Techniques to add glam to your next layout

We’ve been challenged this month to create a scrapbook background paper using our Globecraft & Piccolo embossing powders. Sometimes I’m surprised and delighted as to how these challenges evolve and what I am able to learn by working to meet them.

Click on the link to hop over to the Globecraft & Piccolo Blog to see a few ideas you can use to glam up your next scrapbook layout.

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Happy birthday, precious

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotOur baby turned 30 last week.

It’s been a rough road for her over the past year or two but she’s a survivor and I know in my heart she will come out on top and happy. She’s been tough and head-strong since day one and always presents an upbeat and positive attitude – if only on the outside some days. The photo I pulled out to use in these projects reminded me of that.

When this picture was taken, it had been a rough week. She was so sick but still smiling and happy through it all – just taking it all in stride.

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I had some projects due for Xyron – birthday and baby themes. The timing was perfect to work both those projects around Rachel and her birthday.

For this card I started with a plain A2 card cutting a pattern and coordinated cardstock to use for the matting on the front and inked all the edges with Ranger’s Archival Pitch Black Ink.

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Then I ran all the paper pieces and photo through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

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It is so quick-and-easy to assemble the card once the adhesive is on the back of each piece – just peel-and-stick!

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I used the same photo on a scrapbook layout as well. I have to admit, the layout isn’t my usual distressed style but I really like it. I started with the die-cut hearts (Sizzix Primitive Hearts), some burlap cut for the photo mat, coordinating yarn, a couple vintage white buttons, and some scrap lace. I cut the title from my Sizzix Go Slim alphabet die. I was able to process all these pieces through my Xyron Creatopia using the Stickz Fabric Adhesive at one time – love it!

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Once I peeled off the top cellophane layer all I had to do was peel-and-stick onto my background cardstock. I am so happy with the results of this layout and couldn’t believe just how quick-and-easy it was to put together using the Creatopia. It just makes me smile every time I pass by this layout on the table. I’m going to have to put away soon.

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This layout is one piece of a three-piece collection centered around a baby theme. The other pieces include an adorable fabric bunny and a cute frame for baby’s room.

The fabric bunny is one of three that was cut and processed through the Xyron Creatopia with the Stickz Fabric Refill. I then stuffed them, ever-so-slightly, with a tad of polyester stuffing and stuck them together. The Xyron Fabric adhesive holds the stuffing and opposite side into place for stitching.

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I also cut more fabric hearts, stuffed and stitched and processed the title ‘Precious,’ and the hearts through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station with the 5″ Permanent Adhesive Refill. These were used to decorate a black, framed mirror. The entire collection looks really nice together and would make wonderful gifts as a group or on their own.

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Projects like these make me realize that sometimes simple really is the way to go!

Up against the wall …

Linda_Neff_mug_shot_2013I’ve been dying to share this project with you all since I finished it the other day! It is so not-my-style, but I love it just the same!

It’s the week of projects created from the partnership between Xyron’s Design Team and Little Yellow Bicycle. I have always loved Little Yellow Bicycle products and was so excited to receive my generous packet of supplies with their newest collection – Acorn Hollow. As much as I love mini books I wanted to do something different with the canvas mini book I received. I wasn’t sure what, but after discovering the sticker collection with the title “5 Things I am thankful for” I decided six book pages would be perfect to work with – one for the title and five more for the 5 things.

I started decorating the book’s pages individually using the 6-by-6-inch papers with no focus in mind really other than I would have six finished squares. Using the Xryon Creatopia made it so easy-peazy to cover the pages. I was able to line two 6-by-6 inch papers side-by-side and run them through the machine. After all six were sticky back I just needed to peel-and-stick the papers to the pages.

They needed a finished edge and I originally inked them with Ranger Black Soot Distress Ink but it didn’t feel right. A lot of the embellies with this collection are highlighted with copper so I dug out my Ranger Adirondack Metallic Copper Paint Dabber and gave that a shot. It was perfect! After all, Fall is all about the glow!

To make the paper leaves and flowers more dimensional I rolled them gently with a stylus on a mouse pad until they curled and then outlined them with the copper paint. The Acorn Hollow collection has so many different embellishments that were just so darn cute that I just kept layering and layering! I layered the chipboard embellies with the paper ones and ran the clear acetate embellies through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker Maker to hold them flat and in place. This project was just so much fun!

