Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Techneek of the Week

Good Afternoon World Wide Web! I'm back for my weekly "Techneek" post. Inspired by the TM Project I am working on, I decided to dip into Miss Juli's world a little and show you how to use Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and Glimmer Screens to create a beautiful effect to add to your scrapbooking repertoire!!

The Glimmer Screens come in these large packages, in a whole whack load of shapes and sizes...I'm using one of the filigrees for my demo.

Choose your Glimmer Mist colours. For this project I used Daffodil, Jazz Blue, Seafoam and Key Lime green. You can use as many, or as few, as you choose.

Try experimenting with different colour combinations. You never know how something is going to look until you test it out!! The store carries 64 colours with 18 new ones on the way. So there is sure to be one or two that catch your eye!!

Place the Glimmer Screen on your paper of choice. I am using solid white Bazzill cardstock, but it works on any colour, texture, and looks really cool on pattern paper too!

Note: In my demo the Glimmer Screen looks brown, but they are actually the colour and texture of a 4 litre milk jug! The plastic makes them really easy to wash off after use, which I didn't do after using it on another project. You should always wash your Glimmer Screen after you use it, or the colours will bleed into your next project.

Protect your work space with some leftover Treasured Memories paper bags, or newsprint, or cardboard. Apply your first colour to the page. I started with my lightest (daffodil), and only covered a small area in a light spray. It's easy to add more colour later, but impossible to remove colour. Start with your bottle farther away from the page, to get a lighter mist. If you want a deeper colour, move your bottle closer, or do a couple extra sprays. You don't have to let the Glimmer Mist dry between colours. They will blend together better when still wet.

Next I added some Key Lime green Glimmer Mist.

Then Seafoam

And then Jazz Blue

I kept adding more colour until I had the look I was after. Then I (carefully) removed the Glimmer Screen!

Try This: While the Glimmer Screen is still wet, press another sheet of paper onto it. And now you have a Glimmer Screen-Stamp!!

The finished product! Just by adding some ribbon, pattern paper, a couple of flowers and a silver brad, I have a shimmery, beautiful page. Everyone will be asking you how you got your paper to look so wonderful!

You can also use part of your Glimmer Misted paper in place of a pattern paper. On this page I cut around the image on the full sheet of paper, and used it as I would any other pattern paper. And I still have the rest of the Glimmer Misted paper to use on another project. The possibilities are endless!

Please note: Because Glimmer Mist is water-based, it will curl your paper. Once it has dried you can flatten it by putting it under some heavy books or using your hands to mold it back into shape. I don't think there is a way to avoid this side effect. Even using a small amount of Glimmer Mist will cause your paper to warp a little.

There are other options if you don't want to purchase the Glimmer Screens. These are Heidi Swapp masks, that work with paint as well as Glimmer Mist (or Ranger Colour Wash, which is similar to Glimmer Mist, but without the shimmer!). They come in a variety of patterns (pictured are the ones we have in stock right now) and are self-adhesive so they won't pop off while you're applying colour!
You could also use mesh ribbon as a screen, or the background of a chipboard/die cut letter sheet. Just pop out any leftover letters, place the whole sheet on your paper, and spray. KI Memories also sells "die cut paper" that would work lovely as a screen. And you could use your newly coloured paper on a layout once you're done using it as a screen!

And if you want to see Glimmer Mist and Glimmer Screens in action, watch Global TV (in Edmonton) at 7:09 on Monday morning for a "live" demo with our very own Chantel!!

Check back next week for another Techneek and our first TM Project!!
Until then...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Techneek of the Week

Sorry this post is so late today!! I was busy playing with the little guy outside today!

So last week I covered how to make a scrapbook "on-the-go." And this week I'm going to give you some tips and pointers on creating a simple, yet beautiful MINI ALBUM. These "tips and tricks" work for any theme and any size and are great to keep in mind when doing gifts for parents, grandparents, wedding or anniversary. Or for yourself when you don't want the project to get too complicated or pricey!!

I myself am horrible at creating mini albums if I have to come up with a new idea for each page/layout/photo, or if I don't already have all my photos picked out and ready to go. So, Step #1 is to choose your photos and your album size. There are so many sizes, shapes and styles of mini albums out there nowadays that this might end up being the hardest step for you!

Decide how many photos you would like to include, and be reasonable and ruthless when choosing! For example, a 50th Wedding Anniversary album could have 100s of photo possibilities, but unless you willing to put together a 50+ page album, maybe only include photos of significant events (wedding, 1st home, birth of kids, etc.). You can always give a simple photo album in addition to the scrapbook to include those "extra" pics. If no matter what you do, you still have a lot of photos consider printing them smaller than 4x6 (3.5x5 is a nice size), or going up a size of album (example: 8x8 instead of 6x6).

