Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Little Book

I feel like I'm making a lot of mini albums these days, but there are so many fun things to be done with them! I wanted to share a quick little mini album I put together for my son last night. A back story on this: last year when my son got the pictures of his friends at school (you know those little mini ones the kids give their classmates), he saved them in an envelope. He loved to pull them out and tell me all about his friends. This year, instead of a envelope, he's going to get to put his pictures in this:
I chose to use those plastic name badges to build the album for 2 reasons: they provide great protection from grimy kid fingers and they're cheap. I layered paper and embellishments from Little Yellow Bicycle's Head of the Class Collection to build the album. Here's a close up of one of the pages to show you what I mean:

I layered the flashcard stickers on top of the patterned paper, slipped the paper into the badge holder, and then layered a canvas star on top of the plastic. Layering embellishments under and over the badges gives the pages extra interest and dimension. I love the look of this album so much that I'm thinking about making one for me to keep, too. Instead of putting my son's friends pictures in there, maybe I'll put pictures of highlights from school this year, or maybe I'll go long term and put a school picture in there every year from now until he graduates...oh the fun possibilities!

Album: Vertical Badge Holders
Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle Head of the Class (Practice Your ABC's/Dot to Dot, Pencil it in/Bus Stop Chalk Board/Red Numbers, Dot to Dot/Blue Study Hall, Geometry/Teal Test, Ruler/Yellow Study Hall)
Accessories: Little Yellow Bicycle Head of the Class (Clear Cut Shapes, Dimensional Pop-Up Stickers, Chipboard Shapes, Fresh Verse Stickers, Favorite Pieces, Journaling Cards, Fabric Favorites)
Adhesives: Mini Glue Dots®, Ultra Thin Glue Dots®

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Adventures in Canvas - part 1

When Little Yellow Bicycle sent me some Game On Canvas Colorables I knew they were going to be fun. However, I'm not the queen of altering canvas, so I used a lot of trial and error and took lots of notes so I can pass a few of the things I learned along to you. I'll share some of those tips today in this post, and some in Part 2.
First, a little info on the Canvas Colorables: They're 5" x 7" with an extra 1" edge all the way around. It comes wrapped around a piece of thin cardboard that you can leave in or take out depending on your project.
Since I decided to use one of the  Canvases as a mini album cover, I left the cardboard in. I did add some Glue Dots® to make sure it would all stay attached through a lot of handling.  I colored the cover using a variety of techniques, just to see what would happen. My biggest tip here: if you're not sure something will work well for coloring, flip the canvas over and test it out on the 1" extra overlap on the back side. Anything permanent (Paint, paint pens, alcohol inks, mists, alcohol base markers (think Copics)) seem to work really well. Anything not so permanent (water based inks and markers) tend not to work, as they don't dry completely or smear when touched. 

Anything colored in blue was done with Copic Markers. All the letters filled in with light green were also done with a Copic. The plus side to using Copics is that the cover very well, give nice bright colors, and allow the original print work on the canvas to show through. If you're looking to do the same thing with a more antiqued look, I would suggest trying to sponge or brush on alcohol inks. The gold was applied with a paint pen. Works great, but does not allow the printing on the canvas underneath to show through. The dark green was applied with a Sharpie. The up side is I just happened to have a few Sharpies lying around in colors that I didn't  have Copics in. The down side is they don't go on as smoothly as Copics and they tend to cover up the printed lines as well. The green spray up in the corner was done with Tattered Angels Olive Vine Glimmer Mist.
One more note about the canvas and then I'll move on to the insides of the mini album. It held up very well to me punching holes in it for the binder rings.

Here are the inside pages and back cover of the mini. Note that the big blank spaces will be filled in with photos when my son starts playing soccer next season.

Here are a few of my favorite details from each page:
I added Glossy Accents to the stars on the paper to make them pop.

 I created a pocket to stash journaling and memorabilia.

I LOVE these pockets from LYB. It comes as "10 things I love about Sports" but can be customized to soccer, football, baseball, or basketball as well.

Another thing I love from LYB: spinners. They're such a fun way to add to the theme of a layout or mini album.

There are so many great accessories in Game On (chipboard, stickers, banners...). The possibilities are endless for layering and creating your own custom embellishments.

