Monday, June 27, 2011

Masters of Forgery Blog Hop!!

Welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge DT blog hop! I just love looking at all the fabulous blogs of our talented team! You should have arrived here from Lisa's blog. If you are lost, you can start at the Challenge Blog.

Mini Challenge #2 ( All About The "I" Challenge) was to make a page or mini album all about You with at least one "I" statement in it. This was tough for me. I sometimes struggle with doing pages about myself. I decided to take a different approach with this one.

I'm sure you all have seen the summer-long challenge going on at Counterfeit Kit Challenge, which is to make your own Counterfeit "Smash"-type book. I absolutely loved this idea!! I never really though Smash books were that exciting, until I saw one the other day at a local craft store. They really are adorable, and some of the accessories were very tempting! I loved the idea of making my own book, though. What a great way to actually put my lovely scrapbooking product to good use! Once I got started, my book only took a few hours to make. It would have been quicker, but I had to figure out what to do about the binding, since I don't own a Bind It All. Then, I remembered some EK Success binding coils I had purchased at Big Lots not long ago for $1.25. The large binding coil fit my 6" X 9" book almost perfectly, and I only had to cut a little bit off. The coil is over an inch wide, so I can really cram my book full of all sorts of memorabilia.

How I fit this into the challenge was with the title of my book. It says "I AM SMASHING", which is sort of a play on words. It can be a very positive message, meaning I'm really great, or it can mean I am actually making and using a Smash-type book! I thought it was pretty clever. I intend on filling the book with all the things I love, so it will definitely be about me.

I followed the directions for making a Smash book (part one, and part two) that were given on the CKC blog. I even used the same stamp set for my title (thanks, Crystal!). I found a really great thread on 2 Peas, which had a link to a tutorial by Tracy on binding your book using a Crop-a-dile. This was how I made the holes in my journal. I followed the directions, making each hole 1/2" apart. It worked very well with my binding coils. The coils would be fairly easy to remove if I wanted to rearrange or add to my pages.

I cut down some manila folders to make the divider pages, and used October Afternoon sticker tabs from my kit. I used almost all of the paper from my kit, and had to include a few additional sheets to make the book a little fuller. I also made a nice pocket page for the first page, and included thin white cardstock, grid paper, and other papers to add interest to the book. Lastly, I included a 6" X 9" manila envelope inside the back page for larger memorabilia. It fit perfectly inside my cover, and only required a minor adjustment to keep the flap from hitting the coils. Here are a few of the pages, as seen from the side.

I still need to embellish the pages and start gluing stuff into the book, but I've made a good start. I may even make another book for our summer vacations. These are so much fun to make, I really hope you give one a try!

I hope you enjoyed the hop! Your last stop today will be Meridy's blog.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Get In Shape for Summer!!

Shape plays an important part in scrapbooking, and is one of the fundamental design principles. Believe it or not, every shape can convey a message.

Our next challenge at Counterfeit Kit Challenge is all about shape! "Mini Challenge #3: Get in Shape Choose a shape to take center stage in your layout, card or mini album!"

As soon as I saw this challenge, I knew right away I would use circles on my page. Circles are one of my favorite shapes to use in scrapbooking, and you will see them on many of of my pages. To me, they represent fun, and have such a pleasing roundness that I can't get enough of.

According to this article, the following can be said of circles.

"Circles suggest infinity. They are also protective (think of protective encircling arms). They can also denote free movement such as a rolling ball or a more controlled movement such as a spinning globe."

For my page, I cut my background cardstock into a big circle. I used a photo of our family taken at the beach on Easter, which I placed on top of a group of doilies cut from one of the sheets of patterned paper in my (it almost killed me to cut into this particular piece, but I got over it!). I like how the group of circles resembles a cloud, and looks as if the photo were floating on a cloud. I also used the round sew brads from my kit as circles for the doilies. I even used the word "circle" in my title!

I can't wait to see how you use shape on your projects!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mini Challenge #1 Ad Inspiration!

If you are anything like me, you find inspiration everywhere! The first challenge this month at Counterfeit Kit Challenge was too much fun!! The challenge was to get inspiration from an advertisement, and use it on a layout or project. I looked through several magazines before I found this ad in the February, 2011 edition of Martha Stewart Living. I loved the cluster of words in this Special K ad, which is also known as a "word cloud".

There are websites available online (like this one) which allow you to enter words and make your own word cloud. I decided on this page to take it a step further, and use rub-ons for my word cloud. This is an awesome way to use up all of those rub-ons you have laying around collecting dust. Although the rub-ons were not included in my original kit, I thought using old product was perfect for the spirit of the challenge.

