Mar 032011

It really is a lot of fun scrapbooking these baby photos.  As I work with them the memories just keep flooding back.

This “Blessing from Heaven” border has been in my stash for a long time.  It really wasn’t my style anymore, but some trimming, matting and an application of Spiced Marmalade and Faded jeans Distress Ink seemed to help.  The punch used on the orange photo mats is the Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch by Martha Stewart.

I also used Vintage Photo, Broken China and Peeled Paint Distress Inks on this layout.  Just can’t get enough Distress!

blessing-from-heaven scrapbook page left

So here I was, 22 years after my son’s birth, scrapbooking his baby pictures.  I had a dilemma, though, how to incorporate the baby book I had worked on at the time?

It seemed important to keep the original pages with my handwritten notes, but these pages were bound into a book and were double sided.  I wanted them to be part of the new pages, and not a separate book.  What to do?

After asking around on some scrapbooking forums, I was given a brilliant idea!  I cut a ‘frame’ in a regular 12×12 page and mounted each page from his book into the opening so you can see both sides of the page of the original book.  I trimmed the edges of each frame with ribbon, so it didn’t looked pasted in.

using a baby book page in a scrapbook layout

I’m quite pleased with the results, and now I don’t have a second book to keep track of.

blessing-from-heaven two page scrapbook layout

Mar 022011

Here we are with another installment of “What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.”  (If you’re wondering what that is, go here to find and and check out workdesks from all over the world.)

I’m still scrapbooking photos from 1988.  Of course there are LOTS more baby pics to scrapbook, but I like to do things chronologically, and when Josh was one day shy of three months old, Gary & I celebrated our first anniversary.  (Yeah, YOU do the math, lol.)

We kinda ran out of cake at our wedding (it was very low budget, lol) and had to serve the top as well. (That’s fine, just how good can frozen one-year-old cake BE?)  So I made us a nice fresh cake, decorated it with our wedding colors and put our wedding topper on it. Kinda sweet, eh?  These two photos of the cake, and a very blurry pic of the roses Gary brought me are the only photos I have from that day oh-so-long ago. At least I saved the ticket stubs from the concert we went to!


The box of distress ink applicators is filled with little wooden handles my husband made for me.  I had a spinner that held eight Ink Blending Tools but I decided I really wanted one tool for each color of distress as the lighter colors were getting muddied.


You might have noticed that I don’t have a lot of space, so although I’d love to have a stack of the Craft Spinners, there just isn’t room.  I decided to ditch the handles on my ink blending tools and had Gary make a bunch of  little wooden blocks shaped like rubber stamp handles. Then I glued Cut n Dry Foam to each one.  My P-Touch made perfect little labels with the name of one color on each.

You know what’s really cool?  I realized as I was working with these pics last night that the table in the photo (our kitchen table at the time) is the very same table I scrapbook on now.  Who knew we’d get so much use out of it?


This layout is far from complete, I think I need to do a great deal of inking of many of the elements to bring in some contrast. I love that background paper (from K and Company’s Que Sera Sera Collection,) but right now everything is mushing together. A decision needs to be made whether to go with the bird, which I like because of the birds on the cake, or butterflies; I’m not sure about using both.

By the way, you’ll find the sketch I’m using here. Usually I change up page maps quite a bit, but I seem to be following this one pretty closely. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

Feb 282011

One of my favorite things about scrapbooking is all the gadgets you get to play with.  This layout uses a lot of fun goodies, including printed vellum, Snowflake Brads by Creative Impressions, the Tim Holtz Scallops On The Edge Die, Distress ink in Broken China, the Sizzix Sizzlits Die Set 4PK Snowflakes, and Stardust Stickles.

A favorite trick of mine is to print the journaling onto a transparency, and then paint the edges to make a frame around it.  This time I painted with the Snow Cap Paint Dabber.

winter-wonderland12x12 scrapbook page

Those of us here in New England have had just about enough of winter by now.  A snowstorm a week for the first several weeks of the year and over 50″ of snow so far.  I just hope spring comes earlier than it did in 1988!

Here’s the journaling from this layout:

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Actually, it was a Spring wonderland.  New England has unseasonably cold weather in late March of 1988, which is why, even though spring had officially already arrived, we were able to take this walk on Macquan Pond.

Feb 262011

I really wish I’d been a scrapbooker when my kids were little, I’m sure I would have tried to take better pictures, and record more of the little memories.  Ah well, better late than never!

