I love finding scrap inspiration in non-scrappy places, and one of my favorite sources is fashion catalogs. From Boden to Anthropologie to Nordstrom, print catalogs often spark ideas for scrapbook pages. And when this spring J Crew catalog arrived in the mail, I knew it would be a great starting point for a page:
At first glance, it may not be obvious how you could interpret this design onto a scrapbook project. So here are three of my favorite tips when it comes to translating inspiration to a page.
1. Be Inspired By Layout. This catalog cover features bright, colorful elements on a white background. They are grouped together in a loose grid of shapes of varying sizes and colors. I used that arrangement as a starting point for my page elements, substituting scrap items for the clothing items:
Notice I also used a similar color arrangement as the catalog, replacing the pink shirt with a pink butterfly stamp, the yellow heels for a yellow square of patterned paper, etc. The result is not an exact copy of the cover, but you can see how the catalog design influenced this scrapbook page.
2. Be Inspired by Text. The crisp black J Crew logo on the catalog cover balances the colorful elements, without overpowering them. The vertical orientation allows it to blend into the design, rather than standing alone. I thought this type of title treatment would be effective on a scrapbook page. So using a similar font as the logo (Adobe Garamond), I cut a title from black cardstock with my Silhouette for this page:
The title on my page works similarly to the catalog logo, adding balance and stability to the page without overpowering the photos and embellishments.
3. Be Inspired by Elements. If the design as a whole isn’t motivating you to create, try picking one element within the layout to re-create. I was attracted to the colorful layered tee shirts on the bottom left of the cover. The happy rainbow-hued colors layered over one another immediately grab the eye. By using similar colors of glitter cardstock, I created my own rainbow design on this card:
So the next time you’re stuck for inspiration, pull out some of those clothing catalogs! I think you’ll be surprised by how many ways they can influence a scrapbook page design. And if you want to see more tips for using inspiration, stop my blog at http://lisadickinson.typepad.com. Happy Scrapping!
Lisa Truesdell as this week’s guest blogger!
Hi everyone! I’m excited to have a chance to visit the SBE blog and talk about one of my favorite techniques—stitching on my pages. I have a hard time considering a project done until it’s been run through my sewing machine. I get a lot of comments from people saying that they love the look, but are a bit intimidated by the thought of actually TRYING it. I’m hoping I can help put some of those fears to rest.
When I bought my first sewing machine five years ago, the last time I had touched one was in seventh grade home ec class. To be honest, I had no clue what I was doing! I quickly learned that I had nothing to worry about. Here are a few tips that will have you sewing on your pages like a pro in no time:
- Practice on scrap paper. The best way to get a feel for your machine is to use it. A LOT! Using scrap paper lets you try out different stitches and speeds without the worry of messing up a project you’ve spent time putting together.
- Use a neutral color bobbin. I hate refilling and changing bobbins with a passion. There’s no way to avoid changing them when they’re empty, but I like to refill 3-4 bobbins at a time with white or tan thread so I have plenty on hand. I use a neutral bobbin on all my projects, no matter what color my top thread is – you can’t see it from the front, and it’s a great time saver.
- Avoid sewing through adhesive. Sewing on paper won’t damage your machine, but sewing through a Glue Dot can really gum up the works. When you’re using adhesive, think about where you’re planning to add stitching and keep it away from that area. If you DO end up going through adhesive and get a sticky needle or presser foot, a little UnDu or Goo Gone can take care of it.
- Check your needle. Paper will dull your needle faster than fabric. If you start having any problems, changing your needle is the best place to start troubleshooting.
- Keep your machine out. My scraproom is tiny, but when I organized my workspace, I made sure that I had room for my sewing machine. It’s much easier to add a little stitching to your pages if you don’t have to take the time to get your machine out when you want to use it.
- Pencil it out. Whether you’re sewing a straight line or a more complicated shape, having a light pencil line to follow will help keep you on track. Just erase once you’ve finished stitching.