    

So, I have the six squares finished and I experimented with laying them out and hanging them like a banner. I really liked them stacked and thought they would look nice framed and on a wall. Went to the garage and rummaged around for different pieces of junque to mount them to and came across an old photo collage frame pained in country blue – yes, you remember the style. Wasn’t sure what I was going to place inside the frame for the background but proceeded to take the frame apart to paint it and clean the glass.

I settled on a black frame (Ranger Adirondack Pitch Black Paint Dabber) and highlighted with touches here and there using the Copper Paint Dabber that I edged the pages in. I really like the way it was going. I decided on a plain black background so painted the corrugated cardboard backing and turned it to the inside. While, when I was replacing the glass I broke it so was left with just the painted cardboard. That actually worked out well because it gives it a more rustic feel which I like. I mounted the finished squares with dimensional foam tape to pop them up just a bit. It looks really nice! It’s big. It measures 17-inches by 22-inches.

I wanted to make a scrapbook layout too because I had papers and embellies left over – there’s still enough left to make several cards – so chose some pictures from my favorite place to visit, Sunset Shores in Clare. The photos worked well with the papers and embellies. This layout is a bit more my style. A little torn up and distressed. I stamped on the tan background paper with Archival Jet Black ink, heat set, and then spritzed it with a homemade concoction of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold and water.

Hope you like and be sure to visit the Xyron and Little Yellow Bicycle blog all week long to see what my other team members are up to!

Makings of a one-pic-wonder …

Yes, I REALLY do like scrapbook pages with one photo. I’m not against lots of photos on a page, but I find I can capture a memory with one favorite photo that talks to ME and that’s what scrapbooking is all about for me. My pages talk to me, they’re my memories. I can’t speak for anyone else, only me and so I scrap for myself. Yes, I’m working on books for my kids, but they’ll be filled with my memories of those times – they’ll have to fill in with their own memories if they like.

Recently I found myself so uninspired that every time I went to my studio (think spare bedroom) I just sat there staring at all my stuff. I just couldn’t get any kind of groove going and I was missing the boat on classes and something needed to happen – quickly!

When I got done blaming the weather and anything else I could think of I finally bucked up and decided to go back to my roots – scrapbooking. It’s where it all started for me and it’s something I really enjoy and don’t do much of.

Now mind you, I’m not the type of scrapbooker who feels the need to scrap every photo. I scrap my favorites; photos that ‘move’ me and invoke some special memory or make me sit and ponder ‘what if.’ This layout started in my mind as a page for my oldest son and his beloved Zoe who passed recently. Zoe was his buddy for 15 years; sat beside him through failed relationships, job losses and more. It was going to go into his book. But as it turned out – or didn’t – that will be for another day.

It just wasn’t coming together so I finally started over with the same paper and a whole new idea. I would simply make the layout and call it good; the photo would come later. That seemed to work better. I enjoyed creating this page and am pleased with the layout and design. Then I came across this wonderful photo of my brother Randy and it was perfect!

You gotta love it when it works!

Giving a collection of memories …

So my daughter Facebook’s me the other day and asks if I could make a gift for her to give to her best friend who is moving away soon. She’ll send over the photos and a paragraph from a song that holds meaning for the two of them. I received several really nice photos of the two of them to use and the words from the song then set to create.

The challenge was to make it young – these girls are in the 20’s and I’m not. I went digging through my stash of papers and hit the craft closet for something thick that would stand up – she wanted something that would sit on a shelf versus a book.

I pulled out three, 5-by-7-inch canvases and kept digging through the papers to find the perfect ones when I hit upon the beautiful Gabrielle line from BoBunny – it was perfect! The papers were cut a bit smaller than the canvas pieces, distressed and inked before adhering to the canvas. I searched through at least three trinket and ribbon bins to find the perfect buttons, lace and Prima flowers. When there were holes to fill I added a Ranger Memory Frame with a BoBunny Gabrielle sticker placed between two pieces of memory glass, an Idea-ology metal corner and an old Making Memories heart ribbon slide. The top scallops over the center canvas were made with a Martha Stewart border punch mounted on dimensional foam squares.

The canvases are hinged with ribbon before I adhered the papers onto the backside. A pretty ribbon is attached under the title and the entire piece accordion folds and ties shut with the ribbon.

It’s always a sad day when you have to say goodbye to a good friend – they’re far and few in-between. I really hope they stay in touch and that this gift eases the pain a little.