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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Awesome Actions

Ever go on vacation, take a bunch of photos, come home and realize that one (or more) of the photos you took isn't as good as it looked in your camera preview window?  Maybe there's a shadow in the way, or maybe the color is washed out, or maybe......  you know, you've had these photos that you thought you can't use.  But guess what? You can!!

Yeah - this just happened to me.  We recently got back from vacation and a photo that I thought was going to be OK, wasn't.  We took it in the shade so that the bright burning sun wasn't washing-out everyone's face and causing us all to squint.  When I looked at the preview on the little tiny camera screen, it looked OK. But who could really tell in that bright blazing sun?

But, that shade really made the photo too dark.  Here's a looksy at the photo that I almost thought was useless:

But thanks to the help of some amazing actions, I was able to easily salvage this photo and turn it into something to treasure!!!!

Oh My Gosh!!!  Isn't that great????  So here's what I did.  I used 2 actions by Charm Box Studio. The first one I used was "Lighten" which is part of the Stepping Stones Actions. That brought some life back to my photo. Then I took it a step further and applied the "Sun Kissed" action from the Sunshine set. And ta-da!  I've now got a great photo that I can crop, print, scrapbook with and cherish forever!

Now I work in Photoshop CS4. Check out their shop, they also have actions for PS Elements!! And they aren't just for saving photos from the recycle bin on your computer. They've got all sorts of tools to help you get some amazing looks for your photographs.  I can't wait to play some more!!

Oh, I'm so happy!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby Shower Diaper Cake

Now that the shower for my niece is over, I can share this little beauty with you.  I wanted to make something for her baby shower. I also wanted to walk through the baby aisle shopping for really cute stuff.  My kids are grown and it's fun to look at all those tiny little outfits for a change! 

I also wanted the gift to be useful.  So I got out my craft supplies and made up this diaper cake for her.  Can you guess that she is having a boy?  After visiting her registry list, I saw that she had selected things with monkeys and lions on them. So I made sure to include them in both the items I picked up from the store as well as to create some cute accents for the cake.  I scored the jackpot when I found the ribbon with the monkey face on it!

The useful part to the cake is not just the diapers, bibs, socks, toys etc. The paper crafted items can also be used.  I created the 3D crib and baby carriage to be used as decor in the babies room.

The paper pieced animals can be used in the baby book or scrapbook, or even placed in frames for the walls of the babies room.

I didn't take photos of the step by step construction of the cake. But I used the basic diaper cake construction. I rolled all the diapers and secured each with a small rubber band.  I cut a piece of foam board into a circle as the base and glued lace to the edge.  I then placed a bottle of baby powder in the center and started surrounding it with diapers. The lowest level has three rings of diapers standing up encircling the bottle.  The next layer has 2 and the top layer is just one ring of diapers.

I wrapped the bottom layer with a baby blanket.  Each layer then got wrapped with the two ribbons, a large blue and the monkey face ribbon on top of that.  I tucked the bibs and socks into different layers.  Attached the paper pieced characters.  To secure the stroller and crib, I used sewing straight pins.  I tucked some pacifiers into the crib.

To top off the diaper cake, I tucked a monkey toy in the center of the top layer.  I created a card using the words Sweet Baby. I attached the card to a wooden dowel and careful inserted it behind the monkey toy, down into the center of the cake for added stability.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ice Cream Anyone?

This summer has been hotter than usual around here. Ice cream is a yummy treat to help keep you cool. Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  Over at The Hybrid Chick, I'm hosting the latest Card Caravan. I thought ice cream would make a great theme.

As my inspiration project, I created this tussie-mussie to look like an ice cream cone.  Complete with both a chocolate side and......

A vanilla side!  I used beads as the sprinkles and a glittered up the cherry to give a nice sugary look and feel.

I made this using the  Carrot Box Template Set by Kelleigh Ratzlaff as the base,  Cupcake Card Template Set by Kelleigh Ratzlaff (modified) as the scoops, A Wee Bit of Boy Paper Pack by Wishing Well Creations,  A ‘Lil Bit Girly Paper Pack by Wishing Well Creations, and Card Sentiments by Arty Pants Digital Stamps. 

