Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy June!

In my world June starts summer.  I know that it is not official until the end of the month, but as a school teacher we start summer vacation the minute they open the doors and set us free.  We have 9 more days and counting--how about you?

This month is the first one in ages that we do not have an issue of ScrapStreet.com Magazine.  Although I am thrilled to have the extra time to spend with my kids and to scrap for fun, it does feel weird.  We will be back in July with our first Quarterly issue.  It is looking fabulous already!

We do have our June issue of GingerScrapsStreet magazine.  I really adore the way the talented ladies on staff put together amazing items with fresh viewpoints.  I learn something as I read their articles and get inspired to scrap.  I hope you feel the same!

Here is the cover and link in to our July Issue.

Ready for your free kit?  It is so darling!!!!! Super talented Charmaine of Wyld Web Designs created this kit just for our readers.  You will find it perfect for your summer pictures!  Want to see more of Charmaine's fabulous creations?  Stop by her blog for more!

Links  {paper} {paper2}  {elements}
Please remember that you are NOT allowed to upload this kit and share anywhere, but feel free to tell your friends to stop by here to grab it.  Thanks for not being a pirate!

Welcome to summer!  I hope your days are sunny and special.  Smooches!

Decorate your bling

Hello scrappers! Lately I've been having fun with my paints and magic markers :)Do you ever find your self needing a specific color bling? I know it happens to me often but I've tried something cool... and I want to share that coolness with you. The next time you run out of a certain color bling, simply use a Bic Marker to change the color of your bling to make it more interesting.

Another one of my favorite techniques involves tapping glimmer glaze directly on my layouts. Doesn't it look neat? Tattered Angels has some gorgeous colors. Why not give this technique a try.

I hope I've inspired you to try something new today. I'm always trying something new and I love to share my ideas with readers like you! Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Embossing with Your Die-Cut Machine

HI everyone! As most of you know, I'm Cricut & Sillouhette crazy! I absolutely love my cutting machines! However, did you know that you can DRAW and EMBOSS with your machines? Yep, you sure can; you just replace the blade housing with one of these cool holders by my friend Amy Chomas. She has embossing pens and gel pens that pop right into your sillouhette, cricut, or pazzles.
I wanted to share you with how to emboss using Amy's holder. It's a GREAT easy way to make a quick and bold card.
A few tips for you when using Amy's embossing tool....
It embosses metal and vellum beautifully...so make sure to use these types of media.
Anything your cricut or sillouhette can cut, you can emboss!
Metal and vellum can be colorized with alcohol inks, Copics, and Sharpies.
Sand the edges of your embossed image to give it extra pop!
I have a video for you on how to use your cricut and the embossing tip to emboss metal; just scroll down for either ustream viewing or youtube viewing; don't forget my giveaway of one of these awesome Amy Chomsa pen holders, just click on my owl at the bottom of this post to hop over and enter!!

You're the Best by K Andrew
Supplies: Amy Chomas embossing kit for cricut or sillouhete, Cardstocks: Bazill Basics Smooth, Flower and Bling: Creative Charms, Ribbon: Creative Imaginations, Thin metal, Pens: Sharpie, Signo Gel

Via UStream

Via You-Tube
CLICK HERE to go to Amy's site: Chomas Creations

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We Love SRM!

Hello everyone!

Melissa here with a wonderful guest blogger today. Jenyfur Pohl from SRM Stickers will be sharing with us about this awesome product and she has brought along some of the fabulously, talented SRM designers.

Take it away Jenyfur!


SRM Stickers has made a big splash in the scrapbooking and card making communities since starting our blog in February of last year.  The reason is simple; SRM produces stickers for every occasion and every reason.  If you're looking for baseball stickers, we've got 'em, if you need faith-based greetings and sentiments, we have those too!  Our stickers include everyday phrases, holiday themes, seasonal items, cooking stickers...the list goes on and on!  Our stickers are printed on crystal-clear adhesive and melt seamlessly onto cardstock and patterned paper.  Once you've used a SRM Quick Card Sticker on a greeting card, or one of our "Say it with Stickers" as a scrapbook title, you'll see exactly what the buzz is all about.  :)
Recently our Tubes and Magic Wands have become a huge hit and our Designers - as well as our fans - have created some fabulous altered tubes and wands.  They're perfect for party favors, pretty storage containers, and, well, take a look at all of the inspiration here.
SRM also manufacturers calendars in several sizes, including a baby's first year calendar to record those precious milestones.  We didn't stop there - we have a huge collection of calendar stickers here to provide you with everything you need to create a handmade calendar.
We are so pleased to be featured at Scrapstreet Magazine and we hope you enjoy the projects created exclusively for Scrapstreet by our Designers.  Please stop by our Blog  - we post brand new sticker projects by our talented Design Team Monday through Friday.  We also LOVE to feature our reader's SRM Stickers artwork at our Facebook Fanpage so be sure to upload your work to our Gallery! 
Jenyfur Pohl
Live in the Moment by Christine Traversa
Supplies: Paper: My Minds Eye, Cardstock: Archivers, Stickers: SRM Press, Flowers: Making Memories, Marker: Sharpie, Adhesive: Termoweb, 3M
 True Love by Elizabeth Carney
Supplies: Paper: Echo Park, Cardstock: American Crafts, Stickers: SRM Press, Punch: Fiskars, Specialty Ink: Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels), Font: Century Gothic, Other: floss, ric rac, buttons 
 School Band by Kim Arledge
Mother by Melanie Jarocki
Supplies: Paper: Jillibean Soup, Kaisercraft, Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper, Stickers: SRM Press, Diecuts and rub-ons: Kaisercraft, Trims, sequins, pin, felt, flowers: Polka Dot Whimsy, Thread: Coats & Clark, Sewing Machine: Janome, Printer: Epson
 Get Well Soon by Tanya Tahir
Supplies: Paper: October Afternoon, Cardstock: Stampin' Up!, Stickers: SRM Press, Pearls: Kaisercraft, Markers: Copic, Ink: Versafine (Tsukineko), Stamp: CC Designs, Other: Seam binding, sewing machine, Spellbinders Netabilities 
 Follow Your Heart by Tanya Willis
Thank you so much Jenyfur! 
Need some more ideas on using SRM Stickers?  Make sure you check out the May Showroom article which features more amazing projects by the team at ScrapStreet. We love our stickers!
- Melissa

