Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Create Beautiful Lettering with Hand Problems - Week #39

Hi! It's Nancy back again to kick off a new month at Layout-A-Week!

This month, we'll be taking on the recent trend of hand lettering, an assignment which posed a special challenge for me. After several decades of battling lupus, I have a tremor and some weakness in my grip in my hands. This doesn't interfere with my preferred forms of crafting on a day-to-day basis but can hamper my ability to do certain things - like the detailed pen work required for hand lettering.

So what's a girl to do when she wants to make fun doodling like this on a layout? 

Cricut Explore Machine Pen Doodle by JGoode Designs

The answer for me is to pull out my Cricut Explore machine, and let the machine's steady "hand" do what mine can't - draw from beautiful doodle files designed by talented designers like my friend Jen Goode of JGoodeDesigns. 

Here's the beautiful result, a layout that makes me look like a doodling master (shh, don't tell!):

Cricut Explore pen doodling scrapbook layout
This layout was created using the fabulous [affiliate link] Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook by Jennifer Priest, which contains sets of layout patterns that allow you to quickly design multiple layouts from only a few sheets of paper. The system is fast and affordable! This layout is based on one of the layouts in cutting pattern #2. 

To begin this layout, I printed out my photos in the sizes I thought would work. The large photos I printed out in their native aspect ration from the iPhone. It doesn't quite fill a 4x6 photo, leaving a bit of space on each end, which was perfect for the size that I had available on the layout. I slightly trimmed the top and bottoms of these photos before sticking them down, as well. 

The small vertical photo is printed at 3" x 4", which has become more of a standard size since the advent of Project Life in recent years. 

photos prepped for layout

The first elements that I created for the layout were the two doodled elements. These were created with my Cricut Explore machine using pen doodling files by JGoode Designs that are available from the Cricut Design Space online store. As shown in the photo earlier, for the "sunshine" element I made the doodle the size I wanted on a blank piece of paper and then trimmed the piece down to the size that I needed for the layout. 

For the patterned paper the doodling was a bit more complicated. I needed to place the doodling in exactly a certain spot and I needed to get it right the first time since I only had one piece of the patterned paper! So I tested the placement of the doodle first on a piece of scrap paper in a trial run, and then did the real thing on the patterned paper once I knew that I had it correct. 

Cricut Explore pen doodling
Once the doodling was done, I adhered down the large paper blocks and photos. Before I did this, though, I reached for my Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink and edged all of the patterned paper blocks with ink. This is a small detail that doesn't jump out to the naked eye, but when you look closely at the photo below, you can see that it really helps the edges "pop" and separates the layers from each other. I love using Colorbox Fluid Chalk for this technique because of how smooth it goes on, and how it dries to a matte finish that blends with the paper. 

Then I turned my attention to the layout's embellishment details. This area in the corner of the wood paper block seemed too empty so I filled it with a trio of buttons. By using the Buttons Galore "Harvest" Button Bonanza and then tying the buttons off with twine, it added a touch more of fall emphasis to the layout by highlighting the more fall colored tones in the patterned paper. 

On the other side of the layout, I also added some dimension by attaching a quote sticker using foam dot adhesive. In addition to creating dimension, this also separated the sticker visually from the photo it overlapped. 

The border sticker was tucked under the edge of the photo block and tucked around the back. I specifically chose this section of the sticker to be visible because of the sentiment and because I needed a bit more yellow to balance the layout. 

The journaling tag was cut from a pocket card sheet in the paper collection, but I made a small modification to it. The original pocket reinforcement circle was turquoise, the same color as the patterned paper behind it. I wanted more contrast, so I cut a new one out of a scrap of the coral color patterned paper from the collection. To keep the layout cohesive, I wrote my journaling with the same blue Cricut pen that I had used for the doodling at the top of the layout.  

Don't be discouraged if you can't do beautiful lettering! Let your die cut machine and the talented artists who design for it be your hands! 

