New Techniques

During my time off from work, I've had a chance to try some new papercrafting techniques. The first is heat embossing. I have a small collection of rubber stamps. Mostly made by Hero Arts with geometric patterns like this one I bought at Michael's for 40% off.

On a trip to see my friend Jenny at Impressive Ideas, I asked her what I could do with these stamps. She immediately suggested embossing. It's something I've never seen done. I found it intimidating simply because of the messy powders and heat guns that are known to set paper on fire!

On the left is an example she did with a crosshatch border stamp. On the right is my first attempt with my newly acquired embossing heat gun and basic Stampendous black opaque embossing powder. Mine is a little difficult to see because of the dark paper and dark powder. I purchased a Tim Holtz Distress embossing powder in Antique Linen today. It's very light and I'm curious to see the "distress" effect.

I think heat embossing opens up a whole new dimension in the world of stamping. I have a difficult time finding ways to incorporate stamped images and patterns into my 12x12 scrapbooking work. I think I will have more opportunities to apply stamped images that are heat embossed in my altered, ATC and mini book projects. Time will tell.

Overall this is a relatively inexpensive tool/technique to pick up especially if you already own some rubber stamps. I'm told it works just as well with clear acrylic. If you use a 40-50% off coupon on the heat gun it will run you about $10-12. The embossing powders range from $3.50-6 depending on brand and typically follow sales for other stamping products. The last item you'll need is an embossing or watermark ink pad. I bought one a Hobby Lobby for $1.50, but Versamark Watermark Ink is recommended. Regular price is $7-8.

I tried another technique today with pleasing results. Eyelet setting. I've never really understood the appeal and attraction of these metal embellishments. The Crop-a-Dile is billed as a tool made for easy eyelet setting. Up until now, I've used it exclusively to punch holes in my chipboard album pages. It does that incredibly well cutting through 1/8" thick chipboard like it's loose-leaf paper.

Today I needed the Crop-a-Dile because I wanted to punch holes through chipboard already covered on both sides with patterned paper. The chipboard page is from this Maya Road album. The papers are 7 Gypsies' new Venice line. Back to the point....I attempted to punch the holes blindly and did not get very clean results. Now I had to find a way to cover up my shredded paper edges inside the holes. I pulled out the little bags of eyelets that came with my Crop-a-Dile set, gave the directions a glance and tried it out.

I've only done the top 2 and bottom 2. I may leave the rest of the holes covered. However this little project turns out, I've overcome my fear of eyelets. Not sure if you'll see them in my 12x12 layouts in the near future, but definitely in some altered things and mini books.

This is another very low-cost technique. I bought my Crop-a-Dile for $10 at Walmart during their scrapbooking clearance. I think they are readily available at craft stores. If you use a coupon the final price should be about $10-15. Mine was a kit so it included a case and a variety of eyelets. Eyelets are similar to brads and can be purchased in sets for a few dollars. Just like 100 brads, 100 eyelets will go a long way when you're only using a handful at a time.

Let this be a lesson, don't be afraid to try new things! I promise new projects and layouts next week. Happy New Year!

Busy Organizing

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday and spent quality time with friends and family like I did. It was busy and full of fun, but didn't leave much time for scrapbooking. Saturday I devoted the majority of my day to one of my favorite pastimes, shopping! On my list of places to stop were the 3 big box craft stores, Ikea, and Phipps Mall. The big boxes were doing their usual sales. Michael's was offering 50% coupons with a purchase last week. I have a few, but didn't find anything I wanted. All rubber stamps are 40% off and I picked up 2 from Hero Arts.

The first organization product I was looking for was the Making Memories tool carousel. The retail price is between $40-50. With a coupon I picked one up at Hobby Lobby for just under $25. I was really surprised by just how many supplies you can fit in it.

My main goal for visiting Ikea was to find organizers for my Expedit bookcase. I've posted some pictures of it in my new scrap space aka the living. I just love it. I think it's a great piece of furniture, and it's completely functional. I've always wanted built-in cabinets for that room, and that is an excellent low-cost no construction required option. I picked up a 2-drawer add-on that fits in one of the cubes. I also picked up these chic boxes for $10 each and 2 sets of mesh wire magazine files for $7 each. Once the drawers are installed I'll post new pics. It's a work in progress.

By far my new favorite scrapbook organizers are made by Snapware. Their Craft Snap 'n Stack cases are really handy. I have various round and rectangular containers to store embellishments, stamps, ink pads, and various other small items. They are a great addition to Sterlite boxes.

