Sunday, December 30, 2012

Everyday Eclectic Pieces of Me Mini

  I discovered minis less than a year ago, and am completely addicted.   This time, I went with Everyday Eclectic by EP, because I’ve been hoarding it and I just had to take the plunge and use it. I gathered the paper, some ribbon, doilies, toothpicks, etc. No real clue as to what I’d do, just willing to go with the flow. You can’t imagine my surprise when the entire album took about an hour and a half to make. That’s a record for me, usually my mini albums come together over a couple of WEEKS!

After cutting all the paper to 6x9, the pages were a snap. I kept them very simple so I can embellish more after I add photographs, or maybe journal more. I machine sewed all the chevron ribbons instead of using adhesive, it gives them a fun little line of orange thread down the middle. I attached the flags with wood grain washi tape, and added butterflies randomly throughout. Lastly I bound everything with my zutter and voila! A fun little album, in less than two hours!

The best part is: I only used half my collection in making this. I’m not sure how one package went so far, but I have another stack of 9x6 pages, a bunch of large scraps, lots of sticker elements, and one 12x12 sheet that I didn’t use at all. I think there may be a travel mini in the near future. J

Friday, November 30, 2012

Printer's Tray

My 3 yr old daughter LOVES helping in the kitchen.  Last year her 'help' slowed me down a lot, but this year she has so many little skills down pat that she's a brillant help.  Baking is our favourite thing to do, but peeling carrots and potatoes for soup seems to be a close second.
This was the first printer's tray I've ever done, and the hardest thing was exercising restraint.  I wanted to use all the colors in the collection (Carta Bella Traditions) and do something completely different in every box, but it was too busy.  I'm still tweaking, but it's close! 
The bow is tied with may arts chevron ribbon, I'm absolutely addicted to the stuff.  So if you haven't tried decorating a painter's tray, I strongly recommend taking the plunge.  This one was just $7.50 during one of Hobby Lobby's 50% off sales.  For more details on how I did mine, check out my igram (instructagram) here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Operation Write Home Blog Hop

Good morning!  Today we're hosting a blog hop supporting Operation Write Home. If you've just stumbled onto this blog hop, go back and start at the beginning, otherwise, you're in the right place! 
In reading through the OWH feeback, one that really touched my heart was a soldier writing home to her daughters who are blind.  She took special care in choosing out cards that were 'tactile'.  Making dimensional cards for OWH is a fine balance of adding interest, without adding too much bulk that would detract from shipping efficiency.  So today I'd like to challenge you to make subtly dimensional cards that are visually and tactile-y interesting, without being lumpy or difficult to ship.  I'm fairly new to card making, so I searched Pinterest for inspiration and stuck with simple designs I could pull off.  Feel free to be as fancy as you like, just remember to keep shipping efficiency in mind.  Things like embossing, small bling, border and shape punches, ribbons, etc. 
Please check out the OWH guidelines and don't forget to include a packing slip when you mail your cards!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Album for Baby Wyatt

I have a wonderful friend, Casey, who recently gave birth to a lovely baby boy named Wyatt.  He has CDH, to say it's been tough is an understatement. Fortunately, he's a trooper, and his parents are going through this journey with amazing Faith and courage.  To read more of their story, visit Casey's blog.
Making a baby album was quite challenging because she didn't want the normal "prissy baby" stuff.  So I went for a fun and classic look that I hope will weather well over time.  :)

Inside of the front cover and first page.  
Thank goodness 'Wyatt' has five letters, I feel banners always look better with odd numbers.

 'Miracle' pretty much encapsulates his story.
 One thing both his parents effuse is their love for each other and Wyatt.
Their story is amazing and worth sharing.
Even though they're going through stress, they still find joy in God and life, so I made a couple of double layouts to celebrate that. 