Supplies Used:
  • Echo Park "The Story of Our Family" collection pack
  • Cricut Explore machine & JGoodeDesigns pen files
  • Cricut Explore pen sets in Candy Shop & Southwest
  • small hole punch
  • Xyron Mini
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk "Primary Pastel" Paintbox
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk "Chestnut Roan" Mini
  • jute twine
  • blue ribbon
  • foam dot adhesive
  • PPA Matte Adhesive
  • Buttons Galore "Harvest" Button Bonanza

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to Create a Watercolor Scrapbook Page

Hello everyone!!  Kymona here to show you how to create a watercolor scrapbook page using the supplies you have on hand.

Lets get started!!

Here is a list of supplies:

Smooth Watercolor Paper
Watercolor Crayons
Page Protector
Photo Editing Tool

The theme this month is Fiesta for Mexican Independence Day and Dia De Los Muertos next month!! I had to do some research for both of these days!! I love learning new things.

One thing that was constant in my reading was the use of color. Color plays such a big part in the Mexican culture and I love it.  So I decided to create my own watercolor scrapbook page with the colors that I see in all of my research.

Take a look at the color scheme that I used as a starting point for my scrapbook page.

source: google

Here is how this page was created:

Take each color one by one and color them onto the watercolor paper leaving space for blending in between.

Then take a water brush/paint brush and blend the colors moving from top to bottom.

Then cut the dried watercolor paper into smaller 2.75 by 3.50 and place each one in a pocket so that you can see how the layout will look.

Then decide where you want your pictures and embellishments to go. 

Here is a closer look at how these pages look:

One pocket has some doodling and fringes.

One pocket has a handwritten journaling on it. Others have sequin.

Another pocket has stickers.

Take another look at the completed layout:

Nice, easy and fun.

So what do you think?  Would you give this style of scrapbooking a try? I would love to hear from you.  Leave a  comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Simple but Beautiful DIY Milagro Style Scrapbook embellishments- Week #38

I have been bringing my son to art museums since he was a toddler. One of our outings brought us to a museum which featured art heavily influenced by the Mayan and Aztec cultures. It seemed appropriate to document those photos during September,the month that Mexican Independence day is celebrated. I chose to pull inspiration from the art of Mexico since both cultures are a part of it's roots. I found myself fascinated by Milagros and I wanted to recreate something similar on my scrapbook page.

What are Milagros?

Milagros are small folk charms that are of a variety of materials including wood, wax,gold, silver and tin. It's the shiny charms that inspired the scrapbook embellishments that I am sharing with you today. I loved the look of the tin and the metallic paints on the little Milagro charms. You can see what inspired me on my Pinterest board: Inspiration from Around the World-Mexico.

It's easy to achieve that shiny, metallic painted tin look!

One of my favorite ways to add a shiny metallic look is to use Decofoil. It comes in thin sheets and with a little adhesive, you can adhere it to a variety of surfaces. I used the Decofoil in conjunction with Icraft's foam adhesive sheets. The foam sheets are thin and you can easily cut them with a die cut machine. 

Once you have the die cut foam shape, you simply need to peel the backing off and lay the foam piece, sticky side down, onto the silver or dull side of the Decofoil sheet. The foil comes in a variety of colors. This rainbow foil seems a bit busy, but if you use small shapes, the color doesn't feel so crazy.

Another alternative is to use the Decofoil transfer adhesive. It's a liquid glue that does require a bit of patience( due to the drying time). It takes about an hour or two to dry before you can use the foil with the shape. I chose to use it on some resin pieces that I had cast. If you don't have resin shapes, try it on chipboard, die cuts, or wood veneer. 

Customize chipboard, resin or wood veneer with acrylic paint.

I did learn the hard way that I should have painted my resin pieces prior to using the Decofoil.  It is possible to paint them after you add the foil, but doing so beforehand would have really been much easier. Should you need to touch up a piece with paint after you add the foil, you can easily wipe off any stray paint marks with a baby wipe or damp cloth.

Once everything is dry, the assembly of the Milagro is simple!