There are always posts on 2 Peas in a Bucket and other crafting websites about how to organize scrapbook items and the best products. I've found what it really comes down to is trial and error. I have a box of organizers I bought or acquired that I tried and tossed. Also, as your crafting interests change, the kinds of organizers you need may change too.

Thanks for reading.

3 new projects and the Holidays

Can you believe it's the week of Christmas? I'm guilty of spending too much time shopping the past few days. And it wasn't just scrapbooking stuff! Like everyone else, I'm really looking forward to time off over the next two weeks. We'll be celebrating with family and friends, and hopefully there will be time for some scrapbooking. I might not get back to the blog until after January. Until then, here are some projects I've completed in the last month.

These three ATCs use a variety of products fromVintage Findings, ARTchix Studio, Graphic45 and 7 Gypsies.

I made this layout with Sassafras Lass Sweet Marmalade papers and tons of Sass embellishments. I used it for this week's Sunday Sketch over at The Everyday Scrapper.

This is a rare 2 pager with pictures of Shane's first trip to the Atlanta zoo. The special occasion is the DEcember Cosmo Cricket Challenge which asks you to create your "best layout ever." There's an undertaking. This layout uses papers and embellishments from several of CC's 2009 releases including Early Bird, Boyfriend, Nutmeg, and Earth Love. It was challenging and fun all at the same time!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season and New Year. Thanks for starting this journey with me in 2009. I hope you'll read on in 2010.

Weekly Shopping Update

Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was spent celebrating the beginning of Hanukkah with friends and family. Shane got his very own vacuum (or ba-koom) is he likes to call it, and too many other gifts to mention. I gave Adam a trendy watch, and our family gift was a new Canon S90 Powershot camera. Can't wait to see how pictures come out with this spiffy new camera.

In between the wrapping paper, latkes (potato pancakes) and socializing, I did find some time to shop and scrap. At EMI's evening crop, I picked the latest line, Venice, from 7 Gypsies.

There is a role of Venice gaffer tape, and the 97% complete sticker sheet called Nest, and new gaffer tape with vintage writing.

The store had tons of new lines from Kaisercraft including Christmas Spirit, which are the triangle, dot and blue/pink papers in the middle of this set. EMI also just received the holiday lines from Webster's Pages. I have sheet in the middle with pink, blue and green polka dots.

Here is my collection of papers for Hanukkah layouts. The far right is a piece from Bo Bunny's limited edition glittered Snowy Serenade line. That came from Impressive Ideas in Roswell. The blue papers on the far left are Creative Memories and EK Success.

Another line at EMI is My Mind's Eye Breaking Free. This was a summer line, but it can be used to scrap boy or girl pictures in addition to the typically family, camping and beach trips.

I'm using these papers to create a layout for the MME Blog Sketch Challenge. You can see a sliver of my layout in progress above on the far right. The picture is me holding Shane in our Hawaiian shirts at my brother-in-law's engagement party over Labor Day 2008. It's fun to go back and use some pictures from a year ago.

I did stop into Joann's this past weekend. My only scrappy purchase was a few sheets of Coordinations Cardstock. Michael's has several cool scrapbooking calendar kits if you're in need of a quick customized gift. Cricut cartridges are $39.99 at Hobby Lobby this week. That's a pretty good deal.

On a sad note, I read over at Papercrafterscorner that J and J designs, an online scrapbooking store based in Atlanta, is closing its doors. How sad. I've purchased from them, and I wish the crew over there the best of luck.

Look for another post coming up with lots of new projects. Thanks for reading.

Shopping and Hanukkah

We're another week closer to the holidays. I don't know about you, but the past 2 have been filled with shopping and preparations. My family celebrates Hanukkah, and it begins at sundown tonight. Shane isn't old enough to know it's coming or request certain gifts, but we have more than enough to celebrate. We'll be take lots of pictures and I'll try to share them throughout the 8 "crazy" nights.

I mentioned earlier this week that I've been doing quite a bit of shopping. Atlanta has several locally owned scrapbooking and stamping stores. Scrap Chic Boutique in Decatur is a far drive, but I've done it a few times. I was enticed by their holiday blog sale which offered 40% off anything in the store. Here is what I got.

What's not shown are some papers from the Graphic 45 Renaissance Faire line. I already used letters from the Nutmeg chipboard. Really like those. The Buzz and Bloom alpha set was very expensive, so I'm going to have to save them for a special project.