 These pages are all about Wyatt.
 I wanted to give them lots of photo space, so the far page has three 4x6 spaces in a row and one to the side, and the closer page has a 5x7 space.
 The final page and inside of back cover...squeezing in as many photo mats as possible!
 Thanks for looking and please keep Casey, her husband James, and their baby Wyatt in your prayers.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Scene in a Jar

My sweet daughter potty trained far too early and far too quickly, consequently I only have one good ‘diaper butt’swimsuit pic of her. For some inexplicable reason, I find it super cute and I’ve wanted to do something special with it.  Then I saw something similar on Pinterest and thought 'Why not do that with a photo, and have it be a dimensional layout?'  As soon as the idea popped in my head, I knew I had to do it.
Only three items required: a jar, sand, and a paper line with lots of elements.  Cut the elements you plan to use out of the cardstock.  Then play with them and lay them out experimentally until you find a pleasing arrangement.

Measure the inside of your jar and add a third to half an inch of sand at the bottom.

Cut your elements down to the inner length of the jar. (In my case it was four inches.)
And finally arrange your layers in the jar by sticking them in the sand. You may find space to add more elements, like the red fish I fussy cut and propped up on waves, or take away something, like the banner which was too busy.
Even though I didn’t use the banner, let me tell you how I adhered it to the ‘ceiling’ of the jar, in case you have elements you’d like to hang. First I ran a strip of snaketape onto my craft mat, then I rolled it with my finger and made a skinny glob (technical term).
It’s so strong, the slender glob held the banner up, and yet was easily repositionable too. I might go back in and hang a sun using the same method. Still debating it.

This project came together quickly and easily, but the best part was watching my husband and daughter’s reaction. They LOVED it, and suddenly inspiration struck! I could make another scene with her Alice in Wonderland costume, and she could be standing next to the mushroom and the caterpillar.  Now I just need to find the paper.  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Easy mosaic card for a great cause!

 I recently heard of Operation Write Home, and felt the mosaic theme would lend itself perfectly for an abstract card design. Operation Write Home is a non-profit organization that provides blank handmade cards to soldiers overseas, so they can write home. After visiting their website and reading their guidelines, I decided this easy and dimentional theme was perfect!

First, I took a basic A2 card and colored the pattern I wanted to follow with some markers.

Then I chose coordinating paper from the huge EP stack purchased from CC. 
I also gathered random bling flowers I’ve collected over the years (and never know how to use). I felt they’d make great ‘tile’ accents to my mosaic.
And the free Operation Write Home rubber stamp. (Just visit their website and ask for one, they mail it to you free)  It comes unmounted, but I have a dollar spot acrylic mounting block, so I glued it on for a permanent stamp.
Finally I glued everything onto the basic pattern I’d already drawn, and stamped Operation Write Home on the back. I created a few more cards while I was at it, and will mail them all at once to OWH headquarters so they can be shipped overseas to the men and women who will use them.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Design Team post up on CropChocolate!

Good morning!  The first challenge CropChocolate gave us was “ombre” and somehow I snagged the color yellow. I’ll be honest, I was a bit bummed at first. Not a color I usually work with, but then I realized I could finally play with the yellow/gray combination I’ve been seeing everywhere. Woo-hoo!  I found I really like yellow and gray with pops of teal or coral, so I used MME’s Lime Twist paper with those gorgeous teal accents.

If you like chevrons and you don’t know how to make them…you’re in luck! They’re quick and easy.
For the ombre ones you’ll need three or four pieces of coordinating cardstock. (The Bazzill trios CC has been selling are perfect for this.) I also had a pale gold scrap laying around which I used that for the lightest layer.

Cut strips two inches wide, by however long you want them, in my case I just did the entire twelve inch length, and used the excess on something else. Once your strips are cut, take one strip and mark it lengthwise down the middle. Then turn it width-wise and mark it every inch.

You can mark all the strips individually or you can be lazy, like I was, and just mark one, then stack the the remaining three neatly underneath and cut through all four strips simultaneously. Starting at the bottom, you cut every other line from the edge of the paper to the lengthwise demarcation. On the top be sure to start cutting one over from the bottom and then alternate every other marking to the center demarcation as well.

