Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Bang for Your Buck!

A.K.A. all the cool things you can do with less than $20 worth of new stuff!!

With the way the economy has been taking us for a ride lately, it can be tough to buy the new stuff we want and love. But it's easy to buy a handful of fun supplies and make them go a long way and work with what you already have on hand. That way you can still have some fun with the pretty new things that have been arriving daily at your LSS, but you won't break the bank in the process.

So, during my last Saturday shift at Treasured Memories, I took a browse around the store looking for some fun new supplies that I knew could work with a bunch of different themed photos and different colours. And I stumbled upon the new Lime Rickey line from Basic Grey. It is awesome! And bright! And is so my style!!! I picked four patterns from the line (and it was super tough I tell ya!), and then found some bright Prima flowers and new lime green lace, and some awesome yellow American Crafts Thickers letter stickers.

The key here is to pick papers and embellishments that will work with what you have at home. Note: there is one extra sheet of paper in my pile that isn't pictured here. It's from the new Making Memories Just Chillin line, and it's just lined paper with some green doodling on it...see if you can spot it in my layouts down below!

I love bright colours, crazy patterns, and lacy ribbon. I also find that I love using flowers on layouts, even ones of my son, and I am a total collector of all things American Crafts, so Thickers were a natural choice. This small basket worth of stuff might not seem like a lot, but with it I got my "new stuff fix", and I spent less than $20!

I challenge you to put together your own mini shopping spree!

Step One: Look through your more recently completed layouts and be honest with yourself - what colours or types of embellishments do you use most often? What is the predominant fixture in your "collection"? Some people love bling (not me!), but others gravitate towards flowers or die cut shapes. It may be fun to buy that crazy new thing that everyone has, but maybe doesn't suit your style...BUT you might never use it! And then it's a waste of your money, and nobody likes that!

Step Two: Take a trip to your local scrapbook store with a budget in mind. $25 to $30 is a good starting point. Walk around the store once without picking anything up. Once you have made it back to your starting point, think of the paper or embellishment line that really caught your eye. Now go back to it.

Step Three: Grab four different patterned papers from that line. They don't have to match perfectly, as in my case, and if there aren't four different patterns in the same line, mix and match similar patterns from different lines.

Step Four: Find some embellishments that go with the colours found in the paper line. Remember the exercise from Step One and choose a package of embellishments that best fit your taste. Flowers are a great choice, as are tags, die cut shapes, sticker words, or multi packs with a little bit of everything! And don't forget your budget! If you can't choose between a couple of different things, really be tough on yourself and realistic - which one would you use more??

Step Five: Pick out a sticker letter set that goes with your paper and embellishments. When in doubt, pick black, brown or white - neutral colours will go with anything you picked out or have at home.

Step Six: Pick some ribbon that goes with your paper, embellishments and letter stickers. I like to buy ribbon by the yard because you get just enough to add to a couple of pages, but not too much that once you`re sick of it, you`re stuck with another two yards!!

Take your new fun stuff home, grab some photos and get to work!

Extra stuff you might need from home:
- Solid colour cardstock. I personally never use coloured cardstock anymore! Only black, white or kraft. That way I never have to match a colour to the paper I bought, or put completing a layout on hold becuase I don't have the exact right shade of pink to use as my background! When you're at the store, stock up on neutral cardstock.
- Stamps, ink and embossing powder. I used a new Prima background stamp, in a brick pattern to liven up my white background paper. I also used an old stamp of a dumptruck and updated it with some sparkly embossing powder!
- Pens. Doodling and journaling are simple ways to add interest and personality to your pages. And inexpensive! Buy a couple of good pens in a variety of thicknesses, and they'll last you through a lot of layouts.
- Punches. I have two sizes of circle punches, and I always turn to them in a pinch to make the most of my pattern paper.
- Buttons, rhinestones, brads, rhinestone brads, etc. Everybody I know has a tonne of brads and rhinestones in their stash. Pull some out that go with the paper and other embellishments you bought on your mini shopping spree. Chances are you have some that match!
- The only other extra thing I used from my stash were some Hambly transparencies. I keep all of my Hambly scraps! And I had some circles and wood grain in the right colours that I used to add a little extra interest on some of my layouts.