Assembly of the Milagro is easy and can be finished within minutes. Simply begin layering up your pieces and adhering them as you wish from largest piece to smallest. Depending on what you choose to use, you might find that you need a strong liquid adhesive.

Search through your stash to find the perfect objects to create your own Milagros!

My Milagro scrapbook embellishments consist of die cut foam shapes, metal die cuts and resin objects. 

The elements you choose will determine whether your Milagro will look bright and fresh or if it will have a weathered look. This particular piece, for example, has a lot of delicate filigree edges. Once I painted it and added the foil, it had an aged appearance. The great thing about these scrapbook embellishments is that you can mix and match the weathered and fresh style Milagros without any issue.

I layered the Milagros into embellishment clusters. I chose a few matte embellishments to place within each cluster. The matte piece keeps the cluster from feeling too bright and busy. 

Once your Milagros are complete, choose the rest of your scrapbook supplies and create your scrapbook layout.

I chose scrapbook papers with a muted color palette taken from the Mexican Coat of Arms. The patterns, colors and Milagro style scrapbook embellishments all come together to form a subtle tribute to Mexico and the art we saw at the museum that day.

I love the way the Milagros turned out. I have to admit that I adore a bit of something shiny on all of my scrapbook layouts. Do you love adding in shiny objects or do you prefer to leave them off your scrapbook layouts?

Supplies Used
Patterned papers: Cocoa Daisy, October Afternoon, Basic Grey
Adhesive: Decofoil Transfer Adhesive and foam sheets by iCraft
Foil Sheets: Decofoil by iCraft
Dies: Spellbinders
, Studio Calico, Die-Namicsrel="nofollow"
Rubber Stickers: Pinkfresh Studios
Other: resin,silicone molds, acrylic paint

This scrapbook layout is based on a design from the Scrap Free Scrapbooking Ebook by Jennifer Priest. I had the opportunity to test the book when Jennifer first wrote it. It was so awesome, that I became an affiliate! You can get your copy here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mexican Inspired Stripped Layout - Week #37

Hi, Rose here an today I am going to share with you a very easy Mexican Inspired stripped layout. While this layout is simply about documenting one of my favorite tools of the trade, I wanted to incorporate a little bit of Mexican Flair. I created a miniature version of Mexican Style linens. Finding a good quality pen is reason to be happy, am I right?

Mexican Inspired Stripped Layout


First, decide which color will be used as the base (I chose black) and cut off 1 inch off the vertical edge. Then cut the remaining cardstock colors into 1 inch and 1/2 inch strips, you'll only need about two of each color in each size.

Next, start adhering the strips in desired color patterns, alternating between the two varying sizes to give it interest, being sure not to cover up all of your base color.

Adhere two white strips to the ends of the scrapbook page, use your scissors to fringe the edges. 

For added interest, tear and adhere silver glitter washi tape to break up some of the bolder strip patterns.Add journaling and call it done!

I really enjoyed creating this layout to celebrate and commemorate the enjoyment I find in using my these colorful pens! Find other great techniques in this Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook.

Have you tried this stripped technique? Leave a comment below, I'd love to see your projects.

 photo signature.png

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Substitute Paint for Paper in a Layout Sketch - Week #36

Hi everyone! It's Nancy, back with another layout to show you how to use one of my favorite scrapbooking resources, the Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook by Jennifer Priest.

Layout patterns in the book are designed to make your scrapbooking quick and easy, and to create the maximum amount of layouts with the least amount of paper. But what if you could use the layouts without using paper at all - or barely?

If you look at the patterned paper in the layout patterns as "blocks of color" instead of as paper, this opens up whole new ways to use the patterns. For this project, I decided to substitute acrylic paint for most of the patterned paper in one of the layouts from Cutting Pattern 7. 

how to substitute acrylic paint for paper

My layout is about my recent visit to the new Disney Springs (formerly called Downtown Disney). With predominantly Spanish style architecture and an exuberant atmosphere thanks to its theme park influence, it's perfect for a latin fiesta style color scheme. I chose mine based on inspiration from some photos I found online of sugar skulls and cover art promoting an album of latin music. 