Finally you just fold and adhere. I like to use my ATG, but hot glue or quick drying glue would work as well.

I had so much left over, I was able to create a quick little layout for one of my random albums.

As I was folding the strips into chevrons, another method came to me for achieving the look even more easily. It requires a square punch. Simply measure the diagonal line, cut your strip to that width and then punch along the edges. It’s REALLY fast. Here’s a video that shows it in action.

Hope you enjoyed these quick chevron methods. Have fun playing with them!
- Brenna

CC Supplies:
3 shades of yellow bazzill
MME Lime Twist paper
MME Lime Twist titles

Non CC Supplies:
scissors, ruler, adhesive
gray, white and pale yellow cardstock

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Design Team Tryouts Part 2

My second project for the tryouts was my favourite, because I've never done an altered book before.  I've never highlighted or even dog-eared a book page before...books, and especially hardcovers, are pretty sacred to me.  So when I decided on this project, I couldn't bring myself to desecrate any of my own books...I went to the library and bought one of their old books (50 cents to a dollar for any book, great deal).  It was the story of how a little boy saved Cleveland.  I couldn't help but skim through the entire book before setting about to alter it.

First I covered the book in MME Stella and Rose paper, I believe it was the Gertie collection, and used some of the embellishments that coordinated with the paper.  Luckily sold it all in one package, the paper, embellishments, ribbons, lace trim, etc.  Made it SO easy.

I have faux library cards lying around, and since the book started life in the library, I felt it was an appropriate embellishment.  It states that my daughter 'checked out' my heart on the day of her birth, and never returned it.  :)

Inside the front cover I wanted to mention my husband, because after all, he was instrumental in bringing our little girl about.  I distressed and stamped a plain little manilla folder to make it look old.  I also pleated and edge punched the first page of the book and tied it out of the way with a ribbon.

 I used an exacto knife to cut out sections of pages.  There was no method to it, just randomly opened the book to different sections and cut with the exacto as close to the center as possible.  I pressed firmly so that several pages would cut out at one time, then I'd move on to the next section. Then I went through distressing the pages and randomly stamping images onto the background.  Below is my favourite page because it holds a sweet pic of my daughter and I when she was two weeks old.  I trimmed the bottom with lace from the collection.
When I'd thinned it out enough, I started sewing 'pocket' pages using the WRM Sew Easy tool. This tool punches the holes through paper so that you can easily thread

Then I simply cut out photo mats and pennants and such and decorated the pages in a casual way without over thinking it.
I was surprised by how quick and easy this project was and highly recommend it to anyone who finds cheap hardcovers at libraries or yard sales.  It could also be done with vibrant colors, or in a graffiti style, and have a completely different vibe. 
 Enjoy the possibilities!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Design Team Tryouts Part 1

So, I have wonderfully exciting news...I made the Design Team!  Which is fabulous because 99% of the scrapping supplies I buy are from their site.  I'm so honored and excited to help showcase their products.  As part of the tryout process we had to submit a couple of projects, so I'd like to share those with you. 

The first project I did, were two mini albums out of one package of Echo Park paper.  The collection is called Country Drive and it just makes you HAPPY.  It's colors are vibrant and fresh and the patterns lend themselves to all manner of subjects: Summer, Spring, kids, road trips, garden work, family or friends. 

The covers are made out of plain chipboard, cut to 4.5 x 5.5 inches and covered with EP paper from the same package.  I then bound the mini with the Zutter BIA (a recent acquisition I absolutely LOVE).

Each album has three pages, and each page is made with a 12x12 piece of paper that's cut, scored and glued in such a way as to allow for four tags and one two pic fold-out per page!  This offers tons of real estate for pics and journaling.  I can't wait to fill these puppies up.

The inside cover has a slim double slider.  I enjoy double sliders because they're quick and easy to make, add interest and have a fairly slender profile that can fit in anywhere.  Here you can see it in closed position:

And here you can see it in open position.

Overall these albums are fairly slim but full of color and fun and, I was startled to discover, capable of holding 30 pics each!

