Saturday, September 18, 2010
Hi, Kathy here! Seriously…I know we all say it…but it is SO darn hard to make a choice about the LOTW. There are so many talented scrappers, and so many super cute pages, it makes it so hard to choose just one. However, this layout just took the cake for me:
Kindergarten 2 by jltanner
I fell in LOVE with the comic book, whimsical feel of this page…again using Hopscotch and the School additions. And really, that cute face and sweet smile…doesn’t it melt your heart? I can just picture my baby boy there in a few short years…back pack and all with a little buddy by his side. Such a great page, simple yet really bold…great job jltanner, hope you enjoy the gift certificate that Shabby Princess has emailed to you.
Well, that’s it for me today, enjoy your weekend but join us again next week for some more fun stuff.
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized
Friday, September 17, 2010
Hey there…Kathy back with you again…yay! It has been one heck of a summer here, and I cannot lie, I am happy for fall and all that it brings. Yesterday was my Nalley girl’s first day of Preschool…*choking back tears*…I simply cannot believe it! My kiddos are growing so fast and I am reminded of why I love scrapbooking so much…it is a way to preserve our memories and share them…for me, a way to hold on to the times that are slipping by far too quickly.
Today I’m bringing the last installment of my Hybrid Product Picks series to you…a more “advanced level” spotlight for some of my favorite “toys”! I am a gadget girl, no doubt. My husband gasped at all of my kitchen gadgets when we met, wondering what in the world one person would do with them all. What can I say, I love tools that make a job easier. So, it was no surprise to him when I started collecting scrapbooking gadgets. I don’t use all of them all the time, but when I need them, I am sure thankful that they are in my craft room.
I loves me some punches! I have LOTS of punches…and they are probably some of my most frequently used scrapbooking tools. They are quick, easy and can pack a pretty serious punch when layered or used creatively. I have tried several brands, but hands down my favorite are E.K. Success. They make all of Stampin’ Up!’s shaped punches, along with Martha Stewart’s line, as well as many basic shapes that can be stacked or nested.
Another tool that I use all the time, is my Scor Pal. I used a stylus and the groove in my mini Fiskar’s trimmer for many moons, until I got my Scor Pal, and I just LOVE it. However, Martha Stewart has come out with her own version, called the Score Board…and I must say, I wish I had it instead. There are a few big differences, in that the MS one has grooves at regular (and small) intervals…where the Scor Pal only has them every half inch (and a few others thrown in at commonly used measurements). The other being the width of the scoring tool. The MS tool is thinner and gives a more crisp score (or so I’ve seen demonstrated in a comparison). Either way, a dedicated scoring board is a must on my list.
My go-to (small) scissors are Stampin’ Up!’s Paper Snips. They are compact, super sharp and do a GREAT job cutting out intricate shapes that must be trimmed by hand. I love them! For punching holes and setting eyelets, a girl’s gotta have a Crop-A-Dile…a pink one at that! It is something I use regularly, and does its job so well. I also have the Making Memories eyelet setting tool, and use it when I need to punch holes or set eyelets somewhere that my Crop-A-Dile can’t reach. If you’re a crazy nut like some I know…you might also have the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite, which will do the job of it’s little sister, but will reach anywhere on a 12×12 piece of paper.
Another tool that I don’t use all that often, but I just LOVE, is my Bind-it-All. It was one of the first book binding tools on the market a few years ago, and I just HAD to have it. There are several similar products on the market, including the 7 Gypsies Binderie (drills uniform holes but doesn’t bind) and the We R Memory Keepers Cinch (haven’t used either of them) that do basically the same thing. The Bind-it-All will punch holes in paper, chipboard, acrylic, tin, etc…and them bind all of the pages together using O-wire coils. I have used my BIA for making minis and several other projects…and I always have fun using it and embellishing the coils with ribbon…aaahhhhhh…ribbon….
