Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Burlap anyone?? Come Off the Page With Me.

It is becoming the trend to use some more natural materials and fibers on the different crafting projects being created. I love the look of canvas, burlap, linen etc. used on a layout. It adds a different textural element to the page. Today I went off the page though and am sharing a fun little gift I made for a Secret Sister swap that I was part of in February. I have met an amazing group of gals through an online forum I take part in and have quickly made friends from both here in the US and even as far as Jamaica. When I first got my sister's name I panicked because this girl has talent! She amazes me with her creativity and is constantly sharing layouts or projects that make my jaw drop. Talk about pressure! So off to Pinterest I went and started looking for some burlap projects because I know that Rebecca has a thing for burlap. This is the idea I came up with after looking around and seeing different ideas displayed. I don't have a specific pin that inspired me because I kind of took the best of several ideas and then began creating on my own.

I started with a wood plaque from Hobby Lobby (gotta love that place!) and found a wooden initial R. After grabbing some paint (black, bright blue and some bright green because I know how much she loves those colors)  and stopping by the material counter to have some burlap cut for me I headed home and began creating. I started by painting the wood pieces all black. Then I took a dry brush and swiped some blue over the black background. I used a little sanding paper to add some of the distressed look. I wasn't sure how I was going to attach the burlap but I ended up using some craft glue behind where the R would be and also added some behind the metal brads (backs cut off) that I used in each of the corners. Knowing Rebecca is a flower girl to the core, I had to finish off with a couple of flowers in her colors to tie the project together and finish it off. I had so much fun creating this gift for my online buddy. Amazing how the Internet brings a whole new world of friends to our doorstep that we would otherwise never know.

This project is also up on the Practical Scrappers blog as part of the Ten Things Tuesday post. There you will find 10 different ways to add the texture of burlap to your page and 3 bonus projects from some guest designers. Come have a look at some awesome ideas and then add a project of your own to the blog. We'd love to see what you create.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Feeling Behind!

Wow! I am really feeling behind the ball this week. I have been waiting and waiting for insurance approval for a trial  of a spinal cord implant. Then last Monday evening the doctor's office called and said they had just received the approval and would like to do the surgery on Wednesday. We have waited so long for this procedure that we decided to jump in. Sooo... I am at the tail end of the trial and feeling pretty good. I will have the wires and leads removed tomorrow and we will make the final decision on going forward with the permanent implant. The purpose is for helping to reduce pain I've been having for several years now due to nerve damage done during surgery on both of my feet. Praying this is the answer.

Anyway. I was talking about being behind. Last Saturday a new drill went up on the S.W.A.T blog. This one challenged us to double down and show our skills on a two page sketch created by our very own design team member Janessa. The sketch was fabulous to work with and we all know that I am a double page layout lover so this was right up my alley. I had some pictures from the Wray Days parade several years ago. It's funny to look at these pictures because we are usually overheated, sweating and miserable since this weekend is at the end of July. For some odd reason the weather was off this year and we were miserably cold instead. Since we had travelled thinking warm summer weather we had nothing warm to wear the entire weekend and had to go to the good ol' local Alco to grab whatever warm gear they had. Amazingly they had sweat outfits that actually fit the boys. Anyway, despite the cold weather the boys had their fun collecting lots of candy as usual :)

Here is the sketch we worked with:

And here is my take:

The Simple Stories Urban Traveler collection was a perfect color combo and fun line to use for the parade. I was lucky to have picked some up the last time I was in Archivers. I also used some My Mind's Eye Washi and burlap Thickers.

Head over and try your hand at the  sketch. Even if doubles aren't your usual thing it's good to stretch yourself once in awhile and it's easier than you think. Janessa's sketch makes it easy to carry elements from one side to the other to tie the pages together and keep the eyes moving across the layout. Try it out and link it up. There is a fabulous prize involved and a chance to be a featured designer on the blog.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hexagon Heaven! Ten Things Tuesday

Good morning. It is a snowy spring morning in Colorado. We were supposed to get a rain/snow mix but it turned into a little more than that. Lots of good moisture that is very much needed though and since it's Colorado I expect that it will be melting very soon.

Today is all about the hexagon. Such a fun shape but sometimes hard to figure out ways to use it. Today on the Practical Scrappers blog the designers are showing different ways to use hexagons on layouts and cards. I have to admit that I started out with one idea in my head and a completely different set of pictures. Unfortunately, what I saw in my head would not come together on my layout. I don't know if it was the day, the mojo, or just a bad idea but I finally gave up in frustration and started with something totally different. So here is take two and I have to say this one makes me happy.

I love how the hexagons turned out for this layout. I used my Cricut to cut a few out of the white background as well as the title. Each of these were backed with different patterned paper. I used some wooden hexagons from Studio Calico that I had in my stash and painted a couple black. I added both the natural wood ones as well as the painted ones to the layout to give it a little visual interest and used one as the dot for my exclamation point.
This layout makes me happy for another reason as well. When we first moved to Nebraska 10 years ago we got tons of grief from our family and friends as the Huskers were the big rival to the Buffs at that time. We had a CU Later going away party and were given every kind of CU memorabilia you can imagine. Liking the Huskers was not looked upon fondly by those we were leaving behind.  The problem with this? If you want a social life in Lincoln, Nebraska during the football season (and really all year round) you had to learn to embrace the Huskers. Seriously, it is a culture out there! David and I realized that we had to at least open ourselves to the idea after the first season ended so we slowly began to pay attention to who, what, and when and go along with the flow. We even hosted Husker game day parties :)  Chris immediately embraced the idea but that was to antagonize his brothers and uncles. Nathan?? No way was he going to turn. He was already a Colorado fan to the core and he took to heart his uncles threat to never let him in his house if he betrayed the Buffs. It took 9 years for all of us to fully embrace the love of Husker football AND buy the gear to prove it,  but we all finally did... Nathan included. Of course this was just in time to move back to Colorado. That's okay, we will keep our Husker pride and remember our Nebraska friends proudly!

