Friday, October 29, 2010

A Dog Named Mia

Mia is my brother’s dog.  I am not a dog lover – it’s cats all the way for me – but I really do like this dog.  She’s quiet and gentle and pleasant in every way.  You couldn’t ask for a nicer animal.

I have to give credit to Rob, Jen’s husband, for taking this cool photo of Mia.  The orange in this picture was just calling out to be used with the new Basic Grey Pyrus line.





















As much as I love this collection of papers, I really struggled using them.  After initially finishing the layout I realized that I didn’t like the background paper I’d used!  I carefully peeled all the elements of the page off the background, sacrificing the background sheet in the process. L 

Once I’d decided on the new background I then realized that the papers I’d used beside the photo now just seemed to blend into the background.  I added some hand stitching around the edges to help define them a bit more.  I also hand stitched some subtle swirls under the title to fill in some of the space there.

The best part of doing this layout was getting to use some of my crocheted flowers as embellishments!  This is the “new & improved” version made from fine mercerized cotton thread.  They are much more delicate than the ones I showed you after my first attempt at this.


I used this sketch from Sketch Inspiration as inspiration for my LO.


Sometimes scrapbooking can be a struggle but it's always fun and I guess in the end it makes us appreciate the finished product even more!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Is This Photo Shoot Done?"

I absolutely LOVE this sketch by Helen Croft of Scrap A Little! Sketches !!  Its simple linear design is totally my style.  I knew it would be perfect to showcase some funny photos of my nephew, Thomas, who was certainly the center of attention during Jen and Rob’s recent visit.



















I used some scraps of Basic Grey's Oliver paper on simple white cardstock and kept the embellishing to a minimum.  I’ve recently been following the blog of Kinsey Wilson, a very talented woman.  I love the way she uses hand stitching to add an original and personal touch to her pages.  I think it’s the former quilter/cross-stitcher in me that’s so attracted to handstitching.  Looking at her work has inspired me to add a bit of hand stitching to my own layouts.




















I’m really happy with the end result of this layout – from the handstitched swirls to the buttons to its very simplicity, it’s one of my favourites I’ve done so far.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Crocheted Flower Embellishments

I recently picked up the November/December issue of Paper Crafts.  I LOVE this magazine because of all the great inspiration it gives me for card making.  There is a very simple card on page 37 which features crocheted flowers as an embellishment.





















Since I used to crochet once-upon-a-time, I figured I’d try my hand at making some of these for Jen and myself.  Off I went to WalMart where I bought a spool of Aunt Lydia’s Bamboo Crochet Thread. Paper Crafts even provides instructions for crocheting the flowers but, for whatever reason, I had trouble following them.  I found alternate directions on the internet and spent the evening making some flowers.

By using different sized crochet hooks I came up with two sizes of flowers.  Mine have a chunkier look than those in the magazine because of the type of thread I used.  I may buy a finer thread to try to achieve a more delicate look like in the magazine.

The nice thing about these is that you don’t have to worry much about weaving in the thread ends too neatly since the back of the flower will never be seen.  A button or brad can be added to the flower center to fancy it up.



















For anyone who knows how to crochet, this is an inexpensive way to add an original homemade touch to cards and layouts!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family Portrait & A Sweet Little Face

It’s a cold day here in Montreal, but bright and sunny, so I had some decent light to get photos of my latest layouts.

I started working on this one while Jen was visiting, so she witnessed in person the “tortured artist” in me agonizing over embellishments.  ;-)  I will never be a fast scrapper!  I cut into my Crate Paper Restoration Collection.  There are so many interesting die-cuts and stickers included in the paper pack and it was a lot of fun to play with them.  I used sketch #122 from Sketch Inspiration.





















I finally broke open my pack of Basic Grey Oliver papers that I bought while on vacation in Alberta this summer.  I knew this line would be perfect for scrapping some photos of my nephew, Thomas.  Just look at his adorable face!  This little guy is a very content person and always ready with a smile.





















Here's the sketch I used that was designed by Julie Bonner.



















Wishing you a happy weekend!  Richard and I will be out trying to find a couple of geocaches.  We only need two more to reach a milestone of 500 finds! J

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life Goes Back to Normal...

Jen and Rob left Montreal yesterday to go back home to Edmonton.  We had a really fun time together with lots of laughs and it seems weird not to be hanging out with them on a daily basis and having them here with us at suppertime.  Lots of good photos were taken which I’m sure Jen and I will be scrapping soon but this one is my very favourite because I know my mother will be SO happy to have a picture of her three children together.  I can’t remember the last time that happened!















The weather is so gloomy right now that it’s impossible to take a decent photo of the most recent LO I’ve completed. L  In the meantime, I figured I’d post something from my summer vacation.  We took a walk to the Banff Upper Hot Springs on a quest to get a geocache and saw these beautiful window boxes of flowers.  Sometimes it's the simplest things in life that are the most beautiful. 



I used up the last of my Pink Paislee Queen Bee papers and a variety of embellishments from a "kit" that Jen put together for me.  I never seem to do well with using kits the way they're intended to be used and seem to just dip into them and pull out bits and pieces here and there.  Here's the sketch I used from Sketch Inspiration






















Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life is Good

Jen and Rob arrived safe and sound in Montreal last night.  It's so good to have them visiting here and my boys enjoyed meeting their "chatty" aunt and "funny" uncle.