Tomorrow I'll post pics of my second submission.  Until then, do something creative and enjoy life!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pretty Paper and Embellishments

Nothing inspires me quite so much as pretty paper and embellishments.  Take My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose 'Hazel' collection.  As soon as I saw the metal keys, I knew I had to have it.  We have friends by the last name of Key who are expecting another precious child and I thought they could certainly use an album in which to display their incredibly photogenic family.  If you've never heard of, I highly recommend it.  I was able to buy the paper, trim, die cuts and metal embellishments at wonderful prices.  I'm attaching only one photo because the pages have so many tags, pockets, fold-outs, double sliders, etc...that I'd have to take at least 20 pics to show it all.  So instead I will update soon with a video of all the goodies within.  The cover was inspired by a pic I saw on pinterest, while the actual structure of the body was inspired by Kathy Orta's paperbag album format.  I had so much fun making it and I can see this becoming a standard format for me to display pretty papers. 

Here's a quick video of the inside.  It was actually a tad too quick, I forgot to show part of the foldout at the very end of the album, there were two more photo mats and another tag pocket that are not seen.  I'll re-do the video soon and update.

Thanks for watching, enjoy making your own!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Craft Room!

We've recently moved from a condo to a house; and for the first time ever I have a designated craft room!  Ahh, the space...the luxury of not feeling cramped and cluttered.  One day, as I was strolling through Home Goods, a colorful painting caught the corner of my eye.  A quick double-take confirmed the perfect platform from which to draw the inspiration for the rest of my room.  Bright and fresh it boasted a mix of creams, pinks and greens.  I bought it immediately (How could I not? It was $14.99) and my hobby room, or ' the studio' as I call it during my more lofty moments, took off.  A brilliant lady I met online, Jasmine Ford, gave me advice, on how to organize all the cluttery paraphenalia which go along with crafting; and my dream was born.  A serene yet vibrant oasis in which I can betake myself during the few quiet moments of the day, and shed the routine by jumping into a new creative adventure of my choosing.  I love when one's only limit is one's imagination.  Fly and soar, or float and meander,'s all a welcome journey that refreshes us for the daily grind ahead. 
 I wanted the room to be femine and pretty, so I searched high and low for a French provincial desk.  Well, guess what...they're expensive!  So instead I bought this modern reproduction.  It's huge, roughly five feet by three feet, and when I have a project going, I use every inch of available space...even the pull out shelves above the drawers!

These shallow shelves are from IKEA.  I think they may have discontinued them, but I'm sure they have others quite similar.  They're fantastic for holding small colorful items, and I change out the items on the top shelf every so often.  Scrapbook paper is so pretty, it's almost like having art on display.  (Though the splatter painting is bona fide art by my two year old, it's another idea off pinterest.)

This shelf is my favourite because it has the bird painting which inspired it all.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I also found a green and orange bird tile at Michael's (or was it Hobby Lobby?) for just a dollar. I keep meaning to put it elsewhere in the room, but for now they're together.  The bookshelf below also needs a little help.  It's a work in progress.  An interior designer I am NOT, but little by little, trial and error goes finding a pleasing combination. 
I found the pink tiered stand at TJMaxx, and use it to hold small ribbons, baubles, and flowers. Usually relating to projects I'll be starting in the near future. I'm completely obsessed with three tiered stands, especially since they're all over Pinterest.  I want to make a few, but I'm running out of places to put them.  I've since purchased a larger stand and I'll probably switch it out for the pink one so I can hold more accessories instead of only current project ones.  The little box is empty, and that makes me happy because it means my crafty supplies have room to grow.  :)  The shadow box with buttons was a handmade gift by a friend, isn't  it pretty?  So colorful and happy.  Such a sweet message too.  Thanks Casey!
Originally the room was just a plain square.  I sketched a rough outline of what I wanted and my FIL built in the window seat and shelves.  The seat has storage within and it's where I keep my sewing machine and other bulky items.

This is my view as I paint, scrap, sew and sketch.  It's my happy place :)