Yesterday I received my 2 Peas box.

This order had a good mix of embellishments. The stamp is called "Limited Edition" by Hero Arts.

The paper lines shown here are Prima Bloomin' Retro with the coordinating flowers, and My Mind's Eye Life Stories with 2 journaling cards. In an effort to be cost-conscious, I didn't order the entire Life Stories line. I only selected a few of the patterns and decided to forgo the 12x12 journaling-type papers. I did the same with the Prima line. Peaking out of the corner is an 8x8 paper pack from Making Memories Great Escape line. You may see those in a travel or vacation album next summer.

I haven't had an opportunity to visit the big boxes this week. If you're into Christmas decorations, that seems to be where the best deals are. I'm hoping they each receive some new products after the first of the year.

EMI posted they'll have the new Venice line and other products from 7 Gypsies next week. They just received the holiday collections from Webster's Pages. I'm already refilling my 2 Peas cart with American Crafts' Letterbox and Bo Bunny Snowy Serenade (which is also available at Archiver's) .

I hope you have a great weekend filled with family, shopping, scrapping and whatever else you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

New ATCs and Layouts

I know I promised more Halloween layouts. This one is Shane helping Adam carve our pumpkin.

The background paper is from Best Creations. It came glittered and embossed. That makes for a quick start to a layout. I simply added the pictures with Halloween chipboard frames, a Cosmo Cricket journaling tag, and a few embellishments from American Crafts (the haunted house paper) and My Mind's Eye (chipboard Mummy).

These are ATCs I created while watching the NCAA ACC Championship football game on Saturday night. The one on the far left features a die cut tag from the Graphic 45 Fashionista line with Making Memories Vintage Findings papers. The center card is child themed. It also has a G45 die cut tag. This one is from the Communique line. The inchie with the yellow bird is from ARTchix, and the blue background paper is G45 Transatlantic. The card on the right with the beach theme uses ARTchix ephemera and 7 Gypsies Savannah papers. The embellishments are MM Vintage Findings and GCD Artsy Urban.

I'm wrapping up 2 predesigned 8x8 paper albums this week. One has an autumn theme and the title "Fall in Love." The other is for a good friend who just became a first-time grandma this week. Congrats, Linda! Thanks for reading.

Citrus Bowl Here We Come

This is not scrapbooking-related, but I had to share. You may or may not know I'm a Penn State Nittany Lion. Living in Atlanta makes it tough to get back to State College for games. I've been hoping to have a chance to see my team at a bowl game in the south. Yesterday PSU was selected to play LSU in the Captial One Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day in Orlando, FL. We'll be there with the PSU Club of Atlanta. So exciting!

We are Penn State!!!

New products and projects

Here I was thinking November and December would be a quiet time for scrapbooking but I was wrong. This post is going to be a catch-up. First some shopping updates:

2Peas: I broke down placed an order last week. They just had too many new great products and I couldn't resist. I'll be getting papers from MME Life Stories, Prima Bloomin Retro papers and flowers, a Hero Arts Ltd Ed stamp, Studio Calico Home Front stickers, Gypsy stickers from 7Gs. Of course the minute I hit submitted, new great stuff came out. The new Venice line from 7Gs, and AC Letterbox. You may know I am not a fan of AC papers, but this one is on my "wanted" list.

Archivers: A trip up to the Buford store was nearly a waste until I stumbled upon the awesome new GCD Urban Artsy line.

These are called Inspiration Cards.

This one is a dead ringer for an ATC.

EMI: New to the store are Pink Paislee Cupid, Webster's Pages Winter Wings And Home For The Holidays. They recently announced weekly specials on in-store products. I am loving the weekly Friday night crops!

Joann, Michael's, Hobby Lobby: I can sum up the news in 2 words: coupons and Christmas. All 3 big boxes have plenty of coupons to use on regular price items. I've received mailers from Js and Ms in the past week. Christmas products are discounted 30-60%.

One more shopping note. Jenny Gropp from Impressive Ideas tells me they have ordered some really neat new ATC stamps from a company called Innovative Stamps. They should be available before the holiday.

I've beenworking on several projects over the past two weeks. I apologize because I don't have pictures to share for all of them. I made my first altered item. It's a 6x9 wooden plaque I've decked out in Bo Bunny Grease Monkey for the door to Shane's room. The edges are painted with bright orange and black acrylic paint. Lots of fun, really easy. Something I would definitely do again. Another project is an 8x8 paper album for a new baby. A coworker is expecting her first grandchild, and I offered to make her a custom album. It's similar to the fall album I made for the office gift swap.