Monday, May 16, 2011

Info on Smart Objects

I found some AWESOME info about smart objects on Wendyzine's blog. She explains how a smart object itself isn't "editable" but for good reason: when you resize a smart object, Photoshop references the original size when shrinking/expanding the layer. So, you can place an element on your page, turn it into a smart object, and then resize it up or down while you play around with clustering on your page--all without worrying about losing image quality. :) You'll notice that if you resize a smart object to 75% its original size, the next time you resize it, the Width and Height percentages won't be "100": they'll be set to 75%, in reference to the percentage that you originally shrunk it. Why does that matter? Because you lose image quality each time you resize a layer (especially if you resize UP after resizing down). So this way, your images will stay crisp and clear (or rather, as "crisp and clear" as the original was!).
This also works really well when you resize for the web (designers, take note: my previews look gorgeous now that I turn them into smart objects before resizing for store previews/"folder"-size previews!). I've noticed a marked increase in image quality. I don't have to use a "smart sharpen" filter on the layout after shrinking my 12x12in and 300dpi layouts to 600x600, 72dpi because the image is already super sharp (note: I do still use the "bicubic sharper" option when resizing).
Anyway, here's a photo Wendy shares to show you what I mean:
Not sure how to turn a regular ol' layer into a smart object? Don't worry: Wendy does a fantastic job of explaining it to you, complete with screen shots. :) Head over to her blog HERE to read the full tut.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy iNSD

Yes it is here again! Happy iNSD (the i for those who are wondering, stands for international). Scrapbooking whether traditional, hybrid or digital is popular all over the world now.

Through modern technology we can share our craft with friends and family across the world. Many of us have made lots of friends on the Internet and whilst we may have never met, our common passion for scrapping our memories unites us in a bond of friendship.

So to celebrate with friends old and new we have a free mini kit for you today, called Misty Memories. I hope you enjoy it and make some beautiful memories and friendships this weekend.

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There are plenty of crops, fun and games going on this weekend and lots of sales. Be sure to visit our sister magazine site GingerScraps for plenty of activities and a store wide sale. Have fun!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Take 5, part 2

I thought that using only 5 types of items would be easy.  After all, I am a simple scrapper--how many items could I need?

I decided to use one line to make it a fast and easy page.  I decided to use:
1.  patterned paper--Crate Paper
2.  alphabets--American Crafts
3.  die cuts--Crate Paper
4.  trim--Crate Paper
5.  buttons--Crate Paper

I had to stitch since it is my favorite technique, but I decided not to count thread as an item.  I also decided not to journal--an oddity for me, but I scrapped several pages of pictures from this event so the story was already well documented.

Here is my page:

It is unusual for me to scrap during the work week.  There just is not much time between work, dinner, and kids' activities but by simplifying my process, I managed to make a layout that I loved.  Although it took 2 days, it really was only about 30 minutes.  On day one, I selected and sized photos.  I printed them together in a block and took a few minutes to sketch out the layout.  On day two, I pulled out this Crate Paper collection and selected the items I liked.  After dinner, I popped back down to put it together.

I am going to try my Mother's Day cards next.  I need to make 5 and would love to do them as a quick and easy set.

Tell me--how do you simplify your scrapping?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take 5

When I was in high school, I came across a life philosophy that fit my over achiever lifestyle: "The more you do, the more you can do."  It worked for me for a long time.  I sincerely loved being busy and setting challenging goals one right after another.

And then I turned 40 and the desire to over achieve left me.  Almost instantly.  I no longer wanted to be on every committee or even on any committee.  I really wanted to do less, but enjoy it more.  I took a really deep breath and told my friends braced for condemnation.  And learned a valuable life lesson--my friends loved me not for what I did for everyone, but for who I am.  It was humbling and freeing.  I have never felt so loved.

After some happy tears and sad tears, I decided on a new life plan: 

I would take 5 minutes every day to meditate.  And find 5 ways to simplify my life each month until I felt balanced.  I would actively look for 5 ways to enjoy my life. 

Just a couple of days after I made this decision, I came across this cookbook:

It reinforced my belief in this plan and made my life much easier.  I was amazed at how many great dishes I could make quickly and simply with just 5 ingredients.  And my family loved them!

This week I am taking the philosophy to my scrapping.  I am printing out photos today and setting them on my scrap desk.  Tomorrow I am adding only 5 items to complete the page.  I will be back on Thursday to show you what I can do when I take 5.  Want to play along?  I would love to have you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sketch Love As Seen In GingerScrapsStreet Magazine

Sketch from 2/3/2011 Sketchy Thursdays Blog, as seen on page 21
Want to have as much fun as the artists published in the May issue of GingerScrapsStreet Magazine? Here are most of the sketches used in the article Sketch Love that begins on page 21...if you use the sketch or template, please give proper credit. Some of the sketches are free, some of the templates you can purchase by following the link to the designer's store.