Thanks for stopping by today. Please feel free to ask any question you may have about the Canvas Colorables. I'm by no means an expert with them, but I did try lots of different things out just to see what would work.

Album Cover - Little Yellow Bicycle Game On Canvas Colorables (Soccer)
Paper - LYB Game On (Game Day Words, Game Day Words Blue, Baseball Field, All Stars, Game On Pennants, Baseball Collage, Soccer Collage, Playing Field Green, Grey Bleachers, All Star Red)
Accessories - LYB Game On (Stickers Favorite Pieces (Baseball, Soccer), Chipboard Shapes, Mini Banners (Baseball, Soccer), Tearout Ticket Book), Ranger Glossy Accents
Tools - Fiskar's Upper Crest Punch, Fiskar's Diamond Border Punch

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get Your Game On - and giveaway winner

I'm really loving Get Your Game On by Little Yellow Bicycle. There's so much great stuff in this line. The papers are bold and easy to work with (read: they're sports themed, without being cartoonishly so), there are canvas colorables (I can't wait to show you what I've been doing with these), TONS of stickers, a tear-out ticket book (kind of like journaling cards), chipboard shapes, banners....well you get the idea. I made some really fun frames for my youngest's room (you'll have to wait to see those), and this past week I made this:
I'm not exactly sure what to call it, but basically I'll be using it to hold sport schedules and ticket stubs from games that I don't want to throw out just yet (like when my husband and I go to a Packer game this winter). The best part is, the metal holders are spring mounted, so it's really easy to switch out and move things around.

The base is a 7 Gypsies Receipt Holder. I added paper and embellishments from Game On to create a multi-sport theme so I can use it for football, hockey, baseball, and any other sport we find ourselves going to. I added black alphabet stickers to the metal holders to spell out "game time".

You can even add chipboard pieces to the top of the metal holders like I did with the blue/black star. Just make sure to use a nice strong liquid glue (I used E6000). Because this isn't a traditional frame with glass covering it, you're not limited by the size of the frame. You can mix, match, and layer without limitation. If you would like to see the full supply list for this project, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Now on to the giveaway winner: chose commenter #1 who happened to be Cindy deRosier! Congrats, Cindy! If you could please e-mail me at with your address I'll get your prize out to you soon. Thanks everyone for playing along and taking the time to read my blog.

Happy crafting!

Ticket Tray Supplies:
Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle Get Your Game On (Football Collage, Football Field, Dug Out, All Stars, Game On Pennants, Words Blue, Basketball Court, All Star Red, Field Dirt, Game Day Words, Football Collage)
Accessories: Little Yellow Bicycle Get Your Game On (Favorite Pieces Stickers Baseball, Favorite Pieces Stickers Football, Mini Banners Basketball, Chip Pieces, Tear Out Ticket Book), Glitz Designs Black Alphas
Adhesives: Ultra Thin Glue Dots®, E6000

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day and a trick

Alright...I'm having a lot of fun creating with Little Yellow Bicycle's Game On collection (I'll show you at least 1 thing from that collection tomorrow, I promise!), but I wanted to share another school layout. I was editing some photos last night and realized I hadn't share this yet. I finished it about 2 weeks ago already! Shame on me!

My son is such a ham in front of the camera some times. I love the tone of the colors in Off to School by Fancy Pants. If you head over to A Walk Down Memory Lane's blog tomorrow, you'll see another layout with this collection that has absolutely nothing to do with school. The colors and patterns are so great I wanted to see what else I could do with the line.

I also wanted to show you a trick for photographing layouts. A few months back I had one of those head slapping, why didn't I think of this sooner moments. To get good, head-on photos of your layouts, just use Removable Glue Dots® to stick the layout up on your wall, your sliding glass door, or any flat surface. Here's what it looks like when I photograph my layouts (this one's hanging on my sliding glass door.
You still have 1 more day to sign up for my American Crafts giveaway. You can check it out here if you haven't already.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Yellow Bicycle's Head of the Class

So a little while back I was a runner up for a guest design spot at Little Yellow Bicycle. While I didn't get the spot, they generously sent me lots of LYB goodies to play around with anyways. The very talented Lowri McNabb was awarded the guest spot, and if you haven't already you should head over to LYB's blog to check out her amazing projects. She has quite the knack for altered art. I've been having a blast digging into my fabulous box full of Head of the Class and Get Your Game On. Since Head of the Class is shipping now, I figured I'd start by sharing a few layouts from that line.

