Thursday, May 16, 2013

May Flowers Blog Hop!

Welcome to Team L. I. 's second Blog Hop!  I am so excited to be part of this fabulous group of crafters for the second time!  We had so much fun with our "April Showers" blog hop that we just had to do it again!  If you are coming from Sharon Armstrong's blog, then you are in the right place!  Our group has grown since last month, so we decided to split into two groups.

Day 1 started with Elizabeth Mindemann.  If you would like to start at the beginning of the hop on Day 1, then go here.  We are now on Day 2 of the hop, which starts with Valerie Ward.  There are 15 blogs in all (8 on Day 1 and 7 on Day 2), so be sure to visit all of them from both days!  Read all the way through, because near the end of this blog, you'll have an opportunity to enter our monthly Raflecopter giveaway!  The prize this month is sponsored by none other than your's truly and I'm really excited to give away some fun things to the winner of our contest!

This month's topic is "May Flowers" and I have some great flower tutorials to share with you over the next few weeks!  For the blog hop, we will concentrate on one of my favorites that I learned while teaching classes at Scrappin' Goodtime in Corsicana, Texas...this super simple mum/carnation made from a phone book.  Yes, that's right -- a phone book!  If you've followed my blog for very long, you'll know that I just love finding new uses for old items, and I am a big fan of recycling in any way.  Recycle, Renew, Reuse!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Some days, the inspiration comes quickly.  Today was one of those days.  I needed one of those days.  Our LOAD 513 prompt was “Modus Operandi”, and my first thoughts went to our household routines and how I really should document some of those, but I really didn’t have any pictures prepped that I could use, so I went on a photo hunt and ran across this one of Christen when she was in high school (she’s almost 30 now!).  It made me think about how she always slacked off at school and then did some kind of great project that gave her a passing grade.  That’s how she operated right up through college, and it really needed to be scrapbooked.

The papers and some embellishments are from Close to My Heart.  The burlap banner is Little Yellow Bicycle and the font is by Quickutz.

Stay tuned for our second Team L. I. blog hop.  The hop kicks off today on Elizabeth Mindemann’s Broken Treasures blog.  Our theme is May Flowers, and we have 15 blogs for you to visit and see some great projects, so be sure to check in and visit all the blogs.  The hop is going to be divided into two sections, and my blog will be featured on Day 2 of the hop (tomorrow), so be sure to come back for the second half.  I can’t wait for you to see the project I did for you.

Coming up later this week, I’ll have some changes and information about the 365 project and I’ll share some of my progress on my art journal!  Until then, go do something creative!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Blog, blog, blog.  Some days that sounds to me like blah, blah, blah.  I’m writing to you in the wee hours of the night because writing a blog post was decidedly not how I wanted to spend my Mother’s Day.  As I mentioned in my last post, I had great plans to sit here with my craft supplies and make something cute.  Didn’t happen.  Well, it did, but not like I planned….

Work always seems to interfere with crafting for me.  It’s one reason I really like to go on crops and retreats; I just need to get away from the house and the office to get anything done.  I won’t bore you with the details of what I did do, but suffice it to say that I didn’t get to sit down to anything crafty until well after 10:00pm tonight, and that was just to do my LOAD 513 project.  So while I did do something crafty, I didn’t get to work on any of the projects I had planned to work on, and I can’t share with you the projects I planned to share.  That means I have no blog post ready to go, and I’ve got to start from scratch.

Today’s LOAD topic was “the usual suspects” and my take on that prompt is a perfect description of what always seems to happen to my day! 

The inspiration for this layout came from pagemap #69 by Susan Stringfellow on her SketchSavvy blog.  The papers are from October afternoon: “Daydream: Freshly Mown Lawn” and “Fly a Kite: Garden”.  These are both older papers, so I love getting to use up little bits of my stash.  The banner was made using the Stampin’ Up! pennant punch, but the layers didn’t go together the way I liked (too much of the aqua paper was visible), so I punched the scalloped triangle in the white and then trimmed off the scallops to make a slightly larger white layer with the scallop barely peeking out.  The title was cut on my Cricut using the Base Camp font.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Get Moire Out of Your Photos

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope all my scrappy friends are enjoying a wonderful day of rest and relaxation with their families.  I have set aside today to spend some quality time with my scrapbooks and art journal while my husband and son work on setting up our above-ground pool for the summer.  I’m really looking forward to it, because other than my daily LOAD 513 pages, I haven’t done any personal scrapbooking in what feels like forever.

Speaking of LOAD 513 (which stands for Layout a Day, May 2013), I wanted to share with you a fun little page I did for Saturday’s prompt – “Lust”.  Boy was that a hard prompt to work with!  I puzzled over it all day and just couldn’t think of anything suitable to scrapbook along the theme of lust.  Greed, gluttony, sloth…yeah, I’ve got a ton of ideas for those, but not lust – not PG-rated anyway.  I was about to give up and just do a random page without the prompt when suddenly I had a brainstorm.  Actually it was more like a song storm.  One of those where a song gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out.  Well, this song happened to be Pink Floyd’s “Young Lust”.  Why that song happened to get stuck in my head, I do not know – the brain works in very mysterious ways – but as it so happens, I do have a story related to that song that made for a great scrapbook page.