Once you’re comfortable with your sewing machine, you’ll find there’s no end to the ways you can use it on your pages. Here are some of my favorite ways to add a little stitching to a project:
On this page, I united the squares of patterned paper along the right side by stitching through them, resulting in a quilted look. I also stitched down my title letters. I’ve found that you can stitch through almost anything—chipboard, veneer, letter stickers, even epoxy letters like these. Just go slow. I used white thread on this page, so the stitching is subtle.
The lines of zigzag stitching on the music patterned paper gave me a place to add lots of buttons. Stitching also makes a perfect border, both for the outside of the page and along the photo.
I wanted a bolder look with my stitching on this page, so I used yellow and aqua thread. Your stitching doesn’t have to be all straight lines—I made a funky zigzag along the left side by turning my paper back and forth as I sewed. I added some stitching journaling lines as the bottom. After borders, this is probably my most used stitching technique.
I hope these ideas and tips give you the push you need to start stitching on your pages! If you want to see more of my work (and more ideas for sewing on pages, you can visit me at my blog http://gluestickgirl.typepad.com/.
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Crate Paper. Brad, ribbon: KI Memories. Doily: Cosmo Cricket. Stamp, ink, pears: Hero Arts. Thread: Southmaid Crochet Thread. Die: Papertrey Ink. Punches: EK Success (corner rounder), Martha Stewart Crafts (border), Marvy Uchida (flower).
Have you ever created a card for a friend or family member that you loved so much you almost didn’t want to part with it? This has happened to me on more than one occasion. There have been times where I’ve considered recreating the card for myself, but have never done so until just recently. The idea came to me, that rather then leaving it simply as a card, I’d take it one step further and incorporate the design into a scrapbook layout. The example that I’m sharing with you today, shows the card that I originally created for my daughter to share with one of her very best friends from school. The happy colors and playful patterns that I used in my design, worked perfectly with the fun loving photos of my children playing together at our local park.
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Crate Paper. Font: Cursive Standard (title), Baskerville Old Face (journaling). Sticker: October Afternoon. Rub-ons: Die Cuts With A View (stitches), American Crafts (all other). Brad, ribbon: KI Memories. Doily: Cosmo Cricket. Photo slide: Heidi Swapp. Flower accent: Prima Marketing, Inc. Stamp, ink, pears: Hero Arts. Thread: Southmaid Crochet Thread. Die: Papertrey Ink. Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Punches: EK Success (corner rounder), Martha Stewart Crafts (border, smalll flower), Marvy Uchida (large flower), Stampin’ Up! (notebook edge). Digital element: Paper Cuts No. 1 by Katie Pertiet.
With the main design element of my scrapbook page already created, the remainder of my layout came together relatively quick and easy. I simply printed a digital paper doll element onto white cardstock, trimmed the sheet to 11×11″ and adhered it to my 12×12″ background. Next I adhered a subtle patterned paper across the center of the page, and adhered my photos to the left-hand side. My card was then adhered directly to the right of my photos. A die-cut title and few simple embellishments complete my design and add the perfect finishing touch. When recreating a card to implement into a scrapbook layout, you have two wonderful options. You can save time by simply recreating the front design,
or take it one step further and create a traditional card that opens up. The inside of the card would be the perfect place to hide any additional photos, memorabilia, or perhaps even your journaling.
Categories: Scraps | Tags:
Stephanie Howell as our guest blogger today!
What my husband does is more than just a job. It is our life. It is who he is, and I could not possibly be prouder of him. I am dedicated to scrapbooking and documenting his army career. You don’t have to use “traditional” military themes such as camo, military colors, etc. You can “nod” to tradition by using hints of red, white, and blue; yellow ribbons; and stars. It is possible to use decidedly “feminine accents” on military pages. It really is! i’ve been known to use ribbon, scalloped edges, rhinestones, pins, pearls, and flowers on my military pages. I’ve even used tulle!
The important thing is getting down on paper how proud you are. How life-changing and crucial this job is.
I used symbolism here, even the page doesn’t look army-ish at first glance. The yellow ribbon symbolizes our reunion, and the 4 represents the fact that the four of us were together again…complete again. I used pearl flowers here, and that’s okay! This page conveys so much emotion. This moment was such a defining moment for our family.
