Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday and what a great day it is! I won an RAK for being a follower on The Mosy Scrapper site. TMS has a great design team, offers wonderful tutorials, is a great place to online shop and is just a fun place to hang out and become inspired! Check out this great site and you might be the next follower to win a great RAK!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get De-Stressed while you Distress

Let’s face it, I’m a tool junkie. When I saw the Making Memories Distressing Kit on the store shelf, I wanted it because it was full of tools that I did not have and was not really sure how to use. But I thought I would add this kit to my stash knowing it would be awhile before I got around to using it. Now that I have, wow! What was I waiting for? Though I had sanded, inked and chalked before, this kit enticed me to try so much more.
I now know how to dye, striate, and do such much more. My absolute favorite tool in the kit is the edger! Now I distress everything in sight! (If my cat lies around on top of scrap desk much longer, I may have to distress him!) And I found that when I'm stressed, distressing helps me de-stress. It's quite therapeutic for me and does wonders to make my layouts look their best.
Do you want to know what’s in the kit? There’s a LOT!
· Sanding block with three grits
· Steel wool-2 pads
· Emery board-3 boards each with different grit
· Stipple brush
· Foam brushes 1" & 2" wide
· Chalk-3 colors
· Ink sponges-3 colors
· Exclusive edge scraper
· Bone folder
· Aging dye-2 single use pouches
· Paint comb
· Pounce wheel
· Chalk brushes-3
· Sandpaper-3 sheets (1 each of fine, medium and coarse grit).
To put it basically, this distressing kit has EVERYTHING that you need to instantly add antiquity to your pages.
The inks and chalks in the kit are the perfect colors needed to distress your embellishments and paper. The size and shape of the pads make it so easy to get a good, smooth, inked paper edge with no hard lines! The sandpaper block is great for large surfaces and the sandpaper files are great for those smaller surfaces.
I love the look I achieved on this layout with the help of the Making Memories Distressing Kit. I took this picture of my husband at the river last year and I think the distressing technique really did the photo justice. What do you think?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photo-focused Scrapbooking

The sun is out this afternoon and I'm really feeling the urge to hit the beach. Living in Florida that was an easy thing to do, but here in Japan it's still a bit too cold for beaching it. So, this afternoon I'm going to get my beach fix by sharing my Beach Mosaic layout with you.

A mosaic layout really makes the photos the focus of your page, and making mosaics is such a great way to scrapbook if you are on a budget. All you need are a few photos, a mat with one-inch grids and a good ruler, preferably one with a cork backing so it does not slip.

Cut your photos into one-inch squares. Just use caution when cutting a photo that depicts people; always be sure that you do not cut through someone's face. When making a mosaic, you do not have to use every bit of each photo you choose. You can use only the squares that feature something you would like to showcase in your finished page. Beach Mosaic uses 9 photos from different beach scenes, including the larger picture of my husband which I matted and used whole.

For the best results in arranging your one-inch squares, I recommend Wish in the Wind (http://www.wishinthewind.com/) grid paper. Now the only other item you need is your glue stick. Arrange your photos on the grid, glue them down --Wha-lah!

I love using the mosaic technique for photos with lush scenery, but I've also used this technique for zoo photos and my layout came out amazing. I would love to see what you come up with using the mosaic technique. Drop me a line with a link to your blog and let me peek.

And don't forget to sign up for my blog candy (post below) to receive a great gift from Japan, courtesy of me!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A great Blog Candy idea

I got this idea for Blog Candy from http://joaniscardsmadebyhand.blogspot.com/ and http://fits-and-starts.blogspot.com/ and decided to join in the fun!

The first 5 people to respond to this post by my birthday on March 24 (midnight EST) will get something from me! My choice! For you. It may be a purchased item instead of homemade, or both, but you can bet it will be something Japanese .This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2. It may be products and not handmade.
3.I will do my very best to have it in the mail by April 24.
4. You have no clue what it's going to be.
5. The catch? You must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog (then come here and post) The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a gift from me. Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!
SO ...................who will be the first 5 people????