Once you have chosen your photos, choose your album. Size is the most important choice, and will depend on how many photos you want to include on each page. If you only have a handful of photos and can crop them down to a fairly small size, consider a 4x4 or 4x6 album. KI Memories has a new line of cute felt 4x4 albums that come in a variety of colours. You can't add any pages to them, but they have page protectors for 20 layouts. Treasured Memories carries many brands of albums, many of them available in a smaller size.

Check out:

  • Making Memories has some beautiful 9x9 leather ones, or baby boy/girl album kits that come with a 9x9 album and some coordinating embellishments
  • American Crafts for 6x6 and 8x8 post-bound or D-Ring albums in a variety of colours

  • K & Company does 8x8 albums, and you can also purchase a kit with coordinating embellishments and paper in a variety of themes

  • Prima Marketing has some nice 6x6 embossed chipboard albums, or check out their Build-A-Book acrylic album line where you can mix and match page designs, adding as many as you need in a variety of styles (avail. in 6x6 and 6x12)

  • Chatterbox's new line of albums are 6x6, come in at least 6 different colours, and have embossed pages inside

  • Cosmo Cricket's chipboard albums are black and come in a variety of neat shapes!

  • ColorBok and Home are two new lines we have in store that offer 8x8 albums with beautiful cover designs (both are post-bound)

NOTE: Not all of these items are always in stock. Please check the store for current availability.

If you can't find an album you like, you can always make your own! I often find that I would rather save money on an album and spend more on the pretty stuff that goes inside! So I create my own out of chipboard, cardboard, tags, etc. I attach the pages together with a binder ring or ribbon, and can make it as many pages as I need! This is more work for you, so if you are under a deadline, consider purchasing an album.

Step #2: Selecting the papers you want to use. Remember that these are tips and tricks for creating a simple mini album. I pick at most, three coordinating patterns and one neutral solid. And that's all! Not only does this save your budget, if prevents you from having to match papers to each photo, and it gives your mini album a nice cohesiveness that will unify the album. This is especially good if you have photos from many different events. Using the same colours throughout the book will make it seem like the photos are meant to go together. If you are worried about the colours clashing, print all of your pictures in black and white (or sepia). This only adds to the unity and appearance of the album.

Make sure you purchase enough paper to complete the entire album! It's always so frustrating when you are short one or two sheets, only to return to the store and find the paper sold out! If you require a solid as your background on every page, buy enough solid cardstock to do the job Example: 10 page protectors, means 20 layouts and if you're doing a 6x6 album, one 12x12 piece of cardstock will do 4 layouts. Do the math and that means you need to buy 5 sheets of cardstock. After you complete Step #3, you will be able to figure out how many sheets of each pattern you will need.

Step #3: Decide the layout of each page. For the one mini-album I have made that I actually completed and totally love, I did the same page layout for each page. You may think that sound boring, but if you add unique embellishments to each page, that will be enough to add interest to the album. This is essential to save time (and your sanity!), and means you can spend more time on the fun part: the embellishing! For the album I created, each page had a rectangle of pattern #1, and a square of pattern #2 that I positioned beside the photo. I added a stamped image (a label) punched into a circle shape to finish the page. This worked for both portrait and landscape photos, as I could just turn my layout depending on the orientation of the photo. (See picture of purple album below). If it helps you, sketch out a couple of options, or choose a layout from a page you have already completed that would be simple to duplicate and flip 180 degrees when called for.

Now you can determine how big each element is going to be, and trim your pattern paper accordingly. And since each cut is the same, just cut as many as you'll need (for as many pages as you've decided to include), and then start putting your album together. Easy as pie! And tasty too!!

Pictured below, is the one and only, completed Mini Album I have in my collection! It was super easy, once I chose my photos (from a vacation I took with my family in the 90s...please ignore the horrible fashion and hair-dos!), and paper (there was a lot of purple in the photos...again, please ignore the horrible fashion!!). I cut a rectangle out of the polka dot and a square from the floral print. You could even use a large square punch to save more time! I also punched out a circle label stamp to add to each page. It is within this circle that I did most of embellishing...

...of which there is a minimal amount...some travel-themed chipboard and epoxy stickers; rub-ons; a fabric flower and brad; and some travel label stickers from 7Gypsies. I added a little bit of journaling to some of the pages, but I felt the pictures mostly spoke for themselves, and a lot of the details of the trip are fuzzy as it happened so long ago.

I made the album myself out of 12x12 chipboard I cut down to 6x6 pieces that form each page. I didn't have to use any cardstock as background, as my chipboard matched the colours in my pattern paper. On the cover I used the same pattern papers, and added a Heidi Swapp damask sticker (that I also used inside) and some American Crafts Thickers letter stickers for my title.

(Please excuse the 1st two pics. For some reason Blogger keeps turning them on their side!!)

For more examples of mini albums, you can check out the store...we have a resident "Mini Album Master", as I like to call her. Anam is always pumping out the mini albums, and most of hers follow these same guidelines I have offered here...Keep It Simple Sweetie!

Until next time...