So far I have ELEVEN layouts finished, and lots of supplies left! Here are eight of the ones I've completed so far. For the most part they are super simple, but they get the job done, allow me to add some journaling so I remember the moment, and get through the stack of photos I have from my last vacation!

If you want to see the layouts in person, I have posted them at Treasured Memories on our display wall (right when you walk in). The colours are so vibrant and bright, they make me happy to just look at them!


But wait, there's more!!

Leave a comment here and you will be entered to WIN my little kit!! WOO HOO!! That's five pattern papers, a set of American Crafts Thickers, a yard of lime green Prima Lace, and a pack of colourful Prima flowers all for FREE, all just for reading this little Blog!

This kit will inspire you to pull out vacation photos, pictures from the lake, the splash park, pictures of your kids splashing in a rain puddle, you name it, and help you bring a little Spring colour into your life after this long winter we're having!

You will have until next Saturday (that's May 2nd...National Scrapbook Day) to leave a comment for your chance to win! HOORAY! I will post the winner's name here...if you sign up to Follow this Blog you'll be the first to find out if that's you!

Happy Creating!

P.S. I have some unclaimed prizes kicking around my house. If you are either Jan or Sharon, you are already a winner! If you haven't claimed your prize by the close of this contest, I will re-award them to the runners up! Sorry, but the Spring Cleaning Bug has hit my house and I just can't stand to see these supplies sitting around not being used!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TOTW - Heidi Swapp Invisibles!

So if you were ever in any doubt how AWESOME Heidi Swapp is, look no further for proof! Her new line of Invisibles is so awesome! So rad! So amazing! I defy you to find anything to fault here! And so I will do a page, and show you just one way to use this fab new product!

You will need:
- new Heidi Swapp Invisibles paper
- Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in a variety of coordinating colours
- a wet paper towel or baby wipes (to wipe off the excess Glimmer Mist)
- newspaper or cardboard to protect your work surface

Step One: Lay down some newspaper, old paper bags or cardboard on top of your work surface. Glimmer Mist tends to get a bit fact I had a dream the other night that I had been spritzing Glimmer Mist to my heart's content against one wall at the store, only to move some furniture and discover a giant smear of pink all down the wall! Not that this could happen in real life, but you get the picture!!

Invisibles are cool because they are pretty much just a white sheet of paper with a pattern embossed on to the surface. This creates a slick surface that resists whatever ink or paint you decide to throw at it!

Step Two: Spray your lightest colour first (mine is yellow) and cover the entire background. After yellow came orange for me, and I made sure to leave lots of yellow showing.
When you've finished spraying one colour, wipe the excess Glimmer Mist off the shiny parts on the paper. That way the "Invisible" part will stay nice and white through all the applications of Glimmer Mist. TIP: Do not use tissue to wipe off the excess Glimmer Mist as I will just leave little pieces of tissue all over your paper! Instead, try wet paper towel or baby wipes!
Here's the paper after the yellow and orange have been applied.

Keep adding colours until you like what you see!

Close up: this is still wet, but you'll notice that I have some dark and light areas that create a really beautiful background full of depth and life.

And the finished layout:

The possibilities for this stuff are endless...Heidi has come out with a bunch of different patterns of Invisible papers, as well as pattern chipboard and letters. It really is too awesome - customizable everything!!

Happy Creating!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Featuring...Making Memories!

So, Making Memories is never a hard sell. Never ever! But I thought I would feature it here before we completely sell out! To prove to you that it did exist!

Making Memories' two most recent lines are Just Chillin Boy and Just Chillin Girl. These lines are full of colour and shiny goodness!
Lots of rad embellishments to choose from, including button brads, metal signage, shiny alphas, and die cuts. And the paper is so sweet! You've really got to see it to believe it: doodles, guitars, shiny stars, butterflies, crowns, etc. etc. etc.
And since the colours of both lines are complimentary, you've got lots of mix-and-match options!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I've left lots of stuff for the rest of you!