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Madhatter's Scrapbook Hat

My club held a Madhatter's Luncheon in which everyone was required to wear a hat, the more outrageous the better. Prizes were given and my Scrapbook Diva hat won most creative! To make the hat, I first had to stabilize the crown with cardboard so that it wouldn't collapse with the weight of the scrapbook.

The scrapbook itself is an explosion style which lifts up off the crown with a little handle made out of an old wooden stamp. Each page of the scrapbook shows the many hats that I wear: wife, mother, grandmother, friend, family member and historian.

I enjoyed making this unusual project, enjoyed wearing it, and of course, I enjoyed winning!
Here are the instructions for making your own Explosion Album.
2 sheets of 12 x 12 inch cardstock
2 sheets of patterned paper for the cover
2 pieces of cardboard or chipboard cut into 6 ¼ x6 1/4 inch squares
1 yard of ribbon
3 sheets of 12 x 12 paper cut into 6-inch squares to decorate the inside of the album
Plenty of acid-free adhesive

Preparing the pages
A. First, to make your covers, cut two pieces of patterned paper into 8 inch squares. Take one and lay it face down on the table. Position a piece of cardboard in the center. Fold corners of paper in and adhere them to the cardboard. Fold edges of patterned paper in and adhere them as well. Use a bone folder to perfectly crease all edges. Repeat with other piece of cardboard. You now have the front and back cover of your album.
B. To make the inside pages, take a 12x12 sheet of cardstock and fold it in half and crease. Unfold, then fold in half the other direction and crease so that when you open it, you see four squares. Now fold the bottom left corner up to the top right corner. Crease and unfold.
C. Repeat with the other two pieces of cardstock.

A. Starting with one piece of cardstock, turn it so that one of the points is facing upward with the crease forming a mountain (see insert). Place adhesive on the back of the back of the flat square on the left and adhere it to the inside of your cover.
B. Take the next piece of cardstock and position it so that the point is facing up, but the crease forms a valley. Place glue on the back of the flat square on the left and position over the right hand flat square already glued to your cover and glue them together.
C. The third piece of cardstock will have the mountain crease and will be glued in the same manner as the others so that you have a long piece looking like the example above.
D. Finally, glue your back cover on the final square.
A. If you wish to use a ribbon to tie your album closed, position your ribbon first, then glue it to only one side of the album cover.
B. Decorate the inside of the album with the patterned squares. Add photos and embellishments.
D. Admire your work!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Starbucks Create Your Own Tumblers

Two of my friends are leaving Japan this week. They have lived here on 4 different assignments for a total of almost 20 years. This time they are retiring and it is so hard for them to say goodbye. They love Starbucks and collect the tumblers from each town. So, for a sayonara gift, I got them some coffee and made them their own tumblers.

I had so much fun creating personalized inserts for them, and will probably make up a lot more.

It's so easy to make your own insert if you follow these steps"
1. Purchase a Starbucks “Create Your Own Tumbler."
2. You can easily Download the template http://www.theshaffers.org/announcements/starbucks-templates/ (psd format only), and use it to create your own insert. Or, unscrew the bottom of the tumbler, pull out the insert that comes with it and trace it for a template. I chose to create my insert digitally, but you could easily draw, stamp or paint on yours. It fits rather tightly so you can't really use any bulky embellishments for this project. Still, use your imagination as there are so many possibilities!
3. If you did a digi design or used the template, print out your insert using a color printer with high quality paper for the best results.
4. Next, cut your design out carefully and insert it into the tumbler, then screw the bottom back on tightly.

My friends loved theirs which are decorated with cartoons, images of Japan and list of reasons why they might have been in Japan too long. In actuality, they are some of the reasons why they have loved Japan. I hope these tumblers remind them each morning of the wonderful times they have had here. Sayonara My Friends ...