The color scheme here is classic and patriotic—red, white, and blue, with that yellow ribbon again. Even though the colors are traditional, the patterns (scallops, flowers, damask) are not. I like that. The star rhinestone and pin adds another classic touch in a whimsical way. I just love that yellow ribbon and what it means to me. Writing about the moment our family was reunited was very special to me. I love that i have these emotions down on paper.
This was the very first army page I made. It’s actually one of the very first pages I made, period. As you can see here, the focus is on the words and the emotions. It’s all about what my husband does, who he is, and how his calling makes me feel and what it means to me. Here I explored my thoughts on the military. This page is old, but feels very timeless to me.
(photos taken for time magazine)
Here again are the traditional accents of stars and red, white, and blue. I want my girls to know WHY their daddy is a soldier, what he believes. It’s important to pass that on and that’s what I did here.
Stephanie lives in Savannah, Georgia, where she is a proud army wife to Jimmy, who is a major and army ranger. She is also a stay-at-home mom to Harper (4), Sadie (3), and Cate and Lucy (3 months). She designs for Studio Calico, Jenni Bowlin Studio, and Sassafras. Scrapbooking is her sanity and her saving grace.
You can visit Stephanie’s blog (just me, my soldier, and our 4 little chicks) at : http://stephaniehowell.typepad.com
Valerie Salmon with another inspiring page sketch!
There are times when you have one brilliant photo that says it all. Or perhaps, one photo is all you have of an event. This latest sketch is a quick formula to highlight that favorite photo.
With the layout examples provided below, each contributor varied the use of the sketch to fit their scrapbooking style. Let the sketch be the springboard to begin your creative process, then allow your photos and journaling dictate the rest. Use two photos or more, if you wish!
“Life is Good”
Designed by Valerie Salmon
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: My Mind’s Eye (green/red), Pink Paislee (red/ivory). Title die cut, journaling strip: My Mind’s Eye. Flowers: Prima Marketing, Inc. (satin); American Crafts (chipboard & rosette); Creative Imaginations (jeweled stickers); Sassafras (orange canvas). Corner rounder: Fiskars.
I followed the elements of the sketch almost exactly and used a 5×7″ photo. I allowed a gap in between the patterned paper strips just to break them up slightly. Adding a variety of flower textures really adds some “oomph” to the page and helps bring all the elements together.
Designed by Kimberly Neddo
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, stickers, die cuts: Sassafras. Font: My Type of Font off the Internet. Adhesive: SEI.
To keep a layout simple, yet pop, I like to add dimension to my pages with pop dots and inking around the edges of the paper, as well as the photograph. The foldies from Sassafras are my new favorite item, because they add dimension with a quick fold.
Designed by AnnaMarie Mondro
SOURCES Patterned paper: My Mind’s Eye, Jillibean Soup. Alphas: American Crafts, Doodlebug Design. Flowers, page pebbles: Prima Marketing, Inc. Buttons, fabric brad: Basic Grey. Stickers, tickets: My Mind’s Eye. Punches: Fiskars. Marker: Bic Mark-it.
One of the things I love most about Valerie’s sketches is how easily I can adapt them to my scrappy style while still remaining pretty true to the original design! Here, I substituted two 4×6″ vertical photos in place of the larger 6×8″ photo displayed in the original sketch. Because of the scalloped paper background and the bright happy colors of my photos, I went for a more playful feel and strayed from the linear lines of the sketch by tilting and adding space between the photos, title, and strips of patterned paper, as well as using corner rounder, scallop and lace punches randomly throughout the page.
Designed by Virginia Wong
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper, Papertrey Ink. Patterned paper: October Afternoon. Font: Breathe off the Internet. Die, stamps: Papertrey Ink. Ink: Papertrey Ink (chamomile), Stampin’ Up! (celery). Ribbon: Vandoros. Punch: Marvy Uchida . Twine: Martha Stewart Crafts.