By the way, this “Bundle of Joy” element wasn’t the color I wanted, so I colored it with Stream alcohol ink.  Now it’s perfect!

The punch is the Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch by Martha Stewart. The clouds are all edged with Broken China Distress ink, which I think makes them look nice and fluffy.

bundle-of-joy scrapbook page left

The photo below of my husband and I was terribly water damaged on the left side.  I scanned it, then worked on it in Photoshop and fixed as much as I could.  The rest is hidden under an embellishment!  (I never would have scrapped that actual photo, I think it had mold on it. BAD for scrapbooks!)

bundle-of-joy scrapbook page right

It’s funny, I was really looking forward to doing the baby pages in sweet, soft colors, but I’ve found that I still have to add in some brights and/or some distressing.  I don’t think I could make a completely pastel page if my life depended on it, lol.

bundle-of-joy two page scrapbook layout

Feb 242011

This is the final installment of our faux leather sketchbook project.  Go here to see Part 1, Making the Cover or Part 2, Adding the Pages.

faux leather sketchbook


The finishing touches are what bring this from way-cool, to uber-cool, in my opinion.  🙂

1. Select a nice big shank button that suits the feel of your sketchbook.  (I found this one in my grandmother’s button collection.  I think my son will like having something of his great grandma’s.  It was  painted with black enamels and then hit with a sanding block once dry.) 

faux leather sketchbook button close up

2. Use an awl to poke two holes in the right flap of the sketchbook, centered top to bottom.   Use waxed twine to sew on your button through these holes. If you have a metal or ceramic button, make sure to sand any sharp edges that might cut the twine.

3. Fold the 60″ of leather cord in half, looping the fold over the button.  Tie a knot just at the edge of the button.  Tie two or three more knots along the length of the cord for decoration.  Bring cord around sketchbook and wrap around button to close cover.  Add beads and knots to ends of cord and trim ends.

faux leather sketchbook beads close up


faux leather sketchbook close up

I really hope some of you will try this project.  Although it looks quite complicated, each step is easy.  I can’t wait to make one for ME, think I’ll do it in burgundies/reds with gold accents. 🙂

Feb 232011

Today’s WOYWW looks a lot like last week’s:  a mess left from scrapbooking baby pics of my son with a cat.  However, it’s  a different cat, as you’ll note from the journaling.  (Moses, of snake catching fame, was killed when Josh was six weeks old. To read the snake story, go here.)

(And, in case you’re wondering just why I’m sharing a photo of my workdesk, go here.)


Here’s the journaling for this l/o:

When our cat Moses was hit by a car and killed, we shared our sadness and talked about this experience with our Sunday School class of four and five-year olds.  We also asked their opinions about getting another kitty and if so, what we should name him.  One little boy piped up and said, “Yes, you should get another kitten and name him ‘Don’t Die.'”  Well, we’d been thinking about the name Elijah, and since Elijah didn’t die (he was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire) we decided this was perfect.  (Thank you, Mark Schow!)

When Josh was nine weeks old (Gary insists it was eight weeks, but Sandy’s doing the scrapbooking, so it shall be forever recorded as nine weeks) we brought home our wonderful new guy, Elijah.  He was also nine weeks old and was taken with Joshua from the start.  Although some folks might be concerned by old wive’s tales and keep the cat far away from the baby, I was never concerned.  I knew they’d be best buddies for a long time to come.

Feb 212011

We’re contining on with our Faux Leather Sketchbook project.  Last time we made the cover.  You can check out Part 1, Making the Cover, or go to Part 3, Finishing Touches to finish up.

faux leather sketchbook


Now it’s time to make the pages that go inside the sketchbook.  I started by purchasing a 9″x12″ pad of sketchbook paper and used a paper trimmer to cut 45 of the pages down to 8.5″x11″. This will give 90 total pages in the sketchbook.  (If you have thicker or thinner papers, you may want to increase or decrease the amount accordingly.)

1. Fold all of your 8.5″x11″ papers in half to 8.5″x5.5″.  Divide these into 3 equal stacks of 15 papers each.  (Each of these is called a signature.)

2. Take one of these pages and  make marks in the fold at 1.5″, 3″, 5.5″ and 7″ from the top.  This is your guide for hole punching.