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Christmas in July

Are you having sweltering heat in your part of the world?  We have been.  Temps have been over 100* (F) and the humidity has been pretty high too!  Makes it hard to think about Christmas. Although a slightly cooler temperature might be welcomed by some!

There is a new challenge running for the next two weeks for the Card Caravan at The Hybrid Chick and the theme is Christmas in July.  Stop by and check out the beautiful samples by the other Caravan Chicks. Hopefully you'll get a chance to join in on the fun too!

I made this card using a kit by Sherwood Studios called Love and Joy. The non-traditional colors are just gorgeous!  I really like this challenge, since it helps me get a jump start on making cards before the busy holiday season is upon us!

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Travel Journal Smash Style

Whenever we travel, I always take a notebook to keep track of my thoughts. I jot down things we did, places we visited and laughs that we shared. These notebooks come in handy when I finally get around to scrapping our trip (usually months or even years later!). I can read through them and be reminded of all those wonderful moments that I never wanted to forget. Some of them I only remember because I did write them down!  :-)

Lately, I've been making my little travel journals a bit fancier. Instead of the little lined notebook from the office supply shop, I've been making personalized journals for my trips.  It's fun to do ahead of time when you are excitedly anticipating your vacation.

This little book was really easy to make. I designed it in Photoshop using digital scrapbook elements.  I printed it on a piece of 8.5"x11" canvas textured paper in landscape orientation (Simply folded the cover in half lengthwise to create the album).  I painted on a few coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat decoupage medium. The nice part about the Hard Coat variety, is that it dries with no tackiness and, once it is cured (only takes a few days), you can actually wipe it with a damp cloth to clean it!

I used 3 hole punch graph paper (turned landscape) for the paper inside the journal. I would have preferred to not have the 3 hole punched type, but it was what I had on hand.  I like to use graph paper in my journals. Not only does it give me lines to write on (if I want to), but it also makes it easy for me to sketch things in perspective if the mood so moves me.

To create the "binding" for this journal, I simply punched 2 holes through the cover and inside papers, then tied some twine through the book. Doesn't get much easier than that!

For a little added "bling" I strung some beads where I tied up the twine.

This next travel journal is a bit more involved.  I created this one as a Smash type journal. I created the cover using the digital scrapbook kit Aloha Spirit by Stelljane. I printed the covers out and decoupaged them to chipboard. I also used the Mod Podge Hard Coat on this one, so I would have the nice finish that is easy to clean.

This book is larger, it measure 9" tall x 5.75" wide.  Inside I used a combination of graph paper, pocket pages and envelopes.  In the pockets, I've prepared some elements that I can use to title or accent my journal pages.

The pockets and envelopes can also be used to keep memorabilia and ephemera that we collect on our trip.

I don't put photos in my journals. For one thing, I don't have a way of printing my photos when I am away.  I also don't want to take time away from enjoying my family and vacation to be scrapping.  But I do make notes in my journal of  photos that I really like or I know I want to scrap later.  When we get home, I'll have everything right together in my journal to help me get to scrapping all my photos.

I'm really enjoying taking the time to create these more personal travel journals. It gives me just that little bit more incentive to make sure I journal about our travels.  And then, when we do get home, and reality returns, even if I don't get around to scrapping the photos for a while, I at least have a handy, and attractive, journal to read and reflect on our trips.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012


Sometimes, you just have to let them spread their wings and fly.  My oldest son is quickly becoming a responsible young man. That was the inspiration behind this card.  As nervous as it may make me, the only way for him to learn to fly, is to give it a try!

This card was made using a digital kit by WM Squared Designs called Everyday.  There is an extras pack too. That's where I found the stamp that I used in the background of my sentiment square.

I kept the embellishments simple and gender neutral. The ribbon is May Arts. This could be used for a man or a woman.  Hmmm, maybe the lesson was all in the creation to help me receive the message.  My son is growing up!

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365 Cards
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One stitch at a time
Hiding in my Craft Room
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