My son's pre-school class held 2 very special events at the end of last school year. One of those days was Doughnuts for Dads. Every child has a Dad (or Grandpa, or special male role-model) come to school to hear a song put on by the kids, do an art project, and eat some doughnuts.

I love adding interest to my layouts by adding different textures. LYB makes that really easy by offering chipboard accents, canvas pieces, and Clear Cut shapes (these have a bit of glitter in them, too!). Each of those stars is a different material.

Those of you who visit my blog regularly know that my goal is always to draw attention to the photo(s). I thought these LYB stick pins were a great way to draw the eye immediately to the photo. If you're wondering how I have them adhered to the layout, I have 2 words for you: Glue Dots®.

The counterpart to Doughnuts for Dads is Muffins for Moms. While my son was super excited to have me there, I think he was just a bit more excited about Doughnuts for Dads (they just have a special bond). I really appreciated that the teachers took the time to take a photo of that special day and send it home for me!

I had to give you a close up shot of these Clear Cut Shapes. The glitter in them is so cool!

The Circle Dimensional Pop-Up stickers gave me the idea to notch circles out of photo...I think it turned out pretty well (but I might be a little biased).

Thanks for stopping by today! You might be seeing a lot of LYB over the next few weeks, as I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head and LOTS of fabulous papers and embellishments to work with. If you haven't entered my I'm Sorry giveaway yet, there's still time. Click here to check it out.

Doughnuts for Dads -
Paper: LYB Head of the Class (Penmanship, Chalkboard Scribbles, Red Numbers, Dot to Dot)
Accessories: LYB Head of the Class (Sticker Alphabet, Stick Pins, Journaling Cards, Clear Cuts Shapes, Fabric Favorites, Fresh Verse, Chipboard Shapes)

Muffins for Moms-
Paper: LYB Head of the Class (Back to School, Principal Gray, Bus Stop, Practice Your ABC's)
Accessories: LYB Head of the Class (Journaling Cards, Dimensional Pop-Up Stickers), Prima Alphabet StickersLinkTools: Tonic Edge Distresser, Fiskar's Circle Punches

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm Sorry Giveaway

I'm not sure what my problem is lately, I just have not been consistent about posting to my blog here. So, as an apology, how about a giveaway?
American Crafts is one of the featured manufacturers at A Walk Down Memory Lane this month. Leave a comment here by Saturday, September 24, and you'll be entered to win an AC Blue Skies Page Kit (pictured above). The kit includes 8 - 12 x 12 papers, Thickers, a sheet of Remarks Stickers, 3 Flair bages, 3 ribbons (4 ft of each), 2 - 12 x 12 card stock sheets, 6 - 4.5 x 6.5 photo mounts.

Also, I couldn't leave you today without a fun project. It's a great gift for a crafty friend. SRM's Tubes are my new favorite thing to create gifts out of. They come in regular, mini (what I used here) and wand. So fun! The stamps used to create the tag are from Paper Smooches Friendly Flowers set. I created the image on the tag with 3 colors of American Craft Zing Embossing Powder (which also happens to be 25% off this month at AWDML since it's made by American Crafts). You can watch a video I created about embossing with multiple colors of embossing powder over on AWDML's blog by clicking here.

A big thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 9, 2011

An All Around Good Day

Today started out okay, but then got really great when my UPS man brought a box from Northridge Publishing which included this:

I'm a little giddy because now I officially own a copy of the first magazine I've ever been published in! On top of that, it's a really great Idea Book (if you want your own copy you can find it for sale here). It's already inspiring me to create some more minis.

If you just happen to be visiting my blog looking for all of the pages in the mini-album found in the idea book, here the are:

This album was born out of my need to fit waaaay too many photos into an album that's supposed to be "mini". I decided to find creative ways to add lots of extra photos. The album itself is built out of envelopes, so there are pockets throughout the album.

If you pull on the last train car on the left hand page, it comes out to reveal a hidden photo concealed in the envelope pocket. The photo on the right hinges on a brad to reveal another photo underneath.