3. Place this guide in the center of one of your paper stacks, aligning top & bottom edges, and use a straight awl (NOT a tapered awl) to poke a hole at each mark, all the way through all the papers.  Repeat for the other two stacks.

4. Use this guide to make 3 rows of holes in the sketchbook cover.  The first row should be 5.5″ from the left edge, the second 5.75″ from the left edge and the third 6″ from the left edge.

5. Cut the waxed twine into three 20″ pieces.

6. Thread a tapestry needle with one piece of twine and sew through the second hole from the top of one of your paper stacks, starting from inside the fold.  Continue to sew through the second hole from the top of the journal, from the lining side to the outside.  Leave a 4″-6″ tail inside the paper stack.

7. Sew back into the journal through the top hole of the cover and through the top hole of the paper stack.


8. Sew back out the paper stack and sketchbook going through the bottom hole.

9. Sew back into the sketchbook cover and papers through the second hole from the bottom.


10. Pull the twine tight and tie the two ends together.  Trims the tails closely.  (If you used something other than waxed twine, you may want to put a dab of clear nail polish or seam sealant on the knot to secure.)



11. Repeat steps 6-10 to add the other two paper stacks to your sketchbook.


12. To mold your cover to your pages, run a hot iron over the outside of the sketchbook (using parchment paper as a press cloth) and then fold the cover to fit neatly around the pages.  (I found it helpful to use oven mitts so I could get a firm grip while the cover was still quite warm.)

I’ll bet that was a LOT easier than you thought it would be!

Next time we’ll add some way-cool finishing touches to our sketchbook.

Feb 172011

I just love how this card came out.  I kept wanting to add other colors, but it kept telling me, “No, keep it monochromatic.”  I’m glad I listened.

pink sparkle happy anniversary card

I started off by using Vintage Photo to stamp the script background from the Tim Holtz Urban Grunge clear stamp set all over the background.  I also added some Vintage Photo to the edges of the card.

After that it was pretty simple to add all the layers:

The scallop border started as a 1.25″ piece of paper from Tim Holtz’s Seasonal Paper Stash Paper Pad. I punched both long edges with the  Scallop Sentiment Border Punch (Fiskars), being careful to center the scallops.  The ribbon is Beyond Postmarks Pastel Ribbon by K & Company.
pink sparkle anniversary card close up of flowers

The flowers began their lives as Hero Arts White & Cream Art Flowers.  (**Tip** I always buy the white version of elements that I can alter myself.)

To give them their pink glitteriness, I  made my own pearlized spray.  Simply add one scoop of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold (the end of a craft stick works perfectly here) to a Mini Mister.  Add one dropperful of Worn Lipstick Distress Reinker.  Fill the rest of the way with water and shake well.  Spritz this on paper, flowers, or any porous surface to change the color and add a pearly sheen.  I got the different shades of pink by spritzing lightly on some flowers and more heavily on others.

Of course, you can use any color Perfect Pearls and reinker that you want!  A couple of my favorite combinations are Vintage Photo Distress Ink Reinker with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls, and Broken China Distress Reinker with Pewter Perfect Pearls.

The final touches were to use 3/8-Inch Glue Dots and Dimensional Adhesive to add the flower to the card and top with Hero Arts 3mm and 5mm Pearls.

Feb 162011

I need to run out the door in like, eight minutes, so I have to make this quick.  On my desk today is an utter mess left from my scrapbooking session last night (if you want to know why I’m posting a pic of my desk, go here to find out.)

I haven’t scrapbooked in a couple months, so it felt good to get back to the baby pictures.  There are from 1988, when my first son was born.  Wow, if we only realized just how simple life was back then . . .


I’ll leave you with the journaling, which a classic story told over and over in our family:

We used to leave the door ajar in our ground floor studio apartment so the cats could go in and out whenever they wanted.  Moses often took advantage of this situation to bring us “gifts,”  like the bird in this photo.

One day while Sandy was changing Joshua’s diaper Moses ran in and dropped a snake in the middle of the floor.  Josh had been screaming, and now Sandy, who hates snakes, was yelling, too – begging and pleading for the cat to take the snake out.  Moses, being confused by all the fuss, took off out the door, leaving the poor little garter snake behind.

Sandy gathered up the baby and ran, blithering, across the road to fetch a neighbor to help her.  He was a kindly old gentleman who couldn’t help but chuckle as he picked up the tiny snake to bring it outside

Peace and tranquility were restored . . . until the next time Moses went hunting.

