Jun 022011

Father’s Day is coming up fast, so I thought I’d share this layout, my hubby’s first Father’s Day.

first-fathers-day scrapbook page leftI made a pocket to keep the cards he received and had a blast coloring in the frogs with watercolor pencils.  Aren’t they adorable?  Oh, and the baby’s kinda cute, too.  🙂

The title is made with Grungeboard Alphas.  First I painted them with the Denim Paint Dabber and Peeled Paint Distress Crackle Paint, then for added dimension I went over them with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.

The papers are from K & Company’s Hopscotch Boy 12×12 Paper Pad and the stamp is Penny Black’s Toadily Clear Stamps set.

For watercoloring first I stamp with Black StazOn Permanent Ink (you have to use a waterproof ink or else it will run when it gets wet.)  Then I use a basic set of watercolor pencils, Faber-Castell 24-Color GRIP Watercolor EcoPencil Set is great.  A Waterbrush is perfect for doing the blending.  (This link leads to a medium size brush, but you should be sure to get fine and large sizes, too.)

first-fathers-day scrapbook page rightI asked Gary to write his own thoughts and memories for this layout, but he hasn’t done it yet.  In the meantime,  here’s what I wrote:

Gary is a wonderful, hands-on dad who loves hanging out with his new little guy.
Photo, opposite page:  Changing little boys’ diapers can be a dangerous activity. You have to be ready for anything that might spring up.  Gary always gets a fresh diaper open and ready, just in case.  Josh doesn’t seem to mind wearing it for a minute.
Photo, top middle:  The matching shirts Mom made for her two guys.
Photo, top right:  Josh often gets fussy right before his dinner time, but it takes a few minutes to warm up the bottle in hot water on the stove.  To keep him distracted, Gary flies him around while we’re waiting.  (Gary’s mom finds this maneuver quite horrifying.)

Warming up the bottle in hot water on the stove!?!  I was so very thankful when we got a microwave a couple years later.

first-fathers-day two page scrapbook layoutCropping these six photos to 3″ square, then matting them all on a 7″ x 10 ¼” rectangle lets you get a lot of pics onto one page without it looking too busy.  I like the added touch of rounding just the two left corners, it makes the whole more cohesive.

Happy crafting, all!

May 262011

Lots of fun details in today’s layout.  It all started with the scalloped edge diaper pin paper by Creative Imaginations.

The woman holding the baby (who is now 23 years old and a Marine) was my mother-in-law.  We lost her in 2005.  I still miss her.  She would have been proud of Josh.

The title was done with a combination of rub ons (“baby”)  and die cuts (the Sizzix Sizzlits Script alphabet set.)  It’s a great way to stretch your supplies.  Plus, I think titles look more interesting when they’re made up of a variety of elements.

The tags are made with the Sizzix Scallop Tags red die and tied with a bit of embroidery floss.

baby-shower 12x12 scrapbook page

The blue scallops are done with Tim Holtz’s Scallops On The Edge Die.  ( I LOVE this die, it’s so versatile!)

The stack of packages is fun, but WOW, it took forever.  They were cut with the Sizzix originals Gifts yellow die, and I inked each one with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  They were placed onto the Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8 Mega Die with either one or two layers of Dimensional Adhesive.

By the way, the blue bow came on a package of candy.  I always save bits and bobs like that to use in crafts, you never know when they’ll be just the perfect thing.

This 12″x12″ layout started simple, with just four 3.5″ square photos, matted on a 7.5″x11″ rectangle. A 3″x11″ strip to the left gives you plenty of room for a title, journaling or more photos.  This one is very open to interpretation, and also can be turned in any direction. Then the embellishing can begin!

scrapbook-sketch-4-3.5-photosHappy crafting ya’ll!

May 092011

Since Saturday was National Scrapbooking Day, and Sunday was Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share with you my First Mother’s Day scrapbook layout.

