Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canvas Photo Collage

Hello Hello
How is everyone today? I am a happy girl - the sun is shining and I don't have a thing that I have to do if I don't want to and boy is that a great feeling. However I do happen to be catching up around the house today; the laundry is going, my youngest daughter and I are in the midst of lunch as we speak, and later on today I plan to get to my scrap room and get some organizing done-maybe even attempt to do a mock schedule of projects that I really should get done...that'd be good being that most of them have been sitting for quite sometime.
But first I wanted to share this little gem with you before I get busy. My friend who also happens to be my next door neighbor asked me to help her on a project last summer for her mom. She knew she wanted to do a canvas piece, something that her mom could put on the wall so this is what we came up with.
It's a photo of her and her mom on her wedding day. The photo is beautiful but I wanted to protect their privacy so I chose to only share glimpses of the this piece. The canvas is a 12 x 12 stretched canvas and to start we painted around the outside of it with a shimmer paint, then took a script stamp and stamped the edges of the canvas to add some interest. The next piece we added on was pattern paper which happened to be a monochromatic photo of sunflowers in a white/creme tone which is really kinda cool because in the photo there is a huge bouquet of sunflowers (the theme of the wedding was sunflowers in the Fall) in the background and with the Bride being in white and her mom being in a black & white pant suit it fit the piece perfectly. 
The next layer we added after the photo was the silk sunflowers that my friend had found in her stash, originally she didn't think she wanted them because she didn't want them to distract from the photo but what we quickly realized after playing around with several options is that the sunflowers actually drew our eyes into the photo better and it helped support the overall piece. The photo is now completely center stage as it should be.
Now that we had all the main elements added on, we did some embellishing; we added in lots of distressing, some bling, some other smaller die cuts as accents...just to give it a finished look. The photo corners (as well as the other smaller pieces) we die-cut using her Circut Electronic Die Cutter and using the black shimmer on top of the two other photo mats help anchor the photo, giving it visual weight...being that is the focal point this was a good thing to achieve or else the entire piece would not have been eye-catching, it would have appeared 'off' somehow and that just won't do. 
As it turns out, the piece is rather lovely and her mom was completely and pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful gift. To my delight, as an accomplice, I was happy to see my friend trying something outside the lines for her. Hopefully in the process she has been able to grow as an artist and scrapbooker. I love to share, to teach what I have learned along the way, whether it's to inspire others or prevent them from making the same mistakes I have - I think there is something unifying when we create together and join forces if you will. Thanks for letting me share a bit of myself with you today, hope that somehow in all of this chaos you have found some inspiration of your own. Until next time, craft on!

just B

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Whole Hearted

Hello Hello

So it's been a little over a week since I've posted - but I've been working on something - 
something big!
I've been creating some heART work
and I gotta tell ya...
so far I am a very happy girl!
This crossroad has been a long time in coming. I have been feeling the desire to do something that will allow me the reassurance I need to know that I can change for the good and to acknowledge that this everyday 'living' that I claim to be doing isn't the whole me.
I was RIGHT!!!

 There is a whole heart in this body and I desperately want to begin living wholehearted. What better way than to take Oprah's life class with Brene Brown? This e-course happened in my lap about 3 months ago when one of the Instagramers I follow had posted her registration. I immediately found the information and read through the outline summary, it was exactly what I was looking for. I have long been inspired by Brene Brown's work and wisdom so I was extremely excited about this possibility. 
Unfortunately with the holidays so close at hand then, I couldn't justify the expense on something so 'outside the lines' but then came the 'New Year' and well it came down to a defining moment. You know what I'm talking's that one moment that catches you off guard, when your body is already running on empty and your control seems to be in the hands of a puppeteer and at any given second your soul could just be sucked right out of you - you know right then that it's do or die, yeah...
that pretty much sums it up...
I felt I was in a do or die dilemma. 
Dilemma you ask? 
Yes. Unfortunately that is the correct word...I had a very heavy choice to make because on the one hand I could continue on the same path that I've already been down a thousand times before (quite literally a soul suck) and always brings me right back to here or on the other hand I could 'DARE' a different path that was filled with a lot of serious emotional heART work that I would normally avoid at all costs and well...

I'm choosing to 'DARE'
I'm daring myself to let go of who I think I'm suppose to be, to become who I really am! I will embrace that inner child and remind her that there is a great big whole heart in here that needs the opportunity to love and be loved so that she can shine! 
We all have our paths to take and no one way works for everyone but not to worry because the only one that matters right now is the one that I'm traveling. So with no comparisons and no judgement of myself or of others, from this point on I am keeping a whole heart as my travel companion and I am practicing everyday that even though I am imperfect, I am worthy of this journey and that I belong on this path.

just B

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mickey's Magical Mini Autograph Album

Hello Hello
How is everyone today?

                         I insist!