Feb 142011

I first got interested in making zipper flowers after reading an article in Craft Stylish.  It seemed like a great idea, but their method was way too much work.  Plus, I really wasn’t thrilled with the end result.

Some digging around led me to a version that had been shown on Martha Stewart, but I didn’t like that looks of that one, either, too loopy and needed a ridiculously long zipper.  (It seems that video is no longer up on the MS site, but I found it here.)  Finally, I checked out Kate Cusack’s zipper jewelry, some of it is just amazing.

After all that, I decided to buy a few zippers and fiddle around with my own design.  Below is what I came up with, and how you can make your own.  Hope you enjoy!

teal and gold zipper flower

Supplies you’ll need:

  • metal zipper anywhere from 20″ to 26″ long
  • 2″ scrap of felt
  • pin back (or barrette hardware)
  • calculator
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

The first step is to cut off the bottom stop of the zipper so you can remove the pull.  Just cut between the teeth.  I wouldn’t suggest using your best scissors for this craft, btw.  😉

Remove the pull and set aside for another project or discard.  ( I have a little bowl of these and am wondering just what can I do with them?)


Now you should have two separate pieces of zipper tape; measure the length of one of these.  Don’t worry that there’s some tape without any teeth at the top of zipper, this will be covered up in our final flower.

Take your measurement and use a calculator to divide by six.  You should have a figure somewhere between 3″ and 4″.  Cut ONE of the zipper tapes into six pieces of this dimension.  These will make our six outer (larger) petals.  Set aside.

Take the length you cut the larger petals and subtract 1″.  Cut the other zipper tape into six pieces of this dimension.  These will be the six inner (smaller) petals.  This should leave you with a leftover piece that is 6″, this will become your flower center.

Here are all the pieces you’ll need:


Now we’ll glue the pieces of zipper tape into petals.  (**Note about hot gluing your flowers**  There are a LOT of layers to these flowers, and if you add too much glue in each step, they will end up too thick in the middle.  Apply just small dabs of glue, and squish it as flat as possible in each step.)

Add a dab of glue to one end of one of your petals.  Twist the other end around and glue on top, creating a loop. Make sure to squish the glue flat.



Repeat for all 12 petals.

To make the flower center, start by gluing both ends of the 6″ piece under at 45 degree angles.  (This will hide the raw edges in the finished flower.)


Roll this up, adding small dabs of glue as you go.  Roll tightly in the center and more loosely as you get towards the outer edge.


Now we’ll assemble our flower.  Cut a 2″ circle of felt (this does not have to be perfect, it’s just a gluing base.) Glue two of your larger petals to it, raw edges meeting in the center.  Don’t forget to squish the glue flat.  (To save my fingers from burns I used the end of a pair of metal scissors to do this.)


Now add two more large petals.


And the final two large petals.


Now add two small petals, meeting the raw edges in the center, and staggering the petal points between those of the larger petals.


Add two more small petals.


And the final two small petals.  You can see here that it’s quite thick, this is why we needed to keep each layer as flat as possible.


Finally, we need to add our flower center.  A word of caution here, don’t add too much glue, otherwise it will squish out and show on your finished flower.  I found that a dab slightly larger than a pea in the center of the flower, and a little glue squeezed into the bottom of the rolled up center works nicely.

When you add your center, push it down as hard and flat as you can, then hold it for a few seconds until the glue sets up.  I’ve found this gives the flowers a nice shape.  Otherwise the center stands up too tall and doesn’t look right.


Now we can add a pin back.  (Feel free to add a barrette clip or anything else instead.)  Flip your flower over, add a line of hot glue to the felt backing and press in your pin back.


Since this pin in quite heavy, and I don’t want it to ever pull off, I add another line of hot glue to either side of the pin back, making sure the glue overlaps the pin a little bit.


I trimmed away the excess felt once the glue was cooled.

And that’s it, you’re done!  Have a blast trying different colors, maybe even some of the rhinestone or funky colored zippers.  (I gotta find me a purple zipper!)

Here are a few I made in other colors:

Every time I look at this white/silver flower, I think that it would be gorgeous as part of a bridal ensemble.

white and silver zipper flower

 This is the flower I made with the directions from Craft Stylish.


yellow and gold zipper flower

blue and silver zipper flower

red and silver zipper flower

Happy crafting!