I used the orange - reflecting the Spanish tile roofs of the complex - for the background. The blue color reflects the water in the stream winding its way through the complex, and the green highlights the many palm trees shading the sidewalks. The bold pink calls attention to the journaling written on it, as well as the red umbrellas at the Sprinkles bakery. 

I painted the colors in messy swatches to replace the blocks of paper that make up the layout's design. In areas where the paper blocks are designed to overlap in the pattern, I had to decide how to handle it. The pink and green were supposed to overlap in this design. I chose to take the pink all the way across and stop the green when it got to the edge of the pink. 

Cardstock like this isn't designed to handle heavy wet media, so it warped a bit, but that won't matter when the layout is in an album. 

With all of that color put down with the acrylic paint, I only had to use my Westcott Titanium Trimmer to cut one piece of 8" x 8" paper for this entire layout! The white block serves as a mat for the photos and the title, separating it from the bold background. 

Supplies Used:
  • Cardstock (Orange, White)
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint (Lake, Festival Pink & Apple Green)
  • Colorbox Archival Pigment Ink (Royal Blue)
  • Colorbox Archival Dye Ink (Wicked Black)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Pen
  • 28 Lilac Lane Limited Edition "Fall Jewels" Mix
  • Webster's Pages Painted Passport Word Stickers
  • Pink & Main stamps (Directional Borders)
  • Stampendous stamps (Cling Daisy Mix)
  • Technique Tuesday stamps (Going Places)
  • Black Letter Stickers
  • PPA Matte Adhesive
As long as the paint isn't applied too heavily, you can use Archival inks to stamp across the top of it, or adhere items on top like stickers or beads. 

I used a fine point Sharpie to journal right on top of the paint. I made the edge of the paint somewhat wavy when I applied it. Then I followed the edge of the paint to write my journaling, creating a nice wandering journal line!

This was a really fun, fast, and no-stress way to use the Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook, and I love the results! What can you think of besides paint to replace your patterned paper blocks with?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Clean and Simple Scrapbooking with Journal Cards #34

Hello everyone!!  It's me, Kymona and I'm super excited to be here.  I'm here to show you how to create a clean and simple scrapbooking page with journaling cards.

Would you believe if I told you scrapbooking was my first love before card making?  Well it was!!  I use to create scrapbooks for my son, when he was born.  That was 18 years ago and boy have things changed.  Scrapbook pages are so elaborate these days I wasn't sure where to begin.  Now don't laugh at me but its true.  Do you start with the paper, the embellishment, the colors or photos?

When Jennifer asked me about scrapbooking I told her my story and my dilemma.  She kindly let me know that she had a solution for me!! Yayyyy!!  The Layout A Week team!!  The goal is to inspire scrapbookers, new and old (thats me), on how to create easy to make layouts with no waste!!

Lets get started!!

Here is a list of supplies:

When I sat down to think about what I wanted to create, I knew I wanted a modern look with a  clean and simple feel, since that's my style.

So I went with a pocket page!  I see so many of them these days, I wanted to give it a try.

Take a look at what I created:

Here is how I created this page:

1. Scrolled through all of your pictures on your computer in search of the perfect pictures. That will help you decide how many pockets you will need to create for this page.  Print the pictures, size them, add stickers, then place them in their pockets.

2. Then decide on the pattern papers/journal cards you wanted to use that matched what was happening in the photos. Once you pick them all out, add them to their pockets.

3. After that, pick out some embellishments that matched the colors on the pattern paper. Add them to the pocket of your choice.

4. Decorate the pocket that has the embellishment with a sticker.

5. Type or write your message, add a sticker then add it to its pocket.

6. Seal all of the pockets so that nothing falls out to the pockets.

Nice, easy and definitely clean and simple.

So what do you think?  Would you give this style of scrapbooking a try? I would love to hear from you.  Leave a  comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!