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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Ever have times when life is so busy and running so quickly, that you feel like all you can do is hold on tight and hope to keep up? Yeah. Happens to us all!  I'm in one of those times right now.

Even when life gets into hyper-drive, you can still take the time to create.  I've got a quick and easy card to share with you.  It's an easy to make card and allows you to send a quick "hello" out to friends, even when you are short on time.

This is a completely digital card that I created in Photoshop. You can use any photo editing software.  I used a digital kit by WM Squared Designs called Great Escape: England.
This great kit is packed with fun elements and papers. And it coordinates with the entire collection of Great Escapes kits and add-ons by WM Squared Designs. You can find them all at Scrap Orchard.

To make my card, I created a 10" wide by 5" high file in Photoshop.  I added a 5"x5" square aligned to the right side.  This is where the face of my 5" square card will be.
I added the grungy British flag paper from the kit to my file. I re-sized the paper to 5" square, then clipped it to my 5" shape layer.

 I added a 4.75" square shape layer above the flag paper layer. I applied a drop shadow to this new shape layer to help make it look like it is a separate piece of paper on top of the flag paper.

I brought in the cream paper from the main Great Escape kit, re-sized it to 5" square and clipped it to the shape layer. Then I added the phone booth element and applied a light drop shadow to it.  I placed the text "hello" on the top layer and colored it to match the blue in the flag paper. The font I used is Pea Olson.

Now the card is ready to be printed on to white paper, scored and folded along the left side of the card front and ta-da!  You've got a cute little card that you can send off in a jiffy!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Coloring Digital Stamps

Spring has arrived!!!  We had a really mild winter here, but I'm still grateful to greet Spring! The warmer temps and beautiful flowers are a hope of renewal!  Not to mention that I'm not a big fan of the mess that snow creates, so I'm thankful to be passed that season!!

I made this card for the current Card Caravan over at The Hybrid Chick.  This go 'round is a sketch by Julie that is really versatile. I used the kit Lucky Me by Elise's Pieces to create the card.  I love that it shouts "Spring" with it's vibrant colors and gorgeous butterfly.

The sentiment is a digital stamp by Krisi's Kreations from her set Write It: Spring Sentiments. I recolored the sentiment using papers from the Lucky Me digital kit so that it coordinated with my card.  I've shared a tutorial on how to do this at Krisi's blog. You can find it here.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lucky Leprechaun

Leprechauns are cute little characters. But they sure can wreak havoc!  Over the years, it has been a tradition for my sons to build a leprechaun trap and try to catch the little lad. They have come up with some pretty crafty trap designs!  Never the less, that lucky leprechaun always eludes their attempts to catch him!

And then, he leaves a trail of mayhem throughout the house!  Furniture toppled, things misplaced, pictures knocked off the wall, little green footprints, you name it!

Although we've never caught him, we have been lucky too!  As the leprechaun made his way through the house, he left a trail of gold! Alas, they were gold wrapped chocolates, but gold just the same! And a treat for us as we went about cleaning up the mess the leprechaun left behind!

This scrapbook page is a remake of an earlier one that I had done. I used the digital kit Lucky Me by WM Squared Designs.  I also used a font by WM Squared Designs called WM Aunt Bea.  Both of these are new releases at Scrap Orchard ..... which means, they are on sale right now!!  Hurry, go grab a St. Patrick's Day treat!!

I hope you have plenty of luck and happiness on this St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mojo and Leprechauns

I saw the sketch over at Mojo Monday today and could not help but put together a card. I love it when the mojo gets a spark like that!

This is a hybrid card, using the digital kit Lucky Me by WM Squared Designs.  It is going to re-release in Wendy's shop at ScrapOrchard this week.  I was "lucky" enough to be on Wendy's team when this kit first released, so I've already got it in my stash.  But you only have to wait 3 days and it will be in the shop!!!

The sentiment is a well known Irish blessing. I just created in Photoshop using a mixture of fonts.  The flower, shamrocks and lace add a bit of a shabby chic feel.

It's hard to believe that it is nearly St. Patrick's Day!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Handmade Smash Book

Smash books are all the rage right now.  Just what is a "Smash book"??  Basically it is a way to capture memories and life moments. The idea goes back to the roots of scrapbooking when people made simple memory books. They stuffed them full of memorabilia, photos and mementos.  Then scrapbooking took on it's own art form.  The Smash book idea is to go back to that quick and easier way of capturing what is going on in your life.  You can quickly add journaling and photos, stuff in special treasures and there you have it, life captured and "smashed" into your book!

K & Company has a line of Smash books and coordinating products that are irresistible! Or...........  you can make your own smash book! The smash book I'm sharing with you today was made using digital scrapbook kits and office supplies.  You can make your Smash book as simple or as involved as you like.  It's all up to you.

At my local office supply store, I found a bunch of stuff that would work great in a Smash book.  Envelopes of any kind are great. You can save things like ticket stubs in them, or use them to hold supplies to make smashing easier, like paper clips or pens.  Those notebook dividers that you had to buy for your child's school supplies, make great pages and pockets in a smash book.  

Avery has some really neat clear or colorful PocketTabs that make a great addition to a page. They can hold CD's, journal tags, or more items you want to save.  They are self adhesive, so they are easy to add to your pages, and they have a built in tab which can help you organize your book. They come in different sizes too!