I worked on 2 projects at the EMI crop. The first was a 2 page layout I'm putting together for the December Cosmo Cricket challenge. The theme is to create your best ever layout with CC products. My interprettation is to use as many different CC papers and products as I can. Here are sneaks of the pages.

The pictures are all from Shane's visit to the zoo in October The paper lines I've included are Earth Love, Boyfriend, Nutmeg, and Early Bird.

When I bought a Jenni Bowlin mini kit it came with a pack of the 4x4 mini papers for the Red and Black Extension line. I covered the scallop edge chipboard pages of this Creative Imaginations mini book with the papers.

If the picture looks blurry, that's my poor photography skills, not your vision! I plan to put some of my ATC cards in it.

I'll have some layouts to post later this week. Thanks for reading!

Another Baby Layout

I updated my 2 Peas Gallery today, and came across the first layout I made with my baby nephew, Eli.


New ATCs

Here are some artist trading cards I created over Thanksgiving week.

This set was created on a sheet of brown cardstock measuring 7 1/2 by 8. I blocked out each card, but did not cut them until I was finished. There are a variety of products used including die cuts and papers from Graphic 45's Communique line, and ephemera from ARTchix Studios.

I created these 2 with a roses theme in mind. The rose on the Boy bingo card is from a Making Memories Vintage Findings kit, and the rose on the World Traveler card is from ARTchix.

The bingo card also includes a transparency image and German Scrap from ARTchix.

I stamped the back of one of the cards using my new Catslife Press stamp from Eclectica.

Yesterday, I joined the Yahoo group Artist Trading Cards. I'm going to participate in the December "Exotic Beauties Swap." Can't wait to share what I create and what I receive in return.

Thanks for reading.

See my work on

Today is the day Magazine published their December issue. My layout is in the Features section with the article Winter Holidays. One of the things I really like about this online magazine is each project includes Step-by-Step instructions. I'd like to give a huge thanks to Jami Petersen, the Editor in Chief of Magazine, for this opportunity.

Black Friday and other updates

Happy Thanksgiving! I know this greeting is coming a few days late and it's been more than a few days since I updated the blog. We spent the holidays visiting with Adam's family in Memphis. I managed to drag my father-in-law out on Thanksgiving night for the 5-9 sale at Michael's. The big news from my shopping trips was there wasn't much exciting to be had in the crafting world IMO. Some of you may have jumped on the chance to buy a Cricut for $70-90 depending on where you bought, or took the big plunge with the Cricut Expression for $279 at Michael's. The cartridges were an even better deal. I saw several ads as low as $30 per cartridge. I'm still holding out on the Cricut, but it may be in my relatively near future.

I made some time to stop at Eclectica Scrapbooking as well as the local Archiver's while away. Of course Eclectica didnot disappoint. Owner, Rhonna, and manager, Brandy, were very informative and accommodating. I got my first look at the MME LifeStories kraft designs and unique journaling cards. There were quite a few Bo Bunny lines including super-cute Love Bandit. I spent most of my time perusing their ATC goodies. I picked up this cool set of cards from Leisure Arts.

I also picked up these October Afternoon Wild Cards from the Farm Fresh line.

They have a great selection of stamps. I couldn't resist these ATC ones by Catslife Press.

These are the "Fancy" collection. I bought the 2 on the top row.

In addition to shopping, used their work area for a few hours to create this layout.

Details about the layout are included in my weekly post for TES.

Check back for more projects from my week in Memphis. I've got an all-Sassafras Lass Amplify layout to share and a bunch of new ATCs. Thanks for reading.

Where are the layouts?

I noticed yesterday while showing my blog to a friend that I haven't posted any layouts recently. It's not that I haven't been making them, it's this blasted publishing stuff! Print publications like Scrapbook Trends require never before seen layouts for their magazine. I am probably making 7-10 layouts per month, but most of them I don't share with my adoring public (you lovely readers) for a few weeks or in some cases longer. Occasionally I'll even use a layout for the Sunday Sketch post over at The Everyday Scrapper, but I won't post it on my personal blog. I know, these logistics give me a headache too. All that being said, here is a long overdue layout.

This layout features papers from Sassafras Lass' Me Likey line. The pictures are from a recent visit to our see family in Chattanooga. Shane had a wonderful time especially playing with Cousins Katie and David.

