp with embossing ink--stamped the flourish on my acrylic & heat embossed the flourish with gold embossing powder. Remember to emboss slowly & at a distance. If you get too close to the transparency, it'll warp. Also remember that you're stamping on transparency/acrylic. This surface is non-pourous & can get slippery. If you apply too much pressure when stamping you may slip & fudge your design--I made did this mistake several times...

Here are my ornaments--ready to be displayed.

Hope you found this tutorial helpful & as always thank you for stopping by!

Till my next post...

Nov 30, 2010

My Little Pirate Layout

Hello once again fellow scrappers & bloggers--believe it or not I'm back! Life has been very hectic for me lately & it seems that I cannot find the time to do anything anymore. However a true scrapper will 'make' time to at least get one layout done in the month. So here I am with my November page--a Halloween layout of my little Toby dressed as a pirate! Halloween layouts practically in December--yep, for me--this is pretty much right on time. Keep an eye out in July of 2011 for my Christmas pages!

My little fur boy looks like a real person in these pictures doesn't he? By the way, that second picture where he's serious was pretty much at the end of the photo shoot when he was getting tired of 'posing' for pictures. That's his 'Ok, I'm done now' look...believe me, I've seen it a lot so I recognize it instantly!

I did several techniques in this layout beginning with the entire night sky with the flying witch in front of the full moon. That entire scene was alcohol inked & stamped. For a brief tutorial on how I went about doing this, please go here.

The title is held in a Tim Holtz ornate plate. I inked around the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink & then filled the plate face with Glossy Accents. When the glaze dries it creates a dimensional enamel effect.

This entire part of the layout was inspired by my scrap buddy Natasha. As far as I'm concerned, this girl has brought eyelets back in style & has inspired me to be more creative with lacing. This is my first time using eyelets & I have to say that I'm now wondering what took me so long? I did this one technique & I'm now a proud owner of a Big Bite (thank you Natasha for the tip!). I wanted the lacing to give the impression that it was a cobweb made by my stamped fancy spider--so I named it the 'spider lacing' technique. Yes, I'm known for my originality. :-Þ For a tutorial on this lacing technique, please go here.

The spider & spider web stamp are by Inkadinkado.
A close-up of the alcohol inked night scene. For a tutorial on how I put this scene together--please go here.

Stamps used here are by Inkadinkado & Stampscapes.

The corrugated cardboard went through many inking & misting phases. All the edges--especially the top edge--was heavily inked with Walnut Stain distress ink. The entire cardboard was misted with Suede glimmer mist & Olive Smooch. I then ran the corrugated cardboard through my Big Shot to get that die cut border. I used Tim Holtz' Scrollwork die for the border.

The brick wall scene behind the pictures is actually a transparency that I stamped with Staz-On & a brick wall stamp. Remember that for stamping on transparencies or any non-pourous surface you need a permanent ink. Staz-On is one of the best permanent ink pads out there. I used lavender crackle paint to go around the edges of the pictures & give them a 'crackle' frame.

Using a Martha Stewart bat punch I punched out several bats, inked thier upper wings with Diamond Stickles, bent thier wings up & adhered them with pop dots to give them dimension. I wanted to give the illusion that the bats were flying out from the lacing I did on the layout.

Well, there you have it. Thanks for stopping by & all comments are very much appreciated!

Till my next post...

Spider Lacing Tutorial

This tutorial will show how I went about making the 'spider lacing' seen in my 'My Little Pirate' layout. As always, I'm sure a talented scrapper out there has done this already but this just shows how I went about getting this lacing done. I named this lacing 'spider lacing' because I was making a Halloween themed layout & wanted the lacing to have kind of a 'cobweb' look to it--that's about the extent to my reasoning behind the name!?
You can space your holes in any way--although I tend to keep mine no more than 1" inch to 1 1/4" inches apart. You can also take all the measurement guess work out of the way by simply using a border punch to get the holes all evenly spaced out. For this layout I used Martha Stewarts Scallop Dot punch. I then inserted black eyelets into the holes with my Crop-a-dile.

Step 1: Start by stringing your ribbon or twine straight across in the 2nd from last holes at the bottom.

Step 2: Take your string straight down & insert into the last set of holes.

Step 3: Bring your string up & criss cross them. Have the ends emerge from underneath the next empty set of holes.

Step 4: Bring your string straight down & loop it underneath the existing lacing in the next lower set of holes. Make sure you do this on both sides.

Step 5: Once you've looped your string on both sides, you're back to step 3 again. Bring your strings up, criss cross them & have them emerge from the next set of empty holes. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until your lacing is complete.

Here you have it! One spider lacing complete.

Hope you enjoyed this brief lacing tutorial.

Till my next post...

Alcohol Inked Scene Tutorial

Hello once again! In this brief tutorial I'll be showing how I went about creating the alcohol inked witch night scene found in my 'My Little Pirate' layout. The same technique I used here can be used to create any alcohol inked scene--just let your imagination be your guide! So let's get started...

Here is a basic list of supplies needed: Alcohol inks, Alcohol Blending Solution, white glossy cardstock, stamps, heat gun, embossing ink pad & embossing powder. Make sure the paper you're using is glossy. Alcohol inks are meant for non-pourous surfaces. Glossy cardstock is non-pourous & works like a charm with alcohol inks.
Prior to stamping your main background try & test out your alcohol inks on any glossy scrap paper you may have on hand. As you can see here, I tried a variety of color combinations in order to come up with the right color I was looking for the night sky. I ended up using Purple Twilight & Wild Plum for the sky with Butterscotch & Sunshine Yellow for the moon.

I cut glossy cardstock to be 10" inches wide by 4" inches high. I then started applying the alcohol ink by using the standard 'pouncing' method with the alcohol ink applier. The beautiful part about alcohol inks is that you can not go wrong with them. You can apply the inks in any motion--pouncing, swirling, all works! If the color comes out too dark (as was my case when I finished the night sky) add a few drops of the blending solution to the applier & went over the scene again. The blending solution will lighten any colors. If you want the colors to be darker...just add another layer of the same colors. It's as simple as that.

I next cut out a 4" inch circle from the glossy cardstock & made the moon with the same technique used in making the sky. I pounced away until I was satisfied with how the moon looked. The other good thing about alcohol inks is that they dry quickly. So no waiting for inks to dry.
Next step is to stamp your images. Ink your stamp in embossing ink & stamp your image where you wish it to be. In my case, I wanted the witch to be flying in front of the moon. Since you're stamping on glossy cardstock make sure you keep a steady hand or else your stamp may slip & fudge your image. Glossy cardstock tends to be slippier than regular cardstock b/c of it's texture. Once your image is stamped pour some embossing powder over it & heat emboss it. I used black embossing powder for this image.

As you can see embossing on glossy cardstock gives the images a completely different look than embossing on regular cardstock. You get this shiny, dimensional look that I really like! At this point all you're doing is stamping & embossing any other stamps you need for your scene. In my case it was a variety of trees & tree branches that gave the scene that spooky night look I was looking for.

Here you have it! I stamped trees all along the bottom & a couple of branches in the upper corners. Then I adhered the moon with pop dots in order to give it more of a 3D look.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial & that you use this technique to create a variety of alcohol inked scenes.

Till my next post...