Go Huskers!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trendy Twine

I'm a little late posting this. Yesterday was a lazy day. We were all prepared for a Colorado blizzard that had been predicted so the boys had a snow day. The blizzard? Not sure where that went. It ended up being pretty inconsequential. No complaining here though. I love a day where we have no plans made and we just kind of hang.

Yesterday was all about the twine on the Practical Scrappers blog. Twine is seen all over the place in the crafting world and you can get it in just about any color there is, but how do you use it? I personally love to use twine on my projects whether it is simply used for the center of a button, or if I use it to hang a banner on a page or card, or if I choose to get more creative with it. Today I chose to use it on a card to create a rainbow sunburst as part of a springy greeting to a friend.

I love the look of the twine against the embossed background. And the colors make me smile. Hopefully it will bring a cheery feeling to my friend as well. 

Here are some other ideas for using twine: 

Make a spider web design for a spooky embellishment.

 Tie a pencil or some other school theme object to a layout. 

Wrap a photo and tie it with a bow.

You can find quite a few other ideas and examples on the Practical Scrappers blog today. Take a look and see if you can be inspired. What are your favorite ways to use twine or have you used it yet?


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Remembering Aunt Joyce

This week has been a sad week for me as I lost my great aunt who I loved dearly. Aunt Joyce lived in Oregon but she was very close to my Grandma and visited us in Colorado quite a bit. I remember always looking forward to her coming. I clearly remember her boisterous laugh and her fun nature. One of the things that she always did when she visited was bring each of us kids a crisp, new five dollar bill. It was a tradition that she made a pretty big deal of and we always looked forward to her pulling us aside and giving it to us along with a few words from "Auntie Joyce". After I had kids, Aunt Joyce started up the same tradition with my kids. They grew to love her and looked forward to seeing her as well, which made me happy to see them having a relationship with her too. A week ago Friday I pulled some pictures out to work on a S.W.A.T. challenge of Aunt Joyce giving my kids their five dollars and words of wisdom when they were smaller. Little did I know that two days later I would get the call that Aunt Joyce had passed away that morning. She has been sick with a heart condition, but I don't think any of us were thinking that it was that close. My heart has been hurting as I grieve the loss of a lady who meant so much to me and my family, but I can't help to think that I spent that weekend thinking through memories of Aunt Joyce through my scrapping, and how special  it is to me that she was on my heart right before she left us.

This is the layout I created that means even more to me now than it did when I started out. As I said I began creating it for the new Saturday S.W.A.T challenge which is to dig out some of your unused, old stash and revitalize and use it for a layout. I pulled out some old Basic Gray Pyrus line that I have had in my stash for several years now. I also pulled out some chipboard buttons from Jenni Bowlin. The yellow and white of the button were a little bright so I misted them with some coffee Tattered Angels mist to help it blend in some. The patterned papers and the fabric flowers were all Basic Gray and I added a Burlap flower from Little Yellow Bicycle and created a rosette to bring in  newer looking pieces to the page.

I love that I got to use up some of my stash. Unfortunately it only created the smallest of dents in it! I know there's got to be more of you out there who have some beautiful papers and embellishments hoarded away... how about joining us in the challenge and using it this week. There is an awesome American Crafts prize up for grabs that you definitely need to add to your stash. Anyone in??


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Corner Punches with Practical Scrappers

Good morning. Hoping everyone had a great Easter. It was beautiful and springy here. Unfortunately it isn't so springy today but the rest of the week should be better.

I am up today at Practical Scrappers sharing ways to use corner punches. For my layout I didn't use an actual corner punch, but I used a corner feature on the Teresa Collins Sophisticated cartridge for my Cricut to create fancy corners for my pictures. This is a layout I created for my niece Mikayla. She recently graduated and for her graduation present I created an album showcasing her life. It took a lot of time to finish and with the move we made right at graduation time the album was a tad bit late! OOPS! I think all was forgiven though when the finished product was given.

Anyway, here is my layout for Mikayla's senior prom using my photo corners. By the way don't you love the letters for Prom? One of my favorite fonts from my Cricut. I loved using the bright blue against the black and white as well. Super fun!


I thought I'd share just a couple more layouts from the album. If I shared them all we would be here all day! Maybe I'll sprinkle a few in here and there in my blog posts so you aren't bombarded all at once.

 The beautiful graduate. This girl graduated at the top of her class! She is such a motivated kid and we are super proud of her. She is in college now, double majoring and knocking it out of the park.

The big sisters. They have always been so good to Mikayla.

One beautiful young lady, inside and out. Love her senior pics!

Off to work on some unfinished projects. Have a super day!