Here is the photo I started out with.  You might notice that the photo is black and white, an odd size, and it kind of looks like it was a newspaper clipping.  That’s because it was.  One of our friends posted a scan of this newspaper clipping on Facebook a while back, and since it’s the only known photo of the ensemble group, I had to make it work. 

By the way, Facebook is a great source of photos when you don’t have any of your own.  While you’re in the photo browser, you can download a photo by clicking on the “Option” menu.  I’ve downloaded pictures from my high school years, my husband’s college years, and lots and lots of pictures of my son’s college life these past two years. I love it because I wouldn't have access to these photos otherwise.

Anyway, the point of this article was to share with you how I “fixed” the photo to use it on my layout.  Normally, when I have a newspaper or magazine article that I want to scan, I will use the “Descreen” feature on my scanner to help remove the moire patterns that are created during scanning of these kinds of images.  Unfortunately, there is no such filter in Photoshop to automatically remove the moire on an image that has already been saved, but, a quick search of the internet turned up this great tutorial which was easily adapted for my needs. 

In Photoshop, I increased the image’s resolution to 200% and then continued the tutuorial from there.  In each step, I used the maximum recommended setting.  Eventually, I wound up with a slightly odd shaped picture.  I adjusted the image size to top out at 6” wide at 300 ppi, and then increased the canvas size to a maximum 4” height.  This gave me a standard 4” x 6” print that I can have processed at my local photo printer. 

Is this the best possible technique?  Maybe not.  But if I have a choice between no photo, a poorly scanned newspaper clipping, or a fair photo created from the newspaper clipping, I will use this technique any day!

That's it for today.  Stay tuned later this week for our second Team L.I. Blog Hop.  Our theme for May is "May Flowers" and I've got some cool posts for you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Card

Today’s blog is going to be short but sweet.  Tomorrow is my son’s last final of the year, so I’m driving out to Aggieland to bring him home for the summer.  I may or may not have time to post another blog for tomorrow – it all depends on how late we get in.  Since I was in such a rush today, I’m not very happy with my LOAD page, so instead, I decided to show you the card I made for my mother for Mother’s day.  No, I’m not worried she’ll see it here first – she’s not very internet savvy and I’m not sure she even knows what a blog is!

This card was made using (once again) Down by the Shore by Fancy Pants Design.  It was inspired by the page layout I saw on Scrapbook Generations.  The sticker letters came from the same paper line, and the stamps and punches are from Stampin’ Up!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Red Herring

One page or two?  Simple or fussy?  Few pictures or many?  Chronological events or stories about people?  Do you tend to stick with a certain style, or do you adapt your style to fit the project? 

I read a lot of message boards and talk to a lot of scrapbookers about their styles and how they like to work.  I like to think I notice some of the scrapbooking trends and I often try to emulate the styles or learn the techniques that become popular.  But I one thing I notice is that a lot of scrappers get stuck in a rut.  Once a technique or style becomes popular, that’s the only style they will use, and all the other “favorite” styles fall by the wayside.

Not me.  I like to think that I absorb techniques and styles, blending them with my own and adding them to my repertoire like a librarian adds books to her library.  I don’t like to use a technique on my pages too often.  I like my pages to be different.  I change from one page to many, from plain and simple to extremely elaborate.  Likewise, I don’t work on pages in any particular order most of the time because I don’t want the pages to be dated by the current trends or paper styles.  That’s why you’ll often see me using old paper on this blog and shabby chic pages right next to a few that use the color-blocking technique.

Today’s page is my answer to the LOAD 513 Day 6 prompt, “Red Herring”.  If you don’t know what a red herring is, it is a literary device, often used in mystery novels, to introduce a bit of subterfuge, to intentionally mislead, to lead a reader to the wrong conclusion.  I had to think really long and hard about this one, because I’m a pretty open and honest person and I just couldn’t think of any instance where the story might include some kind of red herring.  I actually put off working on my page all day because I couldn’t think of anything. 

While I was procrastinating, I decided to clean up my room a bit and I started doing a bit of planning/packing for a retreat I’ll be going on in a couple of weeks.  I knew I needed to go through my pictures and get a few more printed out.  So while I was sorting through those pictures, I stumbled across the perfect red herring story!

You might note that this is a very simply-styled page.  There’s hardly any embellishments, and the paper is several years old.  I actually bought this paper long before the pictures on this layout were ever taken, but given that my son was well on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout and the fact that my husband is the Scoutmaster of their troop, I figured it was pretty likely I would need this paper some day, so I bought it when I first saw it…just in case.

Could I have used a more modern style on this page?  Sure, but flowers and rhinestones and tons of layered embellishments really didn’t seem to fit, and I was very limited by the paper itself.  Could I have used a more modern paper?  Sure, but I don’t like to waste paper, and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better use for it. If I was ever going to use this paper, now was the time.  So what if my page isn’t the most modern, magazine-worthy masterpiece.  It tells the story, I got to use up some patterned paper that would have otherwise gone to waste, and I managed to stay on prompt for LOAD 513.  And that makes me very happy.