Happy Creating!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

TOTW - Distress With Tape

There are so many tools and gizmos and contraptions you can buy nowadays to distress your paper and pictures. But I found a cheap and easy way to do it with some clear tape...

Note: I print my photos at home on my Canon printer, on HP matte photo paper...this Techneek might not work the same on other paper or ink. But it doesn't hurt to try!

You will need:
- some clear tape
- your picture

Step One: Lay the tape on the edge of your photo and press it down.

Step Two: Pull the tape off.

Step Three: Repeat around all the edges of the photo.

And a close up...
This looks really cool on my black and white photo, but you could easily repeat the process on your colour photos as well!

Happy Creating!


And Congrats again to Alison, who won herself this super rad prize pack!! WOO HOO!

This weekend I plan on showcasing some new Making Memories, so check back on Saturday for the full meal deal.

And...have you heard about this little thing called National Scrapbook Day?? Treasured Memories has lots of fun things planned, so if you're going to be around that first weekend in May, check out the main blog for all the details!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fancy Clothespins

I know, I doesn't sound all that exciting, but it is I promise! This is one of those little projects that gets you making something, gets you playing with paper and glue and fun little things without any pressure and any timetable...just plain fun!

You will need:
- wooden clothespins
- pattern paper
- Ranger Glossy Accents (or clear embossing powder)
- other little things to embellish, like flowers, buttons, etc.

Step One: Trace the shape of your clothespin onto your pattern paper. Wooden clothespins aren't perfect so it won't be a perfect rectangle. Even after you trace it and cut it out, you might need to do some more trimming to get a good fit.

Step Two: I inked the edges of my paper before I glued it down, but you could skip this step or even distress the edges with some sandpaper.

Step Three: Use your standard scrapbooking adhesive to glue the paper down, then coat the entire top with glossy accents. To save yourself some time, add your embellishments at this point while the glue is still wet.

These little guys are super fun to use to hang your wet clothes, or you could use them in a fun art project...I've been eyeing my metal clothes hangers for awhile with a special purpose in mind!

I have a couple of clothespins stuck to the cupboards in my kitchen and I use them to hang up my new layouts or something that has been inspiring me lately.

Happy Creating!
And the Winner is...

Congratulations! Now, I don't have a prize set up just yet, as I couldn't find anything good in Dallas! Can you believe it? So I'm going to throw some cool travel stuff together and send it off. So Alison, please email me your address and I can get your surprise package out to you. Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

TOTW - DIY Pattern Paper

Hi y'all! I'm back! This week my Techneek is pretty low key, but it's a good do-it-yourself idea if you want to make your own pattern paper or paper embellishments.

You will need:
- Alcohol ink in a variety of colours. They can be different shades of the same colour or colour family, or an entire rainbow. I'm using four colours: yellow, orange, red and green
- A paper towel
- Some glossy photo paper. Or matte, or any old paper with a shiny, glossy surface.

Step One: Put some alcohol ink on your balled up paper towel. Start with your lightest colour. I'm only applying it in a small area because I know I am going to cut it up once I'm finished. If you want a larger sheet of paper, apply more alcohol ink to a larger area. I really like the texture that using the paper towel gives the ink.

Step Two: Keep adding your colours, first to your paper towel and then on to your paper. I followed the yellow with orange, then red, then green, using less of each colour as I went along. I wanted yellow to be my base, and the others to be accent colours.

If you want to go back in and add more of one or another colours, do that now.

I completed two layouts using the little bit of pattern paper I created.

You could also try:
- Using mesh or a sponge to apply the alcohol ink. This will give you a different texture than the paper towel did.
- Use only two colours of ink for a really dramatic monochromatic look
- Use a mask, and apply your alcohol inks over top.
- Use your pattern paper to make some fun die cuts with.
- Make a bunch of different sheets with different colours and mix and match them on a layout.

No idea what my project is going to be on Saturday, but I think I know what my next Techneek will be! I have noticed that a lot of my layouts have been looking very similar to each other as of late! I want to see if I can come up with a cool idea to shake up your layouts and share that with you next week.