For this layout, I used a photo of my two oldest kids, and the flip sides of two of my kit papers. I used acrylic paint to cover my little handmade chipboard frame.

In case you haven't heard, we have a wonderful sponsor this month!! Socal Scrapbooks is providing an awesome prize package to one lucky blog hop participant! Be sure to sign up to join us on the 28th to see all the gorgeous work done by our followers, and for a chance to win!

Prize package:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Copycat "Bloomers" Tutorial!!

The inspiration kit this month contained some gorgeous fabric and felt flowers by Basic Grey "Hello Luscious". I really love the look of these, but don't have anything like them in my stash. I get a kick out of trying to figure out how to recreate embellishments with items I have in my stash, and this was the perfect opportunity! Some people might think it would be easier to just go out and buy them, but I really enjoy a challenge. Here is a simple tutorial on how to make your own fake "Bloomers", and also some tips I learned along the way.

Basic Grey Bloomers:

Start off going through your stash for any felt and fabric you may have that will coordinate with your kit. If you're like me, you have a ton of other craft supplies from various other projects. Some of the supplies you will need are felt (either regular or adhesive backed), fabric, iron on fusible web (Steam a Seam 2 is good because it will not gunk up your needle when you sew on it), iron, sewing machine with different colors of thread, embroidery floss and needle, sharp scissors, buttons, and Cricut or other die cut machine.

Step One: Apply the fusible web to the wrong side of your fabric and/or felt, according to the manufacturer's directions. This will give your fabric a crisp appearance and keep it from stretching out. It also allows you to bond each of the layers of your flowers together nicely. You could skip this step , but I found it really helps the flowers hold their shape with all the handling they will get. The paper backing also provides a perfect surface for tracing a pattern. This step is critical if you are using your Cricut to cut out your fabric.

Step Two: Next, cut out your flowers. You will want to cut your flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes out of both fabric and felt. I discovered a really fun technique when doing research for this tutorial! If you have never used your Cricut to cut out flowers, it is an awesome way to get some great flowers cut very quickly. I watched a few tutorials on Youtube, including this one, which were very helpful. I've heard that it's possible to cut felt with the Cricut, but you will either need a deep blade housing or a multi cut feature, neither of which I have on my original baby bug. I was forced to cut my felt shapes by hand. It is easier to cut them out if you use a template, which you could also make with your Cricut. If you have a big standard die cut machine and flower dies, this would make the job quick and easy. If you are good at sketching, you can sketch out a design for a flower, or do a Google search for printable flower patterns. Cut out some circles in a few sizes, as well. These will be used for centers for your flowers.

Step Three: Stitch along the edges of your flowers and circle centers with a long machine stitch, or embroidery stitching, depending on the look you want. It takes a little patience to stitch around the circular edges. Your efforts will be worth it, I promise!

Step Four: Layer your flowers together in a manner that pleases you. You can experiment to get the look you want.

Step Five: Thread your button, sewing all the layers of your flower together. Voila!! You have made your own copycat "Bloomer" flower! Here are some of the flowers I made, which I just love!! I hope you give this technique a try!

June Counterfeit Kit!!

Can you believe this is the sixth month of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge?! I just love it! If you've never heard of it, check out the blog. Every month we create a new kit, copying an "inspiration" kit by one of many gorgeous kit clubs available online. If you are anything like me, you spend hours drooling over some of these kits, and here is a great chance to make one of your own, using your own supplies.

This month, our inspiration came from a fun new club called Burlap and Buttercups. The kit is pretty, feminine, and shabby, and features many papers by Basic Grey Hello Luscious line. I fell in love with the soft sweetness of this kit, and tried to find similar items in my stash.

Inspiration Kit:

For my kit, I pulled some vintage inspired items from my supplies, including papers from the Crate Paper Restoration line. I made a few "copycat" embellishments by hand. The result was very old fashioned and whimsical. I am calling this kit "Grandma's House"!

My version:

Items included in my kit: Papers: Coordinating Cardstock - Bazzill, Fancy Pants - Road Show "Dilly Dally" & Lilac House "Needlepoint", Crate - School Spirit "Homeroom", Crate - Restoration "Ruffles", "Slipcover" (partial sheet), "Doilies", "Heirloom", and "Lace", October Afternoon - Thrift Shop "One of a kind", and Cosmo Cricket - Early Bird "Ribbon Sandwich".

Embellishments: Alphas - Thickers "Cream Soda", word stickers - October Afternoon "Thrift Shop", butterfly and flower dies - Cuttlebug "Naturals", Sew Brads - Crate Restoration, chipboard frames - handmade with threading water punch, handmade "Bloomers" (tutorial coming soon) bakers twine, corsage pins, and pearl ribbon from stash,