Wherever possible, I use simple techniques to spice up elements of my layout. To create the striped “block” of pattern paper, I included the pattern paper borders. The decorative edges of the borders add texture to my layout. As well, I love mixing and matching the various cardstock stickers—the flower head and insect stickers creates an adorable vignette with the vine. Even the various-sized printed circles can be re-tooled as flower centers. With the odd sized scraps of paper, create whimsical accents such as clouds or die cut a pattern paper flower. Use a pen to outline the clouds or wrap the flower petals around the pen to create added dimension.
Visit Valerie’s sketch blog, Got Sketch?, for 100+ sketches ideas and classes!
Speaking of Got Sketch?, Valerie is starting a new workshop on March 21! Since there are so many sketch-lovers who read this blog, we thought we’d include information about the class below, just in case you’re interested in taking part! Here’s the info from Valerie:
Please welcome former Creative Team member (and frequent SBE contributor) Shannon Zickel as the guest blogger this week!
If you would have asked me last year if I would be able to resize photos and create photo strips all by myself I would have thought you were delusional—especially if you had said I would be able to do it without taking any special classes or buying a book. But after a little trial and error, I’ve come up with a formula that works well for me (and hopefully for you too). It allows me to quickly create photo strips to use in my layouts. This has become my go to page design because it allows me to fit lots of pictures on a page. These types of photo strips are great for vacation, sports seasons, and school and holiday recap pages. You can use the photo strips alone, in a group or you can combine them with a larger focal photo for even more impact.
In the instructions below I am using the very ancient Photoshop Elements 2.0. I actually have newer versions but find myself gravitating to this version. While I have not tested these instructions on other versions, my guess would be that the instructions are very similar. I also am sure that I am not doing this the professional way—as I said, I just learned this all on my own. So there may be shortcuts I am missing or other thoughts on ways to improve. If you have one make sure to share it in the comments!
I begin by opening all the photos I want to scrap for an event. Probably the hardest part of this process is the photo selection. I find for me strips with four vertical photos, five horizontal photos, or one focal vertical combined with three horizontal photos work best. For the example I am showing I used two strips of four vertical pictures and one strip of a combination of three horizontal and one larger vertical photo.
Now I am ready to start cropping and resizing my photos. I choose the crop tool in PSE and then I set the dimensions. When I am working on a four vertical strip I set the dimensions at 1.75″ for the width and 2.25″ for the height. I then set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch. This setting is the standard for printing and allows for all photos to remain the same relative size when we transfer them to the new document for printing. Once the dimensions are set I use the crop tool to crop my photo.
I then work through all the vertical photos(with the exception of the one that will be my larger focal photo) sizing them in the same way.
With the vertical photos all resized I move onto the horizontal photos. I simply change the dimensions to a width of 2.25″ and a height of 1.75″ keeping the resolution the same at 300 pixels/inch. Once the dimensions are set I crop each of the horizontal photos.
The order in which you resize the pictures is not important; you just want to resize them all the appropriate sizes. If you are using a larger vertical photo in combination with horizontal photos to complete a strip, then you will want to use the dimensions of 2.5″ as the width and 3.75″ as the height. This will create a slightly larger photo that will match the width of the horizontal photos chosen for your photo strip.
With all the photos resized I quickly pull them all to the left of my workspace.
Now you are ready to open a new document to create your photo strips. Start by selecting File and choosing new document. You will want to create this document as an 8.5×11″ document for printing and set the resolution at 300 pixels/inch. Make sure the drop down boxes on the right are set to inches and pixels/inch.
With your new document over you are now ready to begin moving pictures into this new document. You will use the Move tool to do this. After clicking on the Move tool, move your cursor to the photo you want and right-click and hold as you drag the photo to the new document. Once you have the photo placed on the new document you can release the mouse to drop the photo.
After I move the picture, I minimize the original photo on the right, just part of my own process that allows me to work through all the photos quickly. I am careful not to close the photo just in case I have made an error on my dimensions or pixel settings. I also don’t want to save these resized photos, as I do not want to lose my original photo settings. I work through all the photos moving them one at a time to the new document. At this point I don’t pay any particular attention to where they go on the new document; I just want to get them all over there.
Once all the photos have been moved I group them in the order I want them to appear on the photo strips.
I then increase my viewing ratio up to around 75% so I can align the pictures to be even on the edges. While you could choose to place the photos and then crop them to create even edges, I choose to do this visual alignment as a shortcut.
With all the photos aligned I can reduce my viewing back down and get ready for the final step before printing, flattening your images. Choose Layer from the top menu bar and scroll down to choose flatten image. Now you are ready to print!
Don’t’ let the number of screen shots intimidate you. This really is a very simple process, and after you have tried it once you will see just how easy it is.
Now comes the fun part, time to create!
Personally, I like to trim my photo strips leaving a very small white border around the edges. That is certainly not a requirement, do what makes you happy. And I also find myself overlapping several photo strips, again a personal choice. As mentioned earlier, these photo strips are great for getting a lot of pictures into a layout. Whether you choose to use one strip alone or combine three or four steps, once you get the hang of creating these photo strips I have a feeling you will be as addicted as I am to them!
This week, the guest blog post is from Valerie Salmon. Valerie’s previous sketches are still available on our blog—check out her first card sketch, multiphoto layout sketch, and her first sketch post.
Cardmakers, we’ve got a new sketch for you to tackle!
Even with very little time, you can put together a card in a snap with basic supplies and tools from your stash. Try it!
Coincidentally, my friends and I all did birthday-themed cards as examples! Totally unplanned.
Don’t you agree that one can never have enough extra birthday cards to hand out? I like to pre-make several ahead of time to grab-and-go or mail out when I need one.
Designed by Valerie Salmon
I’m really loving cupcakes right now, more than ever. So, there is no surprise that I put my Fiskars cupcake punch to use when I put this birthday card together. I created the circular accent first, then the rest of the card just fell into place—thanks to the sketch. It was so easy!
Designed by Ingrid Danvers
SOURCES Cardstock, patterned paper, ribbon, stamps: Papertrey Ink. Stickers: American Crafts. Ink: Papertrey Ink (Hawaiian Shores), Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black). Adhesive dots: Zva Creative. Die-cutting tool: Big Shot by Sizzix. Dies: Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 3, Limitless Labels: 1-3/4″ Circle Collection), MFT Stamps (Die-namics Open Scallop Border).
I followed the sketch closely. I’ve chosen a different shape for the labels. I used adhesive dots to adhere the different die-cut shapes to create more depth. Sewing is one of my favorite techniques as stitching adds more texture to a project. I chose the polka dot stamps to match the polka dot patterned paper to create a well balanced design.
Designed by Rae Barthel
I just love Valerie’s sketches, they are always so approachable, and I am always pleased with my completed cards.
On this card, I went with a clean and simple approach. I felt that adding the black cardstock added a bold punch to the already bold primary colors of the Teresa Collins patterned paper.
Designed by Lisette Gibbons
SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper, Papertrey Ink. Patterned Paper: October Afternoon. Font: Breathe off the Internet. Die, stamps: Papertrey Ink. Ink: Papertrey Ink (Chamomile), Stampin’ Up! (Certainly Celery). Ribbon: Vandoros. Punch: Marvy Uchida. Twine: Martha Stewart Crafts.
The give the sketch a little bit more depth, I stuck the green paper on the top and bottom down with 3D dots. I also adhered the borders to the green paper. Instead of using a stamp for the sentiment, I choose to create it on the computer with a font I recently purchased and absolutely adore. I made a double bow in the ribbon to give it that extra luxury feeling.
Visit Valerie’s sketch blog, Got Sketch?, for 100+ sketches ideas and classes!
Categories: Sketches | Tags:
Please welcome Contributing Editor Candi Gershon as this week’s guest blogger!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s time to start on those Valentine gifts if you haven’t already. I love making valentines, but with two school-aged children, we are making 40. I want them to be cute and clever, but I need them to be easy and simple enough to mass produce.
On top of those, we have teacher’s gifts that we like to make special as well. My kids love to bring in special things for their teachers, and valentines are no exception.
This year, while strolling through my local craft store, my son and I spotted these heart shaped cookie cutters and we had to have them. Immediately I thought they would make cute Valentine’s Day ornaments and a fun craft. We punched a couple holes in the top with our trusty Crop-a-dile, attached a photo covered in Mod Podge to the back, added a sticker for a shadow box effect, and strung some ribbon through it. Voila! I know a few grandparents who would love to have some of these.
For the teachers this year, I decided to make clipboards. What teacher can’t use a clipboard? I have been painting a lot lately and knew this would be a fun way to create an original gift that is useful as well. I started by applying a layer of gesso (found at your craft store) on the clipboards (just to be sure the paint had a toothed surface to stick to). Once that was dry, I added a coat of white paint, then a coat of green, then pressed pink painted bubble wrap onto the surface, then we scraped some blue and brown on the edges for added color (using an old credit card to scrape the paint). Finally, I used trusty Mod Podge to add a bird and quotes I had printed onto cardstock. I also added a branch that I cut out from brown patterned paper, and a heart I punched out. I then added letter stickers spelling the teachers names and a final coat of Mod Podge. Ribbon was the final touch. The kids love these clipboards and can’t wait to give them to their teachers.
Once the clipboards were finished, it was time to work on the classroom valentines. My kids like to give out candy, so our first step is always to find the candy we are passing out. This year we were very excited to see heart-shaped chocolate-covered Peeps. We knew instantly what our gift tag would say. Every year I take a picture of the kids holding a sign of some sort (sometimes it’s a large shaped felt heart, this year it was a blank poster board). I add the text through my photo-editing program, as my kids have completely different font choices.
My son is getting to the age where the valentine has to be “cool” or he’s not into it. This year he requested I forgo a ribbon and just staple his card on because ribbons are too “girlie”. I thought this was a great idea (and actually quite the timesaver). The cards we attached are just wallet sized, so they are easy and reasonable to make quite a few.
The important thing is to just have fun. We always lean on the simple side as between homework, afterschool activities, and just life in general, there isn’t always a ton of time for detailed craft work. Not to mention, when you are crafting with kids, they tend to lose interest completely if things get too difficult.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Please welcome back Valerie Salmon with another brand new sketch!
We’re back with a new sketch!
With the additional pictures we’ve taken during the holidays, multiple-photo sketches such as this one will come in handy when you are ready to create.
Although this sketch fits three smaller photos nicely, you can certainly add one or two more in place of the other blocks. Or you can even put two 3×4″ vertical photo spaces together for a 4×6″ focal photo. The options are endless. Plus, don’t forget to rotate or flip the sketch. The first example below is rotated counter-clockwise.
Here are three interpretations of the same sketch to give you some ideas to get you started.
Designed by Valerie Salmon
Designed by Greta Hammond
Designed by Lisa Storms
For my main embellishment I wanted to create a miniature mustache stick, so instead of using an actual dowel, I inked a lollipop stick light brown to mimic wood. For the decorative edge down the side, instead of punching a design I created my own border made up of mini mustaches. When you first look at it, you just see a decorative border but if you look closely they are actually little mustaches made up of two ‘comma’ punches each.
See you next month with another sketch. Happy scrapping!
Visit Valerie’s sketch blog, Got Sketch?, for 100+ sketches ideas and classes!
Please welcome former creative team member Shannon Tidwell as our guest blogger this week!
Happy New Year! Thank you so much for having me as a guest blogger! In the December 2010 issue I had a easy to make calendar featured. Today I want to share that calendar with you again and give you some easy instructions for it. You’ll also find the print-ready mini calendar below.
To make your own:
1. First you’ll need to find a CD case to use.
2. Cut a piece of cardstock to fit inside the cover insert.
3. Print the mini calendars below and cut down to the same size.
4. Stack the calendars together and use a Crop-a-Dile to punch through the whole stack on the left and right sides of the top.
5. Attach the calendars to your background with mini brads.
6. Now it’s time to embellish! I cut flowers from KI Memories Posh Patterned Papers and added a little sparkle with a KI Memories Posh Gemstone Icon.
7. To display the calendar you will need to carefully detach the CD case cover from the back, flip it around and attach it back. Then it should stand up correctly to display your calendar.
(To download these calendars, right-click on the image and select Save Image.)
I hope your year is filled with creativity!