Saving the BEST for last…my die cutting machines! What can I say other than I am obsessed. It must have something to do with my perfectionist tendencies, but I go NUTS for the perfectly clean crisp shapes of die cuts. Something that I just cannot achieve with my unsightly mediocre hand cutting skillz. I bought my Big Shot a couple years back and have used it SO much. The dies themself are an investment, but well worth it for the right ones. I just adore that I can cut chipboard shapes with one little crank of the handle…so great! BUT……my absolute, without-a-doubt, hands down most favorite machine of all has got to be my Cricut Expression. Yes, I know, they have just introduced the Cricut Imagine (which prints and cuts all in one machine…for an astounding $600)…but I have found a way to use my own Cricut and some add on software to print and cut anything I want to. Besides, I have found my “sweet spot” setttings for my beloved Epson printer…I don’t want to have to figure anything out again.
I started using Sure Cuts a Lot software a few months back. It is a software program that will allow the Cricut machines to cut any font or .svg file (scalable vector graphic) instead of being stuck with buying the really expensive cartridges. I don’t like being limited to what comes on the cartridges, and I don’t like paying for lots of graphics I will never use, just to get a few that I would. Just this past week I purchased a different software that will do the same thing, called Make the Cut. I like it soooo much better…a more user friendly interface…more crisp and detailed cuts (not sure why that is)…and lots more functions than SCAL. I will probably still use SCAL on occasion, or maybe not…I just might be converted. One thing stays the same, I use my Cricut ALL THE TIME…whether I’m just tinkering or making cards, or a hybrid project, it gets a regular workout.
I know, I know…I have totally sounded like a paper scrapper, but trust me, I have only done ONE paper scrapbook, my first and last. Digiscrapping is certainly my idea of scrapping. But I just adore paper CRAFTING, and there is simply no denying that cutting paper is therapy…when you’re stressed out, just go punch some paper or die cut some chipboard…you’ll feel lots better…LOL!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a “look” into my craft room (thank God not literally…I’m SO not as brave as Trish) supplies, I hope you’ll use some of the these tools in your next hybrid project, they make my fun a lot MORE fun! Join me back here tomorrow for my pick for the LOTW!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It’s Kathy, back again to bring y’all part 2 of my Hybrid Product Pick series. Today I am going to be sharing my favorite products for embellishing all these gorgeous projects.
One of my absolute favorite things to use in hybrid projects is chipboard because it adds such depth and dimension. I have been smitten with all of Maya Road’s products, but their chipboard shapes are really to die for! Take a look at those cutie-patootie back to school shapes, wouldn’t they coordinate so well with the new Hopscotch School additions? Chipboard is so versitile, it can be painted, stamped, embossed, covered with patterned paper, glittered, you get the drift. Most always I use some distress ink to finish off a chipboard shape. Inking the edges of chipboard and paper makes them pop and adds a real shabby feel to your projects or pages. I use Tim Holtz Distress Ink line by Ranger, there are so many colors to choose from, but one of my favorites is Vintage Photo…love it! Another of my favorite products by Ranger is Stickles, a glitter glue that gives a shimmer to just about anything. Stickles also comes in a zillion lots of colors, but if I had to choose just one, it would be Diamond.
I go a little nuts for flowers too. I love the contrast of delicate flowers paired with the grunginess of distress inks. I love all of Prima’s flowers, and I love to make my own paper flowers too, it is so much fun and the styles and techniques are endless. However, one of my most favorite flowers to use are my own handmade crocheted flowers. Nichole Heady had a great tutorial on how to make them here. You might remember the Hybrid Recipe Box I made a while back featured a double layered crochet flower with a ribbon center.
Now, I am a GIRLY-GIRL, there is no doubt about that. I love pink, any color pink, in fact it has always been my favorite color. Orange is running a close second in the last few years, but pink still rules! I also love sparkly things that shimmer and shine, like GLITTER! Yes, I am a huge sucker for glitter…I like fine glitter, chunky glitter, glass glitter, any kind really. SO, you know that the candy colored glitters in the cute little bottles of Doodlebug’s Sugar Coating are a MUST HAVE on my list. I love to cover a chipboard letter in glitter and use it as a monogram to personalize things.