Just look at all this scrappy goodness that Jen brought along for me!  Crate Paper's Restoration Collection (beautiful in every way!), Basic Grey's new Pyrus line (love the quilty feel of these papers!), Echo Park's Life is Good (so reminiscent of BG's Nook & Pantry which was one of my favourite lines!) and a bunch of other wonderful miscellaneous stuff that I can play with.




















Yummy! Hopefully I'll find it in me to cut into some of this soon and not just hoard it away! Thanks Jen.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Happy"

I AM happy because Jen and Rob arrive here tomorrow for a week-long visit!  They haven't been here for a long time and it will be really nice for all the siblings of our family to be together again.

I finished this layout yesterday using Serendipity papers from Sassafras Lass.  It's not always easy to figure out how to use their papers but I liked the bright, happy feel of these because they seem to reflect how I was feeling when this photo was taken.  The end result is a bit busy-looking and not exactly my style so it'll probably never be on my list of favourite layouts I've done but I still like it.
















I used Sketch #124 from Creative Scrappers.



















Wishing all my fellow Canadians a very happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Going Up"

I’ve been busy scrapping more photos from my vacation.  I had hopes of finishing the entire vacation album in time for Jen’s visit here next week but with me being possibly The World’s Slowest Scrapper, well, that just isn’t going to happen!  ;-)

While in Banff we did what most people probably do when they visit there – took the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain.  I had done this twice before in my life and was petrified both times.  I even cried on one occasion.  :-(  This time I really wanted to put my fears aside and enjoy the experience.  It may not look like it from the expression on my face in this photo, but I did actually enjoy the ride up – mostly.

The papers I used are from Pink Paislee’s 365 degrees Collection.

















The clouds underneath the title were cut out of a sheet of Sassafras Lass’ Serendipity Owl Pals.  The chipboard letters actually came from a card that Jen sent to us.  Jen and I have an agreement that after we’ve finished enjoying the handmade cards we send to each other, we should feel free to reuse anything that we want from the cards.  We love the idea of using the bits & pieces and giving them new life in another project instead of just sticking the card in a drawer.


I had a lot of fun making the little kite embellishment.  I was inspired to do this after seeing the pumpkin that Aphra Bolyer put together to add the perfect touch to one of her layouts.  You can take a look at it here.  Very cute!


This alphabet card is from K&Company.  I found a box of these cards on sale for half price while scrappy shopping with Jen.  The best part was that there were two of every card so we were able to share them and have an entire set each.


I used this sketch by Jana Eubank as the starting point for my layout.


Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Fancy Feet

I’ve slowly been scrapping my photos from the vacation I had in Alberta with Jen and Rob back in July.  We spent several days in beautiful Banff and on our last day there Rob treated Jen and I to a Rocky Mountain pedicure at the hotel’s spa!  This was my first pedicure and I really enjoyed it.  Jen and I loved being treated like “princesses” - if only for a while.  Besides, what could be better than looking at a view of the mountains while someone pampers your tired feet?

The papers are from Prima Marketing’s Flights of Fancy and Pastiche Collections.  I’ve had these papers for quite some time now and I was finally ready to cut into them.


I used brown Staz-On solvent ink to stamp a design onto the two butterfly-shaped mirrors and then added some pearls to dress them up a bit.  This was my first time trying solvent ink and I learned two valuable lessons:

1) The stamp will slide easily if you’re stamping onto a shiny surface like a mirror so you have to be very careful or the image will be smudged (the evidence of this can be seen on the large butterfly!)

2) A solvent ink cleaner is a must for cleaning up!  I didn’t realize this until after I’d finished stamping and couldn’t remove the ink as I usually do with baby wipes.  I guess I should have read the instructions on the back of the ink pad when I bought it!


Lately I’ve been going back and forth between hand-writing my journaling and using the computer to print it.  For this layout I wanted a fancier more feminine feel than what my own writing looks like so using a computer font worked well.



I used this sketch from Sketchy Thursdays.


Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Cards...

I have two more cards to share with you today which I managed to get finished yesterday.

The thank-you card was made using scraps from MME’s Lush line which Jen gave to me this summer.  Well, she called them “scraps” but there are lots of good pieces of paper there and I’m happy to have them.

I had so much fun putting the Thanksgiving card together. Working on the branches and leaves reminded me of my days of doing appliqué back when I used to make quilts, except it’s SO much easier to glue down bits of paper than it is to zigzag stitch or, worse yet, appliqué everything by hand!
















This is one of the reasons that I love scrapbooking so much - I’m sure that when my eyesight has diminished and my hands are getting shaky I’ll still be able to cut paper and glue it down to create something beautiful.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's World Card Making Day!

Happy World Card Making Day!  There are several birthdays in our family during the month of October so I figured I’d use this occasion as incentive to get some of my cards made.  I pulled out the latest issue of Paper Crafts magazine yesterday afternoon and got to work.  I tend to follow the magazine’s card designs very closely, only making minor changes here and there.  I was really happy with the end results.
















But here’s the best part of the cards, in my opinion - the back!  Jen and I found this great little stamp at Michael’s while I was visiting her this summer.  We knew we had to have it to add the finishing touch to our card creations!
















I’m hoping to get a few more cards made today and hope you find some time to be creative too.

Until next time...
Susan :-)