I shared a sneak peek of this layout about a week ago. It's for a monthly challenge on My Mind's Eye's blog. It is based on a sketch by Anam Stubbington, who is a member of the MME DT.

You can get more details about this layout on Sunday over at TES.

These aren't 12x12 layouts, but they are mini versions for the Little Monster book I've been creating.

These pages are so much fun. I just love playing with the Monstrosity Mini Deck from Sassafras Lass.

I promise new more new projects next week. Thanks for reading.

Halloween ATCs

My ATC work has been helped along by a friend at work. Linda Adams is an accomplished stamper who has had her worked featured in various publications, and participated in numerous ATC swaps. She encouraged me to try a technique where you start with an 8x8 or 6x6 piece of cardstock and build a series of ATC cards on a single page. I tried it out this weekend and put together these.

I used a variety of supplies to construct these cards. The components of each card are slightly different. The background papers are from Basic Grey Eerie, the red cardstock from 7 Gypsies Gypsy Market 8x8 stack, and My Mind's Eye Spooky Word paper. The stickers are Cosmo Cricket (Halloween theme), Doodlebug (glitter borders), American Crafts (Halloween Words), Crafty Secrets (vintage images). The card on the bottom right is based on a mini bingo card from Jenni Bowlin's Halloween set. It's my favorite, but I think I'm biased.

First Publication

Check out my post over on the 2 Peas Pub message board for details about my first two publications. They are both online magazines. I'm thrilled for the recognition.

Improved Pics for new Basic Grey lines

Basic Grey finally posted the new Origins and Sugar Rush lines on their site late last night. Here are some closeups of my favorite papers and embellishments.

Origins Papers

Origins Pieces

Origins Bloomers

Sugar Rush Papers

Sugar Rush Writers Block

Sugar Rush Woolies

There are simply too many goodies to put on my Holiday Wish List! I know what I'll be saving for!

My oh my! New Basic Grey Winter Releases

Kelly Goree announced 2 new lines from Basic Grey on her blog just this morning.

Rather than duplicating all of the product info here, which there is tons of because they are rolling out 10 new product types, go here to read the details.

I really like Basic Grey, and I've been following them closely in 2009. I thought the June Bug line released during the summer was fantastic, and I recently purchased Lim Rickey and Lemonade collection packs. I've been collecting papers and embellishments from late 2008/early 2009 releases Urban Prairie, Offbeat, Sugared, and Ambrosia. I also have collection packs from vintage lines Mellow, Periphery, and Two Scoops. So you can understand how deeply disappointed I was to see the 4 fall 2009 releases. Many have heard me bemoan the wretched patterns and repetitive colors of Indian Summer and the bizarre and unartistic work of Eerie. I thought Nook and Pantry was the best of the worst but was not motivated to buy a single sheet of paper or embellishment. Perhaps when it's discounted 50% I'll pick some up for good measure. Eskimo Kisses seems to be the best of the bunch. I've looked at the patterns and there are a few that could be used for non-Christmas scrapping.

That all being said, my first reaction to Origins and Sugar Rush is a big sigh of relief! Thank goodness the fall line was a fluke. I love the color combinations in Origins and while Sugar Rush has plenty of pink to go around, it should be scrappable with most pictures and themes.

The embellishments, especially the Pieces, look fantastic. Buying all these items for a particular line will really break the bank!

I see the Basic Grey product design and marketing teams taking a feather from the caps of Sassafras Lass with the "Bloomers" a "stitched and buttoned" embellishment.

These "Writer's Blocks" are reminiscent of Jillibean's sprouts

I apologize for the poor photo quality. This was how they were posted on Kelly's site. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about these releases in the weeks to come. In the meantime, the news is a great way to start the weekend! Thanks for reading.

My Christmas List

Ok - I don't really celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't mean I can't make a wish list too! In case you're wondering what to get me, here's just a few scrappy-suggestions.

1) A nice basic SLR camera
2) Somerset Apprentice Vol. 1
3) Tonic 12" Small Base Paper Cutter
4) Attend a workshop with a big-name designer or attend a workshop with Christine Middlecamp
5) Any of these awesome late 2009 releases.
Bo Bunny Love Bandit

Prima Bloomin' Retro

My Mind's Eye Life Stories and journaling cards

October Afternoon Farm Fresh and Report Card

Tim Holtz acrylic stamp sets by Stampers Anonymous
Anything from 7 Gypsies

That should give all of you some options!