I love fabric. I LOVE fabric. Fabric does funny things to my heart…it goes pitter patter and feels all funny when I see beautiful fabric. It is very much like how I feel when I see a great new scrapbooking kit or paper pack. I love to sew and quilt and make lovely handmade things from fabric…and I love to use it in my hybrid projects too. Fabric flower embellishments are a perfect way to use up scraps and they add such punch to a project. The fabric featured below is Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, one of my all time most favorite fabric designers…EVER!
Another staple in my hybrid stash is ribbon…lots of ribbon in lots and lots of colors. Grosgrain ribbon is sturdy, yet elegant and comes in just about any width imaginable. Ribbon looks great stitched onto a page, tied around a box handle or looped into a flower shape. A little ribbon can go a long way in adding texture and movement to your hybrid…sometimes even just a little goes a very long way. I have bought ribbon from lots of places. Recently, I discovered Trimweaver…I do not think I will ever buy grosgrain ribbon anywhere else. The colors are gorgeous, and the look and feel of their ribbon is far superior to any I’ve seen. Of course, there are lots of other wonderful ribbon retailers online (and locally, too) - be sure to Google some of them to find what best fits your needs!
There are so many ways to embellish your hybrid project, it is the most fun part, I think…as it allows your creativity to fly free. It can also be very frustrating if you are unsure of what you are doing or what products to use. I hope that my insight and suggestions have been helpful. Allow yourself to play with embellishments, trying different techniques and combinations of things, go outside of your comfort zone… try something new.
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Hey y’all, it’s Kathy and I’m here today with this week’s Product Spotlight…Bounce! I fell in LOVE with Bounce when it was released and just HAD to have it, even though I only had girls at the time. I bought it at the same time I bought Twirl, knowing that those ADORABLE stickers would get some use somewhere. It is such a fun kit, the expressions on the frog and turtle just crack me up! As always, this week’s Product Spotlight feature is on sale this week only! You can pick it up for $5.21.
Bounce is a very up-beat and whimsical kit, perfect for capturing little boy’s antics, summer fun, or spring time mud puddle frolics. Here is my layout, a reminder of how fast my BABY is growing up, using a straw sippy cup and sitting on his knees. He is all boy, and I’m looking forward to playing more with Bounce to capture all of his “little boy” moments.
We can’t wait to see what fun layouts you create with this vibrant kit, meanwhile, here’s what some that the team created with Bounce.
Thanks girls, and we hope you’ll post your layouts using Bounce in the gallery for all to admire!
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, August 9, 2010
Hey y’all…it’s Kathy! I flew home yesterday from a grueling 2 weeks away with my 3 little ones…we had a wonderful visit with my family and friends, however, it was soooo stressful dealing with all of the issues they had being away from home, with limited toys and entertainment, in strange sleeping arrangements…you get the idea. So, I owe you all an appology for a “stress-related” mix up with our posting schedule. This post should have been last Friday and the “Beauty Bag” post should have been today…my error, but we will be back with our regularly scheduled programing on Friday…LOL!
Now, on with this post…it is no secret that I LOVE to create hybrid projects, some of them simple and some more elaborate. However simple or involved the project is, I always count on some basic products to make the creation process easier and more efficient. I’m going to share my tried and true favorites, some products that I would really be LOST without. Now, there are so many products that I use regularly, it would be a really, really looong post if I included them all here, so I’m going to break them up in to “beginner, intermediate and advanced” categories and share a few at a time.
PLEASE NOTE - I did NOT ‘link’ all of these, simply because you can find them at so many different sites and stores – just GOOGLE them, or look at your local scrapbook/hobby/craft store :o)
First up is my Purple Cows 2-in-1 trimmer…I seriously have no idea what I would do without it. It is model # 1040 and has a rotary blade with interchangable blades for perforating, straight cutting and wavy cuts. I don’t use that side often, but occasionally I will use it for specific projects that require a perforation (like my son’s airplane boarding pass invitation) or a wavy trim. Mostly, I use the guillotine side which cuts even the most hair-line thin cuts with a super crisp edge. The guillotine blade is not actually sharp at all, so it is safe for even kids to be around…I love it. But really, you’ll have to take it for a test run to believe how wonderful it is and see all of it’s potential. Ask your local scrapbook store for a demo…you’ll be converted, I’m sure!