There are 3 more photos hidden in the pocket on the left hand side. Just grab the button tabs and pull out.

Instead of hiding a photo in the pocket on this one, I hid the journaling, attached to some ribbon to make it easy to pull out. The photos on the right side are stacked on top of each other and use a brad for movement.

No pull outs on this one.

Or this one...just lots of fun chunky embellishments.

I used the Fiskars Upper Crest border punch to create tabs to pull photos out of the pocket on the left side of this page.

I fit an entire 5 page mini- mini album inside the pocket on this album. They're simple 4" x 4" photos, backed with patterned paper, and held together by a jumbo eyelet and twine.

I even made full use of the back cover of the album...don't be afraid to let your bits and pieces stick out past the edge of the page. It gives your book character!

Paper: Echo Park Little Boy (rock star, journaling cards, sailboat, rad plaid, road map, in the clouds, buttons, cool stripe, vroom)
Accessories: Echo Park Little Boy Element Stickers, Echo Park Little Boy Alpha Stickers, Twine, Basic Grey Brads, Fancy Pants It’s Your Day Buttons, Doodlebug Boutique Buttons, Ribbon By the Yard, Pebbles Inc Candy Dots (yellow, navy blue),
Tools: Fiskars Upper Crest Punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Extra Bits: Envelopes

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'm slowly making my way through my favorite photos from this summer. About a week ago Liz Qualman posted a layout on Little Yellow Bicycle's blog with an accompanying sketch. I am always inspired by Liz's sketches, so I broke out some of LYB's Elizabeth Park (I know, this layout is not nearly as bright an flowery as you remember Elizabeth Park to be, but I promise it's all from Elizabeth Park) and created with the sketch and some summer photos.

There's a lot of texture going on in this layout. I doesn't photograph so easily, but comes across nicely in person. The grey and white border is canvas, the yellow strip is tissue, "My Sweet Life" is get the idea.
Sometimes I have a hard time journaling on layouts like these. I want to tell the story behind the photo, but at the same time I look at those faces and just think, "I am so blessed." I really like LYB's Fresh Verse sticker packs for times like that. I can strategically place them all over my layout as embellishments, but they also speak to my feelings too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SPARKS Challenge Take 2

No you're not seeing double, this is my second attempt at Paper Smooches August SPARKS challenge. I knew right away when I saw the inspiration that I wanted to try my hand at making my own faux wood panel background.

Little did I know that would be the easy part. After I got the panel made, I wasn't exactly sure how to turn it into a card. I played around a bit and this is what I came up with:

I created the "wood" background by covering 1" strips of paper in masking tape that had been crinkled a bit. Then, I stacked the strips next to each other and sponged on 2 different colors of Tim Holtz Distress Ink (both inks were different shades of brown). I panted on Tim Holtz Glossy Accents over the top of the ink to blend and seal it. The next step is to let it dry for a long time (preferably over night). Finally, if you want to stamp on the wood you'll need to use a very permanent ink. I used brown Staz-on to stamp "you are totally sweet".

Paper: Crate Paper Farmhouse (Sunday Dinner)
Stamps: Paper Smooches Friendly Flowers, Paper Smooches Fruitastic
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Brown Staz-on
Accessories: May Arts lace, Crate Paper Farmhouse Buttons, Copic Markers, Glossy Accents

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Paper Smooches

Paper Smooches has a SPARKS challenge every month. You can find all the info on how to play along by clicking here.

I've had 2 ideas in my head after seeing the inspiration:

I finally got one of those ideas down on paper, and will hopefully (cross fingers here) have the other one done tomorrow.

Basically, I was inspired by the colors for this one. It's such a pretty blend, that I'm not sure I'd come up with on my own. I was also inspired by the feel. The shabby wood background mixed with the elegant flowers and rhinestones. I tried to mimic the feel by adding pretty pleated trim and an elegant border punch combined with a less elegant kraft background and plaid patterned "Hello".

Paper: Fancy Pants' It's the Little Things (Honeysuckel)
Stamps: Paper Smooches Friendly Flowers
Markers: Copic
Trim: Crate Paper Neighborhood
Tools: Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page Framed Dots

Thanks for stopping by!