Let me walk you through my book so you can see how simple it is to create a Smash book for your self. For my cover, I used blank chipboard. I adhered some papers and elements to the chipboard using Mod Podge. The ones I used happen to be from a digital kit called Count Your Blessings by ViVa Artistry, but you can use any papers that you like.  

As I was applying coats of the Mod Podge, I added some glitter to the title strip of paper across the front.  I also bought the K & Company rubber band and pen from the Smash book collection. The pen is cool. It is a pen on one end and a glue stick on the other. This really helps make adding things to your book easy. I used my Crop-o-dile to punch holes and bound the book with book rings. This will allow me to add pages to my book if I want.

Pages 1 and 2, I've got plenty of room for journaling and photos. See that funky tape holding my journal tag on? That's also from the K & Company Smash book line.  So easy to just tape things down, and they have several tapes that are so decorative. You could use Washi-tape too!

Page 3 and 4, In between these pages, I inserted a pocket divider.  I covered it with coordinating paper to make it look pretty.

Page 3 and 4 (again) - just to show you that I covered the back of the pocket divider as well.

Page 5 and 6, I did a bit more decorating on these pages. I used digi kits that are all about journaling, Illuminated Journal 2 and Illuminated Journal 3 both by ViVa Artistry. This kits are perfect for this type of project. Since my Smash book will be a journal of sorts, I thought it was neat to create pages that look like a journal inside a journal! You can make your pages super decorated, or very simple, whatever fits your fancy!

Page 7 and 8, more pages that express a bit about me. Hopefully they will encourage me to actually write and express myself in this book!  After all, it's not just about creating the book, it's about making it useful! These pages were made with the digital kit Altered: Girl Talk by ViVa Artistry.

Page 9 and 10.  Here you can see one of those PocketTabs at work.  Here is a closer look

I've tucked in a frame and journaling element that I plan to use. Then I can use the pocket to hold special keepsakes! The kit on these pages is All About Me by The Digichick Designers

Page 11 and 12, more tape! There is also another pocket divider. Right now it's holding some elements that I'll add to these pages when I start recording stuff.

There's a closer look at the tape and the pocket divider on these pages. The digital kit that I used is My Only Sunshine by Amanda Heimann

Page 13 and 14, here I've included a decorated clasp envelope ( you can see the front and back) between the pages.  This will be great for holding some special items secure. I used the Retrospect 365 digital papers by Quirky Twerp and the Bird Collage and  Parlor Collage stamps by Arty Pants Digital Stamps. You could decorate some of those return mail envelopes that come in all that junk mail. What a great way to recycle!

My book is a work in progress. That's why I like using the book rings for the binding. I'll be adding pages to this book. As it grows, I can change the rings to larger ones if I need to.

Your can make Smash books for themes, time periods, moods, any reason you like. Maybe create one for a friend to record her memories while she is pregnant, or one for the time while planning a wedding. Maybe create one to capture all the fun you'll have on a special trip.  What ever you choose, just remember to have fun with it, and make it "smashing" but more important, make it yours!

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Friends and Flowers

My hands are all inky!  Guess what I've been doing?  That's right I've been playing with ink.  I was making flowers for this card.

This card got it's start from a card sketch by my friend LuAnn.  She is hosting this months card sketch challenge at The DigiChick.  You can read about that here.  This is her sketch.

Isn't that gorgeous! This sketch lends itself to so many possibilities.  I used a digital kit by Sugarplum Paperie and Lauren Grier called  A Perfectly Ordinary Day to create my card and flowers.

The doily came from a pack that I picked up at the $1 store.  I spritzed it with some Glimmer Mist to bring some color to it.

The flowers were made using one of the digital papers. I used the large medium and small Retro Flower punch by EK Success.  The petals are inked up with Midnight Blue. I them played around with scrunching the petals and layering the flowers.

The gems were clear. I colored them with a Copic Marker to make them coordinate.

The sentiment is from a new release by Krisi's Kreations called Write It: Spring Sentiments. I recolored some of the words to provide some emphasis. The trim is actually from my scraps!

I hope you are having a creative week!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just a Bit o'Green

Yeah! It's March!  Spring is just around the corner. Even though this winter was an easy one, weather wise, I'm still looking forward to the warm sunshine of Spring!  And when it gets to being Spring, I think green!  To me, green is the color of life, and Spring is filled with new life all around us. The flowers are growing, the trees are budding, and soon the grass will need mowing. OK, so that's one thing I don't look forward to!  And of course there is St. Patrick's Day as well! That will certainly get you thinking green!

There is a new Card Caravan Challenge starting at The Hybrid Chick today, and I'm hosting!  My theme for the challenge is Lucky Green. You can check it out here.  If you're not keen on green, you can grab some inspiration from the photo (below) or go with the lucky part of the theme. So there are lots of possibilities!

I used digital papers to create my card.  The background is a Kraft paper from the So Krafty v.1 by GeniaBeana Scraps, and the beautiful green patterned papers are from a GeniaBeana kit called Verdant Splendor

The sentiment is a digital stamp from a set by Arty Pants Digital Stamps, Card Sentiments Digital Stamps.

I used some of the scrap papers to create the flower.  I punched, inked and scrunched, then layers a few medium and small punched flowers together to create this bloom.  The ribbon is some old seam binding from my stash that I sprayed with Glimmer Mist to give it a green color.

Hope this inspires you to "go green"  :-)

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Joanna Sheen
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