The second most basic need you’ll have in any hybrid project are a variety of adhesives. They are not “one size fits all” in that each type of project will likely require a specific adhesive. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to break the bank to have every single one, there are several that will do more than one job, however, to get the optimal results, you’ll need to know which adhesives work best for your projects.
My “go-to” double sided tape is my handy ATG tape gun…I personally have the yellow 700 model as seen below, but I sell the slightly smaller red version that is also on the market. They use the same refills and once you get over the initial investment of the gun itself, the refills are far more cost effective than most any other tape runner on the market. I use my tape gun for making cards, mini albums, gift tags, etc…the list goes on and on.
Next up in the adhesive line up is my FAVORITE strong tape…the Scor-Tape. It is very similar in it’s adhesive qualities to the red-backed Terifically Tacky tape, which I also love, but is easier to use because you can tear the Scor-Tape, where the Terifically Tacky tape has to be cut. I use this tape on any project where I need a stronger more permanent bond, such as on paper boxes (like the Strawberry invitation boxes I made here
) or to attach covers to mini albums where it would get a lot of wear and tear. It is really pretty economical and comes in a variety of widths, including full sheets. I use the 1/4″ width most frequently.
For everyday use on a variety of surfaces, I turn to Tombow adhesives. I use the Tombow glue stick on lots of things. It is a really workable glue that gives a great bond on most things. As I mentioned in this post, I often use a glue stick to adhere paper to projects that I am going to Mod Podge. The glue stick offers a some wiggle room in paper placement, while not getting it wet, which will make the paper curl and makes it prone to bubbles underneath. It is still important to use something like a credit card or kitchen scraper/spatula to gently go over the surface to ensure an even adhesion and to smooth out any bubbles that may have formed under the surface.
My other favorite Tombow product is the Mono Aqua liquid glue. It is a clear glue that gives a great clean bond and it dries clear, so if you get a little too much in one spot, you can quickly wipe it off and it will not show up after the glue dries. I use this often when I need to glue down letters I’ve cut from the Cricut, or punched shapes, etc. A little goes a long way and it is very versitile.
Lastly, I also really like the Tombow Mono Multi adhesive, but it is a little more messy and requires a bit more care when applying. It is very versitile in that it will create a strong permanent bond when two objects are placed together while wet, such as applying paper to a chipboard shape. Alternately, if applied to a surface and left to dry, it becomes a repositionable glue and does not have as strong of a bond. The biggest draw-back is that when it gets on your fingers, they become very tacky and it can mess up your project with gooey glue residue if you aren’t careful. That being said, I ALWAYS use this glue to cover chipboard shapes…it works awesome.
Well, if you know me at all, you’ll know I loves me some Mod Podge. It gives a great protective finish to lots of different projects. There are so many different types of Mod Podge on the market, for any type of crafty project you can think of, but I tend to stick with the original MP, in a Matte finish. I also sometimes use the Paper Mod Podge, if it is something that I want to last for a very long time, such as the recipe box found here. The Paper Mod Podge is acid-free and archival safe, but really it’s up to you, I haven’t found any difference in how they go on.
And last stop on our adhesive tour, are Glue dots…a staple for me. I use all three of the Glue Dots seen below on a really regular basis. They are great for when you have a small item that you need a really permanent bond for, such as buttons, 3-D flowers, gems, rhinestones, charms, etc… I also use the Pop Up Glue Dots when I want to add some dimension to a card or hybrid project. The minis are great for really small items. I LOVE them, and they come in a resealable pouch on perforated squares, which makes them really convenient.
I couldn’t end this “Basics” post without including the Basic Grey Precision File Set. It is a real must have for hybrid projects. I use it every time I cover chipboard with paper or when I make a shaped mini album. It comes with a variety of shaped files that are great for getting into any little corner or ridge and smoothing out rough paper edges. Best of all, it is really reasonably priced for how easily it gets the job done.
I really hope you’ll try some of these wonderful products on your next hybrid project, I’m sure you’ll like them too. Be sure to join me next time when we take a look at some “intermediate” level products that make hybrids so much fun!
Join us back here tomorrow for the next product spotlight (brought to you by Lu)!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized