Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Explosion Box

A couple of years ago, I got interested in Explosion Boxes. This is one I created a couple of years ago for a class project that I taught at the scrapbook store. The bow was a Wishblade file designed by Karen Jennings (hope I'm remembering right), and posted as a free file at the Wishblade Cafe Yahoo Group long ago. Unfortunately, I can't give out the file, since I'm not the copyright holder, so please don't ask for it, and that particular Yahoo Group no longer exists. It was a fun project, though. Another teacher at the LSS is doing a cute Explosion Box this month for a class, so apparently they're still around, even if it isn't a new idea anymore.

I used my Wishblade for more than just the bow. The rose that looks like a laser cut on the right is actually a dingbat cut on the Wishblade, and the tag and words were all cut the same way. I love all the things that can be done with an electronic cutter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hand Created Backgrounds with Embossing Folders

Another simple way to create your own background is to use dry embossing. If you want to emboss an entire 12x12 sheet of cardstock, you can use the Fiskars embossing system or brass hand templates and a stylus with help of a light table. I don't have a lot of time to scrapbook, so I go for the really easy, lazy way: emboss a strip of cardstock using a Cuttlebug embossing folder. My layout "It's All Relative" used the Baby Words Cuttlebug embossing folder. Even my photo corners were embossed using a small Cuttlebug embossing folder; an embossed Winnie-the-Pooh was used in place of a corner; and even the heart frame was embossed with another Cuttlebug folder. Using so much embossing helped to unify the layout and tie it all together. The embossing also provided texture and variety instead of using just patterned paper and plain cardstock.

Hand Created Backgrounds with Stamps Part 2

Creating a background using multiple colors will take more time than using a single color. With a single color you can put everything on one large acrylic block, ink and stamp a few times, and you're done. If you want additional colors, it takes a little more effort. I created this paper for a fall layout. I haven't added the pictures yet, so you can clearly see the variety of stamps and colors used.

I stamped the wheat row all with one color using a 2x6 block. The wheat was from a CTMH stamp set. I put the different botanical stamps from a Gel-Tins set on smaller individual blocks. I tried to use my bottom stamped row like a guide ruler. I inked and stamped each individual stamp progressing continually to the right as I stamped the second row. That meant I had to change to a different stamp and ink color each time I stamped. I stamped another row of wheat, and then another row of botanicals. I find it easier to get a uniform look by stamping in a very orderly pattern. I do not get nearly as satisfactory results when I stamp at random.

Hand Created Backgrounds with Stamps Part 1

One of the easiest ways to create a unique background is to stamp it. Sometimes I have found great patterned papers at the LSS, but realized the colors didn't go well with my photos. Sometimes I have looked for papers at the LSS, but didn't find anything with the theme I wanted. I can almost always create a background paper from plain cardstock using my stamps. With alphabet stamps I can create words that fit my theme. Or I can combine stamps from one or more stamp sets to create a block that will quickly cover my cardstock with my chosen design. The easiest is to create a background using one color only. My Sneak Peak layout was a page designed for ultrasound photos. Unfortunately, despite numerous baby papers at the scrapbook store, it was hard to find ones that went well together and had matching colors. So I stamped the top part of the Sneak Peak Layout using a variety of baby words on a 4x6 acrylic block. I used a single ink color, so it stamped very fast. It took a longer time to set up the acrylic block, but because I got the result I wanted, it was worth it.

For those who may wonder, the title was created in Illustrator, cut with a Wishblade electronic cutter, and I used the Grasshopper font.

To get a close up view of the "Sneak Peek" layout, position the hand over the layout and click. It should enlarge enough to see more clearly. If you look at it close up, you will see slight imperfections in the stamping--mainly where I didn't press down uniformly. That is one of the risks of hand created backgrounds. They won't be as perfect as the ones you buy at the LSS.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New to Scrapbook Blogging

I love to scrapbook. It seems that everyone now has a blog. Some are used for showing off layouts or other projects, and some have tutorials. I'm not sure what mine will turn out to be or how often I'll post, but it will definitely be scrapbook related.

You'll notice that my style is simpler. It's certainly not trendy. I generally like the photos to be the focus of my layouts, and I prefer to have the embellishments help tell the story in some way or at least follow the theme of the photos. I rarely crop photos down, and I almost always do two page layouts. I take thousands of pictures every year, so I just can't limit myself to one picture one page layouts.