I had a LOT of fun with this, after doing many boy-type pages with blues and greens, I went all out girly.  🙂

first-mothers-day scrapbook page left

This one is FULL of fun techniques, it was such a blast to do! Here are just a few of the products and techniques:

  • The QuicKutz Spooky Scroll border die to make the arches. I don’t think they look spooky at all, but put me in mind of a garden trellis.
  • For the journaling tag, the Spellbinders Nestabilities Mega Dies, Labels 8
  • For the flowers, several layers of white mulberry paper, cut with the Sizzix Flower Layers #3 die.  Simply crumple each of the flowers after die cutting, then stack, offsetting the petals.
  • I used Dimensional Adhesive to make a pocket for the Mother’s Day cards I received.  The one you can see, “For You Daughter,” was actually from my mother-in-law.  How sweet! It still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
  • The transparencies are Prima Clear Paintables.  They come in 12″x12″ sheets with four 6″x6″ designs on each sheet.  It was a blast painting the back side with alcohol inks and blending solution.  Go here (steps 1-15) to see terrific step-by-step instructions by Tim Holtz for this technique.  (One of these days I’ll make a video for ya’ll.)
  • The background papers are from K and Company’s Que Sera Sera Collection.  LOVE those papers.  I’ll be sad once I’ve used up the whole paper pack.

first-mothers-day two page scrapbook layout

Each of those little squares was done with a different technique involving distress inks, rubber stamping, embossing and painting with a variety of media.  I’ll share each one in a separate tutorial some time soon.

first-mothers-day scrapbook page right

It’s hard to believe that little baby is now 23 years old and a Marine.  Jeepers, where does the time go?

I’ll leave you with the journaling:

My first Mother’s Day was May 8, 1988, Joshua was just 17 days old.  Our church always had special recognition for the mom’s on that day: the mom with the most kids, the grandma with the most grandkids, the newest mom, etc. My friend, Karen Wilson, went into labor at nearly the same time as I did.  Our husbands were surprised to see each other in the waiting room at the hospital.  Sadly, by the time I was ready to go home with Josh, she was still in labor.  It was awful and lasted over 72 hours for her.  So, when she got the Newest Mom roses, beating me out by less than 48 hours, I was happy for her.  She told me later she thought of sharing them with me, but decided she’d earned them.  I heartily agreed!

Apr 152011

I’ve been going through my photos from 1988, these are the baby pictures of my first son.  (Boy, I wish I knew then what I know about photography and what kinds of pics I’d want to have for keepsakes.  Ah, well.)

Here’s a great example of a photo that’s desperately in need of rescuing.  Cute baby, adorable smile, great pose . . . and awful photography:


What to do?  If you have Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements, you can make lemonade from this lemon by using filters.


I used the artistic dry brush filter to make this photo look like a painted portrait.  Click on Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush.


As you can see, there are many other possibilities to choose from.  I recommend you try them all.  Different filters will work better with different types of photos.

Once you choose a filter, you can also play with the settings to get just the look you want.  I used a Brush Size of 2, Brush Detail of 8 and a Texture setting of 1.  It defaults to a preview at 100% and you can move the photo around in the little window to look at different areas.


And here’s my final result.  I think it looks like we had a portrait painted of our little guy, a vast improvement over the grainy pic I began with.


It looks even better printed out, in fact I think I might get it printed on canvas to make it look more like a painting.

I’d love to hear from all of you about your favorite ways to rescue bad photos.

Have a great weekend!


Apr 042011

Here’s another page I did with the baby pics from 1988.  These photos of friends who stopped by to visit our newborn were all Polaroids which I scanned into my computer, edited and reprinted.

One thing I’ve learned since I did this page is how to remove the color cast which the scanner introduces.  If you can do that, editing your photos becomes 100 times easier.  (I could not believe how much blue the scanner was adding to my pics!)

In the next day or so, I’ll post a step by step on how to make a custom action for Photoshop which will fix this problem for you.  🙂

visitors scrapbook page left

Some of the supplies I used on this layout:

Title: Grungeboard Alphas (Tim Holtz), Stream Paint Dabber, Vintage Photo Distress Ink

Punches/Die Cuts: Scallops On The Edge Die, : Doily Lace Edge Craft Punch (Martha Stewart)

Distress inks: Spiced Marmalade, Broken China, Peeled Paint, Faded jeans

visitors two page scrapbook layout

I mentioned in another post that I wanted to incorporate my son’s original baby book into these scrapbook layouts.  I did that by cutting 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 most of the frames with ribbon.  On this one I got kinda fancy and used the Martha Stewart Garden Trellis Punch.  It took forever to get those corners to come out “just so,” but I’m pleased with it.

visitors scrapbook page right

Mar 072011

Here’s a great scrapbooking project that you can make in a matter of minutes.  All you need is a single sheet of 8.5″x11″ paper to make a cute little four-page photo album.

Mine is a grandma’s photo album with pictures of my granddaughter.  After having two boys, it was a lot of fun to pull out everything pink and purple that I owned and go to town.

Have fun with your own little book! 

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

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 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 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.