Today is the day right? 
Well...make it your day, that's what I say.
But first join me as I show you what I made for my two nieces and my nephew as part of their Christmas present.
My brother and his family are doing a Disney World vacation this summer so my gift was a gift card to each of the kiddos so that they would have some money to spend while they are there, right? I even went as far as ordering specific characters on each card, as each kid likes his or her own. Well when I went online to and typed in gift cards it suggests more choices that relate to the one you are looking at; so what I came across was a little autograph album. What a fantastic idea, love it. Their book is 4 1/2 by 6 with 100 blank pages and no pen, then only the inside cover has a spot for a picture. 
The cost is $8.00 USD. big deal, price point seems reasonable enough...until my little scrapper mind takes a hold and runs like the wind caught in a tornado, around and around she goes...where she lands nobody knows.
Well I figured for 8 bucks surely I could come up with something better than 100 blank pages.
Of course at some point I do want a few blanks in there so that if Goofy has really big handwriting he can fit it in somewhere. Or if Snow White has a sudden adoration for my niece AnnaB, she'll have a roomy spot to leave her a personal message. 
But in my version I have also included a couple of journal spots so that my sister-in-law can jot down a few facts from their vacation-if she is so inclined.
I also included a resealable pocket for all the ticket stubs (if that's even used these days) but more importantly their gift card that I originally purchased because even after they use all the money value on it, with each of them having their favorite character they could save that in one of the pockets that I created for that exact reason...Amazing! Some other things that I was thinking they could save inside the pockets were:
the tags off of whatever is purchased
the receipt of such afore mentioned items
the packaging from the afore afore mentioned
maybe the napkin the girls use at their tea party with the princesses
their day passes into the park (if they even have those anymore)
and of course
PHOTOS-small ones so that they all fit.
Seriously people, you might think that these things are crazy to keep but I'm telling you, with as fast as things and technology move these days, very soon they will be (if not already) a thing of the past...
granted I'm sure that we'll still need pretty little napkins in the future to use at a tea with the Disney Princesses, but you get what I'm saying I hope.
So this is my take of a Disney Autograph Album...oh and that reminds me, their version gives you a pen holder but no pen, in mine...
you even get the pen...Fancy that!
So real quick, my album is 5 by 3 1/2 and I have a clear belt tuck with a Velcro closure. I used the Simple Stories Collection Line Say Cheese. The covers were cut from medium weight chipboard then covered with one of the pattern papers from the collection and the Snap cards from the collection are used throughout as well. The binding was done using the Zutter Bind-it-All with black o-rings. For the autograph pages I used Bazzill's Walnut Creme which matches the collection perfectly and is my absolute favorite creme color that can also pass as white sometimes. For a few of the pages I used a plastic paper (seriously-same plastic you see on the cover) and then for the Snap cards that were a quote instead of a journal spot, I adhered them quote side to the plastic by sewing them on - that way the backs of those cards can still be autographed. I will most likely get more of this collection because not only is it colorful and adorable, it is one of the best Disney lines out, that I've ever seen. As I said the colors are bright and bold even, but they are not like in your face bright - compared to some others out there this is certainly a toned down collection but I rather like it a lot. If you are a Disney lover like myself you should definitely go check out this Simple Stories line.
Okay so...that's it...that's all I got for today, if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me, I'd love to hear from you.
Hope you all are having a smooth start to this fabulous new year & I thank you for stoppin' in and takin' a peek! 
More to come later this week so stop-n-peek again soon

just B  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sophisticated Elegance

Hello Hello
!!! Happy New Year !!!

Hope everyone has recovered from their Christmas hangover, I think I have finally! Over the past couple of days when I've been off work I have taken my mornings on the couch doing absolutely nothing.

It's been wonderful!
(note to self: do this more often)
Just real quick I wanted to share with you this envelope album that I made for my mom. I used a black and creme paper pack that I had picked up from Hobby Lobby and I think that I may have to get more of it, I really like the simple elegance of it...a lot; mixed in with the shimmery paper and...
ooo la la
For this particular album the theme I decided to go with is: sophisticated elegance

Knowing ahead of time who a gift is for will save you in the long run. I knew that I wanted this particular album to be for my mom - who had requested something 'new' - by that we mean...
 it's been years since I've made anything for her - WHAT? How did that happen? OMG

So in order to appease her I dived into an envelope album, which usually takes quite a bit of time (or maybe that's just me) and set my theme first. I had these lovely shimmer champagne color envelopes just collecting dust so I decided to put them to use, that's when I found this very suave creme & black paper pack at Hobby Lobby that I fell in love with. The colors were a perfect fit to go along with my theme and also to go along with the way that my mom does her home decorating (which is when planning ahead can really come in handy). I like when things that I hand make match the decor in certain rooms of my home and I knew that my mom would appreciate that too.
As for the pages most of the patterns do the work but aside from the paper the majority of the embellishments come from a border punch that I have in my stash, along with tags and journal spots that I don't have showing in these photos. The border punch is a Martha Stewart one and it's called the Daisy FanMy reasons again for not adding a lot of fancy embellishments is because I knew who this would eventually belong to; my mom is a natural writer so I left plenty of blank spots so that she could add in not only lots of photos but also her own stories, which I am hoping over time she will.
Now not only are there tons of fold outs or flip outs, which ever you want to call them, there are a ton of pockets to stuff stuff in, which I am again hoping my mom will embrace the use of. In my experience that is the fun part when looking at older albums is all the ephemera that was collected in that time. Because things change so fast I think it's important to keep, even in it's smallest measurement, something that reminds us of where we've been and how we got to here. To create the pockets and the photo tucks I used the MS border punch and gave myself about an inch leeway on the opposite side of the decorative punch in order to have the means to adhere the piece down (with wet glue) and still have the right amount of room to hold larger photos and or journal spots in their allotted places.
This album can be totally loaded with pictures and stories and whatever else my mom might think to add without fear of it falling apart, this is one tough cookie. But it's also a unique scrapbook album made mostly from envelopes and although it is a long process to get from the starting position to a finished piece, it is well worth the effort.
Of course this is just my opinion.
As for the cover, I used a sheet of the pattern paper from the collection and then along the spine I used a piece of raw canvas that I stamped on using a coordinating stamp and staz-on ink. At the seam where the canvas joins the pattern paper, I used my hot glue gun and tacked down that gorgeous piece of black trim that just completely sets the whole mood for my Sophisticated Elegance. Aside from the particular stamp that I used I am very pleased with the way this album cover turned out. I will certainly do a canvas spine again but most likely without the stamping.
So there you have it, that's all for today!
Hope all of you have a safe and suave New Year's!

just B